Atlassian acquires Trello for $425M: Will It Remain Free?

As most acquisitions start out with the “ideal” that the product will remain pristine and nothing will change – it will be interesting to see if the acquisition of Trello by Atlassian will be the norm or the exception. From a business point of view Atlassian paid $425M, so they will want their investment to pay off.

What’s interesting in today’s world is that instead of putting a bunch of developers in a room to develop new software, companies like Atlassian, instead buy a company. This is truly an emerging strategy in product development and one that makes sense with respect to acquiring best of breed. We hope that Atlassian will keep its word and Trello will remain free. Proof is always in the pudding.

Often the story during the press release phase is that “The original folks are going to run it, not the new company!” “Things will stay the same.”

WhatsApp and Waze are both pretty good examples of high profile acquisitions. It’s generally unlikely that it will be the executive team from any start-up that ends up sticking around past whatever agreement they signed with buyer. There’s generally some “golden seatbelt” that requires the start-ups executives to stay for a particular period of time. And once that time is up, its not unpredictable that they leave that because they are “start-up” personalities – meaning they like the start-up phase and not so much the growth and maintenance or innovation phase of a company because their jobs will change and hence their interest.

It really takes four types of entrepreneurs/management to make a start-up successful. First the the start-up folks who like the beginning, ideas flowing, do a lot with a little, the adrenal of “can we do this?”

Second, to have a company grow, it takes people who are really good at R&D and growth strategies, which different often greatly from start-up strategies and tactics.

And third, there are the maintenance executives who are really good a making a company run like a well oiled machine; again very different type of personality traits are required for this.

The fourth stage is now required (it had not been as much a part of management theory in the past. But with technology changing so rapidly, innovation to stay relevant and on top requires people to look outside their comfort zone and understand what’s coming next and how can they innovate and transform their company.) Otherwise the company becomes a dinosaur and dies. We’ve seen plenty of that happening to the likes of Tower Records, Circuit City, etc..


We all have our beloved start-ups. And many of us have been part of start-ups. What’s true is that we all hope nothing will change. What is also true is that it takes a lot of effort to go beyond the start-up phase into the growth, maintenance and innovation phases. People get tired; they want their initial investment to pay off; and they truly like doing what they do best. And it may not be the other phases of what a company goes through. It’s not fair to ask people, however idealistic it is, to do things they don’t enjoy or are not good at.

Will Trello stay the same? Or will it change as many other acquisitions have, as they got bought or swolled up, and give into the reality of the phases of what it takes for an initial idea to grow into a company? Only time will tell.

@DrNatalie, VP and Principal Analyst,

Covering customer-facing applications and innovation


I’m Judging the SuperNova Awards: Make Sure to Submit Your Case Study

I’m judging the 2016 Constellation SuperNova Awards! Every year the Constellation SuperNova Awards recognize individuals for their leadership in digital business. Nominate yourself or someone you know before August 8, 2016.

About the SuperNova Awards
The SuperNova Awards honor leaders that demonstrate excellence in the application and adoption of new and emerging technologies. In its sixth year, the Constellation SuperNova Awards will recognize individuals who demonstrate leadership in nine categories:
•  Internet of Things – A network of smart objects enables smart services. (sensors, smart ‘things’, device to purchase, artificial intelligence)
•  Data to Decisions – Using data to make informed business decisions. (big data, predictive analytics)
•  Digital Marketing Transformation – Personalized, data-driven digital marketing.
•  Future of Work: Social Business – The technologies enabling teams to work together efficiently. (enterprise social networks, collaboration, digital assistants)
•  Future of Work: Human Capital Management – Enabling your organization to utilize your workforce as an asset.  (talent management, benefits, HR core)
•  Matrix Commerce – Commerce responds to changing realities from the supply chain to the storefront. (digital retail, supply chain, payments, ‘ubiquitous-channel’ retail)
•  Next Generation Customer Experience – Customers in the digital age demand seamless service throughout all lifecycle stages and across all channels.  (crm, customer experience)
•  Safety and Privacy – Strategies to secure sensitive data (blockchain, digital identity, authentication)
•  Technology Optimization & Innovation – Innovative methods to balance innovation and IT budgets. (innovation in the cloud, ENSW cost savings, cloud ERP, efficient app production)
The SuperNova Awards are seeking leaders and teams who have innovatively applied disruptive technolgies to their business models as a means of adapting to the rapidly-changing digital business environment. If you have what it takes to compete in the SuperNova Awards submit your application today:
If you are doing something really interesting, make sure to send in your case study! It’s your time to be recognized for your hard work!
@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research
Covering Customer Facing Applications that Drive Awesome Customer Experience

