Genesys Flexes Its Acquisition Muscles

Genesys today announced it has completed the acquisition of privately-held Silver Lining Solutions Ltd., a provider of employee performance optimization software and a Genesys OEM partner since 2009. At its G-Force event in October 2016, Genesys CEO Paul Segre said that he was not going to be making any major acquisitions in the short term (clearly signaling that the company would not be buying the Avaya contact center business, as was rumored at the time) but left the door open for smaller, technology plays.

The acquisition of Silver Lining certainly qualifies as a small acquisition. Silver Lining was founded in 1999 and had two funding rounds, for a total of $2.15 million, in 2008 and 2010. As is typical in transactions involving privately-held firms, financial details of the acquisition were not revealed.

In a joint briefing with Silver Lining CEO Amanda Westwood and Genesys's Stefan Captijn, director of solutions marketing for business applications, Westwood reported that Silver Lining currently employs 22 people. The company has several impressive logos as customers, including BT Retail, Vodafone, the U.S. Postal Service, and Telenor -- some of these are joint Genesys customers. Westwood said that existing customers range in size from 20 agent seats to over ten thousand.

Three reasons for the acquisition were outlined:

  1. Silver Lining enriches Genesys's capabilities to help organizations increase employee engagement through performance optimization and automated training delivery.
  2. With the WFO market shifting towards employee engagement features, the acquisition demonstrates Genesys's commitment to the market, increases revenue and optimizes sales margins -- over the margins available through the OEM arrangement.
  3. Genesys will have greater control of the roadmap for the former Silver Lining components, Skills Assessor and Training Manager, currently re-sold for a bundled price as Genesys Skills Management.

The graphic below shows the existing Genesys WFO components that can now be more tightly synchronized with skills management. For example, completion of training modules can automatically update an agent's skills and skill level, as well as the workforce management scheduling system, instead of requiring a manual update. Information on agent skills identified in need of reinforcement or coaching through quality management can be sent to the training manager for education module assignment.

portable

I asked Westwood how long it takes to deploy Silver Lining Solutions for a customer, and she described one of their go-to-market strategies. Silver Lining asks a company that is considering installation to do a pilot with half the contact center. The customer is asked to define the key performance indicators (KPIs) it cares about (e.g., increased sales, improved Net Promoter Score, etc.). A pilot is deployed and runs for six to eight weeks. At the end of that time, the two halves of the agents are compared on the previously agreed upon KPIs.

The fact that Silver Lining offers this kind of a pilot implies that they know that their results will be powerful, as both the company and the customer must invest time in any pilot. Once the customer agrees to license the solution, even more powerful results can be obtained by deeper integrations.

The Silver Lining modules are available today as both premises-based and cloud solutions on Genesys PureEngage. Next up is offering the new modules with the former Interactive Intelligence contact center products, PureConnect and PureCloud.

Learn more about contact center/customer experience trends and technologies at Enterprise Connect 2017, March 27 to 30, in Orlando, Fla. View the Contact Center track, and register now using the code NOJITTER to receive $300 off an Entire Event or Tue-Thu Conference pass, or get a free Expo Plus pass.

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