We’re about to wrap up another exciting year at LumenVox. Awards, customer success, and product innovations have all played a pivotal role in the business landscape for LumenVox in 2021, which has positioned our valued customers, partners, and employees for great things in 2022.
This was a special year as we celebrated a major milestone. 20 years! For the past 20 years, we have had the privilege of helping thousands of companies around the world transform their customer experiences with our speech and voice technology. It has been exciting, especially over the last year, to see a tremendous amount of growth driven by our relentless focus on product innovation and customer success.
A new ASR with Transcription
We are very proud of the latest release of our ASR engine with transcription. The new engine stands apart from the others because of its end-to-end Deep Neural Network (DNN) architecture and state-of-the-art speech recognition processing capabilities. Not only does it accelerate the addition of new languages and dialects to serve a more diverse base of users, but it provides a modern set of tools to help our customers migrate over 80% of their grammars and confidence values from legacy applications to LumenVox with relative ease.
All of us at LumenVox are super excited about the Enabling Technology Leader award for North American Contact Centers from Frost & Sullivan. According to Nancy Jamison, industry director of digital transformation practice, “LumenVox stands out as a premier provider of a large set of emerging and maturing technology that others in the market adopt for product development and performance. The company also uses these core technologies in its products and packaged solutions for the market.”
This year we saw the expansion of a number of our partnerships across the board, but none more so than with Cisco. Throughout 2021, Cisco has seen an increase in speech adoption and has tapped LumenVox to help them accelerate the time-to-market of highly accurate, voice-enabled contact center solutions. Now Cisco customers can access the entire LumenVox technology stack including ASR with Transcription, Text-to-Speech, Call Progress Analysis, and Voice Biometrics. We are excited to be a part of Cisco’s blueprint to deliver amazing voice-enabled customer experiences.
Customer success and product innovation in 2022
We strive to deliver superior voice technology, and 2022 will be no different! The team is focused on delivering access to all of our products through a single API. We will also continue to make it a point to provide you with the most flexibility in the market – whether that is where you want to deploy your voice applications (on-premises, cloud, or in a hybrid model), how you license your software, what languages you want to support, and where you want your data to reside.
To support these efforts, we will be investing in our already robust suite of software to ensure you can deliver the most accurate, flexible, scalable voice experiences across all of your internal and external facing applications. Be sure to follow us for some exciting announcements, new demos, and an enhanced knowledgebase.
As we close, we want to send each of our customers and partners a BIG THANK YOU! We couldn’t have done it without you!
On the occasion of our 20th anniversary, our founder and CEO, Edward Miller, reflects on the origins of the company, how we’ve stayed on top of technology and where we’re headed.
What inspired you to create LumenVox?
I was running an interactive voice response (IVR) business with millions of customers, and the volume of calls in our call center became impossible to handle. Speech recognition was the only way to automate our simple low-value questions. After receiving some extremely expensive quotes, we decided to do it ourselves.
We curated the best and brightest to usher us through the process. Within just a few years, we had built a sophisticated speech recognition engine, and LumenVox was born. The name comes from the Latin words lumen, to illuminate or bring light to, and vox, which is voice.
How have your employees contributed to your success?
Starting with our very first hire, we’ve built our workforce with people who embody our core values of positivity, curiosity and passion, and that approach is how we’ve managed to thrive for 20 years.
Looking back over the last 20 years, how has the technology changed?
From the beginning, we didn’t want to host a large technical support department or offer professional services. So, we focused on highly automated installation, configuration, monitoring and maintenance of the program.
For example, an error or warning brings up the name of the error instead of some obscure code — along with a convenient link to the documentation that explains how to fix it. We even provided dashboards to assist in the program and diagnose problems in advance.
Many of these powerful tools are still part of LumenVox today. What’s changed over time are the engines. Our speech recognition engine has advanced over the years, with additions of voice activity detection and noise reduction. Artificial intelligence (AI) has always been part of our product; however, in the last few years, deep neural networks and machine learning have advanced the entire LumenVox product stack.
