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ATA Retail Services Selects NeoSpeech Text-to-Speech for Advanced Workforce Automation System

VoiceText Enables Field Labor Force to Work More Efficiently and Company to Operate More Cost-Effectively

Fremont, CA - August 25, 2003 - NeoSpeech, a provider of speech technologies for hand-held, desktop and network/server applications, in partnership with COHM Technologies, today announced that ATA Retail Services has selected NeoSpeech's Text-to-Speech product, VoiceText™, for its new automated merchandise ordering and shipment system servicing more than 800 field merchandising personnel. ATA Retail Services (ATA) is the largest wholesale distributor of non-perishables to supermarkets in the United States, providing direct store delivery to nearly 5000 supermarkets in more than 35 states.

"NeoSpeech's technology gives us an efficient, easy-to-use voice interface capable of being understood by a diverse work force," said Mike Gilson, Vice President of ATA Retail Services. "By using an automated Text-to-Speech system, our merchandisers realize significant time savings through 24-hour-a-day telephone access to information, from delivery status to new delivery days and product opportunities. The new system will enable us to continue our rapid growth and at the same time improve the efficiency of our ordering system – without adding additional staff."

As part of ATA's store ordering process, merchandisers in the past visited a store on a weekly or semi-monthly basis, then called in and left a voicemail with the items that needed to be restocked. That voicemail was manually transcribed and the order then sent to a warehouse for processing. Several days later, 25-40% of merchandisers generally placed a follow-up call to learn the status of their order. Under the newly automated system, the merchandiser calls his order into an automated system, which translates his speech into text and creates a warehouse order within an hour. Once the order is shipped, a Text-to-Speech message is generated so that the merchandiser can easily confirm shipping status. The system also provides a UPS tracking number, enabling workers to easily look up the time and date the merchandise is delivered to the store.

"ATA's system is a perfect example of the efficiencies created by a high quality Text-to-Speech solution," said Yoon Kim, CEO of NeoSpeech. ATA's reliability and quality of service are critical to their success with the major grocery chains. NeoSpeech's technology ensures ATA employees have timely access to critical merchandise information, enabling them to provide exemplary service to their customers."

NeoSpeech's VoiceText is the only product of its kind of offer the same high quality voices across all different footprints and across all major platforms. VoiceText generates natural-sounding voices from text input and offers the same Text-to-Speech solution across hand-held, desktop, laptop and network/server applications, while supporting a broad range of industry standard operating systems. Available in several languages, VoiceText can process any size or type of text, from reading test questions to complete news stories to personal e-mail, delivering the highest level of accuracy and quality. ATA's workforce automation system was created in conjunction with COHM, a provider of voice-activated software solutions.

About NeoSpeech

NeoSpeech, Inc. is a leading provider of speech-enabled solutions based on a suite of best-of-breed core capabilities in speech recognition, speech synthesis, speaker verification, and voice animation. The company offers flexible, innovative products for the mobile, enterprise, entertainment and education markets. The privately-held company, headquartered in Fremont, California, is backed by Voiceware Co., Ltd of Korea. Visit for more information on NeoSpeech products, solutions and services.

About ATA Retail Services

ATA Retail Services is the leading provider of Direct Store Delivery of more than 700 household related items to more than 5,000 supermarkets in the United States. Founded in 1991, ATA has experienced dramatic growth over the past five years as more and more supermarkets have elected to partner with ATA. The company operates large warehouses in California and Tennessee to provide to its retail customers with fast, efficient and cost effective service.

About COHM Technologies

COHM Technologies is a total solution provider in the professional development of voice processing solutions and digital voice-over recording services. As a developer of accessible speech technologies, headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, COHM develops an easy-to-use suite of natural speech recognition applications. COHM's speech recognition engine recognizes spoken words, in single and multiple word spotting, including translation of spoken word commands returned with text to speech. COHM's three main platform components include captured audio, grammars and vocabulary, and recognized text. The built-in dictionary offers over 120,000 words, including multiple phonetic spellings for many words and robust phonetic speller for proper nouns. You can visit COHM's Voice Processing website at or COHM's Digital Voice-Over recording site at

For more information contact:

Jennifer Deitsch
for NeoSpeech public relations