Envision Group Ranked Top 10 in the MIT Technology Review 50 Smartest Companies

SHANGHAI, June 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — MIT Technology Review, a global leading media on technology under the renowned U.S. research institute the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), unveiled its “50 Smartest Companies 2019 (TR50)” rankings today. Envision Group, the world’s leading energy technology company ranked top 10 — the only company awarded for driving energy transformation and the energy revolution through AIoT(*AIoT: Artificial Intelligence + Internet of Things)technology. Envision Group was listed alongside other global innovation pioneers including Microsoft, Qualcomm, Nvidia, Tesla, Huawei and Tencent.

Envision Group Ranked Top 10 in the MIT Technology Review 50 Smartest Companies

The TR50 is referred to as “a guide to the world’s emerging technologies”. Since 2010, MIT Technology Review has ranked the “50 Smartest Companies” worldwide based on their innovative and emerging technologies and breakthroughs. The members of the 2019 TR50 are companies that are “innovative, revolutionary, and empowered”; and who have proven their ability to integrate innovation and achieve transformation to accelerate a new industry’s creation, or to accelerate the development of existing industries.

MIT Technology Review explained that “Envision has created the world’s leading AIoT operating system – EnOS™ — to build a ‘smart machine social network’ that integrates in real time 100 GW of energy assets and 60 million smart devices, including: wind turbines, PV panels, energy storage systems, charging piles, electric vehicles and other equipment. With EnOS™, Envision can help integrate increasing amounts of renewable energy into the future energy system so as to accelerate energy transformation worldwide.”

MIT Technology Review applauded Envision’s strategic vision of a future energy system of “new coal, new oil, and a new grid”, alongside renewables, energy storage, batteries and energy AIoT. Envision has also recently completed new strategic deployments centering on wind energy, AESC, and the EnOS™.

According to MIT Technology Review, the definition of ‘smart’ is the ability to create an innovative business path that leverages the key strengths of emerging technologies to generate momentum for industrial transformation. Envision foresaw the huge opportunities for AIoT to drive energy transformation. Using its AIoT operating system EnOS™, Envision transformed the energy industry with the advanced insights provided by AIoT, creating an entirely new, future-oriented energy ecosystem. Today, Envision provides connection and collaboration services, and advanced products and solutions, ranging from upstream renewable energy generation to downstream distributed power for consumption. It aims to create synergies in cross-power generation, buildings, factories, energy storage, transportation and city management.

As the world’s leader in energy technology, Envision Group is also one of the top five wind turbine brands in the world, redefining the industry with its technologies. Envision has been a technological pioneer in the wind power industry over the past 12 years, from low speed wind turbines, to smart wind turbines and smart wind farms, to turbines with tall flexible towers and distributed wind turbines, and then to the smart operations and maintenance of the global wind farms by AI and IoT technologies.

As a top 3 EV battery technology company in China, Envision AESC has an excellent safety and quality record. To date, the lithium-ion batteries manufactured by Envision AESC in Japan, the US and Europe have been installed in over 450,000 electric vehicles with zero critical malfunctions (such as spontaneous combustion). Envision AESC is redefining the battery industry and future energy systems using AIoT technology.

Leveraging its AIoT technology, Envision not only helps enterprises achieve digital transformation but also collaborates with governments to realize their smart city visions. In Singapore, the EnOS™ is helping the government accelerate the development of next generation IoT-based solutions in their digitalization goals. The Government Technology Agency (Govtech) is using EnOS™ to develop in-house device management and data acquisition systems to fulfill the Smart Nation vision of Singapore.


Envision’s mission is to ‘solve challenges for a sustainable future’. The company is committed to creating a world of Beautiful Energy where everyone has access to clean, secure and affordable energy.

Envision is a leading energy technology company with deep industry expertise. It owns the world-leading Intelligent IoT Operating System, EnOS, which currently manages over 100 GW of energy assets globally. Founded in 2007, Envision’s is currently also one of the industry’s leading wind power and battery technology companies.

Envision’s primary business divisions are Envision Energy, Envision Digital, Envision AESC and Envision Venture. We also provide products and services such as Smart Wind Turbine, Smart Solar, EV batteries, energy storage, Smart Building and Smart City solutions.

Headquartered in Shanghai, Envision has regional offices across Asia, Europe, North and South America and has established global R&D and engineering centres in Singapore, Denmark, Germany, the United States and Japan. By integrating with technology partners such as Sonnen, ChargePoint, AutoGrid, and Bazefield, Envision is able to deliver Intelligent IoT platform and smart city ecosystem.

