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A Look Back at CX M&As in March

Zendesk Acquires Ultimate and Moneypenny Buys Sunshine Communication Services

A Look Back at CX M&As in March

March was a time of relative quiet for the CX mergers and acquisitions (M&A) space, but at least two M&As during the past month are worth noting.

On March 13, customer service firm Zendesk announced it would acquire Ultimate, a provider of service automation. The deal will enable Zendesk, a Danish-American provider of products related to customer support, sales, and communications based in San Francisco, to offer AI-powered agents from Berlin, Germany-headquartered Ultimate as proactive problem solvers, complementing human expertise. Ultimate’s AI agents automate up to 80% of support requests, leveraging responsive chatbots to engage customers in real time. The chatbots provide answers to inquiries, offers guidance through sales processes, and enhances overall CX, according to the company.

Related Article: Zendesk to Acquire Service Automation Provider Ultimate

“AI is the future of CX, and the next generation of AI agents are not just a tool, but a necessary and fundamental shift in how businesses will engage with their customers,” said Tom Eggemeier, CEO at Zendesk. “With Ultimate, we will help our customers set a new standard, with AI agents giving customers the support they need quickly and effortlessly. This means human agents can focus on what they do best: building relationships, resolving complex challenges, and applying innovation and creativity to move businesses forward.”

Reetu Kainulainen, CEO and cofounder of Ultimate, says Zendesk hopes to help businesses use AI to deliver “joyful” support experiences. “We’ve seen 99% of CX organizations who adopt AI shift permanently to a hybrid human and AI agent approach. As part of Zendesk, we now have the scale to drive this transformation for every business.”

As the end of the month approached, Moneypenny Group, the British outsourced provider of customer service teams, virtual receptionist, and phone-answering services based in Wrexham, Wales, announced it was acquiring Sunshine Communication Services, the supplier of bilingual English and Spanish call management solutions to businesses headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida. Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed, but the acquisition aims to extend the services of Moneypenny in the US and broaden its footprint.

It is the fourth acquisition in the US for the Moneypenny Group, with demand for the company’s services growing as businesses continue to search for ways to improve interacting with customers. In particular, Moneypenny blends technology solutions with highly skilled receptionists aimed at maximizing operational efficiencies for its client companies.

Sunshine, meanwhile, founded in 1975 by the Gross family, provides customized services similar to those offered by Moneypenny, including customer support outsourcing and answering services, across a variety of industries.

Joanna Swash, CEO at Moneypenny, expressed delight at the acquisition. “Sunshine Communication Services is a successful brand, and its acquisition will further complement the services we can offer to our clients in the US. Our aim is to be the number one provider in the US for outsourced communications, supporting businesses of all sizes to deliver a great customer experience with every interaction, regardless of channel.”

Sunshine officials agree and pronounce the match is a good one. “We are excited about the opportunities this next phase presents for our business, and more importantly, for our team and customers,” said siblings Andrew and Peter Gross, owners of Sunshine. “From the moment we met Moneypenny, it was clear our companies have a great fit, not just with our products and services, but also more importantly, with our strong culture and ethos. Looking after our people and putting the needs of the customer front and center are at the core of both of our companies.”

Author Information

Alex is responsible for writing about trends and changes that are impacting the customer experience market. He had served as Principal Editor at Village Intelligence, a Los Angeles-based consultancy on technology impacting healthcare and healthcare-related industries. Alex was also Associate Director for Content Management at Omdia and Informa Tech, where he produced white papers, executive summaries, market insights, blogs, and other key content assets. His areas of coverage spanned the sectors grouped under the technology vertical, including semiconductors, smart technologies, enterprise & IT, media, displays, mobile, power, healthcare, China research, industrial and IoT, automotive, and transformative technologies.

At IHS Markit, he was Managing Editor of the company’s flagship IHS Quarterly, covering aerospace & defense, economics & country risk, chemicals, oil & gas, and other IHS verticals. He was Principal Editor of analyst output at iSuppli Corp. and Managing Editor of Market Watch, a fortnightly newsletter highlighting significant analyst report findings for pitching to the media. He started his career in writing as an Editor-Reporter for The Associated Press.

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