Startup VivaSonic claims it can take some of the sting out of call center costs, both at the back-end and delivery points, by aiming its J2EE software and applications at the juncture of voice portals, speech recognition and call center infrastructure.
The company is selling a rapid application development environment called Vulcan that works with J2EE application servers, runs over IP networks and sits in front of call centers. It can be used to offer callers a selection of voice-driven service options to help expedite their inquiries, which might be a request for financial information, a quote, timetable information or a ticket purchase.
In filtering caller requests before they reach an operator, VivaSonic says it can take much of the uncertainty out of the pipeline, helping companies better plan their use of personnel and resources. Because it lives on the network, users can save on the $1,000-per-port cost of a commercial call center solution.
Issuing a ticket via a conventional operator-assisted call to a booking agent might typically cost up to $7.30 or more. VivaSonic believes it can deliver a voice-driven application that could reduce this cost. Within corporate supply chains, calls to accounts payable departments could be dealt with automatically.
VivaSonic delivers its platform and applications in conjunction with voice-clearing partners such as Voxeo. From what we've seen, the VivaSonic voice-driven applications are significantly more advanced than typical voice-driven menus and IVR systems, which often appear designed specifically to keep callers in a holding pattern -- and away from live operators.
VivaSonic is a 15-person spinoff from Arkasoft that hopes to go and raise its own money in a few months' time. It has a handful of demonstration installations in place.
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