For more information, please visit: www.envision-group.com  

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Worldwide Smart Harvest Market Outlook to 2027 – Integration of Artificial Intelligence & Big Data in Farming Spurs Opportunities

DUBLIN, June 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The “Global Smart Harvest Market Analysis & Trends – Industry Forecast to 2027” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

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The Global Smart Harvest Market is poised to grow strong during the forecast period 2017 to 2027.

Some of the prominent trends that the market is witnessing include integration of artificial intelligence and big data in farming, high-growth opportunities for simpler harvest technologies in developing countries and high-growth opportunities for automated harvesting robots.

Key Topics Covered

1 Market Outline
1.1 Research Methodology
1.2 Market Trends
1.3 Regulatory Factors
1.4 Strategic Benchmarking
1.5 Opportunity Analysis

2 Executive Summary

3 Market Overview
3.1 Current Trends
3.1.1 Integration of Artificial Intelligence & Big Data in Farming
3.1.2 High-Growth Opportunities for Simpler Harvest Technologies in Developing Countries
3.1.3 High-Growth Opportunities for Automated Harvesting Robots
3.1.4 Growth Opportunities/Investment Opportunities
3.2 Drivers
3.3 Constraints
3.4 Industry Attractiveness

4 Smart Harvest Market, By Site of Operation
4.1 Greenhouses
4.2 Indoor Farming
4.3 On-Field

5 Smart Harvest Market, By Component
5.1 Hardware
5.2 Software

6 Smart Harvest Market, By Crop Type
6.1 Vegetables
6.2 Fruits

7 Smart Harvest Market, By Geography
7.1 North America
7.1.1 US
7.1.2 Canada
7.1.3 Mexico
7.2 Europe
7.2.1 Germany
7.2.2 UK
7.2.3 Italy
7.2.4 France
7.2.5 Spain
7.2.6 Rest of Europe
7.3 Asia-Pacific
7.3.1 China
7.3.2 Japan
7.3.3 India
7.3.4 Australia
7.3.5 New Zealand
7.3.6 Rest of Asia-Pacific
7.4 Middle East
7.4.1 Saudi Arabia
7.4.2 UAE
7.4.3 Rest of Middle East
7.5 Latin America
7.5.1 Argentina
7.5.2 Brazil
7.5.3 Rest of Latin America
7.6 Rest of the World (RoW)
7.6.1 South Africa
7.6.2 Others

8 Key Player Activities
8.1 Acquisitions & Mergers
8.2 Agreements, Partnerships, Collaborations and Joint Ventures
8.3 Product Launch & Expansions
8.4 Other Activities

9 Leading Companies
9.1 Abundant Robotics
9.2 Agrobot
9.3 AVL Motion B.V.
9.4 Deere & Company
9.5 Dogtooth Technologies
9.6 Energid Technologies Corporation
9.7 Ffrobotics
9.8 Harvest Automation
9.9 Harvest Croo
9.10 Iron Ox
9.11 Metomotion
9.12 Panasonic Corporation
9.13 Robert Bosch GmbH
9.14 Root AI
9.15 Smart Harvest Ltd.
9.16 Vision Robotics Corporation

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/kxznq9

Research and Markets also offers Custom Research services providing focused, comprehensive and tailored research.

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Laura Wood, Senior Manager

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Ping An Wins Top Ranking in Global Artificial Intelligence Challenge

HONG KONG, June 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. “(hereafter “Ping An” or the “Group” or the “Company”, HKEX: 2318; SSE: 601318)” has received global recognition for its achievements in artificial intelligence (AI) processing of human language in the healthcare field.

The 2019 MEDIQA challenge, sponsored by the international Association of Computational Linguistics (ACL), involved three tests. Ping An Smart City’s Natural Language Processing team (PANLP) ranked first in Recognizing Question Entailment (RQE), and seconds in Natural Language Inference (NLI) and medical Question Answering (QA) respectively.

72 teams took part in the challenge, which aims to develop methods, techniques and gold standards for NLP in the medical domain.

“This outstanding achievement demonstrated the world-class healthcare Natural Language Processing technology capability of Ping An,” said Dr. Xie Guotong, Chief Healthcare Scientist of Ping An Group. “Natural Language Processing is one of the most difficult challenges in AI. The MEDIQA challenge has increased the interest of many first-class universities and research institutions.”

“Recognizing Question Entailment technology has been applied in Ping An’s healthcare AI services, such as AskBob, the medical search engine, available in more than 1000 medical organizations in China to provide critical clinical decision support services to enhance doctors’ diagnosis and treatment decisions,” added Dr. Ni Yuan, Head of PANLP. “The win reflects Ping An’s strength in academic competition as well as advanced medical technology capabilities.”

