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Salesforce had a busy week this week. It lost its co-CEO, Keith Block. It announced yearly earnings of $17.1 billion. It acquired a cloud and mobile software provider, Vlocity. The CRM giant also projected revenue in the coming year of $21.1 billion. 

Block’s exit leaves Marc Benioff once again as the sole CEO. Block joined Benioff, the founder and chairman of the company, as co-CEO in 2018 after serving as vice chairman and president. His and Benioff's tech careers both started at Oracle in the 1980s, and Benioff was happy to welcome his longtime colleague as co-CEO in the summer of 2018:

Salesforce has been hot on the acquisition trail, most recently this week with its Vlocity grab. A Salesforce partner, Vlocity delivers industry-specific cloud and mobile software that embeds digital, omnichannel processes for customer-centric industries, according to its website. “Because every organization, including the world’s largest customer-centric corporations and industries, must digitally transform, it is more important than ever for our customers to have products that speak the language of their industries,” Vlocity CEO David Schmaier wrote in a blog post this week. “Our deep expertise in vertical industries enables organizations to digitally transform while delivering seamless, industry-specific processes and data models across any channel, helping to increase sales, service and marketing agility, operational efficiency, digital adoption and simplicity.”

In the last two years, Salesforce has acquired Mulesoft (APIs provider), Datorama (AI-powered marketing intelligence), Tableau (analytics business analytics) and Evergage (personalization, CDP). It also debuted a Salesforce CMS last fall.

In other customer experience software news …

InMoment Acquires MaritzCX

InMoment has acquired MaritzCX in a move designed to create a customer experience (CX) technology provider powerhouse. The definitive agreement reached this week means the new company will support more than 2,000 brands and include a global team of 1,500 employees. The combined company is backed by Madison Dearborn Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm.

Andrew Joiner will lead the combined organization as CEO, and John Lewis will continue to chair the board of directors. According to company officials, MaritzCX will operate as MaritzCX, an InMoment company, for a period of time. The transaction is expected to close in early March.

“For InMoment, this acquisition will do more than increase its customer base — it moves the vendor from being classified as a medium-sized voice-of-the-customer (VoC) vendor to a large one sitting along with Cisco Webex XM, Medallia, NICE, Qualtrics/SAP and Verint,” Forrester analyst Faith Adams blogged this week. “The increase in the customer base will especially be felt in markets where MaritzCX outpaced InMoment, like EMEA.”

MaritzCX, Adams continued, has nudged clients to “integrate with other data sources and to try different approaches to collecting customer feedback such as incorporating image and video in surveys to capture and analyze customer emotion. This strength in services will make a great complement to InMoment’s investment and focus on technology,” Adams wrote. 

Contentful Releases App Framework

Contentful, a headless content management provider, has announced its App Framework. The App Framework builds on Contentful'sl approach of assembling a group of services integrated with open APIs. 

Users can connect digital experience services such as optimization, analytics, collaboration, translation and deployment and delivery to Contentful’s content platform. Customers can use the App Framework to scale services programmatically. 

The App Framework includes a set of new API endpoints, libraries and blueprints. The goal? Give developers the ability to build custom apps and integrate existing services, with access to open source code.

Applause Partners With Infosys for Digital Testing Services

Applause, which provides crowdsourced testing, has announced a new partnership with Infosys, a digital services and consulting provider. This partnership will allow the companies to provide broader digital experience testing services to clients, according to company officials.

It combines Infosys behind-the-firewall validation with Applause crowdtesting. Company officials promise increased speed and scale to test in multiple geographies simultaneously, domain and subject matter experts available on demand and better user experience testing and feedback cycles.

Talkdesk Launches Business Transformation Services

Talkdesk, a cloud contact center, announced this week Talkdesk Business Transformation Services. The purpose is to help companies through contact center transformations with transitions from on-premises platforms to modern cloud solutions. 

The new operating model merges Talkdesk’s people, process, technology and expertise within a customer success outcome methodology. This is led by Chief Customer Officer Chad Gaydos. The focus is on customer experience (CX) management services and effective cloud implementation. The Talkdesk Business Transformation Services methodology focuses on three components of CX: strategy, enablement and success, according to company officials.