Jive Circle: Useful Employee Directory App That’s A Secure Way To Quickly Search, Discover And Connect With Colleagues

Jive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: JIVE), announced a new mobile application with the release of Jive Circle.  Jive Circle is a secure app for employees to quickly search and discover other employees in their organization. Jive Circle seamlessly integrates with the Jive Chime real-time messaging app, which provides employees a fast way to connect with colleagues.

I generally don’t write about the future of work or employee-facing applications. However, I see the importance of them. Why are they so important? I cover the customer-facing applications. And how an employee treats a customer is directly related to how they feel about the company they work for, the tools they have to work with and how easy it is to get their work done. If the employee experience is bad, it’s difficult to expect the customer experience to be good.

With the world increasingly mobile and with workforces are more dispersed than ever, people are looking for new ways to instantly reach colleagues. Jive Circle, is driving innovation in the way employees connect. And when employees connect, customers get the help they need, and the customer experience is better. It’s really that simple.

Mobile directory for employees @drnatalie natalie petouhoff JIVE Circle









What is Jive Circle? It’s a:

  • A dynamic employee directory for quick search, discovery and connection with teammates. Employees can quickly search a visual organization chart and identify subject matter experts across the organization. A simplified browse feature allows employees to easily filter and find information about their colleagues. Once a colleague is identified, a press and hold feature prompts connection icons for immediate contact via click-to-call, email or Jive Chime. Soon, Jive Circle will also feature a new calendar sync function that gives insight into who within the organization is joining meetings.
  • Enhanced security with the ability to add, edit and deactivate users. An ISO 27001 certified company with more than fourteen years of experience in the communications software space, Jive developed Circle with industry security best practices such as third-party testing and leverages the security of the Amazon Web Service environment. Additionally, IT administrators can easily import employee information to create accounts and build out their organization for the app, plus Jive Circle is built as SaaS, cloud-based software, which does not require any IT maintenance or installation.

If you are really curious, go see more at You can subscribe to updates regarding the Jive Circle early access program. It is available across iOS and Android devices.

How are your employees connecting to make better customer experiences?

@DrNatalie VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research


#AdobeSummit WOWs With a Ton of Announcements

The #AdobeSummit has begun and the news below, for the 6,000 digital marketers and senior leaders from the world’s top brands is being digested, while sharing best practices and networking. As a marketer, there never seems to be enough time to learn everything, but soak it up. It’s all here! And if you are here in person or not… here’s a round-up of what’s happening here:

  • Adobe Pushed Boundaries of Marketing at Summit 2015 – At Summit 2015, Adobe is showcasing a range of innovation across its Adobe Marketing Cloud, including the unveiling of two new Adobe Marketing Cloud Solutions – Primetime and Audience Manager. Press Release
  • Adobe Brings Digital Marketing to Internet of Things (IoT) – Adobe Marketing Cloud extends personalized experiences to physical spaces and machines; New IoT SDK enables brands to measure and analyze engagement across IoT devices. Press Release
  • Adobe Streamlines Mobile Marketing and App Development. – Adobe is unveiling significant enhancements to Adobe Mobile Services, a Core Service across Adobe Marketing Cloud, that include a fully integrated mobile app framework. The new mobile app framework delivers the complete, integrated solution in the industry for developing and managing apps, and is the first to eliminate marketers’ dependence on an array of disjointed point solutions. Press Release
  • Adobe Marketing Cloud Unites Data-driving Marketing and Ad Tech – Adobe is unveiling a new algorithmic engine and advances in Audience Core Services that enables brands to connect massive audience and behavioral data from a broad range of sources, while a new set of algorithms allow them to reach those audiences through Adobe Media Optimizer. Press Release

