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Rise Against Hunger Works to Eliminate Global Hunger by 2030

Posted by Peggy Duvette, Head of Social Impact

Can global hunger be eliminated by 2030? The nonprofit Rise Against Hunger believes that it can.

So does the United Nations, which in 2015 committed to ending global hunger by 2030 as one of 17 sustainable development goals approved by member nations.

Madagascar  Rise Against Hunger Rise Against Hunger Works to Eliminate Global Hunger by 2030

“We are aligned with the U.N. goals to end hunger over the next dozen years,” said Karen Sanders Noe, Director of Global Partner Relations for the Raleigh, N.C.-based organization. “Hunger exists not because there’s not enough food in the world — there is — but mostly because of apathy.”

Since its founding in 1998, Rise Against Hunger has distributed more than 360 million nutritious meals to people in need around the globe in 74 countries. The nonprofit also focuses on community empowerment and emergency relief, with a goal to end hunger by 2030. Its impact is rapidly expanding — the number of meals packaged leapt from 50 million in 2014 to 64 million in 2016. In 2016 alone, Rise Against Hunger engaged more than 376,000 volunteers in its efforts and nourished more than 1 million lives.

Raising Hunger Awareness

Rise Against Hunger’s impact is expanding. The number of meals leapt from 50 million in 2014 to 64 million in 2016, assembled by 376,000 volunteers at meal packaging events in the U.S. and around the world. Once packaged, the meals are shipped to target locations around the world for distribution by partners.

“Meal packaging events really do raise awareness. Hunger is not often a part of daily conversations, but it should be,” Sanders Noe said. “When people get together, we talk about what hunger really looks like and the statistics that reflect its magnitude.”

Work by Rise Against Hunger, which renamed itself from Stop Hunger Now in 2016, and similar organizations has made a significant impact. The percentage of undernourished people in the world decreased from 14.7 percent (950 million people) in 2000 to 10.8 percent in 2013 (773 million), remaining flat for several years, according to the UN.

But now hunger is on the rise again, affecting 815 million people in 2016, according to the UN’s The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017 report. Climate change and conflict in nations such as South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria has worsened the problem.

Key to the solution, Rise Against Hunger believes, is a greater focus on community empowerment and self-sustainable development. Projects in areas such as microfinance, agricultural training and business skills development are under way as part of Rise Against Hunger’s “Nourishing Lives” strategy.

Liberia Rise Against Hunger Rise Against Hunger Works to Eliminate Global Hunger by 2030

“As people become healthier, better educated and start to thrive, we can exit out,” Sanders Noe said.

While combating hunger, Rise Against Hunger also mobilizes for emergencies. For instance, when Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti in 2015, the organization distributed more than 2.5 million meals. Similar efforts in 2016 helped alleviate crises from hurricanes in the Caribbean and southern U.S., mudslides in Sierra Leone and monsoons in Nepal.

NetSuite proudly sponsors Rise Against Hunger through the Oracle NetSuite Social Impact group. Roberta Sorensen, the organization’s controller, said replacing QuickBooks with NetSuite in 2015 has given the nonprofit new efficiency and control in managing its $ 39 million in annual donations from individuals, corporations and philanthropic organizations.

“NetSuite absolutely helps us better fulfill our mission. We couldn’t do what we do without NetSuite’s flexibility,” Sorenson said. “On the finance side, NetSuite helps us keep the organization lean so we can commit more resources to our programs.”

Using NetSuite, Rise Against Hunger is now building multi-year budgets and has cut payment approvals from eight days to 24 hours. It’s saving six hours a month on financial reporting and has reduced its monthly close from 34 to 26 days, all while accommodating a 2x increase in transactions since NetSuite went live.

In a next step, Rise Against Hunger plans to use NetSuite’s inventory management to more cost-effectively manage and transport meals packaged at 20 U.S. locations and two dozen more around the world. Efficiency gains support a high rating on Charity Navigator, driving additional donations.

“Running a lean operation on NetSuite is huge, because donors go to Charity Navigator and see that we’re very efficient and that donations go to actual programs,” Sorensen said. “We’ve been able to grow our efficiency and capacity with NetSuite so that as we continue to grow, we don’t need to add accounting headcount.”

