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Forum Index » Proactive Outreach Manager » POM traverse through third party IVR   XML
 
Author Message
Myvizhi.Vijayakumar



Joined: 21/05/2014 00:29:32
Messages: 9
Offline

Team,

We have a requirement to traverse the third party IVR flows via POM outbound campaign. When we give the third party inbound IVR number (TFN/DID) as contact phone number in POM contact list, POM should send DTMF digits/traverse through the third party IVR application. Is that possible in POM and kindly help us here!

Also, we are getting completion code as "Answer machine" when we give any third party IVR numbers.
GlenTaylor2



Joined: 09/03/2017 08:09:24
Messages: 11
Offline

You should be able to do what you are describing but it will require a custom application and it may still be a bit tricky. The first thing to recognize is that POM is basically an "IVR that calls a number" instead of an IVR that takes calls. That means that the VoiceXML application invoked by POM can be any IVR application that can be created for the Experience Portal. Assuming you can create an application that can successfully navigate those third party IVR flows, then POM can use that application. Also, if there are multiple IVR flows to navigate, your custom application will have to be able to tell which IVR flow it has to navigate and then do the "correct" things. Although the custom application part will be tricky, there are also the following potential issues.



You should not be surprised that POM classifies the IVR interactions as AM. It is correctly determining that a non-human device answered the call and separating that from a person answering. Since POM makes it easy to do different things for AH and AM, that is actually in your favor. You can have your AH VoiceXML application be different from the "custom" AM application. If this is an agent-based campaign, the AH calls will go to agents and the AM calls will go to your custom app.



There are two cases where you may still have some hurdles to jump. If the campaign is an agent-based campaign and you want the custom application to "navigate" the third party menu tree FOR the agent, I'm not sure how to best do that. Your custom application could transfer to an agent, but that's a slower way to get to an agent than when POM immediately connects an agent to an AH condition.



The second challenge I see is if you need to leave a simple answering machine message on regular answering machines but do the more complicated navigation of third party IVRs. Since you will have to figure out some way to have your custom application know WHICH IVR flow to follow, it may be possible to have it recognize that it was invoked for an answering device that isn't an IVR and to simply play an answering machine message.



Hope this helps and good luck.


__________________________
GLEN A. TAYLOR | Solutions Architect
Interactive Northwest, Inc.
Myvizhi.Vijayakumar



Joined: 21/05/2014 00:29:32
Messages: 9
Offline

Thank you so much Taylor for the deatiled answer. I agree on the challenges which you have mentioned below on differentiating IVR vs simple answering machine. But, can you help me on how to navigate the third party IVR flows (can be any IVR flow like insurance company, banking IVR and not hosted in EP). As POM can invoke the custom EP IVR application when answering machine is detected, would like to know how to send dtmf digits/traverse the third party IVR flows from the custom IVR application. Since its third party IVR, is it possible to recognize the options played by that IVR and send corresponding dtmf digits as input from the custom POM application.


Really appreciate your help on this!
GlenTaylor2



Joined: 09/03/2017 08:09:24
Messages: 11
Offline

I'm not sure how much additional help I will be able to give (and in this open forum). You haven't really described your use case in sufficient detail to give other "general" pointers. When the POM campaign reaches an IVR, what is it trying to do? Leave a message? Navigate a "menu" and then connect an agent? These can make a difference in how likely you are to be successful. Also, if you are asking to be able to navigate any arbitrary IVR callflow, that is probably not even theoretically possible to do reliably.


Having one IVR interact with another IVR is always difficult. I know; I've had decades of experience here. In 1989, I put the original AT&T Conversant IVR into the AT&T network to achieve a specific effect. In that case, I was able to persuade the "network IVR" to include DTMF tones in its announcements so that the interaction between the two IVRs was DTMF to DTMF. You won't be able to do that. Using ASR to recognize specific prompts and then sending specific DTMF tones or tone sequences will be difficult -- not necessarily impossible, but difficult.


With regard to how an EP VoiceXML application would send DTMF tones, that should be covered in the developer's guide. In the original Voice Portal, there was no feature to generate tones, but I believe that was added over the years at some point. Prior to that, people recorded DTMF tones and played them as .WAV files. If you end up backed into that corner, be sure that you get accurate DTMF tones generated and then stored as the .WAV files. The specifications for DTMF are quite precise and simply trying to record a device while you press tones is likely to result in recordings that are either not recognized by the IVR's DTMF receiver or not always recognized.


Again, good luck.


__________________________
GLEN A. TAYLOR | Solutions Architect
Interactive Northwest, Inc.
Myvizhi.Vijayakumar



Joined: 21/05/2014 00:29:32
Messages: 9
Offline

Hi,

My use case is when POM campaign dials to a contact (can be IVR number/phone number), POM has to identify its a IVR number (third party IVR). On identifying its a IVR number, POM should be able to recognize the options played by that IVR and provide inputs accordingly. I understand from your answer that recognizing specific prompts and sending DTMF tones will be difficult. But, thought of checking the feasibility to achieve this use case. Again, as you mentioned differentiating IVR vs simple answering machine also one more challenge as we will be getting completion code as "Answer Machine" for both IVR number and answering machine.

Thank you so much for your answers!
GlenTaylor2



Joined: 09/03/2017 08:09:24
Messages: 11
Offline

Thanks for providing a bit more information, but I think we need to take a slightly different direction with this thread. I broke my first rule in my answers so far. As a software architect, for decades when someone asks me "How do I do X?" my response has been "What are you trying to accomplish?" Although "doing X" may turn out to be the best and most efficient means of accomplishing the goal, it is always best to first understand the goal. Then it is possible to suggest the best solution path, and if X is the best method then at least the description can be tailored to the final goal.


What is the purpose of this POM campaign? It is quite unusual for a POM campaign to call both end users (regular phone numbers) and businesses (I assume that any IVR must be a business number since individuals don't have their personal numbers answered by IVRs). IVR applications typically provide self-service or more commonly menus that direct a caller to the correct agent group. I am going to assume that the purpose for POM to call an IVR would be to navigate to an agent. Is that correct?


Since we are talking about voice calls, POM will either be doing automated voice calling or agent-based calling. Is this POM campaign automated voice or agent-based?


If you can provide an understanding of what this POM campaign is and what it is trying to do, then I may have a few more suggestions. Just realize that calling any ARBITRARY IVR application, listening to and understanding the menu prompts, responding with DTMF to navigate to an end state (self-service or agent) is probably not possible. IVR "intelligence" is not sufficiently advanced that it can successfully recognize AND UNDERSTAND, arbitrary recorded prompts. Some of the cloud ASR providers have very powerful recognition of fairly unconstrained speech. But, "understanding" and interpreting the recognized text is not as advanced. AI machine learning is a mechanism for extracting well developed patterns from input such as the recognized text from a SLM speech recognizer. I'm unaware that anyone has successfully trained an "intent" model that would handle typical IVR menus. That's what would be required to navigate ARBITRARY IVR menu trees.


__________________________
GLEN A. TAYLOR | Solutions Architect
Interactive Northwest, Inc.
 
 
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