When customers requested text transcripts of their voicemail messages, VoIPstudio tried to build its own speech-to-text platform in-house, but it soon found the task too complex and time-consuming.
The company behind VoIPstudio chose IBM Watson™ Speech to Text service cognitive technology, providing customers with voicemail transcripts in multiple languages at no charge.
6 – 7% growth in customer base
by addressing customer requests for voicemail transcription services
7 days to deploy on live cloud
because of high-quality application programming interface (API) documentation and ease of use
Avoided capital expenditures
by choosing a pay-as-you-go pricing model
Business challenge story
Competing for customers
Innovations in Internet Protocol (IP) communication technologies are making it easier for non-telecom businesses, such as hardware and software companies, to compete in the voice service market. Although this influx of companies represents more choices for consumers, it means that communication providers must respond rapidly and efficiently to customer needs or lose them to rivals who can.
“We chose IBM Watson because of the quality of the actual voice-to-text conversion and how well it integrates with our systems.”
—Chris Maciejewski, Founder and Technical Director, VoIPstudio.
When VoIPstudio customers requested text transcripts of their voicemail messages in addition to audio files, the company responded by attempting to build its own speech-to-text platform. The task, however, soon grew more complex than expected. Chris Maciejewski, founder and technical director, adds: “We needed to concentrate on our core business and not get our resources involved in intricate technical issues. We knew how well-designed and well-documented APIs [application program interfaces] should look and so started researching different vendors.”
Gaining a cognitive edge
The company ultimately selected the IBM Watson Speech to Text API, a pre-trained cognitive technology that applies neural network processing to learn from speech examples, map words and distinguish speech patterns. It uses this deep understanding of grammar and language structure to translate customer voicemail messages from voice to text and deliver significantly more accurate transcripts than traditional speech-to-text technologies.
“We chose IBM Watson because of the quality of the actual voice-to-text conversion and how well it integrates with our systems,” explains Maciejewski. The company is also taking advantage of the API’s self-learning capabilities by adding a feature that enables customers to report transcript errors so that the API can improve its translation accuracy rate over time.
Acquiring new customers
The IBM Watson Speech to Text API directly adds to the company’s bottom line. “We needed a simple, straightforward solution to retain our customers and keep them from going to our competitors,” says Maciejewski. “We can attribute between 6 percent and 7 percent of our business growth—new customers—to this new functionality.” VoIPstudio also uses the API under a pay-as-you-go pricing model, thereby avoiding capital expenditures.
Deploying the service was fast and easy. “Just seven days after we decided to go with the IBM Watson API,” says Maciejewski, “all of our customers were benefiting from its functionality.” To maintain its competitive edge, the company is also investigating the IBM Watson Text to Speech service to support its interactive voice response (IVR) technology innovations. “We continue to develop and improve and add features,” concludes Maciejewski, “and we’ll be doing it all with Watson.”
About Level 7 Systems Ltd.
Founded in 2012, VoIPstudio is a leading Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider that develops business and residential communication solutions based on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) technology. VoIPstudio is a cloud-based private branch exchange (PBX) telecom system that is successfully used in more than 70 countries by thousands of businesses. The company behind VoIPstudio, Level 7 Systems, is based in London, England, with points of presence throughout Europe, the US and Japan.