Learn more about Oracle NetSuite for nonprofits.

Posted on Thu, December 21, 2017
by NetSuite filed under

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‘Super Fly’ Remake In Works At Sony

Superfly ‘Super Fly’ Remake In Works At Sony
In an effort to continue to fill their slate with fresh IP, Sony has closed a development deal for the rights to the classic blaxploitation pic “Superfly,” with “Watchmen” scribe Alex Tse penning the script.

The film is inspired by the 1972 classic, which starred Ron O’Neal as Priest, a cocaine dealer looking to score one more super deal and retire. The movie was directed by Gordon Parks Jr., the son of Gordon Parks, who directed another blaxploitation classic “Shaft” — one of the staples in the early years of the genre that took the ’70s by storm.

While the film is a cult hit, its soundtrack may be even more popular. Composed by R&B legend Curtis Mayfield, the soundtrack would go on to become the only to outgross its film’s box office earnings.

The movie eventually got a sequel, “Super Fly T.N.T.” Sony hopes the latest version will lead to a series of films.

Sony exec Palak Patel spearheaded the effort to buy the rights, and the studio is already in the process of making a list of actors to meet for the title role. Joel Silver is producing.

TSE is best known for penning Zack Snyder’s adaptation of “Watchmen.” He is repped by CAA and Lighthouse Management & Media.

Source: Variety

Kandi Burruss Officially Quits Xscape

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SeriesCoefficient is broken in Mathematica 11.1, but works in 11.0

 SeriesCoefficient is broken in Mathematica 11.1, but works in 11.0

Consider the following implementation of the complex square root:

f[z_]:=Sqrt[(z - I)/(z + I)]*(z + I);

This implementation has branch points at $ \lambda=\pm i$ and a (vertical) branch cut connecting them.

Then

g[z_]:=Sinc[f[z]];

(recalling $ \mathrm{sinc}(x)=\sin(x)/x$ ) has no branch cut and it is analytic on the entire complex plane, and admits power series expansions at $ \lambda=\pm i$ . Indeed, using Mathematica 11.0.0 (Mac OS 10.10.5) gives:

Series[Sinc[rhofun[z]], {z, I, 4}]

$ 1-\frac{1}{3} i (z-i)-\frac{1}{5} (z-i)^2+\frac{11}{315} i (z-i)^3+\frac{61
(z-i)^4}{5670}+O\left((z-i)^5\right)$

and

SeriesCoefficient[Sinc[rhofun[z]], {z, I, 4}]

gives $ \frac{61}{5670}$ .

Now, using Mathematica 11.1.1 (both on Mac OS 10.12 Sierra and Linux Ubuntu 16 LTS)

Series[Sinc[rhofun[z]], {z, I, 4}]

returns

Series[Sinc[rhofun[z]], {z, I, 4}]

and

SeriesCoefficient[Sinc[rhofun[z]], {z, I, 4}]

returns

SeriesCoefficient[Sinc[rhofun[z]], {z, I, 4}].

So neither of these stock functions work in properly in Mathematica 11.1.1. Does anyone know what is going on? Will this be fixed? They worked properly even in Mathematica 9 and also in Mathematica 11.0.0

Besides any information, I’d also appreciate if anyone has a workaround for this.

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How Google’s Pixel 2 Now Playing song identification works

The most interesting Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL feature, to me, is Now Playing. If you’ve ever used Shazam or SoundHound, you probably understand the basics: The app uses your device’s microphone to capture an audio sample and creates an acoustic fingerprint to compare against a central song database. If a match is found, information such as the song title and artist are sent back to the user.

Now Playing achieves this with two important differentiators. First, Now Playing detects songs automatically without you explicitly asking — the feature works when your phone is locked and the information is displayed on the Pixel 2’s lock screen (you’ll eventually be able to ask Google Assistant what’s currently playing, but not yet). Secondly, it’s an on-device and local feature: Now Playing functions completely offline (we tested this, and indeed it works with mobile data and Wi-Fi turned off). No audio is ever sent to Google.

