Coca-Cola unveils Aguas Frescas line for the foodservice industryPosted By: News Deskon: July 17, 2017In: Beverage, Foodservice, Industries, New products, Soft drinksPrintEmailCoca-Cola has expanded its range of beverages in the US with the launch of non-carbonated Aguas Frescas.Sold through its Barrilitos brand, the new line will be available in restaurants and foodservice outlets in seven flavours: pineapple, strawberry hibiscus, mango lime, pear cucumber, watermelon, horchata, and tamarind.Aguas Frescas, or ‘fresh waters’, are fruit, seed, flower and water-based drink combinations with roots in Mexico and Central America.Barrilitos first launched as a bottled sparking soft drink in Monterrey in 1938, and in 2008 it became part of the Coca-Cola Company. This line of Aguas Frescas is the brand’s first launch since joining Coke.Mike Hagen, group director of category strategy and innovation at Coca-Cola, said: “From a national category point of view, no company has defined authentic Aguas Frescas yet, so we are leading the way.”Melinda Pritchett, senior manager, category strategy and innovation, Coca-Cola North America, said: “It’s an exciting time here in North America for our company, customers and consumers. Our team has had an opportunity to innovate in a unique space over the past year.“We’ve joined a new category, built a new Barrilitos brand visual identity and crafted new products from scratch. We want to evolve our choices for consumers and offer new things that people didn’t even know existed.”Containing 3-5% juice, each of the Aguas Frescas flavours is caffeine and gluten free. The product is available in two formats: bag in the box and frozen concentrates.Coca-Cola said it may look to expand the line with ready-to-drink options in the future. Share with your network: Tags: Coca-Colafoodservicenew productUnited States
Gardein introduces range of high-protein vegan ready mealsPosted By: News Deskon: April 19, 2018In: Food, Industries, Innovation, New productsPrintEmailPinnacle Foods-owned plant protein brand Gardein has launched a four-strong range of vegan ready meals in North America. Called skillet meals, the products combine the brand’s signature ‘meatless meats’ with a variety of crisp vegetables, grains and pastas.The range consists of: Asian-style chick’n fried rice, chick’n fiesta, chick’n Florentino and Italian-style rigatoni n’ saus’age.Andy Judd, vice president of marketing at Boulder Brands, said: “Consumers today want healthier, sustainable options that fit into their busy schedules.“As the very first multi-serve meals available in the frozen meatless category, our new skillet meals are outrageously delicious and can be prepared in minutes, making meal time a rewarding experience no matter how brief.”The skillet meals are currently available at select grocers and will continue rolling out to major North American supermarkets in the coming months. Gardein products are currently available at 23,000 retail locations in North America.Share with your network: Tags: GardeinPinnacle Foodsready mealsveganWorld Vegan Day 2018
Hanie Yousefi and Tohid Didar have worked on developing the patch, which they say could replace traditional best before date labels on products. © McMaster University Researchers develop patch which shows if food is safe to consumePosted By: News Deskon: May 11, 2018In: Beverage, Food, Industries, TechnologyPrintEmailResearchers at McMaster University in Canada have developed a transparent test patch which they claim brings certainty to the question of whether food products are safe to eat.Printed with harmless molecules, the ‘Sentinel Wrap’ patch can be incorporated directly into food packaging, where it can monitor contents for harmful pathogens such as E. coli and salmonella, signalling contamination as it happens.If a pathogen is present in the food or drink inside the package, it triggers a signal in the packaging that can be read by a smartphone or other device. The test itself does not affect the contents of the package.Engineers claim the technology has the potential to replace the traditional best before date labels on food and drinks, with a definitive indication of when a product should not be consumed.According to the World Health Organization, foodborne pathogens result in approximately 600 million illnesses and 420,000 deaths per year. About 30% of those cases involve children five years old and younger.Hanie Yousefi, research assistant at McMaster University Faculty of Engineering, said: “In the future, if you go to a store and you want to be sure the meat you’re buying is safe at any point before you use it, you’ll have a much more reliable way than the expiration date.” Mass producing such a patch would be fairly cheap and simple, the researchers say, as the DNA molecules that detect food pathogens can be printed onto the test material.Tohid Didar, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at McMaster said food manufacturers “could easily incorporate this into their production process”. Getting the invention to market would need a commercial partner and regulatory approvals, the researchers say.Share with your network: Tags: Canadaresearch
Orkla subsidiary NIC acquires UK confectionery manufacturerPosted By: Martin Whiteon: July 01, 2019In: Business, Confectionery, Food, Industries, Mergers & AcquisitionsPrintEmailOrkla Food Ingredients subsidiary NIC Enterprises has agreed a deal to acquire UK-based fudge and toffee manufacturer Confection by Design.Headquartered in Harrogate, Confection by Design produces fudge and toffee for ice cream manufacturers, bakeries and confectioners, and approximately two-thirds of its product portfolio is distributed by Orkla’s UK subsidiary Orchard Valley Foods.80% of Confection by Design’s sales are in the UK, and Orkla Food Ingredients claims that the acquisition will boost its presence in the market, in which it already holds a strong position through its NIC UK, Orchard Valley Foods and County Confectionery subsidiaries.Confection by Design recorded an annual turnover of £5.7 million in the financial year ended 30 June 2019, and the company’s operations will be consolidated into Orkla’s financial statements from 1 July 2019.Orkla and Confection by Design have agreed to not disclose the purchase fee.Tor Osmundsen, CEO of NIC Group said: “The purchase of Confection by Design is strategically right and will complement Orkla Food Ingredients’ position as a supplier of inclusions and accessories to the bakery, chocolate and ice cream market.”Orkla has made a number of acquisitions over the course of 2019 as part of a concerted strategy to strengthen its position in Europe across a wide range of sectors in the food industry.This strategy saw Orkla Foods Ingredients announce the acquisition of Zeelandia Sweden in April, a supplier of margarine, vegetable oils and bakery ingredients.Over the course of 2019, Orkla has also acquired a majority stake in Greek confectionery, bakery and ice cream ingredients producer Stelios Kanakis Industrial; purchased Swedish chilled and frozen food producer Lecora; acquired a minority stake in the owner of Portugal-based Captain Kombucha and purchased a 90% stake in Danish bakery product manufacturer Easyfood.The company has also restructured its executive management team following the resignation of CEO Peter Ruzicka, who stepped down from his position in May after delivering a fifth consecutive year of top-line growth at the company.Last month, Orkla appointed Jaan Ivar Semlitsch as its new CEO, who joins the Norway-headquartered firm from Dixons Carphone, where he has been CEO of Elkjop Nordic for more than six years.Share with your network: Tags: Confection by DesignconfectioneryOrklaUK
