August 07, 2006 05:00 ET

Speech Recognition Software Adoption Powers Voice Applications Around the World

ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 7, 2006 -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) reports growth in the adoption of speech-recognition software used to power voice-based applications for businesses around the world.

Companies implementing speech recognition software include OutRight, a personal lines insurance broker to national and regional brokers and blue chip corporate clients; SpeechConcept, a software firm specializing in high quality speech technology with their customer VoiceWebOne; and dtms Solutions, a technology services firm. Their building block of choice for innovative, voice-based applications that improve customer service and decrease costs is IBM WebSphere® Voice Server (WVS).

Companies view voice as a way to improve service from their customer call centers while also reducing costs. Voice recognition allows companies to use automation to serve customers over the phone, 24/7, without subjecting them to hold times or older systems that require people to respond to rigidly structured menus. A typical customer service call handled by an agent costs an estimated $5.50 to support, with automated voice recognition lowering the cost to an estimated 30 cents, according to analysts.

Voice-based applications have become increasingly popular as a means to access data. Advances in interfaces between digital data and voice have led to the increased use of this technology for personal and business applications. Voice-based applications are those that allow the customer to select menu items or use entry fields using a normal telephone. This allows the customer to interact with the system through traditional voice communication and familiar telephone keypad, leveraging fundamentals of human communication and increasing ease-of-use and customer satisfaction while decreasing the likelihood of error.

IBM WebSphere Voice Server provides greater access to information and services, simply by speaking, using breakthrough speech technology. IBM WebSphere integration and infrastructure software can help leverage existing IT investments and resources to support new business models, reach users in new ways, and integrate business processes with an enterprise-wide, flexible, service-oriented approach to application integration.

IBM WebSphere Voice Server, a member of the IBM WebSphere software family, is a platform that enables speech recognition in voice applications using industry standards. IBM WebSphere Voice Server software facilitates the deployment of voice applications using a standards based infrastructure that supports MRCP, VoiceXML, SRGS, SSML and SISR. It further aids the development of these applications by providing a development toolkit (SDK). IBM WebSphere software is the market-leading Internet infrastructure software, or middleware, for creating, running and integrating on-demand e-business applications across a variety of computing platforms, built on open standards.

About IBM

IBM WebSphere software is used by 60,000 customers worldwide, including the top 45 commercial and savings banks, 15 top Wall Street brokerage firms, seven of the top 10 U.S. telcos, and 80% of the top U.S. healthcare companies. More than 9,000 independent software vendors write applications on top of IBM WebSphere software. More than 400 ISV solutions are built with IBM WebSphere Studio tools. More than 1900 IBM Business Partners have joined the enablement program for IBM WebSphere Application Server-Express software. In addition, more than 600 applications have been ported to IBM Express software.

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