Enterprise Security Provider CrowdStrike Raises $100 Million

Digital security provider CrowdStrike, which recently helped the Democratic National Committee respond to its hacking, has raised $100 million in new capital, bringing its total fundraising to $256 million and value close to $1 billion. The Irvine, California-based tech company, founded by two former McAfee execs in 2011, provides SaaS endpoint protection, threat intelligence and incident response through its cloud-based Falcon platform. CrowdStrike now has more than 650 employees worldwide. The company’s subscriptions have grown 476 percent in the last year as cybersecurity becomes a growing concern. Continue reading Enterprise Security Provider CrowdStrike Raises $100 Million

Slack Faces Messaging Competition From Microsoft, Facebook

Group messaging is heating up. Startup Slack Technologies, valued at $3.8 billion, got it going and, now, Microsoft, with Teams, and Facebook, with Workplace by Facebook, are moving in on the space. Slack has been expecting this level of competition for some time, and it’s one of the reasons behind the company’s recent partnership with IBM to use Watson artificial intelligence services. All of this makes it clear that tech companies, big and small, see messaging as the next big thing after email. Continue reading Slack Faces Messaging Competition From Microsoft, Facebook

IBM Looks to Commercialize Artificial Intelligence with Watson

IBM is launching commercialization of its artificial intelligence technology Watson with the hope of growing it into a multibillion-dollar enterprise. Big Blue has already invested billions of dollars and, currently, a staff of 10,000 employees to evolve Watson, which was launched as a business unit in 2014. The effort is beginning to pay off, as Watson is now assisting in diagnosing cancer. IBM is also marketing its AI in TV ads featuring Watson bantering with Nobel laureate Bob Dylan and tennis celebrity Serena Williams. Continue reading IBM Looks to Commercialize Artificial Intelligence with Watson

Salesforce Passes on Twitter, SoftBank Could Be Next in Line

Salesforce has been rumored for some time to be contemplating the purchase of Twitter. But now, Salesforce — like Google and Disney before it — has decided not to buy the digital platform, leading to a 5 percent drop in the value of the company’s stock. With Salesforce no longer interested, some have reported Twitter’s “suitor pool has apparently winnowed to zero.” Now, some believe that Japan’s SoftBank — which has previously expressed interest — could be next in line to make an offer to the social media platform. Continue reading Salesforce Passes on Twitter, SoftBank Could Be Next in Line

Could Twitter Better Serve Communities as a Social Nonprofit?

While Twitter has shown its potential as a communication and news-sharing platform, and continues to experiment (for example: streaming deals with the NFL and a SoundCloud partnership), the company has struggled to turn a profit and satisfy investors. With all the recent hype surrounding a possible acquisition, NPR asks if “it’s worth pondering the idea of Twitter getting out from under the pressures of Wall Street and turning itself into a nonprofit.” Rather than bending to the relentless pressure of competing for growth and profit, pursuing ad revenue and adjusting how its algorithms sort tweets, the platform could possibly prove most useful to journalists, politicians and grassroots movements if it was “free of investor pressure.” Continue reading Could Twitter Better Serve Communities as a Social Nonprofit?

Facebook at Work Enters Crowded Field But Offers Familiarity

Facebook at Work will be unveiled in London on October 10, marking the first time that Facebook has launched a global product outside of the U.S. The work “conversation” platform was developed in Facebook’s London office, and some major European companies — including Telenor and the Royal Bank of Scotland — took part in the closed beta. Facebook vice president of EMEA Nicola Mendelsohn will lead the event, with other Facebook leaders and “special guests” in attendance, although it’s not clear if Mark Zuckerberg will be there. Continue reading Facebook at Work Enters Crowded Field But Offers Familiarity

Tech, Media Firms Join Microsoft’s Suit Against Secrecy Laws

On Friday, Microsoft filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Justice Department, saying that part of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 is unconstitutional. The provision in question prevents Microsoft from letting customers know when their communications have been turned over to law enforcement, which Microsoft says violates the First and Fourth Amendments. Approximately 80 different companies — including Amazon, Google, Snapchat, and Salesforce — have signed briefs in support of Microsoft. Continue reading Tech, Media Firms Join Microsoft’s Suit Against Secrecy Laws

