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Speech Applications Hold Huge Potential for Automation But Costs Difficult to Calculate - Considering their potential for automating a piece of enterprises' routine customer interactions, speech applications hold great appeal. However, companies are struggling with understanding the costs involved in designing, deploying, and maintaining this
Speech Applications Hold Huge Potential for Automation But Costs Difficult to Calculate

 

NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Palo Alto, CA, United States, 2008/02/20 - Considering their potential for automating a piece of enterprises' routine customer interactions, speech applications hold great appeal. However, companies are struggling with understanding the costs involved in designing, deploying, and maintaining this.

   
 
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A straightforward total cost of ownership (TCO) calculation is not appropriate for this technology and this, in fact, is not truly possible.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (contactcenters.frost.com), Speechifying: Cost Factors in Speech Self-Service, finds that the market drivers for adoption of speech applications are strong, but that enterprises are unclear on total costs and total returns for the technology.

If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides manufacturers, end users, and other industry participants with an overview of Speechifying: Cost Factors in Speech Self-Service, then send an email to Mireya Castilla, Corporate Communications, at mireya.castilla[.]frost.com, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview will be sent to you by email.

Because many enterprises have been struggling with force-fitting this technology into ill-fitting categories in order to make such calculations possible, they have been ignoring other important considerations such as opportunity costs, potential benefits and the impact on the broader enterprise once these applications are deployed.

"Automated speech applications in customer service and support environments have a reputation for being extremely expensive and difficult to implement," notes Frost & Sullivan Senior Analyst Ian Jacobs. "Despite this, many industries, ranging from airlines to utilities, want to use these systems as the front-line in their customer service processes, meaning that these automated systems are often the first interactions customers have with companies when they call in with a service or support issue."

Enterprises have long heard that speech applications promise to cut customer service and support costs by automating routinized customer interactions. Now, through much better speech recognition and deeper integration with back-end systems, these applications are also promising to take on more of a transactional role, allowing consumers to buy movie tickets, refill medical prescriptions or order items from a catalog, all via speech self-service.

Enterprises, however, are trying to understand all of the costs involved in deploying speech self-service and speech automation applications. Some traditional costs models, most notably total cost of ownership, only give these enterprises half the picture and leave them with a limited understanding of the relationship between costs and benefits.

"Enterprises almost reflexively turn to a total cost of ownership calculation when deciding on technology purchases, but speech applications do not fit neatly into a TCO model, particularly because TCO does not truly take benefits into account and speech applications are all about automation benefits," explains Jacobs. "Therefore, enterprises need to decide on the most appropriate delivery and application development model, understand the costs inherent in each choice, and work in some calculations of the potential benefits derived from higher interaction automation rates."

Companies looking to implement speech automation applications also need to delve into intangible factors as part of their decision making process. Most notable among these intangibles is efficacy. Enterprises must consider the implications if the speech applications really do dramatically increase automation rates or what happens if the applications fail in providing excellent self-service and customers opt out of the system.

Speechifying: Cost Factors in Speech Self-Service, is part of the Contact Center Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following markets: customer care outsourcing markets, interactive voice response (IVR) markets, outbound dialing markets and automatic call distributor (ACD) markets. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.

Frost & Sullivan, the Global Growth Consulting Company, partners with clients to accelerate their growth. The company's Growth Partnership Services, Growth Consulting, and Career Best Practices empower clients to create a growth focused culture that generates, evaluates, and implements effective growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan employs over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses, and the investment community from more than 30 offices on six continents.

Speechifying: Cost Factors in Speech Self-Service
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Speech Applications Hold Huge Potential for Automation But Costs Difficult to Calculate

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Publisher Contact: Mireya Castilla 
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