Home / Tag Archives: enterprise

Tag Archives: enterprise

Google’s new ‘Grab and Go’ project helps business loan Chromebooks to their employees

At Google, the company offers a ‘Grab and Go’ program that allows employees to use self-service stations to quickly borrow and return Chromebooks without having to go through a lengthy IT approval process. Now , it’s bringing this same idea to other businesses . Chromebooks have found their place in education and a number of larger enterprise companies are also getting on board with the idea of a centrally managed device that mostly focuses on the browser. That’s maybe no surprise, given that both schools and enterprises are pretty much looking for the same thing from these devices. At Google, the system has seen more than 30,000 users that have completed more than 100,000 loans so far. While Google wants others to run similar programs (and use more Chromebooks in the process) it’s worth noting that this is a limited preview program and that Google isn’t building and selling racks or other infrastructure for this. As a Google spokesperson told us, Google will give companies that want to try this the open source code to build this system and advise them through the setup and deployment. It will also engage with partners to help them build the hardware or set up a ‘Grab and Go’ as a service system. Employees who want to use one of these ‘Grab and Go’ stations simply pick up a laptop, sign in and move on with their day. When they are done, they simply return the laptop. That’s it. Easy

Read More »

Standard Cognition raises another $5.5M to create a cashier-less checkout experience

As Amazon looks to increasingly expand its cashier-less grocery stories — called Amazon Go – across different regions, there’s at least one startup hoping to end up everywhere else beyond Amazon’s empire. Standard Cognition aims to help businesses create that kind of checkout experience based on machine vision, using image recognition to figure out that a specific person is picking up and walking out the door with a bag of Cheetos. The company said it’s raised an additional $5.5 million in a round in what the company is calling a seed round extension from CRV. The play here is, like many startups, to create something that a massive company is going after — like image recognition for cashier-less checkouts — for the long tail businesses rather than locking them into a single ecosystem. Standard Cognition works with security cameras that have a bit more power than typical cameras to identify people that walk into a store. Those customers use an app, and the camera identifies everything they are carrying and bills them as they exit the store. The company has said it works to anonymize that data, so there isn’t any kind of product tracking that might chase you around the Internet that you might find on other platforms. “The platform is built at this point – we are now focused on releasing the platform to each retail partner that signs on with us,” Michael Suswal, Co-founder and COO said. “Most of the surprises coming our way come from learning about how each retailer prefers to run their operations and store experiences. They are all a little different and require us to be flexible with how we deploy.” It’s a toolkit that makes sense for both larger and smaller retailers, especially as the actual technology to install cameras or other devices that can get high-quality video or have more processing power goes down over time.

Read More »

Dialpad dials up $50M Series D led by Iconiq

Dialpad announced a $50 million Series D investment today, giving the company plenty of capital to keep expanding its business communications platform. The round was led by Iconiq Capital with help from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Amasia, Scale Ventures, Section 32 and Work-Bench. With today’s round, the company has now raised $120 million. As technology like artificial intelligence and internet of things advances, it’s giving the company an opportunity to expand its platform. Dialpad products include UberConference conferencing software and VoiceAI for voice transcription applications. The company is competing in a crowded market that includes giants like Google and Cisco and a host of smaller companies like GoToMeeting (owned by LogMeIn), Zoom and BlueJeans. All of these companies are working to provide cloud-based meeting and communications services. Increasingly, that involves artificial intelligence like natural language processing (NLP) to provide on the fly transcription services. While none of these services is perfect yet, they are growing increasingly accurate. VoiceAI was launched shortly after Dialpad acquired TalkIQ in May  to take this idea a step further by applying sentiment analysis and analytics to voice transcripts. The company plans to use the cash infusion to continue investing in artificial intelligence on the Dialpad platform. Post call transcript generated by VoiceAI

Read More »

Chad Rigetti to talk quantum computing at Disrupt SF

Even for the long-standing giants of the tech industry, quantum computing is one of the most complicated subjects to tackle. So how does a five-year old startup compete? Chad Rigetti, the namesake founder of Rigetti Computing, will join us at Disrupt SF 2018 to help us break it all down. Rigetti’s approach to quantum computing is two-fold: on one front, the company is working on the design and fabrication of its own quantum chips; on the other, the company is opening up access to its early quantum computers for researchers and developers by way of its cloud computing platform, Forest . Rigetti Computing has raised nearly $70 million to date according to Crunchbase , with investment from some of the biggest names around. Meanwhile, labs around the country are already using Forest to explore the possibilities ahead. What’s the current state of quantum computing? How do we separate hype from reality? Which fields might quantum computing impact first — and how can those interested in quantum technology make an impact? We’ll talk all this and more at Disrupt SF 2018. Passes to Disrupt SF are available at the Early Bird rate until July 25  here.

Read More »

Google’s Apigee teams up with Informatica to extend its API ecosystem

Google acquired API management service Apigee back in 2016 but it’s been pretty quiet around the service in recent years. Today, however, Apigee announced a number of smaller updates that introduce a few new integrations with the Google Cloud platform, as well as a major new partnership with cloud data management and integration firm Informatica that essentially makes Informatica the preferred integration partner for Google Cloud. Like most partnerships in this space, the deal with Informatica involves some co-selling and marketing agreements, but that really wouldn’t be all that interesting. What makes this deal stand out is that Google is actually baking some of Informatica’s tools right into the Google Cloud dashboard. This will allow Apigee users to use Informatica’s wide range of integrations with third-party enterprise applications while Informatica users will be able to publish their APIs through Apigee and have that service manage them for them. Some of Google’s competitors, including Microsoft, have built their own integration services. As Google Cloud director of product management Ed Anuff told me, that wasn’t really on Google’s roadmap. “It takes a lot of know-how to build a rich catalog of connectors,” he said. “You could go and build an integration platform but if you don’t have that, you can’t address your customers needs.” Instead, Google went to look for a partner who already has this large catalog and plenty of credibility in the enterprise space. Similarly, Informatica’s senior VP and GM for big data, cloud and data integration Ronen Schwartz noted that many of his company’s customers are now looking to move into the cloud and this move will make it easier for Informatica’s customers to bring their services into Apigee and open them up for external applications. “With this partnership, we are bringing the best of breed of both worlds to our customers,” he said.

Read More »

Microsoft launches new wide-area networking options for Azure

Microsoft is launching a few new networking features today that will make it easier for businesses to use the company’s Azure cloud to securely connect their own offices and infrastructure using Azure and its global network. The first of these is the Azure Virtual WAN service, which allows businesses to connect their various branches to and through Azure. This basically works like an airline hub and spoke model, where Azure becomes the central hub through which all data between branches flows. The advantage of this, Microsoft argues, is that it allows admins to manage their wide-area networks from a central dashboard and, of course, that it makes it easy to bind additional Azure services and appliances to the network. And with that, users also get access to all of the security services that Azure has to offer. One new security service that Microsoft is launching today is the Azure Firewall , a new cloud-native security service that is meant to protect a business’s virtual network resources. In addition to these two new networking features, Microsoft also today announced that it is expanding to two new regions its Azure Data Box service , which is basically Microsoft’s version of the AWS Snowball appliances for moving data into the cloud by loading it onto a shippable appliance: Europe and the United Kingdom (and let’s not argue about the fact that the U.K. is still part of Europe). There is also now a “Data Box Disk” option for those who don’t need to move petabytes of data. Orders with up to five of those disks can hold up to 40 terabytes of data and are currently in preview.

Read More »

Microsoft wants to make you a better team player by nudging you into submission

Microsoft announced a number of new tools for its MyAnalytics tool for Office 365 users today that are geared toward giving employees more data about how they work, as well as ways to improve how teams work together. In today’s businesses, everybody has to be a team player, after all, and if you want to bring technology to bear on this, you first need data — and once you have data, you can go into full-on analytics mode and maybe even throw in a smidge of machine learning, too. So today, Microsoft is launching two new products: Workplace Analytics and MyAnalytics nudges. Yes, Office 365 will now nudge you to be a better team player. “Building better teams starts with transparent, data-driven dialog—but no one is perfect and sticking to good collaboration habits can be challenging in a fast-paced job,” Microsoft’s Natalie McCullough and Noelle Beaujon, using language only an MBA could love, write in today’s announcement. I’m not sure what exactly that means or whether I have good collaboration habits or not, but in practice, Office 365 can now nudge you when you need more focus time as your calendar fills up, for example. You can block off those times without leaving your Inbox (or, I guess, you could always ignore this and just set up a standing block of time every day where you don’t accept meetings and just do your job…). MyAnalytics can also now nudge you to delegate meetings to a co-worker when your schedule is busy (because your co-workers aren’t busy and will love you for putting more meetings on your calendar) and tell you to avoid after-hours emails as you draft them to co-workers so they don’t have to work after hours, too (that’s actually smart, but may not work well in every company). With this new feature, Microsoft is also using some machine learning smarts, of course. MyAnalytics was already able to remind you of tasks you promised to co-workers over email, and now it’ll nudge you when you read new emails from those co-workers, too. Because the more you get nudged, the more likely you are to finish that annoying task you never intended to do but promised your co-worker you would do so he’d go away.

Read More »

Turo files lawsuit against Los Angeles in car-sharing battle at LAX

Peer-to-peer car-sharing marketplace Turo has filed a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles Airport in a preemptive strike aimed at defending the ability of its users to rent out their personal cars at Los Angeles International Airport. Turo filed the lawsuit Thursday in the U.S. Central District Court of California in Los Angeles. The city is not able to comment on ongoing litigation, Alex Comisar, press secretary for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said. Turo contends in its lawsuit that LAX has misclassified its peer-to-peer car-sharing platform as a rental car company. Turo argues that California’s car-sharing law is clear and notes that it doesn’t own or operate a fleet of vehicles or use the airport’s facilities that traditional rental car companies do. “Due to this misclassification, the airport expects Turo to obtain a rental car company permit and expects our community to pay anti-competitive fees whenever they choose to exchange cars at or near LAX,” Turo Chief Legal Officer Michelle Fang told TechCrunch. “We’ve seen firsthand how rental car giants Enterprise Rent-a-Car have prodded airports across the country, including LAX, to attack our community, including our users’ rights to choose transportation options other than rental cars and to share their own cars to supplement their income.” Fang said LAX has repeatedly refused to even come to the table despite efforts to negotiate. Turo says in the lawsuit that it has reached out to LAX officials in an effort to develop an appropriate fee structure. The company is open to paying a fee that is in line with how ride-hailing companies are charged. “The fees need to be proportionate for the way that the ground transportation is being used,” Fang said, adding that rental car companies need parking lots and shuttles and other infrastructure at airports. “The use to LAX is much more comparable to TNCs and limos and taxis than it is to rental cars.” The company decided to take action after it viewed email messages between the car rental company Enterprise Holdings and city officials that discussed an impending lawsuit against Turo. Enterprise has yet to respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit

Read More »

GitHub Enterprise and Business Cloud users now get access to public repos, too

GitHub , the code hosting service Microsoft recently acquired, is launching a couple of new features for its business users today that’ll make it easier for them to access public repositories on the service. Traditionally, users on the hosted Business Cloud and self-hosted Enterprise were not able to directly access the millions of public open source repositories on the service. Now, with the service’s release, that’s changing and business users will be able to reach beyond their firewalls to engage and collaborate with the rest of the GitHub community directly. With this, GitHub now also offers its business and enterprise users a new unified search feature that lets them tap into their internal repos but also look at open source ones. Other new features in this latest Enterprise release include the ability to ignore whitespace when reviewing changes, the ability to require multiple reviewers for code changes, automated support tickets and more. You can find a full list of all updates here . Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub wasn’t fully unexpected (and it’s worth noting that the acquisition hasn’t closed yet) but still controversial, given that Microsoft and the open source community, which heavily relies on GitHub, haven’t always seen eye-to-eye in the past. I’m personally not too worried about that and it feels like the dust has settled at this point and that people are waiting to see what Microsoft will do with the service. Microsoft has acquired GitHub for $7.5B in stock

Read More »

Spring Health raises $6M to help employees get access to personalized mental health treatment

In recent months, we’ve seen more and more funding flowing into tools for mental wellness — whether that’s AI-driven tools to help patients find help to meditation apps — and it seems like that trend is starting to pick up even more steam as smaller companies are grabbing the attention of investors. There’s another one picking up funding today in Spring Health , a platform for smaller companies to help their employees get more access to mental health treatment. The startup looks to give employers get access to a simple, effective way to start offering that treatment for their employees in the form of personalized mental wellness plans. The employees get access to confidential plans in addition to access to a network and ways to get in touch with a therapist or psychiatrist as quickly as possible. The company said it has raised an additional $6 million in funding led by Rethink Impact, with Work-Bench, BBG Ventures, and The Partnership Fund for New York City joining the round. RRE Ventures and the William K. Warren Foundation also participated. “… I realized that mental health care is largely a guessing game: you use trial-and-error to find a compatible therapist, and you use trial-and-error to find the right treatment regimen, whether that’s a specific cocktail of medications or a specific type of psychotherapy,” CEO and co-founder April Koh said. “Everything around us is personalized these days – like shopping on Amazon, search results on Google, and restaurant recommendations on Yelp – but you can’t get personalized recommendations for your mental health care. I wanted to build a platform that connects you with the right care for you from the very beginning. So I partnered with leading expert on personalized psychiatry, Dr. Adam Chekroud our Chief Scientist, and my friend Abhishek Chandra, our CTO, to start Spring Health.” The startup bills itself as an online mental health clinic that offers recommendations for employees, such as treatment options or tweaks to their daily routines (like exercise regimens). Like other machine learning-driven platforms, Spring Health puts a questionnaire in front of the end employee that adapts to the responses they are giving and then generates a wellness plan for that specific individual. As more and more patients get on the service, it gets more data, and can improve those recommendations over time. Those patients are then matched with clinicians and licensed medical health professionals from the company’s network

Read More »

