DENSO Fosters Future Generations of Mobility Professionals with its Commitment to FIRST Robotics and STEM Education

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., March 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — DENSO, the world’s second largest mobility supplier, announced today its continued commitment to shape the future of the automotive industry by getting young students interested in highly skilled careers in science, technology, engineering and advanced manufacturing. As such, DENSO is supporting 29 high school teams participating in FIRST Robotics Competitions in 2019.

Members of the Cyber Cats Team 5436, based at Stoney Creek High School in Rochester, Michigan, discuss their ‘bot’ with the judges at a recent FIRST Robotics Competition. DENSO is one of the team’s sponsors and provides the Cyber Cats with monetary support and mentoring.

For nearly 20 years, DENSO has supported FIRST Robotics through volunteer mentors, product and technology donations, and monetary funding. This year, DENSO is donating $144,500 to schools and competitions across North America.

“DENSO is at the forefront of developing innovations that are shaping what transportation and mobility will look like in the future. In order to realize our long-term vision, we know we need to make smart investments, not just in companies and technologies, but also in our most important assets, people,” said Denise Carlson, vice president of the North American Production Innovation Center (NAPIC) Planning and NAPIC Material Engineering groups at DENSO. “It is our hope that today’s student participants will become tomorrow’s leading engineers working with and alongside DENSO to create safer work environments and higher-quality products through automation.”

So far this year, DENSO-sponsored teams have seen great success. The JetStream FIRST Robotics Competition Team #2710, mentored by DENSO employee Barbara Tamura, took first place at the Long Beach/LA Port Fleet Week Competition. In Southfield, Mich., the Southfield A&T team, also mentored by DENSO, took first place at a heated competition in front of a large crowd of more than 2,000.

In addition to the FIRST Robotics high school teams, DENSO is supporting the following:

  • 18 FIRST Lego League competitions across the U.S. and Mexico  
  • Four FIRST Robotics regional competitions in Michigan and Iowa: Southfield Districts, Lakeview Districts, Iowa Regional and Smoky Mountain Regional
  • Three Michigan middle school teams in FIRST Tech Challenges: Bloomfield Hills Middle School, Smith Middle School and Northville High School

FIRST Robotics has been compared to a varsity sport with hands-on training in science and technology to help students discover how rewarding a career in engineering or technology can be. STEM and mentoring programs like FIRST also give DENSO employees a chance to give back.

“Supporting youth involved in STEM-based activities teaches them that goals are easier to achieve through teamwork and collaboration,” said Tamura. “DENSO mentors like me are teaching the young people on our teams about engineering, analytics, problem-solving, marketing and artificial intelligence, but more than anything we are helping them see the future opportunities a career in this field could offer them.” 

About DENSO
DENSO is a $48.1 billion global mobility supplier that develops advanced technology and components for nearly every vehicle make and model on the road today. With manufacturing at its core, DENSO invests in its 220 facilities in 35 countries to produce thermal, powertrain, mobility, electrification, & electronic systems, to create jobs that directly change how the world moves. The company’s 170,000+ employees are paving the way to a mobility future that improves lives, eliminates traffic accidents, and preserves the environment. Globally headquartered in Kariya, Japan, DENSO spent 8.8 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018. For more information about global DENSO, visit https://www.denso.com/global.   

In North America, DENSO employs 24,000+ engineers, researchers and skilled workers across 31 sites in the U.S, Canada and Mexico. In the United States alone, DENSO employs 17,000+ employees across 13 states and 25 sites. Headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, in fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, DENSO in North America generated $10.9 billion in consolidated sales. Join us, and craft not only how the world moves, but also your career. For more information, go to https://www.denso.com/us-ca/en/

At DENSO, it begins with people. (PRNewsFoto/Denso International)

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SOURCE DENSO

Nonprofit Fund Accounting Solution from Community Brands Releases New Cloud Capabilities and Wins Top Rated Award by TrustRadius

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Community Brands, the leading provider of cloud-based software and payment solutions for associations, nonprofits, schools and faith-based organizations, today announced the launch of a significant set of new cloud capabilities for the industry-leading MIP Fund Accounting solution. This month, the solution also won a “Top Rated Accounting & Budgeting Software for 2019” award by TrustRadius.

www.communitybrands.com (PRNewsfoto/Community Brands)

Better using data and analytics is a focus for growing nonprofit organizations, and the new capabilities of MIP Cloud help nonprofit accounting professionals use insights to make more informed decisions. Included in the product release are enhanced, data-rich dashboards; a new and intuitive user interface; and extended transaction and maintenance functionality to provide a modern, user-centric experience. With MIP Cloud, nonprofits can track donations, account for complex funding requirements, and adhere to compliance and audit reporting standards.

