books bundled up in newspapers, and a wall with newspapers taped to it.
PHOTO: Wendy White

Salesforce certainly made waves in the CRM and analytics space when it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Tableau for $15.7 billion on June 10. This easily marks one of the largest, if not the largest, acquisitions in the customer experience software space, depending on what you define as customer experience (CX) software. 

According to company officials, the acquisition is designed to bring together Salesforce CRM and Tableau analytics capabilities. "Tableau helps people see and understand data, and Salesforce helps people engage and understand customers," Marc Benioff, chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce, said in a statement. Company officials said Tableau's software is designed to help companies visualize data across their business. They will integrate Tableau with Salesforce's AI engine, Einstein, to drive "intelligent and intuitive analytics" and a visualization platform. Tableau will enhance Salesforce's Customer 360 platform and Salesforce's analytics capabilities, company officials promised.

Tableau will operate independently under the Tableau brand, remain headquartered in Seattle and will continue to be led by CEO Adam Selipsky and the current leadership team.

The acquisition in the CX software space dwarfs its predecessors of the last six years, unless you're lumping Microsoft-LinkedIn into the mix ($26.2 billion).

  • 2013: Oracle bought B2B marketing automation provider Eloqua for $871 million in 2012; Oracle bought B2C marketing software player Responsys for $1.5 billion; Salesforce bought email marketing provider ExactTarget for $2.5 billion.
  • 2016: EQT acquired Sitecore for $1.14 billion; Vista Equity Partners acquired Marketo for $1.65 billion.
  • 2018: Adobe acquired Magneto for $1.68 billion; Insight Venture Partners acquired Episerver for $1.16 billion; Salesforce acquired MuleSoft for $6.5 billion; Adobe acquired Marketo for $4.75 billion; Cisco acquired AppDynamics for $3.7 billion; SAP acquired CallisCloud for $2.4 billion; Adobe acquired Magento for $1.7 billion; Salesforce acquired Dataroma for $800 million.

In other CX software news ...

BloomReach Updates DX Platform

Bloomreach, a digital experience platform company, launched brX Summer '19, the latest version of the Bloomreach digital experience platform. It was launched at brConnect, Bloomreach's digital experience conference in San Francisco.

brX Summer '19 includes the following expanded capabilities:

  • brPathways provide a set of guided selling capabilities integrated with the Bloomreach search and merchandising system. 
  • brX Starter Store enables users to drag B2C and B2B product components like product grids, search boxes, pathways and others onto web pages and out to headless touchpoints. 
  • Headless Experience API provides developer tools to connect data from APIs to the Bloomreach Experience platform

Bloomreach also launched its new marketplace which will let partners, customers and prospects download plugins, connectors, integrations and interoperability tools for third-party systems.

Amazon Web Services Taps ML for Amazon Personalize

Amazon Web Services announced the general availability of Amazon Personalize, which brings machine learning technology used by Amazon.com to AWS customers for use in their applications. 

Amazon Personalize will allow app development for personalization use cases, including specific product recommendations, individualized search results and customized direct marketing. Amazon Personalize trains private machine learning models and provides infrastructure and manages the machine learning process, including processing the data, identifying features, selecting algorithms and hosting the results. 

G2 Names Top EMEA Software Companies

G2, a user review site, launched its first Best Software Companies list. The ranking takes into account over 66,000 user reviews of software products on the G2 platform and examined nearly 900 companies serving the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. It identifies the best EMEA-based companies as determined by reviewers from around the world. The top 10 companies are:

  • Wix
  • SAP
  • Telegram
  • ESET
  • Prezi
  • TeamViewer
  • JetBrains
  • Sage Software
  • Monday.com
  • MOO Inc.

Solodev Launches Update to DCX Platform for AWS

Solodev, a digital customer experience platform for AWS, debuted Solodev DCX 9.0, an enterprise content management system and CX platform. Solodev DCX is designed to allow users to build websites, portals, apps, RESTful APIs and more, now available on AWS Marketplace. Solodev is an Advanced Technology Partner in the AWS Partner Network.

Zendesk Expands Answer Bot

Zendesk announced the expansion of Answer Bot across all web and mobile channels. Zendesk also announced new capabilities for its Guide Enterprise knowledge management product designed to help CX teams leverage automation and AI to manage knowledge needs across brands, products and services. Answer Bot provides real-time support. Businesses can implement Answer Bot via API, Web Widget and Mobile SDKs, as well as email and web forms.

Mars Agency Launches MarilynSM

The Mars Agency today announced the launch of MarilynSM, a predictive commerce intelligence platform designed to boost marketing efficiency. Named after Marilyn Barnett, founder of The Mars Agency, MarilynSM is powered by IBM Watson and the data of of historical marketing programs. It includes MarilynSM Smart Bridge, which powers the Predictive Commerce Intelligence platform that gives marketers insight across all of their shopper marketing programs.