Active Endpoints’ “Cloud Extend Mobile” Leverages Native Speech Processing
Last week, Active Endpoints introduced Cloud Extend Mobile, a SaaS offering that makes it easy for companies to offer easy (“Siri-like”) access to enterprise applications from smartphones. Its showcase application, Cloud Extend for Salesforce, enables salespeople to update records in the company’s CRM system using the most convenient means available, whether it’s automated dictation, tapping on a dialogue box, or typing on the phone’s keyboard.
The basics of the app are illustrated in this video:
What initially caught our eye was the integration of speech recognition as a mechanism for the sales rep to update a customer file. Ever since the mid-1990s we’ve been treated to demos that show how speech can shorten the time it takes to enter important information into ERP or CRM systems. Hands-free generation of expense reports to expedite processing and reimbursement was going to lead the speech-enabled enterprise revolution. But that use case proved too narrow and speech recognition at the time still required review and manual editing.
Active Endpoint’s approach is different. It is using the speech recognition and speech-to-text conversion capabilities that are native to the smartphone’s operating system. That means that Siri is used as the starting point on the iPhone 4S and Google’s native speech recognition will be used on Android devices. As for the narrowness of the use case, Active Endpoint was founded in 2003 and its core product ActiveVOS is a business process automation platform, that is in use by some relatively large enterprises in telecommunications, financial services, media & entertainment and government.
Cloud Extend is a Web-based tool that enables department heads to define how employees can interact with the back-end systems. It sets the rules and paths for person-to-machine conversations. Cloud Extend Mobile enables those conversations to take place over smartphones. The showcase offering, Cloud Extend for Salesforce is available through Salesforce.com’s AppExchange. Pricing is on a per-user basis, which is in line with Salesforce.com’s strategy.