Big CX News from 8×8, RingCentral, Salesforce, & Twilio

Popular stories from the last week that you may have missed

BIG CX NEWS - BIG Customer experience news from CX Today
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Published: June 5, 2023

Charlie Mitchell

From a new leader taking the helm at a CX stalwart to acquisition murmurs swirling around that very same company, here are some extracts from our most popular news stories over the last seven days.

8×8 Names Samuel C. Wilson as Full-Time CEO

8×8 has announced Samuel C. Wilson as its full-time CEO, following six months in the interim role.

During that time, 8×8 has evolved its XCaaS strategy, which blurs the lines between CCaaS and UCaaS.

Previously, this strategy centered on drawing in customers with UCaaS, establishing relationships, and then offering up a CCaaS platform to meet additional communication requirements.

Yet, under Wilson’s guidance, 8×8 has performed a strategic switcheroo and now leads with CCaaS.

In doing so, the CEO hoped to win more business in the less saturated and less mature market.

8×8’s announcement of Wilson as the full-time CEO indicates that this new approach is gaining traction and opening up new opportunities for the vendor.

Jaswinder Pal Singh, Chairman of the Board at 8×8, suggested this when making the announcement.

“Sam’s performance during his tenure as interim CEO has been outstanding and made him the clear choice for CEO,” said Singh.

He has demonstrated remarkable leadership skills, a deep understanding of the industry, and a clear vision for the future of 8×8.

8×8’s latest earnings figures also underline Wilson’s early success, beating analyst estimates.

During that quarter, 8×8 did little to slow down its R&D spend either, giving its contact center platform an AI upgrade and executing on its revitalized XCaaS strategy. (Read on…).

New Investments Refuel Rumors of a RingCentral and 8×8 Merger

Activist investment firm Sylebra Capital has taken out significant stakes in RingCentral and 8×8.

The Hong-Kong-based business now controls an 8.7 percent share of RingCentral, worth approximately $250MN.

Meanwhile, it has also swept up a 12.4 percent stake in 8×8, valued at $60MN.

Following the news on Friday, both enterprise communications vendors enjoyed a 15 percent uptick in their stock value.

Of course, markets often react well to large investments in a business.

Yet, the stock surge may also stem from suggestions within the filings that Sylebra will lobby both businesses to consider strategic transactions.

Indeed, the filings for both deals include “identical language” that underlines the intent to engage with management about their M&A plans – according to Barron’s, a reputable US finance magazine.

Combine this with the synchronized timing of both investments, and it seems that Sylebra Capital may urge both businesses to join forces.

Nevertheless, that is not a given, as neither filing directly references the other company.

For its part, RingCentral released a statement that noted:

We look forward to engaging with them, as we do all shareholders.

However, this isn’t the first time that speculation of a RingCentral-8×8 merger has surfaced.

Last November, an unnamed source alerted – a respected finance website – to the possibility of RingCentral rolling up 8×8.

Those rumors soon wilted away, with suggestions that RingCentral’s management team had simply been exploring its options.

However, it is perhaps back on the table, with a possible deal having potential benefits for both the CX stalwarts. (Read on…).

Salesforce Reports Slowest Revenue Growth In 13 Years

Salesforce has reported the slowest growth in 13 years, with its Q1 2024 revenue increasing by 11 percent year-over-year.

Amy Weaver, Chief Financial Officer at Salesforce, partly attributed the “modest increase” in Q1 to the addition of Tableau to its finance metrics.

Yet, Weaver believes the growth was hampered by its weaker-than-usual marketing and commerce departments, which saw major layoffs in January, followed by further job cuts in February this year.

Nevertheless, Marc Benioff, Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer was positive about the company’s quarterly performance: “Our Q1 results show that we continue to make great progress.

“As I said in March, we’re just getting started with this incredible transformation.

“We continue to scrutinize every dollar of investment, every resource, and every spend. And we’re transforming every corner of our company.

Our progress over the last five months [has been] very impressive, and I cannot be more grateful to our entire team for their leadership.

He seemingly has good reason to be pleased too. After all, the results – although showing slow growth relative to previous quarters – surpassed analysts’ quarterly revenue predictions of $8.18BN, bringing in $8.25BN.

Salesforce also significantly exceeded its margin target for the quarter, achieving a non-GAAP operating margin of 27.6 percent, up 1,000 basis points year-over-year.

Finally, Benioff pointed to some major partnerships and customer wins with the likes of NASA, Siemens, Spotify, Paramount, Northwell Health, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Read on…).

Activist Investor Pushes for Change at Twilio Amid Big Losses

Activist investor Legion Partners has implored Twilio to make boardroom changes, sell more assets, and improve its cost structure.

Indeed, it has reportedly met with Twilio officials six times in recent months, advocating for changes throughout the business.

These reports come after Twilio announced $1.38BN in trailing-12-month losses last month.

Its revenue growth also slowed to 15 percent YoY. This time last year, that figure stood at 48 percent.

As such, it is perhaps not surprising that Legion Partners, which owns a stake of approximately $40MN in Twilio, is trying to force change.

Moreover, its voice is likely to only grow louder, thanks to Twilio’s use of supervoting shares.

That system gives CEO Jeff Lawson a 22 percent voting stake. Yet, that will expire before the end of the month.

At that point, the stake seems set to drop to 3.6 percent, which reflects the percentage of Twilio’s stock that Lawson owns.

As such, the CEO and his board will likely come under increasing stockholder pressure in the upcoming months.

The markets have reacted well to this prospect, with Twilio’s stock jumping 11 percent on the news.

Such a jump goes against the grain, with Twilio – like most other CX vendors – enduring a stock price slump over the past year.

In this time, the business also cut 17 percent of its staff, closed some of its offices, and sold its IoT business unit to Kore.

Alongside that sale, Twilio let Zipwhip go, a business it bought for $850MN a little over a year prior.

Yet, to make the likes of Legion Partners happy, it seems that the CX vendor must go a lot further in the name of driving profitability. (Read on…).




Brands mentioned in this article.


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