April 18, 2022
Photo: Michael Weidemann via Unsplash
Hello and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! Today: how customer data platform companies are helping marketers navigate changes in mobile data collection practices, why Intel thinks putting AI in classrooms is a good idea, and the latest investments in enterprise tech startups.
Has the ransomware surge peaked? New research from Corvus Insurance found that ransomware-related claims decreased by half from the first quarter of 2021 to the fourth quarter, and the average amount of ransom paid decreased 44.2%.
In the wake of data privacy changes by mobile platforms last year, the enterprise tech world is suddenly very interested in customer data platforms (CDPs). With Twilio’s acquisition of Segment, Treasure Data’s $234 million fundraise late last year and Salesforce’s push into CDPs, the hot new buzzword is potentially a hot new market.
“The way I think about [CDPs] is, it’s trying to create a 360-degree view of each of your customers to help you more accurately identify what would most resonate with this customer,” said Derek Zanutto, a general partner at CapitalG.
It’s also why CDPs are most commonly talked about in a marketing context, because it’s the most natural extension of using data about customers. After Apple and Google restricted the use of third-party cookies in apps and on the web, marketers needed to find new sources of customer information.
CDP vendors include companies such as Segment, Amperity, mParticle and Treasure Data, as well as smaller companies like Lytics and BlueConic. Outside of the focused CDP players, marketing cloud vendors like Salesforce and Adobe can’t afford to ignore this trend. And ERP players like Microsoft and Oracle want to extend customer data into purchasing, products and supply chain software.
The challenge is that vision hasn’t always materialized.
CDPs may have struck out the first time around, but it’s not over yet. Since 2017, the enterprise tech world has shifted dramatically.
All of those forces combined have brought CDPs to the surface again and spurred more competition than ever.
In a complex technological environment, when a business needs to pivot quickly in reaction to external forces, the “as-a-service” model of delivery for IT hardware, software and services offers companies of all sizes the ultimate flexibility to stay competitive with a scalable, cloud-like consumption model and predictable payment options for hardware and service inclusions.
Intel and Classroom have partnered to integrate an AI-based technology developed by Intel with Class, which runs on top of Zoom. Intel claims its system can detect whether students are bored, distracted or confused by assessing their facial expressions and how they’re interacting with educational content.
“We can give the teacher additional insights to allow them to better communicate,” said Michael Chasen, co-founder and CEO of Classroom Technologies, who said teachers have had trouble engaging with students in virtual classroom environments throughout the pandemic.
But critics argue that it is not possible to accurately determine whether someone is feeling bored, confused, happy or sad based on their facial expressions or other external signals.
“Students have different ways of presenting what’s going on inside of them,” said Todd Richmond, a longtime educator and the director of the Tech and Narrative Lab and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. “That student being distracted at that moment in time may be the appropriate and necessary state for them in that moment in their life,” he said, if they’re dealing with personal issues, for example.
While some teachers may have found this system helpful, Angela Dancey, a senior lecturer at the University of Illinois Chicago, said she would not want to use the Intel system.
“I think most teachers, especially at the university level, would find this technology morally reprehensible, like the panopticon.”— Kate Kaye (email | twitter)
Salsify was valued at $2 billion after raising $200 million to build inventory management products for retailers.
Observe.ai raised $125 million from Zoom and other investors for its natural-language-processing tools.
Obsidian Security raised $90 million to help companies identify and fix SaaS security risks.
Silverfort raised $65 million to connect identity management across IT systems and environments.
Alibaba’s cloud computing operation, once expected to challenge the Big Three in scope, is struggling under the weight of new regulations in China that favor state-backed companies, according to Bloomberg.
A senior Pentagon IT official resigned, complaining that the slow pace of the federal bureaucracy is causing the military’s technology prowess to fall behind private-sector companies.
OAuth tokens stolen from Heroku and Travis-CI were used to download data belonging to npm users on GitHub, GitHub Security said in a blog post.
The Big Three cloud providers might be considered “critical infrastructure” if proposed legislation is brought to Congress for consideration and passed, according to Nextgov.
Lenovo’s broad portfolio of end-to-end solutions provide organizations with the breadth and depth of services that empower CIOs to leverage new IT to achieve their strategic outcomes. Organizations also have the flexibility to scale and invest in new technology solutions as they need them.
Thanks for reading — see you tomorrow!