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These Graduates Create Value From Day 1 – Here’s Why

In a future teeming with robots and artificial intelligence, humans seem to be on the verge of being crowded out. But in reality the opposite is true.

To be successful, organizations need to become more human than ever.

Organizations that focus only on automation will automate away their competitive edge. The most successful will focus instead on skills that set them apart and that can’t be duplicated by AI or machine learning. Those skills can be summed up in one word: humanness.

You can see it in the numbers. According to David J. Deming of the Harvard Kennedy School, demand for jobs that require social skills has risen nearly 12 percentage points since 1980, while less-social jobs, such as computer coding, have declined by a little over 3 percentage points.

AI is in its infancy, which means that it cannot yet come close to duplicating our most human skills. Stefan van Duin and Naser Bakhshi, consultants at professional services company Deloitte, break down artificial intelligence into two types: narrow and general. Narrow AI is good at specific tasks, such as playing chess or identifying facial expressions. General AI, which can learn and solve complex, multifaceted problems the way a human being does, exists today only in the minds of futurists.

The only thing narrow artificial intelligence can do is automate. It can’t empathize. It can’t collaborate. It can’t innovate. Those abilities, if they ever come, are still a long way off. In the meantime, AI’s biggest value is in augmentation. When human beings work with AI tools, the process results in a sort of augmented intelligence. This augmented intelligence outperforms the work of either human beings or AI software tools on their own.

Q118 ft2 image1 DD These Graduates Create Value From Day 1 – Here’s Why

AI-powered tools will be the partners that free employees and management to tackle higher-level challenges.

Those challenges will, by default, be more human and social in nature because many rote, repetitive tasks will be automated away. Companies will find that developing fundamental human skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving, within the organization will take on a new importance. These skills can’t be automated and they won’t become process steps for algorithms anytime soon.

In a world where technology change is constant and unpredictable, those organizations that make the fullest use of uniquely human skills will win. These skills will be used in collaboration with both other humans and AI-fueled software and hardware tools. The degree of humanness an organization possesses will become a competitive advantage.

This means that today’s companies must think about hiring, training, and leading differently. Most of today’s corporate training programs focus on imparting specific knowledge that will likely become obsolete over time.

Instead of hiring for portfolios of specific subject knowledge, organizations should instead hire—and train—for more foundational skills, whose value can’t erode away as easily.

Recently, educational consulting firm Hanover Research looked at high-growth occupations identified by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and determined the core skills required in each of them based on a database that it had developed. The most valuable skills were active listening, speaking, and critical thinking—giving lie to the dismissive term soft skills. They’re not soft; they’re human.

Q118 ft2 image2 softskills DD These Graduates Create Value From Day 1 – Here’s Why
This doesn’t mean that STEM skills won’t be important in the future. But organizations will find that their most valuable employees are those with both math and social skills.

That’s because technical skills will become more perishable as AI shifts the pace of technology change from linear to exponential. Employees will require constant retraining over time. For example, roughly half of the subject knowledge acquired during the first year of a four-year technical degree, such as computer science, is already outdated by the time students graduate, according to The Future of Jobs, a report from the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The WEF’s report further notes that “65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in jobs that don’t yet exist.” By contrast, human skills such as interpersonal communication and project management will remain consistent over the years.

For example, organizations already report that they are having difficulty finding people equipped for the Big Data era’s hot job: data scientist. That’s because data scientists need a combination of hard and soft skills. Data scientists can’t just be good programmers and statisticians; they also need to be intuitive and inquisitive and have good communication skills. We don’t expect all these qualities from our engineering graduates, nor from most of our employees.

But we need to start.

From Self-Help to Self-Skills

Even if most schools and employers have yet to see it, employees are starting to understand that their future viability depends on improving their innately human qualities. One of the most popular courses on Coursera, an online learning platform, is called Learning How to Learn. Created by the University of California, San Diego, the course is essentially a master class in human skills: students learn everything from memory techniques to dealing with procrastination and communicating complicated ideas, according to an article in The New York Times.

Although there is a longstanding assumption that social skills are innate, nothing is further from the truth. As the popularity of Learning How to Learn attests, human skills—everything from learning skills to communication skills to empathy—can, and indeed must, be taught.

These human skills are integral for training workers for a workplace where artificial intelligence and automation are part of the daily routine. According to the WEF’s New Vision for Education report, the skills that employees will need in the future fall into three primary categories:

  • Foundational literacies: These core skills needed for the coming age of robotics and AI include understanding the basics of math, science, computing, finance, civics, and culture. While mastery of every topic isn’t required, workers who have a basic comprehension of many different areas will be richly rewarded in the coming economy.
  • Competencies: Developing competencies requires mastering very human skills, such as active listening, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, communication, and collaboration.
  • Character qualities: Over the next decade, employees will need to master the skills that will help them grasp changing job duties and responsibilities. This means learning the skills that help employees acquire curiosity, initiative, persistence, grit, adaptability, leadership, and social and cultural awareness.

Q118 ft2 image4 usingsoftskills DD These Graduates Create Value From Day 1 – Here’s Why
The good news is that learning human skills is not completely divorced from how work is structured today. Yonatan Zunger, a Google engineer with a background working with AI, argues that there is a considerable need for human skills in the workplace already—especially in the tech world. Many employees are simply unaware that when they are working on complicated software or hardware projects, they are using empathy, strategic problem solving, intuition, and interpersonal communication.

The unconscious deployment of human skills takes place even more frequently when employees climb the corporate ladder into management. “This is closely tied to the deeper difference between junior and senior roles: a junior person’s job is to find answers to questions; a senior person’s job is to find the right questions to ask,” says Zunger.

Human skills will be crucial to navigating the AI-infused workplace. There will be no shortage of need for the right questions to ask.

One of the biggest changes narrow AI tools will bring to the workplace is an evolution in how work is performed. AI-based tools will automate repetitive tasks across a wide swath of industries, which means that the day-to-day work for many white-collar workers will become far more focused on tasks requiring problem solving and critical thinking. These tasks will present challenges centered on interpersonal collaboration, clear communication, and autonomous decision-making—all human skills.

Being More Human Is Hard

However, the human skills that are essential for tomorrow’s AI-ified workplace, such as interpersonal communication, project planning, and conflict management, require a different approach from traditional learning. Often, these skills don’t just require people to learn new facts and techniques; they also call for basic changes in the ways individuals behave on—and off—the job.

Attempting to teach employees how to make behavioral changes has always seemed off-limits to organizations—the province of private therapists, not corporate trainers. But that outlook is changing. As science gains a better understanding of how the human brain works, many behaviors that affect employees on the job are understood to be universal and natural rather than individual (see “Human Skills 101”).

Human Skills 101

As neuroscience has improved our understanding of the brain, human skills have become increasingly quantifiable—and teachable.

Though the term soft skills has managed to hang on in the popular lexicon, our understanding of these human skills has increased to the point where they aren’t soft at all: they are a clearly definable set of skills that are crucial for organizations in the AI era.

