Robin Williamson
Robin Williamson is Teralytics new VP of engineering.

Zürich-based Teralytics hired former Google Engineering director Robin Williamson as its vice president of engineering.

Williamson joins the big data, machine learning and location analytics provider after 10 years at Google's Research and Development Center in Zürich.

Williamson will lead the Teralytics engineering team, focusing on providing data for mobility, transportation and smart cities.

“I have worked with great teams and technology at other startups in this industry, and I am very impressed with the ideas, data and technology that Teralytics has developed," Williamson said in a statement. "Teralytics’ technology is really exciting, as is the power of the company’s data, and I can’t wait to dig into it and focus on the value our data and analysis will deliver to our clients."

Prior to Google, Williamson spent 10 years at US software startups in executive roles responsible for engineering and product delivery. He started his career at IBM working in research, software development and marketing. 

In other technology news ...

WorkJam Hires Workplace Strategy VP

WorkJam, provider of a digital workplace platform, has hired Mike Zorn as vice president of workplace strategy. 

Zorn will be responsible for leading workplace strategy for WorkJam customers. He also plans to create a new center of excellence in the areas of labor management, employee engagement, coaching, performance and retention management, organizational communication and effectiveness.

"Given his diverse expertise in business and HR development, including change management, efficient scheduling, associate retention, internal branding and culture design, he will be a critical component" for WorkJam, according to Steven Kramer, CEO of WorkJam. 

WorkJam's Digital Workplace platform includes a mobile and desktop application. WorkJam officials said it complements existing workforce management and human capital management systems.

"Boosting engagement and guiding leaders in creating an empowered and trusted work evironment and culture for shift-based and hourly employees has always been my passion," Zorn said. "This aligns perfectly with WorkJam's mission to enhance management processes across the service industry while improving the lives of hourly employees."

Zorn most recently served as the senior vice president of associate and labor relations at Macy's Inc. Before that, Zorn served as Macy's VP of employee relations of the West division in San Francisco. 

KPMG Partners with Automation Anywhere in RPA

KPMG and enterprise robotic process automation (RPA) vendor Automation Anywhere have announced an alliance to help clients automate manual business processes.

"With this alliance, KPMG and Automation Anywhere will help companies define and execute their RPA strategies, improving efficiency and automating routine tasks," Mihir Shukla, CEO and cofounder of Automation Anywhere, said in a statement. 

KPMG has already completed implementations built on Automation Anywhere’s platform. This partnership will help entities provide governance of RPA programs through a structured framework, officials said.

Automation Anywhere includes a platform that features 100 prebuilt commands configured to automate processes. Its technology can perform either surface or graphical user interface (GUI) automation and web service and database calls.  

Forrester: Social Ad Spending Increases

Forrester has released its new US Social Media Advertising Forecast (fee charged) and found social ad spending increased by 52.6 percent in 2015 and remained strong at 50.7 percent in 2016. 

Forrester researchers predicted spending will continue to rise over the next five years, increasing its initial US spend forecast of $33 billion in 2021 by 21 percent to $39.8 billion.

The researchers also found marketers are now spending more than five times as much on social media advertising since 2013. Ad spending will increase from $4.1 billion in 2013 to $21 billion by the end of the year, according to Forrester’s updated forecast.  

Social ad spending on mobile will rise from $18.5 billion in 2017 to $39.4 billion in 2022. 

Marketers still love Facebook. In 2016, Facebook accounted for 80.3 percent of the US social ad spending market and 88.2 percent of the incremental social ad dollars spent.

Sigstr Nets $5M

Indianapolis-based email personalization provider Sigstr secured $5 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Hyde Park Venture Partners and included participation from Battery Ventures, HubSpot, Grand Ventures and High Alpha Capital.

Sigstr officials said that earlier this year the company signed its 300th customer, surpassed 500 million signature impressions and grew its team to more than 30 employees.

Sigstr is led by CEO Bryan Wade, who claimed to build "the rocket ship of email" at ExactTarget and then "joined the mothership" at Salesforce, where he was most recently chief product officer of Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

“The future of marketing is authenticity. Our vision is to unleash the power of your employees and to help marketers leverage employees to market from the inside out,” Wade said in a statement about Sigstr's funding round.

The $5 million will allow Sigstr to grow its product, sales and marketing team.

Tim Kopp, partner at Hyde Park Venture Partners, said Sigstr is "creating a new category in marketing" and that "employee email is the last marketing channel that has gone untapped."