Forrester To Acquire B2B Sales Research Firm, SiriusDecisions

Forrester To Acquire B2B Sales Research Firm, SiriusDecisions

Creates a Robust Platform Guiding Companies to Drive Growth in the Age of the Customer

Forrester entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SiriusDecisions, a leading business-to-business research and advisory firm, for $245 million in cash, subject to adjustment. The combination of Forrester and SiriusDecisions creates an innovative strategy and operations platform that can help business and technology leaders make the far-reaching changes needed to adapt to a customer-led, disruption-rich market while maximizing performance every day.

“Today’s announcement was driven by our clients,” said George F. Colony, Forrester’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Empowered customers and the disruptive power of technology are forcing business and technology leaders to take decisive action and make deep-rooted changes while delivering quarterly results. The combined value of Forrester’s strategic and SiriusDecisions’ operational capabilities will help our clients change and grow in tumultuous times.”

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“We’re excited about joining forces with Forrester,” said John Neeson, SiriusDecisions’ cofounder and co-CEO. “Allying with Forrester changes the game for our clients and accelerates our growth across industries, regions, and business functions. Beyond the powerful synergies of our two firms what will make this work is our shared passion for our clients’ success,” added Rich Eldh, SiriusDecisions’ cofounder and co-CEO.

Forrester works with business and technology leaders to build customer-obsessed strategies. SiriusDecisions focuses on optimizing marketing, sales, and product operations. CMOs of business-to-business companies operate “The Sirius Way” — a methodology grounded in fact-based best practices that has become the standard across industries, including high tech and advanced manufacturing. Together, Forrester and SiriusDecisions will enable companies to know what they should do, why they should do it, and how to do it.

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This deal opens up a number of opportunities for Forrester expansion:

1) Cross-selling services. Forrester and SiriusDecisions client bases will benefit from broader access to research and advisory content, data, and tools.

2) Accelerating international growth plans. Forrester’s global sales force and channels will widen the distribution of SiriusDecisions’ products in EMEA and APAC.

3) Expanding SiriusDecisions’ platform, methodologies, data, and best-practices tools to new roles. Forrester will extend the SiriusDecisions platform beyond marketing, sales, and product to roles in IT and customer experience.

4) Expanding SiriusDecisions to new vertical markets. Forrester’s growing penetration in industries such as financial services, retail, healthcare, energy and utilities serve as natural areas of expansion for “The Sirius Way.”

With the SiriusDecisions acquisition, Forrester’s addressable market in strategy of $20 billion approximately doubles to $40 billion with the addition of operations. Adding operational expertise to Forrester’s strategy expertise will drive new business, renewal rates, and the ability to enrich existing contracts with additional services.

“The addition of SiriusDecisions is expected to add approximately $100 million to Forrester’s revenue in 2019 on a pro forma basis and is expected to be $0.10 to $0.20 accretive to our 2019 pro forma EPS,” said Michael Doyle, Forrester’s chief financial officer. “Additional financial information will be provided during our call today and with the investor presentation that is posted on our website.”

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The transaction is expected to close in January 2019 and is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory filings. The transaction is expected to be funded through a combination of cash on hand and up to $175 million of fully committed debt financing to be provided by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and a syndicate of other lenders.

William Blair & Company, L.L.C. is serving as exclusive financial advisor to Forrester, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is serving as legal counsel. Centerview Partners LLC is serving as exclusive financial advisor to SiriusDecisions, and DLA Piper is serving as legal counsel.

“Digitally-savvy customers are changing the rules of business, creating extraordinary opportunity for companies that adapt and existential threat to those that don’t,” said Mr. Colony. “The combined company creates a robust platform to help our clients not only navigate these rough waters but thrive in the age of the customer.”

SiriusDecisions helps business-to-business companies worldwide by delivering the actionable intelligence, transformative frameworks and expert guidance that equip executives to modernize and elevate sales, marketing and product performance. Management teams make more informed business decisions through access to our industry analysts, best practice research, benchmark data, peer networks, events and continuous learning courses. SiriusDecisions is based in Wilton, CT with offices in Austin, London, San Francisco, Singapore, Toronto and Waltham, MA.

