See the CWJOBS job ad.
Archive for June, 2006
See the Monster job ad (in Dutch).
Two months ago this blog expressed mixed feelings about Genesys‘ acquisition of VoiceGenie, argueing that a takeover of Audium or VoiceObjects would have been more instrumental in bridgeing speech application ecosystem bottlenecks. John Chambers must be among our readers, because last Thursday Cisco Systems, the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, has announced an agreement to acquire Audium for $19.8 million in cash.
According to the press release, the acquisition will “enable enterprises to easily build automated voice response applications that are integrated with not only their converged IP network but also work well within their Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) enabling the use of common services across the network”.
Cisco IOS VoiceXML interpreters have been integrated in various gateway and router products for quite a while, but this huge potential – given the installed base – was not yet matched by state-of-the art tools on the application development side. So from Cisco’s point of view, the acquisition clearly makes sense.
The continued shrinking of the VoiceXML ecosystem may mean that technology providers will have an easier time offering well-integrated, well-supported (and, on the whole, more affordable?) product suites to their customers. If integration issues are the parasites of the VoiceXML ecosystem, consolidation will reduce their visible impact or kill them alltogether – over time. A Good Thing, one might say. On the other hand, the reduction of the VoiceXML ecosystem to a smaller number of vertically integrated players may hamper standardization, openness and innovation. For one thing, the gobbling up of Audium by Cisco may very well make it practically or commercially impossible for non-Cisco customers to use this excellent tool. Unless they also switch to Cisco hardware, that is …
Let’s hope that common sense prevails, in the (common) interest of accelerated market development. Once we’re there, may the best win.