What is VXML?

Overview of VoiceXML (VXML)


VXML is a digital document standard that specifies interactive media and voice dialogs between humans and computers and is used in developing audio and voice response applications. It was developed in 1999.

In other words, it’s a computer programming language in the XML family that enables developers to create applications to automate interactions over the phone. VXML is the current industry standard for building interactive voice response (IVR) applications.

History of VoiceXML

Telecom industry experts created VXML in 1999. Development was eventually turned over to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversees specifications for a wide range of technologies. VXML has gone through several update iterations and development of the standard is on-going.

Why does any of this matter for your business? It shows that VXML is a mature, reliable, and thoroughly vetted development language. VXML is also an open standard, which means that it continues to be developed and enhanced to meet the evolving needs of voice technology and voice applications.

Benefits of Choosing VoiceXML


Utilize Current Resources

VXML shares many similarities with HyperText Markup Language (HTML) code. Web developers who build web pages using HTML can easily make the transition to coding IVRs using VXML. With a shallow learning curve for HTML coders, businesses don’t need to sink funds into training or hiring new developers.


Create Portable Applications

By its very nature, an open standard is non-proprietary. This means that anyone can use it, and they are not tied to a particular vendor or development platform. Therefore, applications built with VXML can be ported to other platforms, saving significant development resources.


Development Flexibility

VXML can be programmed to carry out voice-based tasks or business processes. A wide range of communications features, including text-to-speech (TTS),  Short Message Service (SMS) and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), makes VXML an extremely powerful communications tool. Application programming interfaces (APIs) allow you to integrate with databases, automatic speech recognition (ASR) and artificial intelligence (AI).

VoiceXML and IVR Architecture

From a development perspective, building voice applications is similar to creating web pages. Web pages use HTML and a web browser to send and receive text and images over the internet.

Likewise, VXML applications act as a voice browser to input and output audio over the public switched telephone network (PSTN) or voice over internet protocol (VoIP). The obvious difference is that you access a web browser on a computer or a voice browser with a telephone.

IVR and other voice applications, like those built on the Plum DEV platform, connect to the internet in the same way as a web browser. The main difference is that IVR talks to web servers using VXML instead of HTML.

Recent improvements to IVR systems enable them to do much more than simple data presentation and collection. They can answer questions in a more human-like manner for better customer service. Plum Voice has modern IVR applications that possess powerful, robust features. They help businesses automate complex processes, use real time data, reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction.

Automate Phone Systems with Virtual Agents

Using Plum Voice’s IVR platform, businesses can utilize Plum DEV and Plum Fuse to create their own voice automation solutions. Of course, self-service can take on different forms. Plum Voice is focused on addressing customer concerns via the voice channel by automating common and repetitive tasks over the phone, using self-service applications.

Customers want their issues resolved quickly and efficiently. Implementing intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) to replace or augment live agents in a contact center is one way to raise the bar in meeting customer expectations. With IVAs, companies can collect and disseminate information quickly, while saving on live customer support costs.

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