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Sisense Recognized As A 2018 Gartner Peer Insights Customers' Choice

Sisense Recognized As A 2018 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice

The Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Business Intelligence Recognizes Product Excellence, as Rated by Users

Sisense, disrupting the BI market by simplifying business analytics for complex data, is proud to announce that it was named a 2018 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms.

To receive this designation, a vendor must have at least one product judged by Gartner research analysts as relevant to the market, with 50 or more approved client ratings, and an average overall rating of 4.2 stars or greater. Based on 367 verified Gartner Peer Insights customer reviews, Sisense earned a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars as of November 16, 2018.

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“Sisense is obsessive about delivering consistent innovation coupled with unmatched customer focus and success,” said Amir Orad, Chief Executive Officer of Sisense. “We believe that this focus is resulting in a better offering, stronger product and very strong ROI to our customers, and has led to us being recognized by analysts in major reports like the Gartner Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics. Still, our most important stakeholders are our customers, so our proudest recognition comes from the many excellent client reviews in prestigious ratings like the Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms.”

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Sisense is committed to driving 100% customer satisfaction, and disrupting the BI industry with radical innovation and product ease-of-use — for business users, and technical users analyzing complex data. Numerous customer reviews for the Gartner Peer Insights cited ease of use, service, and customer focus:

“In terms of the service, it has been very strong, with a consistent Customer Success person at every step of the way to make sure we have a person to talk to about any questions that arise.”  

“I was pleasantly surprised by the ease at which I could deliver valuable insights using Sisense.”

“The product itself is intuitive and easy to manage, and the output is spectacular.”

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Katie Bullard Promoted to President, Chris Hays Promoted to Chief Operating Officer, and Cameron Hyzer Hired as Chief Financial Officer

Katie Bullard Promoted to President, Chris Hays Promoted to Chief Operating Officer, and Cameron Hyzer Hired as Chief Financial Officer

DiscoverOrg, the leading provider of B2B intelligence, announced changes bolstering its senior leadership team. Katie Bullard was promoted from Chief Growth Officer to President, Chris Hays was promoted from VP of Operations to Chief Operating Officer (COO), and Cameron Hyzer was hired as the company’s next Chief Financial Officer (CFO.)

“In our next chapter of expansion, Katie, Chris, and Cameron will play critical roles in leading the future of DiscoverOrg,” said Henry Schuck, DiscoverOrg co-founder and CEO. “Each one has an exceptional track record of accelerating the growth of leading B2B tech companies, and I couldn’t be more excited about the value they bring to our business.”

Katie Bullard, President

In her expanded role as President, Ms. Bullard will lead the company’s product, engineering, marketing, customer experience, and IT teams.

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“Over the last 2 years at DiscoverOrg, Katie has done an incredible job leading and scaling an award-winning marketing team, establishing a true product management team and making it best in class, and most recently building a customer experience team and a framework for success around it,” Schuck said. “She has been an incredible asset to both me and the entire organization, and as President, I am confident in her ability to further our goals.”

Ms. Bullard has 15 years of experience in high-growth, PE-backed and public technology and data businesses; she has a proven history of building high-performing teams, implementing transformative growth strategies, and driving a laser-focus on operational outcomes. Before joining DiscoverOrg in 2016, she held senior leadership roles at D&B Hoover’s, Accruent, and Mitratech. She holds an B.A. and M.A. from the University of Virginia, where she graduated with high honors.

“I am passionate about our mission at DiscoverOrg to provide sales, marketing, and recruiting professionals with the best data and insights available anywhere,” said Bullard. “Our goals are clear, and I look forward to delivering even more to our customers and the business in my new role.”

Chris Hays, Chief Operations Officer

In his expanded role as COO, Mr. Hays will be responsible for operational excellence across the business.

