Toctoc breakthrough app brings calls, chat and social network hub to d’Amico
d’Amico Società di Navigazione is among the first adopters of this application that is going to innovate the way ships, seafarers and officers, on-shore offices communicate, allowing calls and chat from and to aboard and ashore, all in one tap app at the same conditions.
As the connectivity requirements in the maritime industry are increasing and as vessels are implementing an increasing number of higher bandwidth applications, satellite operators have included high traffic maritime routes in their upcoming High Throughput Satellites whilst shipping companies are signing broadband contracts with a significant amount of Gigabyte per month and per ship. However, the value for broadband is still far from the corporate and private experience in terrestrial communications. Increasing data usage and the need to exploit new digital devices for private and work usage both on-board same as on-shore are ubiquitous trends as, “on one the hand officers and superintendents need to be connected anywhere, on-board and on-shore, to corporate networks in order to improve operational productivity through the transfer of real-time data information as well as of added regulatory requirements; on the other shipping companies face increasing difficulties in attracting qualified personnel. Long period at sea in rough conditions make crew welfare a top priority; crew usage accounts for around 80% satellite capacity on a ship and seafarers are increasingly hungry for voice/video communications on personal devices, for social network and messaging applications, as they are increasingly accustomed to do so on-shore, also due to personnel demographics. Toctoc meets innovatively all these needs” says Gennaro Faella, Corporate Business Development and Operations Coordinations Director of the Telemar Group and co-founder of toctoc. Telemar has launched toctoc application - developed by their associate company Buniq, appointed as innovative technological start-up - also for the commercial maritime, leisure and fishery segment. Toctoc combines social messaging, VoIP, also in high definition, and the first Smart
Social network HUB for all mobile phone users anywhere where an internet connection is present in the world.
“We have started to use toctoc and find that it can support the daily experience both on-shore and on-board for communications and social networking for both private life and corporate¬oriented usage – says Salvatore d’Amico, Fleet Director at d'Amico Shipping Group. – We are excited to introduce toctoc in order to reduce the communications expenses for staff and to boost their possibilities. With reference to the app capabilities we are keen, among others, on the optimization of the use of satellite band, as well as on the option of using each mobile number as an extension of the company PBX at toctoc conditions, ideal for all workers in mobility including superintendents and managers. With regard to the costs, one 10-minute-long international call to India when a seafarer is on land can cost about 6 USD: with toctoc the same 10 minutes, using a personal smartphone, cost zero to toctoc users or few cents USD when calling a landline or a mobile one.”
Toctoc can be an awesome fringe benefit for seafarers both on-board and on-shore at no cost for the owners: according to researches such as the “Crew Communications 2012 Research Whitepaper” by Stark Moore Macmillan, seafarers’ actual spending for communications is $150/month, mostly voice, about half while in port/coastal waters/on travel, with officers spending twice the amount spent by ratings, with such expenditure representing about 17% of the officers’ disposable income whilst 40% of the ratings’.
"We are proud of our toctoc application that is available in Apple store and Google Play, and we are planning to make it available at its launch on Global Xpress Gateway and its service enablement platform. For the first time ever and uniquely with toctoc, crew members are able to: receive shore-to-ship calls at the same conditions of price and service they get with their smartphones; avoid using a PIN code to call and be called on-board; make chat - not using bandwidth to stay always on - and VoIP through a single app and smartphone both on-board and on-shore. - says Gennaro Faella - “It is stunning to think of the number of things that end users demand and toctoc is the first app ever to enable: service always usable on-board, from shore to the smartphone on-board and on-shore anywhere, with the same e-pocket and credit portability; service truly optimized for satellite and maritime usage through a powerful algorithm that is under patent issue; first social messaging service both on-shore and at sea and first social hub, with features such as access to Facebook and other social networks optimized for satellite. All that, under enhanced and tailored usage policies and control by Owners".
"Toctoc aims at innovating both social messaging for consumers globally and business functionalities for many verticals: as an example, the upcoming automatic WiFi option in main ports, airports, hotels, restaurants and enhanced cloud in-app for files, docs, pictures and videos. Toctoc was awarded the participation at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last February as one of the most promising innovative mobile applications – says Daniele Nobile, Buniq CEO and toctoc founder – thanks to its features such as its social hub: a smart address book that automatically merges all your contacts (telephone, email and synchronization of the main social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and others soon) displaying an "Easy and Friendly” interface, thus enhancing contact information and saving all activities. Toctoc allows to call, send messages and chat privately with all your contacts, even without knowing phone numbers, even on-land under poor internet connection. The social hub will soon allow to exchange and share files and documents as well as photos, audio and videos also from one’s own social network, privately and through enhanced cloud. We plan to issue several patents, including an algorithm for a semantic social search engine that suits business operations in many sectros, including maritime industry. ”
Telemar launches the application at its stall at the SMM exhibition on 9-12 September 2014. Toctoc works with all maritime broadband systems and solution boxes on board and does not imply substantial additional costs for hardware, installation and software for Telemar customers that have broadband systems with large availability of data. "I believe that it complements perfectly global and reliable Inmarsat Services and Solutions; in particular it suits Global Xpress also in light of its Gateway opportunities for VoIP client and video chat, using the flexibility of the System", says Bruno Musella, Telemar Group Managing Director, "I am really proud that d'Amico will be among the first companies - together with top merchant shipping Companies in Far East and USA - in the maritime sector to try this solution; as it represents a revolutionary innovation in communications and services to ships, seafarers and officers, as well as to shipping companies, managers and staff, both on-board and on-shore. Toctoc is expected to further differentiate the Telemar integrated value proposition."