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IVR Featured Article

Voice Sites: Using IVR on the SaaS Model

July 07, 2011

A recent white paper from IVR leader Angel.com (News - Alert), entitled “Using Voice Site Technology to Automate Business Processes” is jam-packed with great advice and insight.

The basic idea is that speech applications promise their ROI by automating routine call center tasks. This reduces live operator costs, and if done correctly it can greatly reduce overhead expense. However, the ROI is somewhat blunted by high up-front costs, complex implementations, and lengthy deployment times, as well as industry quirks.

As Angel.com says, the potential of speech apps coupled with recognizable market imperfections has created a market for Voice Sites. They use existing technology infrastructure, and allow the creation, deployment, and management of speech apps that make these applications useful and profitable for automating business processes as the Web.

After discussing the current market opportunity for speech and market inefficiencies in the speech industry, the paper says from a caller perspective, Voice Sites are kind of like the speech apps already in place, but are built, deployed, and managed entirely through a Web browser. Delivered in a Software as a Service (SaaS (News - Alert)) model, they can offer superior price and performance for companies already deploying applications, the way SaaS usually does.

More specifically, the pay-as-you-go pricing for the SaaS model removes the setup costs traditionally prohibitive to implementation by smaller firms, as well as overhead costs for maintenance requests. So the technology is open to many more companies than could afford full-blown onsite IVR installations, since with Voice Sites, as the paper explains, “customers can simply create an account, choose a toll-free number and begin building speech applications immediately,” and access and maintain their applications from anywhere.

Also, being able to build speech applications with point and click options through a Web browser, as the paper says, means the technical barriers to entry are about as low as they can go.

Maybe someday everybody will do all their customer service via the Internet, but don’t count on that happening anytime soon. Everybody has a phone, and they like using them. If you’re seriously in business you must have a way for your customers to reach you via speech.

As the paper concludes, “the ongoing proliferation of VoIP will also accelerate the adoption of the Voice Sites delivery model for speech applications. Lower costs, greater accessibility to local numbers, and the ability to exchange data quickly and affordably with call center infrastructures will make speech a technology from which any business can extract immediate ROI.”

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Tammy Wolf


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