Nuance Takes Speech Technology Literally into the Clouds

I recently spent some time at the Speechtek 2011 event in New York and while there I had a chance to speak with a number of companies including Nuance Communications and in my conversation with company representatives Dena Skrbina and Andrea Mocherman I got to learn about how the speech technology company was able to help transform the business of US Airways by providing a state-of-the-art cloud-based communications solution.

In short, the company has provided the airline with technology which is integrated with customer phones numbers allowing the caller to be immediately presented with information pertaining their flight. On calls, customers are greeted by name and immediately told information about parking, gates, times and upgrades. Moreover, the new system further makes use of hold time by querying for needed information which is subsequently passed to agents.

In another upgrade over traditional IVR systems, technology is now in place allowing prosody to be determined – in other words punctuation such as question marks are “understood” allowing the automated voice to have the proper intonation making it sound more human.

Intrigued? These solutions are currently available to Nuance On-Demand customers and will be rolled out to CPE customers over the next twelve months.

Nuance did some calculations and on the 10% on-hold time US Airways has saved as a result of this upgrade it believes the airline will save $6M a year. Moreover, they believe this number will increase as they optimize the system.

US Airways is so happy with the system, they have dubbed it “Wally” and even used it to read the airline’s forward looking statements on the company’s latest conference call.

What we can surmise from this news is speech technology will continue to improve allowing companies to become more productive and hopefully as a result, CRM quality levels will improve.

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