Sound Advantage Releases SANDi 3.0

IRVINE, CA - Leveraging its integrated communications software, Sound Advantage announces SANDi 3.0, a Virtual Communications Assistant (VCA). Ideal for small and medium-sized businesses, SANDi 3.0 uses the latest speech recognition technology and works with Microsoft Exchange servers to unify daily communication tasks including email, voice mail and fax. By giving voice commands, SANDi users can receive and respond to emails wirelessly via their cellular phone while in or out of the office. Voice mail and fax messages can alternatively be viewed and returned through a Microsoft Outlook inbox. SANDi also features speech-enabled auto-attendant capabilities to manage incoming calls, which offers a navigation tool to direct callers to the person or department they are trying to reach. According to Bob Sanders, vice president of marketing for Sound Advantage, SANDi's capabilities extend beyond a messaging system to provide the industry's first VCA. "Given the influx of messages people receive each day, many of us could really use an office assistant. But the reality is that few of us can afford to hire a real person." "With SANDi, you can ensure you'll never miss an important call from a customer or co-worker. Not only can SANDi's locate feature use several contact methods to find you, but it also reads and replies to emails wirelessly from any location, and it can look up phone numbers and place calls all without you having to touch a button," Sanders continued. SANDi's locate and virtual extension functionality support increasing mobility needs and extend the office environment for workers by allowing callers to connect to them even when they are away from their desk. Many callers zero out of existing touch-tone automated answering systems because they find them difficult to use. SANDi alleviates this problem by allowing callers to reach people and departments by stating the name of the party they wish to reach, eliminating the need to remember extension numbers or navigate through touch-tone menus and dial by name directories. "We are seeing an explosive growth in the total number of messages an average worker deals with in a day. Businesses looking to keep costs in-line need a solution to help manage the increased message flow efficiently and in a timely manner," said Blair Pleasant, president and principal analyst, COMMfusion. "With SANDi, Sound Advantage is offering businesses a communications alternative that can help increase productivity while offering a flexible solution to keep workers connected to their offices while on the road or at home." Figures from the 2000 Census show the average commute time for most Americans has increased to almost 30 minutes in each direction. With people spending more time then ever before in their cars, SANDi's hands-free voice navigation offers a solution for managing communications from cellular phones. In fact, according to a 2002 industry study conducted by Gartner Custom Research, users of speech-recognition systems noted that the most compelling features of speech-enabled communications systems were convenience, speed and timeliness of information retrieval, recognition accuracy and a more personal and friendly interaction than traditional touch-tone systems. "Since SANDi works with existing switch and messaging systems, customers can protect their investment in existing systems and extend the lifecycle of their legacy communications infrastructure," said Sanders. "In an industry where only five percent of the market will purchase a new switch or messaging system this year, the ability to deliver a cost-effective offering to the remaining 95 percent of the market presents a tremendous market opportunity for Sound Advantage and our dealers and distributors." "SANDi is a future-proof solution that presents us with an attractive value proposition that we can pass along to our customers. Because SANDi works with existing, as well as emerging infrastructure, it is the ideal solution for installed base customers who wouldn't otherwise invest in new technology," said Linda Hogan, vice president of marketing, Professional Telecommunications. "This unique feature set not only helps us compete for existing business, but it also opens tremendous new market opportunities." Sound Advantage's SANDi offers business customers a choice of two configurations to best meet their communication needs. SANDi Lite includes the Receptionist and Voice Mail Modules, with support for four ports and up to 25 users, while SANDi Standard includes up to six modules: Receptionist, PBX, Voice Mail, Dialing, E-Mail and Fax. Additionally, SANDi Standard's base configuration provides four ports for up to 50 users and is expandable to 24 ports for up to 2,000 users.
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