Salesforce embraces the User Microsoft like – A Dreamforce Analysis

Salesforce embraces the User Microsoft like – A Dreamforce Analysis

Now that the major waves of Dreamforce 2017 have settled, the announcements and a good part of the running commentary has been delivered, it is time for me to have a look at my pre-Dreamforce predictions. Having been briefed before the event but unluckily not been able to attend (nor having had the time to write this piece earlier, I now have the advantage of having had more ‘thinking time” and can put the main announcements that we were briefed on into a bigger picture. On the backdrop of an IDC study (sponsored by Salesforce) that postulates 3.3 million new jobs and an overall GDP impact of 859 billion dollar by 2022 in the “Salesforce economy”, the announcements basically revolve around one single topic: How to enable the employees (of Salesforce customers and partners) to deliver to this magnitude. They were around Easier consumption of AI technology with Einstein, and improved IoT support, Opening up Trailhead to Salesforce customers in order to support company specific learning maps Enabling Lightning, as the platform to become fully themed, i.e. embrace the customers’ brands. Although technologically different I club the ability to create and easily upload branded mobile apps to the app stores into this Collaboration using Quip, the software that Salesforce acquired about a year ago, and a new partnership with Google And in order to emphasize on the fact that they are serious about enabling people individually, Salesforce resuscitated the dot com prefix “my”. Thus myEinstein, myTrailhead, myLightning, mySalesforce, myIOT and mySalesforce got born. A topic that might be slightly overlooked is covered by two sentences in the announcement of...
Products to Services – The SAP Hybris Summit 2017

Products to Services – The SAP Hybris Summit 2017

This year’s SAP Hybris Summit in Barcelona was attended by almost 3,000 paying participants, which is likely to make it the biggest ever, in spite of the recent unrest in Catalonia. It was packed with partners and presentations. The message all around was about subscription economy, how companies will need to transform themselves from product- to service companies, and how SAP supports this by delivering YaaS, networked solutions, IoT and machine learning, based upon the SAP Cloud platform. Owing not only to the topic of subscription economy GDPR was, of course, a topic, too. The key message here was: Our software helps you being compliant. With SAP Hybris standing not only for ecommerce but also for SAP’s new brand of CRM (oops, engagement) solutions, there was astonishingly little information about the Sales- and Service Clouds and only a few bits about the Marketing Cloud. The pending acquisition of Gigya was naturally out of scope, although Gigya as a partner featured in the show with a booth and presentations in the theaters. Day One Having said this, the first keynote, held by SAP Hybris president Carsten Thomas, was slightly underwhelming. It set the stage for the topic, but was essentially last year’s content. The narrative was all about how companies like Uber and Airbnb change the game for traditional companies, the impact of machine learning, and the importance of focusing on experiences (not even outcomes). In brief: nothing new, and only a fuzzy view on SAP Hybris’ strategy. It, however, was presented very well. The Q&A’s offered on day one added some more flesh to the topics, also on the...
More Nimble News

More Nimble News

The News In the past 5 weeks or so, there have been quite a few news items about Nimble, with the biggest product news dated September 28 and the most interesting business development dated October 11. The headlines include Nimble’s deeper collaboration with Microsoft and its channel partners, as well as product innovations intended to increase the value delivered to Office 365- and G Suite users. In particular, Nimble: Now integrates with Circleback, an AI-powered contact capture and cleaning tool as well as their business card scanner. Nimble is now able to extract high quality contact information from email signatures and to add it to the Nimble contact record. This way it becomes easier to keep contact information current. Has partnered with NeoCloud. NeoCloud is a managed cloud services company that deploys and manages Office 365. The company now bundles Nimble into all its Office 365 deals and thus offers business applications on top of its infrastructure- and productivity-focused solutions. This is based on the (valid) assumption that Office 365 users benefit from having a simple and powerful contact management platform that resides on top of the productivity suite. Has become selected by Microsoft to join its Seattle Accelerator program. On the product front released Nimble Prospector, a ‘powerful email/phone and address discovery engine that enables Nimble users to build outbound prospects’. According to Jon, prospector draws upon dozens of sources (not LinkedIn, so much he volunteered) to deliver contact information based on a company or domain name. Nimble also introduced an Add-In for Outlook on Android and, not surprisingly, support for Microsoft’s Edge Nimble also continues to pursue...
SAP acquires Gigya – A Snap Analysis from Down Under

