CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 4 July 2019

All the latest martech and adtech news from HCL, Brandwatch, CAKE, Contentsquare, Clicktail, IVE Group, Livetiles, Blackwood Seven, Vonage and Automation Anywhere.

HCL Technologies acquires of select IBM products

Global technology company, HCL Technologies, has closed its acquisition of select IBM products for security, marketing, commerce and digital solutions.

Under the deal, HCL takes full ownership of the research and development, sales, marketing, delivery and support for AppScan, BigFix, Commerce, Connections, Digital Experience (Portal and Content Manager), Notes Domino and Unica products.

HCL has also unveiled a new division and brand, HCL Software, to operate this enterprise software product business.

“We are excited for the next phase of the HCL Software Business Unit and are confident that these products will see good growth trajectory backed by our commitment to invest in product innovation coupled with our strong client focus and agile product development,” said president and CEO of HCL Technologies, C Vijayakumar.

“In addition, we see tremendous potential for creating compelling ‘as-a-service’ offerings by combining these products with our traditional IT and next gen services.”

Some IBM employees will be joining HCL Technologies. Read more about the reasons for the acquisition here.

Constellation acquires CAKE

Global performance marketing software provider, CAKE, has been acquired by Constellation Software, an international provider of software and services.

The acquisition investment furthers CAKE’s innovation in performance marketing software and solutions for affiliate marketing, lead generation, and multichannel marketing; and reinforces the company’s commitment to customer support, providing performance marketers, advertisers and publishers with new opportunities to increase margin. Financial terms were not disclosed.

CAKE plans to leverage the investment by Constellation to build out its product roadmap and go-to-market execution. Key areas of investments include CAKE’s infrastructure, support mechanisms and engineering.

Contentsquare acquires Clicktale

Also on the acquisition trail this past week was Contentsquare, a digital experience insights platform, which purchased Israel-based experience analytics company, Clicktale, another digital experience platform. The latter’s client list includes Dell, RBS and T-Mobile.

The combined entity serves 600 enterprise clients around the world, including 30 per cent of the Fortune Global 100, showing strong market presence in the US, Europe and Asia, and a global community of 12,000 users comprised of analytics, e-commerce, e-merchandising, content, marketing, UX and IT professionals. Financial terms of the deal were not revealed.

Contentsquare also recently acquired Pricing Assistant, a pricing optimisation and merchandising solution. The two new assets will now be united. Fuelling Contentsquare's strategy is US$42 million in investment secured last year.

“The combination of Clicktale and Contentsquare heralds an unprecedented goldmine of digital data that enables companies to interpret and predict the impact of any digital element - including user experience, content, price, reviews and product - on visitor behaviour,” said Contentsquare founder and CEO, Jonathan Cherki.

“Increasingly, this unique data can be used to activate custom digital experiences in the moment via an ecosystem of over 50 martech partners. With a global community of customers and partners, we are accelerating the interpretation of human behaviour online and shaping a future of addictive customer experiences.”

IVE Group expands into eCommerce

After a successful pilot, IVE Group has launched a new ecommerce platform, Nexus, to expand its retail offering.

IVE’s platform transforms traditionally printed materials, such as catalogues and brochures, into interactive shoppable experiences. These can be accessed through Web, mobile, email, and social channels regardless of the device. Nexus allows people to purchase products from online catalogues or brochures with one simple click-to-cart.

The platform has embedded video and live enquiry capabilities that cater to the travel, real estate and financial sectors.

The launch of Nexus comes on the back of a successful four-month trial, the company said, with a large Australian retailer. Online catalogue views, once converted to ecommerce catalogues, more than doubled to 117 per cent and page views increased by 125 per cent.

Brandwatch introduces Digital Consumer Intelligence

Digital consumer intelligence company, Brandwatch, has introduced a new market category it hopes will transform the $40 billion market research industry.

Digital Consumer Intelligence is a new market category where vendors, brands and agencies combine digital, survey, social and first-party data sources with data science and artificial intelligence (AI). By harnessing modern technologies, Digital Consumer Intelligence strives to help brands bring the voice of the consumer into their decision making at speed and scale so that their products, services and business strategies can better compete in the digital era.

This latest move from Brandwatch is the culmination of its recent merger and acquisition strategy, which saw it acquire research startup, Qriously, in March and merge with Crimson Hexagon, last October.

The Brandwatch Consumer Research platform launches in the coming months and will provide a marriage between Crimson Hexagon's AI-driven tech, which analyses unprompted social posts, and Qriously's global reach for real-time, prompted digital survey responses.

