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Publication Date: 29 June 2005

ID Number: G00129131

Magic Quadrant for IVR Systems and Enterprise Voice
Portals, 2005
Bern Elliot, Drew Kraus

The market for interactive voice response systems has changed significantly. Leading
vendors now have to offer improved support for Internet standards, as well as better
development tools and applications.

© 2005 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of this publication in any form without prior
written permission is forbidden. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable.
Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartner's
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inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The opinions expressed herein are subject to
change without notice.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The best practices in self-service have radically changed over the past three years. Three of the
most significant changes have been: the wide-scale adoption of standards-based architectures
for voice portals, the increased use of speech recognition, and a move toward Web architectures.
Business operations have improved significantly as a result. Organizations should review how
they build and deploy applications in light of this evolution in architecture, and also because many
legacy platforms are coming to the end of their lives.

ANALYSIS
Changes in interactive voice response (IVR) technologies over the last few years have driven
vendors to take a radically different approach and have also allowed new vendors to enter the
market. Most vendors now offer VoiceXML, Media Resource Control Protocol (MRCP), speech
recognition and flexible development options, including support for third-party tools. And they are
working to improve the scalability, channel support and applications needed for this new
approach.
New horizontal voice communication applications have also been introduced. These include autoattendant, directory assistance, speaker verification and speech-based call routing. Additionally,
vendors are actively improving their application portfolios in select verticals, in some cases by
releasing packaged applications.
Users should expect leading vendors to have addressed these areas already, and to be focusing
on: increased support for voice over IP (VoIP) standards, such as Session Initiation Protocol
(SIP) and Call Control eXtensible Markup Language (CCXML); on broadening their third-party
support; and on a related shift toward a media-server architecture. Users should also expect
significantly improved tools to assist with application development, tuning and optimization.
To be included in Gartner's IVR Systems and Enterprise Voice Portals Magic Quadrant (see
Figure 1), vendors must have an established presence in terms of market share and "mind share"
for voice response solutions. Criteria are described in detail in "IVR and Enterprise Voice Portal
Magic Quadrant Criteria."

Publication Date: 29 June 2005/ID Number: G00129131
© 2005 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

Page 2 of 9

Figure 1. Magic Quadrant for IVR Systems and Enterprise Voice Portals, 2005
Challengers

Leaders

Avaya

Genesys Telecommunications

Nortel Networks

Ability
to
Execute

Aspect Communications
IBM
Cisco Systems
Syntellect
Nuance Communications
ComputerTalk

Intervoice
Edify
Microsoft
VoiceGenie Technologies

Interactive Intelligence

As of June 2005

Niche Players

Visionaries

Completeness of Vision
Source: Gartner (June 2005)

Leaders
Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories: The Genesys Voice Platform is an established,
leading product and an important generator of revenue for Genesys. An enterprise edition, with
up to 500 ports, and a network edition, with more than 500 ports, are offered. Note that not all
features are available on the enterprise edition and there is no smooth migration path between
the two. Genesys promises feature parity in v7.03 by 3Q05. The product's VoiceXML design and
Genesys' overall middleware approach has enabled it to exploit the shift toward a Web-oriented
self-service architecture.
Application development is supported by GVP Studio, which generates dynamic VoiceXML (2.0
certified) applications in either Active Server Pages (ASP) or Java Server Pages (JSP). Genesys
has continued to push the platform toward open telephony by adding support for SIP and MRCP.
Genesys' network of partners provides a wide range of options for development and prepackaged applications.

Publication Date: 29 June 2005/ID Number: G00129131
© 2005 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

