• July 20, 2011
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Verint Will Acquire Vovici

Expanding on the Voice of the Customer (VoC) Analytics platform that Verint Systems launched in May, the company yesterday announced plans to acquire Vovici, a provider of enterprise feedback management (EFM) solutions, for about $76 million.

The acquisition will bring to Verint scalable enterprise feedback solutions that it can incorporate into its VoC Analytics platform.

Vovici, which was founded in 2006, offers surveying and feedback management tools that connect to customers via the Internet, chat, and social media platforms.

"Vovici has strong EFM capabilities. Verint has strong analytics capabilities. Put them together and you really do have a complete voice of the customer analytics platform," says Donna Fluss, president and founder of DMG Consulting. "It's a very good move with great potential for both companies."

Nancy Treaster, senior vice president and general manager of the Witness Actionable Solutions product line at Verint, said Verint's been interested in acquiring an EFM vendor for about a year. As it looked at the market, "it became clear that Vovici was the target we were interested in," she says.

Verint also was interested in acquiring Vovici as a way to tap into the company's staff and expertise. Vovici' staff and leadership will remain largely unchanged and the company will continue to operate as a standalone company under the Verint Witness Actionable Solutions umbrella, according to Treaster.

Treaster also notes that Verint will almost immediately add its text and speech analytics tools to the Vovici platform and add telephone-based interactive voice response as a survey mechanism for Vovici. On the Verint side, the company will integrate EFM into its own VoC platform, "providing us with a listening platform that we did not have before," she says.

"This business combination will change the playing field in the market, advancing our customers around the globe through a solution designed to help them achieve their voice of the customer goals at all levels—from the contact center through the entire enterprise," said Dan Bodner, CEO of Verint, in a statement. "Combining Vovici's deep domain expertise with our actionable intelligence vision will further position us to solidify our already strong market leadership position."

Bodner called the combination "a strategic move that will fill a void in the market by enabling customers to extract tremendous value from this emerging toolset for the chief customer officer." "It will offer our combined customers another means to extract critical information through sophisticated enterprise feedback and robust analytics to better anticipate, understand, and act on the VoC—helping foster more loyal customers and drive more profitable business outcomes."

Paul Stockford, chief analyst at Saddletree Research, agrees. He calls the acquisition "a brilliant strategic move" by Verint. "Verint has moved with precision from the contact center to the back office, and now, via this acquisition, into the rest of the enterprise," he says.

That's because Vovici's solutions have largely been used outside of the contact center in areas like sales and marketing. Verint, on the other hand, has been more focused on the contact center. Blending the two is a sign of a larger industry trend, according to Stockford.

"As organizations continue to focus on better managing the overall customer experience, the line dividing the marketing and customer service organizations is blurring," he says. "As a result, the need to monitor and manage customer information across any and all enterprise touch points has intensified."

Stockford further notes that this trend is bringing together the marketing, contact center, and back office environments. "When it comes to the whole VoC concept, roles are definitely changing and the lines are blurring," he states.

Treaster says the result, in the end, will be "a more comprehensive voice of the customer solution" for everyone.

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