“Chris has been instrumental in architecting our sales and customer success operations to allow us to scale from 1,500 customers to almost 5,000 customers,” said Schuck. “He is a critical part of our success, and I’m excited for his opportunity to add a high-degree of efficiency to our operational execution.”

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Chris Hays is an established sales and operations leader with 20 years of B2B experience. He has held global sales, marketing, and operations roles at Lucent, and later at Avaya. From there, Hays founded Inside Sales Team, a sales enablement company that became one of the fastest-growing companies in upstate New York. He holds a B.A. from SUNY – Albany.

“I am delighted to be continuing my journey with such a talented group of people,” noted Hays.

Cameron Hyzer, Chief Financial Officer

In his role as CFO, Mr. Hyzer will be responsible for finance, strategy, and human resources. He joins the team after serving as CFO of Eze Software Group for the last 6 years.

“Cameron is a world-class financial and operational leader,” said Schuck. “The experience he has had scaling businesses to over $300m in revenue will be incredibly valuable to DiscoverOrg, and I couldn’t be more pleased to have him join our team.”

Mr. Hyzer brings over 20 years of experience enabling SaaS, software, and technology
companies to scale and grow, improve operations, and execute fundraisings, exit events, and strategic acquisitions. In addition to Eze, Cameron served in senior leadership roles at other PE-backed and public companies including ConvergEx and Thomson Financial. He graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with concentrations in Finance and Strategic Management from the Wharton School and a concentration in Electrical Engineering from the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

“I’m very excited to join such a great team at DiscoverOrg and help to build on the success that they have achieved to date as leaders in the sales and marketing intelligence market,” noted Hyzer.

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Arrivalist Setting New Standards in Tourism Industry

Travel Technology Company Introduces Industry’s Most Precise Visitation Behavior Ever Reported–This Time in Virginia

Travel technology company, Arrivalist is turning its data into the most precise visitation awards the industry has ever seen – one state at a time. Arrivalist announced Virginia’s “ArrivaLIST of Most Visited Places” awards, based on actual data from 120 million location-enabled devices, resulting in the industry’s most comprehensive and objective awards to date.

In October 2018, Arrivalist unveiled the first ArrivaLIST in Colorado. This time, Arrivalist partnered with Virginia Tourism Corporation to announce the “Virginia ArrivaLIST of Most Visited Places” awards, highlighting the most 11 visited locations across six categories at the VA1 Tourism Summit. The Virginiarecipients of the “ArrivaLIST of Most Visited Places” awards across all categories are as follows:

  • Most Visited Amusement Parks: Busch Gardens Williamsburg
  • Most Visited Historic Attractions: Colonial Williamsburg
  • Most Visited Natural Attractions & Parks: Shenandoah National Park
  • Most Visited Resorts & Luxury Lodging: Wintergreen Resort
  • Most Visited Large Hotel: Great Wolf Lodge
  • Most Visited Zoos & Wildlife Parks: Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

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Arrivalist’s technology gives clients bold new insights into traveler visitation patterns including where visitors come from, how long they stay and other places they visit — regardless of whether those users bought tickets online in advance or not. Clients also use the data set to rank their visitation compared to competitors and to measure the impact of their marketing.

“The tourism industry is a powerful economic engine and instant revenue generator for the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “However, as the travel and tourism industry continues to be extremely competitive, we must equip ourselves with the tools needed to thrive and succeed in an overly-saturated market. Partnering with Arrivalist means we are able to step into a new era of tourism, transforming the way we look at data, trends, and marketing strategies. Having these tools helps us to continue to market the Commonwealth as a premier travel destination, demonstrating to travelers from all over the world why Virginia is for Lovers.”

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Arrivalist’s technology is paving a way for more accurate and insightful information that can be used to make informed choices regarding tourism across the globe. The company’s methodology measures visitors traveling more than 50 miles to a given location, removing the bias of residential traffic. Additionally, Arrivalist only captures unique visitors at each attraction once per trip, allowing the company to offer clients the most precise visitation behavior.

