IBM's Worldwide Speech Division has signed a deal with software developer IMSI to get its voice recognition technology into 30 of IMSI's business software applications.
IMSI is throwing out Dragon dictation technology in favour of IBM's rival ViaVoice software. Neither party would discuss the terms of the deal.
The agreement should lead to an additional two million units of IBM speech software being distributed over the next two years. IMSI will also offer two of its new partner's current continuous and discrete dictation products, ViaVoice Gold and Simply Speaking Gold, in the IMSI VoiceDirect line of dictation software.
Earlier this month, IBM updated ViaVoice to make it easier to use. The company claims the product has the world's largest active vocabulary with 56,000 words stored and the capacity to add another 8,000.
The alliance is bad news for IBM's biggest competitor in the speech recognition area, Dragon, which until now supplied IMSI with its speech recognition software. Martin Sacks, CEO of IMSI, said: "Our VoiceDirect line is currently speech-enabled using Dragon technology. However, due to the change in IMSI's commitment, this summer IMSI will transition the speech recognition in its latest product lines from Dragon Systems to IBM."
Dragon refused to discuss the IBM deal, but in a statement said it did not offer NaturallySpeaking, its continuous speech product, to IMSI because it already received good branding in the UK under its own name. It made no mention of VoiceDirect in the statement.
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