The Latest BIG News from Twilio, Vonage, Microsoft, & Salesforce

Catch up on some of the most popular stories from the last week that you may have missed

BIG CX NEWS - BIG Customer experience news from CX Today
Contact CentreLatest News

Published: February 2, 2024

Charlie Mitchell

From reports of a shock acquisition to a CEO departure, here are some extracts from our most popular news stories over the last seven days.

Reports: MessageBird Targets Shock Twilio Takeover

MessageBird, now known as Bird, is reportedly lining up an audacious bid for troubled rival Twilio.

According to a report by The Information, Bird has held discussions with investors about raising money to acquire Twilio, citing “people familiar with the matter”. There is no suggestion that formal talks have occurred between Bird and Twilio or that Bird will make an offer.

CX Today has contacted Bird and Twilio for comment.

Publicly listed Twilio has a market cap of just under $13bn, while privately held Bird was valued at $3.8bn when it last raised cash in 2021.

Simultaneously, Bird yesterday name-dropped Twilio as it rebranded and claimed to have slashed the price of its SMS API service by 90 percent.

That means if you spend $100k on SMS with a company like Twilio, you’ll only spend $10k with Bird,” Bird CEO Robert Vis said in a blog post.

Vis has also stoked rumors of an acquisition in posts via LinkedIn, albeit of varying sizes.

He reportedly said, “Just a late-night thought. Should I buy Twilio and take it private?” on Wednesday before deleting the post.

A still-live post says: “Hi World! Looking for $0- $5m revenue companies with EMI and/or PI license looking to be acquired.” (Read on…).

Vonage CEO to Step Down on Thursday, Ericsson Exec to Steady the Ship

Vonage CEO Rory Read will vacate his position on Thursday, February 1, 2024.

Read has held the position since July 2020 after taking over from Alan Masarek, the current Avaya CEO.

Most notably, he oversaw the CCaaS, UCaaS, and CPaaS company’s sale to Ericsson in 2021 for an eye-watering $6.2BN.

Yet, since then, Vonage’s fortunes have taken a turn, with year-over-year (YoY) revenue growth rising just two percent last quarter.

According to Francois Bouvignies, Director of Equity Research at USB, that is “well below” what Ericsson had originally expected.

In addition, Vonage suffered several high-profile setbacks in H2 of 2023.

In November, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced $100MN in refunds to Vonage consumers, denouncing the vendor for making it difficult for consumers to cancel their subscriptions.

The enterprise communications also landed in hot water with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for breaching SMS anti-scam regulations.

Such setbacks preceded reports suggesting Ericsson has taken a $2.92BN hit on the acquisition.

Yet, a tricky macro-environment – which has also troubled many competitors – is likely the primary thorn in Vonage’s side.

Moreover, Ericsson maintains that the move is a long-term play, and incoming CEO Niklas Heuveldop doubled down on this.

He stated: “I am thrilled but also humbled to be offered the opportunity to ensure that we leverage Vonage’s capabilities and the 5G innovation platform to their full potential – it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” (Read on…).

CRM Bookings Drop at Microsoft, Despite Its Big Copilot Push

Microsoft posted another solid set of earnings results, with overall Q2 revenues topping $62BN.

That reflects a year-over-year (YoY) revenue growth of 18 percent for the tech giant, surpassing most analysts’ expectations.

The growth rate of its Dynamics business reached even higher, with revenues rising to a mighty 21 percent YoY.

However, Amy Hood, Chief Financial Officer at Microsoft, added a caveat during the earnings call. She said:

Bookings growth was impacted by weaker new business, primarily in Dynamics 365 ERP and CRM workloads.

In addition, Microsoft expects revenue growth for its overall Dynamics business to drop into “the mid-teens” next quarter.

Copilot Is Not Delivering a Big CRM Boom

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales and Customer Service customers are using Copilot. Indeed, Microsoft shared an example of how Northern Trust has leveraged the virtual assistant to lower handling times across its contact center operations.

Moreover, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, stated:

In sales, our Copilot has helped sellers at more than 30,000 organizations, including Lumen Technologies and Schneider Electric, to enrich their customer interactions.

Yet, despite these uses of Copilot – spanning many existing customers – it hasn’t helped spark a massive uplift in new CRM bookings. Instead, they’re dropping. (Read on…).

Salesforce Completes Spiff Acquisition

Salesforce has completed its acquisition of Spiff, a compensation management (ICM) software solutions provider, via the signing of a definitive agreement.

Notably, Spiff provides a low-code processing engine to scale and accelerate commission automation. 

Jeron Paul, CEO of Spiff, explained: 

I’m excited about the future of Spiff and about what this means for the world of SPM and ICM in general. We have always taken pride in Spiff’s pace of innovation and I’m grateful for the opportunity to make an even deeper impact on the space as part of the Salesforce ecosystem. 

Following the acquisition, Spiff’s CX application will become available on the Salesforce AppExchange platform – ready for its extensive user base.

Moreover, Salesforce notes that 70 percent of Spiff’s existing customers already leverage SalesCloud as their primary CRM service, making the transition seamless for many end users.

Salesforce has also worked alongside Spiff as a partner “for years,” with the recently acquired company already acting as a long-term portfolio company of Salesforce Ventures. 

Ketan Karkhanis, EVP & GM, Sales Cloud, noted, “Spiff connects what sellers want – transparent compensation – with what sales leaders want – compensation planning built into CRM that aligns behaviors to strategic outcomes.” (Read on…).



Brands mentioned in this article.


Share This Post