Speech Technology Magazine

 

Biographical Information

Mark Plakias



Articles By Mark Plakias

Spread the Word

If the combination of SpeechTEK, TVUI and SAXPO has any common denominator, it is this: We have made great strides in educating ourselves about the power of standards and the Internet in making 'insanely great' self-service, telephone-based applications.
Posted 26 Apr 2005 - May/June 2005 - by Mark Plakias

CAN U W8 for Multimodal: SMS and Clunky Heuristics

We all take the browser on our computer for granted. As I write this, my co-worker is watching the new (scary, animated, dark) Eminem video on her IE with a QuickTime helper. Lately, I've been looking at another form of browser, not really designed as a browser, indeed, not even capable of interpreting markup language: SMS. That stands for Short Message Service and is the ubiquitous text.
Posted 06 Jan 2005 - January/February 2005 - by Mark Plakias

Speech Business: Open Season

The most recent SpeechTEK in New York turned out to be a wake-up call for redefining what we mean by 'open' in the IVR and speech world.
Posted 23 Nov 2004 - November/December 2004 - by Mark Plakias

From (Political) Show Business to 'Go' Business

The voice automation industry in the US can be generally situated in a pretty wide cross-section of political landscapes: you've got the Dallas metroplex (Bush country), California (Schwarzenegger's domain), and the Northeast Corridor (Virginia through DC up to liberal New York and Massachusetts).
Posted 11 Sep 2004 - September/October 2004 - by Mark Plakias

The Battle for Partner Share

As the second half of 2004 unreels we will be watching a metric that is proving to be very important indeed. We call it partner share. We can define this as the amount of an ecosystem that is involved with your product. In the case of speech, this could include system integrators, related software including CTI or digital recording, as well as independent software vendors of CRM and B2E applications.
Posted 08 Jul 2004 - July/August 2004 - by Mark Plakias

Pre-packaged or Redundant? Reinventing the App.

As we reflect on AVIOS/SpeechTEK, the second major show of the year, the pre-packaged apps mantra that was sounded at TVUI continued to resonate on the floors of the exhibition floor in San Francisco.
Posted 24 May 2004 - May/June 2004 - by Mark Plakias

Speech: It's Not Different, Stupid

With Bill Gates as a headliner at a speech show, the question naturally arises as to whether speech technology will become more widely available, riding Microsoft's low-price/high-volume software model.
Posted 08 Mar 2004 - March/April 2004 - by Mark Plakias

Optimizing Your Life(cycle)

Zelos Group recently completed a detailed life-cycle analysis of a typical speech deployment, based on a real-world experience base of 20 deployments for both premises-based and hosted solutions.
Posted 09 Jan 2004 - January/February 2004 - by Mark Plakias

Attitude Correction: Deconstructing Six Myths About TTS

Ever want to stop and say, hey, let's give the kid some respect? That's how I feel about TTS. Here's my contribution to giving the technology its due.
Posted 25 Nov 2003 - November/December 2003 - by Mark Plakias

Factors of 10, or, Is This Trip Necessary?

As some of you are acutely aware, autumn involves large checks going to tuition (at all levels these days). Which brings me immediately to my first factor of 10: I'm pretty sure that when I went to college it was 1/10th of what I'm paying for Vassar this fall.
Posted 25 Aug 2003 - September/October 2003 - by Mark Plakias

Out of the Iron Age: Redefining Success

Gone are the days of big deals meaning big discounts for IVR ports. The new definition of success is how many calls can be resolved and how fast the next app goes into production.
Posted 01 Aug 2003 - - by Mark Plakias

Out of the Iron Age: Redefining Success

A recent visit to a major trade show (V-World) amidst continued blurry first quarter financial results from IVR platform vendors has led me to wonder if it’s time to give up some long-time analytical perspectives. No, this has nothing to do with New York’s ban on smoking, we’re way past that. It’s about Iron, hardware, ports – lots of them. Life was simple back in the Iron Age of call automation.
Posted 30 Jun 2003 - July/August 2003 - by Mark Plakias

What's Your Value? It's Just A Phone, Stupid.

Recently, we had the exhilarating experience of undergoing a merger. In the interim, we were able to set up a fully functional intranet, a speech-based automated attendent, and a virtual Exchange server in one day.
Posted 05 May 2003 - May/June 2003 - by Mark Plakias

The S-Word and Building Glass Towers

Last year, in a vacant lot by the Hudson River in Greenwich Village (where I live), they broke ground on not one, but two 15-story glass residences designed by architect Richard Meier. It was rumored that Calvin would take one penthouse and Martha would take the other.
Posted 14 Jan 2003 - January/February 2003 - by Mark Plakias

Is Speech "Cool?"

Now that school's back in session, those of you with college students have probably been talking planes, trains and automobiles to help get that future CEO/doctor/attorney/poet off to campus. Yet one of the truly rewarding parts of that logistical challenge has probably been hearing your son or daughter say, "Hey I called Amtrak/United/Continental (take your pick) and this voice recognition thing answered. Pretty cool!"
Posted 21 Nov 2002 - November/December 2002 - by Mark Plakias

Introducing Miller's Law

Last issue we made the somewhat radical suggestion that if (perceived) hardware expense was slowing down your voice application sales cycle, just get rid of the hardware. This led into a discussion of hosted scenarios, including hybrid "borderless" cases where existing customer premises equipment (CPE) could interwork with in-network hosted speech resources using IP and VoiceXML.
Posted 01 Nov 2002 - - by Mark Plakias

Introducing Miller’s Law

Last month we made the somewhat radical suggestion that if (perceived) hardware expense was slowing down your voice application sales cycle, just get rid of the hardware. This led into a discussion of hosted scenarios, including hybrid “borderless” cases where existing customer premises equipment (CPE) could interwork with in-network hosted speech resources using IP and VoiceXML.
Posted 10 Sep 2002 - September/October 2002 - by Mark Plakias

First Let’s Kill All the Hardware

At a recent speech conference—Nuance’s excellent V-World—I was again struck by the combined power of speech recognition, voice-user interface (VUI) design, TTS and strong back-end integration for content delivery. At the risk of sounding fatuous, quality has become so much better that the applications are fooling people into treating recognizers like, well, other people.
Posted 11 Jul 2002 - July/August 2002 - by Mark Plakias

Carriers & VoiceXML: Skin the Legacy

The legacy telco voicemail market now approaches 500 million mailboxes on both wireline and wireless networks. Some incumbent vendors have not done very well in migrating from their legacy solutions to voice-enabled voicemail.
Posted 21 May 2002 - May/June 2002 - by Mark Plakias

Relentless Specialization, Jacques Ellul and Schnabel's Pit Bull

Two recent conversations about voice recognition in telephony networks have me musing about the risks of technical evolution, captured by the idea of "relentless specialization." An insight into this somewhat antiseptic phrase is found in French philosopher Jacques Ellul's work La Technique.
Posted 29 Mar 2002 - March/April 2002 - by Mark Plakias