Ping An Group’s medical healthcare AI covers more than 1,000 common diseases, and about 800 million potential patients benefit from it. The Group expects to invest RMB100 billion (USD15 billion) in technology research and development in the next decade to consolidate its technology leadership in the financial services industry.


The objective of RQE task is to identify entailment between two questions in the context of QA. The objective of NLI task is to identify three inference relations between two sentences: Entailment, Neutral and Contradiction. The objective of QA task is to filter and improve the ranking of automatically retrieved answers.

The evaluations for RQE and NLI tasks are based on Accuracy. The evaluation of QA task is based on the Accuracy, Mean Reciprocal Rank (MRR), Precision, and Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient.

About Ping An

Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (“Ping An“) is a world-leading technology-powered personal financial services group. With 184 million retail customers and 538 million Internet users, Ping An is one of the largest financial services companies in the world.

Ping An has two over-arching strategies ‘pan financial assets’ and ‘pan healthcare’, which focus on the provision of financial and healthcare services through our integrated financial services platform and our five ecosystems in financial services, healthcare, auto services, real estate services and Smart City services. Our ‘finance + technology’ and ‘finance + ecosystems’ strategies aim to provide customers and internet users with innovative and simple products and services. As China’s first joint stock insurance company, Ping An Group is committed to upholding the highest standards of corporate reporting and corporate governance. The company is listed on the stock exchanges in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Ping An ranked 7th in Forbes’ 2019 Global 2000, and it ranked 29th in Fortune Magazine’s 2018 Global 500 Leading Companies. Ping An also ranked 40th in 2018 WPP Millward Brown’s BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands. For more information, please visit www.pingan.cn

For enquiries, please contact:

Gareth Hewett @ +852 68822027 or gareth.john@pingan.com.hk 

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Pipeline Receives AI Breakthrough’s Innovation Award for AI Platforms

DENVER, June 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Pipeline, a SaaS platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to increase financial performance of companies through closing the gender equity gap, today announced that it has been selected as the winner of the “Innovation Award for AI Platforms” from AI Breakthrough, an independent organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies and products in the global Artificial Intelligence (AI) market today. This is the second consecutive year that Pipeline has won an AI Breakthrough Award; in 2018, the company was selected as the winner of the “Best Decision Management Solution” award.

“We are honored to be recognized by AI Breakthrough among other prestigious companies,” said Katica Roy, CEO, and founder of Pipeline. “It is a testament to our groundbreaking technology and the work we do every day to make gender equity a reality in our lifetime.”

More than 1,500 nominations from around the world were submitted for consideration in this year’s awards. Winners were selected for their innovation, hard work and success in a range of AI and machine learning related categories, including AI platforms, Deep Learning, Smart Robotics, Business Intelligence and Natural Language Processing.  “Pipeline embodies the spirit of the AI Breakthrough Awards program by developing and utilizing advanced AI for social good, leading a global movement to enact real and measurable change to quantify equity in corporate human capital management,” says James Johnson, managing director, AI Breakthrough. “The Pipeline team leverages data to prove that this issue is not just about the cultural and social impacts of gender inequity but is, in fact, a massive economic opportunity. Pipeline is a back-to-back AI Breakthrough Award winner, serving as a testament to their continued commitment to innovation, growth, and progress in their mission. We are thrilled to recognize Pipeline with a second consecutive AI Breakthrough Award.”

Using proprietary AI technology, Pipeline is leading a global movement to enact real and measurable change to quantify equity in corporate human capital management. This has helped HR departments in customizing their efforts according to key demographics and data, allowing these teams to make faster decisions, identify risks and irregularities and leverage automation to streamline processes. Achieving gender equity is now possible in our lifetime as Pipeline gives an organization the power through data and prescriptive recommendations to consciously choose to close their corporate gender gap.  According to Gartner, the leading market research firm in enterprise technologies, by 2020, more than 50% of large enterprises will include D&I enablement criteria in their selection process for HCM technologies.*

These awards further cement Pipeline’s place as the leading SaaS company working to achieve gender equity in our lifetime and improve economic outcomes. Achieving Equity for All™ is a universal opportunity, as gender inequity in the workplace adversely affects men, children, families, companies, and communities.