“Cloud and mobile capabilities help nonprofit and public sector professionals make better financial decisions with anytime access to data; execute financial management with greater precision; and better track, report, and manage finances across the entire organization,” shared Erin Shy, EVP Nonprofit Solutions & Event Technology. “Organizations value the ease of managing service-based software, and adoption of the cloud capabilities of MIP Fund Accounting have continued to grow over the last several years. Today’s product unveil adds many new features to MIP Cloud and helps a nonprofit stay ahead of a future filled with data, financial transparency, and artificial intelligence.”

The MIP Cloud capabilities are immediately available and offer the ability to collaborate across different teams through a single and common view of an organization’s finances. As a cloud-based solution, it also offers the convenience of ongoing updates that are automatically delivered to users, reducing the workload on nonprofit IT teams and ensures business users are always using the latest version and features. MIP has over 35 years of nonprofit accounting expertise and supports more than 40,000 users.

“Moving to the cloud subscription was really integral to us,” shared MIP customer Alison Rumler-Gomez, Executive Director for Community Action Partnership of Central Illinois. “If we had a catastrophic event to our building, we would still have access to everything we need by way of the cloud.”

Earlier this month, MIP also earned a spot on the list of “Top Rated Accounting & Budgeting Software for 2019” award winners by TrustRadius. Established in 2013, TrustRadius has become the most trusted site for B2B software reviews. Each month, about 400,000 B2B technology buyers use over 168,000 verified reviews and ratings on TrustRadius.com to make informed purchasing decisions.

“Similar to software in most sectors, fundraising and accounting software is heavily influenced by new technologies,” stated Melea Guilbault, SVP of Partnerships & Nonprofit Solutions. “It’s an exciting time for nonprofits. The new cloud capabilities are powerful, and we are thrilled to receive an award from TrustRadius that speaks to the confidence customers have in the solution.”

Since they launched in 2016, the TrustRadius Top Rated Awards have become the industry standard for unbiased recognition of the best B2B technology products. Based entirely on customer feedback, they have never been influenced by analyst opinion or status as a TrustRadius customer.

The award-winning capabilities of the MIP platform, together with the company’s market-leading mobile event fundraising solution, GiveSmart, will be shown in Community Brands booth #635 at AFP ICON 2019, March 31st through April 2nd in San Antonio, Texas. As a part of the product announcement, the on-premises version of MIP also received several customer-driven enhancements, which will likewise be featured during the event.

Learn more about Community Brands and its Nonprofit SolutionsK-12 SolutionsAssociation Solutions, and Faith-based Solutions.

About Community Brands
Community Brands is the leading provider of cloud-based software and payment solutions to associations, nonprofits, K-12 schools and faith-based groups. Through innovation and technology, the company empowers more than 100,000 clients and partners to succeed faster, grow stronger and achieve social good. Organizations adopt Community Brands software to manage memberships, career centers, learning, accounting, mobile giving, peer-to-peer fundraising, donations, admissions, enrollments and events. Using these engagement platforms, customers of all sizes create meaningful and lasting experiences for their members, donors, volunteers and families. Headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, Community Brands serves the social good community in nearly 40 countries. To learn more, visit communitybrands.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Media Contact

Community Brands
Brad Bennett
Media Contact
press@communitybrands.com 
+1 817.517.9965

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SOURCE Community Brands

100 Fastest-growing use Cases in Artificial Intelligence Across the World – Exclusive Case Study by MarketsandMarketsTM

CHICAGO, March 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ —

Top 100 use cases in AI across industries

Growing enterprises across industries are witnessing a paradigm shift in terms of technologies. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already revolutionizing major industries, such as manufacturing, healthcare, supply chain, retail, fintech, operations, enterprise, intelligent edge, telecom, social media, marketing, education, aviation, military, agriculture, security, and computer vision. Industry-specific use cases are spurring the demand for AI technology. For instance, in the manufacturing industry, the key use cases of AI include predictive maintenance, industrial robots, and quality control. In the healthcare industry, major use cases of AI include patient data & risk analytics, in-patient care & hospital management, and virtual assistants. Supported by its numerous use cases, the AI technology features in the mainstream discussions among industry experts and researchers and is resulting in an increased R&D expenditure to further innovate in these application areas.

