Phonetic Systems Wins the "Most Innovative Solution" Award at SpeechTEK

BEDFORD, MA and HELSINKI, FINLAND - Phonetic Systems, a provider of speech recognition solutions for large and highly dynamic databases and applications, announced that their completely voice automated directory assistance deployment with Fonecta (Finland) was awarded to be the most innovative solution brought to the marketplace by the readers of Speech Technology Magazine at the annual SpeechTEK event in New York. Awards are presented to companies for outstanding accomplishments bringing new products and services to the marketplace this year. Fonecta's 02 02 00 service consists of the same information that operator-assisted directory assistance offers in Finland, yet this service is completely voice automated. Fonecta launched the service in November last year and it is available to all Finnish telephone users (both mobile and fixed-line customers). "The service was awarded partly because of its exceptional and extensive coverage of Finnish listings. In cooperation with Phonetic Systems we have developed a voice automated directory assistance service that consists of more than five million Finnish residential, business and mobile listings as well as reverse directory look-ups. This is perhaps the largest deployment of speech recognition in the world; we're not aware of any other similar service. Clients have particularly liked the call completion option or having contact information sent as an SMS (short message service) message when the call is completed," says Product Manager Leo Rantanen from Fonecta. The technology behind this service is Phonetic Systems' patented Voice Search Engine(TM). This speech recognition technology is capable of handling the size of this type of service and also has the ability to search on highly dynamic data. Directory Assistance listings are constantly changing so this is a very important feature; it ensures that Fonecta's clients are always getting the most accurate listings. "Callers seem more accustomed to automated telephone services in the USA so we are a bit ahead of the curve in Finland. We are creating a market for speech automated telephone services. Today, our main focus is to further develop the user interface of the service to be even more user friendly as well as to train our clients on how to better use the service," says Mr. Rantanen. According to John McCready, vice president of marketing at Phonetic Systems, "This service clearly demonstrates how major carriers today are committed to adding new and innovative services for cost reduction measures. Fonecta has invested heavily into educating the consumer market with creative media and ongoing focus groups in order to improve the service and increase usage."
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