Customers in a checkout line at a home goods store in Bogota, Colombia.
PHOTO: momentcaptured1

Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator in the enterprise and it is a top line agenda item for many organizations. This is evident in the amount of customer experience technology acquisitions that took place throughout the last year. And the pace doesn't appear to be slowing either. 

With time running out on 2019 and the New Year close at hand, lets look back at the biggest mergers and acquisitions of the year.

McDonald's-Dynamic Yield, March 25

You read that right. Burgers and fries meet CX software. American fast food chain McDonald's acquired Dynamic Yield, which provides personalization and decision logic technology. McDonald's called it a move that builds "significant technology investments for growth." 

It will use the Dynamic Yield decision technology it acquired to improve its personalized CX by varying outdoor digital Drive Thru menu displays to show food based on time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic and trending menu items, according to McDonald's officials. The decision technology can also suggest and display additional items to a customer’s order based on their current selections. McDonald's implemented such decision technology in 2018.

Medallia-Strikedeck, May 9

Medallia, a CX management software provider, acquired Strikedeck in May. Strikedeck is an B2B customer success and experience management platform and Medallia offers an experience management platform. The combination will allow users to leverage customer information on renewals, product adoption and usage, subscriptions, billing and more, according to company officials. It is also designed to derive intelligent B2B customer journeys through deep artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and predictive analytics.

SurveyMonkey-GetFeedback, Aug. 5

SurveyMonkey, a survey software company, announced it acquired customer experience management company GetFeedback, a CX feedback solution for Salesforce. The deal is worth $68 million. Salesforce Ventures, an existing investor in both companies, will receive equity consideration in the transaction.  

GetFeedback’s capabilities in integrating feedback within the Salesforce ecosystem will complement SurveyMonkey’s expertise on feedback collection and analytics, according to company officials. 

Airship-Apptimize, Aug. 27

Customer engagement company Airship acquired Apptimize, a solution for testing and innovating user experiences across mobile apps and other digital channels. Airship's technology is designed to help businesses send relevant messages via SMS, push notification, email, mobile wallet and many other channels. Apptimize tests user experiences across multiple channels including mobile apps, websites and over-the-top (OTT) media services. The acquisition will allow marketers to iterate digital features, content, recommendation algorithms and user messages, company officials said.

Oracle-CrowdTwist, Oct. 2

Oracle continued its investment in the CX space when it signed an agreement to acquire CrowdTwist, a customer loyalty solution. CrowdTwist, which offers out-of-the-box engagement paths, joined the Oracle CX Cloud organization. Company officials said CrowdTwist's cloud loyalty solution offers programs for customer discounts, points, check-ins or rewards. It will integrate with Oracle Responsys (email marketing), Oracle CX Unity (CX software) and Oracle Eloqua (marketing automation).

Cisco-CloudCherry, Oct. 11

Cisco acquired CloudCherry, a Cisco investments portfolio company that offers CX management (CEM) software. It provides APIs, predictive analytics and customer journey mapping with integrated sentiment analysis. Cisco officials said this acquisition is in line with its investments in cloud analytics, AI and machine learning to help customers provide personalized experiences.

CloudCherry’s predictive analytics and journey-oriented solution will augment Cisco's contact center portfolio with advanced analytics, customer journey mapping and survey capabilities for Cisco customers, including those who use Webex Contact Center in the cloud, or Cisco's hosted and on-premises solutions. CloudCherry’s open API platform complements Cisco's open cloud architecture approach, according to company officials. The CloudCherry business is joining Cisco’s Contact Center business, led by Omar Tawakol, vice president and general manager.

TTEC-FCR, Oct. 28

TTEC Holdings, a digital CX technology and services company, acquired FCR, a CX software provider. FCR provides customer care, social media community management, content moderation, technical support and business process solutions. It works in the high-tech, health-tech, ecommerce and financial services industries, and employs approximately 2,000 employees across 11 locations. It will complement TTEC's customer engagement platform. 

FCR will retain its name and become a stand-alone entity inside TTEC's Engage business. Matthew Achak, FCR's president and founder, and Katheryn Carnahan, FCR's COO, will continue to lead FCR's operations while John Stadter, chairman, will transition into an advisory role and continue in his role as an FCR board member.

ASG-GatherUp, Nov. 14

ASG, a software business that buys Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies, announced the acquisition of GatherUp, a CX and online review engine. GatherUp will join ASG MarTech, a group of seven marketing technology businesses, including, expanding ASG MarTech’s reviews and reputation management business. 

This deal marks the 15th acquisition in 18 months for ASG and its affiliates. ASG this year launched ASG MarTech, bringing together seven MarTech companies to build a suite of digital marketing tools. Aaron Weiche, CEO of GatherUp, will continue as CEO. GatherUp was founded in 2013 by Don Campbell, Mike Blumenthal and Thomas Hasch.