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ExactTarget Hones Cross-Channel Communications
October 15, 2012
With two new acquisitions, ExactTarget is pushing beyond its original email marketing mission to become a one-stop online marketing and social media shop. The company has acquired Pardot for $95.5 million and iGoDigital for $21 million; it announced both deals last week.
Kana Makes a Move in Customer Experience Space
July 17, 2012
Kana plans to build out its customer service experience management bona fides with its recent acquisition of contact center provider Ciboodle from the Sword Group. The point of the acquisition is to weave together Ciboodle's chief strengths -- its process-based customer contact management platform, agent desktop tools and case management expertise -- with what Kana does well. Adds Another Brick to Social Media Edifice
July 10, 2012 is acquiring GoInstant, reportedly paying $70 million for the startup. The news generally fits the "another day, another acquisition" story line. The CRM cloud vendor has been on an acquisition binge -- it bought at least six companies in 2011 alone.
Can Microsoft Squeeze $1B-Plus Value From Yammer?
June 26, 2012
Microsoft has agreed to pay an eyebrow-raising $1.2 billion in cash for the startup Yammer, presumably in the expectation that it will gain a much needed boost in social media expertise. Yammer will remain a standalone service for its 5-million-plus customer base, and Microsoft will also pair it with complementary offerings from Microsoft SharePoint, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics and Skype.
Is Everyone Trying to Look Like Salesforce?
June 20, 2012
Last week I lamented how the legacy software establishment was focusing on the easy-to-sell parts of cloud computing without really providing the essence of cloud. Since then, I have been inspired by a couple of recent articles that point in a different though not opposite direction.
Yammer May Get Microsoft Into the Social CRM Club
June 15, 2012
Microsoft is in discussions to acquire Yammer, a social media and communication platform for businesses, according to a report in Bloomberg, which cited two anonymous sources. Microsoft is prepared to acquire the company for a $1 billion purchase price, the report said, and the deal could be reached as soon as Friday.
CRM in a Faceless World
June 6, 2012 announced it was buying Buddy Media for nearly $700 million on Monday. In any discussion, that's a lot of money, maybe more than Salesforce has yet spent on any acquisition. What's going on? As you might expect, I see economics playing an important role here, and I think there are two issues to consider. They may even boil down to one -- the cost of acquiring a customer.
Salesforce's Buddy Media Buy Could Produce a Power Couple
May 30, 2012 is reportedly close to acquiring social media marketing manager Buddy Media for about $800 million. Buddy Media's main business is helping corporations manage their brand presence on Facebook. It has branched out to other social media platforms, including Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.
SAP Gets New Stairway to the Cloud With Ariba Buy
May 23, 2012
SAP has revealed plans to acquire Ariba, an enterprise e-commerce network, for US$4.3 billion as part of the German company's expansion into cloud computing. SAP will purchase Ariba for $45 per share -- about 20 percent more than its market price. Ariba's board approved the purchase unanimously. The sale is expected to be completed during the third calendar quarter of 2012, dependent on Ariba shareholder approval.
Zuckerberg's Instagram Poker Face
April 18, 2012
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg apparently lives by the idea that it is better to ask forgiveness than permission. This seems to have been the case with his decision to acquire Instagram earlier this month. Zuckerberg reportedly alerted the board of directors only hours before making its largest acquisition ever, a billion-dollar deal for the digital photo-sharing service, which had only launched in October 2010.
Nordstrom Tries On Bonobos for Size
April 13, 2012
Upscale retailer Nordstrom has become known for its advanced online initiatives in recent years. However, the store chain is pushing the envelope in this area with an investment in Bonobos, an etailer that specializes in well-tailored men's pants. The intriguing part of this investment, which reportedly totals $16.4 million, is that Nordstrom will sell Bonobos clothes in 100 of its stores, as well as on
How's Your Ecosystem?
March 7, 2012
You can gauge the success and financial health of almost any company by looking at revenues. At least this is true in the short term. Since revenue is a lagging indicator -- with the exception of monthly recurring revenue that subscription companies measure -- it only tells you where you've been, not where you are going. Chalks Up Strong FY12, but Competition Looms
February 27, 2012 hit it out of the park with quarterly earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter and full fiscal year, which ended Jan. 31, 2012. Total Q4 revenue was $632 million, an increase of 38 percent on a year-over-year basis, topping the $624 million expected by analysts. For the full fiscal year 2012, the company reported revenue of $2.27 billion, an increase of 37 percent from the prior year.
Making the Cloud Conventional
February 15, 2012
Last week Oracle bought the HR SaaS company Taleo for $1.9 billion, which to me means it's time to do you-know-what to the fire and call in the dogs. This hunt is officially over and out. The hunt in question is for legitimacy and primacy of the SaaS and cloud computing model.
Oracle's $1.9B Taleo Deal Ratchets Up Competition in HR Space
February 10, 2012
Oracle has announced it is acquiring the cloud-based talent management provider Taleo. It is paying $46 per share, or approximately $1.9 billion, net of Taleo's cash and debt. Taleo's board of directors has unanimously approved the transaction, which is expected to close mid-year 2012, subject to Taleo stockholder approval, certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Oracle Adds RightNow to Cloud Wars Arsenal
January 30, 2012
Oracle has closed on its $1.5 billion acquisition of RightNow, developer of a cloud-based customer self-service application. Oracle announced the deal in October 2011. For Oracle, the deal makes eminent sense: It fills in a missing gap in its cloud-based CRM functionality and gives it a broader base from which to compete against
Blackbaud Gears Up for Next Enterprise CRM Release
January 20, 2012
This was a big week for the Nasdaq-listed Blackbaud: The company announced its plans to acquire Convio, which offers a fund-raising application for nonprofits, for $275 million. The feature sets of the Convio application and Blackbaud's CRM software for the nonprofit space are complementary, to a large degree. The newly acquired technology will help Blackbaud further develop its user base.
