Primas Prepares to Pounce on New Market Opening

When Nuance acquired contact center solution provider Viecore last month, many chalked it up as yet another example of the speech powerhouse buying up more market space. But Primas viewed the purchase as an opportunity.

The company, which provides speech technology and professional services for the contact center space, now stands poised to fill the void left by the acquisition. With Viecore gone, contact centers have fewer options left when choosing a vendor-neutral speech technology services and products provider.

Alan Hahn, general manager and vice president of operations for Primas, explains the situation. "[Viecore] became the de facto alternative source for implementations," he states. "Nuance has the lion's share for licensing, but now that Viecore is acquired by Nuance, it leaves a vacuum. For companies like Primas, it gives us an opportunity to be the alternative."

Hahn says Primas' long-standing relationships with vendors such as Avaya, Nortel, Aspect, and Intervoice, coupled with its 10-plus years of experience in the marketplace, gives it further leverage as a first-stop solution for contact centers that once deployed Viecore. Because the acquisition of Viecore is not yet complete, Hahn claims that many contact center managers are "scrambling" to find an independent resource for their speech needs. The timing of the acquisition, he says, works to Primas' advantage.

"Many [customers] are trying to see who's available out there, what kinds of capabilities  these vendors bring to the table, and most customers right now have been working on their budgets for 2008, so how this affects their projects or budgets after [the acquisition] happened," he states. "Our Web activity on this is over 50 percent since the announcement came out [today]."

And despite Nuance's success thus far in a business model built around acquisition of small, successful companies, Hahn says the currently "robust" speech marketplace benefits from these acquisitions in some ways.

"I don't know if [the acquisitions] harm the market, but it costs more if you don't have alternatives," he explains. "The price to the consumer goes up, and the more alternatives you have, the more competitive the marketplace. History shows that when you have monopolies, you tend not to be as innovative."

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