The CAGR for speech recognition solutions from 2000 till 2004 will have been of 21 per cent, while services, applications, enabling software and platforms will represent near 1300 million of revenues by the end of next year. These are some of the conclusions presented by Benjamin Farmer, managing analyst, Datamonitor, at IIRs Voice Enabled Services event that took place earlier this week in Lisbon. Still according to Datamonitor, speech recognition is the technology most likely to be outsourced in the short-term.
In terms of standards, Datamonitor concludes that despite voice over web protocols being still proprietary, they will migrate to Voice XML. Nevertheless, Benjamin Farmer presented other alternative scenarios:
1 VoiceXML quickly takes hold of the industry, being SALT only used for specific applications;
2 No standard will dominate the industry, and applications will be built in proprietary environments, making use of features of SALT and Voice XML as appropriate;
3 SALT becomes the language of choice as voice business increasingly converges with e-business and m-business or
4 A VoiceXML-based, multimodal standard out-competes SALT as voice business increasingly converges with e-business and m-business.
Farmer also stated that the ASP model has not yet revolutionised the IVR market despite constant threats. However, enterprises are interested in ways of outsourcing their IVR/voice applications and this one of the most common questions that we are asked.
The benefits of outsourcing IVR/voice applications are having operation expenditures rather capital ones, a faster deployment, reduced maintenance, voice expertise in human factors, VUI design and integration. But outsourcing also implies drawbacks like lack of control and the fact that renting can be more expensive in the long term. So it depends on the individual needs of customers and there is no right or wrong answer, Mr Farmer added.
From Datamonitor s perspective, the number of outsourcing / price variables, the education of the market and the level of experience / expertise are specific inhibitors for hosting voice enabled services, while access to the latest technologies, risk mitigation, handling overflow at seasonal call volumes and faster deployments are its main drivers.
Farmer also predicts that telco service providers will become increasingly involved in hosting voice business technologies, the market for outsourced voice business will grow faster than the voice business market as a whole, if voice business outsourcers successfully highlight more than just the decreased up-front cost advantage of an outsourced solution, and that the number of mergers, acquisitions, restructuring and failures among independent voice business service providers will increase.
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