Industry Veteran Genesys Has New Beginning

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  April 30, 2012

This article originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of Customer Interaction Solutions

Genesys (News - Alert) has long been a fixture in the communications space, and it’s ownership over the years has not been unlike a game of musical chairs. Now Genesys is once again a stand-alone company, and the company’s management and new owners say it is uniquely positioned in the customer interaction solutions space of today.

The company got its start two decades ago. At the beginning, the company’s vision was to provide capabilities for call centers in software using computer telephony integration. And it worked. Genesys became the leader in CTI.

So successful was Genesys in this hot new area called CTI that leading network infrastructure company Alcatel in September 1999 announced plans to buy the company for about $1.5 billion. But Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) recently decided to sell off these customer service-related assets, and it was able to do so last year via another $1.5 billion deal, this one with Permira and Technology Crossover Ventures.

Permira is a Europe-based private equity firm that has committed $30 billion in capital around the world. Brian Ruder, partner and head of the Menlo Park, Calif., office for Permira funds, says his company is excited by the long-term growth potential of Genesys. He adds that the company has a strong brand, what he calls differentiated technologies, and a blue-chip customer base.

“Genesys is generating a level of excitement in the market that we have not seen recently, and we are thrilled to be part of this evolving story,” says Ruder. “We believe the company is not only poised for solid growth, but its unique mix of talented people, leading and disruptive technology and blue-chip customer base creates opportunities to transform the customer service and contact center markets.”

The company offers a complete software suite for contact centers and customer service. Its application software started in world of voice and IVR, but over the years the Genesys solution has gone multichannel, so it can now support chat, e-mail, mobile, social and voice communications, explains Nicolas De Kouchkovsky (News - Alert), Genesys chief marketing offering. He adds that the company continues to strengthen its offerings in the growing areas of analytics, cloud computing, process workflow, social engagement, and workforce optimization.

“We completely focus on customer service with a pure software suite that is independent of the underlying infrastructure and that works across multiple channels,” De Kouchkovsky says.

With 2010 sales of $500 million, Genesys occupies the No. 2 market share position in the contact center space. The company’s software handles more than 100 million customer interactions each day for 2,000 companies and government agencies in 80 countries.

As Ruder notes, some of the organizations using Genesys solutions are big dogs. Indeed, the solutions are leveraged by more than 60 percent of the Global 100, and in 2012 it intends to further extend that by increasing R&D by 14 percent.

But while Genesys has historically served the high end of market, it is now expanding down market, adds De Kouchkovsky. He notes that the company offers its solutions both on a license basis and via a software-as-a-service model; the Genesys SaaS solutions are delivered through partners like AT&T (News - Alert), Verizon, and Working Solutions. Genesys last year announced it had hit the 1,000 SaaS customer mark.

“Today we are building on the incredible story that is Genesys and launching the company into its new future,” says Paul Segre (News - Alert), Genesys president and CEO. “We’re now backed by the best in the business in the Permira funds and TCV, and we have the industry’s most unique combination of customers, partners and people to innovate around the customer experience. We are on a singular mission to save the world from bad customer service.”

Edited by Stefania Viscusi