A Voice from the Cloud – Network-Based Interactive Voice Response

One of my favorite ECT products is our Interactive Voice Response (IVR). We use it for various ECT products, for example, as a user interface for Ring Back Tone or for network-based contact centers. Due to the market demand we also sell it as a stand-alone product.

To be honest, IVR has become a commodity and there is an abundance of products on the market, all providing more or less the same user experience. End-users don’t care what kind of IVR they call as long as it gets the result they want.

For a contact center, or any other company that uses Interactive Voice Response, the difference can be huge. Ninety per cent of the equipment in the market is enterprise systems, i.e. premise-based. You buy very expensive equipment hook it up to your landline and configure it. In addition to the price for the hardware and software, there are considerable maintenance costs. So, if you want an IVR, you end up paying for three different things although you bought just one product. If you’re really unlucky, you may even end up having a solution that’s really difficult to configure. All this makes the discussion about ROI purely academic.

Well, I wouldn’t bother you with all this if I didn’t have an alternative to offer, would I? Our Interactive Voice Response comes out of the cloud. You don’t buy it from a company selling enterprise equipment instead you get the IVR as a service from the operator.

Rather than installing enterprise equipment, you set up the IVR over the browser of your PC. No programming skills are needed, just access to the internet. You get a set of pre-defined icons and use these to build the call flow. If you’re a service provider or operator yourself, you then simply make the IVR available to your customers. You don’t need to download or install additional software and you can do everything yourself using any internet browser, so that also saves you money.

If you want to change the call flow, it works just the same way. It’s easy to use, you save a lot of money compared to enterprise equipment. This Interactive Voice Response on demand makes it really easy to add new functionalities. As an end user you order them from your service provider who makes them available to you at the flick of a switch. Try that with enterprise equipment.

If anybody knows of any IVR functionality available with enterprise equipment that you can’t have in a hosted solution, please let me know. Our developers will make it happen…

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