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AVST Recognized by Global Growth Consulting Company in Article About Corporate Response to Hurricane Katrina

Frost & Sullivan Highlights AVST’s Technology Donations to the Relief Effort

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif., September 29, 2005 – Applied Voice & Speech Technologies, Inc. (AVST) was recognized by global growth consulting company Frost & Sullivan in a recent article about America’s corporate response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster.  The article highlights AVST’s technology contributions and assistance to the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency, the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Hurricane Katrina is estimated to be the most expensive natural disaster in United States history, resulting in one of the most devastating humanitarian crises the country has ever seen.  “One of the factors that have had a significant impact on the disaster relief operations is the breakdown of communications infrastructure caused by the hurricane,” states an article by Frost & Sullivan’s Enterprise Communications Industry Analyst Krithi Rao dated September 21, 2005.  “The disaster area is riddled with line breaks, damaged base stations and power failure.”

The article, titled “Technology Companies Lend a Helping Hand in Katrina Relief Efforts,” cites examples of how technology companies like AVST are leveraging their product portfolios to quickly replace and reinforce parts of the affected area’s communications infrastructure to aid in recovery and relief efforts.  “We are honored to take part in the concerted effort within the telecommunications industry to assist our country and fellow citizens in a time of great need,” said AVST’s President and CEO, Hardy Myers.  “It is touching to see how corporations nationwide have stepped up to donate money, products, personnel and services to aid the relief efforts.  AVST recognizes the positive impact that a rapid rebuilding of the communications infrastructure can have on the disaster relief efforts, and are happy to make our products and technology available to support the ongoing initiatives to rebuild that infrastructure.”

Frost & Sullivan took note of AVST’s involvement through the donation of its call processing, voice messaging, unified messaging and advanced speech solutions to major relief organizations as well as the enhancement of the communication capabilities of existing customers in the region to increase their relief efforts.  The article states that AVST “has been able to adequately meet the requirement of setting up reliable messaging infrastructure or enhancing existing infrastructure to support emergency communication very quickly.  This success has been due to a combination of product excellence and company response.”

Frost & Sullivan believes that AVST has been able to leverage its key differentiators of rapidly configurable and deployable products and excellent customer service to ensure that its clients who are engaged and involved in relief operations are able to meet their deadlines.  “AVST’s solution allows itself to be deployed within a matter of hours as compared to other messaging products that take a week to be set up,” the article states.  “The design interface is easy to use and enables new applications to be designed and deployed painlessly.  Along with the solution, the company’s service also allows it to respond to urgent customer needs.” 

AVST donated a 96 port CallXpress® Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System to the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency.  The system was the first centrally located information access point for people to receive the necessary address, telephone numbers and directions to locate safe and affordable housing assistance centers by telephone, particularly in areas hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina that will not have Internet and on-line access for many months.

The American Red Cross, an AVST customer since 1999, also received additional port capacity for their CallXpress system, giving them the ability to support more incoming calls.  AVST donated the software to add an additional 12 ports, and its reseller partner, Mercury Communications, donated the hardware and labor for the installation.  CallXpress answers all the calls for the 1-800-Help-Now telephone number. The system’s automated attendant routes callers seeking assistance or wanting to make a donation.  The Red Cross is also planning to implement an AVST speech-enabled automated attendant that will allow callers to simply speak the reason for the call and be routed appropriately.

In addition, AVST is indirectly assisting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through a global provider of engineering, procurement, construction, and maintenance (EPC) services and an AVST CallXpress customer for several years.  When the company was contracted by FEMA to help in the rebuilding effort, it contacted AVST channel partner, Kayenell/Unity Telecom, on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend to request a 32 port CallXpress system that needed to be configured in 24 hours and in place at the site by the following Wednesday.  The request was fulfilled by AVST and the CallXpress system was functional within the required time period.

Matt Fairbanks, branch manager at Kayenell/Unity Telecom, who was already a believer in CallXpress, was very impressed with AVST’s turn-around time:  "We have been selling the product for 17 years, and it is rock solid.  We were very happy with the fact that when our customer came to us with this emergency, and we in turn went to AVST, they were a true partner and acted quickly allowing us to be a key service provider.  We are paid to deliver to our customers and AVST added value by making things happen quickly."

Gary Rogerson, a spokesperson for the global EPC provider added, "From a customer’s perspective, looking back on the installation, it’s an incredible feat that a customer could contact someone on the weekend and get this kind of work done in that amount of time.”

The system is primarily being used by FEMA personnel working on restoring telecommunications and sewage services in New Orleans.  The system currently provides messaging capabilities for the FEMA operations but is expected to also perform automated attendant functions.

To access the Frost & Sullivan article in its entirety, please visit http://www.frost.com/prod/servlet/market-insight-top.pag?docid=48632149.    This article stems from ongoing in-depth analysis of the enterprise communications solutions market and is part of the Enterprise Communications Solutions subscription (9724) at Frost & Sullivan.  Other services of this group include market and technology insight articles, country industry forecasts, custom engagements/whitepapers, webinars and on-site client strategy sessions.

About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, has been partnering with clients to support the development of innovative strategies for more than 40 years. The company's industry expertise integrates growth consulting, growth partnership services, and corporate management training to identify and develop opportunities. Frost & Sullivan serves an extensive clientele that includes Global 1000 companies, emerging companies, and the investment community by providing comprehensive industry coverage that reflects a unique global perspective and combines ongoing analysis of markets, technologies, econometrics, and demographics.  For more information, visit www.frost.com.

About AVST

With more than 35 years of continuous innovation, Applied Voice & Speech Technologies, Inc. (AVST) is a trusted developer of software-based, enterprise-class Unified Communications (UC) solutions.

Our mission is to design, deliver and support communications solutions that transform the productivity of individual workers, teams and enterprises while leveraging the value of their existing and evolving IT infrastructure.

Thousands of businesses worldwide rely on AVST's advanced voice, mobility, team communications and business process UC solutions to meet their mission-critical communications requirements. The world-class interoperability and flexibility of AVST's UC platform provides a future-proofed bridge to their digital future.

Headquartered in Orange County, California, AVST maintains facilities in Seattle, Washington, Victoria B.C., Canada, the United Kingdom, and has remote sales offices throughout the United States. AVST's UC solutions are sold and supported worldwide by an extensive network of resellers and OEM partners. To learn more about AVST, our products and partners, please visit www.avst.com or you can follow us at Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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