August, 2011

Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

August 30th, 2011

Xactly Announces 130th Xactly Express Customer on’s Cloud Platform

SMBs Rapidly Embrace Native Application to Improve Sales Performance Without any Additional Hardware Investments

DREAMFORCE ’11 – San Francisco – August 30, 2011Xactly Corporation, a leader in on-demand sales performance management (SPM), today announced it has signed its 130th Xactly Express customer. Xactly Express is the industry’s first self-service sales compensation application designed to meet the unique needs of SMBs. Built natively on,’s social enterprise platform for employee apps, Xactly Express provides SMB customers powerful, easy-to-use technology for managing sales commission tracking and payments, without the need for costly hardware or professional services investments.

Exemplifying the strong market demand for an affordable sales compensation management solution on a reliable, cloud-based infrastructure, 130 customers have adopted the solution since it was launched in early 2010. Recent Xactly Express customers include The Brooks Group, Carillion, ClearStructure Financial Technology, Centennial Jet Partners, Datatel, Digital Assent, Intermap, IVision International, Northern Freight, SciQuest, Inc., SkySlope, Titan Protocol, Inc., The Network, Inc. and Vorsight.

Xactly will be showcasing Xactly Express, as well as its leading enterprise sales compensation management offering, Xactly Incent, at the Dreamforce Cloud Expo, booth #520. To learn more, read the dozens of positive real-user reviews available on the AppExchange or visit here for a listing of Xactly’s Dreamforce sessions.

“Prior to Xactly Express, no compensation solution existed to serve the unique and specific needs of the SMB market. The sheer speed at which we are seeing customers adopt the solution is a testament the market demand for this type of solution, as well as the strength of the Xactly Express offering,” said Christopher Cabrera, president and CEO, Xactly Corporation. “Built on, Xactly Express can be up and in production in a matter of hours – without the need for costly hardware and implementation investments or IT involvement. This is critical for small to mid-size companies who need fast results and a quick time to value. With Xactly Express, users can manage the entire sales compensation process, from plan implementation through to payment in a few easy steps – saving them time and money, while improving sales visibility and performance.”

“Companies look to cloud computing to deliver business apps that are inherently social, mobile and open,” said Kraig Swensrud, chief marketing officer, “Quickly reaching 130 Xactly Express customers on is a testament to the market need for a feature-rich sales compensation management solution on a powerful, cost-effective cloud foundation. This milestone, coupled with the many positive AppExchange ratings for Xactly Express, validates the solution’s ability to deliver on its ease-of-use and time-to-value promise.”

Customers Reap the Benefits of Powerful, Affordable Sales Compensation in the Cloud

Available as a stand-alone solution or connected to the Salesforce Sales Cloud, Xactly Express enables users with little to no compensation administration experience to rapidly configure sales compensation plans, calculate commissions, and export payments to payroll, all from a single, easy-to-use application.

When connected to the Sales Cloud, customers gain the ability to combine the invaluable pre-sales data within Salesforce with the powerful post-sales data in Xactly Express. This provides an end-to-end view of customer profitability and success, from initial lead clear through to compensation payout. In addition, Xactly Express customers can seamlessly integrate Salesforce Chatter, allowing users to communicate and collaborate on compensation related questions and approvals in real-time on the private and secure social network.

Xactly recently launched Xactly Express 2.3, providing sales administers with additional insight into their current compensation plans, support for 155 global currencies, and easier management of credit splits on future or ad-hoc sales deals. For more information on Xactly Express 2.3, please visit the press release.

Xactly Express and Xactly Incent are available on the’s AppExchange 2 or directly from Xactly at or 1-866-GO-XACTLY.

Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

August 30th, 2011

Consumer Cloud Services Gaining Momentum with Independents

8.30.11 by Bernie Arnason: Much of the discussion regarding cloud services revolves around its role with business class customers. Indeed, the cloud presents some interesting, and potentially lucrative opportunities to serve business customers. But increasingly, small independent service providers are turning to the cloud for consumer services as well.

