ABL Logo
ABL-Tech Member News & Industry Trendletter * July 21, 2020

    In August, 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.

  • 8/06 - ABL-Tech OC Zoom Table
  • 8/07 - ABL-Tech SGV Zoom Table
  • 8/14 - ABL-Tech WLA Zoom Table

  • Explore Membership in ABL's Executive Round Tables >>>

Tech Members Speak Out About COVID

                     by Mimi Grant

You might expect ABL's Healthcare Members to have strong opinions about the mortality and morbidity rates of COVID-19 - and they do! What's really impressed me is how knowledgeable (and concerned) ABL's Technology CEOs are about the virus. Here are the voices of three of them - John Tanner, Jason Ciment, and Dave Berkus - who are well worth listening to.

JOHN TANNER, PhD, CEO, Tanner Research - With a PhD from Caltech, John knows his way around a calculator, and he used it in a recent letter to the followers of NuSci.org, his nonprofit that promotes healthy nutrition. In his three-page letter, John delves into the math behind the spread of COVID-19, extrapolating from the "new cases" reported daily in Los Angeles County, reminding us that in early June, the County reported ~1000 new cases/day. John begins his equation with the current number of daily new cases detected through COVID testing and reported in LA County [MG: I'm using 3,158, the number reported on Worldometers.info, yesterday, 7/20/20]. John also notes that "some experts expect that there are about 5 times as many actual cases as reported because most people are not tested and therefore most cases are not reported." [MG: At first I thought the "5 times" number was high - but it's not: according to Worldometers, a study of New Yorkers, tested in grocery stores and community centers, showed that 19.9% of them had COVID-19 antibodies as of May 1, 2020. Based on NYC's population of 8,398,748, this percentage would indicate that 1,671,351 people had been infected and recovered. However, "the number of confirmed cases reported as of May 1 by New York City was 166,883, more than 10 times less." So we'll go with John's - probably conservative - 5 times.] John then "assumes that an infected person is infectious to others for about 20 days." [MG: This also seemed a little high, as the CDC recommends isolation for at least 10 days after your symptoms first appear AND at least three days after recovery, but there are exceptions - including a study published in Medscape that concluded, "viral shedding... ranged from 8-37 days, with a median of 20 days." So, again, we'll go with John's 20 days.]

So far, John's equation looks like this: Daily New Cases x 5 x 20 /10,000,000 x 100 = Percent in LA County Currently Infectious

3,158 people tested COVID-19 positive yesterday in LA County
X 5 times as many people really were positive
X 20 days of infection
= 315,800 Infectious people in LA County today/
10 million people in the County
= .03158
X 100
= 3.158% percent of the people in LA County are currently COVID-19 infectious

John advises us to, "Keep that number in mind as you decide whether you want to go to your favorite restaurant or the beach and whether you want to keep your mask on or not." And, after delving into the high cost in lives of herd immunity, John concludes, "I hope we can find a mitigation strategy that doesn't involve over a million of us dying. Let us be selfless with our masks, hand washing, and social distancing to give our technologists the time they need to work their miracle."

JASON CIMENT, CEO, GetVisble Digital Marketing Agency - In addition to having 4 school-age children, Jason's digital marketing clients include several who supply mountains of PPE and hand sanitizer. So he's had a front-row seat to see and feel the impact of COVID-19 on families, and businesses. Which has prompted his self-described "rant"...

The media in the USA is playing a dangerous game talking about 4%* Covid rates. If you don't separate comorbidity and age range from the rest of the population, it is misleading in a big way. I have been reading the very large Hamilton biography. One of the things he wrote in The Federalist Papers was fear of the mob. The mob can go both ways. The mob can march for lock down or it can advocate for opening up the economy. Both arguments can have merit depending on the whole situation. What is dangerous though is putting out numbers without context. People are scared and uncertain. If you hear people putting out scary numbers and generalizing them to the whole population, call them out on it. This is not a political gesture. This is a plea to promote peace amongst diversity (of opinion and lifestyle). It is too easy when people are riled up, to see bad decisions getting made. The US economy can't sustain this. The global economy can't sustain it either.

...And college kids staying home is one thing. College is a privilege and it is arguable with not much of a challenge that college kids can learn online. And they will have to give up beer runs and frat parties. But smaller kids who need the social dynamic and the corollary benefits of being in school on top of the burden to the parents, there has to be a way to get them into school – if not full time then part time. Maybe fewer but longer days. For example, having recent college grads as proctors in the classroom and the teachers zooming in to teach the class. The easy answer of shutting down does not make it the right answer. And there are models from other countries that are not doing total lockdown that are workable.

