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Here Come the Cloud-Based Big Data Management Services
July 16, 2014
The explosive growth of data is one of the biggest challenges facing organizations of all sizes across nearly every industry, and a growing number of cloud service providers are recognizing that they can provide more than just simple storage and economical compute power to their customers buried in data. They also can help them manage their processing needs on an ongoing basis.
There May Be More to Salesforce's RelateIQ Buy Than Meets the Eye
July 14, 2014
Salesforce.com will shell out $350 million in common stock for RelateIQ in a deal expected to close by October. It will provide another $40 million dollars in stock for its cash balance. RelateIQ will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Salesforce, according to an SEC filing. "This gives Salesforce more of a footprint in process orientation," said Denis Pombriant, principal of Beagle Research.
Salesforce, MS Deal Could Put Mobile CRM on Steroids
May 30, 2014
Now "anyone can run their business from their phone," Salesforce.com recently promised when it announced its Salesforce1 Mobile App. Many company announcements tend to overpromise, and Salesforce has a tendency to be particularly exuberant, so I took it with the customary grain of salt. My skepticism vanished on Thursday, when Salesforce and Microsoft announced a global strategic partnership.
Comcast-TWC Customers: Be Afraid, Very Afraid
February 19, 2014
While federal regulators mull the possible antitrust ramifications of the proposed $45 billion merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the companies' customers also are considering the fallout from this deal. Both companies have a reputation for poor customer service, and the fear is that a combination of the conglomerates may result in the achievement of a new low.
Betting Big Bucks on the Real Omnichannel Deal
February 4, 2014
CRM vendors for years have been acknowledging the need for omnichannel support while bending over backwards to explain how their particular applications or product suites excelled at providing that missing link. A funny thing began to happen at the end of the 20th century. Instead of talking about it, CRM vendors started doing something about it. One by one, they made some strategic acquisitions.
Microsoft Buys Cloud Customer-Service Firm
January 7, 2014
Microsoft on Tuesday announced that it will acquire Parature, which provides customer engagement solutions as a service. Parature's technology will add self-service, support ticketing and other capabilities to Microsoft Dynamics. Microsoft reportedly will pay $100 million for the company. "Once the deal closes, Parature will become part of Microsoft," said Parature cofounder and CMO Duke Chung.
Oracle's Questionable Buys
October 31, 2013
I heard during my travels last week that Oracle had bought or at least announced its intention to buy configuration, price, and quote software company Big Machines. Just a few days earlier, it had bought content marketing startup Compendium. This can't be good news -- and not for the reasons you think. Good for Big Machines. It needed a liquidity event. But what about Oracle?
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Sharpens Social Skills
October 21, 2013
Microsoft on Monday announced the availability of its latest version of Dynamics CRM along with a new partnership with InsideView that adds social intelligence capabilities to the CRM system. Available for purchase starting Oct. 31, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 offers a number of new features and capabilities, including new templates for certain workflows and work processes.
BroadVision and SugarCRM Join Hands for Closer Integration
August 16, 2013
SugarCRM and BroadVision have teamed up to integrate their respective products -- SugarCRM's namesake CRM app and BroadVision's Clearvale enterprise social networking platform -- to give users a fuller view of what is happening in the enterprise, the companies announced this week. This is not a full-bore integration between the two products, however.
Millennial Buys Rival Jumptap in Mobile Ad Push
August 15, 2013
Millennial Media announced on Tuesday that it will acquire competitor Jumptap in a stock transaction worth approximately $225 million. Under the terms of the agreement, Jumptap shareholders will receive approximately 24.6 million shares of Millennial Media. The combined company will be able to offer a number of services in this space that will be able to run across a variety of different screens.
Who's the Customer? Deux-Dot-Oh
July 3, 2013
I think I have used this title before, but this is in a whole different context. Also, this is a short piece because I know you are likely out contributing to the leisure economy as you should be. This will be here when you get back. I couldn't help but make one more comment on the Oracle-Salesforce announcements of last week because I see them as an important watershed.
Adobe Snaps Up Neolane in Marketing Automation Push
July 1, 2013
In an effort to build its cross-channel marketing capabilities, Adobe on Thursday announced that it will acquire Neolane, a provider of cross-channel campaign management technology, in a $600 million cash deal. Neolane integrates online and offline marketing data from across an enterprise, performing audience segmentation and delivering marketing messages across numerous channels.
SAP Pulls Hybris Into Its Stable
June 11, 2013
SAP acquired Switzerland-based enterprise resource planning company Hybris last week in order to add cloud-based, next-generation e-commerce capabilities to its offerings. Hybris has developed an omnichannel commerce platform that allows businesses to incorporate Web, mobile, call center and store actions in their efforts to track and respond to customer activity.
Salesforce Buys ExactTarget
June 5, 2013
Salesforce.com has made its biggest acquisition ever: It has snagged marketing automation and campaign management vendor ExactTarget for $2.5 billion. As part of the transaction, Salesforce will acquire all outstanding ExactTarget stock for $33.75 per share in cash. Both companies' boards of directors have approved the deal, which is expected to increase Salesforce revenue by $120-$125 million.
Trulia Rolls Out Welcome Mat for Real Estate Pros
May 10, 2013
In a move to bolster its offerings for the real estate market, Trulia said this week that it would acquire Market Leader, a Software as a Service-based CRM company targeting agents and brokers. The acquisition, expected to close in the fall, will provide Trulia with tools to help real estate professionals manage and track leads.
