Articles by Mark Plakias
Spread the Word
If the combination of SpeechTEK, TVUI and SAXPO has any common denominator, it is this: We have made great strides in educating ourselves about the power of standards and the Internet in making 'insanely great' self-service, telephone-based applications.
CAN U W8 for Multimodal: SMS and Clunky Heuristics
We all take the browser on our computer for granted. As I write this, my co-worker is watching the new (scary, animated, dark) Eminem video on her IE with a QuickTime helper. Lately, I've been looking at another form of browser, not really designed as a browser, indeed, not even capable of interpreting markup language: SMS. That stands for Short Message Service and is the ubiquitous text.
Speech Business: Open Season
The most recent SpeechTEK in New York turned out to be a wake-up call for redefining what we mean by 'open' in the IVR and speech world.
From (Political) Show Business to 'Go' Business
The voice automation industry in the US can be generally situated in a pretty wide cross-section of political landscapes: you've got the Dallas metroplex (Bush country), California (Schwarzenegger's domain), and the Northeast Corridor (Virginia through DC up to liberal New York and Massachusetts).
The Battle for Partner Share
As the second half of 2004 unreels we will be watching a metric that is proving to be very important indeed. We call it partner share. We can define this as the amount of an ecosystem that is involved with your product. In the case of speech, this could include system integrators, related software including CTI or digital recording, as well as independent software vendors of CRM and B2E applications.
Pre-packaged or Redundant? Reinventing the App.
As we reflect on AVIOS/SpeechTEK, the second major show of the year, the pre-packaged apps mantra that was sounded at TVUI continued to resonate on the floors of the exhibition floor in San Francisco.
Speech: It's Not Different, Stupid
With Bill Gates as a headliner at a speech show, the question naturally arises as to whether speech technology will become more widely available, riding Microsoft's low-price/high-volume software model.
Optimizing Your Life(cycle)
Zelos Group recently completed a detailed life-cycle analysis of a typical speech deployment, based on a real-world experience base of 20 deployments for both premises-based and hosted solutions.
Attitude Correction: Deconstructing Six Myths About TTS
Ever want to stop and say, hey, let's give the kid some respect? That's how I feel about TTS. Here's my contribution to giving the technology its due.
Factors of 10, or, Is This Trip Necessary?
As some of you are acutely aware, autumn involves large checks going to tuition (at all levels these days). Which brings me immediately to my first factor of 10: I'm pretty sure that when I went to college it was 1/10th of what I'm paying for Vassar this fall.
Out of the Iron Age: Redefining Success
Gone are the days of big deals meaning big discounts for IVR ports. The new definition of success is how many calls can be resolved and how fast the next app goes into production.
Out of the Iron Age: Redefining Success
A recent visit to a major trade show (V-World) amidst continued blurry first quarter financial results from IVR platform vendors has led me to wonder if its time to give up some long-time analytical perspectives. No, this has nothing to do with New Yorks ban on smoking, were way past that. Its about Iron, hardware, ports lots of them. Life was simple back in the Iron Age of call automation.
What's Your Value? It's Just A Phone, Stupid.
Recently, we had the exhilarating experience of undergoing a merger. In the interim, we were able to set up a fully functional intranet, a speech-based automated attendent, and a virtual Exchange server in one day.
The S-Word and Building Glass Towers
Last year, in a vacant lot by the Hudson River in Greenwich Village (where I live), they broke ground on not one, but two 15-story glass residences designed by architect Richard Meier. It was rumored that Calvin would take one penthouse and Martha would take the other.
Is Speech "Cool?"
Now that school's back in session, those of you with college students have probably been talking planes, trains and automobiles to help get that future CEO/doctor/attorney/poet off to campus. Yet one of the truly rewarding parts of that logistical challenge has probably been hearing your son or daughter say, "Hey I called Amtrak/United/Continental (take your pick) and this voice recognition thing answered. Pretty cool!"
Introducing Miller's Law
Last issue we made the somewhat radical suggestion that if (perceived) hardware expense was slowing down your voice application sales cycle, just get rid of the hardware. This led into a discussion of hosted scenarios, including hybrid "borderless" cases where existing customer premises equipment (CPE) could interwork with in-network hosted speech resources using IP and VoiceXML.
Introducing Millers Law
Last month we made the somewhat radical suggestion that if (perceived) hardware expense was slowing down your voice application sales cycle, just get rid of the hardware. This led into a discussion of hosted scenarios, including hybrid borderless cases where existing customer premises equipment (CPE) could interwork with in-network hosted speech resources using IP and VoiceXML.
First Lets Kill All the Hardware
At a recent speech conferenceNuances excellent V-WorldI was again struck by the combined power of speech recognition, voice-user interface (VUI) design, TTS and strong back-end integration for content delivery. At the risk of sounding fatuous, quality has become so much better that the applications are fooling people into treating recognizers like, well, other people.
Carriers & VoiceXML: Skin the Legacy
The legacy telco voicemail market now approaches 500 million mailboxes on both wireline and wireless networks. Some incumbent vendors have not done very well in migrating from their legacy solutions to voice-enabled voicemail.
Relentless Specialization, Jacques Ellul and Schnabel's Pit Bull
Two recent conversations about voice recognition in telephony networks have me musing about the risks of technical evolution, captured by the idea of "relentless specialization." An insight into this somewhat antiseptic phrase is found in French philosopher Jacques Ellul's work La Technique.