Microsoft Rolls Out Skype for Salesforce Beta

Today's topics include the release of the Skype for Salesforce public beta, SAP's plan to spend $2.2 billion to expand the company's internet of things capabilities, the introduction of Google's new website usability testing tool and AMD's planned release of two new GPUs for embedded applications.

Both the partnership that Microsoft struck with Salesforce and the company's Skype for Business App SDK are paying off for the Redmond, Wash., software giant. The company announced the beta availability of its new Skype for Salesforce integration on Sept. 29.

"Skype for Salesforce surfaces the capabilities of Skype for Business Online directly within Salesforce to give sellers the ability to communicate in real time with colleagues straight from the Salesforce Lightning Experience," wrote the Microsoft Skype for Business team in a blog post.

Salesforce introduced Lightning Experience, a complete interface redesign, in August 2015. First available on Salesforce Sales Cloud, the streamlined and customizable interface makes it easier for developers to create apps for the platform.

SAP will spend $2.2 billion over the next five years to build out its internet of things capabilities, and kicked off the effort by buying two IoT-related companies whose products will be folded into SAP's HANA big data platform.

Company officials said the money will be used to bolster its portfolio of IoT offerings, scale its services and support capabilities, grow the number of partners it works with and support startups in an IoT market that is expected to hit more than $237 billion by 2020.

At the center of the IoT push is the SAP HANA platform, according to officials. SAP CEO Bill McDermott said in a statement, "SAP HANA is the data platform we knew would unlock the internet of things. Today SAP is making another bold investment to help our customers seize the benefits of live business."

Google has introduced a free version of a tool designed to help website developers deliver more personalized experiences for users visiting their organizations' websites. The company's new Google Optimize, released last week in beta form, allows website owners to test web pages and their entire sites to discover opportunities to engage visitors more effectively.

With it, administrators and webmasters will be able to test different features on their site and then tweak them to deliver a more personalized experience for each customer.

According to Google, the tool is built on top of Google Analytics so site owners and administrators will be able to use existing site data to quickly identify areas for improvement.

Last week, Advanced Micro Devices released two new GPUs for the embedded and internet of things market that are built on the chip maker's Polaris architecture.

Company officials are aiming the Embedded Radeon E9260 and E9550 discrete GPUs at a wide range of use cases, from immersive casino gaming and digital signage to 4K teleconferencing and interactive digital whiteboards, retail, medical imaging and instruments in the transportation space.

AMD officials introduced the Polaris architecture early this year and touted the performance and power efficiency it would bring to the company's next generation of GPUs. The company already has rolled out Polaris-based graphics cards for PCs and workstations, and now is aiming the architecture at embedded applications that call for high-end rich multimedia but low power consumption.

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