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IVR - ITEXPO Video: Inference Solutions Offers Insight into Graphical Technology
October 14, 2011

ITEXPO Video: Inference Solutions Offers Insight into Graphical Technology

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Voice automation applications offer new innovations in IVR. One company is helping to bring this technology to the forefront and TMCnet’s Managing Editor Stefanie Mosca had the opportunity to gain a firsthand account from Inference Solutions’ CEO, Paul Edmondson.

Their conversation took place at ITEXPO West 2011 and was captured in this video.

Edmondson described the company as “specialists in development, design and delivery of speech recognition applications” as well as voice automation applications. More specifically, the company specializes in development. “In conjunction with IVR platform vendors and with ASR TTS vendors, we work independently of those organizations to deliver the application component.”

According to Edmondson, the company develops a variety of applications. They offer customized applications, as well as a number of package applications that can be deployed rapidly. Customers who have very specific needs around things such as customer survey, auto attendant applications and other applications that deliver immediate business value can benefit from Inference Solutions. 

Both Edmondson and Inference Solutions have strong ties to Sydney, Australia. The company itself as well as its technology came out of a company called Tilstra Research Laboratories.  Edmondson described Tilstra as the Australian equivalent of AT&T (News - Alert). In 2004, Tilstra closed and a number of its key scientists and developers spun off a company called Inference.

When asked by TMCnet about the company’s move into the North American market, Edmondson said it was a “natural progression of growth and development to expand into the U.S.”  He said that Inference Solutions looks at the North American market “as a region that whilst quite developed in terms of speech deployments and automation, and IVR …not so much in the mid-market sector.  We have a strong capability to deploy solutions in the mid-market and really feel there is an opportunity to grow our business in that marketplace.”

Inference’s business model is based around a channel based go-to-market. They’re looking for establishing a number of business partners across different segments. They’re looking for solutions partners who come from the traditional systems integration world, IVR development, IVR platform providers, systems integrators in the traditional contact center in the IVR space, as well as service providers looking to value add what they’re currently doing.

Asked to describe Grammatical Inference, Edmondson said it was, “ the underlying technology using machine-based learning principles to automate many of the speech development processes.  Traditional vendors have a very complex approach to developing speech applications which has a tendency to lead to long, drawn-out, expensive projects. Grammatical Inference allows us to do things rapidly, to have self-learning capabilities within the tuning process and as a result, we can deliver applications much more rapidly, with a lower cost of ownership and improve the total investment.”

Edmondson said that his company stands apart due to the Grammatical Inference component which enables them to do things rapidly and at a lower cost point.  They also stand out, he said, in terms of approach. Rather than a traditional top-down approach, Inference looks for special areas where they can deliver immediate value and develop the applications rapidly.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend
ITEXPO East 2012, taking place Feb. 1-3, 2012 in Miami, Fla. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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