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A

ACD
The ACD system connects the caller to the next available agent in a call center and organizes, among others, the call-load of the individual agents and the number of callers on hold.
Application Service Providing (ASP)
Application Service Providing means that certain applications or functions (for example Speech Dialog Systems) are not installed at the customer site but are provided via the internet. Several ways of billing like flat rates, pay per use, pay per minute etc. can be used.
ASR (Automatic Speech Recognition)
Software that recognizes the spoken word.

B

B-Channel
ISDN channel that transfers speech or data. One S0 connection has two, one S2M connection has 30 B-Channels.
Backend
General term for all that stands behind an application and can access further resources, i.e. databases.
Barge-In
Interruption of a speech system's prompt by the user.
Billing
The creation of invoices for telephone calls.

C

Call Flow
The flow of calls, for example length, numbers dialled, topics and the like.
CAPI
Common ISDN Application Programming Interface. Connection between PC software and ISDN cards.
Client
Business: Customer. Computer: the Soft- or Hardware that builds the interface between the user and a server.
Concurrent Calls
Number of calls handled at the same time.
Confidence Score
Measure of the confidence with which a speech recognition engine has recognized user utterance.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
Customer service via as highly individual level of support as possible. Often technical support methods such as data mining are used.
CTI (Computer Telephony Integration)
The integration of telephone system and agent application, which for example provides a call center agent with all customer information on his computer screen during a call.

D

D-Channel
Control channel for the ISDN interface, the second type of channel next to the B-Channel. While the the B-Channel transfers speech and data, the D-Channel transmits control- and user-related information like the phone number of the caller. Furthermore, the D-Channel controls the establishment and termination of a connection as well as the activation and deactivation of ISDN features.
Dialog Design
The design of the dialog between caller and a speech dialog system. The task of Dialog Design is to make these systems quick, easy and pleasant to use.
Service
Here: assigned number in a call center
DTMF (Dual tone multifrequency dialing)
Also called touch-tone or touch-tone navigation. Telephone-computer interaction by which user input takes place via pressing keys ("If you want sales, press one").

E

E1
Synonymous to S2M, rather used in the USA.
Earcon
A new term based on the word "icon". A short, acoustic element, that like an icon should indicate certain brands or topics.

F

Free Seating
Agents can log themselves in at any workstation and are provided their own personalized user interface, telephone number, etc.

G

Gatekeeper
Module that forwards incoming calls from a network.
Grammar
Here: The set of user utterances a speech recognition engine can recognize.

H

H.323
Standard introduced by the International Telecommunications Union for transmission of audio-visual communication via an IP network. Basis for the Voice over IP telephony.
Hidden Trainer
In the Clarity Communication Center, there are several possibilities to involve a call center supervisor into a call. Passive training: the trainer can listen to the parties but can not join in. Active training: the trainer can speak to the agent but the customer would not hear it. In these cases the legal guidelines are to be followed.
Hosting
In a close meaning: Providing of space, power supply and connectivity for web and telephony server. In a ore general meaning: Providing and administration of application via the net ("Managed Services").

I

Inbound
Incoming telephone calls.
IVR (Interactive Voice Response)
A form of telephone-computer interaction, by which the system can understand a limited amount of individual utterances (yes/no, individual numbers, simple commands.) It is also used as the expression for individual word recognition and DTMF.

L

Least Cost Router
Module that automatically choses the most inexpensive phone provider for each connection.
Legacy
Here: Outdated IT systems that are still in use for compatibility reasons.

M

Brokering
To switch between two parties in a call, for example for queries.
Mandator Capability
More than one company can use the same installation of the Clarity Communication Center independent from each other.
Mixed Initiative Dialogue
Dialogue that can be driven by the system as well as by the user. A well designed Mixed Initiative Dialogue guides the user and keeps him on the track without turning into a rigid yes/no scheme.
Monitoring
Monitoring and quality control of a call center includes listening to or recording of calls (Hidden Trainer, Logging) and the real-time supervision of parameters like the Service Level. The legal guidelines are to be followed.
MSN
Multiple Subscriber Number. Several telephone numbers can be assigned to single ISDN line. The allocation to an exact number is made by end device itself.
Multimedia
Information is produced and can be read via various senses. (i.e. graphic or sound).
Multimodal
Information is given via various Modi (i.e. speech, keyboard or mouse).

N

After Call Work (Rework Time, Wrap-up)
Time for a call center agent to complete a transaction (for example filling forms, etc). With Clarity Communication Center, a user-defined rework time, during which no calls are transferred to the agent, can be set.
NLU (Natural Language Understanding)
A system's ability to understand and process entire sentences, as well as extract some information from individual sentences.

O

Outbound
Outgoing telephone calls.

