SAN MATEO (01/28/2000) - Looking to capitalize on the demand for integrated voice-and-data call center applications, ASPs (application service provider) AudioTalk Networks and eFusion last week announced new real-time VOIP (voice over IP) turnkey services. Both services offer hybrid phone and PC access:
PC-to-PC, PC-to-phone, and phone-to-phone.
The offerings highlight the prevalence of call centers among VOIP users, according to one analyst.
"The most common place you're going to see these products is really the call center. This is the ability, when you're browsing the Web page, to chat with the call center agent and even see them live via the Internet," said Brian Strachman, an analyst at Cahners In-Stat Group.
The vendors claim that, with VoIP, e-businesses can improve their customers' experiences by improving their conversion rates and potentially turning browsers into buyers.
Audiotalk's VOIP service, so-called click-to-talk, is used for Web-based training through CyberClass, an educational provider for corporations and educational institutions. eFusion's turnkey service, Push to Talk, is used by ISPs, e-businesses, and telecommunications companies such as France Telecom.
"Telephony is distance sensitive; we're making it insensitive," said Ajit Pendse, chairman and CEO of e-Fusion.
"The real trick is to integrate this technology with the existing proprietary voice technology that exists within many contact centers today," Strachman noted.
Both AudioTalk and eFusion's turnkey services employ industry standards-based architectures, according to officials at both companies.
AudioTalk Networks Inc., in Mountain View, Calif, is at www.audiotalk.com. eFusion Inc., in Beaverton, Ore., is at www.efusion.com.
VOIP options resound
* Works through firewalls
* For call centers, e-commerce enterprises, distance learning, e-mail, live chat* Requires download of thin clienteFusion* Direct call, or real-time text session* For ISPs, e-commerce enterprises, network service providers* No client download.