An FBI agent fatally shot the victim of a kidnapping during a raid early Thursday at a Houston home, authorities said.FBI spokeswoman Christina Garza said the agent shot the man shortly before 4am during an “operation” at the home. The man, whose name was not immediately released, died later at a hospital.Police in Conroe, about 40 miles north of Houston, confirmed the man had been kidnapped and held for ransom.“The system failed. Whether it was accidental or not, the man is not going home to his family,” Conroe police chief Philip Dupuis said.Two men and one woman are charged with aggravated kidnapping, police said. The men also are charged with aggravated robbery.Police said the men broke into a home in Conroe and abducted the man. His 12-year-old son called police, who called the FBI for assistance.The FBI followed cellphone signals to a motel near Houston, where two suspects – both of them men – were found. The suspects directed FBI agents and police officers to a house where another suspect – a woman – was located along with the man who was being held captive. Other people, including children, also were at the home, according to authorities.It is unclear what led to the gunfire. Garza said the agent who fired the fatal shot is on administrative leave pending an investigation. Houston Share on Twitter An FBI agent fatally shot the victim of a kidnapping during a raid early Thursday at a Houston homePhotograph: Lumigraphics/Getty Images Reuse this content Support The Guardian Share via Email Share on WhatsApp news US policing Shares2222 Share on Messenger US news Share via Email Fri 26 Jan 2018 11.50 EST US crime Share on LinkedIn This article is more than 1 year old … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. This article is more than 1 year old Share on Facebook Topics Share on Facebook US news Since you’re here… FBI agent fatally shot kidnap victim during raid in Houston, authorities say Share on Pinterest Associated Press Share on Twitter ‘The system failed. Whether it was accidental or not, the man is not going home to his family,’ the Conroe police chief said
Event marketingmachine learningMarketing TechnologyNewsRainFocusSaasSarah Mills Previous ArticleEmail Open Rates: Leveraging Personalization to Be Ever in Your FavorNext ArticleSound That BRANDS Raises Capital; Forming Core Leadership Team The RainFocus Recommendations Bot takes a deeper look into the interests and values of attendees. By utilizing attendee demographics, behaviors, historical data, and session ratings, the Recommendations Bot can make suggestions for attendees that will enhance their conference experience. Each event that an attendee participates in will become more personalized as the Recommendations Bot remembers and scores their preferences and interactions.Marketing Technology News: Popular Ticketing Platform Ticketbud Announces Integration with Salesforce“Putting event data in action has and continues to be a massive gap in the industry,” says Mike Bushman, CTO of RainFocus. “Each conference-hosting company has different parameters for what they determine to be an ‘engaged customer.’ From day one of starting this company we’ve made it our goal to provide our clients and their attendees with personalized experiences. The Recommendations Bot is the most advanced machine learning tool in the events industry and is getting better with each attendee interaction.”Key benefits of the Recommendations Bot:Every cycle of feedback provided by the attendee improves the accuracy and relevance of recommendations through a simple thumbs up or down.Take advantage of recommendations from any view. Attendees will be able to easily add recommendations to their schedules from the catalog or from their calendar.Train the bot to fit the needs of your business by making simple adjustments to the scoring model.The Recommendations Bot enhances RainFocus’ content module by offering a win-win solution for attendees and event staff. With the bot, attendees are provided a smooth content-guided experience all while event managers are gaining important event data. The combination of automated attendee recommendations and centralized data management significantly lowers the workloads of event managers and staff.Marketing Technology News: Conagra Brands Puts Consumers at the Center of its Business Transformation with Salesforce“Splunk has an integration between RainFocus and their content catalog on their event website, where the ability to schedule sessions now lives. Now when we need to make a change to content, instead of going to the Splunk web team, the changes are made within RainFocus and pushed everywhere else,” says Sarah Mills, Senior Global Event Technology Manager for Splunk. “Having one source of truth for customer-facing content is extremely helpful. It’s hard for me to shake the memories of 2015, when we had to use three different spreadsheets with specific formatting to update information in multiple places and then cross-checking manually to assure that they all match.”As a true SaaS platform, RainFocus is constantly innovating and providing new features to help its clients manage their event data. These constant improvements allow the company to innovate faster and stay ahead of its competitors. RainFocus is continuing to build its product offering and is subsequently establishing its place as the only events software platform to provide complete end-to-end event management.Marketing Technology News: SessionM Demonstrates How to Turn Data into Loyalty at Salesforce Connections RainFocus, the leading Event Marketing Platform, announced the release of its newest machine learning tool, the Recommendations Bot. Large events pose a number of challenges for event directors. With over 2,500 sessions, recommendations become the key to improving the attendee journey and maximizing engagement. The Recommendations Bot is designed to address those challenges by providing a more personalized attendee experience — a truly game-changing feature for the industry. RainFocus RainFocus Delivers the Event Industry’s Most Advanced Machine Learning Tool PRNewswireJune 20, 2019, 9:30 pmJune 20, 2019
