Avaya plans to acquire Spoken Communications, a provider of contact center as a service (CCaaS) and conversational artificial intelligence.
The transaction, which includes more than 170 patents and patent applications, will be funded by cash on hand (terms were not disclosed). It follows on the heels of a co-development partnership formed by Avaya and Spoken in 2017 to provide CCaaS solutions to Avaya’s business process outsourcing customers.
“With this acquisition, Avaya’s large contact-center customer base around the world will have a clear migration path to the cloud,” said Jim Chirico, president and CEO of Avaya. “Customers can retain all the functionality of their existing premises-based technology and seamlessly migrate that functionality, at their pace, to achieve all the benefits of cloud.”
Spoken’s cloud-native, multitenant architecture is integrated with Avaya’s Aura and Elite technologies. As a result, it also provides an architecture for both Avaya’s omnichannel offerings, such as Oceana, and its unified communications as a service (UCaaS) solutions.
In addition, customers will gain access to Spoken’s specialized agent quality software applications and services, along with the IntelligentWire contact center automation solutions. IntelligentWire uses artificial intelligence and deep learning technologies on live voice conversations to reduce after-call work, drive more intelligent responses and gain deeper insight into customer sentiment and experience.
“This transaction is a critical step in positioning our customers, partners and new cloud business for increasing success,” said Mercer Rowe, senior vice president and general manager, Cloud, for Avaya. “We are now moving at cloud speed, capitalizing on Avaya’s momentum to give our customers greater choice and flexibility in how they buy and consume our solutions, with the same outstanding experience whether it’s on premises, in the public or private cloud, or a hybrid model.”
Upon completion of the transaction, Rowe will lead the combined Spoken and Avaya cloud teams.
Mohamad Afshar, president and CEO of Spoken, added, “This is an exciting time to join the Avaya family. Our successful partnership has demonstrated that working together, Avaya and Spoken can deliver a compelling cloud-native CCaaS portfolio for Avaya customers that offers every customer, from small and mid-market businesses to global enterprises, a seamless path to a modern cloud-based contact center. Further, Avaya shares our vision for how communications, cloud and artificial intelligence will come together to transform the customer experience and drive new efficiencies for businesses everywhere. We look forward to pursuing this vision together and becoming the No. 1 cloud-based contact center provider in the world. I want to thank everyone on the Spoken team for the outstanding contributions they have made to make all of this happen.”
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of fiscal 2018, subject to customary closing conditions.