Speech technology has come a long way in recent years, largely due to the impressive efforts of innovators and influencers who keep raising the bar. This year is no different. Whether it's helping customer service strategists, speech technology developers, or healthcare professionals, the industry at large benefits from the marks that this year's Luminaries have made. / By the Editors of Speech Technology magazine
the breakout star
president and CEO, Genesys
Paul Segre, president and CEO of Genesys since 2007, has been the driving force behind what can only be described as the turnaround story of the year. Operating as a subsidiary of Alcatel-Lucent from 2000 to 2012, Genesys built on its market-leading portfolio of contact center software and services, maintained consistent double-digit growth, and drove innovation, but many felt that Alcatel-Lucent was keeping Genesys from living up to its true potential.
Early in 2012, Alcatel-Lucent sold Genesys to Permira Funds for $1.5 billion, and Segre was given the chance to shine. He's proven himself worthy of the challenge, leading the company in 2012 to record revenue and growth, taking it into new markets, and aggressively fostering innovation. He has brokered key acquisitions that have expanded the company's reach into new geographies and positioned it as a strong competitor in the cloud-based solutions space.
Through the acquisitions of Angel in February for $110 million and SoundBite Communications in May for $100 million, Segre helped grow Genesys' cloud business by more than $135 million a year. These acquisitions give Genesys "additional cloud credibility," following its creation of a cloud division last September, says Sheila McGee-Smith, president of McGee-Smith Analytics, and reinforce "the perceived opportunity in cloudbased customer care."
The January acquisition of Utopy, a provider of speech analytics, workforce optimization, and voice-of-the-customer solutions, squarely moved Genesys into the analytics space, and its acquisition of LM Sistemas last July gave the company an immediate presence in the emerging Latin American market.
The deals also allowed Genesys to enrich its portfolio of solutions for mobile and Web customer service, marketing, sales, and collections, and significantly enhanced its employee head count around the world.
Segre, who joined Genesys in 2002 as chief technology officer after holding senior leadership positions at DSC, Bell Labs, and AT&T Network Systems, also revamped the company's strategy to move it beyond the high-end, Fortune 500 customers who had been its staple. "We will be really focused on democratizing our solutions to support a much broader enterprise market," Segre told investors earlier this year.