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Arianna Huffington And Jennifer Breithaupt: Achieve More By Going Offline

 Arianna Huffington And Jennifer Breithaupt: Achieve More By Going Offline

On this SHE Innovates episode, Michelle King, a leader in UN women’s gender innovation work, speaks with Arianna Huffington, founder of Thrive Global, and Jennifer Breithaupt, global consumer chief marketing officer at Citi, about how women can do less and achieve more. They discuss how technology can help women boost well-being and improve performance at work, and what #PressForProgress, this year’s theme for International Women’s Day, means for each of them.

The message behind #PressForProgress

For Huffington, #PressForProgress is about changing workplace culture. Despite many organizations’ efforts to increase the number of women in executive positions, the needle hasn’t moved much. Too often, workplaces are fueled by stress, which leads to burnout and creates the “illusion that to succeed you need to always be on—never disconnecting.” Many studies show such environments lead to lower productivity and less empathy for colleagues. They can take a toll on health as well: Women who experience job-related stress have a 40% higher risk of heart disease and 60% greater risk of diabetes. The bottom line? Employees should not be forced to sacrifice their health and their relationships for a job.

Although some progress has been made in recent years, Breithaupt notes that women remain significantly underrepresented in business. McKinsey’s 2017 report, Why Diversity Matters, shows that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 15% more likely to enjoy above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. In 2018, this number rose to 21%. Gender diversity is a key enabler for business growth. We need to continue implementing solutions for workplace inclusion.

How can organizations better support women?

Huffington suggests starting small—for example, asking questions such as “Are there places for nursing mothers to pump milk for their babies?” can go a long way to encourage policies that foster inclusivity. Does the organization offer opportunities such as mentorships for employees to establish strong working relationships and paths to career advancement? Huffington points out that social events in which employees are expected to bond with co-workers in frat-like party settings are not uncommon, especially in the startup world, and these can make women and others uncomfortable.

On an individual level, Huffington describes one of her biggest career challenges as “dealing with the obnoxious roommate in [her] head.” Self-criticism can take a loud voice for many women, and she recommends learning to deal with it by living in the present and avoiding unproductive, negative self-talk.

Breithaupt advocates for a workplace culture that supports balance: “Don’t send a flurry of emails on a Sunday night that upset everyone.” Additionally, she adds, women need to empower each other and teach the skills needed to compete at a higher level.

The pervasiveness of our digital devices

According to King, the average American smartphone user touches their phone about 2,617 times a day. She says the need to always be available increases our stress level and adversely impacts our health. Breithaupt agrees, adding, “People are just not present.”

Citi and Thrive Global are taking concrete steps to address this situation by developing applications that help us reduce the time we spend online because, Huffington explains, “it is almost a backlash against technology and companies that are trying to hijack people’s attention with endless notifications.” She wants to see companies promote technology that makes life easier instead of trying to consume more time from our lives.

Thrive Global recently launched the Thrive App, which puts your phone on “thrive mode” when you want to remain distraction-free. If someone tries to contact you, they are informed that you’re unavailable. “Right now, if somebody texts me and I don’t respond within 5 minutes,” Huffington says, “they’ll call 911.” Of course, the app includes an option for instant responses—she simply wants a way to honor people whose lives are well-organized and who understand the need to put down their devices.

Advice for women to be more effective day-to-day

Instead of coming up with a single, potentially unachievable international women’s day resolution, Huffington offers a challenge: “Start and end your day in an intentional way.” Strive to be able to say: “I’ve done everything I can do today; my day is done.”

We all get hooked on going online and dealing with endless tasks. But if we prioritize properly, Huffington says, we can declare an arbitrary end to the day. She suggests turning off all devices and removing them from the bedroom. This natural transition from the workday allows time to recharge. “Women have such an incredible slate of things on their plate every date,” Breithaupt says, “we just need to allow them to disconnect.”

Listen to Arianna Huffington and Jennifer Breithaupt’s interview on the SHE Innovates podcast.

SHE Innovates is a podcast that shares the stories, challenges, and triumphs of women across innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship. Listen to all our podcasts on PodBean.

