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Genesys Acquires SpeechStorm to Expand Self-Service
This week contact center company Genesys announced it has acquired a provider of self-service applications for mobile, Web and interactive voice recognition (IVR) channels. SpeechStorm, a Northern Ireland-based company, also has offices in the United Kingdom, Spain and the United States.
While neither the price paid nor the size of the company were announced in the press release or during an industry analyst call, the Irish Times reports SpeechStorm revenues in the year ending March 2015 were £2.3 million (roughly $3.5 million). In 2014, Silicon Republic reported SpeechStorm had 24 employees; a growing firm, they likely have approximately 30 now. SpeechStorm confirmed it has approximately 30 customers, most of them using Genesys solutions, including U.K. retailer Dixons and Irish telco Eir.
As I wrote in No Jitter previously, SpeechStorm has been a Genesys partner since 2010. They were initially a hosted provider of self-service applications based on the Genesys Voice Platform (GVP). In addition, the company had developed its own applications that added differentiable value for its customers. Five years later, SpeechStorm says it has created 70 to 80 self-service applications that run on a combination of Genesys Voice Portal (now part of the Genesys Experience Platform) as well as with websites and mobile applications.
Genesys vice president of marketing Scott Kolman said that there were three reasons the company made the acquisition (beyond the obvious synergies with the portfolio):
I asked SpeechStorm vice president of product management Damian Kelly (who will be staying on with Genesys) whether SpeechStorm's applications are solely based on the Genesys platform, using its design tool, Interaction Designer. Kelly explained that SpeechStorm's applications run on top of GVP; they produce VXML code that is consumed by GVP. However, when SpeechStorm apps run on the Web or mobile, it is separate from GVP, using its own design tool. Ultimately, Kelly said, there will be a single interface for all of the omnichannel self-service capabilities; but for a while, the two tools will co-exist.
A common attribute of SpeechStorm's applications is the ability to personalize IVR, Web and mobile interactions, Kelly added. Personalization includes using context from the customer's journey as well as insight into the availability of skilled agents. SpeechStorm users report that when there is such personalization, customers are not only twice as likely to choose self-service over assisted-service, but customer satisfaction and customer effort scores improve as well, Kelly said.
Last month I wrote on No Jitter that Genesys had launched an application marketplace, AppFoundry. SpeechStorm was a founding partner and already has five applications available in AppFoundry, and Kolman reports that this number is expected to grow significantly over time. All of this means that