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Verint buys into call center with Mercom acquisition

Verint will add Mercom's footprint in the small and midsized contact center market to its BI and quality monitoring tools.

Verint Systems Inc. today expanded its call center offerings with the acquisition of Mercom Systems Inc.

Melville, N.Y.-based Verint, an analytics and business intelligence (BI) software vendor, purchased Lyndhurst, N.J.-based Mercom for $35 million up front and $17.5 million over the next two years, based on certain performance targets. Mercom provides interaction recording and performance evaluation software for small and midsized companies. It has approximately 60 employees.

Mercom brings two benefits to the arrangement, according to Donna Fluss, principal with West Orange, N.J.-based DMG Consulting -- a revenue stream in the call center software market and experience with small and midsized companies, particularly in public safety.

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"They were growing but not a name people knew," Fluss said. "Verint will be a name that people know. It's a complementary acquisition for Verint and it's good for the market."

Verint will bring its own analytic and BI capabilities together with Mercom's presence in the call center market to improve performance recording and monitoring.

"We believe that there is growing demand for analytical solutions that can help drive operational effectiveness in the small-to-midsized enterprise market," Dan Bodner, president and CEO of Verint, said in a statement. "The Mercom team has a strong track record in this growing market, and we look forward to providing our combined global channels with an expanded portfolio of value-added analytical solutions."

Verint has faced troubles of its own in recent months as its stock price has fallen and it has been threatened with delisting from the NASDAQ exchange.

Its stock was trading at $25.91 Friday afternoon.

According to Fluss, who will soon be releasing a report on the state of the call monitoring market, the three biggest vendors -- NICE, Verint and Witness -- accounted for 82% of the $1.025 billion market. Mercom was one of the few vendors of significant size that had not been swallowed up yet. "We've been waiting for this to happen," Fluss said.

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