CA 93110 USA
Client-Server Model Used in Interactive Voice Response Systems
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used to be the only time you got recordings over the phone was
when you called for the time. Then movie theaters got answering
machines to announce show times. Now that the technology has
grown in sophistication, we've grown accustomed to interactive
voice response systems in banking, stock purchasing, order processing,
and a host of other applications.
US company staying on the leading edge of providing interactive
voice response specializes in information systems for the human
resource management functions of major corporations. One of their
applications can do the work of many telephone operators repeatedly
helping employees check, update or modify their benefits packages.
The heart of their system is their specially designed
voice processor. It includes digital signal processing to provide
analog to digital conversion, turning touch tones into commands
which can then be sent to applications running on PC computers.
the voice processor is the heart of their system and excels as
a specific purpose machine, the computer is the soul of their
solution, running the voice response applications. Software development
tools, project management systems and email were some of the
reasons to work with a two-computer scenario. The firm uses interface
cards from Quadron to link the two machines and their senior
development engineer discovered tools from Quadron Corporation
to get the most out of them.
products turn my interface adapters into multi-processing, multi-port
cards," he says. "The interactive voice module uses
ports as terminal emulators. At the same time, voice processing
uses the ports for data transport. These are both linked to a
communications DLL that manages port availability and selection.
Without Quadron's qCF, we couldn't run all of those on the same
card at the same time. And because I can use DLLs, I can save
the memory I need for traffic."
firm is further relieved of some of the low-level bit management
by using Quadron programming tools. "Their qCF lets me write
faster because I can use standard C calls, it handles memory
and task management, and does all the I/O buffering."
together, their system is a true client / server system, with
a three-tiered processing model. The end-user application runs
on the computer; the signal processing is handled by their voice
processor; and the communications between them is managed by
the CPU found on the card. The results are so impressive that
companies using voice response systems are able to pass their
savings along and charge less per electronic transaction than
get so excited about voice response, we have to remind them to
add a choice to speak to a person," says their senior engineer.
"Voice response can take action on any directed task and
can answer a surprisingly large number of questions, but it can't
keep up with how fast people can make up new ones."