Cisco has completed its $730 million acquisition of IMImobile, a UK provider of cloud communications software that helps businesses communicate with their customers through SMS, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger and in-app communications. By combining IMImobile’s solution with Webex Contact Center, Cisco plans to create a unified customer experience-as-a-service offering for business customers.
By purchasing IMImobile, Cisco hopes to enhance the CXaaS by offering businesses a better way to reach customers on the applications they prefer to use. For example, a customer who receives a text with a marketing message may assume that she can also use SMS to ask the company a question about a product she already purchased. Cloud-based unified customer experience platforms enable this.
"Customers want delightful experiences where they can have two-way interactions with a business exactly when they need to, on the channel they prefer, without having to wait or jump through hoops to prove who they are, and without having to repeat themselves," said Jeetu Patel, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's security and application business.
Brands like Tesla, T-Mobile and Disney inspired Cisco to prioritize customer-driven service interactions across platforms, according to Cisco's Omar Tawakol, VP and GM of the Cisco contact center business unit. He said customers want support on their own terms on any mode of communication, and that companies are starting to proactively anticipate customer needs.
"To provide a single, connected customer journey, businesses must have visibility into all customers interactions across the business whether they be from mobile app, messaging on Facebook, responding to a marketing email or talking to a contact center agent," said Tawakol. "Cisco’s answer is the Customer Experience as a Service (CXaaS) offering that brings together artificial intelligence, experience management, collaboration tools, omnichannel capabilities and programmability."
For Cisco, which has a history of growing through acquisitions, the IMImobile purchase will have little financial impact; the networking equipment giant had $30.6 billion in cash equivalents on its balance sheet as of January 23, 2021.
IMImobile employs 1,100 people in the U.K., the U.S., Canada, India, South Africa and the UAE. "I'm incredibly excited to welcome the talented IMImobile team to Cisco," said Cisco's Patel.