It seems that the end of summer is the time to announce new engagements or marriages. During the ACCE show in Seattle, Cisco and Microsoft announced a strategic alliance to attack the SMB VoIP-based contact center market. Nortel announced a close partnership with Witness Systems to enhance Nortel’s voice recording and quality control capability. Witness also announced an OEM relationship with Cognos to further enhance Witness’s Analytics capability. IEX demonstrated how closely it is collaborating with Merced Systems by hosting Merced on its stand. Coming on the heels of Oracle’s acquisition of Siebel and Concerto’s acquisition of Aspect, these developments indicate a continuing trend of consolidation in the marketplace, as vendors either strive to dominate their segment or enhance their support for end users by preemptively integrating what previously were islands of technology. In most instances, Ventana Research sees these as positive moves that will reduce the risk and cost of delivering technology to support the handling of customer contacts. However, we encourage all end users to examine carefully their contact-handling processes before they attempt to take full advantage of these new integrated solutions.
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