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Speech Applications Feature Article


[September 29, 2005]

TuVox Acquires NetByTel's Hosted Speech

By DAVID SIMS
TMCnet CRM Alert Columnist


Enterprise speech applications vendor TuVox has announced the acquisition of NetByTel's hosted speech application business.

NetByTel sells its speech recognition products for call centers as a managed service.

The acquisition gives TuVox over 40 speech applications and over 50 new customers, including Office Depot, H&R Block, Shell, Wal-mart, ABN-Amro, and 1-800-Flowers, accomplishing a good chunk of growth for the company at one shot, instantly moving it into new vertical markets such as retail and financial services.

TuVox's existing customers include Activision, AvMed, MCI, Netflix, Oriental Trading Company, TiVo, TV Guide and the United States Postal Service.

Art Schoeller, senior analyst at Yankee Group said the acquisition of NetByTel's customers and applications "reflects continued consolidation within the voice self-service market. The strongest players in the speech market will continue to grow through aggressive expansion and partnership strategies."

The transaction is expected to close by Friday. NetByTel maintains its core software after the transaction and will focus on enabling service providers to bring speech applications to market. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Earlier this week Message Technologies, Inc. a provider of speech IVR announced its migration to the latest version of the VoiceGenie VoiceXML platform, and TuVox was one of the first of MTI's partners to convert their speech deployment to the platform.

VoiceGenie's platform is a scalable VoiceXML 2.0-certified platform that offers a variety of the ASR, TTS, speech applications and development tools available in the industry. By capitalizing on VoiceGenie's open standards and VoiceXML 2.0 compliance, MTI is able to support best-of-breed ASR and TTS engines, including ScanSoft OSR V 3.0, the Nuance MRCP 1.0 Engine 8.5 and ScanSoft Speechify V 3.0.

This past July NetByTel signed a multi-year patent license to use Voice2Form's voice and speech recognition technology process for completing paper and electronic forms for a variety of commercial and governmental agencies. The patented application system collects applicants' voice entries from any phone, converts the answers to text and enters the information into any form and/or company database, such as a web server.

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David Sims is contributing editor for TMCnet. For more articles by David Sims, please visit:
http://www.tmcnet.com/tmcnet/columnists/columnist.aspx?id=100005&nm=David%20Sims


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