Startup firm Iovox has unveiled a voice-as-a-service platform intended to allow almost anyone to build and operate a telephony application using a simple web-based interface.
The pay-as-you-go service can be used by companies looking to develop their own customer contact system, for advertising, or for any number of telephony-based applications, Iovox said.
Officially available from today, the Iovox Voice Platform provides a phone number rented from Iovox and a toolkit to build a workflow governing how incoming calls to the number are handled.
Customers do not require any on-site hardware or software, as the service is entirely operated by Iovox, and users control and configure their application via a browser.
"It's like Wordpress for telephony. You can build your own applications and services without having to know how it all works," said Iovox chief executive Ryan Gallagher.
Iovox already has News International and online classified ads service Gumtree as customers.
The concept for Iovox came after Gallagher saw Skype, which also uses the internet to deliver voice services. However, Skype just made telephony cheaper rather than enhancing it, according to Gallagher.
"What we're doing is putting the functionality of the web on top of telephony, making it worth paying for," he said.
This involves providing analytics information on calls, and allowing customers to record and playback calls made to their rented number.
To get started, users just log-in to the Iovox site, create a call project and then define their call flow, according to Iovox.
Customers can define whether callers hear a recorded message, or whether the call gets forwarded, or processed by an interactive voice response handler that lets callers interact via a telephone keypad or by speech recognition.
"It's up to your imagination. What we provide is an application programming interface [API] for telephony," said Gallagher.
Customers signing up to the Iovox service pay up front for a monthly lease on a number, and the company takes a small margin from the call charges, according to Iovox. Access to the APIs and analytics is all included.
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