“The ArrivaLIST data is just a snapshot of our capabilities, but it provides a sharp contrast to traditional travel advice like Bucket Lists, ‘Must See’ guidance and Top 10 lists, which are all based on people’s opinions,” said Cree Lawson, CEO of Arrivalist. “We’re delighted that the state of Virginia is using this data to recognize and celebrate the people and places that attract travelers to Virginia.”

Virginia is just the second state presented with an ArrivaLIST award. Arrivalist plans to unroll these awards state-by-state with the vision to create unbiased, accurate, and objective travel guides for consumers, destinations, hotels, resorts and attractions across the country.

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EverString Names B2B Data Veteran Santosh Sharan As Chief Executive Officer To Lead Company Through Next Phase of Growth

EverString Names B2B Data Veteran Santosh Sharan As Chief Executive Officer To Lead Company Through Next Phase of Growth

Co-Founder J.J. Kardwell to Become Executive Director as New CEO Santosh Sharan Joins Board of Directors

EverString, the fastest-growing B2B data platform, announced that it has named Santosh Sharan as its new CEO. Sharan has also become a member of EverString’s Board of Directors. Co-founder J.J. Kardwell will remain on the company’s Board as an Executive Director and member of the executive team.

“I am thrilled to have found such a qualified industry veteran to lead EverString as we continue to scale,” said Co-founder J.J. Kardwell.  “I am extremely proud of our team’s significant accomplishments during my time as CEO. We have built an unrivaled technology platform, assembled a world-class executive team, and delivered the best financial results in the company’s history. After nearly five years leading our day-to-day operations, I have decided to move into a role that allows me to spend more time with my family. I greatly appreciate the support of our investors and team, which has enabled me to make this transition. I will continue to help guide EverString’s product strategy and work with our customers and partners, and I look forward to being part of the company’s continued growth.”

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Under Kardwell’s leadership as CEO, EverString has grown annual recurring revenue 278% during the past year, consistently outperformed the company’s objectives, and completely transformed the company’s machine learning and data platform.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be part of this terrific team here at EverString. I was looking to lead a company with a highly differentiated offering with proven success in a large and growing market, and EverString has all of these attributes and much more,” said Santosh Sharan. “Accurate and comprehensive company data is the bedrock of all B2B go-to-market, operations and risk management. EverString’s work towards the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence to enrich company data with real-time signals is unparalleled in the industry. I look forward to building on this momentum and continuing to provide innovative solutions to our customers.”

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Sharan comes to EverString as a veteran of the B2B data space, having held executive positions at Aberdeen Group and ZoomInfo. Most recently, Sharan was the Chief Operating Officer at Aberdeen. Prior to that role, Sharan was the VP of Product, Growth & Strategy at ZoomInfo. At ZoomInfo, he developed a series of business optimizations that led to significant growth in revenue and profitability. Before joining ZoomInfo, Sharan served as the founder and CEO of Keisense, a mobile user experience company. He eventually led the sale of Keisense to publicly traded Nuance Communications. Sharan has an MBA from London Business School, UK, an MS from Harvard University, US and a BS from Birla Institute of Technology, India.

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Chatmeter Launches Workflow to Simplify User Review Management

New AI Technology Streamlines Process to Help National Brands and Businesses Protect Their Brand, Manage Sensitive or Inaccurate Posts Faster, Improve the Customer Experience, and Drive Greater Revenue

Chatmeter, the leader in local search marketing and reputation management, launches Chatmeter’s Workflow, an all-in-one technology platform that simplifies the process of coordinating, escalating and responding to user reviews, local listing data errors and social media commentary. This all-inclusive platform was designed specifically for multi-location brands to control the social local conversation at a national scale with ease.

Chatmeter launches Workflow, an all-inclusive platform to help brands manage local social conversation at a national scale

Chatmeter's Workflow helps multi-location brands control their local social conversation at a national scale, with ease.
Chatmeter’s Workflow helps multi-location brands control their local social conversation at a national scale, with ease.

