Boy, I do seem to be coming across quite a few hosted IVR solutions based on VoXML and support VoIP via SIP over the past day or so. Invores Systems, Inc. announced the availability of an interactive voice application hosting/subscription service for businesses which uses a pure VoIP/SIP environment.
What's the benefit of something like this? Well, imagine you are a small-to-mid-sized company and rather than deploy an IP-PBX, you simply deploy SIP-based IP phones and SIP softclients. This saves you the cost of the IP-PBX hardware (T1 cards, analog boards, etc.) as well as hardware maintenance cost, service contract, etc. Then you simply use a VoIP termination service provider to terminate your data IP connection to the PSTN. There's only one thing missing in this solution - a professional IVR for inbound calls. In my theoretical solution, the only hardware you have is the phones themselves which saves you money. At this point, you may not want to have just a specialized IVR sitting in a telecom closet all by it's lonesome. You may as well have purchased an IP-PBX which often have this functionality built-in.
So instead you can use a hosted IVR solution like the one offered by Invores Systems which includes advanced features such as speech recognition. You should also check out yesterday's blog entry on Parus Interactive, which also discusses the hosted IVR model.
Here's Invores Systems' release:
January 18, 2005 -- Invores Systems, Inc. announces the availability of the first interactive voice application hosting/subscription service for businesses which uses a pure VoIP/SIP environment. Total e-Call, the new service, is an exciting new offering that takes what many companies are only talking about as a "drawing board" possibility and making it real today. Invores is hosting applications that allow companies to reuse their website logic to give customers and prospects access to their information over the telephone. "Many companies have taken a wait and see attitude when it comes to VoIP, our attitude is 'why wait, it works now'; and our customers are reaping real, quantifiable benefits," comments Tom Multer, President and CEO of Invores Systems.
He continues, "Up to now, most VoIP installations have been focused on the mechanics of making calls work over the internet or on people to people communications. What Invores has done with its EXpress2.0 product and the Total e-Call hosted application service is bring VoIP into the realm of people to business or people to computer communication – a huge step forward not only for the VoIP industry, but for small, medium and large enterprises in general."
Total e-call hosts VoiceXML2.0 compliant applications, which can use any combination of pre-recorded audio prompts, text to speech synthesis, speech recognition or touchtone input. Total e-Call hosting is also available for customers using the Asterisk Open Source IP PBX; Invores offers a unique Asterisk to EXpress2.0 offering. Contact them for more details. Invores is hosting custom applications as well as pre-packaged applications, such as Absent Minder, a system for the reporting and management of employee or student absences and First Impressions a voice enabled virtual receptionist solution for small businesses.
About Invores Systems: Invores is a privately held Long Island, New York based software development company focused on Interactive Voice Web speech-enabled customer self-service solutions in commercial, service provider and government organizations. Invores Systems offers a comprehensive suite of licensed software and services, designed to automate customer contact business processes through the telephone while capitalizing on existing web infrastructure investments.