Natural MicroSystems and SpeechWorks Team to Enable New Voice-Driven Applications Monday 12 February 2001 PDF Print Pairing of NMS' Award-winning HearSay and SpeechWorks Technology to Offer Integrated Speech Application Platform for Enterprises, Service Providers and Developers Natural MicroSystems (NASDAQ: NMSS), the technology leader enabling a new era of communications, today announced that its HearSay telephony platform and the SpeechWorks® 6.5 speech-recognition engine will be integrated at the application program interface (API) level to provide a feature-rich and robust base for the increasingly popular array of speech-driven applications that allow a company's customers to do business using everyday language over the phone. Examples of applications that will benefit include voice portals, automated attendants, interactive voice response (IVR), directory assistance, call centre services, unified messaging and telematic servers. NMS and SpeechWorks, a market leader in the telephony-based speech technology industry, have been long-standing partners in the rapidly growing sector of voice-enabled applications. In October the companies partnered to allow Yahoo! Mail users to hear the content of their e-mail messages from any standard telephone using NMS' Alliance Generation® (AG) 4000 telephony interface and SpeechWorks' Speechify Text-to-Speech (TTS) engine. With this new integration, platform development and deployment can be streamlined dramatically because developers will have access to speech as well as telephony functions through NMS' single API. "SpeechWorks and NMS are working together to help organizations leverage the power of advanced voice-enabled applications to fundamentally transform the way companies interact with their customers, partners, employees and other critically important constituencies," said Steve Chambers, vice president of worldwide marketing, SpeechWorks. "The flexibility, scalability and rich feature set of the combined NMS and SpeechWorks hardware and software platform will unlock new opportunities for enterprises, service providers and developers striving to get to market quickly with compelling voice-enabled solutions." NMS' relationship with SpeechWorks extends the pairing of NMS' award-winning HearSay platform and offerings from the industry's premier speech recognition software providers. "The growing rank of companies where SpeechWorks is the platform of choice now have the option of NMS' robust telephony platform, plus the extensibility inherent in a carrier-grade solution," said Brian Demers, general manager of network solutions for Natural MicroSystems. "Voice-driven applications are playing larger roles in our everyday lives, and an increasingly larger percentage of these applications are demanding the reliability, performance and flexibility made possible by an industrial-strength solution like the one offered by SpeechWorks and NMS." SpeechWorks and Natural MicroSystems are at the forefront among providers of key enabling technology for voice portals and other voice-controlled applications. The Kelsey Group, a leading voice and mobile commerce consulting firm, expects this market will reach $12 billion by 2005. More than $5 billion of this total is projected to come from services such as voice-enabled commerce and related applications that deliver instant connections to people, businesses and personalized information via the telephone. HearSay: All-in-One Solution for Voice-Driven Services Providers of leading voice-activated services such as Yahoo! choose NMS' HearSay platform because the all-in-one solution offers the powerful speech recognition, media processing and industry-leading telephony capabilities required to implement, run and expand voice-driven applications. The most scalable and cost-effective architecture for rapid deployment of voice-driven applications - up to 120 ports in a single-board solution - HearSay delivers 4 times the port density of competing alternatives. Additionally, HearSay offers the industry's only full duplex or simultaneous play and record capability for barge-in. To ensure a more positive user experience, barge-in enables callers to interrupt by saying commands at any time, rather than waiting to hear complete menus. HearSay allows barge-in to be used on all channels of the board without reducing the number of ports available to applications. Robust on-board echo cancellation further enhances sound quality and enhances user satisfaction with voice-enabled services. About SpeechWorks International, Inc. Organizations worldwide rely on SpeechWorks (Nasdaq: SPWX) to delight their callers and provide them with a new level of service over the phone. Complementing the self-service model of e-business, SpeechWorks speech solutions, including the revolutionary SpeechSiteÔ product, and SpeechifyÔ text-to-speech engine, let customers direct their calls, obtain information and complete transactions automatically, simply by speaking naturally over any phone, anytime. SpeechWorks customers include some of the world's most sophisticated customer service innovators such as America Online, Amtrak, Continental Airlines, E*Trade, FedEx, Fidelity Investments Institutional Brokerage Group, United Airlines and Yahoo!. The Company offers the SpeechWorks Here Guarantee, the industry's only program that includes a money-back guarantee. SpeechWorks strategic partners include leading corporations such as AT&T, Avaya, Natural MicroSystems, InterVoice-Brite and Net2Phone. Investors included Citigroup's e-Citi Unit, GE Equity, Intel Corporation, The Intel64 Fund, MCI WorldCom Venture Fund and Reuters. SpeechWorks is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts and has offices around the world. To experience the power of SpeechWorks, call 888.SAY.DEMO. For additional information, call 617.428.4444 or visit http://www.speechworks.com About Natural MicroSystems Natural MicroSystems (NASDAQ: NMSS) is the technology leader supplying the world's major networking and communication equipment suppliers with the products and services required to create communications infrastructure, applications, and services faster and at lower costs than ever before. The Framingham, MA-based company designs, develops and supplies network-quality hardware and software, and provides design and customization services. These enable the highly reliable and effective creation, delivery and transport of voice and data, services and applications on next-generation public and enterprise network infrastructure. Deployed in more than 65 countries, NMS' products and technologies are at the foundation of today's high-value communications systems and wireless and wireline networks, including enhanced service platforms for packet and circuit networks; access gateways for voice-over-IP (VoIP), voice-over-DSL (VoDSL) and voice-over-Wireless Local Loop (VoWLL); IP media servers; voice portals and Web-talk applications; virtual personal assistants; and eCRM. The company also provides platform solutions for converged applications in packet networks, enabling carriers and service providers to deliver differentiated services quickly and cost effectively - with guaranteed levels of quality and service. NMS has a long history of technology innovations that advance the rapid growth of the communications industry worldwide, including breakthroughs such as the first complete open IP gateway, the first complete open packet media server and leadership in bringing open, scalable CompactPCI to the telecommunications industry. More information about NMS is available at http://www.nmss.com Natural MicroSystems and HearSay are trademarks and Alliance Generation is a registered trademark of Natural MicroSystems Corporation. SpeechWorks, SpeechSite, Speechify and SpeechWorks Here are either trademarks or registered trademarks of SpeechWorks International, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other product or corporate references are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. 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