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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

October 10, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Nuance buys Varolii, 300-plus employees in Seattle now

Voice software leader Nuance today announced that it’s buying Varolii, a Seattle software company that provides tools for companies to interact with customers.

In addition to powering voice-to-text services on PCs and phones such as Apple’s Siri interface, Nuance has a huge business providing automated call center services. Varolii gives Nuance new capabilities for reaching out to customers via calls, texts or email.

The deal is expected to close next week and terms weren’t disclosed.

Varolii was founded 13 years ago as AlertsOnline and then changed its name to Par3 Communications and finally to Varolii in 2007, as it geared up for an $86 million public offering.  At the time it employed around 270 people.

Varolii cancelled the IPO in 2008, citing difficult market conditions. Now it’s becoming part of a company that’s been public since 2000.

Nuance is based in Burlington, Mass., but already had a big presence in Seattle with around 200 employees in the area. Varolii now has about 200 employees, including 140 in Seattle, according to a spokeswoman.

Asked about how many Varolii employees would be retained, she wouldn’t provide specifics but said the plan is for Varolii to become the development and product center for Nuance outbound services “leveraging the Varolii team, especially in development, hosting, sales and marketing.”

“As we are very early in the integration process, we can’t comment further,” she said via email.

 

 

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