Microsoft Announces Deal to Purchase LinkedIn for $26 Billion

Microsoft just announced that it plans to acquire professional social network LinkedIn for $26.2 billion ($196 per share) in an all-cash deal expected to close this year. The merger will enable Microsoft to offer services to LinkedIn’s 433 million users. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner is slated to remain head of the LinkedIn unit and join the new parent company’s senior leadership team. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the deal will be “key to our bold ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes” as the tech giant continues its push toward becoming a vital enterprise hub. Continue reading Microsoft Announces Deal to Purchase LinkedIn for $26 Billion

The Internet of Things May Be the Next Frontier for Amazon

Amazon is throwing its hat into the IoT ring with a new service for developers through its Amazon Web Services division. The beta service, named AWS IoT, was introduced during the company’s annual AWS conference in Las Vegas. It is designed for developers looking to link Internet-connected devices — from smoke alarms and other household appliances to smartwatches and fitness trackers — with other hardware devices and applications housed on remote servers. The idea is that devices would communicate with each other and take commands from computers. Continue reading The Internet of Things May Be the Next Frontier for Amazon

IoT: Amazon Acquires Connected Enterprise Startup 2lemetry

Amazon recently confirmed that it has acquired 2lemetry, a startup with a focus on creating real value of data being processed and shared via Internet-connected devices. Under Amazon, Denver-based 2lemetry will continue to service its existing clientele, which includes companies such as Honeywell and First Mile. All other deal details remain undisclosed. Amazon’s acquisition of 2lemetry reflects the company’s early efforts to develop an Internet of Things business strategy. Continue reading IoT: Amazon Acquires Connected Enterprise Startup 2lemetry

Virtual Reality Poised to ‘Cross the Chasm’ to the Wider World

Beau Cronin, co-founder of Prior Knowledge and current senior manager of predictive products at Salesforce, recognizes that VR is in the process of transforming from a specialty technology where innovation is driven by small groups of experts, to a general-purpose technology that will tap into a huge, broader market of users and hackers. In a recent article, he postulates that VR today is where the Internet was in 1993, just before Netscape. At that time there was a re-evaluation of all the rules, often done by outsiders. Continue reading Virtual Reality Poised to ‘Cross the Chasm’ to the Wider World

Will.i.am Unveils New Smartwatch with Streaming Music Service

Musician and tech entrepreneur will.i.am has introduced the PULS smartwatch in order to fill what he perceives as a void in a wearable market that does not adequately take fashion into account. At Dreamforce 2014, he presented PULS as a wearable that does not need to be tethered to a phone since it has its own SIM card. The device looks more like a cuff, and has speakers and a touchscreen display. PULS connects via Wi-Fi and has carrier partners for 3G — AT&T in the U.S. and O2 in the U.K.  Continue reading Will.i.am Unveils New Smartwatch with Streaming Music Service

Marketing Cloud: Oracle to Acquire Responsys for $1.5 Billion

Oracle announced on Friday that it will purchase marketing software company Responsys for about $1.5 billion ($27 per share). Responsys software will be integrated in the Oracle Marketing Cloud. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has spent about $50 billion in acquisitions over the past decade, as part of the company’s push toward cloud computing and away from software stored on personal computers and servers. The proposed transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2014. Continue reading Marketing Cloud: Oracle to Acquire Responsys for $1.5 Billion

EXCLUSIVE: ETC Meets with Multichannel Network Maker Studios

ETC staffers Tim Miller, Don Levy and Phil Lelyveld visited Los Angeles-based Maker Studios in August. Maker Studios is a media company founded by YouTube artists in 2009, “the only network that provides partners a full range of vertically integrated services including development, production, promotion, distribution, sales, marketing and merchandise services.” The company manages 60,000 channels and claims to have more than a billion monthly subscribers. Continue reading EXCLUSIVE: ETC Meets with Multichannel Network Maker Studios

Advertising Giants Merge in Effort to Fend Off Silicon Valley

Advertising powerhouses Omnicom Group of the U.S. and Publicus Groupe SA of France announced a merger on Sunday that aims to fend off the growing competition from Silicon Valley tech companies including Google and Facebook. The new Publicis Omnicom Group will have combined revenue of nearly $23 billion. The Wall Street Journal describes the merger as “a $35.1 billion cross-border linkup that shows how Big Data is making Madison Avenue look more like Wall Street.” Continue reading Advertising Giants Merge in Effort to Fend Off Silicon Valley