Friday, October 26, 2007

Speech Market Share

A few days ago I wrote a post entitled "Technology Firms, Europe and Speech Recognition" that was really rather well received. In it I made the rather obvious point (to me anyway) that if you don't offer speech recognition in local languages, you are going to stuggle to get it adopted.

One thing I should have mentioned (and didn't) was that despite their limited languages both IBM and Microsoft had gained significant market share in overall speech shipments, at least according to Gartner's figures for 2006. The highest growth was from Telisma with over 200% growth. Worldwide IBM was looking at around 50% growth and Microsoft had growth respectably in the teens.

Of course, worldwide is not so useful when no languages is truly worldwide. More relevant for this blog is EMEA, where Gartner see Nuance, Talisma and Locquendo as the big players. Interestingly, EMEA is the only region (out of North America and AP) where IBM was not one of the top three vendors. I think this still proves my original point that language support is critical to getting market share, but perhaps I'm underestimating the power of brand and salesforce.


Martin Wicks said...


Take a look at this URL on the Telisma site. They are making significant inroads in India supporting 10 local languages. I beleive ultimately it will be the Indian Systems Integrators that will drive the cost out of Speech Application development (not just in India but internationally)which may be the tipping point for the technology

Alex said...

Martin, thank you, it's a very interesting point and I'll develop it into a full post.

It would be ironic (though quite plausible) if Indian Call Centres came back onshore while speach software development went offshore. Also interesting that key lanaguages in future may not be European but are probably Indian and other S.E. Asian languages.