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SpeechTEK 2012 - Monday, August 13, 2012
SD101 – Heading Toward Intelligent Agents: Examining the Path Ahead
8:00 a.m - 8:45 a.m
Emmett Coin, Speech Scientist - ejTalk

What makes artificial agents intelligent? We perform group thought experiments where we assume that individual technical or resource obstacles can be removed. What if we could find (or build) vast amounts of marked conversational data and “remember” all individual user-agent interactions over all time? What if speech synthesis could be as subtle and nuanced as human speech? What if speech recognition worked at human levels of accuracy? What if we could add some new magical component? Where is the biggest gap in today’s intelligent, conversational, synthetic agent platform?

SD102 – Speech and the Ebook Experience
8:00 a.m - 8:45 a.m
Moshe Yudkowsky, President - Disaggregate Corporation

How can speech technologies improve the experience of interacting with an ebook, insert and review verbal annotations from other readers, enhance dialogue with the ebook’s characters, and listen to a speech synthesized version with multiple voices? Let your imagination take over during this brainstorming discussion.

SD103 – Technology Licensing
8:00 a.m - 8:45 a.m
Steven M. Hoffberg, Of Counsel - Tully Rinckey, PLLC

Technology transactions are critical to permit best-of-breed technologies to work together in a commercial product. Some entrepreneurs seek only to develop solutions to problems, while larger enterprises seek to develop enduring platforms. This discussion lays out the basics of a technology license transaction, then discusses initiation of negotiations and realistic expectations.

SD104 – Can Agents Make or Break Your Speech Solution?
8:00 a.m - 8:45 a.m
Nandini Stocker, Sr. Product Design Manager - FlipKart

Agents can have a major impact on callers’ overall impression of a user interface (and—by extension—the company and brand). This session discusses examples of agent training that either complement the efforts of the VUI design, or undermine it. A targeted checklist of solutions is generated that attendees can immediately apply to their contact center strategy. Vendors can also gain insight on how to add this often-missed item to their toolbox of customer solutions.

Become Preferred: Up-Level the Brand Experience
9:00 a.m - 10:00 a.m
Michael Vickers, Executive Director - Summit Learning Systems

Based on Michael Vickers’ best-selling book, Becoming Preferred, this keynote presentation teaches leading-edge strategies and tactics that will help place your company in the preferred position every time. Attendees learn how to become unique and distinct in a crowded marketplace, how to bring distinctive value to their customers or clients, how to build long- term economic relationships, and how to create added value to win the price war. This presentation is filled with applicable anecdotes, examples, and strategies that will give your team immediate results.

A101 – PANEL: Agent/Automation Balance
10:15 a.m - 11:00 a.m
MODERATOR: Tara Kelly, President & CEO - SPLICE Software Inc.
Mark W Stallings, Managing Partner, VUI Design Practice - Forty 7 Ronin Inc.
Tobias Goebel, Senior Director Emerging Technologies, Product Management and Marketing - Aspect Software, Inc.
Helen VanScoy, Director, User Interface Design - Performance Technology Partners

Even with the best IVR systems, there are cases in which customers require the assistance of a call center agent. If agents are made too easily available, organizations risk losing opportunities for automated self-service, but if agents are too closely guarded, organizations risk frustrating customers who can’t easily get help when they need it. Getting the balance right between self- and agent-assistance in the call center is no longer an elusive goal. Learn proven methods from the experts on how to balance agents and automation to create superior customer service.

A102 – Setting Goals for Automation
11:15 a.m - 12:00 p.m
MODERATOR: Jenny Burr, Sr. Manager, Analytic Consulting - Convergys

Organizations often struggle to understand which functions to automate in an IVR system. Goss presents a method for determining appropriate goals for IVR systems to ensure both a positive customer experience and reaching business goals for automation. Leppik presents the results of a large study of the effects of companies that attempt to force customers to use automation by trying to make it hard to reach an agent.

How to Set Realistic Goals
Kristie Goss-Flenord, Consultant, Human Factors - Convergys
Can you make customers self-serve?
Peter Leppik, President and CEO - Vocal Laboratories Inc.
Attendee Lunch
12:00 p.m - 1:15 p.m
A103 – Balancing Business and Design Concerns
1:15 p.m - 2:00 p.m
MODERATOR: Rich Garrett, Senior Solutions Consultant - [24]7
Nava A Shaked, Head of Multidisiplinary studies - HIT Holon Institute of Technology. Israel
David Claiborn, Senior Director, Product Design - United Health Group
Tara Kelly, President & CEO - SPLICE Software Inc.

