Nancy Jamison

Nancy Jamison | May 28, 2009 |


Voxeo Acquires IMified, Strengthening UC & Unified Self-Service

Voxeo Acquires IMified, Strengthening UC & Unified Self-Service Voxeo is filling out their strategy to provide Unified Self-Service.

Voxeo is filling out their strategy to provide Unified Self-Service.

Yesterday's acquisition of IMified greatly enhances Voxeo's UC portfolio, and is a key component in its Unified Self-Service strategy. IMified is the world's largest hosted instant messaging application development and deployment platform, enabling the delivery of automated IM services (also known as IM bots or IM Agents) that work with most of the popular IM platforms, including Google, Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo and Cisco/Jabber. IMified takes the complexity out of building and hosting IM agents by providing developers with an easy to use Platform as a Service (PaaS) API to communicate with any IM network or platform, so they don't have the integration hassles of connecting to multiple proprietary or standard IM platforms. They also don't have the headache of continuously improving on the integration as the PaaS API is continuously improved.The importance of this announcement is that Voxeo is adding instant messaging capabilities to its product portfolio, allowing companies to provide IM to their end users, but also IM capabilities for contact centers as well, which is an important twist on the use of IM. With this acquisition, Voxeo is enabling their 37K plus developer community to easily add IM-based "services" into the contact center and unified communication applications they are developing. The IMified platform allows developers to create IM bots that help with business applications, such as customer service inquiries, surveys, order status, package tracking, and pretty much the same functions as you could provide through a voice portal or live agent. That is the key. Voxeo is filling out their strategy to provide Unified Self-Service, which are self-service applications that you develop once and deploy across multiple channels for customer self-service.

Unified Self-Service is an interesting concept, and is to the contact center what unified communications is to the enterprise. With Unified Self-Service, the "unified" has two meanings. The first is the premise (which the entire contact center industry has embraced) that you should be able to provide customer service across multiple touch points for your customer, so that customers can access and interact with your business in the manner that they are comfortable with. A core principle of this, which not everyone has embraced well, is that all the back-end things that happen when a customer interacts with a business, no matter if its through the web, contact center, IVR, IM or whatever, should provide the same service, access the same databases and be current no matter how the customer gets to the business. So for example, if I do a web transaction, finish, panic that I've forgotten something and call the company, the live agent should have current information based on the web transaction I just made, etc.

The second meaning for "unified" is that a developer should be able to write an application once, and deploy it across multiple channels, not have one group handle the contact center, another developer write the IVR application, and another do IM. Voxeo's mantra is develop once, deploy once, which is as is should be, saving an enterprise a lot of development and integration cost up front.

To date Voxeo has about 37K developers and they have been adding about 8K a year. IMified has 7500 developers, just doing IM applications. Although most of the players in the contact center industry have been adding chat capabilities for awhile, we haven't seen really broad deployment of chat within contact centers, although this is changing. This announcement has the real potential to be an accelerator in this change, in that it is wonderfully cost effective to deploy. Instead of "Hmm, maybe we should add chat to the contact center," you can now add it while developing the other contact center applications with minimal effort and without the high integration cost.

The really beautiful part about these IM services is that they have the potential of being automated or partially automated. Instead of just providing chat with an agent, imagine offloading the tedious part of the customer interaction, such as asking for the customer's account number, product part number or even what their issue or question is, and then handing the interaction off to an agent. Think of it as Interactive Instant Messaging Response instead of Interactive Voice Response. The payback is huge. Just with IM alone, Voxeo states that chat is 1/10 the cost of IVR, which is 1/100th the cost of a live agent call.

The gating factor is still the human one. That is, training the agent to do chat instead of simply taking voice calls. This is the same issue we have had with teaching agents to be both inbound and outbound agents. There is a mind set to changing modes. However, with agents traditionally coming from younger pools of workers--those that nowadays are born texting --this is less of an issue. Plus, on the consumer side, with growing ranks of consumers who also prefer text to voice for interactions, or who think to contact businesses while mobile, this really bodes well for vastly increasing the number of deployments within contact centers.Voxeo is filling out their strategy to provide Unified Self-Service.


March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

February 7, 2018

Enterprises are starting to grasp the critical importance of security and compliance in their team collaboration deployments. And once the risks are mitigated, your enterprise can integrate these n

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.