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IBM Unveils Software Suite, OpenAI Startup Fund Pledges $100M, More News

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IBM debuts new software suite, OpenAI's Converge offers $100M, LiveRamp and Meta expand partnership, more CX news.

IBM has announced a new suite of software designed to help enterprises break down data and analytics silos. IBM Business Analytics Enterprise is a suite of business intelligence planning, budgeting, reporting, forecasting and dashboard capabilities.

Company officials said that along with IBM Planning Analytics with Watson and IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson, this suite also includes a new IBM Analytics Content Hub to view multiple vendors in a single dashboard view. Additionally, it features algorithms that can recommend role-based content to help users surface new stories, reports and dashboards from across the organization.

"Businesses today are trying to become more data-driven than ever as they navigate the unexpected in the face of supply chain disruptions, labor and skills shortages and regulatory changes," Dinesh Nirmal, general manager of data, AI and automation for IBM, said in a statement. "But to truly be data-driven, organizations need to be able to provide their different teams with more comprehensive access to analytics tools and a more complete picture of their business data, without jeopardizing their compliance, security or privacy programs. IBM Business Analytics Enterprise offers a way to bring together analytics tools in a single view, regardless of which vendor it comes from or where the data resides."

In other customer experience and digital marketing software news ...

Alation Raises $123M for Data Intelligence Platforms

Alation Inc., a B2B enterprise software company, has announced it raised $123 million in a Series E financing led by Thoma Bravo, Sanabil Investments and Costanoa Ventures. Company officials said their total funding raised stands at $340M, bringing the company’s current valuation to more than $1.7B. The new capital will go towards accelerating growth, expansion and product innovation.

“We raised $123 million because we wanted to continue to invest and give our customers the world-class data intelligence experience they deserve,” Satyen Sangani, CEO and co-founder of Alation, said in a statement.

OpenX Technologies and Permutive Partner Up

OpenX Technologies, Inc., an omnichannel advertising exchange, and Permutive, an audience platform for publishers and advertisers, have announced a partnership.

Company officials said the partnership will enable buyers and sellers of online advertising to build and activate global audiences without using third-party cookies or device IDs, while preserving the safety and security of user data and will provide more than 200 standardized behavioral cohorts, evaluated in real time.

“Across the expanse of the open web, where media is highly fragmented, finding and engaging audiences in a privacy-friendly manner is both the challenge and imperative of digital marketing,” John Gentry, chief executive officer of OpenX, said in a statement. “Joining forces with Permutive allows us to unlock unique value for buyers and publishers through precision targeting that is safe and secure.”

Related Article: Shutterstock Deepens OpenAI Partnership, Lytics Debuts Conductor, More CX News

Twilio Expands Customer Engagement Platform

Twilio, a customer engagement platform, has announced a new lineup of products and enhancements including a password-less approach, Verify Silent Network Authentication (SNA), and Twilio Engage, which combines a customer data platform (CDP) and native omnichannel together in one platform. The company also announced a new native integration between Google Dialogflow CX and Twilio Voice that can equip virtual agents with advanced AI capabilities in IVRs and Flex.

“In 2022, we’ve continued to bring industry-leading customer engagement innovations to Flex, including Flex Conversations, HIPAA eligibility and an expansion of our Flextensions partner program," Simonetta Turek, GM of customer experience products at Twilio, said in a statement. “We believe that with Flex, brands can turn interactions into opportunities. Don’t ever pass by the opportunity to deepen a long-term customer relationship by arming representatives with complete context on a customers’ needs. We’ve seen this CDP-powered approach pay dividends for savvy brands like TravelPerk and are constantly inspired by the creative ways we see customers leveraging data to bolster lifetime value.”

LiveRamp and Meta Expand Partnership 

LiveRamp, a data connectivity platform, has announced an expanded partnership with Meta that will be powered by LiveRamp’s people-based, privacy-first identifier, RampID.

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Company officials said this integrated partnership will allow marketers to customize marketing strategies while remaining privacy compliant. LiveRamp’s Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS) is now available for marketers to connect to Facebook’s Conversions API (CAPI), a Meta business tool that will create a direct connection between advertiser marketing data and Meta systems.

“Our industry operates in an era when every marketing dollar spent must be accountable, necessitating scalable solutions that enable accurate reach and measurement without the faults inherent to third-party cookies or mobile identifiers,” Travis Clinger, SVP of activations and addressability at LiveRamp, said in a statement. “Embedding ATS and RampID into Facebook delivers a more holistic view of conversion paths to improve the ROI of campaigns. Empowered with this durable, privacy-first infrastructure, marketers are set up to succeed in the current and future ecosystem while gaining more value from their social platform and digital publishing partnerships.”

Related Article: Qualtrics Launches CrossXM, Former Best Buy CEO Joins Spacee Advisory Board, More News

OpenAI Startup Fund Pledges $100M Through Converge

OpenAI, an artificial intelligence (AI) research laboratory, has announced the launch of Converge, a new program to provide AI startups with access to tech, support and $100 million in capital funded by The OpenAI Startup Fund, with investors that include Microsoft and other OpenAI partners.

“We’re looking to partner with a small number of early-stage startups in fields where artificial intelligence can have a transformative effect — like healthcare, climate change and education — and where AI tools can empower people by helping them be more productive,” OpenAi officials said in a press release announcing the program.

Company officials said Converge is a selective, five-week program for engineers, designers, researchers and product builders, who are using AI to reimagine products and industries.

Participants will receive a $1 million equity investment from the OpenAI Startup Fund, as well as early access to OpenAI models and programming tailored to AI companies. Converge will offer workshops, office hours and events with practitioners from the OpenAI team and others, with a focus on ways to navigate the challenges and opportunities of building in a rapidly evolving AI landscape. The program can be completed remotely, although participants should plan to spend the final week of the program in San Francisco.

The first Converge cohort will consist of approximately 10 founding teams, and founders from all backgrounds, disciplines and experience levels are encouraged to apply. Prior experience working with AI systems is not required. The application deadline is Nov. 25, and the program runs Dec. 5 to Jan. 27.

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