New Partners, New Benefits Enhance Microsoft Speech Partner Program

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 19, 2004 — The rapid adoption and interest in Microsoft® Speech Server continues with the addition of new industry partners to the Microsoft Speech Partner Program. New and existing partners will benefit from the enhanced partner program benefits being announced today. Microsoft Corp. also revealed that Speech Server will be made available in two editions: Microsoft Speech Server 2004 Standard Edition for small to medium-sized deployments, and Microsoft Speech Server 2004 Enterprise Edition for large-scale system deployment in large enterprises. Microsoft Speech Partner Program members represent a broad spectrum of value-added products and services designed for implementing speech solutions, including prepackaged and custom applications, Voice User Interface (VUI) design, telephony hardware and services, Web and speech development skills, and deployment and integration services. These diverse skills enable enterprise customers to work with Microsoft Speech Partners to rapidly develop and deploy high-quality, speech-enabled Web applications on Microsoft Speech Server.

“We’re proud to welcome our new partners into the Microsoft Speech Partner Program,”
said James Mastan, director of marketing for the Speech Server product group at Microsoft.
“Through commitment and actions, our new and existing partners are activating the mainstream adoption of speech. We’re excited about the Speech Server-based applications and services our partners will be bringing to enterprise customers.”

Growing Microsoft Speech Partner Ecosystem Is Set to Deliver Business Value

Since inauguration of the Microsoft Speech Partner Program in July 2003, more than 60 companies have joined and are actively participating. New partners include Adtech Inc., Aspect Communications Corp., CompuTel Solutions Inc., Datria Systems Inc., Edify Corp., iCoGo Inc., iPing Inc., Sages Networks Inc., System Development Company of New Hampshire Inc., Viecore Inc. and Waterfield Technologies. More information on the partners participating in Microsoft Speech Partner Programs can be found at the Microsoft Speech Technologies Virtual Press Kit .

Examples of the types of Microsoft Speech Server-based prepackaged applications Microsoft Speech Partners are building include those designed for speech-enabled Microsoft customer relationship management, IT help desks, call centers, banking and sales force automation. Partner services for Microsoft Speech Server-based applications include hardware and software configuration, telephony support, VUI design and optimization services, and voice talent.

Microsoft anticipates more partners will actively participate in the program upon their completion of the Speech Partner Program training courses, which are designed to help companies build the skills necessary to support enterprise-grade solutions. These courses include Speech Applications: Planning, VUI Design and Maintenance; Developing Speech-Enabled Web Applications Using the Microsoft Speech Application Software Development Kit (SDK); and Deploying and Administering Microsoft Speech Server.

Expanded Partner Program Benefits Enhance Partner Opportunities for Success

The new program enhancements are designed to increase revenue and profit opportunities for new and existing partners interested in developing, deploying and reselling enterprise-grade speech technology solutions based on Microsoft Speech Server. With the March launch of the Speech Server approaching, the Speech Partner Program provides even more attractive marketing and sales opportunities to partners seeking to build or deploy cost-effective, high-quality speech applications and services that enterprise customers can quickly and easily implement.

Members of the enhanced Speech Partner Program will gain competitive advantage through the following benefits and resources:

  • Opportunity to leverage Microsoft marketing and lead-generation programs

  • Market engagement opportunities through Microsoft field sales, industry event participation and partner program summits

  • Promotion via online and print Microsoft Speech Partner Directories, public relations activities, Microsoft webcasts, and newsletters and white paper authoring

  • Access to Microsoft Speech Server sales and marketing materials,
    co-brandable collateral and demo software

  • Return-on-investment (ROI) analysis sales tools to quantify the ROI of speech solutions for customers

  • Access to beta and early-adopter programs, and access to Microsoft software for development purposes

Speech Server Product Editions Offer Enterprises Flexibility and Low TCO

Microsoft Speech Server, part of the Windows Server System™
family of products, is an integrated, flexible and cost-effective speech platform available for large-scale enterprises as well as midsize companies interested in reaping the significant business value of speech technology. Microsoft Speech Server is available in Standard and Enterprise editions, enabling partners and customers to build and deploy applications that meet their business needs. Designed for medium-sized to large organizations, Microsoft Speech Server Standard Edition is the optimal choice for single-server configurations and is focused on small and medium-sized deployments. For large enterprises, Microsoft Speech Server Enterprise Edition supports a highly scalable and distributed configuration for high-scale speech deployments. Customers can scale out by adding as many Enterprise Edition nodes as needed to meet their port capacity requirements.

Bill Gates Will Launch Microsoft Speech Server

Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates will launch Microsoft Speech Server at the combined AVIOS~SpeechTEK Spring 2004, VSLive! San Francisco 2004 and Microsoft Mobile Developers Conference (DevCon) 2004 events March 24 in San Francisco. Microsoft also plans to unveil new solutions to address development for the Web and Microsoft Windows Mobile™
-based devices at the show. More information about the combined event can be found on the following Web sites:

Additional information about Microsoft Speech Server and the Speech Application SDK is available at . More information about the Microsoft Speech Partner Program and how to become a Microsoft Speech Partner can be found online at .

About Windows Server System

Microsoft Windows Server System is an integrated and interoperable server infrastructure that reduces IT complexity to enable IT professionals to deliver innovative solutions that meet the changing needs of business. With Windows Server™
2003 at the foundation, Windows Server System is engineered from the ground up for XML Web services based on Microsoft .NET technologies to connect information, people, systems and devices. Based on a common

software architecture that spans all facets of IT from design, development and deployment through ongoing management and usage, Windows Server System provides comprehensive IT infrastructure for operations (security, systems management, networked storage), applications (data management and analysis, e-business), and information work (messaging, communications and collaboration). More information on Microsoft Windows Server System can be found at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Windows Server System, Windows Mobile and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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