• August 11, 2006
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Product Roundup: SpeechTEK 2006

Vendors in the speech technology industry released new products at the 12th annual SpeechTEK International Exposition and Educational Conference in New York this week. Highlights of the event (in alphabetical order) include:

Angel.com, a provider of on-demand call center and IVR solutions, has selected Newfound Communication's IP Call Recorder for the Angel.com Call Analyzer feature. By implementing the Newfound IP Call Recorder, Angel.com will add reporting and recoding features so customers can record and listen to an entire call, specific portions of a call, browse, search, and archive recordings.

Angel.com also announced upcoming availability of Outbound IVR, a new solution that allows organizations to instantly deliver thousands of interactive phone calls using a Web based toolkit.

Aspect Software announced general availability, as of August 28, of its Customer Self Service (CSS) 7.2. With 7.2, CSS will now fully support TDM and IP environments and an optional Voice XML Studio module that can shorten the design and coding time needed to create VoiceXML speech and touchtone applications. "As customers move from TDM to VoIP, is has the capability to be a hybrid interface," says Thomas Chamberlain, director of business process marketing at Aspect Software. "You have a platform that will shift with you."

Envox Worldwide announced two new additions to their product portfolio at the conference. The company announced general availability of the Envox CT Connect Gateway for Cisco CallManager. CT Connect will enable business applications to manage, monitor, and control calls across multiple locations within mixed telephony switching environments.

Second, the company introduced Envox OnDemand, the company's next generation hosted call center voice solution. Created in conjunction with VoltDelta, the new offering will enable customers to variable brand each call, choose services based on caller segmentation, call routing and automation, and provide support for multiple languages. "Envox OnDemand combines the strengths of two proven players in high performance voice solutions and services to bring a solid hosted IVR and speech offering to the market," said Daniel Hong, senior voice business analyst at Datamonitor, in a written statement. One advantage to these hosted solutions, according to Joe Outlaw, principal analyst for contact center solutions at Current Analysis, is companies can take the "try before they buy" approach.

IBM will allow dtms to market IBM WebSphere Voice Server speech recognition solutions to enterprises, tying their customers' transactions to related systems through SOA. Brian Garr, program director of enterprise speech solutions in the IBM Software Group says dtms is "building their architecture to fit into a company's SOA. We see this as the beginning of a long relationship with lots of hosting companies."

SpeechConcept chose IBM WebSphere Voice Server to apply natural language understanding capabilities to its telephony products. This will allow callers to respond to a query or command in a manner people are most comfortable with as opposed to having to use specifically formatted sentences or menu commands. "IBM WebSphere Voice Server will allow us to provide customized services to our clients using naturally spoken commands," said Michael Mende, CEO of SpeechConcept in a written statement.

TuVox launched TuVox On Demand 6.0, the company's hosted voice self service solution. Version 6.0 enhancements include new Web based management capabilities, Web based reporting and application optimization analytics that provide end users with insight into call trends and caller behavior. The new product will be available in late September or early October, according to the company.

OpenMethods has added an open source, openVXML graphical tooling suite to its Eclipse Voice Tools Project to make it easier for end-users to build voice applications and add speech capabilities. A new application designer component will provide a drag-and-drop voice service environment while new media resource and project management functionality has been added. "This is the first step in OpenMethods' contribution to open source and to speech technology," said Tim Barnes, managing partner and cofounder of OpenMethods, in a written statement.

Additional reporting by Coreen Bailor.

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