Can you tell us about your strategic vision for the company?
Our strategic vision has been constant since the day we started because we’ve always focused on being a core technology/voice engine company with software that gives you the tools and capabilities to create solutions to enable a marketplace. An example of this is when we provide grammars or snippets of code, so one can bootstrap their speech-enabled applications. We backstop and teach best practices.
How do your relationships with your partners play into this vision?
We’ve always believed in the value of partnerships acting collaboratively rather than competitively to stay in harmony with our many partners, including Avaya, Genesys and Cisco, to empower their success. Preparing and educating our partners from all perspectives, whether it’s sales, sales engineering, technology or solutions architecture, we make it easy for them to utilize and sell our software.
Our approach to partnerships has matured over time with co-marketing, facilitating the value propositions and benefits of using our full stack voice software.
How have your customers changed over the years? How does your company stay agile to meet their changing needs?
A huge change across the whole industry has been the move from on-premises software to the cloud. Gone are the days of selling a solution that sits in a backroom somewhere, plugged into a telephone system and a network. This migration to the cloud has drastically changed the way our product is consumed — and we’ve changed everything we do and deliver in response.
Now more than ever, our customers demand a high level of both quality and complexity. Thanks in part to our partners, who create more complex applications, we’ve been able to keep up with the evolving demands of our customers over the last two decades.
Ultimately, it’s our laser-sharp focus that keeps us nimble. We do one thing, voice, and we do it extremely well.
What does the future hold for LumenVox?
Right now, we’re focused on getting each and every one of our programs into a single API, that is multicloud-enabled. Unlike so many companies out there, we don’t require you to be in a specific cloud. You can be on-prem, in a private cloud, or in many disparate clouds. We’re striving for maximum flexibility, and we’re going to continue our push into different markets and verticals, with new languages and capabilities. Although it’s taken us 20 years to get here, it feels like we’re just getting started.
In its top customer service predictions for 2021, Forrester Research noted: “Voice will be the channel for service as empathy takes center stage.” There is an increasing need to accelerate digital transformation for voice-enabled channels. LumenVox makes digital transformation possible with innovative voice technology. And we do that together with our partners. For over twenty years we have developed hundreds of partnerships to elevate experiences and create customers for life.
Here are four ways we support and enable our partners:
We do not compete with our partners on professional services or solution design and delivery.
LumenVox is a speech software company that sells software. We do not sell professional services, solution design or delivery. Instead, we want our partners to. Why? This maximizes their profit margins, as they are in control and knowledgeable of the investment required. It also means the sky is the limit when it comes to design. With our customizable voice technology, partners can construct the ideal voice-enabled customer experience from the ground up.
We encourage partner-to-partner relationships.
We believe our partners can drive transformational change together and build partner capabilities to create voice-enabled customer experiences that result in customers for life. We have many system integrated partners who offer a diverse set of skills. We bring our partners together to create relevant solutions for end users. The inherent nature of working together, start to finish, translates into less work for the customer, with only one signature required on one dotted line.
We offer our partners focused technical training.
We provide partners with a complimentary two half-day skills certification training, where our team of experts teach our partner’s solution design and delivery team how to create voice-enabled customer experiences and get the most out of our speech and voice recognition software. We view our partners as an extension of our team and vice versa which is why it is so important to empower them with as much knowledge as our internal speech and voice recognition experts.
These training sessions include in-depth information on how to install and configure LumenVox’ Automated Speech Recognizer, Text-to-Speech and Call Progress Analysis. Not only will our partners become experts in integrating the LumenVox speech engines, but they will also have visibility into our product roadmap, as well as early access to new versions of our software.
The LumenVox Skills Certification process consists of two parts:
The Skills Interview: Designed to find out more about each candidate’s experiences with, and approaches to speech application development. It is more of a free-form conversation that focuses on the candidate, rather than a formal set of requirements.
