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With their cloud-based mobile service technology Voice Assist Inc. is eliminating the need for the keypad and keyboard and enabling people to use voice commands to make calls, manage their e-mails, send text messages and post to social networks like Facebook or Twitter or Chatter just by using their voice from any phone or IP connected device. Voice Assist Inc. is offering the ultimate hands free experience

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Technology - Voice Software
About: Voice Assist Inc. (VSST-OTC:BB)

2 South Pointe Drive, Suite 100
Lake Forest, CA 92630
Phone: 949-655-6400

Company Profile:

Headquartered in Lake Forest, Calif., Voice Assist speech enables mobile applications and services. Voice Assist is a hosted platform for developing and deploying voice controlled mobile applications and services. It includes a fast and safe way to make calls, manage your e-mails, send text messages and post to Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Chatter by voice commands. The Voice Assist Platform provides a scalable solution for developers to add voice into any application.

Michael D. Metcalf – Chairman and CEO

As chairman and CEO, Michael Metcalf brings over 26 years experience in the telecom and speech recognition industries. He is a serial entrepreneur, having previously founded and managed a number of successful companies. He was founder, CEO and chairman of SpeechPhone LLC, a cloud based unified communications service provider. He also founded and was CEO and chairman of Sound Advantage LLC, provider of on site speech recognition based messaging platforms and earlier in his career he founded and managed Telwest Inc, an interconnect and systems integrator.


Products conceived and developed by Mr. Metcalf have won over 25 of the top telecom and speech recognition industry awards including four Product of the Year awards. Mr. Metcalf has the unique ability to recognize opportunities and then conceive and develop commercial grade technology to meet the need. 


Mr. Metcalf is a visionary leader that leads by faith, hard work and personal example. His previous board positions include Safe Harbor International, a 501c3 disaster relief and missions outreach to the Sudan, as well as director at Coastland Christian Bible College and University.

Randy Granovetter

Randy Granovetter serves as the president for Voice Assist, bringing over 30 years experience in wireless and unified communications. She was the founder and CEO of JABRA Corporation (acquired by GN Netcom), president of Blyth Software Corporation, president of Digital Orchid, general manager for Microsoft for wireless communications, unified communications, security, emerging markets and innovations/prototypes, and vice president at Qualcomm for QUALCOMM’s Enterprise, Co-Branding and MVNO strategy development in Qualcomm Internet Services (QIS), the QUALCOMM division chartered with driving applications and services for the wireless Internet.


While at Microsoft, she was responsible for developing and introducing new mobile, wireless, IP-PBX and VoIP technologies for emerging markets and security products. She accomplished three mergers and acquisitions for Microsoft in security, VoIP/Web conferencing and Mobile Browsers as well as five strategic partnerships and joint ventures.


Ms. Granovetter holds a master of arts in language development and special education and bachelor of science degrees in special education, elementary education and language development from Vanderbilt University. She has received several industry awards including Star of the Industry by Computer Telephony Magazine and the Distinguished Woman Award by Telemarketing Magazine and Call Center Solutions, Order of the Long Leaf Pine in North Carolina presented by Governor Hunt, the MacUser Magazine Award for Desktop Publisher of the Year.

Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor,, Published – January 14, 2011

Mr. Metcalf what is the vision for Voice Assist?

Mr. Metcalf: When you think about technology whether it be a mobile phone, iPad, land line, PC or whatever the device might be, there are lots of small buttons and sub menus. Essentially, technology is great for all that it can do, but the interface is so complicated and we are using more and more devices to the extent that it becomes almost confusing. So really, the real vision for Voice Assist, at least initially, is to eliminate the need to use the keypad or keyboard to interact, communicate or transact using any application on any phone or device. Voice Assist is the perfect hands-free solution for the people that need to communicate and interact while driving or on the go.


Unlike other speech services companies, Voice Assist facilitates two way communications, empowering users to communicate hands-free, by voice from any device at any location. Voice Assist enables users to get things done with a Bluetooth headset or speakerphone. By eliminating the keyboard and keypads, Voice Assist provides a cost-effective solution for spreading safety while increasing end-user productivity.


