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7th May 1998


Vocalis, the Cambridge based speech and telephony group, is introducing the most advanced fully automated directory enquiries system of its kind yet developed.

The new product, a SPEECHtel application, features both powerful speech recognition techniques and sophisticated human factors design. This combination allows callers to easily and quickly obtain telephone numbers and can then dial the number to connect the caller. This will offer network operators major productivity improvements.

When a caller connects with the system, they are prompted to speak the town and name for the number they need. Speech recognition techniques are used to extract the number from a database, and the system also records the caller’s spoken queries, so their request can be passed to a human operator if necessary.

Until now, directory enquiries systems using speech recognition have been typically only semi-automated, requiring the involvement of a human operator to understand the requirements and retrieve the telephone number. The Vocalis application is a fully automated system and one which has been extremely carefully designed to ensure users receive an efficient, easy to use directory enquiries service.

"The aim has been to automate as much of the directory enquiries process as possible without in any way making things difficult or confusing for the user," explains Mike Banbrook, Research Engineer for Algorithm Development at Vocalis.

In a manual directory enquiries service, the operator must interact with the caller for about 20 seconds’ in order to elicit sufficient information to locate the required number. Using the SPEECHtel fully automated directory enquiries application the same point can be reached using only one tenth of the operator’s time.

A further innovative feature of this system is the extremely natural vocal quality of the system’s responses, in contrast to other directory enquiries systems. This has been achieved using a wide range of intonations that copy the nature of ordinary speech much more accurately.

Charles Halle, Chief Executive Officer for Vocalis says "This reflects the whole approach we have taken to this SPEECHtel application, which has been deliberately designed to be a complete solution for our customers. It should be a practical business tool, and not merely technology for its own sake, while also offering network operators a vital resource to help manage call handling of this operator service "

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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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Thursday, November 27, 2003
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