Base Enhances Sales Productivity Platform With Real-Time Analytics And Rich Data Visualization

Base, the CRM that leverages real-time data and analytics, recently announced the release of a bevy of new features and functionality that brings real-time, Big Data analytics to cloud-based sales productivity management. Base’s proprietary technology aggregates data from sources such as phone calls, in person meetings, social network-based prospects and news feeds and subsequently produces real-time notifications to sales professionals. As a result, sales teams can minimize their manual input of sales-related data and instead take advantage of the analytic and data visualization capabilities of the Base platform. The Base platform testifies to a qualitative shift within the CRM space marked by the delivery of enhanced automation to sales operations workflows resulting from the conjunction of real-time data, predictive analytics and data visualization. Uzi Shmilovici, CEO of Base, remarked on the positioning of Base within the larger CRM landscape as follows:

Base picks up where other CRMs have left off. Until now, legacy cloud Sales and CRM products like Salesforce have been accepted as ‘the norm’ by the enterprise market. However, recent advancements in big data, mobility and real-time computing reveal a need for a new generation of intelligent sales software that offers flexibility, visibility, and real-time functionality. If you’re using outdated technology that cannot adapt to the advanced needs of modern day sales teams, your competition will crush you.

Here, Shmilovici comments on the way in which big data, real-time analytics and the proliferation of mobile devices have precipitated the creation of a new class of sales applications that outstrip the functionality of “legacy cloud Sales and CRM products like Salesforce.” In a phone interview with Cloud Computing Today, Shmilovici elaborated on the ability of the Base platform to aggregate disparate data sources to produce rich, multivalent profiles of sales prospects that augment the ability of sales teams to convert leads into qualified sales. Base’s ability to enhance sales operations by means of data-driven analytics are illustrated by the screenshot below:

The graphic above illustrates the platform’s ability to track sales conversions at the level of individual sales professionals as well as sales managers or owners within a team. VPs of Sales can customize analytics regarding the progress of their teams to enable enhanced talent and performance management in addition to gaining greater visibility as to where the market poses its stiffest challenges. More importantly, however, Base delivers a veritable library of customized analytics that illustrates a prominent use case for the convergence of cloud computing, real-time analytics and Big Data technologies. As such, the success of the platform will depend on its ability to continue enhancing its algorithms and analytics while concurrently enriching the user experience that remains integral to the daily experience of sales teams.

Categories: Big Data, Miscellaneous | Tags: , , , ,

Guest Blog Post: CEO Digital IQs Vary Widely – and Surprisingly – Between Sectors

The following blog post was guest authored by Chris Curran, a principal and Chief Technologist for PwC’s US Advisory practice.

While no one expects all companies to be on an equal footing when it comes to their level of digital IQ, it’s fascinating to see just how wide the gaps are between regions. We recently surveyed 1,500 business and IT executives and found:

If your company is one of those with ground to make up, there are five behaviors to look for and foster that help companies rise to this new challenge:

Having the CEO become an active digital champion. While many CEOs are thought of as being behind the curve, our study actually found that 77% of business and IT leaders in North America are confident about their digital acumen, more than any other region in the world.

Strengthening the relationship between the CIO and CMO. These are two departments that haven’t historically had to work together before.

An outside-in approach to digital innovation: ideas can come from university and government labs, open source-based innovation, crowd-funded innovation, any number of places that are outside the company itself. Top performers don’t just look in for ideas – they look everywhere.

New IT platform investments. With so much change over the past 18 months, much less few years, significant upgrades are required.

Viewing digital as an enterprise capability: digital capabilities are not specific or centralized functions, but rather are woven throughout to affect all areas of the business.

What factors – cultural, structural, economic – are you seeing as those that are helping companies get more digital?”

Bio: Chris Curran is a principal and Chief Technologist for PwC’s US Advisory practice. A recognized thought leader on the topic of digital innovation, Chris helps organizations develop and apply practical approaches for emerging technologies. He co-leads PwC’s annual Global Digital IQ Survey, in which over 1,400 c-level business and technology executives express their beliefs about the role of IT in economic competition, and also writes the CIO Dashboard blog. Follow him at  @CBCurran.