Active listening: Paying close attention when receiving information and drawing out more information than received in normal discourse

Critical thinking: Gathering, analyzing, and evaluating issues and information to come to an unbiased conclusion

Problem solving: Finding solutions to problems and understanding the steps used to solve the problem

Decision-making: Weighing the evidence and options at hand to determine a specific course of action

Monitoring: Paying close attention to an issue, topic, or interaction in order to retain information for the future

Coordination: Working with individuals and other groups to achieve common goals

Social perceptiveness: Inferring what others are thinking by observing them

Time management: Budgeting and allocating time for projects and goals and structuring schedules to minimize conflicts and maximize productivity

Creativity: Generating ideas, concepts, or inferences that can be used to create new things

Curiosity: Desiring to learn and understand new or unfamiliar concepts

Imagination: Conceiving and thinking about new ideas, concepts, or images

Storytelling: Building narratives and concepts out of both new and existing ideas

Experimentation: Trying out new ideas, theories, and activities

Ethics: Practicing rules and standards that guide conduct and guarantee rights and fairness

Empathy: Identifying and understanding the emotional states of others

Collaboration: Working with others, coordinating efforts, and sharing resources to accomplish a common project

Resiliency: Withstanding setbacks, avoiding discouragement, and persisting toward a larger goal

Resistance to change, for example, is now known to result from an involuntary chemical reaction in the brain known as the fight-or-flight response, not from a weakness of character. Scientists and psychologists have developed objective ways of identifying these kinds of behaviors and have come up with universally applicable ways for employees to learn how to deal with them.

Organizations that emphasize such individual behavioral traits as active listening, social perceptiveness, and experimentation will have both an easier transition to a workplace that uses AI tools and more success operating in it.

Framing behavioral training in ways that emphasize its practical application at work and in advancing career goals helps employees feel more comfortable confronting behavioral roadblocks without feeling bad about themselves or stigmatized by others. It also helps organizations see the potential ROI of investing in what has traditionally been dismissed as touchy-feely stuff.

Q118 ft2 image3 automation DD These Graduates Create Value From Day 1 – Here’s WhyIn fact, offering objective means for examining inner behaviors and tools for modifying them is more beneficial than just leaving the job to employees. For example, according to research by psychologist Tasha Eurich, introspection, which is how most of us try to understand our behaviors, can actually be counterproductive.

Human beings are complex creatures. There is generally way too much going on inside our minds to be able to pinpoint the conscious and unconscious behaviors that drive us to act the way we do. We wind up inventing explanations—usually negative—for our behaviors, which can lead to anxiety and depression, according to Eurich’s research.

Structured, objective training can help employees improve their human skills without the negative side effects. At SAP, for example, we offer employees a course on conflict resolution that uses objective research techniques for determining what happens when people get into conflicts. Employees learn about the different conflict styles that researchers have identified and take an assessment to determine their own style of dealing with conflict. Then employees work in teams to discuss their different styles and work together to resolve a specific conflict that one of the group members is currently experiencing.

Q118 ft2 image5 talkingtoAI DD These Graduates Create Value From Day 1 – Here’s WhyHow Knowing One’s Self Helps the Organization

Courses like this are helpful not just for reducing conflicts between individuals and among teams (and improving organizational productivity); they also contribute to greater self-awareness, which is the basis for enabling people to take fullest advantage of their human skills.

Self-awareness is a powerful tool for improving performance at both the individual and organizational levels. Self-aware people are more confident and creative, make better decisions, build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively. They are also less likely to lie, cheat, and steal, according to Eurich.

It naturally follows that such people make better employees and are more likely to be promoted. They also make more effective leaders with happier employees, which makes the organization more profitable, according to research by Atuma Okpara and Agwu M. Edwin.

There are two types of self-awareness, writes Eurich. One is having a clear view inside of one’s self: one’s own thoughts, feelings, behaviors, strengths, and weaknesses. The second type is understanding how others view us in terms of these same categories.

Interestingly, while we often assume that those who possess one type of awareness also possess the other, there is no direct correlation between the two. In fact, just 10% to 15% of people have both, according to a survey by Eurich. That means that the vast majority of us must learn one or the other—or both.

Gaining self-awareness is a process that can take many years. But training that gives employees the opportunity to examine their own behaviors against objective standards and gain feedback from expert instructors and peers can help speed up the journey. Just like the conflict management course, there are many ways to do this in a practical context that benefits employees and the organization alike.

For example, SAP also offers courses on building self-confidence, increasing trust with peers, creating connections with others, solving complex problems, and increasing resiliency in the face of difficult situations—all of which increase self-awareness in constructive ways. These human-skills courses are as popular with our employees as the hard-skill courses in new technologies or new programming techniques.

Depending on an organization’s size, budget, and goals, learning programs like these can include small group training, large lectures, online courses, licensing of third-party online content, reimbursement for students to attain certification, and many other models.
Q118 ft2 image6 AIandhumans DD These Graduates Create Value From Day 1 – Here’s Why

Human Skills Are the Constant

Automation and artificial intelligence will change the workplace in unpredictable ways. One thing we can predict, however, is that human skills will be needed more than ever.

The connection between conflict resolution skills, critical thinking courses, and the rise of AI-aided technology might not be immediately obvious. But these new AI tools are leading us down the path to a much more human workplace.

Employees will interact with their computers through voice conversations and image recognition. Machine learning will find unexpected correlations in massive amounts of data but empathy and creativity will be required for data scientists to figure out the right questions to ask. Interpersonal communication will become even more important as teams coordinate between offices, remote workplaces, and AI aides.

While the future might be filled with artificial intelligence, deep learning, and untold amounts of data, uniquely human capabilities will be the ones that matter. Machines can’t write a symphony, design a building, teach a college course, or manage a department. The future belongs to humans working with machines, and for that, you need human skills. D!

About the Authors

Jenny Dearborn is Chief Learning Officer at SAP.

David Judge is Vice President, SAP Leonardo, at SAP.

Tom Raftery is Global Vice President and Internet of Things Evangelist at SAP.

Neal Ungerleider is a Los Angeles-based technology journalist and consultant.

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Adding Fields to the Create Form in the D365 App for Outlook

App 300x225 Adding Fields to the Create Form in the D365 App for Outlook

In this blog, we will demonstrate how to quickly add fields to the create form in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 App for Outlook.

Let’s say we want to add a new field called “Account Number” to the Account Form in the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook.

050118 1630 AddingField1 Adding Fields to the Create Form in the D365 App for Outlook

In Dynamics 365, we will navigate to the targeted entity (this would be the account entity in our example) in the default solution and select the Forms component under the entity name. Once all of the forms for the entity are visible, you will select the Quick Create form.

050118 1630 AddingField2 Adding Fields to the Create Form in the D365 App for Outlook

Adding new fields to the Quick Create form will render them on the create form for the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook. Make sure to save and publish changes when finished.

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Launch Outlook or Outlook Web Access and create a new account from the Quick Create menu:

050118 1630 AddingField4 Adding Fields to the Create Form in the D365 App for Outlook

Your newly added field will appear!

050118 1630 AddingField5 Adding Fields to the Create Form in the D365 App for Outlook

Note: If your published changes do not appear in the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook then you may need to clear your browser’s cache.

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How to Create a Doughnut Chart to View Campaign Leads

hOW TO 1 300x225 How to Create a Doughnut Chart to View Campaign Leads

In today’s blog, we are going to demonstrate how to create a doughnut chart in the Sales Hub that shows what types of campaigns produce the most leads.

