Nuance Communications, a pioneer in natural- language speech recognition technology, announced an alliance with Edify Corp., a supplier of banking self-service systems.

In a related move, Edify joined the V-Commerce Alliance, a group that Nuance, Visa International, Motorola Inc., and others started in October to promote voice-based Internet commerce.

Edify said it will integrate the Nuance 6 system into its Internet and interactive voice response software.

"Companies are able to build stronger relationships with their customers using multiple channels of communication," said Edify president and chief executive officer Jeffrey M. Crowe. "Through our partnership with Nuance, we are able to offer companies a richer interface with their customers via the telephone."

Nuance president and CEO Ronald Croen said Edify systems "are ideally suited for V-Commerce because they are designed for multichannel delivery."

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