IBM Buys Xtify for Cloud-Based Digital Mobile Marketing

IBM acquired Xtify, a cloud-based mobile messaging service, to help digital marketers reach mobile customers.

IBM has announced its acquisition of Xtify, a New York City-based provider of cloud-based mobile messaging tools that help organizations improve mobile sales, drive in-store traffic and engage customers with personalized offers.

While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, IBM has been flexing its muscles in the mobile space with its MobileFirst strategy, a comprehensive mobile portfolio that combines new solutions in mobile security, analytics and application development software, with cloud-based services and deep mobile services expertise. MobileFirst led technology research firm Gartner to position IBM as a leader in the research firm’s Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms in August.

The acquisition of Xtify 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.

Moreover, Xtify will expand IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, providing campaign creation, personalized content, dynamic real-time segmentation and analytics for all mobile devices and browsers. The technology is designed to help companies 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.

IBM’s acquisition of Xtify comes two days after the software, systems and services giant acquired The Now Factory, a Dublin, Ireland-based analytics software provider that also complements the IBM MobileFirst Analytics portfolio.

Mobile communication channels are transforming the way that organizations interact with their customers. Consumers have come to expect personalized 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 and shopping on mobile Websites or other online channels.

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

“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, in a statement. “The acquisition of Xtify provides new ways for our clients to foster a direct, one-to-one communication channel with their customers.”

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

The combination of digital analytics and mobile capabilities delivered through a cloud computing model has become the great enabler for chief marketing officers (CMOs) and their organizations, 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.

“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,” said Xtify CEO Josh Rochlin, in a statement. “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.