Vicorp and SpeechWorks Enhance Teleglobe's Canada Direct Service

BOSTON, MA and WEXHAM, UK - Using speech recognition technology from SpeechWorks International Inc. (Nasdaq: SPWX), a developer of speech technologies and services, Vicorp has completed development of a new suite of calling services for Teleglobe Inc., operator of the Canada Direct service. "We are excited to offer this unique speech service to our customers and their callers," said Christian Michaud, Director Marketing at Teleglobe. "The Canada Direct speech solution provides greater convenience for Canadian callers, especially in regions where rotary phones are still in use and touch tone is not an option. The speech system has improved the caller experience and at the same time reduced operational costs for our customers. SpeechWorks and Vicorp worked with us to deliver the best speech solution that has exceeded our expectations and provided Canadian callers with an easy to use service." Canada Direct provides home phone numbers for Canadian callers abroad, using local Home Country Direct access numbers in most major countries. With the new speech-enabled services, callers can use their voice to connect calls from any landline or wireless phone. Callers may interact with the Canada Direct speech recognition system in either English or French, to identify their own local phone company, to place calls and to request the services of an operator. Calls may be completed to any Canadian number, from one locale to another in the same country abroad, or from that country to most other countries in the world. Canada Direct service is available from over 110 countries and to over 240 countries around the world. In 2001, Teleglobe carried more than 9 million calls per year to Canada through this service. Prior to the introduction of speech recognition, 50 percent of the Canada Direct calls were routed to long distance service operators, with 30 percent of those calls routed to operators because there was no touch-tone service available in the caller's area. In its first five months of service, the speech system reduced the number of calls routed to operators by 7 percent. Vicorp and SpeechWorks worked in partnership to integrate the SpeechWorks 6.5 Second Edition (SE) speech recognition software into Vicorp's BETEX Enhanced Services Platform used by Teleglobe for the Canada Direct service, and then to implement the new Canada Direct speech-enabled applications. Vicorp's QuickScript Service Creation Environment enabled service development utilizing SpeechWorks' unique DialogModules, pre-packaged application building blocks for frequently occurring tasks such as capturing an account number, a date or a "yes/no" response. Vicorp and SpeechWorks' professional services teams worked together with Teleglobe to deliver this project. The BETEX Enhanced Services Platform is designed as a platform on which to deploy a range of enhanced services for telco and enterprise customers. It provides an GUI-based Service Creation Environment (SCE) that can be used to develop and deploy enhanced services applications. The BETEX Service Logic Execution Environment (SLEE) supports a variety of Intelligent Network services for major telecommunications service providers around the world.
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