"Small and midsize businesses need [a speech-enabled auto attendant] most," he said. "They need enhanced voice control, they need a call routing system. Large corporations are more stagnant but in small and midsize businesses everyone is wearing multiple hats. They do more than one job title in the organization."
Inbar says the company identified three requirements that smaller businesses needed to make this work for them: they need all the mobility features, they need a very simple appliance that can be installed and used easily, and can't be more than a few thousand dollars.
The "secret sauce" was a deal with Lumenvox for Linux-based speech recognition technology and Digium for its open standard hardware. The result is a "plug and play" system that can be integrated into any existing telephony infrastructures your company already has. It has speech recognition, reads e-mail, calendars, and can track you down wherever you are. Inbar says that the corporate directory can be created by uploading from an active directory or CSV file.
The demo on the site gives a pretty good sense of how the system works. But I called in to Atcive Voice's house system get a first-hand experience of the auto attendant and I was pleasantly surprised: I was understood every time.
Travis Moroch, Active Voice's product manager told me that the system allows for aliases and can also be set for the individual subscribe to set their own alias. Users can access their their own e-mail and calendar from the Web interface. .Pretty much everything can be done through the Web interface.
According to Inbar, Nuance is their closest competitor, in terms of speech recognition and small and midsize businesses.
Another thing that Inbar mentioned stayed with me: It's the smaller businesses that need to "fake it" a little and look bigger. An appliance like this helps.