Category Archives: Social

SEC filing shows LinkedIn negotiating skills are worth $5bn

Microsoft To Layoff 18,000The US Securities and Exchange Committee has released its filings outlining the road to Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn, during which $5 billion was added to the value of the deal, reports

Five parties were involved in the saga, which eventually led to the news breaking on June 13, with Microsoft agreeing to acquire LinkedIn in an all-cash deal worth $26.2 billion. Although it has not been confirmed by the companies themselves according to Re/code Party A, which kicked the frenzy, was Salesforce. Party B was Google, which was also interested in pursuing the acquisition.

Party C and Party D were contacted by LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner to register interest however both parties declined after a couple of days consideration. Party C remains unknown, though Party D is believed to be Facebook, who even if had shown interest in the deal, may have faced a tough time in passing the agreement by competition authorities.

In terms of the timeline, a business combination was first discussed by Weiner and Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO during a meeting on February 16, with Party A being brought into the frame almost a month later on March 10. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has confirmed several times in recent weeks his team were in discussions with LinkedIn regarding the acquisition. In the following days, Party B was brought into the mix, also declaring interest. Once the interest of Party A and B were understood, Microsoft was brought back into the mix on March 15 with the report stating:

“Mr. Weiner called Mr. Nadella to inquire as to whether Microsoft was interested in discussing further a potential acquisition of LinkedIn, and explained that, although LinkedIn was not for sale, others had expressed interest in an acquisition. Mr. Nadella responded that he would discuss the matter further with Microsoft’s board of directors.”

Prior to the agreement LinkedIn was valued at roughly $130 per share, with the initial offer recorded at $160. Microsoft eventually paid $196 per share, though this was not the highest bid received. The company referred to as Party A in the document put an offer forward of $200 per share, though this would be half cash and half shares in the company. Weiner negotiating skills have seemingly added approximately 50% to the value of LinkedIn shares and bumping up the total value of the deal by $5 billion.

The exclusivity agreement was signed on May 14, though pressure had been put on LinkedIn by both Microsoft and Party A in the weeks prior. It would appear Party A had not been deterred by the agreement, as additional bids were made, once again driving up the perceived value of LinkedIn shares. Microsoft’s offer of $182 was no longer perceived high enough, and encouraged to match Party A’s offer of $200. The report states LinkedIn Executive Chairman Reid Hoffman was in favour of an all cash deal, allowing Microsoft extra negotiating room. Nadella was eventually informed on June 10 the offer had been authorized by the LinkedIn Transactions Committee.

Although Microsoft could be seen to overpaying on the price, it would be worth noting LinkedIn has been valued at higher. The company initially launched its IPO in 2011 and had a promising year in 2013 increasing the share price from $113.5 to over $200 across the 12 month period. Share prices rose to over $250 last November, following quarterly results in February, share prices dropped 44% after projected full-year revenues at $3.6 billion to $3.65 billion, versus $3.9 billion expected by analysts. Considering the fall in fortunes, it may be fair to assume shareholders would be pleased with the value of the deal approaching $200 per share.

While Microsoft has been a relatively quiet player in the social market prior to the acquisition, though this could be seen as a means to penetrate the burgeoning market segment. Although the place of social media in the workplace remains to be seen, Microsoft has essentially bought a substantial amount of data, including numerous high-net worth individuals and important decision makers throughout the world. LinkedIn currently has roughly 431 million members and is considered to be the largest professional social media worldwide.

Another explanation for the deal could be the value of Microsoft to IT decision makers. A report from JPMorgan stated Microsoft would be considered the most important vendor by CIOs to their organization due to the variety of services offered. AWS is generally considered to be the number one player in the public cloud market, though Microsoft offers a wider range of enterprise products including servers, data centres, security solutions, and cloud offerings, amongst many more. Now social can be added to the list. As Microsoft increases its offerings, it could penetrate further into a company’s fabric, making it a much more complicated decision to change vendor.

Use a Shared Technology Platform to Reorganize your Digital Media Activities

Digital marketing” is now a familiar term across age groups spending time on online and mobile interfaces. The digital media space can no longer be ignored and companies in varying fields, from pharmaceutical to telecom have started to take it seriously, and invest in it for the long term.

Large companies would need a strong presence in the digital arena. This means that many stakeholders would be involved in handling different kinds of digital media. For example, one agency might be in charge of the website creation and social media content, while another might handle email campaigns and banner ads. Add the technology service provider to this mix, and you could be headed for confusion. It is prudent to address this situation before it gets out of hand.

