PRESS RELEASE: Nuance Communications announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire TouchCommerce, a technology partner and leader in digital customer service and engagement solutions. Used by leading enterprises, TouchCommerce’s customer engagement cloud platform increases eCommerce sales and improves the customer service experience. The addition of TouchCommerce will help accelerate Nuance’s Enterprise business and expand its customer care solutions with a range of new digital engagement offerings, including live chat, customer analytics and personalization solutions.
For large enterprises around the world, customer service interactions are accelerating toward more pervasive digital engagement across web, mobile and social platforms. Consumers today want to choose how they interact or transact, and to move effortlessly between the efficiency of web chat, the connectivity of social media, the independence of self-service, and the convenience of human interaction. In order to acquire and retain customers, enterprises need to be able to provide a customer service experience when and how the customer desires. This is creating a growing market opportunity for Nuance’s Enterprise business, and a combination with TouchCommerce will provide an end-to-end engagement platform that merges intelligent self-service with assisted service to increase customer satisfaction, strengthen customer loyalty and improve business results.
With TouchCommerce, the Nuance Enterprise business gains:
The Best of Self-Service and Best of Assisted-Service Solutions: The powerful merging of live chat self-service guides and data-driven personalization has established TouchCommerce as a leader in digital customer engagement, across mobile, web and messaging channels. The TouchCommerce assisted-service platform is the perfect addition to Nuance’s AI-powered customer self-service solutions, providing enterprises with the ability to efficiently and effectively engage with customers across all channels – phone, web, mobile, social, and more.
Strong Customer Relationships and Synergies: The acquisition of TouchCommerce is a natural extension of Nuance’s Enterprise business and is expected to add attractive revenue streams and incremental organic growth. TouchCommerce has built and maintained strong customer relationships with premier businesses that include AT&T, Citizens Bank, DirectTV, Dixons, eHarmony, Panasonic, Telefonica and T-Mobile.
While a majority of TouchCommerce customers already use Nuance solutions, less than 10% of Nuance enterprise customers currently use TouchCommerce, which is expected to create a significant growth opportunity for Nuance.
In addition, the company expects to accelerate global reach for TouchCommerce through Nuance’s extensive distribution capabilities in EMEA and Asia Pacific regions.
Expanded Addressable Market Opportunity: The combination of TouchCommerce digital assisted service and Nuance AI-powered solutions comes at a time when consumer preferences for customer service engagements are accelerating toward digital web and mobile services.
A recent Forrester study (“Brief: Don’t Make Your Customers Call You For Service,” Forrester Research, Inc., May 16, 2016) found that consumers are increasingly using self-service channels for customer service, with 66% engaging in digital self-service.
The acceleration of digital customer service solutions is expected to expand Nuance’s opportunities in the Customer Engagement market, a $3.7 billion market that is growing at 17% (RnR Market Research, December 2015).
Enhanced Nuance Analytics and AI Differentiation: Nuance and TouchCommerce collectively enable billions of customer interactions each year, generating powerful data assets that, when combined with Nuance’s artificial intelligence technologies, will increase the automation and accuracy levels for a wide range of customer service applications.
Nuance will also leverage TouchCommerce’s agent desktop to enable seamless escalation from virtual assistant to human-assisted service, with the system learning through every customer engagement.
Finally, TouchCommerce’s real-time data and targeting technologies will be leveraged to deliver higher levels of personalization and proactive service across the platform.
“The combination of Nuance and TouchCommerce promises to disrupt the customer service industry by bringing together the best of self-service and the best of assisted-service solutions, each magnified by the power of artificial intelligence,” said Robert Weideman, executive vice president and general manager for Nuance Enterprise Division. “The result provides enterprises with a customer engagement solution that connects with consumers anytime and anywhere, across voice, digital and mobile devices – delivering superior customer experiences and business results.”
“We are thrilled to join forces with our technology partner Nuance and to integrate our respective capabilities to deliver to our enterprise customers the best omni-channel customer engagement technology and solutions in the industry,” said Bernard Louvat, president and chief executive officer of TouchCommerce. “Our respective capabilities are so complementary and our strategies so similar that it became obvious to both parties that joining forces was the logical next step beyond our existing technology partnership.”
The transaction has been approved by both companies’ Boards of Directors and is expected to close by the end of Nuance’s fiscal year 2016. Total consideration is $215 million. At closing, Nuance will pay $110 million in cash and $85 million in a combination of cash and Nuance common stock determined by Nuance, and the remaining $20 million will be paid at the conclusion of an indemnity period.