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Dow Jones Buys Generate
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Posted On April 24, 2008
On April 17, 2008, Dow Jones & Company (www.dowjones.com) announced it had acquired Maynard, Massachusetts-based Generate, Inc. (www.generateinc.com) for an undisclosed price. Combining Generate’s patented technology (the patent is titled "Method of and System for Determining Connections Between Parties Using Private Links") with the rich content within Dow Jones Enterprise Media Group (EMG) should significantly improve the ability of Dow Jones to deliver pertinent, authoritative information to its main B2B customer base. Generate’s content and technology will be integrated across all EMG products.

Generate is a 3-year-old company, co-founded by twin brothers Tom Aley and Darr Aley, that uses next-generation social graphing and relationship mapping to unlock the "who you know" within the enterprise and externally. It crawls 75 million websites, 25,000 media sources, and 3 million blogs daily to create databases on companies, executives, news, trigger events, and social networks. Examples of some of the 100 trigger events include product purchases, mergers, acquisitions, new investments, management changes, joint ventures, licensing and contract deals, bankruptcies, and SEC filings.

Dow Jones will form a new business unit, Business & Relationship Intelligence, to include Generate, Dow Jones SalesWorks, and Dow Jones Companies & Executives. Headed by Tom Aley, this will become the fourth business unit in Dow Jones EMG reporting to Clare Hart. The other three are Factiva, Dow Jones Indexes, and Dow Jones Financial Information Services. Darr Aley will be vice president for marketing and business development of the new unit. All Generate employees became Dow Jones employees upon the company’s acquisition, and its offices in the Boston area and in Montreal will remain in operation. Pricing is not expected to change, according to Hart.

Hart believes the acquisition of Generate aligns with her group’s goal of driving intelligence into the enterprise. Customers want access to information about people and their networks. She particularly cited the rich, timely content about executives and companies and the unique web crawling capabilities of Generate as key factors in making it a perfect fit for Dow Jones. "Partnering is in our DNA," she says. "And Generate will strengthen Dow Jones’ position within the enterprise."

Tom Aley added, "This will take the industry by storm." He noted that Generate’s technology "supercharges" existing EMG content. Hart was particularly enthusiastic about enhancing current awareness functionality, describing the trigger events as "alerts on steroids." Increased focus on information outside North America is expected to be another outcome of the acquisition.

Reaction to the acquisition has been positive. John Blossom, Shore Communications (www.shore.com), deemed it "one of those win-win deals that you hope for and are glad to see when they come about." Rafat Ali, PaidContent (www.paidcontent.org), commented that this acquisition brought Dow Jones into business social networking "without the exorbitant cost of buying something like LinkedIn."

Adding Generate’s harvesting technology to the global content already resident within EMG brings Dow Jones closer to the workflow not just of information professionals but of other business professionals, such as sales and marketing, business development, bankers, financial analysts, investors, and venture capitalists. It truly expands the purview of EMG beyond traditional search products.



Marydee Ojala is the editor-in-chief of Online Searcher magazine, chairs WebSearch University, and is Program Development Director for Enterprise Search & Discovery.

Email Marydee Ojala
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Posted By Gary Halliwell4/24/2008 2:39:56 PM

At last Web 2.0 Generates a Winner in B2B Social Media!

The sale of Boston-based Generate Inc. to Dow Jones on Friday is the first piece of good news venture capital can point to in B2B social media space. There have been surprisingly few successful exits in the space in the 5 years since the funding of the first wave of B2B social media companies like LinkedIn. Generate brings together next-generation search and extraction technologies with great client relationship mapping and is clearly a second generation play. Generate’s approach has been to carefully look at the experience of early entrants like TrueAdvantage to locksmith a superior solution that really works for sales. LinkedIn continues to build a great franchise but no exit yet, despite rumors of acquisition last year with Murdoch’s News Corp.

There are three types of Web 2.0 plays in the space:
· Better search engine and organization of online content for sales - like Generate
· Dynamic community - like LinkedIn
· Knowledge trading from the community - like NetProspex

LinkedIn is popular with business development executives and for sales people in relationship sales environments where business introductions matter. But LinkedIn doesn’t help transactional sales executives, who don’t have the leverage to get someone to open their network for the process of selling lower ticket items. This is a big space as the vast majority of B2B transactions are below $50k.

NetProspex, also out of Boston is another second generation Web 2.0 business that parallels the Generate approach. The first entrants in contact trading, like Jigsaw are finding that data quality is just as important as trading. Without it, abandonment rates make it difficult for a user-maintained system to get enough users on the system to keep the data clean. Like Generate, NetProspex has used the lessons learned to build a better mousetrap. NetProspex allows sales people to trade their internal prospect lists, but scrubs the data during and after the transaction. Sales contacts are a perishable commodity, a bit like fish…they soon go off. NetProspex technologies filter and validate contributed data to greater than 99% accuracy. Why is this important? Sales needs a higher level of accuracy, because it can get really irritating if every other phone number or email address is wrong. NetProspex expects that with the quality issue resolved, there is no reason why sales people shouldn’t have a great prospect map of their territory to find those customers they don’t yet have. It’s an exciting market and a very large opportunity, and as these second generation businesses realize the potential in the B2B social media space, more success stories will follow.

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