SpeechWorks and VoiceGenie to Deliver Standards-based Speech Solution to McKesson
BOSTON, MA - SpeechWorks International Inc. (Nasdaq: SPWX) announced that the healthcare provider of supply, information and care management products and long-time SpeechWorks' customer, McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) will expand the capacity of its existing, proprietary speech system and upgrade to a VoiceXML-compliant speech system. SpeechWorks professional services team will develop the speech system on the SpeechGenie(tm) VoiceXML Gateway from VoiceGenie Technologies, which leverages the performance capabilities of OpenSpeech Recognizer(tm) software, SpeechWorks' standards based speech engine optimized for the VoiceXML 2.0 standard. McKesson partnered with SpeechWorks four years ago to offer its customers a speech system to access inventory and place orders. The speech system allows hospitals and large pharmaceutical outlets to place and check orders and access other customer service features using their voice. The system was well received by McKesson customers and paid for itself in less than three months. "Our business is outgrowing the capacity of our current speech system as a result of the record industry growth, strong company performance and the need to continue to increase the flexibility of our customer service offering," said Paul Fowler, vice president of e-business solutions for McKesson. "We've returned to SpeechWorks, our trusted partner, to increase the capacity of our speech system and take advantage of new, open standards that can deliver a consistent and satisfying caller experience to our customers. The VoiceXML 2.0 standard will allow us to create a true voice portal that unifies our business logic and delivers the same quality and feel, in real time, across our Customer Care, Web and E-commerce tool sets." Standards-Based Speech Technology and Design Expertise
The McKesson speech system will utilize SpeechWorks OpenSpeech Recognizer, the industry's first open, standards based speech engine optimized for the VoiceXML 2.0 standard and OpenSpeech DialogModules(tm), the industry's first VoiceXML-based objects that package vocabularies, grammars and call flow logic for common dialog tasks to support rapid development of quality speech services. Together, the combined solution takes advantage of advanced speech detection technologies that further improve accuracy and performance in wireless and noisy environments. "In 1999 we delivered the first speech system for the pharmaceutical industry with McKesson," said Steve Chambers, chief marketing officer at SpeechWorks. "We're excited that McKesson has achieved great success with its speech service and is expanding its capacity, while taking advantage of new industry standards like VoiceXML. With our partner, VoiceGenie, we will deliver a mature, scalable VoiceXML speech solution to support McKesson's enterprise-wide speech strategy." The speech system will run on the SpeechGenie VoiceXML Gateway, a turnkey solution combining VoiceGenie's VoiceXML Gateway software, SpeechWorks' speech technologies, powerful development and administration tools and Intel/Dialogic telephony boards. Engineered for small- to large-scale applications, SpeechGenie permits customers to build, deploy and integrate their services in preparation for full-time deployment, while maintaining maximum flexibility and control. "SpeechWorks standards-based technologies combined with our VoiceXML Gateway solution accelerate the time to market for flexible and scalable, VoiceXML speech solutions," said Eric Jackson, VP of Strategy and Business Development at VoiceGenie Technologies. "We're excited to partner with SpeechWorks to deliver this powerful VoiceXML speech solution to McKesson. As the emerging standard for speech services, VoiceXML more readily integrates call center databases and Web-based information and services, allowing McKesson to create a unified look and feel to their business."