Adobe it to acquire marketing automation company Marketo for $4.75 billion. The deal gives Adobe a strong position in enterprise marketing as it competes with Salesforce, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP. It also gives Adobe a huge boost for its Marketing Cloud offering and provides it with not only a missing piece, but Marketo’s base of 5000 customers and the opportunity to increase revenue in this part of their catalogue, while allowing them to compete harder inside the enterprise.
Cloud-based unified communications provider Vonage acquired NewVoiceMedia, a UK startup that builds cloud-based contact center solutions, for $350 million in cash. On the other hand, the deal will help Vonage increase the services it provides, and thus the margins it makes, in a wider suite of value-added IP services — which today include office phone systems, marketing automation and an existing call center solution, as well as MPLS and other IP services. Specifically, it gives it the platform to integrate also more deeply with other software providers like Salesforce, an important part of how Vonage sells its services to would be customers. Vonage claims NewVoiceMedia is the largest privately-owned, pure-play, cloud contact center company globally, with some 700 customers mostly in the mid- to large-enterprise range, including Adobe, Siemens, Time Inc., FundingCircle, and Rapid7.
Microsoft's PowerPoint has some new competition from a familiar rival: Salesforce. Salesforce's Quip business, which already offers tools for word processing and working on spreadsheets, introduced Quip Slides. Quip was acquired by Salesforce in 2016. A lot of the features in Quip Slides will be familiar to anyone who has used Office 365 or G Suite to create presentations that can be viewed and edited by a team of colleagues, such as chat, commenting, and questions. But thanks to its corporate parent, Quip Slides can surface Salesforce data directly within a presentation that updates automatically as the underlying data changes. Besides, it allows to conduct interactive presentation when viewers can ask questions online. Slides will be available for $10 per-user per-month or $25 per-user per-month for Enterprise license.
With the latest iOS 12 release, Zoho Vault users can now autofill usernames and passwords on Safari and other third-party apps. Users can enjoy a seamless login experience to their everyday apps without compromising security. You can also access passwords stored in Zoho vault using Siri Shortcuts by creating personalized phrases
A year ago Microsoft introduced its first Dynamics 365 AI solutions and today it’s expanding this portfolio with the launch of three new products: Dynamics 365 AI for Sales, Customer Service and Market Insights. Dynamics 365 AI for Sales, unsurprisingly, is meant to help sales teams get deeper insights into their prospects using sentiment analysis. That’s obviously among the most basic of machine learning applications these days, but AI for Sales also helps these salespeople understand what actions they should take next and which prospects to prioritize. Similarly, the Customer Service app focuses on using natural language understanding to understand and predict customer service problems and leverage virtual agents to lower costs. Finally, Dynamics 365 AI for Market Insights does just what the name implies: it provides teams with data about social sentiment, but this, too, goes a bit deeper.
Website building platform Strikingly has raised a $10 million Series A+. When Strikingly launched back in 2012, it set itself apart from other website builders by focusing on easy to build, but polished-looking mobile responsive sites. Now mobile responsive sites are de rigueur for any website builder, but one of the things that continues to differentiate Strikingly from its competitors (a partial list includes Wix, Weebly, Squarespace and WordPress) is its ease of use. The company claims that the average time to launch a new website with Strikingly’s editor is just 10 minutes.
Google officially announced that Inbox by Gmail, the company’s experimental email client for Gmail, will shut down at the end of March 2019. Google says it’s making this change to put its focus “solely on Gmail.” While that makes sense, it’s a shame to see Inbox sail into the setting sun, given that it pioneered many of the features that have now become part of the new Gmail. While the new Gmail now has most of Inbox’s features, one that is sorely missing is trip bundles. This useful feature, which automatically groups all of your flight, hotel, event and car reservations into a single bundle, is one of Inbox’s best features. Google plans to bring this to Gmail early next year — hopefully well before Inbox shuts down.
Mozilla shut down Firefox's support for Windows XP and Windows Vista, ending browser security updates for the outdated operating systems. Support for the two past-expiration-date OSes - Microsoft dropped Windows XP in April 2014, Vista in April 2017 - ended with Firefox ESR 52.9, which was released June 26. That version was supplanted by Firefox ESR 60.2 on Sept. 4. Firefox ESR, for "Extended Support Release," is a version Mozilla issues to customers - primarily business users - who value stability over sexy new features. Unlike the standard Firefox, each ESR version receives only security updates during its tenure. About once a year, Mozilla replaces the existing ESR with the then-current Firefox, then maintains both the old and new ESR versions during a 12-week overlap period. Firefox ESR 52's overlap with ESR 60 began May 7, when the latter launched, and ended Sept. 4, when that date's security patches were not provided for the former. The only Top 5 browser still supporting Windows XP is Opera.
Zendesk has acquired Base, a startup that provides CRM for small business. While Base might not be as well known as Salesforce, Microsoft or Oracle in the CRM game, it has created a sophisticated sales force automation platform, complete with its own artificial intelligence underpinnings. If the core of customer data includes customer service, CRM and marketing, Base gives Zendesk one more of those missing components. Base was founded in 2009 and boasts more than 5,000 customers. It’s worth pointing out that Base was already available for sale in the company app marketplace, so there was some overlap here, but the company intends to try to move existing customers to Base, of course. Zendesk has indicated it will continue to support all Base customers.
Anonymous browser Tor is now officially available for Android. But to run the app users will need to also download the Tor Project proxy app, Orbot. Tor Project’s anonymous browser uses a system of decentralized relays that bounce a user’s data to anonymize internet activity. This makes it almost impossible for ads, location trackers and even government surveillance to follow your tracks across the web. Following this release, Orfox, the longstanding Tor Project-approved browsing app for Android, said it will be sunset by 2019.