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Most people are familiar with automated telephone services. These services allow users to retrieve information such as bank balances, flight schedules, and movie show times from any telephone. The explosive growth of the Internet and World Wide Web technologies has shifted the landscape for providers of traditional phone services to a new set of customers accessing information and services through the Web. While in most cases customers still access automated services through the phone, providers are finding it easier to build new services that exploit the power of Web technology.
VoiceXML provides the best of both worlds. Providers, by expressing automated voice services using a markup language like VoiceXML, can open up their new Web services to customers using voice interfaces, such as the telephone. Developers can build automated voice services using exactly the same technology they use to create visual Web sites, significantly reducing the cost of construction and delivery of new capabilities for the traditional phone customer.