Cisco Closes $730M IMImobile Deal To Boost CCaaS Chops

Cisco Systems is officially the owner of center-as-a-service provider IMImobile PLC.

Cisco, via the terms of the deal, is paying 595 pence per share in exchange for each share of IMImobile, or an aggregate purchase price of approximately $730 million assuming fully diluted shares, net of cash and including debt as publicly reported, based on the prevailing exchange rate at the time of the agreement, Cisco said. 

The San Jose, Calif.-based first revealed its plan to buy London-based contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) firm IMImobile PLC for approximately $730 million last December. At the same time, the company announced it would also be acquiring Slido, an audience interaction technology specialist, for an undisclosed sum. Both deals would bolster Cisco’s collaboration portfolio and be integrated into Cisco’s Webex and cloud-based contact center platform to make each more insightful, Cisco said at the time. 

“Our recently announced intent to acquire cloud-based IMImobile and Slido furthers our vision of building a WebEx suite of applications as we combine these technologies with our Webex Contact Center to improve customer interactions,” Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said during the vendor’s most recent quarterly earnings call this month. 

IMImobile orchestrates, automates, monitors and delivers improved customer interactions through its global and scalable cloud communications software and services, according to the company. The combination with Cisco will create an enhanced Cisco Contact Center platform that will bring together cloud contact center, artificial intelligence, experience management, collaboration and Communications Platform as-a-Service (CPaaS) to create a single solution for customers and channel partners, according to the two companies. 

“Customers want to engage when it matters, for example, in the middle of a shopping experience or when an item is about to be delivered. They want support on their own terms on any mode of communication. They want options for self-service or to connect with a person who is empowered with the right tools to meet their needs. And they really appreciate it when you can anticipate issues and proactively reach out to them,” said Omar Tawakol, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s contact center business, in a blog post on the news published Friday. ”Businesses now compete not only on products and services, but also on the quality of the interactive experience they can offer to their customers.”

However, contact center solutions today often are fragmented, which creates frustration for end users. Together with IMImobile’s technology, Cisco hopes to create a single, connected customer journey on a single technology platform that can give businesses visibility into all customer interactions across the mobile app, Facebook messaging, marketing email or talking to a contact center agent, Tawakol said. To that end, Cisco is building a Customer Experience as a Service (CXaaS) platform with IMImobile technology that will bring together artificial intelligence, experience management, collaboration tools, omnichannel capabilities, and programmability.

Specifically, IMImobile is bringing its Omnichannel interaction capabilities, which include popular messaging and social channels like WhatsApp, RCS, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, Twitter and WeChat. The technology also supports standard channels like voice, chat, SMS, email and in-app notifications. The provider is also being tapped for its CPaaS technology for the Cisco CXaaS platform. 

“By combining IMImobile’s solution with Webex Contact Center and building on our previous investments in the space, Voicea (AI) and Cloudcherry (experience management and analytics), Cisco will be able to provide the most comprehensive CXaaS offer on the market,“ Tawakol said. 

Tawakol said that Cisco and IMImobile will function separately within the contact center organization initially and that the two companies will work together to integrate IMImobile’s products into Cisco’s products over time. 

Cisco said it expects its purchase of Bratislava, Slovakia-based Slido to close by May. 

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