Uppidy was founded by entrepreneur Joshua Konowe, who was enlightened to do it, in rather odd circumstances. His cell phone fell into the toilet and he had a hard time recovering this text messages from AT & T. He commenced the startup from Washington DC, almost a year ago, and after months of providing the service free to its consumers, started selling it to the corporate world.
Many companies have shown interest and are testing the service on their phones. One corporate customer is monitoring text messages from 500 phones, whilst another is doing the same on 200 phones.
Konowe said, he had planned to sell it to users, especially parents, keen on scrutinizing and keeping a tab on their children’s messaging, but enquires he has received from corporate businesses has led him to develop a business-oriented service.
“We don’t have a gazillion users,” Konowe said. But “we have a lot of inquiries from Fortune 100-sized companies who are very interested in this.”
Accessing another person text, even if he is your employee or your own child, is violation of privacy and intrusion in someone’s private space. However, the service is limited to devices that are owned and paid for by employers. Even then it requires some actions that can only be initiated by the user. Android and Blackberry users BlackBerry, users must download an app to their phone from the Android and BlackBerry application stores, respectively.
Konowe said he was unable to get an app onto the iPhone App Store, because the company’s policy prevented him from building tools on top of the phone’s SMS service. Not all employers who showed interest in the service did so because they wanted to keep a tab on their employees. Keeping records is essential for e-discovery purposes and many a time, during legal proceeding, companies are asked to turn in electronic communications.
Uppidy’s public-facing is inclined towards attracting the customer. It also has an option for the customer to sign in using his Facebook account. The business-oriented service is still undergoing completion. The Uppidy team is creating a way that can help separate business texts from personal texts. This will enable companies to access only those texts that matter to them and not encroach into the employee’s private domain.
Konowe is using venture capital funding to finance his project and will also try to increase revenue by “upselling consumers to premium services, running ads, and charging business customers fees around $5,000 or up to $1 per device per month.” Konowe says that his ultimate goal is to archive messages from IM services, Gchat, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, and other similar sources.
Uppidy is good value for money, if you are looking for an easy way to access personal information. For employees who are worried that their employers will always be in the know about them, the simplest thing to do, is not to keep private information on the workplace mobile, but keep it on your own personal mobiles.
“I would argue that if it’s a corporate-sponsored device, and the user doesn’t expect the company to be looking at everything on the device, they’re crazy,” Konowe said.Beware, Your Boss Is Watching You- New Service Helps Monitor Messages by Harrison Barnes