Tag Archives: acquired

Kontron heeds carrier demand for software, buys Inocybe

Kontron has acquired Inocybe Technologies, adding open source networking software to the German hardware maker’s portfolio of computing systems for the telco industry.

Kontron, which announced the acquisition this week, purchased Inocybe’s Open Networking Platform as telcos increasingly favor buying software separate from hardware. Kontron is a midsize supplier of white box systems to communications service providers (CSPs) and cable companies.

CSPs are replacing specialized hardware with more flexible software-centric networking, forcing companies like Kontron and Radisys, which recently sold itself to Reliance Industries, to reinvent themselves, said Lee Doyle, principal analyst at Doyle Research, based in Wellesley, Mass.

“This is part of Kontron’s efforts to move in a more software direction — Radisys has done this as well — and to a more service-oriented model, in this case, based on open source,” Doyle said.

Inocybe, on the other hand, is a small startup that could take advantage of the resources of a midsize telecom supplier, mainly since the market for open source software is still in its infancy within the telecom industry, Doyle said.

While Kontron did not release financial details, the price for Inocybe ranged from $5 million to $10 million, said John Zannos, previously the chief revenue officer of Inocybe and now a general manager of its technology within Kontron. The manufacturer plans to offer Inocybe’s Open Networking Platform as a stand-alone product while also providing hardware specially designed to run the platform.

Inocybe’s business

Inocybe’s business model is similar to that of Red Hat, which sells its version of open source Linux and generates revenue from support and services on the server operating system. Under Kontron, Inocybe plans to continue developing commercial versions of all the networking software built under the Linux Foundation.

Open source is free, but making it work isn’t.
Lee Doyleprincipal analyst, Doyle Research

The Open Networking Platform includes parts of the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), the OpenDaylight software-defined networking controller and the OpenSwitch network operating system. Service providers use Inocybe’s platform as a tool for traffic engineering, network automation and network functions virtualization.

Tools like Inocybe’s deliver open source software in a form that’s ready for testing and then deploying in a production environment. The more difficult alternative is downloading the code from a Linux Foundation site and then stitching it together into something useful.

“Open source is free, but making it work isn’t,” Doyle said.

Before the acquisition, Inocybe had a seat on the board of the open source networking initiative within the Linux Foundation and was active in the development of several technologies, including OpenDaylight and OpenSwitch. All that work would continue under Kontron, Zannos said.

Endpoint security tool fueled OpenText’s Guidance Software acquisition

TORONTO — When OpenText acquired Guidance Software in September 2017, the content management vendor needed its endpoint security tool.

Of course, OpenText also was pleased that endpoint security tool came with some other attractive assets: the well-known data forensics application seen on CSI and used by law enforcement and government investigators; an E-discovery platform; and Guidance’s loyal customer list.

Although OpenText plans to support all of those other assets in its aggressive growth-through-acquisition strategy — and one longtime customer confirms that needed integrations are underway — the biggest draw was the endpoint security tool.

OpenText’s private cloud has 50 million endpoints today, and is expanding as more customers migrate more data into it, CEO and CTO Mark Barrenechea said.

“We wanted to enter the security market,” he said during an OpenText Enterprise World media question and answer session.

While OpenText built its customer base on content management, which in time has evolved into content services, customers are demanding tighter hybrid cloud security, as well as content access control.

The endpoint security tool from Guidance fills in technological “white space” OpenText needed to fill, while acquiring Covisint brought much-needed ID management, Barrenechea concluded.

OpenText Enterprise World 2018 image
OpenText Enterprise World 2018

AI coming to EnCase

Guidance’s flagship application, EnCase, is used to collect and petrify data so it remains legally admissible in civil and criminal trials.

Lalith Subramanian, vice president of engineering for analytics, security and discovery at OpenText, said in an interview that the endpoint security tool now is needed mostly for laptops on the OpenText network.

But more use cases are coming as OpenText customers prepare IoT implementations that will multiply that number and as sensors come online, Subramanian said.

“People are not there yet but they’re going to get there,” he said. “Our challenge is more to support the breath of the platforms that are possible.”

