CX M&A Ramps Up


CX M&A Ramps Up

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  August 25, 2016

It’s been a busy few months for acquisitions in and by companies in the customer experience arena.

For example, in early June Salesforce announced its intention to buy ecommerce platform provider Demandware for $2.8 billion. About a month prior to that NICE revealed plans to acquire inContact for $940 million. Pegasystems in mid April announced it has purchased privately held robotic process automation outfit OpenSpan (News - Alert) Inc. And ServiceNow recently disclosed its plans to snap up BrightPoint Security.

All of the above illustrate the importance of customer service for today’s companies.

Salesforce’s acquisition of Demandware, which is expected to close by the end of July, will enable it to offer its analytics, communities, IoT, marketing, platform, sales, and service solutions to the broad Demandware customer base. It will also help Salesforce to add a new arrow to its quiver in terms of product portfolio.

"With Demandware, Salesforce will be well positioned to deliver the future of commerce as part of our Customer Success Platform and create yet another billion-dollar cloud," said Salesforce Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff (News - Alert).

Worldwide spending on digital commerce platforms is forecast to grow more than 14 percent annually, reaching $8.544 billion by 2020, according to Gartner.

Demandware is the fifth most used ecommerce platform of the top 50,000 sites on the internet, according to a Hivemind analysis in April of 2015; Magento, Hybrid, IBM (News - Alert) WebSphere, and ATG are the other four, in that order. Beats by Dre, Cole Haan, Columbia, Hugo Boss, Lacoste, New Balance, PacSun, Payless, Reebok, and Tory Burch are among the companies using Demandware technology, the Hivemind report indicates. The Demandware website also lists as customers Adidas, Burton, Callaway, Crocs, EMU Australia, Godiva, Party City, Puma, and a lengthy list of other well-known brands.

As for NICE’s acquisition of inContact, this move expands the analytics and work force optimization company’s portfolio with the addition of cloud-based contact center solutions. NICE is a leader in the WFO arena, along with Verint (News - Alert).

Speaking of Verint, the company’s Nancy Treaster in the Executive Spotlight of last issue’s CUSTOMER magazine also talked about the need for more complete and integrated CX solutions.

“Historically, as organizations have looked to engage with their customers more effectively and address new communications channels and changing customer expectations, they have had to purchase multiple point solutions from different vendors, creating integration and maintenance challenges. Even if such point solutions were able to be integrated, we believe they often do not work together optimally or in a unified manner,” said Treaster, Verint’s general manager of strategic operations for enterprise intelligence solutions. “We offer organizations a comprehensive Customer Engagement Optimization solution that includes customer analytics, engagement management, and enterprise workforce optimization capabilities, all from a single provider. As organizations take a more strategic approach to customer service and sales, we believe that they will be better positioned to gain competitive advantage, build more meaningful customer and employee engagement, heighten loyalty, reduce operating costs, and increase revenue.”

As for the OpenSpan acquisition, that provides Pegasystems with the robotic process automation technology that is running on more than 200,000 desktops today. It automates the routine desktop tasks that have traditionally been done by customer service representatives so those reps can spend their time on more value-added pursuits. Pegasystems says that will complement its business process management and customer relationship management solutions.

Service desk management giant ServiceNow (News - Alert), meanwhile, is acquiring BrightPoint Security in an all-cash deal that gives it access to technology providing predictive insight and prescriptive responses to protect businesses from cyber threats.

The deal is a move by ServiceNow to expand beyond its core IT management tools and play more in the areas of customer service, human resource services, and security. In its recent financial results announcement, the company expressed the goal to generate $4 billion in revenue by 2020 via this expansion strategy. ServiceNow expects its revenues for this year to fall between $1.35 billion and $1.38 billion.

This is just ServiceNow’s latest acquisition. The company this spring announced plans to buy ITapp, which offers a cloud platform management solution. And in November of 2014 it launched ServiceNow Express, a cloud-based IT service management solution.

Edited by Alicia Young
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