Stefanini Partners With Microsoft To Integrate Translation Platform Into Microsoft Teams

Integrating Microsoft Azure AI, Voicero is now available through Microsoft Azure Marketplace and AppSource

Every day, millions of meetings are held by people who speak different languages, with varying levels of fluency, which can compromise efficient and natural communication. Considering the need for professionals to express their best ideas in any language across the world, Woopi, Stefanini Group‘s Artificial Intelligence (AI) company, created and launched an AI-based simultaneous translation platform, named Voicero.

The product is now integrated with  leading collaboration platform Microsoft Teams, and is available through Azure Marketplace and AppSource. Voicero, which can be purchased in the subscription model, allows real-time voice translation, meaning a professional can speak Korean and others can hear it in the language of preference.

“Often, highly skilled professionals end up looking less talented by not speaking a specific language during a meeting. Therefore, we put our years of knowledge in different disciplines of Artificial Intelligence in the creation of a product that is simple to use, easy to understand, and it seems natural, as if there was an interpreter in the meeting. We have received positive feedback from people around the world, and we believe Voicero will expand the possibilities of personal and professional communication in dozens of languages. The distribution agreement with Microsoft makes us even more confident that the tool will become accessible to anyone, anywhere on the planet,” says Alex Winetzki, Woopi CEO and Director of R&D at Stefanini Group.

Until reaching the final version of Voicero, the tool underwent dozens of tests and improvements over the course of a year, initiated by Woopi’s internal Research and Development team and subsequently extended to Stefanini Brazil and global collaborators. The proofs of concept aimed to ensure excellence on three fronts:

  • Presenting the solution to some customers and partners to analyze the real interest in the product.
  • Ensure value delivery and measure whether the tool has brought benefits in breaking down language barriers, using experience and assertiveness of the bot.
  • Knowing the potential of Voicero and allowing the tool to become scalable, available and resilient for very large volumes of use.

“Voicero once again shows Brazil’s potential in developing AI solutions and tools. In the last seven years, we’ve made a jump in R&D inside Stefanini. Currently, about 6 percent of the company’s global revenue is directed to innovation projects and new offerings developed collaboratively with customers,” .

Marco Stefanini, founder and Global CEO of Stefanini Group

According to IDC, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) market is expected to grow 19.6% this year, reaching $432.8 billion. Companies are expected to increase investment in this resource by 28% compared to 2021.

Start of the project

The project was conceived by the R&D team during the studies of prototyping and exploration of natural language processing techniques, machine learning and machine translation. These studies are carried out on a recurring basis to improve Sophie, Stefanini Group’s intelligent virtual assistant, specialized in managing service demands through AI algorithms.

Currently present in three continents and more than 100 large customers, Sophie has consolidated itself as a complete intelligent enterprise automation platform.

Sophie’s constant evolution has contributed to the development of Voicero, whose main objective is to break down language barriers, which often encourage employee participation in global discussions.

“We had to ensure an ideal level of assertiveness so that people could communicate freely in their mother tongue, so that the message was understood – in all its context and tone of voice – in the native language of the professional who was receiving the information. It was also important that we come up with a simple and intuitive user interface,” explains Winetzki.

“Voicero for Teams integrates translation services into calls and meetings. The integration makes it feel like users are having a conversation with the other people on the call rather than communicating through an app,” said Alex Powell, Principal Design Director at Microsoft.

Learning phase

In a collaborative work with Microsoft, Woopi’s R&D team integrated a wide range of Microsoft Azure AI services including speech translation and speech to text capabilities in Azure Cognitive Services for Speech as well as Azure SQL Database. These services helped Woopi’s team add components needed to transform the Voicero project into a new product open to all businesses, which could benefit from the tool starting this month.

Voicero has been trained to translate the following languages: Danish, German, Greek, English, Spanish, French, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Dutch, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, Thai, and Traditional Chinese (Cantonese). The expectation is that other languages will be incorporated into the solution.

“We use the full potential of Microsoft Azure and Teams to provide an intuitive and easy-to-configure application. Voicero is an innovative technology that is born ready to bring more fluidity and efficiency to meetings held by Teams worldwide,” reiterates Marco Stefanini.

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