Subramanian also said that a secondary opportunity OpenText saw for the Guidance acquisition was incorporating Guidance’s Magellan content-specific AI tools.

Guidance included no AI in its applications, but AI can help humans performing e-discovery for lawsuits, as well as data forensics investigations to sort documents and classify data.

We wanted to enter the security market.
Mark BarrenecheaCEO and CTO, OpenText

FBI investigators, Subramanian said, tell OpenText they are overwhelmed with digital data associated with cases and AI may quickly be able to identify patterns and starting points for evidence that sometimes take teams days to figure out.

OpenText forensicist James Kritselis has been assisting Guidance customers in extracting data from devices for years, taking on the most intractable cases to catch criminals.

He said he sees AI as a potential boon for finding connections (“link analysis” in investigator parlance) in data that aren’t obvious to humans. One example would be when a criminal might conduct relevant conversations — or pieces of conversations — in multiple apps.

“If I see WhatsApp on a phone, AI would be able to start to look in Bumble or Tinder — to figure out what other social media apps would be relevant,” Kritselis said in an interview at the conference.

Integrations coming together

Meanwhile, Liberty Mutual Group’s  insurance investigation unit doesn’t need the endpoint security tool as much as it does linkage with other OpenText applications and services, said Brian Morrison, principal business systems analyst. His group, based in Dover, N.H., had used OpenText and Guidance software separately for years.

While some customers may have felt apprehension when OpenText acquired Guidance, Morrison said he has seen some quick wins in consolidating workflows already and looks forward to more.

Getting information for evidence out of Guidance products and into OpenText required many connectors and third-party helper applications. That process also is a drag on IT staffers, keeping up with the needs for preserving data through the workflow so it remains legally admissible.

“[I’m looking forward to] being able to get there without all these connectors,” Morrison said.

“These are application developers and systems support people. I’m taking their time for something that if I could just get [from OpenText], they could work more on supporting the users, working on reporting, analytics and other things instead of grabbing something for me that’s three years old and absolutely meaningless to them,” he said.

For Sale – Sandisk ultra 400gb micro sd

Hi all.

Selling my newly acquired SanDisk ultra card as I bought it for a device I’m no longer purchasing so it’s surplus to requirements. Paid £120 for it a week or so ago.

Price and currency: £90
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PPG or BT
Location: Preston
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – Z77 Sabretooth + 16GB DDR3 Memory

Hey Guys,

The clear out continues. I acquired these in a purchase about 3 months ago. Originally I had the dream of moving back to ATX and making a nice looking rig, but I am losing my man cave. Collection from NW London and or WC1X an option. Also willing to meet in Zone 1 somewhere or on my way back on the Met Line.

First up we have the highly coveted Asus Z77 Sabretooth board. This come boxed (little tatty), includes i/o shield and all sorted of accessories including PCI-E Socket blankers additional unused fans etc. The board is a little dusty but nothing that a can of compressed air wont fix.

Since purchase the board has been in a rig at work that I would just mess about with running various Linux distro’s. No issues what so ever. Just stripped down the machine and placed the CPU protector back in.

Now for price, these sell for silly money on ebay. I dont want the hassle of ebay and I would rather a member of the community grabs a good deal. This board is dying to go into a nice rig where it can be shown off!

Price: 110 GBP (Excluding Delivery)

Next up we have:

Corsair 16GB DDR3 (4 x 4GB set) Vengeance LP Black Kit 1600Mhz 9-9-9-24 Timings

Price: 70 GBP (Excluding Delivery)

Price and currency: 110, 70
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: BT, PP(Buyer Pays Fees
Location: WEMBLEY
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Tableau acquisition of MIT AI startup aims at smarter BI software

Tableau Software has acquired AI startup Empirical Systems in a bid to give users of its self-service BI platform more insight into their data. The Tableau acquisition, announced today, adds an AI-driven engine that’s designed to automate the data modeling process without requiring the involvement of skilled statisticians.

Based in Cambridge, Mass., Empirical Systems started as a spinoff from the MIT Probabilistic Computing Project. The startup claims its analytics engine and data platform is able to automatically model data for analysis and then provide interactive and predictive insights into that data.

