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Convergys adds to relationship management with Intervoice acquisition

Extending its CRM and human resources management initiative, Convergys today said it will acquire IVR vendor Intervoice for $335 million.

Convergys, one of the world's largest contact center outsourcers, today said it will acquire interactive voice response (IVR) software maker Intervoice for $335 million in a step to extend its relationship management strategy.

Cincinnati-based Convergys will pay $8.25 per share for Dallas-based Intervoice, a 24% premium on yesterday's closing stock price.

The combination of the two companies will bring Intervoice's speech automation, Web self-service and mobile applications together with Convergys's automated and live agents. Convergys announced plans last year to expand into relationship management, both CRM and human resources management.

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"This is an important part of our plan to be the market leader in relationship management solutions," said Dave Dougherty, Convergys president and CEO. "Clients need to automate the care experience across all channels by integrating automated and live agents. Together, Convergys and Intervoice can deliver integrated relationship management solutions to do just this."

The move also gives Convergys cross-selling opportunities by bringing to the combined company Intervoice's customer base of network service providers and enterprises across a range of industries. It also adds Intervoice's global channel, technology partnerships and sales organization.

"Intervoice is a great fit with our customer management capabilities," Mike Betzer, senior vice president of relationship technology management with Convergys, said in a statement. "By integrating Intervoice's complementary speech automation, Web self-care and mobile applications, Convergys will be able to offer a comprehensive array of automated and live agent services."

The two companies had been discussing the acquisition for about a year. A number of other companies were active bidders for Intervoice, according to Intervoice CEO Robert Ritchey, with Convergys emerging as the best option.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

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