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Voice systems do creative work for users.

Voice Systems Do Creative Work For Users Austin College in Sherman, Texas, attests to the spread of voice processing to new groups of customers, such as universities, local government, banks, and newspapers.

Austin College's Aspen voice mail system from Octel Communications lets students turn in verbal foreign language homework form remote locations.

Professors can update classes on late-breaking events relevant to course material by recording a message once and sending it to student voice mail-boxes of the entire class via a distribution list.

Also, academic and social communication among faculty and students is not restricted by office hours or class schedules.

Aspen voice processing is also used by the cities of Fort Worth and Richardson, Texas.

A crimewatch voicemail distribution list provides shared information on burglaries, bad checks, and other causes for alarm to Fort Worth merchants and police.

Late-breaking news about Fort Worth is sent to guest voice mailboxes of print, TV and radio journalists.

In Richardson, an "animal shelter" application lets residents call and record descriptions of lost pets.

Other Aspen users include Resource Information Management System (RIMS), M.S. Carriers, Westchester-Rockland Newspapers, and the Dallas Morning News.

RIMS gets customer service call messages to service and support technicians. When all operators are busy, the system answer the line, ask callers a series of questions, and records their verbal responses. Every 15 minutes at the Naperville, Ill.-based software development company, the responses are transcribed to electonic mail and sent to technicians.

M.S. Carriers, a Memphis trucking company, uses an iteractive voirce response application to keep track of hundreds of shipments.

Drivers on the road use the keypad of any touchtone phone to communicate with the company's IBM System 38 database. The key in mileage and estimated time of arrival to the destination, so dispatchers need not act as data input clerks.

Computerized voice response tells the drivers if they are taking a logical route to the destination and if the remaining distance can be driven within the estimated time of arrival. If not, the system transfers them to a live dispatcher, who can concentrate on delayed shipments.

Classified advertisers buy "talking classifieds" with the Westchester County, N.Y.-based Westchester-Rockland Newspapers. The Gannett-owned newspaper chain uses voice mailboxes for sellers.

Interested buyers leave their names and phone numbers in a remotely accessbile voice mailbox, ensuring that the seller's home phone number remains private and uninterrupted.

Voice mailboxes are used at the Dallas Morning News to field calls from subscribers with missing, wet, or damaged newspapers.

Mailboxes automatically signal pocket pagers of mobile circulation drivers who retrieve messages and deliver fresh papers.
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Publication:Communications News
Date:Dec 1, 1990
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