Customer Spotlight: Microsoft Continues Momentum in Speech With New Customer Care Solution for Avis Budget Group, Recent Industry Awards

NEW YORK — Aug. 3, 2010 — Today at the SpeechTEK 2010 industry conference in New York City, Microsoft Corp. announced the addition of Avis Budget Group Inc. to its growing roster of enterprise customers using the Microsoft Tellme speech cloud platform. Avis Budget, parent company of Avis Rent A Car and Budget Rent A Car, two of the world’s leading rental car brands, recently deployed the first in a series of new customer care solutions. By taking advantage of Microsoft Tellme’s award-winning speech cloud platform, Avis and Budget are delivering improved service to their customers during the peak summer travel season.

“Delivering new, streamlined customer care experiences can help save our customers time while giving them greater control over managing their vehicle rental arrangements,” said Thomas M. Gartland, executive vice president, sales & marketing, Avis Budget Group. “By working with Microsoft Tellme, we are able to deliver immediate improvements to our customer experience, while also keeping long-term technology costs in check.”

The second phase of the solution will add new reservation booking capabilities and expand integration to customer data systems to deliver enhanced caller personalization. By choosing the Microsoft Tellme cloud-based speech platform, Avis Budget will be able to roll out additional services to customers in an accelerated timeframe with minimal demands on its own internal system.

Microsoft Tellme Receives 2010 Speech Engine “Winner” Award

Also at SpeechTEK, Microsoft Tellme was honored with Speech Technology Magazine’s 2010 Speech Engine “Winner” Award, which is given to the year’s best speech recognition engine. In naming Microsoft its Winner, Speech Technology Magazine noted the company’s strengths in cloud-based speech and its focus on the enterprise, mobile and automotive markets. In addition, Microsoft Tellme was named “Leader” in the Speech Self-Service Suite category, in which the company’s depth in functionality and customer satisfaction were highlighted.

“2010 is the year speech hits the mainstream. Speech is changing the way we interact with technology in our homes, in our cars, on our mobile devices and on our PCs,” said Zig Serafin, general manager of Microsoft Tellme. “We are honored to be recognized as leaders in speech technology and will continue our efforts to make speech a natural part of everyday interaction with technology.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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