• July 29, 2021
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Qualtrics to Acquire Clarabridge for $1.125 Billion

Qualtrics will acquire Clarabridge, a provider of omnichannel conversational analytics, in a stock transaction valued at $1.125 billion.

Qualtrics' platform helps companies ask their customers and employees the questions to understand how they're feeling about their company, products and brand experiences and then use that data to take action.

Clarabridge's platform helps companies discover and understand human nuances, such as effort, emotion, and intent, through natural language understanding that spans 23 languages and more than 150 industry models. Companies such as GM, Farmers, United Airlines, USAA, Bank of America, Expedia, and UnitedHealthcare rely on Clarabridge to uncover actionable insights from every customer interaction. Clarabridge's AI-powered conversational analytics capabilities analyze massive volumes of indirect customer feedback captured from unstructured sources like social media, emails, support calls, chats, and product reviews.

With the combination, organizations will be able to tune into, analyze, and act on what customers and employees are saying across channels.

"With our acquisition of Clarabridge, we're accelerating our growth and leadership as the world's #1 experience management company and taking the category we created to an entirely new level," said Qualtrics CEO Zig Serafin in a statement. "Together, we'll give companies even greater power to build deep, trusted relationships with their customers and employees and deliver incredible experiences that everyone will love. We're excited to welcome the Clarabridge team to Qualtrics."

"Clarabridge's ability to help companies discover what their customers are saying about them across unstructured sources and provide meaningful, actionable insights is a perfect complement to the Qualtrics platform," said Clarabridge CEO Mark Bishof, in a statement. "What we deliver is far more powerful as part of Qualtrics, and we have an incredible opportunity to accelerate our growth and innovation as part of the world's #1 experience management company."

"The role of experience management is growing in importance within organizations, and the ability to listen across multiple channels is going to be critical to their future success," said Alan Webber, IDC's program vice president for digital strategy and customer experience, in a statement. "Increasingly, customers and employees provide feedback in many different places, and organizations will benefit from a single platform to capture it, uncover meaningful insights, and use them to drive action across their businesses."

For Donna Fluss, president of DMG Consulting, the acquisition is "not unexpected."

"We’ve seen a number of acquisitions in and around the contact center technology market in the last couple of months as larger companies with the wherewithal  to make investments look to fill in gaps in their product portfolios," she says.

Just in the past two weeks, Uniphore acquired Jacada, and Zoom acquired Five9. The move also comes less than two weeks after Qualtrics acquired Usermind, a provider of customer journey orchestration software, and just six months after it went public.

"This is a very logical acquisition that gives Qualtrics the ability to structure unstructured omnichannel conversations and fills a gap in the Qualtrics product portfolio," Fluss says. "This is a good and synergistic acquisition. It’s very helpful that the two companies have been working together for a couple of years and have many shared customers.

"With this acquisition, Qualtrics has the ability to analyze and find insights in both structured and unstructured customer and employee conversations. Enterprise customers are looking for these capabilities and will find it helpful to have them available from one vendor," Fluss concludes.

Forrester Research Vice President and Research Director Harley Manning agrees. "On the surface this looks like an exceptionally good move for Qualtrics. Clarabridge is strongest in some very important areas where Qualtrics does not stand out, he says.

Clarabridge, Manning adds, "has been the best in class at integrations, speech and speech-to-text, text analytics, analytics capabilities, and scalability, among other things."

Forrester Senior Analyst Judy Weader sees huge revenue opportunities for Qualtrics through this acquisition. "With about half of Clarabridge’s large customers being Qualtrics customers, this acquisition (re)opens conversations that can get Qualtrics into that other half," she says. 

Weader further suspects that Qualtrics pulled off this deal now "before someone else could get Clarabridge first."

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