What's Fueling Speech Technology's Growth

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In a difficult economy, technologies that help organizations cut costs while improving customer experiences tend to become top priorities. So it's no wonder there has been so much interest in speech technology in recent years. "Organizations [that] intend to differentiate themselves in a crowded business environment, through improved automated customer care, are increasingly deploying speech recognition systems," according to a recent report by research firm Global Industry Analysts.

As a result, the worldwide market for voice/speech recognition systems and software is expected to reach $69.4 billion by 2015, the firm says.

This growth is largely due to the efforts made by this year's Speech Industry Awards recipients. Some of these efforts include investments in multimodal technology with talk, touch, and type interfaces; analytics for better quality assurance in the contact center; voice security, especially from healthcare companies gearing up for government-mandated electronic health records; and, of course, mobile voice search, where Apple has made speech technology cool with the release of its iPhone 4S, which includes Siri, the speech-enabled personal digital assistant.

As has been the case in previous years, mergers and acquisitions played a big part in this year's awards issue. In fact, three out of the four Star Performers were selected largely because of their recent acquisitions. Some of the results of these efforts will yield advancements in multimodal self-service technologies, cloud-based analytics and audio data mining technologies, and speech-enabled clinical documentation solutions. The fourth company was selected for its efforts in helping law enforcement agencies use speech technology to fight crime.

Organizations of all types are taking notice of speech technology's value. This year's Speech Implementation Awards is further proof of this, as we highlight four success stories, from a small private university to one of the largest U.S. airlines, which estimates an average of $3 million in savings thanks to its speech technology deployment.

The recipients of this year's Speech Industry Awards have raised the standard of excellence for the industry. Congratulations to all of them. May you continue to succeed with speech technology in your organizations and elevate the standards of an already healthy and valuable industry.

If you'd like to meet face-to-face with some of this year's Speech Industry award winners—as well as consultants and practitioners—attend the 2012 SpeechTEK conference (August 13–15) at the New York Marriott Marquis. The conference will be co-located with CRM Evolution and our first Customer Service Experience conference, which will focus on building multichannel customer service interactions. To register, visit www.SpeechTEK.com.

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