Speech-Driven Telephone E-Business App Launched

NetByTel.com launched its Telephone
e-Business Platform that “lets online retailers and other e-businesses extend
their Web-based marketplaces to anyone with a telephone.”


The company offers an automated, speech-enabled interface to client Web sites
so that a customer can call from anywhere and transact business over any
wired or wireless telephone, instead of requiring an Internet-connected
computer.


Initial users of the technology are priceline.com Inc. (PCLN), Office Depot Inc. (ODP) and BigStar Entertainment
Inc. (BGST), operator of bigstar.com.

NetByTel said it has developed proprietary technology and has built out an
infrastructure and network operations facility that lets it offer a
ready-made infrastructure for telephone-enabled e-business.

Client e-tailers don’t have to alter their Web site’s existing e-commerce
technology infrastructure, so there’s no additional burden on their technical
staff, the company said. The model is ASP; online retailers pay a
performance-based transaction fee for the NetByTel Connected service.

NetByTel said it recognized that most e-tailers can’t afford to set up live
call
centers as a means for traditional, off-line shoppers to dial in to their
businesses. So NetByTel created an automated Telephone e-Business Platform,
applying advanced speech recognition, speech synthesis and proprietary agent
technologies.

“NetByTel gives each e-business its own telephone number, so they can put
their
own brand image on the line with their customers,” said Paul Robinson,
co-founder and president of NetByTel.

“What the telephone did for catalog merchants like Sears and J.C. Penney 60
years ago, NetByTel is doing for on-line merchants today,” said Neal
Bernstein,
co-founder and chief executive officer of NetByTel.


“Traditional catalog merchants were slaves to
the U.S. mail until the telephone caught on. Today, e-tailers are slaves to
computers with Internet access — which seems crazy when the telephone is and
will remain the most ubiquitous communication device in the world.”


At launch, NetByTel is offering e-businesses two application modules:
NetByTel Ordering, to process in-bound orders from customers who dial in by
phone; and NetByTel Order Status, an automated e-service application that
verbally reports order status to customers over the phone. Applications are
being developed for auction
notification, market research, lead capture and generation, store location and
sweepstakes.

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