Unisys’ new Voice Portal Solutions suite brings voice-activated dialing (VAD), voice-enabled unified messaging, and consumer voice portal applications to the company’s extensive customer base. Although the entrance of global players into the speech recognition industry further divides the pie, their support is certainly needed.
Unisys has launched Voice Portal Solutions, a suite of voice-enabled applications.
Unisys has thrown its weight behind voice business by launching Voice Portal Solutions, a suite of applications aimed at the $186 million (2001) voice business telco market.
Telecoms firms are suffering from decreased average revenues per user (ARPU) at present; Unisys believes that value-added voice applications for consumers and enterprise customers will help reverse the trend. Unisys’ renewed emphasis will certainly benefit the voice business market, though existing players may feel squeezed.
Unisys has a strong point of entry into the market, with over 100 service providers in 40 countries as clients, including nine of the ten largest. It also has strong experience and expertise in the market. Furthermore, the company can negotiate price points for existing voice vendors seeking to access its customer base.
The standards-based solution includes a range of voice products, allowing telcos to choose from several voice vendors or to incorporate their existing voice solutions. This facilitates integration and encourages uptake. Unisys does not have any official preferred partners for voice technologies, though it does likely have lower price points with some vendors.
This creates some trouble for voice vendors. In many cases, Unisys will be asked to advise the client on selecting a voice vendor (it has developed a benchmarking service to assist this process). Unisys could be a strong route to market – but without preferential partnerships, voice vendors must primarily position themselves through price, eroding their profit potential (assuming a continued trend towards commoditization of enabling technologies).
The professional services divisions of voice vendors are needed to integrate product offerings into Unisys’ solution. However, Unisys has the expertise to deploy and maintain voice solutions, putting pressure on vendors’ professional services arms.
Any vendor targeting the service provider market must be willing to wait a few years to achieve significant revenues. Unisys recognizes that, realistically, the full potential of the market will likely become apparent by 2004-5.
Related research: Datamonitor, Voice Portals and Applications (DMTC0848)
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