One of the coolest “real time” video-related applications I’ve come across is ALICE Receptionist. ALICE is the brainchild of a Las Vegas, Nevada based company (www.AliceReceptionist.com), which grew organically out of their successful IT and systems integration business to solving a really interesting problem I’m sure many of us have experienced.
Ever go to a meeting, and find the glass doors locked? Maybe there’s a phone and numbers to call to be let in. Or maybe the doors are open, but there is an empty receptionist desk and no one around. You hope somebody will come by, and if nobody does, you bravely start making your way towards the interior and worry that you’ll have to interrupt somebody whose job is not – receptionist!
Well, here’s what happens when ALICE is on the job:
ALICE is an acronym for “A Live Interactive Customer Experience” – who greets visitors when triggered by motion detection, and guides them through a user-intuitive experience. A life-size, recorded ALICE (available in several languages including both American and Australian English accents) presents a number of alternatives visitors can continue with on a touch screen. They can search the directory to find their contacts, opening up a voice or video chat with one touch (all using SIP routing and integrated with Microsoft LYNC), use the way-finding feature to find the appropriate building when they are on a large corporate campus, and while they are waiting check out the company’s website, presentations or videos. They can even print their own badges including scan codes enabling unlocking of doors.
The value proposition is easily evident. Businesses can save on annual salaries and benefits for a live person without sacrificing service. In fact, they can deliver a “high tech, high touch” experience that visitors really enjoy.
There’s also the productivity angle – ALICE has been successfully integrated into most VoIP-SIP-PBX environments using VoIP. ALICE is all-software, with no proprietary hardware required. The company does work with all types of “form factors” from a standard “desktop” monitor to kiosks to video walls and even tablets. While the company has gotten initial traction in the SMB market, the benefits for large enterprises are many too, particularly when those enterprises have large headquarters, or even with to support smaller offices by interconnecting to HQ for back up support and remote lobby monitoring and management.
ALICE has received a number of awards, and continues to win new customers in large part due to the “out-of-the-box” compatibility with any SIP device and proven, easy integration into existing PBX environments.
The company is continuing to build their ecosystem, having announced partnerships with Elo Touch Solutions (http://www.elotouch.com) as part of an office-of-the-future communications platform, and Olea Kiosks (www.olea.com).
I can only imagine what ALICE will be able to do as we move into a new era of real time communications technologies – including of course WebRTC. Given the amount of success the WinTech team has experienced with ALICE to date, they are extremely well-positioned to lead in bringing richer, more “human” interactions through technology to businesses. Maybe someday we’ll be able to “ASK ALICE” to do more than she is already doing today…
ALICE you’re on my watch list of favorites!