SpeechTEK 2014 – Worth the trip?


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The first time I went to SpeechTEK, our industry looked very different that it does today. The “big” players back then were Dialogic, Periphonics, Edify and Intervoice, to name just a few. There are many more that have come and gone since, or that now exist in a different form as part of a merger, acquisition or rebranding effort. Add to this the rapid changes in mobile, cloud, social and voice and it becomes a challenge keeping abreast of the relatively small but very diverse eco-system of the Speech Industry.

SpeechTEK tends to be a mostly vendor-oriented affair. There is heavy focus on grabbing the attention of prospects and clients with glitz, gimmicks and whatever else brings foot traffic to a booth. That said, there are two other really good reasons for going: industry coverage and the variety of conference sessions available.

I don’t think any other trade show has the variety and broad industry representation that SpeechTEK attracts. Yes, everyone on the exhibit floor is constantly trying to sell or promote one thing or another, but all of that is not always bad. The main advantage here is that you can comparison shop and compare vendor offerings all in a single place and in a single day. You can go back and fact check right then and there when one vendor makes a pitch on a feature or capability that another vendor may or may not support. That’s a lot easier than trying to remember the subtleties of what one vendor said a month ago when a competitor is pitching in your office today.

On the conference sessions, while its true that not all may be relevant or worth attending for your own specific objectives, there are so many worthwhile concurrent sessions that something is bound to catch your fancy here. As a former speaker at SpeechTEK, I can attest to the amount of work that goes into these sessions. SpeechTEK takes the selection process very seriously and the vendors that do make it through to host the sessions are generally well vetted and forced to bring something truly new and educational to the table. It does not always happen, but in my opinion, it happens enough to make the sessions worth your time.

So, what’s your take? Is it worth the trip? It’s easy for me since the trip only involves a 30 minute train ride into Grand Central and a 15 minute walk. Lucky for me, I live here in New York.

Daniel O'Sullivan
CEO, innovator and technologist in software engineering and product development. Created and implemented Adaptive Technology and Fastrack Software products that have optimized over 1.5 Billion self-service phone calls worldwide and saved clients over $100M to date. Electrical Engineering undergrad with a Masters in Computer Science. Lucent/Bell Labs alumni. Winner of worldwide eco-design project and received several patents. Currently CEO of Software Technology Partners.Focus: Business Development, Technology Partnering, Mobile, Web and Cloud Technologies and Human-Computer Interaction.


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