Insider Report July 2022
The Most Important Enterprise Communications News from July 2022
The story of the month, of course, was the heat. July was hot!
I read my first serious book on climate change, Eaarth, in 2010. Scientists have been screaming about global warming for over 50 years, but it hit home for me in 2010 with this book. It’s not a typo in the title; the author is referring to a different planet that exists where Earth once was. Bill McKibben makes the science and predictions easy to understand. Simply stated, the drive for economic growth is causing our planet to get hotter, and the changes accelerate the effect.
Higher temperatures create more extreme weather (hot and cold), including drought, fires, tornadoes, floods, and more. The changes are alarming, but I convinced myself that were this really to happen, the world would leap into high gear to jointly resolve the problem.
No such luck. The world keeps getting hotter, and it appears most of the world is simply putting its head in the cooler sand. July was hot. Europe combusted much as the US West has for the past several summers. High-temperature records are, once again, being set on every land mass in the Northern Hemisphere: 45 C in Western Europe, 40-plus C in the UK, and 50-plus C in the Middle East. The US West is running out of water, with dire impacts on power and food supplies. Crops are starting to fail all over the globe (cocoa, coffee, wheat, sugar, mustard ...).
A lot of organizations have carbon reduction goals for 2050. We aren’t going to make it to 2050. Animals are already fleeing to the poles. Species are dying off at horrific rates. Wildfires are burning, storms are increasingly catastrophic, the sea is rising, and pandemics (plural) aren’t stopping.
This month, the Greenland Ice Sheet saw a sharp increase in melting rate, with 18B tons of water running into the North Atlantic in three days. In the UK, both Google and Oracle had to shut down data centers due to heat. Nuclear power plants are also overheating. The new highest natural temperature on Earth was recorded in Iran.
Climate aside, we also have an increasingly severe ozone problem. Ozone is created when the sun bakes chemicals from vehicle exhaust, oil and gas, and wildfires. Ozone alert days, which are becoming too common, are days when our air becomes poisonous. When the alerts are issued, we are supposed to drive less and avoid outdoor activities. According to the American Lung Association, 3 out of every 8 Americans live in counties with F grades for ozone smog.
The scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned in their 2022 report that without a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the world will continue to experience catastrophic consequences, exposing millions to severe food and water insecurity.
Meanwhile, in the US, SCOTUS diminished the authority of the EPA, and Congress is unable to do anything meaningful because half of the senators deny climate change is real.
To some degree, one feels helpless and hopeless regarding the climate. However, enterprise communications can be part of the solution. We know one of the simplest and easiest ways to reduce carbon emissions is to reduce or eliminate commutes (and travel).
Even Ringmaster Elon is confused. He supports a carbon tax, dislikes fossil fuels, and has done wonders to popularize EVs (not to save the planet but to extend its habitability). SpaceX has the stated mission to colonize Mars — not for tourism, but as a Plan B home for the human race. Yet Tesla is one of the strictest and loudest companies regarding return-to-the-office (to be fair, he only requires employees to be in the office 40 hours a week).
We talk about the future of work academically, not existentially. Most UCaaS providers are preaching hybrid work, but it’s WFH/WFA that truly benefits BOTH the enterprise comms industry and the planet. Remote and distributed productivity is impressive and can and should get better. For example, we need better solutions for team building, ideation, and propagation of company culture. Employees like WFH, it’s cheaper, and it’s greener. Still, the industry keeps blabbering about hybrid work.
Slack is preaching the digital HQ AND closing offices. Other comms providers walking the talk include 2600Hz, Atlassian, Verizon, Microsoft, Cisco, and more. I’ve written on this before. See A Call for Keeping WFH in Place.
General Industry News
I normally write about significant changes occurring in enterprise comms, but there have been some interesting headlines outside our industry this month. BMW’s move to make heated seats a subscription service is fascinating. We all know the drill: Cars are becoming platforms because hardware products are becoming software services.