In 2018, customer reviews reached a record high. 68% of consumers leave local business reviews and 95% of shoppers read those reviews before making a purchase decision. Customer buying behavior has also shifted from wanting products and services to wanting experiences, which is why customer feedback is now discussed in the C-Suite regularly. For businesses with hundreds or thousands of locations, managing real-time consumer concerns, recommendations, business listings or damaging social media posts, for each location is an impossible task at scale. Through additional AI technology investments, Chatmeter’s Workflow creates an automated solution for multi-location businesses to overcome the complexities of this process. Workflow is geared to enable retailers, restaurants, doctor’s offices, banks and credit unions, hotels and real-estate management firms to respond to reviews faster, and more effectively escalate inaccurate information or damaging posts that can potentially cost a brand millions in lost revenue through poor rankings or viral reputation or legal damage.

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Negative or incriminating reviews can cost a physician their license, or a business millions in fines or reputational damage

“Scalability and speed of visibility is where most brands struggle. It doesn’t matter how large or small your marketing and customer service teams are, there are not enough hours in the day to effectively filter and manage the volume and frequency of a brand’s online reviews and related social posts without advanced technology,” says Collin Holmes, Founder and CEO, Chatmeter. “We recognized the need for a deeper integration into the business so that you always have the right people monitoring and responding to reviews at the right time. Workflow addresses these pain points and makes it easier to react to the conversation around a brand. We hear crazy stories from clients about negative posts from disgruntled employees, upset customers or business risks that the company must respond to immediately or face costly damage to their business. Whether it’s a positive post, or an alarming one, Workflow is helping companies grow by focusing on what matters most, the customer – and how the customer experience is handled. Workflow is designed to allow a negative review to go viral inside a business quickly so it doesn’t go viral on social media without proper response.”

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Benefits of Chatmeter’s Workflow tool for your company

Chatmeter’s Workflow tool is designed to make it easier for your whole team to accomplish every task needed to improve your brand’s online visibility.

  • Control – With real-time alerts and reporting, Workflow gives you the power to control the conversation and escalate what’s urgent. Greater visibility around what review, post or listing, for which store or business location, what about it is being escalated, by who, and why.
  • Collaboration – Easier internal collaboration to alert, engage and progress appropriate conversations from the staff, store or district manager, tech or customer support or legal team to the CEO. Externally, you can respond to a review or social post without leaving the platform.

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  • Urgency – Escalate what matters most to your business through “fast tracks” and real-time alerts to manage how a sensitive post, glowing review or inaccurate listing is managed internally to best map to your brand’s evolving needs, priorities and resources. Customize through defined approval processes, service level agreements and open-ended task.
  • Ownership – Stronger accountability among teams with greater visibility into the process of which review and store or business location is where, and from what team member action is required.

For CEOs and CMOs, Workflow is a proven and cost-effective solution to protect your brand. For damaging posts or inaccurate listings, it is a powerful tool to address and mitigate reputational and financial repercussions in the fastest way possible. For positive reviews and optimized local listings, it makes managing the process more efficient to drive more in-store business and sales.

“Workflow is the superglue that brings online reviews, local listings and social posts together,” said Darren Seibert, Product Manager, Chatmeter.“We’re excited to bring this product to market as it resolves so many customer challenges in one dashboard. Workflow will advance a brand’s location-based marketing efforts, but for the everyday tract, it’s going to save businesses a lot of time and resources too.”

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Leading B2B Intelligence Provider InsideView Adds Bombora’s Intent Data

Leading B2B Intelligence Provider InsideView Adds Bombora’s Intent Data

Strengthens Ability to Optimize Go-To-Market Strategies and Execution

Executives using go-to-market decision engine InsideView Apex can now improve their strategic targeting in two important ways, thanks to intent data from Bombora, the companies announced.

Forrester recently recognized InsideView Apex for providing advanced capabilities for go-to-market planning, including data visualizations for Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) modeling. Now executives who use InsideView Apex can both (1) widen their total addressable market (TAM) by using Bombora’s intent data to find new companies that are looking for their products and services, and (2) narrow their target market by applying intent data to refine the market segments Apex has generated — focusing it on the prospects most likely to be in-market.