To implement a collaborative platform for one of its clients in business information services, HCL Tech used the following main 7 components:

Shared Technology Platform

The platform that was implemented had to be common across all the digital agencies and the technology service provider. It would form the foundation of the solution, and had to be capable enough to handle all the common assets, activities and reporting mechanisms.

Common Understanding of Objectives

The big picture is very important in such a collaborative scenario, and each digital agency and technology provider should have an idea of the objective to be achieved. This would help them understand the importance of their individual responsibilities clearly.

Definition of Roles

When multiple stakeholders are involved, the interfaces between them play an important role. This means that a single point of contact should be defined in each digital agency, as well as at the technology service provider and at the client’s end. The team structure within each team should also be uniformly and clearly defined, including special role definitions such as BIS digitization services.

Clear Definition of Responsibilities

In most situations, the final accountability might lie with the client’s business team, but it is important to define a responsibility matrix for all the stakeholders involved. This would help to identify the points of success, as well as to pinpoint any issues at an early stage.

Training Requirements

It is essential that the service provider provides the required training about the platform to the digital agencies, and also is available for guidance after the participants have started using it. Some of the aspects to be covered by the training include features of the platform, storage and access of digital assets, managing information, workflows and reporting mechanisms.

What are Workflows?

A common platform is effective only if used in a collaborative and uniform manner by all the stakeholders. The creation and review of workflows need to be performed by the end users of the platform from the client’s team, but in close discussion with the digital agencies.

Why are Reporting Mechanisms Important?

Reporting is an important step for tracking progress, and requires a common template to be established for use by all agencies.

Why are Reporting Mechanisms Important?

Reporting is an important step for tracking progress, and requires a common template to be established for use by all agencies.

Opting for a shared technology platform at an early stage of digital marketing would improve efficiency and brand image. It would also ensure that your digital marketing campaigns reach the required audience within an optimal period of time.

To know more about the topic please refer to the whitepaper written by HCL Technologies

Take a Photo Tour of Facebook’s Amazing Cold Storage Datacenter

There’s a fascinating photo tour of Facebook’s Oregon data center on readwrite today.

Facebook (arguably) owns more data than God.

But how to store a cache of user data collected at the scale of omniscience? If you’re Facebook, just build another custom-crafted server storage locker roughly the size of the USS Abraham Lincoln on top of a breezy plateau in the Oregon high desert. The company’s new Prineville, Ore., data center employs an ultra-green ”cold storage” plan designed from the ground up to meet its unique—and uniquely huge—needs.

The piece also includes useful links on the tech behind the data center, shingled drive tech, and the Open Compute project that led to the innovations on display here.

Bitrix24 Collaboration for SMBs Update Supports Online Document Creation, Sharing

Bitrix has released a new version of Bitrix24, its free enterprise social network and collaboration suite for small businesses. The new release allows users to create, edit and collaborate on documents online, without having MS Office suite installed on their personal computers.

In addition to using Bitrix24 instant messenger for video and group chats, users now have access to video conferencing and screen sharing capabilities. Email connectors to MS Exchange, Outlook, Gmail, AOL, Yahoo!, iCloud and other popular e-mail services have been added to enable e-mail access from Bitrix24 accounts.

Activity Stream has been enhanced with real time updates, smart forwarding, notification options and company-wide announcements, while engagement analytics module (Company Pulse) has been added to provide real time indicators for enterprise social network adoption, identify roadblocks and slow adopters, and show which intranet tools are currently being (under)used by employees.

Bitrix24 has also released a fully functional mobile CRM, which allows creation or editing of CRM entries and invoices directly from the mobile device. The new mobile app also allows using multiple Bitrix24 accounts from a single smartphone or tablet.

“2013 has been a year of significant growth for us, – said Bitrix24 CEO Dmitry Valyanov, – we’ve signed up 90,000 companies, which is well over 500,000 users for the cloud and onsite versions of Bitrix24 intranet. Our workforce grew by 40% to over 130 employees and we opened three new sales and support offices. GooglePlay now lists Bitrix24 among the top 5 mobile intranet apps, along with or surpassing such established enterprise social brands as Jive Software, IBM Connection, VMWare SocialCast and TIBCO Tibbr. We hope to have a million users by the end of the year.”

