Gokul Blog — A conversation on VoIP, IMS, Cisco and Just about Anything

Deeper analysis of VoIP

The other way round

Posted by tggokul on November 12, 2006

I love IVRs ( Interactive Voice Response systems). The reason could be that I am not very comfortable talking to customer agents whom I don’t know anything about. ( Remember your mother’s advice when you were young?  ‘Don’t talk to Strangers’). And mix that with my hatred towards waiting on the phone listening to the outdated 80s hip hops, IVR is a perfect thing for me to use. I navigate through what I want and when I can’t find the stuff I need, I accept defeat and ask to be put to an agent. I think IVR is the greatest gift from the telecom industry to common man.

Now I would like to see that when I use the web as well. Say for example I want to search for the movie Terminator. I want options like

  1. Press link 1 to go to Arnold’s Terminator.
  2. Press Link 2 to go to the list of exterminators in your locality.
  3. Still not able to find, what you want , click on this to be connected to an expert.

Ofcourse, the links will have sub menus and finally I should be able to listen to Arnold’s gruff ‘Asta la vista’ . No doubt searching has been made very simple these days, but I am sure most of you can relate when I say, we have a nightmare when we try to search for common words but when put together its actually a valid term. For example try to search for ‘loop loss’. This is a actually a TDM related thing for loss of analog signals, but see what it throws up.

This is where I would like to be connected to a guy who can explain to me what that means.  Yeah, I can see all you cynics’ eyebrows being raised. The obvious questions are

  1. Who is that expert and how does the search engine get the right person for the right question?
  2. Why would the expert want to do this to begin with?
  3. How does the communication take place?

And this is where ‘relevance’ would play a major part. This would mean a very tightly coupled Voice 2.0 and Web 2.0. ( Can I call it Woice 2.0 or something corny like that? ). The presence information of the ‘expert’ has to be maintained ( The poor guy might be sleeping and then you call him and ask him ‘Where do I put this rod  thing?’ and you all know what would be the answer 🙂  ) Business logic propagated by the likes of Iotum and AiQ would need to play a pivotal role. They probably would need to have a mini search engine within themselves to get the right expert who can provide the right information. Maybe this application could send a mail/IM to the expert saying that this is the question and whether he wants to take the call. ( Equate this with a customer’s data going to a call center agent). Then , there would be a clicktotalk application which would enable me to talk to these experts (voice and even video).  Literally, the world becomes one large call center. Rope in some Martians as well and then we could have an universal call center. These would be the answers to questions 1 and 3. For question 2, it would be pure human psychology. Everybody likes attention and throw in a little bit of praise at the end of the conversation and you would be lining up experts left,right and center.

It is always been the case that the best applications of the Web ( like presence, IM) are being adopted in the telecom world. Let us for a change, take this IVR application from the telecom world to the Web world. It is time to give back.

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4 Responses to “The other way round”

  1. Vijay said

    Take a look at what Yahoo! is talking about as Voice 3.0. Its pretty similar. You are thinking heavily from the telecom sector, whereas their vision is a bit more biased towards the web.

  2. Vijay said

    And that’s the link you should follow:
    http://www.leadstep.com/BusinessBlog/technology/voice_20_voip_ims/voice_30_jeff_bonforte_senior.html

  3. tggokul said

    Thanks Vijay. Will read up on these…

  4. […] by tggokul on February 21st, 2007 I had blogged a couple of months earlier about search coupled with user generated content and how the telecom […]

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