Adobe’s latest Customer Experience Platform updates take aim at data scientists

Posted by on 29 July, 2019

This post was originally published on this site

Adobe’s Customer Experience Platform provides a place to process all of the data that will eventually drive customer experience applications in the Adobe Experience Cloud. This involves bringing in vast amounts of transactional and interactional data being created across commerce platforms. This process is complex and involves IT, applications developers and data scientists.

Last Fall, the company introduced a couple of tools in Beta for the last group. Data scientists need familiar kinds of tools to work with the data as it streams into the platform in order to create meaningful models for the application developers to build upon. Today, it made two of those tools generally available — Query Service and Data Science Workspaces — which should go a long way towards helping data scientists feel comfortable working with data on this platform.

Ronell Hugh, group manager at Adobe Experience Platform, says these tools are about helping data scientists move beyond pure data management and getting into deriving more meaningful insights from it. “Data scientists were just bringing data in and trying to manage and organize it, and now we see that with Experience Platform, they are able to do that in a more seamless way, and can spend more time doing what they really want to do, which is deriving insights from the data to be actionable in the organization,” Hugh told TechCrunch.

Part of that is being able to do queries across the data sets they have brought into the platform. The newly released Query Service will enable data scientists and analysts to write queries to understand the data better and get specific answers based on the data faster.

“With Query Service in Adobe Experience Platform, analysts and data scientists can now poll all of their datasets stored in Experience Platform to answer specific cross-channel and cross-platform questions, faster than ever before. This includes behavioral data, as well as point-of-sale (POS), customer relationship management (CRM) and more,” the company wrote in a blog post announcing the new tool.

In addition, the company made the Data Science Workspace generally available. As the name implies, it provides a place for data scientists to work with the data and build models derived from it. The idea behind this tool is to use artificial intelligence to help automate some of the more mundane aspects of the data science job.

“Data scientists can take advantage of this new AI that fuels deeper data discovery by using Adobe Sensei pre-built models, bringing their existing models or creating custom models from scratch in Experience Platform,” the company wrote in the announcement blog post.

Today, it was the data scientists’ turn, but the platform is designed to help IT manage underlying infrastructure, whether in the cloud or on premises, and for application developers to take advantage of the data models and build customer experience applications on top of that. It’s a complex, yet symbiotic relationship, and Adobe is attempting to pull all of it together in a single platform.

Posted Under: Tech News
Yes, Slack is down

Posted by on 29 July, 2019

This post was originally published on this site

Are your co-workers ignoring you? Welcome to my world! In your case, however, that is probably because Slack is currently down (as of about 11AM EST). According to its status page, some workspaces are experiencing issues with messages sending and loading.

Slack outage notice

Slack outage notice

We will update this post once the Slack outage is over.

/giphy so alone

Posted Under: Tech News
David and Goliath: Approaching the ‘deal’

Posted by on 26 July, 2019

This post was originally published on this site

It is a simple question with a complex answer. How does a startup get from zero to execution when negotiating contracts with potential customers that are large enterprises? The 800-pound gorillas. Situations in which your negotiating leverage is limited (often severely so).

As a commercial contracts attorney, clients often ask me about the one right way to approach deals. Many are looking for a cheat sheet of universal terms they should push for in contracts. But there is no one answer.

Deals are not cookie-cutter, and neither are the contracts on which they are built. That said, a basic framework can help provide startups with some grounding to better think about negotiations with large enterprises. The idea is to avoid over-lawyering, and instead approach the discussion with a legally prudent yet deal-centric mindset.

There are generally six overarching considerations as you head into negotiations with large, enterprise organizations.

Posted Under: Tech News
Emergence’s Jason Green joins TC Sessions: Enterprise this September

Posted by on 26 July, 2019

This post was originally published on this site

Picking winners from the herd of early-stage enterprise startups is challenging — so much competition, so many disruptive technologies, including mobile, cloud and AI. One investor who has consistently identified winners is Jason Green, founder and general partner at Emergence, and TechCrunch is very pleased to announce that he will join the investor panel at TC Sessions: Enterprise on September 5 at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. He will join two other highly accomplished VCs, Maha Ibrahim, general partner at Canaan Partners and Rebecca Lynn, co-founder and general partner at Canvas Ventures. They will join TechCrunch’s Connie Loizos to discuss important trends in early-stage enterprise investments as well as the sectors and companies that have their attention. Green will also join us for the investor Q&A in a separate session.