P

PBX
Private Branch Exchange. Hard- or software based telephony system that connects the subscriber line to phones, fax, and other devices. Also known as PABX.
Persona
The virtual personal general impression of a speech application which is comprised of voice, articulation and choice of words.
Primary rate interface (PRI)
The ISDN Primary Rate Interface offers 30 B-Channels and 1 D-Channel.
Prompt
Strictly speaking: Input requests of a speech application, which often give an overview of the options and commands. In general terms: each utterance of a speech application, realized either via an audiofile or via a TTS-Engine.
Prosodie
All the elements of spoken word by which go beyond pure text (i.e. intonation, volume, modulation, rhythm.)
PSTN
Public Switched Telephone Network

Q

Q-Sig
A standard for vendor-independent connection of Private Branch Exchanges (PBX). Using Q-Sig, the Clarity Communication Center can add enhanced functions like ACD or CTI to an already existing PBX.

R

Remote Agents
Call Center Agents that work from remote places, e.g. from home.
Remote Agents
Call center agents who do not work in the office but from home or from other locations. With the Clarity Communication Center, they can be connected easily using Voice over IP.
ROI (Return of Investment)
Calculation model that figures out whether or not an investment is worth it. The ROI is calculated according to several values. The most common are: payback period: timeframe in which an investment recovers its costs. Net Present Value: the sum of the savings with respect to capital costs.

S

S0-Bus
Interface of the ISDN-PBX to end-devices with two B-Channels and one D-Channel.
S2M
Physical interface of the Primary Rate Interface for connecting to bigger telephone systems.
SALT (Speech Application Language Tags)
Addition to the existing languages HTML and XHTML, with which the website and multi-media or multimodal functions can be extended.
Service Level
Measure for the reachability of a call center. The service level is calculated from the percentage of all calls accepted in a particular period. A service level of 80/20, for example, means that 80 percent of all calls are to be accepted within 20 seconds to fulfill this service level to 100 percent. With the Clarity Communication Center, service levels according to given parameters can be monitored in real time.
Scalable
Simply changeable in their performance. Scalable systems are ones which can be easily adjusted to handle new requests without big effort.
Skill-based routing
Call routing according to the competence of agents.
Slot
Piece of information a dialog system must establish. In booking a flight, for example, at least the following four slots must be filled: how many people (1st slot), when do they fly (2nd slot), from where (3rd slot), to where (4th slot).
Voice portal
A speech dialog system that allows the user access to a number of services via the telephone. Like the term "web-portal", voice portal implies that it is not just about a single application, but the access to an entire bundle of applications.
Speaker independent
The ability of a speech recognition system to recognize the speech of any speaker without special adjustment steps. Dictation programs, for example, are speaker dependent; they have to be fitted to the user's voice until they can offer a satisfactory recognition. These requirements don't exist with speech dialog systems. They understand any speaker and are therefore speaker-independent.
SSML
Speech Synthesis Markup Language. XML-based markup language for speech synthesis which defines, among others, the pronounciation and prosody of the text to be synthesized.
Star-Trek-Dialogue (named after the American television series)
Dialogue between humans and machine which resembles any dialog between humans, without any limitations. At the moment this is still science fiction.

T

TCP/IP
(Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol). Data transmission standard on which the Internet is based.
Touchtone (also known as DTMF)
Today the standard dialling procedure with telephones. The successor to the meanwhile seldom-used pulse dialling. There every number has a tone made of two frequencies. Via these buttons information can be transmitted
TTS (Text-to-Speech)
Software which transforms text into speech.
Turing-Test
A test developed by British mathmetician Alan Turing (1912 - 1954) which establishes if a machine can be labeled intelligent or not. If the majority of a human jury can't decide if they are communicating with a human or a machine via a terminal then the machine has passed the Turing test and may be labeled as intelligent. However, this has not yet happened.

U

UMS (Unified Messaging Service)
Making various communication channels such as e-mail, telephone, and fax available via one unified interface (for example telephone or PC).

V

Prequalification
Automatic connection of caller with the right agent according to certain criteria like request reason, tax number, region, language, etc.
Verification
The positive identification of a person based on their voice. The voice profile is just as unique and individual as a fingerprint and can therefore replace PINs and passwords. With speaker verification the current voice profile of a caller is compared with a stored profile.
Virtual Call Center
A call center with several locations or remote agents which works like a call center on a single location thanks to a overall platform like the Clarity Communication Center.
VoiceXML (Voice Extensible Markup Language)
A version of XML (the standard for the organization of data content) especially developed for speech applications. VoiceXML is today's standard for speech dialog design.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
Speech is packaged in data packets and transferred via internet protocol. Therefore speech can be transported via a data network.
VUI (Voice User Interface)
A term for the user interface of speech portals based on the term GUI (Graphical User Interface).

W

Soft Migration
General: Transfer of content, applications or functions from an old to a new technology or platform. "Soft" in this case means "successive" or "without break" the old system moves step by step into the new environment. The modular architecture of the Clarity Communication Center simplifies the migration for example from DTMF to VoiceXML applications or from the conventional telephony to Voice over IP.

X

X+V (XHTML+Voice)
Merger of XHTML and VoiceXML-Elements, with which the application area of telefony and internet join together.