Last week Genesys announced a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held customer interaction analytics firm UTOPY. While financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, since its founding in 1999 the company has raised over $28 Million in financing from both Silicon Valley and Israeli-based venture capital firms. In addition, UTOPY has received funding from a number of private investors, including current and former executives of Deutsche Bank, Genesys, Octel, and Universal.
UTOPY has 37 employees (10 of these in Israel), all of whom will be joining Genesys. The employees will be integrated from the outset, with the engineers reporting to engineering and sales people reporting to sales, etc.
Why is UTOPY a good fit for the new Genesys? I had the opportunity to have this question answered during an interview with Eric Tamblyn (VP, Global Innovations) and Jim Georgiou (Director of Product Management for Workforce Optimization, WFO) of Genesys.
* Genesys first made its mark in the contact center world for being able to work in conjunction with third-party communications infrastructure (Avaya and Nortel in the past, Cisco and Microsoft Lync more recently). Tamblyn reports that UTOPY has always had a similar agnostic approach; the solution can and does work with multiple recording vendors, e.g., NICE, Verint and even the relatively new MediaSense from Cisco.
* When Genesys purchased Telera and acquired what is now the Genesys Voice Portal, it opened up a new avenue into accounts--those just looking to replace the dated IVR. Genesys was able to use GVP as a Trojan horse; Tamblyn reports some very significant customers converted to the full Genesys suite after starting with just the voice portal. He went on to say that Genesys will use a similar sales strategy with UTOPY's solutions; offer them as a stand-alone product while exposing the customer to the entire Genesys value proposition.
* Genesys believes the acquisition of UTOPY rounds-out their WFO suite. UTOPY will add speech and text analysis of customer conversations that in the past required partner involvement. Genesys Workforce Management can replace a WFM solution that UTOPY had been OEMing to complete its suite. Tamblyn says that "very quickly," a UTOPY "U Connector" will be built to the Genesys Quality Management solution, allowing for tight integration with the Genesys suite.
UTOPY has 17 customers. Some of these are joint Genesys accounts but more are seen as new opportunities for Genesys to sell their full suite. In addition to existing customers, Tamblyn describes several joint deals in the funnel, a funnel he describes as growing every day, quite literally.
The UTOPY acquisition was announced during the Genesys annual Sales Kickoff. Tamblyn says he was a very popular guy at the meeting, with sales people in the middle of deals wanting to discuss adding UTOPY solutions to the bid ASAP. Planned or unplanned, sounds like a great announcement strategy.
Final note: At Enterprise Connect 2013 in Orlando, the final session of the Contact Center track is Emerging Tools for the Contact Center-Social & Analytics. We're working on adding a Genesys/UTOPY speaker to a panel that already includes Avaya, NICE, Cisco and Siemens.