Add Campaign Source to the Campaign View

1. Navigate to the Campaign Leads View.

042618 1611 ViewingLead1 How to Create a Doughnut Chart to View Campaign Leads

2. Click on View in the Command bar (it might be under the (…) more commands menu)

3. Click on Add Columns. In the Record Type drop-down select Source Campaign (Campaign). Click the checkbox to the left of Campaign Type. Click OK. Click Save and Close.

042618 1611 ViewingLead2 How to Create a Doughnut Chart to View Campaign Leads

Creating a Doughnut Chart

1. Navigate to Settings > Customizations > Customize the System.

042618 1611 ViewingLead3 How to Create a Doughnut Chart to View Campaign Leads

2. Navigate to the Lead entity, click on Charts and click on New.

042618 1611 ViewingLead4 How to Create a Doughnut Chart to View Campaign Leads

3. Click on Doughnut for the chart type, select the Campaign Leads View. Type in a name your view in the field with the “Enter chart name here” default text. (For example, “Number of Leads by Campaign Type”).

  • Check the box to the left of Legend Entities Series select Name and Count:All.
  • Under Horizontal (Category) Axis Label, select “Campaign Type (Source Campaign)”.
  • Click Save and Close.
  • Click Publish All Customizations.

doughnut 1 How to Create a Doughnut Chart to View Campaign Leads
4. Navigate to the Leads section of Sales Hub. Select the Campaign Leads view. Click on Show Chart.

042618 1611 ViewingLead6 How to Create a Doughnut Chart to View Campaign Leads

5. In the chart view, select the Number of Leads by Campaign Type (or whatever you named your view). You can expand the chart by clicking the box on the corner.

042618 1611 ViewingLead7 How to Create a Doughnut Chart to View Campaign Leads

There you have it! For more information on customizing charts see The CRM Book or our blog.

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Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop-Up Windows

Hello P3 Nation, welcome back to another exciting month of Power BI updates! This month’s release saw quite a few new updates and enhancements to the Power BI Universe. It’s like Christmas each month for us here at PowerPivotPro, where we get to open the latest updates article and see what the Microsoft Santa brought us this month. Data enthusiasts like us (and you!) can easily get swept up in all the bells and whistles features each month.

That’s where we come in. We’ll pass on to you our favorite new features each month. Before I discuss my favorite feature(s) this month, let me first give a nod to the honorable mention updates. One really useful update was the new DAX function COMBINEVALUES(). It’s a great move forward for Direct Query Models where multi-key relationships weren’t part of query folding previously…but now they can be! It’s also a great way to write a cleaner version of a nested CONCATENATE() DAX function. More about that feature can be read here.

Alright, let’s get to the good stuff…namely the important feature(s) this month! Specifically, there’s been some really cool updates to the Bookmarks Feature. Bookmarks have been around for about half a year now and started out as a way to add a button that acted as a slicer macro. Every few months it kept getting cooler and cooler though! A few months later they added the ability for any bookmarks to show/hide objects in the report! In fact, we wrote an article in December that covered those features!

Button Button thumb 2 Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up WindowsFast forward to today, and they added another set of key features to Bookmarks. The first one I want to discuss is the inclusion of built-in buttons. Now those of us who’ve been using bookmarks the last 3-6 months probably know that you’ve been able to add “buttons” with bookmarks since day one of its release. While that’s true, there were no button templates in Power BI Desktop. Most people found clever ways to make buttons in PowerPoint, Photoshop, or other image creation tool. It was EXTRA WORK to make them, plus it required some artistic talent, which not all of us have!
Power BI Button List thumb 1 Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up WindowsThankfully Microsoft added a BUTTON button on the ribbon, making it MUCH easier to add them to a report. While it doesn’t include every type of button you’d potentially want to use when designing bookmarks, it certainly covers most of the bases. Most scenarios like navigation, information, or help are covered with the built-in buttons. The best part about these is that you can utilize them to make a Power BI report seem more and more like a webpage with pop-up windows, actions, and hidden parts!

In fact, I’m going to show you how to utilize the new button feature to add an information pop-up window. Imagine a scenario where you’d want to include some information, glossary, instructions, or other miscellanies text in a report. Historically, I’d put that on a secondary Information / Glossary page. Otherwise, it’d take up TOO MUCH ROOM on my report! However, with Bookmark buttons, you can create a small button to show/hide an information pop-up window!

Example Report with an information button (Zoomed Image For Callout):

Enlarged section of PBI Report Bookmark Button thumb 1 Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

Clicking the information button brings up a text box, clicking the back button makes it hidden again (Zoomed Image For Callout):

Enlarged section of Information Box thumb Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

It’s all well and good to see the result, but I know you want to see how to make it! So let’s get down to it. The first thing you’ll want to do is add the new information button on your page. Navigate to the button drop-down on the home ribbon and select the Information button. This will add a new button object to your page (see below).

Newly created information button:Info Box Step 1 Add Button thumb Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

After you’ve created the information button, you can navigate to the View Ribbon to turn on the Bookmarks and Selection Pane. These will be needed to create the bookmarks for showing/hiding the information box that we’re creating. Next thing to do is to copy/paste the information button in the same spot where the current one is. When the text box is visible, this is going to be the back button! Also, the reason we’re copying/pasting is to ensure that the new button is the same size as the information button. To change to the back button, go the format settings on the newly copied icon, navigate to the Icon Settings, and change Shape to Back.

Changing the Icon from Information to Back:

Change to Back Button thumb Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

Now it’s IMPORTANT the order these buttons are in regarding which is in front vs. back. You don’t want objects to accidentally be on top or behind each other when designing this stuff. You can change the object order by A) selecting Bring Forward / Send Backward under Visual Tools Ribbon, or B) use the up/down arrow on the Selection Pane (see below for both).

Visual Tools Ribbon OR Selection Pane to access object order:

Button Order thumb Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

Next step will be to create the text box we’ll use to contain the information, glossary, etc.… There are a few steps involved in this one, so I’ll break it down as much as possible.

  1. Navigate to the home tab and add a new text box. The text box button is right next to the BUTTON button in the Insert section.
  2. In the text box options, turn on the background and set the transparency to 10%. The background color makes the text easier to read, and a slight transparency makes it seem MORE like a pop-up window! I typically just leave the color as White.
  3. Turn on Text Box Border
  4. MAKE SURE the text box is BELOW the back button on the Selection Pane! Otherwise, you’ll encounter issues if you ever click on the text box.
  5. Put any information you want in the text box. Added BONUS, you can hyperlink the text to a URL or Website too! I have my name link to the About Me page on PowerPivotPro.com

Text box setup instructions:

Setup Instructions For Text Box thumb 1 Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

You can even add a bit of flare and put an image, company logo, etc… “inside” the pop-up window as well. For this example, I’ll go ahead and throw in a picture of yours truly, and the PowerPivotPro logo for good measure. The add image button is located right next to the Text Box button. Once both of those images are in there, I’ll now have something that looks like what you see below.

