In the latest from a recent series of interviews with companies offering creative new mobile apps, SSQ spoke with Manish Jha, Vice President of Business Development at SwitchPoint, about their new Queuing Alert app, which enables service-oriented businesses to contact customers directly on their mobile phones to provide details about wait times and service availability.
With the Queuing Alert app, a restaurant can alert patrons when their table is ready, rather than relying on a handheld buzzer, which is limited to that area and can only flash and buzz. Instead, customers can leave the immediate location and receive updates via text message or voice mail; they can also look at the business’s schedule online to see where they are on the waiting list.
These capabilities are available to all types of hospitality businesses in addition to restaurants, such as spas or salons, which can choose the Queuing Alert app as an add-on to their existing online services, which they then provide as a convenience to their customers. Since it is a Web-based application, the testing process does not entail testing across different platforms such as iOS, Android and Blackberry.
Furthermore, SwitchPoint utilized a developer platform in the cloud that is hosted by the GENFuzion Developer Community called the “Sandbox” to develop and test the Queuing Alert application. This facilitates the process for developers, as system maintenance is performed by GENBAND A2.
Manish Jha offered some insights into the possibilities inherent in the combining of voice technologies and mobile apps:
When you go to the GenApps page, you can see the different ways in which we are using voice technology. There is a queuing alert system, but there is also time to open up the kind of data that the switching has in it so that customers can control access to their own line, like if they have two minutes or twenty seconds of time, they can actually block numbers on their cell phones themselves—I’m talking about controlling their home phones through their cell phones. There is an enormous potential in voice technology to do things other than just talk, because it’s a very secure, parallel technology.
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