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August 1998

Speech Recognition And Open Server Products For The Call Center


Speech Recognition For Network-Based Call Centers
From ALTech And Amarex

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Most people, when making a call to a call center, would much rather speak than push buttons on a keypad. To help call centers build applications that will allow the development of speech-enabled applications for the call center, Applied Language Technologies, Inc. (ALTech) and Amarex Technology, Inc. have announced a partnership, the fruit of which will be the integration of ALTech's speech recognition technology, SpeechWorks, with Amarex's ChatterBox software application, a part of Amarex's SuiteTalk family of products.

The integrated product is designed to allow telecommunications service providers and other corporate enterprises to build comprehensive, speech-enabled call center applications rapidly within the Intelligent Network (IN) architecture provided by Amarex's ChatterBox. ChatterBox is a scalable, network-based interactive voice response (IVR) system that also supports Intelligent Peripheral/Service Node (IP/SN) implementations. ChatterBox is housed on a DIGITAL AlphaServer 64-bit processor for processing high-volume applications and utilizes the Antares speech platform and network interface card from Dialogic Corporation. ChatterBox's architecture allows for the separation of the voice response unit (VRU) function from the runtime environment and provides dynamic IVR applications for large call centers, be they centralized or dispersed. It supports automatic fail-over and multiple applications and languages, and voice and data integration.

ALTech's SpeechWorks is designed to provide developers with the ability to speech-enable a range of transaction processing, information exchange and messaging applications. Using SpeechWorks, developers do not have to specify grammars, create lexicons or define language models. SpeechWorks Recognition Engine provides the core speech recognition capabilities while DialogModules manage the "conversation" between the system and the caller within an application. DialogModules have been integrated as graphical icons into Amarex's service creation environment, GhostWriter, to help speed application development and deployment. DialogModules are high-level application building blocks that enable developers to quickly and easily add speech interfaces to computer-telephony applications. Each DialogModule accomplishes a particular task within an application, ranging from relatively simple tasks such as capturing a yes/no response or phone number from a caller, to more complex tasks such as capturing a caller's credit card information or name and address.

GhostWriter is a service creation environment/application creation tool for IVR scripts. The Windows-based GUI tool allows developers to create new applications and crate new containers and Service Independent Building Blocks (SIBBs) to produce data-driven scripts in a multitenant shared environment.

For more information, call ALTech at 617-428-4444 or see www.altech.com; or call Amarex at 212-759-0610 or see www.amarex.com.


Computer Telephony Servers From Dialogic And Digital

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A nagging problem in creating workable computer-telephony products applications has long been the lack of standards-based open systems. In an effort to move ahead standardization in the industry, Dialogic Corporation and Digital Equipment Corporation have joined forces to jointly develop and market application-ready Windows NT computer telephony (CT) servers based on the Dialogic CT Media middleware. The servers will form a platform for a wide range of third-party CT applications supporting standard application programming interfaces (APIs). Based on the Digital family of highly modular and expandable products known as Digital Modular Computing Components (DMCC) and Windows NT server technology, the servers will include the Dialogic CT Media software package and CT hardware components.

CT Media is a standards-based, client/server software platform based on the Signal Computing System Architecture (SCSA) software model, which incorporates the Enterprise Computer Telephony Forum's (ECTF) S.100 application programming interface. CT Media manages server control functions and technology resources within a CT server for multiple client applications, relieving software developers of the need to write applications to handle low-level resource management and other server management functions.

The new servers will comply with a range of worldwide telephony standards. The DMCC product family is comprised of interchangeable modular components including Intel and Alpha single-board computers, enclosures and passive backplanes that offer a variety of system configurations. The DMCC architecture is designed around the standards of the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturer's Group (PICMG). Users will have access to the growing number of software products supporting the ECTF's S.100 standard and Microsoft's Telephony API (TAPI). Dean Trumbull, vice president of the Dialogic CTSwitch Products division, said that the new servers will provide a telephony environment along the lines of the open computing model enjoyed currently by IT departments.

For more information, contact Erica Erickson at Dialogic at 973-993-3000, ext. 6876 or see www.dialogic.com; or contact David Lynch at Digital Equipment Corporation at 508-467-6005 or see www.digital.com/oem.


 


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