Nortel Networks has bought computer telephony vendor Periphonics in a move that furthers Nortel's quest to bringing voice and data networks closer together.
Nortel will pay around $436 million in stock for Periphonics. The 900 employee New York based company will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Ontario, Canada, based Nortel.
Periphonics' technology includes voice response and Web enabled systems for call centers and other network applications. Nortel will use the technology to integrate its own call centre products with its Internet technology.
"By uniting the power of live customer service professionals with the power of the Web, we will create a new generation of eServices in the call centre and beyond," said Periphonics chief executive Peter Cohen, in a statement.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year. Nortel said the purchase will have a slightly positive impact on its earnings per share, in calendar year 2000, excluding acquisition related charges.
According to Forrester Research, the number of Web enabled call centres worldwide will rise from 11 per cent this year to 46 per cent by 2002.
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