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Concerto merges with Aspect

UPDATE: The two contact center vendors are combining into one private company in a $1 billion deal.

Concerto Software Inc. and Aspect Communications Corp. said today that they have reached an agreement to combine the two companies.

San Jose, Calif.-based Aspect will be taken private after the deal has closed. Shareholders will receive $11.60 for each share, a 15% premium to the average closing price over the last 30 days. The transaction is valued at approximately $1 billion.

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Westford, Mass.-based Concerto will combine its predictive dialing and unified contact center products with Aspect's workforce management applications and performance analytics technology to form one company focused entirely on the contact center. Aspect recently released version 6.1 of its Uniphi suite, a converged contact center platform. The two companies will also be able to offer multi-channel routing, self-service interactive voice response, virtual contact center capabilities and reporting, monitoring and recording.

"Customers can expect reduced complexity over time as we integrate these contact center applications together to let them, for example, easily bring workforce optimization into an existing contact center," said Mike Sheridan, vice president of corporate strategy and corporate marketing for Concerto. "It gives them an ability to take advantage of new technologies over time. [Voice over Internet Protocol], presence with [Session Initiation Protocol], Web Services and open source with PBX are things that some of our customers are starting to take a look at."

The companies already have some history of integration with outbound dialing, computer telephony integration and automatic call distribution.

Aspect's board of directors has approved the transaction and it is expected to close the deal in September. The new company will be privately held by Concerto's investors, Golden Gate Capital, Oak Investment Partners and management. James Foy, Concerto's CEO will serve as CEO and president of the combined company.

"We will be the world's largest company solely focused on contact center solutions," said Brian Gentile, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Aspect. "We don't have a goal of creating large communications systems like our competitors. We have a clear vision as a combined company recognizing customer care and interaction. It's a market that deserves a $600 million-plus company serving it."

Together the companies total nearly $660 million in revenue, 1.15 million agent seat licenses and roughly 2,400 employees.

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