thomas.wieberneit@aheadcrm.co.nz
SugarCRM and sales-i reimagine sales intelligence in a sweet move

SugarCRM and sales-i reimagine sales intelligence in a sweet move

The news Today, May 22 2024, SugarCRM and sales-i announced the acquisition of sales-i by SugarCRM. sales-i is leading provider of a revenue intelligence solution that helps businesses maximize their revenue and profitability. It targets at making sales professionals more efficient and effective by providing actionable insight into every customer, product and sale. The acquisition comes nearly a year after Sugar announced a partnership with sales-i to improve business-to-business (B2B) sales performance by delivering AI-powered revenue intelligence that leverages the data of a business’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and CRM. This combination provides businesses with actionable insights that improve sales, marketing, service and support, resulting in greater revenue and higher levels of retention. You can read the full announcement here. The combination of SugarCRM and sales-i combines the detailed transactional data residing in ERP systems with the rich sales data in SugarCRM. According to the release information, his shall create an intelligent data hub enabling customers to successfully execute impactful sales strategies to improv revenue, maximize profitability and increase customer satisfaction. In this combination, sales-i delivers the revenue intelligence, while SugarCRM delivers the CRM data; both of which are needed for a better sales enablement. Together, SugarCRM and sales-i intend to deliver the most innovative intelligent account management solution in the marketplace by utilizing leading edge sales enablement technologies provided by both companies and the rich revenue intelligence capabilities provided by sales-i. The bigger picture The market for CRM and CX solutions is crowded while only few vendors enjoy significant mindshare. And what is more, both terms, CRM and CX, get increasingly fuzzy as many vendors use them...
How Zendesk moves the needle in customer service

How Zendesk moves the needle in customer service

The news On January 8, 2024, Zendesk announced the acquisition of Klaus, “the industry leading AI-powered quality management platform”. With AI driving a rapid increase in customer service interactions it is necessary for customer service teams to become more efficient while maintaining their quality of service. This is accomplished by a combination of digital and human agents across an increasing number of channels. Ensuring good quality requires a QA solution that is capable of scoring 100 percent of customer interactions, which is what Klaus’s AI is capable of. In doing this, it “pinpoints conversations with positive or negative sentiment, identifies outliers, churn risk, escalations, and necessary follow-ups. According to Zendesk, most QA software does handle only one to two percent of all customer interactions. With workforce enablement management capabilities, Klaus enables the identification of knowledge gaps and coaching opportunities with the goal of improving agent performance and productivity. The result is higher customer satisfaction. According to Martin Kōiva, CEO and founder of Klaus, “Zendesk and Klaus share a vision of Ai-led, personalized CX with businesses fully anticipating and acting on their customers’ needs. QA software plays a critical role in this, ensuring consistency, assessing both human and digital agent performance and providing actionable insights for strategic planning. As part of Zendesk, we will continue to build and deliver thes crucial capabilities, but now at an even greater scale”. The bigger picture Customer service personnel works in a high-pressure environment with lots of turnover; even worse, as frontline workers, they are often the first ones to deal with customers who are already less than amused – equipped with tools that...
How SAP plans to win the CX game

How SAP plans to win the CX game

The News A lot is going on in the SAPverse during October and the early days of November 2023. First, SAP conducted its CXLive event with CX-related announcements, then the company reported good Q3/2023 figures, a new version of its CX software that includes new generative AI capabilities got released and lastly, it executed its SAP TechEd event with a good number of AI-, BTP-, and ERP related announcements. As this is quite a lot, let me focus on SAP CX in this post. I will cover the TechEd related parts in another post soon.  During his keynote to SAP CX Live CEO Christian Klein named CX “a very critical part of SAP’s portfolio. There is no intelligent enterprise without CX”. This got later reaffirmed by Chief Marketing Officer for SAP’s industry and CX solutions, Sven Denecken, who said “SAP is very serious about customer experience. If you heard otherwise, that’s not true”. Why is this important? You’ll find out in the next section. The bigger picture Like every other company, too, SAP has jumped on the generative AI train. For some time now, we are hearing of a lot of announcements and available functionality. This includes an own co-pilot as well as an own foundation model that focuses on business data and business decisions. Focusing on CX, SAP announced the availability of a number of AI driven assistants that cover the whole chain from marketing through service but also lead into fulfillment.   With all these, SAP is in tough competition. The company is not perceived as a CX leader, some people even doubt it being serious about CX at all and also question the company’s...
Oho, Zoho Solo!

