The Press Room, when read in conjunction with the rest of this site, will provide you with important news and information about Azam IT. Inside you will find executive bios, recent press releases, contact information and more. Our mission is to provide you with accurate, up-to-date and helpful information about the company. We are extremely proud of Azam to date and look forward to sharing our story with you.
Should you feel that you need additional information, or if you are interested in speaking with an Azam IT executive, please do not hesitate to contact the Press Office on +44 (0)208 841 3777 or email email@example.com. Be sure to include Azam in the subject line, otherwise our spam filters may delete your valued email.
An interview with Andronicos, the inventor of Azam, can be read below.
An Interview with Andronicos (and press FAQs) relating to the use of Azam in coma therapy
In the Spring of 2004, the Azam Disabilities Initiative (ADI) was extended to enable the free use of Azam software for the families and friends of comatose, brain injured, brain traumatized or unconscious patients. A Press interview (and press FAQs) relating to coma matters can be viewed here.
A general Interview relating to Azam with Andronicos (and press FAQs)
- Who are you and what is your role?
I had the initial idea for Azam and many of its functions. I am also the author of many of the hints and tips you can read in the online help screens. My story of why Azam was created and personal experiences can be read at the end of The Hows and Whys of Azam manual, which can be downloaded from this website. An extract of the manual containing just the story is available here.
My brief resume and links to the patented, not for profit Robin Hood late payment surcharge harvesting initiative can be read here. For the record, I do not claim to be the inventor of using PCs to store and send voice emails.
I am now involved in launching ADI: The Azam Disabilities Initiative and researching the use of Azam in creating audio stimulation for comatose and brain injured patients. A separate press interview relating to this can be read here.
- How would you summarize Azam?
Azam is a piece of software that allows you to record voice directly into your PC. Alternatively, you can record into your PC via your telephone, most audio output devices such as tape recorders, etc., or importing from other Azam systems. Any form of talk is captured; be they messages, dictations, discussions or meetings. You can edit, save, store and send these recordings on line, via email to one or many people. Azam simply replaces text with your talk. In June 2005, compressed video email capabilities were incorporated in Version 3.0. But Azam does a lot more than this!
- Is Azam a Voice Recognition device?
No. VR is an alternative method of communication and not a competitor to Azam. VR cannot capture the feeling of a person's voice, neither can it accurately record more than one person simultaneously. Nevertheless Azam will have some basic VR functionality in future as an additional method to send voice emails.
- Why was Azam created?
I invented Azam to help others and ourselves to avoid misunderstandings. Speech/language is our most powerful communication tool. We wanted to find a way of harnessing the power of speech whilst utilising the speed, accessibility and flexibility of the Internet. If you can send your words "straight from the horses mouth" to one or many across the organisation and save those pearls of wisdom then you are less likely to be misunderstood.
- Is Azam designed for the Business or the Consumer Community?
When we created Azam we were careful to include, in our research, the needs of the widest possible sections of the community. Our hope is to provide a device that is inclusive rather than exclusive which appeals, and is useable by all, rather than a predetermined sector. We all need and desire to communicate, having different tools for different sectors of the community is not only helpful but divisive.
- Do you envisage that Azam will replace email?
Azam is designed as a complement to email, not a replacement. The written word can still be visually scanned faster than a recorded message. The benefit of Azam is:- when there is no time/opportunity to write a letter or when it is crucial that the spoken word is heard, you now have the capability to send your voice. In fact, we have discovered that one of the advantages of Azam is that it can be combined with email. We send voice attachments with our emails briefly introducing weighty documents/reports, giving a personalised touch. Azam is better than emails for sending thank you messages, greetings and apologies.
- Would you say that Azam is controversial?
Azam, because it is making communications more open and available, is open to abuse. We have worked on minimising unhelpful applications by providing a locking device that prevents recipients from tampering with locked recordings. (Locking is optional). As mentioned earlier we also recommend that users inform callers that they are recording the call. Paradoxically, the aim of Azam is to prevent long wrangles or disputes by making communication easier and more direct.
- Is Azam really a sophisticated phone tapping device?
This is but one of several uses of Azam. Azam was partly designed to help us to keep track of our conversations and to enable us to share our discussions with absent parties, these may be conversations on the telephone, in the office, or from remote sites. The overriding aim is to improve communication not to threaten it. Therefore, we recommend in our guides, that if you intend to record a conversation - inform the other party. In the UK this is also a legal requirement, see the enclosed letter supplied by Oftel. As we all know technology can be put to whatever uses the user intends. There are many products already on the market facilitating the tapping of telephones. Azam has the potential for much greater application, how wisely Azam is used depends on the wisdom of the user.
- Is Azam ever misconceived?
The biggest misconception about Azam is that it is a Voice Recognition device; that Azam captures voice and retranslates it into text. Azam does NOT do this at this moment in time. Azam uses voice or talk instead of text, storing, editing and sending online our spoken rather than written words. Nevertheless, due to customer requests, we are building some basic VR functionality in future releases.
- Is Azam designed for spamming?
No. Guidelines have been recommended for opt-in email enquiries. Please refer to the product documentation.
- Will Azam work outside of the UK; in USA, rest of Europe and will it be supported?
