PE-backed cloud-based marketing solutions firm Acoustic to step up India play

PE-backed cloud-based marketing solutions firm Acoustic to step up India play
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23 Aug, 2019

Nearly five months after being spun out of IBM and acquired by private equity firm Centerbridge Partners, New York headquartered cloud-based marketing and commerce solutions provider Acoustic has drawn up plans to set up a data center in Chennai as its prepares to power up growth in India, among other global markets. 

It intends to target medium and large enterprises here with its intelligent marketing and advertising solutions, top company executives told TechCircle.

Acoustic currently serves 3,500 clients in globally including Payback, Indiabulls and Kotak Mahindra Bank in India. The India clientele is served from offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune at present.

India, said Alexander Mahr, head of strategy for Asia Pacific and Japan, has been the growth engine for the company in the recent past and will continue to be an important market. 

“We will look at providing marketing solutions of all kinds possible so that the office of the CMO can save more time in order to focus on other important things,” Matthew Marriott, senior vice president of sales and client success, said. 

Within IBM, Acoustic was cobbled together through multiple acquisitions such as behavioral marketing automation firm Silverpop Systems, supply chain analytics firm Emptoris, cloud-based retail analytics firm DemandTec and customer experience analytics software firm Tealeaf Technology, among others over a six-year period.

Today, as a result of all those acquisitions, the company offers a gamut of technology solutions and services such as campaign automation, marketing assistant, media optimizer, customer experience analytics, content hub, real-time personalization, personalized search, universal behaviour exchange, intelligent bidder, price and promotion optimization and a payments gateway.

Marriott further said IBM and the division’s leadership team had been mulling over the prospects of spinning it out as a separate business as it wanted more freedom to operate. He added that the company would further invest in accelerating AI (artificial intelligence) for marketing tools with a focus on user privacy.

“Almost everything from IBM Watson marketing is moving to Acoustic (the new entity) which has been in existence for the last 50 days. We currently have over 1,000 employees who are mostly IBMers, including system engineers, sellers and customer contact personnel,” Marriott said, adding that this would ensure continuity of operations and a smooth transition. 

Navneet Narula, India sales head, said, “India is right now ripe as a market (for combined marketing technology and advertising solutions) driven by the demand of digital transformation.”

Marriott added that Centerbridge Partners, the company’s owner, has independent plans to invest in companies specialising in advertising technologies which complement marketing technologies, and Acoustic could start collaborating with such Centerbridge-backed firms in order to boost its offerings.