ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION
Groupon | June 20, 2022
Groupon, the trusted marketplace where consumers go to buy services and experiences that make life more interesting and deliver boundless value, is taking steps to simplify the company’s technology platform and lean more into automation. Ultimately, Groupon believes these changes will allow it to accelerate its pace of product development and support better customer and merchant experiences.
We have amazing talent within our Product and Engineering organization, and I believe that we can do a better job leveraging our significant tech assets to create value for all of our stakeholders. Currently, our platform is too big and too complex, and this is prohibiting us from moving as quickly as I think we can to launch new products and features. So, I’ve empowered the entire tech organization to challenge our long-held thought process of creating a new service for every nuance and fundamentally rethink how we structure our platform––only building and supporting what’s mission critical to drive Groupon’s business forward.”
Sachin Devand, CTO, Groupon
Devand, who was appointed to the CTO role in May after serving as a consultant since February, is working with the Product and Engineering organization to improve its operating processes and streamline Groupon's tech platform. Some of the team’s big 2022 initiatives include:
Embracing Agility –– Reorienting the product engineering organization to be more customer centric. Product roadmaps will better align with providing specific customer solutions, more quickly. To that end, the entire team is embracing Agile software development methods, doing rapid delivery of features versus traditional methods that can take years. In addition, the team uses OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) to prioritize these features every 90 days.
Migrating to the Cloud –– To date, Groupon has moved nearly 75% of its data center capabilities to the cloud. Groupon is already gaining operational benefits from the move to the cloud, including better monitoring, observability, elasticity and ease of deploying infrastructure. Once the migration is complete, the cloud will enable Groupon to scale infrastructure up and down as the needs of the business change, which should provide even more flexibility and cost savings. The cloud also enables Groupon to use cloud-native services that can unlock additional automation opportunities throughout the company’s marketplace.
Re-architecting Services –– The company is re-architecting its services, taking stock of which services are required and which ones can be combined or eliminated. At the start of the year, there were about 700 services operating behind the company’s global marketplace platform, which is too complicated and big for Groupon’s needs. As the move to the cloud continues, Groupon intends to move to a domain-driven design model which will allow for a more nimble architecture with significantly fewer services.
Leaning into Automation –– Groupon is automating processes throughout the entire business to create efficiencies and improve productivity. For example, the company is scaling its self-service automation features to enable more merchants to join the Groupon marketplace without human touch. At the end of the first quarter, 65% of new campaigns in North America were created using Groupon’s merchant self-service tool that enables businesses to create and edit campaigns. From a customer perspective, Groupon is doing more to automate insights from search data to create a feedback loop with the company’s sales teams to ensure that its marketplace has the right inventory in the right places.
When this work is completed, these actions should significantly reduce the size of Groupon’s tech platform and allow it to accelerate its pace of product development focused on building a larger and more differentiated inventory base and launching products to support better customer and merchant experiences.
Groupon is a trusted local marketplace where consumers go to buy services and experiences that make life more interesting and deliver boundless value.
Foresite | July 26, 2022
Foresite Technology Solutions, LLC, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) construction company, today announced a partnership with Lilt, the leading global experience platform, to integrate multilingual content into Foresite's platform for increased accessibility and improved Foresite user experience.
With this new capability, Foresite seeks to eliminate the barriers that foreign language can have in communication-based safety issues in construction. A 2019 report from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages highlights the importance of multilingual capabilities in construction, reporting that 42% of construction industry employers rely heavily on employees for whom English is a second or third language.
Foresite solves some of the biggest challenges builders and trade contractors face, including increasing productivity, safety, and efficiency at the jobsite, while supporting upskilling of the labor force with learning in the flow of work. With the integration of Lilt, Foresite incorporates cost-effective multilingual content to support its efforts to break down language barriers, an imperative software capability in the construction industry.
"From the start, we envisioned Foresite as the open platform of choice, connecting strategic partners to drive innovation for our customers, Our partnership with Lilt highlights how we use leading technology partners, such as Lilt, to improve the construction industry labor force with multilingual upskilling content. This partnership represents the leading edge of our strategy to reimagine and re-equip the labor force and bring a range of partners to the Foresite ecosystem."
-John Gillett, founder and CEO of Foresite.
Lilt leverages experienced human linguists and its AI-powered platform to translate websites, product manuals, compliance materials, technical documentation, e-learning content, and more for their customers, providing end-to-end multilingual support. The Lilt platform utilizes AI and automation to maintain quality and keep margin of error to a minimum.
"Foresite recognizes that the elimination of language barriers reduces risk, increases safety, and empowers employees, We started Lilt to increase access to opportunity for all, and we're inspired to join Foresite in this important work for the construction industry."
