One97 Ties Up with Nuance for Speech Apps

by CXOtoday Staff    Sep 24, 2009

One97 Communications, India’s widely deployed telecom application platform and services company, announced its partnership with Nuance Communications, a provider of speech and imaging solutions globally, to take speech-based applications to the masses.

By providing new automatic speech recognition based applications, the two companies will enable both telecom operators and enterprises to establish a better connection with their customers. The new application will ensure product delivery for rural and semi-urban markets where users have not yet been able to achieve benefits of the value-added services due to lower literacy levels and linguistic barriers.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, MD of One97 Communications, said that  together the two companies will be able to address the Indian consumers in not just 28 languages, but also in thousands of dialects.

Natural speech, which was earlier restricted to high-end application or users, will now reach out to every mobile consumer and create a compelling value proposition to our operator and enterprise partners, he added.

Talking about this collaboration, Sunny Rao, MD, India & Southeast Asia, Nuance Communications, said, The new application based on our proven speech recognition technology will enable customers to access services in a far more user-friendly manner with more freedom of choice. Nuance wants to enable rural consumers to overcome low literacy levels and access value-added services. Our partnership with One97 is an important step in that direction.

The One97 platform, which currently supports 28 Indian regional languages, will be able to support numerous dialects too with this alliance. The new applications panned will help the company tap into unexplored semi-urban and rural markets.

The new application, just one of many planned, is expected to be disruptive for the industry as it is neither a traditional customer care application nor is the customer required to pay for accessing the service.

One97’s VIO (very intelligent outdial), which is the country’s primary method for song download, will also soon be able to offer speech-enabled search and discovery of more than 80,000 songs as opposed to the current five to seven songs available per menu.

With applications like speech authentication and speech-based search, m-commerce and location-based services will also become more easily accessible to all, providing a better user experience.