Ed Rogers and Steven Sherkanowski

Pune, India’s Persistent Systems Inc. plans to acquire the assets and hire the employees of Akumina’s content management services business.

Persistent Systems filed its plans with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Officials said they signed an agreement with Akumina Nov. 9. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions. Terms were not disclosed. 

Akumina is a Nashua, N.H.-based digital marketing and web solutions company that produces Interchange, which claims to optimize content management and delivery experiences for SharePoint. InterChange is a suite of role-based authoring and site management tools designed to give marketing teams control over SharePoint sites.

In July, Akumina founders Ed Rogers and Steven Sherkanowski hired a colleague from their Ektron days — David Maffei, who worked at Ektron from 2005 to 2011. He is serving as Akumina's new chief revenue officer. Maffei was most recently vice president of sales at Carbonite. Before that, he was SVP of global business development at Bridgeline Digital.

Clarizen Releases Fall Updates

San Mateo, Calif. work management software provider Clarizen this week announced its fall 2015 product release featuring a stronger integration with JIRA.

The enhanced JIRA integration allows JIRA users’ work to be managed in Clarizen, providing content creation and collaboration capabilities, according to Clarizen officials.

screenshot of clarizen product

“Teams are empowered when workers at all levels within an organization can view, manage and collaborate on their work,” Avinoam Nowogrodski, Clarizen CEO, said in a statement. “Our fall release further expands our customers’ visibility into their businesses, so they can make decisions in real time.”

Release highlights include:

  1. Real-time calendar display: View and manage all work, including projects, tasks, milestones, issues and requests, in a calendar format, updating task attributes from pop-up windows and reassigning work to team members as needed.
  2. Interactive Gantt: View and adjust work timelines. Get visual representation of the workplan and take action, such as rescheduling work by dragging and dropping or creating dependencies by linking tasks.
  3. JIRA v2 integration: When one part of a team uses JIRA for software coding and bug tracking while the rest of the project is managed in Clarizen, all stakeholders are in sync as JIRA data is reflected in Clarizen and vice versa.
  4. Analytic snapshot apps: Perform trend analysis on project performance to identify problem areas. Administrators can track daily active users on the application and identify where user adoption is low or where users may need training.

EPiServer in the Spotlight

EPiServer, the digital experience provider based in Stockholm, Sweden, hosted its customer conference Ascend in Las Vegas this week. It also released the latest update to the EPiServer Digital Experience Cloud.

The platform combines technology from the EPiServer-Ektron merger and is a “people-first technology” platform, according to EPiServer officials.

Ektron concepts such as the Digital Experience Hub and eSync Content Staging and Review combine with EPiServer capabilities such as Digital Commerce and the Find search relevance engine in this new fall release.

Highlights in the release also include:

  • Creation and deployment of more sophisticated forms
  • Instant templates
  • Project management tools to improve collaboration while streamlining content development
  • Optimization of commerce campaigns
  • Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365 connectors

“We’re working to diminish the difference between the creative concepts our users have and their ability to execute them,” James Norwood, CMO and executive vice president of strategy for EPiServer, said in a statement. “Too many vendors spend too much time talking about features and functions, often forgetting the people these things were intended to benefit. At EPiServer, we never will.”

Norwood said the release features a “rapid ‘move up’ approach designed to assist users on earlier releases of EPiServer and Ektron to avail themselves of the people-first technology featured within the Digital Experience Cloud.”  

G2 Crowd’s Best in Social Media

Chicago-based crowdsourced software review company G2 Crowd, released its fall 2015 Social Media Management Software Grid this month.

Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Social Studio and TweetDeck were named leaders in the report, receiving strong customer satisfaction scores with a large market presence.

AgoraPulse, Sendible, Cision’s Social Media Edition and Buffer were named high performers, earning strong customer satisfaction marks with smaller market presence scores. Sprout Social and AgoraPulse earned the highest overall satisfaction scores while Social Studio earned the highest overall market presence score.

Habla Espanol?

The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) this week launched "AppChoices en Espanol," an updated version of its mobile app that provides access to the DAA's transparency and choice mechanisms for Spanish speakers in the US.

DAA officials said the move will allow users to control the collection and use of cross-app data for interest-based advertising on the device on which the app is installed.

"The United States is the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, and we want to be sure that Spanish speakers have the same access to the DAA's tools as English speakers," Lou Mastria, DAA executive director, said in a statement. "AppChoices is the first cross-industry self-regulatory tool to address the twin issues of transparency and consumer control in mobile apps, and we are proud to build on that legacy of proactive privacy tools by providing the same level of transparency and consumer control in Spanish for US audiences."

AppChoices en Espanol is available as a free download from the major online mobile app stores, including Google PlayTM, Apple App StoreSM, and Amazon Store.

What Do Holiday Shoppers Want?

Redwood City, Calif.-based RocketFuel, a programmatic marketing platform, released this week results of its study on holiday shoppers, “Rocket Fuel 2015 Shopping Study: Influencing Shopper Decisions.” 

Rocket Fuel gained insights on ways consumers decide where to shop, what to buy, and the ways marketers can influence that journey at key moments on digital shopping days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Highlights include:

  1. Long-term planners spend more than three times as much as last-minute shoppers. Of the three distinct groups of shoppers identified in the study, “prognosticators” plan to spend the most, at an average of $2,191.89. “Planners” plan to spend $793.31, trailed by “pouncers,” who plan to spend $682.82.
  2. 45 percent of Black Friday shoppers already know what to buy and where.
  3. Moment marketing drives eight times increase in addressable audience. Rocket Fuel estimates that advertisers may be able to increase their potential pool of “persuadable” Black Friday and Cyber Monday consumers from 6 percent to 55 percent during the week prior, and by even more during the month prior.