Bottom line is we should all look forward to better times of more certainty where people don't wake up and run to turn on the always disappointing news (any channel) but rather wake up and stretch and simply appreciate that it's a new day with wonderful opportunities to live and be free here. Secondly, and really important, is that even if you are young and healthy, don't forget that everyone you meet is a potential recipient of the virus you may be carrying. Covid is an opportunity to grow and think about others before you think about yourself. And this comment goes to both sides of the aisle. I'm not preaching here. I am sharing that I got schooled by my good friend who is close to turning 80 and he said "we are scared" because the people under 70 are not sensitive to what we are feeling. And that's not fair."

[MG: The "4%" COVID mortality rate is deduced by dividing the total number of global deaths (613,389) by the total number of cases (14,860,511) = 4.1%. However, using the same approach in the U.S., where there have been 143,835 deaths and 3,961,556 cases, the mortality rate is 3.6; and in California, with 8,814 deaths and 399,898 cases, it's only 2.2%.]

DAVE BERKUS, President, Berkus Technology Ventures - Having invested in over 200 technology companies, Dave has traveled the world delivering keynotes on tech trends and success factors for entrepreneurs. He's also the author of 14 books, and his Berkonomics blog, that influences over 120,000 readers every week.

We can argue the average vs. specifics about the 4%. But I can tell you that most everyone over 65 in this country is at least a bit scared that a generation will be decimated if younger citizens don't respect the rules and give up a little freedom until we have an effective preventative.

Today, the entire student leadership of Occidental signed a petition to the College president to allow the students to remain in remote learning, for fear of exposing the staff and faculty. That in contrast to 90% stating they wanted to return in the fall in a poll taken in March.

This is not an argument over 4%. It is over the relative health of a world containing the unhealthy, those unable to fight the virus, and the elderly.

[MG: In The OC, it isn't "20% of the population that has 80% of the deaths"; it's "5%* of the population that has 53% of the deaths." (*SNF residents and prisoners.) And, to a great extent, we know where these folks live. The problem is the "outliers" who don't fit the mold, the 95% of the population that has 47% of the deaths. And, it's for the 47% that the rest of us are inconveniencing ourselves - at great cost to The Economy and our Personal Businesses and Employment. IMHO, in the absence of a vaccine, testing's the answer. The likelihood of testing positive in The OC has increased from 5 to 15%. With universal testing, the faster we can get that 15% - many of whom have "light symptoms" (if any) - off the streets to truly shelter at home to recover, the sooner the rest of us can go back to life on the streets and in our businesses.]

BeSmartee & Mortgage Builder Announce Integration

BeSmartee has announced a live partner integration with Mortgage Builder, a provider of award-winning mortgage loan origination and servicing software systems, in order to support lenders with an end-to-end digital mortgage solution - one that will help lenders take borrowers deeper into the origination process, faster, and then guide borrowers through a seamless process from origination, to post-closing, to servicing. Additionally, lenders can expect faster implementation timelines with go-live planning strategies. Meanwhile, BeSmartee has added a Spanish translation feature to its award-winning Mortgage Point-of-Sale platform, which helps lenders further expand their businesses to reach Hispanic communities, which now represent roughly 63% of homeowner gains in the last 10 years, according to a Wall Street Journal report. (Veronica Nguyen, OC)

Cornerstone Helps Managers Crack the Gen Z Code & Wins Accolades

Cornerstone OnDemand has announced the availability of "Plan Z: Managing Digital Natives," a manager's guide for coaching, mentoring, and leading Gen Z employees (aka Digital Natives), a new Cornerstone Original Learning Series. Gen Z is expected to make up over 20% of the world's workforce by the end of 2020 and is on track to be the most diverse, best-educated, and most-entrepreneurial generation yet, according to Pew Research Center. Also, Cornerstone recently won the "Adaptive Learning Solution of the Year" award from EdTech Breakthrough, and was named to Built in LA's "100 Best Places to Work in Los Angeles" for 2020. (Adam Miller, WLA)

Eckert & Ziegler Increases Stake in Myelo Therapeutics

Eckert & Ziegler Strahlen- und Medizintechnik AG has increased its stake in Myelo Therapeutics GmbH, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies for cancer supportive care and medical countermeasures. Taking over shares from the local venture capital fund VC Fonds Technologie Berlin, Eckert & Ziegler now directly holds about 15% of the company's shares. Myelo, which recently completed a financing round that will cover operational expenditures until 2023, was also recently awarded a development contract valued up to $6 million by the US National Institutes of Health to advance its lead candidate myelo001 as a medical countermeasure for the treatment of H-ARS. (Frank Yeager, SGV)

Electrosonic Wins "Project of the Year" Award for International Spy Museum

Electrosonic's work at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. saw the firm take home "Best Museum Project of the Year" at the 2020 Integration Awards, getting the nod for the space's innovative and immersive overall experience. Last year, Electrosonic won for the Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre. The Integration Awards are handed out by Commercial Integrator, a premier resource for professional integrators. The Spy Museum offers a combination of museum and game, interactive and immersive experiences.

