Attensity Group Acquires Social Media Monitoring Leader Biz360

Attensity™ Group, the leader in business user applications that generate value from unstructured data, today announced the execution of a definitive agreement to acquire Biz360® Inc., the leading provider of social media monitoring and market intelligence solutions. This acquisition propels Attensity to a dominant position in the expanding Social Customer Relationship Management (Social CRM) market, by significantly enhancing Attensity’s ability to “open the enterprise” to conversations that take place online. The enhanced Attensity platform will enable corporate customers to gain strategic competitive advantage through (1) a world-class “listening post,” (2) self-service analytics, and (3) an integrated self-service application that enables users to take action on insights found across customer interaction channels; intelligently routes social, SMS and email communications for response; and brings social knowledge into corporate knowledge-bases for more effective agent service and customer self-service.

“Our acquisition of Biz360 further underscores Attensity’s commitment to open the enterprise to the world’s unstructured data, bringing a wealth of internal and external information to key business processes,” said Ian Bonner, president and CEO of Attensity Group. “By adding the massively growing Internet data source securely to core enterprise applications, we can help enterprises enhance both customer intimacy and transparency. Biz360’s technology and strong team enables us to gather, analyze and deliver social and traditional media securely to the enterprise, supporting new capabilities in Voice of the Customer analytics, customer service, and research processes.”

He added, “As a single company, Attensity and Biz360 offer the industry’s most sophisticated and easy-to-use analysis, delivery, and response capabilities, enabling businesses to effectively listen, analyze, relate, and act on information, both inside and outside of the firewall.”

Attensity offers applications that generate value and actionable insight from any textual source – email, CRM notes, survey responses, documents, and a vast amount of data found online, including news, web forums, communities, blogs, micro-blogging, and social sites. By joining the capabilities of Biz360 with those of Attensity, the company opens up the enterprise to enable users to participate, respond and engage in these customer conversations.

“The successful enterprise today needs to combine corporate insights with the treasure trove of customer insights available through the Internet,” said Michael Fauscette, vice president of the Software Business Solutions Group at IDC, the global provider of market intelligence. “With the acquisition of Biz360, Attensity is in a position to help companies around the world unleash the promise of the social customer through an innovative set of Social CRM applications that are designed for business users.”

Joining the Biz360 product portfolio with Attensity’s suite of applications for unstructured data, already the broadest and deepest in the industry, creates a significant wealth of complementary and synergistic technologies, market presence and customer experience. These include world-class listening post capabilities used by over 50 of the Fortune 2000, which offer the widest real-time access to online content (social media, news, forums, blogs, product reviews, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) across more than 15 languages. The acquisition also brings a proven SaaS-based self-service application that enables organizations to monitor, track and analyze these conversations – now called Attensity360.

“This acquisition provides significant market leverage for both parties,” said Brad Brodigan, president and CEO of Biz360. “The combination of our social media and market intelligence expertise with Attensity’s semantic analysis applications creates an unparalleled value proposition. Together, our product lines are making next-generation Social CRM a reality, removing the technical, process and scalability gaps between companies and their customers. Together, we will change the way companies listen and respond to their customers in ways never before possible.”

Biz360 was founded in 2000 and has headquarters in Redwood City, Calif. Biz360 has a strong business with many of the most respected brands including Allstate Insurance, Astra Zeneca, Burson-Marsteller, Dell, HP, Las Vegas Sands Corp. and many others. These relationships will provide a strong revenue base for Biz360 to add to Attensity’s global business. While Biz360 was primarily sold in North America, Attensity’s global presence and strong team in EMEA will immediately begin to market and sell the Attensity360 products globally – enabling Attensity to rapidly expand the offering into markets beyond North America.

In the report, “The Forrester Wave™: Listening Platforms,” Forrester Research, Inc., Q1 2009, Biz360 was characterized as “a solid solution that offers good data coverage, strong reporting, and cross-media comparison capabilities.”

“The Biz360 approach has always provided our company with the deepest insights around social media data in the market,” said long-time Biz360 customer Pete Boyd, senior vice president of operations for Las Vegas Sands Corp., which owns and operates The Venetian and The Palazzo resort-hotel-casinos, among other properties. “Combining Biz360’s technology with the business applications of Attensity will enable us to see beyond the social media and news channels found online, to internal channels such as surveys, CRM systems and more. Now, with the new Attensity360, we will truly get that 360-degree view of our customers.”

Under the terms of the transaction, Attensity is acquiring Biz360 in its entirety, including pending patents, proprietary technologies, customer base, current products and products in development. Upon close of the acquisition, the Biz360 team will be integrated into the organization with Biz360’s president and CEO, Brad Brodigan, joining Attensity as its senior vice president and general manager. The addition of Biz360’s seasoned team of professionals grows a dedicated, world-class group focused on software solutions for social media monitoring and market intelligence.

The acquisition is subject to various standard closing conditions and is expected to close within 10 days. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, as both companies are closely held private companies. Attensity’s majority shareholder is aeris CAPITAL, a private Swiss investment office, while Foundation Capital, Granite Ventures and Scale Venture Partners are among Biz360’s investors and will become shareholders in Attensity.

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