Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
Genesys acquires Interactive Intelligence
Customer experience management vendor, Genesys, is acquiring rival player, Interactive Intelligence, in a deal worth approximately US$1.4 billion.
In a statement, Genesys said the transaction will give it the ability to provide a broad base of customer experience solutions for organisations of all sizes, powering customer experiences at scale, anytime and anywhere, over any channel, and in the cloud as well as via on-premise.
Under the terms of the combined cash and debt financing agreement, Interactive Intelligence shareholders are receiving US$60.50 per share in cash, a 36 per cent premium on its closing price on 28 July, prior to news of the acquisition. The deal is due to close by the end of 2016, subject to closing conditions and approval.
“This is a milestone transaction that combines industry-leading expertise and capabilities to enable lasting customer relationships, accelerate innovation and drive growth,” Genesys CEO,Paul Segre, said.
Both players offer contact centre and customer experience management solutions. Genesys, which has been around since 1990 and was spun out of Alcatel-Lucent into private equity hands in 2012, has about 4700 customers globally. In comparison, 22-year-old Interactive has about 6000 customers worldwide.
“We will significantly invest across the entire Interactive Intelligence product portfolio to support the continued momentum of Purecloud, Cloud communications-as-a-service [CaaS] and Customer Interaction Centre (CIC), in addition to the rich portfolio of products offered by Genesys today,” Segre said. “We are excited to work with the Interactive Intelligence team to deliver even greater innovation and value to our global customers and partners.”
Interactive Intelligence chairman, president and CEO, Dr Don Brown, who owns 17 per cent of the vendor, has already flagged his approval of the deal.
“I am confident that our agreement with Genesys, which follows a careful evaluation of strategic alternatives, provides Interactive Intelligence shareholders with immediate and significant value, and will deliver meaningful benefits to our customers, partners and employees,” he added.
FunnelCake announces marketing ops system for B2B
New martech player, FunnelCake, is promising B2B marketers an end-to-end view of revenue conversion and campaign performance with its first Marketing Operations System.
The platform is based on big data and machine learning capabilities from Microsoft Azure’s Cortana Intelligence suite, and provides actionable reports and a visualisation dashboard to analyse marketing return on investment by connecting data across core systems such as Salesforce and Marketo.
Aimed at B2B, it comes with pre-configured reports for revenue-based performance metrics, such as cost per lead, cost of customer acquisition, lead velocity and full-funnel conversion rates. This is done by identifying common personas, linking these to offline and online campaigns, content and sales activities, and then in turn connecting those activities to the full funnel.
“FunnelCake is based on my experience leading marketing operations for a SaaS company where reporting on performance required massive spreadsheets and dozens of hours,” said Marko Savic, CEO and co-founder of FunnelCake.
FunnelCake is now available for pilot trials and has been integrated with Salesforce CRM and Pardot, Oracle Eloqua, Marketo, HubSpot Automation and CRM. It’s expected to be generally available in Q4, 2016.
Apigee creates APIs for digital commerce
Apigee has taken the wrappers off Apigee Commerce APIx, a suite of open source, digital commerce APIs and purpose-built developer portal aimed at ecommerce players.
The new offering is based on the vendor’s API management platform, Apigee Edge, and provides a commerce-specific developer portal with API documentation and tools, plus a collection of pre-configured API proxies for commerce APIs supporting core retail functions, such as authentication, product, collection search and cart as well as engagement actions such as promotions, recommendations and personalised product search.
The vendor said the APIs can also be used on mobile apps, Web apps and other APIs.
“Our Commerce APIx solution provides a head start for companies looking to expand, build or accelerate their e-commerce initiatives,” Apigee CMO and vice-president, solutions, Anurag Wadehra, said.
“In every industry, there are APIs that are proving to have real business impact – and Apigee Commerce APIx delivers the core set of APIs that we believe can help companies quickly build modern, cross-channel commerce applications.”
MaxPoint offers up real-time CRM activation
A new software-as-a-service product has been launched by MaxPoint aimed at matching, enriching and activating CRM lists across the digital marketing stack.
The new Customer Catalyst product links physical addresses to digital audiences in order to connect every device in a household to its CRM record. It does this by matching permission-based customer lists to multiple digital identifiers at a household level. MaxPoint claims to have seen match rates 2 to 3 times above prior experiences in early test.
The vendor claims it also enhances what companies know about their customers by pulling real-time purchase intent and location history into each customer’s profile, information that’s dynamically updated. Marketers can then segment and choose the audiences best suited for marketing efforts and activate these.
