Melbourne-based speech recognition software company, Inference Communications, is looking to ramp up its expansion into the US with the establishment of a North American office in San Diego.
Inference is a certified provider of speech recognition software on the BroadSoft platform and will grow its US operations from the existing six staff in San Diego.
CEO, Kirsty McCarthy, said the certification on BroadSoft came out of an existing relationship with IP Systems, a local BroadSoft provider.
“About 18 months ago BroadSoft announced VoiceXML enablement so we said let’s try to develop systems on that core,” McCarthy said.
“We’re now the largest deployer of speech systems to IP Systems who is the largest Broadsoft voice provider in Australia and New Zealand.”
Locally, Inference has customers like the AFL running on Broadsoft.
Australia has produced another exporter of speech recognition and IVR technology in IVR technology in Holly Connects, which was acquired by West Corporation earlier this year.
Inference’s initial suite of products had a 'horizontal market' focus like corporate diallers, location and tracking systems.
Inference systems deployed in local telcos have deployed through IP Systems and systems have been sold to “big telcos in the US”, McCarthy said.
“Our software is simple to install on standard hardware running Linux,” she said. “We deploy remotely to customers in the US and can integrate with any telephone system.”
Locally, Inference has about 25 staff doing software development and business administration.
The company was born out of licensed technology from the Telstra labs “Sol Trujillo closed down in 2004 and 2005” and it commercialised the core development capability and built a framework around the technology.
“We’re moving into the US market with Inference Solutions North America to support the local customers and the opportunity for growth is quite significant,” McCarthy said.
“More of our engagements are with people getting more adventurous with speech as the user acceptance is growing. About 70 per cent of our business is custom systems.”
“We sell hosted or premise-based software and the stack is of made up of various components.”
McCarthy said the speech recognition technology is language independent, which removes the need to have a developer that speaks the language.
“Our core R&D is still in Australia where we are building on our automated approach to speech recognition,” she said.
“Part of the problem is that speech recognition is complex and expensive to develop so we take an automated approach to machine learning. We can take that automated approach a step further to the Web framework for reporting and automate the whole package.”