Speech recognition software vendor Nuance Communications has signed five new resellers and a fourth distributor in the UK.
The latest distributor – John George Business Machines (JGBM) – joins Gem, Ingram Micro and Northamber, and will take Nuance into a new arena.
Version 9 of Nuance’s flagship product – Dragon NaturallySpeaking – was launched in September and converts speech into text at up to 160 words per minute and has an accuracy level of up to 99 per cent, the firm has claimed.
Neil Grant, Nuance’s regional sales director, told CRN: “JGBM is a stationary channel distributor with 3,500 resellers. Historically, the stationary distributors have sold analogue recorders; these are now being replaced with digital recorders, which are a perfect fit for our Dragon software.
“If this new market takes off then we may look to appoint another stationary distributor. For now we want to concentrate on our relationship with JGBM,” added Grant.
John George, managing director of JGBM, said: “There is becoming more of a cross-over between the IT and stationary channels. It will take time for people to realise that this type of software exists, but we will support our dealers in selling Dragon.”
Nuance views Philips as its main competitor in the server-based speech recognition market, but claims it does not have a rival in the desktop market.
Asked if Nuance considered Microsoft as an opponent, Grant said: “Dragon 9 is more advanced than Microsoft’s current speech offering so we don’t see it as a threat. However, the more Microsoft gets involved in speech recognition the more it will help raise awareness of the market.”
A Microsoft representative told CRN: “Microsoft has been researching and developing speech technologies for more than a decade. In recent years, Microsoft has placed an increasing emphasis on bringing speech technologies into mainstream usage with products such as Speech Server and Voice Command. Windows Vista includes built-in speech recognition and there is also a general purpose speech recognition engine.”
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