Voxware has bet big on the cloud. Eighteen months ago, the voice software company launched its cloud voice management suite, and since then, it has seen 20 to 25 companies adopt the cloud-based version, according to Keith Phillips, the company's CEO and president. Phillips expects to see that number double by the end of the calendar year.
In simple terms, a cloud-based implementation allows software to be implemented from a remote server that is accessed over the Web, as opposed to an onsite source. Phillips believes that cloud-based implementations will be the future of voice technology because they're more cost effective and flexible than a traditional implementation.
A cloud-based implementation does not require a large capital investment, making it easier for warehousing executives to fund it as an operating expense. Previously, the cost of implementing the solution was a major barrier to adoption, especially for small and medium-sized companies.
Speaking at the Modex trade show on Monday, Sean McGhee, president of Hollywood Feed, a small pet food company, said the lower cost of a cloud implementation allowed his company to justify going from paper-based picking to voice, which has enabled it to keep up with its 50-percent yearly growth.
"Any dollar that I have to spend on infrastructure detracts from my ability to grow my retail operations," McGhee said. "Voice in the cloud allows small businesses to take away some of the competitive advantages that all the big guys have."
Cloud implementations also cut down on deployment time and increase scalability. Hollywood Feed had an implementation time of 11 days. As the technology evolves and a company's needs change, the software can be easily updated and downloaded from the cloud.
Additionally, as multichannel and omnichannel retailing gain traction, Phillips believes there will be a play for voice in the retail store.