On Thursday, January 7, 2021, Smart Communications announced its plans to acquire Assentis, a Swiss CCM software solutions vendor with a focus on financial services. This announcement comes on the heels of Smart Communications’ acquisition of Intelledox in July 2019 and is part of its strategy to capitalize on the most successful year in the company’s history by consolidating market share as it reinforces a leading position in the CCM industry.
Headquartered in Rotkreuz near the western bank of Lake Zug in central Switzerland, Assentis is a cloud-based vendor serving as an OEM for the core banking provider, Avaloq. Assentis also partners with other core systems in the financial services industry including Temenos and SAP. Naturally, Assentis’ presence is strongest in DACH, but it is also active in the U.S. and Asia Pacific. Smart Communications hopes that Assentis’ established market position will enable it to better equip financial services clients and attract new customers throughout Continental Europe while it leverages their expertise around the globe to meet the demands of increasingly digital-focused customers.
Over a hundred enterprises currently rely on Assentis’ CCM solution to generate their critical communications documents on an interactive, batch, and ad-hoc basis. Smart Communications plans to continue supporting Assentis products while also offering these clients their expertise in multi-tenant SaaS. In a joint statement, Assentis CEO Martin Kraehenbuehl believes that joining forces will enable his clients to deepen their competitive advantage by using Smart Communications’ cloud-based offerings to fuel their efforts to improve customer experience through personalized digital interactions.
In a conversation with James Brown, Smart Communications’ CEO, Aspire learned that this intended acquisition is driven largely by the company’s confidence in the market potential in Europe, particularly among financial services organizations. The combination of Smart Communication’s mature cloud offering and Assentis’ deep domain expertise in financial services enables the organization to expand its geographic footprint at the same time that it deepens its financial services capabilities in every market it serves. Brown also shared that the company plans to assimilate some components of Assentis’ platform to continue driving innovation in its product portfolio.
In the short term, we expect Smart Communications and Assentis will keep their product lines separate but provide an upgrade path between them. Looking further down the road, we believe Smart Communications will continue to ride the wave of its recent success and parlay their record-setting growth (40% growth in new orders in 2020 compared to 2019) into additional high-profile acquisitions.
With COVID-19 accelerating digital transformation and enterprises realizing the need for modern, cloud-first, omni-channel customer communications are essential to meet evolving consumer demands, CCM is quickly becoming an essential component for optimizing customer experience, particularly when managing onboarding, billing, or customer service interactions.
Investors increasingly see CCM as a trusted segue into the evolving customer experience technology market, so we expect to see more M&A as CCM vendors expand further into CXM. We at Aspire have a deep understanding of the evolving CCM space and regularly work with private equity clients on vendor or market due diligence.