The Application Presentation: Candidate presents a speech application in which they have contributed to the development. We expect to see some of the documentation regarding the application (including design elements like call flow diagrams, business requirements).
Upon completion, our partners are eligible to take the LumenVox Skills Certified exam. With successful passing, we will send free licenses of our software to our partners for use in their design and delivery lab to easily create proof of concepts.
We get creative with our partners.
We are focused on the relationship, not just the sale. We do whatever we can to ensure our partners successfully sell, orchestrate, and build voice-enabled customer experiences. This includes marketing and sales enablement, creating joint campaigns for specific customer bases. Additionally, we leverage our relationship with key platform partners – Avaya, Genesys, Cisco, Aspect and others to promote the work they are doing across the market landscape.
You are in good company
Our partners are innovative, market leading, world–class companies that work together with us to improve each other’s ability to deliver high-performing, voice-enabled customer experiences securely and at scale for customers across the globe. Our approach is the difference between market leaders and market followers. Are you ready to become a LumenVox Partner? Schedule a discovery session with our partner team now.
2020 has been a historic year for remote working and Cisco WebExOne is poised to deliver a premier digital collaboration conference this year (December 8 – 9). As a proud Cisco Solutions Plus Partner and Gold sponsor of the event, LumenVox will be presenting an overview of the building blocks businesses need to create an ideal, total customer experience over voice channels.
With a voice technology stack unrivaled in its breadth, from state-of-the-art automatic speech recognition to advanced voice biometrics, we’ll discuss:
How LumenVox technology benefits resellers –
We’re here to make life easier. Our offerings are attractive, with demonstrated ROI, and available through the Cisco Commercial ordering system (CCW). We offer flexible licensing with bursting capabilities as well as perpetual, subscription, and per-minute pricing. We’re also unrivaled for our relationship skills. Besides delivering the best voice technology in the market, our main priority is to work with you. We make it a point to not compete with you or your partners for professional services.
What the benefits for end customers are –
A happy customer is a customer that gets the information they need when they need it. A happy customer is a secure customer. A happy customer gets a seamless omnichannel experience. We focus on optimizing omnichannel communication with intelligent speech recognition, text to speech, secure voice biometric authentication, and fraud detection.
What about agents?
We make agents’ lives easier by increasing productivity through higher containment rates and optimized workflows.
The necessary voice technology stack for enhancing total experience –
2020 has fundamentally transformed the way we live and work. Organizations, and the technology they use, are adapting at a record pace. The key to successful evolution is organizational agility. Here are four trends that will propel tech into 2021:
Shift to Total Experience (TX). You may have heard the term “multiexperience,” which refers to the shift from a singular screen and keyboard to a multimodal digital world, where technology surrounds you, going from your laptop to your phone to your tablet to your desktop and back again. TX takes that to another level; it keeps in mind each and every player in the experience game—employees, customers, users. Historically, these players have had immersive digital experiences, but they were separate. Imagine how much easier things would be if they were the same? That’s TX. At LumenVox, we are building our speech and authentication technology stack with multichannel and multimodal capabilities to address this demand in the remote workforce and contact center.
In a remote world, TX strategy will create a strong competitive advantage, as organizations with TX will outperform over the next three years.
Invest in Artificial Intelligence. Artificial intelligence is first and foremost a discipline, with any success stemming from an intense daily grind. However, that effort doesn’t always pay off. According to Gartner research, only 53% of projects make it to production, making it essential that companies put the extra time and engineering effort into AI projects. That’s why at LumenVox, Artificial Intelligence has always been a central component of our technology. Our speech recognition and voice biometric algorithms are built upon AI and Machine Learning principles so that our technology continuously evolves. LumenVox also has invested heavily in Research & Development, so we can deliver Artificial Intelligence technology which is robust, scalable, and easily deployed.
Cloud Enablement. At LumenVox, we have been ensuring our technology responds to the demands of multi-cloud environments so that organizations do not have to rely solely upon in-house IT infrastructure. Instead, they can provide their customers with LumenVox software via the cloud. In a post-COVID world, this is critical, as the world now runs remotely.