It’s worth noting that Now Playing is turned off by default. You have to explicitly turn it on in the setup flow when first starting your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, or in Settings (as shown above).

We asked Google to explain how the feature works.

Detection

Now Playing uses your device microphone to grab audio samples and machine learning to distinguish which parts are music that can be converted to a digital fingerprint. It then tries to match that fingerprint to the local song database. In optimum conditions, a Google spokesperson estimated that detection should take just a few seconds. If there’s background noise, however, it can take a little longer, we were told.

If you’re seeing a longer delay, and you likely will, that’s because Now Playing isn’t working all the time. To save battery life when you’re listening to continuous music, Now Playing only runs every 60 seconds, the Google spokesperson explained. That means if the last detection was 30 seconds ago, you’ll only get an update on the next song that is playing in another 30 seconds, plus the time it takes for the actual recognition. If after 60 seconds no music is playing, the system will wait for music to be detected before attempting a new song identification. This also explains why long after a song is over, your lockscreen will still show whatever was previously playing.

When a song is identified and displayed on your lockscreen, you have the option to tap on it. After you unlock your phone, you’ll be taken to the Google Assistant where you can learn more about that given song.

The feature is purposefully designed as an “ambient” and “lean back” experience as opposed to on-demand. My colleague Khari Johnson lamented as much in his Pixel 2 review — there’s no historical option or way to see all the songs Now Playing has detected as you go about your day. It’s a “currently playing” feature and that’s it.

Database

The Pixel 2’s on-device database for Now Playing is based on Google Play Music’s top songs, the Google spokesperson revealed. Google wouldn’t share the exact number of songs in the database, but the spokesperson did note it’s in the high 10s of thousands (for comparison’s sake, Shazam claims its database features over 11 million songs, but that of course is in the cloud).

If you’re curious, XDA posted over 10,000 songs that the Pixel 2s can detect. While it’s cool to sift through this list, you should know that it’s far from definitive, for multiple reasons.

First up, the Google spokesperson revealed that your device will have a different song database depending on the country you’re in — there’s a different catalog for every country where Pixel 2s are sold. Secondly, Google also confirmed that the database is updated weekly, depending on what’s popular on Google Play Music in your country. This weekly update, which only ever occurs over Wi-Fi, is incremental and replaces the most outdated part of your country-specific database with new songs.

Since Now Playing works automatically and Google made a point to keep it localized, these constraints created a new limitation: local storage. That’s why the feature doesn’t work across all songs in Google Play Music, but rather just the most popular ones (not necessarily most recent, just “top music”).

The Google spokesperson wouldn’t give us an exact size for the database file (which is not surprising, since it changes every week and is based on your country) but did say the whole feature should take up less than 500MB. Again, if you never turn the feature on, don’t worry — you won’t lose this space.

Exclusive

At the moment, Now Playing is exclusive to the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. There are no plans to bring it to other Android devices, not even Google’s own Pixel and Pixel XL.

The Google spokesperson noted that Now Playing requires specific hardware and software changes, but didn’t elaborate exactly what was required aside from saying that the two have to be closely integrated for the feature to work. It’s not out of the question that future devices, with the specific hardware and software changes, could offer Now Playing as well, but Google can’t simply bring the feature to Android Oreo as an update, we were told.

In fact, Google doesn’t view see Now Playing as an Android or even a Google Assistant feature. It’s very much a Pixel 2 feature, at least for now.

Now Playing is something I believe will lead to conversations, and I’d even go as far as betting it will be the most-discussed feature among friends of Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL owners. It’s really the perfect storm: Everyone has heard of Shazam and SoundHound, so nobody will feel out of their depth discussing the topic; nothing like Now Playing is available on other phones; and music is always a timeless topic.

For those reasons, I suspect Google will try to keep Now Playing exclusive to its Pixel 2s for as long as possible.

