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Forrester Buys Its Way Into Technology And Software Subscription Sales

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Forrester Research took its first steps into technology ownership on Tuesday with the acquisitions of customer data collection company FeedbackNow and GlimpzIt, a machine-learning and content recognition company.

Forrester’s SEC filing said the deals will have insignificant effects on overall revenue and that through 2019 the stock-based compensation and acquisition and integration costs will range between $4 million and $5 million.

The costs may be negligible for a company with a market cap greater than $790 million, but the deals show how Forrester’s business is expanding from its traditional market research services to real-time analytics, said Cliff Condon, research and product chief.

The two startups are also the first additions to a cloud analytics suite, called the CX Cloud, that Forrester plans to build this year and fully open to the market in 2019.

Forrester is known for publishing quarterly or annual market benchmark reports, Condon said, but wants to be a daily part of a customer’s tech and data stack.

“It’s part of the thought leadership we’ve done to date, but moving away from high-level strategic conversations every week or so to being a part of how a client actually runs the business day to day,” Condon said.

FeedbackNow, which plugs into business Wi-Fi networks to run customer experience and data collection programs, and GlimpzIt, a machine-learning tool for content recognition, both shift Forrester’s data from surveys and broad market research to real-time analytics.

A large hotel chain, for instance, might use FeedbackNow’s service to connect real-world travelers with site visitors and call center activity, while GlimpzIt could monitor social activity for the brand and around hotel locations as a live barometer of visitor satisfaction.

“What we’ve found is that clients need greater access into understanding how their customer experience is shaping in real time,” Condon said.

FeedbackNow and GlimpzIt also open a new software subscription revenue stream for Forrester.

No final decision has been made about pricing for Forrester’s new tech toys, according to Condon, but it will be the company’s first foray into the software sales model.

Operating the two tech point solutions will be good practice for next year, he said, when the company intends to go to market with its CX Cloud product.

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