The SaaSGenius News Digest May 20, 2022

Intuit must pay $141 Million in deceptive ads settlement

If you haven’t heard already, the deceptive ads case against Intuit has been settled. 

Attorney generals representing every state plus the District of Columbia announced the company must pay over $141 million in restitution to users for allegedly tricking them into paying for tax-filing services — they could have received the services for free. As part of the settlement, the company will also immediately cease all ad campaigns promoting ‘free’ services. 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also took legal action against the company earlier this year because of their ‘free’ ad campaigns. And both the investigation from the attorney generals and the FTC action overlapped. However, the FTC will now drop its case after the settlement. 

The state’s investigation had two key focus points:

  1. Intuit offering services as ‘free’ but then requiring customers to upgrade to a paid version — known as ‘bait-and-switch’
  2. The company’s use of design features with the intent to influence their customer’s decisions — known as ‘dark patterns’

Around 4.4 million users will be eligible for restitution under the terms of the settlement, and the company will have to enhance the disclosures in its ads. Intuit also cannot rejoin the IRS Free Filing Program in the future.

Tableau announces deeper integration with Salesforce AI

When it purchased Tableau for $16 billion back in 2019, Salesforce knew it had a program that would integrate well with the company’s wide range of products and services. And now, the companies are working even harder to integrate their technologies within multiple solutions.

At a Tableau’s conference in Vegas this week, the company announced a simplified integration of Salesforce’s AI platform — Einstein — that automates predictive model creation. It’s a step up from the previous Einstein Discovery version that required a lot of configuration. 

Tableau CEO Mark Nelson stated on the new integration, “It leverages everything that a customer has already configured in Tableau, their data connections, through data sources, through security, through their governance model. You don’t have to go anywhere else.”

Google to let customers keep G Suite legacy free edition

Users of G Suite legacy free edition can rejoice as Google won’t force them to move to Google Workspace — as long as it’s for personal use. This is a key backtrack from the tech giant, though they still won’t provide support.

To prevent businesses from being deceptive regarding the switch, Google will remove specific business functions from the platform. They’ll also automatically attempt to upgrade if they suspect an account is being used for conducting business.

If you were a G Suite legacy free edition user and moved to Google Workspace after January 19, 2022, you can move back by contacting Google Support. But businesses will need to be off the platform by June 27, 2022. 

Lucid announces new Webex application

Lucid announced its new Lucidspark application that enhances virtual meetings. The new Webex embedded app works with the company’s virtual whiteboard and creates meetings with higher engagement and collaboration.

Within the new app, users will be able to access existing boards quickly and create new ones within the Webex platform with ease. The application also has features to facilitate meetings by giving everyone in the meeting an opportunity to contribute and capture their best ideas.

The new application is part of Lucid’s video conferencing solutions expansion that also includes other work applications like Jira, Smartsheet, and Slack. The company seeks more businesses to add the Lucid visual suite to their tech stack.

ServiceNow offering new services for DevOps and ITOps

In an expansion of its software portfolio, ServiceNow announced a new set of services as part of their Knowledge ‘22 conference. The services support advanced digital transformations and aim to improve efficiency for ITOps and DevOps.

Their new App Engine Management Center (AEMC) service will support low-code development alignment with governance requirements and business goals. And the new Service Operations Workspace service will support collaboration and visibility within organizations for ITOps issues.

Regarding the services announcement, ServiceNow Senior Vice President Jeff Hausman stated, “Beyond just the basics of sharing information, we’re also applying a lot of capabilities around AI and machine learning to facilitate better outcomes.”

Glean to further enhance workplace SaaS apps with $100 million funding raise

With SaaS sprawl becoming more common as more people are working in hybrid environments, they’re looking for solutions to help make things easier on employees. 

Glean aims to be that solution by providing a work assistant that helps workers search through company applications with ease. The program integrates within hours and offers secure searching within a centralized work hub.

The company is already working with well-known companies like Grammarly, Aurora, and WealthSimple. And it’s also drawn the attention of Sequoia capital who led a funding round this week at $100 million. The company will use the cash for further expansion and sales operations.

Vertice drops stealth status with $26 million funding round

Based in London, Vertice is a SaaS purchasing company with aims of helping companies simplify their purchasing processes. The company recently came out of stealth and raised $26 million in their Series A funding round led by VC firms Bessemer Venture Partners and 83North.

Founded by Roy and Elar Tuvey, these two bring decades of SaaS enterprise experience to Vertice. They founded both ScanSafe and Wandera and have first-hand experience in positioning their companies for premium acquisition.

Their aim with Vertice is to use their market knowledge and experience to enhance the process of purchasing SaaS products. Vertice will help companies reduce software spend by twenty to thirty percent annually.

ManageEngine expanding in India

Part of Zoho’s IT management division, ManageEngine announced a hiring round of 1,000 jobs in India this year. As a top technology provider in over 190 countries, the move aims to aid future growth and solidify their position.

Co-Founder and Vice President of Engineering of Zoho Corp Shailesh Davey claims the company is looking to increase its Indian workforce by 25%. 

He stated, ““We invest heavily in R&D, product design, and integration, so that our customers can accelerate their digital transformation. We invest heavily in support so that our customers have a reliable partner to navigate a fast-changing landscape. We are in IT for the long haul, so customers can trust us to be around.”