Technology-driven marketing solutions for Southeast Asian companies to target and capture China’s lucrative consumer marketV-Click Technology (“V-Click”), the joint venture formed between VGI Global Media Plc, Thailand’s number one online to offline (O2O) solutions provider across advertising, payment and logistics platforms and iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited, (“iClick”) (NASDAQ: ICLK), an independent online marketing and enterprise data solutions provider in China, is officially launched.The suite of technology-driven digital marketing and media solutions provided by V-Click will include intelligence, social, and mobile tools based on iClick’s 825 million1 consumer profiles to provide clients with a comprehensive insight into the Chinese market. V-Click will also continue to launch various products and applications that extend the joint data and technological capabilities of iClick and VGI, including marketing SaaS solutions and AI-powered mobile applications, among others.Marketing Technology News: WebCEO, the Agency Oriented Marketing Platform, Launches a New Local SEO ModuleThailand is one of the most popular overseas destinations for Chinese tourists. According to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports in Thailand, in 2018 there were 10.5 million visitors from China, with a total expenditure of THB 580 billion. Chinese visitors are the top source of foreign receipts in an industry that makes up about a fifth of the Thai economy, presenting significant opportunity to Thai brands to reach this audience.Leveraging the respective digital strengths and extensive local networks of iClick and VGI, V-Click will help companies in the region deepen their engagement with the lucrative audience of Chinese outbound travellers and consumer groups through targeted and customized strategies as well as market leading solutions that consider the unprecedented cross-border retail opportunities.To celebrate V-Click’s launch, VGI and iClick co-hosted an industry event in Bangkok that provided insights on digital marketing in China, attended by over 300 marketers from Thailand. Leading Chinese internet players and marketing experts including Tencent, Ctrip, RED and DianPing shared their insights on China’s outbound tourism market and the purchasing behaviour of Chinese outbound travellers.Marketing Technology News: Progress Named a Leader in the New 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Multiexperience Development Platforms“Advanced marketing technology has become an essential tool to help Southeast Asian consumer brands who are looking to penetrate Chinese travellers. V-Click is uniquely positioned to help Southeast Asian companies to reach Chinese consumer markets and convert marketing efforts to real business value, backed by the region’s two leading marketing solutions players,” commented Yan Lee, Chief Product Officer of iClick and Chief Executive Officer of V-Click.“As announced in June, VGI’s strategic investment in iClick further expands the ongoing collaboration between the two companies and this move demonstrates the confidence the two parties have in the synergies they can create and the market opportunities of which they are looking to take advantage,” said Sammy Hsieh, Co-founder and CEO of iClick. “Going forward, we foresee more collaboration opportunities between VGI and its Group and iClick, which enables iClick to rapidly expand across Southeast Asia.”Marketing Technology News: Introducing Shutterstock Elements, Thousands of Cinema-Grade Video Effects for Filmmakers V-Click Technology Officially Launched Globe Newswire1 day agoJuly 22, 2019 digital marketingiClickMarketing Technology NewsNewsSammy HsiehV-Click TechnologyYan Lee Previous ArticleAsia-Pacific Managed Security Service Providers Need to Offer Advanced Analytics to Drive Growth Opportunities in the region, finds Frost & SullivanNext ArticleRoundtable Series: The Benefits of AI for Retail Operations
MarTech Interview Series The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick. Tell us about your interaction with smart technologies like AI and Cloud-based Enterprise platforms.It’s my privilege to be sitting at the helm of a new and exciting company that is at the forefront of cloud-deployed AI-based enterprise solutions, Evolv Technologies. And, what an exciting time to be working in the space! The capabilities of AI – ours and others – continue to expand in amazing ways. The cloud as a delivery environment is advancing as quickly, offering new possibilities. And the world’s enterprises are in the midst, arguably, in a do-or-die transformational phase where how well they traverse and whether they exit that phase depends on their embrace of technologies like what we and others offer.How did you start in this space? What galvanized you to start at Evolv?I’ve been working in the intersection of Retail and Technology for over twenty years, starting originally in a merchant role and leading e-commerce and Digital organizations for the last 15 years. Working for companies like Best Buy, Sears, Toy’s R Us and other leaders in retail gave me a front-row seat to the opportunities inherent in online and digital shopping – and the challenges which make it difficult for organizations to take full advantage of the digital opportunity.I had been advising the board of Sentient Technologies, a leading AI research and development firm, for several years, and had always been impressed in particular by Ascend, the company’s AI-powered optimization platform which was launched in late 2016. Ascend uses evolutionary algorithms in a powerful new way to enable companies to achieve true experimentation at scale, in turn enabling much faster growth in conversion rates, average revenues per user and other key metrics.Sentient’s R&D focus dozens of patents applied for and granted wasn’t the ideal culture to build out an enterprise cloud-based software business. Despite this, the team had built strong momentum for the Ascend, winning business from top worldwide brands and delivering a truly unique and valuable product.I saw an opportunity to double down on growth in the Ascend business through increased focus and investment and presented this to the existing investors of Sentient, who loved the idea.We formed Evolv in late 2018 and in early 2019 acquired the Ascend business from Sentient. Same team, same product, 100% focused on delivering innovation in Autonomous Optimization.We added fuel to the new business through an eight-figure funding round led by Horizons Ventures along with most existing Sentient investors, as well as some new investors excited by the potential opportunity. We announced this just recently and I couldn’t be more excited to work with the team to see how far we can take this.What is Evolv and how does it leverage AI in its operations?Evolv develops and sells the Ascend by Evolv Autonomous Optimization platform, which harnesses the power of evolutionary algorithms, a branch of AI, to help companies achieve faster growth. Ascend’s AI gives teams in charge of user experiences an order of magnitude increase in power in their ability to test out ideas for improving those experiences.Traditionally web sites and mobile apps are optimized through A/B testing. But, except