Interview with Softsyl Technologies Call Center Solutions And Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Telephony Services
by Paul Rudo on 18/11/10 at 9:44 am
SoftSyl started out as a software consulting firm in 2007 and evolved into a software technology firm after the company founder recognized a significant need in the market for affordable yet robust IVR systems for small and medium-sized businesses and call centers.
Prior to the development of SoftSyl’s platform, an industry compliant VoiceXML based IVR system was financially far out of reach for companies not generating revenue comparable to Fortune 500 companies.
They bring enterprise scale functionality to even the smallest of businesses and call centers, allowing these clients to get ahead of the competition and gain even more market share.
Today, I’ll be interviewing Amanda Smith from Softsyl.
What is an “All-In-One” Interactive Voice Response service?
SoftSyl’s all-in-one solutions offer clients a one stop shop for the entire process of designing, developing, and deploying an enterprise grade Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. We have an in-house team that takes clients through the entire software development life cycle to figure out exactly what features the client wants and needs.
With these desires in mind, our team then draws on their talents to design and develop the system from scratch. When this process is complete, we take full responsibility for deployment and tackle any necessary maintenance issues.
Most clients choose an all-in-one hosted solution. However, we do cater to clients who have existing infrastructures that need to be updated. For those customers, the application development may not be necessary.
Bottom line, SoftSyl can do it all and prevent the customer from becoming dependent on multiple vendors that often play the blame game when issues arise. At SoftSyl, we are confident enough in our products to take full responsibility for ensuring each IVR deployment runs flawlessly.
What should companies look for when evaluating IVR telephony systems?
To protect their investment for the long term, it is most critical that companies make sure they implement a system that is both scalable and portable. One of the biggest things that must be evaluated is whether or not the system would be industry compliant and whether or not it would be developed using VoiceXML language.
We often see businesses and call centers looking to upgrade their out-dated systems with a system from a new provider, and they basically have to start from scratch, losing their prior investment dollars. This is because their previous provider developed the IVR system using their own non-standard language, meaning that the system could not be ported to any other company.
This tactic is essentially used to lock the customer in for the life of their IVR system. These systems are expensive, and companies obviously would like to have some control over the life of their investment.
What are some of the biggest mistakes that companies make when choosing or implementing a new IVR system?
One of the biggest mistakes is that companies often fail to look ahead and anticipate their future needs. They may not consider the need to scale their IVR system one day in order to meet the demands of their growing business. Thus, they may choose an IVR system that is limited in its capacity and features to handle ever-growing corporate needs.
This could be a major mistake that could end up costing the company hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not requiring that their IVR system be rebuilt from ground up.
What is VoiceXML, and why does it matter?
VoiceXML is the official XML markup language set forth by W3C for building IVR applications and the widely accepted industry standard language.
The W3C (W3C.org) is the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web (abbreviated WWW or W3) who manages and defines web standards such as HTML. VoiceXML can also be referred to as VXML.
Open industry standards have proven to be the key to widespread enterprise implementation of new technologies, as they are critical to protect investments and preserve flexibility in a multi-vendor environment. For more information, please visit http://W3C.org.
What is dual-tone multi frequency key input, and why is it an important feature to look for in an IVR?
Dual-Tone Multi Frequency, or DTMF, is a basic feature for all IVR systems that simply means a caller’s input is received by the IVR system via manual entry of numbers on the telephone keypad. The most basic IVR system would support DTMF.
An upgrade to the basic DTMF-enabled IVR system would be speech recognition, where inputs are made via the caller’s own voice. In comparison, speech-enabled systems cost significantly more than simple DTMF and may not be an ideal option for all businesses.
What are the advantages of having an IVR based on open standards?
Industry compliance is critical to have in an IVR system. A system based on open standards means that the system can be understood, run, and maintained by any reputable, experienced provider and gives the customer the freedom to port the system in the future.
Also, programming expertise for IVR systems using open standards is much easier to attain than for closed standards. IVRs based on open standards tap into the ecosystem revolving around the open standard that is created by vendors.
When should a company use a cloud-based IVR, versus an in-house IVR system?
Overall, cloud-based IVR systems are the way to go for most businesses and call centers. The advantage is that the entire IVR system is hosted and maintained by the provider, such as SoftSyl Technologies, at a secure off-site location. The company that builds the system knows the system best and can take the best, most immediate action to rectify any problems that may arise.
An on-site IVR system is a feasible option for large companies who can afford to hire their own team of qualified developers to monitor and maintain the system. However, still, the hassles of an on-site IVR system are far too much to handle for most businesses.
The trend that we have seen at SoftSyl has been that new and existing customers have opted to ditch their on-site IVR systems for a cloud-based system that SoftSyl monitors and maintains 24/7.
This ensures reliability and virtually eliminates the possibility of down time. By using the hosted IVR solutions, companies are assured that their IVR platform is always up to date, eliminating worries about upgrading their IVR platform in the future.
Why is the new platform ideal for small and medium-sized call centers and businesses?
AsterUVX , SoftSyl’s new platform, is an ideal solution for call centers and businesses that would like to automate customer service interactions via phone at an affordable price point. Such systems are referred to as Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems.
Small and medium-sized call centers and businesses who would be interested in implementing use of AsterUVX are those that would like to enhance their efficiency and take advantage of enterprise grade technology but have been limited in pursuing this because of outrageously high costs that are 50-75% higher than SoftSyl Technologies.
AsterUVX brings IVR solutions that rival any others on the market to companies that do not have unlimited resources and thus value cost savings.
To learn more about SoftSyl Technologies’ IVR solutions, please visit http://www.softsyl.com.