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IVR Featured Article

Angel Spreads the Word: 'Hardware is Dead and the Cloud is Here'

August 10, 2011

The leading provider of enterprise-focused, cloud-based customer experience management solutions Angel arrived at SpeechTEK (News - Alert) 2011 in New York City this week ready to deliver a very important message.

In Monday’s keynote presentation, the IVR company issued a call to action for enterprises around the globe to move to the cloud or take a chance at falling behind, because “hardware is dead.”

"Hardware simply doesn't move at the speed of business," said Don Keane (News - Alert), vice president of marketing and business development for Angel, in Monday’s presentation. “Enterprises need to be able to execute proactive and reactive changes in real-time to accommodate ever-changing customer demands, maximize revenue and achieve brand loyalty – and hardware doesn't offer that level of control or agility. Businesses must turn to the cloud to make the most of the voice channel, or risk lost opportunity every time the phone rings."

According to Angel, hardware is falling short in meeting the social, mobile and analytic needs of businesses when it comes to their voice necessities. Due to lengthy deployment cycles, an inability to make real-time changes and an innate lack of flexibility, hardware has become completely obsolete at putting the caller first, every time.

"Advertising, marketing and customer care are often seen as the voice of the company,” Keane told SpeechTEK attendees. "In fact, the concept of a company voice is literal; it's the experience that enterprises provide when a customer picks up the phone. If you trust that customer interaction to outdated technology, you risk providing an outdated experience."

With the cloud starting to completely overshadow hardware products as the crux of IVR, many companies, like Angel, are turning to smart cloud strategies that deliver on-demand service and take the customer experience to another level. According to Angel, while hardware is often expensive both in cost and brand value, a cloud deployment can ease hardware CAPEX and maintenance fees.

Keane sat down with TMCnet at SpeechTEK on Tuesday to elaborate on the launch of Angel’s “Hardware is Dead” campaign as well as several of its recent product announcements, including its recently launched VoiceForTwitter and VoiceForFacebook solutions.

Both of the free solutions enable Facebook (News - Alert) and Twitter users to deliver wall updates and tweets, respectively, via voice. While both solutions are in the beta stage, Keane told TMCnet that Angel is “excited about the traction we’ve gotten,” adding that a Facebook page for the U.S. Women’s soccer team has already gotten “great hits.”

Meanwhile, Angel’s platform powered the VoiceForTwitter Presidential Hotline back in July when the President gave voters the opportunity to ask him a voice-based question via Twitter (News - Alert). Users were asked to dial a certain number and record their probing political question, which was then contained in a tweet for the President to respond to during the moderation process. According to a press release, the platform was built within an hour using Site Builder, an on-demand, cloud-based development tool for intelligent phone applications.

In addition to venturing into the social media space, Keane told TMCnet that Angel has been successful at differentiating itself from the large pack of competitors in the IVR space due its on-demand, cloud offerings; unique design; rapid implementation speed; and strategic business intelligence.

Several emerging trends in the space are certainly driving Angel’s growth and success, including the adoption of cloud technologies, mobility, analytics and social media, of course. And, with businesses being bullish in deploying strategies to stay afloat in a suffering economy, analytics, in particular, “could not be hotter right now in business,” said Keane.

As for the future, the U.S.-based company is looking to go global in the next two years and continue to solve customer experience needs for companies. “We hope to stretch the use of our technology into things like social media,” said Keane.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet web editor. She covers a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin


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