* Gartner, How HCM Technologies Enable Successful Diversity and Inclusion Interventions, November 2018

About Pipeline
Pipeline is a Denver-based technology company that increases the financial performance of companies through closing the gender equity gap. Pipeline’s proprietary SaaS platform uses artificial intelligence to assess, address and action against the gender biases costing the U.S. alone $2 trillion. A component of the platform, the Pipeline Forecast™, provides a clear view of the timeline for investment and projected returns. This issue is not just about good sense, this is about dollars. Big dollars that turn heads to create social change. For more information, visit PipelineEquity.com, like Pipeline on Facebook, follow @Pipeline on Twitter, and follow @Pipeline on LinkedIn.

About AI Breakthrough
Part of the Tech Breakthrough Awards organization, the AI Breakthrough Awards program is devoted to honoring excellence in Artificial Intelligence technologies, services, companies and products. The AI Breakthrough Awards provide public recognition for the achievements of AI companies and products in categories including AI Platforms, Robotics, Business Intelligence, AI Hardware, NLP, Vision, Biometrics, industry vertical AI applications and more. For more information visit AIBreakthroughAwards.com.

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SOURCE Pipeline

UniVoIP Named Top 10 VoIP Solution Provider of 2019 by Enterprise Networking Magazine

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., June 27, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — UniVoIP is pleased to announce today, that Enterprise Networking Magazine has recognized UniVoIP in the top 10 VoIP Solution Providers of 2019. UniVoIP’s OfficeConnect™ Business and Enterprise Edition’s robust unified communication and collaboration environment was awarded for delivering solutions that tackle complexities in business communications.

To help IT executives navigate through the decision-making process when selecting VoIP solution providers, Enterprise Networking Magazine’s distinguished selection panel comprising of CEOs, CIOs, VCs, industry analysts and the editorial board, have selected UniVoIP for exhibiting competence in delivering flexible, customized, scalable and integrated VoIP services.

“We are glad to recognize UniVoIP as one of the Top 10 VoIP Solution Providers – 2019,” said Lester D’Souza, Editor-In-Chief of Enterprise Networking Magazine. “With a focus on providing simple and affordable cloud-based communication solutions with robust hardware and software, the company is maximizing the potential of VoIP solutions.”

UniVoIP offers integrated business communication solutions, multimedia contact center functionality, cloud-based collaborative tools, mobility applications and a powerful suite of advanced IP phones coupled with mobile integration. Differentiating itself from other VoIP solution providers, UniVoIP’s offering can be customized down to the user level – making it the ideal solution for businesses to seamlessly integrate their phone system into their existing business processes.

With UniVoIP’s principle product OfficeConnect™, organizations from all segments can tap into the power of mobile collaboration and productivity tools, advanced IP phones, conferencing and other functionalities to optimize business communication for one or multi-site enterprises. With sights set on the future, UniVoIP plans to employ Artificial Intelligence (AI) in its network of data centers to improve the provisioning of its solutions as well as set its footprint in Mexico, Canada, South America and Europe.

ABOUT UNIVOIP                                                                                                                            
UniVoIP’s innovative cloud-based collaborative solutions and software, drive performance, productivity and efficiency for enterprises of all sizes, and in a variety of industries. UniVoIP’s principle product, OfficeConnect™, is an extremely robust and highly flexible solution delivering 500+ PBX, Contact Center and Unified Communication features via private, public or hybrid networking options in a multi-instance infrastructure environment. Powered by a team with over 40 years of experience together and unparalleled integrity, technology intelligence and a responsibility towards the greater good, UniVoIP’s mission is to create more powerful solutions for not only customers but for the future of information technology. Visit univoip.com.

Enterprise Networking is a monthly magazine that keeps the readers abreast of the recent trends in the networking space, innovative technology solutions currently being used in the industry and profound insights from the CIOs of leading networking companies on the changing market scenarios. Enterprise Networking magazine is targeted towards high-level executives across industries/universities to share their insights, which in turn will play the role of an educator to help technology and business heads across the globe to analyze and implement the trends in achieving their own business goals. Visit enterprisenetworkingmag.com.



Increasing Security Breaches in Computer Networks are Anticipated to Drive the Intrusion Prevention System Market : IndustryARC

HYDERABAD, India, June 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Intrusion Prevention System market is forecast to surpass $8.5 billion by 2025, after growing at a CAGR 13.7% during the forecast period 2019-2025. Increasing awareness among entities regarding cyber security and essential data protection practices has consequently driven growth of the intrusion prevention system market.


