Verizon Business Extends Automated Speech Recognition Services to Internet Protocol Networks

To meet the needs of the growing number of businesses that are converting their networks to an Internet protocol infrastructure, Verizon Business is now offering its speech services in an IP-enabled version.

The new capability, announced Tuesday (Aug. 25), allows customers to run their speech services on the company's Hosted IP Interactive Voice Response (IVR) platform, as an alternative or in addition to its traditional Hosted IVR platform.

The services help callers conduct simple self-service inquiries and transactions over the phone.  For example, a caller could use a speech application to check an account balance, find a store location, order literature, update an appointment, or inquire about an insurance claim - all without having to wait on hold to speak to a customer service agent.

"IP-enabled speech services incorporate three of the top benefits our customers are seeking in a contact center solution: the use of speech technology to enable self-service; a hosted service to reduce equipment costs; and the ability to migrate to an IP-based platform," said Jim Tyrrell, vice president for global business voice solutions at Verizon.  "Comprehensive solutions like these are taking customer-contact capabilities to a new level."

[To hear a podcast on the benefits of IP-enabled speech services, go to: http://www.verizonbusiness.com/worldwide/resources/media/index.xml?urlid=130208.]

Verizon Speech Services can be delivered to customers in a variety of ways to meet customers' needs and environment.  Customers can choose to have Verizon Business host the services, manage them, or simply provide customer premises equipment.

The company's IP IVR service, together with VoIP Inbound, enables customers to efficiently manage and route inbound calls, with the flexibility to deliver customer calls to either traditional or IP-based contact centers.  Verizon Business' support for hybrid solutions allows customers to migrate to IP at their own pace, while leveraging their existing telephony infrastructure.  The new speech capabilities on IP IVR are based on the latest technology from Nuance Communications (NASDAQ: NUAN). 

"Our business customers - particularly in the financial, government and health care sectors - are seeking new options to more effectively handle incoming calls during peak periods," said Blair Crump, group president of worldwide sales for Verizon Business.  "Automated speech services can supplement trained call center agents to help businesses speed customer issue resolution, reduce time spent on hold, and improve the overall customer experience."

For a retrospective and prospective view of Verizon Business IP innovation, visit: http://www.verizonbusiness.com/us/about/ipinnovation/.

For more information regarding Verizon Business contact center solutions, visit http://www.verizonbusiness.com/products/contactcenter/.

About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a global leader in communications and IT solutions. We combine professional expertise with the world's most connected IP network to deliver award-winning communications, IT, information security and network solutions. We securely connect today's extended enterprises of widespread and mobile customers, partners, suppliers and employees - enabling them to increase productivity and efficiency and help preserve the environment.  Many of the world's largest businesses and governments - including 96 percent of the Fortune 1000 and thousands of government agencies and educational institutions - rely on our professional and managed services and network technologies to accelerate their business. Find out more at www.verizonbusiness.com.