• April 5, 2006
  • By Coreen Bailor, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Genesys Rubs Aladdin and Acquires VoiceGenie Technologies

Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories has announced its plan to acquire privately held VoiceGenie Technologies. VoiceGenie, is a voice self-service solutions provider with a software platform based on VoiceXML. The move comes three months after Genesys acquired GMK, a provider of contact center voice self-service solutions, and three days after Genesys' parent company, Alcatel, announced its merger agreement with Lucent Technologies. The Genesys-VoiceGenie acquisition is expected to close in roughly 30 days. The deal, code named Aladdin, is indicative of Genesys' intent to broaden its VoiceXML-based self-service functionality. "We looked at what the impact could be of consolidating our development efforts, consolidating the platform, and feel very, very good that this gives us a path to really accelerate the market going forward," Wes Hayden, president and CEO of Genesys, said during a conference call on Wednesday. "It establishes a clear leader in the [Voice]XML market segment and that's clearly an area that we have intentions to provide great focus and continue to maintain a leadership position. We see things that are on our road map that [were] going to take two years for us to deliver [but now they'll be] available at a much more aggressive timeframe." Some of Genesys' strengths lie in its integrated self-service functionality, media-server technology, and multitenancy, while some of VoiceGenie's strong suits are in CCXML (Call Control eXtensible Markup Language), specialized SIP proxy, call/quality management, and multimodality, according to Genesys. "Our goal here is to have...a universal platform that addresses both enterprises, service providers, and carriers...[and] provide an environment where companies can transition to the merged platform, but they can do it at their own pace," Hayden said. "We can really accelerate the product roadmap and continue to be focused on open standards, and the combination of our two companies here create the broadest voice portal platform and the best combination of partners." Genesys is forecasting a combined platform release under the Aladdin project in the middle of 2007, but both entities will continue with releases already in their product roadmaps. Genesys' next release is scheduled for the first half of 2006, while VoiceGenie's next product is planned for the second half of 2006. This acquisition marks Genesys' fourth since its own acquisition by Alcatel. Genesys acquired IBM's CallPath in 2001, Telera, a maker of VoiceXML solutions in 2002, and GMK this year. The acquisition of Telera brought Genesys technology and people, while the GMK and CallPath acquisitions brought Genesys more customers and people, according to Hayden. What makes the VoiceGenie acquisition exciting to Hayden, however, is the combination of people, technology, and customers that Genesys will attain, as its previous acquisitions did not separately deliver all three dimensions, he said. "While there are some overlaps [with the VoiceGenie acquisition], it really gives us the opportunity to expand our product platform much more aggressively," Hayden said. Through the acquisition Genesys will have between 130 and 150 engineers focused on VoiceXML platform development. The move, another sign of consolidation, is, however, a synergistic move, according to Nancy Jamison, principal analyst at Jamison Consulting. "Just like Intervoice and Edify it will allow VoiceGenie and Genesys to move their roadmap in the near term because each had things that the other didn't have," she says. "It makes sense because it's a synergistic merger. It's not like they're acquiring them just to get customers." Sheila McGee-Smith, president and principal analyst of McGee-Smith Analytics, describes the acquisition as "very positive" from a competitive standpoint. "The people who have to pay attention to this are Avaya and Nortel," she says. "Both Avaya and Nortel have very strong self-service businesses and this puts Genesys in a much more competitive spot than they were before." Avaya and Nortel were unavailable for comment at press time. Related articles: Alcatel Acquires Brazil's GMK
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