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“InsideView’s Targeting Intelligence platform provides a single point of access for all B2B data and targeting signals, from firmographics, contact details, news events, personal connections, technographics, and now intent data,” said InsideView VP of Products Marc Perramond. “Adding Bombora intent data makes go-to-market planning in Apex that much more powerful. Now you can discover even more ideal prospects, and home in on the specific accounts in your target market that are not only an ideal fit for what you sell but are also currently in-market.”

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Bombora finds businesses that are interested in specific products and services by aggregating the largest source of B2B intent data.  This source is a data cooperative consisting of meda, analyst, business news and vendor websites, IT forums, and industry associations.  Increased content consumption on specific topics, observed by Bombora, identify prospects that have displayed a strong indicator of purchase interest.

“InsideView Apex enables businesses to build profiles of their best prospects,” said Bombora VP of Partnerships Dale Durrett. “By adding its intent data, Bombora helps executives decide which prospects to approach first.”

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Zilliant Announces Significant Enhancements to Its Customer Price Management Offering for B2B Companies Seeking to Improve Profitability

Zilliant Announces Significant Enhancements to Its Customer Price Management Offering for B2B Companies Seeking to Improve Profitability and Break Away from “Set and Forget” Pricing

Solution Combines World’s Most Widely Deployed B2B Pricing & Sales AI with New Customer Price Management Capabilities, Enabling Companies to Drive Measurable Revenue and Margin Increases

Zilliant, a company helping B2B enterprises turn data into actionable intelligence to accelerate profitable growth, has enhanced its existing Customer Price Management solution with new price management capabilities that support the creation, maintenance and renewal lifecycle of customer pricing.

For most B2B companies, managing customer pricing is one of the most challenging and critical aspects determining revenue and profit performance. Too often customer pricing is a “set and forget” proposition where prices or discounts stay in place for months and years, unchanged. It’s not unusual for B2B companies to accumulate tens of thousands or even millions of customer prices over the course of doing business for decades. This trend only accelerates with the transparency of B2B e-commerce further driving the need for customer-specific pricing, potentially increasing the magnitude of the challenge. The revenue and profit impact is significant, especially in today’s economy as increasing cost pressures from suppliers, tariffs and inflation continue to chip away at margin.

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Analysts armed with spreadsheets and email are no match for the rate of change and scale of customer pricing in most organizations. As a result, managing customer prices happens too infrequently and is subjected to simple rules of thumb rather than executed with the surgical precision required.

Zilliant IQ for Customer Price Management is a solution that enables B2B companies to scale to the increasing challenge of profitably managing customer pricing, providing a complete set of tools for price management, organizational collaboration, price execution and price optimization. Users can now manage customer prices efficiently and surgically execute mass price updates in response to cost changes, product supersessions, strategy changes or other initiatives, while making it simple to collaborate with sales to update prices and communicate changes to customers.

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When Zilliant’s Customer Price Management solution is deployed into existing platforms, optimized customer prices can now be delivered line item by line item and mass updated in and across customer agreements, that are created, maintained and renewed centrally in one location or system.  With the visibility into customer agreements for both pricing and sales teams, collaboration and communication between pricing and sales is more productive. With AI-driven analytics and guidance, sales teams can have constructive conversations on updating customer prices over time and pricing teams can monitor compliance to volume commitments and profitability.

“For over 17 years, we’ve seen the challenges our customers face in managing and updating customer prices. That’s been the inspiration for Zilliant to make huge investments in our suite of Customer Price Management tools that now allow companies to put an end to spreadsheets and emails and instead have an enterprise-ready capability to manage their pricing,” said Zilliant SVP of Product and Science Pete Eppele.

Zilliant IQ for Customer Price Management works in conjunction with existing ERP, CRM and CPQ investments to transform customer price management from a cumbersome and challenging process to a streamlined, technology-enabled, collaborative process managing the full cycle from starting a change, through rollout, through measurement of realization and results.

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