Speech-enabled Internet portals or voice portals are quickly becoming the hottest trend in E-commerce – broadening the access to internet content to everyone with the most universal communications device of all, a telephone. Voice portals purt all kinds of information at a customers fingertips anytime, anywhere. Customers just dial into the voice portal’s prescribed number and they use simple voice commands to access whatever information they need. It’s quick, easy and effective, even from a car or the airport.
The potential for voice portals is as wide as the reach of telephones, which today number 1.3 billion around the world. Compare that to the 250 million computers with Internet access and it is easy to understand while analysts believe voice-enabled web access will take off. Feasibility studies exhibit that by 2005, 45 million wireless users around the world will regularly use voice portals to handle their everyday cyber chores.
Today’s voice portal are just the tip of the iceberg-the first step in changing the way people access Internet content and, ultimately, how businesses and consumers will conduct business over the Internet. Over the next few years, voice portals-and core technologies behind then are posed to businesses view and Internet with their customers.
Voice portals are changing the telephone interaction from a vendor-centric to a customer-centric experience-increasing satisfaction for customers while improving efficiency and cutting costs for businesses. A voice portal provides telephone users with a natural language interface to access and retrieve web content. An Internet browser can provide web access from a computer but not from a telephone. A voice portal is a way to do that. Of course simple access and retrieval of information is just the beginning. A voice portal can also provide users access to virtual personal assistance and web-based unified messaging applications
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