March 7, 2021
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The Next Generation Customer Communication Platform

  • By Jonathan Eisenzopf
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Companies will begin deploying multi-model applications

Multi-model applications provide access to multiple devices. For example, a new account management application may be accessible from a Web browser, WAP phone and telephone. The wireless revolution that started building steam in 2000 didn't provide the ground-breaking consumer adoption that some expected. That was due in part to the limiting factors of a telephone keypad as an input mechanism. Nevertheless, companies are increasingly deploying Web applications that are also accessible from cell phones, PDAs and two-way messaging devices like the RIM Blackberry. 

  The technique of designing and implementing multi-model applications has been around for a few years and is now being extended to the telephone through VoiceXML. Technology vendors including Oracle, HP, Microsoft, IBM and Motorola have also been supporting this trend by providing consolidated development tools that can output interface files for the Web, wireless devices and telephones.

As the discipline of multi-model application development becomes more widely used, companies will begin seeking new ways of extending their enterprise applications to new devices. A natural extension from the Web is the telephone, because of its ubiquitous 

What the future may bring

The days of maintaining telephone support separate from Web and email support are numbered. Companies like Cisco and WorldCom are forging ahead with a product vision that integrates customer communication channels into a single platform running on an IP network. Furthermore, with the insurgence of multi-model applications, the quality and consistency of business/customer communications may see a significant improvement in the coming years. These new developments will provide additional ways for companies to improve customer support while reducing the cost and complexity of managing multiple customer communication channels.

About Jonathan Eisenzopf

Jonathan is a member of the Ferrum Group, LLC  which specializes in Voice Web consulting and training. He has also written articles for other online and print publications including WebReference.com and WDVL.com. Feel free to send an email to eisen@ferrumgroup.com regarding questions or comments about the VoiceXML Strategy series, or for more information about training and consulting services.

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This article was originally published on December 7, 2002

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