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HP

August 13, 2007

Strategies for Consolidating Interactive Voice Response Systems

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Associate Editor

Service providers looking for a way to differentiate themselves in a competitive marketplace would do well to consider deploying a unified, standards-based interactive voice response (IVR) platform. Such a platform has the potential to enhance performance, simplify infrastructure management, and contribute to ongoing cost savings.
 
All of the benefits described above are part of HP’s OpenCall Media Platform, which delivers a field-proven, future-proof IVR solution that delivers ongoing returns and has the added benefit of enabling a more engaging experience for end-users.
 
Since voice response is often the first experience a customer has with a service provider, it is very important for that provider to select an IVR solution that’s capable of acting as a tool for brand identity and customer loyalty. Traditionally, IVRs were distinct and siloed parts of a business, but this is now changing in favor of integration with other business processes.
 
Using HP’s OpenCall solution, a service provider can overcome the challenges of subscriber traffic outgrowing a legacy IVR, while at the same time obtaining the flexibility needed to offer new, multimedia services. OpenCall makes this possible by consolidating and centralizing media resources and supporting IP Multimedia Subsystem (News - Alert) (IMS) and video applications.
 
The result of these advantages is reduced CAPEX and OPEX (News - Alert) and improved business agility. OpenCall is designed to deliver a variety of benefits to service providers, including:
  • Cost control
  • Capacity usage optimization
  • Risk reduction
  • Future-proofing investments
  • Speeding up time-to-market
Ultimately, service providers need to undertake the process of IVR consolidation, which is an ongoing strategy rather than simply a product deployment. Some estimates have it that about 500,000 new IVR ports are deployed each year; clearly this is not an area of doing business that’s standing still.
 
Why? One key reason is that the service provider industry is turning to IMS as a way to expand their portfolios. Users are demanding simple and fast access to voice, video and data services. Because IMS circumvents the limitations of traditional, siloed applications, it offers an attractive path to staying competitive. But, deploying IMS-based solutions is an ongoing, fluid process and as such requires an equally flexible IVR solution.
 
HP designed OpenCall to meet the needs of service providers, now and in the future. The solution achieves this lofty goal by taking advantage of several key, enabling technologies and platforms, including:
 
VoiceXML (News - Alert) – open standard that’s become the technology of choice for creating and deploying next-gen interactive voice and video apps.
 
CCXML – short for Call Control Extensible Markup Language, this technology provides a range of critical telephony session control features, including routing, bridging and conferencing.
 
Managing the migration to next-generation networks and the services they enable is what OpenCall is all about. The platform offers a rich, value-added services ecosystem that providers can use as a bridge to the future of communications.
 
To learn more about HP OpenCall, please visit the company’s TMCnet.com channel, IMS.
 
Mae Kowalke previously wrote for Cleveland Magazine in Ohio and The Burlington Free Press in Vermont. To see more of her articles, please visit Mae Kowalke’s columnist page. Also check out her Wireless Mobility blog.



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