Apr
03
2018
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Zendesk hits $500M run rate, launches enterprise content management platform

Over the last several years, Zendesk has been making the transition from a company that caters mostly to small businesses to one with larger enterprise customers — and their revenue reflects that. The company announced it has crossed the $.5 billion annual run rate since its last earning report in February. It also announced a new enterprise content management product specifically geared for large customer service organizations.

The company was just shy of the goal after its most recent earnings report (pdf) with $123.4 million for the quarter. They say they have since passed that goal, but have not announced it until now, based on revenue that closed March 31, 2018. The company is projecting between $555 and $565 million in revenue for fiscal 2018, according to its last earnings report. When you consider that when the company went public in 2014, it was at $100 million in annual revenue, reaching a half billion dollars in 4 years is significant.

Zendesk reports that 40 percent of its revenue now comes from larger enterprise customers, which they define as 100 seats or more. The company is predicting it will cross the $1 billion run rate by some time in 2020.

“When we IPOed, our run rate was $100 million. We had great momentum, but we were seen as SMB scaling to mid market. To reach a half a billion dollars shows momentum for building up enterprise market and enterprise products,” Adrian McDermott, Zendesk’s president of products told TechCrunch.

As for the new product, it’s called Guide Enterprise and it’s designed to provide those larger customer service organizations with a knowledge base and a content management platform for editorial planning and review. The idea is to empower customer service reps to write up solutions to problems they encounter and build up that knowledge base as part of the natural act of doing their jobs.

Zendesk Guide Enterprise. Photo: Zendesk

That gives organizations a couple of advantages. First of all, the reps can find their fellow employees’ notes and not have to reinvent the wheel every time, and the notes and articles they write can pass through editorial review and become part of the permanent knowledge base.

When customers hit the site or app, they can access solutions to common problems before having to talk to a human. The platform also includes reminders to check the content regularly so the knowledge base stays fresh and stale content is removed.

Finally, the company is applying AI to the problem. The artificial intelligence component can review the corpus of information currently available in the entire knowledge base and identify gaps in content that the company might want to add, allowing for proactive content creation.

The content management idea isn’t new to Zendesk. McDermott says they shipped the first content management product years ago, but what’s different is that this is geared to larger organizations and that the AI piece allows for some automation of this process. “The new workflow brings rich AI concepts like content analytics into the publishing flow,” he said.

Oct
12
2017
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Box’s dalliance with AI foretells a broader shift in content management

 As Box CEO Aaron Levie pointed out at his BoxWorks keynote this week, content management has been an evolving field since it came into being as an enterprise software concept in the 1990s. Back in those days, the state of the art was network drives. As content spread across the organization, we saw the rise of enterprise content management. Later file sharing tools developed and finally the… Read More

Oct
11
2017
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Box Skills applies AI and machine learning to growing multimedia content

 Box CEO Aaron Levie has always had a vision for the company that extended well beyond its earliest use case as way to transfer files between machines online. His company has continually kept looking to the future at ways the Box toolset could adapt to the changing needs of the market. More than a decade after launching the company and almost three years after going public, the company continues… Read More

Jul
26
2017
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OpenText acquires forensic security vendor Guidance Software for $240 million

 OpenText, the content management company based in Waterloo, Ontario announced today that it was buying Guidance Software, a forensic security and eDiscovery vendor for $240 million.
OpenText agreed to pay Guidance shareholders $7.10 a share. The price will be less Guidance’s cash on hand of approximately $18 million, making the final price just around $222 million, according to OpenText. Read More

Jul
13
2017
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Box introduces Box Elements, pre-packaged content services for developers

 Box introduced a new type of developer tool today called Box Elements, pre-packaged application pieces designed to deliver Box functionality with a few lines of code. Eventually there will be three types of Elements: UI, app and services. Today, the company is launching the UI pieces, which include Content Uploader, which lets developers add drag and drop file capability into any… Read More

Jun
27
2017
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Box deepens partnership with Microsoft and turns its attention to AI and machine learning

 When I spoke to Box CEO Aaron Levie last year at the Boxworks customer conference, I had to ask the obligatory machine learning question. Surely Box was of sufficient size with enough data running through its systems to take advantage of machine learning. All he would say was they were thinking about it. Today, the company announced a deepening relationship with Microsoft in which Box will… Read More

Jun
06
2017
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Box’s cloud content management vision showing results

 For years, Box has been seen by many in the press, analyst and investor communities as a storage product and nothing more, which given its roots, was an understandable misperception. But CEO Aaron Levie and his company have always had a much broader ambition. Through the years, Levie made it clear that he was in business to transform the entire category of enterprise content management, and… Read More

Sep
07
2016
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Box introduces “New Box” at BoxWorks

BoxWorks Box has always been known as the irritant in the content management industry, that plucky cloud upstart ready to take on the staid and conservative on-prem competition, but after more than a decade in the business, a public company for 18 months, perhaps the company felt it was time to disrupt itself. Today, at the BoxWorks customer conference, it announced a “new Box” with an… Read More

Sep
06
2016
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Besties IBM and Box create a workflow tool for regular folks

employee fixing sticky notes on a glass screen When Box praised its partnership with IBM at its earnings call last week, it was holding one card close the vest. The two companies had been working on a new workflow tool, and today they announced Box Relay ahead of the BoxWorks customer conference this week in San Francisco. Workflow tools fall under the realm of Business Process Management (BPM) in the enterprise.… Read More

Jun
29
2016
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Box Shuttle helps ferry legacy file stores to cloud

Space Shuttle with two rocket boosters attached. Box announced Box Shuttle today, a new service that combines software and consulting to help customers move large — as in millions or even hundreds of millions — of legacy files to the Box service. Previously, companies with files stored in network file shares or legacy content management systems like Microsoft SharePoint, EMC Documentum or OpenText were on their own when it came… Read More

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