Plum Voice's IVR Technology Offerings
June 30, 2010
By Juliana Kenny, TMCnet Managing Editor
TMC (News - Alert) had the chance to sit down with Lisa Marquez, a Plum Voice representative, to discuss the ways in which Plum Voice brings new and innovative solutions to the IVR industry. The following is the full exchange.
TMC: With a brief overview of the history of IVR, can you explain how Plum Voice has met the needs of the industry's customers?
LM: Interactive Voice response, or IVR, is a technology that allows a computer to detect voice and keypad inputs, and is typically used to automate dialogue during a phone call. IVR technology has been around for a significant amount of time, first utilized by Bell Systems when they unveiled a phone that could dial area codes using DTMF technology. Plum Voice has truly defined and revolutionized the market with its IVR systems, IVR hosting, and its VoiceXML (News - Alert) technologies. Formerly restricted to "auto attendant" types of applications, IVR is now appearing in all forums and in several different mediums, from car navigation systems to mobile applications. Plum understands that more refined speech recognition applications have the ability to reach other technology, and can be utilized in a completely different way. Plum offers several options for consumers trying to automate and streamline their currently existing business applications.
TMC: What are the benefits of incorporating a hosted IVR solution into a business?
LM: The Plum IVR hosting Suite is a hosted and managed service for applications built on the award-winning Plum VoiceXML Platform. Utilizing hosted IVR allows businesses a cost-effective and reliable way to deploy IVR solutions both locally and internationally. There are multiple advantages to employing a hosted IVR solution. Plum Voice's hosted IVR offers users a versatile infrastructure that can scale seamlessly to meet the needs of any business. Clients simply supply Plum with the particulars of their desired IVR system, detailing every aspect of their preferred application including their choice of text-to-speech and grammar engines, their language of choice, whether they need inbound or outbound calling, and the geographic location they would like their system to target, and Plum goes to work. The technological expertise engineers have honed over ten years of operations ensures that users need only choose the configuration they desire, and Plum's seasoned engineers build the perfect application. With world-class data centers in the United States and Europe, Plum guarantees redundancy that even the most business critical applications can rely on. Hosting with Plum is a hassle-free way to deploy IVR applications that seamlessly integrate with on-site databases that are already in place. As an additional benefit of hosting, clients can feel free to leave everything up to Plum, the coding, the data integration, and the hardware set-up is all included in the hosting package.
TMC: As a consumer, what are my options when beginning to implement Plum Voice's systems?
LM: For those who prefer to manage their own equipment, Plum Voice also offers IVR systems as an integrated hardware and software package. The on-site systems maintain the same guarantee as the hosted systems, in that they are reliable and include a five-nines uptime guarantee, meaning that Plum certifies that all systems will be up and operating 99.999 percent of the time. In addition, on-site systems arrive pre-configured, and include the infinite scalability options featured in the hosted system. The IVR system can expand in tandem with business growth, and is infinitely scalable; from four ports to thousands. Plum IVR systems are built on reliable carrier-grade servers, and based on user preference can be configured with spare drives, spare fans, and spare power supplies. Plum IVR servers are built on a VoiceXML 2.0 certified and 2.1-compliant platform. In addition, Plum offers a myriad of speech-recognition and speech-synthesis options in several different languages, allowing clients to customize the sound and feel of their IVR application on a global level. For business critical applications, Plum offers responsive engineering support 24-hours a day, meaning businesses will always be able to get in touch with a support engineer and get information on their IVR system!
Juliana Kenny is a TMCnet reporter and editor. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Juliana Kenny