Kofax, an Irvine, Calif.-based financial technology company, just spent $19.5 million to acquire Aia, a customer communications management vendor based in The Netherlands. 

Kofax will integrate Aia’s software into its TotalAgility platform. It will also continue to offer the product on a standalone basis. 

Kofax claims the acquisition will strengthen its platform and give it a competitive edge.

Customer-Focused

Kofax TotalAgility is a unified smart process application development and deployment platform. Aia's CCM software helps organizations manage customer correspondence, electronically and on paper.

Privately held Aia had about 70 employees. Last year,  it had revenues of $8.9 million,  of which 26 percent was from software licenses, 29 percent from maintenance services and 45 percent from professional services.

Aia’s CCM suite lets users to take data from other business applications and create personalized, customer driven documents without IT involvement.

It's a logical buy for Kofax, given its target audience and the fact that it is part of a growing area of customer experience management.

The sector was worth $910 million last year and is set to grow to $1.2 billion by 2017, according Gartner. Gartner claims that the growth is driven by digital customer communications, contextualized and consumed on multiple channels, including the web, mobile devices and social media.

It's part of a shift from in-house-developed CCM solutions to packaged apps for customer experience management and digital marketing.

Aia is Kofax's fifth acquisition in five years. Kofax offers a range of technologies, including business process and case management (Singularity), analytics (Altosoft), information integration (Kapow Software), e-signature capabilities (Softpro) and now CCM.

This is the latest in a series of moves to automate what Kofax describes as the First Mile of customer engagement.

The First Mile describes the initial information-intensive interactions customers have with an organization. That includes loan applications, claims submissions and new account openings, and the challenge of interacting with a business via multiple devices and methods of communication.