IBM's Bluewolf Buy All About Salesforce Transformation
Berridge said Bluewolf faces competition in all shapes and sizes—from small boutique shops to large systems integrators. Yet, what makes the IBM/Bluewolf combination so unique is that they are taking an agency approach to their market. "We're taking an approach that's focused on customer experience and customer engagement," he said. "And we're less concerned with how we compete against traditional Salesforce players. So we think this opens up a whole set of opportunities for our joint customers and for our future customers to take a broad set of services that really doesn’t have competition in the marketplace. That's the way we’re looking at it." As part of IBM Global Services, IBM iX focuses everything it does on helping our clients transform customer experiences, Pappas said. "That means providing services that are related to defining different customer experience strategies, implementing customer analytics, designing all digital and mobile experience work—for example we'll do all the digital experience work for the Masters Golf Tournament," he said. "We do everything around helping our clients transform and transform how they engage with their customers.""We help our clients transform all aspects of their organizations and their operation," Pappas told eWEEK. "And the holistic set of services we provide are far greater than a traditional agency. We do strategy services, analytics services, mobile services, design and all the technology implementation services. We really think of ourselves as a hybrid of three types of companies: Traditional digital agencies, management consultancies that provide pure strategy consulting, and then as a global systems integrator. So imagine if you were to combine the best of all three of those worlds together, that’s the mission of IBM iX." IBM's planned acquisition of Bluewolf comes with the blessing of Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff. "I'm so proud of Eric, who built Bluewolf from a startup into a leader in Salesforce services," Benioff said in a statement. "The powerful combination of our strategic partners, IBM and Bluewolf, will help clients transform and demonstrate the growing client demand for our Customer Success Platform." IBM's news of its plans to acquire Bluewolf comes right on the heels of the company announcing its acquisition of Optevia, a U.K.-based Microsoft Dynamics CRM consultant and integrator. "We've been focused on CRM and customer experience for the last 25 years—riding all the waves from when this was a non-idea to the early on-premise software days where Siebel was a dominant player in this space and then since the advent of Salesforce and other players," Pappas said. "What’s interesting is this term CRM is going through its own evolution where there is a bigger focus on customer experience and on transformation around customer experience. But for us that's been a focus for over 25 years. The Optevia acquisition is focused on a different platform and IBM has a different team that will be the doing work around that platform."
Pappas called Bluewolf the "perfect fit" for IBM iX.