Weekly Roundup featuring Kohls, Amazon, Slack, Aetna and more…

Happy Friday to all! Believe it or not, we are approaching the last weekend in September. Time sure if flying… We’ve been working hard at The Millennium Alliance for our Digital Enterprise West Coast Assembly happening next week. But before we head to San Francisco for the program, we’re taking a look at the top stories this week across all of our industries.

Healthcare

Aetna

A WellCare subsidiary is purchasing Aetna’s Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage which represents 2.2 million people. Members will continue to be covered by Aetna through 2018 as the deal is expected to close on December 31st.

Aiva Health

The LA-based startup will start working with Google to develop artificial intelligence-powered voice assistance. Aiva already uses Google Home, Amazon Echo to connect their patients with caregivers. The voice assistant will be their next big thing.

UnitedHealthcare

The largest private payer may drop Envision Healthcare, the provider with the most emergency room doctor care. Envision’s rates are going up and UnitedHealthcare will drop the provider if they don’t reach an agreement by the end of the year.

Marketing

Dunkin’

And no, we did not forget the word, Donuts. With new branding starting in January 2019, Dunkin’ Donuts will be officially changing their name. This change will appear on all packaging, advertising, website and social media platforms. While the company will keep the traditional colors in the logo, their goal is to focus more on the coffee.

Macy’s

Madras Global, the brand commerce agency, will be partnering with Macy’s to develop more creative automation across its e-commerce platform. The team will not only be providing digital advertising and marketing services, but will assist in managing the 9+ million product images that run across the website.

Facebook

There are now two new in-stream ad solutions on the social media platform. The first is In-Stream Reserve which is where ad placements are purchased in advance and fed to target audiences. The second is In-Stream Categories where advertisers will choose their content packages tied to a specific category/industry. About 70% of In-Stream ads on Facebook are viewed all the way until the end, so this will likely be a great way to market.

Retail

Amazon

The new SoHo location of Amazon’s 4 star store concept is opening soon. The store will only be selling products that are either rated 4 stars or better, a top seller, or trending on the site. Each item will have a digital price tag which will list prices and customer reviews.

Kohls

Drew and Jonathan Scott will partner with Kohls to create an exclusive home lifestyle collection called, “Scott Living at Kohl’s.” You may know Drew and Jonathan who host a number of HGTV shows centered around home renovation. The collection will include basics, furniture, kitchen decor and more.

Purple

The mattress startup that considers itself a “comfort technology company,” has a new CEO. With previous retail experience as Chief Digital Officer of American Eagle, Joseph Megibow will start his new role on October 1. Purple recently expanded its partnership with Mattress Firm as well as a brick and mortar store in Chicago, so we’ll likely be seeing more of the company.

Security/Enterprise

Slack

The software company recently purchased an artificial intelligence email app called Astro. This marks Slack’s second acquisition of the year as they are working to expand their capabilities and offerings. There seems to be some competition between Slack and Microsoft – we’ll be keeping an eye on this.

Walmart

A blockchain-based traceability system is now being used at Walmart for leafy greens. This will be mandatory for all suppliers of lettuce and greens in 2019. It’s been in the pilot stage for about 18 months. Walmart told us this new method would reduce the time it normally takes to trace lettuce back to the exact farm it came from.

Microsoft

At their annual Ignite conference, Microsoft announced their app, Teams, is their fastest growing app in company history. Teams is used in 329k organizations whereas one year ago, they were in just 200k organizations. Some of Teams new features including blurring backgrounds during video conferences, meeting recording options and a partnership with Polycom.

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