Frost & Sullivan Recognizes Tellme for Excellence in Hosted Voice Self-Service

Analyst firm Frost & Sullivan on Wednesday honored Microsoft’s Tellme subsidiary—which the software giant acquired in March for an estimated $800 million—with its 2007 North American Award for Product Line Strategy. The annual award acknowledges Tellme for its development and deployment of large-volume voice services and platform solutions and its insight into customer needs and product demands.

"Tellme has been a leading provider of hosted voice solutions, including customer self-service, directory assistance, and speech-enabled mobile applications," wrote Frost & Sullivan Global Program Manager Ashwin Iyer. "The company has been one of the pioneers in VoiceXML application delivery, and hosts one of the largest on-demand voice self-service platforms in the world."

In addition, its solutions deliver best-in-class audio, state-of-the art voice user interface design, and high speech recognition rates, Iyer says.

Frost & Sullivan also singled out the company for its experience in hosted VoiceXML applications, for creating voice self-service solutions with features like personalization and optimized call design flows that are aimed at improving the caller experience, and for its emphasis on monitoring the performance of applications to ensure high automation rates and enhance revenue generation opportunities through cross-selling and up-selling within self-service menus.

Though mobile search has been Tellme’s specialty since it was founded in1999, its software also supports the delivery of sports scores, driving directions, flight itineraries, stock quotes, weather, news, movie listings,and more to mobile phone users. Users initiate searches via voice through their mobile phones and can have accompanying graphics, such as maps, driving directions, and quotes, show up on the phones’ display screens. The company’s revenue is primarily generated through its enterprise solution sales along with sizeable income from voice automating directory assistance for its carrier clients. Tellme’s platform handled about 2 billion calls in 2006 and processed more than 10 billion utterances.

"Evidently, Tellme has grown at an extremely accelerated pace, based on its successful penetration of the directory assistance market," Iyer wrote. "It is this strategic repurposing of its core voice platform technology that has helped Tellme to build its brand and assume a position of prominence within the hosted IVR services market."

Looking forward, Iyer also noted that Tellme has "a strong vision for the future, which includes delivery of multimodal platforms that will unify and enhance the caller experience across multiple contact channels."

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