Virgin Media adopts ipadio in the field

[UK] Ipadio has secured its first blue chip customer – the UK’s Virgin Media. The quad-play provider (broadband, TV, phone and mobile) will utilise ipadio’s phonecasting service to improve the communication amongst its field workers who install and maintain the company’s products used by almost 10 million customers.

Ipadio offers similar functionality to AudioBoo but with additional features such as live phonecastng and audio to text translation through SpinVox’s API. Both iPhone and Android clients are available, though it seems that Virgin Media staff out in the field won’t be going the smartphone route but will use a regular telephone to interface with the service.

“All the team member needs to take part in the conversation is a telephone handset. It’s odd, but sometimes you need to take one step backwards in terms of technology to make a big leap forwards”, says Dr Mark K Smith, ipadio’s CEO.

The communications program is known internally within Virgin Media as FieldTalk and will host a regular series of audio updates delivered on-demand either to a field worker’s phone or through the company’s Intranet. It’s not one-way phonecasting either, staff can interact with the service by giving feedback via their phone’s touch pad or phoning in their own audio responses.

iPadio began life as a wholly owned subsidiary of digital communication company Nemisys, which provides a live-to-the-web broadcasting platform. Last month, however, the company secured additional funding – up to £500,000 – from Sussex Research Limited, the investment vehicle of London-based financier Stewart Newton.