Cisco Gets Latigent For Its Contact Skills

Another day, another acquisition for Cisco Systems. On Thursday, the network-equipment giant confirmed it would acquire Latigent, a developer of Web-based business intelligence and analytics reporting software for corporate contact centers.

Cisco and competitors like Aspect, Genesis, Nortel and Avaya are all trying to expand their software portfolios to accommodate the increasingly complex contact centers used by large companies to receive, respond to and analyze all types of interaction with their customers.

Chicago-based Latigent, which Cisco will fold into its ever-expanding Customer Contact Business unit, develops BlueVue, an application that provides real-time and historical reporting of all e-mails, phone calls and customer interactions.

Anther Latigent application, Archiver, will give Cisco the functionality to tie in information from multiple customer relationship management (CRM)  systems, delivering a more comprehensive analysis of customer contact in a single reporting environment.

Laurent Philonenko, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Customer Contact Business Unit, said in a statement that the acquisition illustrates the company’s commitment to improve its customer interaction solutions with better reporting tools.

Gartner analyst Drew Kraus told that this is a good buy for Cisco because it addresses one of its biggest weaknesses. “The richness in the reporting they’ll now get should put them on par with the advanced players.”

Latigent CEO Chris Crosby and CTO Jason Kolb, who co-founded the company in 2002, will join Cisco once the deal closes. That’s expected to occur in the first quarter of 2008.

The Latigent purchase marks the 123rd acquisition in Cisco’s history and its second in four months. In May, it snapped up BroadWare Technologies, which develops software enabling businesses to record, monitor and manage Web-based audio and video files.

Financial terms of the Latigent acquisition were not disclosed. Cisco shares inched up 27 cents, or less than one percent, to $33.26 a share in late Thursday trading.

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