There’s always one tell-tale sign that things are starting to heat up on the mergers and acquisitions front.  I start getting phone calls and e-mails from people at banks and private equity firms looking for free industry information and, usually, information about specific companies in the contact center industry.  The inquiries always come from the same types of people – junior researchers who I’m sure have been told by the senior analysts and bankers to research the market and the companies, and have been given zero budget to do so.  I used to try to courteously tell these junior people that I didn’t work for free any more than they did.  These days I don’t even respond to their inquiries.