Digium Offers Cepstral “Allison Voice” TTS for Asterisk Telephony Systems

Through a new partnership between Digium, creator of the popular Asterisk open-source telephony platform, and text-to-speech vendor Cepstral, Digium is now selling and supporting Cepstral’s Allison Voice TTS software directly as part of its own interactive voice response platform offering.

The Allison Voice TTS software application, created by Cepstral, features the voice of popular Canadian voiceover artist Allison Smith. With it, users of the Asterisk platform can create customized IVRs that mix static prompts in Smith’s voice with informational messages; custom prompts; emails; dynamic information, such as appointment or account data; or any other text files, also featuring Smith’s voice.

For Digium, "the Allison Voice has brand appeal," says Jim Webster, director of technology partnerships at Digium, "because [Smith’s] is the first voice people hear in an Astrerisk system." Smith’s is the default voice of the Asterisk system, with millions of installed copies, and can be heard on systems for Verizon, Qwest, Cingular, Bank of America, Marriott Hotels, eBay, 3M, and other high-profile companies.

Through previous arrangements between Digium and Cepstral, the Allison Voice software was available to the Asterisk community as a third-party add-on. Under this new partnership, Allison Voice is now directly available through Digium sales channels, supported directly by Digium, and integrated directly into the Asterisk platform.

Though users of Asterisk can incorporate technologies from other TTS vendors into their IVR systems, "Cepstral is our only direct TTS partner," Webster explains.

Digium also has a similar exclusive partnership deal with LumenVox to provide the speech recognition components of Asterisk. "Now we can offer products to cover both sides of the dialogue—LumenVox for ASR and Cepstral for TTS," Webster says. "We now offer seamless and dynamic integration of both products together."

Craig Campbell, CEO of Cepstral, calls the move by Digium to directly offer these products as part of Asterisk a big step. "Speech has become a higher priority for Digium and they are formally getting behind it," he says. "Digium is a company with a lot of momentum, and for them to formalize [Allison Voice] and offer it directly to their Asterisk community is a big step forward."

"Cepstral’s technology is uniquely able to convey static and dynamic announcements using Allison’s voice, giving customers greater flexibility in how they can use Asterisk systems," Bill Miller, vice president of product management at Digium, said in a statement. "Now the software is available directly from Digium, with Digium guarantees and support."

The Cepstral Allison Voice Starter Kit is available from Digium for $79.99 per port. Existing Cepstral customers who want to replace or supplement an existing voice with Smith’s voice may purchase the kit for $29.99

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