Nuance Announces Nuance Call Steering 1.0

MENLO PARK, CA - Nuance (NASDAQ:NUAN) announced Nuance Call Steering 1.0. Nuance Call Steering is a packaged speech application designed to address a problem that many enterprises and telecommunications carriers face - routing customer phone calls to the correct customer care destination. Powered by Say Anything, Nuance's natural language understanding technology, Nuance Call Steering enables companies to consolidate their various customer service phone numbers to one 800-number that greets callers with "Welcome. What can I do for you today?" A caller may respond by describing their request naturally, rather than awaiting structured prompts, saying such phrases as "There's a charge on my bill that I don't understand" or "I want to sign up for Internet service" or "Where is the store closest to my home?" The system can then automatically route callers to the destination best suited to their needs: such as the billing department, orders department or store locator. "As enterprise software markets mature, the demand for packaged applications increases," said Charles Berger, president and CEO, Nuance. "We see a real need in the speech market for these types of solutions. Designed specifically to simplify deployment, reduce time-to-market, and provide a faster ROI, packaged speech applications can dramatically accelerate delivery of the business value of speech. With the launch of Nuance Call Steering, Nuance once again demonstrates its leadership role in the evolution of the speech market." Because Nuance Call Steering is a packaged application, it can be deployed in as little as half the time of a similar speech system built from scratch. Moreover, it enables businesses to realize a return on investment in as little as six months. Nuance Call Steering is configurable, to accommodate the unique requirements of each customer. Configuration tools allow prompt and destination routing updates through a graphical interface. In addition, application-specific reporting capabilities provide the critical business intelligence needed to understand and optimize speech application operations for customer care. Based on the VoiceXML industry standard, and integrated with the Nuance Voice Platform, Nuance Call Steering allows organizations to leverage existing Web-based infrastructure and data. Nuance Call Steering can be deployed in front of, and in conjunction with, existing IVR systems - whether they are touch-tone or speech recognition-based. "Gartner recently named speech recognition as a 'critical strategic technology,'" said Bern Elliot, research director, Gartner Group. "Every company wants to treat its stakeholders well. Speech recognition can be an invaluable resource for businesses to manage today's equivalent of the front door, the phone, by greeting and routing callers quickly, correctly, and effectively." Availability Nuance Call Steering 1.0 is currently in customer trials and is scheduled to be generally available in June 2003. Nuance Call Steering will be available directly from Nuance and through a network of certified partners.
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