Case in point, Granite State Communications, a New Hampshire based independent telco, is migrating to Google Apps for its consumer ISP services, including Gmail for email. Granite is working through NeoNova, a strategic partner for Google, who says twenty of their independent telcos customers have transitioned to Google’s cloud offering, with another 12 in the pipeline.

It’s not surprising that independents are beginning to leverage the cloud for consumer services, given that the consumer segment is typically their largest market segment and by a wide margin in many cases. Luckily, despite all the hype regarding business class services and the cloud, consumer services are no stranger to the benefits of the cloud.

“Consumer products are leading the charge with the cloud,” comments NeoNova Vice President of Operations and Customer Support Jason McGinnis. “Google Apps was initially a consumer app. Much of the demand is driven by consumers.”

McGinnis points to the growing demand by customers to access their services anywhere, anytime. “By having consumer solutions in a cloud environment, service providers can better meet this consumer demand,” said McGinnis.

Indeed, the trend of the cloud points to both consumer and business applications. The rapid adoption of connected devices including tablets, smartphones, and connected TVs is driving more consumer applications into the cloud. And it will only intensify, as more consumer focused entertainment, gaming, and productivity apps are proliferate. Small independent service providers will need to identify strategic partners to participate in the delivery of those consumer applications, or risk being bypassed and simply becoming a pipe provider.

Since independents don’t have the scale to develop these cloud apps themselves, finding ways to add value through managing the process and better serving customers in the provisioning and operation of these apps should be the goal. As McGinnis pointed out to me, “Google does a great job in developing these apps, but they don’t do a good job in servicing the end customer.” What’s left to ponder is this business model. Is there enough revenue and margin in this servicing role to build a long term business?

Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

August 24th, 2011

Nest Collective Ranks 77 on 500|5000 List

EMERYVILLE, Calif.—Inc. Magazine ranked Nest Collective, home to leading organic baby and kids food brands, Plum Organics™ and Revolution Foods™, No. 77 on its annual Inc. 500|5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. In its first qualifying year, Nest Collective earned a spot in the top 100, after experiencing a three-year growth in sales of 3,054 percent.

Nest Collective is an organic baby and kid food company with more than 64 products launches in the past three years with an 88-percent success rate. Their portfolio of products includes a complete line of organic nutrition for babies, toddlers and kids with a focus on inspiring healthy eating habits for life.

“It’s an honor to be recognized on the Inc. 500, as it is a tremendous accomplishment for our young company,” said Nest Collective CEO and co-founder, Neil Grimmer.  “More importantly, it validates this powerful idea that providing healthy food for our children can be big business. As we’ve grown, it has been rewarding to see our social mission of ‘organic right from the start’ impact the health of the next generation with products that fit today’s active lifestyle.”

Through its brand, Plum Organics, Nest Collective was the first U.S. baby food manufacturer of the spouted pouch, which has become the popular and preferred format to the conventional jarred baby food. In less than three years, Nest Collective has become the largest manufacturer of BPA-free spouted pouch products in North America.

“We attribute much of our company’s success to category-changing innovation,” added Grimmer. “The launch of the pouch specifically has revolutionized a dormant baby food category while fueling the growth of our company. Consumers have adopted our products because of their convenience and superior taste, and retailers have been seeing higher profits and greater savings.”

A year filled with entrepreneurial recognition, Nest Collective received this honor on the heels of earning a publicly voted Top 5 spot in Bloomberg Businessweek’s roundup of “America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs” and becoming a finalist in Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year.”

Positioned for continued growth, Nest Collective will be expanding its product offering and availability beyond its current distribution in 6,300 stores nationwide.  With more than 30 employees, Nest Collective maintains offices in both the Bay Area and New York.

Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

August 24th, 2011

Rypple Flow Is Social HR Management On A Big Screen

Tomio Geron/Forbes 8.24.11: Start-up Rypple brings social networking tools to human resources departments, upending practices like the often-dreaded annual performance reviews.

Instead of traditional performance review tools, Rypple is a social website where people can go to quickly give feedback to anyone in their company. People can also go to the website to see what people are doing in the company and comment on other people’s actions. Co-workers or managers can also give other employees badges for doing a good job on a certain project.

