Speech Applications & Solutions

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March 20, 2007

Nuance Automates Latest Offering for 1-800-FREE411

By Stefania Viscusi, TMCnet Assistant Editor


Offering a new ad-supported media network model for directory assistance, Junction Networks (News - Alert) Inc.'s 1-800-FREE411 service introduced a competitive alternative in the directory assistance market over high cost 411 services offered by landline carriers.
The ad supported business model provides free 411 calls to users via paid support from advertisers who utilize the service to offer targeted messages for direct marketing and as a branding channel. The solution also offers free internet directory assistance for added convenience to web users.
One of the latest innovations to be added to this offering will be the ability to complete a directory assistance request by speaking the business category for the desired listing.
To power this application, Jingle Networks turned to Speech provider Nuance (News - Alert) Communications for their ASR and TTS applications.
Category search will provide the ability to find businesses by uttering a number of different phrases related to the businesses topic area. This will provide users with a fast and convenient way to locate businesses in their desired localities quickly and using the power of speech. It also has an added benefit for local and regional advertisers who can utilize the application to better target users who haven’t yet selected a brand, but are readily in the market for their offerings.
"Our newest speech solutions for automated directory assistance are helping to expand the ad-supported DA business model beyond the simple look-up tasks. We've worked with Jingle to improve the breadth and content of its search applications, bringing a more intelligent approach to handling caller requests," commented Michael Thompson, vice president and general manager, telco search and communications, Nuance in a statement.
This service is powered by Nuance Communications and is available in nine metropolitan areas. Over the past year, 1-800-FREE411 has increased their monthly call volume by more than 300 percent.  
Jingle Networks, also announced recently market achievements for the company including capturing a six percent market share of all 411 calls from mobile phones and their offering has provided Americans with savings of $340 million in traditional phone company fees for 411 directory assistance since their initial launch.
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Stefania Viscusi is an established writer and avid reader. To see more of her articles, please visit Stefania Viscusi’s columnist page.

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