Meanwhile, click here to read recent blog posts from Electrosonic, including "The Benefits of Planning for Long-Term Development During a Period of Crisis," "Ensuring You Deliver a Positive Guest Experience During Challenging Times," and more. (Bryan Hinckley, SGV)

Envision Financial Systems a Finalist for Industry Awards

Envision Financial Systems has been named a Finalist in the WealthManagement.com 2020 Industry Awards in the "Technology Providers: Client Onboarding/New Account Opening" category. The nomination recognizes Envision's success in replacing manual account-opening processes for alternative products with straight-through, no data entry, processing. The awards program recognizes organizations that demonstrate outstanding achievement in support of financial advisor success. A panel of independent judges received 625 entries from 221 companies. Winners will be announced September 10. (Satnam Gambhir, OC)

GF Piping's New Electric Diaphragm Valve Offers Fast Cycling

GF Piping Systems has introduced the eDIASTAR 5-Series Diaphragm Valve with the dEA Smart Actuator, an innovative new electric valve that allows easy and fast retrofitting of GF manual diaphragm valves without disassembly. The eDIASTAR is designed to regulate, close, and control volume flows automatically. It's more than twice as fast at cycling than other valves on the market. The new valve was introduced in response to growing market demand for complete plant-wide automation. (Mike Smith, SGV)

LookinLA Listed Among Top Marketing Strategy Agencies in Los Angeles

LookinLA has been ranked among the top marketing strategy agencies in Los Angeles by The Manifest, a platform that helps consumers find the best industry leaders. LookinLA's presence on such an online platform allows the firm to receive feedback through unbiased, verified client reviews. (Ali Payani, SGV)

Nortridge and BankruptcyWatch Unveil Fully Integrated Bankruptcy Monitoring

Nortridge and BankruptcyWatch have implemented their consumer bankruptcy monitoring tool as part of their new, collaborative partnership. This feature is now accessible to all Nortridge clients, which means they can detect, respond to, and track relevant bankruptcy filings all directly within the Nortridge platform. This enables Nortridge users to automatically update statuses, prepare Proofs of Claim, and ensure the correct collections activities are taking place when cases are dismissed, and facilitates lenders to actually create new revenue opportunities from bankruptcy filings. (Greg Hindson, OC)

NVISNx & CareAcademy Chosen for Launch With GS Black and Latinx Entrepreneur Cohort

NVISNx, where Glen Day is CEO, and CareAcademy, where Helen Adeosun is CEO, are among the 14 companies selected by The Goldman Sachs Group to participate in the first Launch With GS Black and Latinx Entrepreneur Cohort. The eight-week virtual experience will provide high-touch access and resources to a select group of U.S.-based Black and Latinx founders to fast-track their companies' growth and build relationships with investors and industry experts. The Black and Latinx Entrepreneur Cohort is a part of Launch With GS, Goldman Sachs' $500 million investment strategy grounded in the belief that diverse teams drive strong returns. The participating companies were chosen from over 400 applicants across 37 states. Meanwhile, CRN has named NVISNx as one of the "Top 10 Hottest Storage Startups of 2020." (Glen Day, WLA; Helen Adeosun, ABL-Health LA)

Parasoft Named a Leader in 2020 Continuous Functional Test Automation

Parasoft has been named a Leader in The Forrester Wave: Continuous Functional Test Automation Suites, Q2 2020, conducted by Forrester Research. Parasoft's functional testing suite, including SOAtest, Virtualize, and Selenic, was included in Forrester's evaluation process. According to the report, "Parasoft's continuous testing shines in API testing, service virtualization and integration testing, and the combined automation context. Finally, Parasoft has very strong continuous integration/continuous delivery and application lifecycle management platform integration, as well as reporting through its analytics system PIE." (Elizabeth Kolawa, Ph.D., SGV)

ProProfs Wins Awards for Help Desk & Survey Maker Products

ProProfs has recently won several accolades. SoftwareWorld included ProProfs Help Desk in its "List of Top 10+ Help Desk Software in 2020" (#7) and "List of Top 10+ Customer Service Software in 2020" (#9). And, Crozdesk bestowed Help Desk with its 2020 Trusted Vendor, Quality Choice, and Happiest Users Awards. Crozdesk also honored ProProfs Survey Maker with its Happiest Users Badge.