Example of the completed text box.  Notice I made sure the back button is on top of the other objects in the Selection Pane:

Information Box with Images Logo thumb Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

After we’ve added everything to our “pop-up window” we’ll need to setup the Bookmarks. As a refresher, bookmarks can control multiple things. They can control both Data (E.g., slicers, filters, etc…) AND they can control Display (E.g., things showing/hidden on the Selection Pane). Now what we want to do is create two bookmarks, one that will make the text box pop up, and one to make the text box disappear. Let’s start with the bookmark that will be used to make the text box pop up! Here are the steps below:

  1. First, hide the InformationButton on the Selection Pane if our text box is visible (including the back button). We don’t want that other button showing in the background.
  2. Click Add on the Bookmarks Pane, and rename the Bookmark to something that mentions Info Showing.
  3. Make sure Data is NOT CHECKED! If checked, then it remembers your slicer/filter selection. We only want this bookmark to control what is visible. wlEmoticon smile Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

Info Showing Bookmark setup instructions:

Create Info Showing Bookmark thumb Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

The Info Hidden Bookmark is the almost the exact same steps as above, except the Selection Pane is reversed. It’ll be the same steps 1 through 3, but the only object you want visible (of the objects associated with this pop-up window) is the Information Button. Here are the steps below:

  1. First, hide everything EXCEPT FOR the InformationButton on the Selection Pane.
  2. Click Add on the Bookmarks Pane, and rename the Bookmark to something that mentions Info Hidden.
  3. Make sure Data is NOT CHECKED! If checked, then it remembers your slicer/filter selection. We only want this bookmark to control what is visible. wlEmoticon smile Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

Info Hidden Bookmark setup instructions:

Create Info Hidden Bookmark thumb Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

Now ALL that’s left, is to set up the buttons to associate them with the Bookmarks we just created! If you highlight the information button and then go to the Visualization Pane, there’s an option to set the Action. You’ll turn that on, set the type to Bookmark and set it to Info Showing. The same will be done to the Back Button, except that one will be set to Info Hidden. Once both are set up, you can test the way they’ll work once published, by holding the Control Key and clicking the buttons. It’s how they’ll work on Power BI.com, except when published you WON’T have to hold control.

Associating the Information Button with the Info ShowingBookmark:

Turn on Action For Button thumb Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

Associating the Back Button with the Info Hidden Bookmark:

Turn on Action For Button Hidden thumb Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

There you have it folks, your very own web-like pop-up window! Each time you a user clicks the Info Button, the pop-up window will appear, and clicking the back button will make it disappear…You can go ahead and add “web” designer to your LinkedIn now! wlEmoticon winkingsmile Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

You’ll find the embedded Power BI report below. As with any of my reports, I love to throw in extra features in them. So if you’re curious about how I built the report, I’ve provided the article links to ALL the included features. Even better, now that we have these Bookmark Buttons I can include the links directly IN THE REPORT! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time!

My Top 5 Power BI Practices: Transforming Good to GREAT: Article talks about a lot of the Formatting and Design Practices you see above, plus the DAX Formulas table.

Power BI: Transforming Good to GREAT: Video that is an updated discussion & walkthrough of the article above. Discusses Formatting, Design Practices, What If Scenarios, and Forecasting.

DAX Reanimator Series: Moving Averages Controlled by Slicer (Part 1): Article talks about the What If Scenario. Specifically,  the FCST & BUD Adjustment Slicers in this articles report.

Using SELECTEDVALUES To Capture Slicer Selections: Article talks about the Slicer Selection Cards you see on the right side of the Tooltips page.

How To Connect One Slicer To All Your Power BI Reporting Pages: Article talks about the Slicer Landing Page I created, that filters other reporting pages.

Power BI Spotlight: New & Improved Tooltips: Article talks about the Mini Report Visual Tooltips. Currently, these new tooltips DON’T WORK in Embedded Reports, so you’ll only see them when you download the PBIX file here.

Video Version of This Article Available Below

I have a video version of the blog post for anyone interested. I know some of you learn better by watching, rather than reading. wlEmoticon smile 1 Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

You can access that here

We like to think that is no accident.  We’re different.  First of a new breed – the kind who can speak tech, biz, and human all at the same time.

Want this kind of readily-absorbable, human-oriented Power BI instruction for your team? Hire us for a private training at your facility, OR attend one of our public workshops!

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1/18 Webinar: Using PowerApps and Flow to create Line of Business “portals” by Vishwas Lele

This webinar is designed to show you how to more easily create PowerApps applications and take advantage of the recently introduced PowerApps custom visual for Power BI

Using PowerApps and Flow to create Line of Business Enterprise “portals” by Vishwas Lele


Vishwas will showcase a PowerApp application that is essentially a “portal” for existing Line of Business Enterprise Applications (inventory, contracts etc.) and Services ( Dynamics, O365, DropBox etc. )Through the use of PowerApps features like the out of the box connectors, integration with Flow and mobile enablement, learn how easy it is to build an app for the information workers that allows them to  have all the information in one location and on a device of their choice. 

When 1/18/2018 10AM

Where: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSMAAFHK44c

About Vishwas Lele

vishwas lele v1 1/18 Webinar: Using PowerApps and Flow to create Line of Business “portals” by Vishwas Lele

Vishwas Lele serves as Chief Technology Officer at Applied Information Sciences, Inc. Mr. Lele is responsible for assisting organizations in envisioning, designing, and implementing enterprise solutions. Mr. Lele brings close to 24 years of experience and thought leadership to his position, and has been at AIS for 18 years. A noted industry speaker and author, Mr. Lele serves as Microsoft Regional Director for the Washington, D.C. area and is a member of Windows Azure Insiders group. Additionally, Mr. Lele received an MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for Solution Architecture.

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM Word Templates – Create, Generate, and PDF

CRM Word Templates are documents created once, with attributes / fields from CRM entities and related entities, to generate Word documents and reports using the CRM function “Word Template” in the user interface of a record.

If you have never created Dynamics CRM Word templates before, you can download these free word templates for Invoice, Quote, Order, Opportunity, and Case. You can modify the images and content of the template, and add or remove fields not required in your document.


To import Word Templates to Dynamics CRM, go to Settings > Templates > Document Templates > Upload Template.

How to PDF Word Templates?

Once a document is generated from a template, it can be PDF like any other Word document. This is multi-steps process if you wish to PDF the document, attach to the record’s Notes, attach to customer’s Email, and upload to SharePoint. Some documents need to be generated, PDF, attached and uploaded to SharePoint automatically, with CRM workflow, a feature that does not come with Dynamics CRM out-of-box.

With Dynamics PDF-Docs, one click generates the document, PDF it, attach to Notes, attach to Email, and uploaded to SharePoint.

All these functions can be scheduled with Workflow. With workflow you can also attach more than one document to the Email, you can attach documents from SharePoint, and you can schedule when to trigger the process.

Think of it. With one click a Quote document is generated, the Quote is attached to the record’s note as PDF file, a new Email is generated with the quote as attachment, related brochures are also attached to the Email, and copy of the Quote, as PDF or Word Document, is uploaded to SharePoint, all with one click of a button.

Download Dynamics PDF-Docs:


If you need more features that are not available with CRM Word Template, consider Dynamics Docs.

Dynamics Docs has extra features like:

Run template on list of records

Perform maths calculations

Use logical expressions, such as hide or display text based on condition.


And more

Download Dynamics Docs trial version:


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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

Liberty Mutual crunches hidden data to create your Total Home Score

If you’re checking out a home to buy, you could easily miss key information, like how close it is to major arterial traffic or whether a street is really as quiet as the realtor claims. That’s why Liberty Mutual Insurance is unveiling two data-driven tools that help consumers find the right home and then protect it.

