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[September 23, 2005]

Aspect, Concerto Complete Uber-Merger: Now Known As Aspect

By DAVID R. BUTCHER, Assistant Editor, Customer Interaction Solutions

The mega-merger of enterprise customer contact solutions provider Aspect Communications and Concerto Software, which provides products and services for enabling in-house and outsourced business processes, was today announced as complete. The transaction, valued at approximately $1 billion, was approved by a majority of Aspect Communications shareholders two days prior to the announcement.

Concerto and Aspect announced in July that an agreement had been entered between the two major companies for Concerto to acquire Aspect for $11.60 per share of Aspect Common Stock and an equivalent amount per share of Aspect Series B Convertible Preferred Stock on an as-converted basis.

The combined company, now collectively known as Aspect Software, is privately held by Golden Gate Capital, Oak Investment Partners and company management, among others.

The reborn Aspect Software, according to the corporate entity, creates the largest company solely focused on contact center products and services. It brings together more than 30 years of contact center expertise and innovation with a robust product portfolio that includes the following: predictive dialers, automatic call distributors (ACD), unified contact center systems, self-service interactive voice response (IVR) systems, workforce management applications and performance analytics solutions. Aspects product portfolio enables the company to meet customer demand for increased functionality and reduced complexity.

Aspect Software, according to the merger-completion announcement, will continue to evolve and support all of its major product lines, build tighter integrations among its products and provide evolutionary methods for customers to adopt new and emerging technologies.

The new Aspect Software is committed to protecting our customers investments and is well-equipped to support them in achieving their strategic collections, customer service and sales and telemarketing objectives, said Jim Foy, president and CEO of Aspect Software, in a company statement.

Aspect Software anticipates in excess of $600 million in annual revenue, with more than 5,000 customers and a global presence in more than 50 countries. The company also expects to maintain its strong record of profitability, demonstrating long-term viability and enabling significant investment in research and development, as further stated in the announcement.

Foy will lead the executive team of the new company. Gary Barnett, former CEO of Aspect Communications, now serves as chief technology officer (CTO) and executive vice president of worldwide support services for Aspect Software. Other members of the new management team, which incorporates individuals from both companies management teams, include Ralph Breslauer, executive vice president of global sales and marketing; Mike Provenzano, executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO); and Alex Tellez, executive vice president of engineering.

Our top priority is to make our customers comfortable with the fact that the products they rely on to run their businesses are going to continue on, and to ensure they see enhanced product support. At the same time, it is crucial for us to invest in R & D so we can continue innovating in order to provide them with a non-disruptive path to the future as and when they require it, noted Barnett in a company statement. We have developed a strong product roadmap that supports these priorities and takes advantage of the strengths both companies bring to the table. We will spend the next several weeks and months communicating that roadmap to our customers.

In an exclusive interview with Foy in Augusts Customer Interaction Solutions magazine, the CEO of the company now known as Aspect told CIS editors, We have no distractions. None of the wannabes in the industry can even begin to measure up now to the range of solution portfolio we have.

[What our customers] get is a much more complete solution to the contact center problem they face, which is evolving and becoming more difficult every day, he said. They get more of the solution now from Concerto.


David R. Butcher is Assistant Editor of Customer Interaction Solutions. To see more articles by David Butcher, visit his archive.

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