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[December 14, 2004]

ScanSoft RealSpeak Telecom 4.0: Text-to-Speech Solution in Many Languages

ScanSoft, Inc. announced the worldwide release of RealSpeak Telecom 4.0 - the premier text-to-speech (TTS) solution for conversational call center and carrier-based applications worldwide. RealSpeak Telecom 4.0 turns any ordinary text - such as text from a database, directory assistance service, news report, or short message service (SMS) - into remarkably high-quality speech output.

RealSpeak Telecom 4.0 delivers the most comprehensive range of languages, dialects and voices worldwide, achieving a new level of expressive, natural voice quality to enhance customer service in applications across the globe. In addition, the company announced it has completed of the acquisition of Rhetorical Systems, Ltd., first announced on November 15.

RealSpeak Telecom 4.0 is the first product to leverage and build upon the combined assets of RealSpeak 3.5 and Speechify(R) 3.0, independently considered leading products before this release. RealSpeak Telecom 4.0 introduces 10 new voices, enabling businesses to converse with their customers through an incredible degree of accuracy and consistency in multiple languages, including the world's first TTS solution for the rapidly growing Indian market. RealSpeak Telecom 4.0 is currently available in 22 high-quality languages and 30 superb voices with a further voice and language roll-out in 2005.

"The launch of RealSpeak Telecom 4.0 is yet another demonstration of the power of our combined assets as we move towards greater flexibility and broader adoption of speech solutions world wide," said Steve Chambers, president of the SpeechWorks Solutions division of ScanSoft. "With the global release of RealSpeak Telecom 4.0, SpeechWorks Solutions is reaffirming its leadership in text-to-speech by offering an appropriately expressive and natural TTS solution available on a global scale. The addition of Rhetorical is a tremendous asset to our customers, and we are committed to ensuring a smooth migration path for all existing and new customers, and we'd like to formally welcome the Rhetorical employees to ScanSoft."

RealSpeak Telecom 4.0 supports ground-breaking tuning tools that enable developers to optimize, tune and vary TTS prompts to an unprecedented level. These tuning and personalization opportunities allow developers to significantly enhance caller-experience in their conversational applications and to improve ROI by increasing task automation. Furthermore, RealSpeak Telecom 4.0's new voices boast sophisticated bilingual capabilities, allowing a single voice to elegantly handle words from multiple languages within the same application without sacrificing quality or pronunciation - a necessary capability in today's global economy.

This addition of Rhetorical Systems is another example of how ScanSoft continues to invest in high-growth speech markets and is delivering on its strategy for a future where natural, human conversations will be the predominant way that people retrieve information and interact with automated systems. To achieve this, ScanSoft recognizes that speech applications need to be more dynamic, sound more natural, interact more conversationally and adapt to personal preferences. The acquisition of Rhetorical provides an array of technology, customer, partner and employee resources to help ScanSoft fuel its growth and propel the quality of speech applications throughout the world. In addition, Rhetorical Systems brings a range of benefits to RealSpeak Telecom 4.0 customers, including Active Prompts - optimized, expressive TTS output - supported by a suite of tuning tools enable customers to optimize application prompts throughout implementation and beyond, to ensure optimum accuracy.

"We're extremely pleased to have reached this milestone Corporate Voice Agreement with ScanSoft. 11810 powered by varetis' ADIS is the first service of its kind anywhere in the world to offer white pages, yellow pages and reverse searches over a single portal. Especially with categorized business information, we needed a TTS voice that could handle our stringent requirements and push us a step closer to our ultimate goal: that the caller notices no difference between synthesized speech and standard prompts. The remarkable expressiveness, naturalness and branding capabilities in ScanSoft's new TTS voices convinced us that RealSpeak 4.0 was the right choice to meet our business aims," said Christian Mooser, Head of Voice Automation, varetis AG.

Businesses understand the unique branding opportunities afforded by their voice services. As business-to-customer interfaces become increasingly critical differentiators, more organizations look for unique and creative ways to strengthen their brand equity with custom voices on RealSpeak Telecom 4.0. SpeechWorks Solutions offers an unparalleled blend of experience, technologies and tools that enable the creation of compelling, effective and unique custom voices that augment call-center and carrier applications. The addition of Rhetorical's portfolio of specialized tuning tools and best practices will enable RealSpeak Telecom 4.0 customers to deploy custom voices more easily. To date, more than 15 custom applications have been implemented by the combined organization world wide, including varetis AG and Belgacom.

"We are looking forward to offering our customers a new level of service that we simply can't achieve with pre-recorded prompts," said Gianluca Ferranti, Marketing Director of Reitek, a leading Italian supplier of Customer Interaction Management Solutions. "Thanks to the quality level attained with RealSpeak Silvia, for the first time, we are now considering offering text-to-speech as a standard module for our client's application."

"The new RealSpeak Virginie voice from ScanSoft has set a new quality benchmark for the French market," said Christophe Joubert, managing director, Sintel. "We can't believe how consistent, expressive and pleasant the voice is, and how positively our customers have reacted to it."

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