The Boston-based company, which was founded in 1912, is today unveiling Total Home Score and Dwellbeing, which can help homebuyers and homeowners make more informed decisions and live with greater peace of mind. These new tools are being launched by Solaria Labs, the innovation center the legacy insurance provider launched in September 2015 to foster new thinking.

The Total Home Score will aggregate data about homes and neighborhoods on a map, so you can easily see a visualization of features such as noise or traffic. The map reminds me of the video game SimCity, where various factors contribute to the happiness of residents, known as Sims.

“We want to bring analytics to help consumers understand hidden factors before they move into a new home,” said Adam L’Italien, vice president of global consumer markets innovation at Liberty Mutual, in an interview with VentureBeat. “These tools can aid you in a search you might discover on your own.”

The Total Home Score includes livability factors such as the Road Score, which measures daily traffic patterns and the prevalence of aggressive and potentially dangerous driving around a neighborhood, and the Quiet Score, which factors in estimated noise levels surrounding a home. It also measures how close a home is to a major road, train, or subway network.

Solaria Labs is making technology available through an applications programming interface, and third-party developers can create additional applications that tap the public and private data that goes into the Total Home Score calculations.

Above: Yep, it’s noisy by Boston Common.

Image Credit: Liberty Mutual

So far, the Quiet Score data is being fine-tuned with hundreds of field measurements around Greater Boston. Total Home Score has rolled out in Boston and Chicago. L’Italien said that research shows as many as 40 percent of people would have reconsidered if they had understood noise levels before purchasing a home.

“This helps because you can’t sample a week’s worth of noise or traffic before you make a decision,” L’Italien said.

Total Home Score livability factors range from 0-100, with 100 being the highest score. All livability factors start at 100 and decrease based on local geospatial data around the home.

“There are many hidden factors that aren’t easily uncovered at an open house or home inspection. When looking for a home that’s right for your family, information is everything, and with Total Home Score, that information is right at your fingertips,” said DIY expert and television personality Chip Wade, in a statement.

Wade and his wife Pauli Wade, who is a real estate agent, have teamed up with Liberty Mutual to show consumers the importance of full transparency during a house hunt. In the future, Liberty Mutual could add data to judge how safe a neighborhood or street is and whether a home is a good place for a vacation rental.

Dwellbeing, meanwhile, helps assess the health of a home or apartment and encourages residents to proactively maintain their dwellings through task-oriented notifications.

The company will send customized alerts when common household appliances or systems need maintainance and provide details for how to go about servicing them. Dwellbeing is in testing with a limited number of users and is expected to be available to the broader public later this year.

L’Italien said Solaria Labs is looking at emerging trends inside and outside the industry, and it is experimenting with risk mitigation and protection for consumers. L’Italien said the lab’s new office in Singapore will enable access to more data as that city becomes smarter.

“As cities get smarter, this data will become more and more available,” he said.

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Big Data – VentureBeat

Retail’s Untamed Power: Avoid The Death Star That Holiday Promotions Create

Businesses share something important with lions. When a lion captures and consumes its prey, only about 10% to 20% of the prey’s energy is directly transferred into the lion’s metabolism. The rest evaporates away, mostly as heat loss, according to research done in the 1940s by ecologist Raymond Lindeman.

Today, businesses do only about as well as the big cats. When you consider the energy required to manage, power, and move products and services, less than 20% goes directly into the typical product or service—what economists call aggregate efficiency (the ratio of potential work to the actual useful work that gets embedded into a product or service at the expense of the energy lost in moving products and services through all of the steps of their value chains). Aggregate efficiency is a key factor in determining productivity.

SAP Q417 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image2 Retail’s Untamed Power: Avoid The Death Star That Holiday Promotions CreateAfter making steady gains during much of the 20th century, businesses’ aggregate energy efficiency peaked in the 1980s and then stalled. Japan, home of the world’s most energy-efficient economy, has been skating along at or near 20% ever since. The U.S. economy, meanwhile, topped out at about 13% aggregate efficiency in the 1990s, according to research.

Why does this matter? Jeremy Rifkin says he knows why. Rifkin is an economic and social theorist, author, consultant, and lecturer at the Wharton School’s Executive Education program who believes that economies experience major increases in growth and productivity only when big shifts occur in three integrated infrastructure segments around the same time: communications, energy, and transportation.

But it’s only a matter of time before information technology blows all three wide open, says Rifkin. He envisions a new economic infrastructure based on digital integration of communications, energy, and transportation, riding atop an Internet of Things (IoT) platform that incorporates Big Data, analytics, and artificial intelligence. This platform will disrupt the world economy and bring dramatic levels of efficiency and productivity to businesses that take advantage of it,
he says.

Some economists consider Rifkin’s ideas controversial. And his vision of a new economic platform may be problematic—at least globally. It will require massive investments and unusually high levels of government, community, and private sector cooperation, all of which seem to be at depressingly low levels these days.

However, Rifkin has some influential adherents to his philosophy. He has advised three presidents of the European Commission—Romano Prodi, José Manuel Barroso, and the current president, Jean-Claude Juncker—as well as the European Parliament and numerous European Union (EU) heads of state, including Angela Merkel, on the ushering in of what he calls “a smart, green Third Industrial Revolution.” Rifkin is also advising the leadership of the People’s Republic of China on the build out and scale up of the “Internet Plus” Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure to usher in a sustainable low-carbon economy.

The internet has already shaken up one of the three major economic sectors: communications. Today it takes little more than a cell phone, an internet connection, and social media to publish a book or music video for free—what Rifkin calls zero marginal cost. The result has been a hollowing out of once-mighty media empires in just over 10 years. Much of what remains of their business models and revenues has been converted from physical (remember CDs and video stores?) to digital.

But we haven’t hit the trifecta yet. Transportation and energy have changed little since the middle of the last century, says Rifkin. That’s when superhighways reached their saturation point across the developed world and the internal-combustion engine came close to the limits of its potential on the roads, in the air, and at sea. “We have all these killer new technology products, but they’re being plugged into the same old infrastructure, and it’s not creating enough new business opportunities,” he says.

All that may be about to undergo a big shake-up, however. The digitalization of information on the IoT at near-zero marginal cost generates Big Data that can be mined with analytics to create algorithms and apps enabling ubiquitous networking. This digital transformation is beginning to have a big impact on the energy and transportation sectors. If that trend continues, we could see a metamorphosis in the economy and society not unlike previous industrial revolutions in history. And given the pace of technology change today, the shift could happen much faster than ever before.

SAP Q417 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image3 1024x572 Retail’s Untamed Power: Avoid The Death Star That Holiday Promotions CreateThe speed of change is dictated by the increase in digitalization of these three main sectors; expensive physical assets and processes are partially replaced by low-cost virtual ones. The cost efficiencies brought on by digitalization drive disruption in existing business models toward zero marginal cost, as we’ve already seen in entertainment and publishing. According to research company Gartner, when an industry gets to the point where digital drives at least 20% of revenues, you reach the tipping point.

