Frost & Sullivan Presents Applied Voice And Speech Technologies (Avst) With Product Differentiation Innovation Award

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AVST Recognized for its Ability to Develop Products with More Innovative Capabilities than Competing Vendors.

Applied Voice & Speech Technologies, Inc. (AVST) today announced that it was presented with the Frost & Sullivan 2005 Product Differentiation Innovation Award for the North American enterprise voice and unified messaging (UM) solutions market. In selecting AVST for the award, Frost & Sullivan, an international strategic market and growth consulting firm, recognizes AVST's success with its flagship product, CallXpress®, its channel strategies and its roadmap for distribution channel and product enhancements.

Frost & Sullivan acknowledges AVST’s innovative product differentiation and market strategy that is leading to an accelerated expansion of its channel, and therefore empowering AVST to increase its presence in a market otherwise dominated by telephony giants. "AVST is one of the few switch-independent developers of unified messaging/unified communications," said Krithi Rao, Frost & Sullivan research analyst. "Since its creation in September 2003, the company has progressed in leaps and bounds within the unified messaging/unified communications space. Partly due to its size and mostly due to its legacy in messaging expertise, AVST continues to remain on top of the technology curve in terms of producing second-generation messaging systems."

With UM accounting for about 42 percent of the total messaging revenues in 2004, and estimated to rise to 55 percent in 2007, AVST has perfectly recognized the potential of the UM market and has designed its solution according to accurately identified messaging user migration characteristics.

Frost & Sullivan believes that AVST has built up a number of differentiating competitive advantages that adequately address the market. First, CallXpress is at the center of its competitive strategy through the integration of the CallXpress UM platform and the Seneca® speech applications platform. In April 2005, AVST introduced the CallXpress Speech Server based on Seneca(R) 4.5, which offered speech-enabled connectivity tools to CallXpress. With CallXpress Speech Server, AVST has combined the strengths of CallXpress 7.5, with Seneca 4.5, to create a robust, tightly integrated, next-generation unified communications solution.

In addition, to strengthen its position in the SMB market as well, AVST announced the availability of the CallXpress® Server Bundle in June 2005. Through this product, AVST offers the same robust features of CallXpress 7.7 to support application-rich communications on a smaller scale and at a lower price point.

Frost & Sullivan believes that a second point of differentiation is the ease of installation of AVST solutions. AVST is one of the first companies to provide a modular, plug-and-play solution that allows cost-conscious customers of any size to deploy basic capabilities and upgrade if they need to, and allows power users to deploy the entire solution with advanced features. AVST’s modular solutions can be deployed within a matter of hours as compared to other solutions that take days or weeks to be deployed.

This characteristic of AVST’s solution was put to the test when it was made part of an agreement to design and deploy a working messaging system within 24 hours for the hurricane Katrina relief effort. Frost & Sullivan believes that downtime of the messaging infrastructure has been one of the reasons why enterprises are reluctant to deploy new messaging solutions. However, through its quick deployment capability, AVST is able to address this concern and therefore appear attractive to customers.

A third differentiator is AVST’s support of its customers’ communications migration strategies. AVST is one of the few vendors that provide end users access to next-generation solutions with UM, while maintaining support for first-generation user interfaces like Octel, VMX and Centigram. Frost & Sullivan believes that the first-generation interfaces are reducing customers’ apprehension that retraining will be required for the new messaging solution. Thus, AVST’s product features are assisting channel partners to gradually migrate their existing customer bases that are in need of replacement, over to a next-generation solution.

Finally, in terms of differentiating in market strategy, AVST is engaged in a number of strategic alliances that are contributing to the growth of the partner and AVST itself. The company is experiencing a phenomenal rate of adding new channel partners. In 2005 alone, AVST has added over 30 new resellers to its channel program giving the company a total of more than 200 channel partners worldwide.

“AVST is honored to receive this innovation award,” said Hardy Myers, AVST's President and CEO. “It validates our strategy to deliver the most powerful enterprise communications platform on the market that easily supports the migration of the enterprise from their first generation messaging and call processing technology as well as provides them with significant new communications capabilities on an ‘ala carte’ basis based upon individual end user requirements."

Frost & Sullivan rigorously analyzes specific criteria to determine award recipients in a variety of regional and global market landscapes. The Frost & Sullivan 2005 Product Differentiation Innovation Award signifies AVST's ability to develop and/or advance products with more innovative capabilities than competing vendors and products. Frost & Sullivan believes that through product differentiation and channel strategy innovation, AVST has positioned its product to be highly competitive with those of the large telephony vendors.

About AVST

Applied Voice & Speech Technologies, Inc. (AVST) is a leading developer of unified communications solutions for businesses of all sizes. Through its world-class unified communications platform, CallXpress®, and its innovative speech applications module, Seneca®, AVST offers the industry’s most powerful suite of switch-independent unified communications solutions. AVST’s solutions enable direct access to an enterprise’s communications infrastructure including voice mail, e-mail and fax messaging from any voice or data device via a touch-tone, GUI or speech interface. Established in September 2003, AVST was formed from the combined businesses of Sound Advantage (established in 1997) and the AVT division (established in 1982) of Captaris, Inc.

Headquartered in Orange County, CA, AVST maintains facilities in Seattle, WA and the United Kingdom and has remote sales offices across the United States. With over 35,000 systems installed worldwide, AVST’s unified communications solutions are sold and supported internationally by an extensive network of resellers and OEM partners. For more information contact Denny Michael, VP of Marketing at 949-699-2300 or access the company's website at http://www.avst.com.

Media Contact:

Jennifer Tolkachev

Lages & Associates

(949) 453-8080    

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