SHERMAN OAKS, CA, JANUARY 29, 2002 – APEX Voice Communications, a leading supplier of enhanced voice services and billing solutions to network service providers and the enterprise worldwide, today announced that Voice Express Corp., provider of online-offline voice-chip enhanced messaging products and APEX value-added reseller, has entered into an agreement with Build-A-Bear Workshop to provide the Build-A-Sound option to its website Guests.

“Build-A-Bear Workshop wanted to offer the same high level of personalization for its website Guests by adding its already successful in-store record your own Build-A-Sound option to products purchased on its website”, said Geoffrey Stern, President of Voice-Express. “By using the OmniVox Intelligent Call/Media Processor from APEX, we were able to ensure reliability and ease of use, and do it in time for the Valentine’s Day holiday, when so many people want to share a special message of love through a stuffed animal.”

The Build-A-Sound link is displayed throughout the Build-A-Bear Workshop website. When the link is pressed, a pop-up window appears which displays a toll-free number and a unique message ID number. The Guest simply dials the number, (then or at a later time) enters the message ID number and is prompted to record a 10-second message. OmniVox automatically replays the recorded message and the Guest is prompted to re-record or send the message.

Once the message is sent, it is converted to a .WAV file, normalized and truncated to maximize audio playback quality by the voice chip recorder. When the Build-A-Bear Workshop web store is ready to ship the order, a voice chip recorder is inserted into the Voice Express Easy Programmer and the voice file is retrieved from OmniVox and programmed into the recorder, which is then assembled into the purchased bear and shipped. The integration of OmniVox with the patented Voice Express chip application combines the familiarity of a traditional telephone with the convenience of e-commerce to provide a next-generation messaging and merchandising solution for Build-A-Bear Workshop.

According to Build-A-Bear Workshop Chief Executive Maxine Clark, “Adding this feature is another way for us to make the Guest experience on our website as personal and creative as the Workshop experience. We safely tuck the small recorder into the bear… a perfect way to say ‘I love you,’ or to record a unique message such as ‘Will you marry me?’ or ‘You got the job.’”

About APEX

APEX is a leading manufacturer of enhanced voice services and billing solutions for network service providers and the enterprise worldwide. APEX’s high-density, open platforms enable carriers to bring innovative, revenue-generating services to market quickly, easily and cost-effectively. APEX offers solutions for enhanced switching, intelligent call routing, network IVR, service creation, call processing, unified messaging, wireless e-mail, prepaid calling and usage-based billing.

About Voice-Express

Voice Express is a technology enabler dedicated to advancing its patented next-generation messaging engine for e-commerce. The Company provides a total solution for delivering voice-chip enabled messaging. For more information please contact: +1 914.395.1010 (Worldwide), +1 888.293.5855 (United States), e-mail or visit

About Build-A-Bear Workshop

Build-A-Bear Workshop is an interactive entertainment retailer that invites guests to create their own customized stuffed animals. The company currently operates 72 stores in 30 states coast-to-coast and plans to have 100 locations by the end of 2002. For more information, visit

Click here for more information about OmniVox Call/Media Processor.