Aspect acquires Voxeo, boosts cloud capabilities


CTI leader Genesys started off the new year with a bang by scooping up a couple of companies, but no other competitor answered back to counter the hungry beast.

Until July 11, 2013, that is.

Aspect went through a rebranding effort several months ago and came out hipper, more social, and determined. This is a contact center software company that didn’t evolve from telecom roots, but rather grew alongside its software giant investor and partner, Microsoft. Even the message on its website spells it loud and clear: if your enterprise contact center is a Microsoft shop, then you won’t regret coming to us.

But maybe heavily counting on Redmond all these years wasn’t such a good idea? After all, Microsoft came in a bit late in the game with the Web, VoIP, voice recognition, CRM, cloud, mobile, etc.

Aspect finally made a move that sent ripples throughout the contact center technology sector. Who would’ve thought that Aspect laid its eyes on Voxeo, one of the pioneers in VXML-compliant cloud IVRs that’s super developer friendly? Aspect shelled out $150 million for Voxeo, which also has global offices in China, U.K., and Germany. (Voxeo Labs isn’t included in this deal and will become Tropo, a spin-out that co-counder Jonathan Taylor will focus on after leaving Voxeo when the acquisition is complete.)

If you’ve been in the industry long enough then you probably know most things about Aspect and Voxeo, and why they’re about to be merged into one. I encourage you to read the analyst opinions.

Here’s my opinion and speculation: Genesys must’ve also shopped for Voxeo, but probably offered too little. Seriously, Voxeo had to be on the top of the list for any major contact center company looking for expansion through acquisition. In the end Genesys bought Angel.com for $110M — $40M shy of what Aspect paid for Voxeo. Granted, Aspect probably needs Voxeo more than Genesys needs Angel, so the premium price tag is justified.

Nonetheless, congratulations to the Voxeo investors for a blockbuster exit. There will be good fights to come between Genesys and Aspect — get your popcorn and soda ready!

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