Speech recognition for Centrelink IT support

Welfare agency Centrelink has implemented a voice recognition system from vendor Nuance to make its internal IT support hotline more efficient and effective.

in brief Welfare agency Centrelink has implemented a voice recognition system from vendor Nuance to make its internal IT support hotline more efficient and effective.

Dubbed "Speakfreely", the system was rolled out to 27,000 staff on 11 May. It allows them to simply say what their technical problem is and then be automatically redirected to the correct area, instead of listening to a list of options. The implementation was announced this morning by Human Services Minister Joe Ludwig.

"The extended use of Speakfreely will save valuable time for Centrelink staff, allowing them to spend more time working with customers," Ludwig said. "The time and cost-saving benefits for customers and Centrelink employees from this system change are significant."

The technology, according to Ludwig's statement, was also being used to support the 1.8 million families who claimed family payments from Centrelink. More than 120,000 calls per week are placed by families to the Families Assistance Line.