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IVR Menu System

Like any other computer software, IVR too work inputs of responses provided by the user. Though, a computer application software has widely used input devices like keyboard, mouse, voice, even hand movement, IVR applications have limited, only two types of inputs or responses. One is telephone keypad which has 12 keys and automatic speech recognition!

Another specific difference between a normal computer application software and a IVR software is, IVR can provide the options sequentially in voice while computer application software can software options in various menus, buttons, drop down menu, quick links using related graphics etc. So IVR provides its options or tasks it can perform to a caller in series of voice announcement along with key option to press or word, phrase to speak for choosing the tasks. This is known as IVR menu.

With advent of hosted IVR services, IVR application has become designing of this menu system only, while the integration of CTI hardware with various PBX systems have become standard modules provided by hosted IVR service provider.

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What is Click To Call ?
“Click To Call” normally refers to a website feature where an website visitor asks to talk to webmaster or website representative ( may be even call center) by entering his phone number. So, this Click to Call facility in a website mainly involves establishing a call between a website visitor and a representative or customer service agent. It may involve monitoring of website visitors in real time and dialing the phone number entered by the visitor manually. But using an IVR ( Interactive Voice Response), this process can be automated as well as many intelligence could be put to use!

There are many benefits of having Click To Call feature in an website in its contact us page or any page where a website visitor may need any further assistance ( for example, in e-commerce website while checking out, restaurant site for reservation enquiry etc.). Click to Call facility may reduce call waiting time for both the visitor and website representative as they are called/connected when both are free to talk on phone.

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OTTAWA, ON– Pronexus, now entering its 16th year of operation and the developer of VBVoice, the leading Rapid Application Development (RAD) Toolkit for Interactive Voice Response (IVR) applications, announced today that IVRHost, a software-as-a-service platform, selected VBVoice software toolkit to develop their application “HearMyTweet”.

HearMyTweet is a service that allows “Tweeters” to listen to their own or others Twitter messages/updates from any phone via an IVR solution. This service can be valuable for an individual who enters their PIN to access their personal account, or a company that provides a free number to hear their Twitter messages.

“HearMyTweet is easy to use and will enhance your Tweets to make them easier to listen to. It’s a great way to share your Tweets with the ‘twitter-phobic’ or just help get your word out there” said Lee Decker of IVRHost. “With Pronexus’ IVR toolkit VBVoice we were able to develop a flexible feature-rich IVR application with web service integration that our users love.”

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I keep getting mails by various people about detecting caller id using D4PCI and Dialogic API. I remember I too had to try hard once and finally contacted Dialogic support for getting ideas how caller ID could be detected using D4/PCI analog CTI board from Dialogic. I think the same procedure should work for Donjin Analog boards as well as any kind of Analog CTI boards, for that matter.

So the steps for detecting Caller ID in D4PCI board is :

1. As soon as you detect RINGING, do not connect or answer the call. But start detecting digit using appropriate API function. For example dx_getdig();

2. Important part is the settings in DV_TPT structure which is used in dx_getdig() function. Here is how I have been configuring:
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Voxeo, an well-known hosted IVR development tool provider, VoIP solution provider has acquired ClackPoint, the leading multimedia online collaboration platform.

Voxeo acquires Clackpoint

Voxeo Acquires ClackPoint

Clackpoint is an interesting platform where many people can participate in a conference from variety of communication media, like IM ( Instant messaging, like GTalk, Yahoo Messanger, MSN etc.), website, traditional phone call. It has many options where participants can edit notepad in groups, chat in texts etc.

This platform is still in beta and under testing phase, but its features look very interesting as a unified communication system as it provides affordable conference facilities with all available communication media to everyone, right from friend circle to corporates.

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Telephonic survey has been quite common now a days and many people may have been called up by representatives from various companies where they try to collect information, feedback, opinion about their products or services. Here, a caller will have a set of questions which she asks the person who answers the call about the product which they are using and tick options as per their choices.

Normally, these kind of surveys have fixed set of questions and fixed set of answers to choose by the called party. So, outbound IVR can be used for conducting automated surveys with fixed set of questions and multiple options, answer to which would be chosen by the called party either by pressing keys or by speaking out the choice. This kind of automated telephonic survey is known as interactive voice response system ( IVR) surveys.

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BANGALORE: By 2020, India will be among the top five countries for clinical research. At a media workshop on clinical research on Thursday, Indian Society for Clinical Research (ISCR) member Arun Bhatt said it is one of the fastest growing sectors.

“Currently, India ranks 14 in the clinical research market, but will soon be among the top. It’s the next big thing in India. Other leading Asian countries are China and Korea,” he said. According to ISCR, the economic slowdown affected the industry in the initial four months. “The industry has picked up over the past nine months,” he added.
However, India’s contribution to global clinical research is only two-and-a-half-per cent.

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What is Invox ?
Invox is visual tool using which one can create a call flow of voice application ( IVR Application) and implement it without any coding in any language like VXML, VoicePHP or C++! It is an online web based tool which allows user to log in and design his voice application as per his requirement graphically, test it on Invox hosted IVR server and save it or start using it by buying a new phone connection!
Invox uses simple drag-and-drop method to add “greetings” on call connect, call transferring on DTMF press, data retrieval from database etc.!

So, one does not worry about specification of voice application, learning a language and than coding, just put together all ‘building blocks’ for any voice application visually and launch your IVR service!

It seems, Invox is the easiest and fastest tool design, test and deploy any voice applications as they rightly claim. I also signed up after a telephonic discussion Mr. Sreedhar from Invox who spent his time to teach and give me a demo of whole Invox thing!

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What is VXML ?
VXML, also known as Voice XML is W3C(World Wide Consortium) standard for specifying voice interaction between human and a computer. So, it essentially is a ‘tool’ or high level level language for scripting an IVR ( Interactive Voice response) application. It can take input from human in the from of DTMF digits, automatic speech recognition (ASR) etc. Like standard XML, it consists of many ‘tags’ specific to voice applications which are accepted as standards by W3C.
Voice XML or VXML can be used to specify a call flow in an IVR application without having to learn about CTI boards, its integration with switches, PABX systems etc.

What is VoicePHP ?

VoicePHP is another “tool” for developing voice applications which mainly integrates IVR applications to web. It can be thought of an extension of widely popular PHP language to build voice specific same way as any web application is built!
VoicePHP is tool which seems to be in direct competition with VXML for specifying voice applications on web. VoicePHP is a product from tringme.

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What is hosted outbound IVR service ?
Hosted outbound IVR service can be defined as a service provided by a IVR Service provider using which one can make outgoing calls to large telephone numbers and play a recorded voice as soon as the called party picks up the call. Calls could be scheduled by the client who is availing the outbound IVR service through either an web-based interface, or API ( Application Programming Interface) or URL link.

Recently, there has been few companies in India, which have started providing hosted outbound IVR services. It has become a good tools for marketing along with SMS(Short Messaging Services), Email alerts.

Usage of Outbound IVR Service:

There are many usage of outbound IVR services. It can be used to for the following :-

1. Promotional Campaigns

Any marketing agencies build up large number of telephone numbers of their clients over a period of time. So, when they want to launch or announce a new product in short period of time, automated outbound call is one option. Outbound IVR will dial out the numbers and play the audio clip announcing the new service, product and discount/sale.
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