Prioritize Privacy. Privacy has always been a priority, but now that priority is marked urgent. Data protection legislation is maturing. In 2020 California finally implemented the California Consumer Privacy Act, signed into law in 2018. The CCPA is one of several state-mandated regulatory policies the US has implemented. Similar regulations appear in other countries whose model has been Europe’s GDPR rules protecting consumer privacy. This requires organizations to put more stringent controls in place to guard against threats and to protect users’ privacy. LumenVox provides advanced voice biometrics to add robust layers of security for organizations of all shapes and sizes, safeguarding sensitive business and consumer information.
In summary, it’s important for any business to always look ahead. The more a business looks toward the future in tech, the more it cannot just adapt and survive, but also thrive. LumenVox’ chief aim for 2021 is to assist businesses in their advancement by directly addressing these trends in voice technology.
Learn more about our full suite of technology here.
Hey, this is Bill Petty with 8 & Out, a podcast series dedicated to highlights updates and events around the Avaya DevConnect program, Avaya technologies, and most importantly our technology partners. Joining me today is Mr. Jeff Hopper who is the Vice President of Business Development for LumenVox. Thank you so much for joining us.
Good morning Bill, thank you for having me on. I really appreciate the opportunity whenever I can chat with you.
So, we’ve got some great news that is coming up from LumenVox. I know you guys have some stuff that’s cooking in the background and a couple of announcements that you’d like to make, so tell us what’s going on at LumenVox these days.
Well, we have so much stuff going on it’s almost hard to fit in your 8 & Out podcast, but some of the highlights are that we’ve just wrapped up working with the Avaya product team on the Experience Portal orchestration designer feature preview for the next release. We’re all lined up for a joint LumenVox product advancement to a new release, along with the Avaya product; so we’ll be in lockstep in compatibility-tested on day one which I think will be good for all of our customers ’cause then there’s not that out of sync thing that can go on. And we are continuing to work on the process I mentioned the last time I was visiting with you back from the show floor at iAug in Phoenix earlier this year. We’re just about squared away with all of the internal SAP codes in order configuration so that all of the Avaya ecosystem can buy LumenVox directly through Avaya. It’s available today, and it will be in, I believe, the next release of the configuration tool, so it’s completely automated at that point for order entry. We’re all squared away to become the replacement product for the deprecated Loquendo ASR and TTS that’s now end of life.
We’ve also continued to bring a bunch of partners on board, and it’s one of the things we’re really excited about. We have two new partners since I last chatted with you; both CCT and Damovo, which are firms that have business both in the EU, based in Germany, and in the United States; and we’re continuing to see a real interest in growing those partnerships. In fact, one of the things I wanted to mention during this call is we are glad to provide free skill certification training for new partners when they’re on boarded so they’re all up and ready. We think those partnerships start with strong skills and experience so we will be conducting a series of our LumenVox skill certification training classes this fall. We do it virtually just like everything these days over zoom or spaces or, you know, some virtual mechanism. It’s two, half-day sessions that customers can participate in, and it really will bring them up to speed on integrating LumenVox in as the speech recognizer for those self-service applications.
Then the really good stuff is the new release of LumenVox that we have coming out in tandem with the next release of Experience Portal. We have several new capabilities that I think are going to be really useful for our customer base. There’s a lot of interest in security these days and one of the areas that has come up again and again over the last few years is protecting that information in audio between the Experience Portal and the LumenVox stack. So we’re going to be releasing TLS encryption of that audio traffic so that the audio between your Experience Portal and the LumenVox recognizer, and the return information, is all fully encrypted so that it’s not possible to snoop or sniff or interrupt that – even if you’re inside the walls of your data center. We think that will be a great security advancement for things like PCI compliant applications where there’s a credit card or payment information collected especially.