The Intrusion Prevention System market is expected to grow at a rapid pace owing to its deployment across a wide range of industries including BFSI, aerospace, defense, healthcare and transportation. In the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) industry, intrusion prevention systems are being deployed to provide security solutions against various attacks to the banks’ servers. With growth in popularity of online banking services, theft of banking information has become a major issue of concern which has further driven demand for intrusion prevention systems. The fastest growing sub-segment under the industry vertical segment is BFSI, which is anticipated to grow at a CAGR 15.20% during the forecast period 2019-2025, owing to growth of internet banking facilities. In February 2018, Aperio Systems, a key player in this market received an investment of $4.5m from Energias de Portugal (EDP), one of Europe’s key utility companies, to supply Aperio’s next generation Intrusion Prevention Systems to EDP.

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 North America is poised to emerge as the largest market for Intrusion Prevention Systems, and is estimated to generate revenue of more than $2.5 billion by 2025. The region is emerging as the fastest growing owing to increasing awareness about benefits of Intrusion Prevention Systems such as resistance to attacks from hackers and protection of confidential data. As per a report by the Organization of American States, nine out of ten banks in every American state suffered a cyber-attack in 2018. The report added that of the total cyber-attacks suffered by banks, 80% were malware attacks, 63% were violations of clear desk policies while phishing attacks accounted for 57%. This has consequently driven demand for implementation of intrusion prevention systems in these regions. More than 90% of banks and financial institutions have implemented firewalls and automated virus and system updates. Moreover, 85% of these institutions have installed intrusion detection and prevention systems for monitoring threats and vulnerabilities.

Intrusion Prevention System Market Growth Drivers

  • Increasing Number of Cyber Threats across the globe

With increased technological advancements, most data is shared by means of the internet. Most industries including BFSI, utilities, IT and telecommunications are highly prone to cyber-attacks. Around 8,854 breaches were recorded globally from 2005 to mid-2018. Demand from these sectors has driven global demand for intrusion prevention systems.

  • Rising Demand for Enterprise Mobility

With advancements in technology, most enterprises have shifted towards sharing of data over devices such as computers, laptops, smartphones and others, which has significantly increased the risk of data being corrupted or stolen by hackers. Around 43% of cyber-attacks are targeted at small businesses, with the aim to corrupt and steal confidential data. In 2017, 61% of data breach victims were companies with less than 1000 employees, and of this 31% were organizations which were attacked on operational infrastructure such as confidential data, external contacts and others. This has consequently increased demand for intrusion prevention systems to facilitate enterprise mobility in a more secure manner.

  • Stringent Regulations by Government

Governments of various countries have established stringent regulations to ensure data security and integrity. Regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation, which safeguard data and privacy for citizens of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA), have been mandated for companies operating in all EU member states. Consequently, intrusion prevention system have been widely deployed in these regions to keep an eye on potential incoming threats.

R&D, Investments and Funding

Edison Partners, a key provider of intrusion prevention and detection systems, invested $8m in a Series D round of funding for Bricata, a Columbia-based cybersecurity company, with an aim to expand Edison’s business globally and boost research and development.

Owing to increasing incidences of cybercrime, a startup called Vectra has introduced an artificial intelligence-based system called Cognito, with the aim to detect and prevent cyber-attacks, and mobilize responsive security systems. Consequently, it raised $36m to expand R&D, and business development.

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The Major Players in this Market Include

The major players in the intrusion prevention systems market include IBM Corp., CheckPoint Software Technologies, Cisco Systems, Dell, Jupiter Networks, McCafee, Extreme Networks and others.

In April 2017, Cisco Systems announced a partnership with IBM Corporation aiming to address the rising global threat of cybercrimes with the help of Cisco’s advanced firewall called Next Generation Protection System and Advanced Malware Protection System. This partnership is aimed at expanding products, services for the benefit of customers.


The Intrusion Prevention Systems market is being fuelled by increasing demand from industries such as BFSI, healthcare, government, IT & Telecommunication and others which are aiming to address increasing incidences of cyber threats. Additionally, initiatives taken by organizations to curb cyber-attacks including viruses, intrusions and others have further boosted demand for intrusion prevention systems. Owing to the ability to detect as well as prevent malicious attacks, these intrusion prevention systems have bright prospects for the future.

About IndustryARC:

IndustryARC primarily focuses on Cutting Edge Technologies and Newer Applications market research. Our Custom Research Services are designed to provide insights on the constant flux in the global supply-demand gap of markets. Our strong team of analysts enables us to meet the client research needs at a rapid speed, with a variety of options for your business. Any other custom requirements can be discussed with our team, drop an e-mail to sales@industryarc.com to discuss more about our consulting services.

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Joe Forlenza, New CalCPA Education Foundation President, to Focus on Growing Competencies of CPAs

BURLINGAME, Calif., June 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — During remarks today at the California Society of CPAs Council meeting, newly elected Education Foundation President Joseph A. Forlenza, CFP, CPA, identified his priorities for the coming year. He will focus on broadening the competencies and specialized knowledge of CPAs to include newer technologies, such as blockchain, robotic-process automation, machine-learning, as well as data science, and advanced analytics as a way to ensure the continued value of CPAs as the most trusted advisors in business.

Newly-elected Education Foundation President, Joseph A. Forlenza, CFP, CPA

“The CalCPA Education Foundation is the competency and learning team for CalCPA —– we have always focused on bringing quality, timely and relevant learning programs to the profession to arm them with the knowledge they need to deliver value in their various professional roles,” said Joseph A. Forlenza, president of the CalCPA Education Foundation. “Given the increasing complexity and evolving needs of business today, coupled with the pressure to increase value and drive growth, CPAs must broaden their skill sets to include knowledge in areas like technology, data science, data visualization and automation that will help solve these complexities and deliver value. The foundation is here to help them do that through our national webcast platform, thousands of education programs and industry leading conferences.”

CalCPA continues to invest in people, technology and products to ensure that members and customers have access to innovative solutions to meet the learning expectations of our members and their employers.

“We’re implementing systems that will empower CPAs to learn 24×7 whenever and wherever they want,” added Forlenza. “Members want to access education on any device, in any time zone, on any relevant topic. We aim to provide a customized mix of education resources that addresses each member’s personal needs, and having the right technologies in place is crucial to make this happen. This is why we are investing in things like our national platform and alternative formats such as ‘nano’ learning.” 

Forlenza was elected as President of the Board of Trustees for the CalCPA Education Foundation during the CalCPA Council meeting this week in Santa Barbara. Forlenza has been a trustee since 2011 and most recently held the position of first vice president. Forlenza is the founder and managing partner of Skycity Advisors LLC, located in San Diego. He is a financial advisor holding both the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and specializes in retirement planning. Mr. Forlenza is a member of CalCPA, past 2008-2009 president of the San Diego Chapter and serves on the American Institute of CPAs California Council Delegation.

About CalCPA
CalCPA traces its heritage to 1903 when the California State Society of Certified Public Accountants was organized. In 1909, it merged with two other state CPA associations to form CalCPA. CalCPA serves more than 45,000 members in public practice, private industry, academia and government and has 14 chapters across California. CalCPA offers more than 1,400 live courses, conferences, webcasts and on-demand self-study courses annually. For more information, visit www.calcpa.org.

CalCPA Education Foundation Logo

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Banner Bank Selects C2 Systems’ Covalent Loan Origination Platform for Consumer and Business Banking

COLLEYVILLE, Texas, June 28, 2019  — Banner Bank, based in Walla Walla, Washington, has selected C2’s Covalent loan origination platform to manage both their consumer and small business banking credit originations across their multi-state branch network.

Banner Bank, already ranked highest in the Northwest region for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power according to their 2019 U.S. Retail Banking Customer Satisfaction Study, chose Covalent to bring even more speed and reliability to their lending process in their constant pursuit of client satisfaction. C2 provides one streamlined solution, replacing separate point of sale, underwriting and document preparation solutions previously used at Banner. Covalent will serve as a next-generation, unified platform that seamlessly incorporates customer-facing digital channels to a robust underwriting engine that enables decision and pricing automation, and post-decision management that includes closing document production, e-contracting and a bi-directional bridge into the bank’s loan servicing system. With the fully integrated Covalent toolset, the expectation is that processes previously taking days or hours will be shortened to minutes.

“We are very excited about re-engaging with Banner Bank, having worked with them in the past when we operated Cypress Software Systems,” said Stephen G. Sargent, president and chief executive officer, C2 Systems. “They are very well respected in the industry and we’re looking forward to working closely with their team to author some new, game-changing features within Covalent. “The bank’s goals are totally aligned with ours in terms of providing an exceptional client experience. In today’s marketplace, this translates to offering a highly intuitive user interface coupled with an artificial intelligence engine that enables quick, high quality, consistent decisions, and fully-integrated e-contracting—all from the customer’s handheld device.”

“Delivering an exceptional client experience is always a top priority for us at Banner Bank, which is what led us to C2 Systems,” said Craig Sievertsen, senior vice president, small business & consumer lending director, Banner Bank. We seek partners who understand how our industry needs to continually evolve in order to earn our clients’ business—Stephen Sargent started this company for the same reasons. C2 is forward-thinking about technology while remaining nimble and responsive, which is exactly what we were looking for.”

C2 is on a mission. In much of the banking sector where the norm continues to be outdated and disconnected software, C2 offers an opportunity for financial institutions to provide an exceptional client experience using tools on par or better than those custom developed by the biggest players in the industry.