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Digitalist Magazine

Resilient No More: Insurers Face A New Reality Of Digital Disruption

276681 276681 l srgb s gl Resilient No More: Insurers Face A New Reality Of Digital Disruption

Regulations, product complexity, and large balance sheets have long sheltered insurers from a massive wave of disruption that has impacted the rest of the world. But that is all changing as the digital effect becomes a normal part of consumers’ lives and opens the door to unlikely competitors.

“The insurance industry is certainly facing an interesting shift now that digital titans, such as Amazon and Apple, are testing their competitive value as nontraditional insurers. And consumer interest in purchasing insurance from these big tech firms is growing exponentially,” says Reet Das, chief marketing officer for Insurance Thought Leadership.

In under 30 seconds, Reet summed up perfectly what’s at stake for the industry as this seismic, tech-driven shift begins to take shape. As competition continues to heat up, incumbent insurers have no choice but to take a fresh look at their business models and customer experiences if they want to stay in the game.

Reet and I recently met to further explore this new reality of digital disruption and discover an emerging partnership that can help insurance companies quickly prepare for the changes ahead.

Reet, virtually every industry has been impacted by the rise of digitalization over the last few years – except for the insurance industry. But now it seems the time has come. What do insurers need to do differently now?

Historically, insurance companies have been highly focused on their products and services, not necessarily on the customer experience. But as nontraditional players begin to emerge, this mindset is becoming more of a liability than a competitive advantage.

According to the “World Insurance Report 2018” from Capgemini and Efma, the insurance industry ranks third behind retail (consumer products) and banking in customer service. And as we all know, these new competitors are widely known e-commerce retailers with a reputation for serving up incredibly easy, proactive, and fast customer experiences.

The entire insurance industry – from the carrier, broker, and agent to the third-party administrator – must put their customers at the center of the business. I can’t underscore the importance of this new imperative enough. Incumbent insurers have to view their business from the outside-in, instead of the inside-out.

Your company has developed a vast network that matches insurance carriers, venture capitalists, advisories, consultancies, brokers, and agents with insurtechs that can help them quickly create new opportunities and pioneer new business models. Why do you believe that a partnership with insurtechs is critical for insurers to overcome this wave of disruption?

Many insurance companies are not well-versed – let alone, comfortable – with investing the time, money, and resources needed to innovate with digital technology. There are so many emerging technologies and ideation concepts available that it can be difficult to know where to start first.

Insurtechs give insurers a holistic – and honest – view of their business from internal processes, such as document management and workflow, to external customer-facing applications and claims processing.

By packaging proven best practices, expertise, lessons learned, and tools, insurtechs help insurers create and deliver breakthrough processes and experiences that resonate with the evolving marketplace, as well as change the very nature of their traditional business model.

Under the guidance of insurtechs, insurance companies can become a team of technology, processes, and people that rapidly innovates with a well-defined roadmap. This is more than just innovating for the sake of innovation; it’s about igniting the insurers’ current and future growth.

Companies innovate to affect the bottom line – in terms of, for example, revenue, internal efficiency, and mitigated risk – based on the overall business approach that happens to be enabled by technology. Insurers can learn from those that have already digitalized their business so they can drive lasting change that gives their customers a reason to stay engaged and steadfastly loyal.

What should insurance companies consider when partnering with an insurtech?

Insurers should maintain a clear vision on how they want to fulfill the ultimate promise of insurance – to provide coverage for today and what might be coming down the road. They must be readily available when any customer experiences a catastrophe or life change and to process those claims quickly, simply, and reliably.

No matter the technology implemented, process adopted, and employee enabled, the right insurtech empowers all aspects of the insurance business to embrace next-generation capabilities with scalable solutions that make that value proposition evident for all customers.

Discover how your insurance business can provide groundbreaking experiences that not only grow your company but also keep your customers loyal for life. Read the press release on the exciting new partnership between SAP and Innovator’s Edge, powered by Insurance Thought Leadership.

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Digitalist Magazine

How Energy Optimization Can Make Renewables More Reliable

windFarm Designs 2 How Energy Optimization Can Make Renewables More Reliable

Consumer demand, political demand and improved engineering are moving the world towards a greater use of renewable energy. However, reliability — a critical part of any energy source — remains a limiting factor.

