The Ving app by via680 helps companies make the most of their employee correspondence by going beyond the capabilities of standard email. “Ving is a far more dynamic way of engaging people than simple emails, allowing users to access a variety of templates and multimedia options,” stated Brad Gant, VP of Sales and Marketing with via680.
Ving was conceived in 2011 by four individuals who realized a need in the market. They formed via680, named in honor of Youngstown, which is accessible by way of Route 680. The company is housed in the Youngstown Business Incubator in Ohio. Tony DeAscentis, CEO; Stephanie Hunter, COO; April Bixel, Director of Client Metrics & Analytics; and Jason Cuddy, VP of Research and Development, drew on their collective experiences in start-ups and technology to find a solution to the gap between the functionality of email and the needs of business.
“When people share information, they typically turn to emails,” Gant stated, adding that hundreds of emails are sent by businesses daily. “The sender is often left wondering if the message was ever read, let alone acted upon,” he said.
Ving offers the ability to create attention-grabbing multimedia messages, such as onboarding or recruiting videos, while tracking engagement and providing feedback. The application is built around a standard email interface for ease of use, but offers more options than typical emails. Companies can send emails to any email address and the Ving interface is web-based.
Ving includes an address book to import employee contact information and five templates to accommodate different preferred layouts, each of which are capable of supporting text, video, audio, images, surveys, and documents. Simply drag and drop to change the layout of the email. Users can upload a pre-made media file or record from the webcam and microphone. Uploaded content is stored in Ving’s video library, which will adapt the files to play cross platform to reach both Mac and PC users.
Ving also offers a survey function, which can be embedded into an email. It is simple to create and allows users to type in questions and choose answer types from “yes” or “no” responses, multiple choice, multiple response (more than one answer), an agreement scale (from “agree completely” to “do not agree”), and short answer, where employees type in their own response.
“Many businesses use the short answer option as an open comment field,” Gant pointed out. He added that rather than sorting through emails to find responses to questions, a Ving survey allows the sender to collect feedback all in one location for easy analysis. HR executives can send questions regarding changes in policies or to determine prefered perks among all employees or just a certain employee set.
The typical employee spends 28 percent of their workday in opening and responding to email, according to a survey by McKinsey & Company. However, when HR departments use Ving, they are able to send forms, paperwork, policy updates, and even newsletters to employees. The worker doesn’t need to respond manually, as Ving will report to the HR managers information such as which pieces of mail was opened by whom and at what time. It allows senders to see if a piece of Ving mail was opened more than once and if it was read entirely. After an email is sent out, the sender can log into the Ving platform to view reports of reader interaction.
“One of the major power points of Ving,” stated Gant, “is that it provides insight on how communications are being interacted with.”
Gant said Ving is more powerful than online email campaign programs, such as Constant Contact or iContact. According to Gant, via680 determined that most people were still using standard email. Using Ving enables businesses to “leverage common email… and provide more insights in terms of how information is acted upon,” according to Gant. Additionally, Ving media can be shared via custom links to social media accounts.
Gant stated that Ving is still relatively young and constantly redefining itself. “We are receiving great feedback” and working a lot of those ideas back into the product, he said, adding that a new release was launched in February, which included updates based on customer feedback.