Banner Bank received the highest score in the Northwest region of J.D. Power 2017-2019 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Studies of customers’ satisfaction with their retail bank. Visit http://www.jdpower.com/awards.

About C2 Systems
C2 Systems, LLC is a leading developer of cloud-based, automated credit application decision support technology. Clients use C2 Systems solutions to quickly and consistently process consumer and small commercial loan applications from point of sale, through underwriting and document preparation, with an integrated hand-off to the financier’s loan servicing platform. C2 Vision offers a rapidly deployable data aggregation and decision engine for larger lenders. C2 Covalent provides community and regional banks, finance companies and credit unions with digital banking tools equivalent to those used by the largest national lending institutions.

For more information about C2 Systems, visit http://www.Go-C2.com, or http://www.linkedin.com/company/c2-systems-usa/

About Banner Bank
Banner Bank is a Washington-chartered commercial bank that conducts business from more than 200 locations in Washington, Oregon, California and Idaho. With more than $11.7 billion in assets, Banner offers a wide variety of banking services and financial products to individuals and small- and medium-sized businesses and their employees throughout the Western U.S. Visit Banner Bank at http://www.bannerbank.com.


SOURCE C2 Systems, LLC

Orion Pictures Partners with McKinney LA and Convrg To Launch ‘Chucky’ Chatbot Exclusively on Reddit, Creating The Platform’s Most Engaging Ad Of All Time

LOS ANGELES, June 28, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Orion Pictures announces the launch of a Reddit chatbot aimed to drum up excitement for the recent horror film release, Child’s Play.

Developed in partnership with Reddit, McKinney LA, and Convrg, the Chucky chatbot— u/ChuckyBot—challenges the traditional digital advertising format with an immersive experience designed to create buzz, capture attention and build the Child’s Play community on Reddit through direct engagement with Chucky. Conceptualized by Reddit’s Brand Strategy team, brought to life with strategy, copy, and creative produced by McKinney LA, and developed by Convrg, the chatbot is a fitting way to engage redditors interested in the new Child’s Play, which is powered by artificial intelligence that eventually spins out of control.

“Reddit is excited to partner with Orion Pictures and McKinney to develop a first-of-its-kind interactive campaign that goes beyond banners, clicks and audio,” said Reddit Brand Strategist, Rohaina Hassan. “At the end of the day, our goal is to offer true engagement with users while building a community for our entertainment partnerships and Convrg was able to bring the chatbot u/ChuckyBot to life, as the experience feels fresh, interactive, and creepy, just like the new Chucky.”

To interact with u/ChuckyBot, redditors can comment on a promoted post by u/KaslanCorp—the makers of the Buddi doll in the Child’s Play movies.

The bot’s early discourse was relatively mild: Answer “False” when u/ChuckyBot asked if he is, in fact, your best friend, and he might have alluded to his facial recognition software. But as the campaign progressed, his responses grew increasingly sinister.

“We had a ton of fun bringing this innovative idea to life through the iconic movie character that is Chucky,” said Sylvain Tron, Managing Director McKinney LA. “Orion is always pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in a film campaign using exciting technologies which makes them a great creative partner for McKinney LA.”

“We’ve had a blast bringing Reddit’s brilliant vision to life with this chatbot, which represents an exciting first for us all,” remarked Liz Snower, co-founder and President of Convrg. “We’re convinced that Reddit is one of the most strategic places brands should be thinking about when it comes to promoting their goods and services, considering the massive audience and their eagerness to have relevant conversations.”

Child’s Play opened in theaters nationally June 20, 2019. Los Angeles-based Operam is Orion’s media partner.

About Orion Pictures
Orion Pictures is a home for innovative filmmakers with a unique voice and an entertaining story to tell. One of the most iconic film labels in history, Orion Pictures was established in 1978 as a platform for releasing unique, edgy and groundbreaking films for audiences around the world.

About Reddit
Reddit is a network of communities where individuals can find experiences built around their interests, hobbies and passions. Redditors submit, vote and comment on content, stories and discussions about the topics they care about the most. With over 330 million global users monthly, Reddit is home to the most open and authentic conversations on the Internet. For more information, visit redditinc.com.

About Convrg
Launched in January 2017, Convrg is an AI voice and messaging platform powering conversational experiences for enterprise brands and retailers. For more information, visit http://www.convrg.io.