Joint Partner Announcements:

  • Adobe and IBM Interactive Experience Announce Global Partnership – IBM Interactive Experience will build specialized enterprise consulting capabilities for Adobe Marketing Cloud. Combining the capabilities of Adobe Marketing Cloud with the design, digital and technology expertise of IBM Interactive Experience, enterprises can comprehensively integrate all the touch points of a consumer’s journey. Press Release.
  • Accenture and Adobe Create Innovative, Pay-Per-Use Digital Marketing Service to Drive Greater Marketing ROI – Today Accenture and Adobe expand their alliance with the launch of Accenture Customer Engagement, a cloud-based managed service that simplifies the development, execution and measurement of digital marketing. Accenture Customer Engagement features digital marketing services from Accenture Interactive wrapped seamlessly around Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions. Press Release.

Partner-Issued Adobe Marketing Cloud Announcements:

Adobe Blogs Provide Additional Information on the Latest News from Summit:

If you want all Adobe Summit announcement highlights, videos, images and more, you can go here:

And you can follow the Twitter feed using the hashtag: #AdobeSummit

As you can see Adobe is addressing many of the issues that plague marketers, working to simplify, while giving marketers more control and options. As marketers are called to do more than just “push” messages and rather engage customers, more and more capabilities are required. The future is here, now. Digital Marketing education is not only necessary, it should be a requirement in every university!


VP and Principal Analyst, Covering Marketing, Sales, Digital, Social and Customer Service to Create Amazing Customer Experiences


ServiceSource Announces Customer Service Success Management Platform Powered by Salesforce1

The Dreamforce-related announcements are already starting to come in. Today ServiceSource announced a Customer Success solution powered by Salesforce1. Mike Rosenbaum, EVP, Salesforce Platform said, “The Salesforce1 Customer Platform is a game changer for developers and partners because it helps them build engaging, next generation apps to connect with customers in a whole new way. By opening the platform, we have made it possible for customers and partners to get their apps and data in one place, where everything is connected and in the context of their business.”

Are you a B2B business and want to make sure that your customer not only buys, but renews with you? The latest in this area is called Customer Success Management. These type of vendors not only manage the beginning of a relationship with a company but also have very smart analytics to help you see if the company is happy with your product or service way before renewal time. This is key in SaaS businesses because instead of selling the old way – on premise with maintenance upgrades, if a company is not happy with the SaaS solution, they can decide to not continue the contract. It’s much easier to switch than it used to be. And that’s what companies need to know if their clients are happy- not just at the time of sales, but throughout the life of the product / service, so when renewal time comes along, it’s a yes!…

What this means to you, if you are B2B business, is that you are enable to  provide customer success teams with a platform-oriented way to implement proven success plans and engage users with planned, high-value activities that drive customer lifetime value, reduce churn and ensure customer satisfaction.

ServiceSource is a  global leader in cloud-based recurring revenue management solutions. So if your company wants to provide better service for customers to drive growth and build long-standing relationships across the customer lifecycle, this may be a vendor to look at.  ServiceSource has a comprehensive data management, analytics, automation and services capabilities. They deliver higher subscription, maintenance, and support revenue, improved customer retention, and increased business predictability through their Renew OnDemand®, Scout® and proven services offers.

