News Bites Platforms and Clouds Phones and Ohms

News Bites: Platforms and Clouds, Phones and Ohms

4 minute read
Shelagh Collins avatar

The latest in training, security, integrating, golfing and expanding from the home of the Apple Blossom Festival, Deadwood City and Silicon Wadi, Gator Country and Cantabrigia, the Land of Poets and Philosophers and Fog City.

More than Cuddly Toys


Simeon Cathey, Heather Newman and Michael Thompson, founders of Panda Works Inc., based in Sebastopol, Calif., are self-named SharePoint veterans who have just made available Content Panda – “a free in-context help and training platform for Office 365 and SharePoint.”

The new release claims to eliminate “a good portion of user confusion and platform failure when people just get confused on how to use SharePoint” and “does the heavy lifting behind the scenes to bring the wisdom of thousands of experts worldwide to every user.”

The user interface includes:

  • A written description of the selected SharePoint item
  • Curated links to relevant content from industry experts
  • Contextual search results from predefined keywords
  • Hand‐picked training and informational videos from across the web

Content Panda connects "people directly to common questions and answers the moment they need guidance,” said Cathey, the company's CEO and co-founder. The free version of Content Panda is available for Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint 2013 online is available here.

Just the thing for anyone who likes to be tucked in at night with a stuffed fuzzy, a blanky and a bedtime training platform.

FireLayers Walk with Me

FireLayers, a cloud security provider with corporate offices in Redwood City, Calif. and Herzliya, Israel, this week released a new policy-based cloud application security gateway. The company claims it will “allow IT teams to define, deploy and enforce corporate security, compliance and governance policies across any device or application … with near-zero performance impact.”

Co-founder and CEO Yair Grindlinger stated: “IT teams and business leaders are becoming increasingly aware that cloud app security is a corporate problem, and that they need to be responsible for the security of how the application is used, the data and the users themselves."

The three components of the cloud application security gateway are: FireLayers Control, FireLayers Respond and FireLayers Analyze.

FireLayers gives IT teams "a cloud application security gateway to control and secure all cloud application usage at a granular level,” boasted Doron Elgressy, FireLayers co-founder and president.

And after all that it’s time for a slice of some good cherry pie and a damn fine cup of coffee.


Call Them Maybe

As far as SharpSpring is concerned, the phone is "the most valuable sales enablement channel for many businesses today.” Based on that concept, the recently-acquired SMTP company has released integrated call tracking, to provide “a unified view of the customer, including both web and phone touch points that arm the sales force with real-time, actionable data.”

SharpSpring, based in Gainesville, Fla and Cambridge, Mass claims to be “the first and only company to offer fully integrated call tracking, web tracking and CRM.”

Rick Carlson, president of SharpSpring states: “With integrated call tracking, SharpSpring pulls together all relevant customer touch points in a single, powerful platform for the first time.”

Who says phoning it in is such a bad thing?

Learning Opportunities


Holy HANA!


SAP is hoping its new mobile app hosted on the HANA cloud platform will land a hole-in-one for the 2015 Solheim Cup, where Europe’s twelve best female golfers will be competing against their counterparts from the United States during the three day event. The new digital golf experience is a real birdie for fan engagement.

Ivan Khodabkhsh, CEO, Ladies European Tour lauded this follow-through. “This fan app is just the first step in creating a breakthrough digital experience at the 2015 Solheim Cup.”

The scratch golfer of mobile apps promises to provide:

  • venue information
  • team and player profiles
  • social media functionality
  • real-time match and scoring details
  • live streaming

Chris Burton, group vice president for Global Sponsorships, SAP, based in Walldorf, Germany, called it “a perfect opportunity for SAP to bring Solheim Cup fans as close to the action as possible.”

The Solheim Cup 2015 mobile app is available for download at the Apple App Store and Google play.

No doubt the new app will drive for show, putt for dough.

Zendesk and the Art of Customer Maintenance

In response to what it calls “the growing need for a modern customer service platform at large organizations,” San Francisco-based Zendesk has launched an Enterprise Elite pricing plan.

Mikkel Svane, Zendesk founder and CEO, noted, “Too often, being big means losing the personal touch that’s the backbone of a company’s relationship with its customers.”

A new enterprise team of more than 50 people will “guide organizations along proven customer service adoption paths for enterprises” The focuses of the four so-called paths are: scalable support, effortless self-service, proactive engagement, and employee service.