PSS Acquires SpeechUsability Assets to Expand IVR Application Development Team

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Dr. Susan Hura, founder of SpeechUsability, will join PSS to lead agile user interface design projects.

Usability is such a critical part of the IVR application development process

PSS announced today it has acquired certain assets of SpeechUsability, a voice user interface design firm founded by industry luminary, Dr. Susan Hura. PSS helps enterprises transition gracefully from legacy to next generation contact center infrastructure. The addition of Dr. Hura and SpeechUsability will help PSS ensure that, as part of a successful transition, callers to new IVR applications will enjoy a world class customer experience.

"Usability is such a critical part of the IVR application development process," said Todd Funk, CEO of PSS. "But many customers today feel like they're at the mercy of their hired speech experts, sometimes waiting months to get a glimpse of their new applications. We can change that by bringing SpeechUsability and PSS together."

SpeechUsability and PSS had been collaborating for some time on a unique process that leverages Agile Development methods for speech application design and deployment. This user-centric process gives customers, IVR developers, and test users previews of the caller experience early and often, breaking with traditional speech design methods that delay usability tuning cycles until very late in the development process. Frequent previews draw out better feedback earlier in the development process when it's easier and less expensive to make improvements, resulting in better optimization and a more pleasant caller experience.

About PSS:
PSS helps enterprises transition gracefully from legacy to next generation contact center infrastructure. Through a unique combination of products, services, and 24x7x365 Extended Life support, PSS customers can transition to VoiceXML, CTI, SIP, SOA, and Web Services as rapidly or gradually as business priorities demand. Recognized as one of the fastest growing private companies in America, PSS customers include American Express, AT&T, US Airways, and United Healthcare. For more information, visit http://www.psshelp.com/.

About Dr. Hura:
Susan L. Hura, PhD is the founder of SpeechUsability, a consultancy focused on improving the user experience by incorporating user-centered design practices in speech technology projects. Susan started and managed the usability program at Intervoice as their Head of User Experience, and prior to that was a member of the human factors team at Lucent Technologies. She held a faculty position at Purdue University in the Department of Audiology and Speech Sciences where she cofounded a multidisciplinary research team dedicated to studying novel approaches to computer speech recognition. Susan holds a doctorate in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a frequent invited presenter at speech technology and usability conferences, and serves on the Board of Directors of AVIOS (the Applied Voice Input Output Society). Susan is also co-chair of the 2008 SpeechTek conference.

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John Hibel
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