SpeechWorks S.T.E.P. Program Delivers Results for Over 150 Companies Worldwide; SpeechWorks Introduces T-S.T.E.P.

BOSTON, MA - SpeechWorks International Inc. (Nasdaq: SPWX), a developer of speech recognition and text-to-speech (TTS) technologies and services, unveiled new milestones in its SpeechWorks S.T.E.P. (Speech Technology Evaluation Process) program designed to help organizations achieve the highest levels of success and payback from speech services. In less than one year, more than 150 companies have benefited from the S.T.E.P. for Business professionals (B-S.T.E.P.) program. The B-S.T.E.P. process has identified new industry benchmarks, industry-specific R.O.I. data and over 500 unique industry applications in more than 15 industries including financial services, government, telecommunications, retail, travel and hospitality industries. B-S.T.E.P. customer participants include America First Credit Union, Amtrak, CIBC Bank, Microcell Telecom, Thrifty Car Rental, Union Pacific Railroad and many others. "We were surprised by how much SpeechWorks knew about our industry," said Richard R. Syme, vice president, Automated Services at America First Credit Union, the largest credit union in Utah. "The SpeechWorks team provided us with information and statistics that were relevant to the credit union industry and helped us develop our speech strategy. We are looking forward to rolling out our speech service with SpeechWorks and because of B-S.T.E.P., including the SpeechWorks Here Guarantee, we are confident that our goals will be realized." B-S.T.E.P.: Industry Specific, Customized Process SpeechWorks designed the B-S.T.E.P. program to help companies achieve the highest levels of success and payback with speech services. B-S.T.E.P. provides an industry specific, customized process that helps companies carefully select and implement speech-based solutions to meet specific business and R.O.I. goals. The 5-step process combines techniques and a consultative approach led by SpeechWorks' S.T.E.P. Team. SpeechWorks delivers the following five B-S.T.E.P. programs: B-S.T.E.P. #1 SpeechWorks Here Application Discovery: SpeechWorks' team works with an organization to uncover the specific speech applications that will deliver the greatest benefits in line with an organization's business goals. B-S.T.E.P. #2 SpeechWorks Here Monetization: Working closely with an organization's business team, SpeechWorks applies financial models to help develop an organization's business case and R.O.I. for speech. Monetization considers a variety of pricing models, premise or ASP deployment scenarios and 'soft return' variables like customer satisfaction, and presents information using each company's preferred financial model be it simple payback, IRR (Internal Rate of Return), NPV (Net Present Value), or other. B-S.T.E.P. #3 SpeechWorks Here Connections: SpeechWorks brings together the business and technical teams evaluating speech in a Summit forum to further define the speech application technology components, validate cost assumptions for the company's speech investment and connect them with additional solutions partners, if necessary. At the Speech Summit, SpeechWorks presents the speech team with a summary technical specification document and Vision Clip to illustrate how the proposed speech system will sound. B-S.T.E.P. #4 SpeechWorks Here Guarantee: Based on a SpeechWorks methodology and patented technologies like OpenSpeech DialogModules, this results-assurance program guarantees both deployment timetable and caller transaction completion rates. B-S.T.E.P. #5 SpeechWorks Here Market Accelerator Program (MAP): To help maximize usage of an organization's speech system and accelerate R.O.I., SpeechWorks offers the MAP program to share industry best practices in launching speech services, build awareness and educate callers about speech. "SpeechWorks' S.T.E.P program was extremely helpful in helping us build our marketing strategy to promote our new speech system," said Charlie Duckworth, Senior Director e-Commerce at Union Pacific. "By sitting down with SpeechWorks marketing team and going through their process we were able to quickly confirm our deployment plans and design a specific marketing program for our customers. SpeechWorks, through the entire life cycle of the project, was focused and committed to Union Pacific getting a system that was easy to use by the customer, and as a result exceeded our initial project growth." "We launched our S.T.E.P. program over a year ago," said Steve Chambers, chief marketing officer at SpeechWorks. "It was the first of its kind, and we are excited about the value we've delivered to hundreds of S.T.E.P. participants worldwide. The program has proven so valuable to customers that we've created a second version ? T-S.T.E.P. ? designed exclusively for technology leaders." For more information on T-S.T.E.P.?, see today's release "SpeechWorks Introduces T-S.T.E.P., A Comprehensive Suite of Technical Information and Programs Designed Exclusively for Technology Professionals".
SpeechWorks Introduces T-S.T.E.P.