SAP acquires Gigya – A Snap Analysis from Down Under

The News Well, it is already more than two weeks ago that this news hit the wires, but SAP announced the acquisition of Gigya, a leading Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) platform vendor. Gigya got placed in the top position of Forrester’s Wave for Customer Identity and Access Management Platforms Q2 2017, a position that is owned by SAP, if the company manages to address customer (and hence analyst) concerns that arise from the merger. SAP, in turn, with its SAP Hybris branded software, provides a suite of commerce and engagement solutions that allow organizations to build and leverage in real time a 360 degree view on the customer, across channels and devices. Gigya is an SAP (Hybris) partner since 2013 or so, and has integrations with SAP Hybris Ecommerce, SAP Hybris Marketing and SAP CRM. SAP intends to make the Gigya platform part of its Hybris portfolio. The transaction is expected to be closed by end of 2017. The Bigger Picture The CIAM market is evolving fast, coming out of the area of providing social logins with the purpose of simplifying web site logins only a decade ago. This purpose remains but along with solving registration problems there are now a lot regulation challenges that are to be addressed. Just think, management of consent and preferences across sites, or GDPR, which imposes data residence requirements on top. With the additional data collection capabilities of CIAM solutions there is quite an upside for CRM vendors – especially for ones with strong marketing automation and profiling capabilities, like SAP. There is an increased ability to accurately address individual customers...
New Helpshift CEO – A Snap Analysis from Down Under

New Helpshift CEO – A Snap Analysis from Down Under

The News On September 7, 2017 Helpshift announced the appointment of a new CEO in a blog post. Salesforce veteran Linda Crawford, with a tenure in the CRM arena that stretches back to 1996, took over the role, being the successor of co-founder Abinash Tripathy. Before, she held various positions at Salesforce, Rivermine, and Siebel. Most recently she held the position of a Chief Customer Officer at Optimizely. This track record certainly qualifies her to have a go at growing an interesting company to the next level. Helpshift itself is the company that created the mobile in app support market back in 2011 and, so far, has a keen focus on this area under the leadership of Abinash. Investors include Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, and Salesforce. Both, Microsoft and Salesforce, have been lead investors of the Series B financing round in June 2016. The Bigger Picture The customer service center market is extremely crowded and contested. Helpshift itself has a strong product and a good customer base, originating from the gaming industry but also running the customer service technology behind Microsoft Outlook Mobile. The company is targeting bigger accounts and is already amongst the ranks of Salesforce partners, having a deep integration. However, the overall market is turning into a platform play, which will be dominated by two or three business platforms for bigger companies, and maybe a handful more that cover SMBs. The platform companies are also providing strong business applications, including customer service, even in-app service. And then there are companies that build multi channel customer service solutions on these platforms, too. Are they as good as Helpshift?...
Freshworks acquires Zarget – A Snap Analysis from Down Under

Freshworks acquires Zarget – A Snap Analysis from Down Under

The News Freshworks on 29/08/2017 announced that it acquired Zarget, a conversion rate optimization software startup. With this being the ninth acquisition in about two years Freshworks is continuing to augment its development by adding missing functionality from outside while adding talent to the teams. Zarget’s software is helping marketers measuring and understanding how users interact with their websites, which is important information when it comes to assessing reasons for users not becoming customers. For Freshworks this acquisition also marks a first step to close the functional gap that marketing still is for them. With Freshworks founder and CEO Girish Mathrubootham having been an angel investor into Zarget this is also a natural choice. An interesting piece of information comes as a quote by Girish: “ At Freshworks, our ambition is to emerge as the de facto cloud-based business software platform for businesses of all sizes”. The Bigger Picture There are a couple of interesting facets to this acquisition. Freshworks, by virtue of its rebranding from Freshdesk, has made a bold statement that they are not striving to cover customer service only. This, of course, was clear earlier when looking at their range of products and solutions but this naming implies an ambition. I have commented on this this earlier. While they are still concentrating on the wider CRM area with bot acquisitions, a recent release of Freshteam, a CRM for recruiters, there is a tendency to divert into different areas. This time it is about starting to close a fundamental gap in Freshworks’ CRM offerings: So far there has virtually been no marketing functionality. Looking specifically at marketing...