“A clear pattern has emerged,” says Peter Sondergaard, executive vice president and head of research and advisory for Gartner. “Once digital revenues for a sector hit 20% of total revenue, the digital bloodbath begins,” he told the audience at Gartner’s annual 2017 IT Symposium/ITxpo, according to The Wall Street Journal. “No matter what industry you are in, 20% will be the point of no return.”

Communications is already there, and energy and transportation are heading down that path. If they hit the magic 20% mark, the impact will be felt not just within those industries but across all industries. After all, who doesn’t rely on energy and transportation to power their value chains?

That’s why businesses need to factor potentially massive business model disruptions into their plans for digital transformation today if they want to remain competitive with organizations in early adopter countries like China and Germany. China, for example, is already halfway through an US$ 88 billion upgrade to its state electricity grid that will enable renewable energy transmission around the country—all managed and moved digitally, according to an article in The Economist magazine. And it is competing with the United States for leadership in self-driving vehicles, which will shift the transportation process and revenue streams heavily to digital, according to an article in Wired magazine.

SAP Q417 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image4 Retail’s Untamed Power: Avoid The Death Star That Holiday Promotions CreateOnce China’s and Germany’s renewables and driverless infrastructures are in place, the only additional costs are management and maintenance. That could bring businesses in these countries dramatic cost savings over those that still rely on fossil fuels and nuclear energy to power their supply chains and logistics. “Once you pay the fixed costs of renewables, the marginal costs are near zero,” says Rifkin. “The sun and wind haven’t sent us invoices yet.”

In other words, zero marginal cost has become a zero-sum game.

To understand why that is, consider the major industrial revolutions in history, writes Rifkin in his books, The Zero Marginal Cost Society and The Third Industrial Revolution. The first major shift occurred in the 19th century when cheap, abundant coal provided an efficient new source of power (steam) for manufacturing and enabled the creation of a vast railway transportation network. Meanwhile, the telegraph gave the world near-instant communication over a globally connected network.

The second big change occurred at the beginning of the 20th century, when inexpensive oil began to displace coal and gave rise to a much more flexible new transportation network of cars and trucks. Telephones, radios, and televisions had a similar impact on communications.

Breaking Down the Walls Between Sectors

Now, according to Rifkin, we’re poised for the third big shift. The eye of the technology disruption hurricane has moved beyond communications and is heading toward—or as publishing and entertainment executives might warn, coming for—the rest of the economy. With its assemblage of global internet and cellular network connectivity and ever-smaller and more powerful sensors, the IoT, along with Big Data analytics and artificial intelligence, is breaking down the economic walls that have protected the energy and transportation sectors for the past 50 years.

Daimler is now among the first movers in transitioning into a digitalized mobility internet. The company has equipped nearly 400,000 of its trucks with external sensors, transforming the vehicles into mobile Big Data centers. The sensors are picking up real-time Big Data on weather conditions, traffic flows, and warehouse availability. Daimler plans to establish collaborations with thousands of companies, providing them with Big Data and analytics that can help dramatically increase their aggregate efficiency and productivity in shipping goods across their value chains. The Daimler trucks are autonomous and capable of establishing platoons of multiple trucks driving across highways.

It won’t be long before vehicles that navigate the more complex transportation infrastructures around the world begin to think for themselves. Autonomous vehicles will bring massive economic disruption to transportation and logistics thanks to new aggregate efficiencies. Without the cost of having a human at the wheel, autonomous cars could achieve a shared cost per mile below that of owned vehicles by as early as 2030, according to research from financial services company Morgan Stanley.

The transition is getting a push from governments pledging to give up their addiction to cars powered by combustion engines. Great Britain, France, India, and Norway are seeking to go all electric as early as 2025 and by 2040 at the latest.

The Final Piece of the Transition

Considering that automobiles account for 47% of petroleum consumption in the United States alone—more than twice the amount used for generators and heating for homes and businesses, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration—Rifkin argues that the shift to autonomous electric vehicles could provide the momentum needed to upend the final pillar of the economic platform: energy. Though energy has gone through three major disruptions over the past 150 years, from coal to oil to natural gas—each causing massive teardowns and rebuilds of infrastructure—the underlying economic model has remained constant: highly concentrated and easily accessible fossil fuels and highly centralized, vertically integrated, and enormous (and enormously powerful) energy and utility companies.

Now, according to Rifkin, the “Third Industrial Revolution Internet of Things infrastructure” is on course to disrupt all of it. It’s neither centralized nor vertically integrated; instead, it’s distributed and networked. And that fits perfectly with the commercial evolution of two energy sources that, until the efficiencies of the IoT came along, made no sense for large-scale energy production: the sun and the wind.

But the IoT gives power utilities the means to harness these batches together and to account for variable energy flows. Sensors on solar panels and wind turbines, along with intelligent meters and a smart grid based on the internet, manage a new, two-way flow of energy to and from the grid.

SAP Q417 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image5 Retail’s Untamed Power: Avoid The Death Star That Holiday Promotions CreateToday, fossil fuel–based power plants need to kick in extra energy if insufficient energy is collected from the sun and wind. But industrial-strength batteries and hydrogen fuel cells are beginning to take their place by storing large reservoirs of reserve power for rainy or windless days. In addition, electric vehicles will be able to send some of their stored energy to the digitalized energy internet during peak use. Demand for ever-more efficient cell phone and vehicle batteries is helping push the evolution of batteries along, but batteries will need to get a lot better if renewables are to completely replace fossil fuel energy generation.

Meanwhile, silicon-based solar cells have not yet approached their limits of efficiency. They have their own version of computing’s Moore’s Law called Swanson’s Law. According to data from research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), Swanson’s Law means that for each doubling of global solar panel manufacturing capacity, the price falls by 28%, from $ 76 per watt in 1977 to $ 0.41 in 2016. (Wind power is on a similar plunging exponential cost curve, according to data from the U.S. Department of Energy.)

Thanks to the plummeting solar price, by 2028, the cost of building and operating new sun-based generation capacity will drop below the cost of running existing fossil power plants, according to BNEF. “One of the surprising things in this year’s forecast,” says Seb Henbest, lead author of BNEF’s annual long-term forecast, the New Energy Outlook, “is that the crossover points in the economics of new and old technologies are happening much sooner than we thought last year … and those were all happening a bit sooner than we thought the year before. There’s this sense that it’s not some distant risk or distant opportunity. A lot of these realities are rushing toward us.”

The conclusion, he says, is irrefutable. “We can see the data and when we map that forward with conservative assumptions, these technologies just get cheaper than everything else.”

The smart money, then—72% of total new power generation capacity investment worldwide by 2040—will go to renewable energy, according to BNEF. The firm’s research also suggests that there’s more room in Swanson’s Law along the way, with solar prices expected to drop another 66% by 2040.

Another factor could push the economic shift to renewables even faster. Just as computers transitioned from being strictly corporate infrastructure to becoming consumer products with the invention of the PC in the 1980s, ultimately causing a dramatic increase in corporate IT investments, energy generation has also made the transition to the consumer side.

Thanks to future tech media star Elon Musk, consumers can go to his Tesla Energy company website and order tempered glass solar panels that look like chic, designer versions of old-fashioned roof shingles. Models that look like slate or a curved, terracotta-colored, ceramic-style glass that will make roofs look like those of Tuscan country villas, are promised soon. Consumers can also buy a sleek-looking battery called a Powerwall to store energy from the roof.

