Gartner Report Shows Speech Recognition Market Positioned for Growth

EGAHM, ENGLAND - The speech recognition market appears to be poised for growth, according to Gartner Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB). Gartner analysts said worldwide speech recognition telephony software revenue is on pace to reach $130 million in 2003, up from $128 million in 2002. The speech recognition industry hit its peak in 2000 when worldwide revenue totaled $140 million, but the industry had suffered declines in 2001 and 2002. "There are several signs that the speech recognition industry is maturing" said Steve Cramoysan, principal analyst for Gartner. "Many implementations provide proof that solutions that use speech recognition can deliver business value, as cost savings or improved customer service. The clear market leaders today are Nuance and ScanSoft. Entry by Microsoft, IBM, and Intel into the market is providing significant momentum, and further changes in the vendor landscape are to be expected." Click here to see a complete listing of companies
Gartner analysts said the performance of speech recognition engines has been much improved. It is becoming increasingly difficult for vendors to differentiate purely on the basis of speech recognition success rates. Internet-based applications and standards, such as VoiceXML, are gaining market share, providing an increasingly distributed architecture that allows companies to leverage their investment in speech technology and allows services providers to offer speech recognition services to enterprises. North America is the largest market for speech recognition products, as the region is on pace to account for 61 percent of revenue in 2003. Europe, Middle East and Africa is the No. 2 region, as it is projected to represent 26 percent of the market. Gartner analysts said North America's market share will decline through 2007 as other regions experience stronger growth rates. Call center and business portal applications are the largest segments for speech recognition products. Other application segments such as unified communications are expected to eventually increase their share of the market. "Unified communications will need to mature, whereas the contact center market is already reaching maturity," Cramoysan said. Gartner analysts will provide additional analysis on the telecommunication industry at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2003.

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