At a time once we can’t meet one another and do the issues we usually did to remain in contact and converse, apps like WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts, Google Duo, Blue Denims, Microsoft Groups, Zoom and so forth have come to our rescue. Caught at house for some time now, video calls have change into a mainstay for many of us. You may be utilizing them in your workplace calls or to simply chat with family and friends.
Nonetheless, whereas some apps permit only some members to participate in a video/voice chat, others have been coping with an entire bunch of safety and privateness points. In all this, the necessity to discover a safe, secure various, ideally an indigenous one, has been rising.
Enter, Say Namaste.
Made by Mumbai-based firm Inscripts, Say Namaste dropped into the scene just some days in the past and has already crossed half one million customers (5 lakhs). They’re including roughly one lakh customers per day.
For starters, let’s make it clear that Say Namaste shouldn’t be the Indian authorities’s official video calling app. The federal government has known as on tech firms to develop a safe various to Zoom and has declared prize cash of Rs 1 crore to the winner, and Say Namaste shall be taking part. Nonetheless, the app is in it’s beta testing section for now, and may solely be accessed on-line, from saynamaste.in (Extra on this later).
Inscripts was based by twin brothers Anuj and Anant Garg who’ve been within the enterprise of making communication merchandise for enterprises for the previous 10 years. The corporate claims it’s APIs (utility program interfaces) are utilized by numerous firms for his or her video conferencing services, textual content chats and so forth.
Say Namaste, although, got here into being by likelihood, on a day when the staff was discussing privateness issues in video calls. Why isn’t there an Indian app? We’d like one, they thought, and the remaining, as they are saying, is (current) historical past.
“We have now developed this underlying know-how, we’ve got experience on this, why don’t we simply go construct our personal app? That was the genesis,” stated Anuj. So, the staff went forward and constructed an online app that they began utilizing to speak internally. “One in all us advised Namaste and it instantly resonated with everybody,” Anuj stated, whereas speaking about the place the title got here from. In accordance with him, this was the primary time the staff used its personal product as a buyer.
Anuj finally determined to place it on Fb in order that he may get some real-world suggestions. He additionally despatched a number of hyperlinks out on WhatsApp. Whereas the staff determined to sleep on it, a number of days later Anuj was woken as much as an entire barrage of texts about an organization that has launched a brand new video-conferencing app.
Overlook Zoom and others, use this Indian-made app….
Anuj realised that individuals had been speaking about Say Namaste.
We have now been working 24/7 to maintain up with the demand, to see how we are able to scale this resolution, it’s a large spike, stated Anuj.
“We have now been serving enterprise prospects previously, we all know what it takes to serve these prospects,” he stated including that if you transfer from catering to five,000 prospects to 500,000, it brings its personal set of challenges.
“We have now labored with banks, medical providers and so forth, so privateness and safety are part of Inscript’s DNA,” Anuj defined. Whereas numerous issues had been already in place, the corporate is now considering of how to strengthen the app and to scale it. “Proper now all our efforts are in direction of breaking our personal software program, so no one else can break it,” he added.
The ship is being constructed whereas they sail it, and the main focus is on retaining it quite simple — a one-click video conferencing expertise from begin to the tip. When one thing goes viral, you can not plan for it, you scale with it,” stated Anuj.
“My usability tester on that is my mom. So long as she will be able to determine it out it’s nice,” he stated. He goes again to the drafting board every time his mom says she will be able to’t perceive one thing on the app.
How does one use Say Namaste to speak?
As talked about above, you begin at saynamaste.in. Enter your title and hit ‘begin assembly’. You share the main points of this assembly with anybody and as soon as it begins, they arrive on to the identical web site, enter their title, the assembly ID, and the safe assembly code to affix. The assembly ID and a personal assembly code are important to all calls, which retains individuals from becoming a member of uninvited.
A one-click video-conferencing resolution with servers in India, so information residency is assured.
The corporate claims that the location doesn’t accumulate your e-mail ID, and it doesn’t ask you to log in with Fb or Google. You may enter any title you need to use for the assembly. “We’re solely amassing information that’s wanted to facilitate your name, like your IP tackle. However we use that over the length of the decision and it’s forgotten after that. We aren’t storing something on our servers proper now, no chats, nothing. We’re decreasing all these potentialities of safety breaches,” Anuj defined.
How safe is all of this?
Cyptographic requirements like AES 256 bit encryption and TLS (Transport Safety Layer) encryption are already in place, Anuj claims.
“All our information is encrypted at relaxation and encrypted at transmit. We even have our GDPR (Common Knowledge Safety Regulation) compliance in place. Issues like 2FA (two-factor authentication) are being constructed and shall be launched quickly, we’re nonetheless experimenting with it by way of how we be sure that the expertise shouldn’t be damaged,” he added.
“Finish-to-end encryption will get thrown about like it’s the be-all and end-all of safety, however that’s not the case. There are various, many components that go into making a safe utility. Encryption is one in every of them and we’re encrypted,” stated Anuj.
The corporate is engaged on numerous issues because it tries not solely to scale its product, but in addition to get all the safety protocols in place. “We’re within the technique of getting a third-party unbiased audit completed. The concept is to start out determining what the chinks within the armour are,” Anuj defined.
The app is constructed for less complicated use instances proper now, however Anuj stated the corporate will add customised log-ins and authentication techniques (often required for enterprise use instances) when the necessity arises.
The truth that Say Namaste is predicated in India means it’s servers are primarily based right here too, which is one other factor that the corporate hopes will set it other than different video-conferencing apps. “Relying on how this strikes forward we’re additionally working with a number of corporates as a pilot proper now, so we are able to determine particular wants and construct the safeguards right here as an alternative of getting it from outdoors India,” Anuj stated.
Whereas Anuj says that comparisons with Zoom, which is a multi million greenback firm, is unfair at this level, Inscript is conscious that it’s constructing as much as tackle giants.
“We’re ensuring we study from others’ errors. Our focus proper now’s to be in tune with what our prospects want,” Anuj stated.
How many individuals on a name then?
Anuj stated that they’ve been doing “actually good calls with about 25 members” and there are individuals who have completed calls with extra members, their information reveals that, however they don’t seem to be certain how scalable that’s proper now.
The corporate’s goal is to succeed in 100 members. But it surely doesn’t cease there. “It’s not purely a numerical factor. One additionally has to take a look at the use case. Like in a webinar, for a 1,000 members, you don’t essentially need everybody to make use of video. That’s a one-to-many form of a dialog versus a many-to-many dialog — there are alternative ways to scale that,” he defined.
What are you able to not do on Say Namaste proper now?
Anuj stated the corporate is engaged on options that shall be “sport changers”, however there are nonetheless issues you possibly can’t do on Say Namaste. A minimum of for now.
For one, there is no such thing as a app proper now. Say Namaste is just supported on laptops, desktops or Android telephones (not iOS) by the Chrome browser.
Its cellphone apps are being examined. “We have now already revealed it on the Play Retailer and the App Retailer and despatched it for evaluate. But it surely’s not out for the general public but,” Anuj stated. In addition to the apps, the staff may also be including extra browser assist.
Say Namaste is free proper now however there shall be a premium mannequin in future for energy customers.