Software developer Genesys has acquired SDE and Conseros, allowing the company to offer customer service solutions that better integrate the contact center into the greater enterprise. While Genesys has definitively staked out its future course with this new investment, it remains to be seen whether its customers will be as receptive to its newly integrated products.
In January 2009, Genesys announced the acquisitions of VoicINT spinoff Software Development and Engineering GmbH (SDE), a German provider of unified contact center solutions, and Conseros, a Canadian provider of workload distribution applications. These two acquisitions are consistent with Genesys’s stated plan to extend its customer service solutions beyond the contact center by unifying customer touchpoints across a variety of channels and integrating expertise from other departments of the enterprise. The purchase of SDE and Conseros, both of which have solutions that already integrate into Genesys’s portfolio of hosted contact center solutions, allows Genesys to push this agenda while assuming minimal risk, as although the deal sizes were not disclosed, the customer size and brand presence of each acquired company indicates that both deals were relatively small. Additionally, because the solutions offered by each acquired company are already integrated into Genesys’s products, customers will see benefits from the acquisitions almost immediately.
Prior to the acquisition, SDE provided Genesys Customer Interaction Portal (GCIP), a key component in Genesys’s hosted contact center suite. GCIP is a web-based interface introduced in 2007 that allows customers to manage IVR applications and on-demand services in real-time, giving customers the control over their IVR applications that they often feel is lacking from their hosted contact center solutions.
There has not been as much uptake of hosted solutions as analysts and vendors initially predicted, largely because of this pain point. As the economic recession continues, however, enterprises offering hosted services will look at the more lucrative business model provided by hosted contact centers. Thus, Genesys’s acquisition of SDE at this particular point in time is a solid move. In becoming full owners of GCIP and the engineering team that produced the product, Genesys gains full control over future iterations of GCIP, product updates, and the way in which it is incorporated into Genesys’s greater portfolio of contact center solutions.
Like the acquisition of SDE, the Conseros acquisition allows Genesys to take full ownership of a technology that was already integrated into its own proprietary solution. A handful of joint customers based in Europe have already used Genesys’s Business Process Routing in conjunction with Conseros’s workload distribution solution. Genesys will integrate Conseros’s solution and rebrand its business process re-engineering (BPR) agenda as intelligent Workload Distribution (iWD), which prioritizes customer interactions coming from various channels and touchpoints, and delegates the tasks to qualified personnel. iWD enables enterprises to establish transparency and more detailed reporting in customer interactions across the enterprise, regardless of the channel by which those interactions were received. The name change is a good marketing decision for Genesys, as it avoids the ambiguity of business process and more accurately describes the solution’s role in an enterprise’s customer care agenda.
Merging Conseros’s solution with iWD will decrease systems integration time and professional services spend. Additionally, a single streamlined solution will enable customers using what had previously been disparate products to get full support from Genesys and, as with GCIP, allow the vendor to include Conseros updates into its own product roadmap.
Walking the walk
With these acquisitions, Genesys matches its money with its mouth and is pulling ahead with its plan to offer complete solutions that take into account the way in which customer interactions fit into greater business processes. It is a philosophy that is espoused by many vendors and yet rarely leads to action. The acquisitions of SDE and Conseros, although not particularly surprising or bold, firmly establish the path down which Genesys hopes to tread.
However, the question remains as to whether or not the vendor’s customers will be receptive to these new, integrated product offerings. The Conseros offering in particular is designed to integrate the back office with the front office by streamlining the process by which enterprises handle white paper and electronic customer interactions. But this solution is not likely to be cheap and in some cases will require an upheaval of an enterprise customer’s entrenched business practices. Genesys might be boldly carving out its path, but the challenge the company faces will be convincing cash-strapped customers to follow it.