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Planning for IVR in an OCS environment - aka What's up with Speech Server? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Okay. You have a total n00b to this whole OCS and Speech Server camp here.... So bear with me...

    I'm looking at an engagement where they are calling for both a faxing platform and IVR platform. In the past I've used products like Esker VSI-FAX with Dialogic/Brooktrout cards for inbound/outbound faxing.  With this engagement I was still looking to the Esker product for outgoing fax delivery since I'm not seeing where the MS product offering of OCS fits that bill. I see where it handles incoming via Exchange Unified Messaging - but the scope of our work wouldn't include altering their Exchange environment...  So with that said, I'm still planning to include Esker.

    Now, I've known Speech Server to exist in the past and it really seems to be "lost" in the current OCS world. Red-headed step-child you might say... Because all I find are old 2007 references and indications that it was "rolled into OCS". So far I'm very unimpressed with it's representation in any of the planning/deployment information I've been able to find.  We don't currently play to use OCS for it's core feature set.... pretty much just the IVR functionality that would be delivered from Speech Server... 

    My first question(s) are...

    1. Is Speech Server moving forward? Or should I look outside of the MS camp for IVR solution. We're doing .NET development and it makes sense to stay within the camp, but is MS really dedicated to IVR at this point? It doesn't "feel" like it from what I'm finding in my research thus far...
    2. Does MS have an outbound fax platform comparable to say an Esekr VSI-FAX offering? I wouldn't have to implement both products if OCS has something suitable for outgoing faxing (and an API that can be coded against preferably).
    3. Can we deploy just Speech Server or is it really embedded into OCS? I believe I understand the license is within OCS but as for actual deployment topology - I'm hoping Speech Server might be stand-alone?

    Now... getting more technical...

    Regarding the hardware to integrate to the PBX/Telephony infrastrcuture...  I see that there is a component of OCS referred to as a "mediation server"... And from there I found that several hardware vendors are now offering hybrid appliances/devices to fulfill this server role along with the complimentary hardware (i.e. the Dialogic Media Gateway 4000)...

    1. Will that Mediation Server serve the role of the hardware cards that are normally present for IVR?  I.e. the Dialog D/240JCT-1T1 is a hardware-based card with continuous speech processing and specifically states support for IVR...
    2. So does OCS provide a "soft" implementation of IVR speech/dtmf recognition whereas these dedicated cards are hardware-assisted and use a proprietary API most likely?

     

    I appreciate any help you can provide to further enlighten me... I'm only at a high-level budgetary estimating point in the process and need to know the type of servers and hardware cards/appliances that will be involved in provisioning these 2 services (IVR and Faxing)...

     

    • Moved by Gavin-Zhang Tuesday, April 13, 2010 10:31 AM (From:Planning and Deployment)
    Friday, April 9, 2010 3:00 PM

All replies

  • I encourage you to look at the Unified Communications Managed API (UCMA). This is the platform that has inherited the capabilities of Speech Server from a speech aspect, but also has signaling and media management capability. With UCMA offering a much more comprehensive set of capabilities, Speech Server is no longer being revved up. You will find that you don't have to look elsewhere - this is hands down the most complete platform out there - and an extremely economical one.

    For fax, we work with partners such as Ferrari in Germany. They are certified for interop with OCS.

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010 1:12 AM