It’s safe to say 2011 was the year of the caller, as contact centers adjusted their platforms to improve the caller experience, and new applications were developed to more efficiently meet the needs of customers.
One market in particular that experienced fruitful growth and adoption across all industries and verticals was interactive voice response, or IVR, technology. From telecommunications, where customers can interact with a call center system via a telephone keypad or speech recognition, and implementation in automobile systems for hands-free operation, to the popular Siri voice assistant in the iPhone (News - Alert) 4S, IVR showed no signs of stopping throughout the last 12 months.
Fostering much of this unprecedented growth were the vendors that made significant strides in developing IVR technology to meet today’s highly-interactive society. One of those companies was Angel, a leader in cloud-based customer experience and IVR products.
At the onset of 2011, when one research company first predicted the IVR speech technology market will reach $20.9 billion just a few years from now, Angel was already busy rebranding its corporate image and continuing to present a “caller first” experience. In essence, the idea behind this philosophy is to give the caller such a positive experience, that they choose to opt-in to the system, resulting in an enhanced customer experience and a lower-cost transaction for the company.
Coinciding with its “caller first focus,” Angel made its first significant splash of the year in May when the company debuted its multimodal app for the iPhone at Europe’s SpeechTEK (News - Alert) 2011 event. As part of Angel’s Customer Experience Platform, Angel designed the app to transform the self-service experience with intelligent visual, voice and text interactions to help limit operating costs, boost revenue opportunities and maximize customer satisfaction and loyalty. Next, Angel introduced SupportByFone, a SalesforcebyFone-based solution that enables organizations to extend the use of an application to a telephone.
In July, Angel made headlines when its VoiceforTwitter solution was chosen to power the main hotline used during President Barack Obama’s Twitter Town Hall Meeting. During the nationwide event, Angel’s VoiceForTwitter platform enabled the public to present a voice-based question to the President that was contained in a tweet on Twitter (News - Alert). Shortly thereafter, Angel broadened its social networking portfolio by introducing VoiceForFacebook alongside VoiceForTwitter, in which users of both sites could post audio messages on Twitter, and deliver personal status and wall updates via voice to Facebook (News - Alert).
The summer got even hotter for Angel in August when the company revealed Angel Contact Center – the company’s full-featured call center solution – on the AppExchange business apps marketplace and made the solution available to Salesforce.com (News - Alert) users. Then, in September, Angel introduced another technology to Salesforce users – Voice for Chatter – a free application granting Salesforce.com business users access to Angel’s proprietary voice technology.
Angel didn’t stop there, as the company rounded out the year with the introduction of Location Services Intelligence to its IVR system, and the formation of a strategic partnership with cloud-based location services company TechnoCom.
Any gaps of time lacking noteworthy announcements were filled with informative webinars and attendance at several prestigious events, including SpeechTEK 2011 in New York City, where Angel spread the message: “Hardware is dead and the cloud is here.”
2011 was also jam-packed with awards for the IVR company, which garnered recognition for its strong applications and products portfolio. Among the slew of awards was the Product of the Year Award from Customer Interactions Solutions magazine, the 2011 Market Leader designation by Speech Technology Magazine, and three stellar awards toward the end of the year, including Best in Biz Award, the INTERNET TELEPHONY Excellence Award and the Speech Technology Excellence Award.
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 Rich Steeves
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