Frost & Sullivan Names ScanSoft Leader in Asia Pacific Speech Recognition Market for Second YearPEABODY, Mass., & SYDNEY, Australia --(Business Wire)-- Sept. 14, 2004 -- For the second year running, Frost & Sullivan, an industry research firm, has recognised ScanSoft, Inc. (Nasdaq: SSFT) as the market leader in the Asia Pacific speech recognition technology software market. The SpeechWorks Division of ScanSoft represented 37.6 percent of the Asia Pacific market in 2003, a 7.2 percent increase from its leading position in 2002, according to Frost & Sullivan's annual Asia Pacific Interaction CRM Market report. In addition, the SpeechWorks division held commanding leads in individual countries including Australia (84.6 percent), India (68.8 percent), New Zealand (64.9 percent) and Singapore (94.6 percent).
SpeechWorks' success in the Asia Pacific market was manifested through a number of key new customers in 2003, including Telstra, Vodafone, SK Telecom, Centrelink, Inland Revenue Department (New Zealand), Royal New Zealand Federation of the Blind, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (Australia), Department of Workplace Relations, Great Eastern Life Assurance Co. Ltd., Singapore Telecom, Premier Taxis, Comfort Cabs and Dongbu Fire Insurance.
"ScanSoft remains the top vendor for network-based speech recognition solutions," said Audrey William, Industry Manager of Frost & Sullivan Technology Practice (Asia Pacific). "Speech technology has been gaining momentum and acceptance in markets where labour costs are relatively high, such as Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. These markets have a compelling case for the adoption of network-based automatic speech recognition solutions. Businesses that have not taken up speech technology will feel competitive pressures to do so over the next 12 months as challengers start seeing cost savings and competitive advantages by rolling out these projects."
ScanSoft saw particular demand for its speech solutions in Australia, where its market share is 71.6 percent greater than its closest competitor. One Australian milestone this year for the SpeechWorks division was partnering with platform provider T-Systems to develop a fixed line SMS Talking Text service on behalf of Telstra, the leading telecommunications provider in Australia. The service reads a text message sent from a Telstra mobile to a Telstra fixed phone customer and allows the fixed phone customer to reply in text form with simple, pre-set responses. ScanSoft was also involved in developing Telstra's new customer services interactive voice menu, which was launched in February 2004.
Peter Chidiac, Asia Pacific regional director for the SpeechWorks division of ScanSoft, expressed his satisfaction with Frost & Sullivan's latest findings stating that it clearly validates ScanSoft's commitment to their customers, partners and the Asia Pacific speech industry as a whole.
"Channel partner relations have been integral this year in helping ScanSoft, now with SpeechWorks fully integrated, attain new business wins in the telecommunications, finance and government sectors specifically. The trend looks set to continue with developments in eGovernment initiatives across the region, growing recognition in customer relationship management at the mid-market level, increasing acceptance of VoiceXML and continuing acceptance of innovative cost cutting initiatives."
Market Size and Forecasts
According to Frost & Sullivan, the Asia Pacific Speech market, still at its nascent stages of development, is worth US$7.1 million in 2003 Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) license revenues with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.0 percent throughout the forecast period (2003 - 2010)(1). Financial services and telecommunications carriers are likely to represent the largest growth potential. Government, healthcare and the travel sectors are also likely to gain momentum across the region.
The report predicts that demand for speech recognition solutions is likely to increase rapidly around 2005 and 2006 due to the improving investment climate and a growing recognition of the value proposition of speech technologies.
The Asia Pacific Interaction CRM Market report provides a comprehensive analysis of the following market segments: ACD, CTI, Speech Technology, Call Monitoring, Workforce Management, Real-Time Web Collaboration, E-mail Management, IVR and Outbound systems. For more information, please visit www.asiapacific.frost.com.
About the SpeechWorks Division of ScanSoft
Speech applications for the real world. Through a global partner network, the company delivers field-proven solutions that use the human voice to interact with information systems and devices. Today, thousands of companies and millions of users around the world depend on SpeechWorks(R) solutions from ScanSoft to deliver vital business information and simplify every day life.
About ScanSoft, Inc.
ScanSoft, Inc. (Nasdaq: SSFT) is the global leader of speech and imaging solutions that are used to automate a wide range of manual processes - saving time, increasing worker productivity and improving customer service. For more information regarding ScanSoft products and technologies, please visit www.ScanSoft.com.
ScanSoft, SpeechWorks and the ScanSoft logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of ScanSoft, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. All other company or product names may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
(1) Market sizing in the Asia Pacific iCRM Report (May 2004) looks at product license revenues only. All other revenues associated with professional services, integration and maintenance are excluded from the study.