Alcatel buys Telera to add VoiceXML to call centers

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Alcatel SA plans to buy Telera Corp., a California company specializing in VoiceXML (Voice Extensible Markup Language) systems, to add self-service features to the live call center systems developed by Alcatel's contact center subsidiary Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories Inc.

The Paris telecommunication equipment manufacturer has agreed to pay US$136 million in stock for the Campbell, California, company, it announced Wednesday.

Under Alcatel's control, Telera will at first work on voice self-service systems, the market for which Alcatel expects to grow to $600 million by 2005. Alcatel expects to integrate these systems with existing live customer assistance products developed by Genesys, which is based in San Francisco.

Telera's Voice Web Application Platform can be deployed either in customer premises equipment or as a carrier network service.

Alcatel expects the deal to close in July, subject to approval by Telera's shareholders and "other customary closing conditions," it said in a statement.

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