Recognized as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 30, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why Nuance Communications Canada, Inc. was selected as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2019):
- Nuance Communications cultivates an ownership culture through a share purchase plan (available to all employees) and offers a number of additional financial incentives, including profit-sharing, signing bonuses for some, and year-end bonuses for all
- Nuance Communications invests in ongoing employee development with generous tuition subsidies for job-related courses (to $3,000 per year) and a variety of in-house and online training programs, including career planning
- Nuance Communications supports employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments, to 100% of salary for up to 8 weeks, and offers the option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence
And the Emmy award goes to - Nuance Communications
As software development director for Nuance Communications Canada, Inc., Alain Rivet never imagined he and his team would receive one of the world's most prestigious entertainment awards. But that's exactly what happened when Nuance's Dragon TV recently won a Technology and Engineering Emmy Award, recognizing its intuitive voice-activated navigation platform that allows users to seamlessly search and discover content using just their voice.
The innovation is typical of the kind of work that happens at Nuance's facility in Montreal, the global organization's largest R&D location. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses benefit from Nuance-driven voice recognition and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.
"We are always working on the cutting edge," Rivet said. "There isn't a single week I don't return home to my family to show them some new and widely-used technology our team developed."
That word "team" is critical, he added.
"The team is the centrepiece at Nuance. We work in a team, we learn as a team, and we push ourselves as a team to continuously raise the bar on performance."
Mohamed Konate, a senior software developer who also worked on the Dragon TV project, likes the fact that he is learning something new every day.
"I've been here seven years and there are always new challenges," Konate said. "With any voice recognition or AI application, there are problems to solve and you get a lot of satisfaction when you can do that and deploy new technologies into the field."
Konate appreciates the real-world impact of his work. "You take something like automotive speech recognition. It's a gadget, but it also makes for safer driving, because it's hands-free. Our technologies definitely have positive benefits out there."
Surrounded by five universities from which it regularly draws talent, Nuance's downtown Montreal office provides a dynamic work environment where, as Rivet observed, "things are always moving, and fast. The only constant is change and the opportunities that come with it."
Nuance takes in 150 interns on a year-round basis - a new group of 50 every four months. They work closely with their managers and fellow team members and are directly involved with ongoing Nuance projects and clients.
Nuance also provides employees with competitive compensation and a generous suite of benefits, including four weeks of annual vacation from Day 1. Professional development is encouraged through a tuition reimbursement program, internal web-based learning and mentoring.
"You have the opportunity to learn and grow," Konate said. "The company will reward you and you'll move forward."
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2019):
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 17, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why Nuance Communications Canada, Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2019):
- Nuance Communications provides students with unique development opportunities through an internship program and hosts executive lunch and learns specifically to allow interns to meet the company's senior executive team
- 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 skills development recommendations to support technical learning
- Nuance Communications encourages employees to cultivate creativity through innovation challenges -- employees work in teams to address a known challenge or opportunity and present their final product, solution or improvement (with winners chosen by a panel and by popular vote)
Nuance's AI-powered solutions impact millions of customers
Mercedeh Mohaghegh was completing her PhD in psycholinguistics when she learned about opportunities to apply her knowledge at Nuance Communications Canada, Inc., a leading provider of voice recognition and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.
"I wanted to move from academia to industry to pursue my passion," Mohaghegh says. "I heard Nuance welcomed people with a linguistics background."
Mohaghegh enrolled in Nuance's highly regarded internship program, and was hired as a full-time speech scientist in 2017.
"Right from the start, I was working on real projects with real customers while being mentored by other experienced speech scientists," she says. "Through hands-on practice, I learned skills that have served me well. I also had the opportunity to expand my professional network over a relatively short period of time."
As the global organization's largest R&D location, Nuance's facility in downtown Montreal provides AI solutions for healthcare, automotive and enterprise applications. The company takes in 150 interns on a year-round basis - a new group of 50 every four months. Many of the new recruits come from the five nearby Montreal universities, while others are drawn from across Canada.
Mani Najmabadi, a 10-year veteran at Nuance, manages a team of speech and data scientists for the company's Professional Services organization. He believes one of the great advantages, for interns and new hires alike, is Nuance's determination to get them fully involved from the outset.
"From a young person's perspective, the fact we are listening to you and are interested in your ideas is really important," says Najmabadi. "That's our culture. We have a very diverse team, including engineers, computer scientists and linguists - many taking an interest in mentoring our interns. What we really look for is that passion to contribute and make a difference."
Nuance Enterprise serves large businesses worldwide, including many Fortune 500 companies. Its pioneering products and services impact millions of people.
"Each customer has specific needs and we are challenged, in a positive way, to deliver the solutions that serve them best," says Najmabadi. "Innovation and creativity are the key. Working here, there are endless opportunities to learn something new and continually improve your skills."
Even though she has been with Nuance less than two years, Mohaghegh appreciates the scope and scale of work in which she has shared.
"As a speech scientist, I've been part of a number of teams that have provided innovative solutions for the development and optimization of interactive voice recognition and fraud prevention systems," she says. "The products and solutions we provide have a huge impact not only on our customers' businesses, but also on all of the people interacting with these systems globally."
Professional and personal development is strongly encouraged at Nuance through initiatives like the tuition reimbursement and computer loan programs as well as Nuance University - a state-of-the-art web-based learning management system that offers instant access to the latest resources.
Najmabadi observes, "As someone who started at a junior level and grew into a management position, I can attest that Nuance works closely with employees on finding the right next step on their career path."
Employees also enjoy competitive compensation and an impressive suite of benefits, including four weeks of vacation time and healthcare coverage from day one. Personal well-being is always top-of-mind; the company's annual Health Week is a major initiative that supports employees with goals such as increased physical activity, healthy eating and stress management.
Both Najmabadi and Mohaghegh say the most motivating factor of all is the dynamic workplace and support of high-performing colleagues.
"One of my favorite aspects," says Najmabadi, "is our regular brainstorming sessions where we get together with fellow scientists and share knowledge, problem- solving ideas and best practices."
Mohaghegh is also a fan of the brainstorming meetings, which remind her of the open-minded nature of academia. But the biggest draw is her co-workers.
"Every day I see these great people and this sharing culture," she says. "It makes coming to work a joy."