The new features include:

  • Inline Customer Health Monitoring: Embedded account status indicators and metrics within the Salesforce1 Platform visibly show how customers are using a product to consistently measure customer success at scale. 
  • Tailored Customer Plays: By combining subscription- and user-level predictive analytics with pre-planned plays, sales and customer success teams will engage each customer in exactly the right way, at the right time. 
  • High Volume Effectiveness: “Focus Categories” help customer success reps efficiently and effectively manage more accounts by pinpointing high-value customers that require immediate attention.
  • Structured Success Plans: Customer success plans provide clear visibility into the unique journey each customer takes with a company’s products and organization. Every plan incorporates a timeline view that shows where the customer is located in the lifecycle, prior activities as well as future actions required for a successful renewal.
  • Streamlined User Experience: Designed specifically for the customer success rep, the app delivers the right information from inside the Salesforce1 Platform to simplify day-to-day work and maximize effectiveness – all while maintaining seamless connectivity to the rest of the organization. Configurable “Action Tiles” quickly guide work activities and provide a closed-loop view of customer success.

ServiceSource will be at Dreamforce if you want to see more. They are a Gold sponsor at Dreamforce® ’14,  October 13-16. If you want to know more about what they are doing there at Dreamforce, here’s a link:

The Salesforce1 Platform, ServiceSource Customer Success for Salesforce1 will be available in late fall 2014. To learn more about the ServiceSource Customer Service App, here’s a link:

And if you want to follow all the announcement and all things Dreamforce, you can become a fan of Dreamforce on Facebook: and / or Follow @Dreamforce on Twitter:


VP and Principal Analyst, Covering Customer Service, Sales and Marketing to Deliver Better Customer Experiences

Constellation Research

Share Announces New Salesforce1 Fund from Salesforce Ventures to Fuel Mobile Innovation for the Internet of Customers

What’s new in the land of start-ups? Well just announced Salesforce Ventures which has allocated $100 million to invest in companies building innovative mobile apps and connected products that extend the power of the Salesforce1 Platform. The first wave of Salesforce1 Fund investments include DocuSign,, and Skuid. The idea is that with Salesforce Ventures, portfolio companies can leverage the expertise of the Foundation to make giving back part of their business model from the beginning.

Salesforce Ventures invests in the next generation of enterprise technology to help companies connect with their customers in entirely new ways. Portfolio companies receive funding to accelerate their growth and gain a competitive edge through access to the world’s largest cloud ecosystem and the guidance of’s innovators and executives. With Salesforce Ventures, portfolio companies can also leverage the expertise of the Foundation to incorporate its 1-1-1 model of integrated philanthropy to make giving back part of their business model.

It makes sense since technology continues to transform the way companies connect with their customers. By 2020, according to Cisco, there will be 50 billion connected things and a trillion connected sensors on the Internet of Things—from smartphones and wearable smart devices to jet engines and cars. But what matters most is that behind every device, every app, and every product is a customer. This is really the Internet of Customers, and the opportunity for companies to revolutionize how they connect with their customers has never been greater.

More on the companies they are funding:

●      DocuSign—DocuSign’s Digital Transaction Management (DTM) platform empowers mobile Salesforce users and their customers to go 100 percent digital so that anyone can transact anything, anytime, anywhere, on any mobile device securely – all from within Salesforce1. 

● is a fashion and technology brand that makes aspirational garments and accessories with functionality and untethered communications.

●— integrates core telephony features like Click-to-Call™ and Lead Management—powered by a predictive analytics engine—into any Salesforce1 mobile experience to make field reps more productive and accelerate sales.

●      Skuid—Skuid allows customers to quickly create powerful, gorgeous apps for any device without code.

 The Salesforce Ventures portfolio includes innovative cloud companies such as Anaplan, Box, DocuSign, Dropbox, Evernote, FinancialForce, GainSight, Kenandy, Layer, MuleSoft and StayClassy. has invested in more than 100 enterprise cloud startups since 2009. Looks like Salesforce Ventures is furthering’s commitment to creating the world’s most innovative cloud ecosystem that extends the power of the Salesforce1 Platform to help companies connect with their customers in entirely new ways.

If you want additional information on this new venture, you can find it here:

●      Learn more about Salesforce Ventures:

●      Follow @salesforcevc on Twitter:

●      Learn more about the Foundation:

And if you want to start giving back, join Salesforce Ventures and The Salesforce Foundation at Disrupt SF on Tuesday, September 9 to assemble backpacks for SFUSD students.