-Spence Green, CEO of Lilt.
Beyond the advanced Lilt technology, employing highly educated, experienced translators improves consistency in the Lilt product and services for their customers. Lilt works with diverse enterprise customers across the construction industry, translating content such as on-site construction e-learning content, supply chain visibility platform information, and app-based risk management product information, and it will bring this experience to bear in this new partnership with Foresite.
Foresite is an innovative and transformative construction platform built on 25 years of intellectual property and industry knowledge. The platform provides intelligent gross margin management for field operations, serving builders, trade contractors, manufacturers, and insurers, in addition to unprecedented control over critical operational processes. Users access preconfigured content-based solutions such as workforce efficiency & productivity, job site logistics, project safety, quality control, and regulatory compliance, rapidly driving process optimization at the jobsite.
Headquartered in San Francisco, Lilt is the leading global experience platform, enabling organizations to build and deliver multilingual experiences at scale across every step of the global customer journey through its translation technology and services. The Lilt Platform uses AI and automation to make the localization process faster, better, and simpler, bringing human-powered, technology-assisted translations to global enterprises. Lilt gives industry-leading organizations like Intel, ASICS, Emerson, UiPath, and Canva everything they need to scale their global experience programs and go-to-market faster. Lilt has additional global offices across North America, Europe, and Asia.
Cornerstone Building Brands | July 28, 2022
Cornerstone Building Brands, Inc. (“Cornerstone Building Brands” or the “Company”), the largest manufacturer of exterior building products in North America, today announced that Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (“CD&R”) has successfully completed the acquisition of Cornerstone Building Brands.
Holders of a majority of the shares of Cornerstone Building Brands common stock not owned by CD&R and its affiliates voted to approve the acquisition at the Special Meeting of Stockholders held on June 24, 2022. The acquisition also received the approval of the holders of a majority of the shares of Cornerstone Building Brands common stock outstanding at the Special Meeting. With the completion of the acquisition, Cornerstone Building Brands’ common stock has ceased trading and will no longer be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
“The closing of this transaction is an important milestone for Cornerstone Building Brands, and we are pleased to be entering our next phase of growth as a private company, With CD&R’s operational and strategic support, Cornerstone Building Brands will be even better positioned to accelerate our future growth plans and advance our journey to be the premier exterior building solutions company and deliver enhanced value to our customers. I want to thank all Cornerstone Building Brands employees for their continued dedication and hard work. This transaction is a testament to our team’s unwavering commitment to our customers and focus on executing our strategy. I am excited about the opportunities ahead for Cornerstone Building Brands, and I look forward to continuing our work together as we drive value for all stakeholders.”
-Jeffrey S. Lee, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Cornerstone Building Brands.
J.L. Zrebiec, Partner at CD&R, said, We have long admired Cornerstone Building Brands’ business and talented team, and we are thrilled to work even more closely with its leadership team and employees in this next chapter. We firmly believe that the Company is uniquely positioned to expand on its position as the largest manufacturer of exterior building products in North America, and we look forward to working together to build on the significant momentum underway.
Centerview Partners LLC is serving as financial advisor and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is serving as legal advisor to a special committee of Cornerstone Building Brands’ independent directors. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is serving as legal counsel to Cornerstone Building Brands.
UBS, Barclays, BNP Paribas Securities Corp., Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, Natixis, New York Branch, RBC Capital Markets, and Societe Generale are providing financial advisory services to CD&R. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel to CD&R on the transaction and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is serving as legal counsel to CD&R on the financing. CD&R has obtained committed financing from Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., UBS Investment Bank, Barclays, BNP Paribas, RBC Capital Markets, Societe Generale, Goldman Sachs, Natixis, New York Branch, Jefferies, Apollo, Blackstone Credit, and U.S. Bank.
About Cornerstone Building Brands, Inc:
Cornerstone Building Brands is the largest manufacturer of exterior building products by sales for residential and low-rise non-residential buildings in North America. Headquartered in Cary, N.C., we serve residential and commercial customers across the new construction and repair and remodel markets. Our market-leading portfolio of products spans vinyl windows, vinyl siding, stone veneer, metal roofing, metal wall systems and metal accessories. Cornerstone Building Brands’ broad, multichannel distribution platform and expansive national footprint includes more than 20,000 employees at manufacturing, distribution and office locations throughout North America. Corporate stewardship and environmental, social and governance (ESG) responsibility are embedded in our culture. We are committed to contributing positively to the communities where we live, work and play.
About Clayton, Dubilier & Rice:
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is a private investment firm with a strategy predicated on building stronger, more profitable businesses. Since its inception, CD&R has managed the investment of more than $40 billion in over 100 companies with an aggregate transaction value of over $175 billion.