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Five9 President Dan Burkland: Leveraging Tech for Great Customer Experiences
February 7, 2018
"We're seeing a digital transformation take place, where companies are moving their contact centers to the cloud," noted Dan Burkland, president of Five9. "There are two key criteria for a contact center -- there's the CRM and the contact center infrastructure, and those two really go hand-in-hand. You bring a call, chat, text or email into the center, and you have to look for an agent who's available and properly skilled to handle such an interaction."
Critics Love HomePod's Sound but Rap Its Smarts
February 7, 2018
Critics have begun weighing in on Apple's HomePod smart speaker, and they're loving the device's sound but don't have much affection for its smarts. The HomePod's sound outclassed top-shelf competitor SonosOne, according to Matthew Panzarino. "The HomePod was the 'best' sounding. It's nuanced and subtle with great separation and clarity across all kinds of music," he wrote.
Intel's Smart Peepers Look Smart, Too
February 6, 2018
Intel has designed a pair of smart glasses that won't make you look like a hopeless geek. Called "Vaunt," the peepers, which are still in the prototype phase, look like ordinary glasses, save for a faint, red glimmer that occasionally appears on the right lens. Information sent to the glasses appear to be displayed on a screen but in reality is beamed to the retina of a wearer's eye.
Amazon's Soaring Healthcare Ambition: The Promise and the Problem
February 5, 2018
Healthcare is a mess in the United States. Consumers pay more and get less than in most other developed countries. Strong comprehensive healthcare is unaffordable for most without substantial help, which is why putting the burden on the government really does not work. If people cannot afford something, individually aggregating it under what amounts to a tax is not really any better.
Alexa Now Can Dash Off Text Messages to Android Phones
January 31, 2018
Amazon on Tuesday introduced new functionality that enables its Alexa virtual assistant to send and receive SMS messages on devices running Android 5.0 or higher. Carrier charges may apply. Alexa, the software that powers the Echo line of smart speakers, can play and send personalized messages from contacts for users who have set up voice profiles.
Self-Service AI Aims to Grease the Wheels for B2B Sales Teams
January 26, 2018
SalesDirector.ai has released a self-service version of its artificial intelligence sales execution and sales forecasting platform for B2B sales teams. The system provides enterprise-grade AI to sales teams in less than five minutes, according to the company. Like the regular SalesDirector.ai platform, the self-service version is offered as a service.
New Google Service Makes Machine Learning More Accessible
January 18, 2018
Google on Wednesday released its Cloud AutoML Vision service in Alpha. It is the first in a planned series of Cloud AutoML services designed to help people with limited machine learning expertise build their own custom models using advanced techniques such as learning2learn and transfer learning. Learning2learn is a process for automating machine learning
Tech Takes Front Seat at Detroit Auto Show
January 17, 2018
In recent years, CES largely has usurped the Detroit Auto Show as the "first auto show of the year." Automakers have used the annual Las Vegas shindig to highlight the latest technology in vehicles. So perhaps it was fitting that this year the NAIAS looked a bit more like a technology trade show than a car show, featuring sessions on AI, autonomous vehicle systems, vehicle security and mobility.
Gadget Ogling: CES Edition
January 16, 2018
Roader's Time Machine Camera is designed to hang around your neck and, for up to seven hours of battery life, constantly capture what it sees. When you hit a button, it saves the last 10 seconds of footage and the following 10. You can send a low-resolution version of that 20-second clip to your smartphone immediately, and if you'd like to save a high-resolution version, you can grab that too.
Demandbase Adds Conversion Solution to ABM Platform
January 15, 2018
Demandbase has launched its Conversion Solution, adding AI-enabled intent data to its ABM platform, which already incorporates targeting and engagement solutions. It sends sales teams relevant and actionable alerts and insights across multiple channels in real time when one of their accounts is in the news, visiting their company's website, or demonstrating interest in their products.