Now Rypple is launching a new feature for companies called Rypple Flow, which is basically a constant real-time stream of activity in a company that is piped in over an HD television. At a number of technology companies such as Facebook and LinkedIn, companies show a world map on a television in the company’s lobby with dots popping up to show new members or new social connections. Rypple Flow is a similar idea, except it is designed to show activity inside a company. The idea is that employees can walk by the screen and keep in touch with what’s happening all over the company. The service is free for paid users of Rypple.

Toronto-based Kobo, the e-reader and digital book company, is one of the first users of Rypple Flow. The company was looking a way for employees to recognize each other and build the company culture around shared goals, says Jennifer Ricci, vice president of employee experience at Kobo. Another benefit of Rypple is reduction of mass emails with many “reply-all” messages, Ricci says. Instead, those messages typically end up on Rypple.

“Instead of waiting for a company town hall meeting or monthly newsletter, with Rypple people can immediately recognize people in other departments and recognize collaboration on goals,” Ricci says. “Everyone can rally around goals with real-time recognition.”

Rypple, which is backed by investors including Bridgescale Partners, Edgestone Capital Ventures, Extreme Venture Partners and PayPal founder Peter Thiel, is used by companies including Facebook (recently in Wired), Gilt Groupe, Rackspace, and Accenture.

The service is designed for people to give coaching from managers, progress reports towards goals, recognition of jobs well done or other real-time feedback says Daniel Debow, co-CEO of Rypple. In software development, companies have moved to “agile development,” or constant small software updates instead of infrequent major updates. The same applies for Rypple, where people can get immediate feedback and adjust their work accordingly, Debow says.

Rypple is a bit of a cross between the social interaction of Facebook and the badges and achievements of Foursquare. It’s in the realm of other companies such as Jive Software and Yammer that are bringing social networking into enterprises. Most employees and managers hate traditional performance management software, says Debow, but Rypple is designed to be lightweight and simple to use, in the way that consumer services such as Facebook are. If end of year evaluations are used, managers can look back at the record of employees on Rypple for a quick review.

The feedback and evaluation of employees can be made public in the whole company or just sent as private messages. Most people make them public if they are positive messages, says Debow. Rypple is not designed to change people’s existing behaviors, Debow says. “It’s about taking that latent behavior and amplifying it,” Debow says. Instead of sending a “thank you” email to a colleague, people can send that on Rypple. That recognition can then be surfaced instead of hidden, Debow says. Now on the TV screens, it can be surfaced even more.

Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

August 23rd, 2011

Dayforce Recognized as one of the 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ in Canada

Dayforce today announces its recognition for the second consecutive year as one of the 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ in Canada. This annual award recognizes top employers that display leadership and innovation towards engaging their employees.

“More employers are realizing that the most successful organizations are those that invest in employee engagement,” said Razor Suleman, CEO and Founder, I Love Rewards. “We’re thrilled to honor those companies that are truly committed to creating positive, thriving work environments. These companies understand that their employees are their greatest asset and are leading by example as they revolutionize the workplace. All of our award winners are ahead of the curve – they should be extremely proud.”

The 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ panel of judges evaluated each applicant on how they measured up to other organizations based on the Eight Elements of Employee Engagement™. The Eight Engagement of Employee Engagement™ include: Communication, Leadership, Culture, Rewards & Recognition, Professional & Personal Growth, Accountability & Performance, Vision & Values and Corporate Social Responsibility.

The panel of judges included Dr. Bob Nelson, PhD, Best Selling Author and President of Nelson Motivation Inc., Paul Hebert, Managing Director and Lead Consultant of i2i, Stacia Garr, SR Analyst with Bersin & Associates, Debbie McGrath, Founder and Chief Instigator at and Razor Suleman, Founder & CEO of I Love Rewards.

Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

August 17th, 2011

Canadian VC Industry Continues to Plummet

Thomson Reuters (ironically, founded and 53% owned by a Canadian family) recent research indicated that the amount of venture capital dollars invested in Canadian startups declined 2% in the second quarter compared to the same period last year while the US market grew 15%.   While money is pouring into silicon valley startups addressing social media, cloud computing companies and mobile applications, our brightest and most talented entrepreneurs in Canada are hitting a wall when it comes to raising capital for their companies.

