Interactive Intelligence, Loquendo Sign OEM Agreement

An original equipment manufacturer agreement was signed this week that enables Interactive Intelligence to integrate Loquendo's multi-lingual text-to-speech engine into its customer interaction management software for contact centers and enterprises.

The agreement gives customers a broader choice of TTS engines for use with Interactive Intelligence's interactive voice response feature. The IVR and Loquendo TTS engine were designed to improve customer self-service by giving users a variety of options, such as the ability to access e-mail by phone, and listen to pre-recorded or dynamically generated prompts for information about account balances, order status and other items.

The Loquendo TTS engine enables companies to customize dynamic information and prompts in U.S. English, U.K. English, Italian, Spanish, German, French, Greek, Swedish, Brazilian Portuguese, Mexican, Argentine, Chilean, Catalan and other languages.

According to Interactive Intelligence president and chief executive officer, Dr. Donald E. Brown, the company partnered with Loquendo because of its broad range of natural sounding, high-quality multi-lingual voices. "Loquendo's more than 30 years of research and development has led to a speech engine that provides an incredibly natural timbre and intonation, as well as pronunciation accuracy in a wide variety of languages," Brown said. "This technology enhances the capabilities of our software, giving companies even more reason to take advantage of the cost-savings and customer benefits provided by self-service options."

"Interactive Intelligence's open, 'all-in-one' platform is the perfect foundation for our TTS engine as it gives customers a single point of administration and maintenance for not just IVR, but for all their applications," said Silvano Giorcelli, chief executive officer and managing director of Loquendo "This type of combined solution is ideal for companies today trying to stay competitive in a down economy."

"Text-to-speech technology (TTS), or speech synthesis, has achieved a level of naturalness that will launch higher levels of penetration in call centers, telephone company services and in-car information systems," said industry analyst, J. Fenn, in an April 2002 Gartner report titled "Text-to-Speech Achieves Near-Human Quality." Interactive Intelligence is offering the Loquendo TTS engine as an option to its software through its global network of more than 140 resellers, and through its direct sales force.

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