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Interactive Voice Response Systems

What is Interactive Voice Response System (IVR)?

IVR - short for Interactive Voice Response, is a phone technology that allows a computer to detect voice and touch tones using a normal phone call to automate interaction with telephone callers. Most people are familiar with IVR applications. These applications allow users to retrieve information such as bank balances, flight schedules, and movie show times from any telephone. These systems include :

  • Information retrieval eg billing and product information
  • Customer Contact center
  • Telephone Survey
  • Package Tracking
  • Ships arrival or aircraft arrival schedule
  • Telesales
  • 1800 toll free applications
  • 1900 premium service applications

Hosted Interactive Voice Response System (IVR)

Traditionally, IVR applications were created and deployed on expensive platforms that require complex back end integration , high capital expenditure and high maintenance cost. With the reliable IP connection of the internet, we are now able to offer Hosted IVRs at a fraction of the cost and maintenance of owning one.

Instead of hosting the IVR at the customer's location, our hosted IVR is located in a reliable data center with digital ISDN E1 (30 channels) telephone lines and dedicated internet access. The ISDN lines allow for sharing of telephone circuits amongst customers to enjoy the full features of the digital telephone lines without paying for it. With up to 1000 direct numbers available on each ISDN line, many different applications for different purposes may be shared on the same line. On the other end, a dedicated internet access allows for strong connectivity to customer's databases or webpages located anywhere in the world.

When a caller for Customer A is received, the IVR may be prompted to retrieve data from Customer A's database via the internet. Once the necessary information is retrieved, this information is played back to the caller. In this manner, information may be retrieved from any database or web server via the internet.













Why Hosted IVR Against In-House IVR?

In-House IVR


Hosted IVR
  • High initial investment cost


  • Very Low start-up cost
  • Capital expense


  • Rental Operation Expense
  • Require substantial infrastructure cost eg ISDN lines, data center


  • No investment on this required
  • Require expensive technical support


  • Expertise is provided by us
  • High Annual maintenance contracts to support hardware and vendor support


  • Covered in monthly fee
  • Scalable at high investment cost


  • Easy Scalability










Vanguard Networks Hosted IVR Infrastructure Setup

To support a 24 x 7 available IVR system, we have setup a fully redundant infrastructure to support our Hosted IVR services. Our infrastructure includes the following :

a. ISDN 30 lines from both Singtel and Starhub

b. Equipment hosted in a full fledge data center (Equinix Data Center) with redundant power supply and air-conditioning.

c. Internet bandwidth in excess of 10mbps

d. 3 units of IVR capable of supporting up to 240 channels of concurrent calls each. Incoming calls are routed to at least 2 IVRs for load balancing and redundancy



Case Studay for Mobile Content Provider

XDM Pte Ltd, a mobile content developer and provider, receives numerous customer support calls on a daily basis. The customer support officers (CSO) would receive customer phone calls and thereafter access their database system to check the subscription status of the caller. The CSO would then make necessary adjustments to the subscription status depending on the caller’s request. Due to increasing number of subscribers, the number of callers had increased significantly. XDM was contemplating hiring more support staff to handle the number of calls.

After discussing with our consultants and understanding XDM's process, we proposed using our Hosted IVR application to reduce the amount of calls that the customer service officers need to take. XDM customers would now call a dedicated access number in our Hosted IVR system. The automated response would verify the caller’s identity with XDM’s subscriber database hosted in their own datacenter. After verification, the IVR would provide subscriber status information to the caller and allow the caller to make changes to its subscription via the touch tone panel on the caller's phone. All this while, the CSO is not required to talk to the caller. Nevertheless, the IVR has also provided an option to allow the caller to talk to the CSO if he or she wishes. In this way, a full customer support experience is not compromised. In most cases, the calls were handled by the hosted IVR without the intervention of the CSO.

Our Hosted IVR service helped XDM to reduce the amount of time required for the customer support officer to talk to the caller directly hence freeing her more time for other tasks. The end result was that XDM did not have to hire more headcount and the existing CSOs have more time to do other tasks.

Note : At the request of the client, the real name of XDM was not used.


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