Salesforce Enhances UX Services Through Sequence Acquisition
That's right! Salesforce is once again in the news with yet another acquisition deal. This time, the CRM and cloud giant has purchased Sequence, the user experience design agency that works with brands like Facebook, Best Buy, Peets, EA, Logitech, L’oreal, Amazon, Apple, Google, WebMD and more. The deal was announced by Jashojot “Jojo” Roy, CEO at Sequence through a company blog post.
“Over the past 11 years, we’ve had the incredible opportunity to work with some of the world’s best-known and most innovative companies. Our mission has been to lead design-driven transformation by creating innovative digital products and connected customer experiences. We look forward to continuing that work at Salesforce. Once the transaction closes, we’ll enhance Salesforce’s experience design capabilities, helping companies use the power of design to better connect with their customers in entirely new ways,” wrote Roy.
What does the deal mean for Salesforce?
Sequence, founded in 2005, primarily connects brands and people by developing interactive experiences, providing consultancy for brand identity, and reassessing brands’ mobile apps and web sites. With this acquisition, Salesforce aims at building interactive user experiences through both digital and physical environments. Here are some significant events in Sequence’s history:
2008: Designed Chevron.com, named best brand building site of the year by Forrester
2009: Created the first nationwide restaurant ordering app for iPhone for Chipotle Mexican Grill
2011: Established a relationship with Apple
2012: Opened a second studio in New York City
2013: Designed retail service experience pilot programs for Best Buy
2014: Established Heads Up! Gam development partner with The Ellen Show
2016: Winner of the “A Bill You Can Understand” Design and Innovation Challenge at Health 2.0, sponsored by AARP in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Salesforce already provides experience design capabilities through its “Add-Ons” consultancy services. The vendor doesn’t have plans to offer user experience as an exclusive platform for businesses; however, now that the Sequence team is on board, user experience capabilities will be integrated into its existing CRM platform in order to create a one-stop shop for businesses.
Another reason why this acquisition makes sense is that earlier in January, Quip, which is a productivity application that Salesforce acquired in August for about $600 million, snapped up Unity&Variety, a startup co-founded by two ex-Facebook designers, in hopes of building a state-of-the-art designer studio for its productivity tool. Considering Sequence is a UX research firm, Salesforce’s newly announced acquisition is expected to leverage efforts to allow customers to get a design-led approach that translates human insights into business impact.
After all, Salesforce is eager to continue acquiring technologies that can diversify and beef up its services in an effort to blow its rivals out of the water. Speaking of which, there are other big technology players that have also been enriching their platforms with user experience services through acquisitions. IBM, for instance, acquired two design agencies along with Ecx.io, a design agency based out of Dusseldorf, Germany in order to expand its front-end design and creative services offerings. “The customer experience has become a new priority in modern business strategy,” said Paul Papas, Global Leader, IBM Interactive Experience, in a statement. “Together with ecx.io’s distinct expertise, we’re raising the bar for experience-led, digital marketing and commerce.” IBM is also planning to set up three new IBM iX (IBM’s Interactive Experience division) studios in Prague, Warsaw and Dubai in addition to 22 other offices across the world and claims that IBM iX is the “world’s largest digital agency.”
Considering brands are consistently looking for new and better ways to engage with their audience, it's no wonder why UX services have recently come into focus. Huge business technology providers are integrating these services into their platforms to help customers make a splash in their industry with cutting-edge apps, new UX and UI design, and high-end digital experiences. However, there is still a huge gap between customers and brands when it comes to the customer user experience (UX). In fact, a study found that, while 80% of companies think they deliver a superior customer experience, only 8% of customers shared that sentiment.
While the giant technology providers like Salesforce keep muscling up their platforms with a diverse range of offerings including UX services, brands still have a long way to go with the regard to customer engagement through compelling UX and UI design across multiple devices. Knowing other prominent agencies such as frog design (now part of Aricent) and Fjord (now part of Accenture) have been acquired therein lies the opportunity for top-notch design agencies.