LOS ANGELES, COMPUTER TELEPHONY EXPO 2001, Mar. 7, 2001 — The VoiceXML Forum today celebrated its second anniversary by announcing the first annual VoiceXML Forum Users Group Meeting. Only two years after its formation–and one year after releasing the VoiceXML 1.0 specification–the Forum has grown from its original four to over 420 members.

Founded in March 1999 by AT&T, IBM, Lucent Technologies and Motorola, the VoiceXML Forum was formed to develop and promote the Voice Extensible Markup Language (VoiceXML), a language enabling Internet-based telephone services and voice-enabled access to content and information on the Web. Today the Forum supports the work of the VoiceXML community through its conformance, marketing, education, and outreach efforts.

The First Annual VoiceXML Forum Users Group Meeting will be held April 5, 2001 in San Jose, Calif. (one day after the closing session of AVIOS 2001 and at the same venue). The meeting provides a forum for the VoiceXML community to gather with VoiceXML industry leaders and share issues, knowledge, and information.

Bill Dykas, chairman of the VoiceXML Forum, feels the Users Group Meeting and other activities of the Forum underscore the Forum’s vital role in the VoiceXML community.

"We announced Version 1.0 of the VoiceXML Specifications here at CT Expo only 12 months ago," Dykas said. "Since then, we have seen the Forum triple its membership, and have witnessed a range of real-world applications that utilize VoiceXML. In addition, the Forum has expanded its activities into marketing and education and the W3C is looking at making VoiceXML the official standard for voice enabled web content. We feel confident that 2001 will be the year when VoiceXML will really take off."

Following are some of the recent achievements of Forum:

Rapidly Growing Membership Base One year ago, at the time it released the VoiceXML 1.0 specification, the Forum was backed by 79 member companies. Today the Forum features more than 420 member companies (4 Sponsor Members, 41 Promoter Members, and over 375 Supporter Members). The wide range of members brings a diversity of skills and interest to the Forum, and enhances its influence on the VoiceXML community.

Launch of VoiceXML Review and Tutorials At the start of 2001, the VoiceXML Forum published the first issue of its electronic magazine, VoiceXML Review (http://www.voicexmlreview.org). Developed by the Forum’s Education Committee, the monthly publication will serve as an educational vehicle for the VoiceXML community, and provide a mechanism for the Forum to promote its initiatives. The Forum anticipates the e-zine will foster growth and maturation in VoiceXML technology by educating the speech recognition community and attracting new participants. The Forum also recently unveiled a series of interactive tutorials designed to introduce developers to VoiceXML technology.

Committee Activities Fully Engaged Thanks to its ever-growing membership, the committee-level activities of the Forum have shifted into full gear. Some of the work in the committees is as follows:

Conformance Committee: Currently exploring various means and mechanisms by which users can gauge conformance to the VoiceXML specification.

Education Committee: Responsible for promoting the understanding of VoiceXML and the VoiceXML Forum within the VoiceXML community and beyond. Some of the activities of the Forum include publication of VoiceXML Review, the creation of Web-based tutorials, and the organization of events such as the upcoming Users Group Meeting.

Marketing Committee: Oversees all of the marketing efforts of the Forum, including the dissemination of VoiceXML-related information to the technical community. The committee’s work also focuses on market research, development of media strategies and branding efforts.

The VoiceXML Forum is an industry organization established to program of IEEE-ISTO.

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