The technology is still in beta, and Francois Ajenstat, Tableau’s chief product officer, wouldn’t say how many customers are using it as part of the beta program. But he said the current use cases are broad and include companies in retail, manufacturing, healthcare and financial services. That wide applicability is part of the reason why the Tableau acquisition happened, he noted.

Catch-up effort with advanced technology

In some ways, however, the Tableau acquisition is a “catch-up play” on providing automated insight-generation capabilities, said Jen Underwood, founder of Impact Analytix LLC, a product research and consulting firm in Tampa. Some other BI and analytics vendors “already have some of this,” Underwood said, citing Datorama and Tibco as examples.

The Tableau acquisition adds an AI-driven engine that’s designed to automate the data modeling process without requiring the involvement of skilled statisticians.

Empirical’s automated modeling and statistical analysis tools could put Tableau ahead of its rivals, she said, but it’s too soon to tell without having more details on the integration plans. Nonetheless, she said she thinks the technology will be a useful addition for Tableau users.

“People will like it,” she said. “It will make advanced analytics easier for the masses.”

Tableau already has been investing in AI and machine learning technologies internally. In April, the company released its Tableau Prep data preparation software, with embedded fuzzy clustering algorithms that employ AI to help users group data sets together. Before that, Tableau last year released a recommendation engine that shows users recommended data sources for analytics applications. The feature is similar to how Netflix suggests movies and TV shows based on what a user has previously watched, Ajenstat explained.

Integration plans still unclear

Ajenstat wouldn’t comment on when the Tableau acquisition will result in Empirical’s software becoming available in Tableau’s platform, or whether customers will have to pay extra for the technology.

[embedded content]

Empirical CEO Richard Tibbetts on its automated data
modeling technology.

“Whether it’s an add-on or how it’s integrated, it’s too soon to talk about that,” he said.

However, he added that the Empirical engine will likely be “a foundational element” in Tableau, at least partially running behind the scenes, with a goal that “a lot of different things in Tableau will get smarter.”

Unlike some predictive algorithms that require large stores of data to function properly, Empirical’s software works with “data of all sizes, both large and small,” Ajenstat said. When integration does eventually begin to happen, Ajenstat said Tableau hopes to be able to better help users identify trends and outliers in data sets and point them toward factors they could drill into more quickly.

Augmented analytics trending

Tableau’s move around augmented analytics is in line with what Gartner pointed to as a key emerging technology in its 2018 Magic Quadrant report on BI and analytics platforms.

Various vendors are embedding machine learning tools into their software to aid with data preparation and modeling and with insight generation, according to Gartner. The consulting and market research firm said the augmented approach “has the potential to help users find the most important insights more quickly, particularly as data complexity grows.”

Such capabilities have yet to become mainstream product requirements for BI software buyers, Gartner said in the February 2018 report. But they are “a proof point for customers that vendors are innovating at a rapid pace,” it added.

The eight-person team from Empirical Systems will continue to work on the software after the Tableau acquisition. Tableau, which didn’t disclose the purchase price, also plans to create a research and development center in Cambridge.

Senior executive editor Craig Stedman contributed to this story.

LiveAction buys Savvius to combine packet monitoring and NPM

LiveAction has acquired Savvius and plans to combine its packet monitoring software with LiveAction’s technology for measuring network performance.

LiveAction announced the acquisition this week, but it did not release financial terms. The vendor said it would use Savvius’ products to broaden LiveAction’s offerings for enterprise networks.

“LiveAction and Savvius will deliver a powerful set of capabilities in a single platform that will simplify our customers’ ability to manage their networks, while preparing for the ever-greater demands of software-defined infrastructure,” Brooks Borcherding, CEO at LiveAction, based in Palo Alto, Calif., said in a statement.

Buying Savvius will make it possible for LiveAction to combine two types of products many network operators typically buy from separate vendors, said Shamus McGillicuddy, an analyst at Enterprise Management Associates, based in Boulder, Colo. Engineers often use a network performance monitor to spot problems and then switch to a packet monitoring product to perform in-depth analyses to pinpoint causes.

