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Inside SaaS (Jun 18th, 2019)

1. Atlassian has published an updated M&A rule book to make future acquisitions more competitive. Vying with tech giants like Salesforce, Microsoft and IBM, Atlassian has revised its terms for acquisitions to make its tech deals more favorable and streamlined for companies that it purchases. "Acquisition processes are outdated, inefficient and very contentious at times," Tom Kennedy, Atlassian's chief legal officer, told the Financial Review, adding that the new terms will be "more seller-favorable." The Sydney-based SaaS, which owns project management app Trello, has made $1 billion in acquisitions in over 20 companies and plans to continue doing more deals in the future. -- CNBC

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2. Salesforce has released a new AI-powered commerce designer, and updated email marketing and messaging tools. The CRM vendor says that the new package of tools will allow for three-times faster development speed of commerce services, as well as the ability to contact customers via their preferred messaging apps. Salesforce's proprietary AI tool, Einstein, which powers 6.5 billion predictions daily, can now be dragged and dropped into the new commerce designer to create smarter product recommendations. -- FORBES

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3. Large SaaS ecosystems like Slack have spawned a new generation of companies that rely on these platforms for gaining customers. Ahead of Slack's IPO on Thursday, June 20, the workplace chat platform's direct listing materials clearly stated the company's ambition to become the de facto WorkOS that other apps rely on to reach businesses. Like SaaS giants Hubspot and Salesforce, Slack also hopes to attract next-gen companies to build internal-facing productivity tools, such as accounting or HR apps, that leverage its platform.  -- VENTURE BEAT 

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4. An opinion piece in UC Today speculates that Zoom could be looking to compete in the project management space against Slack and Microsoft Teams. Following Zoom's IPO last month, which was the most valuable tech IPO of the year, the company has updated its "Zoom Meetings" experience and seems to be looking to move away from being pigeonholed as an exclusive "video conferencing" provider. Zoom already competes against Slack add-ons with its app marketplace and appears well positioned to create a "Zoom Teams" to officially enter into the workplace management space. -- UC TODAY

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5. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says he supports bitcoin technology being used by Square Crypto. Dorsey, who founded payments provider Square, said in an interview with The Next Web that a native currency for the Internet would help break down barriers for payment providers. "I don’t think there’s a greater technology out there that enables the kind of access we need at the individual level than [cryptocurrency]," Dorsey said. -- THE NEXT WEB

6. Google will launch next-generation SMS services in the UK and France this month. Complicated phone carrier politics have delayed the launch of Rich Communication Services (RCS) chat services, prompting Google to finally launch the tech on its own. The RCS service would be close to the iMessenger equivalent for Android phones, but it still faces some looming problems, including a lack of end-to-end encryption that WhatsApp and iMessenger both have. -- THE VERGE

7. British IT security SaaS Sophos has launched a new tool that allows IT professionals to better investigate cyberattacks against servers. The platform, called Intercept X for Server, can proactively detect cyberattacks to better prepare for incidents, as well as offer data visualizations. -- TELECOM PAPER

8. The Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) services market is being tested by newcomer Exabeam. California-based startup Exabeam says it wins 70 percent of faceoffs against Splunk, an incumbent rival based in San Francisco, and is taking shares from IBM as well. Exabeam CEO Nir Polak told Forbes that his company's success stems from "better applications to help companies make sense of the data automatically." -- FORBES

9. An Ahrefs survey has provided new insight into the value of the SEO industry. Sixty-six percent of SEO agencies charge at least $1,000 per month. However, the majority of U.S. SEO agencies can charge between $2,501 and $5,000, topping out at $50,000 per month. -- PRACTICAL ECOMMERCE

10. E-commerce firm Shopify is going to integrate with Canada's ParcelPal to begin delivering marijuana. The partnership is expected to be sealed within the next few weeks and will allow Shopify customers in Canada to use ParcelPal's on-demand delivery service to order cannabis products. -- BENZINGA

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This newsletter is written and curated by Justin Calderón. Justin is based out of Barcelona, Spain, and has covered technology and SaaS news for a variety of publications, including the BBC and Newsweek. Follow him on Twitter at @justinfuyun

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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