Fuze
Investors have given Fuze $334 million to date.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Fuze got one step closer to an IPO after closing on its latest round of venture capital this week — this time, for $30 million.

Fuze officials said this week’s cash infusion will be used to “accelerate product innovation for Fuze’s enterprise customer segment and continue international expansion in Asia Pacific and Latin America.”

Fuze is a provider of cloud-based Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS). Its products are designed to help enterprises become more productive and collaborative through integration of voice, video and messaging.

The last round came in February and totaled more than $100 million for the second year in a row, setting the stage for an initial public offering as early as next year.

This round brings Fuze’s total funding to $334 million.

Steve Kokinos, Fuze co-founder and executive chairman, said the company has been building Fuze for more than 10 years.

"Over the last 12 months in particular," Kokinos said, "CIOs at large enterprises are no longer deciding if they should move their communications to the cloud, but when.”

In February, Fuze also appointed cloud networking and security veteran Colin Doherty as CEO. More recently, the company added Chris Conry as CIO to oversee IT, business systems and security and announced the general availability of Fuze Connect, aimed at meshing business applications with the Fuze platform.

In other technology news …

Zendesk Acquires Outbound

Customer support provider Zendesk announced Thursday the completion of its acquisition of Outbound, whose technology enables customer experience and marketing teams to deliver behavior-based messages across email, mobile and web channels. 

It will help Zendesk’s Connect product. 

“With the Outbound team now joining Zendesk, we will be able to more rapidly build out our product family and accelerate our promise to deliver a single, seamless customer experience," said Mikkel Svane, Zendesk CEO, chairman and founder.

Apttus Updates Cloud Platform

Apttus announced this week the general availability of Apttus Snap Performance, which includes software and cloud platform improvements designed to increase the speed of Configure Price Quote (CPQ) operations.

Apttus made the announcement at its fifth annual user conference, Apttus Accelerate 2017, being held at Pier 48 in San Francisco.

Apttus leverages AngularJS for customer responsiveness and UI flexibility. Company officials claim this had led to improved cart performance with the utilization of Angular Grid UI for searching and pricing.

Apttus also talked up Max, a Quote-to-Cash virtual assistant at its conference.

Max utilizes a conversational user interface. It can also access Apttus' machine learning. It can prompt users to make decisions and provide insight into product or discount recommendations that will affect a salesperson's commission.

Other announcements made at the conference included new integrated offerings with SAP, Microsoft, IBM, Adobe and ServiceNow.

Bynder Integrates with Adobe Creative Cloud

Bynder, an Amsterdam-based digital asset management provider, this week announced a new integration with Adobe Creative Cloud through Silicon Publishing. Silicon provides automated multi-channel publishing with Adobe InDesign. 

Silicon Publishing's Adobe Creative Cloud connector for Bynder enables customers to use assets directly in Adobe's Creative Cloud software.

The Creative Cloud connector is available now as a plug-in and enables direct linking from InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator to assets in Bynder. It automatically links to Creative Cloud documents and updates InDesign assets that have been edited on a web server or in Bynder.

Canto Updates Flight

Also in DAM news this week, Berlin-based Canto released the latest update to its cloud-based media asset management system, Flight. 

Flight CDG includes a number of new capabilities including Smart Tags, which auto-suggests keywords based on image analysis from Amazon Rekognition.  

The update also includes integration with Google Analytics to monitor asset performance, additional international Amazon S3 data storage locations, improved language support and Adobe InDesign CC 2017 support.

Canto CEO Jack McGannon said in a statement, "“We continue to add a rich set of features into Flight, yet we do it in a very intuitive way, to serve the needs of today’s busy marketers.” 

Optimizely Adds PCI Compliance

San Francisco-based Optimizely announced this week that Optimizely X now meets the security standards for online payment processing with PCI compliance. 

Optimizely X allows marketing teams to test digital customer experience strategies.

“Brands shouldn’t have to cherry pick which elements of the online shopping experience they want to optimize,” said David Schwarzbach, COO at Optimizely. “With PCI compliance, Optimizely customers can now confidently run experiments across every aspect of the online shopping experience including the critical step of checking out with a credit card."