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A minimization which works but not too much

 A minimization which works but not too much

Here under is a method to calculate Dean’s apportionment method

dean[v_, s_] := Module[{vv = v, ss = s}, ww = DeleteCases[vv, 0];
  var = Table[x[i], {i, Length[ww]}];
  obj = Total[
    Table[Log[(x[i]!)^3 Rationalize[2^(
         x[i] - 1)]/(x[i]^2 ww[[i]]^(x[i] - 1) ((2 x[i] - 1)!))], {i, 
      Length[ww]}]];
  const = Total[Table[x[i], {i, Length[ww]}]];
  cons1 = 
   ToExpression[
    StringReplace[
     ToString[Table[x[i] >= 0, {i, Length[ww]}]], {"{" -> "", 
      "}" -> "", "," -> " &&"}]];
  int = ToExpression[
    StringReplace[
     ToString[
      Table[x[i] ∈ Integers, {i, Length[ww]}]], {"{" -> "", 
      "}" -> "", "," -> " &&"}]];
  argmin = ArgMin[{obj, const == ss && cons1 && int}, var];
  zer = Table[0, {i, 1, Length[vv] - Length[ww]}];
  fin = Join[argmin, zer];
  Fold[Insert[#1, 0, #2] &, DeleteCases[fin, 0], Position[vv, 0]]]
dean[{0, 40, 20, 12, 0}, 20]

It works nicely until s=20. But at s=21, it fails. It’s the same thing if I increase the length of v. Of course, I have tried to change ArgMin to NArgMin and some methods but it doesn’t ameliorate the situation. Mathematica complains of a division by 0. Is there a way to resolve this problem?

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Retailers Gymshark, This Works and Cox & Cox fuel growth with NetSuite and Patchworks

og image Retailers Gymshark, This Works and Cox & Cox fuel growth with NetSuite and Patchworks

Retailers Gymshark, This Works and Cox & Cox fuel growth with NetSuite and Patchworks

UK lifestyle retail brands take their business to the cloud to deliver more personalised customer experiences across multiple channels and markets

LONDON—8 May 2017—Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit, the world’s leading provider of cloud-based financials / ERP, HR, Professional Services Automation (PSA) and omnichannel commerce software suites, today announced that three of the UK’s fast-growing online retailers have invested in NetSuite cloud, leveraging the support from SuiteCloud Developer Network (SDN) partner Patchworks, to help them grow and expand into new markets. Although British retail sales fell at their fastest rate since 2010 in the first quarter of 2017, according to retail figures from the Office for National Statistics, Gymshark, This Works, and Cox & Cox are bucking the trend and planning for further growth.

Most retailers confront a hairball of different systems for ecommerce, inventory management, order management and third-party software systems. This siloed approach results in lost sales, inventory stock outs and ultimately poor customer experiences. By using the Patchworks Ecommerce Integration SuiteApp, Gymshark, This Works and Cox & Cox can easily connect existing ecommerce or other specialised business systems with NetSuite to help ensure consistency of data flows, business processes and customer experiences.

Gymshark’s online fitness apparel company has been booming since launching five years ago, recently earning the top spot in the Times Fast Track 100, and is now expanding into new territories. The company has selected NetSuite and is leveraging the Patchworks Ecommerce Integration SuiteApp to gain greater visibility into its online customer data, which will allow it to provide more personalised offerings and services to shoppers across multiple channels and markets.

Chris Perrins, Finance Director at Gymshark, said: “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and NetSuite’s cloud platform will help us to continue to improve our relationships with shoppers and build our global brand.”

Established by former Beauty Director of Vogue UK Kathy Phillips, This Works is now taking its premium skincare line to the U.S. Its previous IT systems were too slow and inflexible to accommodate growth. With NetSuite, the company has reduced the time it takes to update stock and order data from two days to 15 minutes with automated warehousing processes.

Vicky Hayford, Chief Financial Officer at This Works, said: “Shoppers rightfully want up-to-date information on products and stock, especially during busy sales periods. NetSuite and the integration from Patchworks will allow us to maintain a high standard of service for our growing customer base in the UK and abroad.”

Cox & Cox has become one of the UK’s favourite homeware brands. Previously working with siloed systems that could not support its ambitious growth plans, the company chose NetSuite to speed up its business processes so it could continue to grow and deliver excellent customer experiences.

