Nuance Takes Natural Language on the Fast Track

Call steering and natural language understanding continue to be a strong area of investment for Nuance Communications, but thanks to a new program from Nuance, it doesn’t have to mean a huge investment for companies looking to deploy the technology.

Through Call Steering Fast Start, Nuance now offers a scaled-down version of call steering and natural language for companies with smaller call volumes. Using Nuance’s SpeakFreely technology, the solution not only costs less on the front end but promises a quick payback on the back end through reduced contact center costs associated with complex IVR menus, misdirected calls, and agent-to-agent transfers.

Nuance still offers its full-service package, but Fast Start is priced to fit into smaller budgets, easier to scope in pre-sales discovery, and faster to deploy. Instead of the 20,000 initial utterances and 50,000 additional utterances after pilot tuning that are included with Nuance’s full-service offering, Fast Start works with 3,000 to 5,000 initial utterances and scales to about 20,000 after pilot tuning. The Fast Start package also factors in a lack of excessive business logic for call routing and no personalization or data dips, a pre-defined call flow, and fewer than 100 possible destinations within the menu.

According to Jeff Foley, senior manager of solutions marketing at Nuance, the offering not only cuts the price of a natural language call steering application in half, but it also cuts the time to deploy in half.

“Fast Start lets us do a lot of work faster for companies that can’t afford to field a large deployment,” he says.

“Before it had only been feasible for companies with really large call volumes,” Foley continues. “Now companies with lesser volumes can get a fully functioning system

So far Nuance has deployed the technology in 18 languages around the world, but Foley says it will work with the dozens of languages that Nuance’s technologies currently supports. Built on open standards, the technology is also platform-independent, Foley says.

Overall, Foley has high expectations for the Fast Start program. “It’s an evolution in where natural language is going,” he says. “It’s an evolution in how we are offering our product. And as more companies start deploying it, we will see even more demand for it. We’re lowering the barriers to deployment for all sorts of companies.”

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