Speech recognition is an under-appreciated technology which has many commercial uses, according to research from Datamonitor.
"Speech recognition, text-to-speech and voice authentication technologies enable compelling business opportunities that enterprises, carriers, web portals and the automotive industry should not overlook.
"The technology is good enough that it can be used commercially today," said Dan Hawkins, voice business program manager.
But there are still many sceptics who see speech recognition as just another new technology that is difficult to implement, costly and unreliable.
Datamonitor believes improved understanding of the business benefits of the technology will drive growth of the global voice business value chain from $650m in 2000 to $1.2bn in 2002. Companies that do not seriously consider the impact it can have on their business are losing out, the firm warns.
Datamonitor argues that applications such as externally-facing enterprise voice portals can help businesses improve their levels of customer service while reducing the associated costs. Internally-facing enterprise voice portals can empower mobile employees and automate aspects of corporate infrastructure.
The researcher also believes that voice portals can help both fixed-line and mobile telcos improve service, retain customers, generate new revenues and reduce costs.
For mobile, Datamonitor said they can also help them offer 3G-style services without the associated cost.
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