Verint recently announced that it has acquired Vovici,a vendor of enterprise feedback management systems. In light of the fact that Verint was recently rated the top vendor in the Ventana Research Value Index for Customer Feedback Management, at first it seemed odd that the company would buy another that offers a very similar product. In this situation the business driver often is to gain market share, with the net effect being that customers are left with fewer choices. Looking deeper reveals that is not so in this case; comparing the two product sets and target markets you can see benefits for current and future customers. Verint has positioned itself in the customer feedback market and has mainly focused on collecting customer feedback through IVR surveys. In contrast, Vovici has been in the enterprise feedback market and has capabilities for collecting feedback through channels other than IVR, and it also collects employee feedback as well as customer feedback. Thus the combination of the two product sets now enables Verint to offer survey collection and analysis across all channels, both for customers and employees. The Vovici product set also has capabilities to create and run social media-based groups, which provide another avenue for communicating with customers.
Before the purchase, Verint’s target market was the contact center and customer service, while Vovici targeted business users across the enterprise. With the combined capabilities, Verint can now approach enterprise customers with a product set that can support multiple lines of business. As well the two companies covered slightly different territories, so Verint now can offer products and support on a global basis. Vovici also had more experience with hosting systems through cloud computing, so this will help Verint expand in this area.
All this aside, observers who follow Verint will see this acquisition as part of a bigger strategy. The company aims to become a major provider of “voice of the customer” (VOC) analytics. VOC is another term for describing the long-sought 360–degree view of the customer that combines all the information a company has about its customers, especially all forms of communications. Customer feedback is a key part of this comprehensive view, and the Vovici capabilities will add more information to the Verint VOC.
Ventana Research’s benchmark research into customer analytics shows that in these tough economic times, companies are striving to gain a better view of their customers so they can retain their business and sell more to them. This acquisition, as well as providing wider surveying capabilities, will provide for Verint an enhanced customer view. So it will be interesting to track how well the integration of the two companies and products sets proceeds over the coming months. If you want to keep track, please come and collaborate with us on…
Richard Snow – VP & Research Director