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KANA Buys Sword Ciboodle - Just the Latest Combo Addressing Customer Experience

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July 10, 2012

KANA Buys Sword Ciboodle - Just the Latest Combo Addressing Customer Experience

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC

Customer service solutions provider KANA Software, Inc. has acquired Sword Ciboodle (News - Alert), which also plays in this space, for an undisclosed sum. This deal is just the latest combination that emphasizes the importance of multichannel customer service and the customer experience.

“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 premises] or in the cloud,” says 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, he added, accelerates each company’s product roadmap – which together address important new trends including big data analytics, cloud computing and mobility – by 12 to 18 months.

KANA prides itself on its reputation for providing e-mail response management, knowledge management, Web self-service and live chat/Web customer service. Ciboodle, according to the companies, is best known for its business process management, dynamic case management and agent desktop solutions. 

“Sword Ciboodle has its roots in Graham Technology (News - Alert) formed in 1986,” said Mitch Lieberman, vice president of market strategy at Sword Ciboodle, in a recent interview with TMCnet. “[We provide] a console for interacting with customers for contact center agents and a window into the customer for back-office experts. [This] 360-degree customer view…speeds access to key customer service data, improves first call resolution, streamlines training processes and ultimately improves customer satisfaction.”

Providing that holistic view of the customer, and the ability to serve customer through what method they prefer – which KANA notes is a $5-billion market opportunity – is what the KANA-Ciboodle pairing is all about. The combined organization, with staff and offices across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, provides solutions to some 900 companies and other entities. That includes American Airlines, Best Buy, Virgin Media (News - Alert), Xerox and the County of Los Angeles, the City of Minneapolis, and the City and County of San Francisco.   

The KANA-Ciboodle deal is yet another example of consolidation in the customer experience space, which spans customer care, CRM, marketing, multichannel contact center, social listening and more.

In April, KANA purchased cloud-based Web customer service and customer interaction management outfit, Trinicom., meanwhile, has purchased two social media businesses ­– Buddy Media, a deal announced in June; and Radian6, which it bought last year.

Oracle (News - Alert) bought Vitrue, a Buddy Media competitor, in May. That followed Oracle’s acquisition of Collective Intellect which, like Radian6, provides a tool to monitor social commentary.

In a June 4 blog, Marcel LeBrun, senior vice president and general manager of Salesforce Radian6, wrote: “We believe that marketing is undergoing the biggest transformation in 60 years. Marketing is evolving from traditional media campaigns focused on one-way messaging and brand impressions to social marketing, focused on building customer connections, two-way conversations and customer relationships. Advertising is expanding from traditional media to social media, with campaigns that engage customers and build connections. Social media has moved from a specialized team in marketing to the foundation of marketing.”

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Edited by Braden Becker

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