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ABL-Tech Member News & Industry Trendletter * June 12, 2020

    In June and July, ABL will hold its Round Tables via ZOOM to ensure Social Distancing for our Members. See your Zoom Table invitation for participation instructions, and the ABL.org Members Only website for all the invitation specifics.

  • 6/26 - ABL-Tech SGV Zoom Table - date moved up due to 4th of July holiday
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Getting Back to Work in the Office -
How to Do It?

                     by Mimi Grant

You might think it's a sure sign that the COVID-19 crisis is almost over when South Coast Plaza - the $3 billion Taj Mahal of shopping centers - opens back up, after three months of lock down. In fact, as of Friday, June 12th, California officially entered Stage 3 on its Resilience Roadmap, with gyms, bars, hotels, museums, and even schools allowed to reopen. Going even further, after a contentious two weeks of "mask wars," the newly appointed Orange County Interim Health Officer has lifted the requirement for the County's 3.1 million residents to "wear masks at all times in situations where physical distancing isn't possible" to just "strongly recommending" the practice. (BTW, his predecessor, Dr. Nichole Quick, was a casualty of the fight; she resigned abruptly - after receiving death threats from "mask protesters" who showed up in her front yard.) And, next month, even Disneyland will reopen in time to celebrate its 65th anniversary.

While March 19th in many ways seems years ago, that was the day Governor Gavin Newsom predicted that "56% of Californians - 25.5 million people - could be infected with coronavirus in eight weeks," if no efforts were made to control the spread of the disease." So we all made the colossal effort to control the disease by not just flattening, but crushing, the curve, largely by sheltering in place. So now - over 12 weeks later, only 143,505 cases have been reported. And while losing 4,941 of the State's residents has been a tragedy, based on a 3.4% extrapolated fatality rate, collectively our sacrifices may well have saved the lives of 867,000 Californians. That's impressive.

Yet, beyond being able to go outside to shop and play, the big question for the nation's employers, particularly those, like most ABL Members whose employees work in an office building, is, "When can we go back to work in the office?"


[Photo Credit: https://www.em360tech.com/business_agility/tech-features-featuredtech-news/returning-to-work-post-covid-19/]

Coherent Debuts Another Major Leap in Fiber Laser Welding Technology

The new Coherent HighLight FL4000CSM-ARM fiber laser builds on the success of Coherent HighLight ARM fiber laser series already qualified for automotive applications. This new laser enables more advanced welding capabilities for high thermal conductivity metals, and aligns to welding requirements for e-mobility, energy storage, and general electrical interconnects consisting of dissimilar materials, such as copper and aluminum, and foil stacks that require precise control. (Randy Heyler, SGV)

Cornerstone's Adam Miller Featured in "Profile of an Entrepreneur" Article by Josh Bersin

Cornerstone's Adam Miller is spotlighted in the recent article, Profile Of An Entrepreneur: Adam Miller, Founder of Cornerstone, published at Josh Bersin's Insights on Corporate Talent, Learning, and HR Technology. The article focuses on Adam's successful entrepreneurship as it details the history of e-learning, Cornerstone's founding, the competitive landscape, the rise of talent management, learning management systems, learning experience platforms, and Cornerstone's recent acquisition of Saba. (Adam Miller, WLA)

Eckert & Ziegler Gets $6 Million From NIH for Radiation Protection Pill

MYELO Therapeutics, an affiliated company of Eckert & Ziegler Strahlen- und Medizintechnik AG, will receive $6 million from the National Institutes of Health over the next three years for the further development of its radiation protection pill, MYELO001. The money will be used to finance further tests and proof of concept and to investigate the functional mechanism of the new orally applicable drug. If the multi-year trials are successful, MYELO has the opportunity to win valuable contracts from civil protection agencies in America and elsewhere to build up emergency stocks. (Frank Yeager, SGV)

