371 — Convergys buys speech recognition division of iBasis

Jul 16, 2002 | Conteúdos Em Ingles

The Speech Solutions business develops and hosts Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Advanced Speech Recognition (ASR) solutions for large carrier and enterprise customers.Convergys

Convergys Corporation (NYSE: CVG), the global leader in integrated billing, employee care, and customer care services, announced in July 15 it has purchased the iBasis Speech Solutions line of business (formerly Price Interactive) from iBasis Inc. (NASDAQ: IBAS), a leading provider of international Internet-based communications services.

Convergys paid $17 million in cash with an additional $1.5 million placed in escrow, representing less than one times anticipated 2002 full-year revenues. Up to $16 million in earn-out payments are possible if certain revenue milestones are achieved in 2002 and 2003. The earn-out payments would also represent less than one times revenue. The transaction includes 130 iBasis employees located in Reston, Virginia, as well as Miami and Saint Louis. This iBasis division has about 40 clients.

‘This acquisition better positions Convergys with IVR and ASR implementation technology and supports our strategy to accelerate revenue growth in our customer management and employee care businesses,’ said Jim Orr, chairman, president, and chief executive of Convergys. ‘The combination of Convergys’ unrivaled experience and expertise in customer relationship management and advanced speech recognition technology further enhances our product offerings.’

The Speech Solutions architecture Convergys acquired in July 15, called SpeechPort, leverages industry standard ‘best of breed’ components – hardware, software, database, and development tools – and can interface with state-of-the-art speech recognition technology from leading ASR companies SpeechWorks (NASDAQ: SPWX) and Nuance (NASDAQ: NUAN).

Specifically, the strategic benefits of the transaction to Convergys include:

  • Enabling broader account penetration by supplementing Convergys’ existing customer management and employee care capabilities with state-of-the-art IVR and ASR technology
  • Acquiring an advanced technical platform compatible with existing software and fully scaleable to meet the needs of the largest clients
  • Positioning Convergys as one of the top companies in a speech-enabled IVR market which is growing significantly
  • Adding a group of talented employees with a proven track record of
    success in IVR and ASR
‘This move will catapult Convergys to the forefront of the industry,’ said Steve Chambers, Chief Marketing Officer, SpeechWorks. ‘Convergys’ unique value proposition of advanced automation with live operator back-up in an
outsourced model will be highly attractive to leading corporations looking to deploy speech services economically.’


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