January 12, 2004, 12:00 AM

iPhrase acquires Banter to expand search capabilities

Search engine marketing systems provider iPhrase Technologies has acquired Banter Systems, which specializes in redirecting online customers to multiple customer service options.

Search engine marketing systems provider iPhrase Technologies has acquired Banter Systems, which specializes in redirecting online customers to multiple customer service options. "We haven’t had a good mechanism to escalate a customer to a chat session or an e-mail interaction," says iPhrase CEO Dan Keshian. "Now Banter will augment our customer service capabilities."

 

San Francisco-based Banter also brings iPhrase more than 100 companies, including Dell Inc. and audio products manufacturer and retailer Bose Corp., bringing iPhrase’s customer base to more than 150 companies. iPhrase’s pre-existing customers include Restoration Hardware and Neiman Marcus.

 

Keshian said the technology platforms offered by each company can be easily integrated and will be combined in future products. "In the second half, we’ll be embedding all Banter technology in our core products, but today we can integrate existing Banter and iPhrase implementations," he says.

 

"Banter’s ability to understand and automate the handling of service inquiries from informal communications like e-mail, chat sessions, web forms and survey responses, married to iPhrase’s ability to access diverse sales, service, and support resources will provide customers the ability to drive value across their various communications channels."

 

iPhrase, which is based in Cambridge, MA, acquired Banter in an all-stock transaction. Terms were not disclosed.

 

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