BMW is not the first but perhaps the most frivolous with this initiative. My wife’s Volvo has a few software options to unlock: a Polestar option that increases performance and horsepower and a self-parking option. Many Tesla owners report that their car has more features now than when they purchased it. BMW figures it’s smarter to put the heating hardware in all of its cars and just enable it for those who buy it. Heated front seats run $180/yr.
Jim Barksdale famously said that the only way to make money is bundling and unbundling. The internet drives both. Why buy a whole newspaper if all you want is the sports section? Most UCaaS subscriptions offer unlimited services for a flat rate per month (including long distance), but we are also seeing an emerging trend of usage-based billing models.
It was inevitable that a car maker would move to subscription-based seat warmers, but the reaction has been surprisingly negative. It raises the question: When does à la carte pricing become nickel-and-diming? Not everything should be a recurring expense. Long gone are the days when you could walk into a video store and rent a movie. Now, it’s all about streaming subscriptions. Even actual movie theaters are peddling subscriptions.
BMW is going to run into subscription backlash. The cost of the service is not recurring, so why should the price be recurring? BMW will also run into two powerful opposing forces: right-to-repair initiatives and gray-market hackers. The knowledge that heaters in the seats can be unlocked is hard to disregard.
In another significant but not surprising move, Nikon announced it will stop designing SLR cameras. Nikon has produced SLR cameras for more than 60 years. The SLR survived the move to digital but has gradually become obsolete due to its size and complexity. In hindsight, I can’t believe SLRs lasted as long as they have.
The demise of the SLR is notable and perhaps would have been unforeseen a decade ago. Reminds me a bit of phone booths. We haven't stopped taking photos, but we are more likely to use our smartphones or cameras of a newer design.
The traditional desk phone is likely on a similar track. A whole new lineup of video-first endpoints is emerging, such as the Lenovo ThinkSmart View, the Webex Desk Mini, the Meta Portal, and the Neat Frame, that could replace phones and curly corded handsets with screens.
Nikon will continue to sell current-gen SLRs as long as people keep buying them. I still use SLR 35mm camera terminology, which makes me a dinosaur.
New Rules: The “cloud” boom has been the enterprise comms gift that keeps giving. The supposed impending recession will test its resilience. I expect we will see cloud-delivered comms growth slow from, say, 40% to 20%, but then 40% was clearly unsustainable. I also think this slowdown is partially self-inflicted as I am seeing providers decrease spending and hiring.
Amazon reported a sales drop and attributed it to people returning to stores. Apple reported a decline because of supply chain issues. Other popular excuses are the Russian war, gas prices, and exchange rates. None of these apply to enterprise comms. Some will return to work, some won’t, regardless online meetings are here to stay. The toothpaste isn’t going fully back into the office.
The rules of business are changing. For some time, it’s been all about growth — even hypergrowth. Companies like Amazon and Facebook showed the world that if you build it, profits will come. As if a memo went out, investors are suddenly favoring profitability. That’s a pretty significant change for multi-year business plans, and many firms are going to get caught in the glue trap. Td comes to mind.
The uncertainty of the times is real, and the best near-term strategy is to sandbag. Seems like a lot of companies are prudently reducing their guidance. Missing a quarter is bad, but it’s better to miss high than miss low. No one is getting in trouble for lowering guidance right now, and I suspect we will see a lot of beats later this year.
The Metaverse Will Be Delayed: I’ve said it before, and I will say it again MANY more times. The metaverse is coming, but it’s decades away. There’s way too much hype, and interest will dissipate before anything virtual really hits.
Zuck no doubt prefers his metaverse because the real world sucked this month. Meta’s 2Q results implied the metaverse (Meta’s VR division) spent $2.8B. That wouldn’t be so bad if it were nearly done. The key to unlock the metaverse is cheap goggles. Unfortunately, Meta raised the price (and increased memory) on its Quest 2 headset to $400.
Zuck’s also facing a rebellion from Instagram users because they don’t want it to become TikTok. Meta shut down Tuned, its messaging app designed for couples, and Microsoft added Facebook-like features to Teams (below). Also, the FTC filed to block Meta from acquiring Within, claiming Meta bought Within to absorb competition in the fitness market (it already owns the Beat Saber app).
Meta did manage to successfully deface some of its products this month. The Facebook Portal (which can be used as a video endpoint for Zoom and Webex) and the Oculus goggles are now branded Meta. Meta accounts have been announced, which means users will no longer need to register their devices to a Facebook account.
The Return of Wholesale: Over the past several years, we have seen a significant change in enterprise comms. The big brands have gotten much bigger. Solutions like Teams, Webex, and Zoom are making it very difficult for smaller, global brands. Last year, Star2Star and Fuze were acquired, and Mitel exited public cloud. I haven’t heard from many of the smaller providers in some time. Is Lifesize still alive? What’s become of Wildix?
There are two kinds of cloud-delivered comms providers: Those that build their own platforms and those that buy a solution to build their own brand. The second category goes by a few names, such as private label and wholesale, and it’s growing.
The big kahuna was BroadSoft, but Cisco fumbled this aspect of its 2018 acquisition. Several players, including 2600Hz, Intermedia, Alianza, and Sangoma, benefited by rushing to fill the wholesale void. However, Cisco, too, has rediscovered wholesale. From its RTM announcement this month:
With demand for integrated cloud collaboration surging, we have a unique opportunity to meet your customer needs with Managed Services for Webex. Our Wholesale Route-to-Market (RTM) enables you to deliver managed services. It includes a new operations model, a new commercial strategy, and new partner programs. You can free your resources to invest in your core assets: your brand, your markets, your base, and new customer acquisitions.
Atos Split: Atos used its fiscal 2022 first-half financial report to unveil the news that it has secured a new debt package to help finance its split into two separate global solution providers later this year. One company, with a focus around managed infrastructure, digital workplace, professional services, and presumably Unify, will retain the (tarnished) “Atos” name. The second, Evidian, is slated to be focused on digital transformation, big data, and cybersecurity. Atos North America is ranked No. 28 on the CRN 2022 Solution Provider 500.
Meetings and Messaging
Salesforces On Slack: In an announcement that surprised no one, Salesforce indicated that it has replaced its own chat app (Chatter) with Slack enterprise-wide (80K employees). I wonder what took so long. Salesforce completed its acquisition of Slack in July of 2021. It also used the opportunity to play some of the greatest hits, such as “Slack reduced email by 40%.” That’s really more indicative of how bad Chatter was than how great Slack is. What is new is the tighter integrations between messaging and CRM. The Slack-First Customer 360 platform brings Slack’s collaboration capabilities together with Salesforce’s suite of CRM tools. Salesforce is using Slack as a customer engagement channel as well.
Slack Pricing: Slack will both raise its prices and change its freemium model. The new “Pro” plan will increase from $8 per user per month to $8.75. I think the preciseness and small amount is wonderful — note this is Slack’s first price increase. The annual plans will increase the monthly cost from $6.67 per user to $7.25. The price change is effective Sept. 1, 2022. There’s no change to Business+ plan subscribers.
The brilliance of Slack’s free model is that it effectively charges users for the value they have created: their history. Previously, free Slack showed the last 10K messages and 5 GB worth of uploads. Evidently, some groups message so little that 10K messages can last them years, so Slack is changing its free window to the last 90 days of messages regardless of message volume. I respect the spin: “No matter how actively your team uses Slack, you’ll always have access to a full 90-day history.” “Gee, thanks,” said the Beaver.
Slack and Zoom remain the two standouts for successfully leveraging freemium in enterprise comms.
iMessage Edits: Honestly, I don’t understand why this isn’t more popular. I understand that a sent email can’t be edited because it’s theoretically no longer on the server (though a good chunk of email is internal). Messaging systems always keep the content internal, so why not give users what they want and allow editing? Total control is one of the benefits of a proprietary closed system.
In iOS 16 beta 4, Apple enabled editing in iMessage — and it’s going to change the world. I hope it changes enterprise messaging apps. In this latest release, users can unsend a message for up to 2 minutes, edit for up to 15 minutes, make up to 5 edits to a message, and there’s a viewable change log.
Apple is making messages more collaborative too. New features in Messages facilitate collaboration in several ways. When users send an invitation to collaborate via Messages, everyone on the thread is automatically added to the document, spreadsheet, or project. When someone makes a change to a shared file, everyone can see updates right at the top of the Messages thread. And when a user is working on a collaborative project, they can easily jump into the associated Messages conversation or just tap to start a FaceTime call with their collaborators.
The new Google Workspace apps have integrated video. Chat is also there, but it’s contained to specific documents.
Viva Yammer! I never understood Microsoft’s justification for both Yammer and Teams. The applications have significant overlap, and either could be modified to replace the other. In 2018, they came up with this ridiculous and contrived concept of inner and outer loop communications. It was always entertaining to watch them explain this exception-filled model with a straight face.
I’ve been convinced Teams would replace Yammer, but so far, I’ve been wrong. Microsoft insists there is (was?) a need for both. Microsoft even doubled down and made significant improvements to Yammer in 2019 (#YearofYammer), and we had Murali Sitram on TalkingHeadz to discuss them. Some of you may remember Murali from Cisco, where he spearheaded the prior generation of enterprise social with Cisco Quad. Microsoft acquired Yammer for $1.2B about 10 years ago.
Yammer’s days are definitely numbered. This month, Microsoft launched Viva Engage, a new app that lives inside of Teams. Viva Engage is a triple-headed spear. First, it strengthens Teams as a platform (apps built for Teams); second, it attacks Facebook Workplace; and third, it positions Yammer for slaughter.
Viva Engage is a Facebook replica that includes storylines (newsfeed), conversational posts, videos, images, and more. It replicates the Meta Workplace value proposition in that it’s designed to feel familiar (to Facebook) and thus eliminate/reduce the need for training. The big question is whether organizations need enterprise social apps. I don’t believe so today, but they might be the right vehicle to make WfH more effective.
Zoom Reservations: Zoom announced a Workspace Reservation app to help hybrid organizations manage space. Workspace Reservation users will be able to pre-book workspaces from their personal devices and shared resources such as a front desk kiosk. The app also supports uploaded office maps and seating locations. Tools like these are giving hotdesking (a very old feature) a whole new life. Zoom’s app works for a variety of workplaces, including (Zoom) Rooms, Zoom Appliances, Desks, and general conference rooms.
RingCentral Rooms: RingCentral announced an expansion of its hardware ecosystem and new feature enhancements for RingCentral Rooms. While every UCaaS provider now has meetings, not every UCaaS provider has a meeting room strategy. RC added three new partners to its room ecosystem: Avocor, EPOS, and Jabra.
Avocor upgraded its new series of Avocor Collab Touch hardware displays now with RingCentral Rooms for Touch software built in. EPOS recently announced a new line of meeting room solutions, including its new video bar with RingCentral Rooms for Touch. And RingCentral Rooms can now harness Jabra’s advanced, on-board AI to deliver a more intelligent feature set.
Teams Link: Microsoft Teams now links to Microsoft LinkedIn. The integration brings LinkedIn profile information directly into Teams. For example, in Teams chat, channels, calls, or meetings, you will now be able to view a colleague’s LinkedIn profile, including their current role, past experiences, and more. It’s a clever feature. I am not clear if this integration is using public APIs or something just for Microsoft Apps. Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in 2016 and has surprisingly left it mostly independent.
The big advantage Microsoft has is SSO and linked profiles between the apps. A third party would have to somehow authenticate to LinkedIn. LinkedIn does have a Connections API that is restricted to approved developers. LinkedIn is a powerful directory, so I hope Microsoft is providing other UCaaS apps the ability to leverage its data.
MeetTube: Google has now integrated Meet with YouTube livestreaming. This is kind of an obvious feature for Google, and Meet’s predecessor Hangouts had it. It does require a Workspace Admin to set up, and the live channel on YouTube has to be preapproved.
Survey Says: Microsoft is replacing the “Forms” app within Teams with a new app named “Polls”! The intent is to make polls easier. That’s a bad intent. As onetime Microsoft superstar Steven Sinofsky wrote, “Nothing good ever came from voting at a meeting. Just don’t ever vote. Companies are not democracies.” I’m anti-voting/polling across all meeting platforms. For those that don’t heed advice, the Polls app can be found in the Teams app store.
FrontLine in Bulk: Microsoft almost gets this right — and gets it more right than most. Administrators can now configure and deploy up to 500 teams with 25 users per team using one PowerShell command. The goal is to better support frontline teams, and that starts with deployments. This new feature supports custom templates to set up teams per organizational needs. Admins also can remove members from teams at scale from existing teams.
Microsoft Teams continues to prioritize frontline workers. Messaging apps are the most cost-effective way to create and enable enterprise-wide communications. Teams is one of the only UCaaS applications that actually leads with enterprise-wide messaging. What Microsoft gets wrong is PowerShell. IT admins really like to point and click. Teams complexity leaves a window for competitors to create solutions that IT admins want.
Avaya Chapter 11 Redux? Two bombshells in one day — Avaya revenue is falling off a cliff, and the board is replacing Chirico with Alan Masarek. I wrote a detailed post on NoJitter, so will be brief here.
Chirico is going to get blamed for everything, and the first shot came from the Avaya board. While that may be reasonable, there were indications of his incompetence as a CEO years ago. It was just a matter of time until his lack of experience, temper, and ego would destroy Avaya. The BoD has blood on its hands.
Admittedly, this revenue decline happened more suddenly than I expected. The first article I saw about Avaya repeating Chapter 11 was about three weeks ago. Today, it seems like a foregone conclusion, but there’s insufficient data to make such conclusions. Avaya has not yet provided an explanation of its miss, so we have no way to assess whether this decline is a blip or a trend.
While I can’t say if any laws were broken, what has occurred at Avaya is criminal. Good employees and good customers are being hurt for no fault of their own. It’s sad and unreasonable to put these stakeholders through the rigors and stress of Chapter 11 AGAIN.
One of the questions I've been asked a few times is why would Masarek take this role? I can’t speak for him, but I figure he concluded, why not? I am sure he’s going into this with eyes wide open. He really can’t lose. If terrible things happen, he won’t be blamed. Even Chapter 11 can be fascinating. On the flip side, if Avaya recovers, he will be a legend. And, yes, I can see several positive outcomes for Avaya.
8x8 CPaaS Delivers No-Code Functionality: 8x8 announced the availability of 8x8 Connect Automation Builder, a no-code multiple-channel communications management solution. This allows for a wide array of user roles to automate customer experiences. It offers a visual tool to build communication workflows. It supports multi-channel communications for text and voice messaging campaigns across multiple channels, with real-time analytics and reporting. 8x8 Connect is a core component of the 8x8 CPaaS portfolio. It offers APIs for SMS, voice, chat apps, video, and performance monitoring.
MS CCaaS: During the Microsoft Inspire event, Microsoft announced its Digital Contact Center. This was a surprise as few were pre-briefed, and Inspire is not an IT-oriented conference. It isn’t exactly clear what this digital contact center is, but it does heavily leverage Nuance.
Microsoft completed its acquisition of Nuance earlier this year. When the acquisition was announced, the story was clearly about Microsoft expanding into health care. Of course, Nuance’s conversational AI technology has other use cases, too, and there’s significant potential in the Contact Center. But Microsoft doesn’t have a contact center. Or does it?
Last November, Microsoft announced a CCaaS for its Dynamics 365 solution. While that was certainly of interest, most are waiting for the other shoe to drop: a CCaaS connected to Teams. This website for this new Digital Contact Center lists components including Dynamics 365, Azure Communications Services, Teams, Power BI, and more — but nothing gets as much attention as Nuance. Prior to acquisition, Nuance was upgrading its technology. We haven’t heard much from Nuance since, but presumably the new stuff is better than the old stuff.
Microsoft, Amazon, and Google all want into the contact center space. Amazon is leading the pack with Connect, Chime SDK, LEX, and more. Google intends to close the gap with CCAI, Chrome, and UJET. Microsoft is a bit further behind but does have a CRM and Conversational AI platform; throw in a few other scraps, and voila.
I don’t really see Microsoft Digital Contact Center as anything disruptive yet. It’s really a statement of direction that Microsoft has some valuable pieces and intends to figure this out. It’s safe to assume that someday Teams will offer a CCaaS option, and that will be disruptive.
Genesys and NICE were quick to expand their partnerships and jump on the Microsoft Digital Contact Center. Genesys has done far better than Avaya and Cisco at putting lipstick on its legacy Multicloud contact center. It embraced Azure and aggressively markets its integrations with Dynamics 365 and Teams — and now of course Nuance.
Amazon Connects CRMs: Amazon Connect Customer Profiles can now integrate with homegrown and third-party agent applications. Amazon Connect Customer Profiles combines Amazon Connect contact history with data from disparate third-party applications such as CRMs. A customer profile can contain name, address, email, purchase history, and related information such as shipping status, marketing data such as web pages visited, and customer service contact history. Customer Profiles combines data from historical interactions within Amazon Connect and any third-party applications such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, marketing automation solutions, or business applications to provide a unified customer profile.
NICE Summer: NICE announced the Summer 2022 release of CXone. The focus is on journey orchestration, “ubiquitous conversational self-service,” and improved performance.
Sangoma P370: Sangoma announced its newest addition to its P Series of phones. The P370 is an executive-level, touchscreen endpoint for Switchvox, PBXact, and FreePBX. It has a 7.0” 1280x800 color IPS display, built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and supports all of Sangoma’s business applications.
Evolve Anywhere: Evolve IP partnered with Anywhere365 re: its Anywhere Receptionist solution to enhance employee and customer experiences. Anywhere Receptionist brings advanced call management features to Microsoft Teams. The Anywhere Receptionist is a telephone operator console created to optimize customer interaction and operator and caller experience in Microsoft Teams. We all know the drill: Small companies fill the gaps that large companies leave behind … until the large companies fill their own gaps. I wish them moderate success. Too much success causes the party to end sooner.
AIVA Connect from BluIP: Hospitality specialist provider BluIP announced the AIVA Connect Studio, which lets users design, build, and automate hospitality workflows using a drag-and-drop UI. The solution provides more than 2,800 integrations, 100 communications channels, and a no-code workflow designer. It’s nice to see these types of tools being verticalized. BluIP has done a great job with the hospitality sector.
Bandwidth ISO: Bandwidth announced that the company’s global information security management system has met the requirements of ISO 27001:2013. This standard applies across its global network, including APIs, people, and business processes. This certification joins its previously attained ISO 27001 certification for its North American business.
2600Hz Mart: 2600Hz launched a new marketplace for its KAZOO platform. It’s designed to assist both customers and developers. The goal is to provide a resource that showcases and validates the power of KAZOO. 2600Hz also intends to provide a public sandbox where new developers can try and test (their own or other) KAZOO apps.
Comcast 2Q: The nation’s biggest cable giant lost half a million pay TV subscribers. On a surprising note, Comcast didn’t add any new broadband customers for the first time in its history. Peacock, Comcast’s streaming service, also failed to add any new customers. The best working theory to explain this is that 5G is eating into wired internet and doesn’t have much to watch. Fear not for Comcast — the provider still managed to increase revenues by 8.6% via fees and price hikes.
Ericsson/Vonage: Ericsson completed its acquisition of Vonage this month. Other than it taking a bit longer than initially planned, the merger closed as initially announced. That’s likely a relief for everyone. Deals fall apart for a variety of reasons, and this one encountered multiple headwinds.
This acquisition puts Ericsson back in the enterprise comms business. Ericsson had a strong PBX portfolio it sold to Aastra in 2008 (now lives at Mitel). Vonage is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Ericsson. Vonage CEO Rory Read is a member of Ericsson’s Executive Team.
The merger (and price) were agreed on in November 2021. Most companies have seen a decline in valuation over the past year, so some shareholders raised concerns over the purchase price. Carl Mellander, Ericsson CFO, responded that the acquisition was strategically the “right thing to do” as it was a “value-creating investment.” He added, “We don’t make a valuation based on the stock price one day or the other, but the fundamental value of future cash flows.”
Now the big question is how Vonage will create value for Ericsson. We know from the initial acquisition announcement that Ericsson valued Vonage’s CPaaS services, but Ericsson didn’t mention its intent regarding Vonage’s other services. That has now been rectified, and Ericsson indicated it will generate near-term synergies from Vonage’s UCaaS and CCaaS offerings. Ericsson also communicated its intent to increase R&D and market Vonage’s services to CSPs.
Börje Ekholm, Ericsson’s President and CEO, said: “We are excited to welcome Vonage as part of Ericsson. With Vonage’s suite of communications solutions — UCaaS, CCaaS and Communications APIs — Ericsson will further expand its offerings into the enterprise space.” That’s pretty broad, but the opportunity that excites me is UCaaS Mobility 3.0. This was covered in a recent TalkingPointz research note and has been presented as the next (disruptive) generation of mobility that integrates UCaaS with native cellular services. Ericsson has a very strong presence in 5G and wireless and now has a full enterprise communications stack.
GoTo/Miradore: GoTo announced intent to acquire Miradore from Standout Capital and other shareholders. Miradore will bring mobile device management capabilities to the GoTo portfolio and GoTo Resolve IT support platform. GoTo is acting on its vision of providing IT leaders with the tools to support any device, anywhere, anytime with best-in-class security and consumer-grade ease of use. GoTo evidently also sees the convergence of mobility and UCaaS, but from a management POV.
Medallia/Mindful: Medallia announced it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Mindful from Alpine Investors. Medallia provides solutions for the customer and employee experience. Mindful, previously known as VHT, offers callback automation. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the third quarter of this fiscal year.
Amazon/One Medical: Amazon takes a bigger-than-most approach to vertical strategies. The giant agreed to an all-cash deal to buy US health care provider One Medical for $3.9B. It appears Amazon is determined to become a leading player in the health care industry. It’s already become an online pharmacy. One Medical offers a doc as a service subscription service. Amazon is paying One Medical shareholders $18 per share; that’s more than a 75% premium on its closing price the day prior. Meanwhile, over at Google, the Google Health division consists mostly of Fitbit and DeepMind Health.
This Month’s Goodreads
- End-to-End Encryption’s Central Role in Modern Self-Defense With abortion set to be criminalized in more than half of the US, encryption has never been more important for protection — and civil disobedience.
- Hybrid Work Is Doomed While I agree with the headline, I do not agree with the conclusion: Office workers work in offices, for better or worse.
- Over 300 Virginia state employees resign in wake of Gov. Youngkin’s telework policy More than 300 employees from five state agencies have resigned since Gov. Youngkin announced in May that Virginia employees need to return to their offices full-time in July.
- The future of cars is a subscription nightmare This could represent a titanic shift in how vehicles are marketed and sold.
- America has an innovation problem. The H-1B visa backlog is making it worse. When you look at the impact of immigrants — whether you think about starting businesses or innovating patents — they have a large, significant impact.
- 30% of Google's Emotions Dataset is Mislabeled Could a third of a Google sentiment analysis dataset be mislabeled because the people doing the labeling aren’t native US English speakers?
- Why BA.5 is cause for concern, but not alarm. Yet. Hospital admissions are rising concurrently with BA.5, after several months of being stable. Additionally, early evidence suggests the BA.5 subvariant has features that make it better at affecting the vaccinated.
- Nuclear Power Plants Are Struggling to Stay Cool Climate change is reducing output and raising safety concerns at nuclear facilities from France to the US.
- ‘People will freak out’: The cloud boom is coming back to Earth, and that could be scary for tech stocks Cloud computing is widely viewed as a recession-resistant business, but the theory has not really been tested — until now.
- Amazon is slowly turning Alexa into a totally automated virtual assistant At the Alexa Live developer event, Amazon announced a slew of new features geared toward developers.
- Eric Schmidt Thinks AI Is as Powerful as Nukes The problem with AI is that it is only as good as the people who designed it, and it reflects the values of its creators.
- China has more than 5K 5G private networks Will 5G replace enterprise Wi-Fi? It is in China.
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