Envision Financial Systems Launches Upgraded Portal

Envision Financial Systems recently launched an updated internet portal as part of its Envision Investor Management product suite used by investment product transfer agents, 529 program managers, and broker dealers. The portal could already be configured by the client to its own branding and feature choices, such as online account inquiry, maintenance and trading abilities, and access to customer communication. With the upgrade, new features include expanded functionality for multi-factor authentication; real-time and instant bank account verification; a design compatible with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines; and more. (Satnam Gambhir, OC)

GF Piping Systems Offers Marine Industry a Paint-free, Corrosion-free Drainage Solution

GF Piping Systems has launched a patented SeaDrain White marine drainage pipe system for black and gray water drainage, which is lighter in weight, maintenance requirements, installation time and labor, and in lifetime system costs than competing metal systems. Made of polypropylene plastic, SeaDrain White takes less time to manufacture, and is suitable for cruise ships, passenger ferries, and luxury yacht installations, in both new-builds and retrofits. It also reduces the risk of bacterial contamination of the ship. (Mike Smith, SGV)

Intellect Releases Update to Flagship Regulatory Compliance Product

Intellect has unveiled Intellect QMS 4.0, the latest version of its flagship product designed to help organizations and quality leaders meet FDA, ISO, and other global GxP regulatory compliance requirements, deliver better and safer products, and increase productivity. The new version delivers a new Setup app that cuts implementation times by half, offers advanced analytics and reports to help users better understand quality data, make smarter decisions, and improve business productivity, and enhancements to numerous quality management apps, including Nonconformances, Corrective Actions and Preventative Actions, Complaint Management, and Document Control. (Romeo Elias, WLA)

Mentor Achieves Certification for TSMC's Newest Processes & Joins 5G-Focused Alliance

Mentor, a Siemens business, has achieved certification for a broad array of Mentor integrated circuit design tools for TSMC's industry-leading N5 and N6 process technologies. In addition, Mentor's collaboration with TSMC has extended to advanced packaging technology, further leveraging Mentor's Calibre platform 3DSTACK packaging technology to support TSMC's advanced packaging platforms. TSMC's N5 and N6 process technologies help many of the world's leading IC design companies boost performance, shrink form factors, and reduce power consumption for processors targeting highly competitive markets such as the automotive, Internet of Things, high performance computing, 5G mobile/infrastructure, artificial intelligence, and other spaces. Also, Mentor has joined the O-RAN ALLIANCE, a group of leading telecom service providers and ecosystem suppliers committed to openness, intelligence, flexibility, and performance in the evolution of 5G radio access network architectures and orchestration. Mentor will focus on verification and validation requirements for open standards-based, highly configurable network development. (Greg Lebsack, WLA)

MyKaarma CEO Highlighted in iSmart Podcast

Ujj Nath, CEO of MyKaarma, is interviewed in a recent 27-minute iSmart Podcast. Host Tom Rogers encourages entrepreneurs to share their expertise, founder stories, "and their hearts." With a background in information systems and technology, Ujj started myKaarma in 2012, and has built out a cloud platform that smooths the communication process between an auto shop and its customers. (Ujj Nath, WLA)

Optimum Info Successfully Serves Porsche Cars North America

Optimum Info has published its new success story about how it enabled Porsche Cars North America (Porsche) to automate its dealer package process and improve processing time while significantly reducing shipping costs. With 192 dealers in its network, Porsche had been using a heavily manual paper process in its operations, demanding a significant amount of time and effort by employees. Following a pilot with field managers, Porsche implemented Optimum Info's cloud-based Dealer Package Management System, designed to help manage the complete life cycle of dealer packages, standardizing all activities of the network development process. Porsche was impressed with the flexibility of the system and the fact that Optimum was able to add/implement everything they asked for. Even after the launch, the system continues to be enhanced per Optimum's suggestions and Porsche's feedback. (Arvind Verma, OC)

Parasoft Chosen by Renovo to Drive AUTOSAR C++ Compliance

Renovo, a global automotive software and data company, has selected Parasoft's C/C++test and its Automotive Compliance Pack to aid the safe development, deployment, and operation of ADAS fleets at scale. Parasoft leads the software testing tools industry with the best support for AUTOSAR, CERT, CWE, ISO 26262, and MISRA, Renovo said, and its solution offers support for these rules in ready-to-use test configurations with dedicated compliance reporting, which automatically generates the required documentation and significantly reduces the manual overhead of compliance activities, enabling automotive teams to achieve compliance faster and at a lower cost. (Elizabeth Kolawa, Ph.D., SGV)

