Eckoh Technologies and BT Create Exclusive Alliance
UNITED KINGDOM - Eckoh Technologies plc ("Eckoh"), one of Europe's speech application service providers, and BT, a supplier of telecommunications services, announced the formation of an exclusive alliance to provide BT's customers with advanced speech recognition technology. The agreement, which commences in January 2003, provides BT with a range of products developed by Eckoh to target UK companies and those generating English language business originating in Europe, in sectors such as government, finance, utilities, retail, IT, and travel and leisure. The alliance, funded by BT, will provide a dedicated, managed service infrastructure installed in a BT facility and operated by Eckoh. BT will be responsible for marketing and selling to its customers the hosted speech recognition solutions that will be designed and built by a technical development team provided by both parties. Eckoh will also be extending its own managed service infrastructure with BT in the same period, as the first phase of increasing its call processing capacity from the existing level of 4,500 ports to 8,000. This will provide the new partnership with sufficient overflow capacity to meet expected demand for service. Nik Philpot, Chief Operating Officer of Eckoh Technologies, commented: "This alliance with BT has the potential to catapult Eckoh's Speech Solutions division onto a much higher level in terms of customer base, product acceptance, market perception and most significantly, revenues. BT will now be able to sell its broad range of large corporate customers hosted speech recognition solutions, which are developed and managed exclusively by Eckoh. It is a deal with no associated costs to Eckoh but with hugely exciting potential." Neil Rogers, President, BT Ignite Solutions, said: "BT is a strong advocate for speech recognition and believes the market will grow dramatically in the next three years, and in fact are already experiencing strong demand from existing customers. It is important that we are able to provide the best products and services to our clients through a hosted option and as the clear leaders in this field Eckoh were the natural choice for BT. Our alliance with Eckoh will deliver sophisticated client handling solutions and a broader range of self-service options for our customers."