CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 22 August 2019

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Salesforce, Adobe, Focusvision, Google, Openprise, Simon Data, Cere Network and CtrlShift.

Salesforce to acquire ClickSoftware for US$1.35 billion

Salesforce has signed a definitive agreement to acquire ClickSoftware, a provider of field service management solutions.

The vendor said the addition of ClickSoftware is about enhancing Salesforce Service Cloud’s leadership, empowering service employees from the contact centre to the field to deliver more connected, intelligent customer service.

ClickSoftware enables companies to schedule and optimise field service work. Salesforce Field Service Lightning, built on Service Cloud, empowers companies to connect their entire service workforce on a single, centralised platform. With the combined capabilities of Field Service Lightning and ClickSoftware, Salesforce will be positioned to lead the way to the future of field service.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Salesforce will acquire ClickSoftware for approximately US$1.35 billion, net of the value of shares currently owned by Salesforce, after taking into consideration estimated purchase price adjustments. The purchase price will comprise a mix of cash and Salesforce common stock and includes the assumption of outstanding equity awards held by ClickSoftware employees.

As customer service continues to evolve, Salesforce said the acquisition of ClickSoftware will create strategic synergies, technological unity and new innovation opportunities for Salesforce to better meet the needs of existing and new customers around the world by providing one seamless field service solution. The acquisition is expected to close during Salesforce’s fiscal quarter ending 31 October, subject to customary closing conditions.

“Delivering exceptional field service is an increasingly important priority for companies across industries with more than 70 per cent of customer service leaders making significant investments to transform their mobile workforce,” said Salesforce EVP and GM of Service Cloud, Bill Patterson. “Our acquisition of ClickSoftware will not only accelerate the growth of Service Cloud, but drive further innovation with Field Service Lightning to better meet the needs of our customers."

Adobe launches AR tools 

Adobe has launched two new no-code tools that will allow enterprises across industries to bring creations from Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign to life via augmented reality.

These accessible AR platforms aims to help enterprises that can’t afford to code their own images. The first of these tools, Project Aero, allows designers to take their creations from Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Dimension and bring them to life in 3D spaces around them. 

The second tool, Project Glasswing, is an experimental display prototype that brings creativity from Adobe’s design tools to the real-world behind a ‘piece of glass’. Users can interact with the mixed reality interface, and view real products on display with accompanying text, graphics, and video.

Both AR tools, in prototype, unlock potential for innovative projects across sectors and marketing.

Focusvision releases Sample Marketplace  

FocusVision, a provider of survey and customer insights software solutions, has released Sample Marketplace in its survey platform.

Bringing automated sampling directly into the survey platform allows brands to create their survey, select their sample and launch their study quickly and easily, the vendor said. 

“We’re excited to offer high-quality samples at scale - faster and more cost-efficiently than ever before directly within Decipher,” said FocusVision CEO, Zlatko Vucetic. "We're committed to making it easier for our customers to do their job and that's what Sample Marketplace enables."

Sample Marketplace is a fully automated solution designed to connect a business with quality survey sample at a low price point, all within the FocusVision application. A user enters sample specifications, such as sample size, qualification (incidence) rate, and demographic quotas, and then clicks submit to obtain an automated quote. In coming months, it will be extending partnerships to include several providers.  

Google backs in-app measurability

Google has made in-app inventory more measurable through the IAB Tech Lab’s Open Measurement standard.

Integrating the Open Measurement Software Development Kit (SDK) into both the Google Mobile Ads (GMA) and Interactive Mobile Ads (IMA) SDKs has allowed Google to enable Open Measurement on 85 per cent of in-app display and video impressions on Google AdMob and Google Ad Manager publishers. This means buyers of this inventory can now take viewability measurements using solutions like Integral Ad Science, DoubleVerify, Comscore and Moat in addition to measurement previously available with Active View.  

Viewability continues to be an integral part of measuring ad effectiveness. In-app viewability means advertisers can take advantage of high-value inventory, Google said. The tech giant added it is continuing to work with the IAB’s Tech Lab Open Measurement Working Group to expand Open Measurement to use cases beyond viewability, as well as other environments such as Web video.

Openprise launches new campaign attributes

Openprise, a data orchestration solution player for marketing and sales, has taken the wrapper off new campaign attribution capabilities in the Openprise Data Orchestration Platform.

The Openprise Data Orchestration solution provides attribution capabilities marketers need to understand the effectiveness of their campaigns and their impact throughout the buyers' journey. These include first touch, last touch and multi-touch attribution to reflect the dynamics of each business's buyers' journey, along with multiple attribution models that can be run simultaneously.

It's also offering account-based marketing measurement to show marketing's contribution at each stage of a sales cycle; custom attribution models that take into account the unique requirements of any company; and analytics to graphically represent the impact of each campaign on an opportunity or a demand unit.

Simon Data secures $30 million in series C funding 

Customer Data Platform (CDP) vendor, Simon Data, has closed a US$30 million Series C funding round aimed at accelerating its mission of unlocking the power of data to deliver customer experiences.

The funding follows a $20 million Series B round in late 2018, and was again led by Polaris Partners with continued participation from .406 Ventures and F-Prime Capital. The martech player has raised $59 million to date.

Simon positions its offering as a comprehensive data integration paired with artificial intelligence-driven orchestration and optimisation. This is designed to help customers meet ever-increasing consumer demands, regardless of their current martech stack.

Cere Network raises US$3.5 million to build decentralised CRM solution

Also raising funding this week is blockchain-based CRM startup, Cere Network.

The latest US$3.5 million funding round was led by Binance Labs, together with a row of other financials, including Fenbushi Capital, Neo Global Capital and Arrington XRP. Cere’s CRM solutions enrol consumers’ data on its proprietary blockchain, however it will merge with the Binance Chain.

Cere Network is attempting to disrupt the CRM space, offering the benefit of blockchain to try and better manage data relating to the entire customer journey. Alongside the investment, Cere Network has announced the launch of a new office in New York, as well as plans to set up the Cere Network Innovation Factory in Berlin.

CtrlShift accelerates expansion in A/NZ 

CtrlShift, a programmatic advertising company, has expanded its A/NZ operations following its launch in March.

The company’s enterprise programmatic media management and optimisation platform, The Hub, helps advertisers and media agencies enhance and extract greater value from their programmatic advertising processes through aggregation and automation straight-out-of-the-box, including integrations with platforms like MediaMath, AppNexus, iPinYou, Zemanta, Amobee, Facebook and DV360.

“This is a pivotal time for CtrlShift in the region,” said CtrlShift chief solutions officer, Paula Harrison. "Programmatic ad spend in Australia is set to grow to almost $3bn in 2020. The market is driven by razor-sharp brand marketers who demand transparent and effective use of every media dollar through a seamless integration of timely metrics and insights in a consolidated, accessible format.”

The CtrlShift expansion comes on the back of several client wins including Australia's The Hallway, and Acquire, a leading New Zealand provider of programmatic technologies and solutions.

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