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Nuance Acquires Jott, Expands Mobile Division

The deal will enable speech recognition solution provider Nuance to market the popular Jott Assistant to mobile operators and enterprise customers.

On Tuesday Nuance Communications purchased Jott for an undisclosed amount. Nuance's second mobile acquisition in months further expands the company's mobile offerings.

Jott is best known for its Jott Assistant, which enables mobile professionals to use their voices to dictate texts, e-mails, and reminders that can be posted to the Web or sent to others. The product fits in well with Nuance's line of voice-controlled products, and it will be selling Jott Assistant to mobile operators as part of a larger package that will also include Nuance's voicemail-to-SMS service.

Nuance makes speech recognition software and speech-to-text solutions for mobile, enterprise, and the healthcare industry.

"Jott's voice-to-text offerings have experienced a groundswell of adoption and positive industry recognition since the company's inception, and we're thrilled about the opportunity to expand our market reach and our voice services portfolio," said Michael Thompson, Nuance Mobile's senior VP, in a statement. "Together we will deliver a range of new services to our mobile operator and enterprise customers."

For enterprise customers, Nuance will be offering a package that uses Jott's products to provide secure, scalable voice services that handle text messaging, e-mail, and Web services. Jott has an open application programming interface that can be used by third-party companies to incorporate some voice-control, and Salesforce has already taken advantage of this in its customer-relationship management software.

This is the second acquisition for Nuance in the last few months, although the Jott deal apparently was smoother than its $35 million purchase of Zi's mobile search technology. Nuance spent more than six months trying to buy Zi, and the sometimes-bitter process led to hostile takeover bids, and patent lawsuits.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on the use of business software on smartphones. Download the report here (registration required).

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