100 Fastest-growing Use Cases in Artificial Intelligence Across the World

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Top 79 AI vendors across segments

With the AI technology gaining the momentum, the number of vendors and startups offering AI solutions is also growing exponentially. Industry leaders are also disrupting the AI market by acquiring startups and forming partnerships with other key players. AI vendors can be segmented on the nature of their offerings, such as hardware and devices, networking, software, security, platform, services, and the cloud. We have identified the top vendors in each of the above segments. Top hardware and devices vendors include Qualcomm Technologies, Tencent, and Intel. Among the AI platform vendors, Microsoft, AWS, IBM, and Google are the leaders. Major AI software providers include Honeywell, Nuance Communications, SAP, IBM, and Oracle.

Top 50 startups disrupting AI market

On the other hand, the number of AI startups are booming at a fast pace, globally. They are leading the innovation initiatives and are attracting significant funding from investors. We have identified the top AI startups to be watched for in the AI space, including DataRobot, Commerce.AI, Servion Global Solutions, Happiest Minds, and Cylance.

More than 40 outcomes are expected from AI

Major pain-points for any business today are the gaps between their existing capabilities and the desired business outcomes to solve buyer problems. We have identified the key business outcomes which can be achieved by adopting AI technology. Some of the key business outcomes include employee safety, reduced energy consumption, network optimization, customer loyalty, and cybersecurity.

Close to 30 functionalities are expected by buyers from AI solutions

To extract the maximum business value out of your AI deployments, you need to have the appropriate functionalities. Key AI functionalities include machine learning libraries, location intelligence, natural language generation, and real-time query response. We can help you identify the prerequisite functionalities to bridge the existing gaps and achieve the desired business outcomes. The functionalities can either be built independently, in collaboration or outsourced from other vendors who hold expertise in that specific area. For instance, a healthcare company looking to achieve remote elderly care would need to build or acquire functionalities such as speech recognition, natural language generation, language translator, real-time query response, data analysis, and targeted recommendations.

Study Coverage

The scope of various AI studies covers detailed information about major factors, such as drivers, restraints, challenges, and opportunities, influencing the growth of AI market across industries. A detailed analysis of the key industry players has been carried out to provide insights into their business overviews, solutions and services, key strategies, new product launches, mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, agreements, collaborations, and recent developments associated with the respective markets.

About MarketsandMarkets™ 

MarketsandMarkets™ provides quantified B2B research on 30,000 high growth niche opportunities/threats which will impact 70% to 80% of worldwide companies’ revenues. Currently servicing 7500 customers worldwide including 80% of global Fortune 1000 companies as clients. Almost 75,000 top officers across eight industries worldwide approach MarketsandMarkets™ for their painpoints around revenues decisions.

Our 850 fulltime analyst and SMEs at MarketsandMarkets™ are tracking global high growth markets following the “Growth Engagement Model – GEM”. The GEM aims at proactive collaboration with the clients to identify new opportunities, identify most important customers, write “Attack, avoid and defend” strategies, identify sources of incremental revenues for both the company and its competitors. MarketsandMarkets™ now coming up with 1,500 MicroQuadrants (Positioning top players across leaders, emerging companies, innovators, strategic players) annually in high growth emerging segments. MarketsandMarkets™ is determined to benefit more than 10,000 companies this year for their revenue planning and help them take their innovations/disruptions early to the market by providing them research ahead of the curve.

MarketsandMarkets’s flagship competitive intelligence and market research platform, “Knowledge Store” connects over 200,000 markets and entire value chains for deeper understanding of the unmet insights along with market sizing and forecasts of niche markets.

Contact:
Mr. Shelly Singh
MarketsandMarkets™ INC.
630 Dundee Road
Suite 430
Northbrook, IL 60062
USA: +1-888-600-6441
Email: sales@marketsandmarkets.com
Visit Our Website: https://www.marketsandmarkets.com

 

 

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SOURCE MarketsandMarkets

Checkster Unveils Collective Intelligence Platform to Help Companies Make Better Talent Decisions

NOVATO, Calif., March 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Checkster, the leading provider of collective intelligence solutions to power talent decisions, today unveiled its new collective intelligence platform. The Checkster Platform taps into the power of collective human intelligence to give companies a consolidated, real-time view into the quality and fit of its people.

www.checkster.com (PRNewsfoto/Checkster)

The Checkster Platform collects and consolidates human intelligence throughout critical points of the candidate and employee lifecycle including interviews, reference checks, a new hire’s first year, and beyond. The data collected is used to improve quality of hire, engagement, and retention rates, ultimately giving organizations critical information to make better, more informed, talent decisions.

