LinkedIn
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LinkedIn and Vista Equity Partners each went after their share of the sales technology pie through separate acquisitions this week.

LinkedIn announced it acquired Redwood City, Calif.-based sales tech provider Heighten in a move designed to bolster its Sales Navigator platform. Officials at LinkedIn made the announcement on Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, Vista Equity Partners announced it acquired sales performance management provider Xactly in a deal worth $564 million.

LinkedIn has three product lines — Talent Solutions, Marketing Solutions and Premium Subs, which includes Sales Solutions. The Heighten software will be an extension of the latter through an integration with LinkedIn's Sales Navigator platform, a sales tool for prospecting and insights. 

In March, LinkedIn added a new enterprise edition tier and other enhancements to Sales Navigator. At the time, LinkedIn officials called it the biggest update since its integration of Sales Navigator with Salesforce and Gmail last June.

Adding Heighten to LinkedIn

According to LinkedIn officials, Heighten technology provides capabilities in sales process tracking and pipeline reporting and an intelligent notepad.  

With the sales process tracking feature salespeople can see actions and content relevant to each pipeline stage. 

The sales pipeline reporting feature lets managers and reps view current opportunities and update fields such as amount, close date, stage and next steps. This data ties directly back to CRM systems.

The intelligent notepad allows sales reps to take notes and transfer them back into their CRM system without the manual "heavy lifting" of CRM data entry.  

"The Heighten intelligent workspace is truly unique in its ability to bring together all of the key systems salespeople rely on — CRM, calendar, email, social and delivered — in an innovative, intuitive, and user friendly way," Heighten CEO Luke Braud blogged Tuesday. "This approach to sales productivity is a natural extension of LinkedIn's goal to make Sales Navigator the best version of LinkedIn for Salespeople, the System of Engagement, and ultimately influence every relationship‐based sale for our customers."

Heighten, Braud added, will no longer offer the Heighten service as a standalone. 

Xactly Buy Ushers in 'New Era of Compensation Management'

The acquisition of San Jose, Calif.-based Xactly comes after Vista's $1.79 billion acquisition of Marketo last year. 

“This announcement represents a very positive event for our stockholders and enables Xactly to build upon its successful 12-year history,” Christopher W. Cabrera, founder and CEO of Xactly, said in a statement. “We are confident that Vista is the ideal partner to accelerate our growth initiatives and enable Xactly to focus on innovation and customer success while forging a new era of incentive compensation management.”

Xactly provides cloud-based, incentive compensation solutions for employee and sales performance management. It was named a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management software report.

In other technology news ...

Red Hat Acquires Codenvy

Open-source solution provider Red Hat announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Codenvy, which provides development tools for container-based and cloud-native applications. 

Codenvy's apps will complement Red Hat JBoss Middleware and Red Hat OpenShift, officials said. Red Hat intends to make Codenvy a part of OpenShift.io, the company's hosted development environment for building hybrid cloud services on OpenShift, launched earlier this month.

Codenvy, founded in 2013, is powered by Eclipse Che, the open source cloud integrated development environment (IDE) and developer workspace server. 

San Francisco-based Codenvy and Raleigh, N.C.-based Red Hat were partners before the acquisition. They teamed with Microsoft in a move designed to integrate programming languages across code editors and IDEs. 

"Thanks to the increasing push towards digital transformation and the use of technology platforms, including apps, as a strategic business advantage, the role of the developer has never been more important," Craig Muzilla, senior vice president in the application platforms business for Red Hat, said in a statement. "But, accelerated innovation through agile development requires new approaches and tools."

MailChimp Launches Instagram Ads

Atlanta-based MailChimp has launched Instagram Ads, following a similar integration with Facebook earlier this year.

MailChimp users can now track campaigns on Instagram without leaving MailChimp.

MailChimp main marketing channels are now email, Facebook and Instagram.

Instagram integration with MailChimp

John Foreman, VP of product management for MailChimp, said MailChimp’s ecommerce customers already spend a lot of time and effort making sure their brand and product photography is on point. 

"Now," he added, "you can use those beautiful images to bring in customers.”

Hoylu Debuts Remote Features

Enterprise collaboration provider Hoylu has announced the public beta release of new real-time remote collaboration features to help work teams collaborate better despite locations. 

The updates are included in the Malmö, Sweden-based company's Hoylu Inspiration Suite.

"The ability to work in real-time from anywhere in the world makes it easier for teams to collaborate and dramatically increases productivity in the workplace," Hoylu CEO Stein Revelsby said in a statement. 

Hoylu also introduced new cloud-based capabilities, including an unlimited workspace that can be accessed by multiple devices at any time. 

Company officials said the functionality helps companies implement process methodologies like LEAN and Agile. Hoylu's open platform also allows third party applications to run on displays.