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OSS/BSS/CX

CSG deals for Kitewheel

CSG has notched its second acquisition under CEO Brian Shepherd, and has again broadened its portfolio by hooking up with one of the company's existing technology partners.

This time around, the billing, revenue management and customer service specialist has struck a deal for Kitewheel, a company focused on "customer journey orchestration and analytics." Boiled down, that means services and analytics aimed at improving and accelerating sales and amplifying lead generation, Shepherd explained.

CSG did not disclose the price it paid for Kitewheel, a company with a presence in Boston and London, but confirmed that about 40 people from Kitewheel will be joining CSG.

As it was for CSG's recent acquisition of Tango Telecom, a company focused on 4G and 5G policy control and monetization capabilities, the Kitewheel deal involves a technology partner that CSG had already integrated into its own customer engagement platform/portfolio and deployed to multiple customers in a mix of market segments.

Although CSG and Kitewheel share certain customers, including some cable and other telecom service providers, CSG says the acquisition will actually help to strengthen its presence in retail, financial services, healthcare, consumer packaged goods and other market areas that CSG is tapping into in order to diversify and expand its scope of business.

Shepherd said Kiteweel's cloud-based software-as-a-service and analytics capabilities bring CSG more real-time intelligence and more efficient customer services that optimize around certain "touch points" or channels that individual customers prefer for alerts and notifications. These include email, texts, phone calls or other modes of communications, based on their behaviors and other characteristics.

Shepherd likened that to an "air traffic controller" of offers, promotions and other info based on how consumers want them, when they want them and how they want them delivered.

Among some existing examples of past CSG-Kitewheel hookups, they have worked with a large unnamed insurance company on ways to create targeted campaigns that accelerate leads and, ultimately, close sales. Another example ties into banking and attempting to optimize the somewhat complicated mortgage experience. That combo has also been deployed by a "leading cable company" that is likewise focused on tailored packages and offers designed to goose sales leads.

Shepherd again hinted that CSG will remain on the prowl for M&A opportunities that can help boost the company's digital monetization and customer engagement capabilities or help it expand into new markets. CSG expects to look at "hundreds" of potential targets over time, but Shepherd said he anticipates striking about three to five deals a year.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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