Listen Who's Talking: Siemens Offers Voice Recognition Solution


Every day, help desks are besieged by calls from desperate PC users from all over the world, 20 percent of whom have forgotten their password. In the past, it took an administrator about 30 minutes to supply a new password; today, a computer with Siemens voice recognition can do the same job in three minutes. This is because callers are now able to reset their password themselves using the unique sound and modulation of their voice.

Siemens IT Solutions and Services recently started to deploy the solution, which lastingly improves productivity in all kinds of companies and institutions, in-house and is now offering it to non-Siemens customers as well.

The secret of the system is "biometric speaker recognition". To register, each PC user receives from the help desk an encrypted e-mail message containing, among other things, a PIN and a short text. The user calls a special number and reads out the PIN number or enters it via the phone's keys. Then he reads the text aloud, allowing the system to pick out the characteristic features of the user's voice and store them as a personal user profile. If the user forgets his password, he calls the help desk. An automated voice response system asks him to repeat a random sequence of numbers several times. The system compares the caller's voice with the voice characteristics stored in his profile and, if they match, the user gets a new password over the telephone with which he can log into Windows.

The service is available around the clock.

The solution was developed by Siemens partner Excelsis and enhanced with software components for voice recognition and voice biometrics devised by Siemens Corporate Technology. Siemens IT Solutions and Services has been using biometric speaker recognition in Germany since December 2007, and results show that nine out of ten employees of the IT service provider are very happy with the biometric procedure. Siemens is now offering the system to customers as well.

The market for biometric solutions is growing on average by 30 percent annually and, according to estimates by International Biometrics Group, is expected to reach a volume of 5.7 billion U.S. dollars by the year 2010.

Voice recognition currently accounts for roughly five percent of this market, and the figure is growing steadily. "By resetting the password via voice recognition, the help desk can significantly lower its costs," enthuses Gerd Hribernig, who heads the Biometrics Center at Siemens IT Solutions and Services. "At the same time, the system ensures a high level of security, as the data is stored on a separate server that can only be accessed by a few authorized persons. And to make things even more secure, the information required to enable the biometric password is sent to the PC users in encrypted format."

Siemens IT Solutions and Services is an internationally leading provider of IT solutions and services. It covers the entire IT service chain from a single source, from consulting to system integration, right through to the management of IT infrastructures. In addition, Siemens IT Solutions and Services extends the range of offerings of the other Siemens Groups to include software developments and IT solutions. With its comprehensive know-how and industry-specific knowledge, Siemens IT Solutions and Services provides measurable added value for its customers. Founded in January 2007, the new Siemens Group employs around 43,000 people and posts annual sales of about 5.4 billion euros, of which some 70 percent are generated outside of the Siemens group. More information at: http://www.siemens.com/it-solutions.

Siemens AG

Corporate Communications

80200 Munich

Information number: SIS 2008 05 019 e

Press department

Astrid Heinz

81730 Munich

Tel.: +49-89 636-52749; Fax: -42162

E-Mail: astrid.heinz@siemens.com

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