How much solar energy can you generate on a cloudy day, or when snow blankets the solar panels? How many wind turbines can you operate when it’s not windy? These sound like simple problems, but they make renewable energy less reliable than fossil fuels.

You can’t control the sun, the wind or the snow. But using predictive and prescriptive analytics, along with optimization algorithms, you can do the next best thing: Optimize your energy mix.

You can build models that show, for example, what electricity flow you have in renewable energy vs. other sources, and augment that with data streams that project the weather. Exactly how much sun will we get? How much wind? What will our solar farms generally produce? This improves the reliability of renewable energy, and tells you exactly when you need to augment it with fossil fuels.

New technologies in renewables also create unknown or different maintenance practices. How do you know what your maintenance schedules should look like for a new system if you don’t have historical data? There are ways for energy optimization to help here too. By deploying drones to inspect wind turbines using high-res cameras and thermal imaging, you can get a better picture of each asset’s health, digitized and ready to be fed into maintenance optimization algorithms. This is particularly valuable for wind turbines and solar panels in remote places, or places that are difficult and expensive to have humans check. This enables people to make decisions about maintenance, rather than just do inspections.

Two Examples of Energy Optimization

FICO customers in Europe and around the world are solving these kinds of problems with optimization. Here are a couple of examples:

Wind power optimization: WindFarm Designs has used FICO® Xpress Optimization to solve a wind farm layout optimization problem that has been studied for decades, which enabled it to create more efficient wind farms and increasing profitability for its clients. The layout optimization problem is how to best place turbines in order to maximize energy yield, while still respecting turbine power load constraints. WindFarm Designs, managed to integrate load constraints into the optimization problem, improving layout and resulting in 2-5 percent improvement in energy yield and profitability for project owners. In fact, WindFarm was a 2016 FICO Decisions Award winner for Analytic Excellence for this work.

Demand forecasting: Statnett, the Norwegian transmission systems operator (TSO) for energy, is using Xpress Optimization to forecast future electricity needs in Norway and optimize the current infrastructure. Statnett forecasts the country’s future electricity needs and market changes through 2040 and beyond using a combination of predictive analytics and optimization algorithms. This is critical work, since energy infrastructure is not fast or cheap to build — every power supplier must determine what kinds of energy to invest in to meet demands.

As someone with a lot of experience in the energy sector, I’m excited about the possibilities energy optimization has to help us move toward an eco-safer future.

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FICO

Still digesting GDPR? Well, hang on because more EU privacy rules may be on the way

 Still digesting GDPR? Well, hang on because more EU privacy rules may be on the way

Clearing out all the spam from companies sending emails in compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation may have worn you out over the weekend. But rest up, bucko, because that may have only been Round 1.

Since the GDPR was adopted two years ago, including the long grace period to allow for compliance, EU regulators have been formulating additional rules to plug the gaps many saw in that first set of rules.

The GDPR created new rules to ensure transparency around the use of personal data, the ability of people to restrict how their information is used, and stiff penalties for companies that fail to comply. But in January 2017 the European Commission proposed what it called “Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications,” or what is more generally known as the “ePrivacy” proposal.

So what does that mean?

The overall goal is to take existing rules that govern traditional telecom services, like landline phone calls, and extend them to newer communications services such as Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Gmail, iMessage, and Viber. The proposed rules target all electronic communications, including “the integrity of the information on one’s device” and specify that there is a right to privacy for all such communications and that mobile apps or internet services running on devices like smartphones cannot “intercept, record, listen into, or tap in your communications” in any way to make use of that data, even if it is anonymized in some fashion.

As the EU proposal puts it, the goal is “to ensure that Europeans’ electronic communications are confidential regardless of the technology used, the proposed rules will also apply to internet-based voice and internet-messaging services.”

The rules are currently being considered by the European Parliament and the Council, so there’s no certainty they will ever take effect. Still, with strong political momentum around topics like privacy in Europe, and an equally strong desire to level the playing field between tech companies and consumers, privacy advocates are optimistic the rules will be adopted in the coming months.

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Big Data – VentureBeat

Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

Dynamics 365 300x225 Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

A great benefit of Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the ability to store all of an organization’s data in a single system that allows multiple user groups to work together using the same data.

