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December 11, 2009

LumenVox's Speech Engine Now Available via the Software-as-a-Service Model

By Patrick Barnard, Group Managing Editor, TMCnet

Speech recognition technology vendor LumenVox announced this week that its Asterisk (News - Alert)–based Speech Engine is now available via the software-as-a-service or SaaS model for $7.99 a month.

LumenVox’s speech recognition software has been available on the Asterisk telephony platform for more than three years -- and the SaaS (News - Alert) version uses the same Asterisk interface written by Digium, the company reports.

The SaaS version is reportedly identical to the regular, on-premises version of the software, which allows up to 500 words to be recognized at a time.

Users who need more words for larger applications can subscribe to a LumenVox (News - Alert) full license, which allows unlimited words for $19.99 per month.

There are no contracts or commitments involved in subscribing to the service, the company reports.

“Because we have reduced the cost of entry to an unprecedented low price, anyone who has ever been curious about speech recognition can feel free to give it a try,” said LumenVox President Edward Miller, in a release.

Miller said the decision to offer the software on a subscription basis was based on the increasing popularity of SaaS-based offerings.

“Particularly during a recession when companies are unwilling to make large capital investments in technology, offering subscriptions makes sense,” Miller said. “It allows companies to experiment without commitments, and it’s perfect also for users whose speech recognition may vary.”

Miller said one advantage of delivering speech recognition software by way of the SaaS model is that it allows organizations to deploy it for short periods of time, in other words, on an “as needed” basis. For example, a market research company conducting political surveys by phone using an outbound IVR can “lease” the software for use during campaign season, and then simply shut the service off once the election is over.

What’s more, the SaaS model of delivery allows for extreme scalability on an on-demand basis – so, for example, should the market research firm decide to double the number of automated surveys, during the campaign season, it can simply lease additional computing resources for increased speech recognition processing instantly, simply by making a phone call or with the click of mouse.

A recent report from Gartner (News - Alert) estimates that global software-as-a-service revenue will reach $7.5 billion this year, a 17.7 percent increase from 2008 revenue of $6.4 billion. The report, “Market Trends: Software as a Service, Worldwide, 2008-2013, Update,” predicts the SaaS market will show consistent growth through 2013 when worldwide SaaS revenue will total more than $14 billion for the enterprise application markets.

'The adoption of SaaS continues to grow and evolve within the enterprise application markets,” said Sharon Mertz, research director at Gartner, in a release. “The composition of the worldwide SaaS landscape is evolving as vendors continue to extend regionally, increase penetration within existing accounts and ‘greenfield’ opportunities, and offer more-vertical-specific solutions as part of their service portfolio or through partners.”

For more information, click here.

Patrick Barnard is a senior Web editor for TMCnet, covering call and contact center technologies. He also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet e-Newsletters in the areas of robotics, IT, M2M, OCS and customer interaction solutions. To read more of Patrick's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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