Monday, July 20, 2015

Media abuzz about Microsoft purchase of startup owned by Satmar Chosid

The media is abuzz with the acquisition of a startup company by Microsoft. The company is owned by a Satmar Chosid  who sold it to MIcrosoft for $39 million. Why is this news? Is a Satmar Chosid not allowed to have a startup company. Are we expecting less from a Satmar Chosid? Is his mazel different because hes Satmar? or perhaps its all about the $$$$$.
You know how when you need a cable technician, they tell you he’ll be there between 9-12? What if they could tell you he’ll be there between 9 and 9:30? Wouldn’t that make you happier?

This is one of the reasons Microsoft is purchasing FieldOne Systems for $39 million. FieldOne is a field service management software company, meaning that it helps companies manage their employees who are out in the field, making sure they use their time efficiently and provide top-notch customer service.

As Microsoft wrote in their blog post announcing the purchase, “FieldOne really stands out, providing enterprises with a comprehensive modern field service solution … including work order, automated scheduling, asset contract, inventory and procurement management, workflow capabilities and mobile collaboration – this gives companies the ability to do things such as adjusting routing on the fly and delivering service arrival estimate times within a smaller window, which is essential for more personal customer engagement.”

One of the largest exits for a Hassidic, or Haredi, company
But FieldOne stands out in another way as well. The company’s founder and CEO Shloma Baum is a Satmar Hasid, an ultra-Orthodox Jew from the town of Kiryat Joel, New York. As such, he is part of a growing movement of haredi startup entrepreneurs in both Israel and the diaspora. Ultra-Orthodox Jews are underrepresented in the hi-tech community, partially because they do not always receive a rigorous math and science education and in part because the hi-tech world likes to hire people in its own image: young, male, privileged graduates of elite army units in Israel or prestigious colleges in the U.S. Given Baum’s position straddling two worlds, he has had to think a lot about the relationship between a closed ecosystem (a company, religious community) and the outside world. In addition to FieldOne, according to reports, Baum has also developed a filter for haredi Internet users to help them avoid looking at sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate sites.

“Today, as we announce Microsoft’s definitive agreement to acquire FieldOne, I am grateful and amazed by the journey we are embarking on as a company,” Shloma Baum said in a blog post announcing the acquisition.

“The future is very bright for the field service management software industry. Evolutions in technology are fueling rapid advances in the IoT, cloud, and big data. Companies need to shift from reactive to proactive service mode or they risk losing their customers.”

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