VeCommerce Implements NZ$1 Million Contract for NZ Government

AUCKLAND, AUSTRALIA -- VeCommerce Limited (ASX:VCM), a provider of natural language speech recognition (NLSR) and voice enabled e-commerce solutions, has announced New Zealand's largest government department, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), has implemented a voice recognition solution aimed at enhancing customer satisfaction and reducing ongoing costs. In partnership with TelstraCLEAR, VeCommerce has implemented three NLSR applications to assist in handling an estimated 700,000 annual over-the-phone transactions. The solution removes the need to use the telephone keypad or wait for an available operator. It uses voice recognition technology to allow MSD callers to complete a variety of self-service transactions by speaking directly to the department's computer systems. According to Merv Dacre, national call center manager MSD, at least 700,000 calls annually could be handled by NLSR technology. "We are really excited about the possibilities the VeCommerce solution brings us. First, voice recognition technology is enabling our department to cope with substantially more calls into the call center without the need to increase staff," he said. "In addition, the existing staff can focus on more complex calls as many of the repetitive inquiries are now being handled by the new system. This supports our key objective of spending more time helping people and less time completing routine transactions," he added. The new system, named Service Express, supports a number of routine transactions including benefit inquiries, debt inquiries and income declaration calls. Clients call 0800 333030, say their Social Welfare number and confidential PIN and are able to request different types of information by saying what they want. Clients are also able to dial a demonstration line to hear how to use the system. Paul Magee, VeCommerce managing director, says the development team at VeCommerce has worked hard on the new technology and had to address many complex issues. "Service Express has been developed to recognize the diverse and rich variety of accents in New Zealand and enables clients to access information quickly and easily in a way that makes sense to them. We are confident that MSD will achieve its key objectives by implementing a technology that its clients will actually enjoy using," he added.
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