Providing numerous services in collaboration with African partners
Johannesburg/Munich, July 2012 – CreaLog, the Munich-based specialist for voice and media portals, is undertaking a major expansion of its activities in Africa. Speech-based interactive systems have now gone into service in Kenya, Uganda and Ghana, providing telephone subscribers with a broad range of supplementary voice-based services. Other IVR platforms in Nigeria and Tanzania are now in the planning phase. Marketing of the communications services to subscribers in each of the countries is handled by the local CreaLog partners: ONFON MEDIA, D-Mark, Spurs & Galilleo, and CIS Ghana. At the “VAS Africa” conference, taking place in Johannesburg on July 3 and 4, 2012, CreaLog and its partners will be presenting a forward-looking range of concepts attuned to the African market.
Simple cell phones, with an 80 percent share, dominate the market in Africa, far exceeding smartphones of all kinds. That is one reason why mobile access to the Internet is not yet widespread. Today’s preferred communications channels for value-added services are text messaging and USSD services specific to certain networks. These channels, already in place, are not able to support services with more complex content or higher-level interaction with the cell phone user. Here a telephone call – using the voice channel – offers significantly better options. Communications services making use of voice portals already reach many people, especially in rural areas. Voice-based services are particularly attractive for subscribers who cannot read the text message or who, for other reasons, do not use these services. Here, speech recognition enables simple and convenient interaction in the subscriber’s own language. Consequently CreaLog has installed interactive voice response (IVR) platforms in various African countries. These platforms make use of advanced speech technology. The initial implementation phase is now operational in Kenya, Uganda and Ghana.
Angola’s largest mobile services provider, Unitel SA, has successfully used voice portal technology from CreaLog, in Portuguese and English, for its customer service operations.
From storm warnings to interactive TV:
Diverse services available in numerous languages.
Marketing the value-added services is the responsibility of CreaLog partner firms: ONFON MEDIA, D-Mark, Spurs & Galileo, and CIS Ghana. On the one hand, their hosting services sales are aimed directly at companies in the banking, media and insurance industries – but they also concentrate on non-government organizations (NGOs). Typical services are telephone banking, audience participation TV, information services, games, and weather information. Others might include a variety of services including storm warnings, important notes on the use of pesticides in agriculture and on product prices at nearby markets.
Additionally, the partners offer value-added voice services directly to phone subscribers served by leading telecommunications providers in the African countries. Access to these value-added services is via special service numbers.
Options for use include information and conference services, expert hotlines with medical assistance given by phone, legal advice, and telephone-based training. All the services are easy to use, either with the speech recognition service or with the keypad. The high-performance speech recognition software has been implemented to date in English, Portuguese and French. Speech recognition in African languages – Kiswahili is one example – is currently being developed to give broad sectors of the public access to the services.
July 3 and 4, 2012
Johannesburg, South Africa
Launch of the CreaLog IVR hosting platforms in Africa
Andrew Mbuya, General Manager of ONFON MEDIA, Kenya (left),
and Denis Ruharo, General Manager at D-Mark, Uganda
A cutting-edge company with all the best references in 30 countries, CreaLog is the leading provider of speech recognition and contact center solutions in Europe. The CreaLog Voice XML Platform can be administered entirely via the Web and is in use at more than 400 companies in over 30 industries, with a total of 60,000 lines installed. Users include banks, insurers, energy suppliers, public administrations, telecoms, and media firms.
Voice portals made by CreaLog ensure the highest dialog quality on the basis of natural-language speech recognition. The portals are able to recognize and intelligently process a large number of words and even whole sentences in 44 languages. CreaLog portals also support synthetic speech systems providing a human-like voice for the world’s leading providers.
In 2005 and 2006, CreaLog voice portal, call center, unified messaging and CTI solutions for carriers and corporate clients won the Best of CeBIT awards for the Interactive Voice Video Response and CreaVoice FAQs. In 2008 and 2009, CreaLog also gained several other distinctions:
- The Best of CeBIT Award for CreaVoice, the natural-language information and FAQ solution
- The Voice Award 2008 in the category “Best Enterprise Services” for the telephone banking service at HypoVereinsbank
- An award as winner of the Voice Contest 2008 for Cabfish, the intelligent taxi calling service
- The Voice Contest Silver Award 2009 for ELVIS, the voice-controlled internet radio for mobile devices
Further information for newsrooms / readers:
Voice Portals, Unified Messaging and CTI Solutions
Contact: Jürgen Walther
Phone: +49 – 89 – 324 65632 / Fax: +49 – 89 – 324 65699
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