GEP Sweeps Into Top Spots Across Major Product Categories in Spend Matters SolutionMap for Procurement Software

CLARK, N.J., June 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — GEP, a leading provider of procurement and supply chain software to Fortune 500 and Global 2000 enterprises worldwide, announced today that Spend Matters® has named GEP a Value Leader, the highest ranking, across key categories in its SolutionMapSM ranking of procurement technology products

GEP Logo (PRNewsfoto/GEP)

GEP achieved the highest ranking across all buying personas in the Source-to-Pay,
Procure-to-Pay, Strategic Procurement Technologies (Sourcing, Analytics, Contract Life Management, Supplier Relationship Management), Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management and Contract Lifecycle Management categories, and was named Solution Leader in the Sourcing category. Buying personas, which describe the requirements of different types of users, include Nimble, Deep, Turn-Key, Configurator and CIO-friendly.

More about SolutionMap and the reports themselves are available at https://spendmatters.com/solutionmap/.

“The proof is in the pudding,” said Al Girardi, GEP’s vice president of global marketing and analyst relations. “Every major industry analyst and technology research firm ranks the SMART by GEP® platform for direct and indirect procurement as a top choice for global enterprises serious about digital transformation.”

“It’s true that recognition like this is gratifying — still, when SMART by GEP customers win awards for their digital transformation initiatives on our AI-powered, cloud-native platform, we’re even more excited,” Girardi noted, “That may sound corny, but that’s really what it’s all about for us — helping our customers meet their objectives, helping them succeed.

“And the awards they’re getting from professional associations, industry group and media outlets — wow, they’re really starting to pile up.”

SolutionMap provides a platform-level understanding that enables users to discern the level of integration between product modules and suites, overall interoperability with ERP and broader technologies, as well as the quality and effectiveness of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). In total, the Q2 2019 SolutionMap considers well over 1,000 different functional and platform components across source-to-pay and services procurement modules and suites.

According to Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell: “Beyond feature/function, we look at the platform elements to see what’s real and what’s not. Some users look for configurability, others don’t. We reflect buyer needs against, for instance, the application of AI, user experience, low-code platforms. With SolutionMap, procurement professionals have this information at their fingertips even if they are not technology experts themselves.”

Spend Matters designed the platform-level comparison capability to “eliminate asymmetry” between sellers and buyers of procurement technology. According to Mitchell, “SolutionMap enables apples-to-apples comparisons between solutions … to even advanced
procurement, finance and supply chain organizations. We have done the hard work of abstracting demonstrated functional and platform capability for organizations that are
non-technical in orientation.”

AI-powered, cloud-native SMART by GEP is a complete digital platform for direct and indirect procurement. SMART by GEP is easy to set up, deploy and use, with no extensive training required. SMART by GEP is platform agnostic (it works with SAP, Oracle, or any other
major ERP or F&A system). And with superb support and service, GEP is an industry leader in customer satisfaction.

SMART by GEP, purpose-built on a single code base for optimum performance on the cloud, easily handles the heaviest, most complex requirements of GEP’s Fortune 500 and Global 2000 clients, while eliminating burdensome infrastructure and support costs. And SMART by GEP procurement software, anchored securely in Microsoft Azure, achieves among the highest levels of performance, scalability and resilience of any digital business platform anywhere.

About GEP

GEP helps global enterprises operate more efficiently and effectively, gain competitive advantage, boost profitability, and maximize business and shareholder value.

Fresh thinking, innovative products, unrivaled domain and subject expertise, and smart, passionate people  this is how GEP creates and delivers unified supply chain solutions of unprecedented scale, power and effectiveness.

Named a Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrants, Winner for Best Procurement Software and Best P2P Provider at the World Procurement Awards, and Best Provider at the EPIC Procurement Excellence Awards, GEP is frequently honored as an innovator and leader in source-to-pay procurement and supply chain software by Gartner, Forrester, IDC, Procurement Leaders, Spend Matters and Ardent Partners.

GEP is also ranked leader in managed procurement services (procurement outsourcing) by Everest Group, NelsonHall, IDC, ISG, HfS, SIG and IAOP. In addition, the primary research firm in the management consulting sector, ALM Intelligence, ranks GEP leader in procurement strategy and supply chain consulting.

With 18 offices and operations centers in Europe, Asia and the Americas, Clark, New Jersey-based GEP helps enterprises worldwide realize their strategic, operational and financial objectives. To learn more about our comprehensive range of strategic and managed services, please visit www.gep.com. For more about SMART by GEP, our cloud-native, AI-powered platform for direct and indirect procurement, please visit www.smartbygep.com.


Al Girardi
VP, Marketing & Analyst Relations
GEP Worldwide
Phone: +1 732-382-6565
Email: al.girardi@gep.com

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