Monthly Archives: February 2019

DiscoverOrg acquires ZoomInfo! Two B2B Data Heavy Hitters join forces

February 3rd, 2019

Combination creates unrivaled B2B intelligence for sales, marketing, and recruiting professionals

Vancouver, Wash., February 4, 2019DiscoverOrg announced today that it has acquired Zoom Information, Inc (ZoomInfo). The two companies are coming together to provide sales, marketing, and recruiting professionals access to the most trusted and comprehensive B2B data available in the market.

“High-quality data is the fundamental go-to-market requirement for growth,” says DiscoverOrg co-founder and CEO Henry Schuck. “In the near future, CRM and marketing automation systems will be defined not by their empty-box capabilities but by the data that is housed inside them.”He added: “To effectively capitalize on growth opportunities, companies of all sizes need accurate firmographic, technographic, contact, and intent data. Combined, DiscoverOrg and ZoomInfo deliver the trifecta: B2B data of the highest quality, quantity, and depth.”

DiscoverOrg’s research-verified accuracy and deep buying insights complement ZoomInfo’s comprehensive coverage of 100 million business professionals worldwide. Both organizations use highly advanced proprietary technologies and tools to gather, cleanse, and maintain company and contact data.

Within the next month, mutual customers will have a light integration that allows them to easily access both data platforms. Over the next year, DiscoverOrg will bring together the databases onto a single B2B intelligence platform, while accelerating the launch of new features, integrations, and advanced analytics.

By bringing together their complementary strengths and increasing investment in innovation, DiscoverOrg and ZoomInfo will help companies achieve what used to seem impossible: sales and marketing teams will have a go-to-market operating system that identifies the target accounts that should be engaged every day, week and month based on fit, engagement, and intent data collected in a multitude of ways. They will also have a 360-degree view of the buyers who are making the purchase decisions with accurate contact details, organizational charts, and buying profile insights.

“The combination of DiscoverOrg and ZoomInfo creates the only solution in the market that fully delivers data of the highest quality and quantity to drive sales and marketing efforts,” says ZoomInfo CEO Derek Schoettle. “I’m thrilled that our customers will benefit from the best B2B intelligence platforms coming together.”

“Today, effective sales and marketing relies on data that combines deep insightful context with high-quality broad coverage. Being able to access that kind of data in a single place is something that every team is looking for,” notes John Donlon, Sr. Research Director at SiriusDecisions, a leading research and advisory firm.

Schoettle will serve in an advisory capacity during the transition, and Schuck will lead the combined organization, which now has almost 15,000 customers and 120,000 active users across the globe.

Both DiscoverOrg and ZoomInfo were recognized by G2Crowd as 2019 Top 100 Software Products and Top 10 Best Products for Sales. They have also secured multiple consecutive honors on the Inc. 5000 list of the world’s fastest growing private companies.

DiscoverOrg’s investors include TA Associates, The Carlyle Group, and 22C Capital.

About DiscoverOrg

Whatever your next stage of growth, DiscoverOrg will get you there faster. Growthbound organizations depend on DiscoverOrg’s deep B2B intelligence to drive their sales, marketing and recruiting activities. Our award-winning solutions provide a stream of accurate and actionable company and contact insights that can be used to find, connect with and sell to target buyers and hires more effectively – all integrated into the leading CRM, Sales Engagement and Marketing Automation Tools on the market. DiscoverOrg’s biggest differentiator is the combination of proprietary technology, tools and integrations with a layer of human-verification that allows us to deliver the highest guaranteed accuracy of any B2B provider in the market.

About ZoomInfo

Zoom Information Inc.(ZoomInfo) brings together data and technology to drive the revenue engine. Backed by the most comprehensive business database in the market, ZoomInfo combines user behaviors, business data, and artificial intelligence to streamline the sales workflow and deliver revenue results. For more information, visit www.zoominfo.com, demo our data dashboard, or call 866-904-9666.

Media Contact

Katie Bullard
DiscoverOrg
pr@discoverorg.com

COMMENTARY – These Are the Challenges Tech Giants Will Face in 2019

A protester wearing a model head of
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg poses for
media on Nov. 27, 2018 in London.
Companies like Facebook, Google, Apple,
and Amazon must address increasing public
concerns or face more government regulation.
Jack Taylor—Getty Images

By Bill George – January 18, 2019

 

For the past decade, the technology giants—Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Tesla, Uber—have dominated the business world. Just last year, their stock prices appeared to be on an endless upward trajectory.

No longer.

The past year presented the major technology companies with multiple difficulties, and 2019 promises to be even more challenging. Expect extensive news coverage of how Russian agents used Facebook advertising to influence the U.S. election as special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation continues. The Federal Trade Commission may take antitrust action as Google, Facebook, and Amazon dominate digital advertising revenue.

Additionally, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) has told leading technology companies that a federal privacy law “enjoys strong bipartisan support.”

Will the pioneers of this technology era keep pace, or remain oblivious to the public policy issues they are creating? Entering 2019, tech companies have five major issues they must address—or governments and the public will do it for them:

  1. Privacy
  2. Antitrust
  3. Employee revolts
  4. Device addiction
  5. Leadership and governance
Privacy

Facebook faces a series of scandals: Russian agents using Facebook advertising to influence elections, its controversial data partnerships, and its privacy policies. Last spring, the Guardian broke stories on Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook sites to gain access to user data, including Facebook friends connected to these sites, to influence the 2016 U.S. election, triggering extreme political and media reactions.

