• June 28, 2006
  • By Coreen Bailor, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Intervoice Serves Up Services

Intervoice, which completed its $33.5 million acquisition of Edify in January, has launched two new services, PersonalizeIT and voice-enabled Web-portal offerings, both available now. Each expands customers' ability to create a unique and consistent multichannel experience for users, according to the company. PersonalizeIT fuses information from customer interactions with live information like company promotions and external data like daily weather updates to alter call flow or prompts to deliver a more tailored experience. Andrea Holko, senior vice president of Global Consulting Services at Intervoice, cites an example of a caller who contacts his pharmacy to refill an allergy prescription, and hears, from the system, that there's a high pollen count in the area. The system can then suggest complementary products that may appeal to the caller based on his buying history. "We're looking at merging lots of different elements to drive out more personal interactions with customers," she says. Voice-enabled Web-portal offerings, according to Intervoice, are designed to provide consistency and continuity across the Web, subscription services, voice self-service channels, and agent desktops. "[Convergence] is the buzz word of the industry right now from a voice and Web perspective of trying to converge these market places," says Mike Smith, manager of Global Consulting Services. "[We're allowing] the caller to use what method they want--voice or Web--and have access to the same information. Web functionality and voice functionality [are] being presented with the user interface tailored to that customer, but sharing the experience, so that the voice application knows or can know what the customer did on the Web." Intervoice has also unveiled Intervoice Global Services as part of the initiative, a life-cycle methodology broken down into five phases: engage, implement, support, manage, and evolve. The initial tier, the engage phase, includes working with organizations during the sales cycle, aligning with organizations, and helping them refine requirements. During the implement phase Global Services' Design Collaborative provides design services to create personalized voice applications, while the support phase focuses on maintaining and supporting these voice solutions. The manage phase gives organizations the opportunity to choose to deploy systems on-premise or to leverage Intervoice's Managed Solutions Program, shifting accountability for solution performance and availability to Intervoice. During the evolve phase Intervoice helps address changing market conditions and technology advances with ongoing insight. The announcements come on the heels of the company's earnings for its first fiscal quarter ended May 31, which were announced last week. Reported revenues were $45.7 million, a 12.6 percent jump from its prior-quarter earnings of $40.5 million, and 5.6 percent year-over-year uptake. But the company did suffer a current quarter net loss of $400,000, or 1 cent per share, compared to net income of $4.3 million, or 11 cents per share from the previous quarter, and $3.9 million, or 10 cents per share in the year-over-year quarter. Despite its net loss, Intervoice has a substantial portion of IVR market share with 5,000 customers, along with about 1.5 million ports shipped. Marie Jackson, vice president of global marketing notes the combined Intervoice, which is VoiceXML 2.0 certified and VoiceXML 2.1 compliant, now has about 850 employees, with 170 of those devoted to research and engineering and 300 professionals in services personnel. Bob Ritchey, president and CEO of Intervoice, rang the NASDAQ stock market closing bell Tuesday to coincide with the company's financial analyst and institutional investor forum in New York. Joe Outlaw, principal analyst for contact center solutions at Current Analysis, sees this as the beginning of the rebirth of a more visible company. Intervoice has "been a leading IVR company for a long time," he says. Outlaw acknowledges that like many companies, Intervoice has struggled since the technology bubble popped. "They've come back from that, but nevertheless have been relatively quiet in the marketplace for some time. As they bought Edify they started to communicate more. With the communications and the NASDAQ day they're saying, We're going to be a more visible company. You're going to hear a lot more from Intervoice on what they're doing." Related articles: Intervoice Will Purchase Edify
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