There’s nothing more annoying than being given the runaround by an interactive voice response system (IVRS). Enter outsourcing firm 24/7, with an IVRS for smartphones and tablets. The IVRS is powered by a speech recognition software that generates lists of options onscreen. The experience is not too different from iPhone’s SIRI, touted as an intelligent voice-recognition interface. “We run the world’s largest self-service system: 2.5 billion interactions annually with customers,” says P.V. Kannan, CEO of 24/7. Last year, the firm backed by Sequoia and Microsoft decided to set up a fresh backend to provide support through smartphones and tablets. In November, it bought San Francisco-based Voxify, one of the largest creators of speech apps. For its clients, 24/7 offers the IVRS as well as the call-centre service, but if the speech recognition model takes off, dependence on call centres could come down. That will truly be the next wave for BPO.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & Instagram to never miss an update from Fortune India. To buy a copy, visit Amazon.