NimbleVox Delivers 21st Century Startup IVR Technology from the Heartland
October 02, 2012
By Tony Rizzo
, TMCnet Senior Editor
One of the more interesting aspects of TMCnet’s twice a year technology conference, ITEXPO (News - Alert), is Editors’ Day, during which a slew of companies drop by to talk with TMCnet’s technology experts and editorial team. We are currently in the middle of our ITEXPO Austin event, and deeply into this event’s Editors Day.
We’ve just had the pleasure of meeting up with Chris Buffum, a veteran of a number of startup-to-IPO ventures who has now landed at NimbleVox, essentially a startup company housed within a much older school IVR company that has been around for 30 years – Interact Inc. Buffum, who is a Texas Longhorns fan amidst a company deeply steeped in Nebraska Cornhuskers (apologies to those who aren’t college football fans on the Longhorn and Cornhusker references, it can’t be helped) is giving it one more go on the startup front with an operation that is now almost two years in the making and now ready to hit the market in a bigger way than it has to date.
Interact itself has been a big if private player in the IVR space since the early 1990s. The company is privately held, has never needed a nickel of VC money, is self-sustaining, and profitable. Two years ago the company’s CEO realized that “good ol’ IVR” was headed rapidly towards obsolescence, and talked Buffum into joining the company to explore new directions to take core IVR expertise. The company has about 55 employees, most of who have been with the company for a long time. This includes the engineers, who have a great deal of IVR technology expertise in hand.
Wearing both a sales and technology hat, Buffum has helped guide what has essentially become Interact’s internally funded startup team towards developing a 21st century IVR product, the end result of which is NimbleVox – an integrated package of technologies that deliver hosted IVR, Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), Text-to-Speech (TTS), Answering Machine Detection, an SMS Solution, Outbound Dialing and APIs to build applications utilizing the NimbleVox platform.
Of perhaps even more importance – at least as far as the business development side of things (read that to mean landing sales) – the company has built the platform to be deployed as either a NimbleVox-hosted platform or as an on-premise platform. The ability to offer the platform on-premise is a big deal in terms of a NimbleVox differentiator. Most of the competition in the space, such as West and Voxeo (News - Alert), are not interested in offering their platforms on-premise, preferring to earn their dollars through hosting. NimbleVox is agnostic on the issue, and if certain types of high security enterprises – financial services and major hospitals come to mind – want to bring the platform on-premise to ensure they can meet federal and state regulatory compliance, NimbleVox is happy to comply.
The company offers a substantial API set, and will help companies build apps. Professional services are a revenue generation component of NimbleVox. The company offers both top to bottom app development, as well as consulting and support services.
Last, NimbleVox is invested in voice biometrics – technology that is able to detect and identify users based on voice recognition patterns. The company is partnered with VoiceVault here. Voice biometrics opens up new opportunities in both the public safety and healthcare space.
We look forward to seeing the company launch its higher visibility marketing efforts. We also look forward to seeing Cornhusker and Longhorn country demonstrate its technology startup chops.
To find out more about Interact visit the company at ITEXPO Austin 2012, taking place now at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO. Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey