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Thought Industries Customer Training Platform Powering SAM Certifications for BSA | The Software Alliance

Thought Industries, the world’s leading B2B customer training platform provider, announced BSA | The Software Alliance, the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace, has selected its platform to drive an integrated customer training user experience from marketing through the sale of its software asset management (SAM) certification courses.

CMOs Adopt a Collaborative Futuristic Customer-Centric Vision

BSA members represent some of the largest and most well-known software organizations around the world. In an environment where software is becoming more ubiquitous, complex, and cloud-based, and where IT departments must now manage employees bringing their own devices to work (BYOD) and increasingly working remotely, managing software assets is becoming more important and complicated.

“The structure of our SAM certification course had to meet the diverse needs of our multiple external audiences from end-users who require a seamless user experience to resellers who wanted a unique branded learning experience to offer their own customers,” said Ha Nguyen McNeill, chief operating officer, BSA | The Software Alliance. “The Thought Industries platform enabled us to meet a very aggressive timeline to transition off an internal training LMS that was not focused on the ecommerce and marketing automation integration required to deliver a great experience for external customers. Additionally, reducing back-end administrative burden was another important requirement and why we selected Thought Industries over other solutions.”

BSA Verafirm offers the only training and certification program in the world aligned to the 2017 ISO 19770-1, the latest global standard for managing IT assets.

“The content covers all areas of software asset management, including contemporary issues faced by SAM managers such as cloud, managing external publisher audit notice, DevOps, open-source software, etc.,” said a global head of IT management at a leading European financial services group. “Overall, the information is valuable, the user interface is very friendly, and visual quality is very good.”

How CMO’s can benefit from Data Sciences and AI

“Peoples’ professional lives are complicated and busy and have only become more stressful as they must increasingly work from home,” said Barry Kelly, CEO, Thought Industries. “By offering a varied, engaging and online self-paced course that moves seamlessly from desktop to smartphone when and how learners need it, with knowledge checks and check-ins, we’re excited to be enabling BSA audiences a richer learning experience to support their certification needs during these trying times.”

Creative agency Agenda announces immersive virtual events service, Podium

New York-based creative agency Agenda (agendanyc.com), in partnership with technology and design agencies around the world, is proud to announce the launch of Podium—a new, immersive virtual events service designed to bring the scale, theater, richness, and excitement of physical events to the digital realm. Agenda is the only creative agency to offer the Podium service in North America, giving its clients the tools needed to elevate online experiences to match the engagement and impact of traditional events.

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Virtual events, virtually reimagined.
Developed in response to the global health crisis and strict social distancing restrictions, Podium’s mission is simple: Rid the world of traditional, “ho-hum” webinar events by offering a new way to facilitate in-person experiences. Podium makes this possible by combining best-in-class event design, influencer marketing, and media-rich interactive content to create what they call “immersive virtual event design.”

Real-time data. Real-time engagement. Real-time ROI.
Unlike traditional in-person events, every aspect of a Podium virtual event is quantified. Every connection. Every interaction. Every lead. Every time.

Sales forums. Award shows. Conferences. Networking events. B2B or B2D. Podium provides what traditional events can not—enhanced sales and networking capabilities, lead gen and acquisition efforts, all while providing real human connections and interactivity with a real audience.

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Partners in innovation
To create a truly immersive virtual event experience, Podium leverages the cross-industry expertise of technology and creative agencies Agenda, The Crocodile, Onalytica, and Turtl—in partnership with leading technology company ON24 and with international support from the global independent agency network Affinita.

Mark Andeer Joins Rawcubes as Head of Sales and Marketing

Rawcubes, a Chicago-based, best in class data management software company, recently announced Mark Andeer, the veteran sales, and marketing executive, as Head of Sales and Marketing. Andeer has led sales efforts during the time The Escape Pod agency won Ad Age’s Midwest Best Agency of the Year and was behind wildly successful viral campaigns throughout his marketing career.

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Reporting to the Founders, Andeer will take on the Rawcubes brand, leading the CMO & team and all marketing & client acquisition activities. Rawcubes is “what’s next in moving data, preparing data, and making data more accessible to drive business results. Through our products, we enable business users to accurately leverage data in real-time, regardless of the sources…” said Andeer. “… I’ve seen first-hand how getting accurate data in real-time from any number of sources has been a challenge for many organizations, regardless of industry.  I’m excited to join a talented team and help tell the world how we can solve their most complex data challenges.”

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Andeer most recently consulted for various companies after leaving the position of CMO of The Escape Pod advertising agency where he led new business efforts. Before The Escape Pod, Andeer was CMO/vice-president of creative with Kmart and was previously with OfficeMax, where he held the vice-president of brands strategy role. Prior to his corporate roles, Andeer held leadership roles in advertising agencies BBDO in Minneapolis and Lowe in New York.

Comscore and Minute Media Announce Renewal for Expanded Digital Audience Measurement

Comscore a trusted partner for planning, transacting and evaluating media, and Minute Media, leading global technology and digital publishing platform, announced a broadened renewal for Minute Media’s use of Comscore’s granular digital audience measurement solutions. The agreement, which includes Comscore Media Metrix® Multi-Platform and Video Metrix® Multi-Platform for U.S. and Hispanic audiences, significantly expands Minute Media’s audience measurement and ad planning utilization as Minute Media continues to focus on audience development across its seven digital content brands in addition to strategic partnerships with like-minded publishers.

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“Comscore is excited to deepen its relationship with Minute Media as they pursue an aggressive growth strategy to support their audience and advertising measurement at scale,” said Steve Walsh, Executive Vice President, Commercial. “We look forward to serving as the digital currency that enables the Minute Media team to maximize their monetization.”

“As we look to diversify and expand our audience and monetization capabilities, we have an even greater need to unify our measurement capabilities and understand our audience on a more granular level. Our expanded Comscore subscription will provide us with the data-driven insights needed to do just that,” said Rich Routman, President and CRO at Minute Media.

How AI Will Redefine the Modern Marketing Campaign

Comscore Media Metrix® Multi-Platform provides an unduplicated view of total audience behavior across desktops, smartphones, and tablets. Users are able to measure the consumption habits of their digital audience and competitive set by gaining insights into audience size, demographic composition, engagement, and behavioral trends. Media Metrix Multi-Platform offers comprehensive, person-level reporting across all devices and screens on all forms of digital content, providing metrics such as unique visitors, reach, time spent, and cross-visitation.

BlueMail Launches Support for Debian and Red Hat Linux in Major Expansion

Blix Inc., a leading provider of messaging solutions to consumers and businesses, announces its popular BlueMail client is now compatible with Debian and Red Hat Linux. With this expansion, BlueMail is now available on a dozen Linux distributions, including Arch Linux, CentOS, elementaryOS, Fedora, KDE Neon, Kubuntu, Manjaro, Linux Mint, OpenSUSE and Ubuntu.  As the world faces an increasingly remote workforce, this expansion brings BlueMail’s cross-platform productivity and safety features to a global network of consumers, companies, and IT business leaders.

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“As one of the world’s most powerful email apps, we are very happy to announce our Linux distribution expansion. We’re seeing more and more companies moving productivity online, and they are turning to us for that trusted, seamless combination of organized email, productivity tools, and communication among coworkers and individuals,” said Dan Volach, co-founder at Blix. “The way we communicate online is facing a systemic change, and we are proud to be at the vanguard with our Linux partners.”

As a leader in the professional market providing services to over 100,000 companies worldwide, BlueMail is now able to serve its largest customer base yet. Its users benefit from a single, modern experience across all of their devices without compromising on premium features, security or privacy:

  • Personalized Inbox: Focus on the most important emails in your inbox with automated filtering that separates services from real people and makes it easy to visualize long chains of correspondence. Unified folders also make it simple to organize emails across multiple accounts.
  • Powerful Email Clustering and Groups: Take productivity to the next level with inbox clusters that organize your email into easy-to-read categories and quickly group contacts together to avoid having to type out multiple recipients.
  • Share Email: Easily share emails with colleagues and communities without starting a long chain of replies or forwards. Using a secure link, users can share their emails through corporate intranets, social media platforms, or mobile messaging clients and interact without revealing their email addresses.
  • All the Essentials: Support for any email account (standards include IMAP, POP3, SMTP, ActiveSync, and EWS), integrated calendar support for Google, Exchange, and CalDAV, email snoozing to prioritize tasks, and a secure direct connection to any email server without the use of an email proxy.

