Why the Funny Packaging?

With SpeechTEK 2006 just around the corner, we thought it would be helpful to include the show brochure along with this edition of the magazine. We've listened to your comments from past SpeechTEKs and believe we've put together an outstanding lineup of customers, analysts and industry experts to guide you through the conference program. SpeechTEK begins August 7  with a keynote presentation by Paul English, followed by a panel discussion on "Can Technology and Human-to-human Support Work Together?" As you will see with more than 100 conference sessions and an expected 100 plus exhibitors, SpeechTEK 2006 will have something for everyone.

We begin this edition of the magazine with our cover story which takes you through the deployment of an automated speech recognition system deployed at the Orlando International Airport.  Stephanie Owens reports on the informational 511 line for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority that gives callers access to flight updates, airport parking availability, driving directions and even emergency procedures. The GOAA's story begins on page seven.

Continuing her coverage of customer deployments of speech, Stephanie gives us a glimpse into the inner-workings of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center as it integrates speech to route calls for employees, staff and students onsite.  To learn more about how this application works and how UT Southwestern plans to expand its use, see the story on pages 12 through 14.

Judith Markowitz and Caroline Henton follow up on an article from the last edition entitled, "Show Some Emotion."  The follow-up article, "TTS and Personalities: Expressing True Attitude," goes through the dos and don'ts of creating expressive text-to-speech that effectively conveys emotion to match the caller's intention and mood. "TTS and Personalities: Expressing True Attitude" starts on page 18 and continues at the end of the Vertical Markets Guide on page 35.

Speaking of the Vertical Markets Guide, this edition provides access to the information you need to jump start your speech initiatives as well as the opportunity to leave a positive, lasting impression on your customers. The 2006 Vertical Markets Guide matches 12 industry segments with the companies providing speech products and services specific to each segment.  To find your industry segment, check out the category listings beginning on page 20 and the contact information for the listed vendors beginning on page 26.

On page 39, Lizanne Kaiser takes us through what she considers "a far too often abbreviated or overlooked" best practice, Voice User Interface (VUI) Review Testing (VRT).  Kaiser explains what VRT is and why it is important. She describes the processes behind performing VRT, explaining step by step what to do and how to do it.  To discover what VRT can do for you, check out her story.

I interviewed Donna Fluss of DMG Consulting on recent advances in analytics. With more than 20 years experience in customer relationship management and contact centers, we sought Donna's input on contact center speech analytics - what it is, what it does, what its use is and what benefits it provides. A shortened version of the question and answer session kicks off on page 43.

Discussing the relationship between speech and Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE), Steve Chirokas demonstrates how speech industry standards can leverage J2EE environments to enable enterprises to interface between their agents' desktop systems and the data repositories distributed throughout the organization.  To read more about how speech application customization via J2EE will continue to reduce costs surrounding integration, see his story commencing on page 49.

On behalf of all of us here at Speech Technology Magazine, I would like to thank all of the contributors who helped us with this edition as well as you, our reader, for your continued patronage.

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