Speech-Enabled Self-Service Solutions Provider Voxify Gets $15 Million in Venture Capital
February 14, 2008
Voxify, which offers speech-enabled self-service solutions for the contact center industry, has received $15 million in venture capital which it will use to expand its already-impressive portfolio of solutions as well as to boost its partner ecosystem.
Leading the funding round is new investor Intel Capital, along with existing investors El Dorado Ventures, Palomar Ventures and Sigma Partners.
Voxify’s self-service solutions -- which it dubs “automated agents” -- employ advanced speech recognition software which facilitates natural dialog with callers. These customize-able and easy-to-manage
automated systems are available on both a hosted (i.e. managed) or on-premise basis.
The company has an impressive client roster spanning a range of industries, from online retail and catalog, to travel and hospitality, to healthcare, to financial services, to entertainment. Customers include Frederick's of Hollywood, LeapFrog, Safeway, Webloyalty, Hammacher Schlemmer, ProFlowers, NFL Shop, Rite Aid Pharmacies, Acurian, Aer Lingus, CanJet Airlines, Continental Airlines, Priceline, World Choice Travel, TicketsWest and other well known brands.
These clients are reaping the benefits of automating their customer service systems – not solely for the purpose of saving on labor costs, but rather because Voxify’s self-serve solutions boost customer satisfaction by “empowering” customers, by putting them in control of the outcome of their interaction, whether informational or transactional. By using these self-serve solutions to handle simpler, smaller, and often more abundant transactions which are easy to automate, organizations can save their live agents for more complex, and often higher-value transactions where the human element is more needed. So, by blending speech-enabled self-serve solutions with personalized service from live agents, these clients are not only realizing significant operational efficiencies, but they’re also increasing customer loyalty and boosting profits.
“Our customers and partners have embraced the Voxify solutions because the rapid and successful deployments have led to game-changing enterprise capabilities,” said John Gengarella, Voxify CEO, in a press release. “2007 was an exceptional year of growth for Voxify and we plan to leverage this funding to continue to invest in the products and partnerships which enabled this growth.”
“We feel that self-service is a driver of growth throughout the global customer service industry,” added Jon Kruse, investment manager, Intel Capital. “Voxify has earned industry-leading customers and an impressive partner ecosystem that allows a distinct advantage in this market segment.”
Daniel Hong, lead analyst for Customer Interaction Technology at Datamonitor, said in the release that Voxify “has shown forward thinking innovation with its new interactive outbound calling
application and its embrace of new deployment paradigms for ‘managed services’ in the enterprise, which is a highly accepted service model and represents the fastest growing area of the enterprise network speech industry today.”
Voxify last made news on ContactCenterSolutions in November when it announced
that it is now offering a “hybrid” on-premise/hosted deployment option with overflow capabilities to its customers. The new on-premise/hosted (i.e.managed) is ideal for contact centers seeking ways to handle planned or unplanned spikes in call volume without having to hire additional agents for the short term or go to contract with a third party outsourcers. This overflow capability brings a huge advantage to the contact center, simply because it is near impossible to “lease” huge number of agents for a very short time frame, yet many centers can experience huge pikes and fluctuations in call volume which can be hard to predict or plan for. Voxify’s automated agents – which are ideal for advanced call routing
purposes - enable contact centers to handle large numbers of calls arriving nearly simultaneously. The other huge advantage of this new “hybrid” deployment model is the redundancy factor. Should one of your company’s servers fail, or should you happen to experience a huge and unexpected spike in call volume, the hybrid system can “failover” to the remote, or hosted system and your call center’s automated agents can continue to deliver self-service without skipping a beat.
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Patrick Barnardis Associate Editor for Customer Inter@ction Solutions magazine and Assignment Editor for ContactCenterSolutions. To read more of Patrick’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for ContactCenterSolutions here.