What is the job of the designer in speech automation? Garrett explores the inherent conflict between designing to meet the needs of customers versus designing to meet company goals. Houwing discusses how design goals are often compromised due to limitations of infrastructure, software, and databases not being properly integrated. This session benefits organizations and designers struggling to balance business and design concerns.

A104 – The Role of Agents in Successful Self Service
2:15 p.m - 3:00 p.m
MODERATOR: Randell Neuman, Sr VUI Designer - Convergys

No matter how sophisticated self-service systems become, there will always be a need for human agents to cover complex and uncommon customer requests. Yeracaris presents a method designed to help automation and human agents work together seamlessly to provide superior service to customers. Sonnick discusses the relative impact of human agents and speech technology in sales conversion rates.

Which generates more revenue an automated system, an operator or a combination of the two?
James Sonnick, VP Business Development & Innovation - Soleo Communications, Inc
Human Aided Computer Understanding
Yoryos Yeracaris, CTO - Interactions, LLC
A105 – Building Trust Through Positive Mobile Experiences
3:15 p.m - 4:00 p.m
MODERATOR: Cliff Bell, Product Line Manager, Product Management - Genesys

Mobile applications offer new opportunities for strengthening relationships with customers. Brown highlights different types of mobile consumers and how an understanding of the ways individual consumers absorb and use mobile technologies allows banks and other institutions and organizations to consistently treat consumers in a personalized, individualized way. Stoops discusses how applying business rules of the enterprise call center to mobile applications can enable the majority of customers to bypass the conventional IVR system and connect efficiently with an agent who best meets their needs within the current resources of the call center.

Moving with Mobile Consumers to Build Relationships, Trust and Brand
Bill Brown, Director of Worldwide Product Marketing - Adeptra
The Death of IVR as We Know It: Acheiving better customer support through mobile applications
Dan Stoops, Director Strategic Solutions - Genesys
A106 – Speech Solution Sessions
4:15 p.m - 5:00 p.m
Know What's Impacting Your Customer Experience With Flexible Testing, Monitoring, Simulation
Alok Kulkarni, CEO - Cyara
Brent Ludlam, Voice Manager - New Zealand Ministry of Social Development

Join the CEO of Cyara and client in a lively Q & A format where they will discuss key topics such as the importance of customer control and visibility into the testing process to ensure you know what’s impacting your customer experience. Attend this session and you will learn why Fortune 500 companies choose Cyara for their testing needs.

It’s Time to Get Siri-ous About Your IVR
Dena Skrbina, Director, Solutions Marketing - Nuance Communications

This session examines why conversational apps are best delivered in the cloud and how the cloud combined with data, technology, and even a social graph will deliver better conversational performance

B101 – Effective Natural Language
10:15 a.m - 11:00 a.m
MODERATOR: Kristie Goss-Flenord, Consultant, Human Factors - Convergys

There is growing interest in natural language IVRs that begin with open- ended, “How may I help you?” type questions. Olvera speaks about the importance of exceeding customer expectations not only with the initial natural language question that interprets customer requests and routes the call appropriately, but also by building underlying systems that act in intelligent and useful ways. Stavropoulou focuses on user-centered design evaluation methods that relate to the development of advanced spoken natural language user interfaces.

Why Natural Language isn’t enough – Or the advent of the intelligent, natural sounding, personalized understanding of user’s needs
Eduardo Olvera, Sr. Manager & Global Emerging Technology Lead, UI Design, Professional Services - Nuance
Advanced Natural Language Spoken Interfaces: Design methodology for increasing usability
Pepi Stavropoulou, Senior Language Specialist - Omilia
B102 – Improving Design With Data
11:15 a.m - 12:00 p.m
MODERATOR: James Mesbur, Senior Voice Interaction Designer/Business Analyst/Speech Scientist Engineer - Synchronoss

The best user interface design decisions are made based on data collected from customers who use the system. Lewis presents results of a study on the most effective—and somewhat surprising—method for constructing menus in speech-enabled IVR applications. Parkinson reports on a study of confirming long alphanumeric strings (such as customer or ID numbers), one of the most troublesome parts of many IVR applications.

