Retailers Adopt Software, Chatbots to Hone Customer Service

To battle Amazon’s ubiquity and customers’ fickle loyalty, some retailers are testing the new Customer 360 software from Salesforce.com and Freshworks to improve their customer service. The software lets retailers build shopper profiles similar to Facebook to better understand what each customer wants and increase the odds that he or she will become more loyal to the retailer in question. Other strategies retailers are employing are the use of improved chatbots and better customer support training. Continue reading Retailers Adopt Software, Chatbots to Hone Customer Service

IBM and Salesforce to Link AI Technologies for Data Analytics

Chief execs Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com and Ginni Rometty of IBM announced a new partnership yesterday that will combine the two companies’ artificial intelligence technologies to create new data analytics offerings for helping others target products and services. Available in the second half of 2017, the offerings will introduce “integrated AI services that weave the broad human-like conversation and learning capabilities of IBM’s Watson with Salesforce’s more sales-oriented Einstein,” reports The Wall Street Journal. In an “effort to reinvent itself for the cloud-computing era,” IBM has been tailoring Watson “for a variety of industries including health care, financial services and automobiles.” Continue reading IBM and Salesforce to Link AI Technologies for Data Analytics

Slack’s Workplace Messaging App Targets Large Companies

Slack Technologies, launched in 2014, just introduced a new version of its workplace-centric messaging app, with the goal of gaining large corporate contracts. The new Slack Enterprise Grid is built to handle the group messaging needs of very large companies, with thousands or more employees, and includes security tools and regulatory compliance required for such companies’ IT departments to sign off. The original group messaging app is already in play at a few big companies, including Electronic Arts and Samsung Electronics. Continue reading Slack’s Workplace Messaging App Targets Large Companies

Disney Said to Be Considering Possible Bid for Twitter Merger

Following the CNBC report that Google and Salesforce.com were among those being considered for a Twitter takeover, TechCrunch added that Microsoft and Verizon have also expressed interest. Today, headlines indicate that Disney is considering a possible bid. Bloomberg reports that Disney is working with an adviser on a potential deal, in what would be the company’s latest investment in a string of tech-related media businesses including Hulu, Vice and MLB’s BAMTech. The Wall Street Journal suggests that “a Twitter acquisition would be Disney’s biggest technology deal yet” and “could benefit ESPN as cord-cutting becomes more widespread.” Continue reading Disney Said to Be Considering Possible Bid for Twitter Merger

Facing Slow Growth, Twitter Said to Be Considering Takeover

Twitter is reportedly in early discussions with Google, Salesforce.com and others about a possible takeover of the San Francisco-based company. “Twitter is considering divesting itself of … Vine, the mobile six-second video service, and MoPub, a mobile advertising business,” according to The New York Times. Stalled growth has been a challenge for Twitter, which has largely failed to keep up with competitors in recent years. Facebook’s “offerings like Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger continued to outpace Twitter in user growth and profitability, while five-year-old Snapchat has become the newest darling of the social media world.” Continue reading Facing Slow Growth, Twitter Said to Be Considering Takeover

Amazon Creating New Cloud Services for Artificial Intelligence

Amazon is testing an as-of-yet unannounced new cloud service that will let businesses run a wider range of artificial intelligence software on its computers, say people close to the situation. This move puts Amazon, which launched Amazon Web Services in a limited offering in this area last year, in closer competition with Google, Microsoft and IBM, which have already launched various cloud services. The new service will help development of pattern recognition, speech transcription and other robust applications. Continue reading Amazon Creating New Cloud Services for Artificial Intelligence

Digital Hollywood: Reality Lab Demonstrates Live VR Broadcast

Reality Lab gave a technology demonstration of Quantum Leap, the code name for a VR recording device with 16 cameras and proprietary technology that enables it to render real-time video instantly, without post production, on a Samsung Gear VR running Oculus Connect software. Company founder Halsey Minor calls Quantum Leap, which was featured at a Digital Hollywood luncheon, capable of “the first live VR broadcast.” Minor reports that his company plans a music concert VR shoot in the next six months. Continue reading Digital Hollywood: Reality Lab Demonstrates Live VR Broadcast

Salesforce Debuts IoT Cloud to Monitor Data of Smart Devices

Salesforce.com just introduced IoT Cloud, a service that will allow customers to monitor data relayed by smart devices. As the Internet of Things becomes more of a reality — sensors are now found in a wide array of devices and machines — companies need to gather and make sense of the data that those sensors generate. Emerson Electric announced its plans to use Salesforce’s IoT Cloud to combine data from its smart thermostats with weather forecasts to help its users manage their heating and air conditioning. Continue reading Salesforce Debuts IoT Cloud to Monitor Data of Smart Devices

North America to Run Out of Internet Addresses This Summer

The supply of new Internet Protocol addresses has almost run out, which means that companies will likely need to invest a significant amount of money to pay for pricier addresses and system upgrades. IP addresses are similar to telephone numbers that specify where data is going when it is transferred over the Internet. Companies may now have to spend millions of dollars switching to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) to get more addresses for their various online operations. Continue reading North America to Run Out of Internet Addresses This Summer

CES 2013: The Cloud and Digital Disruption in Marketing

“Technology is a continuum. All the technology that you see in those halls will be in a landfill in 10 years,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, at the CES Brand Matters keynote. “We’re all in this industry because we love disruption.” He and a panel of chief marketing officers talked about how technology has changed marketing, noting the various challenges and opportunities as companies transition over to the cloud. Continue reading CES 2013: The Cloud and Digital Disruption in Marketing