These Canadian entrepeneurs/companies are left with no choice but to seek capital down south and most likely move their companies to California or Boston.  The local Canadian R&D credits are interesting but if you can’t raise the money to spend on R&D, it doesn’t matter.

This venture industry contraction has and will certainly adversely impact Canadian technology industry unless some significant changes happen.  In my opinion, there is not a shortage of quality of entrepreneurs.  Instead, there is a shortage money willing to take the risk and back experienced venture capital funds who can source, filter and work with this elite group of individuals.     The number of Canadian venture funds active in early stage investing is probably less than 10 from over 50 firms 5 years ago.   This is not enough capital to support this venture capital industry.

The interesting paradox is that Canadian commercial banks and pension plans are sitting on record balance sheets and therefore liquidity is not an issue.  These same entities depend on deposit and job growth..exactly what the Canadian venture capital industry delivers.  Why aren’ t  they putting more capital in this asset class?  What the Canadian venture capital industry needs is LP leadership.   We do have a few leaders like Northleaf Capital, OVCF, and BDC but the industry needs much more.  Once we get a few leaders to step up, take the risk and see the returns and the ong term value..others will follow.  Unfortunately, the outlook is grim and this contraction will most likely continue.

Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

August 16th, 2011

Cortina Introduces the Industry’s Most Powerful, Scalable, Secured Services Platform for the Digital Home

CS7542/CS7522 delivers ultimate user experiences by enabling simultaneous quadruple play services and enterprise class security and performance

SUNNYVALE, Calif.–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–Cortina Systems, Inc. (Cortina™), delivering innovative technologies that link people and networks worldwide, today announced the CS7542/CS7522, an ultra high performance multi-services delivery platform, designed to address the paradigm shift occurring in the market place due to the emergence of IPTV technology and the convergence of DVB, router gateways, and DVR set top boxes. The CS7542/CS7522 creates a new model of a single delivery platform that delivers simultaneous line rate bandwidth for secured data, voice, video, and mobile services without service degradation. Its industry leading IPSec and enterprise class QoS/routing performance makes it an ideal solution for powerful digital home and SMB networking appliances.

“To ensure the system’s longevity and to support ever increasing bandwidth, Cortina’s CS7542/7522 combines hardware-accelerated, enterprise-class, networking performance and security features with a flexible and scalable architecture to enable future value-added services.”

.“The digital home is in a rapid transition period where a new single service delivery model is needed to meet the growing demands and requirements for digital content and distribution,” said Dr. Stewart Wu, Vice President at Cortina Systems. “To ensure the system’s longevity and to support ever increasing bandwidth, Cortina’s CS7542/7522 combines hardware-accelerated, enterprise-class, networking performance and security features with a flexible and scalable architecture to enable future value-added services.”

“Operators around the world are quickly transitioning from basic modems to high-end IP-based residential gateways that currently deliver voice, data, video, and mobile, but can also serve as a platform for future services,” commented Jeff Heynen, Directing Analyst, Broadband Access, Infonetics. “Cortina has developed the first scalable platform that easily delivers multi-stream, HD video, both wired and wireless networking with high reliability, high security, and remote monitoring, as well as troubleshooting capabilities operators require.”

Key Technology Advantages:

•High Performance Processor: Powerful 4,000 DMIPS Dual ARM Cortex A9 with dual NEON DSP Extension core enables computationally intensive applications and the ability to add new services without a platform upgrade

•Gigabit Line Rate Network Engine: Enterprise network performance with service aware QoS addresses any needs from Service Provider

•Flexible Architecture: Robust set of networking/storage/video/audio interfaces to address different markets and applications

•Enterprise Security Performance: Gigabit line rate security and packet engine for network VPN or content DRM/CA

•Active Power Management: Low power gateway operating mode to meet any future green standard

With the integration of six transport stream inputs, the CS7542/CS7522 is an ideal platform for CATV, DVB, and IPTV video convergence, a critical objective for MSOs, Telcos, and GoogleTV. In addition to the digital home market, the CS7542/CS7522, as an enterprise-class, ultra performance SoC solution, is particularly well suited for SMB VPN routers, enterprise access points, and a variety of storage applications.

