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WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., May 17 /PRNewswire/ -- NIC Technologies, a division of NIC (Nasdaq: EGOV - news), the world's largest eGovernment solutions provider, today announced the availability of the world's first comprehensive Internet-enabled interactive voice response system (IVR) for eGovernment enabling universal access to Web-based government services from any device -- including a standard phone.

Said Don Smeltzer, President of NIC Technologies, ``Almost half of all Americans do not have Internet access. For eGovernment to realize its full promise and become a powerful tool for all citizens, we must create universal and ubiquitous access to eGovernment applications. Our Web iVR solution will help our government partners bridge the digital divide and serve more citizens through both Internet and voice technologies.''

NIC's Web iVR(TM) solution is the world's first integrated system of its kind. Government agencies at all levels now have the ability to integrate multiple information and services through a single system. The solution supports Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) improving customer service and eliminating the need for frustrating traditional keypad-driven systems. The system converts text to voice through any touch-tone telephone. Citizens actually ``listen'' to the Web-based application via an interactive voice through a menu-driven interface. The solution also provides for interactive fax-on-demand of information, government forms and transaction receipts. The solution will also help governments exceed ADA requirements. Disabled Americans can access government information anywhere, anytime.

The system was initially developed based on a recommendation by the Michigan Department of State. Roland Gurk, Internet administrator for the Michigan Department of State (MDOS), was faced with a constituent relationship management challenge of integrating both Internet-based and traditional applications and solutions into one system with one database and eCommerce interface. MDOS was forced to manage two wholly separate technology architectures for both telecom and Internet users. Gurk was looking for a way to bridge the digital divide and provide universal access.

Said Gurk, ``In addition to helping us deliver universal access, the NIC solution has the potential of streamlining our back office system saving us valuable time and resources. Integration means I can concentrate on serving citizens and businesses first. It simplifies my technology decision. We can now deliver eGovernment to everyone.''

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