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Hootsuite, a social media and marketing management provider, announced this week its acquisition of Sparkcentral, a digital customer care platform that provides customer engagement capabilities through conversational messaging channels including Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, WhatsApp, WeChat, SMS and chat.

The move will help Hootsuite further provide digital capabilities to connect with their customers on the social and messaging platforms. Hootsuite CEO Tom Keiser said in a press release these types of customer engagements need to connect into a brand and organization’s workflow across all customer-facing departments — marketing, sales, customer support, finance, etc. Sparkcentral does this for Hootsuite, he added. Sparkcentral offers an automated message distribution platform, along with virtual agent functionality.

The acquisition marks another move in customer experience software circles that stresses the connection between brands and customers on messaging platforms. Facebook’s reported $1 billion acquisition of digital customer service technology provider Kustomer at the end of November marked another acknowledgement that texts, instant messages and asynchronous conversations own a big slice of the customer service digital interaction world. It also allows Facebook to expand on the 175 million businesses who already engage with customers on WhatsApp and offers those businesses capabilities from an omnichannel CRM platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.

In other customer experience and digital marketing software news ...

Smart Communications Acquires Assentis

Smart Communications, a customer conversations management platform, announced this week that it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Assentis, a European software solutions provider specializing in customer communications management (CCM) with a focus on the financial services industry. Smart Communications officials said in a press release the move will allow them to better serve enterprises in the financial services industry and throughout Continental Europe. Assentis customers will benefit from Smart Communications’ expertise in multi-tenant SaaS, according to company officials.

Assentis’ CCM solution helps generate documents including client reports, fund fact sheets, product presentations, contracts and marketing collateral. It is headquartered in Rotkreuz, Switzerland. Smart Communications plans to continue to support all Assentis products while also focusing on making its SaaS platform available throughout the region.

This is the second acquisition for Smart Communications in the last two years. In July 2019 the company acquired Intelledox, which now delivers forms transformation capabilities as SmartIQ.

The acquisition remains subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Khoros Acquires Topbox, Closes Growth Investment from Vista Equity Partners

Khoros, which provides digital customer engagement software, has announced that it has acquired enterprise customer experience (CX) analytics software maker Topbox and closed on an additional equity investment from existing Khoros investors, including global technology investment firm Vista Equity Partners.

The acquisition of Topbox brings an omnichannel CX analytics solution to Khoros’ digital customer engagement platform. It will feature Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered customer experience management and promises to provide a complete view of the customer to power customer engagement and experiences.

Topbox connects disparate data from customer touchpoints such as call recordings, chat transcripts, emails, social media, surveys, reviews, in-app communications and web feedback, and applies proprietary Natural Language Processing (NLP) and AI technology to power CX analysis. Khoros' platform can make those insights actionable, according to company officials.

InMoment Acquires Wootric

InMoment, a customer and employee experience management provider, announced it has acquired Wootric, a provider of digital feedback solutions. The acquisition will allow businesses to get better feedback on customers and understand how new apps and digital touchpoints are impacting customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX) and lifetime value, according to company officials.

Wootric technology collects customer and employee feedback. It utilizes emerging behavior-science-based micro surveys supplemented with intelligence from the Wootric Eligibility Engine that launches collection programs.

Wootric employees will continue in their roles, and the company’s two co-founders, Deepa Subramanian and Jessica Pfeifer, will help accelerate InMoment’s digital solutions and digital commercial offerings. Financial terms were not disclosed.

UJET CCaaS Cloud Contact Center Now Available on Oracle Cloud Marketplace

UJET, a Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) 3.0 cloud contact center, and a member of the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), has announced its integration with Oracle Cloud CX Service and its availability on Oracle Cloud Marketplace. Oracle Cloud Marketplace is a centralized repository of enterprise applications offered by Oracle and Oracle partners.

This will include:

  • Unified CCaaS and CRM data that blends historical records with insights and contextual awareness.
  • Embeddable in-app and mobile support that leverages smartphone biometrics, user authentication and multimedia sharing.
  • Reduced handle times and post-call work for agents through data exchanges that enable automatic CRM record updates.
  • Eliminating the redundant storage of customer PII, call records, and more, while maintaining enterprise-grade security.

Contentsquare Names Niki Hall as CMO

Contentsquare, which provides experience analytics, has announced the appointment of Niki Hall as chief marketing officer. Hall held senior leadership roles at Cisco Systems, Polycom, Five9 and most recently as CMO of Selligent Marketing Cloud. Contentsquare's experience analytics platform tracks and visualizes digital behaviors, delivering recommendations. It was founded in Paris in 2012.