SpeechCycle Launches Platform-as-a-Service Model

SpeechCycle today made available to the general market RPA OnDemand, the company's Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) for powering the next generation of rich phone applications (RPAs) in the contact center and beyond.

RPA OnDemand is a unified platform providing services for the composition, enterprise integration, on-demand delivery, and performance measurement of RPAs. Architected from the ground up, the platform supports three cloud computing models:

  • A pure software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, in which enterprises can log on to services remotely and power their applications from the SpeechCycle data center;
  • A managed on-premises model, for which SpeechCycle will set up a managed service inside a company’s cloud and secure firewall.
  • A hybrid software plus services model, in which RPA OnDemand applications and data are processed in SpeechCycle’s cloud, but accessed via an on-premises interactive voice response (IVR) system.

According to Joseph Bentzel, chief marketing officer at SpeechCycle, with RPA OnDemand, the company’s evolution is mirroring that of salesforce.com when it launched force.com—a platform for building and deploying enterprise applications.

“We’ve had a number of very successful on demand applications that are deployed in high-volume contact center environments, mainly in the telecom market, carrier market,” Bentzel says.  “And under the hood of those applications we’ve built a very robust platform.  And we are making that platform infrastructure available to other [independent software vendors] and to enterprise developers who are looking to find the most rugged platform possible to build next-generation speech and multimodal apps.”

To that end, the RPA OnDemand platform is IVR and voice-hosting independent, which allows contact center and IT executives more choices when developing and selecting speech applications for live deployment.

The five high-level platform components of RPA OnDemand include:

  • RPA Transact: Scalable PaaS foundation that powers rich phone applications and phone-automated transactions on-demand, including multimodal experiences on the new generation of 3G smartphones.
  • RPA Orchestrate: Connectivity framework for dynamic mashup and integration of enterprise application, Web services, and content feeds.
  • RPA Engage: Built-in "phone portal 2.0" framework accurately routes calls to RPA destinations and automatically updates itself based on user interactions.
  • RPA Monitor: Web-based reporting environment that allows for continuous application improvement and "voice of the caller" analytics for IT managers.
  • RPA Compose: Software and services authoring environment for self-learning voice user interface (VUI) composition and on-demand updating of RPAs, including insertion of contextually relevant sponsored messaging.

Bentzel also says RPA OnDemand can be viewed as part of a shift in the speech industry toward hosted solutions. “You’ll see with some of the superpowers—the big companies like Nuance or Convergys or West—they want to control everything, which is everything from where the call lands to the application processing,” he says. “We’re a pure application hosting provider, so we can integrate with any IVR and with any voice hosting environment. We’re agnostic. And we believe that is a growing trend in the market because it gives the customer choice. They’re not locked in to one vendor.”

‘This is a very interesting time in the speech industry because companies like Nuance have been trying to run the whole game,” he adds, noting that RPA OnDemand—which is billed as powering RPAs “in the contact center and beyond”—also addresses the growth of 3G smartphones and online voice searches.

“If you move to where you’re doing a couple of billion voice search transactions a year, you can’t have those transactions landing at a human agent—it will just be too prohibitive,” Bentzel says. “We believe that there will be a new generation of voice search destinations that are what we call rich phone apps—that are connected to back-end apps to be able to do transactions and are very intelligent.”

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