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Zoom Reveals CCaaS Next Step With Solvvy Acquisition

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Image: Boumen Japet - Alamy Stock Photo
In an effort to bolster its contact center capabilities, Zoom today announced that it has entered a definitive agreement to acquire conversational AI and automation platform provider Solvvy. Upon the closure of the deal, Zoom will bring Solvvy’s customer intent and workflow automation capabilities and customer experience analytics into the Zoom Contact Center platform.
 
This acquisition announcement comes four months after the official release of Zoom Contact Center, the company’s video-first, omnichannel customer service tool. Zoom Contact Center launched with over 100 agent, supervisor, and admin features, including a drag-and-drop IVR designer and tools to create greetings, menus, and prompts. Shortly after the product launch, Zoom revealed an AI-based conversational intelligence tool, Zoom IQ, that analyzes customer interaction to inform customer service decisions.
 
Commenting on the announcement, contact center expert Sheila McGee-Smith said, "The acquisition will help drive the move from a simple contact center solution, e.g., voice and video, to a fuller CCaaS suite that includes advanced digital, conversational AI, and automation capabilities.”
 
As we’ve seen with other contact center providers throughout the years, conversational AI startups are prime targets for acquisition. Vendors often take the capabilities from the acquired company and tuck them into their existing offerings, acquire the company for the added talent (an acqui-hire) to further build out contact center capabilities, or both.
 
For example, Dialpad last fall acquired Koopid, an AI-driven platform provider for omnichannel customer experience. With the deal, Dialpad was able to add new capabilities to its existing product and expand its employee roster, as industry analyst Dave Michels shared in this article. At the time, Michels noted, “The acquisition aligns with the industry trend of moving toward digital-first solutions.”
 
In this case, McGee-Smith sees the acquisition as “more than a ‘tuck-in,’” as Zoom will be bringing on approximately 80 Solvvy employees, including former Talkdesk, Amazon Connect, and SugarCRM talent. In a tweet about the news, McGee-Smith also noted that this move will help “fill technology gap created by failure of [the] Five9 acquisition.” Additionally, Solvvy Founding CEO Mahesh Ram and Co-Founder and CTO Justin Betteridge will join Zoom and help drive the product vision and strategy for advanced conversational AI and automation for the company, as Zoom shared in the press release.
 
The acquisition is another sign that Zoom’s CCaaS strategy requires dedicating more time and resources to building out its contact center business. How this strategy affects Zoom, incumbents in the CCaaS space, and the workers using these products remains to be seen.

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