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28th November 2000

Complex-IT and Vocalis in Joint Venture Agreement

Vocalis, the international speech technology group, and Complex-IT, a South African Internet support services organisation, have signed a R 8 million joint venture agreement.

The two companies have agreed to form Complex-IT Vocalis, a SA-based company that will offer the range of Vocalis developed interactive voice products and technologies - such as speech recognition telephony technology and Internet products and services - to channels partners and corporate organisations.

Complex-IT Vocalis will provide the full complement of sales, marketing and technical support services.

"Users will be able to optimise their Website investments by reaching a wider audience than Internet surfers alone using the Vocalis Internet products and services" says Ronnie Sarkin, executive chairman of Complex-IT Holdings.

"Complex-IT Vocalis' mission is to bring the benefits of the Vocalis speech recognition telephony solutions to all South Africans, even the completely computer illiterate.

"Just as today users can 'click and point' at a computer screen, now they can talk freely with applications from any telephone using this technology. This makes web-based information available to many thousands of people, not only in South Africa but the rest of Africa too, who do not have access to a PC with an Internet connection." says Sarkin.

Mike Williams, Director of Business Development at Vocalis says "The partnership between Vocalis and ComplexIT is poised to make a significant impact on the network product offerings in the South African market."

"We work in partnership with many organisations world-wide," he says. "We have selected Complex-IT " and formed a joint venture with this company " because of the vast potential that exists in South Africa for speech recognition technologies allied to Web enabled business activities. Complex-IT offer the expertise that we were looking for, and have a proven track record in this field."

"This potential exists not only within the well developed commercial sectors in this region, but also with those who do not have access to computer hardware and software with internet connectivity, who are now able to be part of the on-line electronic business explosion using any telephone."

Williams says "Vocalis products use the most natural form of communication " speech - to deliver a wide range of Web-enabled business solutions from any telephone, in particular the cellular market given the rapid growth of this sector in South Africa."

Vocalis' latest offering - SpeecHTML - enables telephone access to web-based information, and the ability to interact using spoken commands.

Williams says "SpeecHTML can be used to offer basic IVR applications, voice portals and personalised information services all from standard HTML web pages. Anyone who has access to a telephone can obtain information stored on a SpeecHTML enabled Website. SpeecHTML bridges the gap between the Web and the telephone.

SpeecHTML combines two technologies: advanced speech recognition and text-to-speech conversion. SpeecHTML integrates these, together with telephony facilities, into a gateway package that creates a wholly speech driven way of accessing and interacting with Web pages. This technology is ideal for allowing access to information when people are on the move, in particular to the South African market from any cell phone or land line.

Complex-IT Vocalis will offer these technologies on a managed service basis, whilst retaining ownership and control. This enables companies to experience new technologies without any of the investments in hardware and software usually associated with offering these types of services, whilst at the same time having complete flexibility to develop the voice portal to match their own unique company image.

The company is operational with immediate effect and is based in Johannesburg.

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About Vocalis

Vocalis works with organisations to create contact centre solutions that build the organisations business and brands. These solutions can turn your contact centre from a cost to a profit centre by ensuring it builds your brand, helps your business be more competitive, and increases customer loyalty through more effective and efficient service. Vocalis was formed in 1993, is publicly traded on FTSE Stock Market and has been listed since July 1996. Vocalis brings back the reassurance of the most personal human touch in business - putting voice to work.

The Vocalis Website is at

Email: [email protected]

For further Vocalis Group information, contact:

Philippa Buttle
Vocalis Group plc
Chaston House
Mill Court
Gt Shelford
Tel: 01223-846177
Fax: 01223-846178
Email:[email protected]

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Monday, September 01, 2003
Location :: c_corporate/news