Brothers Dan and Ben Volach founded Blix with the vision to provide an innovative, universally compatible, uncompromisingly private and secure messaging experience for businesses. This startup is not the first they have led together; they also built Followup, an early pioneer of mobile messaging that had over 200 million subscribers at its peak and laid the technical foundation for today’s mobile messaging giants, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, QQ, and many others before it was acquired by NeuStar.

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Conviva Launches TikTok Analytics Becoming the First to Enable Brands to Measure Collective Social Media Success

Conviva, the global leader in streaming media intelligence, announced the launch of Conviva TikTok Analytics. This new tool is designed to provide social marketers with the insights and data they need to accurately evaluate the success of their TikTok campaigns. The Conviva Social Insights dashboard is the only tool that empowers brands to measure their TikTok campaigns alongside all other major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Stories, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube – an industry first for social media marketers.

COVID-19 Crisis Leading B2B Marketers to Reevaluate Content

The platform presents a significant new branding opportunity for companies, especially those looking to engage with younger demographics as TikTok’s popularity continues to grow exponentially with more than 800 million monthly users. However, social marketers have struggled to accurately gauge the overall success of their TikTok programs without visibility into other social media campaigns, comparative benchmarks, and performance baselines to track business KPIs. Conviva TikTok Analytics was specifically designed to illuminate marketer blind-spots with a unified cross-platform view, delivering social media teams the comprehensive insight they need to make marketing decisions.

“TikTok is NASCAR’s first new platform in more than five years,” said Chris Littman, NASCAR, Director of Social Media Strategy. “While our team spends a great deal of time creating compelling content on our channel, Conviva’s TikTok analytics will allow us to not only make data-driven decisions in publishing but also share success stories in a way that’s more digestible to all of our internal stakeholders.”

Key benefits of Conviva’s TikTok Analytics include:

  • Accelerate time to insight with streamlined reportingTypical social managers spend 80% of their time on data collection and only 20% on data analysis. Conviva Social Insights inverts this to 20% data collection and 80% data analysis with unified measurement across all major social platforms. Conviva TikTok Analytics further centralizes this cross-platform view with streamlined workflows. This liberates social media teams with additional bandwidth and operational efficiencies for deeper data analysis and actionable insights.
  • Identify key themes, hashtags, and content that drive the most TikTok views and engagements. In turn, publishers can refine their content strategies to make more of what resonates on TikTok, bolster viewer loyalty with typically younger audiences, and minimize viewer churn.
  • Benchmark performance around key tentpole events and integrate TikTok into ongoing branded content strategies. Conviva TikTok Analytics’ heightened transparency into followers and viewing behaviors enriches sponsorship and promotion opportunities around the marquee and primetime events.

Content Marketing is the Key Element in the Sales Enablement Journey

“It is essential to understand your investment in new and emerging social platforms,” said Nick Cicero, Conviva VP of Strategy. “Conviva Social Insights delivers customers a clear window into social performance across each of the leading platforms, now including TikTok, so they can assess how to allocate time and resources into making more engaging content for their audiences.”

Bespoke Announces ‘BeAssist,’ the First AI Chatbot to Kick-Start Local Businesses During COVID-19

Bespoke Inc. (“Bespoke”), creators of the first AI-powered chatbot developed specifically for emergency response, announced the launch of “BeAssist.” BeAssist enables small businesses across the world to create their own AI (Artificial Intelligence) chatbot in three simple steps to recover more quickly from the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

Machine Learning – a Boon for B2B Marketers

With BeAssist, customers of small companies can quickly and easily access important store information including shopping hours during the lockdown, delivery, and curbside pickup options. Through a chat interface on their mobile phones or widget on the homepage of a local business, customers connect instantly to BeAssist and receive answers to their questions in real-time. Businesses stay engaged with customers and receive deep insights about their clients, questions, and concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Automated Personalization – the New Focus for Marketers

“Wondering when your local shop will reopen or if they offer delivery or curbside pick-up? BeAssist will give you the answer right away,” says Akemi Tsunagawa, founder and CEO of Bespoke. “Our high-performance AI platform was developed from the ground up to serve the specific needs during emergencies, providing people with the timely info and guidance they need in these tough times. For this new service, we combined our expertise in emergency communication and the tourism industry to now support local businesses and increase sales during these challenging months.”

