Regardless of whether you follow the fortunes of start-ups, one name you’ll definitely have heard is Uber. The start-up taxi company’s launch was so controversial it prompted London’s cab drivers to take to the streets in protest. And in December it hit the headlines again by sending its drivers around the capital to collect donations for food banks.
Making a connection
What we find most interesting about Uber is not its headline-hitting potential, but the way it has used telecommunications technology to carve out a unique business model that has changed its industry.
The Uber app connects cab drivers and passengers through their smartphones. Users can use the app to locate, order and pay for mini cabs through their smartphone, while drivers can reduce the time they spend travelling between fares by using the app to locate people nearby who need a ride.
With just a few simple taps of the screen, users can enter their starting point and destination, get a quote for their journey, view a profile of their driver that includes feedback and reviews, and watch the driver’s progress towards their pickup location. The result is a quick, transparent and secure process.
Making the most of every feature
One of Uber’s strengths is the way it connects with other smartphone features and applications. As well as GPS, it also integrates with Google maps – in a cheeky move it will tell users who are searching for directions just how quickly an Uber would get them to their destination. It’s a far cry from the age-old process of hailing taxi cabs or the more recent staple of calling up mini cab offices and waiting in the cold for your cab to arrive. Even better, all journeys are paid for by secure card transactions – so there’s no need for an emergency stop at the cashpoint after a night out.
A commitment to small business communications
One of the reasons we’re so impressed with Uber is because we’re committed to startups getting the most out of technology efficiencies in telecommunications – and we love hearing about it when they do. Our cost-effective call plans allow small businesses and home businesses to access all the features they need for maximum success.
Plus, with additional technology such as Vonage Extensions, which gives you instant access to your Vonage call plan on your smartphone via our very own app, you’ll have the freedom to use your call plan when travelling.