RightNow Buy Gives Oracle Extra Ammo Against
October 25, 2011
Oracle has scooped up RightNow Technologies for a reported $1.5 billion. The acquisition price is a hefty 20 percent premium over RightNow's closing price last week. The acquisition fills a missing gap in Oracle's cloud-based CRM functionality. The deal also provides an excellent exit strategy for RightNow, especially as competition continues to become more intense, said Nucleus Research Vice President Rebecca Wettemann.
Predictive Analytics Digs Deeper Into CRM
October 24, 2011
Predixion Software has introduced Predixion Insight 2.0, the latest version of its collaborative predictive analytics solution. The new release includes enterprise collaboration features, interactive visualizations and automated workflow capabilities, as well as an on-premises version of its predictive analytics solution.
The Hackers Parade Marches On
June 25, 2011
Many more verses have been added to the ballad of LulzSec lately. The hacker group has partnered with Anonymous for an agenda of world cyberchaos, vowed revenge on other hackers who disrupted an online gaming network -- this is after Lulz itself shot down a couple of other gaming networks -- and flipped off authorities who claimed to have caught one of their members.
Focus Sharpens on Management of Customers' Online Experience
June 24, 2011
Two events in the CRM industry this week are shining a spotlight on a broad and sometimes nebulously defined space. First, Oracle announced its agreement to acquire FatWire, a provider of Web experience management software. Second, Adobe rolled out its Digital Enterprise Platform for Customer Experience Management.'s Best Shopping Bets
April 8, 2011 is on a buying binge as it attempts to build on its extraordinary sales momentum and broaden its market penetration within existing customer organizations and among new organizations. Since the end of last year, has acquired five companies starting with Heroku and Etacts in December, Dimdim in January, Manymoon in February, and Radian6 at the end of March.
Zuora and A Good Deal
April 6, 2011
Zuora and have announced a new offering that highlights the strengths of each company and delivers new functionality to the telecommunications industry. Zuora for the Communications Industry is a solution based on the platform that handles billing, payments and customer care for telco and related industries' customers. This makes a lot of sense.
SugarCRM, IBM Band Together to Socialize Business in the Cloud
April 5, 2011
In yet another step binding it closer to IBM, SugarCRM has acquired iExtensions, the CRM solution for Lotus Notes. A big part of our business is international," SugarCRM CEO Larry Augustin announced to an audience of analysts and reporters at SugarCon in San Francisco on Monday. "Quite a number of our big customers in Europe are on Notes and need Notes integration." Snags Radian6 in Social Media Shopping Spree
March 30, 2011 has signed an agreement to acquire Radian6 for $276 million in cash and $50 million in stock. Salesforce intends to use Radian6, a platform for social media monitoring, to help its clients track hundreds and millions of conversations on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and other online communities, analyze them, and get real-time results.
Web Marketing's Perfect M&A Storm
March 19, 2011
The proliferation of social media and the real-time Web has created a significant change in the role of today's marketer. The shift from a traditional marketing mix to a predominantly online marketing focus has placed new expectations on marketers to understand website traffic, generate leads online, and demonstrate a return on all marketing investments. Just 10 years ago, websites were static tools akin to an online brochure. Adds PaaS Rubies to Its Vault With Heroku Buy
December 8, 2010 on Wednesday announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Heroku, a cloud application platform. It will pay about $212 million in cash, net of cash acquired. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of January 2011 if everything goes well. made the announcement at Dreamforce 2010, being held in San Francisco through Thursday.
A Cautious Skeptic's Take on Oracle and ATG
November 10, 2010
One of the more interesting developments of the last week has been the announced acquisition of ATG by Oracle. ATG is one of the leading suppliers of e-commerce solutions, and Oracle liked their stuff well enough to plunk down a cool billion bucks for the logo. I thought it was a good idea at the time, but I am also interested in hedging my bets.
ATG Swept Up in Oracle Spending Spree
November 2, 2010
Oracle announced Tuesday that it will acquire ATG -- a provider of e-commerce applications and platforms -- for $6.00 per share, or approximately $1 billion in cash. Oracle wants to integrate this technology into its CRM, ERP, retail and supply chain lines, as well as its middleware and business intelligence technology.
The State of VC: Lack of Ideas or Lack of Courage?
June 2, 2010
All is not well in venture capital land; at least, it's been a lot better. In April, the National Venture Capital Association, which works with PriceWaterhouseCoopers to develop industry data, reported its numbers for both fund-raising and investment, and it represents a world turned upside down.
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What best describes your attitude toward social networks and politics?
The value of engaging in serious political discourse outweighs the negatives.
Most of the political conversations seem overheated and ignorant.
Social networks provide a lot of very good political information from reliable sources.
Almost every political post I see is skewed or totally fake.
Political interactions on social networks simply mirror those in the real world.
Social networks remove inhibitions, bringing out the worst in people and politics.