for the world’s largest digital properties, there are sharp limits to the scale of testing that companies can achieve using A/B testing alone. Most companies have huge backlogs of ideas they’d like to test, to improve their experiences, but can’t, due to the traffic requirements for a single definitive A/B test.Ascend and its AI breaks through this limitation, allowing teams to test twenty or thirty changes at once, instead of the single change tested in an A/B test. Ascend automates an evolutionary process testing generations of designs in sequence and learning from each one to solve what are the best combinations of changes out of thousands or millions of possibilities that achieve the best performance.This kind of speed-up and automation through AI is delivering faster growth to companies of all sorts that are focused on honing their digital experiences. Our clients don’t need to know AI Ascend does that part to harness this power.What is the state of AI for IT Autonomous Optimization in 2019? How much has it evolved since the time you first started here?It’s been great watching the evolution pun intended of the worlds of Experimentation and Optimization since the launch of Ascend in 2016.I want to make sure we differentiate for now between what we at Evolv do optimize user experiences to achieve performance gains and the whole other world of using AI to optimize IT-oriented outcomes, like network performance or cloud costs. There’s some great work happening there too.Back to the world of Experience Optimization. Many more companies understand now, as compared to three years ago, the critical importance of experimentation at scale to remain competitive in the digital economy. They’re watching the leaders like Amazon and booking.com and looking to emulate these and other thought leaders in building experiences based on experimentation and data.Secondly, the products have evolved. Our own Ascend platform is certainly different than it was three years ago, both in terms of the sophistication of its AI and how it makes decisions, and more generally as an enterprise-quality software tool. As digital experiences continue to migrate to the mobile phone, and web experiences get more app-like, so, too, have our abilities to hone these experiences.Finally, the practices have evolved. We brought AI into to augment a field that relies on human insights and creativity – figuring out what words/images/layouts/flow/code/etc will best move your customers where you want to move them – and it is fascinating to see how the two combine. What would you do if you all of a sudden had 10 times the capacity to do something? It’s like the difference between walking and driving. When you open up teams’ abilities to try new ideas and improve the products they manage by that much, great things can happen.Tell us more about your vision into growing revenue opportunities by deploying Evolv in their IT stack.Experimentation and Optimization can touch every aspect of a company’s digital business.To date, Ascend has been focused on optimizing the front-line experiences users see on the web and mobile sites. Ascend’s AI helps companies figure out the layouts, images, colors, words, page flows, form designs and other visible features that will best help the user towards a purchase.But there’s a lot more that goes into a digital user experience than just presentation. What products or services is the user shown? What is the pricing and/or promotions associated with a given product? And digital experiences don’t exist in a vacuum, either – they are part of an omnichannel world. How can we help companies optimize across their channels, and at a deeper level?This is where full-stack server-side capabilities come in. By extending Ascend’s capabilities through APIs and a set of SDKs, we’re now able to bring the performance improvements of evolutionary testing to bear on product testing, feature testing, price testing, and other experimentation that is being done not just by the marketing and sales teams but by the IT and product teams as well.Imagine if your call center scripts were optimized on the fly based on caller and call type to achieve the shortest call times, or perhaps the most closed phone sales. Or if you can optimize your native mobile apps and in-store digital signs as easily as you do your web site. Or if your promotional price dynamically adjusts to maximize profitability by key user segment. All of these use cases and many more will be available as we link Ascend into the IT infrastructure more directly.Tell us more about your new approach to ending poor website performance? How does Evolv help customers in overcoming these challenges?The web and mobile phone are unforgiving environments. If your Customer Experience isn’t delivering what the customer is looking for, your competitors are only a click or tap away.And there’s no shortage, in most companies, on ideas about how to improve the Customer Experience. Your teams think about this all the time, and there are plenty of agencies that are experts in Experience Optimization as well.What has been the problem is the ability to test these ideas and to deploy them, or not, based on data. Traditional testing and experimentation platforms have based on their core method, just required too much traffic to test a single idea, let alone dozens of them.Evolv’s Ascend platform solves this problem. By using AI, it gives teams the ability to test dozens of ideas in a single experiment – an order of magnitude increase. And it automates the process, saving hours of time as well.The more ideas you test, the more quickly your website performance will improve. There’s no excuse anymore for poor website performance!How do you see the raging trend of including involving AI and Machine Learning in a modern CIO/ CMO’s stack budget?AI shouldn’t necessarily be an a-line item in the CMO’s budget – it should be part of many lines in the budget. The question shouldn’t be, ‘Should I be buying AI?’ but should instead be, ‘How is AI changing how I work and what does this mean for the tools and processes I use?AI is the how not the what.In the world of Optimization and Experimentation, we’ve shown with Ascend that AI can deliver an order of magnitude increase in speed. Other AI-based tools can deliver similar gains in other areas, whether that’s in honing your advertising targeting, optimizing for search engine rankings, managing your outbound sales pitches, and much more.So, we expect spending on AI-enabled products like ours to increase dramatically, from the same marketing and IT budgets used to purchase older-school solutions today.How do you differentiate between technologies for Customer Success vs. Customer Support? Who are you competing within this landscape?Ascend is an Optimization and Experimentation solution, not a bespoke solution for setting up your Customer Success or Customer Support experiences and programs. Where Ascend fits in is that it can autonomously optimize, through experimentation at scale, any digital touchpoint between a