CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 27 September 2018

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Salesforce, AT&T, Oracle, Insightly, Engagio, Infor, Vonage and Talend

AT&T launches new advertising group, Xandr

Global telco giant, AT&T, has taken the wrappers off its new-look internal advertising group, Xandr, combines advertising and analytics smarts as well as the recent AppNexus acquisition.

Xandr brings together AT&T’s advertising and analytics businesses, including advanced TV, AdWorks, data and analytics, ATT.Net and AppNexus. The company confirmed Xandr takes over support of AppNexus’ US and global customers. AT&T acquired AppNexus in June in a deal estimated to be worth US$1.6 billion.

To further capabilities in the US market and as a first step forwards creating a national TV marketplace, the group has also struck an agreement with Altice USA and Frontier Communications to sell their national addressable TV advertising inventory.

The name ‘Xandr’ takes its cues from AT&T’s 140-year history and its founder, Alexander Graham Bell. “Our purpose is to make advertising matter and to connect people with the brands and content they care about,” CEO, Brian Lesser, said.

To kick its brand efforts off, Xandr partnered with Insight Strategy Group and Advertiser Perceptions on a new report investigating the relationship between consumer sentiment and advertising experiences. The research found 66 per cent of consumers want advertisements to be more relevant to their interests and lifestyles, and 70 per cent said they liked ads that go beyond just selling a product.

Salesforce releases 360 customer platform, Mulesoft, AWS integrations

Salesforce has unveiled several product announcements during this year's Dreamforce event including a new Customer 360 platform service, Mulesoft Anypoint platform, Einstein Voice and Quip Slides.

Salesforce Customer 360 is a new platform service designed to allow admins to more easily connect Salesforce apps and manage customer data across clouds via a click-based user interface. The intention is to be able to create a complete, real-time, contextually relevant profile for every single customer with Customer 360 ID.
With Customer 360, companies can evolve beyond delivering fragmented experiences and show up as one unified brand across departments, devices, channels and interactions.

The Mulesoft Anypoint Platform brings an application network graph to every customer in the Salesforce ecosystem, providing information on all systems, apps and metadata as well as how they relate to each other.

Also at Dreamtime, Salesforce confirmed a new strategic partnership with Apple aimed at bringing new mobile apps for business to the market. Salesforce has also extended its alliance with Amazon Web Services, a move which sees AWS PrivateLink integration with Salesforce APIs, integration of AWS with Salesforce Platform Events, and integration of Amazon Connect with Salesforce Service Cloud.

Check out CMO's full report of the Salesforce product news and opening of Dreamforce here.

Engagio debuts ABM automation

Engagio has debuted its new account-based marketing (ABM) automation capabilities aimed at helping B2B marketers scale tailored programs by enabling them to automate multi-channel actions in response to account engagement or inactivity.

The new capabilities let B2B marketers determine if they want to run a program at the account or person level and take action across multiple channels based on intelligent real-time triggers. 

Engagio’s new ABM Automation capabilities build on the company’s recent launch of ABM Smart Tools and allow users to: Dynamically select audiences, take action from a broad set of multi-channel capabilities, define scenarios to automatically run key actions and plays at the right time, and receive alerts on target account behaviour to trigger action.

Infor showcases Digital Assistant, AI , IoT platforms

Business applications provider, Infor, has showcased a number of new cloud-based solutions at its latest customer conference including a digital assistant, AI platform, control centre and Internet of Things data solution.

Infor Coleman Digital Assistant is a conversational interface for the Infor OS platform, and offers custom skill building, voice user experience and navigation features, and natural language processing. It’s the first product to be released by Infor using AI and allows users to chat, hear, talk, and eventually analyse images as a way of helping improve productivity.

Key capabilities include providing intelligent insights for decision making and at critical decision points, and automating repetitive tasks. The Digital Assistant is expected to be integrated with Amazon Alexa for Business by the end of the year.

