News : ‘Emergency Tech’ Firm ClickSoftware Sells
Petah Tikva, Israel, April 30, 2015 -- Israeli workforce management technology firm ClickSoftware is being acquired by California-based investment firm Francisco Partners Management.
Currently a NASDAQ publicly-traded firm, ClickSoftware will see its stockholders sell their holdings to Francisco Partners, with each outstanding share to be sold. The deal must still be approved by stockholders, but ClickSoftware’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the sale in a recent meeting. Francisco Partners, which focuses strictly on technology investments, aims to buy all outstanding shares of the company, turning it into a private firm, and ClickSoftware will recommend that all shareholders sell.
ClickSoftware’s system is especially useful in emergencies, said Ben-Bassat – like the snow emergencies that became a routine event in many US cities last winter. When such events take place, utilities, emergency services, police, fire, food delivery personnel, and many others need to be ready operate in crisis mode, said Ben-Bassat.
A "crisis" is not a big, amorphous thing; it’s made up of a lot of small crises that can quickly get out of control, he said. For a utility, "out of control" means getting behind on providing the basic repairs and service to ensure that clients get back services as quickly as possible. That means ensuring that the right personnel are available and on call, and even more important, can quickly get where they have to go.
Planning this is not a job for a human being, said Ben-Bassat. "If you ask managers how they would deal with this kind of scenario in theory they would come up with a plausible scenario, but once the emergency hits, they cannot deal with the events and issues that are thrown at them," said Ben-Bassat. When inundated with information, the brain tends to filter out the overload – but in an emergency where lives, often thousands, are on the line, that’s not good enough.
Which is where ClickSoftware comes in. "We sit with managers and personnel in advance of emergencies and try to get a sense of what their priorities are," said Ben-Bassat – such as in the case of a power company, which would want to restore power to a hospital first, then to substations serving thousands of residents, to specific neighborhoods, and only later to individual homes where repairs are still needed. All that information is programmed into ClickSoftware’s system, which uses artificial intelligence to evaluate incidents that flood a call center during an emergency, placing them in an action queue in the order of the utility’s policy priorities.
The system prioritizes service calls by levels of importance, in a triage system that sees the most important problems given priority. The system is based on big data algorithms that evaluate the service call, taking into account environmental and other factors, and weighing the importance of the call compared to others that are pending.
"After a comprehensive evaluation and review of strategic alternatives designed to enhance shareholder value, we are confident this agreement represents a favorable outcome for our shareholders, providing them with immediate, substantial cash value," said Ben-Bassat. "We are excited to partner with Francisco Partners, a firm with an established track record of working with companies transitioning to cloud and with companies in relevant verticals to ClickSoftware. The added flexibility we will have as a private company, combined with the benefit of Francisco Partners’ knowledge and domain expertise, will allow us to more effectively focus on our long-term investment and growth objectives, which will benefit our employees, customers and partners."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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ClickSoftware is a provider of end-to-end service chain optimization solutions that maximize revenue and customer responsiveness while minimizing costs.
About Francisco Partners Management:
Francisco Partners is an American private equity firm focused exclusively on investments in technology and technology-enabled services businesses.
Published: Monday, May 4, 2015