BOSTON, MA - SpeechWorks International Inc. (Nasdaq: SPWX), a developer of speech recognition and text-to-speech (TTS) technologies and services, unveiled a new, technology-focused customer program to accelerate an organization's time-to-results with speech services. Based on the success of SpeechWorks B-S.T.E.P. (Speech Technology Evaluation Process for Business Professionals) program, the T-S.T.E.P. (Speech Technology Evaluation Program for Technology Professionals) program offers the same custom, consultative approach as SpeechWorks' landmark customer program, but is designed exclusively for an organization's technology professionals. "The S.T.E.P. program was extremely valuable to us when we were mapping out our speech strategy," said Bill Strickland, technology director at Thrifty Car Rental. "By optimizing this value-add program for technology evaluators, an organization's business and technical decision makers can now influence their speech systems from the start, accelerating time-to-results. We applaud SpeechWorks for their focus on and commitment to customer results." Thrifty participated in the SpeechWorks Here Guarantee and the Market Accelerator Program, two programs offered in the B-S.T.E.P. program to help SpeechWorks' customers achieve the highest levels of success with their speech service. SpeechWorks created the T-S.T.E.P. program to answer the demand from technology professionals tasked with evaluating the benefits and integration profiles of new technologies like speech. T-S.T.E.P. provides technologists with essential knowledge of speech technologies, user interface (UI) design, industry standards (e.g. VoiceXML, SALT, MRCP and others), technology benchmarking, platform integrations, and the technical integration process. With T-S.T.E.P., technology professionals have the information they need to make recommendations on specific speech applications, underlying technologies, deployment strategies and a clear technology integration plan. T-S.T.E.P. ensures that a company's ultimate decision on a speech application will be thorough, well informed and in lock-step with its overall IT strategy. Both T-S.T.E.P. and B-S.T.E.P. programs begin with a guideline titled, "Defining Your Company's Speech Strategy". A speech strategy is a company-wide blueprint for applying speech throughout an organization. Extending beyond point speech applications, the enterprise-wide speech strategy aims to achieve maximum benefits of cost-reduction, customer satisfaction, automated cross-and-up sells and brand congruity. "We've successfully delivered B-S.T.E.P. to over 150 leading companies worldwide," said Steve Chambers, chief marketing officer at SpeechWorks. "In the process, companies consistently expressed a need for a similar program for the technical side of the house. T-S.T.E.P. provides technology professionals with tools and knowledge to inform their decisions and more importantly, the tools and knowledge that will help them achieve target results in the shortest timeframe." The T-S.T.E.P. program is a 5-step process that offers technology professionals the necessary tools and knowledge to make decisions on the right speech applications and deployment strategies for their business. SpeechWorks' application engineers guide the T-S.T.E.P. process through the following 5 steps: T-S.T.E.P. #1: SpeechWorks Here Foundation provides an overview of the fundamental speech technologies: automated speech recognition, text-to-speech and speaker verification. Foundation provides technical professionals with a solid foundation of information to understand and evaluate speech technologies. SpeechWorks presents participants with an industry resource guide, a technical glossary, relevant white papers, and a suite of customized presentations, facilitated in an interactive forum. T-S.T.E.P. #2: SpeechWorks Here Evaluation presents a more in-depth, advanced suite of information that spans service deployment options, technology roadmaps, technology evaluation criteria, industry standards, multimodal applications and other customer-relevant technical topics. Evaluation delivers technology professionals the tools and knowledge to optimize time to deployment, R.O.I. and ease of integration. Evaluation participants can receive a Technical Evaluation Kit including an independent, third-party report which details an appropriate methodology for evaluating and benchmarking speech technologies. SpeechWorks presents Evaluation participants a suite of custom presentations, the Evaluation Kit, white papers, technical product profiles, an interactive presentation and more. T-S.T.E.P. #3: SpeechWorks Here Connections begins with a consultative workshop to discover the functional requirements of the speech application(s), evaluate platform options and determine key integration points to backend databases and CTI systems. SpeechWorks presents technologists with platform and UI TIPs (Technical Implementation Profiles) that describe partner technology integrations and UI design profiles. Following the Connections Workshop, SpeechWorks convenes business and technical S.T.E.P. participants for a Speech Summit, where SpeechWorks presents a summary technical specification document and Vision Clip that demonstrates how the speech service will sound in a real-life deployment. T-S.T.E.P. #4: SpeechWorks Here Guarantee is the money-back, results assurance commitment to customers. Through this program, SpeechWorks ensures a successful implementation and caller experience that meets time-to-market requirements and caller satisfaction goals. Here, technologists will learn about the technical requirements needed to achieve agreed-upon transaction completion rates (TCR). TCR is the percentage of calls that are completed successfully using speech recognition, without agent intervention. To date, SpeechWorks has achieved over 100 percent satisfaction from its Guarantee customers. T-S.T.E.P. #5: SpeechWorks Here Technical Achievement Plan (TAP) provides proven development guidelines and maintenance and tuning advice to help customers achieve the greatest benefits from their speech system. TAP is a formal, customized transfer of information to ensure technologists have all the tools, training and information they need to maintain, tune and update their speech service going forward. Customer applications will benefit from SpeechWorks' tools and programs such as OpenSpeech Insight reporting and analysis tool and the SADL (Speech Application Development Lifecycle) process, both of which will aid in the speech application's continued performance. A SpeechWorks Institute courseware review will profile hands-on training and lab-based courses on a variety of topics so customers can further develop, maintain and support their speech applications. A SpeechWorks Learning Module review will profile customized, intensive, on-site training session options as well. Following the customized TAP session, SpeechWorks will evaluate the application's "Speech IQ", a measurement of five Critical Speech Factors that can help companies achieve the highest return from their investment and optimum results. The five Critical Speech Factors include Caller Monetization, Caller Motivation, Caller Performance, Caller Affiliation and Caller Behavior. SpeechWorks will work with each customer to ensure that their speech application achieves the highest Speech IQ possible.
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