Hoiio Blog
Sharing our thoughts on a smarter hello

Code for the Big Day

Author: , July 24, 2014

For those who are married, you would know that planning for a wedding is no easy feat. After all, there’s a reason why most weddings take an average of 9 to 12 months of preparation time.

With work and other commitments to take care of, couples often choose to do away with traditions or simplify whichever process they can without incurring the wrath of parents and in-laws. For those who can’t do either, technology offers you a third option – automate.

Developer Bryan Chen knew exactly which shortcut to take when he decided to build his own RSVP system and opted for e-invites instead. He wanted to save on paper and postage costs as well as eliminate the numerous phone calls required to get mailing addresses and RSVP follow ups. Because they played a passive role in this process, Bryan and Ailin were able to focus on other things.

Here’s how it worked.

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  1. Guests receive a rebranded SMS from BryanNAilin with information to RSVP.
  2. Guests can access the beautifully designed website and read about their love story.
  3. Guests can then take their time to decide if they would like to attend and RSVP whenever they want to.
  4. Closer to the date, an SMS will be sent to remind guests who have not RSVPed to do so. Guests who have indicated their attendance will receive an SMS reminder of the time and venue of the event. To avoid spamming his guests, Bryan took care to limit the rate SMSes were sent.

The result: A completely automated RSVP and follow up system. Bryan and Ailin could log in anytime they want to see the guests who have responded and the number of people attending. Another advantage of e-invites is also not having to worry if their mail has gotten lost or delayed.

 

How long did it take for you to set it up?  

Set up the whole site? One work week. But this is on top of the fact that I have a day job. The Hoiio API integration was the quickest – that took about a couple of hours. The documentation provided was more than sufficient for beginners.

There are so many SMS APIs out there, why did you choose Hoiio? (Not that I am suggesting you use them of course :) )

To be honest, I didn’t bother checking out other services. I had used the Hoiio API once before for another project. In that project, I had found a limitation of the API that prevented me from doing exactly what I had wanted. I sent an e-mail, and within a few weeks, that feature was made available.

 

The one thing that sets a developer’s skills apart from all other professions’, is the universality of the skill of coding. Not only is it used to build powerful security systems and fun games like Candy Crush, code can also be used to solve problems we face in our daily lives. As engineers ourselves, we are glad that our APIs have helped made a fellow developer’s wedding preparations much smoother.

On behalf of the team, we wish Bryan and Ailin a happy fulfilling marriage. :)

Earn cash on the side with Hoiio

Author: , July 21, 2014

Many of us would like to secure a steady stream of income that we can earn even without having to lift a finger. In fact, other than our job that brings home the majority of the bacon, we’re often encouraged by people in our social circle to have a backup source of income. You know, just in case.

Earning passive income is no longer a dream these days. Here at Hoiio, we look for opportunities to reward the folks who believe in us. Besides working hard to offer our users the best service that we can provide, we also work with partners who can help bring our products to a wider audience.

To facilitate this, we have a partners referral system. By referring their customers to Hoiio, our partners earn a cut from every successful subscription.

What’s better, when the customer renews his or her subscription each month, you’ll get a cut again. That means with every month, you’ll see your commission snowball. Not forgetting the more customers you refer, the more you earn.

 

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Q. What are the products I can refer?
A: You can refer these apps: Hoiio Main Line, Hoiio Direct Line, Hoiio Fax, Hoiio SIP, Hoiio Conference, and Hoiio Phone.

Q. How much commission will I get?
A: You’ll get a 20% recurring commission for every subscription referred by you. On top of that, you’ll also receive 10% of the customer’s total usage costs.

Q. So, what do I have to do?
A: When we partner up, we’ll bundle our services with your product into a well-rounded solution, which you can then promote to your customers as a package. You don’t have to worry about the logistics of onboarding the customer on our services as we’ll take care of that.

Q. After successful referrals, how do I collect my rewards?
A: You’ll receive your rewards in the form of cash payouts. What you have to do is send an email request to payout@hoiio.com. Link up your PayPal account because we’ll be depositing your payout into your PayPal account in one to two days.

For easy tracking of your commission, we provide a portal for our partners:

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a quick glance of how much you’ve earned in commission so far

 

Turns out it’s not hard to earn some extra cash. Find out more about what we have to offer to our partners and if you’re interested, click here to be our partner.

Does fax still have a role to play?

Author: , July 17, 2014

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Ever since email came about in the 1970s, it has been a useful business communication tool. In fact, it now surpasses fax as the preferred channel. It’s not hard to understand why: not only is email fast, it also doesn’t require additional office equipment to function.

With the surge in email’s popularity, fax machines started to lose favour. Today, many offices rely mainly on email to send and receive business messages.

And yet, there are an estimated 46.3 million fax machines that continue to be in use around the world. That means that fax usage is still active. Even with the dip in ubiquity, fax continues to be responsible for the communication of important business papers.

So what exactly is it about fax that keeps it relevant in the business world?

The truth is, email is not a complete replacement for fax. Even with email’s convenience, some industries continue to retain fax as one of their communication channels. Banks, for example, require faxed documents with handwritten signatures when validating a request from the account holder, as the financial industry is more strictly regulated.

