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Zendesk to Acquire Ultimate

Leading CX innovator to deliver industry’s most advanced AI agents and only complete CX platform for the AI-first era

Published March 13, 2024

SAN FRANCISCO – March 13, 2024 – Zendesk announced today it will acquire Ultimate, an industry-leading provider of service automation, to deliver the most complete AI offering for customer experience (CX) in the market1. As unprecedented demand for AI drives up the speed and frequency of customer engagement, AI agents push beyond traditional bot capabilities to help brands transform CX into a competitive advantage. With Ultimate, Zendesk will offer AI agents with enhanced intelligence that are not just reactive, but proactive problem solvers, complementing human expertise.

“AI is the future of CX and the next generation of AI agents are not just a tool, but a necessary and fundamental shift in how businesses will engage with their customers,” said Tom Eggemeier, CEO of Zendesk. “With Ultimate, we will help our customers set a new standard, with AI agents giving customers the support they need quickly and effortlessly. This means human agents can focus on what they do best: building relationships, resolving complex challenges, and applying innovation and creativity to move businesses forward.”

“Our mission has always been to help businesses use AI to deliver joyful support experiences. We’ve seen 99 percent of CX organizations who adopt AI shift permanently to a hybrid human and AI agent approach,” said Reetu Kainulainen, CEO and co-founder of Ultimate. “As part of Zendesk, we now have the scale to drive this transformation for every business.”

Ultimate’s AI agents automate up to 80 percent of support requests. They leverage any knowledge source and offer full customization to resolve even the most sophisticated use cases. Its automation platform integrates with any backend system and provides robust analytics and reporting. Together, Zendesk and Ultimate will offer companies the flexibility and control to deliver customer support their way – be it fully autonomous AI agents, workflow automation or human touch.

“In the era of AI, the challenge of delivering exceptional customer service has never been more demanding. It’s not just about streamlining operations or leveraging new technology; it’s about redefining excellence in customer service,” said Kelsey Hales, senior Zendesk lead at Taskrabbit. “With Zendesk and Ultimate, we will not only meet but exceed our customers’ expectations, all while keeping an eye on efficiency and cost-effectiveness.”

“Traditional chatbots are great in meeting basic CX needs. AI agents can be smarter, more reliable and provide precision support,” said Daniel Newman, CEO of The Futurum Group. “With Ultimate, Zendesk is well positioned to offer AI agents that can tackle sophisticated and complex service use cases, helping resolve customer issues with personalization, speed and dynamic responsiveness.”

This acquisition builds on the launch of Zendesk AI, the fastest-adopted product in the company’s history. With Zendesk AI, Ultimate and the company’s AI-powered Workforce Engagement Management solutions, Zendesk offers the only complete CX platform that elevates customer experiences, manages service quality and accelerates business growth.

To learn more about Ultimate, visit www.ultimate.ai. To learn more about Zendesk’s vision for the future of human and AI agents, join us at Relate in Las Vegas, April 16-18.

1 The acquisition of Ultimate is anticipated to close in March 2024 upon completion of customary closing conditions.

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