Infor has also confirmed availability of its Internet of Things (IoT) support in multi-tenant deployments. It’s integrated with Amazon Web Services IoT, with analytics provided via Birst, a cloud-based platform for networked business intelligence. This allows users to aggregate data from a raft of IoT devices then use these insights to track, analyse and improve operational efficiencies.

The third new release is Control Centre, a supply chain visibility and intelligence offering which combines data from the Infor GT Nexus Commerce Network for global trade and supply chain management, with the vendor’s Coleman AI capabilities, to help organisations better utilise data insights in this sphere.

Oracle updates Eloqua automation suite

A number of new updates have been made available to Oracle’s Eloqua marketing solution this week aimed at helping marketers communicate with prospects and customers as promptly as possible.

These features include new content creation tools such as a landing page editor, designed to help marketers create fresh and responsive landing pages without coding and featuring image carousels and video background inclusion.

New Eloqua Sales tools for Microsoft Outlook, meanwhile, aim to help sales teams access richer buyer insights, content and track emails sent to prospects while in the email platform. Integration also allows users to access Eloqua Engage and Profiler from Outlook.

There are also enhanced security, tracking and auditing produces for all major accounts and objects within Eloqua. These allow users to better protect sensitive data while obtaining quicker insights into login history, auditing and reporting.

Insightly releases advanced customisation capabilities

Insightly has confirmed availability of new capabilities aimed at allowing companies of all sizes to customise CRM implementations to the specific needs of their businesses and of the industries in which they operate.

Custom objects allow businesses to extend Insightly CRM functionality to meet their specific needs and deliver the flexibility to evolve their implementations over time. Custom apps then allow Insightly CRM users to personalise their experiences to meet their daily preferences, on any device, ensuring greater adoption and boosting productivity.

New metadata-driven API further strengthens Insightly’s Customer Relationship Platform for custom application development.

Vonage acquires contact centre-as-a-service

US-based Vonage Holdings has struck an agreement to acquire NewVoiceMedia, a vendor providing contact centre-as-a-service software, in a deal worth US$350 million.

The purchase will see Vonage’s cloud-based unified communications and communications platforms combined with NewVoiceMedia’s cloud-based contact centre offerings in a more end-to-end solution. It also gives Vonage a stronger footprint in the mid-market and enterprise space.

Vonage CEO, Alan Masarek, said the acquisition is a major step forward in the realisation of the vendor’s strategic vision to deliver a differentiated, fully-programmable communications solution.

“This will drive more meaningful customer interactions and better outcomes for businesses,” he said. “This acquisition accelerates Vonage’s growth strategy and leadership position in cloud communications, strengthens our presence with global mid-market and enterprise clients, and deepens our integrations and key go-to-market relationships with CRM providers, especially Salesforce.” 

NewVoiceMedia is a privately-owned, pure-play, cloud contact centre vendor with 700 primarily mid-market and enterprise customers globally including Adobe, Siemens, Time Inc, FundingCircle and Rapid7. Its CEO, Dennis Fois, said the two companies shared a common vision around cloud communications that connect employees and enable personalised conversations with their customers and prospects.

Learning implementations without coding 

Talend is creating a new sandbox that puts machine learning technologies to the hands of developers and data engineers so they can create smarter data pipelines.

With the Talend Big Data and Machine Learning Sandbox, data engineers can start using a step-by-step ‘cookbook’ that includes pre-built machine learning proofs of concept and leverages Apache Spark, Spark Machine Learning Library (MLlib) and Spark Streaming in minutes without coding.

“There is a massive skills gap where developers and data engineers are struggling to implement big data and machine learning to drive greater business insight,” said Talend CMO, Ashley Stirrup.

“Hand-coding big data integrations often results in inefficiencies when moving to production, such as high maintenance costs, manual integration tasks and re-implementation of machine learning algorithms. With Talend Big Data and Machine Learning Sandbox, teams can get up and running with machine learning in minutes and make the transition from pilot to production more quickly.”    

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