Transcription service Otter launches enterprise app for teams

The Otter app uses AI and machine learning to render accurate transcripts that identify speakers, suggest keywords, and allow keyword searching.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Free transcription app Otter.ai is introducing a new product that aims to bring collaborative voice transcription to enterprises. The Otter app, powered by parent company AISense, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to churn out accurate transcripts that identify speakers, suggest keywords, and allow keyword searching. 

The latest version, Otter for Teams, is a teams-focused enterprise app that brings significantly better speaker and speech recognition, and more robust features including account management and provisioning, reporting, and support for single sign-on. 

Otter for Teams also lets users see conversations shared with them by team members rendered live in their account and offers real-time collaborative highlighting and shared speaker identity tagging. In terms of accuracy, the new release reduced the speech recognition error rate by more than 25 percent and reduced the speaker-recognition error rate by more than 50 percent. 

The company is also working to make enhancements on the security front. In addition to single sign-on, the company is adding support for identity management platforms and is also working with a third party security provider for 24/7 platform monitoring. AISense CEO and founder Sam Liang said Otter takes security "very, very seriously," including how it relates to data ownership. 

Otter's policy is that the customer owns the data and the only rights Otter has to the customer's data is to process it on their behalf or to access it for troubleshooting.

"If you delete the data, it is gone, and we retain no record," said Liang. "So if the data is of a very sensitive nature, you can upload to our app, process, edit, download, and delete it, and there will be no record retained. We guarantee that." 

"Over time we will add a variety of more robust security features for enterprises, but already we are substantially updating the security for the teams product," he added.

Liang likens Otter's security model to those on other productivity systems like Slack, Evernote and Zoom -- all cloud-based platforms that store encrypted data in their clouds. Liang also draws parallels between Otter and Dropbox for having similarly organic growth in business user adoption.

"The way we are approaching businesses or enterprises is similar to Dropbox or Slack -- bottom up," Liang said. "When Dropbox came out, it was mostly consumers using it in the first few years. But consumers loved it so much they brought Dropbox into enterprises. So that's what we are seeing with Otter as well -- a lot of professional consumers use Otter and they start to use it in their offices."

Overall, Otter's enterprise push is a logical progression for the transcription service, and it lines up with how the company views the app as a companion to other productivity platforms. Last year Otter inked a licensing partnership with Zoom, the fast-growing video conferencing service, to transcribe video meetings after they've been recorded. Otter also has direct integrations with Slack, Microsoft and Google. 

The Otter for Teams app is available today on a subscription basis for $12.50 per month for annual contracts.

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