Five9, Globant, Twilio and Zendesk: Data & Enabler companies in the wind of the big brands – AXA IM column

Last but not least, Covid-19 is forcing many large companies and brands to digitize their business processes. Many lesser-known companies that work as service providers benefit from this. Jeremy Gleeson, Digital Economy Portfolio Manager at AXA Investment Managers, analyzes their business models and focuses on these so-called data & enablers.

While many well-known, big brands can look back on a long history, in Gleeson’s opinion they run the risk of falling short of younger and more modern competitors in a digitizing world. For years, they have therefore relied on third-party providers who have specialized in various digital fields. “These companies are often specialized technology companies that offer services, tools and expertise to digitize traditional business models,” says Gleeson. “We therefore refer to these companies as Data & Enablers.” Covid-19 and the associated economic lockdowns that have forced companies to close their physical presences have driven this development. However, it is only a matter of accelerating an already existing, long-term trend.

Good customer contact is a basic requirement

In an increasingly digital economy, smooth customer contact is essential. Five9, for example, is a cloud-based provider of contact center software that, together with Google Cloud, enables corona-related questions with special reference to specific business models to be answered using a virtual voice assistant. Five9’s customers included Salesforce and Siemens[1]. Another example of Data & Enabler is Zendesk. The company enables end customers to establish direct and personalized digital contact with companies via social media and other messenger apps[2]. Airbnb and Tesco were among the company’s customers. “As so-called cloud natives, Five9 and Zendesk manage the transition from analog to digital customer contact,” says Gleeson. “You benefit from the immense growth of the e-commerce industry.”

Digital infrastructure creates a smooth customer journey

A strong relationship with one’s own customers is essential and a smooth customer journey is essential for this. The digital communication platform Twilio helps companies to send SMS, in-app messages or emails to their own customers in a contemporary way. Twilio is responsible, for example, for Uber’s communication architecture, which enables efficient exchange between driver and customer via SMS or voice messages[3].

Apps are a cost-effective way of observing the actions and needs of your own customers and increasing company performance. A data & enabler that creates services based on the cloud is Globant. “The company combines IT services with the creativity and cultural sensitivity of a digital agency,” says Gleeson. “Innovative software solutions, for example for Electronic Arts and their successful FIFA franchise, are the result.[4]“In addition to Electronic Arts (EA), Globant’s customers included Google, Disney and LinkedIn.

The digital transformation is one of the central challenges of large, well-known brands. Investing in this area would be the key to maintaining your competitive edge. “Many big brands still have some catching up to do in terms of digitization,” Gleeson concludes. “This should be reflected in the growing demand for data & enablers in the travel-finding of the big players.”

Disclaimer: The text is a column by AXA Investment Managers. 4investors is not responsible for the content of the column and therefore does not necessarily have to agree with the opinion of the 4investors editorial team. Any liability and claims are therefore expressly excluded by 4investors!


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