“A combined solution can deliver a lot of value,” McGillicuddy said. “Having flow and packet monitoring side by side in one console will be very valuable to LiveAction users.”

The majority of network managers use more than four separate tools to monitor and troubleshoot networks, McGillicuddy said. “This means that they spend a lot of time going from one tool to the next, trying to piece together answers.”

Flow monitoring — the core feature in LiveAction — refers to tools that tap into the NetFlow data collection component built into routers and switches from Cisco and other manufacturers. The software uses the data to determine packet loss and delay and round-trip time, while also showing network administrators how well the network is delivering applications and services.

LiveAction is known for premium pricing

LiveAction analyzes NetFlow records and also sells a module called LiveSensor, which provides packet analysis and performance metrics for network components without the data collection feature. In July, LiveAction launched machine-learning-driven analytics and expanded its device support to 107 networking vendors.

The company’s annual revenue from its network performance monitoring products is between $11 million and $25 million, Gartner reported in its February Magic Quadrant report on the NPM market. The report pointed out that LiveAction mostly focuses on Cisco infrastructure and “is frequently cited by end users as offering a premium-priced solution.”

Formerly called WildPackets, Savvius, based in Walnut Creek, Calif., had embarked on a channel turnaround after being primarily a direct seller for more than 25 years. The vendor had set a goal of generating up to 95% of its revenue from channel partners by the end of the third quarter of 2018. LiveAction sales are mostly through channel partners.

Companies use Savvius packet monitoring for more than break-fix scenarios, according to the company. Its technology is also used to bolster security investigations. As a result, the company has linked its products to security offerings from Cisco, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks.

Box workflow gets upgrade with Progressly purchase

Box last week acquired workflow software company Progressly for an undisclosed amount, with the hopes of upgrading its own core workflow and automation to better suit its customers.

The acquisition of Progressly is an interesting one for document management company Box, as it just last year released Relay, a product it developed in partnership with IBM that is also meant to help companies with workflow management. The idea behind the Progressly purchase, according to analysts, is to beef up the Box workflow capabilities.

“While Box and IBM have been talking about Relay for years, I have not seen much traction of it in the industry,” said Alan Lepofsky, a principal analyst at Constellation Research Inc. “I think it will be good for Box to expand the capabilities of their own native workflow engine, increasing the number of triggers and actions that can occur both inside Box, as well as becoming an engine for processes within other tools.”

The importance of workflow automation for companies can’t be understated. Between onboarding, contract management and other business necessities, a company can save a lot of time and money with a capable automation process.

While the Box workflow capabilities were there, they were described as “rudimentary” by Holly Muscolino, a research vice president at IDC.

“The way [Box] is positioning it is that the software from Progressly, or at least the team at Progressly, will develop software that will go into the core Box product,” Muscolino said. “They have a rudimentary workflow in Box, but this will enhance that.”

Box also has partnerships established with other business process companies, like Nintex and Pega.  Muscolino said she sees this acquisition as potentially adding triggers to get partner processes automated within Box.

And improving the Box workflow capabilities is not expected to lead to a new product, according to Lepofsky, but rather enhance the existing features within Box.

Native workflow inside Box should be considered more of a feature and not an additional monetary channel.
Alan Lepofskyprincipal analyst, Constellation Research Inc.

“Native workflow inside Box should be considered more of a feature and not an additional monetary channel,” Lepofsky said.

Lepofsky added that customers can find more automation capabilities within competitors, like Microsoft OneDrive and Flow. And by beefing up the workflow with the Box acquisition of Progressly, the company is trying to better challenge the other players in the market.

“I think the driving factor was customer need,” Lepofsky said. “The opportunity to help automate content-centric workflows is a big step in helping people get their jobs done.”

While improving the Box workflow features seemed to be the main reason for the Progressly purchase, Box’s chief product officer, Jeetu Patel, also made it clear that the small team of 12 at Progressly was a factor in the acquisition, calling the team in a blog post a “group of highly talented individuals that have created a world-class product with a vision that is directly aligned with the team here at Box.”

