Blackberry to Acquire AtHoc, Inc.

BlackBerry has announced that it’s acquiring AtHoc, a Calif-based company that develops emergency alert systems for government agencies, military bodies, and other organizations.

The AtHoc software is designed to enable the exchange of “critical information in real-time during business continuity and life safety operations.” This covers things like sending alerts to employees en masse, collecting information from people’s handsets for situational awareness, and communicating with other related organizations.

The AtHoc platform is about as cross-platform as they come, with support for iOS, Android, PCs, radios, IP phones, sirens, fire panels and speakers. It’s all about getting crucial information out, regardless of the end-point. The company already works with the U.S. Departments of Defense (DoD) and Homeland Security, so it has a solid pedigree.

AtHoc’s technology will be integrated into BlackBerry’s enterprise offerings, including BBM Meetings — the business-focused version of its popular messaging service. This could mean that live video feeds are added to AtHoc-powered alerts, which may help collaboration around critical situations.

“AtHoc and BlackBerry share a common vision of a securely connected world,” explains Guy Miasnik, president and CEO of AtHoc. “Federal departments, state and local agencies, and commercial enterprises alike depend on AtHoc to communicate reliably during their most critical moments. Becoming part of BlackBerry will give us the ability to scale more quickly to expand our global reach and introduce new applications for the AtHoc platform, while continuing to serve our government and enterprise customers.”

With its smartphone business falling behind the giants of iOS and Android, BlackBerry has been slowly transforming into a software-focused company, so taking on a firm such as AtHoc feeds into this broader strategy — providing security-centric tools to organizations.

Gimbal, Inc. Announces Jeff Russakow as President and CEO

Former Yahoo! Executive Brings Proven Track Record in Successfully Scaling Global Businesses; Extensive Experience in SaaS and Digital Media

SAN DIEGO – July 27, 2015 – Gimbal, Inc., the leader in location and proximity-based mobile engagement, today announced Jeff Russakow as president and chief executive officer. In this role, Russakow will work closely with Gimbal’s global customers, partners, employees and the executive team to further extend the company’s leadership in location and proximity-based mobile engagement. Russakow will also serve as a member of Gimbal’s board of directors.

Russakow succeeds Rocco Fabiano, whose leadership was instrumental in Gimbal’s successful transition out of Qualcomm in 2014, and in establishing the innovative company’s early market leadership. Fabiano will remain focused on Gimbal’s future success as chairman of the board.

Russakow brings more than 20 years of executive management experience to Gimbal, including senior leadership roles at enterprise and consumer software leaders SAP, Adobe and Symantec, and in the digital media and advertising world as EVP and chief customer officer at Yahoo! More recently, Russakow was the CEO of Findly, a growth SaaS company, as well as executive chairman of Symphony Advanced Media, an innovator in the multiscreen media analytics space. He began his career at McKinsey & Company.

“Gimbal brings to the market truly enterprise grade solutions and a compelling business vision at a time when the revolutionary advances we have seen in mobile, digital media, and personalized customer experiences are finally reconnecting to the physical world in which we all actually live,” said Russakow. “Having done early research in this space nearly 25 years and many technologies ago, I have closely followed Gimbal’s ascension as the undisputed market leader in proximity and mobile engagement. I am thrilled to work with this exceptional management team to drive continued growth for both Gimbal and the exciting community of enterprises and consumers it serves.”

“The Gimbal board is excited to have Jeff join the team as we further extend Gimbal’s leadership in the location and proximity mobile space,” said David Wise, current Gimbal board member and senior vice president at Qualcomm Technologies Inc. “Jeff brings tremendous experience in digital media, advertising, software and SaaS that will be instrumental to scaling the Gimbal business to the next level. We look forward to working with Jeff and the management team to drive Gimbal’s vision of a proximally-engaged world.”

Dr. Russakow holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Princeton University, and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.

About Gimbal, Inc.

Gimbal, Inc. is connecting brands, venues, events and retailers with their customers in exciting new ways by providing leading-edge mobile technologies and solutions. With advanced geofencing, the world’s largest deployment of industry-leading Bluetooth Smart beacons, location-based engagement, analytics, unmatched security features and privacy controls, the Gimbal platform helps drive mobile app engagement and loyalty. Visit for more information.

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