Sitecore, a digital experience management software provider, made big waves at its Sitecore Symposium customer conference this week by announcing its agreement to acquire Stylelabs, which offers a Marketing Content Hub platform. According to a press release on the deal, Stylelabs' platform centralizes the ability to define content strategy and allows users to publish marketing content across channels.

Sitecore plans to incorporate Stylelabs’ digital asset management (DAM), marketing resource management (MRM) and product information management (PIM) applications into the Sitecore Experience Cloud. Officials said the Stylelabs Marketing Content Hub complements Sitecore’s web content management, commerce and digital experience platform capabilities with the same .NET architecture. 

Stylelabs’ nearly 100 employees will become part of Sitecore, including its entire leadership team. Sitecore’s acquisition of Stylelabs is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close this month. Financial terms were not disclosed. 

In other customer experience news ...

G2 Crowd Secures $55 Million in Series C Funding

G2 Crowd, a crowdsourcing business software review site, has announced a $55 million Series C funding round led by IVP, with participation from Emergence Capital and returning investors Accel and Pritzker Group. This brings the total funding to $100 million. G2 Crowd also welcomed IVP’s Jules Maltz to its board of directors.  "My co-founders and I started G2 Crowd because we loved working together, and we wanted to build a meaningful company that would help other entrepreneurs and innovators thrive — and reach their potential," Godard Abel, co-founder and CEO of G2 Crowd, wrote in a blog post. "Six years later, and we are proud to have helped more than 23 million business buyers find the right software and services for their companies." 

Abel said the company recently verified its 500,000th review, more than doubling its count from a year ago. It's covered 58,000 products and services across nearly 1,200 solution categories. With the funding, G2 Crowd plans to continue its hiring momentum, including a 500 percent headcount increase at its Chicago and San Francisco offices, as well as overseas. 

Cloud Marketing Executive Joins Unitas Global

Unitas Global, which provides enterprise cloud solutions, has appointed Scott Walker as its chief marketing officer. Walker was hired to strengthen Unitas Global’s position in the managed cloud services marketplace and will report directly to CEO Patrick Shutt.

Prior to joining Unitas Global, Walker served in VP and director-level marketing and sales roles at companies across the cloud services sector. Walker served as VP and head of cloud infrastructure at Ericsson. Before joining Ericsson, Walker served as VP of indirect channels and alliances at Equinix. He’s also held senior-level positions with Arcserve, AT&T Solutions and Masergy. 

At United, he will be responsible for leading all aspects of Unitas Global’s multi-channel marketing strategy, including branding, demand generation and sales enablement initiatives across the organization.

Akamai Updates Intelligence Platform

Akamai has announced updates to its Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform to help enable cloud-based applications and web-based experiences. Akamai officials said the enhancements will improve resiliency for apps with automated protections, streamlined workflows and support for additional apps and use cases. They'll also provide APIs and automation to help developers to maintain agile development practices.

Learning Opportunities

Moz Acquires STAT Search Analytics

Search engine optimization provider Moz has acquired STAT Search Analytics. Moz CEO Sarah Bird said in a blog post the acquisition will combine Moz’s SEO research tools and local search expertise with STAT’s daily localized rankings and SERP analytics. 

Over the past few months, Moz’s data has gotten some upgrades, including the launch of its new link index in April. In August it doubled its keyword corpus and expanded its data for the UK, Canada and Australia. STAT's data brings a "treasure trove of consumer research, competitive intel, and the deep search analytics that enable SEOs to level up their game," according to Bird. 

Avaya Invests in Cogito Through CX Partnership

Avaya Holdings Corp. this week announced its investment in Cogito, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) provider for emotional intelligence. Cogito's AI engine is designed to sense human behavior and guide call center agents' productivity and customer experience. Cogito is a founding member of Avaya’s A.I.Connect developer ecosystem. The two companies also announced the acceleration of their joint development work to integrate Cogito’s AI with Avaya’s contact center solutions. Avaya’s investment is part of Cogito’s Series C round of financing. Cogito will use this funding to accelerate go-to-market, expand research and development, and grow its team.

Adobe Advances Magento Acquisition with Commerce Cloud Updates  

Adobe has unveiled its vision and strategy by integrating Magento Commerce Cloud into Adobe Experience Cloud, putting into action its $1.68 billion acquisition. The Magento Commerce Cloud integrates with the Adobe Experience Cloud’s content management (Adobe Experience Manager), personalization (Adobe Target), Adobe’s AI and machine learning technology (Adobe Sensei) and analytics solutions (Adobe Analytics).

SAP Introduces Upscale Commerce

The SAP Upscale Commerce solution was announced this week, it's a new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) built on the SAP Cloud Platform and designed for midsize retailers, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies and direct-to-consumer businesses. SAP also introduced SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory for building enterprise applications and extending them across the SAP C/4HANA suite of cloud solution portfolios.

Alex Atzberger, president of SAP Customer Experience, made the announcements at the company’s annual SAP Customer Experience LIVE conference in Barcelona. SAP Upscale Commerce natively integrates AI and is deemed by SAP as a midmarket solution that powers mobile-first shopping and blends online and in-store shopping into customer experiences.

McGovern Releases CX Book

Customer experience strategist Gerry McGovern has released his book, "Top Tasks, A how-to guide." McGovern described the book as a summation of 15 years of his work. According to literature about the book, it includes methodology that delivers a glimpse into the minds of customers, even for organizations that are skeptical of user research. McGovern's work has appeared weekly in CMSWire for years.