Posts Tagged ‘Interactive Voice Response’

What is an Icon?

We’ve been talking about icons a lot recently in this blog, so I thought it might be time to explain what an icon is and what you can do with it.

We’ve all experienced IVR in one way or another: mostly when you’re calling a company for support and are asked something like: “for support press 1”, “for sales press 2”, etc., there is logic in the background in the form of a routing plan or call flow.

For example, such a routing plan could look something like this:

  • You call a number and hear a “welcome” announcement (Prompt – icon).
  • The system checks what time you are calling (Time icon)
  • For callers within opening hours, we play a menu (Menu icon)
  • For callers outside opening hours, we play a message and disconnect (Prompt icon)
  • Callers who select sales will be sent to the skill-group “Sales”  (Destination)

Our icons are end-user building blocks and represent a pre-built feature set based on the mode that is chosen for that particular icon.  Icons are graphic elements that you can use to build routing plans or call flows. We have packaged the most frequently used functions in IVR service creation and created numerous icons for our Visual Call Flow Builder (VCB). As a result, we now have over 30 pre-defined icons such as “Menu”, “DTMF”, “Http”, “Prompt”, “Destination”, “SOAP”, “String” etc.

In everything we do, we aim to make communication simpler, so rather than programming call flows, we offer a fully web-based graphical user interface in which icons are configured and connected: if you understand the logic of the call flow, you can create it. To check the parameters of an icon, you just need to double-click on it and can then make adjustments to suit your requirements.

Here are some screen shots of our VCB and the available icons.

This is an example of the logic for a credit card payment.

Call Flow - Credit Card Payment

Pre-defined Icons

Pre-defined Icons

If you want to know more about our icons and how to build call flows quickly and easily, then please get in touch.

The VoiceXML Icon

One of the reasons we developed our Visual Call Flow Builder in which you arrange complex routings by just dragging and dropping icons is to spare users the hassle of programming in VoiceXML. Usually, people who administer a company’s Interactive Voice Response system are not programmers, so they don’t know how to write VXML code. To enable them to do their daily work with the IVR, we offer the Visual Call Flow Builder, a graphical user interface over which users arrange icons over the browser of any PC.

Each icon contains certain functionalities e.g. “SOAP request” or “database request”. It makes writing code in VoiceXML superfluous. The underlying code of every icon is in VoiceXML and our own ECTXML®. This XML language, which is also our core intellectual property, is fully compliant with CCXML 1.0 and VoiceXML 2.1.

But what if you have VoiceXML code in use which is good and you want to keep using it with the Visual Call Flow Builder? Then I can offer you the VoiceXML icon. This is a blank icon which you can link to existing code that defines a certain functionality and integrate it into your call flow.

And again, users without programming knowledge can do this. You don’t need to change the existing code, take it as it is and link it to the VoiceXML icon with just one click. Many companies are reluctant to switch to a graphical user interface which makes them discontinue working with their tried-and-true VoiceXML code, however, the VoiceXML icon gives them the opportunity to use their own code within a graphical service creation environment.

Would you like to integrate your own code in a graphical SCE? Contact us and we’ll show you how to do it.