KANA acquires contact center technology provider Ciboodle

KANA Software, Inc. (KANA), a provider of customer service and marketing solutions, has acquired Sword Ciboodle, a provider of contact center technologies, says Vikas Nehru, VP of product marketing for KANA. Nehru anticipates the deal will close August 15.

The combined company will be called KANA Software, Nehru says. Decisions have yet to be made regarding branding of combined KANA and Ciboodle products, though Nehru adds these decisions will occur during the integration process.

The Ciboodle acquisition enables KANA to provide a unified service experience for end customers across multiple channels, Nehru says, citing Wells Fargo, Dell, and Sears as companies that use KANA software. “Part of KANA’s job, from a marketing standpoint, is to help brands effectively listen to its customers,” Nehru says. A significant problem brands were repeatedly hearing, says Nehru, was that the experience their websites offered didn’t align with the experience provided by the brand’s customer call service center.   

“Someone would be looking at Dell’s website, for example, and then call Dell’s customer service and feel a disconnect between either interaction,” says Nehru, offering the acquisition as a solution to this problem as now KANA will have its own specialized call center in Ciboodle. “This provides a ‘one-organization’ feel,” says Nehru, and “a marrying of insights between marketing and customer service”.

Growth of social media drives the need for enterprises to unify their various customer-facing departments, such as marketing and customer service, says Nehru. He adds: “As social listening increases and the voice of the consumer is becoming more important, we are seeing that marketing services and customer services go together in building a brand.” 

KANA has been aspiring to integrate call center expertise into its software for a while, says Nehru, noting that Ciboodle felt to be the perfect fit given the company’s 20-plus year history specializing in customer call services. 

The acquisition might require structural changes within either organization, Nehru says. “The joint management teams have defined a comprehensive integration process that involves representatives from Ciboodle and KANA,” he says. “As part of the integration process, we will define the appropriate structure and needed resources for the go-forward organization. As we identify organizational efficiencies, we will make sure that we maintain the appropriate level of staffing to serve customers and prospects.”

In the short term, KANA will continue to support existing Ciboodle products and services, Nehru says, and expects “there to be opportunity to cross-sell some of each companies’ existing modules, along with being able to provide additional industry-specific knowledge, expertise and best practices.”

“The acquisition has been in the works for the last six months”, says Nehru, adding: “the fully integrated solution that will bring the two companies together will be in place in the next six to nine months.”

Nehru declines to reveal the financial terms of the acquisition.

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