In a wake up call to other wired carriers, BellSouth (NYSE:BLS) Monday announced a non-exclusive agreement to incorporate BeVocal's voice-enabled applications in BellSouth's new e-Platform Initiative.
The idea is that you can pick up a phone, say the name of the person, business or information service you want to reach, and be instantly connected.
The e-Platform Initiative is the Atlanta-based company's way to put more emphasis on the network as an enabler of applications, including voice enablement and network-based storage.
The deal means that Santa Clara, Calif.-based BeVocal and its "voicetone" technology is the preferred platform for delivering voice-enabled applications to BellSouth's customers.
"We look forward to working with BellSouth to make this vision a reality through the implementation of a broad array of voice services for their consumer and enterprise customers," says BeVocal president and CEO David Hood.
"The two companies have been working on combining forces for more than a year. Ever since the first discussions, BeVocal says it has been working on upgrading its systems to fit BellSouth's needs like a glove.
"Mountain View, Calif.-based voice portal Tellme Networks announced a similar deal with AT&T Wireless (NYSE:AWE) in March 2001. But this is the first voice services deal of its kind with a major Regional Bell Operating Company (RBOC).
""By using BeVocal's Foundation Platform, BellSouth will be able to provide its customers with customized voice-enabled applications and host them in BellSouth's fully secure and redundant e-Business Centers," says BellSouth Customer Markets senior vice president of e-Business Application Services Dave Abrahamson.
"BeVocal's platform lets you listen to, delete and respond to e-mail messages over the phone. BeVocal's Address Book taps into both programs with storage and retrieval capability of up to 500 contact listings over the phone, and synchronizes with personal information managers such as Microsoft Outlook and Palm Organizer.
"The company's BeVocal Notification lets you specify and schedule automatic alerts for time-sensitive information, while the Voice Authentication service wraps the whole bundle in a secure package through the use of voiceprints to verify the identity of a caller.
BeVocal says its goal now is to take its platform and its VoiceXML development environment to carriers to save on telephony expenses while delivering next-generation enhanced voice services that generate revenue.