“As a residential carrier services delivery platform, the CS7542/7522 is extremely power efficient by offering a unique low energy gateway mode that draws minimum energy when idle but provides instant-on when new traffic arrives. The platform can also actively manage the overall system energy usage by shutting down inactive blocks individually and activating those as required for specific applications,” commented Dr. Wu.

Both the CS7542 and CS7522 are sampling now.

Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

August 12th, 2011

Proofpoint Positioned in the “Leaders” Quadrant in 2011 Magic Quadrant for Secure Email Gateways

Evaluation Based on Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute

Sunnyvale, Calif. – August 12, 2011 – Proofpoint, Inc. (, a leading provider of cloud-based security and compliance solutions for enterprise messaging and collaboration, today announced it has been positioned by Gartner, Inc. in the Leaders quadrant of the 2011 “Magic Quadrant for Secure Email Gateways.”1

“We believe Proofpoint’s positioning by Gartner in the leaders quadrant is a great confirmation of our continued success in helping large, global enterprises control a wide variety compliance and security risks associated with email,” said Gary Steele, CEO of Proofpoint. “Proofpoint continues to lead the market with a focus on security, innovation and customer satisfaction, delivering solutions for email security, encryption, data loss prevention and email archiving that help organizations reduce costs while making email safe, secure, compliant and easier to manage. We continue to see some of the largest and most security conscious organizations worldwide switching from legacy email security solutions to Proofpoint.”

To access a complimentary copy of Gartner’s complete “Magic Quadrant for Secure Email Gateways” 2011 report, please visit:

Writing in the “Magic Quadrant for Secure Email Gateways,” Gartner analysts Peter Firstbrook and Eric Ouellet note that, “The secure email gateway market is a mature market. Buyers must look at advanced functionality, service delivery, vertical integration of related email products and strategic vendor relationships to differentiate solutions.”

Gartner also says that, “Policy-based encryption is an increasingly important capability and a significant differentiator of leading products.” Explaining further that, “The adoption of DLP drives the adoption of encryption. Companies that search for sensitive or private information in email often find it. However, exchanging this content with third parties is often a business imperative, and blocking it outright is rarely an option. Encryption becomes an enabling tool to send sensitive content safely and in compliance with regulations.”

Of vendors positioned as Leaders, Gartner says, “Leaders are performing well, have a clear vision of market direction and are actively building competencies to sustain their leadership positions in the market. Companies in this quadrant offer a comprehensive and proficient range of email security functionality, and show evidence of superior vision and execution for current and anticipated customer requirements. Leaders typically have a relatively high market share and/or strong revenue growth, own a good portion of their threat or content-filtering capabilities, and demonstrate positive customer feedback for anti-spam efficacy and related service and support.”

Proofpoint SaaS and On-premises Email Security Solutions

Proofpoint delivers a variety of cloud-enabled solutions for security and compliance used by leading enterprises worldwide to protect against spam and viruses, safeguard privacy, encrypt sensitive information and archive messages for easier management and electronic discovery:

•The Proofpoint Enterprise Protection™ suite delivers all of Proofpoint’s best-in-class email security and email management components. Features include: advanced connection management; Proofpoint MLX™-powered spam detection; signature-based and zero-hour virus protection; email firewall, deep content inspection and outbound filtering capabilities to enforce acceptable use policies for message content and attachments; advanced message tracing; and TLS encryption.

•The Proofpoint Enterprise Privacy™ suite provides “defense in depth” data loss prevention for private information of all types. It protects private information in email, defends against leaks of confidential information and ensures compliance with common international, industry and US data protection regulations—such as HIPAA, GLBA, state privacy/encryption regulations and PCI-DSS. Proofpoint Enterprise Privacy includes the policy-based email encryption capabilities of Proofpoint Encryption™ which helps to mitigate the risks associated with regulatory violations, data loss and corporate policy violations by automatically applying encryption based on an organization’s unique policies.