PeopleG2 Featured in Inc. for Virtual Meeting Expertise

Inc. magazine's recent article - What One Founder Learned Running 100,000 Virtual Meetings - features Chris Dyer, CEO of PeopleG2, describing his tactics that have worked best for his team, which are instructive for any leader newly struggling with virtual meetings. Also, Chris was recently interviewed on LA Talk Radio about remote work. And, read other recent articles written by Chris or featuring his quotes at his website. Meanwhile, read recent PeopleG2 blog posts here, including "PeopleG2 SwiftHire: Remote & Safe Employee Background Checks"; "Back to Work Employee Screening: How to Protect Your Business"; and "How is Employee Hiring Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic?" (Chris Dyer, SGV)

ProProfs Quiz Maker Wins "Happiest Users" Award

ProProfs Quiz Maker has been awarded the "Happiest Users" badge for High User Satisfaction in 2020 by @Crozdesk for lots of positive satisfaction signals. The award showcases ProProfs' commitment to quality and ensuring customer delight. Meanwhile, the ProProfs blog - 100 Customer Satisfaction Questions to Measure Customer Happiness - covers a list of questions that companies can ask to measure customer satisfaction levels. The collected data can be of use to enhance the customer's experience. (Sameer Bhatia, WLA)

Dave Berkus on: Going for Big Fish & Significance of Breakeven

In Should you cast your net where the big fish swim?, Dave notes that some businesses will prosper in the shadow of larger competitors by specializing in those smaller accounts that are just not attractive to those with higher overheads and larger aspirations. But for most, the true sign of success and potential for even more is in the landing of a major account, one that validates the pricing, quality and competitive advantages of a company's offering. For this reason, it makes sense for most of us to aim high once we have worked the kinks out of our offering with smaller customers. And, in How much is that one additional unit worth?, Dave explains why once your company is stable at or above the breakeven point, one incremental unit generates robust increases in net profit. (Dave Berkus, SGV & WLA)

Electrosonic on: Creating Safe Offices in Next Normal

In How Will We Utilize Technology to Reconfigure A Safe Office Again?, Electrosonic declares that information will reign supreme in the post-pandemic "next normal." To that end, video wall solutions, boosted digital signage, and wayfinding strategies can play a key role in creating better-informed employees and guests. Electrosonic also discusses how spaces can be rethought to encourage safer practices. And, in What will Brick-and-Mortar Offices Look Like Post-COVID-19?, Electrosonic says that it's unlikely that a heavier shift toward remote work will completely drive out in-person work and collaboration. Electrosonic explains how modular offices with smaller footprints can allow for a unique and productive blend of remote work and in-person collaboration, especially when outfitted with effective security, surveillance, and access control measures, plus audio/visual solutions. (Bryan Hinckley, SGV)

GetVisible Seeks Feedback on Animated Website + Provides Useful Resources

GetVisible just designed and launched a new website for Sarcotein, a company which can detect early heart failure via a blood test. Sarcotein is now releasing its blood test kits. GetVisible CEO Jason Ciment would appreciate feedback on the animations his company inserted into the Sarcotein site. Email jason@getvisible.com with your comments.
Meanwhile, Jason suggests the following useful resources:
> Read about Google's new critical ranking factor called Page Experience.
> New feature from Bing provides insight into backlinks you could never see before.
> Read this analysis of 1 million backlinks.
> Flourish (for non-coders) allows users to turn data into an engaging video that will boost your social media reach organically.
> Test the Spammyness of Your Emails. Read 11 ways to improve your email delivery.
> Get more attention to your marketing messages.
> 100 content marketing examples you can steal for your website and social media.
> ebook: Definitive Guide to Successfully Managing Remote Teams.
> 5 Linkedin features you probably didn't know.
> Former Apple engineer demonstrates DIY solution to make normal surgical masks much more protective.
(Jason Ciment, WLA )