What Recent Research Says about the Design of Effective Speech Menus--You Might Be Surprised
James R. Lewis, Senior Human Factors Engineer - IBM Corporation
Improving Performance through Enhanced Confirmation
Frederick Parkinson, Senior Solutions Consultant - Performance Technology Partners
Attendee Lunch
12:00 p.m - 1:15 p.m
B103 – PANEL: Design Guidelines
1:15 p.m - 2:00 p.m
MODERATOR: Jenni McKienzie, Voice Interaction Designer - SpeechUsability
Helen VanScoy, Director, User Interface Design - Performance Technology Partners
James R. Lewis, Senior Human Factors Engineer - IBM Corporation
Mark Smolensky, Principal Member of Technical Staff, Product Realization & Architecture - AT&T

The topic of standards or best practices for VUI design has long been a topic of discussion and debate in the design community. Organizations often request that their IVR be designed according to industry best practices, but until now, there has been no single, accepted set of principles for voice interaction design. The Association for Voice Interaction Design (AVIxD) is providing a remedy to this situation through its working group on design guidelines. Attend this session to hear the methods and preliminary results on design guidelines.

B104 – Create Proactive Customer Experiences
2:15 p.m - 3:00 p.m
MODERATOR: Nandini Stocker, Sr. Product Design Manager - FlipKart

The smartphone revolution has raised customer expectations for intelligent, proactive interactions with automated systems. Claiborn discusses how automation can make use of ANI, authentication information, and toll-free number structures to offer callers customized IVR experiences based on who they are and where they have been with a company. Manchon presents a method for using multidimensional data to fully satisfy users and obviate the need for human operators in repetitive and predictable tasks.

Knowing Without Asking: Driving Personalization
David Claiborn, Senior Director, Product Design - United Health Group
Multi-dimensional Intelligence to enhance User Experience
Pilar Manchón, CEO - Intelligent Dialogue Systems S.L.
B105 – PANEL: Making Smart Design Choices
3:15 p.m - 4:00 p.m
MODERATOR: Catherine Zhu, Principal Consultant - SpeechUsability
Jenny Burr, Sr. Manager, Analytic Consulting - Convergys
Nandini Stocker, Sr. Product Design Manager - FlipKart
Eduardo Olvera, Sr. Manager & Global Emerging Technology Lead, UI Design, Professional Services - Nuance

Every project involves compromises due to time, budget, and technology constraints. When faced with such constraints, organizations too often decide to eliminate or greatly decrease the budget or timeframe for user- centered design activities such as conducting user research, running usability tests, hiring a professional voice talent, and tuning. Not every project requires a full complement of user-centric design activities, and there are smart ways to determine which methods will yield the best value for your project. Join us as expert panelists discuss how to make design choices that provide maximum value within a limited time and cost.

B106 – Speech Solution Sessions
4:15 p.m - 5:00 p.m
Getting It Right – Using Speech-Based Automation Successfully
Jeffrey (Jeff) D Hopper, Vice President, Client Services - LumenVox, LLC

Based on the experience of Westlake Financial Services, this presentation gives you insights into applying speech technology to reduce your call center costs while at the same time delighting your customers. Hopper talks about best practices, traps you want to avoid, and considerations for setting appropriate expectations. He also addresses how to evaluate the required skill sets and how to most effectively acquire those you lack. Finally, he discusses the economics of using speech technologies in your call center/customer care operations and offers some guidance about startup costs and return on investment.

Experience Speech in the Cloud
Tom Wilde, CEO - Indico Data

Get an overview of RAMP's MediaCloud speech capabilities, including both RAMP's private cloud and new Amazon AWS version of MediaCloud – RAMP’s audio and video optimization platform that combines automated speech recognition with metadata tagging to enable advanced audio and video search, automated publishing, interactive playback based on time- coded metadata, content-based analytics.

C101 – Customer Opinions of IVR
10:15 a.m - 11:00 a.m
MODERATOR: Peter Leppik, President and CEO - Vocal Laboratories Inc.
Phil Gray, EVP of Business Development and Strategy - Interactions
Liel Liebovitz, Visiting Assistant Professor of Media,, Culture and Communication - New York University

Customer dread and hatred of IVR systems are the subject of many cartoons, comedy skits, and stories in the popular press, yet those of us in the industry know that telephone self-service can be done well. Understanding what customers really think is often a matter of conjecture, but in this session you have the opportunity to hear the results of a rigorous academic study on customer opinions of IVR systems. Join us for an exploration of what really matters to customers in successful and accepted telephone automation.

