Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 6, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Nuance Communications Canada Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017) and Montreal's Top Employers (2016):
- An industry leader, Nuance Communications offers 4 weeks of paid vacation for new employees as well as flexible hours and telecommuting options to help employees balance their work and personal lives
- Nuance Communications' Montréal location is the company's second largest office globally and is home to over 530 highly skilled employees who work in a renovated "Eaton's" department store in the heart of the downtown -- the heritage building offers comfortable and easy access to shops, restaurants and the city's Métro system
- As part of the company's health plan, Nuance Communications employees receive an annual wellness account ($150 annually) as well as a health spending account for additional coverage (to $500 annually) -- the company also brings in a professional yoga instructor for regular onsite classes
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2016)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 10, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Nuance Communications Canada Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2016):
- Nuance Communications employees can participate in "Engineering Excellence", a program to support the professional development of Nuance Technologists -- the program offers live and recorded sessions, videos and blog posts on technical and non-technical topics and skill development recommendations to support technical learning
- Nuance Communications provides students with unique development opportunities through its global internship program and hosts executive lunch and learns specifically to allow interns to meet the company's senior executive team
Nuance looks for people to help you talk to your car
If you have driven a late-model car recently, you've probably found you can talk to it. Depending on the system, you can safely dictate and send messages, tune your radio, check your tire pressure or launch the on- screen navigation, all with your voice.
But it's not just the carmakers who produce these wonders. In many makes, you can thank the technologists at Montreal-based Nuance Communications Canada Inc. for helping to create these features. And they've only just begun.
"The connected car is now the big battleground in technology," says David Ardman, Vice-President, Engineering. "The car is the last place where we're not fully plugged in."
Now, as the Internet becomes more available in vehicles, the options for drivers are beginning to multiply. Systems are able to take advantage of the cloud for more complex operations - all needing easy-to-use voice activation. "At Nuance," says Ardman, "we're here to humanize the interface between person and machine, to allow people to interact in a natural way."
The next step, now in the R&D lab, is an Automotive Assistant, he says. In a connected car, the assistant would get to know the driver's needs and be able to, say, find a parking spot in a lot near the destination, under cover if it's raining, less expensive if required, and pay for it with a credit card.
Given the fast pace of change in the industry, with self driving vehicles on the horizon, the connected car is sure to be a major growth area for software engineers who join Nuance, notes Ardman.
A global company with headquarters in Burlington, Massachusetts, Nuance has four major market areas - Healthcare, Enterprise, Mobile- Consumer and Document Imaging. It draws on decades of experience in speech, natural language understanding and artificial intelligence to create seamless interactions with consumer electronics, apps, cars, IT systems and more. Most of its 730 staff in Canada are concentrated in Montreal, the global company's second largest site, where more than 100 people work in the automotive section.
Among them is Dwijesh (Dean) Bhageerutty, who joined Nuance in January 2015 as a User Interface Developer in the company's Automotive Professional Services team. His job involves drawing on Nuance's Dragon Drive technology to develop voice interfaces for information
and entertainment units in cars.
"The number one advantage of my role is the impact of my work," he says. "Millions of cars around the world use Nuance technology for voice recognition. It's very gratifying to see somebody using our technology in their car and being able to say, 'Ha! I worked on that!'"
That kind of pride seems to be a hallmark of Nuance employees. "Nuance is a world leader in developing intelligent interaction systems," says Lior Ben-Gigi, who joined three years ago as a Technical Product Manager. "When I need to explain to my young kids what I do, I tell them that I am 'teaching cars how to speak'."
The company runs an extensive internship program, bringing in 30 students per term, three times a year. "It's a wonderful way to experience our culture," says Ben-Gigi. "The interns are mentored by senior employees in their specific roles while also enjoying organized activities tailored for them."
He notes that many of them join in the firm's popular Innovation Challenges, in which Nuance people compete to show off new ideas and prototypes that are often developed further by Nuance.
"Very few companies can match what we do here," says Bhageerutty. "For young people looking for a challenging and fun workplace, this is the place to be."