Yesterday night, Qualtrics introduced that it’s buying Clarabridge in an all-stock deal value $1.125 billion. It is a nice transfer for Qualtrics. In a single swoop, it has secured the best-in-class analytics capabilities that can outline the way forward for voice-of-the-customer applications as corporations lower their reliance on surveys and focus as a substitute on understanding prospects primarily based on evaluation of unstructured information.
We’ve been anticipating somebody to amass Clarabridge for a minimum of two years. Based mostly on its distinctive integration and analytics capabilities, Clarabridge was a Chief in each this 12 months’s The Forrester Wave™: Buyer Suggestions Administration Platforms, Q2 2021 and final 12 months’s The Forrester Wave™: Buyer Suggestions Administration Platforms, Q1 2020. These capabilities made it a extremely enticing acquisition goal for any vendor in search of to leapfrog the competitors and obtain sustainable differentiation.
This transfer positions Qualtrics to catapult itself to the entrance of the shopper suggestions administration (CFM) pack. Clarabridge’s textual content analytics/pure language processing (NLP) capabilities are so superior that Forrester included the platform in The Forrester Wave™: AI-Based mostly Textual content Analytics Platforms (Individuals Targeted), Q2 2020, an analysis normally reserved for textual content analytics pure-plays. Though Clarabridge at all times selected to go after buyer expertise (CX), worker expertise, and social media analytics use instances, in addition to multichannel aggregation, it checks off the entire bins required for an enterprise-grade textual content analytics/NLP platform: multichannel information aggregation and administration; multilingual capabilities; information (area ontologies and linguistic guidelines) and machine-learning-based textual content analytics; and superior pure language understanding performance past easy matter and sentiment extraction akin to emotion, effort, and intent.
Clarabridge brings holistically built-in speech analytics capabilities to Qualtrics’ in any other case undifferentiated speech and speech-to-text providing, analyzing “acoustics” of, say, name middle conversations recording for indicators which can be misplaced as soon as speech is transcribed to textual content. Typical superior speech analytics capabilities embody figuring out audio system, a speaker’s quantity and pace, lengthy pauses (which can point out an inefficient name middle agent wanting up info), and interruptions and different feelings that may be derived from the tonality of voice. And the final icing on the cake is Clarabridge’s highly effective information visualization/dashboards/analytics capabilities that rival main enterprise intelligence platforms.
The deal is just not with out potential “gotchas” which can be at all times considerations for tech acquisitions:
- Know-how integration. That is unlikely to be a problem for Qualtrics and Clarabridge, because the latter excels at integrating with CFM platforms and half of Clarabridge’s giant prospects are already Qualtrics prospects. Qualtrics is already describing a brand new future product set that extends Clarabridge’s capabilities throughout all of its Expertise Administration options, whether or not for shopper or worker suggestions administration, so it must be assumed that the integrations are deliberate for all over the place and anyplace that Qualtrics already performs.
- Tradition. Each corporations have a powerful grounding in a perception that buyer suggestions administration is important for CX and enterprise success, however the methods during which they method it are totally different — which may form each the interior philosophy about suggestions administration and the tradition that permits the expertise design and improvement. Moreover, after years of creating a platform that may (and does) combine with any of the opposite main CFM options, Clarabridge might want to pivot onerous to focus all of its consideration on Qualtrics.
What it means for:
- Qualtrics prospects. That is excellent news. You should have the potential so as to add superior analytics to your voice-of-the-customer program, which may take you right into a future the place the restricted capabilities of surveys proceed to lose what energy they nonetheless have as a result of survey fatigue, at the same time as wealthy unstructured information proliferates.
- Clarabridge prospects. Count on to have Qualtrics gross sales groups flattening your door. Take into account that there isn’t a speedy want to exchange the opposite buyer suggestions distributors in your portfolio with Qualtrics, so take your time fascinated by which distributors you need in your best-of-breed tech portfolio. Pricing on this area will be wildly inconsistent, so at all times negotiate onerous it doesn’t matter what path you are taking.
- CFM platform distributors. In case you have a differentiated providing, now’s the time to double down. That might be channel experience (akin to with SMG and bodily areas) or social listening (like Repute) or cost-effectiveness (akin to Khoros/Topbox). If you’re one of many different huge CFM platforms, now could be a very good time to construct (or, extra probably, purchase) your personal superior analytics capabilities.
- SAP. The German software program large that famously purchased Qualtrics after which spun it out nonetheless retains majority possession within the agency. This is a chance so as to add the Qualtrics/Clarabridge capabilities to SAP’s late-to-the-game buyer information platform providing to distinguish it from opponents (that largely give attention to structured information and advertising use instances).