Bitrix24 is 100% free to any company or organization with up to 12 employees. Bitrix24 paid cloud plans are priced at $99/mo (50 GB) and $199/mo (100 GB), and both come with unlimited users.

How the New BitTorrent Bundles Aims to Combine Content, Social and Commerce

The people behind the format responsible for about a tenth of internet traffic, and until now the bane of content publishers, now aims to build content, social and (they fervently hope) commerce into their new BitTorrent Bundles. As the website puts it:

 ”(BitTorrent Bundles is the) first media store by the people, for the people. BitTorrent Bundles is where you can access a world of content, direct from artists. Browse titles from some of our favorite creators. Unlock music and film exclusives. Play what you want. Pay what you want.”

AvePoint Releases SharePoint Meeting Organizer App

AvePoint today announced the launch of AvePoint Meetings, the latest addition to its line of Productivity Apps in the SharePoint 2013 App Store.

AvePoint Meetings, a free interactive SharePoint 2013 app, brings order and efficiency to an organization’s meetings by allowing business users to track notes, actions, and decisions made in meetings against agenda items. While conventional meeting tracking generally involves hand-written notes that must then be typed up and emailed to be shared, AvePoint Meetings enforces a more structured information tracking process that ensures all meeting information is readily available and organized for those that need it. AvePoint Meetings utilizes the “My Task” feature of SharePoint 2013 by creating “Actions” as SharePoint Tasks so your organization can discover all assignments, tasks and relevant statuses within SharePoint or Microsoft Outlook 2013.

AvePoint Meetings allows business users to collaborate with one another in real-time before, during, and after meetings by:

  • Creating single or reoccurring meetings
  • Allowing meeting attendees to adjust and update meeting agendas as well as discussion topics
  • Capturing meeting information and notes with multi-user support
  • Tracking meeting minutes with full auditing, allowing for historical search capabilities
  • Assigning, aggregating, and synchronizing tasks and actions

How Businesses Can Use the Number Three Social Network (and Do You Know Which It Is?)

Pinterest is a social bookmarking site that allows users to create a visual, online pinboard with images they love organized around topics of their choice by category. It’s the fastest growing social media site in history, the third-largest network after Facebook and Twitter and has over 25 million members and 10 million unique visitors a month, nearly three-quarters of them women.

Karen Leland, author of the new book “Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Business,” has created a comprehensive and easy-to-use guide to hitting the road running and quickly making Pinterest into a valuable source of prospects, promotion and profits.

“Great business brands are about telling compelling, congruent stories, and Pinterest is at its core about storytelling in pictures,” says Leland. “Pinterest has tapped into this visceral lover of visuals, and no small business, entrepreneur or corporation can afford to miss the boat on bringing what they offer beyond words and into images.”

Following her own advice resulted in this infographic:

ProxToMe Adds Android to iOS for Proximity Sharing Using Facebook, the Cloud

ProxToMe, for iPhone and Android lets you discover people nearby by leveraging Facebook to share digital content in real-time. By using a proprietary wireless technology the app detects users within 250 feet and allows for seamless interaction. Following on the heels of their iOS release, it now supports Android.

The app’s requirement that nearby users also have it installed makes for an interesting chicken-and-egg problem. Launched in time for the annual SXSW Interactive social computing blowout, ProxToMe appears to be hoping for an initial boost from bands leading the way with content sharing.

ProxToMe also enables cloud-to-cloud content sharing, including Dropbox to Dropbox, which neatly sidesteps mobile bandwidth issues.

The Fracturing of the Enterprise Brain

Never mind BYOD (bring your own device), employee use of non-corporate online storage solutions could lead to the weakening of enterprise ability to access company data and intellectual property. In the worst case scenario, companies could lose information forever.

A post by Brian Proffitt at ReadWrite Enterprise explains:

Employees are the keepers of knowledge within a company. Want to run the monthly payroll? The 20-year-veteran in accounting knows how to manage that. Building the new company logo? The superstar designer down in the art department is your gal. When such employees leave the company, it can be a bumpy transition, but usually not impossible, because the data they’ve been using lies on the corporate file server and can be used to piece together the work that’s been done.

Of course, that’s based on the premise that, for the past couple of decades or so, data has essentially been stored in one of two places: on the file servers or the employee’s local computer.

Today, though, people store data in a variety of places, not all of it under the direct control of IT. Gmail, Dropbox, Google Drive or a company’s cloud on Amazon Web Services…

Read the article.