Applied Voice & Speech Technologies, Inc. (AVST) 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.
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 (AVT, NASDAQ:AVTC) 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 (established in 1997) and the AVT division (established in 1982) of Captaris, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAPA).
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 on 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.
In 2010, AVST acquired Active Voice, a division of NEC Corporation of America. NEC became AVST's OEM partner, integrating CallXpress 8.0 Unified Communications platform with NEC's IP telephony and Unified Communications solutions. With the Active Voice acquisition, AVST also acquired Active Voice product lines including the Repartee LX unified communications solution designed for the hospitality industry.
Also in 2010 AVST introduced UCConnect™, an open development environment for applications.
In summer 2010, AVST announced it had entered into a letter of intent to purchase certain assets of British Columbia-based Voice Mobility International, Inc. As part of the transaction, AVST acquired Voice Mobility UCN250 software as a service (SaaS) platform and all related technology and customers. In February 2011, AVST completed an agreement for the exclusive use of Voice Mobility’s unified communications cloud technology, including all intellectual property related to the UCN250 unified communications as a service (UCaaS) platform.
In late 2010, AVST selected United Kingdom-based Oak as a distribution partner in that country. Then in 2011, the assets of Beacon Solutions were acquired by AVST. As part of the agreement, AVST acquired Beacon’s technology assets; a set of custom developed vertical CEBP applications for healthcare, education and government; technical expertise and the company’s existing customer base.
In March 2012, AVST changed the name of its CallXpress platform to CX-E. During this same period, AVST launched the CX-S and CX-C product lines. The CX-E solution focuses on medium- to large-sized companies and organizations, while CX-S on smaller companies. CX-C represents a cloud-based UC platform.
In 2013, AVST released Atom, a virtual 24/7 office manager application with location-based services, federated presence and a multi-lingual speech interface for the workplace. Also during 2013, AVST announced added support of hybrid UC cloud deployments in CX-E with more integration to Gmail and Microsoft Office 365, including unified messaging, calendaring, contacts and message waiting indicator.
In summer 2014 AVST introduced CX-H (formerly Repartee LX), a unified communications solution designed for hospitality industry.
In 2015, AVST achieved two Microsoft Gold Competencies which ranked the company as a member of the top one percent within the Microsoft Partner Ecosystem. The Microsoft Gold Communications Competency was attained for CX-E’s integration with Skype for Business and the Microsoft Gold Messaging Competency is for its expertise in Exchange environments.
In October 2015, AVST released CX-E 8.7. The release provided enhancements to Atom, the context-aware personal assistant, which included Microsoft Hyper-V support for virtualization and GENBAND EXPERiUS integration to enable migration to the cloud.
In March 2016, AVST announced the CX-E software availability in a subscription–based cloud deployment model, allowing customers to choose premise or cloud, as well as the choice of capital expense or operating expense.
In September 2016, AVST launched the next version of CX-E which included the secure mobile client as part of the base license, as well as support for XMediusFAX® fax over IP (FoIP) software.
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.
A privately owned company, AVST's three major investors are Ignition Partners, Bellevue, WA, Ignition Capital, Seattle, WA and Second Alpha, New York, NY.
Since September 2003, AVST has operated under the leadership of President & CEO, Hardy Myers. The company's Board of Directors is in charge of supervising the strategic direction, business, operations and organizational structure of AVST. Current members of The Board of Directors of AVST are: Jon Anderson, Shawn Bohnert, Richard Brekka, Steve Hooper, Hardy Myers, Jonathan Roberts and Jim Sanger.
All of AVST's sales are realized through indirect channels. The company's Unified Communications solutions are sold and supported by a network of resellers and OEM partners including Alcatel-Lucent, Altura Communication Solutions, Arrow SI, Black Box Network Services, Carousel Industries, CenturyLink, Combat Networks, ConvergeOne, Mitel, NEC, and Newcastle Communications.