Synchronoss Acquires SpeechCycle

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Synchronoss, a provider of on-demand multichannel transaction management solutions to the communications services sector, has quietly acquired SpeechCycle. The acquisition was not announced formally, but rather during Synchronoss's first quarter 2012 earnings conference call with analysts.

During the call, Stephen Waldis, chairman, president, and CEO of Synchronoss, said the company sought to add new voice technologies to automate complex voice transactions and provide a more complete offering for overall higher automation rates. "When handling transactions within customer service and care channels, a very high amount of these transactions are voice-related. Many of these transactions cannot be automated in our traditional offerings," he said.

"SpeechCycle's natural language speech recognition technology is specifically tuned for the service provider environment and the types of transactions that we are handling. SpeechCycle enables self-service resolution for many calls, and when a human element is required, their technology enables the handle time to be dramatically reduced.

"SpeechCycle's technology has been tested with customers such as Charter, Cablevision, and Telstra, an Australian company, and we plan to move to deploy the technology within this new care channel at [partner company] AT&T in 2012. This will enable Synchronoss and AT&T to achieve our target automation rates and improve the overall customer experience more quickly than we had initially contemplated," Waldis continued.

Synchronoss has not commented on the acquisition. SpeechCycle issued a statement, saying, "We are very much looking forward to being a part of such an innovative company."

Meanwhile, in another under-the-radar deal, Bridgepoint Development Capital, an international private equity firm, in late May acquired BigHand, the largest provider of voice productivity software to the legal, healthcare, and professional services markets in the United Kingdom, for $77.5 million.

BigHand, which was founded in 1996, currently supports more than 150,000 professionals globally across 1,450 organizations and has offices in London, Chicago, Sydney, and Toronto./p>

Alan Payne, partner at Bridgepoint Development Capital, thinks voice productivity solutions, although strong in some markets, can expand significantly, particularly in mobile devices and voice-to-text conversion technology.

"Voice productivity software can yield very significant efficiency gains and cost savings to its users," he said in a statement.

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