278 — Alcatel to acquire Telera to enter voice self-service market for voice and web convergence

Jul 8, 2002 | Conteúdos Em Ingles

Acquisition puts Alcatel and its Genesys subsidiary at forefront of $600 million voice self-service software market

Alcatel in May 29 announced it has signed an agreement to acquire privately held Telera Corp., a Campbell, Calif., company that provides the premier voice-web platform using voice extensible markup language (VoiceXML) to make web content accessible by telephone. Telera will become a part of Alcatel’s Genesys contact center software business and will focus initially on the market for voice self-service solutions, which is expected to grow to $600 million by 2005.

The acquisition will be made for $136 million in Alcatel stock. Telera’s strong $30 million cash position will be used to fund the company’s development. No further terms of the agreement were announced.

Genesys also announced its first IPCC customer, Swedish-based Concensys, a leading ASP provider of advanced contact center solutions.

Telera’s patented Voice Web software platform uses VoiceXML and other open standards to enable service providers and enterprises to develop advanced voice applications that transform the telephone into a powerful tool to access Web-based information. Given Telera’s proven capabilities with VoiceXML, the acquisition will enable Alcatel to create a VoiceXML center of competency that will be utilized by other Alcatel businesses to enhance product offerings for customers.

‘Voice access to the Internet will be the spark for a powerful transformation in the way the Web is used and in the consumer services that are made available by enterprises and service providers,’ said Olivier Houssin, president of Alcatel’s eBusiness Group. ‘The acquisition of Telera by Alcatel is a critical link in our strategy to build the applications that will drive the transition to converged voice and data networks.’

‘Telera’s support for Internet technologies, such as VoiceXML and SIP, is transforming the traditional telecommunications industry by combining the innovation and flexibility of the Internet with the convenience and reliability of the telephone,’ said Prem Uppaluru, CEO and co-founder of Telera. ‘We are eager to begin combining the resources of the two companies to accelerate the adoption of converged voice and web solutions in the market.’

As a part of Genesys, Telera adds a voice self-service platform to Genesys’ product line. Genesys already leads the industry in contact center software, used by businesses to provide customers with access to live service and support. Now Genesys can offer a complete, integrated solution for both voice self-service and live customer assistance.

Voice Web Application Platform

The architecture of Telera’s Voice Web Application Platform is unique because it separates the business application from the voice infrastructure and uses off-the-shelf components and open standard technologies, such as VoiceXML. The software can be deployed either as an on-premise or in-the-network solution, and is fully redundant and distributed for reliability and scalability. Combined, these features allow customers to significantly reduce network complexity and the overall cost of deploying advanced voice applications.

Large enterprises and service providers such as Qwest Communications, the first provider of a carrier-based VoiceXML solution, and contact center services provider First Data/Call Interactive have selected the Voice Web Application Platform as the foundation for next generation voice services which include:

· Voice enabled self-service: Accessing web-based information via any telephone using natural voice or touch-tone commands for applications such as on-line banking, order status inquiry, surveys, etc. These self-service solutions can be augmented by live assistance through integration with Genesys Framework and Enterprise Routing Solution, which ensures that callers can be routed to the appropriate customer service agent.
· Outbound notification/alerts: Contacting customers based on pre-defined events or business logic such as flight cancellations or status changes. Customers also have the option to obtain additional information via voice self-service or live assistance through integration with Genesys software.
· Employee productivity solutions: Enabling employees to use any phone to access web-based employee productivity applications such as phone directories, email, calendars, and other operational information.
· Interactive Voice Response: Providing all the key functionality of traditional IVR systems with a new level of programmability because of the VoiceXML openness and development environment.

Alcatel’s strategy for the enterprise market is to leverage the convergence of voice and data networks to help businesses securely and effectively open their internal networks to the external world. These ‘borderless enterprises’ are more competitive because their networks can support real-time communications with customers, outsourcing vendors and other important partners. Genesys, and now Telera, are critical to this strategy because they provide the first applications that make use of this new paradigm.

The acquisition is expected to close in July 2002 subject to approval by Telera’s shareholders and other customary closing conditions.


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