Jason Green founded Emergence in 2003 with the aim of “looking around the corner, identifying themes and aiming to win big in the long run.” The firm has made 162 investments, led 64 rounds and seen 29 exits to date. Among the firm’s wins are Zoom, Box, Sage Intacct, ServiceMax, Box and SuccessFactors. Emergence has raised $1.4 billion over six funds.

Green is also the founding chairman of the Kauffman Fellow Program and a founding member of Endeavor. He serves on the boards of BetterWorks, Drishti, GroundTruth, Lotame, Replicon and SalesLoft.

Come hear from Green and these other amazing investors at TC Sessions: Enterprise by booking your tickets today — $249 early-bird tickets are still on sale for the next two weeks before prices go up by $100. Book your tickets here.

Startups, get noticed with a demo table at the conference. Demo tables come with four tickets to the show and prime exhibition space for you to showcase your latest enterprise technology to some of the most influential people in the business. Book your $2,000 demo table right here.

Posted Under: Tech News
CrunchMatch simplifies networking at TC Sessions: Enterprise 2019

Posted by on 25 July, 2019

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Get ready to experience world-class networking TechCrunch-style at TC Sessions: Enterprise 2019. On September 5, more than 1,000 of the top enterprise software minds and makers, movers and shakers will descend on San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. It’s a day-long conference featuring distinguished speakers, panel discussions, demos and workshops.

It’s also a prime opportunity to connect and build relationships with enterprise software founders, technologists and investors. Make the most of that opportunity by using CrunchMatch, our free business match-making service.

The automated platform lets you find people based on specific mutual business criteria, goals and interests. It helps you sift through the noise and make the most of your valuable time. After all, connecting with the right people produces better results.

Here’s how CrunchMatch (powered by Brella) works. When CrunchMatch goes live — several weeks before the main event — we’ll email a sign-up link to all ticket holders. You’ll be able to access the platform and create a profile with your specific details — your role (technologist, founder, investor, etc.) and a description of the types of people you want to connect with at the event.

CrunchMatch works its algorithmic magic and suggests meetings, which you can then vet, approve and schedule or decline. It’s an efficient and productive way to network. Take a look at how CrunchMatch helped Yoolox increase distribution.

All that time-saving efficiency will free you up to enjoy more of the presentations and hear from speakers like the renowned founder, investor, AI expert and Stanford professor, Andrew Ng. You won’t want to miss his take on how AI will transform the enterprise world — like nothing else since the cloud and SaaS. And that’s just a taste of what you can expect.

If you haven’t already done so, buy your tickets now and save $100 before the prices go up on August 9. Early-bird tickets cost $249 and student tickets sell for $75. Buy 4+ tickets to get the group rate and save another 20%.

ROI tip: For every ticket you buy to TC Sessions: Enterprise, we’ll register you for a free Expo-only pass to TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2019.

We can’t wait to see you at TC Sessions: Enterprise 2019 in San Francisco on September 5. Join your community, explore the top enterprise trends and companies and make productive connections with the influential people who can help you reach your goals. Buy your ticket today.

Interested in sponsoring TC Sessions: Enterprise? Fill out this form and a member of our sales team will contact you.

Posted Under: Tech News
Nearly a third of U.S. households don’t have a broadband connection

Posted by on 25 July, 2019

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Over the past several years, many have suggested that broadband internet should be regarded as public utility, like water or gas. Staying connected has become an essential part of nearly every facet of of life, but according to a new report, high speed connections may not be as prevalent here in the States as you may think.

In its new Rural America and Technology study, NPD notes that 31 percent of U.S. households don’t have broadband (25Mbps downloads and up) internet connections. The number works out to roughly 100 million per the report. That figure, unsurprisingly, is highly concentrated in rural areas — less than one-fifth of that population has a broadband connection.

While broadband was considered something of a luxury in the not so distant past, it’s grown in an increasingly essential aspect of modern existence, from work to health to entertainment. The concentration of access to the technology in urban vs. rural areas has been a major aspect in what analysts have referred to as the “digital divide.” Rural areas make up nearly 97 percent of the total U.S. land.

On the upside, the report suggests that 5G could have a profound impact on those numbers. “The roll out of 5G will have a significant impact in rural America, disrupting the limited broadband carrier market and delivering broadband to many households that have not previously had access,” NPD’s Eddie Hold said in a statement released with the report. “This will inevitably provide an opportunity for manufacturers and retailers to reach new consumers with advanced devices.”

