A man looks into a newspaper box.
PHOTO: Tom Driggers

Automattic, which owns the blog platform WordPress, acquired Tumblr from Verizon

Reports have the sale in the $2 million range, which would be a dramatic difference from Yahoo’s purchase of the website in 2013 for $1.1 billion. WordPress’s creator and Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg told the Wall Street Journal Automattic won't make big changes to Tumblr’s existing atmosphere. “It’s just fun,” he told the WSJ. “We’re not going to change any of that.”

In other customer experience software news ...

Accenture Acquires INSITUM 

Accenture has entered into an agreement to acquire INSITUM, a service design and strategic research firm. The acquisition expands Accenture Interactive’s design and innovation unit, Fjord, in Latin America (INSITUM is based in Mexico) and beyond. The combination of Fjord and INSITUM will bolster Accenture Interactive’s ability to design, build and run experiences, company officials said. 

LeadSift Launches Buzz 

LeadSift, which offers a B2B solution using its Behavioral Intent Signals, debuted a free tool called LeadSift Buzz, designed to notify sales teams via email anytime their key accounts have "something exciting or mention-worthy" going on. LeadSift scans through millions of publicly available web documents to identify, extract and classify Trigger Events for target accounts, according to company officials. It uses natural language processing and machine learning.

Topdown Partners with Infosys 

Topdown, a developer of customer communication management (CCM) software applications, and Infosys, a digital services and consulting company, announced they are teaming up to provide 100% cloud-based CCM solutions. The partnership combines the Topdown INTOUCH® CCM Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution with Infosys’ implementation and support services. Companies can move the management of customer communications to the cloud through this combination, according to company officials.

Digital River Unbundles its Commerce Stack

Digital River, an ecommerce provider, has transitioned to a “headless” approach, building out its suite of APIs and microservices. It is designed to provide a flexible ecommerce offering to meet shopper demands. It breaks apart a monolithic commerce solution and embraces a more agile and modular offering.

Salesforce: Dialing Down Hawaiian Themes?

The Daily Beast reported that Salesforce "is toning down its obsession with Hawaii." According to the report, Salesforce employees voiced concerns of "cultural appropriation" last year. 

After talks with Hawaiian employees, Salesforce removed Hawaiian terminology from its internal branding, according to a source in the Salesforce Office of Equality who spoke to the Daily Beast on condition of anonymity; 57 of Salesforce’s 21,148 U.S. employees identify as Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, according to its 2018 diversity report submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

Why the original fixation on Hawaii? It could be because CEO Marc Benioff took a vacation there just before he founded the company and "swam with dolphins and embraced the spirit of Aloha."

Evergage Unveils New Data Warehouse Solution

Evergage, which provides personalization and customer data platform (CDP) technology, unveiled the Evergage Data Warehouse. Using the Data Warehouse solution will allow companies to have access to unified customer and prospect data that is collected, synthesized and housed in Evergage. Evergage tracks behavioral, contextual and attribute data at the individual and account levels through channels such as website, email, web and mobile app, onsite search, online ads, social media, call center and in-store/branch.

LinkedIn Updates Sales Navigator 

LinkedIn this week introduced its Sales Navigator 2019 Q3 Quarterly Product Release (QPR). The new features are designed to help sales representatives build thought leadership, boost collaboration and close more deals, according to LinkedIn officials. It also builds on LinkedIn Elevate, which debuted in 2015 to help companies empower employees to share company content and strengthen their professional brands. The updates this week help Sales Navigator and Elevate customers share content and nurture sales relationships from a single platform. 

SugarCRM Hires CFO

SugarCRM hired John Donaldson as CFO, he will report to Sugar CEO Craig Charlton. Donaldson most recently held the role of CFO at Togetherwork Holdings. At Sugar, he’ll lead the finance, accounting and human resources teams. Prior to his role at Togetherwork, Donaldson was CFO of Community Investors, an association management software platform. He has also held CFO roles at ALPS Holdings and Northstar Exchange Corporation. 

Metadata.io Launches New B2B Capabilities  

Metadata.io, an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered marketing operations platform, announced new capabilities for B2B marketers designed to automatically execute digital advertising campaigns. New targeting, optimization and multivariate experimentation support include enhanced retargeting, integration, UX, data capture and analytics, according to company officials.

WP Engine Adopts GCP New Infrastructure

WP Engine, a WordPress Digital Experience Platform (DXP), has adopted Google Cloud Platform’s newest infrastructure, the Compute-Optimized Virtual Machines (VM) (C2). WP Engine has been working on adapting its proprietary WordPress optimization stack to offer compute-optimized VMs by Google. These compute-optimized VMs (C2) offer high per-thread performance and memory speeds that benefit the most compute-intensive workloads, according to WP Engine officials. The new instances can power applications such as high-performance computing (HPC), electronic design automation (EDA), gaming and single-threaded and other compute-intensive applications.