Startpage and Vivaldi Browser Give Users Easy, Powerful Way to Improve Online Search Privacy and Security

Startpage, the world’s first and most private search engine, and Vivaldi browser announced a partnership that adds Startpage as a search engine option for the popular browser. The collaboration empowers privacy-aware users to customize their browsing experience while receiving Startpage’s best-in-class search results and unrivaled privacy protection.

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A recent rise in global internet traffic during COVID-19 has accelerated consumer privacy awareness, as users have become increasingly mindful of how they might be tracked online and how their data may be used. According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in April, over half of U.S. adults said they decided recently not to use a product or service because they were worried about how much personal information would be collected about them. And privacy was an increasing concern prior to the crisis; in a recent survey, 84% of Vivaldi users said that the privacy reputation of a search engine is important to them. This partnership comes at a critical time for Vivaldi users who seek maximum privacy and control of their online experiences.

“Vivaldi browser’s speed, ad blockers, and tracking protection make it a highly customizable alternative to Chrome and Firefox and an ideal partner for us,” said Robert E.G. Beens, CEO and co-founder of Startpage. “Partnering with Vivaldi offers our users a combination of two great European products and gives them full privacy without sacrificing search results.”

This collaboration expands on the Vivaldi browser’s long-standing commitment to choice and customization by bringing its users more private search options. Startpage is the world’s first private search engine, founded in the Netherlands in 2006, and does not track, log or share user data. Startpage searches deliver completely un-profiled results while also protecting users from annoying ad and price trackers that follow them around the web. Vivaldi browser also offers a number of other privacy-enhancing tools and features to protect users from trackers and unwanted ads and puts them in control with unique built-in features such as advanced tab management, an adaptive user interface, and customizable navigation tools.

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“Search is at the core of the online experience for our users,” said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO and co-founder, Vivaldi. “We’re partnering with Startpage to make it easy for users to protect their privacy. They can search the Web freely and without any intrusions to their privacy.”

Users installing Vivaldi for the first time will find Startpage in the Search field to the right of the address bar of the Vivaldi browser. Clicking on the magnifying glass icon will reveal a menu of search engine options, including the Startpage. It is also possible to search using Startpage in the address field after selecting this option in the Search Settings. Users can search with Startpage using Search Engine Nicknames – no need to set it as default.

The Yes Reimagines The Future Of Commerce Emerges With The Launch Of A New Shopping Platform

E-commerce veteran Julie Bornstein and technical co-founder Amit Aggarwal, announce the launch of The Yes, a next-gen shopping experience poised to redefine the architecture of e-commerce and the way people buy. Leveraging a sophisticated algorithm powered by each individual’s choices and human instincts around personal style, The Yes uses computer vision and machine learning to encode fashion and create a new consumer experience tailor-made for each user. The Yes is intelligent shopping, building a store around each customer, and continually learning and adapting the shopping experience, so it gets better over time.

How Digital Interactions Have Evolved with Personalization Tools

Powered by consumer preferences, The Yes asks simple questions prompting an answer of Yes or No. A sophisticated algorithm then streamlines the shopping experience to feature a personal home feed with recommended brands, themes, and trends specifically for that user. The app also features ‘smart search’ which filters each shopper’s style and brand preferences across all categories, themes, and brands. Unlike every other ecommerce site today, The Yes is adaptive, in session, which means as a shopper taps a Yes or No, the algorithm re-ranks products in real-time. Key features include a personal daily refreshed feed of new relevant products, one-tap frictionless buying in-app, automatic size recommendations, and the ability to see what your friends are Yes’ing for inspiration.

Equally exciting, The Yes offers the broadest range of brands to serve women’s high/low shopping, bringing together brands previously unavailable from the same source, offering the consumer the best selection, and the best fit for their personal style. To offer this selection, The Yes partners with widely distributed specialty and DTC brands.  At launch, The Yes will carry more than 150 of the leading brands across the industry including Ralph Lauren Collection, Altuzarra, Erdem, Everlane, La Ligne, Rosie Assoulin, STAUD, Balenciaga, Acne Studios, Ganni, Tabitha Simmons, FRAME and Vince. When a brand integrates with The Yes, the platform sells each brand’s full digital catalog, offering its entire assortment by integrating into The Yes fashion algorithm. This requires automatically decoding every SKU and ranking it to each shopper, something that a human buyer could never do at scale.

