On May 18, 2016 NICE Systems announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire inContact. This marks yet another turn in the long road the contact center industry has been taking towards consolidation – often by acquiring companies with specific capabilities with the end goal of building fully integrated contact center systems designed to deliver seamless customer experiences. Among the other turns / acquisitions on that road are:
- 8X8’s acquisition of DXI
- Aspect’s acquisition of Voxeo and Linguasys
- Genesys’ acquisition of UTOPY and Soundbite Communications
- inContact’s acquisition of Uptivity and Attensity
- Mitel’s acquisition of Polycom
- NICE System’s acquisition of Nexidia
- Verint’s acquisition of Contact Solutions and Telligent
This most recent acquisition by NICE Systems follows on inContact enhancing its own workforce optimization and analytics capabilities by acquiring Uptivity and Attensity. Combined with inContact’s contact center in the cloud capabilities, this move will have several results for NICE Systems:
- Expanding the client base. This acquisition will bring inContact clients to join NICE client portfolio and provide the company with the opportunity to present these businesses with an overview of its broader set of offerings, including voice of the customer and customer engagement analytics.
- Enhancing product capabilities. Yet another impact will be weaving inContact’s product capabilities within the broader NICE product portfolio. This means that we can expect the company to offer more cloud-based capabilities over the next few months.
- Gain market share in small to mid-size contact center market. While inContact has been targeting the enterprise contact center market as part of its growth plans, it has traditionally been stronger in small and mid-size segments. NICE Systems, on the other hand, has been traditionally strong in the enterprise segment with plans to expand in small and mid-size segments. This acquisition will enable NICE to gain instant market share in small and mid-size segments. The ability to retain this share will hinge on company’s ability to clearly communicate its post-acquisition plans with inContact clients and meet their needs with the evolving product capabilities. Equally important for company growth will be communicating the value of this acquisition to existing NICE Systems customers.
The next few months will show how NICE will perform in addressing the aforementioned expectations. However, looking at the broader picture is a clear indicator that acquisitions in the contact center space still play an important role. They help solution providers expand market share and make the gradual, but inevitable move to providing a fully-integrated system of applications to manage the customer experience.