Verizon Business offers IP-based hosted IVR

Verizon Business (NYSE: VZ) is offering a new IP version of its hosted interactive voice response (IVR) service as an alternative to the circuit-based TDM IVR it’s been hosting for eight years, mostly to customers in the financial, health care and government verticals.

The new service, based on Nuance Communications’ (NASDAQ: NUAN) speech-recognition platform, accommodates IP-based call centers and makes it easier to deal with multiple data sources, Verizon said. An API lets callers interface directly with back-end databases and customer relationship management platforms. For example, it allows web-based applications to respond to customers’ calls by retrieving their personal call history and transactions. Also, callers who need to speak to agents can be directed to them via Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) or, if IP-based centers are busy, to legacy TDM call centers.

“This enables the enterprises to migrate to IP at their own pace,” said Tom Smith, group manager for Verizon’s IVR and speech product marketing. “They can continue to leverage their legacy TDM infrastructure while rolling out IP infrastructure to handle any growth or replace end-of-life TDM equipment.”

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