Page 3 of 9

Consider the network edition when you're looking for a scalable solution. The enterprise edition is
an option if you have the Genesys Suite or plan to use its bundled computer-telephony integration
(CTI) software. Genesys Voice Platform products should not be considered if you're looking for
less-expensive, stand-alone IVR solutions.
Nortel Networks offers a range of voice response solutions addressing a variety of markets.
Business Communications Manager (BCM), its small market IVR offering, supports only dual-tone
multifrequency and two to 24 ports. The Media Processing Server (MPS) 500 for midsize markets
supports 24 to 240 ports, while the MPS 1000 for large environments supports more than 192
ports and scales to over 11,000 ports. The MPS 500 and MPS 1000 support SIP, VoiceXML (will
be 2.0 certified by the end of 2005) and CCXML 1.0 applications. The Voice Processing
Series/information server (VPS/is) product is being discontinued at the end of 2007 as Nortel
offers a tool that can migrate VPS applications to the MPS platform. All the platforms share a
common MPS software load that supports applications created with the MPS Developer (formerly
PeriProducer).
Nortel has ambitious plans for its platform, including further development of its Web-Centric SelfService — a Web application infrastructure for developing and operating in a Web services
environment — and the release of a media server platform offering a migration path to VoIP.
Consider Nortel's products if you're looking for open and scalable solutions.
Avaya's Interactive Response brings the former Conversant product line into an open
environment based on Sun Solaris and third-party telephony cards. Application development is
supported on this platform through a suite of tools that includes application programming
interfaces, IVR Designer (formerly [email protected]), Speech Applications Builder (licensed from
Fluency), as well as other third-party tools. Interactive Response supports MRCP integration, as
well as VoiceXML (2.0 certified) applications.
Avaya will shortly announce its next-generation products: Avaya Voice Portal and Avaya Dialog
Designer. These are scheduled for targeted availability in 3Q05. These products offer an IP
standards and Web-based platform, as well as Eclipse-based portability for existing Avaya
Interactive Response applications based on VoiceXML. Voice Portal and Dialog Designer will
strengthen Avaya's offerings significantly.
Consider the Interactive Response solution if you have a strong relationship with Avaya and an
existing Avaya contact center infrastructure. As part of the review, you should also consider the
Voice Portal, keeping in mind that it is a new product. You should also consider which of the
many Avaya application development tools will be most useful to you over time.
InterVoice's Omvia Voice Framework supports the earlier IQTalk platform, as well as the newer
Omvia Media Server. The Omvia server supports IQTalk applications developed with the earlier
InVision tool, while the newer InVisionStudio product provides an application development and
testing tool. It can generate VoiceXML (not 2.0 certified) code or templates that can then imbed
Java or ASP code. InterVoice has been slow to migrate toward a media server architecture, but
should do so over the next two years. InterVoice is also a partner for the emerging Microsoft
Speech Server (MSS) and Speech Application Language Tags (SALT) initiatives.
InterVoice offers both approaches to clients, but clients should decide for themselves which suits
them — once an approach is selected, it can be difficult to change direction. Consider InterVoice
for a comprehensive offering of open and scalable solutions.
Edify: Components for the Edify Voice Interaction Platform (EVIP) Series 9 have now been
modularized. They can be used separately, mixed with third-party components or used together.
The advantage of this approach is that users now have more flexibility in how they construct their
solutions. The EVIP voice portal includes a browser and an application server, either of which can

Publication Date: 29 June 2005/ID Number: G00129131
© 2005 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

