On March 18 Genesys announced the acquisition of Solariat assets, primarily the SocialOptimizr social analytics product. Genesys has been on a buying spree for the past year or so, mostly focused on expanding its cloud portfolio and customer base. But the Solariat acquisition will no doubt be fitted into Genesys’ continued efforts to improve its Customer Experience Platform.
I’ll be the first to admit: I’ve never heard of Solariat and/or SocialOptimizr. Which makes this announcement even more intriguing…
First, the press release. It specifically spelled out that Genesys acquired the “assets” of Solariat, namely the SocialOptimizr product and probably all its intellectual properties (I found three patents granted to Solariat related to social media data processing). Not sure if employees are counted as assets in this case, but I’m pretty sure Genesys has the manpower to fill any of Solariat’s HR capacities. Most of Solariat’s engineers are based in Ukraine and Russia, with a few linguistic data scientists in Austin, Texas, and corporate staff in San Francisco. Genesys has no shortage of engineers and staff scattered among those regions, and its headquarters is in San Francisco as well.
Co-founder and CTO Conor McGann already lists his job as VP of Development at Genesys.
Next, my guess is that Genesys got a decent bang for its buck with this deal. Most social analytics companies proudly showcase their clients on their websites, but on socialoptimizr.com you find no such list of customers. Additionally, which social optimization company dares to let its blog go stale? January 13, 2014 was the last date an article was published — one of only four posts on the blog.
In other words, it didn’t look like Solariat was going anywhere with SocialOptimizr. Its only external investor, KPG Ventures, poured $1M in 2009 in seed money. Five years later, with this Genesys deal, I hope it at least broke even.
The challenge for Genesys is to meld a technology acquisition such as this into its products and its vision for the future of customer care experience. My only worry is that the company orchestrated this transaction more as a publicity/marketing stunt, again to generate buzz about its social channel products.