TECHNOLOGY

The market for Interactive Voice Response systemsunderwent an important technological revolution in the first years of the 21st century.

Historically, the first IVR appeared as proprietary peripheral modules at telephone exchange. The applications developed could not be ported from one environment to another.

The emergence of speech technologies opened the way to new applications for automatic self-service by telephone, which by nature required online access to company information systems and took advantage of infrastructures that were primarily used for access to Internet services. As a result of this evolution, the VoiceXML standard was born in 2001 on the initiative of the leading manufacturers of the telephone and IT industries.

Like web servers, IVR systems are now made up of two very different types of equipment: on the one hand, VoiceXML platforms (equivalent to web browsers), and on the other, VoiceXML application servers.

VocaBase is a VoiceXML application server that offers management tools (design, configuration, adjustment, operation and maintenance) for self-service voice applications that are integrated in call-center IT and administration systems. These applications can be ported to all market platforms.

USER INTERFACE

Utilization of a web client facilitates administration, configuration and remote operation, a function that is particularly appreciated when the server is hosted by a specialized service operator.

ARCHITECTURE

A VocaBase voice application server natively integrates with:

· Web client stations that use the VocaBase Studio software services for administration, configuration and operation of the application;

· VoiceXML platforms, to which it delivers dynamic VoiceXML pages on demand for the execution of dialogs as the call flow moves forward, according to the way it is configured in the application model;

· Company IT administration and CRM systems to obtain a profile of the customer who calls and personalized information needed by this customer;

· Call center management software for exchanging all information pertinent to the call context and thereby avoiding useless re-entering of information;

· Company database management systems for storing histories and statistical reports related to operation of the voice application.

A VocaBase server can handle 200 simultaneously calls.

For applications needing greater processing power, the required processing power will be distributed among a physical server farm working under a load balancing.

Within a company architecture, it is customary to dedicate different servers to the tasks of application development, test and production, so that online deployment can be carried out without disrupting operation.

SCALABILITY

VocaBase is designed as a generic tool that allows managing all of a company’s voice applications. Its internal structure is thus modular and can be scaled in such a way as to allow a progressive increase in the different parameters that influence the size of the voice portal:

· Traffic (number of physical servers and ports)

· Services (quantity of voice services proposed)
· Plug-ins (number of interfaces with external systems)
· Users (number of persons intervening in system configuration and operation)

 

TIME TO MARKET

VocaBase is designed as a generic tool that allows managing all of a company’s voice applications. Its internal structure is thus modular and can be scaled in such a way as to allow a progressive increase in the different parameters that influence the size of the voice portal:

· Traffic (number of physical servers and ports)

· Services (quantity of voice services proposed)
· Plug-ins (number of interfaces with external systems)
· Users (number of persons intervening in system configuration and operation)

In contrast, the VocaBase generic software package for voice application management includes an extensive native set of standard services and functions that have been proven through multiple operating references and that continue to evolve beyond and independently of the fine tuning implemented. They also feature integrated tools for testing and fine tuning the applications, through simulation or in actual operation.

Benefits are immediate as concerns implementation costs: users will avoid wasting valuable time on searching for and correcting the errors that are inherent to all specific developments and will optimize performance. In other words, the risk of experiencing significant delay in the deployment of a new voice server, or even of failure, is significantly reduced.