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San Francisco Just Passed A First-of-its Kind Tax On Big Businesses — Like Square And Stripe — To Help The Homeless

San Francisco just passed a first-of-its kind tax on big businesses — like Square and Stripe — to help the homelessShirin Ghaffary / ReCode - 11 months ago
  • San Francisco voters passed a measure that has divided the tech community and sparked a national debate about the industry’s responsibility to fix the city’s homelessness crisis.
  • Proposition C will raise the city’s gross receipts tax by an average of .5 percent on annual gross receipts over $50 million that companies like Square, Lyft and Salesforce generate.
  • The thousands of people living on San Francisco’s streets serve as a daily reminder of economic inequality in a city that has one of the highest concentrations of billionaires in the nation.
  • The decision to increase funding for the city’s most needy is a victory for the local nonprofits behind the measure and their tech fairy godfather, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff — who, together with his company, has poured more than $7 million into the campaign within the month leading up to the election.

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Salesforce Picks Up Interactive Email Startup Rebel

Salesforce picks up interactive email startup RebelMaria Deutscher / SiliconANGLE - 12 months ago
  • Rebelmail Inc., a venture-backed marketing technology startup that does business as Rebel, today announced that it has been acquired five years after launching.
  • The company on the other end of the transaction is Inc., which will use the startup’s software to bolster its Marketing Cloud.
  • Chief among the features that the startup provides is the ability to process in-mail transactions.
  • In addition to processing payments, companies can use Rebel to create emails that let users take surveys, book appointments and leave reviews among other actions.

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Salesforce’s Customer 360 Unifies Data To Deliver Consistent Cross-channel Experiences

Salesforce’s Customer 360 unifies data to deliver consistent cross-channel experiencesKyle Wiggers / VentureBeat - 12 months ago
  • Salesforce today announced the undoubted headliner of its 2018 Dreamforce conference: Customer 360, a highly configurable new service that aims to unify cross-channel customer experiences.
  • “Seventy percent of customers say connected experiences — an engagement with a brand that reflects an understanding of past actions, product usage, and a host of other personalized factors — are very important to winning their business,”  Salesforce wrote in a press release.
  • In keeping with the spirit of unification, Customer 360 adopts a single ID system that enables every service, channel, and app to recognize customers regardless of how they identify themselves.
  • “Unlike massive data lakes or data warehouses that can become costly and slow systems down, Customer 360 leaves data in the system where it originated, retrieving it only when needed,” Salesforce wrote.

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Adobe Confirms It’s Buying Marketo For $4.75 Billion

Adobe confirms it’s buying Marketo for $4.75 billion CNBC - 1 year ago
  • Adobe on Thursday announced that it's acquiring Marketo, a company that sells marketing software, from Vista Equity Partners for $4.75 billion.
  • The move could have implications for other competitors like HubSpot, Oracle, SAP and Salesforce.
  • Earlier on Thursday CNBC reported that Adobe was close to announcing the deal.
  • "Adding Marketo's engagement platform to Adobe Experience Cloud will enable Adobe to offer an unrivaled set of solutions for delivering transformative customer experiences across industries and companies of all sizes," Adobe said in a statement.

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A U.K.-based Group Is Trying To Buy Fortune Magazine

A U.K.-based group is trying to buy Fortune magazinePeter Kafka / ReCode - 1 year ago

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Einstein Voice Gives Salesforce Users Gift Of Gab

Einstein Voice gives Salesforce users gift of gabRon Miller / TechCrunch - 1 year ago
  • In a world where Amazon Alexa and Siri make talking to our devices more commonplace in our non-work lives, it makes sense that companies are trying to bring that same kind of interaction to work.
  • In this case, you can conversationally enter information about a meeting, get daily briefings about key information on your day’s meetings (particularly nice for salespeople who spend their day in the car) and interact with Salesforce data dashboards by asking questions instead of typing queries.
  • For the meetings notes part, instead of typing on a smartphone, which can be a challenge anyway, you simply touch Meeting Debrief in the Einstein Voice mobile tool and start talking to enter your notes.
  • It can also pick out key data like dates and deal amounts and let you set action items to follow up on.

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Salesforce Will Acquire Enterprise E-commerce Software Startup CloudCraze

Salesforce will acquire enterprise e-commerce software startup CloudCrazeCatherine Shu / TechCrunch - 2 years ago
  • Salesforce is set to buy CloudCraze, an enterprise e-commerce solution built on its cloud-based customer relationship management platform.
  • According to Crunchbase, CloudCraze received $30.6 million in funding, including a $20 million round in 2017 that included participation from Salesforce Ventures (the company’s strategic investment arm) and Insight Venture Partners.
  • In CloudCraze’s announcement, its president and chief customer officer Ray Grady wrote “The B2B commerce industry is expected to grow from $889 billion today to $1.2 trillion by 2012, and capturing this opportunity has never been more important for businesses.
  • After an acquisition spree in 2016, when it bought more than twelve companies, Salesforce took a break last year.

