The 2017 Speech Industry Luminaries: Jeh Daruvala

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Jeh Daruvala

founder and CEO of Yactraq Online

Jeh Daruvala does not fit the typical CEO profile. At Yactraq Online, a Vancouver-based company he cofounded in 2012, he is directly involved in R&D efforts, pushing the limits of deep neural networking technology and its practical application in audio mining and speech analytics.

Those efforts culminated last year with the release of OmniTraq, an audio mining product that offers revolutionary machine learning–driven capabilities for gathering customer sentiment and competitive intelligence and monitoring service quality across a range of verticals. OmniTraq is equal parts analytics, reporting, and search. It relies on IBM Watson for general speech vocabularies, multilingual capabilities, and machine training data; and on Yactraq’s own patent-pending CoreTraq speech-based semantic engine. CoreTraq also features an integrated natural language processing (NLP) module that uses machine learning to cluster and classify every minute of speech across large taxonomies. CoreTraq can ingest semantic and linguistic training vocabularies of millions of words and sentences in a matter of hours, allowing Yactraq to deliver custom vocabulary speech systems quicker and more cheaply than most phonetic systems.

Yactraq’s forte is customizing vocabularies, according to Daruvala, who points out that while most legacy speech products cannot scale beyond 500 words, his company’s products can ultimately scale up to about 300,000 words.

And unlike other vendors that focus on the enterprise market, mainly dealing with contact centers of 500 seats or more, Yactraq’s sweet spot is between 10 and 100 seats. Annual subscriptions average about $25,000, meaning that any 15-seat contact center in the vastly underserved SMB market can now afford a high-quality audio mining system. In fact, Yactraq involved CanaDream, a small Canadian company that rents and sells mobile homes, in its pilot program.

Prior to his work with Yactraq, Daruvala piled up more than 20 years of business experience with companies like Microsoft, T-Mobile, Telus, Avendus Advisors, Gateway Capital, Customer Asset, and Delsys, his first start-up.

“Jeh’s vision for the growth of the speech tech market is both big-picture and long-term, while remaining pragmatic, reaching into a future where we engage and work with integral speech technologies on a daily basis,” says Leland Huss, chief marketing officer at Yactraq.

And he’s not the only one to think so. Yactraq was named a 2016 Gartner “Cool Vendor” in Smart Machines and was among the first 20 companies showcased in IBM Watson’s Cognitive Gallery.

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