Most users, depending on security structure, are presented with every entity along with every system view in Dynamics 365. This leads to patchy user adoption along with frustrated end users attempting to scan through pages or lists for only the items that are relevant to them. These frustrated user groups want to see just the entities and information that pertain to their work.

The Dynamics 365 App Designer is a great feature that allows for the creating of custom apps that define which components of Dynamics 365 will be presented. Additionally, there are components within an entity such as Views which may not apply to all users.

In our scenario, we have a group of users (front-line support) who mainly work with servicing an account and utilize the Account and Case entities. They do not have any sales responsibility. Let’s use the Account entity and remove unnecessary System Views so users will only see the views they need to service their customers efficiently.

The Account entity comes with these System Views by default. Clearly, there are many views that do not apply to our front-line support users!

051118 1810 HideSystemV1 Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

Create a Custom App

To remove or “hide” the views from users, a custom App called “Front-Line Support” will be made specifically for them and the Views will be removed. For instructions on creating the app, please check out how to create a Custom App in Dynamics 365. After following the instructions in the link and adding the Account entity to your app’s entity view and sitemap, navigate to My Apps and select the newly created app.

Go to Settings -> Application -> My Apps

051118 1810 HideSystemV2 Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

Open the “Front-Line Support” App.

051118 1810 HideSystemV3 Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

Update Account Entity Views

Click on the Views component in the Account row.

051118 1810 HideSystemV4 Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

Select Active, All, and Inactive Accounts views.

051118 1810 HideSystemV5 Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

Publish updated App and verify changes

Save then Validate and finally Publish your changes.

051118 1810 HideSystemV6 Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

Now open the Front-Line Support app and navigate to the Account entity.

051118 1810 HideSystemV7 Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

Check out the new shortened Account View list! And using ZERO code!

051118 1810 HideSystemV8 Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

Additionally, you can isolate the Front-Line Support app so that only our front-line support users who are assigned the “Front-Line Support” security role can see the app (as will System Administrators and Customizers).

051118 1810 HideSystemV9 Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

Conclusion

As demonstrated, Custom Apps can be very powerful in reducing the amount of clutter presented to a user – all while using tools that are out of the box! The scenario used in the post relates to System Views however, this can be expanded to also hide or show Forms, Charts, Dashboards, and even Business Process Flows. An advanced solution can even direct user groups directly to their custom App without ever having to see a “full” version of Dynamics 365.

For more updates and guides to Dynamics 365 – subscribe to our blog!

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

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PowerObjects- Bringing Focus to Dynamics CRM

On the Edge of More Accessible IoT Innovation

iStock 875478016 e1523394816577 On the Edge of More Accessible IoT Innovation

We’re all well-versed with the narrative that pits the cloud and edge computing against one another as competing entities.

Both have jostled for the top status as IT’s core disruptor and been positioned as a stark choice to make, depending on a business’s priorities and capabilities. Yet this ‘either/or’ conundrum is a myth worth dispelling; they are entirely different concepts. The edge — that physical space that draws computing and intelligence ever closer to the data source — becomes a delivery mechanism for the disconnected elements of the cloud. As such, they can work in synergy, rather than as replacements, making an effective hybrid that combines the edge’s agility with the sheer processing power of the central cloud. It’s why both environments are deployment options for the new breed of developers creating smarter, event-driven microservices for faster, more flexible app development.

While it was predicted that connectivity costs would reduce to such an extent that locating system intelligence in the central cloud would become the preferred option, these predictions have not come to fruition. Instead, we have seen the gradual migration of IoT-created data to the edge and with it, the natural progression of enhanced connectivity and functionality. Indeed, intelligence at the very edge of the network is not only more accessible but captured in real time, in its purest form and freshest state. This makes it most valuable for informing immediate and accurate operational decisions.

The benefits rumble on; with the compute happening directly on device, bottlenecks caused by multiple devices communicating back to a centralized core network are consigned to the past. Furthermore, security risks are minimized, with the time that data is spent in transit and vulnerable to attack significantly slashed. When analytics are added to the mix, things become more interesting, as subsets of data can be collated with analysis localized for enhanced decision making.

