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October 4, 2013

IBM acquires Xtify to help digital marketers reach mobile customers

Delivering cloud-based mobile alerts for consumer brand offers.

By Duncan Macrae

IBM has acquired Xtify, a provider of cloud-based mobile messaging tools that help organisations improve mobile sales, drive in-store traffic and engage customers with personalised offers.

Financial terms have not being disclosed but it is hoped that the acquisition will help extend IBM’s mobile capabilities to digital marketers across all industries ranging from retail to citizen engagement in the public sector through cloud-based services.

Xtify will expand IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative providing campaign creation, personalised content, dynamic real-time segmentation and analytics for all mobile devices and browsers. The technology is designed to help businesses engage, convert and retain mobile application users and site visitors. Xtify’s cloud-based campaign management platform notifies mobile consumers when new content and promotions are available – helping businesses deepen connections with their customers.

Mobile communication channels are completely transforming the way that organisations interact with their customers. Consumers expect personalised messages and promotional offers based on expressed interests and shopping and browsing habits. Together, Xtify and IBM will provide marketers with a new opportunity for client engagement anytime, anywhere, as consumers traverse across multiple digital channels – browsing in stores, shopping on mobile web sites or other online channels.

As a result, technology research firm Gartner predicts that worldwide mobile payment transaction values will reach $235.4 billion in 2013, a 44% increase from 2012. These increases will continue at a 35% annual growth rate to a $721 billion market with 450 million users by 2017.

Additionally, a new IBM Institute for Business Value study released this week confirms that leading organisations have seen clear benefits in their mobile investments to date: 73% have experienced measurable results from their mobile initiatives versus 34% of all other companies in the study. Further, 81% stated that mobile capabilities are fundamentally changing the way their organisations do business.

The combination of digital analytics and mobile capabilities delivered through a cloud computing model has become the great enabler for CMOs and their companies, giving them easy access to the tools they need to engage mobile consumers. Sephora, Disney Stores, The Tribune Group and 20th Century Fox among other clients are using Xtify’s push notifications delivered via mobile apps or sites to increase sales opportunities while fostering brand loyalty.

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Xtify CEO Josh Rochlin said: "The premise is simple: mobile content and promotional offers are far more useful when delivered directly to consumers at the right time. Relevant and actionable offers are key to mobile marketing success.

"Xtify’s mobile messaging capability combined with IBM’s analytics and cloud infrastructure will provide marketers with global reach and an arsenal of rich content to influence and inform increasingly mobile consumers."

Xtify is among the most recent investments that IBM plans to run on its SoftLayer cloud infrastructure that operates in 140 countries. IBM has invested more than $6 billion in cloud-related acquisitions, including SoftLayer, which provides an easy cloud "on-ramp" to help clients quickly deploy mobile capabilities with the security, privacy and reliability of private clouds and the economy, flexibility and speed of a public cloud.

"With the increase of mobile devices, organizations across all industries are anxious to develop a mobile approach to engage their customers," said Kevin Bishop, IBM vice president for digital marketing. "The acquisition of Xtify provides new ways for our clients to foster a direct, one-to-one communication channel with their customers."


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