AVST News

Active Voice SPEAK—Speech-enabled Auto Attendant for the SMB Masses

By Nancy Jamison, Jamison Consulting President and Editor-in-Chief (Originally published on April 16, 2008)

We have speech-enabled solutions for the SMB market out there already. In fact, I will be writing about some of them in a Q1 update of my 12 days of UC blog, probably next week. But Active Voice, who have been in the voice/unified messaging market for more than a decade, has finally cracked the code on providing an affordable, single-digit IQ (SDIQ) installation, speech-enabled auto-attendant for the SMB market. That would be the many people are starting to pay attention to, but still much underserved SMB market.

OK, joking aside, this is a good thing – a very good thing. As I said earlier, there are solutions for the market, and in fact Active Voice has one already, called SEVEN, which utilizes Nuance technology as the speech engine. So why do another? Active Voice, and the SMB market, needed a simpler, easier to use and cheaper offering - plain and simple. I think they have done it. Here are the details:

Simplicity and Ease of Use

• SPEAK is an appliance-based offering, with plug ‘n play installation
• SPEAK is self-configuring. Customers only need to deal with two web pages to upload names from a CSV file or Active Directory
• SPEAK requires no IT support

Cost

• SPEAK uses LumenVox as the speech engine, driving down the cost
• SPEAK uses Digium rather than relying on a board or gateway, plummeting the cost of hardware.

SPEAK provides users with some pretty nifty mobility features. Besides being the traditional auto-attendant for calls coming into a business, it acts as one internally as well, enabling employees to pick up the phone and dial by voice, but also enabling them to dial into their own speech portal to get to emails and calendar information too, from their desks or while out of the office.

SPEAK isn’t a replacement for SEVEN, however, even though it can scale up to thousands of users too. SEVEN has some attractive attributes of its own that “speak” to some customers in the SMB market, and certainly larger customers, such as the 44 languages that it supports. At first release SPEAK only supports three.

There you have it; a very agreeable SMB auto-attendant solution, with a lot of function for the price. I think this is spot on with what the SMB market needs.

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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