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Cloud Communications Startup UJET Raises $25M Round Led By Google’s VC Arm

Cloud communications startup UJET raises $25M round led by Google’s VC armDuncan Riley / SiliconANGLE - 2 years ago
  • Cloud communications platform startup UJET Inc. has raised $25 million in funding in a Series B round that was led by Google Inc.’s GV along with Citi Ventures, Kleiner Perkins and DCM Ventures.
  • Founded in 2015, UJET offers a cloud-based mobile-ready platform that is claimed to deliver a “holistic” voice and chat experience across phone, web and app.
  • The platform integrates with customer relationship management and other enterprise platforms, including Salesforce and Zendesk.
  • UJET claims to have experienced “rapid adoption” with a customer base that includes the Inc.-owned Blink, Ring and SpotHero.

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Salesforce Is Investing $2 Billion In Canada, As US Tech Firms Head North

Salesforce is investing $2 billion in Canada, as US tech firms head north CNBC - 2 years ago
  • Toronto is a hub for artificial intelligence research and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is visiting California this week in part to speak with U.S.
  • A Canadian program allows businesses to get work permits for foreign workers in about two weeks.
  • Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff did not specify why the company chose Canada but he said, "Like you, were a city that values diversity, we value equality and we also value innovation.
  • The company did not respond to a question about whether the immigration policies in the two countries influenced the decision.

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AI4All, Created By Google Cloud’s Fei-Fei Li, Is Pairing Tech Workers And High School Students On AI Projects

AI4All, created by Google Cloud’s Fei-Fei Li, is pairing tech workers and high school students on AI projectsKhari Johnson / VentureBeat - 2 years ago
  • AI4All, an organization created by tech leaders like Melinda Gates and Nvidia founder Jensen Huang, launches its first-ever mentorship program today at Oakstop, a coworking space in Oakland, California.
  • The program will join tech workers from companies like Salesforce, IBM, and Accenture with high school students underrepresented in AI to work on projects that apply machine learning to solve problems for the benefit of humanity.
  • AI4All was established by a group that includes Fei-Fei Li, Google Cloud chief scientist and director of Stanford’s AI Lab and Vision Lab, whose passion for democratization of AI was made a central part of the launch of Google’s second-generation tensor processing unit.
  • Over the course of the next three months, students and tech workers will explore things like

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IBM Expands AI Partnership With Salesforce

IBM expands AI partnership with SalesforceMike Wheatley / SiliconANGLE - 2 years ago
  • The company’s alliance was struck last March, when the pair announced they’d be integrating Watson with Salesforce’s relatively newer Einstein AI tech.
  • The original partnership announcement was followed by the launch of new services, including IBM Cloud Integration for Salesforce, which helps connect enterprise and external data that sits outside a company’s customer relationship management system for better insights.
  • The companies are also expanding their original IBM Cloud Integration for Salesforce offering with new “AI-driven recommendations for next best actions,” officials said.
  • “The success of our customers drives everything we do at Salesforce, including our strategic partnership with IBM,” Salesforce Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff (pictured, alongside IBM CEO Ginni Rometty) said in a statement.

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Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg Among 100+ CEOs Pushing Congress To Keep DACA Program

Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg among 100+ CEOs pushing Congress to keep DACA program Rex Crum / SiliconBeat - 2 years ago
  • That ad will be in the form of an open letter that the chief executives of more than 100 companies and trade groups have also sent to the leaders of Congress with the goal of extending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA.
  • However, the CEOs are asking Congress to vote on extending the DACA program by Jan.
  • DACA is the federal program that protects the status of about 700,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.
  • Among Bay Area CEOs, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins and CEO Marc Benioff have put their signatures on the letter.

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Unbabel Raises $23 Million From Microsoft, Salesforce, Others To Grow Its Machine-human Translation Platform

Unbabel raises $23 million from Microsoft, Salesforce, others to grow its machine-human translation platformPaul Sawers / VentureBeat - 2 years ago
  • Unbabel, a machine translation platform that uses humans to verify translated content, has raised $23 million in a series B round of funding from Microsoft Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Samsung Next, Scale Venture Partners, Notion Capital, Caixa Capital, and Funders Club.
  • Founded in 2013, Unbabel’s technology merges neural machine translation, natural language processing (NLP), and quality estimation algorithms to automate translations between more than 70 language combinations.
  • The system works in a sort of loop whereby the machines translate the text, humans refine it, machines check it over again, and then it “repeats until the translation is spot on,” according to a company spokesperson.
  • Unbabel can be integrated with many content management systems, marketing tools, and CRM software, including WordPress, Salesforce, Zendesk, and MailChimp.