While the case for the edge has always been compelling, not everything has traditionally thrived there. Today’s machine learning algorithms, for example, and their requirement for huge volumes of data and computing power, have long relied on the cloud to do the heavy lifting. Yet as artificial intelligence becomes a more mainstream reality, informing daily routines from smart cars to digital personal assistants, things have changed. Attention has now turned to how it can better deliver on the network periphery and the space closer to the mobile phones, computers and other devices where the applications which commonly harness this technology run.

We have already seen the benefits play out in the smart home area. Here, deep learning capabilities at the edge of the network inform the nuances and intuitive responses of IoT-enabled digital tools that integrate and interact to provide insight as situations change. They can then feedback real-time contextual information to the homeowner or, if intruders appear, to a professional monitoring resource.

This was just the start; bringing machine learning capabilities to the edge, on device, with no connectivity requirements, and simplifying the long-standing IoT integration challenges, has wider ramifications for a host of industries and applications beyond the consumer space. Solutions that can respond to events in milliseconds represent the most cutting edge of innovation in this space, unlocking ever greater value in territories as diverse as industrial settings to the medical sector.

Here, real-time information at its most accessible will drive intelligent diagnostic capabilities on medical devices and harness machine learning to make all manner of predictions such as the patients most at risk from a hospital infection or most likely to be readmitted after discharge. At this stage, we are not privy to the full potential of AI’s role in this environment. However, a future where a medical facility can offer patients the option of receiving online medical advice from an artificial intelligence software programme is on the horizon, and promises improvements from speed and efficiency, to patient care and cost savings. Equally, strides are being made in the context of industrial settings, where data must flow between a myriad of sensors, devices, assets and machinery in the field, often in unstructured or challenging and remote conditions. Detecting anomalies at the edge device offers the kind of agility needed for predictive monitoring and mission-critical decisions with the potential to save millions, in terms of addressing equipment failures before they do damage.

Crucially, open source projects that simplify the development and deployment of microservices and IoT applications become the bedrock of this innovation. By enabling autonomous device action for a smarter edge and an era of more accessible IoT development, the potential is limitless.

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The TIBCO Blog

Booking.com boasts more listings than Airbnb (and its AI bot is rocking)

 Booking.com boasts more listings than Airbnb (and its AI bot is rocking)

Travel giant Booking.com says with 5 million “reported listings” it now tops Airbnb’s reported 4.5 million.

Booking.com also says the number of homes, apartments, and places it lists is 27 percent higher than last year. The announcement is part of the company’s switch to “reported listings” — from “total properties” — in an effort to emphasize that it competes directly with Airbnb. Until now, Booking.com has been perceived as mainly offering hotel listings, a perception it is aggressively trying to change.

Booking.com is the flagship of Booking Holdings, the largest travel company in the world, by market value.

Bot resolves half of all questions within 5 minutes

Separately, Booking.com said it has hit another milestone with its use of AI to improve customer engagement. The company says its Booking Assistant bot now resolves half of the thousands of daily customer support queries it receives within five minutes. That’s up from 25 percent in July and 30 percent in December, when the company launched the bot out of beta.

The advancement is proof that Booking’s AI efforts are paying off, said James Waters, VP of customer service, in an interview with VentureBeat about the bot’s advancements. Five minutes may sound like a long time for resolving queries with AI, but travel questions can be complex and varied.

Indeed, the task of building out the bot comes as travelers and hosts are finding it necessary to share an increasing amount of information, often without speaking the same language. And now that Booking.com is locked in a battle with upstart Airbnb in the accommodations market, the bot could prove a valuable addition by augmenting customer service.

It’s too early to say whether the Booking.com bot itself is driving increased booking revenue because it only deals with questions that arise after the booking process. For example, travelers may inquire about early check-ins, whether they can bring a pet, or the size of a bed.

It’s difficult to trace and attribute business that directly results from a bot experience: If a user comes back, are they doing so because of the great bot, a competitive price, or for some other reason? But the bot data looks good. When a user of the Booking Assistant clicks “I’m done,” the bot asks them “Was this helpful?” and 85 percent say yes.

