Unisys Buys Comms Specialist Unify Square, Kofax Updates Low-Code and More News
Unisys Corporation, a global IT software and services company, acquired Unify Square, an experience management provider for secure collaboration and communications platforms, for $152.5 million in cash on June 3. Unisys will integrate Unify Square's unified communications as a service (UCaaS) offerings into the Blue Bell, Pa., company's digital workplace services.
"The UCaaS market, in which Unify Square operates, is expected to be among the fastest growing segments of the digital workplace services market," said Peter Altabef, chair and CEO of Unisys in a press statement. "Unify Square's capabilities will enable Unisys to deliver higher value solutions to its clients that enhance their productivity and employee satisfaction."
Employee experience and enhanced collaboration are focal points of digital workplace transformation as companies look for ways to support multiple ways of working, including hybrid, in-office and remote distributed working. With Unify Square, Unisys aims to help clients accelerate digital transformation, get real-time analytics on employee experience, and ensure communication compliance and security.
The integration of Unisys' and Bellevue, Wash.-based Unify Square's digital workplace services capabilities provides the software and services companies need to support hybrid work models, said Amy Loomis, research director for IDC's Future of Work Agenda practice, in a press statement.
"As we continue to navigate through uncertain times and new ways of working, the most successful organizations will be the ones that cultivate agile, dynamic worker experiences and work environments," she said.
Unisys clients include large corporations, including Dell/EMC, Lufthansa and Lloyds Bank, as well as government agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Transportation Security Administration. The publicly traded company reported revenue of $2.026 billion in 2020 with net income of $750 million.
Kofax Expands Low-Code Capabilities With Product Release
Kofax, an Irvine, Calif.-based provider of automation software for digital workflow transformation, announced the latest release of its Intelligent Automation Platform this month. The new release aims to accelerate deployment by enabling citizen as well as professional developers, according to a press release statement.
Kofax TotalAgility has been enhanced with 50 new low-code, document intelligence, process orchestration and connected systems capabilities aimed at minimizing the need for custom coding or multiple solutions from different vendors. So-called "low-code" capabilities empower citizen developers, or business users with little or no software development expertise, to design, automate and transform business workflows while adhering to existing IT governance and protocols.
“[Kofax Total Agility] gives organizations the total agility they need to quickly innovate and develop solutions to drive a business forward,” said Mark Wallin, Kofax vice president of commercial product management in the press statement. “The capabilities announced today give our customers access to the best-in-class tools they need to accomplish more — in less time and using fewer resources.”
New features of version 7.9 include:
- Faster development of automation workflows: A new user experience extends low code to more business users, and an enhanced business rules engine allows analysts to use visual condition rules and set up custom services without needing to code.
- Expanded low-code support for cognitive capture: The release enables professional developers to build advanced AI and capture models, allowing them to train the system to capture unstructured data and incorporate document intelligence.
- One-click document classification: Kofax TotalAgility enables citizen developers and business analysts to enhance document classification models and identify and classify documents with a simple click.
ChartHop Nabs $35 Million to Enhance People Analytics and Planning
ChartHop, a New York City-based software company specializing in people analytics and organizational planning, has raised $35 million in Series B financing led by Andreessen Horowitz, ChartHop founder and CEO Ian White announced on June 9.
The new funding comes less than a year after the venture capital firm led ChartHop’s $14 million Series A funding in summer 2020. Elad Gil and previous investors Cowboy Ventures and SemperVirens joined Andreesen Horowitz in the latest round.
“With HR and people functions so crucial to the growth and success of businesses, it's unfortunate that most HR teams lack the critical people data to drive organizational decision making,” said David Ulevitch, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz in a press statement. “ChartHop is the solution to this all-too-common problem, and is built by company leaders who have felt this pain personally.”
ChartHop has seen exponential growth since 2019, going from a one-person company to a team of 75. During the same time period, ChartHop built a customer base of over 130 corporate customers and increased month-over-month revenue by 17% for the past 12 months.
“ChartHop’s visual approach to people analytics allows leaders to make organizational planning and strategy decisions with confidence,” said Ulevitch. “We're thrilled to lead ChartHop's Series B because of their impressive growth, the company's vision, and the terrific, mission-oriented team they've assembled.”
