SpeechStorm Customer Etisalat First to Offer Video IVR Services


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- Middle East Telco operator Etisalat is first to offer video customer care services, thanks to Video IVR from SpeechStorm and partner Genesys-

Belfast & London – June 9th , 2009 – SpeechStorm, (www.speechstorm.com), the specialist provider of phone self-service solutions, has today announced that its Middle East based telecommunications client, Etisalat is the first to offer video calling-based customer care services to its 8.5 million Egyptian customers. The solution was delivered in partnership with Genesys.

“Using Video IVR for self-service, customers can see all the options on the display of their mobile phone – no need to listen to complicated audio menus,” said Mohamed Afifi, Businesses Manager of Genesys Telecommunication Laboratories. “And at the push of a button, they can talk face-to-face with Etisalat’s customer service representative.”

SpeechStorm has played a pivotal role by providing the self-service application that greets customers when they access the service. This includes a range of commonly used features such as retrieving the phone un-lock code and getting access to billing and balance information, all available in both in English and Arabic, with the ability for the customer to change his or her language preference instantly on the call. The SpeechStorm application also enables Etisalat to deliver up-to-the minute promotional content, including tariff plan details and current offers in audio and full-motion video.

Damian Kelly is SpeechStorm’s director for Video IVR and comments, “This is a very exciting development in the world of customer care and the benefits it is delivering to Etisalat are considerable. Video IVR is highly intuitive, enables much richer information to be presented and speeds up the customer interaction. Shorter calls mean lower customer service costs and an improved customer experience. And for marketing, the positive brand reinforcement and promotional opportunities are very powerful.” Damian continues, “Users’ expectations of mobile applications are increasing all the time. We’re experiencing huge interest in our Video IVR solutions for customer care, for mobile banking and for interactive advertising. Just as for Etisalat, these applications can deliver significant cost savings, open up new revenue streams and hugely enhance the customer experience.”

Video communication for the first time in the Middle East
Etisalat customers are the first consumers in the Middle East who can see menu choices via video and enjoy better self help and visual technical support. Thanks to these innovations Etisalat has become the fastest accessible GSM contact centre in Egypt with agents available within 23 seconds!

Benefits for customers are considerable. First contact resolution has reached 98 percent: “It means that almost every call is processed to customers’ satisfaction on their first call. The accuracy of answers is very good achieving 97 percent correct – the company is now at 4 sigma level of quality.” said Hatim Badawi from Etisalat

Self-service systems are used with care and logic avoiding unnecessary customer frustration. “For instance dynamic IVR ensures that each segment of customers hears different menu – customer status decides which IVR menu will be applied,” added Hatim. The new technology can also benefit handicapped people: deaf and mute people can be easily served via video calls or video self-service.”

To find out more about SpeechStorm’s Video IVR applications please visit http://www.speechstorm.com/products.aspx or see Notes to Editors attached, What is Video IVR?

About SpeechStorm
SpeechStorm specialises in self-service solutions that manage customer interactions over the phone.

The SpeechStorm portfolio provides a combination of best-fit solutions that give customers the service they want; whether touchtone, SMS, Video or Voice. SpeechStorm transforms the simple phone into a rich interactive tool for accessing content, finding information and interacting with an organisation to fulfil customer requests and optimise customer care goals.

Organisations including Comet, CPP, Dixons Stores Group International (DSGI), SITA Suez, eircom, Meteor and Northern Ireland Electricity rely on SpeechStorm solutions to underpin their business performance and improve the overall customer experience.

Backed by a professional services capability of more than 250 consultants, SpeechStorm is part of Kainos, a leading IT consulting and Systems Integrator. For over 20 years Kainos has been deploying critical customer interaction solutions giving SpeechStorm distinctive edge over most phone self-service specialists. SpeechStorm has offices in the UK and Ireland.

For more information please visit the corporate website on www.speechstorm.com.

About Etisalat
Etisalat is one of the largest mobile operators in the world, ranked the 6th largest company in the Middle East in terms of capitalisation and revenues. Etisalat is renowned for the quality and number of its services, which include mobile and fixed telecommunications, internet and cable television.

Apart from offering the nation 2G mobile communications, Etisalat raised the bar as the first mobile operator in Egypt to introduce 3.5G services in response to the needs of the Egyptian market. The advanced third generation services (3.5G) are the latest in mobile telecommunications, leading to an enhancement of the current voice, messaging and data services. This advanced technology is a merger of communications and multimedia, allowing incredible and unmatched speeds for services such as video conferencing, video and data streaming, internet browsing, emailing, and much more. Etisalat has later launched 3.75G services, offering even more advanced speeds and making video calls and data uploads easier than ever before.

Etisalat is a strong contributor to the Egyptian community. In addition to sponsoring Egyptian football and the national team, Etisalat also strives to become a “citizen” corporation within the Egyptian civic domain, engaged in active and effective practices that support and are a part of corporate social responsibility. For more information please visit http://etisalat.com.eg/

About Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc.
Genesys, an Alcatel-Lucent company, is the only company that focuses 100% on software to manage customer interactions over the phone, web and in e-mail. The Genesys software suite dynamically connects customers with the right resources – self-service or assisted-service – to fulfil customer requests, optimize customer care goals and efficiently use resources. Genesys software directs more than 100 million customer interactions every day for 4,000 companies and government agencies in 80 countries. These companies and agencies can leverage their entire organization, from the contact center to the back office, to improve the overall customer experience. As a result, Genesys helps stop customer frustration, drive efficiency, and accelerate business innovation. For more information, go to http://www.genesyslab.com or visit the industry blog at http://www.betterinteractions.com

Note to editors; Video IVR technology overview provided

What is Video IVR?
Video IVR uses the video calling capability on a 3G phone to deliver interactive, menu driven applications with the benefit of being able to see rather than just hear the options available. This video calling capability, a feature of the vast majority of modern mobile phone handsets, was originally intended for person-to-person video calling, but in many markets, uptake and usage has remained low.

To access a Video IVR application, the user simply makes a video call to a specific number. Instead of seeing another person, however, the user is shown a dynamically generated video stream. This could be a video clip, an information screen or a menu of options to choose from using the handset’s numeric keypad.

To the user, the look and feel is much like that of a well-designed Internet or Kiosk application, enabling rich content delivery and fast interactions, but with no downloads to the phone, no delays and nothing left on the phone after the video call is finished. This makes Video IVR particularly suitable for applications like mobile banking, where security is paramount, and for content delivery, because there are fewer digital rights management issues.

Video IVR also avoids the compatibility issues that plague the mobile Internet, where site design has to cater for a never-ending variety of screen resolutions and dimensions. Because video is part of the GSM standard, Video IVR applications are automatically compatible with, and consistently presented on, all 3G video enabled phones.

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