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The CRM Systems Training Issue
March 15, 2021
As the CRM solution set continues to grow, it's likely that training systems will be increasingly important. That growth has the effect of converging vendor functionality at roughly the same place, making tertiary product attributes like training systems important differentiators. Taking this into account, the next big thing in CRM might not be a new customer-facing app -- but one that faces employees.
The EU's Cure for the E-Waste Epidemic
March 15, 2021
Globally, we throw out 50 million tons of electronics waste every year, which is the equivalent of 1,000 laptops every second. This month the EU addressed this problem with a comprehensive "right to repair" law to dramatically reduce this waste. Let's explore electrical hardware sustainability issues this week, and look at a laptop that seems to anticipate these new e-waste regulations.
Microsoft Confident Exchange Hack Is State-Sponsored Operation
March 10, 2021
Microsoft on Monday reported that multiple malicious actors were taking advantage of vulnerabilities in its Exchange software last week to attack systems at organizations that have failed to patch the flaws. The company attributed the attacks "with high confidence" to Hafnium, a group believed to be state-sponsored and operating out of China.
AI Contract Spending Set to Grow in Federal Market
March 9, 2021
The United States government is trying to get smarter about getting smart. Throughout the federal government, and especially in defense and national security, artificial intelligence is getting an increased amount of attention, including the adoption of hefty AI budgets. That should lead to increasing contract opportunities for information technology vendors with high competence in AI.
Mirror Image Solutions
March 8, 2021
Two CRM vendors made news recently. Zoho had an analyst conference that reminded us that many businesses don't benefit enough from verticalized suites; and Microsoft introduced several vertical industry systems, including one for nonprofits. One could say that Zoho and Microsoft displayed mirror image solutions in some ways. Let's take closer look.
Commission Issues Blueprint to Boost AI Prowess in US
March 3, 2021
A road map for continued U.S. leadership in artificial intelligence has been revealed in a 756-page report released by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. Two years in the making, the report made a number of recommendations to make the United States a leader in the AI age, including an emphasis on the need for the U.S. to win the AI competition with China.
Lessons Learned From the SolarWinds Supply Chain Hack
February 23, 2021
In a recent Linux Foundation blog post titled "Preventing Supply Chain Attacks like SolarWinds," the foundation's Director of Open Source Supply Chain Security, David A. Wheeler, adamantly pushed the need for software developers to embrace the LF's security recommendations. Given the magnitude of the SolarWinds hack, LinuxInsider asked Wheeler to dive deeper into how supply chain security standards might benefit from the LF's latest advice.
A New Twist to Virtual Desktop Cloud Computing
February 16, 2021
Desktop as a Service provider Shells offers a new component to virtual cloud computing. It brings Linux distros and Windows 10 to any computer, mobile device, and some game consoles, via any Web browser. The U.S.-based startup went online in the first quarter of last year. Since then, CEO and founder Alex Lee has been drumming up favorable responses from businesses, casual users, and Linux developers.
Oracle's Reinvention
February 16, 2021
Oracle's continued strides in the tech space say a lot about perseverance and deep pockets. It was a darling of the 20th century tech era, rising from a startup in the database wars and becoming the sole surviving independent database company. But at some point, success leveled out its rise and it became just another big company. Then came the challenge of cloud computing.
The Unforeseen Consequences of Amazon's Boardroom Switch
February 8, 2021
Jeff Bezos last week announced he will be stepping down from his role of CEO Amazon. Bezos is following Microsoft's lead and putting his cloud executive Andy Jassy in charge of the company. Given that Microsoft was exceedingly successful with putting Satya Nadella in the same role, it would seem that this would be a slam-dunk success. But the issue is that Amazon is not Microsoft.
Is 2021 the Year Cyberattacks Force Privacy Laws to Grow Some Teeth?
February 4, 2021
Cyberattacks are increasing in frequency, ramping up the data privacy threats they pose to government agencies and businesses alike. Governments both domestic and foreign need to step up efforts to pass legislation that bolsters technological defenses this year, warn privacy groups. Stiffer privacy laws are gradually being reviewed and signed into the U.S. market. But that process is mostly taking place at the state level.
A New Era of Leadership on the Horizon at Amazon
February 3, 2021
Amazon gets a new chief executive this summer. Jeff Bezos plans to step down from that role and transition into a new job -- executive chair of Amazon. The chief of Amazon's cloud computing division, Andy Jassy, will become Amazon's new chief executive. Jassy served in that post in a temporary capacity along with another Amazon executive in recent years. The change will be effective in the third quarter, which starts in July.
Aussies Play Bing Card in Dispute With Google
February 2, 2021
Microsoft is set to step in with its Bing search engine should Google make good on its promise to cut service to Australia in response to a proposed law to make tech firms pay for news content produced by the country's media companies. Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he has spoken to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who is confident Bing could meet the needs of Australians should Google exit.
CRM's Pandemic Performance
February 1, 2021
If you step back and look at what the tech sector has demonstrated to us through COVID, you can feel impressed. Early in the crisis vendors like Salesforce and Zoho began offering their products for free, or at low cost, to companies and end users suddenly faced with working at home. Oracle, Salesforce and others also developed tracking apps that could be easily deployed on the Web to help health authorities track exposure and quarantines.
New Administration Seeks $10B Boost for Federal IT Programs
January 29, 2021
The incoming presidential administration has proposed an extraordinary increase in support of federal investments in high technology. As part of the administration's plan to deal with the economic impact of COVID-19, the proposal includes $10 billion for various federal information technology programs.