Proofpoint also offers email archiving, eDiscovery and email management solutions including a SaaS email archiving solution, Proofpoint Enterprise Archive™—which makes it easy for organizations to securely archive email and solve the storage management, legal discovery, supervisory and regulatory compliance challenges associated with email retention—and Proofpoint Secure File Transfer™ which lets email users send large files quickly, easily and securely, while minimizing the impact of large file attachments on email servers and other parts of the email infrastructure.

Proofpoint recently introduced the industry’s first cloud-based compliance solution for Microsoft Office 365, which delivers enhanced regulatory compliance, archiving, encryption and data loss prevention capabilities for Microsoft’s next-generation hosted business application suite.

(1)  Gartner, Inc., “Magic Quadrant for Secure Email Gateways,” by Peter Firstbrook and Eric Ouellet, 10 August 2011

Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

August 9th, 2011

Xactly Wins CRM Magazine’s Market Leader Award


The Market
Incentive management (IM) is on a roll. “The market has been growing as organizations look to rationalize and replace spreadsheets,” says Mark Smith, chief research officer and CEO of Ventana Research. The past year saw major consolidations—the marker of a maturing industry—including SumTotal Systems’ purchase of Softscape, CRM magazine’s One to Watch for 2010. With IM vendors announcing record-breaking revenues, analysts believe this industry will expand upward and outward in 2012.

Ray Wang, principal analyst and CEO at Constellation Research, predicts that IM will extend its reach into the larger market of human capital management. “There’s a realization that we haven’t been investing in people as much as we should,” he says. To maintain a core team of talented employees, companies will invest in solutions that tie together sales and human resources. To simplify that shift, Smith says, ease of integration will be critical, noting that vendors will respond “to the need to provide more flexibility into model and planning capabilities.”

The Leaders
French compensation solution provider Excentive first hopped across the pond in early 2009. Two years after its initial expansion in the North American market, the vendor is gaining ground, as evidenced by its first-ever appearance as a category leader. Smith praises Excentive’s “approach to integrate incentives and compensation across the organization,” a philosophy that’s consistent with current customer demand.

In 2011, Merced Systems again found a spot on our leaderboard, an honor it has earned every year after its 2008 purchase of sales specialist firm Practique Associates. In the past 12 months, Merced continued to integrate its solutions and build its performance management brand. Smith says, “After expanding into sales, [Merced] has advanced incentives to operate across both sales and services.” This spring, the California-based vendor introduced Sales Performance Management 4.0, which will be available for purchase this year. The release demonstrates Merced’s commitment to the mobility trend with smartphone and tablet access—functionality that analysts agree is becoming increasingly crucial.

With two decades of performance under its belt, Synygy maintains its reputation as a strong IM provider. The vendor remains true to its pure-play roots. Wang says, “Customers love the ability to stay best-of-breed based on Oracle and integrations.” Much of Synygy’s business grows out of outsourced opportunities, but the vendor’s SaaS story has helped Synygy move down-market, too. “The company has been continuing its advancements with improvements for many years,” Smith says.

Varicent has won a spot on our leaderboard every year since the category’s inception. However, 2011 marked the first year in which the Canada-based vendor gave the winner a run for its money. Through new partnership agreements with SugarCRM and the TerrAlign Group, Varicent has delivered added value for its customers. And that’s reflected in its 3.8 rating for depth of functionality, the highest in that category. Jim Dickie, managing partner at CSO Insights, says that the vendor “provides the right blend of capabilities you can use as right out of the box, along with the ability to highly customize.” With solid scores and a strong vision, Varicent could well take the lead in 2012.

The Winner
One of the first SaaS-only vendors in the market, Xactly is being rewarded for its innovation. Our IM winner for the third year in a row, the San Francisco–based vendor announced revenue growth of nearly 50 percent in the first quarter from the year before and celebrated its 100th SMB customer in May. Wang says that Xactly’s success can be credited at least in part to “understand[ing] both the management team’s needs and the salespeople’s needs.” With the release of Xactly Incent 7.0, the vendor introduced the Sandbox, which lets users create, modify, and test personalized compensation plans. This development spearheads a trend toward self-service capabilities, which Wang believes will continue to gain momentum.