What Is IVR?

The purpose of an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system is to take input from a caller, perform an action based on that input (commonly, looking up data in an external system such as a database), and return a result to the caller.[151] Traditionally, IVR systems have been complex, expensive, and annoying to implement. Asterisk changes all that.


Asterisk blurs the lines between traditional PBXs and IVR systems. The power and flexibility of the Asterisk dialplan results in a system where nearly every extension could be considered an IVR in the traditional sense of the term.

[151] In contrast to an auto attendant, the purpose of which is to route calls.