LookinLA on: Advantages of an Outside Marketing Agency

In How My Team Beats Your In-House Marketing Department On Every Metric, LookinLA explains how and why an outside marketing agency achieves superior results for its clients. Examples include: LookinLA rapidly analyzes its client's business and market to discover untapped opportunities, combining market research with their own expertise to improve marketing and sales processes. (Ali Payani, SGV)

Savi Group Spotlights Sumit Mahendru

Sumit Mahendru is featured in Savi Group's recent Expert Series interviews, noting his focus on innovation, data-based decision making, and financial best practices. Sumit discusses how technology is helping the healthcare industry, why data is so important, and more. (Sumit Mahendru, ABL-Health OC)

Vital Link Debuts YouTube Video

Vital Link has published a new 30-second video about its medical alert system. (Art Hoffman, ABL-Health OAK)

Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2020: Winners and Losers

Technology solutions built around artificial intelligence and 5G offer the most immediate opportunities for tech firms to generate new business and revenue, according to CompTIA's third annual "Top 10 Emerging Technologies report." The Internet of Things, which claimed the top spot in 2019, dropped to third on this year's list. Augmented and virtual reality and biometrics also moved up, while blockchain and robotics slipped a bit. In summary, here is the top 10 list: AI; 5G; IoT; Serverless Computing; Biometrics; Augmented/Virtual Reality; Blockchain; Robotics; Natural Language Processing; Quantum Computing. (Read Article: TechRepublic, 6/10/20)

Homeland Security Warns About "Wormable" Windows 10 Bug; New Ransomware Targeting PCs with "Unique" Attack

Homeland Security's cybersecurity advisory unit is warning Windows 10 users to make sure that their systems are fully patched, after exploit code for a "wormable" bug was published online last week. The code takes advantage of a security vulnerability patched by Microsoft back in March. However, tens of thousands of internet-facing computers are still vulnerable, prompting the advisory. The exploit code, known as SMBGhost, exploits a bug in the server message block component that lets Windows talk with other devices, like printers and file servers. Once exploited, the bug gives the attacker unfettered access to a Windows computer to run malicious code, like malware or ransomware, remotely from the internet. Worse, because the code is "wormable," it can spread across networks, similar to how the NotPetya and WannaCry ransomware attacks spread across the world, causing billions of dollars in damage. (Read Article: TechCrunch, 6/8/20)

And, a newly uncovered form of ransomware is going after Windows and Linux systems in what appears to be a targeted campaign. Named Tycoon after references in the code, it has been active since December 2019, using an uncommon deployment technique that helps stay hidden on compromised networks. Tycoon's main targets are organizations in the education and software industries. (Read Article: ZDNet, 6/4/20) Meanwhile, in the WipfliSecurity Weekly newsletter, Wipfli reports on recent breaches, vulnerabilities, patches and updates. (Read Newsletter, June 2020)

Video is the 5G "Killer App" for Both Enterprise & Consumers: Survey

A pair of reports, commissioned by Nokia, showed that 83% of businesses considered video a compelling 5G use case, while 90% of consumers rated high-quality, uninterrupted video streams as a "very valuable" aspect of 5G. The surveys were conducted before the coronavirus became widespread. Now, as employees and students are compelled to work from home, "we're all seeing video is a very powerful tool," said a Nokia spokesman. (Read Article: ZDNet, 6/10/20)

First Tech IPO of Covid-19 Era: ZoomInfo Soars Over 60%

In the first tech IPO since the coronavirus shut down much of the U.S. economy, ZoomInfo soared more than 60% in its Nasdaq June 4th debut, underscoring investors' ongoing appetite for high-growth subscription software companies. ZoomInfo (not to be confused with video chat provider Zoom Video) priced its IPO at $21 on June 3rd; the stock closed up 62% at $34, valuing the company at about $13.4 billion. The offering reeled in more than $900 million. (Read Article: CNBC, 6/4/20)