C102 – PANEL: The Smartphone Customer Experience
11:15 a.m - 12:00 p.m
MODERATOR: Nava A Shaked, Head of Multidisiplinary studies - HIT Holon Institute of Technology. Israel
Nik Stanbridge, Director of Product Marketing - VoiceVault
Robert Gary, Vice President and General Manager, Nuance Mobile Care - Nuance
Peter Voss, CEO - Smart Action Company, LLC
Jonathan Hotz, Senior Product Manager - Genesys

Speech technology on smartphones has taken a great leap forward in the past year with the introduction of Apple’s Siri personal assistant. The popularity of Siri has made customers more willing to consider using speech input and output on their smartphones, but how can organizations capture this enthusiasm to provide better customer service? The panelists in this session have unique visions of how to develop a smartphone strategy and use speech-enabled personal assistants to provide a smarter, more pleasing experience for your customers.

Attendee Lunch
12:00 p.m - 1:15 p.m
C103 – Managing Customer Experience Design
1:15 p.m - 2:00 p.m
MODERATOR: Eduardo Olvera, Sr. Manager & Global Emerging Technology Lead, UI Design, Professional Services - Nuance

Managing the initial design and subsequent changes to enterprise IVR applications is a persistent challenge to organizations. Bell presents a method for using a business rules system to streamline the process for making changes to enterprise IVR applications. Sampath presents a model to help analyze, define, and optimize contacts at each stage of the customer interaction to enhance cross-channel customer experience.

Scalpel Please: Using a Rules System to Improve Customer Service Applications
Cliff Bell, Product Line Manager, Product Management - Genesys
Developing Enterprise Strategies for Automated Customer Interaction and Customer Experience
Badri Sampath - Servion Global Solutions Inc.
C104 – PANEL: Challenges of Cross-Channel Experiences
2:15 p.m - 3:00 p.m
MODERATOR: Lizanne Kaiser, Sr. Principal Business Consultant - Genesys
April McGee, VP, User Experience Strategy - Human Factors International
Jamey White, Human Factors Consultant, Customer Information Technology (CIT) - Convergys
Tobias Goebel, Senior Director Emerging Technologies, Product Management and Marketing - Aspect Software, Inc.

Customers are enthusiastically embracing the multiple methods now available for communicating with organizations, but this poses new challenges. Enabling customers to use self-service via smartphone applications provides more opportunities for customers to use self-service, which has a huge potential benefit to organizations. This panel discusses how these benefits will only be realized when organizations develop and adhere to cross-channel strategies that provide customers with a consistent, intelligent, and engaging experience across channels.

C105 – Global Customer Contact Trends
3:15 p.m - 4:00 p.m

Customer care is a global effort for many large organizations. Saeger discusses the response to a survey of more than 200 international contact center executives as they identify challenges, trends, and the technology of global expansion. Ahlen analyzes the problems and solutions with bilingual customer service and makes recommendations for bilingual consumer communication strategies to help companies tap into this trillion- dollar market.

Global Trends in Speech Technology in the Contact Center
Terry Saeger, Senior Vice President and General Manager - VoltDelta
Atencion al Cliente! How to Improve Bilingual Customer Service to Engage the Trillion Dollar Hispanic Market and Increase Profitability
Sondra Ahlén, Principal VUI Consultant/Owner - SAVIC
C106 – Speech Solution Sessions
4:15 p.m - 5:00 p.m
Mobile Trends Impacting Customer Service Experience
Valentine Matula, Senior Director, Multimedia Research - Avaya

Avaya New communication channels and service trends are driving companies to consider how technology innovations can improve the customer experience. Learn valable insights on some of the latest mobile trends that are shaping customer experience management today.

Cloud Telephony – Making Speech Technologies Affordable
Christopher Flynn, Professional Services Manager - Aculab

Premise-based speech applications require very expensive equipment and capacity that end up being fundamentally underutilized for extended periods of time. A cloud-based telephony platform can be delivered very cost-effectively on a pay-for-what-you-use basis. Attend this presentation to learn how, through the use of high-level APIs, you can develop a range of automated telephony applications for a fraction of the cost of premise-based systems.

