The assumption is that agencies want to provide VRI. As I have said in previous posts, the basic business reason to provide VRI is that if you don’t—someone else will—and those VRI calls will likely reduce your in-person business. There are other reasons as well:
- Reduce cost compared to in person interpretation.
- Ability to provide a rare language that otherwise might be impossible or not practical.
- Start interpreting in seconds.
Following are the two primary ways to start providing VRI to your customers:
Partner with a VRI provider who provides the technology and the interpreters
There are a few VRI providers (with more coming) that are willing to enter into a reselling or “white label” business relationship. This is common in Over the Phone (OPI) Interpretation. The local agency maintains the business relationship with the end customer and the VRI provider provides the technology and the interpreter. With more advanced VRI technology it is even possible for the local agency to partially staff the on demand interpreters in an effort to capture more margin.
Find a VRI technology vendor and build your own VRI practice
The technology used by the current national VRI providers, with some exceptions, is primarily built on top of Cisco and or Polycom video conferencing technology. When configured with on demand routing technology this is exceptionally expensive; $100,000 and up.
Technology from companies like Vidyo has allowed secure HD video conferencing to happen over the public internet while costs have come down. There are a few new VRI technology only vendors that are offering VRI as a “cloud” based service. These vendors provide their service for a modest up front fee and then typically some type of per month fee or per minute rate for connection time.
So get into the game. Pick a vendor to partner with or lose some of your in- person business to another VRI provider.