Friday, May 9, 2014

April – Acquisitions Go On

The number of dominating companies grows. Strong companies buy smaller ones, increasing sales and therefore the revenue as two companies together are more valuable than two separate ones. April continues acquisitions. Will they all have chance of success, are they all worthwhile? 
No one knows…

Velocity announced the acquisition of Titan Technology Partners. Founded in 1998, Titan serves Fortune 500 and midmarket organizations in North America, Europe and Asia and maintains offices in Charlotte, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; London, England; Pune, India; and Singapore. It’s a provider of global cloud hosting and managed services, business process outsourcing (BPO) and consulting services.

A Belton, Texas based additive manufacturing service bureau Harvest Technologies entered into a definitive agreement for Stratasys acquisition - a leading global provider of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions. 

IBM purchased Silverpop, which specializes in managing personally-customized Internet promotions. Silverpop assembles profiles of individuals from social media sites, Web usage, email and other digital signals. IBM plans to integrate Silverpop's technologies into its own marketing services.

Google has acquired Mexico-based drone maker Titan Aerospace - the drone startup that makes high-flying robots which was previously scoped by Facebook as a potential acquisition target. Google is interested in Titan Aerospace as its solar-powered drones can fly continuously for 5 years, which makes them idea to bring wireless internet to remote destinations, such as Africa.

Zebra Technologies acquired Motorola's Enterprise business for US$3.45 billion in an all-cash transaction. Illinois-headquartered Zebra has been known for its RFID and real-time location solutions.

Twitter has acquired Gnip, the social data provider that has long provided access to public Twitter data, and that has deepened its relationship with the social network over the years through a series of product and partnership announcements. Gnip offers access to historical Twitter data, and the full Twitter data firehose, but it also offers APIs that provide data from other social networks including Reddit, Instagram, Tumblr, Bitly and more.

Dropbox acquired Loom, a popular service that offers cloud-based photo storage. Dropbox and Loom share many of the same ambitions, but unfortunately, the agreement also spells the end for Loom.The company has immediately halted new signups, and the service will shut down permanently on May 16th. Users can choose to automatically export their photos to Dropbox — and they'll automatically receive the same amount of cloud storage they previously had with Loom or customers can opt to receive a .zip file containing every image they've uploaded to Loom's servers.

Facebook acquires ProtoGeo Oy, a Finnish software company that’s most well-known for making fitness tracker app Moves.  Facebook adds another stand-alone app to its growing stable.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mayday Made a "Button" Revolution

Introduced in autumn of 2013, Amazon Mayday intrigued the whole population. Not only Kindle users were interested in the support button.

And all this has been done for differentiating from the competition. While we used to say that competition is one click away, now we can also say that the best customer service is one button-press away.

“Help” buttons are becoming an important sales tool. In the future it may become a must for many companies. This can have two explanations: people keep hands in pockets to get replies to their questions themselves or life became so busy that we have no time to lose.

Several months passed with positive and negative reviews. Mobile in its turn became an important tool with more and more people using it.  So, at the end of April 2014, mimicking Amazon Mayday, Salesforce added the SOS button, which allows companies to offer service via a mobile app. It’s a one touch live video support with an on-screen guided assistance – what else is needed for the best customer service?

Although there is no pricing announcement for the service yet, Salesforce SOS has support for both iOS and Android.  Similar in concept to Amazon Mayday button, the Salesforce SOS also allows other companies apply the button on their own customer support system. A great tool to boost customer loyalty and satisfaction through better support.

What will the next company call the ‘‘help” button? And when? I guess we’ll not have to wait long.