D101 – Advanced Spoken Language Research Summary TT
10:15 a.m - 11:00 a.m
Roberto Pieraccini, Director of Engineering - Google Switzerland

The research world is trying to solve fundamental problems in speech recognition, language understanding, gesture recognition, dialogue, and multimodal interaction, which will bring us the next generation of natural human-machine interaction systems with performance and capabilities that are miles away from what we have today. Learn about the current advancements and challenges in advanced spoken language research, and hear some perspective on what the potential fallouts are for the commercial and industrial worlds.

D102 – High-Definition Audio
11:15 a.m - 12:00 p.m
MODERATOR: Yves Normandin, CEO - Nu Echo Inc.

Voice quality is a critical measure of a service provider’s success. Learn where HD audio is currently being used, how it is expected to be implemented, and how it will affect the user experience. Miller describes how HD provides access to more information in the audio stream, which is especially useful for tasks like alphanumeric capture that are particularly sensitive to short dropouts and other acoustic problems. Machi details the evolution of HD voice as well as the current challenges and solutions to providing high-quality voice services through the cloud.


Implications of HD Audio for Speech Systems
Edward Miller, Founder and Chairman - LumenVox, LLC
Cloud-based HD Voice Applications
Jim Machi, Senior Vice President, Marketing - Dialogic



Attendee Lunch
12:00 p.m - 1:15 p.m
D103 – Speech in Mobile Apps
1:15 p.m - 2:00 p.m
MODERATOR: Moshe Yudkowsky, President - Disaggregate Corporation

Thousands of new mobile applications have appeared, but most of them are not voice enabled. This session describes two approaches for adding voice to webpages. Burnett summarizes the proposed W3C standard API for speech recognition and speech synthesis for use directly in HTML. Di Fabbrizio describes an application that automatically generates language models to transparently enable voice interaction with existing webpages.

Speech in HTML5
Daniel C Burnett, President - StandardsPlay
SpeechForms -- From Web to Speech and Back
Giuseppe Di Fabbrizio, Lead Researcher - AT&T Labs - Research
D104 – Tuning
2:15 p.m - 3:00 p.m
MODERATOR: Jordan Cohen, Technologist and CEO - Spelamode Consulting

Halperin describes a high-level understanding of what tuning is and what we can learn from analyzing data from real-world systems. She summarizes possible solutions to common error modes, such as parameter tweaks, and grammar and lexicon updates. Normandin reviews proven techniques and best practices for maximizing the performance of speech applications including the grammar tuning process, performance metrics, developing grammars with performance in mind, setting confidence levels, phonetic pronunciations, multilingual issues, and common problems.

What is Your Data Telling You?
Judi Halperin, Principal Consultant and Team Lead, Global Speech Engineering - Avaya Inc.
Effective speech recognition accuracy tuning
Yves Normandin, CEO - Nu Echo Inc.
D105 – Advanced Speech Technologies
3:15 p.m - 4:00 p.m
MODERATOR: Roberto Pieraccini, Director of Engineering - Google Switzerland

Two new technologies—speaker-to-speaker translation and emotion representation—will enable new classes of exciting applications. Gilbert describes a cloud-based speech platform that overcomes language barriers of mobile users. See a live demonstration of translation applications. Schroeder describes a representation for emotions—the Emotion Markup Language (EmotionML). He highlights key use cases for emotion-related information in spoken interactions.

Breaking down the world’s language barriers
Mazin Gilbert, AVP of Technical Research - AT&T
EmotionML--representing emotion-related states in spoken interaction
Deborah Dahl, Principal - Conversational Technologies
D106 – Speech Solution Sessions
4:15 p.m - 5:00 p.m
Bring Speech to Your Apps With the AT&T Speech API
Dave Okamoto, Sr. Product Marketing Manager - AT&T Developer Program

AT&T has simplified the process of speech-enabling apps by providing developers with access to its new Speech API, powered by AT&T WATSON. 
In this session, learn about the Speech API, including how to access it, details on the SDKs we’ve exposed, along with information about other APIs we’ve exposed via the AT&T API Platform.

Voice—The Fundamental Instrument of Business Communication
Brent Barbara, VP of Marketing at 3si - Surgical Safety Solutions

Most critical customer and sales interactions occur over the phone. Yet for most businesses, the voice infrastructure has been relegated to the back room, a necessary but non-critical investment that simply must be managed. But many companies are discovering the cost-savings and simplicity the cloud offers, businesses are taking advantage of new cloud capabilities that deliver more value from voice than ever before. This session will discuss 5 ways that cloud-based voice solutions are making businesses more efficient, agile and competitive.

5:00 p.m - 7:00 p.m

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