SugarCRM Buys Contastic's Natural Language Processing Capabilities

In a further effort to strengthen its offerings for customer-facing professionals, SugarCRM today acquired the intellectual property rights and other assets of Contastic, a natural language processing (NLP) platform. Financial terms of the acquisition were not  disclosed.

"SugarCRM will use Contastic's NLP technology to analyze data within the Sugar Platform so users can automatically send personalized content," said Larry Augustin, SugarCRM's CEO, in a statement.

Contastic's technology applies an NLP engine to mine customer conversation history for insights regarding the topics that are most relevant to them. The vendor's Document Matching Engine—an NLP engine built on top of a natural language tool kit (NLTK)—extracts keywords from a customer's aggregated communications with a company to determine what articles or marketing materials prospects are most likely to engage with. It uses heuristic matching to consolidate duplicate records and links all data to one customer profile. Furthermore, it monitors interactions or communication patterns and sends reminders that help end users keep track of, and follow up with, their leads.  

Cy Kormaee, Contastic's former CEO and director of product management for predictive analytics at SugarCRM, stated in an email to CRM magazine that the capabilities will allow salespeople "to create a visual of the target contact, in addition to the snapshot of their existing relationship drawn from data within the Sugar platform." Using this, customer-facing professionals can facilitate new conversations and continue to build relationships. 

The acquisition follows other recent investments SugarCRM has made in the area of sales-related technologies. Most recently, in March 2015, it acquired Stitch, a developer of personal assistant tools designed to improve salespeoples' mobile performances. Prior to that, in 2014, SugarCRM also acquired business process management and workflow technologies from ProcessMaker.

Contastic's capabilities will be incorporated into SugarCRM's future releases, the goal being to give customer recommendations regarding the next best actions to take.


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