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CCaaS Roundup: Zendesk Goes Private Equity; Intermedia Adds AI Feature

Welcome to the No Jitter Roll, the regular roundup of news about collaboration and communication. In today’s edition, we have a contact center roundup with the latest on a provider going private equity and an AI-based feature for sentiment analysis.
Zendesk Is Acquired: What’s Next?
Contact center provider Zendesk has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an investor group led by private equity firms Permira and Hellman & Friedman. The all-cash transaction is estimated to be worth $10.2 billion, and Zendesk shareholders will receive $77.50 per share.
Zendesk is the latest in a string of companies within the industry that has gone the private equity route. Back in January of this year, cloud computing company Citrix Systems was acquired by affiliates of Vista Equity Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital Corporation in a $16.5 billion deal. The investor group, which had also acquired data analytics provider Tibco, planned to combine Citrix and Tibco with the hopes of accelerating Citrix's SaaS transition, as I shared in this previous No Jitter article.
Prior to the Citrix deal, affiliates from private equity firms Francisco Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital acquired cloud provider LogMeIn in 2019, and a Searchlight Capital Partners-led investor group acquired Mitel in 2018.
The reason for going private equity is simple, as Talking Pointz principal analyst Dave Michels explained in the coverage of the LogMeIn acquisition. The acquired company is either given the license to focus on the long-term without the stress of being traded publicly or broken down into parts that investors deem to have value, Michels added. In the case of Mitel, LogMeIn, and Citrix, it seems like the former holds true, as each provider and their services are still on the market with some caveats (like Mitel partnering with RingCentral, which saw RingCentral acquiring some Mitel intellectual property).
While the future of Zendesk as a private equity company might be a bit uncertain, Zendesk Founder and CEO Mikkel Svane seems to also see it as an opportunity to focus on long-term growth, saying in the press release:
“This is the start of a new chapter for Zendesk with partners that are aligned with the strength of our agile products and talented team, and are committed to providing the resources and expertise to continue our growth trajectory. With Hellman & Friedman and Permira’s support, we’ll continue to execute on our long-term strategy with our customers as our top priority, taking full advantage of the opportunity we see to help businesses navigate the ever changing expectations and demands of their customers.”
Intermedia Adds Sentiment Analysis
UC and contact center provider Intermedia released Interaction Analytics, an AI-based feature for its contact center service that helps identify trends across customer engagements. With Interaction Analytics, Intermedia transcribes customers calls and voicemails that come through call queues, and then uses AI to analyzes the words spoken and assigns the interaction a sentiment tag based on the ratio of positive to negative words. Intermedia users with access to call recordings can also search by sentiment or keyword to pull up analytics.
Contact center supervisors can also flag calls that need to be evaluated based on key phrases. For instance, product teams can receive alerts on terms like "broken" or "missing," which can indicate product improvements or the need to develop new features, Intermedia explained. Additionally, sales managers can search positive and negative conversations for coaching purposes and to show which pitches are resonating with customers, Intermedia added.
ICYMI: Revisiting the Latest Contact Center Stories
In addition to these recent contact center announcements, June was a busy month for contact center news and insight on No Jitter. Below are some of the top contact center stories from this month: