• 26 Mar 2015

    ESPN, Outbrain Partnership Lets Other Marketers Get Native Placement on the Sports Site Multi-year deal creates new premium ad space

    One of the biggest names in sports is letting other publications tap into its digital audience. 

    ESPN and content recommendation platform Outbrain announced Thursday that the two signed a multi-year, global deal. And, because Outbrain is being integrated into ESPN's in-house sales platform, it will allow third-party content to be seeded natively into ESPN's editorial stream, including between articles in the ESPN newsfeed. 

    "We used to work primarily with business development or product teams, and now we also work with sales teams," Outbrain vp of product marketing Matt Crenshaw said. "The result: product teams get better content recommendations, business teams get new revenue, and now ad sales teams get more flexibility to serve the ad campaigns that they sell directly."

    According to the publisher, it has more than 116 million unique visitors monthly across its digital networks. 

    "This gives our sales team a new avenue by which to tap into the sponsored content marketplace. We look forward to bringing these solutions to our global customer base," ESPN Customer Marketing and Sales president Ed Erhardt added in a press release.

    Outbrain's content reaches 550 million people around the globe, providing a larger reach than most publications could do on their own. Using a variety of factors including what's on the Web page, previous user behavior, context of the user's visit and trending topics, it places promoted links on partner publication's pages. The company and its partners make money by charging a rate to have other outlets' links included. Not only can this drive additional traffic for those who buy into the service, it creates another way to re-promote older content that might not be buzzy anymore. 

    Crenshaw said that increasingly publishers are integrating its services into their sales platforms, allowing for more native placements. Previously, most Outbrain content was contained in a widget at the bottom of the page, but by working with the publisher's direct sales team other publication's content can be sprinkled in premium locations like the the right rails, homepages, mobile pages and on video. Outbrain also recently signed contracts with other publishers including Time Inc., Le Monde Group and CNN. 

    "Fully integrating Outbrain as a critical system creates a sort of content intelligence system," Crenshaw explained. "This is more and more where our conversations are going with publishers."

  • 25 Mar 2015

    Samanage Announces Samanage Benchmarking, Only Real-Time Continuous Improvement Tool for Service & Support Industry

    Samanage, leading provider of cloud-based enterprise service desk software, and MetricNet, leading provider of benchmarks for IT service and support professionals, announced today the launch of Samanage Benchmarking, the only real-time service benchmarking solution for the service and support industry.

    Samanage CEO, Doron Gordon, together with MetricNet’s Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Jeff Rumburg, made the announcement at the HDI 2015 Expo and Conference this week in Las Vegas.

    “Service professionals are challenged to do more with less, and continuously find ways to improve their service organization,” said Gordon. “Samanage Benchmarking empowers service managers to measure the performance of their service organization, compare it against industry peers and continuously identify performance improvements and cost savings opportunities, in real-time and at a fraction of what it has cost in the past.”

    Using Samanage’s true-cloud service management platform, Samanage Benchmarking analyzes the performance of thousands of service desk organizations to create peer group specific key performance indicators (KPIs). Customers are then compared against peer organizations based on performance data from the Samanage customer community, combined with thousands of service desk benchmarks completed by MetricNet. Samanage Benchmarking automates data collection, performance reporting, diagnosis and action planning, and provides a Samanage Score which is the culmination of where the service organization is rated in the industry.

    “By leveraging Samanage’s true-cloud SaaS based delivery model with the benchmarking expertise and data from MetricNet, Samanage Benchmarking makes quality, real-time benchmark reports more economical than ever before,” said Rumburg. “Samanage Benchmarking can be used for forecasting and planning changes within the service organization, allowing them to better understand the impact planned changes have on cost and quality of the service level they provide. It is a first of its kind solution and will allow us to make Service Desk Benchmarking available for every service organization in the world” said Rumburg.

    Samanage Benchmarking fully integrates with the Samanage Service Desk solution and is readily available and free to existing Samanage customers. Non-Samanage customers can still use Samanage Benchmarking with their current service desk solution and benefit from a continuous way to track and measure their service organization. To learn more about the Samanage Service Desk platform and Samanage Benchmarking visit http://www.samanage.com.

    About Samanage
    Samanage is enterprise service desk software that manages service relationships in the company and helps get work done. Samanage delivers an exceptional user experience with beautiful software that people love to use. Instantly deployed and continuously updated in the cloud, Samanage service and asset management software lets you quickly drive business value by connecting your people with the key business services they use every day. Visit http://www.samanage.com.

    About MetricNet
    MetricNet is the global leader in IT service and support benchmarking. More than half of the Fortune 500 rely on MetricNet benchmarks to improve and optimize their performance. With a global benchmarking database of more than 3,000 IT service and support benchmarks, MetricNet has the most comprehensive database of process and performance metrics in the industry. Visit http://www.metricnet.com.

  • 23 Mar 2015

    Accenture Adds SundaySky’s SmartVideo Technology to its Life and Annuity Software

    Accenture (ACN) has enhanced its market-leading Accenture Life Insurance Platform (ALIP) by adding personalized SmartVideo capabilities that help life insurance and annuity carriers deliver dramatically improved customer experiences through digital channels. The new solution allows carriers to take advantage of engaging, personalized and data-driven videos at scale to help support and retain customers throughout the customer lifecycle.

    SmartVideo allows carriers to use customer and policy information that is already stored in their systems to quickly and cost-effectively create data-driven videos. Delivered in real time, these videos provide customers with account set up information, billing statements, and events confirmations.

    “As technology and industry changes continue at a blistering pace, carriers find themselves in the midst of a digital transformation that requires a focus on innovation. Integrating SmartVideo technology into ALIP will change the way carriers communicate with their customers and help foster engagement and increase brand loyalty,” said Shay Alon, global managing director, Accenture Software for Life and Annuity. “Our new SmartVideo complements Accenture’s life insurance and annuity offerings by enabling carriers to create unique digital experiences while reducing contact center and operational costs.”

    As part of an exclusive alliance with SundaySky, SmartVideo technology is offered as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution designed to provide technology and commercial framework for smooth deployment. It is sold as a standalone solution or pre-integrated with ALIP, Accenture’s robust, configurable and scalable software suite that offers life insurance and annuity carriers of all sizes solutions for product development, new business, underwriting, and policy administration.

    About Accenture
    Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 319,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$30.0 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2014. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

    Accenture Software combines deep technology acumen with industry knowledge to develop differentiated software products. It offers innovative software-based solutions to enable organizations to meet their business goals and achieve high performance. Its home page is www.accenture.com/software. The Accenture Life Insurance Platform is part of Accenture Life Insurance Business Services, a business service within Accenture’s Financial Services operating group. By applying its extensive industry knowledge to continuously enhance its software, Accenture helps insurers reduce operating costs, manage risk and drive growth through improved product development, enhanced policy administration and distribution, and through technology platform consolidation and modernization. Its home page is www.accenture.com/lifesoftware.

    About SundaySky
    SundaySky, the creator of SmartVideo, helps customer-centric brands tell stories with personalized, real-time video experiences at every stage of the customer lifecycle. The SmartVideo lifecycle marketing platform generates hundreds of thousands of SmartVideos daily, powering customer acquisition, support, growth and loyalty initiatives for leaders in e-commerce, telecommunications, insurance, banking and travel. SundaySky customers have proven that SmartVideo viewers are more engaged, profitable and loyal, as program performance is measurable and optimized for incremental impact on key business metrics. 

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    Founded in 2000, Carmel Ventures is managing over $800M across four funds. As Israel’s top tier VC firm, we invest in Israeli or Israeli related early stage companies and build global category leaders. Carmel invests across a number of key market segments including: software, new enterprise infrastructure, big data, digital media, consumer applications and semiconductors.

    Our team approaches the investment as a proactive, hands-on endeavor. Carmel Ventures typically leads or co-leads investments and take an active role on the Board of Directors while keeping a low ratio of companies per partner. With strong M&A and IPO experience, the Carmel team has backed a disproportional share of Israel’s category leaders that generate over $50M in annual revenues, including: Outbrain, ironSource, Payoneer, and more.

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