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Alcatel Shells Out $136M to Buy Telera

French telecommunications equipment supplier Alcatel plans to shell out $136 million in stock to acquire voice technology specialist Telera Corp. as part of plans to focus on the voice self-service market.

Terms of the transaction call for Alcatel to give up about $136 million of its common stock to acquire the assets and business lines of the Campbell, Calif.-based Telera. Alcatel also assumes Telera's $30 million cash position.

Once the deal closes next month, Alcatel said Telera would be merged into its Genesys contact center software unit.

The deal, which comes as Alcatel is preparing to target the market for voice self-service software services, would bring aboard Telera's Voice Web platform, which uses VoiceXML and other open standards to build voice applications.

Telera's Voice Web offerings are typically sold to service providers and enterprises to develop advanced voice applications that allow telephones to be used to access Web-based information.

"Voice access to the Internet will be the spark for a powerful transformation in the way the Web is used and in the consumer services that are made available by enterprises and service providers. The acquisition of Telera by Alcatel is a critical link in our strategy to build the applications that will drive the transition to converged voice and data networks." said Olivier Houssin, president of Alcatel's eBusiness Group.

Once Telera is integrated into Genesys, the combined unit would market an integrated software for both voice self-service and live customer service.

The company said Telera's Voice Web Application Platform could be deployed either as an on-premises or in-the-network software and includes features that allow customers to reduce network complexity and the overall cost of deploying advanced voice applications.

Among other features, Telera's platform allows:

  • Voice enabled self-service that gives access web-based information via any telephone using natural voice or touch-tone commands for applications such as on-line banking, order status inquiry and surveys. The self-service software would be integrated with Genesys Framework and Enterprise Routing tool to ensure call are routed to the appropriate customer service agent.
  • Outbound notification/alerts that lets businesses contact customers based on pre-defined events or business logic such as flight cancellations or status changes. Customers also have the option to obtain additional information via voice self-service or live assistance through integration with Genesys software.
  • Interactive Voice Response that provides functionality of traditional IVR systems with a new level of programmability because of the VoiceXML openness and development environment.