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20th August 2003



London UK 20th August 2003. Fluency Voice Technology Ltd, the UKs leading provider of speech recognition applications for use in contact centres, today announces that it is to acquire Vocalis Limited, thereby creating the dominant player in UK speech recognition solutions.

The combined group will have an unparalleled position in the UK Financial Services, Travel and Utilities sectors and will have a sound base from which to support Fluencys overseas expansion. The business will have over 80 employees across the UK, US and India and more than 20 reference sites.

By acquiring Vocalis Limited, Fluency will reinforce its leading position in the UK speech recognition market. It will augment its own rapidly growing customer base, with additional key reference clients. Fluencys strength in the Travel and Financial Services sectors will be complemented by Vocalis client base in Utilities and Retail Financial Services, notably its relationships with Powergen and Chelsea Building Society.

The acquisition will provide the combined business with a uniquely strong talent pool in the UK. The combined business will also be able to benefit from Fluencys software development team in India, who provide a low cost and scalable capability to build components and applications in support of client requirements. Vocalis was an early leader in the development of the UK speech recognition market. The business was formed in 1993 by a management buy out from Logica PLC. The parent company of the company is Vocalis PLC, which has been listed on the UK Stock Exchange since July 1996.

The acquisition is being made by netdecisions, Fluencys largest shareholder and a provider of IT services, consulting and systems integration. netdecisions already has a strong presence in the Utilities and Financial Services sectors, with clients including Centrica, npower and Wells Fargo. netdecisions provides professional services support on Fluency speech recognition deployments. netdecisions is acquiring Vocalis Ltd, the trading company, from Vocalis Group plc.

Alex Green, CEO of Fluency Voice Technology commented: "We see great value in Vocalis experience of creating and deploying speech recognition solutions. This acquisition expands not only our customer base with additional excellent client relationships, but also our existing talent. The combined business will focus on applications, which has always been our strategy, and we will continue to partner with leading global technology companies to deliver full technology solutions to clients.

Manoj Badale, CEO and co-founder of netdecisions, said: netdecisions strongly supports the Fluency business and views this acquisition as an important step in building a world-leading software business in the area of speech recognition. Richard Watrasiewicz, Operations Director of Vocalis Ltd, said: The combination of Vocalis with Fluency brings great added value to Vocalis clients and business model. I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues at Fluency. Trevor Thomas, Chief Scientist of Vocalis Ltd, commented: Vocalis has been a pioneer in the speech recognition industry. By joining up with Fluency we can enter a new phase in the development of natural language solutions.

For further information or interviews please contact Rebecca Yirrell on (+ 44) 7799 410 401 or [email protected] or Christine Grady on +1 (703) 476-4200 or [email protected]

About Fluency Voice Technology
Fluency Voice Technology is a leading provider of speech recognition applications for use in contact centres. Our solutions enable large enterprises to significantly reduce costs and enhance customer service. We provide sector-specific applications that allow the automation, via voice recognition, of high volume contact centre activities. Key sectors for which we have developed applications are Travel, Financial Services and Telecoms. Fluency has offices in the UK, US and India. Clients include National Express, Royal Mail, Energis, TUI, Fujitsu and Wells Fargo.

About Vocalis Ltd
Vocalis Ltd specialises in voice driven business solutions. The delivery of Vocalis voice driven business solutions is based on years of expert research into dialogue designs and human interaction. Vocalis clients include Powergen, Chelsea, Eircom, Abbey National and Anglian Water.

About netdecisions
Founded in mid-1998, the netdecisions group has grown to more than 1,000 professionals across a network of offices spanning Europe, Asia and America. Our expertise encompasses a broad and deep range of integrated capabilities from business operations, strategy and process, user experience and design, to applications development, systems design, security, and all other core technology areas. We work in partnership with our clients at senior management and board level to solve important and complex business issues. Our clients include Hewlett-Packard, Invensys, McDonalds and Wells Fargo, and we pride ourselves on consistently delivering timely and effective agile technology solutions to meet strategic business challenges.

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Thursday, November 27, 2003
Location :: c_corporate/news