Cisco To Buy Latigent To Enhance Call Center Offerings - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications

Cisco To Buy Latigent To Enhance Call Center Offerings

Latigent's products will complement Cisco's Unified Customer Contact product, which is a platform used in call centers to personalize customer communications.

Cisco Systems on Thursday announced plans to acquire business intelligence provider Latigent in order to improve its own contact center offerings.

Latigent is a small Chicago-based provider of BI and analytics reporting tools with a focus on call centers. The company was founded in 2002 by contact center industry veterans and has since partnered with leading companies in the call center market, including Cisco, Avaya, and Nortel.

Cisco said Latigent's products, which are Web-based and use Web 2.0 principles, will complement its Unified Customer Contact, a platform that companies can deploy in the call center to personalize their communications using media such as voice, the Web, e-mail, and video.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco's fiscal year 2008. Upon the close, Latigent's team and technologies will become part of Cisco's Customer Contact Business Unit. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"The marriage of traditional contact center reporting with Web 2.0 is the most interesting part here," said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at Yankee Group.

BI reporting is a critical component of contact center management because it's a way of measuring a business process and how it can be changed. Since Latigent's reporting tools are Web 2.0 based, Cisco's customers will be able to create scalable and easily customizable reports for their contacts centers.

Cisco has been making a big push into Web 2.0, saying that it will change the way people work and collaborate with each other. Earlier this year, Cisco's CEO John Chambers unveiled the company's Data Center 3.0 initiative, which involves rolling out new products and services over the next 24 months that use various next-generation components like service oriented-architecture, Web 2.0, and the automatic provisioning of resources through virtualization.

The acquisition of Latigent falls neatly in line with Cisco's vision. "Cisco wants to tie Web 2.0 to all different types of collaboration and communications," said Kerravala.

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