|Issue:||Latin America II 1996|
|Topic:||Computer Telephony: A young industry with sustained growth in Latin America|
|Author:||Jaime Robertson Lavalle|
|Organisation:||Dialogic, Latin America|
In this feature Jaime Robertson Lavalle of Dialogic Latin America discusses the opportunities being created by this dynamic new industry.
The rapid convergence of computer science and telecommunications is bringing about profound changes in both industries. Computer telephony is one of the most obvious examples of this convergence. It enables telephone communications to use the intelligence of the computer in order to provide a multitude of services. The telephone has come a long way both in time and in its’ use. A few decades ago, nobody could have imagined that the computer world would join the telephone to create a new industry, computer telephony. Telephone systems interacting with computer systems have been a boon over the past few years. This is largely due to the appearance of standards within computing, and to the PC emerging as a development platform based on standards (such as the microprocessor and the operating system). In this way highly reliable industrial PCs with computer telephony cards connect the computer to the telephone network, as well as being the ideal platform for software developers to create new services. The applications used are representative of how developers use the telephone-PC interaction to give the user customized solutions as his activities expand. Some of the most important application segments of computer telephony are Voice Messaging, Audiotex or Information Systems and Interactive Voice Response. Voice Messaging includes Voice Mail systems and Virtual Telephony. This latter service is used in regions with few telephone resources. Users rent, at low cost, telephone numbers which correspond to a Voice Mail box instead of a residential line. Information systems or Audiotex provide pre-recorded information to callers (e.g. meteorological service). Another segment which is seeking to enhance communication between clients and companies is Interactive Voice Response. Callers requesting information (e.g. bank balances) identify themselves by means of a number and a code, and choose from the options on the menu. The system then seeks the information in a database and transmits the answer vocally. Dialogic is the world’s leading supplier of PC-based computer telephony platforms. The company provides hardware and software “building blocks” for developing a wide range of computer telephony applications. With more than 2,000,000 lines installed throughout the world, Dialogic’s hardware, software and programming tools are the “de facto” industry standard for computer telephony. Dialogic’s technology systems are present in a wide variety of vertical industries and markets. Dialogic products are sold to developers, value added resellers (VARs) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), from small system integrators to large telecommunications operators. Conclusion Computer Telephony is still a young industry, with a sustained growth rate. In Latin America, spurred on by the improvement of the telecommunications infrastructure, Computer Telephony is guaranteed to be a part of a future of more intelligent and effective communications.