Zendesk acquired Base CRM in 2018 and rebranded it as Zendesk Sell. Now the company is launching Zendesk Marketplace for Sell - an app store for this CRM product. It’s a place where companies can share components that extend the capabilities of the core Sell product. Companies like MailChimp, HubSpot and QuickBooks are available at launch. For starters, customers can build private apps with a new application development framework. This enables them to customize Sell for their particular environment, such as connecting to an internal system or building functionality that’s unique to them. In addition, ISVs can build custom apps, something Price points out they have been doing for some time on the Zendesk customer support side.
Cyral, an early-stage startup that helps protect data stored in cloud repositories, announced an $11 million Series A today. The company’s product acts as a security layer on top of cloud data repositories — whether databases, data lakes, data warehouse or other data repository — helping identify issues like faulty configurations or anomalous activity. Unlike most security data products of this ilk, Cyral doesn’t use an agent or watch points to try to detect signals that indicate something is happening to the data. Instead, Cyral is a security layer attached directly to the data. As an example, Cyral could detect that someone has suddenly started scanning rows of credit card data, or that someone was trying to connect to a database on an unencrypted connection.
Zoho Campaigns new integration with Zapier, a web-based integration platform, allows you to automate your various business workflows, simplifying the overall process. In a Zap, Campaigns can be associated either with a trigger or an action. Put simply, you can use a trigger to make data flow from Campaigns to other applications (and vice versa) where an action is performed.
SmartNews has closed $92 million round of funding at a valuation of $1.2 billion. News aggregation apps seemed to everywhere a few years ago, and while they haven’t exactly disappeared, they didn’t turn into unicorns, with many of them acquired or shut down. But SmartNews has a few unique advantages. For one thing, it uses machine learning rather than human curation to “thoughtfully generate a news discovery experience” that’s personalized to each user. Secondly, many news aggregators treat the publishers creating the content that they rely on “like a commodity,” whereas SmartNews treats them as “true partners.” For example, it’s working with select publishers like Business Insider, Bloomberg, BuzzFeed and Reuters on a program called SmartView First, where articles are presented in a custom format that gives publishers more revenue opportunities and better analytics.
Insight Partners has acquired Swiss cloud data management company Veeam for $5 billion. Veeam helps customers with cloud data backup and disaster recovery. The company says that it had $1 billion in revenue last year. It boasts 365,000 customers worldwide, including 81% of the Fortune 500. Veeam has backup and recovery tools for both Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, along with partnerships with a variety of large enterprise vendors, including Cisco, IBM, Dell EMC and HPE.
Microsoft is adding a new Walkie Talkie feature to its Slack competitor, Microsoft Teams. Available in preview in the coming months, the feature will turn smartphones or tablets into a walkie-talkie that will work over Wi-Fi or cellular data. It’s primarily designed for “firstline workers,” employees who face customers and run day-to-day operations inside companies. Microsoft is positioning this as a more secure way of using a traditional walkie-talkie. Microsoft is embedding the feature at the center of its navigation bar inside Microsoft Teams, suggesting that’s a highly requested feature that will be used by a lot of companies.
Sisense, an enterprise startup that that has built a business analytics business out of the premise of making big data as accessible as possible to users — whether it be through graphics on mobile or desktop apps, or spoken through Alexa — has picked up $100 million funding that it plans to use to continue building out its tech, as well as for sales, marketing and development efforts. Sisense, bringing in both sleek end user products but also a strong theme of harnessing the latest developments in areas like machine learning and AI to crunch the data and order it in the first place, represents a smaller and more fleet of foot alternative for its customers.
Google announced a new feature for the Google Assistant on Android phones that turns it into a supercharged screen reader. When you say “Hey Google, read this,” it will find the main text on whatever webpage or article you’re looking at and read it out loud to you. Screen readers aren’t new on phones, but Google says it has improved the Assistant’s ability to parse sentences and therefore speak them with more natural, human-sounding cadences. The flashiest feature, however, is that you can also ask the Assistant to read it out loud to you in a different language, up to 42 of them.