“Shopping and building the best online shopping experiences have been my life-long passion,” states Founder and CEO, Julie Bornstein. “What many women may consider overwhelming, I find an exciting challenge – that is why building The Yes has been a dream come true. Working with both incredible brands and deep engineering and machine learning talent, we’ve been able to build a next-generation shopping experience that brings the best of efficient, fun and delightful shopping by leveraging new technologies that didn’t even exist a few years ago.”

“Understanding Julie’s passion, building an A+ team of engineers and solving real-life problems by using Machine Learning and Computer Vision to build novel software products has led us to groundbreaking innovation in e-commerce,” shares Co-Founder Amit Aggarwal. “To create this new way to shop required a tech infrastructure that was built from scratch with the customer’s preferences at the core of the shopping experience. No legacy player can build this because it requires a totally new approach to merging computer vision, natural language processing, and AI with building proprietary technology. We have three patents pending already.”

Fashion and Creative Director, Taylor Tomasi Hill added, “What sets Julie apart from so many industry leaders is her deep understanding of the pain points brands face with the traditional wholesale distribution. Julie aims to give the power back to the brands and I’m thrilled to champion her mission. I get to work with designers and brands in full support of their creative vision, which makes the storytelling for the consumer so much more gratifying.”

Artificial Intelligence Influencing and Transforming the Marketing Function

The launch of The Yes comes at a time when shopping and retail are more uncertain than ever before. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, The Yes postponed the launch to better understand the direction of the e-commerce landscape, the needs of brands, and ultimately how consumers will want to shop and interact with brands as it moves forward. With many retailers filing for bankruptcy, canceling orders, and closing stores, The Yes is now a much-needed resource for brands and a new way to engage with consumers. The app allows brands to diversify their distribution channels at a time when physical retail is unable to operate and wholesale partners are uncertain. The Yes provides a unique platform that can keep brands’ existing customers shopping and acquire a new audience.  As importantly, The Yes makes shopping online easier for consumers, as the value of shopping in person, selecting the right size, and finding the right items for you, becomes harder to access.

At launch, The Yes is donating a dollar per download to Good+Foundation during the first month of launch. During this time of crisis, Good+ is partnering with frontline workers across the country to get donations to families in need. Good+Foundation is a leading national nonprofit that works to dismantle multi-generational poverty by pairing tangible goods with innovative services for low-income fathers, mothers, and caregivers, creating an upward trajectory for the whole family. “We are thrilled to partner with The Yes and grateful for their support of our work with underserved families in this country,” said Jessica Seinfeld, President, and Founder of Good+Foundation. “We chose to be part of this venture because The Yes is aiming to help companies stay in business during this crisis and trying to encourage job stability in this sector, which is critical to our economy.”

WorkRamp Enables Every Company to Build Their Own ‘Trailhead’ with New Features to Improve Product Adoption and Customer Retention

WorkRamp, the learning transformation leader, announced enhancements to the new WorkRamp for Customers platform to democratize learning communities for every organization. These innovations will enable companies to improve customer onboarding, increase revenue retention, and mobilize product advocates inside their customer communities.

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“Salesforce has created the gold standard in customer education through its Trailhead platform,” said Ted Blosser, CEO, and co-founder at WorkRamp. “Our goal at WorkRamp is to standardize this same capability at every organization–without calling for an army of trainers, web developers, and instructional designers. We’re excited to announce new customer education features to empower every company, regardless of size, to create learning programs that drive customer loyalty and adoption.”

These enhancements inside WorkRamp for Customers will now allow companies to build agile customer education programs from a single, purpose-built training platform. The key features in this new offering include:

  • Courses, Certifications, and Events: Deliver micro-training, certifications, and instructor-led training–all from one custom-branded instance.

  • Customized Experiences: Design personalized learning journeys based on data captured from user registration or SSO. Allow for a tailored learning experience based on role, custom tags, or geography.

  • Robust Ecommerce: Generate revenue from learning opportunities and reinvest the earnings back to the program to improve the customer experience.

  • Salesforce Sync: Analyze learner performance with dynamic SFDC dashboards and customized reports. Manage customer alerts as they complete training and certifications.

  • Powerful Integrations: Connect with services like Google Analytics, Intercom, LinkedIn, and Quantum Metric to extend the customer learning experience.

Artificial Intelligence Influencing and Transforming the Marketing Function