Q&A: The Future of Speech Technologies

Posted by bink on August 9 2006, 2:55 AM. Posted in Speech Server.

Anoop Gupta, corporate vice president of the Unified Communications Group at Microsoft, discusses the future of speech technologies and how customers and partners will benefit from unified communications solutions that include speech capabilities.

Today at the annual SpeechTEK East 2006 Conference in New York, Microsoft executives outlined the future of Microsoft Speech Server and how its integration into Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 will advance Microsoft’s unified communications strategy. SpeechTEK is the speech technology industry’s largest event.

PressPass spoke with Anoop Gupta, corporate vice president of the Unified Communications Group at Microsoft, to further discuss today’s announcement.

PressPass: What does today’s announcement mean for Microsoft’s unified communications strategy?

Anoop Gupta, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Unified Communications Group
Anoop Gupta, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Unified Communications Group

Gupta: Today we announced that the full capabilities of Microsoft Speech Server 2007 will ship as an integrated component of Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007, extending our commitment to unified communications and helping to eliminate communications chaos with an approach that integrates all of the ways we contact each other in a single environment, using a single identity that spans phones, PCs and other devices. The addition of our speech platform and integrated APIs for collaboration will help create new and powerful speech-enabled communications scenarios for our customers and industry partners. These new applications can be built on a single, durable infrastructure, which will help simplify operations and reduces costs in addition to enhancing information worker productivity.

PressPass: What speech capabilities will be available in Office Communications Server?

Gupta: The addition of the full Speech Server 2007 feature set will give Office Communications Server 2007 customers – among other things – world-class voice response application authoring and tuning tools within Visual Studio, a set of speech services APIs, and proven telephony technology that today successfully manages millions of phone calls for our customers.

PressPass: Why did Microsoft move the Speech Server capabilities into Office Communications Server?

Gupta: At Microsoft, we believe that software and applications can deliver on the promise of unified communications by bringing together disparate technologies into a unified experience which will drive down the cost and complexity of communicating and collaborating at work. Building on recent announcements related to unified communications, you’ll see that we’re committed to delivering a software-based communications solution that revolves around the person, not the device or the infrastructure. Adding speech capabilities enriches the unified communications experience by providing the ability to bring together contact center IVR infrastructures with a new unified communications paradigm.

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