SAP Q417 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image6 Retail’s Untamed Power: Avoid The Death Star That Holiday Promotions CreateThe combination of solar panels, batteries, and smart meters transforms homeowners from passive consumers of energy into active producers and traders who can choose to take energy from the grid during off-peak hours, when some utilities offer discounts, and sell energy back to the grid during periods when prices are higher. And new blockchain applications promise to accelerate the shift to an energy market that is laterally integrated rather than vertically integrated as it is now. Consumers like their newfound sense of control, according to Henbest. “Energy’s never been an interesting consumer decision before and suddenly it is,” he says.

As the price of solar equipment continues to drop, homes, offices, and factories will become like nodes on a computer network. And if promising new solar cell technologies, such as organic polymers, small molecules, and inorganic compounds, supplant silicon, which is not nearly as efficient with sunlight as it is with ones and zeroes, solar receivers could become embedded into windows and building compounds. Solar production could move off the roof and become integrated into the external facades of homes and office buildings, making nearly every edifice in town a node.

The big question, of course, is how quickly those nodes will become linked together—if, say doubters, they become linked at all. As we learned from Metcalfe’s Law, the value of a network is proportional to its number of connected users.

The Will Determines the Way

Right now, the network is limited. Wind and solar account for just 5% of global energy production today, according to Bloomberg.

But, says Rifkin, technology exists that could enable the network to grow exponentially. We are seeing the beginnings of a digital energy network, which uses a combination of the IoT, Big Data, analytics, and artificial intelligence to manage distributed energy sources, such as solar and wind power from homes and businesses.

As nodes on this network, consumers and businesses could take a more active role in energy production, management, and efficiency, according to Rifkin. Utilities, in turn, could transition from simply transmitting power and maintaining power plants and lines to managing the flow to and from many different energy nodes; selling and maintaining smart home energy management products; and monitoring and maintaining solar panels and wind turbines. By analyzing energy use in the network, utilities could create algorithms that automatically smooth the flow of renewables. Consumers and businesses, meanwhile, would not have to worry about connecting their wind and solar assets to the grid and keeping them up and running; utilities could take on those tasks more efficiently.

Already in Germany, two utility companies, E.ON and RWE, have each split their businesses into legacy fossil and nuclear fuel companies and new services companies based on distributed generation from renewables, new technologies, and digitalization.

The reason is simple: it’s about survival. As fossil fuel generation winds down, the utilities need a new business model to make up for lost revenue. Due to Germany’s population density, “the utilities realize that they won’t ever have access to enough land to scale renewables themselves,” says Rifkin. “So they are starting service companies to link together all the different communities that are building solar and wind and are managing energy flows for them and for their customers, doing their analytics, and managing their Big Data. That’s how they will make more money while selling less energy in the future.”

SAP Q417 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image7 1024x572 Retail’s Untamed Power: Avoid The Death Star That Holiday Promotions Create

The digital energy internet is already starting out in pockets and at different levels of intensity around the world, depending on a combination of citizen support, utility company investments, governmental power, and economic incentives.

China and some countries within the EU, such as Germany and France, are the most likely leaders in the transition toward a renewable, energy-based infrastructure because they have been able to align the government and private sectors in long-term energy planning. In the EU for example, wind has already overtaken coal as the second largest form of power capacity behind natural gas, according to an article in TheGuardian newspaper. Indeed, Rifkin has been working with China, the EU, and governments, communities, and utilities in Northern France, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg to begin building these new internets.

Hauts-de-France, a region that borders the English Channel and Belgium and has one of the highest poverty rates in France, enlisted Rifkin to develop a plan to lift it out of its downward spiral of shuttered factories and abandoned coal mines. In collaboration with a diverse group of CEOs, politicians, teachers, scientists, and others, it developed Rev3, a plan to put people to work building a renewable energy network, according to an article in Vice.

Today, more than 1,000 Rev3 projects are underway, encompassing everything from residential windmills made from local linen to a fully electric car–sharing system. Rev3 has received financial support from the European Investment Bank and a handful of private investment funds, and startups have benefited from crowdfunding mechanisms sponsored by Rev3. Today, 90% of new energy in the region is renewable and 1,500 new jobs have been created in the wind energy sector alone.

Meanwhile, thanks in part to generous government financial support, Germany is already producing 35% of its energy from renewables, according to an article in TheIndependent, and there is near unanimous citizen support (95%, according to a recent government poll) for its expansion.

If renewable energy is to move forward in other areas of the world that don’t enjoy such strong economic and political support, however, it must come from the ability to make green, not act green.

Not everyone agrees that renewables will produce cost savings sufficient to cause widespread cost disruption anytime soon. A recent forecast by the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that in 2040, oil, natural gas, and coal will still be the planet’s major electricity producers, powering 77% of worldwide production, while renewables such as wind, solar, and biofuels will account for just 15%.

Skeptics also say that renewables’ complex management needs, combined with the need to store reserve power, will make them less economical than fossil fuels through at least 2035. “All advanced economies demand full-time electricity,” Benjamin Sporton, chief executive officer of the World Coal Association told Bloomberg. “Wind and solar can only generate part-time, intermittent electricity. While some renewable technologies have achieved significant cost reductions in recent years, it’s important to look at total system costs.”

On the other hand, there are many areas of the world where distributed, decentralized, renewable power generation already makes more sense than a centralized fossil fuel–powered grid. More than 20% of Indians in far flung areas of the country have no access to power today, according to an article in TheGuardian. Locally owned and managed solar and wind farms are the most economical way forward. The same is true in other developing countries, such as Afghanistan, where rugged terrain, war, and tribal territorialism make a centralized grid an easy target, and mountainous Costa Rica, where strong winds and rivers have pushed the country to near 100% renewable energy, according to TheGuardian.

The Light and the Darknet

Even if all the different IoT-enabled economic platforms become financially advantageous, there is another concern that could disrupt progress and potentially cause widespread disaster once the new platforms are up and running: hacking. Poorly secured IoT sensors have allowed hackers to take over everything from Wi-Fi enabled Barbie dolls to Jeep Cherokees, according to an article in Wired magazine.

Humans may be lousy drivers, but at least we can’t be hacked (yet). And while the grid may be prone to outages, it is tightly controlled, has few access points for hackers, and is physically separated from the Wild West of the internet.

If our transportation and energy networks join the fray, however, every sensor, from those in the steering system on vehicles to grid-connected toasters, becomes as vulnerable as a credit card number. Fake news and election hacking are bad enough, but what about fake drivers or fake energy? Now we’re talking dangerous disruptions and putting millions of people in harm’s way.

SAP Q417 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image8 Retail’s Untamed Power: Avoid The Death Star That Holiday Promotions CreateThe only answer, according to Rifkin, is for businesses and governments to start taking the hacking threat much more seriously than they do today and to begin pouring money into research and technologies for making the internet less vulnerable. That means establishing “a fully distributed, redundant, and resilient digital infrastructure less vulnerable to the kind of disruptions experienced by Second Industrial Revolution–centralized communication systems and power grids that are increasingly subject to climate change, disasters, cybercrime, and cyberterrorism,” he says. “The ability of neighborhoods and communities to go off centralized grids during crises and re-aggregate in locally decentralized networks is the key to advancing societal security in the digital era,” he adds.

