Genesys has announced plans to acquire VoiceGenie, a provider of self-service voice applications — a move that is expected to solidify the drive to determine which standard will dominate the industry.
The acquisition of the privately held firm, which is expected to close in a few weeks, will also advance Genesys’ position in the highly competitive interactive voice response (IVR) market as it continues to build out its self-service portfolio.
“By acquiring VoiceGenie — just three months after acquiring GMK, a leading provider of self-service solutions in Brazil — we reaffirm our commitment to the voice self-service market,” said Wes Hayden, president and CEO of Genesys.
Leader of the Pack
Alcatel has had difficulty establishing traction in the North America market, according to Kenneth Landoline, senior analyst at Yankee Group.
The acquisition by Genesys, a subsidiary, is an opportunity for it to reposition the the firm globally, he told CRM Buyer, and to propel Genesys into the top leadership of IVR providers .
However, Genesys has to gain more market share before that can happen, according to Ashwin Iyer, Frost & Sullivan industry manager, contact center and CRM.
“With this acquisition they gain some market share, but they still have a long way to go before they are able to get close to the leaders,” he told CRM Buyer.
Avaya has the highest market share, he said, followed by Nortel and Intervoice. IBM and Aspect are also among the top ten firms in market share, he adds.
How Genesys’ acquisition of VoiceGenie will realign these players remains to be seen.
Genesys’ ongoing embrace of the open standard Voice XML (extensible markup language) should also help it make additional headway.
For the last few years, the industry has been shifting away from proprietary legacy IVRs to open standards. Two main open standards have developed — Voice XML and SALT (speech application language tags) — with the industry uncertain which will eventually dominate.
“I have been advising voice [product] users for many years,” Landoline said, “and the most common question I get is, ‘Is Voice XML the way to go?'”
The acquisition lends credibility to Voice XML, he said. “It provides a comfort level to users that are afraid of investing in the wrong technology or being left behind. I think we will see this as a stimulation point for the market in general.”
Advocates of SALT have hardly disappeared. “I do think, however, we will see a merger of the followers in the near future,” Landoline predicted.