Ladbrokes Raises the Stakes for the Martell Grand National

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - VeCommerce Limited (ASX:VCM), a developer of natural language speech recognition (NLSR), speaker verification and voice enabled e-commerce solutions, has announced that Ladbrokes, the betting and gaming arm of Hilton Group plc, has launched the second phase of its VeBet-based voice enabled wagering system. First utilized in May 2002 for the FIFA World Cup, Ladbrokes added support for horse and greyhound racing on 28 March 2003, in time for the start of the 2003 UK horse racing season and particularly the nation's favourite race, the Martell Cognac Grand National. Using speech recognition technology, the system allows callers to place their bets on horse and greyhound racing without queuing for an operator to take their call or using push button technology. The new system supports over 11 different bet types ranging from the 'win' and 'each-way' bets through to more exotic bet types such as 'Tricasts', 'Yankees', a 'Lucky 15' or even a 'Trixie'. Ladbrokes callers say their bet in a way that is familiar to them, just as they would to a Ladbrokes operator. For example, callers placing an each-way bet would simply say, "£10 each-way on Monty's Pass". Paul Magee, VeCommerce Managing Director said," We are very pleased that Ladbrokes has launched this second phase of VeBet, as they continue to lead the acceptance and awareness of voice enabled self-service solutions within the UK." "Around the world we have seen dramatic increases in customer satisfaction and service levels that stem from deploying voice enabled solutions," Magee continued. "Businesses win too, as the cost of each customer transaction can be reduced by as much as 90%. This cost saving flows directly to their bottom line, and in this period of economic uncertainty, any cost savings are to be welcomed!" In recent years, Ladbrokes has experienced significant growth in all of its activities and has implemented VeBet as part of a long-term strategy to meet the increasing demands on their contact centre. Designed to handle the large yet unpredictable volume of calls generated by their account holders, VeBet offers Ladbrokes an automated self-service channel. With the VeBet system, VeCommerce assisted Ladbrokes in servicing over 100,000 calls on the Grand National day alone, a 43 percent increase from last year, by working in conjunction with their call center operators and an existing push-button application.
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