• September 4, 2003
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

Symon Buys TargetVision

Symon Communications will be merging the use of two pipes for information delivery--CAT 5 networking cable and coaxial cable, as a result of its acquisition of TargetVision, announced today. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Symon, which specializes in performance and workforce management, alerting and messaging, wallboards, and real-time middleware products, aims to integrate its real-time communication solutions with TargetVision's visual communication products. TargetVision delivers daily and breaking news, motivational content, and crisis communication on plasma screen TVs, computers, and kiosks to roughly 3 million people worldwide. TargetVision information can be delivered in text, graphic, and full motion video. According to Charles Ansley, president and CEO of Symon, customer service efforts can be improved by having real-time news feeds coming into the call center. He cites the recent blackout as an example of how news updates can help agents quickly make decisions to better support customers. During a power outage an electrical utility company can show agents what regions have had their power restored. Additionally, although only 30 percent of TargetVision's revenue came from call centers, Ansley says, there are plenty of opportunities to bring graphical visual information to call centers, especially to offshore call centers that wish to keep their agents abreast of regional and local breaking news, sports, and stock information. Although Symon has had alerting tools like its digital wallboards, the presentation has traditionally been limited to red digital letters quickly moving across a slender electronic board. "The alerting information we have gets us into other areas of communication, but they weren't first rate. Clearly, TargetVision dominates in delivering graphical visual information out to plasmas and monitors," Ansley says. "Both companies have a complementary product offering. TargetVision's content delivery services provides news, weather, sports, and stock information to 3 million people every day, and we plan to integrate that with our reader board and desktop products." Through its 30,000 reader boards sold, Symon delivers its real-time communication to roughly 1 million viewers, bringing the total viewers of both TargetVision and Symon messaging products to roughly 4 million. The acquisition, Ansley says, will make Symon 50 percent larger in revenue and open the company to new markets outside the call center market to provide enterprise communications solutions "from the boardroom to the break room," Ansley says. TargetVision's 50 employees will bring Symon's employee count to 150. TargetVision will operate as a division of Symon Communications.
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