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10 Fastest Growing Telecom Companies 2017

Innovative Unified Communications Applications: AVST

thesiliconreview-jean-champagne-ceo-avst-17The beginning of the new millennium brought in a surge of software companies in the market. Applied Voice & Speech Technologies, Inc. (AVST) was one of the first companies to jump on this bandwagon. It is a privately held software company headquartered in Orange County, California. It specializes in developing business communications solutions focusing on medium to large enterprise, government, higher education, healthcare, and hospitality markets.

The company is known for its primary product, a speech-enabled unified communications platform, called CX-E (formerly CallXpress). CX-E applications include call processing, voicemail, unified messaging, personal assistant, mobile client, automated attendant, uniform call distribution (UCD), fax, speech, notification and other business process capabilities. AVST is one of the few switch independent developers of unified messaging/unified communications solutions.

For over three decades, AVST has remained at the forefront of the industry by developing next-generation communications solutions. Today these solutions include flexible and secure unified messaging, speech-based call processing, contextually aware personal assistant, powerful UC mobile clients and advanced notification and information-access solutions that integrate with the databases of their client’s organization.

A walk through the lanes of history

The company’s history goes back to the 1980s when the first versions of Intel server-based voice messaging and call processing systems were released. The CallXpress product originated from Applied Voice Technology which later became Captaris, Inc. In 2003, Sound Advantage purchased the CallXpress Voicemail and Unified Messaging solution from Captaris and this merger of technologies became a new entity called Applied Voice & Speech Technologies, Inc. (AVST). The acquisition included the retention of key products and technology as well as the entire product engineering, support, and sales teams. AVST was established in September 2003 by the merger of Sound Advantage and the AVT division of Captaris, Inc.

The first AVST release, CallXpress 7.0, was in April 2004. Frost & Sullivan recognized AVST with the 2004 Entrepreneurial Company Award for its sound marketing strategy and identification of a new and exceptional product solution. In September 2004, AVST announced further validation of its strength in the market by procuring $10 million in new funding from Ignition Partners and Dolphin Equity Partners. Shortly after, in November 2004, AVST introduced CallXpress 7.5 which provided the Centigram telephone user interface emulation. CallXpress 7.5 also offered user administration via Microsoft Active Directory and SMTP message notification.

In 2005, AVST expanded worldwide by adding 30 new resellers to its list of channel partners. Some of the significant partnerships included Shared Technologies and NetVersant. In May 2005, the company released another version of its product, CallXpress 7.7, which emulated the Octel Serenade (VMX) telephone user interface. CallXpress 7.7 received the Frost & Sullivan 2005 Product Differentiation Innovation Award for the North American enterprise voice and unified messaging solutions market.

In 2006, VARBusiness awarded AVST with Five Star Partner Program Winner for its innovative Marketing in a Box (MIB) program, which enables resellers to brand their AVST business through effective communication with customers and prospects. Version 7.8 of CallXpress was released in June 2006. It emulated the Avaya Intuity Audix user interface.

In early 2007, AVST expanded its global presence by adding Teltronics, Inc. (OTCBB: TELT) to its reseller partners.

In February 2007, AVST made a contribution to market awareness with the launch of a unified messaging educational website. This website is an information portal containing white papers, industry research, videos, case studies and recent industry news on unified messaging and unified communications. The site hosted by ITworld.com included AVST as its sponsor.

In June 2007, the company unveils CallXpress 7.9 that offered four types (called the four flavors) of unified messaging: server-based; client-based; secure and simplified. To assist the easy acquisition of complete solutions for businesses of any size, in August 2007, AVST introduced the CallXpress Speed Bundles. The solution was designed to support the small to medium business (SMB) marketplace.

In 2008, AVST was named the top Unified Messaging Provider according to COMMfusion report. The company was identified as having the most complete UM solution. At the end of 2008, the company’s product was enhanced with the speech-to-text feature (STT).

In March 2009, AVST shipped CallXpress 8.0 to provide a fault tolerant system through its multi-server architecture. The solution also delivered Neverfail continuous availability and disaster recovery deployment options.

Products & Services

AVST’s unified communications (UC) solutions service five primary market segments: enterprise, government, healthcare, education, and hospitality. The company’s primary product, CX-E, is a highly interoperable communications software platform that integrates with all other major vendor’s solutions and supports various voice, mobility, business process and collaboration solutions.

AVST’s UC solutions are designed to complement the primary UC offerings from major UC Vendors like Cisco, Microsoft, and Avaya.

Client base

Building the most secure, reliable, feature-rich and scalable “enterprise-class” UC solutions in the industry is what has enabled it to attract clients throughout the years. Today a number of top hospitals, leading universities, major government agencies and multinational companies worldwide have turned to AVST to meet their requirements. Most of these companies rely on AVST to replace mission-critical voice applications like automated attendant, voicemail and fax, as well as extend the life of their existing call control infrastructure.

Bridging to the future

The broadest interoperability suite in the communications industry serves as the foundation of the company’s best-of-breed UC solutions. By connecting new and existing communications technologies, AVST facilitates the migration of an enterprise to the Cloud, IP and Microsoft Skype for Business. AVST maintains relationships with virtually all of the major premise and cloud communications technology providers to ensure that the client’s UC solutions and business are always “future-proofed.”

Meet Jean Champagne, President and CEO

Jean Champagne has enjoyed an extensive and distinguished career in sales and business development in the world of telecommunications and networks. His leadership qualities have been honed and enhanced by such companies as Xerox, BCE, Nortel, Avestor, Sagemcom, XMedius and more recently AVST. With more than 30 years of experience in spearheading the development and marketing of high-tech solutions, he is currently the head of XMedius, a global leader and innovator in the field of secure document exchange. He graduated from HEC Montreal in Business Administration and International Marketing. He also completed specialized management training courses at CIREM-HEC, as well as at the Ivey Business School in partnership with AeA Stanford Executive Institute and at the “Collège des Administrateurs de Sociétés” (Corporate Directorship).

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