ChartHop will use the funding from this current round for product enhancements, investments in service and support, and growth in go-to-market capabilities. At the same time, White announced the hiring of three new executives: Emily Connery as head of people and talent, Sarah Diegnan as vice president of customer experience, and Diana Kucer as chief marketing officer.
Freelance Platform Stoke Secures $15 Million to Connect Freelancers and Companies
Stoke, a Palo Alto, Calif., company that specializes in flexible workforce management, announced it has raised $15.5 million to expand its efforts to connect U.S. companies with freelancers, contractors and gig workers.
The Series A funding round was led by Battery Ventures, with participation from previous investors including TLV Partners, Dynamic and Loop. With this round, the company has so far raised $20 million since its founding in 2019.
According to an analysis from Statista, the number of freelance workers is expected to grow to more than 50% of the total U.S workforce by 2027. By that year, it is projected that 86.5 million people will be freelancing. The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to accelerate the freelancer trend, said Stoke executives.
Stoke's platform enables companies to get freelancers hired quickly and pay invoices across 190 countries, while giving management, finance and human resources teams visibility and control over budgets, in addition to legal and tax compliance.
Asana Announces New Project Management, Video and Messaging ToolsAsana, Inc., a San Francisco-based project management and collaboration platform, announced a number of new product features aimed at improving user experience and helping employees focus on work without distraction. The product enhancements include video messaging, task management features, a smart calendar assistant to help with scheduling, and a new desktop app.
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According to Asana’s Anatomy of Work Index, a report based on a survey of 13,000 workers, 80% of employees work with their inbox and communication apps open, leading to nearly 75% feeling the pressure to multitask when they can be doing focused work.
“The rapid shift to distributed work has fueled distraction and disruption. Message pings and meetings are at an all-time high, while focus time has fallen to the wayside. One thing is clear — something needs to change,” said Alex Hood, Asana chief product officer, in a press statement.
Here are the highlights of the new suite of features:
- Video Messaging: Via a partnership with Vimeo, users will be able to record and share short videos and screen captures and generate automated transcripts.
- My Tasks: Users can organize their personal tasks in Kanban, list and calendar format and set up automation to organize tasks based on priority and communicate when a teammate completes a related task.
- Smart Calendar Assistant Integration: A new integration with Clockwise, a smart calendar assistant, will allow users to schedule tasks into focus time without leaving Asana.
- Asana Desktop App: Available on Mac and Windows, Asana’s desktop app aims to give users enhanced ability to focus. A new Dark Mode feature on desktop, mobile and web reduces the strain of device light.
San Francisco-based Asana's project management software is used by 100,000 paying customers, including Amazon, Japan Airlines, Sky and Under Armour. The company reported $76.7 million revenue in Q1 2021, up 61% over the prior year according to its latest quarterly results.
Pathrise Secures $9 Million to Place Tech Pros Into JobsPathrise, an online mentorship and job placement platform aimed at tech professionals, announced a Series A funding round of $9 million this month. This includes $5.5 million in new equity capital and $3.5 million in venture debt.
The round was led by Learn Capital, and also included Western Technology Investment and Day One Ventures. Previous Pathrise investors include K50 Ventures, Y Combinator and GoAhead Ventures.
"We've explored the career development and ISA space through hundreds of companies that we've reviewed over the last few years and Pathrise has stood out as an extremely promising solution," said Greg Mauro, founder and managing partner at Learn Capital, and Pathrise board member, in a press statement. "Their unique approach to mentorship and a human-centric job platform has the potential to change the way that the job search is approached across many different industries at scale."
The funding raised will be used to grow San Francisco-based Pathrise's engineering team and invest in the development of the company's platform which manages mentor matching, job searches and recommends resources. The funding will also be used to recruit and onboard career and industry mentors, refine scholarship systems, and create affordable income share agreements to improve accessibility of the program.
Pathrise also plans to invest in research projects and gather additional job search data, including industry surveys of hiring managers and compiling interview data though the company's platform.