On Monday, Pitney Bowes rocked the customer communications management (CCM) market with the announcement that they had sold their full customer communications and customer engagement solutions portfolio, as a part of their larger Software Solutions business, to Syncsort, a big data software firm, for a reported $700 million in cash.
The acquisition of Pitney Bowes’ software business includes their location intelligence tools, data enrichment capabilities, such as geolocation and other data services, with data points that span across 250 countries and territories, customer information management (which consists of customer analytics, data management and integration for a unified customer view, and consolidated data profiling and matching), and the complete customer engagement portfolio—spanning across traditional print and digital communications management, personalized videos, and chatbots.
The deal, which represents the largest acquisition by Syncsort to date, brings the New York state-based company a market-leading data management platform and helps to strengthen their data quality leadership position. Currently, Syncsort is mum on how Pitney Bowes’ customer engagement division will fit into such a market positioning until the close of the sale later this year.
The sale of one of the most comprehensive customer engagement solutions in the industry follows the 2018 divestiture of Pitney Bowes’ Document Messaging Technologies (DMT) Production Mail business (which included their print and data management software for high-volume document output), to Platinum Equity who eventually spun their acquisition into a new business venture called BlueCrest. For the last two years, Pitney Bowes has struggled under near-term debt, which has spurred them toward strategic realignment efforts to deliver continued shareholder value. Certainly, the influx of cash from the sale of their software business will be applied to pay these debts, with the remaining amount to be refinanced. Following this week’s announcement out of Stamford, Pitney Bowes’ shares rose 9.4% in pre-market trading.
In a statement to DOCUMENT Strategy, Emily Simmons, Director of Communications within the Software Business at Pitney Bowes, indicates that this divestiture signals a renewed focus on their more competitive markets. “We know that Software and Data will have the greatest opportunity to grow independently from Pitney Bowes. This announcement represents a win-win for Pitney Bowes, our software and data clients, partners and colleagues around the world, and Syncsort. Pitney Bowes will focus on our growth markets in e-commerce, shipping and mailing technologies, and financial services, which will provide the greatest long-term value for our stakeholders.”
According to IDC, the worldwide customer communications management (CCM) software market is valued at $1.1 billion, with Pitney Bowes occupying 7.4% of that market share at $80.9 million. In 2019, Pitney Bowes was ranked as a Leader in the Aspire Leaderboard for CCM, notably for its “extensive product suite and wide range of solutions for customer communications and digital engagement for print, mobile, and digital communications, customer insights, video, data, as well as archiving and electronic billing and payment.”
Under Syncsort, the newly acquired software business will contribute to the company’s 11,000 customers and hundreds of resellers globally.