Aynsley Peet, Ecommerce Manager at Cox & Cox, said: “Customisation has always been the key to our success. We offer a unique shopping experience and set of products, but our website needed an upgrade and that required us to work in a more modern way across the business. With NetSuite at the core of our business, and the Patchworks SuiteApp linking our 3PL and ecommerce systems, we can make the Cox & Cox shopping experience better than ever for our customers.”

Mark Woodhams, Managing Director EMEA at NetSuite, said: “The British retail industry is facing tough times and a great deal of uncertainty, but looking at Gymshark, This Works and Cox & Cox you would never know it. Their growth has defied the odds in three very competitive sectors. By moving to the cloud with NetSuite and Patchworks, these growing brands can now replicate their success as they take their business to the next level.”

About SuiteCloud
NetSuite’s SuiteCloud is a comprehensive offering of cloud-based products, development tools and services designed to help customers and commercial software developers take advantage of the significant economic benefits of cloud computing. Based on NetSuite, SuiteCloud enables customers to run their core business operations in the cloud, and software developers to target new markets quickly with newly-created mission-critical applications built on top of mature and proven business processes.

The SuiteCloud Developer Network (SDN) is a comprehensive developer program for independent software vendors (ISVs) who build apps for SuiteCloud. All available SuiteApps are listed on SuiteApp.com, a single-source online marketplace where NetSuite customers can find applications to meet specific business process or industry-specific needs. For more information on SuiteCloud and the SDN program, please visit www.netsuite.com/developers.

About Patchworks
Patchworks connects multi-channel ecommerce systems to deliver seamless data-flow and optimise user experiences for online retail brands worldwide. Established in 2013, Patchworks is Europe’s leading cloud integrator and only Built for NetSuite accredited partner in the UK. To learn more and get in touch, visit: www.patchworks.co.uk

About Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit
Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit pioneered the Cloud Computing revolution in 1998, establishing the world’s first company dedicated to delivering business applications over the internet. Today, Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit provides a suite of cloud-based financials / Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), HR and omnichannel commerce software that runs the business of companies in more than 100 countries. For more information, please visit http://www.netsuite.com.

Follow Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit’s Cloud blog, Facebook page and @NetSuite Twitter handle for real-time updates.

About Oracle

The Oracle Cloud delivers hundreds of SaaS applications and enterprise-class PaaS and IaaS services to customers in more than 195 countries while processing 55 billion transactions a day. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at http://cloud.oracle.com.

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Finding a Provider that Works With You is Critical to Cloud Success

Posted by Sam Levy, Vice President of Sales at Oracle NetSuite GBU

[Second in a series: In the previouspost, we discussed the importance of ensuring that cloud adoption supports business strategy. In this installment, we consider how critical it is to find the right cloud partner.]

When the leaders of Sourcingpartner Inc. decided it was time to trade in a largely manual warehouse management process riddled with bottlenecks for a modern, cloud-based alternative, they knew their choice of a cloud provider was critical.

As a key distributor to some of the largest office supply businesses in the world, for Sourcingpartner, operations during the back-to-school season must be flawless. NetSuite, with its SuiteSuccess rapid-deployment model taking companies from zero to cloud in 100 days, turned out to be the partner it was looking for.

wd Finding a Provider that Works With You is Critical to Cloud Success“When you’re dealing with any company, you do have to worry, ‘will they deliver what they promised?’” said Sourcingpartner CEO Steve DiPasqule. “Once you’re putting money into it, you expect the answer to be yes. SuiteSuccess delivered better than we expected.”

And it wasn’t just that NetSuite delivered the solution on time; it also made the potentially nerve-wracking experience of migrating to the cloud more manageable by sharing leading practices and a wealth of experience in wholesale distribution deployments throughout.

“There was never a day that went by where we didn’t have guidance,” DiPasqule said.

Digital Transformation Coming to Manufacturer’s, Wholesaler’s and Other Product-based Companies

There is a huge difference between a cloud provider that does little more than provide logins and developer tools, and one that works closely with companies to ease the often-harrowing process of adopting a new technology platform.

And when you’re a complex and fast-growing wholesale distributor, and you’re taking your first steps into the cloud, having the right provider is critical to avoiding potential interruptions to your business.