Start Looking Ahead

Until today, digital transformation has come mainly through the networking and communications efficiencies made possible by the internet. Airbnb thrives because web communications make it possible to create virtual trust markets that allow people to feel safe about swapping their most private spaces with one another.

But now these same efficiencies are coming to two other areas that have never been considered core to business strategy. That’s why businesses need to begin managing energy and transportation as key elements of their digital transformation portfolios.

Microsoft, for example, formed a senior energy team to develop an energy strategy to mitigate risk from fluctuating energy prices and increasing demands from customers to reduce carbon emissions, according to an article in Harvard Business Review. “Energy has become a C-suite issue,” Rob Bernard, Microsoft’s top environmental and sustainability executive told the magazine. “The CFO and president are now actively involved in our energy road map.”

As Daimler’s experience shows, driverless vehicles will push autonomous transportation and automated logistics up the strategic agenda within the next few years. Boston Consulting Group predicts that the driverless vehicle market will hit $ 42 billion by 2025. If that happens, it could have a lateral impact across many industries, from insurance to healthcare to the military.

Businesses must start planning now. “There’s always a period when businesses have to live in the new and the old worlds at the same time,” says Rifkin. “So businesses need to be considering new business models and structures now while continuing to operate their existing models.”

He worries that many businesses will be left behind if their communications, energy, and transportation infrastructures don’t evolve. Companies that still rely on fossil fuels for powering traditional transportation and logistics could be at a major competitive disadvantage to those that have moved to the new, IoT-based energy and transportation infrastructures.

Germany, for example, has set a target of 80% renewables for gross power consumption by 2050, according to TheIndependent. If the cost advantages of renewables bear out, German businesses, which are already the world’s third-largest exporters behind China and the United States, could have a major competitive advantage.

“How would a second industrial revolution society or country compete with one that has energy at zero marginal cost and driverless vehicles?” asks Rifkin. “It can’t be done.” D!

About the Authors

Maurizio Cattaneo is Director, Delivery Execution, Energy and Natural Resources, at SAP.

Joerg Ferchow is Senior Utilities Expert and Design Thinking Coach, Digital Transformation, at SAP.

Daniel Wellers is Digital Futures Lead, Global Marketing, at SAP.

Christopher Koch is Editorial Director, SAP Center for Business Insight, at SAP.

Read more thought provoking articles in the latest issue of the Digitalist Magazine, Executive Quarterly.


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Digitalist Magazine

ROLI Brings Together Music, Design and Engineering to Create a New Instrument

Posted by Barney Beal, Content Director

From home schooling in rural New Hampshire to a Zen monastery in Japan to London’s Royal College of Art, Roland Lamb’s circuitous journey may seem an unlikely one for someone who would reinvent a 17th century instrument. But that breadth of experience, innate curiosity and intelligence were the right recipe for bringing the worlds of music and engineering together to create the ROLI Seaboard.

Roland%20Lambq auto best ROLI Brings Together Music, Design and Engineering to Create a New Instrument

Modeled after the piano, the Seaboard has a spongy silicone surface that is sensitive to pressure, allowing musicians to modulate sounds through slides, glides, presses, and other natural movements — some of them borrowed from the world of string instruments. The son of a jazz musician, Lamb was inspired by tales of the famed jazz pianist Thelonious Monk who was said to be “searching for the space between the black and white keys” and frustrated by the limits of the traditional keyboard. Lamb began experimenting creating an instrument with more expression, adjusting pitch, volume and sound through movement. While earning a PhD in Design Products at London’s Royal College of Art, Lamb produced the first prototype of the Seaboard.

That prototype was enough to earn Lamb funding for a business. In East London he established ROLI, based on his nickname. He assembled a diverse team of engineers who helped turn the Seaboard into a market-ready instrument for music-makers around the world. They launched the first Seaboard GRAND in 2013. In the years since, ROLI has added additional products. They include BLOCKS, a modular music making system that lets customers mix and match musical “Blocks” together to create customized instruments that are all powered by an app. The Seaboard has since earned several design awards as well as praise from a wide range of musicians and music producers, including Pharrell Williams, Grimes, Hans Zimmer, Martyn Ware, producer and founding member of The Human League and Heaven 17.

blocks%20dashboard auto best ROLI Brings Together Music, Design and Engineering to Create a New Instrument

“I regard the Seaboard to be the most exciting physical keyboard I’ve ever used, both for the studio and live. It enables me to create sounds that are impossible to contemplate using any other instrument,” Ware claims on the ROLI website.

Part software company, part hardware company, part design firm, Roli embraces the diversity of its business. Some parts of the Seaboard GRAND are still hand-molded on site. Each day starts with a standing meeting and at lunch the whole company sits down together for a vegetarian meal. The result is a commitment to music. “We want music creation to be as seamless as other digitized areas of life,” says a ROLI representative. “By inventing new, connected tools we are extending the joy of music-making to everyone.”

But the business is not without its challenges. In creating such a radically new instrument, Roli has no competition, but it has had to create a new community of ROLI players. That is in part why it is modeled closely on the piano. Lamb wanted it to be familiar enough to draw on musician’s experiences. Community building has been a critical to the success of the Seaboard, lest it be doomed to the margins like the theramin, an early electronic instrument that relied on players moving their hands between two antennae. Despite getting a significant boost after interest from Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, the theramin has since all but disappeared except for the soundtracks of early science fiction and horror films.

q auto best ROLI Brings Together Music, Design and Engineering to Create a New Instrument

ROLI is similarly counting on enthusiasm from well known musicians to help spur its growth. It features musicians using its instruments on its website prominently and even sports a ROLI Spotify playlist.

For example, Shama Rahman, a London-based neuroscientist and musician, brought a Seaboard on the Antarctic Biennale expedition, a project that asks artists to create something from the world’s harshest and least populated continent. She set out to create a musical work that viscerally captures the Antarctic environment. Dropping hydrophones into the frozen sea and laying them on ice sheets, she recorded in situ sounds of whale song and cracking ice — and is now integrating those sounds in songs and a film.

The Seaboard also got a significant boost when Marius Devries, an early adopter of the instrument and the executive music producer of the Academy Award-winning movie “La La Land” featured it in a scene in the movie with actor Ryan Gosling.

It’s been a long journey for a man who was once more interested in philosophy than engineering leading him to a monastery at the age of 18 but the company now employs 90, and has opened offices in New York and Los Angeles. Lamb, now the CEO and focused more on operations, told London’s City AM:

“Managing the product development process is helped by the fact that I know a little bit about each of the areas that our 50 engineers work on and the problems they face because I have the experience of building it all myself first. But development is just one part of a much larger story, and for me, that’s the exciting part.”

ROLI continues its growth, announcing last month that Grammy award winner Pharrell Williams has invested in the company and become co-owner. Williams was also appointed as ROLI’s chief creative officer.

ROLI’s success and acclaim has led it to adopt NetSuite’s cloud business platform to help it manage its rapid growth in staff numbers, international expansion and increasing product lines. It joins a host of highly exciting and entrepreneurial companies which are revolutionizing their markets and managing rapid growth with the help of the cloud and NetSuite.

Learn more about how innovative companies like ROLI are turning to NetSuite to manage their business.

Posted on Thu, November 16, 2017
by NetSuite filed under

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