Yes, yes and yes. Foreign language versions are planned for the future. A Canadian dealer agent has been appointed already.
- How big is the potential market?
The market is as big as there are compatible PCs in the world with users who wish to avoid misunderstandings.
- Do you expect Azam to take off in the US?
Very much so! We already have a number of customers throughout the USA. We are planning a dealer network.
- Is Azam IT a charity?
No. It is a privately owned corporation that exists to make a profit, nevertheless, substantial resource will be used to provide free download copies, technical support and future upgrades of Azam to people with disabilities via registered charities and local authorities. At some point in the future, a registered charity will be set up called the Azam Foundation. In the next few weeks we hope to convert Azam International Technologies Limited into one of the first Community Interest Companies in the UK. This new form of corporation fits our role almost exactly. The designation 'Limited' will become 'C.I.C'.
- Are you associated with any charitable organizations?
Please refer to the Azam Disabilities Initiative (ADI) section of this website.
- You say that Azam has been designed for inclusive rather than exclusive use, can it be used by people with disabilities, the elderly?
- What hardware/software/interfaces etc. are needed? Does Azam provide any?
The boxed version of Azam is shipped with a high quality condensor microphone. Departmental users who buy 10 licenses receive complementary quality headsets, to ensure privacy when listening to Azam recordings. The Software prereqs for Azam can be viewed on our Try It! page.
- How long does it take to receive an Azam message?
Obviously that will depend on the duration of the recording and the resulting file size but as a rule of thumb a 20 minute Azam recording, when compressed for email transmission, would be approximately 2MB. It will require around 8 minutes to transmit this using a 56K modem but with an ADSL connection the time required would be reduced to around 30 seconds.
- Explain what Azam "brain dumping" is.
It's an expression I coined, to explain a simple process whereby someone can verbally record a list of instructions or updates to at least one other party. This can be done on the end of a phone, in private or face to face. Azam "brain dumping" guarantees the elimination of Chinese Whispers in the workplace and negates the need for a colleague to take copious notes.
- Do you offer customized Azam to large organizations?
No. Azam does not need customization. User testing has shown that a 12 year old with basic PC skills can install and use the product within minutes. But, the processes in making sure Azam is implemented across a large organization need planning. Ironically, it can lead to substantial time savings, by, for example, analysing what is actually discussed at regular meetings and why, by having Azam's inbuilt meeting cost counter showing the true cost of a meeting in real time. Azam IT offers consultancy in all areas of implementing the management processes to make the product a corporate success.
- Explain Azam's language tools.
There are two experimental language tools. The first allows text to be converted into one of several languages. You type, cut or paste the text from a Word document, webpage or email and Azam will translate it for you. The second permits the translated text to be read by one of several inbuilt voice speech synthesizers. There is even an option to send the voice clip, in a foreign language, via email. When our basic Voice Recognition tools are available, early in 2005, a user will be able to speak into a microphone (speech to text) and optionally send a voice email in another language (text to speech). It is similar to how science fiction films portray human communication with Aliens, except this is real!
- Explain Azam's animation and picture tools.
Following user feedback, Azam now has 2 very neat functions to bring voice emails to life. You can now send a digital picture as part of a voice email. When the recipient plays the recording, your selected picture will appear. It’s not just for fun use. As proven by some of our manufacturing customers, many now send pictures of a faulty component or part to their suppliers with a verbal description of the problem. On the subject of fun, Azam now has animated gifs, which visually describe the emotion you are feeling. You can import any gif you like. Here are just a few that come with the product:
- What is Azam Video?
A neat way to use a PC to compress, store, manage and email a video clip.
- I am a journalist for a well known, UK, tabloid newspaper. My readers may have difficulty understanding some of your answers, what do you suggest?
A "cockney version" of this interview is available here. Please remember this is a computer translation of this interview and not expressions I would normally use!
- Why do you only have one Name?
I only use one name because 'Andronicos' is long enough. I take the lead from Ronaldo, Noddy and Barney. My friends call me 'Zed'. My CV can be read here.
Many journalists and editors use Azam on a day to day basis. Find out more here.
Press Releases (PDF)
Azam was created for use across all market sectors. It was informally launched via 20 software download sites in June 2003. Following their independent reviews of the product, Azam has been awarded 'Gold', 4 or 5 "Stars" (out of a possible 5) across the board. This is quite rare for Version 1 Release 1 of a software tool. Furthermore, in the space of a few weeks, several thousand copies have been downloaded from around the World. The formal launch of Azam via press and media took place during the last week of July 2003 and press releases can be viewed below. Each press release describes uses for Azam across over 30 specific industry and market sectors, for this all inclusive software tool.
A number of Azam screenshots for inclusion as pictures in news articles can be found here.
*Many of the testimonials in the press releases above are actual experiences from real Azam users across several market sectors. Their comments were collected by an independent survey during Beta testing or from users who have acquired the product since its informal launch in June 2003 via software download sites. Some are beneficiaries from the Azam Disabilities Initiative (ADI) via NGOs, Charities and Local Government Authorities. The press releases marked '*' above contain future testimonials we plan to include now that the Azam product was formally launched on July 28th 2003 across ALL market sectors via the press.