New service TroopTalk enables individuals worldwide to send faxes and voice messages to be delivered via e-mail to members of the US military.
TroopTalk, which was made available November 2004, is offered by US unified communications service provider, OnlyOne, using software by Interactive Intelligence Inc. (Nasdaq: ININ). The not-for-profit Armed Services YMCA has made TroopTalk possible through corporate and individual sponsorships.
OnlyOne created TroopTalk to supplement real-time communications between service members, and friends and family.
"While there's nothing like hearing from a loved one in real-time, we wanted to create an additional way for service members and their families to communicate that would be both cost-effective and convenient," said Judi Bonadio, executive vice president of OnlyOne. "TroopTalk enables friends and family to simply pick up the phone and send service members as many messages as they want at any time. For service members, hearing from loved ones is now as easy as clicking on a file attached to an e-mail message."
Beyond its ease-of-use, service members are already finding TroopTalk a major morale booster, according to John C. Zipperer, a sergeant with the Bondsteel Air Taxi Service currently stationed in Kosovo. In a letter of appreciation recently sent to those responsible for TroopTalk, Zipperer said that the service had been "instrumental" to his soldiers' morale and well-being.
“This is a heart-warming application of unified messaging, which really does allow people to stay in touch flexibly,” said Richard Brown Managing Director, EMEA, Interactive Intelligence. “Email is a great, quick way of communicating, but lacks many conversational nuances. Christmas and the New Year were tough times to be away from friends and family. Over 250 thousand US troops are currently stationed outside the US, including over 75 thousand in Germany, over 200 thousand in the Gulf and nearly 12 thousand in England. Unified messaging systems make it easier – families could use their preferred way of communicating with loved ones without jeopardising security or having to wait for a set time for contact.”
The Armed Services YMCA is coordinating all sponsor donations. Sponsorships are offered for six months at $118, and 12 months at $220. A single sponsorship includes 20 business cards to be distributed among friends and family members, each with a local dial-up number and instructions for sending voice messages and faxes. An unlimited number of messages and faxes can be sent during the sponsorship period.
World Wrestling Entertainment has volunteered its services: friends and family members can hear a pre-recorded greeting from a WWE superstar each time they send a message. The Armed Services YMCA believes that the uniqueness of each WWE greeting will encourage people to use the service more frequently and to recommend it to others.
"We're proud to see organisations like WWE stepping up to support our troops and their loved ones at home," said Frank Gallo, national executive director of the Armed Services YMCA. "With an increasing number of security mandates that limit inter-military communications, finding ways to help our troops maintain critical family ties is now more important than ever. There is widespread recognition that healthy families contribute substantially to the success of our defence community. TroopTalk sponsors can feel really good knowing that they are contributing to that success."
TroopTalk is one of several initiatives being launched by an increasing number of people to help both service members abroad, and their loves ones at home. For instance, this year the Ellen DeGeneres show distributed $1.2 million worth of cruises to military families, and Oprah Winfrey gave a baby shower for 640 expectant mothers at Fort Campbell.
Notes to editors:
Interactive Intelligence has approximately 13% market share, unified messaging (US). It’s unified messaging software, Communité, has won numerous awards, including Frost & Sullivan's 2004 Product Innovation Award.
For more information about TroopTalk, visit http://www.trooptalk.com.
Founded in 2001, OnlyOne is a national unified communications service provider comprised of an exclusive network of local Operating Companies. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, OnlyOne provides full-featured, SINGLE NUMBER voice mail/messaging, fax mail, e-mail integration, long distance service, and conferencing services. OnlyOne provides Unified Communications/Messaging to the business community, distributed exclusively through its private partner network.
TroopTalk was developed through modifications to the OnlyOne business-based service in response to a desire to help United States service members and their families maintain closer ties during periods of overseas deployment. Contact OnlyOne at 866-472-1988; on the Web at http://www.myonlyone.com.
About the Armed Service YMCA
Since 1861, during the days of the Civil War, the ASYMCA has been a pioneer and trendsetter for volunteerism with its core mission being the enrichment of the quality of life for service members and their families. The ASYMCA continues to encourage strong kids, strong families and strong communities for military personnel and their families. The Armed Services YMCA, an affiliate of the YMCA of the USA and headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, has more than 150 program locations around the world. Visit ASYMCA at http://www.asymca.org.
About Interactive Intelligence
Interactive Intelligence Inc. (Nasdaq: ININ) is a global developer of business communications software for IP telephony, contact center automation, unified communications, and customer self-service. The company was founded in 1994 and has more than 1,000 customers worldwide. Recent company awards include Software Magazine’s 2004 Top 500 Global Software and Services Companies, and Network World Magazine's 2003 Top 200. Interactive Intelligence employs approximately 350 people and is headquartered in Indianapolis. The company has 12 offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Interactive Intelligence can be reached at +1 317.872.3000 or email@example.com; on the Web: http://www.ININ.com.
This release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are described in the company's SEC filings.
Interactive Intelligence Inc. is the owner of the marks INTERACTIVE INTELLIGENCE, its associated LOGO and numerous other marks. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.
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Interactive Intelligence Inc.
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