Concerto Software Acquires Rockwell FirstPoint Contact

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
CEO
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Concerto Software Acquires Rockwell FirstPoint Contact

Yesterday, I flew out to Chicago to cover the merger of Concerto Software and Rockwell FirstPoint Contact (RFC). I am thrilled to be reporting on what may be the most important contact center acquisitions of our time. While in Chicago, I will address the over 1,000 employees of the combined company and explain my take on the transaction and why it is important to the industry from my, independent perspective. Ive covered hundreds of M&As and this one ranks up there at the top. You see, the contact center was in the dark ages until the ACD was created in the 1980s. About half a decade later the predictive dialer gave the market another shot in the arm. Rockwell was the founder and one of the larger players of ACD technology. Melita, a company Concerto purchased less than a year ago is credited with inventing the predictive dialer. The combined company which will be called Concerto Software now boasts a patent portfolio of over 300 inbound, outbound and related patents with another 200 pending! What is astounding about Concerto Software is just how big they have become. They arent a large general communications company like an Avaya or Nortel, yet they are laser focused on contact centers and at the same time they have the technology from the founders of inbound and outbound technology in their portfolio. If there is a downside to all this its that Concerto has now amassed a portfolio of products that is quite vast. Overlap is minimal; it just takes time to explain what everything does. This isnt a dialer company, an ACD company, a workforce management company, they are more like a contact center powerhouse with a bewildering assortment of products that will solve most contact center challenges. Other than integrating the two companies, Concertos biggest challenge will have to be easily explaining to customers what all their various products do and how they work together. Still, this is certainly easier for Concerto to do than the huge telecom companies they compete against who have even more products. There were a few layoffs of overlapping personnel and a few minor products will be discontinued but all in all, the combined entity will have deeper pockets, more R&D funds and can now innovate more quickly than each company separately could do so. It is worth pointing out that IP contact center technology and SIP remain important areas of focus for Concerto. I am impressed with the management teams of both companies and they tell me that the corporate cultures are aligned and the fit cant be better. The same is certainly true from a technology perspective. Concerto is not only a great company in its own right but they have acquired a good deal of outside technology that they seem to have been able to smoothly integrate. Concerto is also a strong marketing company and this is an area where RFC did not place emphasis. Marketing is essential for long-term growth so this is a win for Rockwell customers in my opinion. From a technology perspective, it doesnt get any more significant than this. In conjunction with Concertos own technology, they now have the best of breed inbound and outbound solutions as part of the same company. This is a crucial idea as most contact centers still dont integrate their inbound and outbound systems together. Levering all this leading edge technology under a single roof, Concerto now has a grand vision for the integrated contact center of the future. I look forward to reporting on it as it unfolds.


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