SpeechTEK: Nuance goes hosted, too


Nuance is a company that needs no introduction. It is a member of what I call “Big Speech,” which also includes Microsoft Tellme and Loquendo. However, Tellme still has some catching up to do in its enterprise reach, and Loquendo appears better received in European markets. But in the global enterprise market, Nuance enjoys dominance through its worldwide channel partners. It didn’t have a booth at SpeechTEK, but its presence was felt, not only because its marketing directors were hard at work meeting with media members, but the company name was mentioned numerous times during the sessions as well as overheard on the show room floor.

If you have an IVR, it’s very likely that it will work with Nuance speech products.

If you have a hosted IVR, Nuance can work too.

Dedicated speech servers are no longer needed — well, at least not on-premise in the enterprise. As with many other companies dealing with today’s sluggish economic environment, Nuance also has a hosted on-demand solution to help customers cut costs. The company has three PCI-compliant data centers to ensure service delivery and adequate security. Think of it as “speech in the cloud,” without the eavesdropping.

But what sets Nuance On Demand apart, according to Laura Marino (Sr. Director of Product Marketing) and Dena Skrbina (Sr. Director of Solutions Marketing), are the rich analytics features, also on-demand. The analytics offering is also tiered to provide advanced level reports based on a subscription charged by per-minute usage. One important point Marino brings up is that ROI is really gained by applying analytics. To be able to slice and dice the data gleaned from any technology is invaluable to the enterprise.

Enough about on demand solutions. Marino also shared news about SpeechAttendant 11, a niche on-premise product to provide enterprise enhanced auto attendant and directory services. With SpeechAttendant, Nuance wants to increase productivity by making the corporate directory more intelligent using its speech technology and applications. The product can list 400,000 names, searchable via natural language processing and multiple languages. It allows simple IVR-like menus to implement some level of business rules, and is equipped with telephony features such as call forwarding, emergency broadcasting, etc. An auto attendant in a box may not sound like a sexy product, but with the right technologies and interfaces it can indeed become an instrumental productivity tool.

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