KM Supplier Looks to Gain in IVR Space

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eGain Communications, long known as a knowledge management software provider, has thrown its hat into an already crowded interactive voice response (IVR) systems 

market with the late-June launch of eGain IVR, a self-service solution.

The software solution is available in two forms:

  • Standard, which includes the eGain CIH (customer interaction hub) platform for handling informational and transactional customer service queries through a common multichannel knowledge base, interaction records, customer database, and integration with back-end systems; and
  • Advanced, which adds a help module that enables interactive dialogues that simulate customer conversations with a human agent—including scenarios for troubleshooting, offering expert advice, cross-selling, and upselling within a service context.

The IVR offering is seen by the company as an addition to a host of existing interaction management capabilities for channels like email, Web self-service, and Web collaboration. These build on top of the company’s common platform, which includes a common set of business objects, workflows, and knowledge-based articles and analytics.

“Now we are adding the IVR, which sort of completes the picture,” says Ashu Roy, CEO of eGain. “The phone is the most important customer care channel—even now. That was an area where we felt our voice self-service product was lacking.”

eGain is offering the suite of services in on-premises or hosted, on-demand options, and also as part of a larger integrated unified communications solution through Cisco Systems, which is reselling the product under its own banner. 

While eGain integrates with products from other providers like Avaya and Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Roy describes the Cisco integration as “far, far deeper.” 

“As a company that’s relatively small compared to the ‘big boys’ in the contact center space, we wanted to work closely with one of the leaders,” Roy explains.

By partnering more closely with Cisco and offering a hearty integrated suite, eGain is able to leverage the name recognition of Cisco—even if it is a new player in the IVR space. “We have a unique advantage in distribution because of the Cisco market presence,” Roy says.

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