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No Jitter Roll: Five for Friday

In this week’s No Jitter Roll, we share the latest on text-to-speech technologies, meeting applications, the U.S. expansion of a cloud solutions provider, collaboration solutions in the classroom, and a Canadian city streamlining its customer service operations.
 
Google Cloud Text-to-Speech Adds Languages
First up in this week’s roundup is the news that Google has expanded its Cloud Text-to-Speech (TTS) service with an additional 11 languages/variants, bringing the total to 32 languages.
 
Additional languages are Czech, English (India), Filipino, Finnish, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Mandarin Chinese (China), Modern Standard Arabic, and Vietnamese, said. In addition, the TTS service and will provide 76 new voices across the languages and variants, making for a total of 187 voices. Additionally, at least one premium WaveNet voice will be available for all languages and variants.
Cloud TTS developers can use these additional languages in a range of use cases, including contact center AI virtual agents, audio-enabled text-based content, and other cases, Google said.
 
Google’s Cloud TTS demos are available and free to use up to the first million characters processed by the API.
 
Oblong Makes a ‘Rumpus’ With Windows 10
Also this week, collaboration solution provider Oblong Industries launched the Windows 10 public beta for its visual collaboration application, Rumpus.
 
Through its desktop app, users can share screens and pointers, view multiple streams of visual materials concurrently, and react to meetings with emojis, according to the company. Rumpus can integrate into Cisco Webex and BlueJeans videoconferencing solutions and comes with a built-in audio-only chat function. Additionally, the application features presence indicators and personal cursors for meetings.
 
Expereo Expands in U.S.
In services news, managed network and cloud solutions provider Expereo continued its U.S. expansion and opened an office in Orlando, Fla, the company’s second U.S. location.
 
Headquartered in the Netherlands, Expereo provides software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), cloud acceleration services, among others, to enterprises and governments globally. With SD-WAN, an increasingly popular option, enterprises can steer traffic and adjust bandwidth to optimize performance for UCaaS and other cloud-based services over the Internet.
 
In addition to its presence in the U.S. and Europe, the company has a footprint in APAC markets.
 
Class in Session With Nureva Microphones
Wrapping up the news of the week, we have two customer stories. First, collaboration solution company Nureva announced five of its Nureva HDL300 audio conferencing systems are improving student engagement in Bristol Community College’s remote classrooms.
 
Before the system upgrade, remote classroom students often complained about poor audio quality from the legacy system, Nureva said. With the HDL300 systems, which use Nureva’s proprietary Microphone Mist technology, students have access to full-room pickup and high-quality audio. Following the installation, students’ complaints on bad audio stopped, according to Nureva.
 
“We’ve heard nothing but praise from instructors, and there’s no comparison between the audio-conferencing systems we had before and what we have now,” said Dennis Baldwin, technical assistant at Bristol, in a prepared statement.
 
The HDL300 system is available for $2,999 and covers spaces up to 25 ft x 25 ft. A dual system is available for $5,499 and covers spaces up to 30 ft. x 50 ft.
 
City of Barrie Integrates Verint Automated Customer Service
Keeping with customer wins, the city of Barrie, a suburb of Toronto, Canada, has selected a customer engagement management platform from Verint to automate its customer service operations and provide expanded support to the city’s customer portal, online forms, and Webchat.
 
With roughly 150,000 citizens, Barrie has seen a population acceleration in recent years – with an increase demand for services and information.
 
“While our city is growing, our citizens’ expectations are changing. They want to do more things digitally, and that includes interacting with city government via self-service across a range of online channels. At the same time, when they have more complex questions or requests, they want to be able to engage with service agents who are knowledgeable, efficient and deliver assistance quickly,” said Rebecca James-Reid, executive director, Access Barrie.
 
To address this, the city will utilize Verint’s Engagement Management offerings for government and public sector inquiries.
 
By integrating Verint’s digital engagement platform, the city will modernize its online functions, which allow citizens to purchase transit passes, pay water bills, renew business licenses, and perform other activities. Additionally, city employees will gain support for front-office and back-office functions to optimize phone and online processes, Verint said.