Categories: Miscellaneous | Tags: , , ,

Tactile Launches With Focus On Synchronization Technology And $11.2M In Series A Funding

Funded by $11.2M in Series A funding from Accel Partners and Redpoint Ventures, Tactile recently launched with the intent of delivering applications that allow professionals to obtain integrated access to data from disparate data sources. The company’s first application, Tact, enables salespeople to synchronize and integrate data about contacts from multiple sources such as Gmail, LinkedIn, Salesforce and Outlook. Tactile’s patent pending “personal sync platform” enables users to combine data from disparate data sources in order to obtain an enriched, holistic, 360 degree view of data that would otherwise remain fragmented and siloed. As such, Tactile builds upon the possibilities for integration and synchronization enabled by cloud-based platforms such as iCloud and Evernote that can synchronize data dispersed across multiple devices.

Tactile CEO Chuck Ganapathi remarked on the contemporary importance of synchronization technologies as follows:

In our personal lives, we have come to expect everything — photos, music, documents — to be available everywhere and instantly up to date. Sync is the defining technology of this generation, and we are on a mission to bring its power to our work lives and deliver business applications that people love.

Here, Ganapathi echoes a remark by Steve Jobs about the importance of synchronization made in one of the last public talks before his death:

I pick up my iPad and it doesn’t have that song on it. So I have to sync my iPhone to my Mac. Then I have to sync my other devices to the Mac to get that song but then they’ve deposited some photos on the Mac so I have to sync the iPhone again with the Mac to get those photos and keeping those devices in sync is driving us crazy.

Whereas iCloud focuses on device synchronization for a specific set of iOS-based devices, Tactile specializes in data synchronization that leverages multiple applications. Given the increasing plurality of software applications whose functionality overlaps to the point where synchronization would be useful, if not imperative, Tactile stands poised to carve out a niche for itself based on the value proposition of putting the needs of the end-user first, and figuring out how to best serve those needs. With an impressive round of Series A funding in the bank, expect to hear more detailed announcements about Tactile’s approach to synchronization and the purview of its vision in the months ahead.

Categories: Miscellaneous, Venture Capital | Tags: , , , , ,

Adallom Discovers Variant Of Zeus Trojan That Targets Salesforce.com

The Zeus trojan is traditionally known to target steal online banking credentials. Known as the “king of bots” by Symantec, the Zeus trojan horse computer malware operates by stealing online credentials and perfoming unauthorized transactions such as money transfers or bank fraud on Windows machines. According to a recent blog post, Adallom Labs has discovered a variant of the Zeus trojan that targets not only Salesforce.com accounts, but any SaaS application more generally. Instead of performing malicious, keystroke-logging based transactions, this new variant of the Zeus trojan made a replica of the victim’s Salesforce-based CRM and similarly stands to crawl entire SaaS-based applications for the purpose of obtaining access to proprietary data or code. While complete details of the mechanism of the transmission of this new variant of the Zeus bot remain undetermined, Adallom was able to specify that the weak link in the security chain typically originates from end user machines that have been “landmined” by Zeus, as opposed to the SaaS application itself, which typically boasts enterprise-grade security. All this suggests that the cybersecurity space will increasingly need to turn its attention to protecting end user machines outside of the corporate network, particularly in the case of SaaS applications that can be accessed from any web-enabled device. Expect details of the transmission of this new form of the Zeus bot to emerge from Adallom pending further investigation of the customer that experienced the Salesforce.com-related breach of security.

Categories: Adallom, cybersecurity, Miscellaneous, Zeus trojan

Backed by Accel Partners, Aorato Launches With Cybersecurity Platform For Active Directory

Today, cybersecurity startup Aorato comes out of stealth to launch internationally with a machine learning-based Directory Services Application Firewall (DAF) designed to ensure the security of Microsoft’s Active Directory protocol. Aorato’s proprietary graph database technology alerts security personnel to eccentricities specific to exchanges between Active Directory entities that may signal or prefigure a security violation. Aorato’s Directory Services Application Firewall iteratively learns from the results of previous analyses and subsequently builds entity profiles that not only identify security breaches retrospectively, but also predicts them based on probabilistic analysis of historical data.

