Genesys Acquires Interactive Intelligence

Genesys today announced its acquisition of Interactive Intelligence, a provider of cloud services for customer engagement, communications, and collaboration. Valued at approximately $1.4 billion, the transaction looks to help Genesys accomplish its goal of providing powerful customer experience solutions at scale, anywhere, anytime, over any channel—both on premises and in the cloud. Additionally, the merger aims to extend Genesys's global market leadership and promote innovation across the newly combined product portfolio.

One of the key questions of the acquisition concerns how the two companies' solutions complement each other. Sheila McGee-Smith, founder and principal analyst at McGee-Smith Analytics, says that the two work together in terms of market share in particular. "Complementarity really speaks to target market, how the portfolios match the needs of various components of the marketplace," she says. "Genesys has been—and continues to be—the leader for high-end enterprise, [while] Interactive Intelligence has owned that in midmarket. So, [are they] complementary in that way? Absolutely."

Interactive Intelligence looks to provide a complete customer engagement solution with its cloud contact center platform, PureCloud Engage. Built atop Amazon Web Services, the solution uses microservice architecture to ensure that a failure in one area does not initiate a domino effect. Furthermore, it boasts fast deployment and features inbound and outbound multichannel capabilities, as well as interfaces that are optimized for both desktop and mobile devices.

McGee-Smith notes that the acquisition shows Genesys making a commitment to lead with contact center technology. "One of the things that's interesting is that Interactive Intelligence, when they announced PureCloud in 2015, talked about having capabilities in communications, collaboration, and customer experience. And yet a year later…they could have backed off the communications and collaboration and had more of a message of 'We're leading with contact center.' I think…what Genesys is saying is, 'We're going to continue to lead with contact center.'"

With the acquisition, Interactive Intelligence's features are intended to work in tandem with Genesys's existing customer experience offerings. The company's CX platform aims to align the experience delivered by businesses with the expectations of their customers, by matching workloads with the required staffing levels for each customer journey. Additionally, the solution features analytics tools that harness real-time and historical data, with the goal of continually updating sales, service, and marketing strategies.

"I think it's a great move," McGee-Smith says. "The Gartner Magic Quadrant has four leaders for Contact Center [Infrastructure, and] now there are three [Genesys, Cisco, and Avaya]. There's real consolidation here of market share. This creates three much more closely aligned competitors."

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