It also figures to become a competitive necessity. IDC predicts that half of all manufacturers will be leveraging the cloud, mobile computing and advanced analytics to facilitate innovation on the shop floor. What’s more, IDC expects 75 percent of manufacturers to undergo digital transformations by the end of 2018. That means a lot of competitors matching up with technology partners to get much smarter.

The right cloud provider can address that competitive pressure by helping a company establish the right foundation for its technology, whether that means digitizing existing business processes or enabling the business to pivot on a dime if needed.

Smoothing the Transition

The latter is exactly what Action Health, a maker of healthcare packaging products was action%20health Finding a Provider that Works With You is Critical to Cloud Successtrying to do when it turned to NetSuite. The company, which was known as Action Bag at the time, had made the difficult decision to sell its retail gift supplies business to focus on the faster-growing healthcare market. And while it was looking for a cloud platform that would help it to differentiate itself, it also wanted a partner that would help to smooth that transition.

By the time NetSuite Services had finished assisting Action Health with the deployment, and the system started churning out previously inaccessible information, it was clear that Action Health had an environment that would enable it to make more — and better — use of data than it ever had.

“NetSuite was the change agent throughout the whole process, and really set who we are today and how we operate as a company,” said Sean Cwynar, president of the company, which his grandmother founded.

Stories like these illustrate how a good provider-customer match can make business look easy, but finding the right provider is anything but. In fact, it’s one of the more difficult parts of a company’s initial foray into the cloud.

For that reason, companies looking to follow in Sourcingpartner’s and Action Health’s footsteps should ask themselves some important questions before evaluating potential provider. These can range from basic considerations such as ‘Where should I start?’ to more company-specific concerns such as ‘Where’s my demand coming from?’ and ‘How am I going to facilitate that demand?’ The point is simply to establish a strategy for entering the cloud that ties back to your specific business needs.

This is not to suggest that a company has to have everything about its cloud journey mapped out before picking a provider; in fact, the eventual provider should be relied upon to help flesh out that strategy.

Stairway to Heaven – How is your Business Partner helping you Evolve?

This is precisely the approach NetSuite takes. Rather than see ourselves as a mere vendor, we prefer to have customers think of us as more of an advisor. We have established what we call a “stairway to heaven” for every industry we serve. Think of it as a thought process, or a strategy, for how to execute.

In many ways, it’s also an exercise in aligning the partner with its customers’ goals. Customers come away from the process with a grasp of how our technology works with their processes, the knowledge that we understand their specific business and industry, and confidence that they’ve chosen the right cloud provider.

Eventually, the goal is for the cloud provider and customer to form a lasting partnership that’s built on a common goal: Ensuring the customer’s success.

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One hospital works with doctors to embrace data-driven strategy

TTlogo 379x201 One hospital works with doctors to embrace data driven strategy

An old saw says you can’t improve what you don’t measure, and nowhere is this more true than in healthcare. The industry, which has long been beset by quality and cost issues, is still relatively new to electronic data collection, and many in the field hope that data will pave the way toward a better future.

There’s just one problem: Many doctors don’t like the idea of having their performance measured as part of a data-driven strategy.

“The challenge with physicians is always the buy-in to data,” said Beth Grimes, director of enterprise data analytics at Gwinnett Medical Center in Georgia. “It really is all about getting physicians to look at a higher level of information.”

Gwinnett operates two hospital facilities in the cities of Lawrenceville and Duluth, plus various medical centers in other locations. About a year ago, it implemented a business intelligence system from Dimensional Insight Inc. that lets the hospital track physician performance.

Grimes and her team are looking at things like how long patients stay in intensive care units, how much antibiotic medication patients receive and the average patient length of stay. The goal is to ensure that physicians are following evidence-based treatment guidelines in order to improve treatment outcomes and reduce costs. Physician leaders as well as hospital administrators are the primary users of the BI tool.

