Kelly Fitzsimmons

Introducing Hypervoice at Oracle OpenWorld

I just finished presenting at Oracle’s PartnerNetwork Exchange as part of Oracle OpenWorld and it was exhilarating!  I demonstrated the first integration of Hypervoice capabilities into the activity stream of an enterprise social networking application, Oracle Social Network (OSN).

In reality, what I showed was a 14-year overnight success story. In 1998, my co-founder asked a very insightful question: Why is it that you can easily share images, text and even video online – but not your voice?  Voice is a transactional media – rarely captured and shared in any meaningful way. With our conversations, we keep our notes and throw away the actual conversation.

Since our original insight, we have been thinking deeply about the question as to why voice was missing from the web in a meaningful and persistent way. Unlike other hypermedia, voice has remained unsearchable, unshareable, unloved – in its full resolution form.

Over the years I’ve noticed that whenever I’m working on a complex problem, language tends to fail me.  Case in point, my mother has little idea what I do for a living.  And she has been my litmus test.  Until I can explain what I am doing to my mother, I realize that I have failed to describe my work properly.

In July, I tripped across a word that you will be hearing a lot in this session – Hypervoice.  And for the first time, I felt a truly optimistic that my world would suddenly become clear to friends, colleagues and my mother alike.

Martin Geddes, a well-respected polymath and telecom expert coined the term Hypervoice to explain what voice would look like as a native Web object.  When I heard this, it was like “Eureka!” and everything clicked into place.  It connected dots that now make a clear picture of where voice on the web is headed.

What Martin observed – and likely you have as well – is that voice communications are largely disconnected from the mainstream of the daily digital workflow.

When a conversation is important, we stop typing and we start talking. And this conversation is completely offline – requiring people to log their conversations into larger systems of record like a CRM.

Hypervoice does for voice what hypertext did for text.  Hypervoice breaks recorded voice into smaller pieces that can be found, shared and secured independently and easily.  With a click, you can now jump to that exact point in a conversation that matters to you.  And better yet, share that insight with a colleague.

As Martin describes it, “Hypervoice links what we say to what we do, creating a unified activity stream of everything we say and do.”

So, what I demonstrated today is the first working prototype of a Hypervoice conversation within Oracle Social Network.  This is the first time voice has been embedded as a native Web object within an enterprise social media application.  Rather than converting voice into a text object, OSN is preserving voice in its original form AND making it searchable within the activity stream.

Unlike Voice2Text that requires the machine to translate voice into a low-resolution text object for search, Hypervoice uses the social gestures to mark up the relevant points in a conversation.  So, as long as you know what your notes and slides say, you can jump to the moments that matter.  It can be in Klingon for all Hypervoice cares!

Since we are dealing with recorded voice, you may be thinking about privacy and security. What about making sure our inside voices don’t go outside? To address this, HarQen is leveraging OSN’s robust framework for security, privacy, and information protection. The Hypervoice services will be configurable for retention and traceability.  HarQen also ensures end-to-end security measures so each of your conversations has the perfect level of privacy and confidentiality.

The enterprise world is getting more and more social every day.  Business users need to find and collaborate with the right people across their enterprises through both text conversations and voice interactions.  The harmony of the two is where magic happens. Oracle is the first of the major players to get this on a fundamental level.

With OSN’s release, users will be able to experience the power and potential of Hypervoice. Until then, I encourage you to check out our standalone product at HarQen.com/Symposia.

Congratulations, Martin, on yet another brilliant idea!  I look forward to what you have in store and to guest blogging here again soon.

Kelly Fitzsimmons, Cofounder & CEO, HarQen