“We continue to develop our location technology to focus on household-level data and to make that data easily accessible to and actionable for marketers,” said MaxPoint CEO, Joe Epperson. “With Customer Catalys,t, we have reimagined the standard CRM marketing model, demonstrating our commitment to inspiring transformational changes in how our clients go to market.”
Emarsys and Antavo join forces on loyalty
Emarsys has partnered with gamified ecommerce rewards program provider, Antavo, to bring more customer loyalty capabilities into its marketing cloud platform users.
Antavo is a UK-based company that has developed a SaaS solution for gamified ecommerce rewards programs. Under the partnership, Emarsys clients can now use these capabilities in their online stores to improve lifetime value and repeat purchasing by rewarding behaviours and engagement.
Emarsys said the easy set-up of Antavo’s platforms, along with the fact that these loyalty programs can be run automatically, were key reasons for the partnership.
“We are excited to welcome Antavo as our first customer loyalty partner. This is indicative of the commitment we have to customer retention,” said Emarsys business unit manager, Adi Topaz. “Antavo’s unique approach to customer loyalty has proven success, and we feel that they will make a significant difference to our ecommerce clients.”
Integral Ad Science and Nativo partner on native ad viewability
Ad tech player, Integral Ad Science, has joined forces with Nativo to align their viewability measurements of native inventory.
Nativo provides a native and content advertising automation platform. Unlike standard ad units, native ads are usually created, rendered and controlled by the native technology provider, and are also of different shapes and sizes, making it a challenge for third-party verification technologies to measure their impact.
Under their partnership, Integral Ad Science and Nativo are looking to bring more accurate measurement of native inventory. The pair are aligned on viewability measurement across Nativo’s private exchange, the Nativo has also joined the IAS Certified Viewability partner program.
"IAS has been a trusted partner of our advertising clients for a long time, and Nativo was the first native provider to bring the Viewable cost per thousand metric to market, so we were pleased to collaborate to ensure IAS technology and measurement methodology for native ad placements could be confidently leveraged to transact on viewability," said Nativo’s senior vice-president of strategy and operation, Chris Rooke.
"By working with IAS to validate viewability measurement across our marketplace, and joining IAS's Certified Viewability Partner Program, Nativo managed service campaigns will now officially accept advertiser requests to transact on IAS verified viewability numbers."
TapInfluence partners with PowerTV
Influencer marketing platform, TapInfluence, has struck up a partnership with PowerTV, YouTube’s fast-growing network, to grow its gaming influencer marketplace.
The partnership will see gaming creators from the PowerTV network, which has nearly 3 billion annual video views and 10 million subscriptions, available to TapInfluencer’s customers via its marketplace.
“We’re thrilled PowerTV is rapidly on-boarding its tier-one gamers to the TapInfluence marketplace,” said the vendor’s director of influencer development, Julianna Vorhaus. “Gaming is a very competitive industry and enabling brands and agencies to access these unique influencers both provides the influencers with more opportunities, and makes our marketplace an even more complete destination in the market, easing marketers’ burdens of working with multiple providers or wasting valuable time on manual influencer discovery.”
Jivox claims first platform for dynamically personalised video ads
Digital advertising platform provider, Jivox, has introduced new capabilities aimed at helping brand marketers build and deliver personalised video ad campaigns.
The Jivox IQ platform can be used to create hundreds of thousands of dynamically generated creative variations without having to custom code production methods. This is aimed at helping marketers conduct personalised video advertising at scale and through a single self-service user interface.
Key features include dynamic intra-video elements based on image, text and video combinations, auto-play option for dynamic video on mobile, support for dynamic out-stream video ads and video overlays.
“Video has long been a favourite format of advertisers. With the emergence of modern technology and greater data availability, however, brand marketers can finally do what TV has never been able to – add a personal touch,” claimed Diaz Nesamoney, CEO of Jivox. “Instead of delivering the same video ad to each viewer, marketers now have the power to deliver video campaigns every bit as personalised as their display ad counterparts – and with equal ability to exponentially increase user engagement and improve campaign performance.”
Flipboard launched premium private marketplace
Mobile content aggregation platform, Flipboard, is making its ad inventory available to real-time buying through a new invite-only Private marketplace powered by Rubicon Project.
The new partnership will allow existing clients to buy Flipboard’s mobile ad inventory through Rubicon’s guaranteed orders and private marketplace platforms, and makes the app’s 90 million monthly active users available programmatically for the first time.
Flipboard allows users to save stories, images and videos in an app-based magazine which can be shared with friends and colleagues.
“Our advertising partners have told us they want to be able to buy our unique inventory in both a direct and automated way. We developed our private marketplace to fit our premium advertisers’ unique needs for a high-quality environment and support for impactful mobile ad formats,” said Mike McCue, founder and CEO of Flipboard.