patches a hole in its Service Cloud

Contact: China Martens

For some time, we’ve been expecting to make a second purchase in the service automation space. It’s a market the SaaS CRM and development platform player took a major step into back in early 2009 following its $31.5m purchase of French knowledge base provider InStranet in August 2008. It now appears as though has indeed made another foray with the acquisition of enterprise live chat player Activa Live, a move the companies aren’t commenting on but have confirmed to several third parties.

Based in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, Activa Live’s customers include American Apparel, Best Buy, Dun & Bradstreet, Endeca, LexisNexis and Procter & Gamble. The startup already had tight integration with Salesforce CRM. Its rivals include other chat specialists such as Bold Software, LivePerson and Velaro as well as a host of service automation software players that provide live chat modules such as eGain Communications, Kana, Moxie Software (formerly known as nGenera), Parature and RightNow Technologies. has been steadily building out Service Cloud and has found turning on-premises InStranet SaaSy a time-consuming experience. It’s keen to substantially grow the business, and owning more service automation components should further that goal.

Activa Live is another of’s under-the-radar purchases, deals that it barely refers to in public or doesn’t acknowledge at all. Such transactions already include the acquisitions of Welsh business orchestration firm Informavores, semantic analysis player GroupSwim, and reportedly Canadian SaaS website building, managing and optimizing tools provider Sitemasher. is still sitting on a boatload of cash after raising $575m in a private placement at the start of the year, and has only inked one substantial deal in its history – the surprise $142m acquisition of data-as-a-service (DaaS) provider Jigsaw Data in April. We continue to puzzle over what larger transactions might set its cap at, and would now add business information provider Zoom Information to the list as being potentially complementary to the vendor’s Jigsaw buy. DaaS is another arena where hopes to make big bucks