Given the speed and spottiness with which the technology has been rolled out thus far, however, coupled with the high prices of first-generation handsets, however, it will likely take several years before that comes to pass.

Posted Under: Tech News
Airbud raises $4 million to add a voice interface to your website

Posted by on 25 July, 2019

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Amazon’s Alexa ushered in a new dawn of user interfaces, bringing voice into the mix as a viable option. Dozens of companies have sprouted because of this, not least of which being Airbud.io.

Airbud allows any company to add a voice interface to its website. The company just closed a $4 million round led by Hanaco Ventures, with participation from ERA and Spider Capital.

Airbud was cofounded by Israel Krush, Uri Valevski, and Rom Cohen after the team saw the growth of voice interfaces and wondered how to capitalize on it.

By allowing companies to add voice/chat bot utility to their websites, Airbud hopes to increase retention of end-users on sites and give them easier access to the information they’re looking for. Krush says that Airbud is focusing on websites that you have to be on, rather than the ones you want to be on.

That means Airbud clients are mostly in the healthcare space and travel space, helping end-users find a physician or book a flight using their voice.

Most importantly, Airbud operates on a plug and play system, meaning that clients don’t have to do the usual heavy lifting involved in creating a chat bot. Most of the time, folks who implement chatbots have to build a conversation tree. Airbud uses existing information scraped from the website, paired with an easy plug-and-play system for clients, to automatically build out a knowledge graph and have conversations with end-users.

Airbud charges based on the number of indexed pages and traffic to those pages.

The company plans to use the funding to double the size of its team from seven to 15.

Posted Under: Tech News
Ethyca raises $4.2M to simplify GDPR compliance

Posted by on 25 July, 2019

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GDPR, the European data privacy regulations, have been in effect for over a year, but it’s still a challenge for companies to comply. Ethyca, a New York City startup, has created a solution from the ground up to help customers adhere to the regulations, and today it announced a $4.2 million investment led by IA Ventures and Founder Collective.

Table Management, Sinai Ventures, Cheddar founder Jon Steinberg and Moat co-founder Jonah Goodhart also participated.

At its heart Ethyca is a data platform that helps companies discover sensitive data, then provides a mechanism for customers to see, edit or delete their data from the system. Finally, the solution enables companies to define who can see particular types of data across the organization to control access. All of these components are designed to help companies comply with GDPR regulations.

ethyca enterprise transaction log

Ethyca enterprise transaction log. Screenshot: Ethyca

Company co-founder Cillian Kieran says that the automation component is key and should greatly reduce the complexity and cost associated with complying with GDPR rules. From his perspective, current solutions which involve either expensive consultants or solutions that require some manual intervention, don’t get companies all the way there.

“These solutions don’t actually solve the issue from an infrastructure point of view. I think that’s the distinction. You can go and use the consultants, or you can use a control panel that tells you what you need to do. But ultimately, at some point you’re either going to have to build or deploy code that fixes some issues, or indeed manually manage or remediate those [issues]. Ethyca is designed for that and takes away those risks because it is managing privacy by design at the infrastructure level,” Kieran explained.

If you’re worried about the privacy of providing information like this to a third-party vendor, Kieran says that his company never actually sees the raw data. “We are a suite of tools that sits between business processes. We don’t capture raw data, We don’t see personal information. We find information based on unique identifiers,” he said.

The company has been around for over a year, but has been spending its first year, developing the solution. He sees this investment as validation of the problem his startup is trying to solve. “I think the investment represents the growing awareness fundamentally from both with the investor community, and also in the tech world, that data privacy as a regulatory constraint is real and will compound itself,” he said.

He also points out, GDPR is really just the tip of the privacy regulation iceberg with laws in Australia, Brazil, Japan, as well as California and other states in the US due to come online next year. He says his solution has been designed to deal with a variety of privacy frameworks beyond GDPR. If that’s so, his company could be in a good position moving forward.

Posted Under: Tech News
Alibaba to help Salesforce localize and sell in China

Posted by on 25 July, 2019

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Salesforce, the 20-year-old leader in customer relationship management (CRM) tools, is making a foray into Asia by working with one of the country’s largest tech firms, Alibaba.

Alibaba will be the exclusive provider of Salesforce to enterprise customers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, and Salesforce will become the exclusive enterprise CRM software suite sold by Alibaba, the companies announced on Thursday.

