Speech in 2005

Welcome to the largest edition of STM we have ever produced! As speech continues its expansion as a strategic technology offering by more and more companies, STM compliments that growth by providing content dedicated to improving speech. Let's get right to what we have to offer with this edition.

We kick this edition off by reviewing how Fort Knox National Co. processes almost $20 billion  in payments for 700 companies. Fort Knox integrated a VoiceXML-based speech application for its Web-based TruePay system to expand options and improve customer care. Fort Knox decided to go with a managed service offering provided by MCI for their deployments. You can read about this deployment beginning on page 12.

Bill Scholz examines what is on the horizon for speech technology in an article beginning on page 23. Bill chaired SpeechTEK's latest Speech Symposium and provides his insights based upon the content delivered during this symposium. Our intent with this article is to answer many of your concerns and questions about what speech technology will look like over the next couple of years.Give Bill your feedback by sending an email to him at bill.scholz@unisys.com.

One of the industry's leading analyst's kicks off STM's 2005 Buyers Guide beginning on page 28. Bill Meisel has been analyzing trends impacting speech technology for more than 20 years and offers his latest thoughts in this special report.STM's Buyers' Guide has 115 of the leading companies providing speech solutions. These companies are constantly innovating and improving their offerings to provide you with the very best solutions for your organization. The guide is also available on www.speechtechmag.com and updated throughout the year. STM's intent is to make it your number one resource when looking for speech solutions.

Tim Berners-Lee reviews how speech technology impacts the future of the World Wide Web beginning on page 46. As the director of the World Wide Web Consortium, Tim leads the effort to make technology easier and simpler to use and deploy. We appreciate Tim keynoting SpeechTEK this past year and look forward to working with him and the W3C in the future.

One of the most requested questions that I get involves best practices in Voice User Interface (VUI) design. Beginning on page 51, Jim Larson and a host of leading VUI designers provide Ten Guidelines for Designing a Successful Voice User Interface. This special group invested many hours to draft these guidelines and we owe them a special thank you.These folks are from competing organizations and came together to produce guidelines that you should review to improve your VUI. While people can debate their thoughts, this group has invested years of actually deploying speech technology and we know their work will produce a successful VUI for you. You can see the complete list of these leaders on page 51.

STM's newest Editorial Advisory Board member, Nathan David discusses how to develop an effective baseline for your speech deployment. Nathan's article begins on page 54 and provides you with two focused angles to diagnose the performance of your speech deployment.

Stephanie Owens joined STM as associate editor last July and has made a huge impact on the editorial side of the magazine. Stephanie reviews how Vodafone of Australia used speech technology to automate customer care for their prepaid customers. Vodafone successfully created a persona,'Lara,' to deliver an effective speech solution versus a touchtone system. Vodafone discovered that a touchtone system was just not acceptable to its customer base and, to enable significant scaling of the operations, turned to speech. Lara is now intercepting all calls and completes approximately 60 percent of those calls. Stephanie's article begins on page 59.

Among STM's new offerings for making speech a more mainstream technology is a joint research effort between Opus Research and STM. On a quarterly basis we will conduct research of enterprises about their use of speech.This information will be available as magazine content, published reports, tutorials at the SpeechTEK events among other delivery mechanisms. Also with Opus, we will launch a series of Webinars dedicated to reviewing the latest deployments and best practices using speech.

2005 promises to be an interesting year for speech and we look forward to working with you to make speech positively impact your organization.

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