Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal Review: A surprisingly scalable IVR

Anwesha Roy

The platform supports anywhere between 24 and 15,000 ports, ideal for companies of every size

Cisco Reviews
Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal Review: A surprisingly scalable IVR

Today, every company is a customer-centric company and this makes contact centres mission-critical for your business. To improve contact centre operations and streamline its management, Cisco has introduced a robust lineup of cloud-based and on-premise contact centre tools. In this review, we take a look at the Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal, an IVR system that’s bundled with Cisco’s contact centre solutions.

Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal is an interactive voice response (IVR) system that can be integrated with the larger contact centre technology landscape or deployed on a standalone model. It lets you offer customised customer support and improve the quality of experience.

So what are the features that make this happen? Let’s find out.

Inside Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal

IVRs have been a contact centre staple since the metaphorical dawn of time – but they are usually clunky, cookie-cutter application menu trees, which make support services a chore rather than a delight. Enter the Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal! It sims to transform IVR-based service delivery and garner better customer data. Here are its key features:

  • Service customisation – You can configure the IVR for personalised voice and video communications. Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal can be deployed in large-scale environments through a centralised management portal that increases visibility
  • Virtualised voice browser – The platform’s virtualised voice browser (VVB) has multi-lingual support for automatic speech recognition, as well as text-to-speech capabilities. You can transfer calls to an agent while maintaining control on the VVB bridge. Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal comes with natural language semantics, user utterance recording, and QoS support
  • Security – The latest release of Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal introduced several security enhancements, including end-to-end call security, encryption of SIP interfaces, and upgrades of Tomcat and Java environments. Cisco has a solid market reputation for its keen focus on security and it has made no compromise in its IVR offering either
  • Customer virtual assistant – This feature is also called conversational IVR. It allows customers to have human-like interactions for self-service and improves the quality of experience. This is powered by the Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal’s automatic speech recognition, text-to-speech, and artificial intelligence-based features
  • Data collection – Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal offers myriad ways to collect valuable data from the customer. For instance, you can initiate automated post-call surveys, after every self-service session to solicit feedback. It can also process data from your back-office databases, for real-time access to information
  • Application debugging – Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal has built-in application debugging tools to achieve first time right with your IVR deployment. Debugging tools can be integrated with Microsoft’s speech API for a smarter debugging experience
  • Multi-channel competencies – Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal extends customer service beyond the ambit of IVR. You can integrate it with email servers where you store a customer’s IVR inputs, opening up another channel for self-service. There is also SMS support, and simple outbound calling functionalities
  • Management portals – You can manage the Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal through its built-in operations console, as well as integration with the Cisco Analysis Manager. A unified command-line interface delivers diagnostic data such as server health and connectivity

Why Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal Makes a Difference

Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal has virtually everything you can ask of an IVR and more. We particularly liked its email integration features – a must-have in today’s multi-channel customer service landscape. There is a built-in reporting database that can be plugged into third-party tools, generating valuable business reports. Optionally, you could also subscribe to Cisco Unified Intelligence Center for more powerful report generation capabilities.

Finally, Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal is extremely scalable. You could imagine implementations anywhere between 24 ports and 15,000 ports. This is because the solutions Java virtual machine uses  64-bit architecture, making it compatible with as many as 3000 calls per virtual machine.

What We Think

Like most other products, Cisco has hit this one out of the park. It is a compelling offering for enterprises looking to upgrade their IVR – and it also makes sense for small companies with greenfield IVR implementations. The ability to rapidly scale up (or down) and cutting-edge integrations like AI make this an absolute standout in the contact centre landscape.

So if you’re in the market for a new IVR, Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal is definitely worth your time. It has been around for approximately a decade, and promises to go strong in the near future!


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