Zoom Acquires Digital Contact Center Five9 for $14.7B
Zoom has revealed that it will purchase cloud contact center Five9 for $14.7 billion in stock. The acquisition will bring Five9’s enterprise digital contact center to Zoom’s communication suite, including the AI call center agents Five9 picked up by acquiring Inference Solutions in late 2020.
The acquisition opens new doors for Zoom into enterprise digital communications, i.e., call centers and customer service agencies.Five9 is known for its collection of software specifically for that industry. It offers users apps to streamline and smooth the interactions between customers and call centers, along with analytics and insight into where there is room for improvement. Zoom pointed to the deal as a byproduct of the successful Zoom Phone system, a business communication tool designed to replace traditional landline networks. Acquiring Five9 will also expose the customer base of one company to the other without requiring them to adopt an entirely separate framework to use the newly available tools.
“We continuously look for ways to enhance our platform, and the addition of Five9 is a natural fit that will deliver even more happiness and value to our customers. We expect that this acquisition will help enhance Zoom’s presence with customers and allow us to accelerate our long-term growth opportunity by adding the $24 billion contact center market,” Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said in a blog post about the deal. “The trend towards a hybrid workforce has accelerated over the last year, advancing contact centers’ shift to the cloud and increasing demand by customers for customized and personalized experiences. Today, enterprises not only need to enable customers to engage via their preferred channel, they need to empower their teams to accomplish more, and do so with empathy, purpose, and connection. We truly believe that together, we will enable customers to reimagine the way they do business and deliver exceptional results.”
One of those tools is a platform for making the virtual customer service agents that Five9 gained by buying Inference Solutions. Inference’s AI is able to answer questions, make appointments, and complete payments on behalf of customers calling in, in multiple languages and with responses that mimic human speech. Inference became a self-service choice in the contact center, but one that is likely to be a boon to Zoom as the space gets more competitive. Lots of giant checks have made their way to companies that can provide the enterprise call center AIs. Dialpad raised $100 million, and Observe.AI raised $54 million in 2020, while this year saw Uniphore closing a $140 million funding round ahead of a $120 million raise by ASAPP. After the deal is complete, Five9 will still operate under the brand name as a unit of Zoom, with Rowan Trollope as CEO and a new president of Zoom.
“Our companies share much in common. Like us, Zoom is tackling an enormous cloud transition opportunity which is in its early innings. Together, we can take a leading position in pursuing a significant market opportunity,” Trollope wrote in the company’s blog. “Zoom’s reach and brand will undoubtedly help propel Five9 forward and help us deliver on our goal of significant international expansion. In the same breath, I truly believe that Five9 is a natural fit that will complement Zoom’s broad cloud communications portfolio. Together, we will transform how organizations connect with their customers, building the customer engagement platform of the future.”