ScanSoft and IBM to Expand Server, Embedded and Desktop Speech Offerings
PEABODY, MA - ScanSoft Inc. (NASDAQ: SSFT), a supplier of imaging, speech and language solutions, announced a set of agreements with IBM through which the companies will extend speech technology and applications across enterprise, desktop and multimodal environments. The relationship encompasses dictation applications, telephony-based speech recognition technology and applications, and text-to-speech solutions. Under this agreement: IBM will Support and Assist ScanSoft in Porting and Testing Its Telephony Applications for IBM's WebSphere Platform - IBM's WebSphere customers will be able to add ScanSoft's VoiceXML-based speech applications to their current platforms. The two companies will collaborate to ensure that the ScanSoft VoiceRequest and DirectoryAssistance applications are compliant with the VoiceXML 2.0 standard and interoperable with IBM's voice portal solution, WebSphere Voice Application Access. By supporting open standards and porting these applications to the WebSphere platform, ScanSoft can extend its reach throughout IBM's channels and customer base. Applications that are VoiceXML compliant can be extended to multimodal applications through the use of the X+V specification - currently under consideration by the W3C. IBM Expands License Agreement for ScanSoft RealSpeak - IBM has expanded its license agreement to resell ScanSoft RealSpeak TTS, which converts text into human-sounding synthesized speech in 20 languages, and is widely used within telephony server, PC and embedded device applications. As speech applications become more mainstream, this agreement will enable IBM to offer a choice of IBM or RealSpeak TTS to customers, offering technology based on language and platform. It will also expand ScanSoft's channel for RealSpeak worldwide. ScanSoft will Distribute IBM ViaVoice Desktop Products - IBM has granted ScanSoft global distribution rights to IBM ViaVoice desktop dictation products. ScanSoft will market, distribute, sell and support the product for the Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh platforms. The relationship leverages ScanSoft's expertise and resources in delivering productivity applications through broad channels and will help bring dictation solutions to a wider audience. IBM's ViaVoice desktop products complement the ScanSoft Dragon NaturallySpeaking family by expanding languages and channels for China, Germany, Japan and Latin America, and by adding Macintosh-based editions to its product line. IBM will continue to enhance and develop new versions of ViaVoice desktop products. "Speech technology is fast-becoming an integral part of the mainstream pervasive computing infrastructure," said Rodney Adkins, General Manager, IBM Pervasive Computing Division. "This agreement gives our customers greater options in speech applications, technologies and languages. This not only expands both companies' offerings and routes to market in server and embedded speech, paving the way for multimodal applications in the future - it also opens channels on the desktop diction market. This will allow customers from both companies to further extend their use of speech technology." "We are pleased that IBM has selected ScanSoft as a key partner for its speech solutions, providing broader opportunities for customers and partners alike," said Paul Ricci, chairman and CEO of ScanSoft. "This relationship allows our respective organizations to focus on customer requirements and help accelerate the adoption of standards-based speech solutions on a broad scale, spanning multimodal, enterprise and desktop deployments."