January 9, 2012, 11:35 AM

LogMeIn pays $16.5 million for Bold Software

Live chat provider Bold brings LogMeIn 26 clients in the Internet Retailer Top 500.

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LogMeIn Inc., a provider of Internet-based customer support for personal computers, smartphones and other devices, will pay approximately $16.5 million in cash for Bold Software LLC, a provider of live chat and e-mail customer service systems, LogMeIn said today.

The acquisition brings LogMeIn 26 Bold Software client retailers listed in the 2011 edition of the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, including PC Connection Inc., No. 37; Abt Electronics Inc., No. 151; and Appliance Zone, No. 485.

LogMeIn says the acquisition will help LogMeIn address a growing need among companies to directly engage customers through live chat, instead of overly emphasizing self-help or the more costly option of one-on-one calls with customer service reps. Retailers who use live chat say one of its advantages is that live chat agents can handle more than one customer simultaneously, helping to make customer service operations more productive.

“We’re seeing a shift in the way companies are approaching customer care, as well as the ways they are gauging its effectiveness,” LogMeIn CEO Michael Simon says. “Where just a few years ago, self-help and deflection may have been the predominant approach, companies are now seeking opportunities for meaningful engagement with their customers and prospects.”

LogMeIn says it will continue to operate Wichita, KS-based Bold’s BoldChat live chat system as a separate offering, which can include customer service e-mail communications as part of an enterprise software suite. LogMeIn will also begin to offer Bold’s live chat system integrated with LogMeIn’s customer-service offerings, which include remote web access to client computers by LogMeIn technicians.

LogMeIn, based in Woburn, MA, works with a diversified group of clients, including Best Buy Co. Inc.’s Geek Squad, IBM Corp. and Konica Minolta Group. Best Buy is No. 11 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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