CEOCFO: Are you in the development stage or do you have a commercial service on the market today?

Mr. Metcalf: We are providing commercial service to the public right now. We have a number of really great applications that are available on our website at and it is available for instant activation. Our VoiceAssist™ solution works on any iPhone, Blackberry, Android or Widows Mobile phone. It works on any mobile phone or device that is 3G, 4G or WiFi-enabled and it works on any carrier network. It even works on landlines and VoIP phones too.


CEOCFO: How does your service work?

Mr. Metcalf: We are a hosted speech services company and all of our technology is cloud-based. The way that it works is you make a phone call to the cloud from any existing telephone. You can do that by programming a speed dial button on your existing phone. If you have an IP connected device, you can use a SIP client to connect over the data network as well. You just put the Voice Assist icon on the device or the PC and you click on that icon to form a voice connection from that device to our cloud based speech platform. From there you are going to hear the main prompt that says “Voice Assist’. The rest is all talk, literally speech commands.  There’s no menu, you just say what you want too. For example, you can say “call” or “email’ or “text” and then any name in your address book. Then the system will dial or record your text or email and send it.

You could even say “post to facebook or twitter or chatter by voice” and then you speak and we type it and post it for you. It’s really easy and it’s really fast, you just say it and it’s done.


CEOCFO: Many times voice products do not work as intended; how is it that Voice Assist can recognize a voice so well and not have some of the glitches that have happened in the past?

Mr. Metcalf: That is a really good question. In the old days, the kind of technology that speech technology companies would use was sort of like Voice Print, where you would map the analog sign waves and plot the highs and lows of the graph and then store numeric values. Then anytime someone spoke, you would store another value and compare these voice print files to the previous ones that you stored. So the larger the grammar, the greater the odds that the voice print would be mismatched.  That is why it didn’t work very well in the old days. Voice technology today uses phonetic based voice recognition engines. They use text, so there is no voice training of the product. They are really using data and we extract data from things like Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, or whatever it might be that you are using. Then we use the data, which becomes the grammar. This is why we say “data is the conversation”. And since we’re using phonetic based voice recognition and data that you already have, the odds go way up that we’ll understand exactly what your saying. I would say that the accuracy ratio is now in the high ninety percentiles.


CEOCFO: Who is your typical customer?

Mr. Metcalf: Different people use Voice Assist, but it is mostly mobile professionals. It is people that are on the go and people in the car driving. Because thirty states in the U.S. have passed hands-free driving laws, people use it when they are in the car because it’s the law. They can dial, email or text hands-free to comply with the new laws.  Then, after you have used it for a couple of weeks, you find yourself using it even after you leave the car; maybe when you are walking down the street or even when you get back to your house. You may even use it in your office because you can speak faster than you can type. And because our technology works from any phone, we find people prefer to use voice than type. They start in the car and then take it home or into the office because it’s so convenient and saves time. Since it uses the same voice commands from any phone, it quickly becomes “the preferred way” to communicate or interact. I think that the common thread that we see from our current customer base is that busy people love this because they can more done – fast. By pressing one button, the customer can dial, email, text or post to social networks or even do all four things on one call and then hang up.


We have lots of young people who love new technology but we also have lots of older folks that hate technology but they love the simplicity to just speak.


CEOCFO: What is the cost?

Mr. Metcalf: Today we have two products. We have the Voice Assist Standard, which is just $4.95 a month. So for less than $5.00 a month you can add these kinds of voice services to any existing phone and immediately use all the features. You can dial, email, text, and you can even post to Facebook or Twitter by voice for under $5.00 a month. Then we have Voice Assist Premium Plus that we just introduced with SalesForce at DreamForce. We introduced the newest module called Chatter By Voice, which integrates so that mobile sales people can call in and update salesforce records, schedule next action items, or even post to chatter or listen to a chatter post. Chatter is exploding as the secured social networking product of choice for customers. Now, these same customers can talk to their database or even Chatter by Voice. This is just the beginning of a series of suites that we are building as we work with additional partners. You will find some additional Voice Assist Premium Plus packages that you will be able to purchase coming out in 2011.


