IVR Extended Life Maintenance

A challenge faced by almost every customer with IVR equipment is system obsolescence. Servicing the IVR industry since 1993, we have seen our fair share of client companies looking for effective ways to minimize the operational and financial impact of equipment obsolescence.

Typically, IVR system obsolescence occurs in four primary areas:

  • Operating System
  • System software
  • Hardware
  • Security

Notice anything really important missing? How about Application Obsolescence?

Our experience has shown (with few exceptions) that application obsolescence alone rarely drives the need for new equipment purchases. So if the application seems to work great and last a long time, what options exist to extend the life of an IVR system when the original system vendor no longer provides hardware or systems support?

You basically have three choices:

1. Buy new equipment. The system vendor will love you, but it’s really not the solution you were looking for.
2. Move to an IVR hosted service / cloud computing service provider like Acclaim Telecom.
3. Engage a 3rd party firm, such as Acclaim Telecom with expertise extending the hardware and systems software for IVR systems.

Over the years our clients have expressed the following reasons for considering the decision to choose extended life maintenance support for older IVR systems:

1. Current system(s) are performing well and the customer wishes to maximize the value of their investment for many more years.
2. Preservation of (potentially scarce) capital $$ for other more pressing corporate needs.
3. Customer is trimming expenses.
4. Manufacturer has discontinued hardware, software or operating system support for their installed equipment.
5. Manufacturer’s upgrade path is very expensive and the customer is looking for alternatives.
6. Customer is moving to a new IVR manufacturer’s system and needs short-term support on the current system.
7. Customer is considering moving to a hosted solution and wants to continue to run their existing applications until the migration is complete.

So how do you determine if the choice of IVR extended hardware maintenance is a viable option? In most cases it is a straightforward process.

If the hardware is stable, the existing or new application needs do not require the latest and greatest features of new IVR capabilities, and the operating system can be upgraded to accommodate the corporate IT security requirements, you are probably a good candidate. If you would like to learn more about our IVR Extended Maintenance Services or discuss your specific need, we would be happy to share our experiences with you. Give us a call at 1-866-324-6416 or email us at atsi_ sales@acclaimtelecom.com.

Speech Recognition – Beyond Just Customer Service Applications

Most of us in our industry associate Speech Recognition with an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) application used in a customer service or call center environment.  As a provider of Speech Recognition / IVR / Mobile Solutions,  Acclaim Telecom Services strives to assist our clients with efficient,  effective (and hopefully creative in some cases) uses of various IVR technologies to support their customers.

Recently I saw a wonderful example of how advances in speech recognition help individuals in a much different manner……….. improving the life of individuals who have experienced a catastrophic injury

Carl Hall was an all-American baseball player during his college years at Wichita State.  Carl married his high school sweetheart and has 4 great children.  In a split second his role as father, husband, and primary supporter of his family changed.  In 2010, Carl Hall was paralyzed from the neck down in a tragic car accident.

Carl’s family was the subject of an Extreme Home Makeover project which aired in April, 2011. Besides the obvious need of building a home to accommodate Carl’s special mobility and personal care requirements, technology became a central theme throughout the house.  Speech Recognition enabled far greater independence than Carl or his family had ever imagined.

The home incorporated over 250 voice commands that responded exclusively to Carl’s voice.  The voice commands ranged from the obvious of controlling lights and doors, cooking appliance control, to controlling automated hoists to help move Carl throughout his home.

You can view the TV program here.

This is but one example of how speech recognition can be applied.  Application areas abound in healthcare IVR, high performance aircraft, training, command and control,  home automation, video games, mobile telephony, robotics, transcription and more.

Closer to home in our area of expertise, Acclaim Telecom Services would be happy to discuss how IVR, Speech Recognition, or Mobile applications can help your company.  The areas of application are potentially limitless.

IVR Speech Recognition Applications: Two Benefits

It’s cool. It’s cutting edge. It’s a glittering tech toy from the future. Just in the past few weeks, we’ve heard stories of speech recognition technology being used to everything from writing emails while driving and giving a voice to those who don’t have one.

Speech recognition innovation truly is amazing. And last month here on the IVR services blog, we explored just a bit of the extraordinary science behind the technology that powers speech recognition.

But how can it make your IVR system better—especially if you’ve already invested in an effective standard IVR application? Let’s take a look:

IVR is More Useful in More Situations

These days, more and more nitty, gritty tasks of life are being conducted on the go. Fueled by the smart phone boom, folks are increasingly getting used to the ability to access information, communicate messages, and get things done on the fly. So the last thing you’ll want as a company is to not be equipped for callers to get the customer service support they need, wherever and whenever they decide they need it.

For example — let’s say a customer calls in while driving, and prefers not to be looking down at their phone while navigating traffic. Without speech recognition, the caller would have to pull over their car to manually dial their way through your phone tree—instead of either talking to a live representative or simply speaking their way through a speech recognition-based IVR application. This can cause obvious frustration.

In other words, a speech-enabled IVR application simply eliminates that one extra step. And even if pressing a button on one’s phone is a pretty small step, it’s one that can hinder callers from getting what they need. That’s the bottom line. 

IVR is More Personal and Modern

Let’s be honest—appearance, reputation, and feel matter just as much sometimes as utility. And while an IVR system will never fully replace the interactions possible between two humans (because, let’s be honest, that’d be kind of unnerving), the back-and-forth nature of speech recognition does conversationally engage callers in a way that regular IVR can’t.

Furthermore, an investment in technology like speech recognition highlights your company as modern, cutting-edge, and caring enough about your customer service capabilities to invest in the best. Customers will notice this.

Of course, these benefits only matter if you do speech recognition right. Without a speech recognition application that’s planned thoroughly, implemented expertly, and built upon the best available technology, you’re likely to find your customers frustrated and scrambling to the nearest company with a basic no-frills phone tree that works.

At Acclaim Telecom Services, we can help you develop speech recognition infrastructure that intuitively responds to customer needs.