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SpeechTek Virgins and Other Musings

Strolling the aisles, I met a number of industry colleagues who also 'fessed up that this was their first SpeechTek event. One, industry analyst Aphrodite Brinsmead of Datamonitor, coined the term I've borrowed in my title, SpeechTek Virgins (SVs). Other SVs I chatted with in the exhibit hall included Wes Hadyn, President of Nuance's Enterprise Division and Debbie Thomas, director at TellMe/Microsoft.

What does the high traffic and number of newcomers say about speech? That it has slowly, and finally, become mainstream. And, as was true in the economic downturn in 2000-2001, speech technology is compelling now because its ROI is invariably a slam dunk, sometimes to the point of the unbelievable (e.g., less than 2 months.)

Other Musings:

* Nortel announced the Interactive Communications Portal. While a new solution, it's based on existing components in the Nortel portfolio, including the Media Application Server (MAS) from the MCS 5100 and version 2 of Nortel's Service Creation Environment. The hot news there is that version 2 is ready to support Nortel Contact Center 7.0 when it becomes available in March 2009, meaning ICP and CC 7.0 will have a common design tool.

* Genesys was demonstrating GVP 8 which brings together the software streams of GVP and the 2007 acquisition VoiceGenie.

* GetAbby ( wins my personal award for most aggressive sales team in the booth. Wandering by, they managed to draw me into the booth, listen to their pitch and walk away with three pieces of literature (no mean feat given my penchant for soft copies of documents.) The name of the company comes from Abby, the Virtual Receptionist.

Finally, most unusual trash and trinket giveaway goes to MicroAutomation. Their logo luggage tag has a built-in motion detection that starts four blue neon lights flashing when moved. Supposedly it will make luggage easier to spot as it hits the baggage carousel.