business and its customers. While most of our customers focus on optimizing revenues, conversion rates, and lead flow, some of our customers are using Ascend across both customer support – for example, optimizing the pages which guide customers to reduce phone calls – and customer success sections of their apps and sites.What is the biggest challenge to Digital Transformation in 2019? How does Evolv contribute to a successful digital transformation?Experimentation is at the heart of Digital Transformation. Getting your systems digitized and integrated is no mean feat, but realistically that’s just the plumbing – the table stakes – required to get started for digital transformation. And I don’t mean to underplay the critical nature of cultural shifts in achieving Digital Transformation. If you want to be a data-driven business, your leadership needs to be willing to listen to the data.But the biggest problem for many Digital Transformation efforts is the lack of usable data on which to make decisions. What’s the best way to display your products so that consumers want to buy them? What products should your customers see when they search for a certain category? How can you minimize phone calls to your support lines by better support information online? The answers to these and so many other questions can only be answered by trying different approaches, testing different ideas, and seeing what worksThis is where Evolv and Ascend fit in. We accelerate any’s abilities to make the right decisions about their customer experiences by applying AI to and automating experimentation at scale. The more you test, the faster you learn, and the faster you grow.One other note – many Digital Transformation projects become huge ‘boil the ocean’ endeavors that take years to realize. For innovators inside of companies that want to show immediately the impact AI enablement can make on your results, Ascend is a very quick way to do so, and often can pave the way for more aggressive investment in transformation.Where do you see AI/Machine Learning and other smart technologies heading beyond 2020?There is so much great work going in in the field of artificial intelligence that it’s hard to predict the future with any fidelity. Our own research work is focused on continuing to advance the state of the art in evolutionary algorithms and on the incorporation of other AI techniques to enhance evolution for the case of Experience Optimization.We’re excited to see the rise of AI chipsets and what that will mean for the distribution of AI processing throughout the network.And we’re excited by the advancements in AI technology that are offering more insights to how AIs make decisions. Our own field of evolutionary algorithms is not a black box technology, but deep learning and many other forms of AI can be, and the more explainable AI-based systems are, the better they will be adopted.The Good, Bad and Ugly about AI that you have heard or predict –Technology isn’t good or bad, or pretty or ugly – it’s all in how you use it. AI is no different in this regard. Without a doubt, there are already and will be more nefarious actors attempting to use AI techniques for cybercrimes and other malfeasance of various sorts.And the impact of AI on businesses, and how they choose to staff and grow (or reduce in size) based on it will, similarly, depend on the people making those decisions. AI makes businesses more efficient – how they choose to deploy that efficiency is up to them.Fortunately for us, our own use of AI is clearly beneficial, so there hasn’t been any particular controversy. Ascend is used to grow revenues and sales, not cut costs, so it creates, not eliminates, opportunities. Ascend amplifies human abilities – you come up with ideas to try to improve your experiences and Ascend automates and speeds up the testing of those ideas – and doesn’t replace them.What is your opinion on “Weaponization of AI/Machine Learning”? How do you promote your ideas?If your business operates online – and soon, if your business just operates at all – the embrace of AI-powered solutions will be a necessary element for survival. You’ll be able to make decisions faster, and better, than your competition with it, and without it, you’ll eventually lose touch with your customers. We’re happy to help “weaponize” those companies that want a competitive advantage, and better Customer Experience, at any time!What Cloud Analytics and SaaS start-ups and labs are you keenly following?There are hordes of interesting companies in the AI space alone, let alone the larger analytics and SaaS markets.I’m very impressed by Chorus.ai and Highspot and the work they are doing in helping sales teams improve their selling practices. Also in the field of sales enhancement, Conversica is doing great work in driving engagement with customers.AutoML startups like Squark and Vidora are also on my radar.What technologies within AI/NLP and Cloud Analytics are you interested in?There are many exciting technologies being developed and deployed in the field of AI today. Those that excite me most are the ones that help improve customers experiences, create new methods of engagement, and help streamline processes – allowing firms to operate more strategically and efficiently. Technologies such as advanced speech recognition (speech to text, text to speech), virtual agents, augmented reality, decision support tools, etc. will all help improve Customers Experiences when engaging with brands through digital channels.As a tech leader, what industries you think would be the fastest to adopting Analytics and AI/ML with smooth efficiency? What are the new emerging markets for these technology markets?We’ve seen the fastest adoption among digital-native companies, independent of what business they are in. If you were born on and have always lived on the mobile phone or the web, you’re probably thinking about AI and analytics differently than companies with a long heritage.Retail is certainly one of our largest segments – taste-based markets move at such a fast pace that those companies always have to innovate to stay alive. Many didn’t innovate enough, as we saw over the last few years.Consumer financial services, travel, internet services (e.g., streaming music or video) are all great adopters of autonomous optimization, and we’re seeing also players in the lead generation markets make big moves as well.What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?Finding time to think and the process is critical. In our always-on world of constant information flow, it is very hard to slow down and be thoughtful about your work. I find carving out time to ponder strategy, organize my thoughts and plans, and consider how to best lead the team is key. Creating space with no interruptions is challenging but can be really helpful in clarifying your focus.Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:There are plenty of thought leaders in the AI and SaaS space, but I like to hear from people that have a broad view across the technology space. I always enjoy hearing Reid Hoffman and Marc Andreesen perspectives and am sure they would have some interesting perspectives on these topics.Thank you, Michael! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon. “The web and the mobile phone are unforgiving environments. If your customer experience isn’t delivering what the customer is looking for, your competitors are only a click or tap away.” Experienced digital and omni-channel executive with a 25+ year track record of exceeding financial goals and driving high impact strategy, innovation and growth initiatives.Broad skill-set in developing and managing cross-functional teams in complex businesses to meet customer needs.Executive experience in digital commerce and consumer engagement, merchandising & marketing, innovation, partnerships & new ventures, corporate strategy & business development and large scale P&L management. About MichaelAbout EvolvAbout Michael Evolv Technologies is defining autonomous optimization for the digital era. Using breakthrough Artificial Intelligence, developed over the course of ten years, Evolv helps enterprise customers continuously optimize their digital KPIs and meet their goals and objectives. The company’s flagship product, Ascend, is used today by recognized brands around the world to improve experiences across web and mobile. MarTech Interview with Michael Scharff, Chief Executive Officer, Evolv Sudipto GhoshJune 14, 2019, 4:00 pmJune 14, 2019 About Evolv AIAmazoncloudEvolvinterviewsMarc AndreesenMarTech InterviewMichael ScharffReid Hoffman Previous ArticleMobile Marketing Pioneer Isabel Rafferty Launches Canela MediaNext ArticleAdslot Delivers 467% Increase in ROI Through Programmatic Guaranteed Solution
AcquisitionC VijayakumarHCL TechnologiesIBM ProductsInformix 14.10Marketing Technology NewsNews Previous ArticleBizzabo Study: 84% of B2B Tech Leaders Say Event Marketing is Critical to SuccessNext ArticleAvaya Receives 2019 Unified Communications Product of the Year Award Company Launches HCL Software Business Unit to Operate the Enterprise Software Offerings HCL Technologies (HCL), a leading global technology company, confirmed the official close at the end of June 2019 the previously announced acquisition of select IBM products for security, marketing, commerce, and digital solutions. As part of the deal’s close, HCL takes full ownership of the research and development, sales, marketing, delivery, and support for AppScan, BigFix, Commerce, Connections, Digital Experience (Portal and Content Manager), Notes Domino, and Unica.“We are excited for the next phase of the HCL Software Business Unit and are confident that these products will see good growth trajectory backed by our commitment to invest in product innovation coupled with our strong client focus and agile product development”HCL is also formally introducing HCL Software, a new division that will operate this enterprise software product business and meet customer demand. A Business Unit of “Products and Platforms” (Mode 3), HCL Software has successfully delivered more than 340 partner releases and more than 90 HCL releases, including such popular products as Informix 14.10, Domino 10, Workload Automation 9.5. The division aspires to reshape the enterprise software business, focused on innovation and cutting-edge delivery for customer success.Marketing Technology News: Connected TV is Transforming the Digital Advertising Ecosystem: ExtremLatest Video Benchmarks Report Shows 49% of Video Ad Impressions Going to CTV“We are excited for the next phase of the HCL Software Business Unit and are confident that these products will see good growth trajectory backed by our commitment to invest in product innovation coupled with our strong client focus and agile product development,” said C Vijayakumar, President & CEO, HCL Technologies. “In addition, we see tremendous potential for creating compelling ‘as-a-service’ offerings by combining these products with our traditional IT and next gen services.”Marketing Technology News: Anexinet Continues Growth Under New Ownership“Our mission is to help customers achieve success with their IT investments through relentless innovation of our products,” said Darren Oberst, Corporate Vice President and Head of HCL Software. “We are intensely customer-focused, in our product roadmaps, client advocacy, transparent development processes, high-velocity releases, and consultative sales teams. Our customers will be the ultimate beneficiaries, and we look forward to collaborating with them. We are also pleased to welcome the IBM employees who are joining HCL Technologies.”Marketing Technology News: Cognitiv Launches First Deep Learning Incrementality Solution To Help Marketers Find New Customers HCL Technologies Announces Close of Acquisition of Select IBM Products Business WireJuly 2, 2019, 4:25 pmJuly 2, 2019
facebookfacebook downFacebook not workingInstagram First Published: July 4, 2019, 8:55 AM IST | Edited by: — Update #2 (July 4, 8:50AM IST): Facebook has confirmed that after a rather lengthy outage, all services have been restored across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. News18 has also independently confirmed that services are now back to functioning properly. A statement shared by Facebook on Twitter reads, “Earlier today, some people and businesses experienced trouble uploading or sending images, videos and other files on our apps and platforms. The issue has since been resolved and should be back at 100% for everyone. We’re sorry for any inconvenience.”Update (11:50PM IST): At 9:48PM IST, Facebook’s global Twitter handle broadcast that it is aware of the issue, and is working on a fix. The Facebook statement read, “We’re aware that some people are having trouble uploading or sending images, videos or other files on our apps. We’re sorry for the trouble and are working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.” As of right now, the issues still persist on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp on both Android and iOS. WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook’s services are seemingly experiencing technical glitches since earlier on Wednesday. The outage appears to be global, with media reports and tweets revealing that the issue is prevalent across Europe, USA and Africa as well. In India, while the WhatsApp chat interface and Instagram posts and stories are active, transferring any form of media, including audio and images, appear to be frozen for now.Sending of files are still active, hinting this may be some sort of a widespread server bug preventing individuals from downloading content that has been shared. As of 8:30 pm IST, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram had been inactive for nearly over an hour. While exchanging text messages on WhatsApp remained possible, users in other parts of the world such as Scotland and Zimbabwe confirmed that the app had gone down completely in Europe and the US. With no official update yet, there is no clarity on when the features might be restored.
