Inside SaaS - June 25th, 2019 |

Inside SaaS (Jun 25th, 2019)

Microsoft bans Slack / GitHub notes growth in Nigeria / Survey Monkey adds SMS feature

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1. Microsoft has banned Slack and discouraged use of Google Docs and AWS for employees over IP and data security concerns. The list of software, obtained by GeekWire, also bans the use of grammar checking software Grammarly and Kaspersky security software. Slack, which debuted on the New York Stock Exchange last Thursday, offers a freemium service that is seen as an IP risk because it doesn't "provide required controls to properly protect Microsoft intellectual property," the leaked document said. Microsoft employees can continue to use the paid tier of the service Slack Enterprise Grid, but due to costs involved will likely stay with Microsoft Teams, leading to speculation that Microsoft could have implemented the ban over worries concerning competition. -- INC

2. GitHub has named Nigeria one of its fastest-growing developer communities. CEO Nat Friedman said that Africa's largest economy has a small software development sector but one that left him "really impressed." In recent years, "Nigeria has been growing as fast or faster than any other country on GitHub," he said. A lot of the new tech action is taking place in the Yaba district of Lagos — which has been dubbed "Yabacon Valley." Friedman's first trip to Nigeria was made just before Microsoft, which owns GitHub, acquired Pull Panda, a startup that builds code review tools for developers. -- BUSINESS INSIDER

3. Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky says that the Salesforce acquisition marks a trend in offering more enterprise-grade analytics. The recent sale of Tableau to Salesforce for $15.7 billion was long under consideration and ultimately sealed thanks to "a very strong fit" between the two companies, which have overlapping customers, such as J.P. Morgan Chase, Charles Schwab, Verizon and Southwest Airlines. The acquisition also points to a larger trend, Selipsky told Computer World UK, noting that "lots of big companies are realizing how critical analytics are to their customers." Salesforce is the world's largest provider of CRM software, which is also the largest category in the enterprise software industry. -- COMPUTER WORLD UK

4. Two Slack alternatives have landed investment rounds as the enterprise messaging industry continues to heat up. Mattermost, a self-described "open source Slack" made for developers, scored a $50 million Series B led by Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund last week, just a day before Slack's IPO. The platform's CEO Ian Tien said that it "find[s] messaging increasingly as common as email and web conferencing inside the enterprise." The "alternative-to-Slack" race revving up in the workplace messaging category was further underscored earlier this month by the $16 million investment raised by Symphony, a messaging app dedicated to the financial industry. -- VENTURE BEAT

5. Atlassian is setting up a $343 million technology cluster to position Sydney as a global tech capital. The project will fund a host of growing tech and green energy companies, Atlassian founders told the Financial Times, adding that both sectors are linked. Atlassian, which owns workflow management platform Trello and issue tracking app Jira, banked a record $1 billion in revenue over the past year, doubling its market capitalization to $30 billion over the same period. -- FINANCIAL TIMES

6. Survey Monkey has added a feature to collect surveys via SMS. The SMS Collector will allow Survey Monkey's enterprise customers to send survey links via text messages. The service has been launched to benefit customers who wish to distribute surveys to customers that may have mobile phones but no email address. -- MOBILE MARKETING MAGAZINE

7. Shares of HCM software provider Workday have jumped 31 percent this year as the company gains new leads. The company has taken away market shares from legacy vendors and now names half of the Fortune 50 companies as its clients. Oracle CEO Mark Hurd, one of Workday's key competitors, said that the company does "a decent job in upmarket HCM where they can divorce the HCM buyer from the ERP buyer." -- FORBES

8. Zoom video has partnered with audio gear specialist Sennheiser to provide a more complete video conferencing experience. According to a statement by both companies, the partnership will allow Zoom users to better integrate with Sennheiser products. The announcement came as Zoom Videos and other tech stocks took a plunge on Monday, with the video conferencing app closing down 11 percent. -- UC TODAY

9. WordPress management platform WP Engine has acquired a smaller competitor. WP Engine, which helps to build and manage WordPress sites, will purchase FlyWheel for an undisclosed amount, yet acknowledged that it will be the largest acquisition in the WordPress industry to date. WP Engine has a current annual revenue of $132 million and WordPress now hosts 34 percent of all websites globally. -- TECH CRUNCH

10. Enterprise software company Zoho has sealed a partnership with a southern Indian association to improve digital literacy. The partnership with the Tamil Nadu Small and Tiny Industries Association will allow its members to access Zoho software for discounted rates. Zoho will also train and counsel members of the association to better integrate their suite of enterprise software into small and medium-sized businesses. -- HINDU BUSINESS LINE

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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