Today, there is pretty good adoption of the BI reports among clinical teams, and most physicians have embraced the data-driven strategy. But this wasn’t initially the case. Grimes said most clinical staff members were used to thinking about things in terms of their specific roles in treating a patient. Specialists tend to take ownership only of the area in which they specialize. But most of the metrics the hospital is tracking reflect more general team-based outcomes.

Grimes said it took some effort to get physicians on board with having their performance tracked as part of a team rather than an individual.

Part of the process of getting clinical staff on board was identifying physicians in leadership roles who were ready to embrace the data-driven strategy. Grimes said having doctors talk to other doctors about the importance of this arrangement made clinicians more receptive to the message than they would have been had administrators forced it on them.

“If we can get those physician champions in place, they make a big impact,” Grimes said. “It’s not administration saying you’ve got to make changes.”

Once Grimes and her team built that initial base of support, clinicians’ natural competitiveness took over. She said nobody wanted to be the first to embrace the new data analytics strategy, but nobody wanted to be the last, either. Once people saw which way the wind was blowing, they oriented themselves in the right direction.

Grimes said it wasn’t easy getting the clinical staff on board with this kind of measurement, but she believes it will bear fruit in the form of improved quality and lower costs, which will make it worth it. “No one group can make changes in a box,” she said. “It takes a full team effort, and they really are working more collaboratively.”

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Using Governance in Deploying CRM Applications, Part 1: Why It Works, How It Works, and a Strategy that Works

CRM Blog Using Governance in Deploying CRM Applications, Part 1: Why It Works, How It Works, and a Strategy that Works

If your organization is using CRM as a platform for deploying applications in multiple lines of business, you’re challenged with coordinating all those separate initiatives on track while taking advantage of economies of scale. In this 2-part blog series, we discuss how governance can help you get the most from your CRM investment.

How do you align your people, processes, and initiatives, working towards a common goal while addressing the needs of individual LOBs? The answer is governance. This might surprise you, since governance is often misunderstood.

Governance, Defined

Although governance has been in use for many years, there are misconceptions that compel many to steer clear—namely, regulations, limitations, and red tape. A governance strategy ensures a consistent user interface, puts processes in place to eliminate duplication of effort, provides tools, techniques, and services, such as calendaring and module updates, reduces cost of ownership by making solutions more maintainable and by consolidating functionality to reduce licensing expenses, and more. At its core, the goal of governance is to standardize so every opportunity can be capitalized upon to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability. It can be compared to green initiatives: share, reuse, and “think globally while acting locally.”

The Pitfalls of Going without Governance

You might be thinking that governance won’t be worth the complications and bureaucracy that are sure to come with it. However, dealing with complex, sophisticated technology at an enterprise-wide level, with LOBs doing their own development, requires a solid strategy to keep it on track. Without one, your IT infrastructure will quickly become disorganized and unmanageable—which translates to inefficiency and cost. The consequences can include customizations that conflict with one another, adverse effects on database performance, difficulty with testing, and a slowdown in development efforts.

The Benefits of CRM Governance

A smart governance strategy all but eliminates the risk of these pitfalls; however, it also offers other powerful benefits:

1. Centralized Communication Strategy – A governance model facilitates a consistent message throughout the program’s execution.

2. Centralized Master Data – A governing body assists with creating a common data schema, allowing for a master client record that can report on all interactions by the client.

3. Disconnected Applications Supporting One Global Goal – Teams connected by governance have the ability to make decisions on whether to join applications through integration or merge Lines of business (LOB) into a single supporting solution.

4. Centralized Technical Expertise – A group that can provide development and deployment best practices and assist in communication, capture, and leadership of a program of projects, helps avoid the pitfall “reinventing the wheel.”

CRM Centers of Excellence: Putting Governance into Action

There are many models for program governance. Although they might differ in their approach, they all strive to resolve challenges that arise with multiple CRM deployments and possibilities for new deployments. However, many of these approaches aren’t effective, primarily because of poor planning and lack of understanding of goals, challenges, culture, politics, and internal policies. They use a common model, where teams often get split up due to demand for new functionality and quick development—which is when problems occur. Establishing a CRM Center of Excellence (CoE) expands on the Program Management Office (PMO) to include a consolidated team of technology experts. The CoE provides a foundation that promotes the benefits of the CRM platform as well as project management processes vital to communication, architecture, and structure.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog series, CRM Centers of Excellence: Helping Organizations Optimize CRM as a Platform, where we discuss CRM Centers of Excellence in more detail, including team structure and benefits.

