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August 19, 2008

Voxeo Eyes Asia-Pacific, Bolsters IVR, SIP-Based Products with Micromethod Acquisition

By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor

Positioning itself to take advantage of what experts call “explosive growth” in the Asia-Pacific region, an Orlando, Florida-based IVR and VoIP platform and services provider today announced that it’s acquired a SIP-based software maker with headquarters in Beijing.

Officials at Voxeo Corporation aren’t saying how much they’ve paid for Micromethod (News - Alert) Technologies.
The 10-year-old company’s chief executive officer, Jonathan Taylor, told TMCnet during an interview this morning that Micromethod’s next-generation call center solution has become increasingly popular among North American and Asian companies, including Seoul-based online auction and shopping site, GMarket.
GMarket’s adoption of Micromethod’s IP-based solution is a trend that Voxeo is seeing companies embrace throughout nations such as China and South Korea, Taylor said.
“They (GMarket officials) found that the Micromethod product was a great way to build a call center project,” he told TMCnet. “And we’re seeing that more and more. We’re seeing that trend here in the (United) States, but I think it’s even more true in Asia and especially in countries like China, Korea and others, where there’s a lot of growth and there’s a lot of new infrastructure being put in place, so they’re able to deploy new solutions. They’re not looking at the older call center solutions. They’re looking at the new technologies.”
The acquisition is expected to bolster Voxeo’s SIP-focused products, services and developer solutions, company officials say.
Also, since Micromethod’s customers include large voice platform and online collaboration service providers, such as Tellme (News - Alert) and GMarket, the acquisition is expected to give Voxeo a strong jumping-off point into an Asia-Pacific market expansion.
That expansion is well underway, as Voxeo has already launched a subsidiary in the Asia-Pacific. All Micromethod employees have joined that office, Voxeo said today, and will work with Kevin Lu, the Micromethod’s chief executive officer, who has been named general manager there.
According to Daniel Hong, a lead analyst for the market research firm Datamonitor, Voxeo’s purchase of Micromethod is money well spent. Hong expects China to see “a massive uptake in IVR and SIP deployments over the next decade, as companies expand their customer service operations.”
Industry insiders say that today’s slower economy is having little effect on the rate at which China, in particular, is adopting IP technologies. Officials from Gartner say that though the software market is seeing changes because of SaaS (News - Alert), cloud computing and open-source offerings, strong Asia-Pacific sales are driving a 7 percent increase this year in hardware spending.
TMCnet Contributing Editor Gary Kim cites data from market researchers at In-Stat (News - Alert), which is calling for China, along with India, to fuel worldwide growth in IP technologies and in new subscriptions to mobile service providers.
“The number of worldwide cellular subscriptions in 2007 grew by 667.6 million over 2006, In-Stat notes,” Kim reported recently. “In 2008 an additional 382.5 million subscribers over the 2007 total will be added.”
Voxeo officials say they’re eyeing three SIP-based products from Micromethod, in particular, that the company will continue to sell and also integrate with its Prophecy premise software – a new version of which is being released today.
The products include: SIPMethod, a platform designed for rapid development and deployment of SIP communications solutions; SIPoint, a SIP user collaboration, connectivity, routing and messaging solution; and Horizon, a SIP firewall, NAT and VPN solution.
Voxeo officials say they expect the products to fit nicely into their IVR and speech applications. The company says its open standards-based Prophecy platform is the most VoiceXML standard-compliant offering of its kind, and the only one to pass all of the VoiceXML Forum’s “mandatory and optional compliance tests.”
“With the acquisition of Micromethod, Voxeo now complements VoiceXML and CCXML with a suite of open, API-driven development platforms and SIP-focused enterprise solutions based on Java Specification Request standards,” company officials say.
Voxeo Corporation is a platinum sponsor of Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO — the biggest and most comprehensive IP communications event of the year.  ITEXPO (News - Alert) will take place in Los Angeles, California, September 16-18, 2008, featuring three valuable days of exhibits, conferences, and networking opportunities you can’t afford to miss. Don’t wait.  Register now!

Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

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