Nov. 30, 2006 By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Chances are, if you are a consumer and have used the phone to contact a company with which you do business, you may have encountered VoiceXML. Not sure? If you have called AT&T’s (News – Alert) toll-free directory assistance or Cingular’s Voice Connect, General Motors Onstar or E-trade, all of these organizations are utilizing VoiceXML in an effort to better serve their customers.
Based on the Worldwide Web Consortium’s (W3C’s) Extensible Markup Language (XML), VoiceXML uses speech recognition and/or touchtone (DTMF keypad) for input, and pre-recorded audio and text-to-speech synthesis (TTS) for output. The technology is quickly surpassing proprietary IVR as it is considered faster, available in reusable and off-the-shelf applications, less expensive and easily integrated.
The cost savings associated with VoiceXML is one of the biggest draws to the technology. It is less expensive than traditional IVR, due in part to that fact that IVR requires a second silo infrastructure from existing Web infrastructure while VoiceXML does not. This difference can save organizations a considerable amount of capital when the commercial Web team can also manage the IVR application, instead of having separate Web and IVR development teams.