SINGAPORE - StarHub has partnered with ComEase.Com,
a provider of Voice-over-IP (VoIP) service, to provide an enhanced 1800 toll-free service which will allow locally-based
companies to extend their global reach.
Targeted predominately at SMEs and marketed as ClickNTalk, the service will enable local merchants to establish voice communication with their online customers anywhere in the world via the Internet without either party having to incur international-call charges.
With this new service, online businesses can improve upon their existing web presence, generate more sales leads and increase customer satisfaction by providing potential customers direct voice communication with a customer service officer free-of-charge. Companies aspiring to go dot.com can also leverage on this new development to open a new e-marketing channel to reach out to a larger audience.
"The high cost of owning a toll-free number has traditionally been the greatest barrier to companies, particularly SMEs, as the service would have catered only to the small Singapore market," said Mr John McLean, Head of Marketing Operations, StarHub.
"But with ClickNTalk, the VoIP platform covers the international leg of the communications and this is free to all customers. StarHub has lowered the price barrier to entry considerably while at the same time expanding our clients' customer base. This new proposition provides a more cost-effective solution to all would-be toll free merchants, adding that personal touch of voice communication wherever their end-users may be," he added.
ClickNTalk is a total-bundled solution consisting of StarHub's Domestic FreePhone 1800 service and ComEase.com's Web Communication Suite, comprising the ClickNTalk Internet software, an integrated co-browser and voicemail facility.
Besides real-time voice communication capability, ComEase.com's integrated co-browser tool also allows the merchant's customer service representative to remotely bring the online customer to a specific web page where he can highlight and promote his company's product features.
In the US, ComEase.com has entered into a partnership with Telepacific Communications, a leading broadband telecommunications provider, to offer ClickNTalk to toll free subscribers there. In Japan, ComEase.com has also signed a service collaboration agreement with Japan Telecom whereby ComEase.com will use Japan Telecom's toll-free call service "Free Call Super" to provide ClickNTalk to the Japanese e-commerce market. ComEase.com is expecting to launch the ClickNTalk service in South Korea, Hong Kong and Malaysia in Q3 2000 and the service is expected to be in 16 countries by the end of this year.
IDC forecasts showed that Web-talk service provider revenues will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 200 percent from $208 million in 2000 to $16.5 billion by 2004. During that time, the amount of time users spend talking on the Web will exceed 3 trillion minutes a year.
ComEase.Com, a global provider of Voice-over-IP (VoIP) service, is a Singapore incorporated company with operations in the United States. Founded in 1989, the company developed its core competency in Internet Telephony technologies in 1994.
Currently, the company has an in-house R&D team and has been endorsed by the National Science & Technology Board of Singapore through their R&D grants for innovative product development.