Snowflake expands beyond Amazon to Azure cloud

Snowflake , the cloud data warehouse, announced a partnership with Microsoft today to expand their offering to the Azure cloud. The new product is still in Preview for now. Given that Snowflake CEO Bob Muglia worked at Microsoft for more than 20 years, it’s certainly not surprising that Microsoft is the company’s second partner after working with only Amazon since its inception. But Muglia says it was really about seeing customer demand in the marketplace more than any nostalgia or connections at Microsoft. In fact, he says the company is on boarding one to two new Azure customers a day right now. The plan is to open up a private preview today, then become generally available some time in the fall when they work out all of the kinks involved with porting their service to another provider. The partnership didn’t happen overnight. It’s been developing for over a year and that’s because Muglia says Azure isn’t quite as mature as Amazon in some ways and it required some engineering cooperation to make it all work. “We had to work with Microsoft on some of the things that we needed to make our product work on their platform, particularly around the way we work with with Azure Blob Storage that we really had to do a little differently on Azure. So there are changes we needed to make internally in our product to make it work,” he explained. Overall though the two company’s engineers have worked together to solve those issues and Muglia says that when the Azure version becomes generally available in the Fall, it should basically be the same product they offer on Amazon, although there are still some features they are trying to make work on in the Preview. “Our goal is to have literally the same product on Azure as on Amazon, and we are very confident we’ll get there with Microsoft,” he said. For Snowflake of course, it represents a substantial market expansion because now they can sell to companies working on Azure and Amazon and that has opened up a whole new pipeline of customers. Azure is the number two cloud provider behind Amazon . The interesting aspect of all this is that Amazon and Microsoft compete in the cloud of course, but Snowflake is also competing with each cloud provider too with their own product.

Read More »

Broadcom acquires CA Technologies for $18.9B in cash

Broadcom , the massive semiconductor supplier you may remember from its failed attempt to acquire Qualcomm, today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement with CA Technologies , a major IT management software and solutions provider. The price of the acquisition is $18.9 billion in cash. CA’s shareholders will receive $44.50 per share, a 20 percent premium over the closing price of the company’s stock today. It’s a bit of a surprise to see chip manufacturer Broadcom acquire a major software and services company. “This transaction represents an important building block as we create one of the world’s leading infrastructure technology companies,” Broadcom CEO and president Hock Tan explains in today’s announcement. “With its sizeable installed base of customers, CA is uniquely positioned across the growing and fragmented infrastructure software market, and its mainframe and enterprise software franchises will add to our portfolio of mission critical technology businesses. We intend to continue to strengthen these franchises to meet the growing demand for infrastructure software solutions.” This comment doesn’t exactly explain the rationale behind today’s acquisition, but Broadcom is clearly trying to diversify its offerings. Earlier this year, the company walked away from its proposed hostile takeover of Qualcomm after the Trump administration blocked it. At the time, Broadcom was willing to pay $117 billion for Qualcomm, which would have greatly extended the company’s semiconductor business. Today’s move sees Broadcom enter a completely new business. The company expects the acquisition to close in the fourth quarter of 2018. It’s unlikely that Broadcom will face any major headwind from Washington this time around.

Read More »

Valimail makes it harder for hackers to impersonate your boss over email

Valimail, a company that focuses on preventing fake and fraudulent emails from reaching your inbox, today announced that it is extending its anti-impersonation platform with a couple of new features that will make it even harder for hackers to pretend they are somebody they are not. While Valimail’s original focus was mostly on ensuring that your outgoing email was trustworthy, the new solution, dubbed Valimail Defend, centers around two types of attacks that use fake incoming emails: those that come from lookalike domains (think tech-crunch.com) and those that rely on “friendly-from spoofing,” where attackers manage to make the incoming email address look like it’s from a legitimate user, often within your company. “We’ve built our cloud-first anti-impersonation solution to be completely automated from the ground up, and the data is clear: We have the highest rate of effectiveness in protecting our customers’ domains from impersonation,” said Valimail CEO and co-founder Alexander García-Tobar. “Valimail Defend is the latest step in the evolution of our deep industry expertise, giving enterprises and government organizations the most advanced protection against email impersonation.” The new service will become available in Q3 and will complement the company’s existing solutions under its Valimail Enforce brand, which provides services like email authentication for outgoing messages through DMARC enforcement and a number of other techniques. Since a large number of security breaches rely on spoofed emails, preventing those kinds of scams is now something that many a company’s chief information security officer is looking at. Often, these scams can be prevented with some basic rule-based approaches, but Valimail argues that its machine learning-driven approach is significantly more effective. Current Valimail customers include the likes of Splunk, City National Bank and Yelp. “Valimail’s automated approach has proven to be both effective and efficient, as it’s saved us countless employee hours compared with other approaches and got us to enforcement effortlessly,” said  Vivek Raman, the d irector of engineering at Yelp. “We are excited about this next generation of automated anti-impersonation technology from Valimail, which will give us the full end-to-end solution.”

Read More »