Patel added that the Progressly team will “allow us to play a bigger role in how Box customers digitize and automate business processes.”

The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Arcserve Unified Data Protection cuts downtime for cloud DR

Arcserve has turned technology acquired from Zetta into what it calls “near-zero downtime” cloud disaster recovery.

More specifically, Arcserve claims it can deliver a five-minute recovery time objective and 15-minute recovery point objective for data, systems and applications protected with the Arcserve Unified Data Protection Cloud Direct.

Arcserve acquired cloud DR vendor Zetta in July 2017, giving it direct-to-cloud disaster recovery and backup technology.

Arcserve Unified Data Protection Cloud Direct is designed for medium and enterprise-level companies looking for disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) or backup as a service (BaaS) with stringent service-level agreements.

“The midmarket has the same requirements as the enterprise — the need to get data back in a matter of minutes,” said Christophe Bertrand, Arcserve’s vice president of product marketing. “What is new is the ability to synchronize data every 15 minutes. No one else can do this directly to the cloud.”

Arcserve Unified Data Protection Cloud Direct provides orchestration and failback by initiating recovery by using a sequence of predetermined events with incremental failback, allowing users to continue to run systems in the cloud while managing the sequential failback in the background.

Arcserve, which spun out of CA Technologies in 2014, acquired Zetta to integrate the technology into its flagship Arcserve Unified Data Protection (UDP) platform. The Zetta technology provides BaaS and DRaaS for virtual and physical environments. Arcserve has phased out the Zetta brand.

The midmarket has the same requirements as the enterprise — the need to get data back in a matter of minutes.
Christophe Bertrandvice president of product marketing, Arcserve

“We did this in five months,” Bertrand said of the Zetta integration. “Now we provide the ability to significantly mitigate the impact of an event. And we are going to add capabilities that will make the gap shorter and shorter. This is designed for the midmarket and decentralized enterprise.”

Phil Goodwin, research director for IDC’s storage systems and software practice, said his research shows that the data protection market is growing at 5.4% a year and the DRaaS market is growing by more than 20% per year.

Goodwin said Arcserve “is targeting the fastest area of the data protection market. But this is a fast-growing and extremely competitive market. To the extent that Arcserve can attract partners like cloud service providers, that will be the key to success.”

Edwin Yuen, cloud systems analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said Arcserve is targeting medium-sized businesses and enterprises with remote locations that need a quick cloud on-ramp without on-premises hardware.

“They really understand that market,” Yuen said of Arcserve.

Veeam acquisition of N2WS enhances cloud protection

Eight months after investing in N2WS, Veeam Software today said it acquired the cloud data protection company for $42.5 million.

The all-cash Veeam acquisition is the backup and recovery vendor’s first in 10 years. N2WS provides cloud-native, enterprise backup and disaster recovery for Amazon Web Services (AWS) through its Cloud Protection Manager.

N2WS was founded in 2012 and released its first product in 2013. It will operate as a stand-alone business, keeping its brand name and becoming “A Veeam Company” while selling Cloud Protection Manager.

Veeam disclosed its investment in N2WS in May 2017, and began selling N2WS technology through an OEM deal as part of Veeam Availability for AWS. Peter McKay, Veeam co-CEO and president, said the investment and partnership allowed his company to monitor the N2WS business, use its technology and accelerate Veeam’s AWS capabilities.

Cloud Protection Manager is built specifically for AWS and automates backup and recovery for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud instances. It is available in the AWS Marketplace.

“Technology wise, it’s a good addition to the portfolio,” McKay said.

Cloud-native data protection is seeing high growth, said Phil Goodwin, research director of storage systems and software at IDC.

“This puts them square in the middle of that marketplace,” Goodwin said.

The challenge with a company specifically targeted for AWS data protection is that organizations are going to have workloads in multiple clouds and on premises.

“I think they intend to address it,” Goodwin said of Veeam’s answer to the challenge.

