Microsoft Speech Technologies gains speed

Together, the products constitute a comprehensive speech platform for companies interested in developing, testing, deploying and managing Web-based speech-enabled telephony and multimodalapplications. These speech applications can improve employee productivity, increase customer satisfaction, create new revenue opportunities, and reduce costs by consolidating Web and call-centerinfrastructures.

“Our goal is to make speech technology more cost-effective and accessible to a broader range of enterprise customers,” said Xuedong Huang, general manager of the Speech Technologies group at Microsoft. “After more than 10 years of research and a wealth of beta tester feedback, Microsoft and our industry partners are ready to turn speech — the most natural form of interaction — into a mainstream technology that provides significant business value to enterprise customers.”

Since the launch of Microsoft Speech Server beta 1 in July 2003, more than 500 leading enterprises have enrolled in the Microsoft Speech Server beta program, and more than 50 partners have joined the Speech Partner Program. These partners are working with Microsoft to bring speech to the mainstream by developing packaged speech applications and services to the broad enterprise market.

In addition, Microsoft recently unveiled its Speech Technologies Joint Development Program (JDP) customers and partners, which have been working closely with Microsoft over the past year to ensure optimal platform quality, reliability and scalability for deploying speech-enabled applications with Microsoft speech technologies. Participating JDP customers include GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp., Grange Insurance Group, Jet Blue Airways, Mary Kay Inc. and the New York City Department of Education; participating partners include Intel Corp., Intervoice Inc., Maxxar Corp., ScanSoft Inc., TALX Corp. and Tata Consultancy Services.

“Previously, companies weren’t willing to invest in speech technology because it was so expensive and proprietary. But with Microsoft’s advent into the speech industry it is providing the necessary impetus to boost speech development and interest,” said Ryan Plant, software architect for JetBlue Airways.

“Microsoft and industry partner Tata Consultancy Services are helping to provide our company with the tools and technology to operate in a much more productive and responsive manner with our customers,” said Ralph Carlile, vice president and CIO for Grange Insurance Group. “The vision for speech recognition technology at Grange Insurance Group includes providing a rapid, customer-convenient channel for accessing specific information or performing business transactions by voice.”

Microsoft Speech Server New Features and Functionalities

Designed to run on the Windows Server