Cisco acquires customer experience (CX) management company CloudCherry in order to strengthen its contact center portfolio (with, among others, Webex Contact Center) and to realize another step in its “Cognitive and Collaborative Contact Center” approach.
Cisco and CloudCherry have been working together since quite some years (with CISCO Investments being an early backer and Cisco a strategic partner).
CloudCherry, based in Salt Lake City (with offices in, among others, India), offers customer experience management (CEM) solutions including customer journey mapping, out-of-the-box integrations and predictive analytics (for which the company works with Microsoft).
Predictive analytics enable contact center agents to make real-time journey modifications such as up and cross-selling, discounts, service modifications and more, to meet customer needs and improve loyalty. The platform offers path analysis to uncover the causal relationship between different attributes of CX, advanced predictive analytics, and theme analysis, one of the three levels of text analysis in the platform.
Joining Cisco’s Contact Center Solutions business with the three pillars of CX
‘Journeys, integrations and predictive’ are also the three pillars of customer experience according to CloudCherry.
The benefits of working with customer journeys and capabilities of predictive analytics are well-known. And with integrations, powered by an open API, contact centers can connect several applications, breaking through those eternal data silos, and combining operational, transactional, and experiential data.
The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2020, subject to customary closing conditions and required approvals. Upon completion of the transaction, the CloudCherry team will join Cisco’s Contact Center Solutions business, led by its VP and GM Vasili Triant.
CloudCherry already offered integration with Cisco’s Customer Journey platform. Along with Microsoft (Azure, machine learning for the predictive analytics) and Nielsen (for market research expertise), Cisco is one of the strategic partners of CloudCherry.
The company was founded in 2014 and is backed by Vertex Ventures, CISCO Investments & IDG Ventures India, The Chennai Angels & Capillary Technologies. CEO and co-founder Vinod Muthukrishnan previously called the portfolio development team at CISCO Investments CloudCherry’s ‘Strategy and GTM team rolled into one’.
Cisco and CloudCherry for the ‘Cognitive and Collaborative Contact Center’
By acquiring CloudCherry, Cisco wants to continue its so-called ‘Cognitive Collaboration’ journey that reflects the company’s vision of how tools and technologies are ‘collectively forming a new approach to work and productivity’.
In other words: Cognitive Collaboration is broader than collaboration in contact centers but aims to integrate all collaboration experiences, including the contact center.
The acquisition of private-held CloudCherry, founded by, among others, CEO Vinod Muthukrishnan and CTO Nagendra Cl, should help organizations 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, Cisco says.
The new Cognitive and Collaborative Contact Center which Vasili tackled earlier this year in a blog post, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning, whereby contact center agents can offer more personalized customer experiences and organizations can fully leverage data.
Cisco adds that CloudCherry’s open API platform facilitates this by simplifying how customer data is ingested from systems of records, transactional data, and other data sources – all in real time – to help contact center agents close the feedback loop and improve customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Vasili Triant in a reaction to the acquisition: “This is the next step in realizing our vision for cognitive collaboration in the contact center, enabling the delivery of the best, most personalized customer experiences, ultimately improving customer loyalty and lifetime value.”
Remember: an integrated approach with more data sources, features, artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics, adding to contact center agent efficiency with customer experience management features on top.
CloudCherry is available in the cloud and on-premises. On top of the customer journey, integration and predictive analytics features, the platform has customizable dashboards, a question builder, text analytics and support for key metrics such as Net Promoter Score, CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) and CES (Customer Effort Score).
CloudCherry has been listed in Gartner’s Market Guide for Voice-of-the-Customer Solutions previously, among others in 2017 and in 2018.
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