RealTime IT News

Voice Portal Technology=Good

As modern professionals (and modern consumers) increasingly become mobile, anytime/anywhere Internet access isn't just a value add, it's a necessity.

So say the analysts at research firm Frost & Sullivan, which released its latest strategic report, "World Voice Portal Services Market" today.

Analyst Elka Popova said the two areas that promise the most potential for voice portal players are the mobile carrier and enterprise markets, which have already seen key partnerships develop from some of the earlier voice portals like BeVocal and Tellme. As with the rest of the industry, Popova said advertisement-sponsored services might initially result in short-term growth, but that voice portals can only generate low-margin revenues from this type of service.

"All industry participants should either secure partnerships with mobile carriers or approach enterprises with highly customizable voice portal customer relationship management solutions," she said. "Both the mobile carrier and enterprise markets are currently untapped and early entrants can take advantage of relatively low barriers to entry."

Not surprisingly, the report predicts the ultimate success of voice portal technology is dependent on the improved reliability of speech recognition and text-to-speech software, but Popova said improvement in that area are fast coming and that the market for voice portal technology is expected to skyrocket in the next several years.

"Within a year or two there will be significant advancements in the development of speech recognition and text-to-speech technologies," said Popova. "As a result, more sophisticated voice portal services will appear and help the industry gain momentum."

That's good news for the plethora of industry participants, many of which are profiled in the Frost & Sullivan report, including Audiopoint, BeVocal, HeyAnita/Net2Phone, InternetSpeech.com, Quack/AOL by Phone and Yahoo! By Phone/Net2Phone.