CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 27 August 2020

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Crunchbase, Salesforce, Smartsheet, Qlik, Zendesk, Informatica, Movable Ink and TransUnion

Salesforce retires Einstein Voice Assistant

Salesforce has announced its Einstein Voice Assistant has been retired. The change applies to the Salesforce mobile app for iOS and Android in Professional, Enterprise, Unlimited and Developer editions. It also applies to Setup for this feature in Lightning Experience.

First introduced in 2018, Einstein Voice Assistant was part of a larger set of tools, which Salesforce described as Einstein Voice Services and meant to be a smart CRM assistant across sales, service, marketing commerce and more.

Expectations were very high. Reality, in the form of commoditisation, set in by 2019. It became clear that automated speech recognition (ASR) and text-to-speech (TTS) are mere building blocks that virtually all developers expect to incorporate into their Voice User Interfaces (VUIs). The power shifted to tools and services that simplify the development efforts of enterprise employees, system integrators and business process outsourcers.

Smartsheet to acquire Brandfolder 

Smartsheet is set to acquire Brandfolder, adding content management to workflow automation offering. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal brings Brandfolder’s digital asset management (DAM) capabilities together with Smartsheet’s collaborative work management platform and aims to create a dynamic solution that manages workflows around content and collaboration, and enable organisations to break down silos, execute more effectively and make better decisions faster.

With Brandfolder, Smartsheet said customers will be able to manage, track and discover content within their workflows reducing the creation of repetitive assets to drive greater transparency and efficiency. Internal teams will be able to gain insights into their content and make strategic asset decisions with Brandfolder’s performance data features through brand-specific tags that track where the content is being used and how it's performing. This tagging also enables external contributors to easily identify and utilise assets through Brandfolder’s identification and categorisation search capabilities.

Qlik acquires Knarr Analytics

In other acquisition news, Qlik has acquired Knarr Analytics, a startup which provides real-time collaboration, data exploration and insight capture capabilities, to complement Qlik’s cloud data and analytics platform.

Knarr IP is expected to enhance the Qlik Sense analytics cloud platform Insight Advisor experience, as well as the data exploration experience in the catalogue. Qlik said customers will realise increased value and benefits through sophisticated visual exploration of underlying data models before building analytics; a glossary for added business context; and real-time, multi-player collaboration to generate insights interactively with a team.
Users also gain the ability to capture and share these insights with notes and snapshots, while automatically capturing the exploration state and context, enriching understanding and driving action.

The vendor said another benefit is increased effectiveness through machine learning of Qlik’s unique approach to augmented intelligence, helping drive more complex analysis and better outcomes for users of all levels.

Zendesk launches Real-Time Analytics Solution

Zendesk has taken the wrappers off Explore Enterprise, the newest solution within its service-first CRM platform, which enables companies to analyse real-time data in order to understand changing needs.

Explore Enterprise enables leaders to manage and scale their business by monitoring data across customer support channels with pre-built and customisable live charts; acting on current trends by setting threshold alerts to see when teams are under a heavy load; improving productivity and reducing context switching with embeddable dashboards, boosting team collaboration with advanced report sharing and scheduling capabilities inside and outside the organisation.

Informatica acquires GreenBay Technologies 

Enterprise cloud data management leader, Informatica, has acquired GreenBay Technologies to accelerate its innovation in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning data management technology. 

GreenBay Technologies’ AI and machine learning capabilities will be embedded in the CLAIRE engine for a more complete and accurate, 360-degree view and understanding of business, with innovative matching techniques of master data of customers, products, suppliers, and other domains. With the acquisition, GreenBay Technologies will accelerate Informatica’s vision for self-integrating systems that automatically infer and link target schemas to source data, enhance capabilities to infer data lineage and relationships, auto-generate and apply data quality rules based on concept schema matching, and increase accuracy of identifying sensitive data across the enterprise data landscape.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Movable Ink raises US$30 million

Movable Ink, which assists businesses to deliver more personalised and relevant email marketing, has announced it has raised US$30 million in Series C funding.

Input this time around came from Contour Venture Partners, Intel Capital, and Silver Lake Waterman, bringing total funding in the business to US$39 million. 

With this investment, the company will continue to deploy capital efficiently and strategically in platform innovations including ongoing R&D in new channels and AI. The company will also continue to expand on its extensive partner ecosystem within the Movable Ink Exchange, a marketplace of partner integrations that work seamlessly with the Movable Ink platform to unlock data from a brand’s existing martech investments.

Additionally, Movable Ink will expand into new geographic markets and continue to provide ongoing support for clients with a dedicated team of senior strategists across retail, financial services, travel and hospitality, media and tech and other key industries.

TransUnion acquires Signal

TransUnion is joining forces with Signal, a Chicago-based technology company, to expand its capabilities. Signal’s solutions are grounded in real-time data collection and its platform makes it easier for companies to structure, organise and leverage consumer data.

The Signal acquisition represents a further investment by TransUnion to establish leadership in people-based, identity-enabled marketing solutions following its 2019 acquisition of TruSignal and investment in Tru Optik.

Crunchbase announces new Salesforce integration

Crunchbase has unveiled a new Salesforce integration for all Crunchbase users that will enable individuals and small sales teams to quickly discover and act on high-quality prospects. 

With the new integration, Crunchbase users will be able to use Crunchbase search filters, paired with the new company profile experience, to learn about a specific company, discover prospects and save them directly to Salesforce. It will be possible to see prospects already in Salesforce and avoid record duplication. It will allow salespeople to claim a prospect and any prospect a user saves from Crunchbase to Salesforce will be under their name.

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