CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 25 July 2019

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Salesforce, Alibaba, Smart Communications, Intelledox, Contentserv, Vendasta, Tapad, AdsWizz, IBM, Acquia, Signal and Sitecore

Salesforce announces partnership with Alibaba

Salesforce has announced a strategic partnership with Chinese ecommerce giant, Alibaba.

Alibaba will become the exclusive provider of Salesforce to customers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, and Salesforce will become the exclusive enterprise CRM product suite sold by Alibaba.

Together, Salesforce and Alibaba will bring Salesforce’s CRM platform — including Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Salesforce Platform — to customers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

It is anticipated Alibaba’s infrastructure and knowledge of these markets will empower global customers with a solution to meet local business needs.

Sitecore ushers in mid-year releases

Sitecore has taken the wrappers off its mid-year Sitecore Experience Platform and Content Hub software offerings, along with updates to its managed cloud solutions.

The digital platform vendor said enhancements included in version 9.2 of Sitecore Experience Platform and version 3.2 of Sitecore Content Hub are aimed at simplifying the way marketing teams plan, create, publish and deliver personalised and consistent experiences through the digital customer journey.

Specifically, updates include full integration of the vendor’s digital asset management tool with Web content management; alignment between Sitecore JavaScript Services and Experience Accelerator, providing a framework for sharing data, content and presentation without having to choose different development approaches; and data purging, allowing users to control data by cleansing, archiving or purging. There’s also active personalisation reporting so users can view running and active personalisation on their sites from one central spot.

Sitecore Managed Cloud has also been updated to include more support capability, support across Sitecore’s experience platforms, application-level and security monitoring, disaster recovery and database backup / restore, and compatibility with on-premise environments. The offering is available via Microsoft’s Azure marketplace and AppSource.  

Smart Communications announces acquisition of Intelledox

Smart Communications, a cloud-based platform for enterprise customer communications, has acquired Intelledox, a global digital transformation software company.

The result aims to empower customers to deliver interactive communications throughout the customer lifecycle, from acquisition to servicing.Financial terms were not disclosed.

Intelledox’s cloud platform connects to any system of record and provides forms, built-in workflow and on-demand customer communications. It is designed to digitally transform traditional forms-based processes into intelligent, conversational user experiences that streamline internal systems, manage risk and reduce demand for support services.

The company has enabled hundreds of enterprise and government organisations and more than 22 million users globally to rapidly transform paper or PDF-based processes into intelligent, data-driven customer experiences. In June, Intelledox completed a record-setting fiscal year, growing more than 50 per cent year-over-year.

Contentserv secures investment

Contentserv, a global Product Experience Platform (PXP), has gained investment from Investcorp Technology Partners, a European middle-market technology investor.

Contentserv’s Product Experience Platform offers a combination of three data management components — Product Information Management (PIM), Master Data Management (MDM) and Marketing Experience Management (MxM) — combined with a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution. This integrated approach aims to allow brands and retailers to control the total product experience by offering rich, relevant and emotional content to consumers across all touchpoints.

“Investcorp´s knowledge of the software space, international presence, and deep understanding of our business will allow Contentserv to accelerate its growth and pace of innovation. We are delighted to have found a partner in Investcorp and look forward to working with them,” CEO of Contentserv, Armin Dressler, said.

The investment will be used to support Contentserv’s expansion and drive its international footprint. Closing of the transaction is subject to customary anti-trust clearance.

Vendasta raises $40 million in growth capital

Vendasta, a cloud commerce platform, has raised US$40 million in growth funding, US$25 million of which was led by the Canadian Business Growth Fund (CBGF).

The cash injection is in addition to an earlier round in May of US$15 million led by Comporium and Saskworks Venture Fund with participation from existing investors Vanedge Capital LP and BDC Capital IT Venture Fund. With these investments, the technology company plans to expand its Canadian Saskatoon-based team from 285 people to 650 in the next three years.

The funds will be used to enhance the Vendasta Platform, including its owned and operated product suite and marketplace of digital solutions. The company will accelerate its expansion into new customer channels such as banks, telcos, insurance companies and other enterprise organisations looking for a scalable technology solution to serve their SMB customers.

Tapad and AdsWizz partner

Tapad, a provider of digital identity resolution, has built joint capability with AdsWizz, a technology provider for digital audio advertising solutions.

The partnership combines Tapad’s digital cross-device technology with AdsWizz’s AudioMatic buying platform, enabling the ability to connect audio ad experiences across screens.

AudioMatic, AdsWizz’s audio-centric buying platform, supports programmatic audio buying and new audio ad experiences for listeners. The integration of The Tapad Graph onto its platform enables new opportunities for marketers to reach, engage and measure each interaction with their desired consumers on digital radio and podcasts channels, and across devices.

The companies said the partnership makes AdsWizz the first audio buying platform to offer this enhanced cross-device identity capability in the US and EMEA markets.

IBM iX named an Acquia Global Select Partner 

Content management system (CMS) provider, Acquia, named IBM iX, a provider of digital marketing services, as a Global Select Partner.

In collaboration with Acquia, IBM iX can leverage the power of one of the industry’s leading cloud and open source digital experience tools to help customers reinvent their businesses and create powerful customer experiences.

Acquia provides IBM iX with the ability to help integrate existing investments for a better customer experience. Combining IBM iX’s digital transformation knowledge with Acquia’s expanded AI platform and capabilities for personalisation and journey orchestration, brands can help develop stronger connections with their audiences and build value in their brands.

Signal launches real-time data onboarding and identity resolution

Signal, a provider of customer data onboarding and identity resolution, has debuted a digital marketing platform capable of performing data onboarding and onsite identity resolution in real time.

The new capabilities aim to enable marketers to activate individually relevant marketing at critical moments in response to customer signals. 

Free from the delays inherent in legacy batch onboarding, marketers can now carry on natural, two-way conversations that reflect each consumer’s interests, habits and history with the brand. Signal’s real-time capabilities also significantly reduce wasted ad spend through use cases such as quick and easy suppression of media to audience members who don’t qualify for a campaign or previously converted.

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