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Cyara halves National Australia Bank’s test team

Automated testing of speech recognition system removes the need for another six testers of critical new customer service application, creates customer experience benchmark to enable ongoing measurement

MELBOURNE, 23 July 2009: Cyara Solutions announced today that National Australia Bank has adopted its testing and simulation products and used them to halve the size of the team required to test its landmark speech recognition contact centre interface.

National Australia Bank (NAB) recently introduced a speech recognition and voice biometric application that has replaced interactive voice response systems as the interface for incoming customer calls.

To plan and test the new system, the Bank created a collection of the most common phrases its customers use when speaking to its contact centres.

NAB then used Cyara’s automated testing products to assess the speech recognition and biometrics systems’ ability to recognise those phrases.

“I suggest if we did not have Cyara we would potentially need to double to size of the testing team to achieve the same business outcomes,” explains Sam Jackel, NAB’s Program Manager for the speech recognition and biometrics projects.

To test the new system, NAB created a team of six testers to test for what Jackel calls “functional and business outcomes.” But even a team of six can make only a finite number of calls, leading NAB to consider a way to conduct more tests, more quickly than a human team could hope to achieve.

That need for more and faster testing led the bank to Cyara’s automated testing tools, which the bank uses in software-as-a-service mode.

“The key benefit of a tool like Cyara is that it offers a high degree of automation,” Jackel explains. “We can load up the speech utterances we want to test and away it goes and does the job.”

Automated testing using Cyara made it possible for NAB to conduct frequent tests to improve the performance of its speech recognition system.

“Every time we made a change to the speech recognition engine, we ran that baseline test with Cyara,” Jackel says. “Or if we made targeted changes to the system we tested to see if they are working,” sometimes using a different utterance collection.

Cyara was also used to help the bank create a benchmark for its customer service experience. Tests of the system yielded many metrics about the experience of using NAB’s contact centres and as the speech recognition application was rolled out, Cyara provided data about the overall customer experience.

Jackel says NAB required just one staff member to operate Cyara, but that the software did the work of many people.

“I suggest if we did not have Cyara we would potentially need to double to size of the testing team to achieve the same business outcomes,” Jackel says.

In the future, he expects Cyara will continue to save work for staff across NAB.

“We are still using it every day to improve our speech recognition system. We run the baseline tests every time we make a change.”

“What this means is that when we hand over the speech recognition system to our internal customers, they will be easily able to use Cyara for ongoing testing after the implementation project concludes.”

About Cyara Solutions

Cyara Solutions is a pioneer of next generation simulation and testing solutions for IVRs (DTMF & Speech), Voice Biometrics, Outbound Dialers and Contact Centres. We enable companies to test their end-to-end contact centre customer and agent experience in a repeatable automated manner to ensure exemplary system operation without requiring any customers or agents but using real calls. Cyara can perform automated load testing, application testing, production monitoring and Genesys CTI and Routing strategy testing of your contact centre operations. We’ve helped leading companies like Telstra, NAB, CBA plus many more. Ensure you are the first to know of any issues. Deploy our solution on your premise or use our hosted 'On-Demand’ services.

Visit www.cyarasolutions.com