Invox: Hosted PBX that integrates with core business apps.
Invox Corporation, headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, with a development center in Hyderabad, India, was founded in May 2007, and since that time has developed a number of innovative voice services and applications.
Named for Intelligent Voice, the company was founded on the premise that phone systems are one of the most basic requirements of any business, but the needs of many organizations go far beyond dialtone and calling features. In response to this need, Invox developed a suite of applications that can be tailored to the customers specific requirements, driven by intuitive design tools that enable the business to make necessary changes and updates without the need for any additional programming resources.
These solutions are delivered using a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, which allows the customer to design, configure and deploy their custom application very quicklysomething that the company claims can be accomplished in a number of minutes.
Furthermore, the applications were designed to integrate with a number of widely used business applications and services, including Salesforce.com, Intuit Quickbase, Skype, Authorize.net, and Google Calendar and Google Voice.
These applications have been deployed in a number of industries, including finance, healthcare, clinical research, call center and retail applications.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) applications let the enterprise design both inbound and outbound systems using a visual drag-and-drop designer. This feature lets customers integrate the voice communications system with customer relationship management (CRM) systems, databases, merchant gateways, Web pages, and calendars.
This in turn enables applications such as Payment over Phone (V-cart); CRM Integration,capturing incoming leads and tracking existing customers; for exampleCRM System Access by Voice, including the ability to place a call, send an e-mail, or set a reminder; Intelligent Response Routing, which route calls to the nearest store or dealer location based on zip code; Pay-per-call, which automatically bills the customers debit or credit card for the time spent on the call; Appointment Reminders that notify customers one day or one hour before a scheduled appointment, allowing the customer to confirm, cancel or reschedule by voice; Integration with Google Analytics, which allows call statistics to be viewed online, call logs and Web data to be analyzed; and automated Surveys and Polls, supporting either voice or keypad responses, with the results sent via e-mail or integrated directly with the customers CRM or database system.
The Virtual Call Center application requires no hardware or software, is infinitely scalable, and provides a wide range of customer features, including inbound, outbound, or blended capabilities; voice automation (IVR), CRM integration, Google maps screen pops, conferencing, call recording, automatic dialer, voicemail transcription, and call transfer. The virtual call center is constructed from a visual design interface, which includes a catalog of over 50 components that can then be dropped into a custom workflow. Changes to the system, such as adding extensions, configuring agents, or adjusting call forwarding options can be made using a few mouse clicks. Moreover, the system can work with any voice communication system, including landlines, mobile phones, SIP/VoIP lines and Skype.
The Phone API is a visual designer for voice applications, providing drag and drop capabilities, with modules that include Play Message, which allows users to play raw audio files or turn text into speech; Get Input Node, which prompts the calls using speech recognition or keypad responses; Variable Node, which allows variables to be assigned, incremented or decremented; Conditions, which check for equalities or inequalities; JSON (Java Script Object Notation) I/O, which allows for a seamless connection between the phone system and Web assets; and JSON Grammar, which allows a URL to be queried.
The hosted PBX offering from Invox is named PBX+, and incorporates many of the voice applications that have been described above, including a visual designer that enables the system to be built in minutes; a voice-driven system that includes advanced voice/speech recognition; unlimited call forwarding to Skype and SIP phones; unlimited extensions and extension trees; fax in and out, and fax on demand; alerts that can be created in the workflow, with notifications through instant messaging, e-mail or text message; plus click-to-call functions.
A new voice feature from the company, called Global Call Widget, allows businesses to have their telepresence felt across 40 countries. Callers can dial a local number in their respective areas and connect to the business no matter where that business is located. For example, someone from the UK trying to reach a business in Australia can just call a local number in the UK, reaching Australia without any costs for international calling.
Further information on the Invox solutions can be found at www.invox.com. Our next tutorial will continue our review of various service providers' hosted voice solutions.
Mark A. Miller, P.E. is President of DigiNet Corporation®, a Denver-based consulting engineering firm. He is the author of many books on networking technologies, including Voice over IP Technologies, and Internet Technologies Handbook, both published by John Wiley & Sons.