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Nuance Picks Up SnapIn Software For $180 Million

Continuing its aggressive acquisition campaign, Nuance Communications on Tuesday said it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire SnapIn Software in a move that will improve the delivery of automated mobile phone customer care.

The deal is for $180 million in Nuance stock. Additional compensation could accrue to SnapIn shareholders if certain goals are reached later.

Nuance, which makes voice-recognition software, said a Nuance-SnapIn combine will deliver highly scalable mobile customer care services in real-time on mobile devices.

"The integration of Nuance's mobile solutions and enterprise speech solutions allows Nuance to sharply reduce the costs of customer care and improve the quality of customer experience for mobile operators and large enterprises," said Steve Chambers, president of Nuance's mobile and consumer services unit, in a statement.

Nuance indicated the combined approach that can be provided by the two companies will help it more efficiently address the mobile phone customer service market, which is expected to receive more than 200 billion calls annually.

Nuance pointed to SnapIn's application with Vodafone as an example of the growing use of real-time customer care. Vodafone utilizes SnapIn technology to automatically resolve many common customer requests as well as to diagnose and repair configuration problems on mobile devices. In addition account inquiries can be carried out directly on mobile phones by using the SnapIn technology.

SnapIn has deployed its services to a number of leading IT and cell phone service providers including EDS, IBM, Microsoft, Nokia, Orange UK, Symbian, and T-Mobile USA. Nuance added that SnapIn's intellectual property portfolio will complement Nuance's IP portfolio.

Nuance said it expects the deal to close in October.

In recent days, Nuance made an unsolicited $40 million acquisition offer for Zi Corp., which provides search, input, and advertising for mobile applications. Earlier this week, Zi rejected the Nuance offer and Nuance said it was "perplexed" by the rejection given Zi's deteriorating financial situation.