Conversational Commerce Consolidation Chronicles: Genesys Buys Angel; Could Enter PVA Fray
After years on the “acquisition candidate” short list, hosted conversational commerce specialist Angel has found a new corporate parent in Genesys, which has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the firm from Business Intelligence specialist MicroStrategy. The move greatly expands Genesys’ presence in the hosted customer care domain, though it is very consistent with the positioning of Genesys Connect with Salesforce.com’s Service Cloud.
In a prepared statement, Genesys touts Angel’s “customer base of over 800 business accounts, including some of the world’s most recognized brands and a large number of mid-market customers.” The new parent sees Angel spearheading its hosted self-service strategy and bolstering its entire set of cloud-based initiatives. Together, they promise to generate “recurring annual revenues of $85 million,” which would place them in the second tier of of hosted self-service platform providers, behind West, Convergys and, perhaps, on par with one or more of the telephone company-affiliated service providers, meaning AT&T and Verizon Business. The $85 million marks a objective that is more than $55 million more than Opus Research’s estimated top-line revenues in 2012.
Buying Angel could also put Genesys squarely in the speech-enabled Personal Virtual Assistant business. Angel’s Lexee was developed to showcase the ability for speech-application developers to make customer care much more conversational. It leverages Angel’s experience in building dialog models in specific industry domains and some advanced work in applying real-time analytics and natural language understanding.
Opus Research would understand if Lexee is put on the back burner in favor of positioning Angel’s Customer Experience (CX) First as part of its own focus of putting an end to bad customer experience. But there is a point on the not-so-distant horizon where better CX equates to a highly-personalized, conversational interface that acts a lot like a PVA.