The News: Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced its intent to acquire privately-held CloudCherry based in Salt Lake City, UT. CloudCherry is a Customer Experience Management (CEM) company that provides customer journey mapping, out-of-the-box integrations, and predictive analytics. Predictive analytics help contact center agents make real-time journey modifications such as up and cross-selling, discounts, service modifications and more, to meet customer needs and improve loyalty. Together, Cisco and CloudCherry will help companies transform their contact center from delivering reactive care to providing predictive support and move from isolated customer interactions to cohesive, engaging experiences for improved business outcomes. Read the full press release from Cisco.
Analyst Take: Cisco has been on a steady drum beat of acquisitions over the past couple of months with Sentryo, Acacia and Voicea being made since June of this year. While the acquisitions have been across the companies diverse portfolio, the ambition is clear and the criteria also seems to be fitting a pattern of smaller, quickly rising companies that can extend, diversify or augment the current portfolio while receiving an immediate boost from the association with Cisco.
Today, Cisco announced its intent to acquire CloudCherry, an acquisition that will spruce up the company’s broad contact center portfolio, but will also immediately extend and augment its competitiveness in contact center through enhancing its analytics, AI and machine learning capabilities.
Have You Heard of CloudCherry?
As I mentioned, Cisco is finding smart pieces to its puzzle by acquiring smaller firms, so not everyone will have heard of this acquisition, but that shouldn’t make the announcement less exciting. CloudCherry is a Salt Lake City based company with offices in India as well, that focuses on customer journey mapping and utilizing vast analytics to enhance customer insights. Cisco will likely keep the company’s 80 or so current employees and I’m also confident it will seek to continue investing in the company after the deal closes at the end of its fiscal Q1. (Visit CloudCherry to read more)
Cisco was a customer, but CloudCherry also has some other marquee customers including Puma and Sands (Entertainment).
Refreshing Contact Center and Becoming More Competitive
Cisco’s overall collaboration portfolio has seen tremendous investment and innovation in the past few years, but Cisco Contact Center has seemingly been less of a focus. At this year’s Analyst Forum, the company was vocal in its plans to change that in the coming year and this move seems to validate those intentions. I’ve long viewed an importance in greater use of data in the contact center to see a more 360 degree customer picture, but up until now, that hasn’t been a simple integration for Cisco or many other contact center platforms. CloudCherry appears to have the capabilities to change that.
My assertion is that it will become a high attachment product that can be sold to Cisco’s current customer database. Those using Cisco Contact Center on-prem and in the cloud will likely be looking to enhance their contact center experience through the type of analytics delivered by CloudCherry. I could see some value in Cisco incentivizing bundling or other attachment tactics.
In terms of CloudCherry on other contact center platforms, I expect the company to continue to offer the solution. This isn’t something that Cisco often does, but the service, which runs in the cloud on Azure, is designed to work with many solutions and for customer experience management far beyond just contact center, so I would think Cisco would be wise to grow its presence as it could find its way into the bigger MarTech stack if Cisco decides to go that route.
My immediate reaction to the acquisition is that this sits right in the bulls eye for Cisco. The Cisco Contact Center solution has been in need of some updating and differentiation and CloudCherry has the potential to be exactly what it needed. We all know that AI and ML are going to drive a new, more invaluable set of analytics to customers; by delivering this type of value in the call center, it will enhance every customer interaction.
I’ll be watching closely as the acquisition closes to see the product in action and the impact that it has on Cisco’s Contact Center business. My guess is it will be good for Cisco, its partners and most importantly the end-users.
Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.
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Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.