Varicent Software Acquires Augmented Intelligence Company Symon.AI

Industry leader in sales performance management also taps IBM and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management for Chief Analytics Officer and Chief Data Scientist roles


TORONTO, January 21, 2020 – Varicent, the leading provider of next generation Sales Performance Management (SPM), today announced that it has acquired Symon.AI, a visionary technology platform built on sophisticated Natural Language and Machine Learning algorithms that provide easy to use, advanced analytics to business users and data scientists alike. The acquisition brings to the Varicent SPM platform a full suite of data connectors, data preparation and augmented intelligence features. With the addition of Symon.AI, Varicent leapfrogs the competition to enable more effective compensation plans, better optimized territories and quotas, and higher performing sales teams in radically less time.

“The market for SPM has continued to evolve, but the need to bring intelligence and insights to the performance and processes of business and the sales organization has not been fully met,” said Mark Smith, CEO and chief research officer at Ventana Research. “Varicent’s move to acquire innovative technology that brings simplicity to sophisticated performance challenges, is very much needed. The acquisition of Symon.AI will help them bring the power of AI to business and supercharge Varicent distinction in innovation for business,” added Smith.

“We are living in an Evidence Economy,” said Marc Altshuller, President & CEO of Varicent. “Whether consumer or businessperson, we all want the best data available – in the form of evidence in context – that confirms our management decisions are well informed.

“With the speed of business today, sales performance decisions need to be evidence driven, not just data driven: predicting and understanding how salespeople and territories are performing, why certain salespeople experience burnout along with how to get them back on track, and how to eliminate millions wasted by ineffective compensation plans,” added Altshuller. “With Symon.AI, Varicent has cracked the code on Smart SPM, delivering virtually instant evidence to confirm suspicions and decisions based on data, in the most potent and complete offering in the practice of SPM.”

Symon.AI packages all the augmented intelligence capabilities needed to prepare data, get immediate views on trends and anomalies, and provide quickly actionable insights, all in the form of an easy to use and interactive user interface. The solution features powerful analytical algorithms delivered in a framework that is designed for business users, not just data scientists.


Dr. Jing Shyr, formerly with IBM, and Dr. Joel Shapiro of Northwestern join management team

To help set this next generation offering apart from other products in the SPM market, Varicent is welcoming Dr. Jing Shyr as Chief Data Scientist and Dr. Joel Shapiro as Chief Analytics Officer.

Dr. Shyr, former long-time Fellow and Chief Statistician at IBM Analytics, and developer of the famous “Data Scientist in a Box” (later introduced as Analytics Catalyst), was instrumental in the development of Smart Data Discovery in IBM’s Watson Analytics. She holds a Ph.D. in Statistics from Purdue University.

“Over the course of my long career, I have built numerous analytic software tools to understand what data says,” said Dr. Jing Shyr, Chief Data Scientist for Varicent. “I have come to realize the most important thing is to understand business problems. The best way to do that is to apply augmented analytics tools to get the answers we need from our data. I am excited to apply Symon.AI to discover insights in the SPM domain.”

Dr. Joel Shapiro, JD, PhD, is Clinical Associate Professor of Data Analytics, and the Academic Director of Executive Education at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He teaches courses in business and data analytics, and regularly advises global business leaders on analytics. He will continue with his teaching and research alongside his duties at Varicent.

“In my work across myriad brands and businesses, the Symon.AI technology stood out and compelled me to become involved with Varicent,” said Dr. Joel Shapiro, Chief Analytics Officer for Varicent.

“With this technology Varicent now has the opportunity to redefine the practice of sales management,” added Dr. Shapiro. “We want to help customers move toward evidence-based decisions they can trust. The capabilities of Symon.AI will promote better decisions, new ways of tackling key business problems and, ultimately, greater profitability."

“I’m especially delighted to welcome two of the most eminent experts in the world to join us on this journey: Dr. Joel Shapiro and Dr. Jing Shyr,” said Altshuller. “Together with the team, they will ensure Varicent SPM remains the best product available to enable customers to turn data into higher sales performance and more predictable revenue outcomes.”


About Varicent
Varicent is the leading provider of Smart SPM (sales performance management) cloud-enabled software for mid-market and enterprise companies in any industry. Its augmented intelligence powered platform enables customers to quickly and easily see and address sales trends, problem areas, and opportunities, by predicting outcomes and prescribing actions to optimize revenue. Varicent pioneered incentive compensation and sales performance software that helps customers manage highly complex compensation plans, territories and revenue goals.

Varicent, Varicent Software, Symon.AI and Smart SPM are trademarks or registered trademarks of Varicent Software in the USA, Canada and other countries.


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Charlyn Lusk
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