Press Release: Forget about Alexa, Threads finally transforms speech recognition from gimmick into useful business tool
March 27, 2018 - London and Chicago
While speech recognition appears to have gone mainstream with products like Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa, phone call transcription has hitherto been the preserve of corporate call centres. But things are about to change now that London-based Threads has teamed up with OrecX - who has the world’s largest installed base of open source call recording systems - to provide a low-cost practical business solution. With a growing number of employees working from home, and a raft of new compliance regulations, call transcription can be phenomenally useful to every type of business saving time and money.
Most firms would die without an ability to search emails, why should phone calls be any different?
The answer of course, is return on investment. Transcribing a phone call is far more challenging than just dictating text into a cell phone. But having real time access to all your phone calls and their transcriptions means you can search them and relate them to other messages, such as emails, between the same contacts. Just ask Guy Hands, the Chairman and Founder of private equity fund Terra Firma. His ‘hazy memory’ regarding three telephone conversations eventually resulted in him abandoning his £1.5bn claim against banking giant Citigroup in 2016.
A London-based software startup called Threads, has been quietly developing their 14,000 word patent application while waiting for the enabling technology to catch up. Now that moment has arrived.
Threads MD, John Yardley, who spent his early career researching speech recognition at the National Physical Laboratory, realised that good speech recognition capability is simply not enough to make routine call transcription an economic proposition. He says:
“Generic speech recognition services started to appear in 2017. But noone is going to spend all day sending audio files to Google Speech (or whatever)! What you need is an intelligent way of handling telephone-quality speech; an incredibly simple user interface; and a way to automatically record calls from the network. With Threads, we had the first two ingredients, but not the third - and that is crucial if you don’t want a different product for every phone system on the market. Orecx changed all that. ”
OrecX has created the world’s largest installed base of open source call recording systems. Using OrecX, it is possible for organisations to collect VoIP calls directly from their network without the need to interface directly to their local or hosted private branch exchange (PBX) system. This allows them to choose the PBX supplier without becoming locked in.
Steve Kaiser, CEO of OrecX said,
“Threads is a novel approach to effective collaboration across multiple platforms. Their low-cost and flexible cloud service simplifies implementation and demystifies ROI. We are excited to include Threads in OrecX's partner ecosystem.”
Unlike many other user-based Cloud services, Threads is priced according to storage used. This is big incentive to organisations with more user accounts than employees. About Threads Software Ltd
About Threads Software Ltd
Threads Software Ltd is a spin-off from JPY Ltd, a London-based software company formed by Dr John Yardley. John researched his PhD in speech recognition at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory - where Alan Turing designed the Pilot ACE - specialising in the application of context (semantics) to improve word spotting performance, and now a cornerstone of Threads.
Threads is a unique cloud-based service that ingests any form of digital message (eg email and phone calls) allowing users to instantly find the message they need, and more importantly, in the context of the conversation (or thread) involved. This is vitally important where several employees are working with a third-party and communications are often locked in private email boxes or impenetrable phone systems. At the same time, Threads extracts meta-data from the communications to effectively become a self-organising CRM. Applications include GDPR Subject Access Requests, collaborative working, compliance, customer service desks, indeed any situation requiring real-time access to messages.
Threads can be seen as a collaborative inbox (aka shared inbox), yet unlike other services described as such, it requires no change of working practices - no special applications, no change of messaging client or server and hardly any user training. Uniquely, Threads supports any type of digital message and where messages are not exchanged as text, Threads transparently converts them.
To permit the searching of non-textual messages - such as audio phone calls and scanned attachments - Threads deploys Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) and Optical Character Recognition (OCR). However, Threads does not attempt to reinvent the wheel. It can and will use the best available ASR and OCR software. Currently, Threads integrates Google Speech and Speechmatics, and work is in progress to add others with the aim of always supporting the latest available technology.
Threads is the culmination of 5 years work to develop an integrated CRM and message hub capable handling text, speech and scans. Threads was finalist in the prestigious IET Innovation Awards in both 2016 and 2017.
About OrecX LLC
North American-based OrecX’s award-winning call recording software is powered by an open, scalable and extensible design that meets the diverse requirements of call centers, VoIP communication providers, large enterprises, and small business at a fraction of the cost and complexity of proprietary closed-end solutions. OrecX’s open recording architecture promotes enhancements with third party voice analytics and workforce optimization solutions, further extending the value of the software for partners and clients. OrecX is the primary developer and sponsor of the Oreka GPL open source call recording project hosted on Sourceforge, with more than 170,000 unique downloads and millions of users in over 190 countries. Among others, OrecX’s software has received accolades from Linux World – Best New Use of Open Source, TMC Labs – Innovation Award and Contact Center Technology Award, Unified Communications and Customer Interaction Solutions – Product of the Year, and Insights Success – Top 50 Most Valuable Tech Companies.