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December 17, 2010

Call Center IVR Provider Spoken Communications Secures $4 Million in Funding



By Madhubanti Rudra, TMCnet Contributor


At a time when cloud computing and SaaS (News - Alert) technologies are becoming increasingly popular among the companies, Seattle-based premier private investment group Ignition Growth Capital made a $4 million investment in Spoken Communications, the leading provider of proprietary IVR technologies for call centers and virtual call center systems.


In a press release, this key player in the call center customer service, sales and support industry announced that it is going to utilize the funds for expanding Spoken's large-scale virtual call center implementations.

Spoken Communications (News - Alert), which delivers hosted Avaya ACD and Conversational IVR solutions, expects that the funding will enable it to provide additional hosted capacity for call centers seeking to upgrade to virtual and work-from-home models.

Mention should be made of a recent Gartner (News - Alert) research in this context. Gartner has predicted a rise in hosted and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications in the call center industry, estimating that by 2012, 65 percent of customer support conversations will occur "in the Cloud." It also predicted that, by 2013, 75 percent or more of customer service centers will use some type of hosted software application. 

“It used to be that there was a tremendous fear at the idea of not having direct control over hardware.But nowadays, the validation of not having to do a large capital investment for call center hardware is leading CIOs to find ways to leverage SaaS. We are seeing a lot of companies making commitments to do SaaS pilots for their next technology refresh,” said former Gartner analyst and founder of ThinkJar, Esteban Kolsky, in one of his reports.

In the press release, CEO of Spoken, Howard Lee, said, “Spoken Communications is excited to work with Ignition Growth Capital on our strategy to make virtual call center solutions available to call centers facing growing call volumes. Ignition's strategic investment allows us to enhance and market our virtualized Avaya (News - Alert) switch solution to call centers while supporting further innovation in the field.”

Spoken's virtual call center offerings include a hosted Avaya Automated Call Distributor (ACD), which, according to Spoken officials, gives call centers the opportunity for scalable growth without large capital expenditures, and Spoken's patented Conversational Interactive Voice Response (IVR), which reduces dropped calls by combining automation with a human safety net.

In October, TMCnet reported that Spoken Communications Inc., forged a voice mail preview partnership with Microsoft (News - Alert). As part of the pact, Spoken Communications was to offer its GotVoice voicemail transcription service to enterprise organizations as an enhanced option in the Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 product through a Microsoft Voice Mail Preview Partnership.


Madhubanti Rudra is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard


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