News | July 10, 2012

KANA Acquires Contact Center Customer Service Company Ciboodle

Creates Leading Independent Provider for Multi-channel Customer Service Solutions across Agent, Web, Social, and Mobile Experiences, Positioned to Exploit $5B Market Opportunity

KANA Software, Inc., a global leader in customer service solutions delivered on-premise or in the cloud, and used by more than 850 commercial and public sector organizations worldwide, recently announced it has acquired the award-winning process-based contact center provider Ciboodle from the Sword Group.

Many of the world's best known customer-centric Fortune 500 companies and leading government entities rely on KANA and Ciboodle for advanced customer engagement across multiple channels. Recognized by leading analyst firms such as Gartner and Forrester Research, together the two companies create a formidable independent provider of customer service solutions, set to take advantage of an extensive $5B+ market opportunity for customer experience management, forecast to grow at between 5-12% through 2015 (6% CAGR) within the larger overall customer relationship management (CRM) space.1

The Ciboodle acquisition adds new complementary product offerings and industry expertise, extending and enhancing the overall KANA value proposition – particularly around agent desktop, business process and case management in the contact center, and social CRM communities on the web – and comes on the heels of KANA's acquisition of Trinicom, a provider of cloud-based web customer service and customer interaction management, announced April 2012, which expanded the company's market reach to mid-sized businesses globally via software-as-a-service (SaaS).

"KANA is creating a new global customer service leader that is increasingly the choice for mid-sized and large enterprises alike, serving both the public and private sectors, with solutions available on-premise or in the cloud," said KANA President and CEO Mark Duffell. "With the acquisition of Ciboodle, we are bringing together two significant enterprise players in the customer experience management arena with strengths in depth for both the contact center and for web customer service."

"The combination of KANA and Ciboodle effectively accelerates each company's product roadmap by an estimated 12-18 months – allowing the new company to focus on our customers' more strategic initiatives in emerging disruptive areas such as cloud computing, mobility, and big data analytics that will clearly differentiate KANA in its established markets and help penetrate new ones as well," said Duffell.

KANA and Ciboodle both have focused on helping many of the world’s largest organizations transform their complex business requirements into effective customer experiences; yet each company has approached it from different foundations. KANA has built a strong reputation providing email response management, knowledge management, web self-service, and live chat, often referred to as web customer service (WCS), whereas Ciboodle has built a strong reputation providing business process management, dynamic case management and agent desktop solutions, sometimes referred to as contact center customer service. The end result is comprehensive customer engagement.

According to technology research firm Gartner, "The customer's experience within the service channels can enhance or ruin the perceptions of an organization's reputation and corporate brand. Many of the technologies designed to help employees do their jobs also influence the conditions that produce the customer experience. The same applies to the technologies that are designed to allow customers to help themselves. Customers benefit directly from a specific technology and/or from activities enabled by a technology that creates positive experiences, leading to greater customer loyalty, brand recognition and increased sales." 2

“Since 1986, Ciboodle has pioneered software and services related solutions that help customer-centric organizations deliver consistent service, so their customers can get answers to their questions quickly, simply and in ways that create a positive and beneficial relationship,” said Sword Ciboodle CEO Mike Hughes. “Going forward, the combination of these two companies who share a very similar culture, will fuel increased dominance in a wide array of markets including retail, communications, financial services, utilities and government, with the ability to grow in emerging and adjunct markets as well.”

Continuing to operate under the KANA name, the newly combined entity will have more employees and office locations across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific from which to support a growing base of customers numbering some 900 organizations – all of whom recognize the importance of elevating customer experience initiatives to the strategic executive agenda.

1 Market data compiled from IDC's Worldwide Semiannual Customer Relationship Management Applications Tracker.

2 Balance Customer Experience with Customer Service Productivity in Customer Service Automation Initiatives, by Jim Davies, Johan Jacobs and Michael Maoz, Gartner, September 13, 2011. 

Source: KANA Software, Inc.