Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nuance acquires SpinVox to accelerate expansion of voice-to-text business

BURLINGTON, USA & MARLOW, UK: Nuance Communications Inc. has acquired SpinVox, a leading provider of voice-to-text services to telecommunications companies across five continents. By integrating SpinVox’s carrier services with Nuance’s advanced speech recognition platform, Nuance will further accelerate the growth of its voice-to-text business and scale to meet the needs of a growing, global customer base.

As the estimated number of operational voicemail boxes in the world has passed one billion, and consumer and corporate activity now generate over 150 billion voicemails a year, Nuance and SpinVox have experienced strong interest in voice-to-text automation.

The two companies helped pioneer solutions that utilize speech recognition and transcription workflow solutions to convert voicemails into text that can be sent to users as SMS or email messages. This transaction marries innovative speech solutions and robust carrier-grade infrastructure to accelerate innovation, and deliver these voice-to-text services to global subscribers.

“Around the world, the voice-to-text market has experienced tremendous growth over the last year, with a variety of innovative services being delivered by carriers and unified communications providers,” said John Pollard, vice president, Nuance Voice-to-Text Services. “With SpinVox’s robust infrastructure, language support and operational experience, we will broaden the reach and capabilities of our platform.”

Through this acquisition, Nuance intends to expand its operations and accelerate growth in three key areas:

* Service quality: The combination of SpinVox’s global infrastructure with Nuance’s proven speech recognition technology provides robust, carrier-grade voice-to-text services with outstanding quality, ISO security certification, and highly-scaled production systems that handle millions of messages per day;

* Global reach: The combination will achieve the broadest language support in the industry, including English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, and Portuguese, and a customer list that includes major carriers throughout North America, Europe, South America, and Australia; and,

* Innovation: By combining Nuance’s sophisticated speech recognition technologies with both companies’ experienced solutions development teams, Nuance expects to accelerate innovation for voice-to-text services. The acquisition creates a voice-to-text platform – comprising full and partial speech automation, Web services integration and advanced features – that is state-of-the-art today, and offers customers and partners the assurance of technological leadership through its robust product and services roadmap.

Under the terms of the agreement, consideration for the transaction is approximately $102.5 million, comprising $66 million in cash and $36.5 million, or approximately 2.3 million shares, in Nuance common stock.

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