Monthly Archives: May 2015

Tray.io Will Create “Integration Marketplace” To Make Integration Easier

Integrated automation systems are a huge benefit to large enterprises. They allow all digital system’s databases and operations to be managed easily, providing valuable feedback and data reports. Large enterprises use these integrated platforms to run every aspect of business across all branches. While these systems are hugely beneficial, it’s the actual integration itself that is the issue. Expensive IT specialists must be hired to complete this process in order to fully integrate platforms. It is estimated that these companies spend roughly $500 billion each year to work with system integrators. The start-up company Tray.io is hoping to change the future of the way these platforms are integrated, which could potentially save companies’ billions.

The new platform will function similarly to the popular IFFT software, which makes it easy for users to integrate channels they use for their personal business or website such as Facebook, Evernote, or Dropbox. It does so by providing the user with easy to understand “recipes” of how to integrate specific apps. While this is relatively straightforward for simple apps like these, enterprise apps are much more complex and time-consuming to integrate. So Tray.io set out to apply this process to enterprise apps. To date, Tray.io has raised nearly $3 million from a handful of investors. What they have done so far is great at making enterprise app integration easy for tech-minded employees. They have created a user-friendly way for people to visualize how these apps “speak” to each other using scripts and made these scripts into icons that are easy to drag and drop where needed. Essentially, a business owner will go into the integration marketplace, find the “recipe” that lets his or her inventory management system “speak” to accounting software, and simply add it to the platform. Additionally, people that are experienced with coding will be able to create new “recipes” and further customize functionality.

In addition to the $3 million already raised, Tray.io has piqued the interest of other investors who have long been awaiting an integration platform that reduces the need for costly IT integration specialists, continuing to improve workflow and productivity.

Sources:

http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/16/tray-io-raises-2-2m-for-an-ifttt-style-integration-marketplace-to-connect-enterprise-apps/

Startup Company Slack Valued At $2.8 Billion

Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield started a collaborative start-up company in 2013 which developed the popular workplace software Slack. Within 24 hours of its launch, over 8,000 people had already signed up for the platform, and within 9 months the company had raised $180 million in funds. In April of this year, the company received another $160 million in funding, bumping its worth to a comfortable $2.8 billion. Butterfield happily disclosed that the company hadn’t even started with the $120 million it received last October. The company continues to draw attention from a multitude of investors like Google Ventures, Digital Sky Technology, and more.

Investors are interested for two main reasons: Slacks rapid growth and its versatile usability. The platform is used for workplace communication and collaboration. Over the past decade, communication services have become more fragmented – branching off into multiple platforms like Hangouts, iMessage, or Skype. The goal of Slack is to bring communication back to one place and increase workplace productivity. While it may seem at first like Slack is just another chat room, it offers much more than these other platforms. Slack allows companies to see the entire history of communication in one place, providing more transparency and insight into workplace operations. It also reduces the need for meetings, conference calls, and interoffice e-mails. Essentially, it makes it much easier to delegate and complete tasks.

Although Slack offers a free version, there are already over 200,000 users that gladly pay for service. Paid service includes more storage space and some other features. Some of these paid users are corporate giants including Adobe, The New York Times, and HBO, to name a few. Over 750,000 workers use this software daily.

Aside from stashing away money as a safeguard against whatever the future may hold, the company also plans to make some improvements down the line. While the software works great for smaller businesses, the chat rooms can get a bit crowded when larger companies are involved. Slack wants to integrate scalability to make the platform just as beneficial for companies of 50,000+ employees.

Sources:

http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/16/used-daily-by-750k-workers-slack-raises-160m-to-value-collaboration-startup-at-2-8b/#.z5cq20:Mvcs

http://www.theverge.com/2014/10/31/7135639/slack-is-now-the-fastest-growing-workplace-software-ever

Instagram’s New Amendments to The Nudity and Sharing Policies

Instagram’s original policies regarding photo sharing were slim and allowed for a lot of freedom with posting, but that’s all changing. These original policies were developed when the social media site was small and had few users. The guidelines essentially boiled down to: Post your own photos and keep your clothes on. With the site now having over 300 million users, an amendment to the original policy is a much needed change.

The purpose of the new policy was to make Instagram acceptable to a world-wide audience by adhering to strict copyright and nudity rules. Highlights of the new policy are as follows:

  • Share only photos that you’ve taken or have the right to share – Anything copied from the internet for which you don’t have rights to use cannot be posted.
  • Post photos that are appropriate to a diverse audience. – Absolutely no nudity, including close-ups of fully nude buttocks and nipples. Only nudity in paintings and sculptures are okay to share.
  • Adhere to the law – No photos offering sexual services, buying or selling drugs (even if they’re legal in your locality), or promoting recreational drugs.
  • Be thoughtful when posting news events. – Graphic images used to raise awareness for a cause should have a disclaimer in the caption.

The social media site is particularly rife with copyright infringement. Many users share photos sourced from the web or other Instagram users. Previously, reporting a photo for copyright infringement was a tedious task, requiring a separate form than regular reporting tools. Instagram features a report button for inappropriate content, but not for copyright violations. It is unclear whether the site will implement easier reporting methods, though they claim better tools are forthcoming. As of right now, content creators will still have to manually seek out and report any stolen content themselves.

Although the new policy implementation is beneficial to the company because it clearly outlines the new rules, it does little else. It seems there is a gap between new policy rules and the site’s ability to enforce them – and only time will tell if this is going to change.

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/16/instagram-rules/#.z5cq20:q5pT

Big Data in The Courtroom – New Judge Analytics Platform Unveiled

Everyone in the tech world recognizes the value of Big Data and analytics platforms. These platforms collect and analyze data for a multitude of uses that businesses use for marketing, customer service, operations, and a variety of other applications. But more recently Big Data is beginning to be incorporated into other industries. On April 16th, the startup company Ravel Law announced the launch of their newly designed Judge Analytics software, which is designed to analyze a judge’s behavior and, hopefully, improve the justice system.

Data Analytics For Better Strategies

The software works by analyzing judges’ past cases and rulings across federal circuit courts. It will also analyze particular cases within each circuit and their legal precedents. Using these insights, the platform will be able to reveal a judge’s bias against certain cases or circuits. This is valuable information to attorneys, since this type of research was previously done through word of mouth and a slew of lawyers researching court records – meaning that only well-paid attorneys could do this extensive research on a case. This was a time consuming and expensive process, and often mistakes were discovered within the system, like incorrect sentencing or plea documentation. Attorneys will now be able to see past rulings by specific judges, and in turn can develop better strategies for their client. Because a large amount of time and research will be saved, attorneys will be able to offer better services at lower prices.

Software May Find Flaws in The Court System

Additionally, the new Judge Analytics platform may be able to find flaws and biases within the system. After all, judges are human, and though they are often looked at as the epitome of justice and truth, it is not uncommon for trials to be unfairly influenced. Judges have different beliefs and case histories, and anything from their beliefs to the timing of a trial can have an influence on the outcome. The Judge Analytics system is an important example of how Big Data can be used to improve the operations, overhead, and practices of a variety of services.

http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/16/who-judges-the-judges/