ChallengeAs Gett expanded into multiple countries and regions, it was clear that communications needed to be unified through a single vendor that offered a highly reliable platform and excellent customer support. Also, the company was concerned with cybersecurity and the threat of privacy breaches in voice communications.
SolutionVonage SMS and Voice APIs
ResultsVonage became Gett's one and only access and management point for SMS across multiple geographies, providing an increased level of confidence while expanding into new territories. The Vonage Voice API enabled private voice communication to protect drivers' and riders' personal information.
To paraphrase a famous quote: invention is born from necessity. In Gett’s case, what Co-founder Dave Waiser needed was a taxi to take him to the airport.
During the frustrating 30-minute wait for his cab, Waiser came up with the idea for his new venture. Two years later, in 2011, Gett (formerly known as GetTaxi) began operations in Tel Aviv and, shortly thereafter, launched its ride-sharing app in various cities in the UK and Russia. Most recently, Gett expanded its services to the United States with the acquisition of Juno, a growing New York City rideshare company.
Gett’s on-demand ridesharing model is straightforward: connect customers and businesses with transportation. Passengers order a taxi either through the company’s website or by using the company’s GPS-based smartphone app. The app is today available on the iPhone and Android platforms. Gett currently operates in more than 100 cities across the United States, the UK, Russia and Israel.
Since its early days as GetTaxi, Gett’s business and reputation have soared. Gai Hanochi was Gett’s Global Head of IT for almost 4 years, overseeing the company’s MIS, information security and privacy, and IT systems departments. When Hanochi joined Gett, the company had 285 global employees. Now it employs more than 1,800.
An obvious question is how does Gett differentiate its business in an increasingly crowded global ride-share market. According to Hanochi, “Our main differentiator from other global rideshare businesses is the level of support that Gett provides to their +100,000 drivers around the world. Gett is driven by quality, We focus on putting our drivers at the centre of our business. We offer drivers great hourly rates, in-app tipping and 24/7 live support – resulting in the best-rated drivers. The best drivers, in turn, deliver the highest-quality rides to our passengers. It’s a simple idea – if you treat drivers better, they will treat riders better.”
Keeping Drivers and Riders Connected Through Vonage APIs
Although the decision to use Vonage predated his tenure, it was Hanochi who chose to extend Vonage’s usage at Gett, replacing other vendors with the Vonage SMS API and adding Vonage's Voice API for private voice communication. Gett utilises Vonage’s SMS API platform in the following ways:
- Driver verification
- Driver communication
- Customer verification
- Customer communication
For Gett riders, when the app is first downloaded, a verification code is sent to them via SMS to confirm the phone number that they used to register. After requesting a ride, riders will receive automated SMS communications from the app, letting them know that their driver “is on his way… he will be arriving in five minutes.” Or, “your driver is waiting for you at the corner of such and such streets.”
For Gett drivers, a verification code is sent to them via SMS when they first log in to the Gett system and, thereafter, any messages regarding the rider’s status are communicated by SMS. Gett also sends links to drivers and riders via Vonage-supported SMS that shares news about upgrades and any other pertinent information.
Another major competitive advantage that Gett has is their security bona fides. They are ISO 27001 Certified (a specification for information security management systems (ISMS), GDPR compliant and currently undergoing ISO 27018 Certification for cloud privacy.
“We take security and privacy very seriously,” said Hanochi. “One of the most serious risks that we face is the ongoing threat of cybersecurity breaches. Our drivers’ and riders’ data is our biggest asset and therefore we are committed to protecting this data. An important aspect of that is allowing the driver and the rider to communicate without having access to each other’s phone numbers. With Vonage’s Voice API we can use voice proxy to accomplish this goal and it has worked extremely well. We are confident that this personal data is safe.”
Improved Reliability, Scalability and Communications with Vonage APIs
After working with Vonage APIs for an extended period of time in Israel, the UK and the US, Hanochi made the decision to replace their SMS vendors in other geographic regions with Vonage.
“I wanted to unify on one platform. Because we were happy with the results we were receiving, the decision was made to make Vonage our one and only access and management point for SMS usage. This was very important for me because we operate in more than one country and we do use a lot of SMS communication. It’s much easier for me to communicate through a single vendor rather than working with multiple ones.”
Hanochi also found that Vonage SMS APIs offered a higher level of reliability as well as an increased level of confidence in Vonage’s ability to deliver dedicated support.
“I found Vonage to be a true partner. What I mean by that is that Vonage is a company that not only sells you a product but also accompanies you throughout product deployment and usage, helping and supporting you along the way. There are always challenges when you deploy a new product, but the main question is not ‘is everything perfect?’ It is, ‘how does the company that sells you the product deal with any issues that may arise?’ Vonage was really there for us, starting with elevating their tech support for us and working with us 24/7, regardless of how many hours or days we needed help.”
In addition to feeling confident in Vonage’s product reliability and high level of support, Hanochi also felt that they “heard” what he had to say. “Vonage listened and integrated suggestions that we made about our requirements. It was amazing to be able actually to speak with a vendor about my needs and, based on my input, have that result in seeing an actual impact on the product itself,” said Hanochi. “I highly recommend Vonage.”
“Vonage listened and integrated suggestions that we made about our requirements[...]. Vonage is a company that not only sells you a product but also accompanies you through product deployment and usage, helping and supporting you along the way.”
GAI HANOCHI, Former Global Head of IT of Gett