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Businesses Expect More From Speech Technologies – And Rightfully So



By Dan Miller | Lead Analyst and Founder, Opus Research

Just one year ago in response to an executive survey, Opus Research found businesses were significantly underutilizing (80%) “voice data” that was captured and analyzed. Well, that didn’t take long to remedy. When asked a similar question in a survey this year, we witnessed a reversal in the fortune of speech technologies. Roughly two-thirds of respondents told us that they were making good use of more than half their conversational intelligence.

Based on their responses, the data definitively show that the proverbial lightbulb has come on to illuminate a direct connection between highly accurate automated speech processing and a trifecta of measurable business outcomes surrounding customer experience, employee productivity and competitive advantage. Close to two-thirds (64%) see Voice Services as “important” or “very important” to the future of their company’s strategy. And 92% said that they expect such solutions to be “widespread” within the next five years.

Those “widespread” implementations are driven by investment in capabilities regarded to be highly impactful. When asked what areas are “most impactful” three-quarters of respondents mentioned “customer experience analytics” and 54% mentioned “Conversational AI and Voicebots.” This is vivid evidence of a move from (or augmentation) of old-guard implementations surrounding employee coaching and development, as well as pragmatic applications like “call summarization.”

Most Impactful Use Cases for Speech Technology (Opus Research, 2021)
Figure 1: Most Impactful Use Cases for Speech Technology (Opus Research, 2021)

High Expectations for a New Voice Platform

Survey responses reflect high expectations for platforms that combine Automated Speech Processing with Analytics, Natural Language Processing and Business Intelligence to improve customer experience and stay ahead of their competition.  Across the board, decision makers showed that they now perceive a direct connection between highly accurate speech recognition to support transcription of utterances and a direct connection to their bottom line.

These findings confirm, and even reinforce a number of observations that Joe Hagan, Chief Product Officer at LumenVox and I discussed in a recent Webcast entitled “The Age of Voice Innovation, Part II: What Keeps You Up at Night.” We noted that a “Voice Renaissance” of sorts is transpiring as companies simultaneously make a “move to the cloud” in support of an overall “Digital Transformation.”

As IT departments opt to move a number of “internal processes” into the server farms that comprise the public clouds operated by Amazon, Google, Microsoft or Salesforce, it has become easier and more affordable to implement speech-enabled applications.

Having posed the rhetorical question, “what keeps you up at night?” the conclusion was, “precious little.” The move to the cloud is accompanied by usage-based pricing and consumption models for the whole alphabet of resources like ASR, TTS, NLU/NLP and ML, as well as vital capabilities like analytics and business intelligence. We posited that the new architectures and pricing models were successfully “democratizing speech” and these survey findings validate those observations.

Questions about our portfolio of speech-enabling technologies? Drop us a note.

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