We’re also extending the audio capabilities for the LumenVox transcription engine that we introduced last year. It came out in its first version as a short utterance transcribers, we’re extending that to unlimited audio duration now so we’ll be able to handle longer use cases where there’s more than just 30 seconds of audio for the particular application.
The thing I’m really excited about is our new configurable AI gateway. It’s going to provide a really simple low or no code integration with external AI platforms like Google Dialogflow, Microsoft Luis, Amazon Lex and IBM Watson. It is going to give developers a really new and easier way to build and deploy natural language understanding in their IVR environment. We’ll continue to expand the number of AI resources that it supports, putting one of our own that we’ll bring to market next year. We think we’re going to have lots of ways to up the ante in these customer self-service conversations to make them more conversational, more modern in style, and easier and better from a customer experience perspective and a development perspective.
Tell me a little more about this new solution that you’ve got a new release coming out in the fall. So you’ve got encryption, you’ve got this extension of the audio capabilities and you’ve got this new AI gateway for configuration. What kind of impact is that going to have on our mutual end customers?
Well, I think the AI gateway is significant in changing the way we build these applications and is a good way to simplify them. Today most of the combination speech recognition and AI tools that create natural language understanding are proprietary. They don’t have a wide use base in terms of the people who have the skills to develop applications there because there’s almost two or three different skills that apply in the process and what this is going to let you do is tightly integrate all of these commercially available AI platforms like Dialogflow or IBM Watson easily into your IVR. Your existing IVR developers won’t have to change anything other than some information that goes into a speech grammar that tells us which platform to use and we’ll take care of the integration to that external platform. It’ll still allow you to keep all of the audio local in the speech recognizer, which is more efficient, and more secure, and let you use the external AI resources to create natural language understanding.
What’s the impact of the encryption? I mean, we talked about it a little bit and how important is that to our end customers now that you start seeing some data intrusion and that stuff out in the marketplace. How important is the encryption to the customer?
In general, we all have security concerns these days. I have on my desk an email from an organization–that I’m a customer of–telling me about a data breach. Who hasn’t experienced that? Especially things like financial information, Social Security numbers, and credit card information. They all have legal compliance issues around them, and we all want to make sure we secure that data and prevent accidental use or access to it. By encrypting the audio data and the traffic between the Experience Portal and the LumenVox Speech Recognizer, it’s one more safety wall around that information. That information, once it is encrypted, can’t be decrypted outside of the two platforms, so you can’t snoop and listen to the SIP traffic that carries that audio and steal that information out of it.
You know, as we move forward in this relationship, LumenVox demonstrates what it means to really shake hands with Avaya and come to the market together.
We look to the future and we look forward to what’s coming on in 2021. Do you guys have any events or an opportunity for people to come by and say hello or for people to contact you during a virtual event?
Actually, we do. The Avaya fiscal year 21 America Sales Conference is coming up in a few weeks. We’ll be attending that as a virtual participant like everybody else and we’d love to have you stop by our virtual booth and say hello speak to us tell us about your opportunities and we can talk about the new product extensions. I am also actively trying to recruit some channel partners to be preview customers for the new AI gateway capability. So if there’s somebody in the audience who has an interest in taking a deeper dive in the gateway, who may have a potential project, or would like to build a proof of concept in their lab to demonstrate to customers, I’d love for them to reach out to me. Again, it’s easy to find me, just firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be glad to get you into that process because we are seeking some preview customers, especially in the partner ecosystem.
That sounds like an excellent opportunity. For anybody who is out there that might want to take advantage of that, please do reach out to Jeff. If you’re looking for additional information on LumenVox, please head over to the Avaya DevConnect marketplace at www.devconnectmarketplace. Jeff, as always, thank you for participating in the call today.
Thank you, Bill. I appreciate the chance to chat with you and to talk to your audience and look forward to continuing to work with you and Avaya and the whole ecosystem here.
Absolutely! For anybody looking for additional information, again, head over to the DevConnect marketplace. Once again, this is Bill Petty, that was about 8 minutes, and I’m out.