Archive for March, 2007

Nuance & BeVocal. Microsoft & Tellme! Google & Voxeo?

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Is it that spring is in the air? Merely two weeks after Nuance Communications announced the acquisition of hosted speech application provider BeVocal for approximately $140 million, Microsoft yesterday announced it is to acquire Tellme Networks for an undisclosed sum estimated as high as $800 million to $1 billion. According to the acquiring companies’ respective press releases, the ability to offer speech-enabled solutions to mobile carriers and their billions of customers comes forward as one of the prime drivers behind both deals.

One of the killer applications for people on the go could well be mobile search. Which immediately brings us to Google. Last year the quintessential search company acquired DMarc Broadcasting for $102 million in cash, plus possible earn-outs totalling up to $1.13 billion. Too expensive a toy to simply put aside, as Donna Bogatin already pointed out. One explanation of why the integration takes so long is this: what if Google wasn’t only interested in playing spoken ads to the good old radio audience? Indeed, they could just as well offer those same tunes – if they’re short and catchy enough – to click-to-call customers over VoIP, or better … to mobile phone users. But how can Google physically interact with these users?

Well, maybe Voxeo can lend them a hand. For European customers, a Google-Voxeo alliance could bring voice services to the masses via Voxeo’s partner MAP Telecom. After Tellme’s short-lived European adventure in 2001-2002, that would be big news.

Announcement: Voice Biometrics Conference in Washington DC, USA, May 1-2, 2007

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

See http://www.voicebiocon.com/

Announcement: Nuance Conversations Europe in Cannes, France, April 24-26, 2007

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

See http://www.nuance.com/conversationseurope/

Announcement: Vocal Expo 2007, March 13, Paris

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

See http://www.vocalexpo.com/