Big CX News From Google, HubSpot, SAP, & Five9

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Published: April 12, 2024

Rhys Fisher

This week in CX has seen huge potential takeover news, with Google considering making a move for Hubspot.

Elsewhere, SAP’s so-called “transformation” has been slammed by staff reps, Gartner has discouraged companies from viewing AI as a replacement for human agents, and Five9 has bolstered its integration with Zendesk to enhance agent experiences.

Will Google Takeover HubSpot?

Google parent Alphabet has drafted in advisers as it mulls over an offer for CRM software giant HubSpot, according to Reuters’ sources.

A possible bid would likely be Alphabet’s largest acquisition ever, given HubSpot’s market cap of $33.95BN – as of April 2024.

Yet, it already has the funds freed up, with Reuters noting that Alphabet reported a “cash pile” of $110.9BN at the end of 2023.

One possible blocker is the increased regulatory scrutiny of the tech sector in the US – which may cause reservations, as Google already faces several antitrust cases.

Indeed, that has been a critical discussion point in Alphabet’s meeting with Morgan Stanley investment bankers – as per Reuter’s sources – with those conversations happening “in recent days”.

However, Google could argue that the acquisition will allow them to increase competition in the sales and marketing spaces – currently under siege by Salesforce and Microsoft.

Either way, those conversations may be make or break as rumors of Google’s possible bid swirl (Read on…).

Staff Reps Slam SAP’s Restructure as 4,100 European Jobs Hang In the Balance

AP’s European Workers Council has slammed the tech giant’s planned restructure in an email leaked to Handelsblatt, a German Newspaper.

The email also shared that 4,100 of the 8,000 impacted jobs will come from its European remit, with 2,600 based in Germany.

SAP will likely notify most of the affected employees within the coming weeks.

In January, SAP announced the plan to eliminate 8,000 roles but reskill many of the affected workers for the age of AI and offer them new roles.

At the time, Christian Klein, CEO of SAP, told investors during an earnings call:

It is important to be clear this workforce transformation will include a restructuring component. We intend to allocate roughly €2 billion for this.

Yet, the Workers Council has now hit back, claiming that the move is more about workforce reductions than “transformation”.

In addition, the internal email – sent on Friday – argues that SAP’s management had not adequately justified the business logic behind the move or provided precise information about the inefficiencies it aims to overcome (Read on…).

Gartner Warns Against Using AI to Replace Human Agents

Emily Potosky, Senior Director of Research in the Gartner Customer Service and Support Practice, has discouraged companies from focusing exclusively on self-service and automation technology intended to replace employees.

Discussing the issue in a Gartner Q&A, Potosky highlighted the limitations of existing self-service solutions, arguing that very few possess the capabilities to resolve customer issues fully and that “some level of assisted service will always be needed.”

Indeed, a recent Gartner survey of 822 business executives appears to support this claim, with 61 percent of customer service and support leaders expecting headcount reductions of only five percent or less due to GenAI.

Rather than investing in GenAI-powered tools to replace human agents, Potosky believes that the more beneficial strategy for both the customer and a company’s bottom line is to incorporate employee enablement technology.

This tech will assist and empower existing employees, improving both the efficiency and effectiveness of agent performance. As Potosky explains:

Providing employees with context and guidance through their technology will reduce a dependence on skills and expertise, and in doing so, lower costs and widen the available talent pool that can engage in customer-facing work.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways that organizations can use AI and technology to assist their employees (Read on…).

Five9 Tightens Its Telephony Integration with Zendesk, Improves Voice Data Management

Five9 has tightened its telephony integration with Zendesk Talk Partner Edition, the CRM stalwart’s enterprise contact center solution.

The solution offers a bring-your-own telephony model, de-emphasizing the core routing system and opening up the contact center stack so organizations can leverage best-in-class telephony from their chosen provider.

Zendesk offers over 130 pre-built telephony integrations that plug directly into the platform – providing one workspace for every channel.

Five9 provides one of the more popular telephony options – and it has now enhanced its integration to support the latest Zendesk Standard Call Object and Voice Comment features.

Like others connecting with the Zendesk Talk Partner Edition platform, Five9 leverages an open CTI to build its integration. Yet, Five9 and Zendesk’s fellow partners have historically had issues sharing data from their telephony systems with Talk Partner when utilizing the open CTI.

Previously, the only options they had were to store their telephony data in custom ticket fields or as tags (Read on…).


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