New research from Madeline Laurano, Chief Research Officer, Aptitude Research, highlights the lack of data global organizations have in order to make informed talent decisions. What’s more, the majority of survey respondents would like, but don’t currently have, a clear way to identify, measure, and improve quality of hire.

Key findings of the Aptitude Research 2019 Quality of Hire Trends Report include:

  • 64% of companies report identifying quality hires as their top talent acquisition challenge of 2019.
  • Only 26% of companies have a formal methodology for defining quality of hire.
  • Companies who improve quality of hire are 3 times more likely to see an improvement in first-year retention and 3 times more likely to see an improvement in first year performance.
  • 58% of hiring managers don’t have the data they need to make hiring decisions.
  • Only 32% of senior leaders are confident in the data they have available to make decisions.
  • 57% of organizations say investing in the right technology is the number one strategy for improving quality of hire.

“Talent acquisition professionals are in a unique position to take ownership for quality of hire and invest in the right strategies and solutions to define, measure and improve it,” said Madeline Laurano, Chief Research Officer, Aptitude Research. “The research clearly indicates that those companies who improve quality of hire enjoy incredible improvements to retention and performance and I’m hopeful more talent leaders will now follow suit.”

“In a world full of artificial intelligence, what has been core to our mission at Checkster is using collective intelligence to inject quality into an organization’s hiring and retention programs,” said Yves Lermusi, CEO, Checkster. “It’s clear, based on the survey findings, that organizations still struggle with quality. We’re excited about delivering the power of collective human intelligence beyond just reference checking to global organizations looking to define, measure and improve this critical business metric.”

To download a complete copy of the research report visit www.Checkster.com

About Checkster
Better people decisions drive better business outcomes. Using collective human intelligence, Checkster empowers talent and team leaders to make better hiring decisions, build high performing teams, and improve retention. For key talent decisions, from interview through reference check to a new hire’s first year and beyond, Checkster gives you a consolidated, real time view into the quality and fit of your people. More than 500 global organizations use Checkster to power their people decisions. For more information visit www.checkster.com.

 

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SOURCE Checkster

AI Based Biometrics Helping to Transform Global Travel from Barely Tolerable to a Delightful Experience

DENVER, March 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — As airports across the globe invest in a range of smart technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and biometrics, Acuity Market Intelligence considers this the preliminary stage of a far-reaching commitment to transform the inevitable hassles and inconvenience of airport travel into delightful passenger experiences.

Acuity forecasts that the total number of airport biometric touchpoints – increasingly AI enhanced facial recognition – at check-in, bag drop, security, and boarding gates will increase at a 27% CAGR from 2019 – 2022.  While this is significant growth, the total number of units deployed by 2022 will represent just 17% penetration of the projected Total Addressable Market (TAM). 

“As airport AI-enhanced biometrics become mainstream, so too will consumer comfort and preference for the convenience of the experience,” explained Maxine Most, Principal at Acuity Market Intelligence. “This will change passenger expectations and drive demand for similar solutions within airports and across the entire travel sector from cruise ships and car rentals to train stations and ferry terminals.”

“Smarter, seamless travel is no longer a vision for the future,” Most continued. “It is happening now all over the world. In the past month alone, reports from Asia indicate massive uptake.”

According to recent reports:

  • Narita Airport plans to be the first in the world to allow passengers to board using facial biometrics without pausing for identification in additional to using facial biometrics for check in, bag drop
  • AirAsia is piloting facial recognition for boarding flights at Johor’s Senai Airport and has plans to continue rolling it out in Malaysia airports this year.
  • Hong Kong Airport plans to launch a facial recognition based, single token identity system by early 2020.

Acuity provides a range of detailed research reports that cover this burgeoning market.  This includes  “The Airport Automated Biometric Facilitation Report: From Curb to Gate” provides unit and revenue forecasts for all airport Fastlane Biometric touchpoints deployed from 2018 to 2022 (https://www.acuity-mi.com/ABCair_Report.php).

