Nuance Plans Industry-Specific Speech Apps

 
 
By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-05-11 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The speech vendor is releasing applications suites for six verticals to help companies voice-enable tasks such as bill payments and address changes.

Continuing its push into packaged applications, Nuance Communications Inc. on Wednesday plans to release a set of voice application suites aimed at vertical industries. The Menlo Park, Calif., company is announcing its Nuance Flexible Applications Suites, or what it is calling Nuance FASt, for six different verticals, said Joel Riciputi, a senior product marketing manager at Nuance. The industries are credit card financial services, retail banking, insurance, wireless telecommunications, wireline telecom and utilities. Nuance is launching a total of about 70 applications across the suites that can help companies in a particular industry route calls and authenticate callers using speech-recognition and text-to-speech technologies, Riciputi said. The applications address common tasks such as paying a bill, changing an address or conducting a transaction.
The suite for credit card companies, for example, includes speech-enabled applications for caller identification, card activation, account payments, address changes, recent transaction lookups and gathering rate information, Riciputi said.
Nuance about a year ago began to focus on offering packaged speech applications. The initial focus was on applications that are applicable across industries. It launched a speech-enabled call-routing application in 2003, and last month added one for caller authentication. Click here to read more about the gains speech technology has made within enterprises. Increasing demand for speech applications led Nuance to package them for specific industries, said Matt Keowen, Nuances director of corporate marketing. The applications provide voice user interfaces and best practices for speech dialogs, voice prompts and speech grammars. The applications require the Nuance speech-recognition engine, but they can be run on the Nuance Voice Platform as well as on third-party IVR platforms, officials said. Pricing for the suites starts at $40,000 per application. In other speech-industry news, speech vendor ScanSoft Inc. on Tuesday announced broader support for the emerging speech standard, Media Resource Control Protocol (MRCP). The company has added MRCP support to SpeechWorks products such as SpeechPearl speech recognition, RealSpeak text-to-speech and the OpenSpeech MediaServer 2.0. Last week, ScanSoft announced the addition of a new female text-to-speech voice, called "Steffi," for its SpeechWorks RealSpeak and RealSpeak Solo. It also agreed to acquire Telelogue Inc., an Iselin, N.J.-based provider of automated directory assistance applications for telecom service providers. Terms of the cash-based transaction were not disclosed. Check out eWEEK.coms Enterprise Applications Center at http://enterpriseapps.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion about productivity and business solutions. Be sure to add our eWEEK.com enterprise applications news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:  
 
 
 
 
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for eWEEK.com, 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 eWEEK.com. Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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