Patna: With his absence from Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s rallies in Bihar triggering speculation of a rift in the Mahagathbandhan, RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav on Monday dismissed the conjecture and asserted he would share stage with Gandhi in the state in coming days.He attributed this to part of strategy so that leaders of the grand alliance cover more places during campaign. Gandhi addressed four election rallies so far in the state in Purnea (on March 23), Gaya (April 9), Katihar (April 10) and Supaul (April 20), but Tejashwi Yadav did not share the stage with the Congress president which was taken as a signal of fissure within the opposition alliance. “I will definitely share the stage with him (Rahul Gandhi) and you will see it in the coming days. This is a part of strategy that we (leaders of Grand Alliance) should cover more and more places during election campaigning,” Yadav told reporters here.To present a picture of unity, prominent leaders of the alliance constituents were present at the press meet.Besides, Tejashwi Yadav, RLSP chief and former union minister Upendra Kushwaha, HAM(S) president and former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, Bihar Congress head Madan Mohan Jha, senior Congress leader Akhilesh Prasad Singh, RJD MP Manoj Jha, RJD Bihar unit president Ram Chandra Purvey and a representative of Mukesh Sahni’s Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP) sat together. Sahni was not available because of his engagement as polling will be held Tuesday in Khagaria from where he is contesting as a grand alliance candidate.The same thing was being said during the 2015 Bihar assembly polls as to why Lalu Prasad, Rahul Gandhi and Nitish Kumar were not sharing the stage, Yadav said adding that even at that time it was the same strategy that the three leaders cover more and more assembly segments during campaigning. It was said at that time that Gandhi, who tore an ordinance during the UPA rule against disqualification of a convicted politician from contesting election, wanted not to be seen with the RJD supremo, who ultimately was debarred from fighting polls.Taking a swipe at NDAs display of togetherness with Nitish Kumar, Ram Vilas Paswan and Sushil Kumar Modi addressing rallies jointly in Bihar, the leader of opposition in Bihar assembly said being together was their compulsion as none of them alone could fetch a crowd of even 1,000.On JD(U) national president’s presence during Prime Ministers rallies in Bihar, Yadav said Kumar knows it very well that if he does not go to PMs rally, then the BJP people will start doubting if he would switch side again. BJP leaders should take an undertaking on affidavit from Kumar that he would not cross over because he is master in switching sides, the RJD leader said while cautioning BJP leaders that even the RJD in Grand Alliance had offered JD(U) the same number of 17 seats as given by the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. But, RJD and JD(U) fought the last general election separately. congressLalu PrasadLok Sabha elections 2019mahagathbandhan First Published: April 22, 2019, 6:22 PM IST
There has been speculation that rumoured couple Tiger Shroff and Disha Patani might judge Nach Baliye 9. The last season of Nach Baliye was judged by Sonakshi Sinha, Terence Lewis and Mohit Suri.Nach Baliye 9: List of ContestantsRubina Dilaik and Abhinav Shukla: Choti Bahu and Shakti fame Rubina Dilaik is all set to participate in the show with her husband and actor Abhinav Shukla. Hina Khan and Rocky Jaiswal: After her Cannes sojourn, Hina Khan will be seen in Nach Baliye 9 with her beau Rocky Jaiswal. Melvin Louis and Sana Khan: Choreographer Melvin Louis will be seen grooving with his partner, former Bigg Boss contestant Sana Khan.Drashti Dhami and Neeraj Khemka: Known for her shows like Madhubala – Ek Ishq Ek Junoon and Dill Mill Gayye, Drashti Dhami will be next seen in Nach Baliye 9 with husband Neeraj Khemka. The actress has already shown her dance moves in reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa.Anita Hassanandani and Rohit Reddy: Yeh Hai Mohabbatein fame Anita is a possible participant in the show with her better half Rohit Reddy. The actress is one of the most popular TV stars, and has also been part of Naagin 3.Rohan Mehra and Kanchi Singh: Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai fame Rohan Mehra and Kanchi Singh might do Nach Baliye 9 as their first reality show together.Sreesanth and Bhuvneshwari Kumari: Famous cricketer Sreesanth has already gained fame with Bigg Boss, and now he is all set to enter Nach Baliye 9 with his wife Bhuvneshwari Kumari.Divya Agarwal and Varun Sood: Splitsvilla and Ace of Space fame duo Divya Agarwal and Varun Sood, who are busy shooting for Ragini MMS Returns 2, will make their next appearance on the reality show Nach Baliye 9. Nach Baliye 9: Judges Ace Of SpaceAnita Hassanandanibhuvneshwari kumariBigg Boss First Published: June 7, 2019, 5:11 PM IST After the last season of Nach Baliye, which ended in 2017 and crowned Divyanka Tripathi Dahiya and Vivek Dahiya as winners, the team of Nach Baliye is all set to begin another season of the celebrity couple dance reality show. Lovebirds Prince Narula and Yuvika Chaudhary, who got married last year in 2018, have been confirmed as participants. While the two met and fell in love on Bigg Boss, the pair will be back with their chemistry on Nach Baliye 9. From celebrity contestants, to judges and hosts, here’s everything you need to know about the new season. Nach Baliye 9: HostsAs per the reports so far, Nach Baliye 9 will be hosted by Bepannah actress Jennifer Winget and comedian Sunil Grover. The last season of Nach Baliye was hosted by Karan Tacker and Upasana Singh.
