July 10, 2012 09:15 ET

Voxeo Launches "Zombie IVR" Campaign to Underscore How "Talking-Dead" Self-Service Platforms Continue to Suck the Life Out of Customer Satisfaction

ORLANDO, FL--(Marketwire - Jul 10, 2012) -  As customer expectations of how companies interact with them continue to rise, so too do frustration levels with the thousands of out-of-date end-of-life systems that trap callers in "interactive voice response (IVR) hell." To fight off these "talking dead" IVR systems, Voxeo, the leading provider of Unlocked Communications™, today is launching a campaign to showcase how fast, easy and cost-effective it can be to migrate away from outdated IVR systems to a flexible, standards-based solution with the ability to adapt to customers' heightened expectations and changing preferences, including the demand for mobile and social interactions. 

Voxeo has branded out-of-date systems that frustrate customers as "Zombie IVR." They greet your customers with unhelpful, one-size-fits-all menu options, insist their options "have recently changed" when they actually haven't been updated in years, and require customers to enter their account numbers -- only to be asked for them again when they give up and transfer to an agent for help. These Zombie IVRs are unable to understand or adapt to the customer's needs and merely drone on like the "talking dead" to infect the caller, who is more likely than ever to take his or her complaints to social channels and worse, shuffle off, zombified, to do business elsewhere. 

Even with these glaring weaknesses, companies have legitimate reservations about upgrading their Zombie IVR systems. The perceived cost and potential downtime are often major roadblocks to migrating, as is the risk of migrating from one inflexible, no-longer-supported platform to another. Voxeo's Zombie IVR campaign showcases the true cost of migrating to a best-in-class system and the importance of building that new system on open standards that ensure flexibility and portability for the future.

"Legacy and end-of-life systems put companies at a significant competitive disadvantage," said Ashif Dhanani, vice president of marketing for Voxeo. "Additionally, the opportunity costs of an inflexible system that makes it time-consuming, expensive or impossible to add features that drive customer loyalty and revenue, like multi-channel self-service, voice biometrics, location-based services and personalization, must be considered."

While the total cost of ownership of aging, legacy Zombie IVR systems continues to rise, Voxeo's VoiceObjects has been proven to save customers up to 80% in maintenance and lifecycle management costs. To speed up the migration process and keep costs down, Voxeo and its partners have a variety of tools that ease conversion from common platforms like Edify, Intervoice and Nortel, which have been demonstrated to automate the conversion of up to 95% of old code to Voxeo VoiceObjects.

"It's critical to recognize that many platform providers claim openness, but use proprietary development tools and tags to maintain ownership of your application," added Dhanani. "We have built our company on the philosophy of being 100% standards-compliant and unlocked at every layer, so our clients avoid the pitfalls of being locked into a platform and applications that keep them, their staff and their budget slaves to the technology."

Voxeo's architecture is based entirely on open standards such as VoiceXML 2.0 and 2.1, CCXML, SIP, MRCP and SSML. And unlike other vendors, Voxeo offers deployment flexibility, delivering both hosted cloud and on-premise options with the ability to easily move from one to the other or leverage a hybrid combination of the models.

For a humorous example of IVR at its worst, check out the Voxeo Zombie IVR Demo at 585-4-ZOMBIE (585-496-6243). This system underscores some of the most critical flaws that could be found in a deprecated, neglected IVR system. 

"But just because an IVR system has an absence of critical errors doesn't mean a company should be lulled into complacency," said Dhanani. "There is incredible opportunity cost when end-of-life systems can't cohesively communicate with customers through multiple channels such as text, mobile web and social media. Your customers are there... it's up to you whether your company chooses to keep up."

Visit to learn more about how simple, fast and cost-effective migrating to a standards-based, future-proof self-service platform can be. Companies can also sign up for a free Migration Assessment on the site. 

About Voxeo
Voxeo unlocks communications. We loathe the locks that make voice, SMS, instant messaging, Twitter, web chat, mobile web, unified communications and self-service applications difficult to create, manage, analyze, optimize and afford. Every day we work to unlock the neglected value of these communications solutions with open standards, disruptive innovation and a passion for problem solving -- fueled by a company-wide obsession with customer success. We do so for more than 250,000 developers, 45,000 companies and half of the Fortune 100 from our headquarters in Orlando, Beijing, Cologne, and London. Visit us or join our conversations on the web at, or

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