Speech-to-Text and Unified Communications

Unified communications is growing in importance. As it does, a number of ancillary technologies will also become more important. One of these is speech-to-text translation.

As phone systems and email systems converge, a key benefit is found in unified messaging – namely, bringing all “messages” (e.g., email, voicemail, fax) into a unified inbox. But having your voice messages in a data-centric client (e.g., Microsoft Outlook or Notes) only takes you so far. You still need some sort of audio device to play back the voicemail, and you still need time to listen to this message.

Enter speech-to-text. Companies such as SimulScribe offer customers the ability to read their voicemail, instead of having to listen to it. In other words, if you’re stuck in a situation where a phone call would be disruptive, you can elect to have your voicemails transcribed and sent to you in email form. You can quickly see what the message is about, with less interruption and more agility than with traditional voicemail.

As more and more voicemail starts to show up in our Microsoft Exchange and IBM Domino databases, speech-to-text will play a bigger role. And expect other solutions (e.g., Jott) to appear in 2008 … where speech-to-text and email come together.

David Sengupta

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