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Genesys acquires Altocloud sales analytics for contact center cloud

Genesys acquires analytics vendor Altocloud to help businesses find sales opportunities in online customer interactions. Genesys will integrate Altocloud into omnichannel contact center products.

Genesys plans to use its recent Altocloud acquisition to spread predictive analytics across its cloud-based omnichannel contact center products. The added intelligence could help businesses boost sales during online interactions with customers.

Genesys announced the acquisition this week without providing financial details. The company, however, said it planned to add Altocloud's sales-focused algorithms to Genesys' PureEngage and PureCloud software in the second half of the year. The company did not have a timetable for its third product, PureConnect.

Collectively, the software lets companies of any size communicate with customers, whether it's through audio or video calling, email, chatrooms on a website, or social media.

By running Altocloud analytics behind those various customer interactions, Genesys plans to provide companies with real-time intelligence that could lead to a sale, according to executives. Today, Altocloud's technology is used primarily to increase sales on retail sites and to help people fill out online applications for loans or insurance.

Merging sales with contact centers

Genesys, a longtime provider of contact center software, acquired its cloud-based omnichannel products in 2016 through the $1.4 billion acquisition of Interactive Intelligence. With the latest purchase, Genesys moves deeper into the sales arena "where we've seen providers like Altocloud get most [of their] traction to date," said Steve Blood , an analyst at Gartner.

"This is actually a relatively new adjacent market for contact center players," he said. Genesys rivals also blending sales with contact center applications include NewVoiceMedia and Talkdesk.

The immediate casualties of the acquisition are Genesys rivals Cisco and Five9, which use Altocloud analytics, Blood said. "It's difficult to see how those relationships will continue, given Altocloud is now owned by their largest competitor."

Peter Graf, chief product officer, GenesysPeter Graf

Roughly 80% of Altocloud's 50 customers use the company's cloud-based software to bolster sales and marketing, said Peter Graf, chief product officer for Genesys, based in Daly City, Calif. The remaining customers use Altocloud for customer service.

With offices in Galway, Ireland, and Mountain View, Calif., Altocloud has 26 employees, 19 of whom are developers, Graf said. Altocloud will become a development hub for Genesys' artificial intelligence. Also, former CEO Barry O'Sullivan will become a "strategic adviser" to Genesys CEO Paul Segre.

How Altocloud helps retailers

In general, Altocloud embeds Java code on a website to track each visitor's activity and sends the information to the company's data center, where it is analyzed to predict possible behavior. For example, if the Altocloud algorithm finds the visitor is likely to abandon a shopping cart filled with goods, then the finding might trigger an online chat with a customer service rep or a coupon offering the potential buyer a discount.

Smyths Toys Superstores, based in Galway, uses Altocloud on its websites, Graf said. The seller of toys and entertainment products for children has more than 110 stores throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom.

"Smyths, one of the largest online toy retailers [in Europe], has managed to reduce the number of high-value shopping carts abandoned by 70%," Graf said

Furthering Altocloud's success will be Genesys' biggest challenge, Blood said. Altocloud's team of small-company developers could easily get lost in Genesys, which has 10,000 customers in 100 countries.

If that was to happen, then Genesys could fail to take advantage of robust technology, Blood said.

"Innovation is critical for Genesys to stay ahead of its major competition -- Cisco, inContact and Five9, as well as disruptive entrants like Amazon with its Connect platform," he said.

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