Nortel Web-Centric Self Service.

Author:Butcher, David R.
Position:Nortel Networks Corp. - Column

What happens when you combine the resources of a hypertext-based information system that distributes nearly everything you'd ever want (or not want) to know--from a recipe for Swamp Water Punch with the Floating Arm of Death (Floating Arm of Death optional) to the record held for Most Smarties Eaten With Chopsticks in Three Minutes (record: 108)--accessing hundreds of search engines and their resulting information with blanket voice processing technologies?

An amalgamation, of sorts, from Nortel Networks aims to alter the way in which enterprises and service providers deliver to their customers secure self-service voice applications through Web pages, allowing information within a Web page to be made available to a range of applications, including voice commands. Through automated self-service and by drawing information from any Web-accessible resource, companies can leverage their existing Web infrastructure for new levels of customer engagement.


Nortel's Web-Centric Self-Service (WCSS) solution uses industry standards and is a convergence of Internet resources and voice processing applications, while still offering all of the core functionality of traditional IVR. It works with popular Web development tools, standard server platforms and desktop platforms to give enterprises and service providers the option to migrate to WCSS capabilities by using multi-vendor platforms and protocols on their present communications infrastructure. Nortel intends for this coalescence of telephony and Web paradigms to enable self-service applications to fully take advantage of investments already made by enterprises and service providers in Web applications.

Using a speech-based caller interface, companies have the ability to implement the WCSS solution and evolve it on their own timetable, phasing the migration of services and preserving the companies' previous hardware investments using the versatile server platforms of WCSS, which support traditional and emerging protocols. You have one of those old-school phones with the spinning dialer? Any telephone can become a voice portal into the Web and activate self-service applications to attain the Web's copious resources, even the most primitive of phones (though a can on string won't work; I tried).

The Key Components

The four key components of Web-Centric Self Service--application processing, application service, management and development--are among a distributed, multi-tiered...

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