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When a company's interactions with its customers via telephone can be shown to have any amount of similarity between each telephone call, there is opportunity for significant cost savings by using a computer to help aid the speech aspect of that interaction. Systems built to capture those cost savings are called "telephony" systems. Examples are corporate help desks, reservations desks, information lines, etc.

Telephony, then, is a fancy word for speech applications which use the telephone as some part of the system. The use of the term historically precedes the arrival in the marketplace of desktop computer based dictation systems.

Telephony systems share with office dictation applications the technological issues of dialogue design and recognition accuracy. They add, however, the technological issues of telephone call answering and processing and often require additional hardware to handle that electronic environment.

Telephony systems leave a bad impression in the public mind when little care is directed towards making life easier for the customer but lots of effort is spent making life easier for the company agent on the other end of the line.


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Page Last Updated: 01/14/99