Oho, Zoho Solo!

Zoho hosted its usual Analyst Day to coincide with the annual Zoholics event in Austin TX. You’ll likely have seen the announcements already, as well as some analysis of them; I’d like to focus on one set. Zoho has opened up beta access to a set of apps that are specifically targeted to serve solopreneurs, small business owners in the making, freelancers, and similar individuals. Briefly, these apps include: Zoho Start, which guides individuals through the process of launching a business; Zoho Publish, a visibility tool to access listing services, maps, and feedback sites;  Zoho Tables, a hybrid spreadsheet/app combining ease of use with team access; and Zoho Solo, a mobile-only set of essential CRM and other business tools for solopreneurs. On the one hand, this is very smart. The majority of solo/small businesses worldwide have a smartphone or tablet as their only computer, driven by the commonality of solopreneurs around the world, both in the developed and developing worlds. The figures Zoho quoted to us included 5 million new business launches in the US annually, more than 33 million existing small businesses, and 70 million people who consider themselves freelancers. By catering to this audience with apps and services that support them specifically, Zoho taps into a huge market that is not otherwise well served. On the other hand, this approach is self-limiting. While we’re talking about majorities, the vast, vast majority of potential users will never grow beyond a one-person, one-device business, nor will they want to. The ones that do grow still aren’t likely to reach a level of revenue that will require a more extensive...
SugarCRM Analyst Summit 2022: Bring Out Your Customers!

SugarCRM Analyst Summit 2022: Bring Out Your Customers!

The world is getting back to normal, which means two things: Vendors are shifting back to in-the-flesh conferences, and I’m writing again. The convergence of these two facts leads to me cranking out a short blog about SugarCRM’s Analyst Summit, held Nov. 10 in Santa Cruz, CA.The real highlight of the event for me was speaking to Sugar’s customers, a healthy handful of whom were in attendance. This is a change from my usual experience, where I’m more absorbed in what the host company is doing in terms of strategy and/or product. These customers—I interviewed executives from an air travel contractor, a for-profit shoe charity, and a surgical instrument sterilizer, among others—were the stars of this show. It was a refreshing experience. Feel the Message The expected updates to Sugar’s product road map were there, along with some healthy discussion of messaging. As always, I appreciate Sugar’s leadership team and its willingness to listen to feedback on how the company presents itself and adjust accordingly, or at least tell us why they will keep what they have. But the real message for me was those customers and their relationships with Sugar. Most of the time, there’s a certain sameness about the reference customers vendors trot out at events like this; they’re either recognizable brands or have easily explained businesses, they have a typical application and employee environment, and the ROI story is A-B-C. Vendors want you to understand why their customers chose them, and sometimes a challenging story can delay that understanding. Truthful Tales, Timely Told SugarCRM’s spotlight customers for this summit brought their passion for their work with...
Together, Zoom and Five9 shape a new market

Together, Zoom and Five9 shape a new market

The News On July 18, 2021, Zoom Video Communications, Inc. announced the acquisition of Five9, Inc. in an all-shares transaction. The transaction values Five9 at around $14.7 billion. According to the press release “the acquisition is expected to help enhance Zoom’s presence with enterprise customers and allow it to accelerate its long-term growth opportunity by adding the $24 billion contact center market.” According to Eric S. Yuan, CEO and founder of Zoom, the company is “continuously looking for ways to enhance our platform, and the addition of Five9 is a natural fit that will deliver even more happiness and value to our customers”. He continues with “enterprises communicate with their customers primarily through the contact center, and we believe this acquisition creates a leading customer engagement platform that will help redefine how companies of all sizes connect with their customers”. Rowan Trollope, CEO of Five9 adds that “businesses spend significant resources annually on their contact centers, but still struggle to deliver a seamless experience for their customers”. Trollope will become a president of Zoom and continue as CEO of Five9. Zoom expects the acquisition of Five9 to be “complementary to the growing popularity of its Zoom Phone offering […] The combination of both firms also offers both companies significant cross-selling opportunities to each other’s respective customer bases”. As especially Rowan Trollope emphasizes upon repeatedly in the acquisition briefing, this acquisition is about accelerating growth by combining the respective assets, software as well as customers. The bigger picture The trend towards call centers in the cloud has been there before and it has been amplified with the Covid pandemic. Connecting...