iHello Announces Voice Access to Microsoft Exchange
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - iHello Inc., a provider of speech-enabled applications for the mobile workforce, announced a new voice application that provides enterprise workers with "productivity beyond the desktop" by enabling real time voice access to corporate Microsoft Exchange systems. iHello's latest product, iHello Voice Outlook, employs Nuance's (NASDAQ: NUAN) speech recognition engine, Nuance 8.0. By using Nuance software, iHello gives users continuous access to their company's communications pulse. With a single phone call, employees can access and read corporate e-mails, respond to critical issues and initiate phone calls to any contact in Outlook by saying the contact's name. "Microsoft Exchange is the workhorse of the enterprise," explained David Asheim, Chairman and CEO of iHello. "Enterprises have invested millions of dollars designing workflows in software applications across all major business functions. Exchange is the common communication mechanism by which this workflow and critical issues are escalated to employees, customers and suppliers. iHello Voice Outlook ensures that enterprise employees remain in touch with these issues and provides them with an always available mechanism to close the loop and reduce productivity lag time." The system also is fully integrated with iHello's Voice SalesForce product, giving customer-facing employees a single point of access to information from both Microsoft Exchange as well their CRM systems, thereby shortening the sales cycle and increasing responsiveness to customer issues. "Nuance recognizes that employing speech is a business imperative for companies wanting to cost-effectively reach customers, employees and partners with the most up-to-date information. We're excited to be working with iHello to bring the high-value of speech services to the mobile enterprise market," said Ronald Croen, CEO of Nuance. Industry analysts predict more than 1.32 billion people worldwide will be subscribed to wireless services by 2005, meaning the need for remote access to information will only increase. "Mobile access to email is proving to be the killer app for wireless data," says Mark Lowenstein, Managing Director of Mobile Ecosystem and a veteran industry analyst. "Voice and audio access is a critical component for professionals who are often away from their networked PCs, and powerful solutions like iHello's demonstrate that the technology has significantly evolved over the past years and is ready for broad adoption by corporations." Mark McKeithen, Director of Representative Relations at InterSecurities, Inc., a full-service investment firm with more than 2400 registered representatives nationwide and a member of the AEGON Insurance Group, agrees. "iHello currently provides our employees with anywhere, all the time access to critical information in our CRM system," he stated. "We are excited at the prospect of rolling out the new iHello Voice Outlook product so that our employees can remain in touch with new opportunities, respond to critical issues and stay on top of tasks assigned to them." "The launch of iHello Voice Outlook represents a powerful addition to our current product suite and will make available a large new customer base of Fortune 5000 clients to iHello and its extensive VAR partners," continued Mr. Asheim. "This is yet another proof-point demonstrating iHello's vision of ensuring that all employees have continuous access to the information and systems that drive sales and internal business practices."