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As part of the Dreamforce 2009 Force.com campground, Salesforce hosted a hackathon with heaps of prizes.

At the ‘beginner level’, entrants just had to code a pre-defined system. Next came the challenge to integrate with social platforms. Finally, the ‘Secret Agent’ level required more sophisticated integration. Finalists integrated with Amazon and BaseCamp.

For the hackathon, I created Voiceforce with Force.com guru David Schach (X Squared on Demand) and defending champion of last year’s Dreamforce, Elaine Greco. We threw together a system that allows a Support Case to be lodged via a voice interface.

Using Dial2Do, a user can place a phone call, say “Create Case” and leave a message. A minute or so later, the Case appears in Salesforce:

voiceforce screen

It was quite amazing placing a phone call and seeing the spoken message appear within a Case. Yes — Dial2Do actually transcribed the phone call directly into a case. The flow is basically:

  • Call Dial2Do and leave a message
  • Dial2Do transcribes the message into text
  • It sends the message via a URL to a Force.com Sites page
  • The Visualforce controller extracts the message from the URL, creates a Case and inserts the message
  • Voila! It appears in the list of cases — providing a voice-to-case system

Unfortunately, Dave Carroll & co didn’t include us in the Top 3 entries, but if they saw our fantastic logos I think they would have changed their mind! (Yes, that ‘No Typing’ logo was hand-created from a mouse mat! Great work, Elaine!)

The most fun was hacking in the company of fellow Force.com developers. It was hard to type without having somebody ‘auto-correct’ my syntax! The M&Ms and bean bags helped, too!

The Bottom Line

  • Integration with Force.com is easy — both in & out
  • Force.com is a community as well as a platform

3 Responses to “Dreamforce hackathon: Voiceforce!”

  1. Chirag Mehta Says:

    Good One … No Typing …

  2. Vincent Says:

    Hi,

    Any chance we can test drive this app? I could use it for the sales team I am supporting.
    let me know,

    Thanks,

    Vincent

  3. The Enforcer Says:

    The app isn’t all that hard to create — we did it in under an hour.

    Just sign up to Dial2Do and read their documentation. Basically, they can call a URL with the “speech-to-text” passed as a parameter. You just need to create a ‘landing page’ that takes that parameter and does something with it, like creating a support case.