IBM, Genesys Join on Speech Offerings

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-04-28 Print this article Print

The companies plan to combine IBM's speech engines and middleware with Genesys' call-center software to better link callers with enterprise information.

IBM and Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories Inc. are working to integrate their speech technologies to launch new self-service capabilities for call centers that better link with enterprise systems. The two companies announced the partnership Wednesday and said a suite of new solutions would be available this summer for the English, Chinese and Japanese markets. IBMs middleware for tying speech recognition and synthesis with enterprise databases and systems will be combined with Genesys Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems that answer and route calls in call centers, said Brian Garr, program director for contact centers in the IBM Pervasive Computing group.
"This is really recognition of the fact that the call center and IT center are merging," Garr said.
Click here to read more about IBMs research on advanced speech and IVR technologies. Specifically, IBM will bring to the combined offering its WebSphere Voice Server, which includes its speech-recognition and text-to-speech engines; its WebSphere Voice Application Access portal middleware; and its Voice Toolkit for WebSphere Studio for speech application development. They will integrate with the Genesys Voice Platform 7.2. The development work with Genesys marks the beginning of IBMs push to extend its WebSphere speech technologies to a broader array of partners. Garr said the Armonk, N.Y., company is working on other partnership announcements. Genesys, of Daly City, Calif., is a subsidiary of Alcatel. "For the speech industry to flourish and grow, it requires an ecosystem of partners to work together with open standards," Garr said. IBM and Genesys both support VoiceXML in their products, and the companies plan to use a proposed standard called Media Resource Control Protocol to facilitate communication between their products. IBM added support for MRCP in a March update to its WebSphere Voice Server as a way of integrating its speech technologies with other vendors offerings. IBM and Genesys also announced that they are working on combinations of their speech technologies aimed at small and midsized businesses. The initial focus will be on self-service solutions for the financial services and health-care industries. Check out eWEEK.coms Enterprise Applications Center at for the latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion about productivity and business solutions. Be sure to add our enterprise applications news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:  
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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