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Genesys Makes First Post-ALU Acquisition

Last week, Genesys announced it had acquired Brazilian self-service application and service provider LM Sistemas. This is the second company that Genesys has acquired in Brazil; the first was IVR vendor GMK in 2006. While seemingly similar, the two acquisitions highlight the differences in both the market and Genesys over the past few years.

GMK had 100 customers, primarily in the financial services and outsourcing sectors, including 17 of the country's 20 largest banks. LM Sistemas' leading customers come from the cable television and telecommunications sectors, including SKY Brazil, Embratel, and NET Serviços, Latin America's largest triple-play cable company. While financial services continues to be a great sector for contact center solutions, the stiff competition in the television/telephone/Internet market creates more of an impetus for companies in that sector to continue to invest in customer experience services and technology.

At the time of the acquisition, GMK's IVR (Talker) was based on TDM technology, and had not made the move from a proprietary design language to VXML. GMK chose to be acquired instead of spending the money that would have been required to build a next generation solution. Migration for GMK customers to VXML came instead with the merger of Talker with Genesys Voice Portal.

While LM Sistemas also has an IVR platform (based on Dialogic), and there may be opportunities for Genesys Voice Portal, the existence of a migratable customer base was not a key driver in the acquisition. Genesys management is more excited about LM Sistemas' experience in building self-service personas for companies that are engaging and fun, becoming an integral part of the company brand.

In addition to building the personas, LM uses analytics and business intelligence to work with its customers to continually optimize the self-service experience to further reduce call volumes. The picture here shows a representation of a persona, used internally by LM Sistemas customers to help employees understand the characteristics of the personas (in this case, young and hip).

Talking with me about the announcement, Genesys CMO Nicolas de Kouchkovsky said, "In the past, Genesys acquisitions were about technology. With this one, people, presence and best practices are more prevalent." Best practices here refer to the ongoing work LM Sistemas does with customers to fine-tune their applications. de Kouchkovsky said the approach maps to the way that Genesys is evolving its own professional services approach, acting increasingly as advisers to its customers, not just providers of technology.

Differences aside, what the two Brazilian acquisitions have in common is their ability to help Genesys quickly grow in a country and region where the contact center market is expanding rapidly. The LM Sistemas purchase also shows the commitment of Genesys' private equity owners to growing the business.