News release

Date: 25th April 2012

Essex County Council becomes the first Council to introduce Eckoh’s speech recognition technology to enhance customer service

The contract, won in partnership with Azzurri Communications, will see Eckoh develop and implement a hosted speech recognition solution across the Council’s customer service operations

April 25th 2012 - Eckoh (AIM: ECK), the UK’s leading provider of speech recognition and associated payment solutions across voice, web and mobile channels, is pleased to announce it has won its first joint contract in the public sector with a two year agreement from Essex County Council (“the Council”).

The contract, won in partnership with Azzurri Communications, the UK’s leading independent provider of managed communications services, will see Eckoh develop and implement a hosted speech recognition solution across the Council’s customer service operations. The agreement was secured through a formal tender process and represents the first implementation of Eckoh’s speech technology by a local authority.

The solution, which is based on a number of Eckoh’s products, will be delivered in phases the first of which was at the beginning of April 2012. The core aim of the implementation of these services will be to reduce call waiting times, free up contact centre agents to deal with more complex enquiries and achieve significant cost savings for the Council, who provide services for 1.4 million people and is one of the largest local authorities in the UK.

Nik Philpot, Chief Executive Officer of Eckoh, commented:

“We are delighted to be working with Azzurri and to have been selected by a progressive local authority such as Essex County Council to assist them in enhancing their customer services. With the deployment of our sophisticated solutions, the residents will have an effective but friendly experience when interfacing with the automated speech technology. We expect other local authorities will follow Essex’s lead in adopting an Eckoh hosted solution to improve the service provided to their residents and to maximise the reduction in costs. We also look forward to working on further opportunities with Azzurri over the coming months.”

Robert Overall, Deputy Chief Executive for Essex County Council, said:

“What is paramount to Essex Council is the delivery of first class customer service to all our residents in the most cost efficient manner. Eckoh’s industry-leading technology and Azzurri’s communication expertise will help us to deliver this, providing a resilient, fast and convenient experience.”

Steve Clark, Operations Director for Azzurri, added:

“Service quality is what differentiates Azzurri from our competitors. We only work with industry leading partners like Eckoh to create solutions that ensure our customers get the solutions they want, without compromise. The solution for Essex Council will set a new benchmark for innovation and quality for customer service in the local authority sector and we look forward to working alongside Eckoh to deliver other contracts using their market-leading speech technology.”

Ends


Notes to Editors:

About Eckoh plc

Eckoh plc (AIM: ECK) is the UK’s leading provider of speech recognition and association payment solutions across voice, internet and mobile channels. We are a PCI DSS Level One accredited Service Provider, currently processing over £250 million in card payments annually.

Eckoh’s solutions enable payments, transactions and enquiries to be processed without the caller needing to talk to a contact centre agent. This significantly reduces our clients’ costs, whilst freeing up their agents to deal with more complex enquiries. Eckoh is the largest provider of such hosted services in the UK.

Our secure and resilient infrastructure has the scalability to handle up to 8,000 calls simultaneously, which means that calls will always be answered no matter how unpredictable the circumstances.
For more information, visit: www.eckoh.com


About Azzurri Communications
Azzurri is the UK’s leading independent provider of managed communications services. We help organisations transform ICT into a strategic asset to support growth, enhance agility and efficiency, boost collaboration and deliver competitive advantage.

Azzurri Communications was formed in June 2000 and is headquartered in the UK, offering global access to sales, service and support to customers in 130 countries.

Our flexible, integrated communications services encompass IP and mobile telephony, converged networks, unified communications, contact centres and document solutions.

For more information, visit: www.azzurricommunications.com

About Essex County Council
Essex County Council is the local government body for the county area of Essex.

Essex County Council forms one level of local government within the county of Essex. Essex County Council provides services for 1.4 million people and it is one of the largest local authorities in the UK. We work with other local authorities, as well as regional, national and international authorities, to deliver services and represent the best interests of the people of the county.

For more information, visit: www.essex.gov.uk


Enquiries:
Eckoh plc
Nik Philpot, Chief Executive Officer
Adam Moloney, Group Finance Director
Tel: 01442 458 300

Buchanan
Jeremy Garcia, Nicola Cronk, Gabriella Clinkard
Tel: 020 7466 5000

Singer Capital Markets
Shaun Dobson
Tel: 020 3205 7500

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