Newspaper hanging out of a mail slot.
PHOTO: Eva Van Ostade

Gartner made significant changes to the leaderboard in its Digital Experience Magic Quadrant report published Jan. 29. The research and advisory firm booted two vendors from the leaders spot, IBM and Salesforce, while promoting Episerver and Acquia. Episerver was a visionary last year; Acquia a challenger. IBM's gone completely. Salesforce is now a "challenger."

IBM's removal was all but expected. It sold off much of its digital experience software in two waves: to HCL in 2018 and to Centerbridge last year. Gartner researchers spoke of uncertainty around IBM’s digital experience software strategy in the last Magic Quadrant for DXP, published Feb. 11, 2019. The Centerbridge deal had yet to come then (it happened two months later) but the HCL deal, which included WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager, was well in place. “While not affecting this current evaluation,” Gartner researchers wrote last year, “such a move introduces uncertainty to IBM’s digital experience strategy as well as to existing customers and prospects.”

Salesforce, meanwhile, demoted to a challenger in the 2020 DXP Magic Quadrant, vaulted to the top in one area: it's number 1 in the “ability to execute” category, according to Gartner researchers. While Salesforce was lauded by Gartner for Customer 360 product, AI strategy, partner ecosystem and developer community, Gartner also found “Salesforce’s DXP strategy lacks cohesion." Salesforce "places significantly less focus on its DXP product than its competitors do on theirs,” Gartner researchers Irina Guseva, Gene Phifer and Mike Lowndes wrote in the 2020 report. 

A Salesforce official responded to CMSWire's request for commentary on Gartner's "lacking cohesion" claim, saying, "We have nothing else to add besides what is in the report."

Dropping entirely from the report released this week were Microsoft and SDL. Adobe, Sitecore and Liferay remained leaders, with Adobe maintaining its number 1 position on “completeness of vision,” according to Gartner. Acquia’s and Episerver’s promotions to leaders each came with praise of understanding of the DXP market. 

As for the industry itself, Gartner researchers called DXP adoption a “necessity for global organizations” but cautioned the market is “fragmented and still evolving.” Gartner this month retired its Web Content Management Magic Quadrant, telling CMSWire market interest is moving toward DXPs.

In other customer experience software news …

ActiveCampaign Nets $100M Series B

ActiveCampaign, which produces Customer Experience Automation software, has raised $100 million in a Series B growth round. Susquehanna Growth Equity (SGE) led the round. Silversmith Capital Partners, which was the sole investor in ActiveCampaign's $20 million Series A in 2016, also participated in this round.

Company officials said they will use the cash infusion to develop the CXA category, continue international expansion and build on its customer success team and partner ecosystem. Its platform combines email marketing, marketing automation, CRM and machine learning and is designed to provide organizations with segmentation and personalization in social, email, messaging, chat and text. 

Since its 2016 funding round, Chicago-based ActiveCampaign has opened new offices in Indianapolis, Dublin, and Sydney and expanded its presence in Brazil. It has also expanded its partner ecosystem launching an app marketplace with more than 260 technology partners. The company also also seen significant growth in employees, going from 65 to over 550 employees.

Dentsu Aegis Network Acquires Digital Pi

Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired Digital Pi, a digital marketing agency focused on B2B marketing automation consulting services. Digital Pi will join Merkle, another agency that Dentsu Aegis Network acquired in 2016. 

The acquisition combines Digital Pi’s marketing technology consulting and data-driven services support with Merke's people-based marketing and enterprise solutions. Digital Pi specializes in Marketo, acquired by Adobe. Merkle will be able to boosts its data, technology and audience skills, according to company officials. Digital Pi, based in Dallas, was founded in 2013. Its 50 employees will join Merkle. 

Attentive Raises $70M

Attentive, a provider of personalized mobile messaging, has announced today it has raised a $70 million Series C investment. The round was led by Sequoia and IVP with participation from existing investors Eniac Ventures and NextView Ventures. Attentive's now raised $124 million.

The company after its Series B grew the overall engineering organization 160%. It increased its total headcount 228%. Company officials plan to use the money to accelerate Attentive’s platform functionalities while expanding in the market. Attentive was founded in 2016 by the team behind TapCommerce, a mobile app retargeting platform acquired by Twitter in 2014.

mParticle Updates Data Master Product

mParticle, a Customer Data Platform (CDP) platform, has announced product enhancements to its Data Master product. It is designed to enhance data trust and quality. The company also announced early access to Calculated Attributes, a data transformation feature that is intended to allow companies to create new user-level data based on existing data. 

With the updates, mParticle promised better data quality for better customer insights for marketers and greater scalability across segmentation strategies among other enhanced features. Product managers will also be able to deliver more accurate insights about product performance. With Calculated Attributes, teams can apply conditions to data in mParticle and create new user attributes.

Tealium Partners With Invoca

Tealium, which provides customer data orchestration, and Invoca, an AI-powered call tracking and conversational analytics provider, this week announced a strategic partnership. The move will allow the companies to combine customer data and conversational analytics insights to help contact center interactions. It will create more personalized experiences across online and offline touchpoints, according to company officials. Invoca can use enriched data from the profile in Tealium to route inbound calls automatically to agents with specific skill sets, according to company officials.