IVR-Link is the interface between the ICM and Voice Response Units. The interface allows an ICM Peripheral Gateway to collect data from a VRU for use in call routing, real time monitoring, and historical reporting. The interface also allows the VRU to make use of the ICM's call routing function to select the target for a call being transferred. The Service Control interface will allow an ICM script to provide call-handling instructions to the VRU.
The interface is not specific to a particular VRU type or manufacturer. Instead, the interface is based on a generic VRU model. To interface a particular VRU to the ICM, the VRU must be programmed to meet the interface in this specification.
The ICM / VRU interface is divided into two major sections. The communications interfaces define low level conventions and protocols necessary to establish, maintain, and terminate data communications between the ICM and the VRU. The application interfaces define the higher level messages which allow the VRU to exchange call processing information with the ICM.
- Current status information can be sent by VRU to the ICM in real time on an event by event basis.
- The VRU can ask the ICM for instructions on how to route (transfer) a call.
- ICM Script can determine the call handling steps that will be performed by a VRU.
- Time Synchronization interface ensures that the ICM and VRU clocks agree to within a reasonable tolerance.
- TCP/IP transport services are used in ICM / VRU communications.
- Duplexed Peripheral Gateways (PGs) are transparent to the VRU
- Session maintainence is via heartbeat mechanism
IVRs or Voice Response Units are key components for handling customer service by corporations. Integration between these VRUs and the call routing and CTI systems are an important factor in both customer satisfaction (the passing of account information from the VRU to an agent later handling the request.) and in the management of the overall system (consolidated reporting, scripted call handling). The ICM provides the ability for IVR/VRU vendors to integrate their products with the ICM system. This API is available only to Cisco Technology Development Partners and requires that the partner's integration go through Interoperability Verification Testing (IVT).