Speech Technology Magazine Cover

November/December 2004

Magazine Features

Balancing Customer Service Support Options

Customers often ask questions about products, services, delivery dates and account information, as well as, offer suggestions and complaints. If customers do not receive satisfactory answers to their questions, they become disillusioned with the company and take their business elsewhere. In short, good customer service support is the key to repeat business. …

Houses and Windows: Distinguishing between Packaged Applications and Components

Steve Ehrlich, vice president of marketing for Apptera, explains how the complex issue of implementing new applications involves an understanding of software and development approaches, and of skill set requirements, availability of resources, internal IT support and business requirements.

Is There a Future for Speech in Vehicles?

Kenneth White, Harvey Ruback and Roberto Sicconi explain how speech recognition technology is becoming an important component in how people are using and interacting with their cars.

Lessons Learned from Deploying Natural Language Call Routing

What is “natural language” really? What are the conditions for a positive business case? Which principles should be considered in the design of such systems? What else can be learned from recent deployments? <@SM>Driven by major new deployments, natural language has received renewed attention. Building on contributions by Deborah Dahl(1) and Walter Rolandi(2) in the May/June issue earlier this year, the lessons to be learned stem from various deployments of natural language call routing. …

Speech Industry Must Innovate and Continuously Improve

Speech recognition technology has made strong advances in the past number of years and will likely continue to do so. Recognition error rates are decreasing and additional features and capabilities have been incorporated into the most recent versions of the software. <@SM>Progress has also been made to improve voice authentication software, text-to-speech (TTS) software, and statistical model-based natural language speech recognition. …

Three Tiers of Customer Interactions: How Appropriate Deployment of Speech Technology Enhances the Customer Experience

“Three Tiers of Customer Interactions: How Appropriate Deployment of Speech Technology Enhances the Customer Experience<@SM> <@SM><@SM>While speech technology is a powerful tool, the true benefits are only realized when it is deployed strategically within a larger application. In the case of West Interactive, these pplications are devised to deliver customer care solutions to large companies. A company must consider its overall customer care picture to deploy speech properly. As complexity of customer interaction increases, the more…

Usability Scorecard

This is the third in a series of “interactive columns” where our readership can participate in auditing self-service systems across nine industry categories. The idea is to provide highlights on companies who score in the upper quartile of the Sterling Audits Usability Index. The index is a standard methodology for rating the overall efficacy of both Web sites and Voice Response Systems. In this issue, we concentrate on voice response systems in the transportation industry.…

What To Do When Callers Aren’t Using Speech

Ted Bray, director for strategic planning and product management for voice automation at Avaya, suggests that we look at the core principles of successful deployments to figure out what has gone wrong and how to repair the problem so that callers will want to continue to use speech.


Editor's Letter

Thanks for a Good Year

Thanks to you, 2004 has been a good year for speech. Certainly more growth within this space is welcomed, but overall it has been a productive year for speech and that is reflected in the growth of SpeechTEK and Speech Technology Magazine.

Forward Thinking

MRCP Enables New Speech Applications

Have you ever wished you could change your VoiceXML platform to use a speech synthesizer or speech recognizer from a different vendor? Have you ever wanted to move your speech synthesizer or speech recognizer to a different server? The Internet Engineering Task Force is proposing a new standard that will provide this flexibility.

Human Factor

Failure to Test Detestable

Dr. Walter Rolandi, founder and owner of The Voice User Interface Company, reasons that "validating a call flow is not a particularly expensive or time-consuming endeavor," therefore, failing to do so is a sign of reckless behavior.

Industry View

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.

Voice Value

Designing Biometric Devices

While biometrics are intrinsically accessible for people who are disabled, a single biometric cannot accommodate all users.

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