Acuity also offers Deployment Lists for Biometric Facilitation at check-in, bag drop, security checkpoints, and boarding gates  (https://www.acuity-mi.com/ABFdep.php), ABC eGates (https://www.acuity-mi.com/eGatedep.php) and APC Kiosks (https://www.acuity-mi.com/APCdep.php ).

About Acuity Market Intelligence: Acuity Market Intelligence (https://www.acuity-mi.com) is an emerging technology strategy and research consultancy with a proven record of accurately anticipating biometric and digital identity market trends. Follow us on twitter @cmaxmost.

Contact: Acuity Market Intelligence +1 303 449 1897 

 

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SOURCE Acuity Market Intelligence

PO8 Ltd. launches Reg. D 506 (c) funding to raise $50 million from Accredited Investors through the Bahamas’ first STO

FREEPORT, Bahamas, March 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — PO8 Ltd. (PO8), a Bahamas based blockchain company in the marine archaeology space planning to recover and tokenize billions of dollars of underwater artifacts, has announced yesterday its successful filing of Reg. D 506 (c) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to raise part of its $50 million Security Token Offering (STO) from accredited investors in the U.S.

Under Regulation D, 506 (c) of the JOBS Act created by the Obama Administration in 2012 that allows businesses to raise capital and create new jobs, it has opened the door for companies like PO8 to solicit funds from accredited investors. According to the SEC, an accredited investor in the U.S. must have a net worth of at least $1,000,000, excluding the value of his or her primary residence, or have an annual income of at least $200,000 for the last two years (or $300,000 combined income if married).

The $50 million offering in common stock-backed security tokens, will have a minimum investment of $10,000.  A Prospectus and a Private Placement Memorandum (PPM) are now available to all accredited investors, upon completion of the company’s KYC verification process through its lead bookrunner and issuing agent in The Bahamas, LENO Corporate Services Ltd. 

“We’re excited to open our offering for the first time to the U.S. market.  The U.S. is a mature market not to be ignored, and now with our filing in place with the SEC, we can approach American investors in a more regulatory and compliant manner,” said Matthew Arnett, CEO of PO8. 

Recently PO8 announced on CNBC Africa a partnership with Cryptovecs, a South African Blockchain Fund, to lead a $1 million investment round in Africa for its STO.  PO8 was also named a finalist in the Smart Dubai Blockchain Challenge from over 700 entries from 79 countries and was also recognized for its blockchain for impact work by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), receiving the 2018 Creative Business Cup Award at Demand Solutions in Santiago, Chile.

About PO8:
PO8 Ltd. is a tech company in the marine archaeology space utilizing blockchain, artificial intelligence and robotics to recover and tokenize a unique set of underutilized and underwater cultural heritage assets and reshape their ownership with Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).

Press Contacts:
PO8
Raul Vasquez
raul@po8.io
https://www.po8.io

 

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SOURCE PO8 Ltd.

Skycatch and Komatsu Australia partner to boost project efficiency in Job Sites Across Oceana

SAN FRANCISCO, March 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Komatsu Australia Corp. and Skycatch Inc. are partnering to boost the efficiency of construction, mining, and quarry sites across Oceana with the High Precision Package.

Komatsu's Everyday Drone Solution.

The High Precision Package is also known as Komatsu’s Everyday Drone Solution, a key component to the Smart Construction workflow.

The Everyday Drone contains the Explore1 high precision UAV, the Edge1 integrated GNSS base station and edge compute module, and the Viewer, an online data visualization and analysis tool, all packaged into one, commercial grade kit. The Everyday Drone allows a user to experience industry-leading time to data without needing Ground Control Points (GCP), and the ability to seamlessly integrate precision aerial data into their Smart Construction Workflow.

In common construction workflows, the time to data using traditional surveying methods could take weeks until project stakeholders can view or analyze their job site data. With the Edge1, customers are able to leverage a seamless GCP free workflow that consistently delivers sub 50 mm accurate data, in arbitrary or local coordinate systems within 30 minutes, saving countless hours and labor costs.

“We are now using the Everyday Drone at the start of projects to collect whole site information for pre-tender and bidding capability, comparing against 3D design surface to provide fleet and project managers real, accurate information viewed in the Smart Construction Application. This allows them to work out their cut and fill volumes with accuracy from the beginning, and enables the project tender team to select the right machines for the project optimising fleet recommendation and empowering the team to make the right, data-based decisions from the start,” says Aaron Marsh National Technology Solution Expert Manager – Smart Centre at Komatsu Australia Pty Limited.

