New AS/400 Solution Springs Customers from Voice-Mail Jail

Despite the growing popularity of the Internet , the telephone remains the main component of most company's customer service strategy.

Continuing to add features and enhancements to its interactive voice response (ISP) system for the AS/400, RMTi (Nashua, N.H.) has released RVSvoice 2.03, a system designed to provide users, customers and business partners immediate access to AS/400 data via the phone.

"As the market moves forward, people want more and more ways to access information," says Scott Darling, RMTi's manager of sales and marketing. "We've done that with the latest release of RVSvoice."

A 24X7 customer service application, RVSvoice accesses information from an AS/400 when customers call an 800 number seeking information. The AS/400 processes the information and sends it to a voice system, which is embedded into RVSvoice. The voice system digitizes the information and answers all of the customer's questions.

By utilizing the DTMF codes from local phone companies, RVSvoice 2.03 now supports caller ID. The system identifies caller phone numbers and stores them in an AS/400 database. This way, companies can use the phone numbers for future sales calls or as part of the verification procedure.

Another new feature is call out, which allows the AS/400 to initiate a phone call. Once the phone is answered, a pre-recorded message follows and the system then responds to the caller based on their touch-tone key selections.

RVSvoice 2.03 now supports ILE program languages-ILE RPG, ILE C, ILE COBOL and ILE CL-so companies that have applications written in languages other than RPG can integrate voice command into their applications.

The newest version also includes enhancements that allow the user to customize line utilization. This feature, which RMTi says is used primarily by high-volume sites, allows the user to select which lines are dedicated to specific applications.

RVSvoice is focused on the financial, insurance, medical, shipping and transportation industries-all markets that have high customer service needs. The basic system includes four lines, but companies have the option of purchasing other lines. If all of the lines are tied up, the call goes to a customer service representative.

Darling touts the many benefits of RVSvoice. Besides the 24X7 service it provides, RVSvoice also saves time and money. "A typical call lasts between two to four minutes," says Darling. "And typically the system will pay for itself in less than six months and sometimes as little as three months."