Nuance to Acquire TouchCommerce, Provider of Digital Customer-Service, Such as Online Live Chat

touchcommerce

Nuance Communications reports that it’s signed an agreement to acquire TouchCommerce, a provider of digital customer-service solutions such as online live chat and ecommerce sales, for $215 million. Nuance says the acquisition will enhance its Enterprise group’s various digital offerings, including live chat, customer analytics, and personalization solutions. The firm expects to close the deal by the end of its fiscal-year 2016.

It also says the acquisition won’t have an effect on its fiscal-2016 revenues, but that in Nuance’s fiscal-year 2017, TouchCommerce will add at least $60 million in revenue to Nuance’s revenues, and add at least a percentage point to Nuance’s overall corporate growth.

More on TouchCommerce

According to Nuance, TouchCommerce provides:

“The Best of Self-Service and Best of Assisted-Service Solutions:” This includes live chat self-service guides and data-driven personalization across mobile, Web, and messaging channels. It says that the TouchCommerce assisted-service platform is the “perfect addition” to Nuance’s artificial intelligence (AI)-powered customer self-service solutions, providing enterprises with the ability to engage with customers across all channels, phone, Web, mobile, social, and more.

“Strong Customer Relationships and Synergies:” Nuance says its acquisition of TouchCommerce is a natural extension of Nuance’s Enterprise business, and is expected to add “attractive revenue streams and growth.” TouchCommerce has built and maintained customer relationships with businesses that include AT&T, Citizens Bank, DirectTV, Dixons, eHarmony, Panasonic, Telefonica, and T-Mobile. While a majority of TouchCommerce customers already use Nuance solutions, less than 10 percent of Nuance Enterprise customers currently use TouchCommerce, which is expected to create a “significant growth opportunity” for Nuance. Nuance also expects to increase TouchCommerce’s global reach through Nuance’s distribution capabilities in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) and Asia-Pacific regions.

“Expanded Addressable Market Opportunity:” Nuance says the combination of TouchCommerce digital-assisted service and Nuance AI-powered solutions comes at a time “when consumer preferences for customer-service engagements are accelerating toward digital Web and mobile services.” It notes that a recent Forrester study (“Brief: Don’t Make Your Customers Call You For Service,” Forrester Research, Inc., May 16, 2016) found that consumers are increasingly using self-service channels for customer service, with 66 percent engaging in digital self-service. The acceleration of digital customer-service solutions is expected to expand Nuance’s opportunities in the customer-engagement market, a $3.7 billion market that is growing at 17 percent (according to RnR Market Research, December 2015).

Enhanced Nuance Analytics and AI Differentiation: Nuance says that it and TouchCommerce will collectively enable “billions of customer interactions each year,” generating data assets that, when combined with Nuance’s artificial intelligence technologies, will increase the automation and accuracy levels for a wide range of customer-service applications. Nuance will also leverage TouchCommerce’s agent desktop to enable seamless escalation from virtual assistant to human-assisted service, with the system learning through every customer engagement. It will also use TouchCommerce’s real-time data and targeting technologies to provide deliver higher levels of personalization and proactive service across the platform.

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