VP and Principle Analyst, Constellation Research

See you at Constellation’s 4th Annual Connected Enterprise

The Executive Innovation Conference | October 29th-31st 
Half Moon Bay, CA | Ritz Carlton


HootSuite Launches Managed Social Media Security & Compliance Service for Enterprises

HootSuite Managed Security & Compliance Services educate and empower enterprises to protect their brand and reputation

To help enterprises protect their brands as they scale social media across their organization, HootSuite has announced the launch of its Managed Security and Compliance Services. This new offering provides organizations with security and compliance tools to protect their brand and social media assets from internal and external threats. This is critical that organizations figure out social compliance. It’s one thing to focus on engagement of your customers. It’s another to make sure that ALL the engagement is of the type of engagement is “on brand” and keeps the brand in integrity.

“While businesses have adopted social media in record numbers, the lack of governance puts enterprises at risk for online security and compliance breaches,” says Greg Gunn, VP Alliances, Business Development, and Platform at HootSuite. “Our new managed services are designed to equip the enterprise with the right tools and response plans so they can safely use social media to grow their business while protecting their brand.”

HootSuite’s Managed Security and Compliance Services creates a secure, complete environment for policy management and enforcement across an enterprise’s entire organization, protecting its brand and data against a full spectrum of security and compliance threats. This is even more important for organizations within regulated industries such as finance, healthcare and insurance, as well as those that are publically traded and require persistent monitoring of their brand reputation.

Who’s using it? Check out ING DIRECT. “The nature of social media means that your brand’s reputation is often at risk,” says Jaime Stein, Senior Manager of Social Media at ING DIRECT. “Therefore, it’s important to have your team aligned and prepared to handle any situation that could compromise customer service or brand reputation. HootSuite’s Situational Simulation prepared our communications team for our recent company re-naming launch so that when it took place, our team was able to handle the response from our clients and the public effectively and efficiently.”

HootSuite’s new Managed Security & Compliance Services features include:

  • Social Media Asset Audit: Identify and govern both authorized and unauthorized social media profiles. The audit creates an Access Control Map, which allows administrators to outline legitimate profiles and determine which users can post to those profiles. We also help to remove illegitimate profiles to restore brand reputation.
  • Situational Simulations: Create a response plan for managing situations that could cause a drastic spike in activity volume on Twitter or Facebook. The exercise then engages users across the organization to react to a social media surge in a controlled environment using the HootSuite dashboard. Upon completion, HootSuite provides an executive summary and recommendations on ways to enhance the process and strategy.
  • Social Media Profile Monitoring: Monitor company-owned social media profiles for any security and compliance breaches. This ongoing service provides custom notifications when changes are made to account profiles to provide prompt alert if a hijacking occurs, and real-time content moderation to ensure all content conforms with predetermined compliance policies.

To learn more about managing risk in the enterprise, sign up now for HootSuite’s live webinar, “Managing Risk In a Social Organization: What Every CIO Needs to Know,” on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. EST. The webinar will feature insights from Nick Hayes, Security and Risk Analyst at Forrester Research; Lissette Santana, Branding and Stakeholder Communications Manager at PPL Electricity; and Sharad Mohan, Director of Customer Success at HootSuite.

More information:


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KeyNote: Who Will Lead the Big Data & Social Media Revolution? IT or the Line of Business?

This keynote at TWDI in NYC we explored Who will Lead the Social Media and Big Data Revolution — IT or The Lines of Business (Marketing, Sales, Customer Service…)

Whether its social media monitoring with software applications like Crimson-Hexagon or Fan Engagement and social media ROI platforms like Manumatix, there is tremendous value in these new applications. Perhaps the role of the CIO or CTO is to become the interpreter of software applications that analyze and use big data and social so that the line of business can reach their business goals? Many people would argue that that’s the role CIO and CTO’s have had all along…

Behind the scenes of the business potential of social media, another revolution is happening in IT departments. Social Media and other Big Data applications are provoking a tidal wave of new platforms, new development, and radical innovations in the creation of data, as well as the management and delivery of data. These trends are overwhelming the traditional approaches to data management and warehousing.

