Leverages Mobilee's VoiceXML and Audio Streaming to Introduce Industry's First Complete Platform for Voice Web applications-HearSay SoftServer
Natural MicroSystems (NASDAQ: NMSS), the technology leader enabling a new era of communications, today announced the acquisition of privately held Mobilee, Inc., a Boston-based wireless Internet infrastructure provider. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
NMS also announced the first product to combine Mobilee and NMS technologies - HearSay™ SoftServer - the industry's most comprehensive voice Internet platform, designed to help service providers bring innovative applications to market faster and at lower costs than ever before.
Mobilee employees will join the New Network Solutions business unit of Natural MicroSystems, where they will continue their key roles in developing voice-enabled products and services, as well as provide ongoing support to Mobilee customers and partners.
"The addition of Mobilee's team and successful voice infrastructure technologies will accelerate our penetration of the high-growth Voice Web market," said NMS Chairman and CEO Bob Schechter. "Many of the firms that define this sector, such as Tellme, Yahoo!, BeVocal and Webley, have already launched voice-driven services using NMS' communications platforms."
"As the market expands, NMS recognizes the requirement to help new entrants expedite the availability of their services, by providing them with increasingly robust and more feature-rich platforms," Schechter continued. "By tightly integrating VoiceXML and audio streaming functionality directly into our offerings, Mobilee's technology enables NMS to extend a compelling capability to the next wave of companies bringing voice-activated Web content to the phone. And by welcoming Mobilee's world-class research and development team in Israel, NMS establishes a presence in an acknowledged world center of voice product innovation."
"There is a precise fit between Mobilee's VoiceXML and audio streaming technologies and NMS' industry-leading voice platforms," said Mobilee's President and CEO Jacob Guedalia. "For telecom carriers, service providers and communications equipment suppliers, merging the technologies of our two companies paves the fast track to a high-growth market - and will make Voice Web applications a reality for more enterprises and service providers that much sooner. Mobilee's voice interface components are a field-tested, proven foundation for Web-to-phone applications, having been the base of the speech-activated voice portal for such leaders as Lycos. Now, being part of NMS creates new opportunities to advance our software technology and to address a wider market."
According to a March 2001 Voice Web study by The Kelsey Group of Princeton, NJ, a global market is emerging in voice recognition-based information, messaging, and customer-care services and technology. The report projects that worldwide spending and revenues from Voice Web and voice applications will reach $41 billion by 2005. Services and applications created with such offerings are accessed with spoken commands through wireless or wireline phones. Examples include:
· Voice portals that provide text-to-speech email, driving directions, business locators, and more
· Unified communications offerings that combine voice, fax and email services
· Self-service customer contact centers for businesses
HearSay SoftServer: Complete Phone-to-Web Platform
The first yield of the acquisition, HearSay SoftServer is a front-to-back-end voice Internet platform that connects phones to voice-driven content. HearSay SoftServer speeds time-to-revenue for telecommunications carriers, service providers and equipment manufacturers - and for their enterprise customers - as they enter the high-growth realm of the Voice Web.
HearSay SoftServer melds Mobilee's VoiceXML runtime environment and audio streaming software with NMS' carrier-grade HearSay platform, which supplies media processing, speech recognition and a powerful development environment for networked voice applications. Currently, both NMS and Mobilee have implemented platforms with high-quality speech recognition from Nuance. This integrates everything from the front-end voice interface through high-performance voice recognition and text-to-speech processing, in addition to providing source code and the building blocks necessary to develop voice Internet applications.
HearSay SoftServer packages VoiceXML source code and a reference platform with a suite of VoiceXML applications developed by Mobilee: voice portal, voice-activated dialer, email-by-phone and instant messaging. The new platform also offers an optional service contract, a bundle of third-party audio content and a back-end content management platform that can be integrated with a personalization engine to deliver rich services to users. As an extension of NMS' existing high-density HearSay hardware and software offering, HearSay SoftServer delivers the extensive scalability and carrier-grade features to support any size of voice-driven application or service. A network-agnostic approach to integrated telephony and speech application program interfaces (APIs) accelerates deployment, while further reducing costs. With connectivity to next-generation voice-over-IP networks and the public switched telephone network (PSTN), HearSay helps developers launch flexible voice-enabled applications and services that benefit from sustainable price/performance.
About Mobilee, Inc.
Based in Boston, MA, Mobilee (formerly Shoutmail.com) was founded in 1998 to become the premier infrastructure and application service provider for connecting Internet audio content with the phone. Mobilee builds and hosts voice and streaming audio portals that, by bringing Internet audio to wireless phones, create value-added "mobile minutes" for consumers, telecom carriers and content providers.
About Natural MicroSystems
Natural MicroSystems (NASDAQ: NMSS) is the trusted hardware, software and services partner to the world's leading networking and telecommunications suppliers. NMS provides the essential technology for Voice Web services and voice portals; eCRM applications; IP media servers for next-generation enhanced services; packet voice and broadband access services, including voice over IP (VoIP), voice over DSL (VoDSL) and voice over wireless local loop (VoWLL); and for guaranteed IP voice, video and data traffic performance. Global communications leaders use NMS products and consulting services to get their solutions to market faster, and at lower costs. Visit NMS at http://www.nmss.com for more information.
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Statements in this document expressing the beliefs and expectations of management regarding future performance are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may differ materially from these expectations due to risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, a continued slowdown in communications spending, quarterly fluctuations in financial results, the availability of products from vendors and other risks. These and other risks are detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2000.
Natural MicroSystems and HearSay are trademarks of Natural MicroSystems Corporation. All other company or product names mentioned may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
For further information please contact:
Kim Polley/ Tracey Farrant
Tel: 01753 790700
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