IBM And ALTech Join Forces To Develop And Deploy Speech-Activated Telephony Solutions

Agreement to Deliver Advanced Telephony Customer Service and Support Applications for the Enterprise

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SOMERS, NY & BOSTON, MA - 27 Jul 1998: - IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Applied Language Technologies, Inc., (ALTech), today announced an agreement to deliver innovative, speech-driven telephony solutions to companies worldwide. This agreement supports IBM's goal of shortening time to market of new services by using ALTech's unique SpeechWorks tools in combination with IBM's ViaVoice Telephony RunTime engine,

and by offering customers access to ALTech's Professional Services.

The combination of IBM and ALTech technologies will enable companies to build speech-activated telephone applications, initially on IBM's DirectTalk platform that allow callers not only to retrieve information, but also to complete transactions without the help of an operator or touch-tone menus. Potential applications for the technology include purchasing movie tickets, reserving airline tickets, retrieving navigational instructions and conducting personal banking transactions.

"The market is ready for speech-enabled telephony solutions, but there has been a lack of toolkits and application development teams to create the solutions," said W. S. (Ozzie) Osborne, general manager of IBM Speech Systems. "Through IBM's partnership with ALTech, a leader in these areas, we expect to broaden and accelerate the market for speech telephony solutions."

Agreement Combines Award-Winning Tools With Leading-Edge Technology

According to the agreement, ALTech will adapt its SpeechWorks DialogModules and other tools to support the ViaVoice Telephony engine on the IBM DirectTalk platform providing business partners and customers with an integrated solution to build state-of-the-art customer service applications. ALTech will also offer IBM customers and business partners access to their Professional Services for consultation, application development and systems integration.

ALTech brings its early-market deployment experience with well-known customers in the brokerage, travel and telecommunications industries; award-winning development tools, including DialogModules and vertical application grammars; and its speech-focused Professional Services organization to the IBM alliance. ALTech will assume a major role in IBM's speech telephony plans by sharing their tools and experience with IBM's business partners worldwide, as well as with IBM's Industry Solution Units and Global Services organization.

"IBM brings excellent technology and unparalleled brand power to the exploding market for speech-enabled customer service solutions, and we are delighted that they have confirmed the value of our tools and services in deploying large-scale applications quickly and reliably," said Stuart Patterson, CEO of ALTech. "Our work together will provide customers with important advantages such as standardized tools, APIs, more platform choices, and long-term protection of their investments."

IBM's Focus on Speech-Enabled Telephony

In addition to the ALTech partnership, IBM recently announced an aggressive schedule to bring IBM ViaVoice technology to the enterprise and customer service market by integrating the technology into many different Interactive Voice Response (IVR) platforms through a partnership with Voice Control Systems (VCS). The inclusion of ALTech in IBM's business strategy will speed the integration with IVR platform suppliers, accelerate the development of applications, and complement the VCS agreement.

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