“Skycatch is proud to offer a better way of accessing precision data on-site. With traditional methods, the solutions are piecemeal, cumbersome, and time-consuming. Now, customers are able to make informed decisions about changes to what was planned and what is actually happening on site in near real-time, ultimately providing greater productivity, increased profit and reducing project risk from beginning to end,” says Christian Sanz, Skycatch Founder, and CEO.

Customers in Australia have already experienced the benefits of the Everyday Drone Solution, shared James Mackenzie, National Remote Support Manager at Komatsu Australia. They went out to test the receptiveness of a drone solution in the market, originally in Civil Construction and quickly expanded into Quarry sites. Mackenzie was able to survey 6 quarries in 5 days for different customers, post-processed in the cloud, receiving the data back the next day.  “Compared to a traditional survey, this is 100% more productive and efficient,” says Mackenzie. “By using the Everyday Drone, customers are no longer putting themselves in harm’s way, surveying around heavy machinery or climbing up unstable stockpiles at risk of twisting an ankle”. He also noted that customers immediately appreciated the fast turn-around-time, the ease of use, and the ruggedness of the products.

“Skycatch’s ability to provide near real-time data throughout the entire project is vital, and being able to deliver that to the customer, supervisor and give project teams the ability to make decisions throughout the project easily with usable, accurate data is key to the success of the project as a whole, not just in siloed environments is priceless,” says Marsh.

About Skycatch

Skycatch is the leading industrial data collection and analytics company, focused on indexing and extracting critical information from the physical world. We use a combination of hardware, software, and artificial intelligence to deliver high precision data at unprecedented speed and ease of use. Built for enterprise, our turnkey solutions are deployed across global project sites with the world’s largest construction, mining, and energy companies. For more information, visit www.skycatch.com

About Komatsu Australia

Komatsu is a manufacturer of utility, construction and mining equipment and over the past 6 years has been a key driver for change in the way OEMs typically do business. Leading the way in technology and innovation in the solution based business.

Komatsu has been supplying and supporting Komatsu equipment to Australian contractors, quarries, miners, farmers, and other end users since 1965 — celebrating our 50th anniversary of Australian operations in 2015.

Today we are a strong member of the worldwide Komatsu family, with sales, service, support and parts facilities throughout Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia — and able to draw on the global resources of Komatsu to ensure the ongoing success of our customers.

We are very proud of our deep engagement with the Australian community, through our dedicated management and staff, our business partners and suppliers, our support for community organisations, and of course our customers and the industry sectors they serve.

Media Contact: Jackie Guilbault | Skycatch Marketing Director | jackie@skycatch.com

 

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SOURCE Skycatch, Inc.

ISG NextGen Software Summit to Explore Software as a Lever for Business Transformation

STAMFORD, Conn., March 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Accelerating business transformation and growth through software is the focus of the inaugural ISG NextGen Software Summit, May 6–7, in Chicago, hosted by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

“The pace of digital transformation requires new approaches to buying, building, integrating and managing software,” said Bill Huber, partner, ISG Digital Platforms and Solutions. “The ISG NextGen Software Summit will show participants how they should address the complexities of licensing and managing software in an agile and virtualized business environment and accelerate the time to value from their software investment.”   

The inaugural 2019 summit, at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, will provide insights on the software marketplace, the software asset life cycle and the impact of artificial intelligence, with case studies on how top companies are implementing transformational software, securing storage platforms, and enabling new ways to simplify and collaborate within organizations and teams.

Day one of the event will feature Tony Sanchez, corporate systems business partnership manager for Mars Incorporated, with an industry spotlight presentation, “Elevating Employee Experience with Software that is Transforming the Workplace,” on Monday, May 6, at 4:15 p.m. Sanchez will detail the technology implementations that are elevating the employee experience at the private, family-owned confectionary, pet care and food company.

Greg Satell, author of the soon-to-be published book, “Cascades: How to Create a Movement that Drives Transformational Change,” as well as “Mapping Innovation,” selected as one of the best business books of 2017, will deliver the event’s keynote address, “Competing in a New Era of Innovation,” on Tuesday, May 7, at 9:15 a.m. Satell will illustrate how the transformational digital revolution, which has rewarded fast and agile organizations, is giving way to a new era of innovation, requiring enterprises to pivot from “moving fast and breaking things” to widening and deepening connections to customers, partners, vendors and open resources.