Sage Made a Wise Decision
February 20, 2013
I liked what Sage did last week in agreeing to sell off some non-core assets to partners, and I am most interested in the decision to sell ACT! and SalesLogix. The move reduced Sage's bullpen of CRM solutions from three to one -- and that's the right number for this market.
ExactTarget Hones Cross-Channel Communications
October 15, 2012
With two new acquisitions, ExactTarget is pushing beyond its original email marketing mission to become a one-stop online marketing and social media shop. The company has acquired Pardot for $95.5 million and iGoDigital for $21 million; it announced both deals last week.
Kana Makes a Move in Customer Experience Space
July 17, 2012
Kana plans to build out its customer service experience management bona fides with its recent acquisition of contact center provider Ciboodle from the Sword Group. The point of the acquisition is to weave together Ciboodle's chief strengths -- its process-based customer contact management platform, agent desktop tools and case management expertise -- with what Kana does well.
Salesforce.com Adds Another Brick to Social Media Edifice
July 10, 2012
Salesforce.com is acquiring GoInstant, reportedly paying $70 million for the startup. The news generally fits the "another day, another Salesforce.com acquisition" story line. The CRM cloud vendor has been on an acquisition binge -- it bought at least six companies in 2011 alone.
Can Microsoft Squeeze $1B-Plus Value From Yammer?
June 26, 2012
Microsoft has agreed to pay an eyebrow-raising $1.2 billion in cash for the startup Yammer, presumably in the expectation that it will gain a much needed boost in social media expertise. Yammer will remain a standalone service for its 5-million-plus customer base, and Microsoft will also pair it with complementary offerings from Microsoft SharePoint, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics and Skype.
Is Everyone Trying to Look Like Salesforce?
June 20, 2012
Last week I lamented how the legacy software establishment was focusing on the easy-to-sell parts of cloud computing without really providing the essence of cloud. Since then, I have been inspired by a couple of recent articles that point in a different though not opposite direction.
Yammer May Get Microsoft Into the Social CRM Club
June 15, 2012
Microsoft is in discussions to acquire Yammer, a social media and communication platform for businesses, according to a report in Bloomberg, which cited two anonymous sources. Microsoft is prepared to acquire the company for a $1 billion purchase price, the report said, and the deal could be reached as soon as Friday.
CRM in a Faceless World
June 6, 2012
Salesforce.com announced it was buying Buddy Media for nearly $700 million on Monday. In any discussion, that's a lot of money, maybe more than Salesforce has yet spent on any acquisition. What's going on? As you might expect, I see economics playing an important role here, and I think there are two issues to consider. They may even boil down to one -- the cost of acquiring a customer.
Salesforce's Buddy Media Buy Could Produce a Power Couple
May 30, 2012
Salesforce.com is reportedly close to acquiring social media marketing manager Buddy Media for about $800 million. Buddy Media's main business is helping corporations manage their brand presence on Facebook. It has branched out to other social media platforms, including Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.
SAP Gets New Stairway to the Cloud With Ariba Buy
May 23, 2012
SAP has revealed plans to acquire Ariba, an enterprise e-commerce network, for US$4.3 billion as part of the German company's expansion into cloud computing. SAP will purchase Ariba for $45 per share -- about 20 percent more than its market price. Ariba's board approved the purchase unanimously. The sale is expected to be completed during the third calendar quarter of 2012, dependent on Ariba shareholder approval.
Zuckerberg's Instagram Poker Face
April 18, 2012
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg apparently lives by the idea that it is better to ask forgiveness than permission. This seems to have been the case with his decision to acquire Instagram earlier this month. Zuckerberg reportedly alerted the board of directors only hours before making its largest acquisition ever, a billion-dollar deal for the digital photo-sharing service, which had only launched in October 2010.
Nordstrom Tries On Bonobos for Size
April 13, 2012
Upscale retailer Nordstrom has become known for its advanced online initiatives in recent years. However, the store chain is pushing the envelope in this area with an investment in Bonobos, an etailer that specializes in well-tailored men's pants. The intriguing part of this investment, which reportedly totals $16.4 million, is that Nordstrom will sell Bonobos clothes in 100 of its stores, as well as on Nordstrom.com.
How's Your Ecosystem?
March 7, 2012
You can gauge the success and financial health of almost any company by looking at revenues. At least this is true in the short term. Since revenue is a lagging indicator -- with the exception of monthly recurring revenue that subscription companies measure -- it only tells you where you've been, not where you are going.
Salesforce.com Chalks Up Strong FY12, but Competition Looms
February 27, 2012
Salesforce.com hit it out of the park with quarterly earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter and full fiscal year, which ended Jan. 31, 2012. Total Q4 revenue was $632 million, an increase of 38 percent on a year-over-year basis, topping the $624 million expected by analysts. For the full fiscal year 2012, the company reported revenue of $2.27 billion, an increase of 37 percent from the prior year.
Making the Cloud Conventional
February 15, 2012
Last week Oracle bought the HR SaaS company Taleo for $1.9 billion, which to me means it's time to do you-know-what to the fire and call in the dogs. This hunt is officially over and out. The hunt in question is for legitimacy and primacy of the SaaS and cloud computing model.
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