Inbound and outbound features unite in an alternative to the dialer; one analyst sees hints of ambition beyond the current offering.
Posted Nov 19, 2007
On-demand voice portal vendor LiveVox today released Voice Portal 3.0, a call center platform that emulates a dialer and adds to its functionality, enabling customers to transition from their dialers to a VoIP environment. Built on open VoiceXML (VXML) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) standards, LiveVox Voice Portal is an open-source hosted dialing architecture that allows companies to use multiple engagement models to reach customers using a single platform.
Part of the LiveVox offering is a new Quick Connect feature, which reduces abandon rates by connecting the call with the agent prior to connecting with the customer, eliminating lengthy pauses associated with dialer-generated calls that many customers associate -- pejoratively -- with incoming sales calls. This will likely be a key factor for LiveVox's continued success among collections-and-billings contact centers, the company's primary customer base.
Traditional hardware-based automated call dialers (ACD) are outdated applications with a number of limitations, according to LiveVox, as well as an extremely high price tag -- in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase, upgrade, integrate, and support. "We are leveraging voice-portal architecture for outbound and inbound calling, and Voice Portal 3.0 represents an opportunity for customers to replace old technology," says Louis Summe, CEO. "LiveVox can co-exist with the ACD, but it can also take its place."
LiveVox claims the benefits for users of Voice Portal 3.0 can include lower IT-support costs, full application integration, unlimited capacity, and lower WAN-equipment requirements. In addition, Voice Portal 3.0 includes the following new features and functionalities:
- LiveVox Quick Connect: Provides the ability to have the outbound agent on the line while the call is connected, eliminating call hold times and pregnant pauses, and reducing caller-abandon rates.
- Enhanced Campaign Scheduler: Flexible scheduling allows users to re-queue campaigns ahead of time. Supports multiple call attempts on the same number or sequencing attempts for the same account holder using multiple contact numbers (home, then work, etc.).
- Enhanced Queuing and Pacing: Multithreaded 64-bit queuing supports extremely high volumes of calls-in-progress.
At least one analyst is enthusiastic about the company's chances with its new portal. "LiveVox looks like more like a standard contact center switching fabric along the lines of CosmoCom or Genesys," says Keith Dawson, senior analyst with Frost & Sullivan. "I think [LiveVox's] future ambition lies beyond being an inbound/outbound call center integrator for collections agents." His discussions with LiveVox indicate the company knows its can't be constrained by its vertical, and executives are trying to capture more horizontal business, as well as verticals such as outbound loyalty calling. "They're looking to emerge from their niche as a more full-featured contact center provider," Dawson says.
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