April 22, 2014, Posted by Byron Bardy
What do Oracle, Adobe, Salesforce, SAP and IBM all agree on?
Not much, except that there is a fundamental shift underway that revolutionizes the way businesses will be allocating their IT resources for years to come. Gone are the days when availability, price, or even advertising were enough to determine what the customer purchases, or from whom. Today, companies large and small are busy adapting to a brave new world where the customer’s total experience with a brand – including the interactions of their colleagues, family and friends – will determine whether they buy, renew or go elsewhere. And this is every bit as true for B2B purchases as it is for B2C.
Much of enterprise software spending over the last decade was driven by enhancing operational efficiency and cost savings. We are now in the early stages of the “age of the customer” where businesses large and small are spending time and money attempting to understand how customers and prospects think, feel and act toward their products and services. Establishing a brand’s authenticity and trust across a multitude of touch points at every point of the customer journey is the new science which is rapidly supplanting Six Sigma and other popular theories of management. In practical terms, this transformation is causing budget dollars to shift from the CIO to the CMO.
Catapult’s work in the customer experience ecosystem has allowed it to meet with, analyze and map hundreds of software companies which are leading the way in this new customer-centric paradigm. From divisions of large public companies to promising start-ups, our analysis has given us deep insights into the likely winners in a variety of emerging categories such as: marketing automation, social brand engagement, web and mobile experience management, campaign analytics, sales intelligence, customer service and many others.
Catapult’s focus on customer experience goes back several years, but really kicked into high gear when Byron Bardy joined the firm as a Partner from Adobe in the summer of 2012. In addition to a number of active projects underway, Catapult has completed CX transactions for the following companies: Lithium Technologies, LeadRocket, 8thBridge, Clickability, Scout Labs and Leverage Software, making it the most active investment bank with a dedicated CX practice.
Our analysis suggests that industry consolidation trends will accelerate in the months and years to come. Catapult is committed to maintaining its focused effort in CX, and welcomes the opportunity share its evolving perspectives with you in the coming weeks and months.
Byron Bardy is a Partner at Catapult Advisors, an investment bank providing M&A and capital raising advice to leading software and internet companies. https://www.catapultadvisors.com