The Gilbane Advisor

Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Hyland completes acquisition of Alfresco

Hyland announced it has completed its acquisition of Alfresco, a content services platform and solutions provider. The acquisition expands Hyland’s global footprint with additional customers, partners and employees with industry experience. The addition of Alfresco‘s solutions augments Hyland’s range of content services offerings and provides new opportunities to engage with the open-source community for product innovation. Future Alfresco versions will enable customers to seamlessly leverage other areas of the Hyland portfolio. These include Hyland Experience Platform (HxP) — the recently launched cloud-based platform — and newly developed HxP components, such as Hyland Experience Capture.

Sensory unveils VoiceHub portal

Sensory unveiled VoiceHub, an online portal that enables developers to quickly create wake word models and voice control command sets for prototyping and proof-of-concept purposes. VoiceHub allows users to select languages and model sizes through drop down menus. Sensory’s VoiceHub provides developers with free tools to immediately create custom wake words and voice command sets for their applications. These projects take just moments to put together and some models are trained and downloadable within an hour of submitting them. VoiceHub outputs wake word and voice command set models, compatible with a companion Android application for quick prototyping, or as code for specific target DSPs for more advanced proof-of-concept testing. The tools allow developers to create wake word models, either custom branded or based on today’s most popular voice assistant platforms, and command set models targeting a desired memory footprint. This makes it suitable for all applications, ranging from ultra-low power, resource limited wearables to high-power, high-performance appliances on the edge.

Based on Sensory’s TrulyHandsfree technology, VoiceHub supports numerous languages for testing voice control across global product lines. Since VoiceHub trains voice models similarly to TrulyHandsfree, the wake word and voice control models created in VoiceHub are accurate and in most cases suitable for mass production. VoiceHub users can expect a steady stream of updates and new features, including support for more languages, expanded DSP platform support, and the ability to quickly develop large vocabulary natural language models. At launch, the platform supports DSP platforms from: Ambiq, Analog Devices, Cirrus, Cypress, DSPG, Foretmedia, Knowles, Motorola, NXP, Qualcomm, Renesas, ST Micro and TI.

Episerver completes acquisition of Optimizely

Episerver announced that it has completed its acquisition of Optimizely. The combined company enables customers to do more testing, in more places, with greater ease. With the combination of creation and optimization, companies can now experiment on every customer touchpoint, from product development and content to digital experience and customer support, along with their go-to-market strategy and related business logic. Episerver‘s expanded portfolio helps digital teams be more intentional in their customer engagements as well as more agile in adapting to changing behaviors and markets. As part of Episerver, the Optimizely progressive delivery and experimentation platform continues to support customers as a standalone solution, and will also be available as part of Episerver offerings starting immediately.

Kentico Kontent unveils major product updates

Companies are moving online and shifting to remote work and teams are required to communicate and collaborate on content virtually. To help ensure smooth and speedy content production, Kentico has introduced several product improvements to its Kentico Kontent headless CMS, including a web-specific add-on called Web Spotlight and a new Collections feature that helps large companies organize and unify their content. In addition, Kontent has announced their new, free virtual event, Kontent Horizons, that will take place on November 17-19 and is inviting those who want to learn more about headless content management or share their experience with others.

Another improvement released in September, Collections, enables enterprises to manage all their content in a single repository, freeing it to be shared across departments, teams, websites, and channels without losing control. Moving all content into a single repository maximizes consistency while catering specific messages for regional markets and business divisions. Moreover, since every piece of content is assigned to a collection, customers can easily create an internal structure for their projects.

In addition, Kontent has announced their new, free virtual event, Kontent Horizons, that will take place on November 17-19 and is inviting those who want to learn more about headless content management or share their experience with others.

Acquia announces major updates to Digital Experience Platform

Acquia announced major updates to the Acquia Open Digital Experience Platform (DXP) at Acquia Engage. The Acquia Open DXP includes Acquia Marketing Cloud and Acquia Drupal Cloud, a unified solution for multi-experience customer journeys. New enhancements allow developers to create digital experiences faster and help marketers make smarter, data-driven decisions across campaigns.

For developers, the latest enhancements to Drupal Cloud focus on decreasing the time to build, design, and run sites and applications. The new Acquia Migrate Accelerate tool reduces the effort tied to a transition from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9. Currently in beta, the tool reduces time to value for Drupal 9 by providing a user-friendly interface to streamline analysis and planning, DevOps, data imports, and content auditing for migrations. Once organizations are migrated, the new Acquia Cloud IDE makes it faster to build Drupal sites and applications, with one-click access to a cloud-hosted development and testing environment. Acquia Cloud IDE integrates with existing Acquia command-line and automated build tools for Drupal.

Acquia CMS, currently in beta, provides a trusted, secure and turnkey distribution of Drupal 9, reduces time from months to days for implementations, and eliminates up to 80% of setup and update costs. Also in the Drupal Cloud family, Site Studio helps marketers reduce their time-to-publish with drag-and-drop experience creation and visual assembly of content, layout, and designs.

Major updates to Acquia Marketing Cloud give marketers the data and analytics they need to drive smarter decisions. New, real-time 360-degree profiles, identity resolution, and unified segment capabilities within the Acquia Customer Data Platform (CDP) help marketers gain holistic insights into their customers.

