There has been lot of talk about video IVR or IVVR ( Interactive Voice and Video response System) recently. Dialogic also has announced recently of their availability of Beta DiaStar™ Server, Version 1.1, “Allowing developers to create video applications for fixed and mobile phones. this brings into variety of existing video features into open source marketplace.” (Dialogic Press release) Indeed a good news for large open source Asterisk IVR/IVVR developers.
Dialogic is no doubt the leader in the field of CTI boards, Telephony Signaling products in the world and this initiative by Dialogic to make their existing Video enabled products accessible by open source developer community will boost the development of video IVR applications.
Now, can Video IVR or IVVR can be the next big VAS for Telecom operators ?
I think so and here are my reasons:-
1. 3G is available
3G has been introduced almost everywhere in the world including big Telecom market India by state run mobile service providers BSNL ( Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) and MTNL ( Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Limited). MTNL operates in two big Indian metros New Delhi and Mumbai while BSNL operates all circles in India other than New Delhi and Mumbai. 3G is the requirement for video call in the mobile network and 3G enabled phone is the requirement at the user end. 3G enabled mobile phone with twin camera for video calls have been in the market for long time now. Also entry level 3G enabled with camera is now available at less than $100, even in India. So using video applications or services by large number of users is a reality in India.
2. Innovative Video Application
Think about getting an SMS alert about Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s huge six with a link to make video call to watch it! Or an SMS alert informing about Irphan Pathan getting out Ricky Ponting out by a yorker ? Who in India or in Indian subcontinent want to miss it ? Video IVR creates possibility of many innovative video application which will entice user to avail video value added services! If YouTube could be such a hit, video IVR with large contents and innovation would also be hit!
3. Concept of citizen journalism or citizen activism
People are getting used to the idea citizen journalism now. With video IVR, there will be people who would be uploading video footage about events immediately for large audience which will be available simultaneously on internet, TV or mobiles of any 3G users!
4. Customer care
Video IVR may revolutionize customer care and call center industry! With video call, many problems by customers could be solved remotely as proper instruction could be provided to the customer for self-help. Frustration with traditional voice based IVR where they are made to speak to machine, by customers would also reduce as through video IVR, they can discuss with customer care executives face to face!
5. Video Advertising, blogging, cinema etc.
Video blogging can be expected to increase by many fold! Video portal would have much larger audience with 3G users. People would be able to watch trailer on movies before they buy a ticket for it over video IVR! SMS advertising would give away to video advertising now! Watch TV advertising on your mobile!
6. Utility Services
A user will be able to video weather conditions live at any place! Phone banking will be replaced by video banking which will make it more secure as well as personal! It will be very useful in healthcare industry where specialist would be able to instruct many locations simultaneously from a remote location!
So, innovation and ideas are many for video IVR applications! So, if video IVR is introduced after 3G, it may be the next big VAS ( Value added service) for mobile operators!