Swedish telco Telia – which set a new world record for call volumes with its Telsis mass calling system – is poised for further revenue growth with a new service enhancement from the telecoms equipment manufacturer and service developer.
Adding interactive question and answer events to the mass calling platform’s televoting and competition capabilities, Right Answer from Telsis enables over 10,000 callers to simultaneously key in DTMF digits in response to spoken questions and hear appropriate audio announcements in return.
In this way the technology can be used for a variety of services, such as checking prize numbers printed on consumer products, checking lottery draw numbers or entering numerical answers to questions posed on radio or television shows.
It opens up many new possibilities – and potential new income streams – for both Telia and its service
provider customers according to the telco’s mass calling product manager Stewe Wahlström: “So far with mass calling we’ve seen call volumes double and turnover go up by a factor of four. Right Answer means we now have an opportunity to do things even better and target potential customers in new areas.”
Predicting 250,000 premium rate calls a week by this autumn just for this service, Wahlström has just seen his first Right Answer event go live – a skill-based contest linked to a television advertising campaign. It was only two weeks from the client seeing the service to signing up.
He believes that Right Answer’s rich set of features will soon bring in many more service providers; not just from the ranks of broadcasters and program makers, but from advertisers, telemarketers and other organisations. “We have listened to the requests of our customers. We were keen to offer Right Answer because it’s so flexible that it is suitable for all kinds of applications. The only real limitation is the service providers’ own imagination,” he says.
“For example it’s possible to let callers know whether their answer was too low or too high, encouraging them to keep on calling back until they get it right. Then the service itself is generating calls and generating revenue.”
“We will also be offering data capture on calling number or other personal identifiers, allowing lists of known interested parties to be built. That kind of accurate information can be very valuable to marketing companies.”
Right Answer also ensures that services run the way event organisers want them to. Real-time statistics reporting and management provide valuable feedback on events in progress. Information including call volumes and entrant success rates can help event customers adjust parameters in real time to maintain acceptable win/lose ratios.
Right Answer is so simple to configure and manage that service providers themselves will design and roll out their interactive events without any involvement from Telia. The telco simply supplies them free of charge with event creation and management software. Customers use modem connections to configure their events and load their own audio announcements, and then to receive on-line statistics and post-event reports. “Services are very easy to create,” says Wahlström. “We just give the service provider the toolbox and let them do all the thinking. It’s a very nice concept.
He adds: “Call volumes have been climbing all the time we’ve been running Telsis mass calling. They have new ideas, we have new ideas and we work together to improve the service. We have a good relationship with them as a supplier.”
Telia set a new world record by successfully answering calls from the equivalent of over half of Sweden’s entire population during a single evening’s prime time television. The Telsis system handles the calls at a peak rate of more than 1,200 calls per second, limited only by the rate that the network can present the calls.
With its headquarters, research and production site in the UK, Telsis (www.telsis.com) has sales and support operations in France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Singapore and Australia. The company offers a range of carrier-grade infrastructure platforms, including IN service control points, switches, advanced IVR solutions and intelligent SMS Routers, that support a wide variety of innovative value-added voice and text services. Telsis products are in use with major network operators around the world.
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