The sky’s the limit

Both companies reported significant growth in the last year. N2WS grew revenue by 102% in 2017. Veeam hit $827 million in total bookings revenue in 2017, an increase of 36% year over year, and claims more than 282,000 customers.

Veeam's Peter McKayPeter McKay

Veeam was founded in 2006 as a virtual backup company, but has since added physical and cloud protection.

Investing in and then buying N2WS helped alleviate any concerns with the Veeam acquisition, McKay said. N2WS, which was privately held before the acquisition, now has more than 1,000 customers.

“I think we’ve de-risked it quite a bit,” McKay said.

Veeam’s investment helped N2WS build up its team last year. The company had seven employees at the beginning of 2017 and now has 42, N2WS CEO Jason Judge said.

Veeam funded N2WS through a round led by Insight Venture Partners, which is a large investor in Veeam. The companies did not disclose the amount invested in N2WS.

As part of the Veeam acquisition:

  • Veeam will have access to N2WS technology and research and development to integrate data protection for AWS workloads into the Veeam Availability Platform.
  • N2WS will have access to Veeam’s research and development and its alliances and partners, including nearly 55,000 resellers and 18,000 Veeam Cloud & Service Providers. 
  • Current Veeam customers will receive special offers and incentives for Cloud Protection Manager from N2WS.

The R&D teams will be working together on bigger things.
Ezra Charmvice president of marketing, N2WS

“The R&D teams will be working together on bigger things,” said Ezra Charm, N2WS vice president of marketing.

There is some overlap in customers, but N2WS is focused solely on AWS protection, Charm said. He said the deal presents an opportunity for N2WS to sell to Veeam customers who don’t know the company and those who don’t yet use AWS.

“We have a lot more resources available to us as part of Veeam,” and can accelerate development, Charm said.

Lofty goals for Veeam and N2WS

The typical backup and recovery customer is evolving to think more cloud-first, McKay said.

The acquisition helps Veeam as its cloud business and enterprise base are both growing. Veeam reported a year-over-year increase of 57% in cloud bookings for the fourth quarter. The vendor attained a 62% year-over-year increase in large enterprise deals, and reached 500% annual growth for deals over $1 million, according to its latest revenue report.

McKay said in 2017 that he didn’t feel acquisitions were needed for Veeam revenue to hit $1.5 billion by 2020. But the Veeam acquisition only helps the revenue goals, which now include a push to get to $2.2 billion by 2022, McKay said.

Veeam last acquired a company in 2008, when it bought privately held Nworks, a creator of enterprise management connectors.

McKay said there was a time when Veeam was possibly growing too fast, and a lot of employees were stretched trying to do too much. In the last 18 months, though, the company has added employees from outside and developed teams internally. The company has 3,100 employees and will likely add 700 in the next year, including 230 in research and development, McKay said.

N2WS plans to add employees as well, across its three offices: its headquarters in West Palm Beach, Fla.; its research and development center in Haifa, Israel; and its new office in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Veeam acquisition closed at the end of 2017. Judge will continue to lead N2WS as its CEO and all teams including sales, marketing, research and development, and customer service will stay intact, according to Veeam.

N2WS and Veeam are well-positioned to take advantage of the growing infrastructure-as-a-service market, Charm said.

“It’s really the new hotness in IT,” Charm said. “It’s changing the way people are talking about IT and infrastructure.”

Salesforce Quip gets a facelift

SAN FRANCISCO — Salesforce launched a major overhaul of the Quip collaboration tool it acquired in July 2016….

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The core concept behind the new version is organizing everything related to a project in one tab.

This, Salesforce hopes, can reduce the friction associated with clicking through different browser tabs associated with email, chat, cloud storage, shared spreadsheets and other Salesforce apps a company may have integrated into its CRM platform

First launched in 2013, Salesforce Quip enables users to collaboratively chat and work on shared documents and spreadsheets. Salesforce calls the latest update, announced at the annual Dreamforce user conference, the Salesforce Quip Collaboration Platform. It enables users to bring a wide variety of live applications onto a single canvas.

A project manager can customize the widgets associated with a project and provide team members with the permissions required to make changes. All the updates to this page can be automatically reflected in the appropriate Salesforce database in an auditable and, if necessary, reversible manner.

