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April 04, 2008

Intervoice: Vision for Growth

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor


Consumer demands are consistently changing, creating a challenge for organizations to anticipate and willingly adapt to trends in order to remain competitive. In this always-on economy, consumers are becoming more mobile and demanding solutions and information in real-time that can be accessed from anywhere.
 
As a result of these changing demands, organizations have been turning to self-service solutions provided by innovative companies. Intervoice (News - Alert) has been competing in the self-service/IVR market for 25 years. The company’s focus within the contact center provides keen insight into current customer trends and how to ensure the organization can remain competitive while also meeting demands.

Jim Milton was recently named the new President and Chief Operating Officer of Intervoice. Before this appointment, Milton had served as both Executive Vice President and COO of the company. During his time with Intervoice, the company merged with Edify and acquired the assets of Nuasis. Talks with Milton uncovered his vision for Intervoice.

Intervoice focuses on selling contact center, voice portal, mobile messaging, video, speech and multi-modal applications to both carrier and enterprise customers and provides both on-premise and hosted solutions. The acquisition of IP contact center player Nuasis took place in September of 2006 and was executed to enable Intervoice to provide the entire contact center experience themselves.

The company focuses on specific product lines and has revamped some of the product packaging to offer more appeal to the customer. Some of these efforts are beginning to bear fruit. For one, Intervoice has created a platform to address different market segments in order to expand the company’s reach.

The Voice Portal Express product was created to be more easily sold with packaged applications through partners. Intervoice also introduced two more fully featured editions – the Voice Portal Enterprise and Enterprise Pro, with more capabilities, development tools and management tools.

The launch of these new products has enabled Intervoice to be more nimble in a sales situation, allowing them to cater specifically to the clients’ needs, without overdoing it. It also enables them to more readily compete in a market that has changed a lot in the past five years, with the introduction of so many different kinds of new competitors in the contact center space.

Much of Intervoice’s success has been in the “packaged” application approach in the self-service industry. The company’s earlier packaged application success story is their pre-packaged banking application. With the addition of Edify, Intervoice was able to improve upon this offering. Edify, in its own right, offered a pretty detailed banking package due to its relationship with its previous parent company.

Intervoice offers the best of both companies’ offerings and has sold 32 of these applications in the last three months, all of which were in the $75-100K range. The company firmly believes they have the right go to market model and partners to continue on this path and fully expects to accelerate sales of this application in the future.

The company has also enjoyed significant growth in their hosted business due to business continuity, CAPEX vs. OPEX (News - Alert) decisions, the desire to lease over purchase, etc. Customers are also using Intervoice hosting managed services to monitor their applications. The hosting business is expected to continue to grow due to the current and near term economic conditions.

Intervoice plans to continue to build on the success of its banking application by honing in on some other verticals. Milton also mentioned that in the coming months the company will be unveiling new contact center voice portal capabilities, but for more on that – we will have to wait and see.  
 
For more, check out the Speech Technologies channel on TMCnet.
 
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.
 
 
 

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