Ottomatias Peura, founder of Speechly, about the use of voice command technology.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Ottomatias Peura: Thank you, we are doing pretty well, considering the situation. Fortunately, Finland has been among the well-performing countries, and we haven’t had too many cases. Of course, working mostly remote for such an extended period of time has been a bit rough at times, but it could be worse!
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Speechly.
Ottomatias Peura: I have been building digital experiences since the BBS times in the 1990s. I’ve worked in consulting and for various quite successful startups. After my last position at Leadfeeder, I jumped to politics for a while, working as the Special Advisor for the Minister. After a very interesting stint in politics, I wanted to continue building awesome digital products and joined the Speechly team.
How does Speechly innovate?
Ottomatias Peura: Our technology is pretty unique among the various voice tech companies. We are building developer tools that enable product teams to improve their application’s user experience by adding voice functionalities.
We have an experienced team of computer science and data science Ph.D.’s and experts, and innovation is innate to our team.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Ottomatias Peura: COVID has not affected our business a lot, and for voice technology in general, it could even bring new opportunities as people are more aware of the importance of avoiding germs on shared screens. Of course, we have moved to an almost fully remote working mode and have needed to adjust our ways of working a bit to be compatible with the situation
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Ottomatias Peura: Thankfully, we haven’t had the need to lay off anyone because of the crisis. I think the big lesson learned from the crisis for everyone is that you need to be ready for everything at all times.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Ottomatias Peura: As we are building a digital product for the worldwide developer market, our customer relationship management is fully virtual anyway.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Ottomatias Peura: The crisis has not affected our business that much.
Your final thoughts?
Ottomatias Peura: The post-pandemic world will value all ways to avoid germs, and I think we’ll see shared screens replaced by shared voice user interfaces
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