VoiceGenie and BBN Technologies to Market Speech-Recognition Product for Large Business Call Centers

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TORONTO and CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- A new product from VoiceGenie Technologies, Inc., and BBN Technologies replaces complex voice mail menus with speech recognition technology that allows callers to get where they want to go in one easy step. The product is designed for businesses that use large call centers to provide service to their customers.

VoiceGenie and BBN, a Verizon company, are jointly marketing BBN's voice-recognition Call Director and other speech-based applications with VoiceGenie's award winning VoiceXML (Voice Extensible Markup Language) Gateway. VoiceXML is the standard computer language for building interfaces between voice-recognition software and Web content. The VoiceGenie platform enables enterprise businesses to develop and deploy sophisticated speech-enabled Internet and data services, enabling access to VoiceXML applications via any phone.

Verizon, BBN's parent company, will be the first to use the new product. The service will be tested in one of Verizon's call centers.

BBN's combination of speech processing and natural language technologies allows customers dialing into a company's call center to simply state the reason for their call after the prompt: "Briefly tell me the reason for your call today." Lengthy strings of questions in a complex menu are eliminated.

VoiceGenie's VoiceXML platform is the top selling VoiceXML Gateway, offering many unique features and capabilities that help companies maximize their speech systems' return on investment and revenue-generating functions, according to VoiceGenie.

"BBN's speech recognition products integrate unique language-processing components that do more than recognize spoken words -- they provide the answer," said Stuart Berkowitz, VoiceGenie president and CEO. "With over 30 years of research and development in speech and language understanding, BBN has acquired significant expertise that is extremely valuable in the call center market.

"BBN's speech recognition technology and VoiceGenie's VoiceXML Gateway solution together provide call centers with the widest choice of speech- recognition applications, and the ability to use a unique call-routing capability," said Marie Meteer, director of the Customer Contact Center Products and Services Group at BBN. "Our collaboration allows more customers to deploy Call Director, the only speech-recognition product of its type in the industry to use what is known as fully statistical speech recognition solution, a proven way to increase routing efficiency in call centers using the robust and scalable VoiceGenie platform. This collaboration is specifically designed to provide Call Centers with a cost-effective answer to increasing automation and substantially improving customer satisfaction."

"VoiceGenie and BBN are delivering a real solution to increasing call-center automation and improving customer satisfaction with voice-enabling technology," said Berkowitz.

In addition to BBN's Call Director, VoiceGenie will market and sell BBN's Call Center Assessment service, a data-driven methodology that provides quantitative data analysis for enhancing call center productivity. BBN's assessment helps call center directors make informed decisions about when, where, and how to roll out speech-recognition technology, by validating the business case. In particular, it identifies where the problems lie and which solutions will solve those inadequacies, prior to deployment.

"The combination of VoiceGenie's VoiceXML Gateway and BBN's Call Center product is the right solution to increasing call center efficiency at the right price," said Berkowtiz.

About BBN Technologies

BBN Technologies, a Verizon Communications company, was established as Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc. in 1948. From its roots as an acoustical design consulting firm, to the implementation and operation of the ARPANET-the forerunner of today's Internet-to the development of the first network email, which established the @ sign as an icon for the digital age, BBN Technologies provides the same technical expertise and innovation to both government and commercial customers today. These areas of expertise include: system integration; distributed, collaborative applications; speech recognition; language understanding; wireless and satellite networking; network architecture and management; information security; structural acoustics; sensor signal processing; and real-time, multi-processor systems. With more than 750 employees in 15 offices across the US, BBN Technologies had revenues in 2001 of approximately $128 million. For more information on BBN Technologies, go to www.bbn.com.

About VoiceGenie

VoiceGenie is the worldwide leader in VoiceXML Gateways, Development Environments, and Tools. Each day, deployed VoiceGenie infrastructure answers over one million calls. The VoiceGenie VoiceXML Gateway -- first to offer 100% VoiceXML 1.0 and 2.0 compliance and first with support for multiple speech- and text-to-speech engines -- allows any phone to access Voice Web applications developed using VoiceXML. VoiceGenie's customers and partners comprise many leading organizations, including AT&T, France Telecom, SAP, Lucent, Intel, SpeechWorks, Nuance, Oracle, Eli Lilly, and more. VoiceGenie's Gateway was ranked #1 hosted VoiceXML Gateway by CT Labs, and given the 2001 Innovation Award by TMC Labs. The Kelsey Group estimates that the market for voice-enabling services will grow to $41 billion by 2005. Please call 416.736.6105 or visit www.voicegenie.com.

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