Email also lacks the human touch. As convenient as they are, email greeting cards just don’t convey the same warmth as one you can hold in your hand.  That added element is what the Japanese appreciate, where handwritten fax allows people to make customisation requests easily.

Despite Japan’s high-tech reputation, the handwritten fax is seen as a sign of respect for the receiving party. In a country that places a premium on sincerity, it is no wonder that the fax document is firmly embraced.

Given that there are companies still using fax, it would be handy to have a fax solution when you need it. Online fax therefore is a good choice because you don’t need to own a fax machine to use it.

By sending incoming faxes straight to your email inbox, it bypasses the issue of security for confidential documents. Such solutions are usually inexpensive and offer flexibility that businesses of any size can appreciate.

 

Do you still use fax? Or have you gotten rid of your fax machine a long time ago? Let us know what you think about the future of fax in the comments below!

What you didn’t know you could do with SMS marketing

Author: , July 14, 2014

The interesting thing about SMS blasting is that it can be used in so many different ways. It’s not always used to send promotional text messages to customers. This is a tool so versatile, it allows you to do things you never thought an SMS could help you do. Read on, you may not look at a text message the same way again.

1. Run for President

Did you know that SMS played a significant role in helping USA’s first African-American president get elected? When Barack Obama decided he wanted to run for President in 2008, he engaged voters using SMS campaigns. If you’re a presidential candidate you’d be busy as a bee too. Not only did SMS campaigns save him time, it allowed him to connect with his supporters in many ways, including conducting surveys and sending reminders for voting deadlines. In fact, his 2012 re-election campaign became the first presidential campaign to receive donations by SMS.

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2. Help animals and save lives

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In 2011, a live export vessel headed for the Middle East was ferrying sheep for slaughter when it got stuck at Port Adelaide. The sheep were trapped onboard, all 67,000 of them, with no fresh food and water, causing 300 of them to die from the stress. Thankfully, Animals Australia, an animal rights activist group, successfully rallied for the release of the sheep after ten days of protests. Encouraged by the turnout of the supporters, many of whom were residents of Adelaide, Animals Australia set up an SMS alerts system, that would notify animal rights supporters and gather them quickly to protest against acts of animal cruelty.

 

3. Kick that smoking habit

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Yes, smoking is bad for you. That’s why many health interventions to help people successfully quit smoking have been carried out. One recent finding is that mobile phone-based interventions, notably SMS interventions, can actually be an effective method to get your loved one to stop smoking. When participants received motivational SMSes that provided support, encouragement and tips to quit smoking, studies found that this improved long-term quit rates as compared to control groups.

 

4. Replace staff emails

What do you do when you need to reach your staff quickly? Choose SMS over email. In fact, our CEO uses our own SMS Marketing app to blast reminders of company events to us. It’s more effective than a staff email to everyone, because well, not everyone checks their work email early in the morning, and if you want fast action, SMS is the way to go.

 

Image credits: 1 | 2 | 3

Coming soon: New call recording app

Author: , July 11, 2014

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Whether you’re running a business or managing a government-run organisation, a tool to record calls is essential. Call recording can help you become more aware of your communications with your clients and customers, enabling you to refine operational processes.

Keeping recorded calls means you get to retrieve them for reference and play them back to get the information you need, be it for training best practices or monitoring of staff performance. Yet there are companies that shy away from call recording, for a reason — the current legacy options, the ones that require you to have call recording devices on your office premises, are not ideal.

With all the benefits that call recording can offer, it’s a pity to let inflexible options in the market get in the way. We’ve developed a cloud-hosted solution that can be integrated into our apps for a seamless introduction to your business phone system.

Benefits:

1. Easy to deploy: Our call recording app is activated online on our user portal. Everything is fully self-service, and the feature is activated instantly.

2. Low maintenance: Cloud-hosted call recording means that all maintenance is done on our side, and no effort on your end is required. We have a dedicated team to monitor the service, making sure that it continues to run smoothly for you.

3. Fully integrated across all devices: Companies don’t need to worry about not being able to apply the call recording service to all devices. When you use our call recording service, it’s automatically integrated into all applicable Hoiio apps (SIP, Phone, Main Line and Direct Line) that you’ve subscribed to. This way, be it mobile phone or office phone line, phone conversations will still be recorded.

4. Secure: One prominent use case of call recording is in the financial industry, to resolve disputes that can occur over transactions. With the recorded phone call as evidence, it becomes much easier to reach a peaceful resolution. That also means that safeguarding the tapes and ensuring they cannot be tampered with is crucial to these financial institutions.

The digital signature feature that comes with the app ensures that tape recordings are original and have not been tampered with, and allows them to be verified by an independent third party.

With the sheer volume of calls, it’s not hard to understand that what you want is a solution that is easy to use and takes little effort on your part to maintain. It’s basically having peace of mind, knowing that the call recording solution you chose is doing the groundwork for you, and that all you have to do is to select the recorded conversation you want.

If you’re keen to try out the cloud solution we have for you, do sign up in the box below. Our sales team will get in touch with you very soon :)

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