CVS Partners with Nuro to Test Self-Driving Vehicle Prescription Delivery

CVS Pharmacy plans to test delivering prescriptions using self-driving vehicles in June as part of a pilot program in Houston. CVS partnered with Nuro, a Silicon Valley tech company that's been developing autonomous driving technology, for the initiative. Deliveries will be free to customers for orders through CVS.com or the CVS Pharmacy app, and are expected to be fulfilled in three hours or less. Customers will have to verify their identity to unlock the vehicle. (Read Article: CNBC, 5/28/20)

Apple Becomes First $1.5 Trillion U.S. Company

The total value of Apple stock passed $1.5 trillion in trading on the NASDAQ Wednesday, smack in the middle of a global pandemic that's affecting all of the company's major markets. Apple is the first U.S. company to exceed $1.5 trillion in value (Saudi Aramco is the only other company that has crossed this milestone; it was worth $2 trillion after its first day of trading post-IPO). (Read Article: Fast Company, 6/10/20)

Google Faces $5 Billion Lawsuit in U.S. for Tracking "Private" Internet Use

Google has recently been sued in a proposed class action accusing the company of illegally invading the privacy of millions of users by pervasively tracking their internet use through browsers set in "private" mode. The lawsuit seeks at least $5 billion, accusing the Alphabet Inc unit of surreptitiously collecting information about what people view online and where they browse, despite their using what Google calls Incognito mode. According to the complaint filed in the federal court in San Jose, CA, Google gathers data through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager, and other applications and website plug-ins, including smartphone apps, regardless of whether users click on Google-supported ads. (Read Article: Reuters, 6/2/20)

WFH: Key to Sounding Sharper in Video Meetings

Working from home now means taking lots of virtual meetings. And if you find that your colleagues can't hear you very well, or complain about distracting background noise, we've got a great tip for you: invest in a microphone. "If you want to come across being your best, audio is the single most important thing in video," says Larry Becker, the author of "Great on Camera." "If people can't hear you, they'll get frustrated and tune you out. Bad video, and they'll muddle through, just to listen to you. A microphone will make a big difference." (Read Article: USA Today, 6/9/20)

3 Secrets to Success for Project Managers Working Remotely

If you've had trouble shifting your project management style to an all-virtual working world, here is some advice about how to refine your approach. These project managers have worked extensively with clients on remote projects and kept complex efforts on track. (Read Article: TechRepublic, 6/3/20)

Companies Find New Perks for the Remote Worker (No More Pizza Fridays)

As lockdowns continue in many regions, employers are toying with new perks that might address some of the struggles remote workers are facing on their own. Examples include: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. in April started giving employees access to meditation and mindfulness services from Headspace Inc. Some 9,000 of the company's workers have tried it, spending 500,000+ minutes on the app. Financial software company BlackLine Inc. is testing a four-week series of virtual exercise classes (eg, yoga, Pilates) via ClassPass.

Hotel management company Montage International began providing employees with memberships to One Medical, a service providing virtual and in-office care, including telehealth appointments, messaging healthcare providers, prescription refills, and more, as a way to supplement their healthcare coverage.

Meadows Office Interiors is using SnackMagic to allow employees to choose $45 worth of snacks to have sent to their homes. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 6/8/20)

How Salesforce is Doing a Virus Safety Makeover

When employees at Salesforce eventually return to their office towers, they will be required to fill out online health surveys and take their temperature. If they pass the health screening and have a good reason to go in, Salesforce will schedule their shifts - and send them digital entry tickets for the lobby with an arrival time. They will be asked to wait for the elevator on social-distancing floor markers and stand on other markers once inside the elevator. These new command-and-control work practices are intended to help protect Salesforce's 50,000+ employees as the company undertakes a colossal task: figuring out how to safely reopen its 160+ offices around the world. Salesforce's vision of a more micromanaged workplace is indicative of the complexities that many businesses are grappling with during the pandemic and signals a significant cultural shift for office workers across the United States. (Read Article: New York Times, 6/10/20)

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