Voxeo Announces SaaS-based Version of VoiceObjects

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, IP Communications Magazines  |  October 01, 2010

This article originally appeared in the October 2010 issue of Unified Communications magazine

Remember the 1980s commercial catchphrase “You got your chocolate in my peanut butter....”? Well, the combination of Voxeo (News - Alert) and VoiceObjects is your classic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup scenario.

After Voxeo got a taste of working alongside VoiceObjects, it decided to bring together the companies permanently – and then it got its SaaS in VoiceObjects’ (News - Alert) software development platform.

VoiceObjects is a software development platform used by large enterprises and service providers including Adobe, IKEA, and T-Mobile to develop, deploy, and manage self-service solutions for their customers efficiently. Organizations use VoiceObjects to create self-service applications like IVR, automated mobile Web applications and native iPhone applications that allow customers to do things like check their bank balances, order new services, or whatever. Self-service solutions powered by VoiceObjects intelligently use stored information about each customer including self-service interaction history, call center/CRM system history, and datafrom other back-end systems to provide high-quality customer experiences.

T-Mobile has employed VoiceObjects to deliver various self-service solutions in different languages to customers in 10 to 20 different areas of the world, says Jonathan Taylor, CEO of Voxeo. The value that the VoiceObjects solution brings to the table is simplifying the ability to enable self-service solutions that need to be tweaked for different languages, interfaces with various operational support systems, and various services and requirements, Taylor explains. With VoiceObjects, he adds, companies can turn what would otherwise be 100 different development efforts, for example, into one simple development project.

"For more than eight years VoiceObjects has delivered a greater than 2:1 improvement in self-service application development and maintenance costs," says Taylor. "Voxeo's new VoiceObjects On-Demand service delivers an equivalent reduction in self-service application deployment and management costs. With VoiceObjects On-Demand, Voxeo is giving its customers a significant reduction in deployment costs, unmatched solution reliability, and the ability to expand rapidly as requirements change."Traditionally, VoiceObjects has been delivered within a licensed-based construct. But it’s recently been expanded to include a SaaS (News - Alert) version.

VoiceObjects initially approached Voxeo about its idea to expand to a SaaS model. The concept was for Voxeo to manage the VoiceObjects’ SaaS service. But, ultimately, Voxeo decided such an offer would be compelling for its customers as well, so the two became one. That was a little less than a year ago. This August, the SaaS version of VoiceObjects was formally unveiled.

Taylor says the pricing model for the new solution is akin to a cell phone deal: with a two-year contract customers pay a monthly fee that includes a set number of minutes, and if they exceed that usage, they pay extra.

Of course, Voxeo has been in the SaaS game since 2000, before the term software as a service had even emerged. The company got its start by delivering solutions that made it easy for anyone to create voice applications, says Taylor, adding it was among the first to adopt VoiceXML (News - Alert).

Voxeo has more than 160,000 registered developers in its program. Companies are free to develop on the platform without charge and are only required to pay when they take the applications into production.

VoiceObjects On-Demand’s Self-Service Platform Advantages1. Instant startup2. Instant expansion3. Zero hardware costs and affordable pay-as-you-go pricing4. Full control over application integration and lifecycle managementwith no vendor lock-in5. Mission-critical infrastructure including multi-site redundancy,business continuity, and proven scalability6.  Direct access to Voxeo's worldwide hosted VoiceXML IVR platform,deployed in seven sites around the world7.  Direct access to Voxeo's speech recognition capabilities in 40 languages.8.  Direct access to other Voxeo features including encrypted callrecording and SIP VoIP connectivity9.  Connectivity to existing on-premises VoiceXML IVR platforms from Avaya, Cisco, Genesys, Intervoice (News - Alert), and more10. 100 percent uptime SLA including 24x7 support and guaranteed 20 minute responses

Edited by Tammy Wolf