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Nuance Communications to acquire Loquendo

Acquisition will accelerate adoption of voice enabled solutions

Nuance Communications to acquire Loquendo
Kumar says acquisition will help Nuance to expand its operations and accelerate growth.

Nuance Communications has signed an agreement to acquire Loquendo, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Telecom Italia. The deal is expected to close later this month.

According to the two companies, the combination of Nuance and Loquendo's innovations will advance the proliferation of voice-enabled solutions and accelerate the development of new capabilities that will deliver natural, conversational interactions between consumers and the contact center, automobiles, mobile phones, and other consumer devices.

Loquendo provides a range of speech technologies for telephony, mobile, automotive, embedded and desktop solutions in 32 languages with 76 voices. Loquendo's text-to-speech (TTS), automatic speech recognition (ASR) and voice biometrics solutions empower people to interact with technology in the most natural way possible, using their voice to create a compelling customer experience and save businesses millions of dollars each year.

The combined organisation offers a broad, high quality portfolio of voice and language solutions that includes TTS, ASR and voice biometrics solutions. In addition, the acquisition enhances language coverage for network-based and embedded customers, and strengthens Nuance's global channel partnerships which drive the adoption of speech-enabled solutions worldwide. The transaction is expected to close in late September 2011.

"The penetration of Loquendo's offerings and the company's positive industry recognition will serve as a catalyst in expanding our market reach and our voice and language portfolio," said Steve Chambers, chief marketing officer and head of the enterprise division, Nuance Communications. "Together, we will provide a range of best-of-breed solutions, delivering natural, conversational interactions across a number of growing segments that will initially include enterprise, mobile and automotive with a significant opportunity to expand these offerings into the emerging markets."

Anil Kumar, regional director, Nuance Middle East and Balkans, said through this acquisition, Nuance intends to expand its operations and accelerate growth in four key areas namely advanced voice solutions, strong global customer and partner Relationships, robust language support and innovation.

Kumar pointed out that Nuance and Loquendo's combined technologies will advance groundbreaking voice capabilities through robust TTS, ASR and voice biometrics offerings, broadening Nuance's global footprint especially in emerging markets. "The acquisition provides Nuance's and Loquendo's customers and partners access to the industry's largest and most experienced voice and language portfolio," he said.

"Loquendo's technical expertise and talent, combined with Nuance's global resources and market strength, will accelerate a robust product and services roadmap to deliver state-of-the-art solutions for our customers and partners."

Kumar said because both companies offer very sophisticated voice-enabled technologies, the combined organisation will be able to accelerate innovation through a new centre of excellence for speech research, based in Turin, Italy.

Loquendo speech solutions are deployed in more than 20 million devices worldwide, in embedded, automotive and mobile environments.

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