Oracle has announced the general availability of their Communications Unified Inventory Management 7.1, which company officials say is designed for the introduction "in a discrete fashion" into an existing inventory environment through a modular, service-oriented architecture-based framework for unifying disparate data across multiple systems.
It's also touted as providing out-of-the-box integration with Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, which can be used to create tailored reports that draw upon real-time and historical inventory data, as well as Oracle Spatial, which supports geographical mapping and geocoding across the application. There's also a graphical design time modeling tool, Design Studio, offering best practices modeling of customer services and resources.
Software vendor eglue has announced it has been positioned by Gartner in the Niche Players quadrant of the "Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Service Contact Centers" report.
Eglue officials say that the current economic situation is "affecting the decisions of business leaders," who are "focusing on the central role of customer service to simultaneously lower costs and build customer loyalty," maintaining that this is "changing the evaluation criteria of the Magic Quadrant" in light of "budget realities."
The report assesses the market for customer service and support applications, saying selection of an application must take into consideration how the application addresses the requirements of the service center. Hard to argue with that, of course. It rates requirements in increasing order of complexity in what it calls "the four major areas" -- information access, service process optimization, end-to-end industry process experts and intelligent dialogue/real-time decisioning.
Dror Pockard, CEO of eglue, cites the Gartner CIO survey list as putting "cost-cutting, customer experience and customer service as the business factors that will drive decisions in the next 24 months." He says niche players offer important products as components or offerings for vertical segments, as opposed to other vendors who "offer complete portfolios but demonstrate weaknesses in one or more important areas... they usually are focused on support of the large enterprise, rather than small and mid-size businesses."
Founded in 2001, eglue is headquartered in Hoboken, New Jersey. It's a privately-held company backed by venture capitalists and private investors such as Giza, Cedar, Evergreen and Plenus Venture Lending.
Speech recognition provider LumenVox and open-source MRCP project UniMRCP have announced what officials from both firms are calling "the successful conclusion of interoperability testing between their products."
LumenVox CTO Jim Blake said the integration means that anyone who uses UniMRCP libraries for their MRCP stack will also be able to use the LumenVox Speech Engine. Arsen Chaloyan, the author and maintainer of UniMRCP, says UniMRCP provides "a free method of adding MRCP support to any voice platform, gateways, or media server," and that anyone wishing to add support for LumenVox speech recognition "can do so easily and affordably."
MRCP, the media resource control protocol, is a standard method for different pieces of software to communicate. It is most commonly used for telephony systems such as voice platforms to control automatic speech recognition and text to speech applications. Most all modern ASR and TTS support some form of MRCP, as do many voice platforms. UniMRCP is an open source cross-platform project providing libraries for an MRCP client or server. Its typical users would be programmers who are working on a voice platform and wish to add support for MRCP.
The LumenVox Speech Engine is a speech recognition product including support for both MRCPv1 and MRCPv2. The two versions of the protocol are similar, except version one uses RTSP as its signaling protocol while version two uses SIP. LumenVox and UniMRCP support both versions, and both were tested as part of the interoperability certification.
UniMRCP encapsulates SIP/MRCPv2, RTSP, SDP and RTP stacks and provides an MRCP version independent user level interface, meaning platform providers can integrate the UniMRCP stack into their software and support both MRCPv1 and MRCPv2.
While UniMRCP is mainly a programming library to be used by developers adding MRCP support into an existing product, and not a standalone application, a simple standalone MRCP client is available as part of the downloads at the UniMRCP Web page. Both UniMRCP and LumenVox support Windows and Linux.
Convergys, a vendor of relationship management products, has announced the availability of a platform-independent On-Demand Voice Authentication product, which Convergys clients and non-Convergys clients can implement by enrolling the voice signatures of their customers and employees.
Nancy Jamison, president and principal analyst, Jamison Consulting, has noted that government regulations requiring authentication, "coupled with the growth of identity fraud," are increasing demand for security products with features like voice authentication. According to Convergys officials, a person's voice signature is as unique as a fingerprint and can be used in legally binding documents and contracts if allowed by applicable law.
Convergys, a member of the S&P 500, has about 75,000 employees in 84 customer contact centers and other facilities in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Pat Donnellan, CEO of AEP Networks, said the survey found that 83 percent of remote workers carry corporate data on their laptops and mobile devices "despite the perceived impact of data loss and unauthorized data access on the business as a whole." He noted that the majority are relying on VPN security (61 percent) to provide adequate protection for their remote access needs.