CES 2018: Spare Human Bodies, a $54K HTC Simulator and Intel's People-Chopping Cuisinart
January 15, 2018
OK, I hate CES. It really is a horrible event, largely because of the timing -- and particularly this year, Las Vegas making it a nightmare to get around -- but man did they have cool stuff at the show. Among presentation highlights were Nvidia showcasing a whopping 65-inch gaming monitor TV. Lowlights included Intel showcasing a human-carrying drone as something out of a horror movie.
Namogoo CEO Chemi Katz: Malware Can Ruin the Customer Journey
January 12, 2018
When all goes well, the customer journey "ends with buying a product," said Chemi Katz, CEO of Namogoo. "Hijacking interferes with the customer's journey. It can be a pop-up that the company didn't put there, or something that will lead a customer out of the website. It's any interference that doesn't come from the e-commerce business itself, but from a third party."
Google Assistant Makes CES Splash
January 10, 2018
Since launching the original Echo smart speaker in 2014, Amazon has expanded its line of Alexa voice-activated devices to reach a dominant position in the marketplace. Realizing it has a bit of catching up to do and possibly may need to redefine the ground rules, Google this week put the consumer electronics world on notice that this no longer is a one-horse race. Google threw down its gauntlet at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.
CES 2018: Artificial Intelligence at Home and Behind the Wheel
January 9, 2018
Artificial intelligence dominated CES 2018 in a big way on Monday with major announcements on connected car advances and home system technologies. Google all but declared war on Amazon with its Google Assistant voice technology making its presence known at nearly every turn on the showroom floor. LG rolled out a new lineup of high-end AI OLED and Super UHD televisions infused with its ThinQ AI technology and Alpha 9 technology.
3 Critical Things Sales Can Learn From IT
January 9, 2018
If you're in sales, it's likely there are people you want to talk to, and others you may go out of your way to avoid. You might be excited to talk to the CMO -- or not so excited -- based on the leads you recently worked. You might avoid the people from finance, but you might enjoy conversing with your comp plan administrator. However, there's one group of people you may never even consider.
New Lens Tech Can Shrink Cameras, VR and AR Gear
January 3, 2018
Harvard scientists on Monday unveiled a metalens that has the potential to shrink the size of any device that uses a camera while at the same time improving performance. While traditional lenses are made from glass, metalenses use a flat surface peppered with nanostructures to focus light. One problem with metalenses has been their inability to focus the full spectrum of light.
Tech to Watch in 2018: Cryptocurrency, AI, Wearables
January 2, 2018
Guesswork is often involved in predicting the "next big thing" -- but with CES just a week away, the future is almost now. The annual trade show, as well as other industry events following one after another -- including ITExpo, Gitex and Mobile World Congress -- means there will be no shortage of product announcements, technology unveilings, and proclamations about the tech of the future.
2017 in Tech: The Year of Foreshadowing Big Things to Come
December 29, 2017
2017 may be the year that developments in the tech world truly were overshadowed by other world events: deepening divisions in the United States and the looming threat of war with North Korea; numerous sexual misconduct scandals; terrorist attacks in Europe; and another royal wedding. With all of that going on, it would be easy to overlook Apple's latest iPhone or Nintendo's comeback.
Ready Player One and the Troubled Future of VR
December 25, 2017
One of the issues with virtual reality is that expectations have been overset massively with TV shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation, which promised an artificial reality indistinguishable from reality. VR failed. It didn't have to -- there is a pattern to bringing out successful technology that is repeatable. You create a complete experience regardless of cost, then cost-reduce it.
2017: CRM in Full Stride
December 23, 2017
There was a lot in customer relationship management to like in 2017. The industry racked up north of $35 billion and the cloud reigned supreme. However, future growth presents a challenge. We're going to need to look beyond selling generic seats to grow the CRM market from here. It's a whole new ball game now that Oracle has credible cloud CRM. Other vendors will need to bring their A-games.