Finally, new predictive delivery and custom likelihood models for Acquia CDP help marketers with machine learning capabilities with no need for specialized training or expertise, and enable them to fine-tune and customize predictive models to identify the next-best actions and experiences. Acquia’s machine learning models help identify optimal times for campaigns, best channels for delivery, and more.

Microsoft details T-ULRv2 model that can translate between 94 languages

From Kyle Wiggers at VentureBeat

The same week Facebook open-sourced M2M-100, an AI model that can translate between over 100 languages, Microsoft detailed an algorithm of its own — Turing Universal Language Representation (T-ULRv2) — that can interpret 94 languages. The company claims T-ULRv2 achieves the top results in XTREME, a natural language processing benchmark created by Google, and will use it to improve features like Semantic Search in Word and Suggested Replies in Outlook and Teams ahead of availability in private preview via Azure.

T-ULRv2, a joint collaboration between Microsoft Research and the Microsoft Turing team, contains a total of 550 million parameters, or internal variables that the model leverages to make predictions. (By comparison, M2M-100 has around 15 billion parameters). Microsoft researchers trained T-ULRv2 on a multilingual data corpus from the web that consists of the aforementioned 94 languages. During training, the model learned to translate by predicting masked words from sentences in different languages, occasionally drawing on context clues in pairs of translations like English and French.

As Microsoft VP Saurabh Tiwary and assistant managing director Ming Zhou note in a blog post, the XTREME benchmark covers 40 languages spanning 12 families and 9 tasks that require reasoning about varying levels of syntax. The languages are selected to maximize diversity, coverage in existing tasks, and availability of training data, and the tasks cover a range of paradigms including sentence text classification, structured prediction, sentence retrieval, and cross-lingual question answering. For models to be successful on the XTREME benchmarks, then, they must learn representations that generalize to many standard cross-lingual transfer settings.

The jury is out on T-ULRv2’s potential for bias and its grasp of general knowledge. Some research suggests benchmarks such as XTREME don’t measure models’ knowledge well and that models like T-ULRv2 can exhibit toxicity and prejudice against demographic groups. But the model is in any case a step toward Microsoft’s grand “AI at scale” vision, which seeks to push AI capabilities by training algorithms with increasingly large amounts of data and compute. Already, the company has used its Turing family of models to bolster language understanding across Bing, Office, Dynamics, and its other productivity products.

T-ULRv2 will power current and future language services available through Azure Cognitive Services, Microsoft says. It will also be available as a part of a program for building custom applications, which was announced at Microsoft Ignite 2020 earlier this year. Developers can submit requests for access.,

Alida announces Alida CXM and Alida Analytics

Alida (formerly Vision Critical) launched two new Alida products, enhancing existing core products and introduced their new Technology Industry solution. All these products are aimed at helping organizations uncover customer truths that can be put into action to improve the customer experience. New products include the release of Alida CXM (Customer Experience Management) and Alida Analytics, both previously announced on October 6, 2020. Alida Sparq is the flagship product within the Alida CXM and insights platform. Today’s release delivers several enhancements and innovations to ensure Alida clients can more efficiently understand how customers’ preferences, motivations and sentiments evolve over time, including:

  • Calendar integration through Calendy that allows advocates to book interviews, product and concept walk-throughs, digital customer advisory board meetings and more
  • Sample management to help administrators select the right members at the right time
  • Mobile push notifications to create rules and set real-time alerts
  • Text analytics improvements to allow multiple responses to the same individual activity
  • Sensitive data redaction for users without sensitive data permissions, and more

Alida’s new Technology Industry solution is the second industry-specific package Alida will introduce in the coming months to help clients derive value from their CXM investments. The Technology Industry solution helps clients to inject customer insights and feedback continuously throughout the product life-cycle: from product development to product launch and beyond. The solution includes technology-specific customer experience templates, defined steps and narratives, and best practices to ensure collection of the right feedback to maximize actionable insights.

Today’s release also includes enhancements to Alida Touchpoint and Alida Surveys.

Wrike announces new integrations with Adobe for collaboration

Wrike announced new integrations with Adobe of their collaborative work management platform at Adobe MAX to allow creative and marketing teams to speed up creative production without leaving their preferred tools. The first integration is a Wrike plugin for Adobe XD, which allows designers to connect to Wrike functionality without leaving XD. The second integration connects the power of Wrike with Adobe Experience Manager, so teams can push and pull digital assets between the two platforms. Adobe has been investing in in-app extensibility with its Unified Extensibility Platform (UXP) to give creative teams faster and easier access to third-party plugins that extend Adobe Creative Cloud apps, like Adobe XD. Adobe Experience Manager Assets is a digital asset management (DAM) application that allows for the storage, management, and distribution of digital assets, along with the ability to build, maintain, and publish websites. This integration with Adobe Experience Manager enhances asset workflows in the following ways:

  • Pull assets from Adobe Experience Manager into a Wrike task
  • Push assets from Wrike to Adobe Experience Manager with metadata
  • Proof Adobe Experience Manager assets in Wrike, including reviewing/commenting on assets and requesting approvals in Wrike
  • Quick search for Adobe Experience Manager assets by using Wrike custom fields
  • View metadata for Adobe Experience Manager assets attached to Wrike
  • Use Adobe Experience Manager assets in Wrike’s Extension for Adobe Creative Cloud

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