Wednesday, October 26, 2005

One really cool application

One of the things I'm afraid of is that I'm full of sh*t. I mean, I'm not pulling a fast one on anybody intentionally, but predicting the future is a tricky business. As a former CTO, and as a whatever-I-am now, I make a lot of statements about how I think the world is, and where it's going, and there's always this voice in the back of my head that says "Are you really sure about that?"

My biggest gut wrenching comes when I talk about next generation voice applications. I've been saying, as have many others, that next generation applications are going to be important, and will drive service providers. The voice inside my head screams "Prove it."

So, here's some proof, and maybe the voices will stop. (Maybe I should just up the dosage on my medication, too.) I met with a company at the Internet Telephony show yesterday called SIVOX ( that makes a call agent performance suite. It's an application that trains call agents using real time simulations. Their customer (I think it was SBC) has hundreds of scenarios designed to train the people that answer their phones. The one I heard was an irate customer calling into a health care company. The application comes with an agent screen to tell you what to say, like, "I'm sorry to hear that, sir. Could you please give me you social security number, and I'll look it up?" If you don't say the right thing, an integrated speech recognition engine will detect it, and a talking head (called a coach) will tell you what to do. At the end, you get scored.

Now, isn't that a cool application? It's a perfect example, because it relies so heavily on computer/telephone/human interaction. This is the second cool application I've found around the training space. So, I know that, at least for this vertical, next generation applications will be important. So, shut up voices. I said shut up!!!!

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