Active Voice Announces New Product Strategy for Delivering Next Generation Unified Communications Solutions

March 14, 2002   

Active Voice, LLC today announced its new product strategy to deliver next generation computer telephony integration (CTI) and unified communications solutions to customers worldwide. Over the next year, the company will focus its efforts on delivering a next generation Repartee® product, further developing its Microsoft® Exchange-based unified messaging solution for large enterprises, and providing innovative voice and unified messaging solutions for its strategic partners.

Active Voice's immediate priorities are centered on adding new features to its current Repartee product line. New features will include text-to-speech (TTS) capability for Microsoft Exchange and desktop subscriber administration that will allow users to change personal greeting settings via a graphical user interface (GUI). Repartee with enhanced Microsoft Windows® desktop applications (version 7.60) is expected to be made generally available by May 2002. The company is also developing a next generation Repartee product scheduled to be released this summer. The new Repartee unified messaging solution will operate on a Microsoft Windows 2000 platform, which will allow for the rapid development of new features and third-party integrations. Features such as speech recognition and wireless mobile device integration will be developed for future product releases.

As the company continues developing its Repartee product line, it remains committed to enhancing its customers' investment in current products. In addition to continuing development of the current version, the company is offering, through its dealer network, an attractively priced upgrade of Active Voice application software to the next generation Repartee product. This promotion applies to new systems purchased on or after March 1, 2002 and is valid within the first twelve months of the release of the next generation Repartee product.

Moreover, the company is further developing its state-of-the-art Microsoft Exchange-based unified messaging solution for large enterprises. The company's product currently competes with other enterprise unified messaging solutions from Cisco Systems and Avaya. Active Voice has designed its product to meet the unique requirements of large organizations, such as superior reliability, advanced call functionality, and enhanced security. The product will integrate with both traditional and Internet Protocol (IP) telephone systems, and in combined IP/PBX environments, to provide organizations with significant investment protection as they migrate to IP telephony. Additionally, the product's powerful applications and unified architecture are designed to work together to reduce an organization's total cost of ownership.

"Today's announcement represents an exciting step in our continuing effort to develop the most advanced voice messaging solutions for our customers," states Victor T. Foia, Active Voice's president and CEO. "However, even as we adopt new technologies that will lead to next generation products, we will pursue a policy of adding enhancements to our current product lines, for as long as practical. We are committed to protecting the investment of our loyal customers around the globe who may elect to extract continuing value from the Active Voice product they purchased years ago."

The Unified Messaging Opportunity and Benefits for Customers

The unified messaging market continues to grow dramatically, and industry analysts such as Frost & Sullivan predict that unified messaging revenues will have grown from last year's $549 million to $5 billion by 2005. The PELORUS Group estimates a more optimistic figure of $6.3 billion by 2004.

Businesses are being drawn towards unified messaging systems for several reasons, including the time savings of gaining access to all messages in one place-and the freedom to control information from almost any location. Active Voice's unified and voice messaging solutions provide tight integrations with over 90% of the world's telephone switches and are localized for a variety of languages, including Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. Current product offerings have been successfully deployed in a vast array of specialized markets including technology, government, manufacturing, education, health services, hospitality, banking, and real estate. More than 100,000 Active Voice communications systems have been installed in over 60 countries.

Active Voice's Current Voice Mail and Unified Messaging Solutions

Repartee CTI, one of the industry's first unified messaging solutions, is a stable, feature-rich unified messaging solution highlighted by desktop call management capabilities. It allows users to manage voice, fax, and e-mail messages from a desktop PC, using Microsoft Outlook®, Novell® GroupWise, or Lotus® cc:Mail. Repartee will soon operate on a Microsoft Windows 2000 platform, which will allow for the rapid development of new features and third-party integrations.

Reception® is a stand alone voice mail system that provides up to 8 hours of storage and supports up to 200 users. It is easy to install and requires almost no maintenance. Reception ships in 2- and 4-port versions and features Intel® Dialogic® Voice Brick hardware. In addition, Reception offers multiple languages, including U.S. English, United Kingdom English, Australian English, German, Canadian French, and Mexican Spanish.

Lingo® 2.0 is the international version of Reception, and is only available to small businesses outside North America. It offers automated attendant, call screening, and fax detect features. Lingo 2.0 also offers multiple languages, including U.S. English, United Kingdom English, Australian English, German, Canadian French, and Mexican Spanish.

Embedded systems represent full-featured voice processing software and hardware that are incorporated directly into a telephone switch. The company has recently developed embedded systems that feature desktop call control and unified messaging capabilities.

The company's enterprise unified messaging solution is currently offered through the strategic partner channel. The product is architected for both traditional and Internet Protocol (IP) telephony environments. Features include advanced call functionality, superior reliability, and simplified scalability.

In addition to selling its products through strategic partnerships with NEC, Philips Business Communications, and Tadiran Telecommunications, Active Voice's current distribution channel has over 400 resellers worldwide. Active Voice is also aggressively expanding its product distribution channels with value-added resellers such as NETXUSA, one of the nation's leading MasterVARs for CTI Fulfillment/Value-Added Resellers, and Crane Telecommunications, Ltd., a leading European value-added distributor. The company will continue to pursue resellers who have a strong commitment to customer service, extensive knowledge of the computer telephony integration industry, and the ability to deliver Active Voice's innovative products to their customers.

About Active Voice
Active Voice, LLC, a subsidiary of NEC America, Inc., is a global provider of unified messaging, computer telephony, and voice messaging solutions, powering the communications infrastructure of businesses worldwide. The Seattle-based company has offices in the United States, Australia, and the Netherlands. Over 100,000 Active Voice systems have been installed in more than 60 countries. Active Voice's products are sold through a network of independent telecommunications manufacturers, dealers, computer resellers, and strategic partners. For more information, visit our Web site at www.activevoice.com, or contact Active Voice's Sales Support at 1-877-864-8948 or by e-mail at sales@activevoice.com.

For more information, photographs, and interviews please contact the following:
Public Relations: Amy Thomas, (206) 441-4700, ext. 1197, pr@activevoice.com
Active Voice Managing Director of Asia Pacific: Paul Baxter, +61 (0)3 9581 3131
Active Voice Managing Director of Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA):
Robert Pijselman, +31 36 546 1212
Web site: www.activevoice.com

Brand and product names in this document are trademarks of their respective owners.

© 2002 by Active Voice, LLC.

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