A Defining Moment

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This month’s issue marks the first installment of our Speech Industry Awards. Its purpose is to provide some clarity and perspective on the speech technology industry for technology buyers and builders and to recognize those companies and people who are bringing the industry to new heights.

To do this, we completely restructured our awards process from previous years to incorporate evaluations from those in the know—industry analysts and consultants who live and breathe speech technology every day. Our Speech Industry Awards include four types of awards: the Speech Luminary, Star Performer, Market Leader, and Implementation awards, which recognize influential people, standout speech technology vendors, leading speech technology companies, and successful customer implementations over the last year.

We received a slew of nominations for our Speech Luminary, Star Performer, and Implementation awards. The editors also offered some nominations of their own, based on their industry coverage. We then chose the most impressive of the lot to be recognized in this awards issue. For our Market Leader awards, however, we asked industry analysts and consultants to help us select the most mature speech technology categories. They did, and the final five categories are represented in this year’s Market Leader awards.

Naturally, we couldn’t cover all of the industry’s diverse technologies in this year’s Market Leader awards. Some industry sectors simply aren’t mature enough to have at least three standout leaders. In time they may, at which point we’ll consider adding these sectors in subsequent awards issues. It is also important to note that while some industry sectors have at least three leading vendors, we couldn’t find enough analysts who felt comfortable rating the vendors in these categories. Perhaps these categories will make their way into subsequent Market Leader awards installments as the sectors mature and analysts and consultants become more familiar with the sectors’ leading vendors and their wares. In the meantime, these vendors, their executives, and their customers can certainly find their way onto our other award pages.

A lot of thought has gone into the development of the Speech Industry Awards. We expect that they will help clearly map out the industry landscape for technology buyers and builders, create more industry buzz, and encourage more competition. Congratulations to this year’s winners. May your efforts continue to drive the industry forward.

While I’m on the topic of awards, I’m proud to announce that Speech Technology magazine won an Award for Publication Excellence (APEX) in the category of Best Redesign for the January/February 2007 issue. Thanks to our very talented and creative Senior Designer Laura Hegyi, we can provide a fresh and more compelling look to Speech Technology magazine’s pages.

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