New Look – Quality and Commitment Continue
Philip Fuller, President
VEXIS has a new look – but the same unwavering commitment to quality and service on which we’ve based our business since 1984. Our new look builds on the strength of our history and dedication to excellence, and reflects our vision of the future.
Customer service is the reason we’re here, and we take all of your comments to heart. We are incredibly thankful that so many of you take the time to tell us about the great work our implementation and support teams have done – and continue to do – in support of your VEXIS solutions.
We also appreciate those of you who suggested that our collateral and website were overdue for updates with more information and better navigation. We had to agree, and, while we were at it, decided to take a fresh look at our corporate and product branding, too. And with that, we kicked off the new look and additional pages that we’re pleased to debut today.
There have been other changes this quarter, with the acquisition of Intervoice – and Edify – by Convergys. We have their assurance – and you have our firm commitment – that VEXIS will continue to maintain, support and enhance your Edify and Intervoice solutions.
VEXIS has always designed and delivered solutions with the present and future in mind, and the greater technology landscapes of both the enterprise and contact center as our frame of reference. We believe that solutions can and should be portable, flexible and long-lasting – reflecting the best that the market has to offer. That was our position in 1984, and it remains our steadfast position today.
We look forward to your comments on the new site and our new look, and wish all of you a productive and prosperous 4th quarter.
Introducing VIP™, the VEXIS Interaction Process
Jacob Martin, Director of Operations and Solutions Services
VIP™ is our rigorous methodology we observe to assure the quality, consistency, long life and high return of every solution we deliver. It reflects the breadth and depth of our commitment to meet your business needs with thorough, thoughtful, practical solutions that are easy to use, manage, and extend.
VIP consists of a meticulous set of design, development, testing, deployment, and documentation standards that VEXIS applies no matter where in the process we are engaged. VIP follows published Software Development Life Cycle, Rational Unified Process (RUP), and other Best Practices to produce robust, effective multi-channel Enterprise and Contact Center implementations that deliver service and savings year after year.
VIP has specific rules for each and every one of our 6-point Engagement Plan, each of which can be executed by VEXIS separately or as part of a total solution rollout. In these phases, we:
- Connect – build the VEXIS-Customer partnership and trust, identify and understand your specific business needs
- Analyze – map current resources and capabilities against project needs, risks, and the technology landscape
- Advise – present you recommendations and options in a detailed proposal with a complete Statement of Work
- Deliver – design, develop, integrate, test, review, and install project; train and transfer information and control
- Maintain – offer you a range of services and tools with options that are sized, timed and priced right
- Evolve – tune, extend, enhance, and upgrade to meet new or changing business needs
As always, VEXIS is committed to quality and with your feedback will continuously seek process improvement in all areas of our business including sales, services, technology solutions, and support.
Convergys Acquires Intervoice
Jacob Martin, Director of Operations and Solutions Services
Intervoice, the manufacturer of Edify software, has been aquired by Convergys, the leader in relationship management solutions. This acquisition is about growth—not consolidation. Convergys is committed to delivering, and in fact enhancing, Intervoice’s product roadmap. Intervoice and Convergys clients will continue to have access to industry-leading technology, professional services, and support solutions. Rest assured that there is still an upgrade path and long-term support for Edify/EVIP, and that VEXIS Systems continues to receive top-notch service and support from Edify/Intervoice so that we can provide our customers with outstanding service and support. VEXIS Systems is committed to helping our customers get the most out of their technology investment and will provide services and solutions for any product changes that may be on the horizon.
Heard on the Help Desk
Annual Support Renewals Approaching. As you know, we are coming into the 4th quarter and for many of our customers this means planning and budgeting for the coming year. If you haven’t already, make sure you include your annual license and support. As we approach the end of 2008 it soon will be time to renew your maintenance and support agreements. To assist you, more information will be going out in the coming weeks.
