Kirusa and Telisma Announce the Use of Their Solutions by France Telecom

BERKELY HEIGHTS, NJ and PARIS, FRANCE - Kirusa, a provider of multimodal platforms enabling delivery of multimodal applications to wireless devices, together with Telisma, European developer of speech technologies for telecommunications companies, announced that they had entered into an agreement with France Telecom to perform multimodal trials using the Orange GPRS network in France. This trial has been under way for several weeks, and early results from the trial have been very promising. During the trials, a multimodal solution based on Kirusa's multimodal platform and Telisma's VoiceXML kit, as well as human factors and ergonomics of several forms of multimodality will be evaluated for a live, commercially available GPRS network environment. The trial will continue for the next several months, and features Orange and France Telecom subscribers interacting with multimodal applications in scientifically designed and instrumented evaluations over the Orange GPRS network in France. France Telecom provides wireless services under the Orange brand. Orange is Europe's number two mobile operator by footprint, with operations in 22 countries across Europe and beyond, and aims to have a presence in markets covering 1.5 billion people worldwide by 2005. As at the end of March 2002, Orange had over 12.7 million customers in the UK, 18.3 million in France and approximately 40.5 million controlled customers worldwide. Several business units in France Telecom, including Equant, joint partner with Orange in the "Mobile Internet for Business" unit, view multimodality as a way to alleviate the user interface problems their customers face while using wireless handheld devices, and as a clear value differentiator for their GPRS networks, driving adoption and revenue. This widespread interest has led France Telecom to do one centralized evaluation of Kirusa's multimodal platform and Telisma's speech technologies. Jean-Jacques Damlamian, Group Executive Vice President at France Telecom, said, "We are convinced that multimodality is key to increase the adoption and revenue from services offered by France Telecom, through Orange, Wanadoo and Equant. Kirusa and Telisma have well positioned us for industry leadership in the multimodal space." Solenn Botrel, Program Manager for this project in FTRD, the R&D division of France Telecom, added, "We have been testing the multimodal platform and multimodal applications for several weeks, and have been very pleased with its performance. The Kirusa and Telisma teams are very professional, have supported us very well, and continue to respond to our needs flawlessly." "Kirusa continues its commitment to the European market with the delivery of its multimodal solution to one of Europe's leading telecommunications groups, in partnership with Europe's leading speech vendor," said Dr. Inderpal Singh Mumick, CEO and founder of Kirusa. "There is increasing agreement worldwide that multimodality holds the key to broad market adoption of mobile applications and the unleashing of bold new revenue streams from wireless data. The investments being made by France Telecom in multimodality, and the early results from the evaluations, provide further credence to the ability of multimodality to significantly increase revenue from mobile applications. " Laurent Balaine, CEO of Telisma, said, "Multimodality is a real catalyst which should have the effect of boosting the mobile applications and services market. Designed by skillful ergonomics specialists and including sophisticated technology, multimodal services are an extremely attractive proposition for users. They will provide subscribers voice access to services which where previously only available via WAP. The key will be to insure subscribers will spontaneously adapt these services, feeling at ease with an intuitive and simple interaction combining voice, touch, and text. All this is consistent with the inexorable progress of the voice technology in everyday life and confirms Telisma's vision of voice applications as the point of convergence for all means of communication."
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