Metaswitch Taps Nuance for Speech-to-Text

Metaswitch Networks and Nuance Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: NUAN) announced a partnership today that will enhance MetaSwitch’s unified communications platform with speech-to-text transcription, while also expanding Nuance's potential users to include MetaSwitch's large carrier customer base.

The service will be offered to any carrier that uses CommPortal, MetaSwitch's voice application service portal that ties communications to any screen an operator serves. The portal lets users manage their calls and voice mail via smartphone, PC, landline, or set-top box -- and now lets them transcribe it as well.

Steve Gleave, vice president of marketing for the carrier systems division of Metaswitch, says this is a good way to let users cut down on inefficient voice mails, as well as keep a searchable archive of the texts, emails, and voice mails they do get. Once a voice mail is left, consumers or business users can convert it to an SMS or email and then send it to any screen they choose.

Nuance already serves a large customer base including enterprise platform providers and Tier 1 carriers like AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), but John Pollard, Nuance's VP of voice-to-text services, says MetaSwitch opens up a relatively untapped carrier market for the speech-to-text vendor. MetaSwitch counts 500 on its customer list of primarily Tier 2 and 3 service providers making the migration to all-IP networks. (See Nuance Powers AT&T Voicemail-to-Text and Metaswitch Eyes an IPO.)

Pollard says he also expects benefits to stem from the way MetaSwitch does business.

“One reason we’re really excited about this partnership is that [MetaSwitch has] a unique product offering,” Pollard says. “They are nimble and offer their customers a sophisticated technology that’s relatively easy to get into.”

The companies haven’t announced any carrier customers for the service yet, although current MetaSwitch customer Frontier Communications Corp. (NYSE: FTR) lent a quote to the press release, calling speech-to-text a way to improve the user experience and keep voice mail relevant.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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