Tech news people are talking about this week
Tech news people are talking about this week. PHOTO: Life of Pix

Bangalore-based Wipro, an IT services company, plans to acquire Indianapolis-based Appirio for $500 million in a bid to build a global cloud transformation process.

In a filing to the Securities and Exchange Board of India, Wipro said it expects the acquisition to enhance its market share and positioning in the cloud enterprise applications space, especially in Salesforce and Workday. 

It also said it would "make it a partner of choice for clients who are looking at modernizing their processes and platforms onto next generation cloud applications."

Established in 2006, Appirio is a global services company that helps customers advance employee and customer experience through cloud technologies. It has about 1,250 employees in offices in Indianapolis, San Francisco, Dublin, London, Tokyo and Jaipur, India.

It was an early partner of Salesforce.com, Workday and Google, and a pioneer in crowdsourcing. Appirio brings Topcoder, a crowdsourcing marketplace that connects more than one million designers, developers and data scientists, to customers.

The deal, announced this week, is expected to close by the end of the year subject to customary closing conditions.

In other enterprise technology news ...

Progress Releases DigitalFactory

Progress has officially released its DigitalFactory suite, a cloud-based digital transformation solution built for developers, IT administrators and marketers to help them deliver customer experiences at a global scale. 

Announced in May, the platform is aimed at helping businesses create omnichannel digital experiences. At the same time, Bedford, Mass.-based Progress also rebranded from Progress Software.

Ian Gertler, marketing evangelist for Progress, told CMSWire then that the company's 2014 acquisition of Web CMS provider Telerik, the makers ofSitefinity Web CMS, was a major contributor to the company’s enhanced digital experience product suite.  

Company officials said DigitalFactory helps enterprises simplify delivery including the ability to deliver native mobile capabilities using a single approach; overcome infrastructure challenges and support the business and technology at scale.

"We spent the last year laying the foundation for Progress DigitalFactory, leveraging our skills and proven web content, mobility and data assets," Michael Benedict, chief product officer of Progress, said. "We made an investment in the future of our customers, to better enable them to rapidly innovate by providing more advanced capabilities that drive business agility and governance."

Gartner: Global IT Spending to Reach $3.5T

Worldwide IT spending will reach $3.5 trillion in 2017, according to Gartner analysts. That's up 2.9 percent from this year's estimated spending of $3.4 trillion, according to the latest forecast. 

Software spending is projected to grow 6 percent in 2016, and it will grow another 7.2 percent in 2017 to total $357 billion. IT services spending is on pace to grow 3.9 percent in 2016 to reach $597 billion, and increase 4.8 percent in 2017 to reach $943 billion. 

"The immediate impact of Brexit has caused modest growth in IT spending to turn negative for 2016," John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner, said. "Without the UK, global IT spending growth would have been modestly positive at 0.2 percent in 2016, but with the UK included, IT spending is expected to decrease 0.3 percent. The immediate impact of the British pound will also cause the IT spending patterns to shift as prices for IT will increase."

ANA Elects 15 New Board Members

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) this week elected 15 new board members and three new board officers.

Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer, The Procter & Gamble Co., is now chairman of the board. Deborah Wahl, US chief marketing officer, McDonald’s Corp., is vice chair and Paul Alexander, chief marketing and communications officer, Eastern Bank Corp., is treasurer. 

The new board members are:

  • Paul Alexander, chief marketing and communications officer, Eastern Bank Corp.
  • Maryam Banikarim, global chief marketing officer, Hyatt Corp.
  • Robert Case, chief marketing officer, Nestlé USA
  • Suzy Deering, chief marketing officer, North America, eBay
  • Melisa Goldie, chief marketing officer, Calvin Klein
  • Maggie Chan Jones, chief marketing officer, SAP SE
  • Denise Karkos, chief marketing officer, TD Ameritrade
  • Nadine McHugh, SVP OmniMedia, strategic investments and creative solutions, L’Oréal USA
  • Susan Popper, SVP, experience marketing, Hewlett-Packard
  • Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing officer, MasterCard
  • Tony Rogers, SVP and chief marketing officer, Walmart US
  • Megan Stooke, chief marketing officer of Maven, General Motors Co.
  • Marc S. Strachan, VP, corporate relations, constituent affairs, Diageo North America
  • Nuno Teles, chief marketing officer, Heineken USA
  • Karen Walker, SVP, chief marketing officer, Cisco Systems

Founded in 1910, the ANA provides thought leadership for the marketing industry. Its membership includes nearly 1,000 companies with 15,000 brands that collectively spend or support more than $300 billion in marketing and advertising annually. 

Medallia Acquires Digital VOC Provider 

Palo Alto, Calif.-based customer experience management provider Medallia acquired Kampyle Ltd., a voice of customer platform (VOC). 

Medallia will offer a new product solution, Medallia Digital. It combines Medallia’s data analytics platform with Kampyle’s VOC web and mobile feedback capture capabilities. It brings together customer experience data from online, offline and mobile channels.

“Digital customer experience is a market ripe for disruption — companies simply cannot thrive today without a complete omnichannel view of their customers," Kampyle CEO Ori Soen said.

Medallia Digital will natively integrate into the Medallia enterprise platform. It will be offered as both a stand-alone  and an integrated product. 

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. 

Experticity Selects a CMO

experticity's kevin knight
Kevin Knight

Brand influencer platform Experticity has hired Kevin Knight as chief marketing officer. Knight was formerly head of creative and brand strategy at Pinterest and a team lead in Facebook's creative shop.

Knight also worked at Microsoft and Google

Former HubSpot CRO Joins Curata

Former HubSpot Chief Revenue Officer Mark Roberge has joined the advisory board for Curata, a content marketing software startup. 

The Boston-based company has tripled its employee headcount in the last 18 months.

"Content and inbound marketing have re-shaped the marketing world over the past decade,” Roberge said. 

Roberge helped take HubSpot past the $100 million revenue mark, scaling the customer base to more than 12,000 in 60 countries. Roberge is now senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, and advises a number of ventures, including InsightSquared, TINYPulse, Catalent (formerly HourlyNerd) and VTS.

Curata offers two software platforms for content marketers: Curata Content Curation Software (CCS) for curating content, and Curata Content Marketing Platform (CMP).

Acquia Launches R&D Lab 

Boston-based digital experience software provider Acquia has launched Acquia Labs, a research and development group focused on digital experience. 

Acquia CTO and Drupal inventor Dries Buytaert will lead the program, which will focus on solving user engagement challenges for Acquia customers.

“We’re headed for the next wave of the web, which will radically reinvent how we define the entire concept of online," Buytaert said. "Will websites become obsolete? Will we only converse with computers? How will we get our information on so many new devices?"

Acquia Labs will exhibit at Acquia Engage, Acquia’s annual customer conference Nov. 1 to 3 in Boston.

MaritzCX Partners With Forrester

Lehi, Utah-based MaritzCX, a customer experience software provider, is partnering with Forrester Research to produce Forrester’s Customer Experience Index surveys (CX Index) within the MaritzCX Platform. 

MaritzCX will collect survey data, which it will then send to Forrester for use in its proprietary CX Index. Customers can compare their scores to industry benchmarks by subscribing to Forrester’s benchmark study.

Forrester’s CX Index provides data on customer experience quality, the competitive landscape and areas for improvement.

Hootsuite Claims 15M Users

Vancouver, British Columbia-based Hootsuite said it has surpassed 15 million global users. 

“What was once the focus of a small number of enthusiasts inside an organization, today social media is at the heart of the digital strategy of the largest and most successful businesses,” Penny Wilson, chief marketing officer at Hootsuite, said.