Study Reveals SpeechWorks' Surveyed Customers Save Over $1 Million Annually; New NOAA Weather Radio Voices Debut in Nation's Capital

BOSTON, MA - SpeechWorks International Inc. (Nasdaq: SPWX), a developer of speech recognition and TTS technologies and services, announced findings from a comprehensive return on investment (ROI) study of nine SpeechWorks' enterprise and carrier customers who have deployed advanced speech recognition (ASR) solutions. The study revealed that, on average, respondents are saving $1.02 million annually from their SpeechWorks ASR deployments. In addition, all respondents reported that the ROI for their implementations "met" or "exceeded" their expectations and that the cost recovery for ASR deployments averaged 9.5 months. The Kelsey Group's Voice & Wireless Commerce research team conducted the detailed ROI Study in the first quarter of 2002. The nine survey respondents utilize SpeechWorks speech solutions on either customer premises equipment (CPE) or on hosted solutions from Convergys Speech Solutions (NYSE: CVG), formerly iBasis Speech Solutions. The speech-enabled applications cover a range of industries, including telecommunications, financial services, healthcare and travel, with the most recent deployment having been in full operation for five months and the oldest deployment for two years. SpeechWorks and Convergys sponsored the study to better understand the impact of their speech solutions on business processes and to identify documented ROI performance. Key findings of the study include the following:
·Respondents are reporting successful automation rates in the range of 73 to 98 percent, with an average success rate of 87 percent. The largest implementation in the study, with an excess of 10 million calls annually, scored at the top end of the range.
·The average payback on a speech investment, one tangible measure of ROI, averaged 9.5 months across all participating companies, while the fastest return for an on-premise solution was six months.
·In instances where some respondents were upgrading from existing touchtone IVR applications to speech, increases in successful speech automation rates ranged from a low of 30 percent to a high of 55 percent over the touchtone solution. "Speech services deliver powerful ROI results, but those results can differ based on a number of key factors," said Mark Plakias, senior vice president at The Kelsey Group, who conducted the survey. "This study's findings indicate that structured planning and deployment support from the speech vendor, such as SpeechWorks S.T.E.P. and S.A.D.L. methodologies, are essential to identify and deploy the full spectrum of speech-enabled self-service applications. The goal of differentiated ROI is realized in these real-world implementations that demonstrate the value of SpeechWorks' structured approach. It's great news for SpeechWorks and it's great new for the industry." "SpeechWorks is focused on customer results and has developed the Business and Technical S.T.E.P. programs and S.A.D.L. process to increase time-to-results for our customers," said Steve Chambers, chief marketing officer at SpeechWorks. "This study is a proof statement for any enterprise or carrier organization that speech delivers significant ROI. We're pleased SpeechWorks' unique customer programs and focus on the caller has helped our customers achieve clear and compelling ROI results that meet and exceed our customers' expectations."
New NOAA Weather Radio Voices Debut in Nation's Capital
BOSTON, MA - NOAA's National Weather Service begins using new voices for NOAA Weather Radio in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore areas. Listeners will now hear current weather conditions and severe weather warnings in a male and a female voice, using Speechify text-to-speech (TTS) software from SpeechWorks International Inc. (Nasdaq: SPWX). NOAA selected SpeechWorks' Speechify TTS software so that weather forecast offices around the country will be able to customize weather radio programs so regional words and local geographical names are understandable to listeners. "NOAA Weather Radio can mean the difference between life and death during a hurricane, tornado or flash flood," said Brig. Gen. Jack Kelly USAF (Ret.), director of the National Weather Service. "We chose a more easily understandable software voice combining phonetic sounds with natural language that works with our existing computer system to deliver prompt warnings in situations where seconds can save lives." NOAA's Weather Service first used a computer synthesized voice technology in 1997. Automating NOAA Weather Radio transmissions enabled the Weather Service to send out multiple independent warnings over many transmitters simultaneously, allowing speedier delivery of severe weather warnings and more lead time for the public. "Having an automated system providing for a clear, understandable voice is vital in performing our mission of protecting lives and property," said Jim Travers, meteorologist in charge of the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore area's weather forecast office in Sterling, VA. "We experience a lot of severe weather here, making it critical that we quickly and clearly communicate our warnings to the public."
Study Reveals SpeechWorks' Surveyed Customers Save Over $1 Million Annually
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