Invoca acquires DialogTech, expands its conversation intelligence platform
Two leaders in the AI-powered call tracking and analytics space came together today as Invoca announced the acquisition of DialogTech. The two companies, operating as Invoca, will become the largest conversation intelligence platform in the market, with more than 2,300 customers and $100 million in revenue.
Chicago-based DialogTech was founded as Ifbyphone in 2005. Santa Barbara, California-based Invoca was founded in 2008. The combined customer base will track across telecom, healthcare, senior care and financial services, among other verticals. We asked Gregg Johnson, Invoca CEO, how the acquisition came about.
A personal connection. “The current CEO of DialogTech, Doug Kofoid, his brother and I worked together at Salesforce on Marketing Cloud,” said Johnson. “So when Doug joined DialogTech, his brother introduced us, so we’ve been in touch over the years. We both felt the market was continuing to accelerate, that there were a lot of interesting new use cases in terms of bringing marketing together with other parts of the organizations in understanding insights from conversations with consumers.”
The vision of each company, Johnson and Kofoid felt, was very much in the same area. “The biggest opportunity is continuing to mature and grow the market,” Johnson added.
Dovetailing technologies. At a high level, Invoca and DialogTech are both known for tracking and recording calls and using AI to surface insights from them. Will the acquisition add to Invoca’s capabilities? “Oh completely,” said Johnson. “On the go-to-market front, the ecosystem front, and the technology front, there are things that are actually quite complementary. Both companies have focused heavily around conversation intelligence and AI, but taken slightly different approaches and solved slightly different problems.”
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Johnson also confesses to jealousy about some of DialogTech’s integrations. “For example, DialogTech has done a lot of work with Yext. We at Invoca have a lot of joint customers with Yext — the Yext team is almost all ex-Salesforce people I know from way back — but we never built that integration.” Johnson said he’s also excited about DialogTech’s work with Amazon Connect and Genesys in the contact center space.
Invoca’s primary focus has been on the top-end of the enterprise, Johnson told us. Clients include Autonation, Home Depot and TELUS. DialogTech has seen success in the midmarket and has a network of agency relationships. “That’s another area we felt was very compelling as we brought the companies together,” said Johnson.
Accelerating the category. Johnson identifies a number of trends which are driving growth in the call tracking and analytics space. First, the focus on extracting value from first-party data in the waning days of third-party cookies; second, the coming together of marketing, contact centers, CRM and CX; third, a new emphasis on using these capabilities for revenue growth rather than just call deflection and cost reduction on individual customers.
COVID-19 surely accelerated the category, as it has accelerated innovation in so many areas of technology. “Everybody had to shop from home, and certainly if I’m going to buy a $15 book I can go click-buy, but when I’m thinking about these more complicated purchases — automobiles, mortgages, insurance products — brands had to deliver that human value-added touch when people can’t walk into a store or visit a dealership. Because the pandemic’s effects lasted long enough, those behavior changes aren’t going to just bounce back to normal. A lot of that stuff will persist.”
Why we care. Two notable vendors bringing their customer-bases, partner ecosystems and technologies together is always news. In this case, it’s yet another example of catching and riding a wave, not created, but enhanced by the pandemic months. And it’s a reminder that customer engagement is multi-channel, and that people still use phones.
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