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Day: April 20, 2009

Attensity, Empolis, and Living-e Merge

Three business intelligence and information management companies, Attensity Corporation, Empolis GmbH, and Living-e AG, announced they have united to form the Attensity Group to deliver business user applications that generate value from unstructured data. The company offers a comprehensive family of applications built upon deep expertise in semantic language technologies. Empolis GmbH provides information management applications, while Living-e AG offers intelligent multi-channel communication and information management solutions. Attensity Corporation is known for its deep text analytics software for First Person Intelligence. The new Attensity Group will unify these complementary technologies that analyze, interpret and manage an enterprise’s mass of unstructured data to generate value and deliver easy-to-use business applications. These applications enable knowledge management professionals, business leaders, customer support personnel and customers to get relevant and actionable answers. Attensity Group’s go-to-market entities will be named (1) Attensity Americas, and (2) Empolis in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). In the markets in EMEA, the Living-e and Empolis teams will join forces. The companies have united their sales efforts to offer combined solutions, support and implementation services to the market. Attensity Group will employ approximately 300 people worldwide and expects to generate revenues in 2009 of approximately $50M (USD). With global headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. Attensity Corporation, Empolis GmbH and Living-e AG have all supported the global open source initiative, SMILA (SeMantic Information Logistics Architecture), as semantic technology partners. Attensity Group will continue to partner with SMILA.

Lawson Software Introduces Lawson Enterprise Search

Lawson Software (Nasdaq: LWSN) announced the general availability of Lawson Enterprise Search. Lawson Enterprise Search is a new product to search both structured and unstructured data across the Lawson S3 enterprise system, Lawson Business Intelligence, the user’s desktop, and even their personal history such as comments entered in Microsoft Office applications. For example, if a company needed to recall a specific product within its inventory, it could use Lawson Enterprise Search to help quickly find and deactivate all items, purchase orders and requisitions associated with the recalled product. Companies no longer need to comb through their enterprise software system line by line to discover and take action on specific changes or make a decision. Lawson Enterprise Search capabilities include: ,The ability to search keys, comments, descriptions and dates, Use of wildcards and and / or operators, Search from any transaction field to find related information, Save commonly used search queries for fast future searches, Execute freeform searches, Perform directed searches via an interest center, and achieve fast performance by searching indexed data rather than the live transaction database.

Oracle to Buy Sun

Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) and Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL) announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Oracle will acquire Sun common stock for $9.50 per share in cash. The transaction is valued at approximately $7.4 billion, or $5.6 billion net of Sun’s cash and debt. The Board of Directors of Sun Microsystems has unanimously approved the transaction. It is anticipated to close this summer, subject to Sun stockholder approval, certain regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. “We expect this acquisition to be accretive to Oracle’s earnings by at least 15 cents on a non-GAAP basis in the first full year after closing. We estimate that the acquired business will contribute over $1.5 billion to Oracle’s non-GAAP operating profit in the first year, increasing to over $2 billion in the second year. This would make the Sun acquisition more profitable in per share contribution in the first year than we had planned for the acquisitions of BEA, PeopleSoft and Siebel combined,” said Oracle President Safra Catz. The Sun Solaris operating system is the leading platform for the Oracle database, Oracle’s largest business, and has been for a long time. With the acquisition of Sun, Oracle can optimize the Oracle database for some of the features of Solaris.,

Atlassian Helps Children Read

Atlassian announced today the Atlassian Stimulus Package, a discounted offer on two of it’s most popular products, Confluence and JIRA. This offer is intended to benefit three different parties: Atlassian, small workgroups using these products, and children in developing countries.

Here are the details of Atlassian’s package, which features the number 5. For the next five days only, teams of up to five users may purchase an annual license to either Confluence or JIRA for $5. Atlassian says that these are fully functional versions of the software, not “light” versions. In addition, the license is renewable annually for the same amount and includes support from Atlassian.

Atlassian stands to gain from this promotion, of course. The company should gain many new subscribers to its products as a result of this offer. Their hope is that the small teams using Atlassian software will influence others within their organization, leading to additional purchases at full price.

Small workgroups of up to five people also benefit from this deal, because they can purchase proven collaboration tools at a huge discount and can continue to use the software at an extremely low annual cost.

The real winner from the Atlassian Stimulus Package is impoverished children around the world. Atlassian will donate 100% of the proceeds from this promotion to Room to Read, a charity that builds libraries for children in developing countries. Atlassian’s goal is to donate $25,000 to Room to Read, as a result of selling $5,000 in discounted Confluence and JIRA licenses on each of the next five days. More kids will have books to read — or learn to read in the first place — as a result of Atlassian’s and Room to Read’s joint effort.

Hats off to Atlassian for crafting a marketing promotion that not only sells software, but also benefits less fortunate children around the world!

A question of fluency

I was recently talking with a CEO of a company which operates in several countries all over the world. Not surprisingly, they use English as corporate language. But although they assume that new employees can work in English, there are differences in their fluency – and that can lead to misunderstandings, or people spending more time in communicating and understanding issues than they would in their own language.

I asked whether they tested the level of English skills when new employees were hired. It turned out that a tailored test based on the special terminology of their industry and also of management would be helpful in defining their skill level. After all, most of us would describe ourselves as fluent speakers of a language – but fluency is a very movable beast. Having spent most of my professional life writing an reading in English, I still manage to make errors of various seriousness practically every day. At times, such errors really obfuscate the meaning.

I repeat myself, but to me, the real future of the language business is in all the various new and yet even unimagined tools and solutions for employees working in a multilingual environment. As we exchange messages and develop ideas across contries, cultures and languages, we need new and faster ways to cross the language barriers. Using crowdsourcing for multilingual needs will open up interesting possibilities, just like in Google Translate where users can suggest a better translation.  Similar applications for crowdsourcing multilingual solutions inside companies and industries should proliferate.

Btw., an interesting point was made by another person responsible for training in a large global organization. He remarked that using social media in training allows them to evaluate the results better: they can tap into the conversations of the community and trough them see what people have learned and where they need to improve the training. Great idea!

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