Before There Is a Future, There Is a Vision

There was a time when an "industry vision" in speech technology might simply have been "making it through next year." A whole lot has changed and there are a whole lot more questions being asked today. That's a good thing because it is the result of speech becoming more mainstream.

Among the more frequently asked questions I receive are, 'Where will the technology be in two to five years?' 'What will I need to know to keep my organization current and competitive as speech solutions evolve and proliferate?'

In an attempt to provide the best answers to questions such as these, SpeechTEK 2004 is bringing together 18 leaders of communications companies to participate in interactive sessions as a part of an Industry Visions Track. Speech Technology Magazine is proud to be one of the principle sponsors of SpeechTEK.

In addition to answering your questions, each of these company leaders has been asked to discuss the following:

  1. Provide insight into your company, its mission and its place in the speech technology ecosystem.
  2. Speech technologies have compelling ROI, customer satisfaction and other important evaluation criteria but for various reasons we've not seen the growth many of us have expected. Discuss your thoughts as to why the numbers of deployments are not as significant as performance results suggest they should be. What are the challenges associated with deploying speech technology and how can the industry overcome these challenges? What are you doing to provide leadership in overcoming these challenges? What is being (or should be) done to increase the number of deployments?
  3. Provide us with demonstrable ROI and/or customer satisfaction results you've seen from enterprises and/or service providers.
  4. For clients who have deployed speech technologies, how should they be evaluating their next projects?
  5. What should enterprise and service providers be doing in evaluating speech technologies? Suggest some critical paths to success based upon your actual experiences.
  6. What benchmark results should enterprises and service providers be achieving with their current speech deployments?
  7. Discuss research your company is doing with speech technologies and its possible impact on customers.
  8. Discuss your views on the global markets being impacted by speech and the areas that will see increased spending.
  9. Where will the speech industry be by the end of 2005 and 2008? I would like to encourage you to attend what I think are going to be extremely informative sessions. These 18 company leaders are going to be in the "SpeechTEK hot seat" to answer your questions about speech in general, their company's vision for the future and how they see themselves achieving their goals.

The Industry Visions Track is just part of all there is to see and hear at SpeechTEK 2004. More than 200 speakers participating in 98 conference sessions, 108 exhibitors and three exciting keynotes are converging on New York to make our 10th Anniversary a memorable event. Among the presenters this year are more than 50 end-use customers discussing how they are using speech technologies in their business. Many of these presentations will take place on Monday, September 13, during the Industry Workshops.

I believe 2004 is the most ambitious and informative conference agenda we have ever put together. There will be some old favorites like CHALLENGE II (OK, it's only two years old, but it's already a favorite part of SpeechTEK), SpeechTEK University, Advanced Speech Symposium, VOX at SpeechTEK and the VoiceXML and SALT Users Forums.

As our conference has grown we have been able to attract the most knowledgeable and articulate people in the industry. More importantly, as they recognize the need to make sure speech is a part of their overall business strategies, we are also attracting more and more senior level managers and decision-makers who want to learn more about speech and how it can work for their organizations.

In short, everyone with an interest in speech solutions, either as a developer, marketer, user or thought leader, comes to SpeechTEK to be a part of our annual look at the state of the industry. While you are at SpeechTEK be sure to let me, or any of the SpeechTEK staff, know how we can continue to improve SpeechTEK.

See you in New York!

PS: I want to thank Judith Markowitz, Nancy Jamison, Debbie Dahl, Bill Scholz, Mark Plakias, Dan Miller, Ed Margulies and Jim Larson for putting together this years SpeechTEK program. They've worked very hard to make sure the content delivers maximum value for you. If there is a group of people who can answer your questions, it is these folks. Thank you.

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