Hosted IVR—Omni-channel customer engagement success stories

Acer America drives service improvements with hosted speech solutions

Newest natural language speech recognition technology on hosted IVR platform helps reduce repeat caller rate by 15% and decreases average call time by 50 seconds.

Company profile

Since its founding in 1976, Acer has broken barriers between people and technology, enabling users to explore, create and grow. The Acer Group employs 8,000 people across the globe, and revenues for 2013 reached $12 billion.

The multi‑brand strategy allows each brand to offer a unique set of brand characteristics that targets different customer needs in the global PC market. The PC‑centric product offering includes notebook and desktop PCs, servers and storage, monitors, projectors, and tablets. Acer is proud to be a Worldwide Partner of the Olympic Movement, including the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and London 2012 Olympic Games.

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We use various speech and text analytics tools, but Nuance is a key indicator of where to focus our energies. It helps us understand what’s going well and where the opportunities are as we gather information, analyze it, and feed it back into the product lifecycle in order to keep improving over time.

Nicole Allen
Senior Manager, Customer Insights Group
Acer America


  • Limitations with hard‑coded IVR application
  • Out‑of‑date hosted platform environment



  • 100% uptime with Nuance's hosted IVR service, 4% improvement over previous hosted service provider
  • 15% decrease in repeat caller rate
  • 50 second decrease in average call duration
  • 10% increase in caller intent capture rate
  • Reduction of 30 toll‑free numbers
  • Expect to realize 60% decrease in cost per minute


In 2006, working with a third‑party provider, Acer implemented directed dialog speech recognition in their interactive voice response (IVR) system. According to Nicole Allen, Senior Manager of the Customer Insights Group at Acer America, this initial implementation of speech provided big cost savings.

When Acer subsequently acquired Gateway, the company transitioned to a new multi‑brand approach. This created some new challenges in servicing customers.

“When we had a relatively simple environment, everything was working pretty well,” Allen said. “It was a good system. But when we started to add in the other brands and bring in more toll‑free numbers and operational groups, it started to get more complicated and much more expensive to maintain.”

The IVR application, which was on a hosted platform, wasn’t providing the flexibility the company needed to grow and modify their service operations.

“We ran into some issues with the application being hard‑coded,” Allen explained. This limited their ability to quickly and easily implement code changes. Their hosted IVR environment also wasn’t leveraging the most recent Nuance speech recognition technology.

“We weren’t getting automatic platform upgrades, so the provider we were using was an older version of the Nuance Recognizer. We couldn’t get as much data out of the system as we wanted, and there were limitations around the speech recognition capabilities and what we could do with intelligent call routing.”

These technical challenges presented an opportunity to fully re‑evaluate the customer experience and assess what additional changes were needed.

“We started realizing our real business challenge here is how do we continue to improve the customer experience?” Allen said. “How can we increase our capabilities and do it with less cost?”

The company wanted to continue using a hosted platform, because of the minimal IT support required. However, they knew they needed to overcome the current challenges they were facing. After a three month discovery process, Acer decided to partner with Nuance for their customer service solutions and move to Nuance’s hosted service. Nuance’s hosted service always provides access the most recent Nuance technology. Acer would also receive the support and insights of the Solutions Performance Team, who continuously evaluate improvement opportunities.

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