H-care's Human Digital Assistant and Loquendo Technology Revolutionize Web-Based Customer Care

Loquendo, the global market leader in speech technology, and H-Care, the leader in developing user-friendly platforms for multi-channel self-service and customer care, today announced the successful deployment of H-Care's revolutionary Human Digital Assistant (HDA) platform on Telecom Italia's customer care portal. H-Care's assistant, Caren, is a highly intelligent software-based human-like agent that is able to appear, act, understand and also speak in real-time using Loquendo's high quality, lifelike TTS.

The implementation on Telecom Italia's www.187.it customer care portal is the first phase of a corporate-wide initiative that will enable Italy's largest Telco to automate over 17 million customer interactions during the next 3 years, using not-human channels. The H-Care solution provides a real-time digital face to customer care, with the highly personalised, dynamic HDA. The solution integrates with Telecom Italia's existing corporate systems, such as billing and knowledge management, to deliver round the clock assistance in a wide range of self-service functions including: in-depth billing analysis, targeted promotions, and complaints management.

The Human Digital Assistant platform provides high quality real-time animation and 3D rendering, which speaks with Loquendo's state-of-the-art voice synthesis, implements facial expressions and behaves dynamically. The platform includes: a brain module to provide core logic to manage multimodal interaction, a knowledge base repository, behavioural memory, integration to corporate IT systems, and a complete authoring environment. It provides multi-channel, multi-format, real-time audio and video streaming supporting Flash Video, MPEG2, MPEG4, 3GP, and H.323 media formats.

"The HDA platform has been designed as a primary means for customers to access information and services 24 hours a day, providing a viable alternative to human channels." commented Umberto Basso, H-Care's co-founder, "Combining H-Care's innovations in digital rendering and Loquendo's truly lifelike and expressive text to speech, we have been able to build an enterprise platform that delivers the most human-like interaction currently possible. Companies are constantly striving to improve service levels and customer satisfaction and the HDA provides them with an alternative channel to manage thousands of customer interactions more efficiently than traditional support or sales channels."

Umberto Basso continued: "Our research indicates that most companies are struggling with how to balance high customer satisfaction goals within the constraints of very tight budgets and cost control. Simply forcing customers to use self-service options without providing intuitive, user-friendly interfaces will not satisfy consumer expectations.  The Human Digital Assistant maps easily to business processes already in place, and scales to handle thousands of simultaneous customer interactions."

H-Care will present its Human Digital Assistant platform, together with Loquendo at SpeechTEK 2006, the technology conference held in New York from August 7th-10th.


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