Finweek English Edition - - Openers - BENE­DICT KELLY

WE HEARD ON THURS­DAY last week that the com­put­ers were down on the do­mes­tic side of OR Tambo In­ter­na­tional Air­port, so it seemed like a good time to check how well flight in­for­ma­tion coped with the chal­lenge.

Acsa has im­ple­mented a voicere­cog­ni­tion sys­tem that caters for all generic queries around flight ar­rival and de­par­tures, so ac­tu­ally speak­ing to a per­son is some­thing of a chal­lenge. Us­ing the sys­tem it took less than two min­utes to ac­cess in­for­ma­tion about the ar­rival of in­ter­na­tional flights from Lon­don. The steps of­fered were clear and should be un­der­stand­able by most peo­ple us­ing the sys­tem.

Look­ing at do­mes­tic de­par­tures, the sys­tem picked up eight op­tions from my de­lib­er­ately vague search and routed me to an op­er­a­tor for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion.

Un­for­tu­nately, be­cause of the com­puter prob­lems the agent was un­able to give me up­dated de­par­ture in­for­ma­tion since the air­lines were not feed­ing that in­for­ma­tion through to them. The fact that there aren’t any sys­tems pro­vid­ing this in­for­ma­tion to Acsa when the com­put­ers are down is a lit­tle trou­bling.

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