ScanSoft introduces SpeechPAK Utilities Suite 2.0

BURLINGTON, Mass., June 14, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) — ScanSoft, Inc., a leader of speech and imaging solutions, announced the availability of SpeechPAKâ„- Utilities Suite 2.0, the latest release in its series of vertically-focused packaged application kits designed to help utility companies ease the development of speech applications, while increasing caller satisfaction and return on investment.

As the speech industry matures, more customers are demanding speech solutions that can be deployed more rapidly, with a range of functionality customized to their industry. ScanSoft SpeechPAK Utilities Suite 2.0 enables utilities to leverage best practices in user interface design, call flow implementation and speech science learned through extensive caller research and proven through the successful implementation and deployment of many of the best utilities applications in the industry. SpeechPAK Utilities Suite packages ScanSoft’s best practices expertise – including user interface designs, prompts and grammars tuned and optimized for common utilities applications. The result is a customizable, modular application that reduces the deployment time for utilities-based applications by up to 40 percent.

Utilities companies must be ready to deal with a variety of customer service challenges, including increased call volume due to outages, meter reads, customer billing issues and other commonly repeated inquiries that are cost prohibitive to manage through live agents, and are difficult or impossible to use with touch-tone applications. SpeechPAK Utilities Suite is a faster and easier way to automate these tasks while delivering the same exceptional caller satisfaction for which ScanSoft is known. SpeechPAK-based applications provide an accelerated return on investment when compared to completely customized applications and deliver significant cost savings versus live operators. Applications provided through the SpeechPAK Utilities Suite include: account identification, account information and support, bill payment, duplicate bill requests, meter reading, outage reporting and status and stop service.

“The utilities industry faces unique call center challenges because of dramatic fluctuations in call volume due to service interruptions and other customer issues,” said Peter Mahoney, vice president of worldwide marketing for SpeechWorks, a division of ScanSoft. “The SpeechPAK Utilities Suite is an extension of our well-known SpeechPAK brand, and enables utilities to rapidly deploy effective, tailored speech applications that dramatically improve customer service.”

SpeechPAK Utilities Suite is the latest in a series of industry-specific speech applications created for rapid deployment in existing call center environments. SpeechPAK Utilities Suite is completely standards-based, and is designed to be deployed by any qualified partner. SpeechPAK kits enhance profitability for partners by providing a new revenue stream and enabling more rapid deployment of complete applications for their customers.

SpeechPAK kits are built leveraging the same proven methodology that the SpeechWorks Professional Services organization uses to deploy successful speech applications across the world. The SpeechWorks® Engagement Methodology (SEM) enables the delivery of premium quality custom solutions on time and within budget, and SpeechPAK kits deliver significant cost savings in all key areas of SEM, spanning:

— Discovery: ScanSoft® SpeechPAKâ„- kits are based on common business needs, and can help to guide the process of uncovering the specific needs of an application.

— Design: While SpeechPAK kits can be extended or customized, pre-designed user interface and call flow options and suggestions are built into the application, yet can be extended or customized without restriction.

— Realization: Implementation and integration is simplified considerably through pre-packaged components and design, best practices and included reference applications that provide a working model for developers to build to.

— Optimization: SpeechPAK kits come with a pre-tuned user interface, based on ScanSoft’s extensive expertise and experience in fine tuning speech applications.

Customers can extend the value of ScanSoft SpeechPAK kits to suit their individual needs leveraging SpeechWorks Solutions Professional Services organization, or by working directly with a member of ScanSoft’s network of partners.

SpeechPAK Utilities Suite enables application developers to:

— Leverage Industry Best Practices: The SpeechPAK Utilities Suite was designed using best practices and knowledge gained from SpeechWorks Solutions’ vast experience developing dozens of utilities applications, resulting in an effective, easy to use application with faster time to market.

— Provide an Efficient, Consistent Interface: SpeechPAK Utilities Suite takes advantage of a clear, easy-to-use interface design that has been road tested in dozens of utilities deployments and provides a pleasant, conversational experience for callers.

— Configure and Customize Quickly and Easily: Developers can easily replace or modify prompts, grammars, call flow and other user interface options by simply setting easy-to-manage configuration parameters. SpeechPAK Utilities Suite can be extended to create as complete and customized application as needed to achieve desired results.

About ScanSoft’s SpeechWorks Division [ www.ScanSoft.com/speech ]

SpeechWorks is the most trusted name in speech. Through its global partner network, SpeechWorks delivers field-proven applications that revolutionize the way people interact. Today, thousands of companies and millions of users around the world depend on SpeechWorks® solutions from ScanSoft to deliver vital business information and simplify every day life.

About ScanSoft, Inc. [ www.ScanSoft.com ]

ScanSoft, Inc. is a global leader of speech and imaging solutions that are used to automate a wide range of manual processes – saving time, increasing worker productivity and improving customer service.

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