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Nuance Acquires JottListen to this article in TTS, powered by Loquendo

Nuance says the move will expand its mobile portfolio.
By Adam Boretz - Posted Jul 15, 2009
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Nuance Communications expanded its Mobile Division voice services portfolio with the acquisition of Jott.  Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Jott is the creator of the Jott Assistant, a service that enables users to create notes, set reminders and appointments, send email and text messages, and post to their favorite Web services—all via voice.

According to Mike Thompson, senior vice president and general manager of Nuance Mobile, Nuance—which keeps a “close eye” on the speech industry—had been very impressed with Jott and its leadership team.

“When we looked at the Jott service it was somewhat unique—in fact it was very unique—and the users raved about it,” Thompson said. “Those two points were what got us very excited about connecting with the management team and beginning to discuss the acquisition.”

The combined Nuance and Jott teams will focus on several key voice-to-text initiatives:

  1. To further extend the power of Jott across the mobile mass market, Nuance plans to package and offer Jott Assistant to mobile operators as part of its voice services portfolio;
  2. Nuance and its Enterprise Unified Communications partners will offer a secure, highly scalable, and differentiated Enterprise package that includes Jott services; and
  3. Nuance will leverage Jott for Salesforce—which provides open APIs that allow for voice integration with third-party CRM providers and other critical enterprise applications that require mobile access—and continue to expand the CRM partner program.

Thompson describes the acquisition as mutually beneficial for Nuance and Jott.
“Combining two companies—one that’s been very innovative and build a very unique service with a great team—with another company that has significant scale, very wide global distribution and relationships, is going to lead to a pretty powerful combination,” he says.

Shree Madhavapeddi, co-founder of Jott—who, along with the company’s other co-founder John Pollard, will be joining the Nuance Mobile Leadership Team—notes that Nuance and Jott have similar visions for the mobile space.

“Jott has basically shipped a very successful direct-to-consumer product,” Madhavapeddi says.  “We looked at the opportunity of working with Nuance, leveraging speech technology resources [and] a decade of enterprise and carrier relationships [as] the right partnership to take Jott to the next level.”

All of Jott’s services, including Jott Assistant, Jott Voicemail, and Jott for Salesforce will remain available, and existing customers will experience no interruptions in service, according to Nuance.

“As we’ve started integration into Nuance, we’ve found a lot of other resources that will make our products much better,” Madhavapeddi says. “So we’re very excited about that.”

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