Sun ONE Finds its Voice

Never too quiet about its accomplishments, speech recognition technology player Nuance this week said it has extended its relationship with Sun Microsystems .

As an existing Sun iForce partner, Nuance said it will support Sun ONE Application Server 7, the heart of the Santa Clara, Calif.-based network computer maker’s Web services platform. Menlo Park, Calif.-based Nuance said it would also work with Sun on the sales and marketing of Sun ONE compatible speech solutions.

“As strategic partners, Nuance and Sun have taken a number of steps towards a closer, tighter alignment resulting in several important customer wins,” Sun Director of Network Services Market Development Manish Bhuptani said in a statement. “The integration of Nuance Voice Platform with Sun ONE Application Server further strengthens this relationship, paving the way for continued successes in deploying Web-based and open architecture speech driven solutions for customers.”

The two companies have worked together before on Sun’s VoiceTone Platform.

Nuance said its Voice Platform is comprised of three major components: Nuance Conversation Server, Nuance Management Station, and Nuance Application Environment. The platform includes a real-time Return on Investment (ROI) measurement and reporting tool and is based on open Web standards, including VoiceXML 2.0 and the J2EE 1.3 specification.

While speech recognition technology has been widely available since the mid-1990s, hardly anybody composes documents or surfs the Web by speaking instead of typing.

But the market is expected to see an uptick with recent advancements in VoiceXML , faster processor speeds, and Speech Application Language Tags (SALT) standards. Research firm Datamonitor is forecasting the voice business market to grow quickly through 2007 where the whole market (including platforms, enabling software, applications, and services) will be worth $4.33 billion.

Analysts say there has also been an increasing importance of in regard to voice as it applies to customer relationship management (CRM) strategies. In addition to refining the speech recognition engine itself, there have been significant advances in development tools, which will both speed production and lower costs.

Sun ONE Application Server 7 is supported on Solaris 8 and 9 Operating Systems, Red Hat Linux 7.2, HP-UX, AIX, Windows 2000, and Windows XP platforms.

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