LiveTiles is all Smiles

Australian software company, LiveTiles, has taken the wrappers off its intelligent corporate wellness solution, LiveSmiles, in collaboration with global launch partner, Microsoft.

LiveSmiles is a customisable out-of-the-box wellness solution incorporating LiveTiles Design, LiveTiles Intelligence, LiveTiles Bots and Hyperfish. It’s now officially available to all LiveTiles customers and was created as part of the company's commitment to driving social impact and wellness within the workplace.

It will incorporate key features such as an artificial intelligence-powered Bot Assistant, data analytics and insights, as well as real-time recommendations to managers on how to improve engagement and understanding of wellness of employees. 

Blackwood Seven launches in Australia

Blackwood Seven, a media analytics platform, has launched in Australia.

Using artificial intelligence and big data, the solution aims to give clients the ability to predict, execute and evaluate the real business outcomes of their media investments across all traditional and digital channels. 

The platform allows businesses to measure the direct impact that media had on their bottom line, but it is also able to predict that impact in a future buy. 

Founded in Copenhagen in 2013 by a group of former marketing and technology industry CEOs, Blackwood Seven has grown into a global company with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Munich and Barcelona. 

Taking historical, company-specific media performance data, the tool uses machine learning and other big data sources to measure the impact of media spend on a specific goal, like sales performance.

Blackwood Seven can also be used to predict the impact of product pricing, competitor activity, seasonal changes and macroeconomic trends on a business’ specific goals.   

Vonage announces partnership with Sendinblue

Vonage, a global business cloud communications business, has partnered with Sendinblue, a provider of cloud-based email marketing and marketing automation technology. 

With this partnership, Vonage will deliver email communications offerings to customers via Nexmo, its API Platform. Nexmo is also now the sole SMS provider for Sendinblue.

Through the partnership, Vonage said it’s expanding its API portfolio to include email capabilities, strengthening its position as an all-in-one platform for programmable business communications. With Nexmo APIs, businesses can extend their reach and communicate with customers on their preferred channels including email, SMS, OTT, chat, video and voice.

Sendinblue aims to assist companies ensure marketing and sales tools are compatible with GDPR, including customer relationship management (CRM) software, Facebook ads, retargeting display ads, live chat and collaborative mailboxes for teams.

Qualtrics debuts new survey programming capabilities

Qualtrics has added API-driven survey programming capabilities to Qualtrics Research Core.

The new capabilities allow insights professionals and research agencies to automate the creation and launch of complicated research projects. Qualtrics Research Core, built on the Qualtrics XM Platform, is used by insights professionals across enterprises, agencies, and academic institutions. APIs allow users to code complicated surveys and control the questions, logic, quotas, branding and other aspects of the survey design. Qualtrics users can accomplish this by calling the APIs in any mainstream programming language of their choice, such as Python, Java and Node JS.

The Survey Management APIs are built on modern cloud-based features such as OAUTH authentication, JSON payloads and RESTful design. These APIs augment the growing list of developer-friendly APIs launched by Qualtrics for automating users, contacts, mailing lists, responses and other aspects of research workflow management.

Automation Anywhere announces strategic collaboration with Microsoft

Automation Anywhere, a leader in robotic process automation (RPA), announced a strategic collaboration with Microsoft to help enterprises of all sizes improve business processes through automation.

Customers will now be able to access Automation Anywhere bots from Microsoft Azure to help manage large, unstructured datasets, decrease time-to-market, and lower operating costs. The expanded relationship is anchored in a strategic product collaboration leveraging Automation Anywhere’s RPA platform and Azure that will enable joint product integration, co-selling and joint marketing between the two companies.

A multi-million-dollar investment by Automation Anywhere will help to advance the adoption of RPA and provide a scalable, secure and reliable way to manage customer migrations to the cloud for companies globally.

Automation Anywhere has also selected Azure as its preferred cloud provider enabling mutual customers to have access to automation technology from anywhere, at any time and for any user. Organisations can host Automation Anywhere’s RPA platform on Azure, on-premises, in a public or private cloud to help drive productivity, increase innovation and boost ROI. 

This collaboration will also enable mutual customers to: Leverage software bots to automate complex business processes; leverage the Automation Anywhere Bot Store ; access Automation Anywhere products on the Azure Marketplace beginning next quarter; and deploy Automation Anywhere’s Express Install feature.

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