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Unbabel Raises $23M For Its ‘AI-powered, Human-refined’ Translation Platform

Unbabel raises $23M for its ‘AI-powered, human-refined’ translation platformSteve O'Hear / TechCrunch - 2 years ago
  • Lisbon-headquartered Unbabel, a startup that has developed what it describes as an “AI-powered, human-refined” translation platform that makes it more cost effective to conduct business globally, has raised $23 million in Series B funding.
  • The round is led by Scale Venture Partners, with participation from Microsoft Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Samsung Next, Notion Capital, Caixa Capital, and Funders Club.
  • A graduate of Y Combinator’s 2014 Winter Batch, Unbabel uses AI/machine learning, augmented with a network of around 55,000 human translators, to power translations across multiple text-based content and communication, such as email, chat, websites and more.
  • In a call with Unbabel co-founder and CEO Vasco Pedro, he explained that the company plans to use the additional capital to invest further in the AI/machine learning side of the platform, which has increasingly come into play as Unbabel scales.

Amazon And Salesforce Are Reportedly Moving Away From Oracle’s Database

Maria Deutscher / SiliconANGLE - 2 years ago
  • The news is not too surprising given that Oracle competes with both companies in various pieces of cloud computing.
  • According to the sources who leaked the news to The Information, Salesforce and Amazon have already made significant progress toward removing their dependence on Oracle. Each company is taking a different approach to the task.
  • Amazon is reportedly working to move from Oracle’s database to open-source NoSQL software.
  • The Information report also noted that the increasingly pitched competition between Oracle and the other two companies is apparent in product names.

AI Operators Will Play A Critical Role As Bots Redefine The Workplace

Tomer Naveh, Albert / VentureBeat - 2 years ago
  • It’s no surprise then that emerging AI platforms like Salesforce’s Einstein, Amazon’s Alexa, and my company’s Albert followed suit.
  • This makes enough sense from a task perspective: AI will do work like a colleague.
  • Today’s autonomous technologies simply aren’t programmed to explain themselves — they’re programmed to perform.
  • The human need to understand why perhaps reveals an underlying assumption: that technology has motives and operates according to its own free will.

SendBird Raises $16 Million To Help Developers Add Messaging Features To Their Apps

Paul Sawers / VentureBeat - 2 years ago
  • SendBird, a company that provides the infrastructure for developers to build messaging and chat services into their apps, has raised $16 million in a series A round of funding led by Shasta Ventures and August Capital, with participation from Y Combinator and FundersClub.
  • Redwood City, California-based SendBird serves up a messaging SDK and chat API that enable mobile apps and websites to offer chat and messaging features.
  • SendBird, on the other hand, is more about internet protocol (IP) messaging, which offers richer functionality, including easier photo sharing, group chats, and more. A more direct competitor to SendBird would be a startup such as Layer, which raised a $15 million round earlier this year and which claims big-name backers such as Salesforce and Microsoft.
  • SendBird launched in South Korea in 2015, where its main R&D hub remains, though it has since moved its main headquarters to Silicon Valley.

Salesforce Is Latest Big Tech Vendor To Join The Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Ron Miller / TechCrunch - 2 years ago

AWS Calls Out The Competition, But Can They Back It Up?

Mark Albertson / SiliconANGLE - 2 years ago
  • While Jassy is certainly not the first to call out Oracle in public ( Inc’s Marc Benioff has practically made a career of it), the comments led some to speculate that AWS is gearing up for a strategic push to take significant business away from the cloud services provider.
  • “He’ll only talk trash if he’s got a solution in his back pocket. He called them an abusive partner to their customer.
  • Furrier joined co-host Stu Miniman (@stu, pictured, left) during the AWS re:Invent event in Las Vegas, Nevada, to discuss the competitive landscape, advances in serverless models, and how new connectivity applications are changing the software world.
  • If AWS is going to feel the heat from competition, it may come from Microsoft.

Amazon Officially Launches Alexa For Business Platform, Bringing Voice Services To The Office

Khari Johnson / VentureBeat - 2 years ago
  • Amazon is bringing its AI assistant to the workplace with a new service called Alexa for Business. The news was announced today by Amazon CTO Werner Vogels onstage during the keynote address at the AWS re:Invent being held this week in Las Vegas.
  • Alexa for Business will be able to place meeting calls with RingCentral, Cisco, Polycom, Zoom, and other communication companies that can respond when you say “Alexa, join my meeting.” The platform will also include Salesforce to answer questions about business performance, Concur for expenses, SAP SuccessFactors for HR, and other third-party voice services for the enterprise.
  • A series of features added to Alexa since launch make the AI assistant better equipped to enter the workplace today than it was this time last year, including the ability to make phone and video calls, and the incorporation of calendars from Office 365 and Google’s G Suite.
  • The expansion is also likely to put to use AI services announced Wednesday like AWS Transcribe, AWS Comprehend, and Recognition Video.