Cisco Systems said Monday it had agreed to buy U.K.-based communication software firm IMImobile for about $730 million in a move to boost its cloud solutions for call centers.
The networking giant’s push into software includes its Webex Contact Center, which uses data-driven artificial intelligence capabilities to help call center agents deliver “personalized customer experiences.”
IMImobile’s cloud platform, IMIconnect, allows businesses to connect with customers through interactive channels including social, messaging, and voice. Its customers include Walgreens, Best Buy, IHG, Capitec Bank, and Vodafone.
According to Cisco, the combination of IMImobile and Webex Contact Center will offer a solution that uses AI “along the entire customer journey to create super-agents and augmented frontline employees.”
“We look forward to working with IMImobile to help create a comprehensive CXaaS [Customer Experience as a Service] solution for the market,” Jeetu Patel, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s security and applications business, said in a news release.
Under the terms of the deal, Cisco will pay 595 pence per share for IMImobile, which translates to a price of roughly $730 million at the current exchange rate. The stock jumped 47% to 592.30 pence on news of the deal Monday.
As Barron’s reports, Cisco “has been looking to move deeper into artificial intelligence as it seeks to create ‘smarter and faster’ customer engagement solutions that make it easy for businesses to communicate with customers.”
In September, the company acquired BabbleLabs, which uses AI to help noise reduction on collaboration technology such as videoconferencing.
“By buying IMImobile, Cisco now hopes to integrate improved AI systems to provide front-line employees with the data to help personalize interactions with customers through their channel of choice, such as text messages, social media, or a voice call,” Barron’s said.
IMIconnect handles customer interactions including appointment management, complaint handling, consent management, fraud alerts, omnichannel live chat, and order tracking.
“IMImobile’s omnichannel capabilities make it easy for any marketing or service organization to message with their customers on any channel their customers prefer,” said Omar Tawakol, general manager of Cisco’s contact center business unit.