VeCommerce Continues Work with New Zealand's Taxi Industry
NEW ZEALAND - VeCommerce Limited (ASX:VCM), a provider of natural language speech recognition (NLSR) and voice enabled e-commerce solutions, has announced its second major New Zealand contract to provide its voice enabled taxi reservation solution to Blue Star Taxis (Christchurch) Society Ltd. VeCommerce's VeCab booking system will go live this month. Using speech recognition and communications technology, the system will enable Blue Star Taxi customers to talk directly to the taxi dispatch computer, booking their cabs without the need to use the telephone keypad or wait in a queue for an available operator to answer their call and enter their details into the taxi dispatch system. "Taxi patrons have responded very positively to the VeCab system," said Paul Magee, Managing Director of VeCommerce. "Auckland Co-op Taxis implemented VeCab ten months ago and the system has already answered over 1.4 million calls, successfully automating over 50 per cent of their bookings. This is more than twice the company's initial expectations with each booking taken by the system costing them 80 per cent less than it did before." "We supply taxi transport services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our 25 Communications Centre staff handle nearly 1,000,000 phone calls yearly while our taxis carry approximately 3,000,000 passengers each year," said Laurie Renwick, General Manager of Blue Star Taxis. "VeCommerce's VeCab solution ensures that we have the world's latest technology to service the booking needs of our customers with increased quality and effectiveness, as has been demonstrated by taxi organisations both here and overseas." Magee added, "We are confident that just as Auckland Co-op Taxis has reduced call-handling costs, increased its ability to handle busy periods more effectively and reduced the need for complex staff rostering, Blue Star Taxis will enjoy the same commercial benefits." To cater to the unique New Zealand culture, VeCommerce developed a software application that interprets Maori and other unique names correctly. The software contains specialist grammar rules to identify and correctly pronounce Maori phrases such as street and suburb names that, for example, are crucial in the confirmation of pick-up locations. The benefits offered to customers by taxi providers using the VeCab system include, no waiting in phone queues to book a taxi and more accurate entry of booking requests. The main benefit for Blue Star Taxis is the ability for existing staff to spend more time helping people with more complex requirements, such as specialist vehicle bookings and multiple pick-ups and less time completing routine transactions. VeCab was developed on VeCommerce's own FirstContact platform, which is fully scalable allowing for growth in the number of telephone lines being used to take incoming calls.