The conference, produced by ISG Events, will include a series of informative presentations and panel discussions on finding the right software to help your team succeed; the impact of  “as-a-Service”; cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP); software negotiation and implementation; application proliferation and sunsetting; software asset management and audits; AI and machine learning; RPA software bot solutions, and software and RPA execution and compliance.

An Innovation Lab will feature three sessions with hands-on demonstrations of innovative and cutting-edge technologies, and the ISG Startup Challenge will emulate “Shark Tank,” with entrepreneurs pitching innovative software solutions to a panel of expert judges.  

“IT leadership is challenged to protect against cybersecurity threats without compromising flexibility and innovation,” Huber said. “Our NextGen Software Summit will focus on business cases, automation, organizational change, artificial intelligence and agile/DevOps and provide an unbiased, business-focused approach for companies to optimize their software investments holistically, while avoiding compliance surprises.”

More details about the ISG NextGen Software Summit can be found on the event website.

About ISG
ISG (Information Services Group) (Nasdaq: III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 700 clients, including more than 70 of the top 100 enterprises in the world, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs more than 1,300 digital-ready professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry’s most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit www.isg-one.com.

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SOURCE Information Services Group, Inc.

Amazon’s Alexa for Business

Amazon’s Alexa for Business Blueprints lets employees make custom voice apps

Use Alexa in your place of work? There’s cause for minor celebration: Today marks the launch of Alexa for Business Blueprints, a set of dozens of preconfigured templates for Amazon’s intelligent assistant that let customers create and publish private skills without having to write code. They’re currently available in the U.S., with additional territories presumably on the way.

As Amazon product marketing manager Ben Grossman explains in a blog post, Alexa for Business Blueprints stay within workplaces — they can’t be used on devices outside of an organization — and any employee can use them to submit voice app requests. How? Simply by signing in with an Amazon account, filling in the requests and responses fields, and supplying an Alexa for Business organization identifier (or ARN). It’s up to IT administrators to review and selectively enable apps for rooms (or the entire organization) as they come in.

A few of the available Blueprints address work-related questions like “What’s the guest Wi-Fi password?”, “What are the hours for IT?”, and “When does open enrollment start?” Others cover pertinent subjects like office layout (“Alexa, ask Team Guide, where’s the mailing center?”) and equipment setup (“How do I set up corporate email on my phone?”).

Coinciding with the rollout of Alexa for Business Blueprints, two new Skills Blueprints have been added to the Alexa Skills Blueprints website under a new Business category: a Business Q&A Blueprint for custom questions and answers, and an Onboard Guide Blueprint to handle new hire questions.

Amazon says that already, Amazon for Business users like Glidewell Dental plan to use the Blueprints to keep staff updated with company information and events, and that Saint Louis University and Emerson University hope to drive student and faculty engagement and support curriculum. “[S]ome companies attempting to develop custom Alexa skills found they didn’t have the resources to build their own private skills, which can take several months to design and release to their organization,” Grossman wrote.

Alexa for Business made its debut two years ago at Amazon Web Services’ re:Invent conference. It allows enterprise users to schedule meeting rooms (with third-party services such as Cisco, Polycom, Zoom), share itinerary information (through Concur), check voicemail messages, and quickly see if meeting rooms are available, and it enables company admins to control users’ settings and capabilities through a web dashboard. Beyond traditional office environments, Amazon has pitched it as a way to manage Echo speakers in places like hotels and dorm rooms.

Today’s launch comes months after Amazon introduced personal Blueprints for personal Alexa skills, which are assigned to Alexa-enabled devices registered to a specific Amazon account. Like voice apps created with Alexa for Business Blueprints, they don’t appear among the tens of thousands of third-party skills in the Alexa Skills Store.

Kong Raises $43 Million in Series C Funding to Deliver the Nervous System for Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Organizations

SAN FRANCISCO, March 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Kong Inc., the leading API and service lifecycle management platform for modern architectures, today announced $43 million in Series C financing, led by Index Ventures with participation from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Charles Rivers Ventures (CRV), as well as new investors GGV Capital and World Innovation Lab (WiL). This new round follows record growth in 2018, in which Kong drove a significant increase in year-over-year bookings, doubled headcount, reached 100 Kong Enterprise customers, including Yahoo! Japan, Ferrari, SoulCycle and WeWork, and hit more than 54 million downloads of open source Kong. With the Series C, Kong has now raised $71 million to date.

