Technology-aided learning solutions have been adopted by most of the organization to cater to the ever increasing training needs. But continuous training is still an ongoing challenge for most L&D and Training Managers — especially for the personnel who are frequently on the move and unlike the sales team, do not have the constant access to internet.

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Owing to the intensely competitive consumer market, companies have to continually innovate and launch newer products each day. To add to this, the volatile market ensues that most organizations have new employees or external partners who come on-board. Therefore organizations have to find ways to train their staff quickly and effectively, for a faster time-to-market delivery, regardless of the physical confines of the workplace.

According to a research by the leading training research organization ASTD, most new recruits among the sales force are trained for more than 15 days per year. But by the third year, sales professionals average only three to six days of sales training on an annual basis. This creates learning gaps which reflect straight on to the sales targets.  This is also true for other employees who have to travel or operate from remote corners.

Going back to the basics, telephony based solutions can be the appropriate answer to emergent training needs of those workplace learners who do not have access to computers or a steady internet service. Interactive Voice Response, or IVR, is a technology that allows a computer to interact with humans through the use of voice and Dual Tone Multi-frequency, or DTMF, tones input via keypad. IVR based systems can be delivered by Cloud-Based Telephony solutions to align it suitably for training purposes. Considered to be a good solution since a long period, for small businesses and remote offices, Cloud-based telephony systems are winning more and more installations in larger and more distributed businesses as well. These businesses clearly perceive cloud-based telephony as the best option for bringing all the pieces of voice communication under one provider for a seamless system deployed across an entire organization. In contrast to traditional on premise PBX system, cloud telephony solutions are easier to install, maintain, and offer the flexibility that modern organizations need.

  • Cloud Telephony systems have built-in business continuity, which allows access to those locations that are inaccessible due to natural causes, or significant power or Internet failures.
  • If WAN connectivity is lost, and all communications on the premises are cut off, systems allow users to route calls to their mobile devices with call forwarding, because the system is in the cloud, and not dependent on the local power or Internet to continue functioning.
  • For businesses with multiple offices, Cloud-based Telephony systems provide a single platform that can be easily accessed online, connecting multiple locations and remote employees.
  • Ease of management and flexibility of the system allows companies to easily add or decrease users and set employee preferences via a management portal.

Evaluation of Cloud based Telephony Systems versus On Premise PBX

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Source: https://www.infonetics.com/whitepapers/2010-Infonetics-Research-The-Benefits-of-Cloud-Telephony-09010.pdf

Businesses adopting cloud-based telephony are seeing advantages over the on-premises solutions: lower operating costs, easier implementation, automatic updates, built-in disaster recovery, and a scalable pay-as-you-grow model that provides flexibility for businesses of all sizes.

IVR, Cloud Telephony and e-Learning – What is the connection?

If one looks at the history, IVR solutions used pre-recorded voice prompts and menus to present information and options to callers, and touch-tone telephone keypad entry to gather responses. Modern IVR solutions enable responses to be gathered using spoken words with voice recognition. By using the IVR solutions, the users can retrieve important information including bank balances, flight schedules, order status, movie show times, and more from any telephone. This method is also being used, increasingly, to place calls to deliver or gather information for appointments, past due bills, and time critical events and activities. IVR can be delivered along with Cloud Telephony system, bringing it under other voice-based communication requirement of the organization.

For the purpose of learning, the use of IVR can be varied and truly effective due to its evident simplicity and the fact that its reach has increased.

  • Short audio learning nuggets can be delivered via phone;
  • The most effective use of IVR in learning is by conducting phone-based assessments;
  • Updates on assessments and refresher trainings can also be delivered via phone;
  • Product updates, and regulatory and compliance requirements can be shared;
  • Surveys can be undertaken; and
  • By integrating the IVR solution on to the LMS, detailed reports can be also obtained.

The capabilities of IVR and Cloud Telephony have not been fully explored in the area of training and learning, but with technological advances and increased availability of these solutions, there is a lot that can be done. There are evident advantages of the implementation of cloud-based telephony, and that IVR can be easily integrated into it. This provides an added advantage of the system being utilized to get in touch with the employees in remote locations, and to provide them with relevant training opportunities as well.

– Arunima Majumdar, Sr. Marketing Consultant at G-Cube

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