I presented the view that perhaps IT could help the lines of business by helping them understand how to apply these new types of software to their business. This means that IT would need to work very closely with the lines of business in understanding their business goals – like increase in awareness, leads, lead conversion rates, sales, customer loyalty, referrals, advocacy and loyalty.

Along with myself, Dr. Edouard Servan-Schreiber –Director for Solution Architecture at MongoDB, presented the his point of view on this topic.

In my presentation, I’ve included not only my 7 Steps for Executive Success for Big Data and Social Media, but I have also included some of the vendors that IT could be helping the lines of business choose to help them reach their goals.

The issue is that CEOs are pushing the decisions down into the lines of business. Never before have they had to really understand software to this extent. IT used to be in charge of software platforms and choices. With SaaS the line of businesses are making their own choices. Perhaps though, this additional responsibility of sifting through all the various types of software and choosing the best ones to reach the business goals could be a shared responsibility for IT and the lines of business.

What’s your thought’s on who should lead the Social Media and IT Big Data Revolution?

Here’s the link to the slides:

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Webinar: Multi-Channel MultiGenerational Customer Service- Gen X, Y, Millennials, Boomer, Silent Generation -Customer Experience

If you are in a business serving broad consumer markets, your customers are likely to span multiple generations – Gen X, Gen Y, millennials, boomers, silent generation and so on. A one-size-fits-all approach to customer engagement won’t work across these customer segments. Worse yet, you might miss large chunks of your market by not having a multi-generational customer engagement strategy.

It’s well-known that there are significant generational differences in lifestyles, service expectations, attitudes and technology use. For instance, while many of today’s toddlers use iPads, seniors often prefer basic, easy-to-use, cell phones.  92% of adults in the 18-29 age group use social versus 38% in the 65+ age group. Younger, social networking users expect faster service and prefer NOT to use the phone. If your whole operation is based on calls, you are not prepared for this next generation of customers. And to complicate matters, regardless of age group, many customers have also gone multichannel.

How can you plan for a multi-generational consumer engagement strategy?

How do you design and deliver generation-tailored customer journeys so you can outperform your competition?

I did a webinar on the topic of Multi-Channel MultiGenerational Customer Service with Don Muchow, Sr. Product Marketing Manager for eGain  eGain, a leading provider of customer engagement software. Click on the graphic to listen to the webinar:egain AMA webinar dr natalie customer service

Learn. Share. Grow!


Clarabridge Named 2012 Vendor To Watch by Information Management

Information Management provides a list of companies to watch — because they are shaping the groundswell in information management technology in the 21st Century. Clarabridge was among those companies chosen.

Here’s more info about Clarabridge:

What: Sentiment Analysis via natural language processing text analytics
Why: Like an industrial ore digger, Clarabridge churns text and customer experience into a uniform view. Natural language extracts and translates anything from social media (Facebook, Twitter, product review sites) to call center notes, email, chats and surveys. Clarabridge has climbed the ranks as standard working gear at by top brands across multiple industries.
Where: Reston, VA and London
Of Note: Nissan, Best Buy, Marriott, H&R Block, Dell, Wendy’s and, most recently L’Oreal are all customers.

Along with the full list below you can also view the vendors by category:

  • View all the Analytics/Visualization vendors in our list here.
  • View all the BI vendors in our list here.
  • View all the Big Data vendors in our list here.
  • View all the Database vendors in our list here.
  • View all the Integration/Governance vendors in our list here.

The original article can be found here.

Learn. Share. Grow!
@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff

For more info on my work:

Ebook: Social Media ROI Myths and Truths

Social Media ROI YouTube Videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media,
Video 2: ROI of Social Media,
Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

White Papers: Social Media ROI

Book on Monetizing Facebook:
 Like My Stuff – How to Monetize Your Facebook Fans With Social Commerce & A Facebook Store

Let’s Connect here:
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts


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