Zoom Buys Conversational AI Startup Solvvy to Fuel New Customer Contact Center
Zoom has acquired conversational AI startup Solvvy for an undisclosed amount. The purchase will enable Zoom to augment its new Zoom Contact Center platform with Solvvy’s automated customer service technology following Zoom’s failed $14.7 billion bid to purchase Five9 last autumn.
The Zoom Contact Center is part of Zoom’s bid for more of the enterprise market. The idea is to incorporate a self-service contact center that leverages Zoom’s video connections, as well as voice and text channels. Solvvy’s tech can enhance those services, using its AI to resolve basic questions for customers without the need of a human agent. Zoom hopes the combination will be faster to deploy and scale, more effective in responding to queries, and cheaper to operate for the brands that hire Zoom to host contact centers. The acquisition will likely close in a few months, and some of Solvvy’s team will join the conversation AI development work at Zoom. Though the purchase price went unmentioned, it’s suggestive that the nine-year-old startup has raised $16.5 million since 2013.
“The nature of customer experience is transforming fundamentally, as enterprises increasingly need to deliver exceptional, personalized, and effortless customer experiences. Solvvy understands this shift and is the ideal platform to enhance our Zoom Contact Center offering,” Zoom president of product and engineering Velchamy Sankarlingam said. “Solvvy’s differentiated AI and machine learning technology, deeply talented team, and an easy-to-deploy solution will help accelerate our roadmap to creating a concierge-level experience for customers worldwide. Together, we are excited to help businesses of all sizes improve their customer retention, increase operating efficiency, and set new standards for customer service and satisfaction.”
Zoom’s plans for customer service became evident with the attempt to acquire Five9 last July. Despite falling through when Five9’s shareholders rejected the deal, it was clear that Zoom wanted to be in the enterprise contact center field. The downvote was likely prompted by a drop in Zoom stock not long before, which buying Five9 and moving into customer service ironically might have mitigated. Rapid growth during the pandemic enabled Zoom to bring its existing services to many more devices and onboard third-party features like Dubber’s conversation transcription and analysis or Otter’s virtual assistant for meeting transcription. The Zoom Contact Center is where the company is pinning its hopes for the post-pandemic world it wants to grow into.
“Zoom is poised to redefine the contact center category with its unique combination of unified communication and customer experience. We could not be more excited to join forces and further scale our unique conversational AI offering,” Solvvy CEO Mahesh Ram said. “Zoom’s Contact Center brings the same level of scalability, simplicity, and respect for the end-user, making Zoom the premier communications platform for businesses worldwide. When combined with our modern tech stack, talented team, and AI expertise, we believe we can fundamentally transform the customer experience. The benefits of Zoom’s deep technical expertise, industry-leading platform, and global reach will further scale the impact we have on our customers and serve new ones.”