NSC pairs with speech recognition vendor

NSC pairs with speech recognition vendor

After refusing to team up 18 months ago, the integrator had a change of heart after finally recognising Inference Communications' potential

Communications integrator, NSC, has teamed up with speech applications vendor, Inference Communications.

The integrator will have access to Inference’s complete range of enterprise speech recognition and biometrics product line and will be responsible for distributing the offerings to customers. While past failings of speech technologies have tarnished the industry’s reputation, NSC claimed the climate was changing.

“A lot of speech projects weren’t designed very well in the early days when they were implemented and they weren’t that successful,” NSC CEO, Craig Neil, said. “People got frustrated with them and stop using them but the industry has turned around a lot since then.”

NSC initially refused propositions from the vendor 18 months ago after doubting Inference’s strength in the market. Both companies have spent the last six months working to finalise their strategic partnership.

“Funnily enough, we actually said 'no' for the first couple of joint bid opportunities for projects because they are a relatively new company and we weren’t sure they were strong enough to win the businesses we were pitching for,” Neil said. “But as it turned out, they won and we didn’t and that opened our eyes a bit.”

The agreement has emancipated the integrator’s in-house speech team, which has been assigned other responsibilities.

Inference is pleased with its latest reseller associate and recognised the significant sales increase a channel approach blessed the company with.

“Working through channel partners, Inference is able to scale its development and deployment capability without compromising quality,” co-founder and director, Kristy McCarthy, said in a statement. “Since bringing on channel partners in 2008, our sales capability has quadrupled.”

Neil cited Inference’s deployment methodology as a big differentiator to other products in the market.

“It uses software-as-a-service [ SaaS ] predominantly,” he said. “Inference has developed an IP that enables speech application projects that we duplicate and implement a lot faster. Some tools it has developed that enable speech projects that would have normally taken us 3-6 months, can now be done within a number of weeks.”

NSC already has three clients signed onto Inference projects and is expected to pull in more than $2 million from the new alliance.

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