AI Self-Service: Smile for Your Supper
December 21, 2017
Cali Group has announced a pilot program using kiosks equipped with facial recognition software and AI to ease the ordering process for regular customers at the Pasadena, California, location of its international CaliBurger restaurant chain. The kiosks use NEC's NeoFace facial recognition software to identify registered customers and pull up their order preferences and loyalty accounts.
Microsoft Gives Productivity Tools More AI Chops
December 15, 2017
Microsoft has announced new AI features and functionality for several of its flagship products and services. Harry Shum, EVP of Microsoft AI and Research, recently demonstrated some of the new capabilities. Building on the progress the company has made in integrating AI over the past year, the new enhancements are designed to help users perform increasingly complex and complicated tasks.
Google Reveals What Searchers Wanted in 2017
December 14, 2017
The iPhone 8 and iPhone X ranked No. 2 and No. 3 respectively in overall searches on Google this year, and No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in the consumer tech search category on the Google Trends Year in Search 2017 list released Tuesday. Bitcoin ranked No. 2 in global news searches, and "how to buy bitcoin" ranked No. 3 among how-to searches on Google in 2017.
The Strange Bedfellows That Make Sales AI Work
December 11, 2017
At some point, the discussion about artificial intelligence and sales is going to mature. Too many people still think AI for sales will resemble C-3PO, a bumbling assistant that gets in the way more often than not, or the Hal 9000, subverting the sales process in ways that endanger the very existence of the sales person. As the discussions mature, the reality is becoming clearer.
Qualcomm Unveils Powerful New Snapdragon SoC
December 8, 2017
Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform, an SoC built for immersive multimedia experiences including extended reality, on-device AI and high-speed connectivity. The SoC will power next-generation Android flagship smartphones and Windows 10 notebooks based on ARM architecture. Xiaomi reportedly will use it in its forthcoming Mi 7 flagship, to be released next year.
Bitcoin Surges Past $16K: Will the Bubble Burst?
December 7, 2017
Cryptocurrency bitcoin soared to $16,777 on Thursday, reaching a market capitalization of $274 billion, according to Bloomberg's composite of exchanges. That was up from just $10,000 last week, and up some 1,500 percent from the beginning of 2017. The latest price increases have come as bitcoin increasingly has been recognized as a legitimate form of currency.
Machines Could Become Driving Force Behind CX
December 6, 2017
Customer experience improvements have become an important part of companies' digital transformations, according to survey results Mitel released Tuesday. More than 2,500 senior IT decision makers across North America, the UK, France, Germany and Australia responded to the survey. The participants represented businesses ranging from 250 to 10,000-plus employees in a wide range of industries.
B2B Tech Marketers Have Work Cut Out for Them
December 4, 2017
Product reliability and ease of use are key for B2B technology marketers, suggests a recent survey of technology product and service decision makers in the U.S. Four hundred B2B tech buyers participated in the survey, conducted for Lavidge by WestGroup Research. Overall, 68 percent cited reliability as the most critical criterion in their purchase decisions; 64 percent said ease of use was key.
AWS Gives IoT a Boost With New OS, Services
December 2, 2017
AWS shone a spotlight on IoT and machine learning technologies earlier this week, with the announcement of a new operating system and several new services designed to encourage radical expansion of their deployment and use across multiple industries. The new OS, Amazon FreeRTOS, simplifies development, deployment, security and maintenance of microcontroller-based edge devices, according AWS.
Quantum Key Distribution Gets a Speed Boost
November 30, 2017
A method for scrambling data to protect it from the super powerful computers of the future has received a speed boost from a team of researchers from Duke and Ohio State universities and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The method uses quantum key distribution to guard data from prying eyes. The problem in the past with the technology is it's slow. Transfer speeds typically are measured in kilobits per second.
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How does the tech industry compare to other industries when it comes to diversity?
Tech firms have been working much harder than others to achieve diversity.
Tech is rife with sexism, racism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination.
The tech industry would be more inclusive if there were more qualified applicants.
Tech firms have made superficial efforts but they're mainly for show.
The push for diversity is a cultural fad, and there is no real problem.