Aorato observes the traffic between Microsoft’s Active Directory servers and network entities such as users and devices in order to create an Organizational Security Graph (OSG) that models relationships between the different entities. The Organizational Security Graph depicts anomalous behavior that can be used to identify potential or actual security breaches. The OSG constructs an attack timeline and profiles of entities that enable speedy categorizations of potential security breaches such that security professionals can take action against the incident in question with the appropriate degree of speed and urgency. Aorato constructed its OSG graph database using a NoSQL database platform and proprietary code used to map relationships between different entities in the Active Directory ecosystem. In an interview with Cloud Computing Today, CEO Idan Plotnik noted that the company began coding OSG using Neo4j but chose to transition to a proprietary, custom developed platform in order to more effectively accommodate the specificities of the relationships between and amongst Active Directory entities.

Prior to Aorato, Idan was CEO of a security consulting firm that specialized in security solutions for Microsoft products and technologies. Aorato recently finalized a second round of funding of over $8M that brings the total capital raised by the company to $10M. Investors include Accel Partners, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Glilot Capital Partners and entrepreneurs Mickey Boodaei and Rakesh Loonkar. The Aorato team has significant experience working for the Cybersecurity department within the Israeli Defense Forces and plans to maintain R&D in Israel while locating sales and marketing and other company functions in the U.S., in NYC. The cybersecurity space should expect to hear more about Aorato in the upcoming months, particularly as it signs up more enterprise customers and reveals further details about the analytics enabled by its proprietary, Big Data graph database platform.

Categories: Miscellaneous, Venture Capital | Tags: , , , ,

Dropbox Valuation Soars To $10B After $250M Funding Raise

According to The Wall Street JournalDropbox has raised $250M in a recent funding round that brings the company’s valuation to $10 billion. The capital raise is led by BlackRock Fund, and brings the total funding raised by Dropbox to over $500M. Dropbox’s valuation at $10 billion means that the company’s value has more than doubled since its $4 billion valuation in late 2011.The recent funding raise is intended to accelerate product development and business development activities targeted to enterprise customers interested in features related to enhanced security, role based access, audit controls and related features. This is not the first time Dropbox has raised a quarter of a million dollars in capital: Dropbox raised $250M in 2011 in a round financed by Goldman Sachs, Sequoia, Index Ventures and Accel Partners. Dropbox’s recent funding raise is set to pit it squarely with competitor Box, which raised $100M at a $2 billion valuation in December 2013. As IPO rumors proliferate about both Dropbox and Box, consumers stand to benefit from ever increasing free storage allotments for both platforms designed to boost usage of and familiarity with the cloud-based file sharing and storage vendor in question.

Categories: Miscellaneous

Egenera’s Hybrid Cloud Management Platform Now Supports Microsoft Hyper-V

Egenera, a Boxborough, MA-based company specializing in cloud infrastructure management, recently announced a new release of its Egenera Cloud Suite platform for provisioning “physical, virtual, and public cloud resources” from within the purview of a single management interface. The new release serves the needs of both enterprises and cloud service providers that face the challenge of managing workloads within public cloud infrastructures and on premise environments. Enhancements to the Egenera Cloud Suite platform, which combines the PAN Cloud Director, PAN Manager and PAN Domain Manager, include support for Microsoft Hyper-V and Active Directory, more granular role-based access controls and improvements to billing and templating that streamline and automate workflows.

Given that enterprises increasingly leverage combinations of on premise and public cloud environments to differentially accommodate the needs of test, development and production environments, the ability of the Egenera PAN Manager and PAN Cloud Director to comprehensively manage varied hosting infrastructures positions it strongly to manage hybrid clouds, the most common use case for cloud deployments since comparatively few organizations pursue a “cloud only” solution. Egenera’s recent release builds on this summer’s integration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), whereby AWS is now part of the standard service catalog within its Pan Cloud Director service catalog. Meanwhile, this week’s release marks a significant breakthrough for Egenera, which now expands its purview to virtualized environments supported by the Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor due to requests from many of its customers, as noted in an interview with Cloud Computing Today.

Categories: Miscellaneous | Tags: , , , , ,

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