Zoom tipped for the closes last summer when its stock value soared, offering nearly $15 billion to buy Five9 to enter customer service. Eventually, the deal fell apart when the stock price plummeted, but Zoom’s desire to get into customer service somehow did not diminish.
Earlier this year, the company announced a new customer service solution, which would take advantage of Zoom’s existing capabilities. As the company wrote in a blog post announcing the new service:
Combining contact center functionality with Zoom’s unified communications solutions, Zoom Contact Center can work as a standalone customer experience solution or integrate directly into an existing website or application. Zoom customers who use Zoom Meetings, Zoom Phone, and/or Zoom Chat will recognize the agent-supervisor interaction management experience, as it is part of the same Zoom application.
By bringing together some existing functions, the company was able to offer a customer service experience inside the Zoom toolset. Today, the company announced plans to expand that by acquiring Solvvy, a nine-year-old startup that focuses on conversational AI.
With Solvvy, the business gets more automation and intelligence and the ability to answer routine questions without having to speak to a person. Velchamy Sankarlingam, president of product and engineering at Zoom, certainly recognizes that this acquisition gives the company a crucial feature to compete in this space.
“Solvvy’s proprietary technology will expand the Zoom Contact Center offering with scalable self-service and conversational AI. Our customers will benefit from an automated, integrated and easy-to-deploy contact center that will help answer end-customer questions and resolve issues faster, improving the overall customer experience and driving operational savings,” wrote Sankarlingam in a blog post. announcing the deal.
Brent Leary, principal analyst and founder of CRM Essentials, which monitors the customer service space, says it might be a more hands-on deal than the one with Five9.
“I think it might actually be a better fit for Zoom than Five9 would have been. Integrating conversational AI with Zoom’s communications platform seems like a nice combination that strengthens both sides and potentially creates better experiences for customers and employees interacting with each other,” he told TechCrunch.
Although the companies didn’t share a purchase price, Solvvy, which launched in 2013, has raised $16.5 million along the way, according to data from Crunchbase. The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of this fiscal year.
Zoom stock is up more than 9% in early trading this morning.