Focus on a single canvas

Collaborative interfaces are certainly not new, but the team behind Quip has a lot of experience in launching some of the most successful apps on the web, including Google Maps, FriendFeed and the Google App Engine.

The team leveraged this experience to create a core set of Quip widgets called Live Apps, as well as an API that enables third-party developers to add new widgets to the platform. The individual apps were developed by DocuSign, Lucidchart, New Relic Inc., Altify and others. Now that the platform is live, more apps are expected to be developed. Current Salesforce apps include Salesforce records, calendars, Kanban boards, shared documents and chat.

View of Quip dashboard and examples of mobile layout
A screenshot of the Salesforce Quip dashboard and mobile features

The Altify app enables teams to include a widget to map out the relationships inside a customer opportunity. The New Relic app enables a marketing team to track website performance during big events, like Black Friday sales, so that the sales and engineering teams can collaboratively make changes during the campaigns.

A project manager can also create a Quip workbook that best matches their team’s process. A single workbook can include a marketing budget, marketing goals and marketing documents, all in one place.

Collaborating on a better film

Salesforce Quip is used by 29,000 employees at 21st Century Fox Inc. to manage film production, sales and marketing. Creatives use it to track scripts or call sheets associated with TV and movie productions. All changes are made to a document of record in one place so that everyone is working on the same version. This reduces the burden of trying to weave changes made to different versions of a document into the master.

What’s particularly intriguing is the level of granularity with which participants can reference data in the apps. For example, 21th Century Fox producers use Quip for reviewing film dailies, and they can tie a chat to an arrow pointing to a specific object in a video frame. This saves them time because everyone involved can look at the exact video frame in the footage without having to open another window and manually look for it.

Creating a new experience layer to drive process

Salesforce Quip represents an example of driving better workflow by improving the user experience layer.

Twenty years ago, enterprises talked about process. Now, we have moved to engagement. If I create the right engagement mechanism, the process is a byproduct of that.
Paul Gaynorpartner, PricewaterhouseCoopers

headshot of Paul GaynorPaul Gaynor

“The experience could be a customer, employee or partner experience,” said Paul Gaynor, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC, at Dreamforce. “A focus on the experience layer allows enterprises not to focus so much on the process, [but on] how to bring about engagement. Twenty years ago, enterprises talked about process. Now, we have moved to engagement. If I create the right engagement mechanism, the process is a byproduct of that.”

The key is to hide the complexity from users.

“Behind the scenes, we want to apply AI, machine learning and the capability to bring multiple data repositories together, either in the public or private cloud, and have them merge,” Gaynor said. “If I create the right enablement, then the process naturally follows.”

Turning business into a team sport

“Complex enterprise selling is a team sport,” said Anthony Reynolds, CEO of Altify, referring to the difficulty of a company selling its products or services to large organizations.

It’s too easy for teams on all kinds of projects to get bogged down in the minutia and friction of moving between different apps. The promise of Quip is to make any enterprise process a team sport. The idea of a team sitting around a single screen related to a campaign sounds a lot more exciting than separate individuals trying to keep up with a flurry of emails, chats and various app notifications.

Leading sales organizations are starting to adopt a more collaborative approach to selling to larger customers. Account-based marking (ABM) has emerged as a way of customizing the marketing message to address the unique needs of all the stakeholders in a target opportunity. But this requires a high level of collaboration between all the employees involved in customizing the marketing communication and sales strategy for the target customer.

headshot of Anthony ReynoldsAnthony Reynolds

“A company can’t really be successful with their ABM strategy unless it is tightly coupled with an account-based selling strategy,” Reynolds explained. “Account-based marketing starts with [a] better understanding of a company’s unique needs to enable a custom engagement. Altify allows an organization to cleanly execute the handoff from marketing to sales teams so they can effectively position value, connect to power and get a deal done.”

Salesforce Quip is still in its early phases compared to traditional communication channels, like email and chat. Reynolds estimates that about 10% of Altify’s customers are using Quip today, while another 25% are exploring it.

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