Page 4 of 9

be replaced with third-party platforms. Edify offers several development options, and its
Application Modeler can be used to output either SALT or VoiceXML (2.0 certified). SALT can be
used with the MSS platform. Edify also offers prepackaged solutions for banking and product
support that can be modified as needed.
Edify's marketing draws on its capabilities in global distribution and its focus on vertical markets.
As a subsidiary of S1, a financial services company that resells Edify products, it has entry into
specific segments. Consider Edify's products if you're looking for flexible, modular solutions from
a switch-independent vendor.
Challengers
Aspect Communications provides two IVR offerings, with a migration path between them. Its
widely installed Customer Self Service (CSS) product is primarily for stand-alone IVR. This will be
increasingly replaced by Aspect's more recent Uniphi Voice Portal (UVP) product as it continues
to increase its scalability. These two products share underlying telephony components, and
applications can be migrated from CSS to UVP. CSS supports applications developed with its
own graphical user interface (GUI) tool, as well as VoiceXML (not 2.0 certified) applications
developed using third-party tools. UVP is a component of Aspect's Uniphi Suite, which provides a
consolidated approach to design and reporting for both IVR and call center functions via its Uniphi
Architect tool.
Consider CSS v.7 or UVP when you're upgrading from earlier versions of CSS. Consider UVP
when you're integrating with an Aspect Uniphi Suite environment. Aspect has not yet established
UVP as a strong switch-independent solution, however it may do so as the product matures.
Microsoft has successfully focused on market adoption and on several technical improvements
since introducing MSS 2004. Market adoption was addressed by increasing the distribution
channel and the number of partners delivering Telephony Interface Manager (TIM). Technical
improvements included a simplified installation process and added language support. The
platform includes application development tools, a text-to-speech engine, a telephony platform, a
prompt engine and a voice browser. It supports the Microsoft and ScanSoft speech recognition
engines, but it has not yet deployed solutions using the ScanSoft engine. MSS is designed to
support the SALT speech application standard for telephony and multimodal interaction. Users
will require a TIM from a Microsoft partner to support call control and telephony interfaces,
although Microsoft will be supporting SIP trunking in 2006.
Over time, the strength of this platform will be its ability to integrate well with packaged
applications in the Microsoft server environment and its relatively lower cost structure. Consider
this solution if you're committed to the .NET architecture and can work with an early stage
product that has had limited deployments in advanced or large-scale speech projects.
IBM's core voice response solution is made up of the WebSphere Voice Response (WVR)
system and is part of the broader range of IBM WebSphere software. WVR contains the
telephony components, CTI and a VoiceXML interpreter (not 2.0 certified). Applications can be
developed using the legacy DirectTalk state table method or with the WebSphere Voice Toolkit.
Speech is supported via the WebSphere Voice Server with limited support for third-party speech
engines. IBM also offers the WebSphere Voice Application Access, which enables the integration
of third-party voice servers and components. The third-party component support is coupled with
partnerships with leading call center vendors. Consider this solution only if you are developing an
application as part of an enterprise WebSphere initiative.
Visionaries

Publication Date: 29 June 2005/ID Number: G00129131
© 2005 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

Page 5 of 9

VoiceGenie Technologies: The VoiceGenie 7 product provides a scalable gateway platform,
based on VoiceXML (2.0 certified), an administration console and a Java framework. The
company offers development tools through partnerships. It also has advanced monitoring and
reporting tools, as well as support for CCXML controls. VoiceGenie continues to differentiate itself
through leadership and commitment in standards-based architectures, and through deployments
in large-scale and carrier markets. Consider the VoiceGenie solution if you have midsize or largescale deployment plans and are committed to a standards approach based on VoiceXML.
Niche Players
Cisco Systems offers two self-service options: IP IVR is for IPCC Express and IPCC Enterprise
customers that need fewer than 128 ports; and the Cisco Customer Voice Portal (CVP) —
formerly branded as Internet Service Node (ISN) — is geared for service providers and large
organizations. IP IVR operates with the Cisco CallManager or it can be bundled with IPCC
Express. CVP operates using the enterprise voice portal model based on VoiceXML (not 2.0
certified) and uses the existing Cisco ICM tool or a recently introduced Eclipse-based tool for
service creation and execution.
Cisco has strengthened channel support for its IVR and speech products and has improved its
development tools offering, but its products generally are not as feature rich or capable as those
of competing products. We expect Cisco to continue to make incremental improvements in its
voice portal offerings. But until it does so, consider Cisco's products only if you are strongly
committed to a Cisco-only solution.
Syntellect, now owned by Enghouse Systems, has combined the former Syntellect Vista IVR
product with the recently acquired Telequent routing product into a full service contact center
suite called Continuum, which can also be offered as separate modules. The IVR module, called
Continuum Self-Service, runs on industry standard components, and is based on Java and
VoiceXML (not 2.0 certified).
Syntellect is the only master distributor of speech software from Nuance Communications in
North America. However, the extent to which this strengthens Syntellect's portfolio will depend on
the outcome of a proposed merger between Nuance and ScanSoft. But Gartner believes that
Syntellect's strong relationship with the Nuance engine will be a benefit.
Consider Syntellect if you're looking for switch-independent self-service and speech solutions,
especially in the financial services, utilities, healthcare, consumer products, cable and media, or
government and education verticals.
Nuance Communications: The Nuance Voice Platform (NVP) is a standards-based approach
that uses VoiceXML (2.0 certified) and leverages the company's speech recognition strengths.
The Nuance Application Environment offers a drag-and-drop application design tool, as well as
access to lower development and testing functions. Its recently introduced Management Station
provides operational control over the entire speech deployment process and flexible reporting on
call automation rates.
In May 2005, ScanSoft, a speech technology vendor, announced plans to acquire Nuance, and to
rename the newly combined company Nuance (see "ScanSoft/Nuance Deal Continues Speech
Market Consolidation"). ScanSoft has publicly stated that it considers NVP a strategic asset that
will be continued, but specific plans will have to await final approval for the deal from the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission, which is expected in September 2005.
Gartner believes that the new company will sell or spin off the NVP product. Companies
considering NVP to leverage the underlying speech engine should ensure that they are protected

