Innovative Solutions

During SpeechTEK 2005, we heard from the winners of STM’s Most Innovative Solutions awards and we had the privilege of publicly thanking them for the outstanding work they did in deploying innovative speech solutions. I repeatedly heard from attendees the impact these presentations made upon them, so I want to provide you with a review of the winnersand their speech deployment. You can learn more about these deployments at http://www.speechtechmag.com/.

Aetna was represented by Dorothy Verkade and they deployed Aetna Voice Advantage® (AVA), for members and health care providers, to offer round-the-clock access to member information and self-service transactions.

AgileTV Corporation was represented by Harry Printz. AgileTV designed and implemented Promptu, a search and voice navigation service enabling consumers to control their television viewing with spoken commands.

Borgess Medical Center was represented by Martha Morris, who integrated the dictation workflow Fusion Text into its Electronic Health Record (EHR) system.

CN was represented by Dennis Latreille, who deployed a speaker-verification solution to authenticate, with a voiceprint, enrolled employees before allowing access to the system at the end of a pay period to get a summary of his/her labor activities.

Empire Medicare Services was represented by Elisa Elderbaum. Empire’s call center needed a way to handle the increasing volume of calls from doctor's offices and hospitals, so they devised a cutting-edge solution that was based upon open standards (VoiceXML) and reusable code.

Postbank was represented by Noël Quaedvlieg. Postbank already used touchtone/IVR for its telephone banking service, but the features didn’t fit into the bank’s new multi-channel strategy. The new voice portal offers 24/7 self-services, such as money transfers, automated account balance and information on banking products.

Superior Court of California, County of Napa, was represented by Jeanette Vannoy. Napa County used speech technologies to provide the public the ability to obtain real-time information via the telephone at any time.

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center was represented by Kenneth Crane, who recently introduced the Integrated Document Authoring System, an optimized clinical document authoring workflow solution designed to provide physicians the ability to capture relevant medical information and decisions via dictation.

Vodafone Australia realized that by automating all or part of the registration process it was able to offer its customers a quick, easy and convenient way to join Vodafone.

Wyndham International Hotels was represented by David Mussa, who has discovered that the new Automated Agents save 85 percent over the cost of a live agent call for Wyndham.

In this edition of the magazine, we review two recent deployments of speech technologies. Stephanie Owens reviews how speech technologies are impacting the operating room at Miami Children’s Hospital on page 28. This article discusses how more than 650 physicians and 2,000 employees are utilizing speech technologies. Ken Jackowitz writes about how Office Depot uses speech technologies to generate additional revenue from its telephony channel. Ken’s story begins on page 31.

Starting in 1999–2000, we began hearing a lot about voice portals and beginning on page 12 we hear from Steve Chirokas on what has happened to that concept. Steve was working with SpeechWorks at that time and has seen the maturation of this concept from its inception. In a somewhat related story, Don Steul illustrates how to transform customer service to become a strategic asset for your organization. Don’s take on this concept begins on page 35.

On page 22, Fran McTernan provides us with an in-depth review of how to improve your speech application using Web-based usability surveys. Fran discusses the ease of use, costs versus other forms of research and how this can best be applied for your organization. This is really a ‘can’t miss’ story on how to improve your speech deployment.

Donna Fluss has a new book out entitled The Real-Time Contact Center. She wraps her years of experience into this book, which reviews strategy, tactics and technologies for building a profitable service and sales operation – I highly recommend it. Donna brings to this edition of STM her thoughts on speech analytics. I am a big believer in this concept – her story begins on page 18.

I want to end my column with a thank you to Janet Baker who is working on the history of speech technologies for the Saras/Dibner Institute at MIT. As many of you know, Janet and her husband Jim are pioneers in speech and I can think of no one more qualified that Janet to work on this project. Janet provides STM readers a glimpse of her work beginning on page eight.

Thanks for another great SpeechTEK in New York.

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