Enghouse to Acquire Envox Worldwide for $14 Million

Enterprise software solutions provider Enghouse Systems, the parent company of contact center solutions provider Syntellect, yesterday announced its acquisition of Envox Worldwide for $14 million.

The move will bring Syntellect and Envox together under one umbrella, strengthening their global reach, distribution channels, market focus, and technology portfolio. Combined, the two companies have more than 40 years of experience serving the interactive voice response (IVR) and contact center industries.

This latest acquisition follows a similar move by Enghouse and Syntellect in June to acquire Fluency Voice Technologies, a London-based provider of on-premises and hosted packaged speech recognition solutions for call centers.

Envox, which is headquartered in Westborough, Mass., generates about $16 million in revenue annually from its hosted and on-premises IP-based voice self-service and contact center solutions. More than 1.25 million ports of Envox’s IVR solutions have been deployed globally, and more than 1 million contact center agents worldwide use the intelligent routing, screen pop, and call monitoring functionalities provided by Envox’s computer-telephony integration (CTI) software. Other applications in Envox's portfolio include the Communications Development Platform (CDP), VoiceXML Studio, CT Application Development Environment (CT-ADE), CT Connect, PhoneLink, and OnDemand.

According to Syntellect and Enghouse, those products will join Syntellect's stable of brands within 90 to 120 days.

A number of industry analysts have said so far that the strong reputation enjoyed by Envox made it an attractive option for Enghouse, which is based in Ontario, Canada, and Phoenix-based Syntellect. While Envox has been considered a leader and innovator in speech technology, platform, and toolkit development, Syntellect has not enjoyed the same reputation, according to Bill Meisel, president of analyst firm TMA Associates. For that reason, Meisel thinks the acquisition "makes a lot of sense for Syntellect."

The move also further expands Syntellect's global reach and market share. "The acquisition of a well-known industry leader like Envox will allow us to continue our global presence and expand to new territories, [particularly in Europe, Asia, and the Pacific]," Steve Sadler, chairman and CEO of Enghouse, said in a statement.

Steve Dodenhoff, president of Syntellect agreed. "Envox’s global reach, distribution channels, market focus, and technology portfolio are a perfect complement to Syntellect’s core business," he said in a press release. "The combined organization, capabilities, and product portfolio will be able to address the full spectrum of market opportunities in the contact center space. We are excited about this acquisition, as it will accelerate our next-generation Customer Interaction Management initiatives.

"The synergies between the two companies are clear, as both have been serving the larger IVR speech solutions market place for many years. Uniting Syntellect’s direct enterprise sales focus with Envox’s service provider and carrier sales focus will expand our total market coverage. The combined organization will benefit from a broader geographic reach through both local presence and a global network of channel partners."
That's a sentiment shared by Meisel. "The Envox acquisition will help Syntellect provide more options for its customers to roll out automation more easily," he says. "For both companies, it makes financial sense."

Meisel sees other benefits, though, especially for contact center managers and companies that operate call centers. The deal "gives more options to contact center managers with the integration of Syntellect and Envox products," he says, noting that "integrated systems will become increasingly important as companies try to rein in costs."


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