bollywoodbollywood celebritiesIndiaKAbir Singh First Published: June 17, 2019, 5:47 PM IST Actor Shahid Kapoor’s Kabir Singh is releasing on June 21. Featuring Kiara Advani opposite him, the romance-drama is the Hindi remake of Telugu blockbuster Arjun Reddy. The two actors, who are probably on the last leg of promotions before the film releases, will keep their fingers crossed and hope for a good reception among the audiences. Read: Shahid Kapoor Announces Kabir Singh Advance Booking Open with a Special Instagram Filter, See Pic However, Shahid made an intriguing revelation during an interview about what his plans are post Kabir Singh. He said that he has not signed up for a film after Kabir Singh and the very fact does bother him. He went on to add that he has plenty of things to do even when he is not shooting for films and that they will keep him busy in between. He further admitted that he is “unemployed right now.”Shahid told Pinkvilla, “I am unemployed right now because I don’t have a film and it does suck because I want to know what I am doing next! I do have too many things to do even when I am not working, so there is always something to do.”Read: Kiara Advani Says She Googled How to Use a Vibrator for Lust Stories SceneEver since the trailer of Kabir Singh dropped online and the soundtrack followed, the 38-year-old actor has been garnering a lot of applause for how he has managed to pull off the role of a college boy with conviction. About Kabir Singh the character, Shahid had earlier said, “Kabir Singh has been an extremely challenging film for me emotionally and physically. Since I had three distinct looks in the film, I had to transform myself to quite an extent.”Follow @News18Movies for more
Malaal movieMeezaan and Sharmin Segalsanjay leela bhansaliSharmin Segal First Published: July 7, 2019, 12:51 PM IST Debutante actress Sharmin Segal says she won’t be able to perform nude scenes on-screen. Asked if she has any reservations about anything on-screen, Sharmin told IANS: “As an actress I have so much to explore that I cannot limit myself. Having said that, as of now, I would not be able to do a sex scene or a nude scene on-screen.”She added: “I am yet to develop that body confidence to perform such a scene. I think whether you are a boy or a girl, you look bad on the screen if you are not confident and convinced in your head about what you are performing, what you are portraying.” Shermin made her debut in Bollywood with Malaal alongside debutant Meezaan. The film is produced by filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali.Though she does not find it wrong to look glamorous on-screen which is expected in commercial films, Sharmin dislikes the parameters set by the society based on gender.She said: “I hate about so-called expectation when someone points out that you shouldn’t be doing this because you are a girl. We are always told that we should not be abusive, we should not burp or fart or not sit in a certain way in public, because we are girls.”Sharmin added: “My point is, all these things are natural or wrong, but that should be applied either for both or for none. Using abusive words either should be bad for both of us, boys and girls, or for none. Why is it ok for a boy to abuse and not for a girl? I am saying, if an act is wrong, it is wrong.””And that judgment should not be depending on gender.”Follow @News18Movies for more
New Delhi: YSR Congress Party president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister designate Y S Jaganmohan Reddy is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the national capital on Sunday.Reddy, whose party stormed to power with a landslide victory in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, is likely to discuss providing outside or issue-based support to the Modi government in the meeting, sources said Saturday. The meeting assumes importance as the YSRCP chief during the election campaign had said that his party would support whoever promises Andhra Pradesh the Special Category Status.According to an official source, the YSRCP chief will arrive in the national capital tomorrow morning and will meet the prime minister at noon. After meeting Modi, he is expected to interact with Andhra Bhawan officials here, the source added. Reddy will take oath as new Chief Minister of the state on May 30 in Vijayawada.Earlier Saturday he was unanimously elected as the leader of the YSRC legislature party. In a spectacular performance, Reddy’s party had won 151 of 175 Assembly seats and 22 Lok Sabha seats out of 25 in Andhra Pradesh, the elections for which were held on April 11. Andhra BhawanAndhra PradeshJaganmohan ReddyNarendra Modi First Published: May 25, 2019, 4:06 PM IST
This morning thousands of coin traders found Bittrex unable to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, or any other sort of cryptocurrency. While this COULD have some effect on the price of Bitcoin, the results will likely be negligible. If South Korea couldn’t do it, one trading post out of many most certainly won’t do it. Story TimelineBitcoin price today: Stock up, but keep it secret (BTC USD)Can Bitcoin survive the loss of anonymity?Internet Archive gets $1m Bitcoin donation from anonymous philanthropistBitcoin price news squashed by Ripple in BTC XRP rally Bittrex was down starting a few hours before this article was posted, somewhere around 8AM Central Time. At this point users started to see a “Socket Disconnected” message on their screens at Bittrex. As of several minutes before this article’s posting, users were able to go to the website and sign in, but not trade.What’s worrying isn’t just the fact that some traders can’t trade, but that others can. Bittrex – and other cryptocurrency coin-trading sites – need to reinforce their servers to avoid any such occurrences, or suffer the consequences: whales swimming deeper into the sea. At this moment, monstrously wealthy netizens switching from site to site is a regular occurrence, and the market for trading coins is just as volatile as prices of the coins themselves.ABOVE: Trouble reports map by Down Detector.Expectations for Bitcoin pricing today aren’t all that different from the last couple of days. That is to say, up and down, with room to profit in-between, likely to end not too far from where it started. As always, SlashGear should be read as a tech news site, and no writing should be considered financial advice in any way shape or form.The start of this year saw Bitcoin USD price falling, but most certainly not to the degree it began ramping up late into 2017. This rolling around between $12,000 and $15,000 USD is intense for those nocoiner stock market watchers, but for the cryptocurrency community, it’s normal. Expect the unexpected – that’s how this coin ecosystem seems to work.