NYC Surveillance Cameras Targeted in Amnesty International Crowdsource Project
January 27, 2021
An online map of surveillance cameras in New York City is in the works. The map project is part of a larger campaign called "Ban the Scan," sponsored by Amnesty International, which is partnering on the initiative with several other tech advocacy, privacy, and civil liberties groups. Data for the map will be "crowdsourced" by volunteers.
Practicing Productivity to Empower the Workforce
January 27, 2021
Finding the right productivity system means understanding one's situation, goals, and needs -- and then using that system consistently until it starts to have beneficial results. The E-Commerce Times spoke with productivity experts to get their perspective on apps, platforms, and techniques that help organizations and individuals become more efficient.
What IT Leaders Would Do Differently if Faced With Another Crisis
January 22, 2021
In the early part of 2020, the pandemic forced companies around the world to rethink their practices and determine how to accelerate the adoption of technologies that would enable remote work. After closing out on a tumultuous year, many business leaders admit where they may have gone wrong. Here are some ways they would approach a shift to remote work, if faced with the crisis all over again.
Microsoft, GM, Cruise Partner on Self-Driving Cars
January 20, 2021
A strategic partnership with Microsoft was announced Tuesday by General Motors and Cruise aimed at speeding up the commercialization of shared self-driving vehicles. In addition, Microsoft will be joining GM, Honda and some institutional investors in adding US$2 billion to Cruise's coffers, bringing the value of the shared self-driving vehicle company to $30 billion.
Consumers Becoming More Tolerant of Chatbots for Certain Tasks
January 15, 2021
If you want to smooth over irate clients and offer more efficient customer services, consider conversational bots instead of a roomful of human company reps. Researchers see consumers' comfort levels with a variety of chatbot technologies softening towards customer service, scheduling, banking, and therapy.
Oracle Launches Version 21c
January 14, 2021
Oracle learned a lot from its customers and plowed its findings back into its core product just as others were getting restless and seeking alternatives. Oracle is now calling its product a "converged database" to help with differentiation by highlighting that many businesses don't often only focus on OLTP or AI, but that their businesses require a bit of everything.
The Critical Role of High-Tech R&D in the COVID-19 Era
January 12, 2021
Maintaining and increasing research and development spending in the COVID-19 era is critical for high technology vendors to deliver new solutions and services, continue to innovate, and position their businesses to rebound from the negative effects of the global pandemic. Analysts, financial advisors, and investors concur that, wherever possible, vendors should continue to aggressively invest in R&D.
Cloud Security Practices Playing Into Hands of Attackers
January 7, 2021
More than 80 percent of 650 cybersecurity and IT professionals surveyed by Check Point Software Technologies in July said their traditional security solutions either do not work at all, or only provide limited functions in the cloud. This indicates that organizations' cloud migrations and deployments are racing ahead of their security teams' abilities to defend against attacks and breaches.
Who Values Value Pricing?
January 4, 2021
The idea that CRM products should be priced according to the utility they deliver sounds good, but it raises a lot of questions too. With value pricing, you might expect the cost of CRM to rise and fall as a business gets more or less use and value from its investment, but who gets to determine the value received and, while we're at it, what is the right measure of value?
New FAA Rules Clear Delivery Drones for Takeoff
December 30, 2020
Final rules governing unmanned aircraft, commonly known as drones, have been released by the Federal Aviation Administration. The move is expected to open the door for delivery of consumer packages by air. The rules establish minimum standards for safety so drones can fly over populated areas and at night under certain conditions.
FTC's Zoom Deal Signals Commitment to Security Enforcement
December 29, 2020
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is making good on a resolution to strengthen its enforcement of security deficiencies occurring in e-commerce transactions. The agency's recent action involving allegations of improper activities by teleconferencing provider Zoom Video Communications is a notable example.
FTC Demands Social Media Firms' User Data, Harvesting Tactics
December 16, 2020
The Federal Trade Commission seeks to obtain information on how many users certain social media companies have, how active the users are, what the companies know about them, how they got that information, and what steps the companies take to continue to engage users. The FTC also is gathering information on the companies' business models and how they target children and families.
Dreamforce and Beyond
December 16, 2020
Three announcements at Dreamforce tell a credible story of the future in which algorithmically driven assistance drives business -- and much more. We've long known that we can't manage what we can't measure, and measurement requires data to deliver real information. These announcements provide an insight into how that gets done.
Cyberthreat Hunter FireEye Hacked by Nation-State Attackers
December 9, 2020
Cybersecurity firm FireEye, which has been prominent in the fight against nation-state cyberthreats, has been itself attacked by "a highly sophisticated threat actor, one whose discipline, operational security, and techniques," company CEO Kevin Mandia announced Tuesday. This indicates the attack is likely state-sponsored, by a nation "with top-tier offensive capabilities."
Contact-Tracing Apps Flop in the US
December 8, 2020
Americans seem to have little interest in using contact-tracing applications used to identify people who have come into contact with a person infected with COVID-19. Adoption rates in areas using an app based on technology introduced by Google and Apple six months ago are higher, but even in the most successful of those states -- Connecticut -- only about 20 percent of residents have chosen to activate the software.
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Would you license your personal data to advertising platforms if you were paid directly for it?
Yes -- So much of my personal data is already in the hands of advertisers anyhow; I may as well be paid for it.
Possibly -- It depends how much I would be compensated and how the data I authorize to share would be used and protected.
No -- I would not sell my personal data at any price.
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