Kong will use the funds to deliver the industry’s first service control platform that acts as the nervous system for an organization’s modern software architectures by intelligently brokering information across all services. The company will also invest in international expansion including Asia Pacific and Europe, build out its go-to-market capabilities and team to support increasing demand for Kong technology, and grow the Kong open source community.

“It’s been a privilege to work with Kong and its fantastic team, and see them evolve from a small company to a market leader, with the potential to become the 800-pound gorilla in open core development,” said Mike Volpi, partner at Index Ventures.  “While Kong has enjoyed a lot of success to date, the microservices evolution is still in its early innings. Thousands upon thousands of applications will have to migrate to a microservices architecture, and Kong is at the epicenter of this movement.”

The way software is created is undergoing a revolution as Global 5000 organizations transition to new, distributed software architectures for modern applications that demand massive scalability, cross-platform support and the ability to process real-time streams of data in motion. By 2022, IDC predicts 90 percent of all new applications will feature microservices architectures and leverage third-party code, and 35 percent of all production applications will be cloud-native. An estimated 500 million new logical applications will be created between 2018 and 2023, fueled by rapid adoption of containers and agile methods.

The Kong Service Control Platform is designed for the modern era of software development and seamlessly connects APIs and microservices across cloud-native, hybrid, and on-prem environments to make it easy for developers to create scalable, microservice applications that drive business growth. Powered by a high-performance, open source core and enhanced with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the Kong Service Control Platform will enable end-to-end service lifecycle management – from pre-production to post-production – to support customers building and managing innovative products and services.

“Kong’s mission is to solve one of the biggest technical challenges in the 21st century by delivering a platform that intelligently connects and secures data in motion at a massive scale, with optimum performance and reliability,” said Augusto Marietti, CEO and co-founder of Kong Inc. “This funding will allow us to continue to help Global 5000 companies transform themselves into digital enterprises as they shift away from monolith legacy systems towards decentralized, hybrid and multi-cloud architectures.”

Supporting Quotes:

“Modern software is now built in the cloud, with applications consuming other applications, service to service,” said Martin Casado, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “We’re at the tipping point of enterprise adoption of microservices architectures, and companies are turning to new open source-based developer tools and platforms to fuel their next wave of innovation. Kong is uniquely suited to help enterprises as they make this shift by supporting an organization’s entire service architecture, from centralized or decentralized, monolith or microservices.”

“There’s been significant market traction in open source business models, particularly in the container and microservices space as more companies use these services for digital transformation,” said Devdutt Yellurkar, general partner at CRV. “We believe Kong is strongly positioned for success, as they can help organizations whether they are working with a monolith or microservices architecture–or a combination of both.”

“At GGV Capital, we seek to invest in companies creating the next wave of business innovation,” said Glenn Solomon, managing partner at GGV Capital. “GGV is thrilled to be part of Kong’s delivery of new, open core developer technology that makes it easier for app developers to create scalable, high-performance applications that drive business growth.”

“Kong and World Innovation Lab both share the same vision of a next generation of modern business,” said Rob Theis, general partner, World Innovation Lab. “We are excited to help accelerate Kong’s growth including in Japan, where they already have great customers embracing Kong’s service control platform. Together, WiL and Kong will empower leading companies across the globe to build enduring businesses.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Kong Inc. was launched in August 2017
  • 75+ million downloads of Kong makes it the most widely used open source API platform
  • 110+ Kong Enterprise customers to date
  • $43 million Series C funding raised
  • $71 million in total funding raised to date

Additional Resources:

  • Read more about the history of Kong
  • Follow the Kong blog to stay up to date on all things Kong
  • Check out Kong eBooks to learn about multi-cloud, microservices and more

About Kong Inc.
Kong delivers a next-generation API and service lifecycle management platform designed for modern architectures, including microservices, containers, cloud and serverless. Offering high flexibility, scalability, speed and performance, Kong enables developers and Global 5000 enterprises to reliably secure, connect and orchestrate microservice APIs for modern applications. Kong is building the future of service control platforms to intelligently broker information across services. For more information about Kong, please visit https://konghq.com/ or follow @thekonginc on Twitter.

Media Contacts:
Jill Reed, Sift Communications for Kong, 211811@email4pr.com, 4157222433

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SOURCE Kong Inc.