Mark Zuckerberg’s response? He went into hiding for five days, even sending his associate general counsel to replace him at Facebook’s regular employee town hall. When he did appear in public, he tried to blame everything on Cambridge Analytica. Six months later, Zuckerberg still hasn’t addressed the real issues and continues to react defensively as new issues arise. His distortions and deflections incited Facebook’s critics and invited the media to dig deeper. In response, Facebook hired attack dog PR firms to go after its detractors.

Facebook’s problems are much deeper than Cambridge Analytica. It has amassed 2.1 billion users with the offer of a free site. But users are largely unaware that Facebook takes their private information to create highly detailed user profiles to sell to advertisers.

The privacy issue can be easily overcome by requiring users to opt in or opt out of permitting Facebook to profile their information, and charging monthly fees for opting out. Facebook’s failure to address this issue suggests Zuckerberg is driven more by revenue and profit growth than by protecting users’ privacy.

Apple CEO Tim Cook takes a dim view of Facebook’s approach. He believes data privacy is a human right. Regarding regulations, he notes, “We have to admit when the free market is not working…It’s inevitable that there will be some level of regulation.”

In May 2018, the European Union launched the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the bulk of which may find its way into U.S. law. When GDPR required users to explicitly opt in or out, Facebook saw declines in its user base.

Antitrust

Antitrust authorities are ramping up investigations of the tech giants for market dominance. Last summer, the European Union fined Google $5.1 billion in an antitrust action for misusing its Android operating system. In November, President Trump said his administration is “very seriously” considering antitrust action against Amazon, Google, and Facebook. Even Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos acknowledged his company’s vulnerabilities, as his staff say government regulation is a major concern for the company’s outlook.

Employee revolts

Employees at the big tech companies are exerting strong influences of their own, forcing leaders to adjust to the new environment. In 2017, Google engineer James Damore attacked the company’s affirmative action program and was dismissed by Google CEO Sundar Pichai. In November, more than 20,000 Google employees staged a walkout to protest the company’s handling of sexual harassment cases.

Facebook has faced a series of high-level executive defections, with at least 10 senior executives announcing their departures, including Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. Following Uber founder Travis Kalanick’s forced departure, his successor Dara Khosrowshahi revamped his executive team and company culture to address outrage at sexual harassment incidents and Uber’s sharp-elbowed culture.

Device addiction

In the past year, media coverage has relentlessly detailed the ways that excessive phone usage negatively impacts users—perhaps even rewiring the brain. How will tech companies, which all work hard to keep users on site, respond? Apple, for instance, now sends users weekly updates of their device time.

Leadership and governance

Most of these tech giants are still controlled by their founders and have founder-dominated boards. Creating two classes of stock has enabled their founders to retain control of the company and their boards. On the surface, their rationale—to focus on long-term growth and investment—appears sound, but the concentration of power can lead founders to feel invincible. Zuckerberg, Kalanick, and Tesla’s Elon Musk have needed wise counsel, and they haven’t always listened.

Zuckerberg says his company is at “war.” Is he really, or is his wartime mindset responsible for alienating executives, employees, and users? Uber founder Kalanick controlled his company’s board, which struggled to tame his abrasive style. He remained impervious to public and internal criticism until shareholders finally forced him to resign as CEO. The talented Elon Musk was recently banned from chairing Tesla after the Securities and Exchange Commission pressed securities fraud charges against him. Meanwhile, Musk’s erratic style has caused scores of Tesla’s top executives to resign.

The problem also resides with their boards, who serve more as advisers than as governors. Recently, a former Facebook director claimed that founder-led companies are different. “At an ordinary public company, the board is the boss,” he said, while noting that Facebook’s board members play more of an advisory role. Public companies—regardless of who founded them—require strong and effective governance. If the boards of Facebook, Uber, and Tesla had taken governance more seriously, they could have averted some serious problems before they turned into crises. In Uber’s case, Arianna Huffington stepped up to transform its board, negotiate Kalanick’s departure, and recruit his successor.

The more mature tech giants like Google, Apple, and Microsoft decided years ago to build strong boards filled with CEOs and experienced executives, which has enabled them to avoid many of the problems experienced by others. Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin had the wisdom to recruit Eric Schmidt as CEO until he became board chair of parent company Alphabet in 2015.

As the tech industry faces even greater scrutiny in 2019, hubris among technology executives may force the government to step in. One proposal would impose time limits on two-class ownership structures, while another would require independent board chairs of founder-led companies. While founders feel the need to control their companies, they increase their odds of success when they engage other stakeholders who bring different perspectives to help create more durable, long-term enterprises.

Tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook play an important role in building a dynamic, innovative economy. Let’s hope their CEOs and boards step up to establish strong governance, effective processes, and aligned executive teams.

Bill George is a senior fellow at Harvard Business School, former chairman and CEO of Medtronic, and the author of Discover Your True North. Follow him on Twitter or read more at BillGeorge.org.