Publication Date: 29 June 2005/ID Number: G00129131
© 2005 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

Page 6 of 9

if the product ownership changes, and that strong integration with the underlying speech engine
is continued as the combined company develops its speech technology.
ComputerTalk offers two self-service products. The iceVoice self-service platform can support
VoiceXML scripts or use the iceVoice Workflow Designer tool to develop traditional call flows and
speech applications. The second product, introduced in 2005, is called xTalk. It supports the MSS
and SALT deployments. ComputerTalk has used the Microsoft product to expand its presence in
the U.S. market, while continuing to advance its iceVoice and VoiceXML platforms in Canada.
The vendor's emerging relationship with MSS and its support for SALT has helped to increase its
presence and market share. Consider ComputerTalk when you're looking for a switchindependent, price-competitive self-service solution.
Interactive Intelligence: The company's Vocalite IVR product enables companies to use the
same voice response tools in a stand-alone configuration that would be employed as part of their
broader contact center or unified communications solutions. This bundled suite operates on
Intel's Host Media Processing platform, allowing firms to integrate the contact center call controls
into the call-queue-handling and business processes. VoiceXML or SALT are not yet supported
and Vocalite IVR is not as mature as most other voice response products. Consider Vocalite's
products if you're looking to integrate voice response as part of Interactive Intelligence's bundled
contact center suite called Customer Interaction Center (CIC) or as part of its unified messaging
product (Communite).
Vendors Not Part of This Magic Quadrant
Several service providers and network operators offer hosted and managed voice response
solutions. In some cases, these are hybrid premise-service offerings built on VoiceXML and IP
networks. These are not primarily designed as premise solutions, so they are not considered in
this Magic Quadrant. Vendors offering this type of solution include carriers such as AT&T or MCI,
contact center outsourcers such as Convergys or West Corporation, and voice response
services, such as NetByTel and Tellme Networks. Decide on the sourcing approach that best fits
your objectives and consider these alternative sourcing options as needed.

Key Issues
How will contact center technologies and architectures evolve in the next five years?
Which vendor solutions and approaches will be most successful in the next five years?

Recommended Reading and Related Research
"Speech Recognition Engines: Comparison Columns"
"Speech Application Development: Selecting the Best Option"
"ScanSoft/Nuance Deal Continues Speech Market Consolidation"
"A Framework for Understanding Contact Center Services"

Acronym Key
4GL

fourth-generation language

ACD

automatic call distributor

AIX

Advanced Interactive eXecutive

ASP

Active Server Pages

BCM

Business Communications Manager

Publication Date: 29 June 2005/ID Number: G00129131
© 2005 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

Page 7 of 9

CCXML

Call Control eXtensible Markup Language

CSS

Customer Self Service

CTI

computer-telephony integration

EVIP

Edify Voice Interaction Platform

GUI

graphical user interface

IDE

integrated development environment

IVR

interactive voice response

ISN

Internet Service Node

JSP

Java Server Pages

MPS

Media Processing Server

MRCP

Media Resource Control Protocol

MSS

Microsoft Speech Server

NVP

Nuance Voice Platform

ROI

return on investment

SALT

Speech Application Language Tags

SIP

Session Initiation Protocol

TIM

telephony interface manager

UVP

Uniphi Voice Portal

VoIP

voice over IP

WVAA

WebSphere Voice Application Architecture

WVR

WebSphere Voice Response

XML

Extensible Markup Language

Publication Date: 29 June 2005/ID Number: G00129131
© 2005 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

Page 8 of 9

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Publication Date: 29 June 2005/ID Number: G00129131
© 2005 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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