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Telecommunication Services

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System

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On-site: dial x8000,  Off-site: dial 631.344.8000

The Information Technology Division's new Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system called IntelliSPEECH is now available to process calls from users both on and off site. The system is an active voice telephone directory that can automatically place calls in response to the spoken name of an individual or department.

If you are experiencing problems with the way your name is pronounced, or if the extension that your calls are transferred to is incorrect, please leave a message on  BNL’s IntelliSPEECH™ Help Line at 631.344.8989 (onsite: x8989). Any requests for IVR changes should be left in that voice mailbox.

More detailed instructions are being sent to each department's telephone service representative.

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To Ask For a Person

  • From onsite, rather than dialing someone's Lab extension, all one needs to do is dial Ext. 8000. Users will hear a greeting asking them to speak the name of the person or department they would like to reach. The IVR will then transfer the call to the extension number that is assigned in the database for that individual or department.
  • From offsite, dial 344-8000 and you will be connected to the same system.

IntelliSPEECH™ answers: "Welcome to Brookhaven National Laboratory. Please speak the name of the person or department that you would like to connect to now."

IntelliSPEECH™ will recognize the name and say: "Here is the number for (NAME).  Please hold on while I transfer you."

If you say a name or department that is not recognized, the system will say: "I think you said (NAME), is this correct?”"

Either say “yes” or “no”. If you say “yes”, you will be transferred to that person or department. If you say “no”, the system will attempt to recognize the name or department three times before transferring for assistance.

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Speech Commands

  • Backup - allows the system to go back to a prior option.
  • Goodbye - tells the system that you are finished.
  • Help -  use this command at any time. The system will give you the options available for the current menu in use.
  • Operator - transfers you for assistance during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:30AM-5:00PM, excluding Lab holidays).
  • Repeat - Allows you to ask the system to repeat the last option offered.

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Tips For Using This System

No need to say good morning/afternoon to the machine. The system thinks your asking for " good morning ", and will return some bizarre name that sounds like good morning. Additionally, "please", "get me..." "Thank you" “uh” “um” are all extra words in a request that will confuse the system.

  • Simply state the person/department/extension you would like to connect to without any extra words.

Yelling will not make the recognizer hear any better. Yelling tends to change your speaking patterns and in fact makes it harder for the recognizer to make a correct match. It is always best to use a clear, normal tone of voice. Keep in mind, that if a name is not in the system, or is in the system in a different manner than what is being asked for, no amount of yelling at the system will get it to retrieve a name it doesn't recognize. For instance, asking repeatedly for Jim Smith will never get you Jim Smith, if it is only entered into the system as James Smith. The machine sees no Jim Smith. Trying a variation of the name might prove successful.

A simple yes or no answer is all that is required to respond to a question from the recognizer. There are only a few certain responses that the system will recognize to a question requiring a yes/no answer. These are: no, incorrect, yes, that’s correct, that is correct, and correct. Nothing else is required. The system will not process any additional words and will try to match your response to one of these few commands. The system will then make a reply based on what answer response it thinks you said. For instance, if the system is not sure, it may ask for confirmation by saying " I think you said..." and the name it thinks you requested. Replying, "No, I did not say that, I asked for Doctor Jones" is a waste of your effort. The system is asking you a yes/no question. It will process a reply to a yes/no answer only, then, if it thinks it heard a negative reply, it will ask you once again who you would like to speak to. If the system thinks you replied in the affirmative, it will send you off to the person it thinks you said.

Do not say the name of the party/department more than once. Speaking the phrase, "medical medical facilities" will send the system off to hunt down "medical medical facilities". In these situations, that occur with a stutter or hesitation it is better to say " backup" and try again fresh, rather than plowing through and getting a wrong match.

Sometimes, when a caller makes a request, the recognizer will get only part of the correct entry. For instance, a caller asking for Jim Smith may cause the system to return the name, Jane Smith. If this should occur, the system will ask for confirmation. "I think you said…" the system is looking for a yes/no answer. The system will process that answer, then prompt the caller for a name. Repeat the full name of the person or department you are requesting not just the corrected portion.

The recognizer does not know how to spell. Spelling for it has the exact opposite effect you are trying to achieve.

The recognizer hears noises of the room you are in including conversations, machinery etc. The recognizer mistakes these noises for requests. Likewise, aside conversations you have with those in the area while you are using the system. You may be talking to someone near you, but the recognizer thinks you are talking to it, and goes off to find what it thinks you are asking of it.

Remember, you can always say "Backup" to go to a previous point within the system. Or say Goodbye, hang up and try again.

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How To Use The IntelliSPEECH Helpline

The IntelliSPEECH Help Line voicemail box at 631.344.8989 (onsite: x8989) is a wonderful tool to help us quickly find and resolve any problems with the way the system is responding to users. Here are a couple of tips to help you get the most from the voicemail box. When leaving voice mail, please say if the name you are calling about is a:

  • Pronunciation change
  • An extension number change
  • New name to be recorded/added
  • An alternate name request

Please speak clearly and slowly. Please spell the name in question. Briefly describe the problem.

The voicemail box is checked twice a week. Any names that need to be re-recorded because of Pronunciation issues may have to be sent out to Voice Talent. Then the newly recorded name is uploaded to the database. The entire process takes up to ten business days.

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Last Modified: March 23, 2010
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