The bot has responded to more than a million queries so far, Waters said, and the company plans to increase access to 100 percent of English-language bookings this year. Booking says it has more than 30 million unique users, but it does’t break that down between English and non-English users.

The company’s AI push stems from experimental culture

Booking.com is the flagship property of Booking Holdings, which also owns Priceline.com, Kayak, Rentalcars.com, and OpenTable. Valued at a $ 100 billion market cap, Booking Holdings has seen explosive growth that has doubled over the past two years. It is many times bigger than the next largest travel competitors, Expedia ($ 16 billion) and Trip Advisor ($ 6 billion). And the company increasingly views private company Airbnb as a competitor, especially in the U.S., where Booking.com is trying to boost its profile. Airbnb does not have a comparable bot for users, instead relying on Messenger to help hosts and travelers communicate. Third-party company Burner also offers a bot called Hostbot for Airbnb hosts and users, but it’s not exclusive to Airbnb.

[Update: And the gloves are off. An Airbnb source emailed us after this story was published, with a statement: “Airbnb is growing faster and spending less because we have a community model as opposed to Booking’s commodity model.” When asked to elaborate, the source explained that Airbnb’s business model prioritizes hosts, for example charging them less of a fee than it does for users. Booking.com’s fees are the other way round: It takes a bigger cut from from hosts, none from users.]

As part of a new branding push, last month Booking.com’s parent company changed its name from the Priceline Group to Booking Holdings.

The company has attributed its success to its data-driven culture, which prioritizes rapid iteration through constant testing and optimization — done in small, autonomous units. Booking.com has more than 100 data scientists working on things like messaging, customer service, and other areas of product development. Many of them are in Amsterdam, but the company has opened centers in Tel Aviv and Shanghai.

In 3 years, half of bookings will involve NLP

Booking.com CEO Gillian Tans, in an interview with VentureBeat during a visit to San Francisco in February, forecast that within three years, at least half of all bookings on the site will involve AI in some way. By that, she means advanced forms of AI, including natural language processing, not just basic machine learning. Machine learning is already used at every level of the site, including every search result, she said. “This is moving faster than we thought,” she said of the number of users interacting with the bot.

Indeed, Booking is continually making changes to improve the bot product — conducting over 1,000 A/B tests a day across its offerings, Waters said. The video above demonstrates the bot’s hybrid approach, which uses natural language processing to understand open-ended questions but also offers menu cards with common topics and frequently asked questions and answers to help guide the user.

When it looks like the bot won’t be able to answer a question quickly, Booking routes the query to either its customer service agents or the host property — depending on who the bot thinks is best placed to answer. For example, a traveler who has already checked in might ask about how to restart a hotel’s internet router. The bot may decide to route the question immediately to the hotel owner, since it is so specific to the property.

Notably, the bot now answers about half of all queries by itself, without having to escalate the query, Waters said. And regardless of whether it escalates or not, it can now answer half of all questions within five minutes.

The bot can handle 90 specific subtopics, including everything from payment to transportation, arrival and departure times, date changes, cancellation requests, parking information, extra bed requests, pet policies, and internet availability.

Will a move to messaging drive business?

The bot uses Active Learning, a semi-supervised machine learning approach that allows the algorithm to learn from interactions with the user, says Adrienne Enggist, Booking’s director of product for the bot. The company built the logic and AI entirely in-house because the range of post-booking travel topics the bot deals with is narrow enough that Booking remains the expert. As the bot project expands, at some point Booking.com may experiment with other technologies to accelerate efforts, Enggist said.

More fundamentally, the company is testing whether the messaging format can drive business by consolidating user interactions into one easy, immediate medium. Text is less cumbersome than phone or email, and it offers a personable, human touch if the service has a routing feature like Booking’s. “It’s no secret that more and more consumers are open to (and very interested in) interacting with brands via chat,” said Waters. “For us, it’s also about leveraging the immediacy and simplicity of conversational UI mixed with the ability to tap into huge amounts of information automatically — be it product data, recommendations, help,” he said.

Booking was early to experiment with AI and bots. The chatbot revolution hit the travel industry first, driven by the many questions travelers have in the process of planning trips. But even within the industry, Booking has been a trailblazer. It launched the bot in testing mode two years ago and has experimented with other offerings, such as Destination Experiences and Passion Search, launching these efforts before competitors like Expedia and TripAdvisor joined the fray.

