Avaya and ScanSoft Develops Speech Service for Qantas Airways

Avaya, a global provider of communications networks and services for businesses, and ScanSoft, a provider of speech and imaging solutions, announced delivery to Qantas of Qantas Voice, a speech-enabled customer self-service application to serve Qantas Airways Frequent Flyer Program members.

Qantas Voice is the first speech system for Australia's airline industry and runs on Avaya Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology using speech technology from ScanSoft. Unisys Australia is the prime contractor for the solution. Qantas Voice manages telephone enquiries and reduces call waiting times for its Frequent Flyer Program members seeking point balances and booking seats on domestic award flights.

Qantas Voice responds to a caller's spoken requests, recognizing any domestic city with Qantas service, and can check a member's point balance, calculate how many points are needed for award travel and check award flight availability. If for any reason a caller wishes to transfer to a consultant, the caller and the information collected during the call will be transferred to the consultant, so that the caller does not have to repeat the request. Currently in pilot phase, the speech system is available to frequent flyers in Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania during business hours. Qantas Voice will be progressively rolled out over the next six months, providing 24/7 access for Qantas Frequent Flyers in all states and territories.

"This deployment represents the first speech-enabled system for the Australian airline industry and is one of the most advanced speech systems in the travel industry. Together with our partners, we are delighted to have designed and deployed this system for Qantas and we are confident that Frequent Flyers will find Qantas Voice to be a caller friendly and effective self-service option," said Steve Chambers, general manager of Network Speech Solutions at ScanSoft.

Sunny Rao, general manager, Enterprise Solutions, Avaya South Pacific, said the Qantas Voice project would give significant impetus to the uptake of speech-enabled self-service solutions in contact centers throughout Australia. "By implementing self-service systems using IVR technology, businesses like Qantas can expand their services in a cost-effective way while their customers experience decreased waiting times and the convenience of having access to the information and services they need, when they need them," said Rao.

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