Big CX News From Salesforce, Microsoft, Zendesk, & Vonage

Popular stories from the last week that you may have missed.

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Published: April 19, 2024

Rhys Fisher

In another busy week for the CX sector, Salesforce is reportedly on the cusp of acquiring Informatica, Microsoft Dynamics’ product prices are going up while Vonage’s revenue is going down, and Zendesk has announced a number of AI-powered advancements.

Here are the extracts from some of our most popular news stories over the last seven days.

Salesforce Is Close to Acquiring Informatica, Reports

Salesforce is on the brink of snapping up Informatica, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.

The latter publication even suggested that the two companies could reach a deal before the end of the week, citing “people familiar with the matter”.

However, the reports didn’t include a rumored price point, with Informatica’s market cap currently sitting pretty at $11BN.

That comes after a positive start to 2024 for the cloud data management player – with its stock rising from under $27 at the beginning of the year to above $38.

Indeed, Informatica is likely benefitting from AI in the enterprise, which gathers momentum as AI test drives – fuelled by the GPT hype – accelerate into AI deployments.

Informatica’s data integration and management platform supports these deployments by allowing companies to pull on, order, and refine their customers’ data.

With such a platform, Salesforce could bolster the existing features within Data Cloud, which fuels the AI models that swarm its Einstein 1 Platform – launched in September 2023 (Read on…).

Microsoft Dynamics Products Will Cost Up to 16.7% More from October

Microsoft has announced sizable price hikes for its Dynamics solutions, with some rising by as much as $30 per month.

The new costs will come into effect from October 1, 2024, marking Microsoft Dynamics’ first price change in five years.

The average price increase across all Dynamics products will be 12.6 percent, with the biggest increases prevalent across Finance, Commerce, and Supply Chain Management – all of which will see a $30 or 16.7 percent rise.

At the other end of the scale, the product least impacted by the changes will be Microsoft Relationship Sales, where users will still experience a 9.26 percent hike.

In discussing the company’s new price model, Microsoft’s Corporate VP of Business Applications and Platform, Bryan Goode, highlighted the benefits that customers have enjoyed since the last price increase in a blog post:

As we look ahead, our commitment to our customers is to continue to offer the most value and highest return on your investment in business applications, helping to fuel digital transformation.

While the announcement did not explain why some products will increase significantly more than others, it did confirm that the increase would impact new and existing customers globally as of October 1, 2024 (Read on…).

Zendesk Announces AI Service Suite Revamp, Claims to Offer the “Most Complete Service Solution”

Zendesk has announced a slew of AI-related products and enhanced capabilities at Zendesk Relate 2024, its flagship global conference.

The CRM and helpdesk giant has promised the innovations will provide users with the “most complete service solution for the AI era.”

The latest AI-powered tools include autonomous AI agents, workflow automation, agent copilot, workforce management (WFM), and quality assurance (QA) capabilities – all of which will be supported by the company’s existing Zendesk AI system.

Zendesk AI – which already holds the honor of being the fastest-adopted product in the company’s history – currently automates up to 80 percent of support requests, according to the vendor

Moreover, Zendesk claims it contributes to a 30 percent decrease in resolution times.

Tom Eggemeier, CEO at Zendesk, discussed how the new products will add to the success of Zendesk’s existing AI suite and help to improve the company’s overall CX offerings:

We’ve known for years that minimizing customer effort is one of the strongest drivers of satisfaction and believe AI has massive potential to make the customer experience simpler and more enjoyable.

But how exactly will Zendesk’s solutions differ from their rivals? Let’s take a closer look at how the software provider is leveraging GenAI (Read on…).

Vonage Reveals Revenue Decline, Cuts Back On Its Global Operations

Vonage has revealed that its revenues dropped five percent year-over-year (YoY) in Q1.

The news comes as Ericsson – which acquired Vonage in 2022 – released its first-quarter financial report for 2024.

Sharing further details during an earnings call, Borje Ekholm, CEO of Ericsson, linked the drop to a substantial contract loss from the previous quarter and the “decision to reduce our operations in some countries.”

“Of course, we need to prudently manage the current business in Vonage,” he continued. “But our strategic ambition with Vonage is to build up the Global Network Platform.”

While that shift in strategy is significant, Ekholm confessed:

The group (Vonage) is trending well behind your and our initial expectations.

While Vonage’s pivot towards Ericsson’s broader strategy is perhaps the primary cause for its revenue shortcomings, the problem may expand beyond the company itself and reflect a broader enterprise communications trend (Read on…).

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