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Big Data – VentureBeat

How to automate ALL your sales & marketing reports – No more digging through data!

If there’s one thing that’s critical for modern sales and marketing professionals, it’s data. Not just for everyday decision making, but for upper management, as well.

After all, it’s not easy to secure a sufficient marketing budget if you have trouble piecing together the numbers to back it up.

Anyone who works in the field can tell you about the challenges of not just fully utilizing different types of data, but getting it into the hands of the right audiences. And while CRM systems come loaded with sales and marketing reporting capabilities, they often lack the flexibility to design, interact with and distribute them the way a dedicated solution can.

Now, imagine a scenario where, instead of routinely pulling together reports from CRM, social media, your website, etc., you’re able to have that information always up-to-date, structured and displayed on a highly customizable dashboard. Imagine that dashboard being accessible, whenever, wherever and to whomever needs to see it.

That’s the scenario with Microsoft Power BI.

Leader in Business Intelligence for 11 years running

Gartner has rated Microsoft a leader in self-service analytics for 11 years running and ranks top place for “Completeness of Vision”. Putting rich, interactive insights in the hands of everyday users, Power BI makes it easy to integrate data from nearly any source into a single solution and keep that data up-to-date with persistent refreshes.

Connect ALL your data sources

The modern marketing war is fought on many battlefields – websites, social media, search engines, email and beyond. By providing this data all in one place, and always refreshed, you can stop hopping between different applications and platforms to build reports, and start viewing your data on-demand.

Design interactive, all-in-one dashboards with ease

Power BI enables you to present data in ways your CRM can’t. Beyond any chart or graph format, Power BI provides interactive and engaging data visualizations. You can even animate your data over timelines, such as month-over-month, and other data ranges.

Visualize your data anywhere, on any glass

Power BI Mobile enables you to access all your data virtually anywhere, anytime, keeping you in the loop no matter where your job takes you.

If you’re interested in Power BI, but not sure how to present it to your boss, download this free guide from Microsoft.

By Turnkey Technologies, Inc. – Microsoft Dynamics Gold Partner for CRM, ERP and Application Integration, based in St. Louis, Missouri.

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

If you needed any more reasons to smash capitalism… shrimp fried rice

 If you needed any more reasons to smash capitalism... shrimp fried rice

After reading about Ted Malloch, InfoWars’s anti-Satanist business professor being snatched by the Feebs, it seems that we are reaching peak absurdity this week.

The following twitter thread looks like it could unfold in FB rather than Twitter, but is symptomatic of toxic work environments, as if it would be odd to question whether the office fridge really needed a surveillance camera (h/t kos).

There’s at least one red herring, although maybe that’s a side-order. There are some gaps in the narrative, or at least facts not in evidence. But Newsweek now thinks it’s a thing.

Co-worker got his lunch stolen and they’ve agreed to let him watch the security camera tape. This is the most excited I’ve ever been at any job ever. Ever.

— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 29, 2018

  • The lunch in question was shrimp fried rice which means this escalates from a misdemeanor to felony no doubt
  • Case facts:
  • Lunch was in fridge for less than an hour before it vanished. No shrimp smell remnants in the microwave or kitchen area. This was a professional hit no doubt
  • HOLY SHIT. He’s back. He watched the tape. He knows who did it.
  • So the man who’s lunch was stolen sits across from me. The person who stole his lunch sits RIGHT NEXT TO ME! She left for the day before the investigation started
  • According to the video, this psychopath DIDNT EVEN EAT THE FOOD. She took it out of the fridge and threw and buried it in the trash
  • Her motives remain completely unknown. In lieu of what he saw on the tape he has decided to not to press the matter anymore. I can’t say I blame him. We don’t know what this women’s fully capable of
  • Points to clarify: he bought the shrimp fried rice around 11:30am (carry out) and put it in the fridge to chill until he takes lunch at noon. So she had exactly a 30min window of time to do what she did. There was no intention of microwaving the food
  • Update: Ok so when dude watched the video with HR they asked “what do you want to do about it?” he told them he was solely interested in who did it and that he didn’t want to be responsible for someone getting fired
  • After charges were dropped, HR sent a company wide email about not stealing people’s lunches. She is scheduled to arrive at work in 20min. My blood is on cocaine
  • She has walked into the room. And the room is dead silent. Dead fucking silent yet there is a palpable explosive energy pulsing through everyone but her
  • From the moment she walked in, I’ve just been staring at her. Watched her open her email and now she clicked on the goddamn HR email! Holy fuck strap in – here we go!
  • I can’t move. I simply cannot move, anything could happen right now
  • !!!! After seeing the HR email she says out loud “woah. Someone stole a lunch? Who would do something like that?” !!! I may have to run out of this room
  • After she said that, shrimp guy responds “well yea it’s not ok to throw someone’s food away” we’re all about to start screaming
  • This shits about to get crazier. After he says that she goes “oh it was your lunch?” BEAT she continues “well why would you go to HR about that?!”
  • She has simultaneously denied her involvement AND called the guy who saved her job a snitch!!!!!!!!!
  • Dude just sighed and went back to work after she said what she said. She looks frightwningly calm
  • I’ll keep updating if anything else occurs but all I can say is that EVERYONE in the office from the janitor to the founder knows what she did. She now carries an invisible scarlet letter
  • This is real. This is happening. We know who did it but we don’t know why. It’s a post production company so we’re in fact open today. She’s been sitting 3ft from me this whole time

Post production indeed. Dunning-Kruger meets Dunder-Mifflin.

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Why Email Marketing is More Important Than Ever: Adobe Campaign & Microsoft Dynamics 365

March 18, 2018   Microsoft Dynamics CRM
email 300x225 Why Email Marketing is More Important Than Ever: Adobe Campaign & Microsoft Dynamics 365

It’s hard to believe the first email ever sent was nearly 47 years ago on June 8, 1971. This channel of communication has undergone massive change over the years. Email marketing has exploded, ushering in an entirely new industry in digital marketing technology. Businesses continually look for ways to enhance their digital footprint and reach their customers with a personalized, compelling story, and the momentum behind email marketing shows no signs of slowing down. Adobe reported at the end of 2017, over 150 billion emails were sent with Adobe Campaign. For the fifth consecutive year, Adobe was recognized as a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Campaign Management report. Needless to say, email is still king!

A marketing department’s mission is to engage prospects. Success of that objective is achieved by unlocking email marketing’s full potential. The key is great content. Great content sells better than a great deal in business-to-business selling. Analysis of email marketing campaigns consistently shows 90% of emails with call to action text “more info” wins over call to action text like “try me now” or “buy now.” What does this tell us? B2B buyers are seeking to be educated.

When businesses are shopping, they typically have problems, they need to fix those problems, and need to know if you can fix it. Effective email marketing messaging follows these powerful steps. To educate, provide the solution and the necessary credentials. This formula, when implemented in a timely fashion to individuals seeking to solve a problem, can be and is incredibly effective. However, messaging alone doesn’t close the loop. CEOs are looking for an ROI. Where are the dollars going and how can resources be fine-tuned? The allocation of marketing dollars needs to be a science not an art.

Enter Sandman – AKA Dynamics 365

A CRM platform plays a critical role in personalization and segmentation of the message as well as the prompt action from the individuals “reading the tea leaves” of data provided by marketing technology to close out the engagement. This is the secret sauce! The integration of the messaging with the master database and life blood of the sales organization, CRM. The integration of Adobe Campaign and Dynamics 365 makes this possible. The bi-directional sync of this information and mirroring each database was the first step to this end and empowers sales. This connection is the first step to true ROI.

Here we stand, a year later, Adobe Summit 2017 in the rear-view mirror, and Adobe Summit 2018 is just around the bend. Version 1.0 of the integration accomplished quite a bit. What improvements might we expect a year later? Well, Joe D365 has seen the Road Map and I’m here to tell you exciting developments are inbound! Stay tuned!

Series to return in April post-Summit 2018.

Headed to Adobe Summit 2018? Let us know – we’d love to connect! PowerObjects will be at the Microsoft and HCL booths showcasing the Dynamics 365 and Adobe Marketing solution.

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

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