The Chinese internet has for years been dominated by consumer-facing services such as Tencent’s WeChat messenger and Alibaba’s Taobao marketplace, but enterprise software is starting to garner strong interest from businesses and investors. Workflow automation startup Laiye, for example, recently closed a $35 million funding round led by Cathay Innovation, a growth-stage fund that believes “enterprise software is about to grow rapidly” in China.

The partners have something to gain from each other. Alibaba does not have a Salesforce equivalent serving the raft of small-and-medium businesses selling through its e-commerce marketplaces or using its cloud computing services, so the alliance with the American cloud behemoth will fill that gap.

On the other hand, Salesforce will gain sales avenues in China through Alibaba, whose cloud infrastructure and data platform will help the American firm “offer localized solutions and better serve its multinational customers,” said Ken Shen, vice president of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, in a statement.

“More and more of our multinational customers are asking us to support them wherever they do business around the world. That’s why today Salesforce announced a strategic partnership with Alibaba,” said Salesforce in a statement.

Overall, only about 10% of Salesforce revenues in the three months ended April 30 originated from Asia, compared to 20% from Europe and 70% from the Americas.

Besides gaining client acquisition channels, the tie-up also enables Salesforce to store its China-based data at Alibaba Cloud. China requires all overseas companies to work with a domestic firm in processing and storing data sourced from Chinese users.

“The partnership ensures that customers of Salesforce that have operations in the Greater China area will have exclusive access to a locally-hosted version of Salesforce from Alibaba Cloud, who understands local business, culture and regulations,” an Alibaba spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Cloud has been an important growth vertical at Alibaba and nabbing a heavyweight ally will only strengthen its foothold as China’s biggest cloud service provider. Salesforce made some headway in Asia last December when it set up a $100 million fund to invest in Japanese enterprise startups and the latest partnership with Alibaba will see the San Francisco-based firm actually go after customers in Asia.

Posted Under: Tech News
Revolut tweaks business accounts with new pricing structure

Posted by on 24 July, 2019

This post was originally published on this site

Fintech startup Revolut announced changes to its business accounts this week. The good news is that if you were thinking about trying Revolut for your business needs, it’s now cheaper to get started. But there are some limits.

While Revolut is better known for its regular consumer accounts that let you receive, send and spend money all around the world, the company has been offering launched business accounts for a couple of years.

The main advantage of Revolut for Business is that you can hold multiple currencies. If you work with clients or suppliers in other countries, you can exchange money and send it to your partners directly from Revolut’s interface.

The company also lets you issue prepaid corporate cards and track expenses. Revolut for Business also has an API so that you can automate payments and connect with third-party services, such as Xero, Slack and Zapier.

None of this is changing today. Revolut is mostly tweaking the pricing structure.

Previously, you had to pay £25 per month to access the service with a £100,000 topup limit per month. Bigger companies had to pay more to raise that ceiling.

Now, Revolut is moving a bit more toward a software-as-a-service approach. Instead of making you pay more to receive and hold more money, you pay more as your team gets bigger and you use Revolut for Business more intensively.

The basic plan is free with 2 team members, 5 free local transfers per month and 0.4% in foreign exchange fees. If you want to add more team members or initiate more transfers, you pay some small fees.

If you were paying £25 before, you can now top up as much money as you want in your Revolut account, but there are some limits when it comes to team members (10), local transfers (100 per month) and international transfers (10 per month, interbank exchange rate up to £10,000).

Once again, going over the limits doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to change to a new plan. You’ll pay £0.20 per extra local transfer, £3 per extra international transfer, etc.

Here’s a full breakdown of the new plans:

Screen Shot 2019 07 24 at 7.35.45 PM

If you’re a freelancer, there’s now a free plan. You’ll pay 0.4% on foreign exchange and £3 per international transfer, but there’s no topup limit anymore.

Similarly, the old £7 plan for freelancers has been replaced by a new £7 plan that removes the limit on inbound transfers but adds some limits on transfers.

It’s good news if you’re a small customer. But if you vastly exceed the transfer limit in one of the categories, you might pay more than before. With this change, the company wanted to make Revolut for Business more accessible instead of making small customers subsidize bigger customers with high entry pricing.

Existing customers can switch to a new plan starting today. And Revolut plans to switch everyone to the new plans on October 1st, 2019.

Revolut for Business 2

Posted Under: Tech News
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