SpeechWorks and Vocent Partner to Deliver Packaged, Speech-Activated, Password Reset Application

BOSTON, MA -— SpeechWorks International Inc. (Nasdaq: SPWX), a provider of speech recognition and text-to-speech (TTS) technologies and services, and Vocent Solutions Inc., a provider of voice enterprise softwareprint authentication solutions, announced a partnership to make SpeechWorks' technologies available in the Voice Secure line of packaged speech applications designed for enterprise, financial services, health care and government agencies. According to Vocent, by incorporating both SpeechWorks' OpenSpeech Recognizer speech recognition engine and SpeechSecure speaker verification module, which is written in the industry standard VoiceXML, Voice Secure solutions will offer businesses the cost-savings benefits of automation, ease of use, enhanced security and a fast return on investment. Voice Secure solutions are a pre-packaged applications written in VoiceXML that answers businesses' needs for increased security and automation by combining voiceprint authentication and speech recognition to securely automate business tasks such as password reset, account access and physical access to secure locations. The SpeechSecure speaker verification dialog module solutions enrolls and encrypt the voiceprints of first-time callers and then verifies each caller's voice to maximize security in subsequent calls. Voice Secure can be deployed in financial services companies to automate password resets for internal employees or customers accessing Web or IVR self-service systems. It can also be used to front-end call centers for card services, retail banking or investment services. Voice Secure adds value by automating the caller authentication process for a call center agent and replacing the IVR PIN with voiceprints. The solutions are improving both security and convenience of self-service applications for financial services companies while providing a typical payback of 3 to 4 months. In healthcare systems, Voice Secure is used to confirm identities, reduce fraud, reset passwords, and provide access to facilities or resources. Using Voice Secure, patients can reset passwords for prescription refills with complete privacy and security. As a result, healthcare providers, pharmacies, and health plan providers can achieve their goals of reducing administrative costs, ensuring patient privacy as mandated through HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996). "SpeechWorks OpenSpeech Recognizer and SpeechSecure DialogModule bring significant value as market leading technology to our Voice Secure product," said Chuck Buffum, president and CEO of Vocent. "Voice Secure is designed to integrate with businesses' existing backend infrastructure and can be up and running within 30 days. Businesses reap the benefits of their investment within three to four months by refocusing call center agents to handle more complex tasks." "Historically, the speech industry has engaged a 'built-to-order' practice to service companies that want to deploy speech services," said Steve Chambers, vice president of worldwide marketing at SpeechWorks. "Our VoiceXML-optimized OpenSpeech product suite Voice Secure answers the call for easy to deploy, packaged solutions and provides us SpeechWorks with an opportunity to package leverage SpeechWorks our VoiceXML optimizedOpenSpeech Recognizer and SpeechSecure software, and longstanding expertise in user interface design, in a focused, targeted package solution that helps customers get their results faster, at lower expense." Voice Secure applications featuring SpeechWorks technologies will be available in Q2 2002.
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