WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) was created in the mid 90′s to allow mobile phone users to access and interact with text-based information. WAP is based on cellular data technology and WML, an HTML-like markup language. WAP gained popularity during the Internet era, but has since been mired in a variety of usability and technical limitations. XVR (XML Voice Response) is the marriage of traditional voice phone calls, automated Interactive Voice Response applications, voice recognition, and XML technology. XVR provides comfortable, anytime, anywhere access to information from any telephone. XVR solutions marry proven technologies used by thousands of companies over the last 20 years with new XML languages such as VoiceXML and CCXML.
The XVR Advantage
WAP application usability is significantly restricted by the limitations of small cell phone screens and numeric cell phone keypads. These restrictions force WAP applications to be broken into a series of small pages, each containing limited information or options. Plus, due to limited cell phone / WAP bandwidth, delays of over 5 seconds per page are common.
For example, a WAP weather application may need to display one page for the user to select a country, another for a state, and at least one more for the city. In total these screens may add up to over 20 seconds of delay.
XVR applications, in contrast, use recorded audio prompts and voice recognition to convey and gather information without delay. Audio prompts can quickly guide users through thousands of options.
Using the prior example, an XVR weather application can quickly prompt a user to “Say the city and state you’d like the weather for”, and the user can just as quickly reply “Orlando, Florida”. The speed and experience is identical to that of a standard telephone conversation.
WAP is designed for mobile phones. Further WAP applications are only available on mobile phones that support WAP and to cellular customers who have chosen to add premium WAP services to their cellular plan. Your investment in the creation and deployment of WAP application cannot be utilized from work phones, home phones, pay phones, or non-WAP cell phones. In stark contrast, XVR applications work from absolutely any phone – at any time.
Several states have passed laws requiring “hands-free” use of cell phones while driving. WAP applications cannot be hands-free as they require users to look at a screen and enter information via the keypad. If you do choose to offer WAP applications, you should consider displaying a warning against use of the applications while driving to avoid potential liability. XVR applications also satisfy hands-free requirements, as they work with existing cell phone headsets and in-car speaker phones.
While WAP applications – and the WAP development experience – can only be used by a limited market of WAP enabled mobile phones, XVR applications can be used anywhere workers and customers interact via telephone.
XVR applications go way beyond mobile access to web information. XVR applications can be used to:
- Automate common calls to call centers
- Provide automated “virtual receptionist” call routing
- Automate common calls to customers
- Gather sales leads or order information
- Provide order status and tracking information
- . . . and more!
In short, XVR applications and the XVR development experience extend throughout the enterprise.
Interactive Voice Response and Voice Recognition – the foundation of XVR solutions – have proven ROI. IVR and Voice Recognition have demonstrated a history of saving many companies – including Amtrak, AT&T, and Charles Schwab – millions of dollars a year. In contrast, WAP has a relatively unproven ROI and is quickly being eclipsed by XVR and 3rd generation wireless technologies.
XVR and Voxeo
Voxeo is the leading provider of XML-based voice reponse platforms and hosting. By leveraging our Evolution developer site, Prophecy IVR Platform, Prophecy IVR Hosting, and highly responsive support team, you can quickly create and deploy XVR applications with your existing Web infrastructure and developers.