CEOCFO: What is the competitive landscape for Voice Assist?

Mr. Metcalf: We really feel that there is really nobody in the space that we compete with directly. There are a lot of really good Speech companies out there that have really good technologies, such as Nuance. However, there business model is really to go license ASR and TTS engines to people that have big development budgets and want to develop big proprietary speech applications primarily for call centers. We really don’t compete in that space. Then you have companies like Microsoft who also have great speech technology, but the way that they are going to bring that technology out to the market doesn’t compete with our business model either. We’re really the low cost provider of best of breed speech services on a hosted or pay per use model. We’re providing a great safe driving application as the core product and then adding suites for specific verticals while providing the tools and super low cost platform to enterprise clients and developers who want to add even more. So we’re creating a community of people focused on driver safety and personal productivity apps that run in the cloud and can be accessed from any phone or IP connected device. Other competitors are far too dependent on a specific handset or operating system. We are making great speech technology available at very low cost by taking what is normally very expensive resources like automatic speech recognition (ASR) and text to speech (TTS) and speech to text (STT) technologies, and making these resources available over an IP-based network on either a pay per use model or on a monthly recurring subscription model. Because of our unique architecture, we share these expenses resources on a time sharing model to bring down the cost of speech services to the point where the average person can afford it. Then we add really simple tools and provide hosted speech services to developers on a very low cost “pay per use” model so developers can afford to add speech services into any mobile application.


CEOCFO: How do you take your product to market?

Mr. Metcalf: There are definitely two models. We spent the early part of December at DreamForce, as we rolled out Chatter By Voice with the SalesForce community. It was amazing to see how many corporations are moving towards cloud-based computing. This is the wave of the future. Cloud-based computing is here to stay. There is a very vibrant community and user base. As you probably know SalesForce is probably the most successful cloud-based computing company in the world. We are really excited to be able to bring products out that really extend the power of what SalesForce has done with cloud-based computing; mobile people that are driving in the cars can now access SalesForce by voice. So we saw primarily large corporations, big business-to-business type accounts at Dreamforce. They expressed interest in piloting five, ten, twenty-five people groups and wanted to bring their mobile work force into the realm of being compliant to the hands-free driving laws. It is kind of a safety-first sort of thing, but then they also want to be as productive as possible when they are stuck in traffic. We are turning that unproductive windshield time into personal productivity time and not just for business, but also for home, because at the end of the day after doing business you are probably stuck in traffic on the way home. Now you can send a text to your family members, make phone calls, and respond to emails. We are really crossing the bridge between the work that you do for the office and the communication that you need to do for home. It is for the soccer moms who want to use the product while she is driving kids in the back of the van because she has to keep her hands on the wheel and her eyes on the road. She doesn’t want to put the kids at risk so at less than $5 a month even soccer moms will go to our website and sign up for the service so that they can drive safe. The thing that is really exciting too is it is very viral. It is growing right now all by itself even before we began spending any money on sales and marketing. As every new customer sends a text or an email, or receives a text from people, suddenly they start talking about what it does. It has taken on a life of its own and it is growing virally over the internet right now.


CEOCFO: Very exciting times for you!

Mr. Metcalf: Yes, it is; we are very excited about it.


CEOCFO: What is ahead; what is your strategy in the next six months to a year?

Mr. Metcalf: Right now, we are really focusing on some of these bigger vertical applications and the larger companies that have either a really big sales force or a really big customer base where there are some common applications that they need to get access to. For the next six months to a year we are going to be very busy working on bringing additional products like Chatter By Voice that we did with SalesForce. We have a number of these customers in the works already that you will be seeing coming out in the coming weeks and months ahead. We are working on the development community where we are going to be introducing some really simple widgets. We think we can become the voice inside lots of applications, tens of thousands of applications  by doing it that way.


