May 17, 2020

Why Salesforce has bought a unicorn built on its platform

Cloud
William Smith
2 min
The cloud computing software company Salesforce has bolstered its industry offering by acquiring a startup built on its own platform
The cloud computing software company Salesforce has bolstered its industry offering by acquiring a startup built on its own platform.

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The cloud computing software company Salesforce has bolstered its industry offering by acquiring a startup built on its own platform.

Best known for its customer relationship management (CRM) software, the US-based Salesforce has acquired tech unicorn Vlocity for a reported $1.33bn.

Vlocity and Salesforce’s synergy’s are obvious, with the former being built on the latter’s platform. Vlocity itself offers industry specific cloud solutions in six specific industries: communications, media and entertainment, energy and utilities, insurance, health and government.

In a blog post, Vlocity’s CEO and founder David Schmaier, provided more information on the reasoning behind Salesforce’s acquisition, saying: “Because every organization, including the world’s largest customer-centric corporations and industries, must digitally transform, it is more important than ever for our customers to have products that speak the language of their industries.

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“Our deep expertise in vertical industries enables organizations to digitally transform while delivering seamless, industry-specific processes and data models across any channel, helping to increase sales, service and marketing agility, operational efficiency, digital adoption and simplicity.”

At the same time as announcing the acquisition, Salesforce also announced its co-CEO would be stepping down. Keith Block, who has been co-CEO since August 2018, will continue as advisor to CEO Marc Benioff.

In a press release, Block again revealed the underlying thinking behind the Vlocity deal, said: “ "We are now a global enterprise company, focused on industries, and have an ecosystem that is the envy of the industry, and I'm so grateful to our employees, customers, and partners.”

The move leaves Benioff as sole CEO, responding to a trend for technology firms to spread the responsibility around. German enterprise software firm SAP, for instance, replaced outgoing CEO Bill McDermott, who himself was formerly in a joint role, with Christian Klein and Jennifer Morgan.

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Jun 18, 2021

GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud

GfK
VMware
3 min
VMware has been walking GfK along its path through digital transformation to the cloud for over a decade.

GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.  

In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade. 

“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.

Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.

By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.

One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.

“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.

Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs. 

“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.

The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment. 

The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.

One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.

“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.

“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client. 

“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

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