Hi-Tech Surveillance Firm Prospers

Friday, 14 March 2003, 5:00 PM EST

New York-based technology firm Verint Systems recently launched a product called "IntelliFind" that claims impressive capabilities. The system is designed to be attached to the phone lines at a company's call center, where it silently monitors every telephone call, and -- using advanced voice recognition technology -- picks out conversations in which certain keywords are spoken, dumping a digital recording into a searchable database. "You can decide you want to see all the calls where product 'xyz' was mentioned, and then you can pick one and listen to that entire call," says Alan Roden, Verint's VP of corporate development.

If IntelliFind sounds like something that would normally be found on a supercomputer humming in an NSA basement, there's a reason. Behind business intelligence offerings like IntelliFind, and a line of networkable video cameras, Verint is a leading maker of electronic surveillance equipment and software for the United States and other governments. And it turns out that while other technology firms are struggling in a down economy, the business of helping governments with their spying may be a growth industry. In quarterly results announced Wednesday, Verint, a subsidiary of Comverse Technology, posted record sales of $42 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2002 -- the company's third straight quarter of growth since going public in May 2002.

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