To learn more about how governance could benefit your implementation of CRM initiatives, download CRM Governance: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and How to Do It Right, an informative eBook, compliments of AKA Green Beacon and written by governance experts.

By Green Beacon

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“Microbots Can Color Your Incisors Based On Works Of Braque, Klee, Mondrian, And De Kooning”

klee23456 “Microbots Can Color Your Incisors Based On Works Of Braque, Klee, Mondrian, And De Kooning”

Science writer Fred Hapgood dreamed big when Omni asked him, in 1990, to pen “No Assembly Required,” an article that predicted how insect-sized microorganisms would be serving our needs by 2029. None of his Venter-esque visions of designer bugs seem even remotely possible 13 years from now. They’re not theoretically impossible, but they’re likely to arrive tomorrow than tomorrow. Three excerpts follow, about futuristic dental care, housecleaning and home security.


Dental Microsnails That Brush Your Teeth for You While You Sleep

During the average lifetime a human spends a total of 40 days of his life brushing his teeth. (Sixty if he flosses.) Recent breakthroughs in microtractor technology, however, have now made it possible for us to offer our customers the dental microsnaii.

Just rub onto teeth before sleeping: During the night each microsnaii glued to a pair of traction balls, systematically explores the entire surface of the tooth on which it lands. As it moves, powered by the mouth’s own natural electrochemistry, it secretes minute quantities of bioengineered enzymes that detect and epoxy microcracks in enamel, remove plaque, and shred organic material caught between teeth. You awake to find your smile polished to a high gloss. Microsnails are small enough to be barely detectable by the tongue and harmless if swallowed. They vanish down the gut after they’ve finished their job.

For those interested in the latest in decorative dentistry, Microbots also makes an “artist microsnaii” that colors your incisors in the pattern of your choice, from a simple checkerboard to selected graphics based on works of Braque, Klee, Mondrian, and De Kooning. lmages fade after 24 hours.


Tiny Quicker Picker-Uppers

Let your fingers do the housecleaning. Order Micromaids from our catalog and put a thousand domestic servants in the palm of your hand.

Arrange “anthills” (small containers, each the size of a bagel) inconspicuously under chairs and behind furniture (autocamouflaging is standard with this year’s models). When the colony has detected no footfalls in that room for an hour, thousands of Micromaids, legged vehicles the size and shape of a clove, spread-out through the room. They locate loose grains of sand, grit, lint, skin, hair, and other debris, then carry the refuse back to the anthill. If the hill detects vibrations, it releases a high-pitched acoustic signal, summoning the Micromaids to return.

These home bases serve as tiny waste disposal plants. Each contains specialized microbots that process the trash. Some secrete enzymes and bacteria to break down and sanitize organic matter. Others use tiny pincers to crush and cut up larger items. The anthill then seals the garbage in a polymer bag, which it custom-produces to surround the excreted refuse. The Micromaids carry this package to a preprogrammed location, such as a chute leading to a trash compactor in the basement of your house.


RoboHornets: The Ultimate Weapon for Home Security

Let’s face it — as wonderful as the  twenty-first century can be, home security is a growing challenge for all of us. Here’s how Microbots can help you deal with it: Whenever the nest detects a possible intruder entering a zone you have designated as “private,” a mosquito-size probe takes off and lands quietly on the person’s clothing and locates a flake of skin caught in the garment. An onboard DNA sampler then radios the raw biological data back to the nest, where a DNA fingerprinting lab performs an analysis and checks the results against a list of those individuals cleared for access to the area. If the person is unauthorized, the mosquito probe triggers a loud and explicit warning message from a rooftop speaker while summoning a cloud of other RoboHornets, each carrying a vicious-looking one-inch-long crimson-colored stinger. Any intruder continuing to ignore the warning message will receive a lesson in the sanctity of private property, the memory of which will linger for several months.•

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