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Need a Vacation? Just Say the Word - Nuance Communications Powers Self-Service Applications for the Travel Industry.

BURLINGTON, Mass. -- From Planes, Trains and Automobiles to Hotels and Vacation Destinations, Nuance Speech Solutions Help to Improve the Travel Experience

Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN), the world's leading supplier of speech and imaging solutions, is making it easier for customers to book last-minute travel and vacation plans this summer. Travelers can access schedules or check reservation status, manage awards programs, even book tickets simply using the power of their voice and a phone. Speech solutions from Nuance allow callers to complete self-service tasks more naturally and accurately, while providing intuitive and immediate access to a live agent for more complicated problems.

Travel and hospitality organizations, including airlines such as United, Delta, Lufthansa and Qantas; Amtrak; car rental services; and leading hotels such as Marriott, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and the UK's Premier Travel Inn have installed speech solutions from Nuance to improve the overall customer experience. For example, car rental agency Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. uses Nuance(R) speech solutions to let callers check rental rates and availability at airport locations.

"Customers simply want to get things done as quickly and accurately as possible, whether it's speaking to a service representative or working with an automated system," said Bob DuPont, vice president, reservations, Dollar Thrifty. "Our research indicates an end-user satisfaction level of around 93 percent. Our automated system meets or exceeds our customers' need to get information, and that leaves customers with an improved perception of our company."

Travel Industry Association Taps Nuance for Board of Directors

The travel industry continues to embrace Nuance as a source of improved customer experiences. The International Association of Reservation Executives (IARE), an industry association that represents call centers throughout the travel and hospitality industry, voted Nuance to its board of directors. Tim Gallagher, director, global strategic accounts at Nuance, will fill the post, bringing more than nine years of speech recognition and contact center knowledge to the position, as well as experience working with Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Avis Budget Group, Continental Airlines, Southwest Airlines and numerous hotel and travel-related organizations.

"Global integration of technology and distribution is changing the shape of the contact center environment in the travel industry with lightning speed," said Michele Rowan, IARE president and vice president, International Operations, Hilton Reservations Worldwide. "Now, more than ever, we need to get close and stay close to subject matter experts that we know and trust. With Nuance represented on our board, we are able to accomplish just that, identifying new technologies that will help our members reduce costs while delivering excellence in the caller experience."

"The management of travel contact centers has evolved into a specialized field," said Gallagher. "As a member of the IARE board, I look forward to seeing contact center issues through the members' eyes. By understanding what problems they're facing in every area, it will help us better recommend the tools - speech or otherwise - that can improve the caller experience while allowing the member companies to manage their contact centers in a more cost effective and efficient manner."

About the International Association of Reservation Executives

The IARE includes more than 100 member companies, representing airlines, car rentals, cruise lines, riverboats, individual hotels and city convention and visitor bureaus. Reservation activities span the entire spectrum of the travel industry, with reservation employees numbering in the many thousands. Within its membership lies a vast knowledge and experience with the travel reservations industry.

About Nuance Communications, Inc.

Nuance is the leading provider of speech and imaging solutions for business and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications, and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with information and how they create, share, and use documents. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance's proven applications. For more information, please visit www.nuance.com.

Nuance and the Nuance logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Nuance Communications, Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. All other company names or product names may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
COPYRIGHT 2006 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 27, 2006
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