Know Your Vendors. Your IVR/CTI solution is a critical interface to your customers. At VEXIS Systems Support, we often deal with customer issues that are affecting the behavior of an IVR or CTI system, but are outside the scope of the systems themselves. For example, one of our customers had a recent issue with random caller disconnects during transfer. The root cause was a disconnect signal that was being incorrectly sent by the customer’s telephony provider and passed on to the PBX. Several vendors including VEXIS Systems as well as the customer’s staff were involved in locating the solution. Having an updated list of contacts for your vendors can save time and hassles if and when you have a critical issue with your IVR service that falls outside the scope of what VEXIS Systems support staff can troubleshoot and correct. Do you know your phone company’s 24×7 contact? Your PBX manufacturer? Your data source provider? Keep a wallet card or electronic contact list handy at all times with your technology partners, including VEXIS Systems, to ensure that the right people are reachable to get problems resolved as quickly as possible.
VMware. We continue to have customers asking about running their IVR under VMware or other virtualization products. Because virtualization products isolate the server hardware from the virtualized operating system, intermediate drivers for each piece of hardware must be written and supported by the virtualization host manufacturer. To date, no manufacturers have released virtualized drivers for NMS and Dialogic telephony boards and therefore virtualization is not currently possible for an IVR platform. Additionally, licensing issues prevent successful virtualization of ASR (speech reco) and TTS (text-to-speech) servers at this time. If you are considering adding server virtualization to any systems within your infrastructure that interact with your IVR and/or CTI solution (such as a database server), please contact your VEXIS Systems Account Representative or VEXIS Systems support before doing so.
Security and Passwords. Occasionally we have customers change the Windows Edify account password. The Edify services on your system may be controlled by a local machine account or an account on your domain. If this password is changed without updating the Edify services and DCOM configuration on the IVR, the Edify system will not function correctly and will not be able to start after the next reboot. The result is an outage to your customers and an issue that is not typically covered by your VEXIS Systems Support Agreement. VEXIS Systems developed a proven process for integrating changes to the Edify system account and password that can greatly minimize downtime and inconvenience. Contact VEXIS Systems Support or your Account Representative if you require Edify account password maintenance in the future.
Edify Voice Interaction Platform (EVIP) Update
Gary Siftar, Manager of Support
The current Intervoice release is EVIP 10.0. According to the latest information from Intervoice, we expect it to be supported at least until Q1 2010. We now expect Version 10.5, which includes support Nuance 9.0 to ship by October and that the Gemini (V11.0) release will be in 2009. EVIP 10.5 will run under Windows 2003, and will implement some major architecture changes. It will support RealSpeak TTS. Those using Vocalizer or Speechify will need application changes moving to EVIP 10.5 and beyond.
Intervoice / Edify Product Support Plan
End of Sales
End of Maintenance
(End of Patch Support)
End of Support
(No Edify calls after)
* The dates for Edify EVIP 9.x have been extended from their original dates
Richard Wolff, Director of Software Applications
Introducing the Envoy™ soft phone! Now the power of the Envoy server framework can be extended to either a desktop or an enterprise server with equal ease of use! In the last issue the new platform independent Envoy server was highlighted and the advanced architecture was defined as an extensible and scalable data centric framework. The concept of “connectivity components” was briefly covered as well as how the framework’s flexible design allows for one or many connectivity components to be run / accessed simultaneously. In this issue, let’s take a look at how a single connectivity component (referred to as an Envoy “plug in”) can be used by a client of the Envoy framework.
First let us review what a plug in of the Envoy framework is and how it works. Simply put a plug in is a “library” of data access, event escalation, and monitoring routines to a backend system. The Envoy framework loads the plug ins as needed per the configuration – completely under the control of the end user and his or her requirements. So in the example of a Computer Telephony Interface (CTI) plug in, the back end would be a telephony switch, otherwise known as a private branch exchange (PBX). The CTI plug in thus would be capable of sending CTI commands to the backend PBX and receiving events from the PBX. An example of a CTI command is a call control operation such as “transfer call” or “hang up”. An example of a CTI event is a “notification” like the PBX alerting us that a port is “ringing” or an agent status has changed to “ready”. So in the scenario where call control or port / agent monitoring is needed, the Envoy server would be configured to load a CTI plug in to communicate with the PBX.
