Wipro to take $9.9-mn stake in US-based Harte Hanks

Wipro intends to take a stake in US-based Harte Hanks for $9.9 million (nearly Rs66 crore) to strengthen its digital marketing service offerings.

The investment would be routed through Wipro LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wipro, the IT company said.

Harte Hanks, a US-based marketing services company specialises in omni-channel marketing solutions including consulting, strategic assessment, data, analytics, digital, social, mobile, print, direct mail and contact centre, the company said in a statement.

Under the partnership, Wipro and Harte Hanks will jointly market Opera Solutions' Signal Hub, an advanced big data analytics and machine learning platform that allows large enterprises to deliver a personalised customer experience.

Harte Hanks, which has a 500 strong workforce, had revenues a little in excess of $404 million in 2016.

Wipro will be allotted 9926 Series A preferred Stock of the company which would be convertible into 16 per cent of the company's outstanding common stock on a pre-closing basis.

Wipro's investment in Harte Hanks is expected to be completed in January-March quarter.

As part of their existing partnership, Wipro and Harte Hanks are jointly marketing Opera Solutions' Signal Hub platform, an advanced big data analytics and machine learning platform that enables clients to deliver a contextually relevant and personalized customer experience.

"Wipro's investment in Harte Hanks reflects our continued commitment to offer leading-edge marketing technology and digital services that cater to the needs of Chief Marketing Officers and marketing professionals, across industry segments. This investment strengthens our existing partnership with Harte Hanks and enables us to address a key industry challenge by offering 'Marketing as a Service','' said Srini Pallia, president, Consumer Business Unit, Wipro Limited.

''Brands are now defined by the blend of all the experiences they deliver to their customers. Understanding the journey is the starting point, and it is marketing technology that facilitates the proper interactions at scale,'' commented Karen Puckett, Harte Hanks CEO.

''Enterprises and brands are working hard to better understand their customer's buying journey and are deploying technology to help them interact with customers in relevant, meaningful ways. However, CMOs are increasingly concerned about marketing's capability to acquire and manage technology effectively. This partnership squarely addresses those opportunities.''