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9 April 1996


Vocalis, the Cambridge-based speech recognition and call processing specialist, has won the lead role in a major EC-funded project to deliver a new generation of user-friendly automated telephone services.

The REWARD* project will take advanced speech recognition technology, designed by Vocalis, integrate it into practical telephone solutions and embed these at the heart of live public telephone networks. These applications will deliver significant benefits and cost savings to PTOs and commercial organisations doing business on the telephone.

Roberto Cencioni, spokesperson for language engineering at the EC, calls attention to other advantages as well. He points out that, "Millions of customers will benefit from greater access to a growing wealth of information that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Automated telephone services that people can access using speech represent a new and extremely valuable channel of communication."

Typical applications that will be developed by the REWARD project include travel, telemarketing, help desks, operator services and market research. The REWARD team, headed by Dr Norman Fraser of Vocalis, will break new ground by developing prototype applications in multiple languages. This will enable pan-European businesses to streamline their operations across linguistically diverse markets.

The three-year project is worth 2.89 million ECU in total. Vocalis will lead the consortium of six partner organisations, which include Telia TeleRespons, Sweden's leading public telephone operator. There is also a broader user group representing a wide range of states, languages and vertical market sectors.


*REWARD (REal World Applications of Robust Dialogue)

Jeremy Peckham, managing director of Vocalis comments, "The market for speech-based IVR applications is set to soar to over £8 billion by the year 2000. Speech technology gives organisations a new user-friendly way to interact with their customers. By making the promise a reality, REWARD will deliver to European business the advanced teleservices needed to compete effectively in the global information society".


Notes to editors


The REWARD project has three one-year phases:

1) Preparation and refinement of technology and investigation of user needs

2) Implementation phases and controlled testing

3) Demonstration and large-scale deployment with actual target users.

Implementation of the advanced spoken dialogue systems will take place in the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands and Spain.

Aside from Vocalis, the other organisations which will be involved are:

Telia TeleResponse (Sweden) - public telephone operator
DanTransport Rejsebureau (Denmark) - business travel agency
Taylor Nelson AGB plc (GB) - market research and telemarketing
NIPO BV (Netherlands) - market research
MADE SA (Spain) - hardware support
University of Aalborg (Denmark) - academic input

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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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Wednesday, September 10, 2003
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