• October 22, 2008
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Enghouse to Acquire Envox Worldwide for $14 Million

Enterprise software solutions provider Enghouse Systems, the parent company of contact center solutions provider Syntellect, has announced its acquisition of Envox Worldwide for $14 million.

The move will bring Syntellect and Envox together under one umbrella, delivering what one executive called Envox's "global reach, distribution channels, market focus, and technology portfolio." Combined, the two companies have more than 40 years of experience serving the interactive voice response (IVR) and contact center industries.

This latest move comes on the heels of Enghouse's June acquisition of Fluency Voice Technologies, a London-based provider of on-premises and hosted packaged speech recognition solutions for call centers.

Envox, which is headquartered in Westborough, Mass., generates about $16 million in revenue annually from its hosted and on-premises IP-based voice self-service and contact center solutions. More than 1.25 million ports of Envox’s IVR solutions have been deployed globally, and more than 1 million contact center agents worldwide use the intelligent-routing, screen-pop, and call-monitoring functionalities provided by Envox’s computer-telephony integration (CTI) software.

According to a number of industry analysts, the strong reputation enjoyed by Envox in those areas made it an attractive option for Ontario, Canada–based Enghouse. While Envox has been considered a leader and innovator in speech technology, platform, and toolkit development, Enghouse's Phoenix-based Syntellect has not enjoyed the same reputation, according to Bill Meisel, president of analyst firm TMA Associates. For that reason, Meisel thinks the acquisition "makes a lot of sense for Syntellect."

The move also further expands Syntellect's global reach and market share. "The acquisition of a well-known industry leader like Envox will allow us to continue our global presence and expand to new territories," Steve Sadler, chairman and chief executive officer of Enghouse, said in a statement. The company particularly plans to focus on Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Steve Dodenhoff, president of Syntellect, agreed. "Envox’s global reach, distribution channels, market focus, and technology portfolio are a perfect complement to Syntellect’s core business," he said in a press release. "The combined organization, capabilities, and product portfolio will be able to address the full spectrum of market opportunities in the contact center space. We are excited about this acquisition, as it will accelerate our next-generation Customer Interaction Management initiatives."

That's a sentiment shared by Meisel. "The Envox acquisition will help Syntellect provide more options for its customers to roll out automation more easily," he says. "For both companies, it makes financial sense."

Meisel sees other benefits, though, especially for contact center managers and operators. The deal "gives more options to contact center managers with the integration of Syntellect and Envox products," he says, noting that "integrated systems will become increasingly important as companies try to rein in costs."

News relevant to the customer relationship management industry is posted several times a day on destinationCRM.com, in addition to the news section Insight that appears every month in the pages of CRM magazine. You may leave a public comment regarding this article by clicking on "Comments" at the top; to contact the editors, please email editor@destinationCRM.com.

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