Posts Tagged ‘Service Creation Environment’

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.

Service Creation Environments – Let’s Be Open

Open source is one of the most popular topics in the entire IT and telecoms world. You can’t succeed if you’re not open. This recognition is also valid for contact center and IVR technology. I think our service creation environment for Interactive Voice Response and our Icon Development Kit are good examples.

Our service creation environment enables you to integrate many CRM systems and external databases using our SOAP/ XML interface. The IVR sends a SOAP request to a database or CRM system and retrieves the information desired by the caller. The logic for this is represented by an icon. The system is so open that in most cases it can interface with smaller-scale databases that do not support SOAP interaction. These should be accessible without any additional programming effort. A “database” icon with underlying script in VoiceXML or ECTXML® does the job. For larger systems, there is an icon for “SOAP request” or “http request”.

There is another aspect regarding openness with our icons; you can develop your own if you wish. You just need to be familiar with basic programming principles and be able to use VoiceXML and CCXML. These newly developed icons are 100 per cent compatible with our Visual Call Flow Builder and work together with other pre-defined and user-defined icons.

For even more openness, there are very interesting business models. You develop your own icon and share it. We deliver the Icon Development Kit with low-level building blocks and libraries. Your customers can use it to design their icons. As a carrier or provider of the solution you can even resell the icon developed by another party. It’s the same principle that Apple uses for open app development.

Honestly, can you be more open than that? If so, please tell me.