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SALT Forum Welcomes Additional Members

The SALT Forum Welcomes Additional Technology Leaders as Contributors

New Members Add Extensive Expertise in All Aspects of Multimodal and Telephony Application Development and Deployment

Boston, MA, USA. January 31, 2002.

Today the SALT Forum, a group of companies with a shared goal of accelerating the use of speech in multimodal and telephony systems, announced the addition of 18 contributors that will assist in formulating the Speech Application Language Tags (SALT) specification. The announcement marks a milestone in the SALT Forum's effort to create an open, royalty-free, platform-independent markup language for speech-enabling applications. SALT will enable multimodal and telephony access to information, applications and Web services from PCs, Tablet PCs, wireless personal digital assistants (PDAs), telephones, and other mobile devices.

The 18 new SALT Forum contributing members are Compaq Computer Corp., Edify Corp., Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Alcatel), Glenayre Electronics Inc., HeyAnita Inc., InterVoice-Brite Inc., Kirusa Inc., Korea Telecom, LOBBY7 Inc., Loquendo (a Telecom Italia company), NMS Communications, PipeBeach AB, Siemens Enterprise Networks LLC, Telera Inc., Tenovis GmbH & Co. KG, T-Systems (a division of Deutsche Telekom AG), VoiceGenie Technologies Inc., and Voxeo Corp. As recognized technology leaders, their active participation in specification development will ensure that SALT serves diverse industry needs, thus accelerating the investment in and adoption of applications that permit spoken input and output.

"The SALT initiative exemplifies the expertise and commitment its founders bring to the industry, as speech is quickly becoming a favorite input method for applications and services," said Brian Strachman, an analyst at Cahners In-Stat Group. "These contributing members further demonstrate the forum's mission to develop and promote a speech technology standard for multimodal and telephony environments."

In the months since the Forum was established, members have made significant progress toward formulating the SALT specification. SALT is based on a unique structure combining a core language specification with device-specific capability profiles, making it suitable for a wide spectrum of multimodal and telephony platforms throughout the world. To speed its adoption, SALT is harmonious with today's popular speech engines and Web development tools.

Today the SALT Forum also is releasing a technical white paper that outlines its guiding design principles. The SALT Forum expects to make its markup language draft specification available for public comment in the first quarter of 2002, and to submit the specification to one or more international standards bodies by midyear. Over the coming months the SALT Forum will continue to broaden its reach through additional supporters. Information on SALT, including the white paper, is available on the forum's Web site (

About the SALT Forum

The SALT Forum brings together a diverse group of companies sharing a common interest in developing and promoting speech technologies for multimodal and telephony applications. Founded in 2001 by Cisco, Comverse, Intel, Philips, Microsoft and SpeechWorks, the forum seeks to develop a royalty-free standard that augments existing Web markup languages to provide spoken access to many forms of content through a wide variety of devices.

For more information, press only:

Jennifer Granston, Waggener Edstrom, (425) 638-7000,
Jay Cudal, Waggener Edstrom, (503) 443-7000,
Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom, (503) 443-7070,

SALT Forum Announcement Quote Sheet

"SALT will deliver a universal standard for a new generation of voice interaction technology, enabling people to carry on an interactive conversation with Web sites and other services through a variety of computing devices. As a contributor to SALT, Compaq is a leader in moving the industry toward innovative solutions that incorporate voice interaction." -- John Stautner, Vice President, Technology and New Markets. Compaq

"We're excited to support SALT's telephony and multimodal technologies initiative, as it mirrors our commitment to enrich the user experience by providing the ability to make Web content accessible by voice." -- Joseph G. Brown, President and CEO. Edify

"Glenayre firmly believes speech and multimodal technologies are critical for advancing next-generation messaging solutions. The SALT standard will extend an open, Web-based programming model to these technologies and greatly accelerate applications development." -- Eric Doggett, President and CEO. Glenayre

"SALT provides momentum to our goal of converging the power and convenience of voice with the reality of multimodal. SALT allows us to provide carriers and the enterprise with flexible solutions for an increasingly mobile world." -- Sanjeev Kuwadekar, CEO and Co-founder. HeyAnita

"InterVoice-Brite's participation in the SALT Forum is another important step in revolutionizing the way enterprise customers and network subscribers communicate and transact business. Clearly, this will help accelerate the creation and delivery of truly multimodal interactions." -- Carol Wingard, Vice President, Corporate Marketing. InterVoice-Brite

"SALT will significantly stimulate the development and adoption of multimodal applications. As a leader in bringing multimodal solutions to the mobile world, Kirusa is delighted to join the SALT Forum." -- Sandeep Sibal, CTO. Kirusa

"The SALT Forum serves as a commercial springboard for multimodal technology. We are excited and enticed by the market acceleration it brings for LOBBY7's x|mode application server." -- Mykolas Rambus, President. Lobby7

"The SALT open standards approach will enrich Web development with the power of speech, creating a new way to access information -- anytime, anywhere and through any device." -- Silvano Giorcelli, CEO. Loquendo

"Voice-driven applications represent an enormous growth opportunity. The SALT Forum will create standards to drive the adoption of telephony and multimodal interfaces. This will greatly facilitate the creation and deployment of these next-generation voice-enabled applications." -- Michael Welles, General Manager, Platform Business. NMS Communications

"Siemens' participation and contributions in creating a multimodal communications standard for the industry is significant, and Siemens envisions SALT as an enabling technology in the development of business over IP.' " -- Jay Thomas, Vice President, Terminology and Innovation. Siemens Enterprise Networks

"Integrating SALT with Telera's carrier-proven Voice Web platform complements our open-standards strategy and enables our service provider customers, such as Call Interactive and others, to offer hosted telephony and multimodal applications on the Telera platform." -- Mukesh Sundaram, CTO and Co-founder. Telera

"We see the SALT Forum as a major factor in changing the nature of enterprise communications, our core business, through convergence with open standards and Web-based technologies to create a wholly new form of voice and multimodal applications." -- Tom Little, Head of Applications, System Solutions. Tenovis

"Through our participation in the SALT Forum, VoiceGenie can now offer service provider and enterprise customers the first opportunity to deploy unique and exciting SALT multimodal applications to their own customers." -- Eric Jackson, Vice President, Strategy and Business Development. VoiceGenie

"Voxeo is deeply committed to helping our enterprise customers deploy comprehensive, integrated SALT voice services via our managed Voice Centers. Together with the SALT Forum, we look forward to making SALT an open, accessible and valuable solution that will accelerate the adoption of any new voice application." -- Jonathan Taylor, Founder and CTO. Voxeo

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See: "Speech Application Language Tags (SALT)."

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