Network World Fusion (US)

Nortel Networks Corp. has announced an interactive voice response (IVR) server that could help midsize firms deploy customer service features found in the largest call centres.

The Media Processing Server (MPS) 500 could help organizations add a self-service IVR system to their customer service offerings, allowing customers to access information, place orders or make changes to records through speech commands over the phone.

The server would sit in front of a call centre PBX or automatic call distributor (ACD) and tie into back-end customer relationship management (CRM) systems or other databases. This could allow callers to manoeuvre through automated voice prompts and menus with speech commands, instead of pushing telephone dial pad buttons.

Voice commands could be used to handle a wide array of customer service calls, such as confirming the shipment of an ordered product, verifying airline flight information, or other transactions.

The MPS 500 also supports Voice XML, an emerging technology for making Web-based data available through speech commands.

The MPS 500 is the smaller cousin of Nortel’s larger MPS 1000 for large data centres and service providers. The platform works with Nortel PBXs and ACDs, as well as non-Nortel telephony gear.

The MPS 500 will be available in September.