[label type=”important”]Mobile User[/label]
Personal Communication Agents
Personal communication agents leverage the power of Computer Telephony to help people stay in touch. Functioning like an electronic assistant, personal communication agents can screen and forward calls based on a user’s itinerary and instructions. For example, a user may elect to have calls that are received between 8 AM and 9AM, and 11AM and 1PM forwarded to a car phone; calls that are received between 9AM and 11AM are forwarded to a pager number; and calls received after 1PM are forwarded to the office phone. They may also allow users to use an electronic phone book and place calls from different locations while automatically compensating for changes in area, city, and country codes. The user interface for personal communication agents has typically used voice prompts and touch tone digit input, but more and more systems are making use of technologies such as automatic speech recognition (ASR) to provide a more efficient and natural voice interface, which is key for mobile users.
Voice dialing is one of many voice-activated services that rely upon automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology to perform tasks for users. With voice dialing, callers may either speak the number they want dialed (nine-one-one-…), or they may use a pre-set phone number alias (call home). Voice dialing systems may also use a voice-print (based on how a person speaks a key word) in place of touch tone access codes, providing a higher level of security for callers who are traveling. While voice dialing is extremely valuable for people who are using wireless services, this natural user interface is also a valuable feature in solutions aimed at wireline users.
[label type=”important”]Non-Profit Organizations[/label]
Out-dialing applications can remind contributors to fulfill their pledges. Database lookups can tell in-bound callers the total of their yearly contributions for tax-deduction purposes, and fax out a hard copy confirmation on request. Contributors can call in to a publicized number through an automated system that accepts credit card numbers. Callers may direct their contributions to a specific purpose from a menu of projects supported by the organization. Audiotex messages can tell callers about the need for specific contributions, the status of funded projects, and the fundraising drive itself.
A dial-in IVR can inform callers about upcoming events, such as meetings, bake sales, car washes, rallies, and ongoing activities.
[label type=”important”]Power Utilities[/label]
Power companies receive thousands of calls whenever a power outage occurs. The volume of calls prevents emergency calls from getting through. A Computer Telephony system answers these calls automatically, identifies the calling exchange as being in the affected area (using ANI), and plays a recorded message.
In the event of an emergency such as a flood or accident at a power plant, a Computer Telephony system places calls to many numbers simultaneously and delivers a recorded message, including evacuation procedures.