Now let us move on to the client side of this same CTI scenario. The Envoy soft phone would be used as the graphical “front end” or user interface to the CTI functionality. So in this example, a call center wants all of the agents to be able to control phone functionality from a “soft” phone application running on the desktop machine. The soft phone therefore needs to receive CTI events from the PBX – so the call center agent could visibly be notified that a phone line status is “ringing” for instance, and then the soft phone needs to issue CTI commands to the PBX – so the agent could answer the ringing phone line. So in effect, the soft phone uses all the power and control built into the CTI plug in (running in the Envoy server) from any remote agent desktop! In addition, the same application running on the agent desktop that allows the soft phone to work can be connected to one or many data sources via the Envoy server to coordinate a “screen pop” of relevant data associated with the call when the agent answers the phone.
Sounds great! But how does the soft phone control things in the Envoy server? The Envoy soft phone takes advantage of a common layer (called the Envoy client) to communicate with the Envoy server. The Envoy client is a powerful yet lightweight component built to be used in a thick or thin client application and it can be deployed in Citrix environments as well. The Envoy soft phone can therefore be deployed in the same environments. The Envoy™ client is in fact a library with a very easy to use Application Programming Interface (API). By utilizing the API, a developer can implement a custom user interface; in fact the Envoy soft phone was built using the Envoy client API. Best of all, the Envoy client handles all the complexities of network protocol, message multiplexing, and routing automatically between the Envoy server and client so the application developer only has to concentrate on his or her area of expertise and still control all the power of the Envoy framework through that one same simple API. The Envoy client can run with or without a user interface – so take advantage of the Envoy soft phone or write your own user interface to run on a desktop system. Or just use the Envoy client directly without any front end and use the API to serve as a powerful data conduit between the Envoy server and an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) unit or any other enterprise wide application with data dependencies! The choice is yours and the possibilities are endless.
Sound interesting? Call your VEXIS Account Consultant to learn more about how Envoy can be a powerful solution to making your data convenient to you. You can also visit our website to learn more.
VEXIS Systems Customer Portal Update
Brian Smith, Director of Strategic Initiatives
As part of our continuing effort to provide high quality service and support that is efficient, convenient, and responsive to our valued customers, we have recently deployed the VEXIS Systems “Customer Portal”. Designed with the needs and requirements of our customers in mind, the VEXIS “Customer Portal” is a robust automated system designed to collect and dispatch information regarding a technical support request. Using speech recognition, text to speech, and dynamic Envoy™ state engine technology, the “Customer Portal” identifies which customer is calling based on the telephone number captured and automatically retrieves important support contract and technical support information.
When you have an issue with your IVR or CTI system, we understand that you want to get the right information to the right people as quickly as possible. The “Customer Portal” dynamically adjusts the questions asked based on the data that is already available in your VEXIS account profile and/or existing support incident request. Once your call is completed, the “Customer Portal” utilizes the support incident request along with customer contact information to immediately send an alert to a VEXIS support technician through multiple delivery channels.
The VEXIS “Customer Portal” system empowers customers to easily open support tickets or re-open recently closed support tickets. Customers can initiate the dispatch of a VEXIS support representative 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have the option to open a support request to be handled on the next business day. We often encounter situations where our customers that do not have a 24×7 service contract wish to alert VEXIS of an issue immediately, but only wish to engage support during their maintenance window. With the “Customer Portal”, this is no problem. Anytime day or night, weekdays or weekends, you can call the “Customer Portal” and set the appropriate priority for your support request!
Your organization may not yet have had the opportunity to interact with the “Customer Portal” since it was deployed in late August. If this is the case, we welcome you to take a test drive of the new VEXIS Systems “Customer Portal” today by simply calling 918-663-8080 and saying “Portal Demo”! Then give us your feedback at www.vexis.com/cpsurvey so we can continue to find ways to best serve your technology needs in 2008 and beyond. Your feedback is extremely important to us as we continue to add value to your VEXIS Systems Support Service.
This newsletter is designed to provide you with useful support, technical and key topics of interest to you in a fast and efficient manner.
Let us know what you’re interested in seeing future issues. The goal is to make the results you get reading this as worthwhile as possible for your time.
How to Reach Support
Call 918-663-8080 and say “Support”.
How to Reach Your VEXIS Account Manager
Call 918-663-8080 and say “Sales” or email firstname.lastname@example.org