Microsoft Nabs Avis Budget for Tellme Speech Cloud Platform

Microsoft Corp. recently said that Avis Budget, the parent company of Avis Rent a Car and Budget Rent a Car, will use the software giant's TellMe speech cloud platform as part of its new customer care solution.

Microsoft announced at the SpeechTek industry conference held in New York that Avis Budget will use the vendor's speech recognition software in a phased upgrade of its customer service.

Microsoft received Speech Technology Magazine's 2010 Speech Engine winner award at the conference, given to the year's best speech recognition engine.

Zig Serafin, Microsoft Tellme's general manager, predicted that "2010 is the year speech hits the mainstream."

He said that "speech is changing the way we interact with technology in our homes, in our cars, on our mobile devices and on our PCs."

Thomas Gartland, Avis Budget executive vice president, sales and marketing, said that the Tellme platform will help the rental company "deliver immediate improvements to our customer experience, while also keeping long-term technology costs in check."

Avis Budget said that the next steps in its upgraded customer service will be to add new reservation booking capabilities and expand integration to customer data systems using the speech recognition platform.

Officials said that the Tellme platform will enable Avis Budget to accelerate the time to market for additional services to customers and reduce the strain on its internal system.


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