Cisco Unified IP Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Cisco Unified IP Interactive Voice Response 8.0

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Cisco® Unified Communications Solutions unify voice, video, data, and mobile applications on fixed and mobile networks, enabling easy collaboration every time from any workspace.

Product Overview

Cisco Unified IP Interactive Voice Response (IP IVR) is designed to enhance the efficiency of your organization by simplifying business integration, increasing flexibility, and providing efficiency gains in network hosting. These features reduce business costs and can dramatically improve customer satisfaction. Tightly integrated with Cisco Unified Communications Manager software, Cisco Unified IP IVR offers ease of installation, configuration, and application hosting because it is constructed to exploit the power of IP-based communications.

Cisco Unified IP IVR is designed to facilitate concurrent multimedia communication processing. The Cisco Unified IP IVR architecture is open and extensible to allow you to incorporate custom-developed Java classes, enabling developers to extend Cisco Unified IP IVR to meet your special business needs.

Features and Benefits

Cisco Unified IP IVR has several features to increase customer satisfaction:

   Facilitates self-service options, such as access to checking account information or user-directed call routing, by processing user commands through touchtone input or speech-recognition technologies

   Allows customers to retrieve the information they require through voice commands without ever speaking with an agent, or to quickly navigate to the correct department or agent that can help them

   Provides multilingual support for Cisco Unified IP IVR server prompts, for automated-speech-recognition (ASR) and text-to-speech (TTS) capabilities

   Delivers notification to users through email, fax, pager, and short message service (SMS) (some of these services require the use of a service provider or fax server)

   Provides more comprehensive and effective customer service by efficiently handling call traffic with self-service or fast transfer to the correct agent the first time

Cisco Unified IP IVR offers many ways to reduce operating and application development costs:

   Allows simple transactional requests to be offloaded from agents and handled by Cisco Unified IP IVR.

   Enables rapid development and deployment of IVR applications with a web-based service creation and scripting environment.

   Allows HTTP requests to trigger application execution.

   Supports ASR through integration with third-party ASR software.

   Supports TTS through integration with with third-party TTS software.

   Enables easy test and debug of applications using built-in debugging tools.

   Provides standard real-time and historical reports to efficiently manage contact center resources.

   Supports development of customized reports using a third-party reporting package to meet additional reporting requirements in the contact center.

   Significantly reduces costly equipment used for integration of an existing IVR or private branch exchange (PBX).

Cisco Unified IP IVR can help reduce acquisition, installation, and maintenance costs:

   Administration is done from anywhere on your corporate WAN with a completely web-based administration interface.

   Access to customer information is provided through support for Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) and access to Microsoft Structured Query Language (SQL) Server, Oracle, IBM DB2, and Sybase databases.

   Significantly reduces the cost and time associated with install, upgrade, and reversion via appliance model deployment. The separate partitions of the appliance model allow updates to be made to the inactive partition while the active partition is handling calls - shortening the maintenance window required for updates.

   High availability over WAN allows deployment of two Unified IP IVR servers across a WAN to provide geographical redundancy.

   Enhanced scalability eases expansion as your contact center operation grows.

Finally, Cisco Unified IP IVR can help optimize corporate and contact center resources:

   Performs “prompt-and-collect” functions to obtain user data, such as passwords or account identification, to pass to contact center agents.

   Extracts and parses web content and presents this data to customers through a telephony interface, facilitating reuse and delivery of web-maintained information to callers through a voice portal.

   Supports Voice XML (VoiceXML), allowing you to create voice portals and voice-enabling websites that use HTTP, XML, and web or application servers.

   Integrates with CiscoWorks network management software.

Cisco Unified IP IVR Components

Cisco Unified IP IVR has five primary components:

   IP IVR Editor: In this Windows GUI-based application-development environment, you can create applications and flows using a drag-and-drop interface.

   IP IVR Engine: This run-time environment executes Cisco Unified IP IVR flows.

   Step libraries: These libraries of JavaBeans provide the programming constructs, called steps, for the Cisco Unified IP IVR flows.

   Flow repository: In this storage location all flows and configuration data are stored using Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).

   Reporting application: This tool provides access to real-time and historical reporting statistics.

The Cisco Unified IP IVR feature set processes voice-over-IP (VoIP) streams routed to it by Cisco Unified Communications Manager and thus requires no digital-signal-processor (DSP) cards in Cisco Unified IP IVR itself. Therefore, only one time-division multiplexing (TDM) interface is required to connect Cisco Unified IP IVR, Cisco Unified Communications Manager, and the public switched telephone network (PSTN): the VoIP gateway interface to the PSTN. IP-originated calls require no TDM infrastructure; therefore, Internet- and intranet-generated VoIP calls can terminate directly on Cisco Unified IP IVR.

Administration of Cisco Unified IP IVR is completely web-based; administrators can start, stop, and update the IP IVR Engine from a standard web browser. This GUI manages the details of interfacing Cisco Unified IP IVR with Cisco Unified Communications Manager and access to the other required network resources.

The IP IVR Engine also supports a powerful debug mode that allows the designer to create breakpoints and to directly upload and execute the flow for testing purposes. When testing is complete, the designer uploads the completed application to the directory, from where it may be deployed to production Cisco Unified IP IVR servers on the network.

Ordering Information

To place an order, visit the Cisco Ordering Home Page at and refer to Table 1. 

Table 1.       Ordering Information

Product Name

Part Number

Cisco Unified IP IVR Bundle


Cisco Unified Communications Services

Cisco Unified Communications Services allows you to accelerate cost savings and productivity gains associated with deploying a secure, resilient Cisco Unified Communications Solution.   Delivered by Cisco and our certified partners, our portfolio of services is based on proven methodologies for unifying voice, video, data, and mobile applications on fixed and mobile networks.  Our unique lifecycle approach to services can enhance your technology experience to accelerate true business advantage.


Cisco Unified IP IVR helps remove the constraints of PSTN circuit-based IVR applications by IP-enabling IVR applications and creating connections to web-based content. Cisco Unified IP IVR is constructed to exploit the power of IP-based communications. With its powerful service-creation environment, enterprises can rapidly develop and deploy IVR applications to provide advanced self-service and enhanced call-control applications to improve overall customer satisfaction, continuing their evolution toward a true Customer Interaction Network.

For More Information

For more information about the Cisco Unified IP IVR, visit or contact your local Cisco account representative.