Alcatel will integrate Telera into its Genesys contact center business. This should allow Genesys to integrate third-party speech recognition capabilities with its existing voice response applications, and hence offer voice self-service. With deals like this, Genesys is edging ever closer to having fully universal queuing capabilities.
Alcatel has agreed to buy VoiceXML developer Telera for $136 million.
French telecoms equipment firm Alcatel has agreed to buy VoiceXML developer Telera for $136 million in stock. Alcatel will integrate Californa-based Telera’s technology into its Genesys contact center unit.
Contact centers are struggling with increasing traffic volumes, through new (email, web, mobile) and traditional (phone) channels. Although people have moved online for some transactions, most companies continue to face pressures to deal with telephone calls. The race is on to automate voice contact as much as possible, to save agent time and, ultimately, money
Interactive voice response (IVR) is the first step towards providing self-service for telephone customers, but only offers limited functionality and usability. Telera’s VoiceXML platform will allow Genesys to integrate third party speech recognition applications with its IVR platform.
Telera’s software-based solution allows easy integration with automatic and third party speech recognition applications. This fits well with Genesys’s aggressive integration plans: the company plans to deliver European language versions in the near future.
Genesys will initially continue Telera’s focus on the telecoms market, aiming at US and European carriers who want to move into the growing network pre-routing market. Demand from enterprises will be slower at first, although financial services institutions could prove lucrative.
The concept of a universal queue – where all forms of contact into a contact center, regardless of media type, are routed based on a single set of business rules – is one of the key drivers of contact center technology development. However, although many companies want such technology, cost pressures and problems with integration mean that uptake remains low.
The Telera deal, combined with a partnership with Kanisa to integrate online self-service capabilities into its solution, moves Genesys closer to providing a truly universal queue solution. However, it still faces stiff competition from the likes of Aspect, Avaya and Cisco.
Related research: Datamonitor, 2002: Voice Portals and Applications
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