Thursday, 19 August 2010 09:46

Nuance Mobile Care to reach Australia soon


Australian mobile phone users should soon have the option of self-service customer care via the screens of their handsets instead of having to use IVR or talk to call centre agents.

Software from Nuance allows a variety of customer care tasks to be delivered via mobile phone screens. For example, a customer ringing a carrier's enquiry line will be able to see account details, new products, etc, as well as having the facility to enable or disable features such as international roaming.

"You'll be able to see it all" without going through the IVR (interactive voice response) system, Nuance's senior vice president for Asia Pacific Jason Stirling told iTWire.

An important point is that customers just dial the normal customer care number and the on-screen system appears. There's no need to run an app, and there's provision for speaking to an agent if preferred.

The software - a central part of Nuance Mobile Care - uses Nuance's patented call intercept technology that came with the company's acquisition of SNAPin. It relies on elements that are built into handsets and mobile networks, explained Stirling. Nuance is working with Nokia, Apple, the Android community and other manufacturers.

Significantly, the system works with feature phones as well as smartphones. Stirling noted that feature phones still account for around 40% of the Australian market.

So how long will it be before Nuance Mobile Care appears in Australia? Please read on.

As previously reported by iTWire (Cellphone screen menus set to replace IVR options) carriers in Europe or the US using Nuance's technology include Vodafone, T-Mobile and Metro PCS.

Stirling described Nuance Mobile Care as a "killer app" for customer care. He said it will be launched to enterprise customers in Australia "soon", and also indicated that it shortly go live at one or more of the major Australian mobile carriers.

Back in March, Daniel Hong, Ovum lead analyst for customer interaction, told iTWire "I am pretty confident that by December this year you will see a major deployment [by an Australian mobile operator]."


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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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