CEOCFO: So this is going to potentially explode!

Mr. Metcalf: That is our hope and that is certainly our aim. We are working hard to make that very thing happen.


CEOCFO: Do you see this being something standard!

Mr. Metcalf: Exactly! Why use menus or press lots of little buttons if you didn’t have to.


CEOCFO: This sounds intuitive!

Mr. Metcalf: We are processing over sixty thousand voice requests a day right now and we expect that to increase incrementally here on a weekly basis. That’s 60 thousand times a day someone didn’t push any buttons.


Ms. Granovetter: It’s not just about sending text by voice. It’s the ability to send or receive text or interace with data when you want, how you want and from any phone.  Consumers and business people can use voice when it makes sense or type when talking out load may not be appropriate. Voice Assist is the perfect assistant because you only use it when you want to. We try to be very accommodating to provide just the right amount of assistance only when required.


CEOCFO: What is the financial picture like for Voice Assist today?

Mr. Metcalf: Voice Assist is growing right now. This is really an exciting time for us because really we are just now starting to make some real sales, marketing, and business development effort. Even though the company has been generating revenue for several years now, it was really the result of an extended beta test that we did where we were giving away services for free and then listening to our customers and fine tuning the products and services and making it really valuable to them. Once we finally got the customer satisfaction in the high ninety percentiles is when we starting telling people you can’t use this for free anymore. Now they would have to pay to continue to use it. We were very excited as we got a very high ratio of people that converted and became paying subscribers. We were even more surprised when we learned that for every paying subscriber we got at least two more that were referred and became paying subscribers. We’ve been able to achieve over $1 million a year in revenue just by word of mouth marketing.


We look at that as just the conclusion of a good beta test and now were at DreamForce to really start to push the product. This event is amazing, we had over three hundred large corporate leads that came from the event so far.


Therefore, the picture is right at the beginning of the bell curve. I think that you are going to see some great things happen for the company. In addition, we just brought on some great staff members. So with some new executives joining the company, we have some great people that have great Rolodex’s that we can tap into. We have strong momentum coming from right now and a couple other key partners that should come on board in the coming two quarters, so we think it is going to be a very bright and profitable 2011.


CEOCFO: Do you do much investor outreach?

Mr. Metcalf: Not really; we really have not focused on that. We have been so busy literally just building the company that we really haven’t taken the time to do that, but that is certainly one of the things that we are going to start doing. We are going to make a really good effort to communicate with the investment community on a regular basis because as a public company that has now become critically more important to us. As you know, we only became a public company just a few short months ago.


CEOCFO: For potential investors, why is this the time to pay attention to Voice Assist?

Mr. Metcalf: First of all, keep in mind that Voice Assist is a public company and so all the information is out there on the internet about us. You can see our progress as we go, which is a good and healthy thing. We are uniquely positioned, we have the right management team, and the timing in this market is right now. You saw again what happened at DreamForce, and if you were to listen to the vision of the leaders at Salesforce and others involved in the cloud computing environment, the timing is absolutely right now. I am more convinced that our timing couldn’t be better. Cloud computing and “software as a service”, is about to explode because people are using too many devices and they are accessing information from too many different methods today and we could really simplify that. Because of the company’s technology, the management team and the timing in the market, all three of those things are hitting together at the right time. It is the right combination for us so that we really have a shot to become a leader in this space. There is really nobody else with the right model, the right technology and the right team to exploit this except us. So the market is wide open and massive; so it’s just great timing.


Ms. Granovetter: When you think of Voice Assist, that’s exactly what it is. It is voice assistance; it is the voice inside your application.


Any reproduction or further distribution of this article without the express written consent of is prohibited.



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Voice Assist is the safest and fastest way to dial, email, text or post. - Michael Metcalf


Voice Assist is the Voice inside your mobile app. It will soon be the voice inside your head.  You just can’t stop thinking about this. - Randy Granovetter does not purchase or make
recommendation on stocks based on the interviews published.