Meanwhile, read the company's recent blog post: How ProProfs Is Evaluating, Interviewing, and Onboarding During the COVID-19 Crisis. (Sameer Bhatia, WLA)

The Joy Factory Offers Healthcare-Grade Antimicrobial Case for iPad

The Joy Factory has unveiled aXtion Pro MPA, a healthcare-grade antimicrobial case for iPad 10.2" 7th Generation, ideal for any healthcare setting as it's designed to help prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. The case is also military-grade shockproof certified and waterproof - it's fully enclosed and can be submerged for quick and easy sanitization. (Sampson Yang, OC, and Miranda Su, SGV)

Dave Berkus on: Money, Dashboards, Collaboration Tools & Internet Marketing

In Economics 101: If water flows downhill, then why fight it?, Dave suggests you substitute the word "money" for "water" and "we have an explanation for most all the reasons why successful products move from concept through early adopters to mass market." And, in How to make the most useful dashboard, Dave notes that a good dashboard of relevant real-time information is now available for most any business, often created by computer software from data derived from monitoring real-time tasks within the business. Dave has developed four criteria for use in creating and evaluating your dashboard; in summary, they are: controllable outcomes; earliest warning metrics; items in the critical path (bottlenecks); and items impacting cash (now or later).

Dave's other recent blog posts include: Crowdsourcing, collaboration, support groups. Oh my. and How to measure your power in the Internet marketplace. (Dave Berkus, SGV & WLA)

GetVisible on: Managing During COVID; Websites & ADA Compliance; Online Marketing

Jason Ciment, CEO of GetVisible, has launched a podcast series - #CovidConversations; in his first episode, Jason discusses HR and workplace ramifications of Covid-19 with a leading HR consultant. And in episode 2, he talks about remote workforce management with an EOS consultant.

Also, ABL Members can significantly reduce their costs on masks and sanitizers by aggregating orders with Jason, whose agency manages NextDayScience.com, a supplier of consumables to labs and healthcare companies. Visit nextdayscience.com/blog/masks-sanitizer.htm and contact Jason directly at jason@getvisible.com. This is particularly important during a time when the FDA has added to its list of hand sanitizers to avoid because they may contain methanol, a toxic substance when absorbed through skin or ingested. The updated chart now includes 75 varieties of hand sanitizer, produced in Mexico, that should be avoided. (Read Article: USA Today, 7/20/20)

Meanwhile, Jason provides the following business tips:
> Get a free ADA compliance audit of your website.
> See how 2 Facebook ads generated 7 months of sales in 30 days.
> "Steal ad ideas from competitors." It's simple: Go to the Facebook page for a competitor. Scroll down and look for the section called "Page Transparency" and click the link "View All" next to the section title. When you see the popup, scroll down and look for the "Ads from this page" section and click the button Go to Ad Library. In the new browser window, if you don't see the ads, then adjust the filter to show ads from the whole world. Then you'll see all the ads. I am in love with this simple feature because when you combine what you see on ads with what you see on posts and then use BuzzFeed to see what's trending, you can come up with some pretty radical Facebook (and Instagram too, of course) campaigns. This is what we do for our clients when we promote their social media influence. (Jason Ciment, WLA)

Intellect on: Mandatory Elements of a QMS System

In 8 Mandatory Elements of a QMS System, Intellect explains that an effective Quality Management System framework not only offers advanced analytics to help better understand data, it enables users to make more informed decisions, improve productivity, and can be properly executed if your business has the following eight robust QMS apps: managing nonconformance; complaints management; change management; corrective and preventive action; document control management; supplier quality management; and employee training. (Romeo Elias, WLA)

MyKaarma on: Succeeding with Touchless Service

In Automotive News' recent article - How to succeed in era of touchless auto service - Ujj Nath, CEO of MyKaarma, writes, "Because of the pandemic, touchless automotive service is the name of the game. This has been a consumer preference for some time. Case in point: Apple stores have been offering no-contact service since 2001. Dealers have long been incredible survivors. As Winston Churchill is famous for saying, 'Never let a good crisis go to waste.' What can you do to come out of this swinging and be even more efficient? How can you further improve the customer experience with touchless service?" (Ujj Nath, WLA)

Optimum Info on: Digital Transformations Disrupting Auto Companies & Retail Networks

In Digital Transformations disrupting Automotive Companies and their Retail Network, Optimum Info notes that the current pandemic-riddled reality has forced manufacturers to quickly adapt to new retail strategies and identify new opportunities within their network of dealers to better serve their customers in this new normal. In order to help their dealers adapt to these changes, companies need to harness a variety of information to leverage in their forecasts and decision-making. Also, Optimum Info has debuted its new Perspectives page, where they will share insightful dealer development and aftersales thought-leadership articles pertaining to the Automotive, Powersports, Equipment, and Transportation industries. (Arvind Verma, OC)

PeopleG2 on: Running Your Company During COVID-19

Chris Dyer, CEO of PeopleG2, recently wrote an article, How to nurture your company culture during Covid-19, in HR Zone, as well as How to make video meetings less awful, in Management Today. Meanwhile, read recent PeopleG2 blog posts here, including "How to Draft a Safe Return to Work Employee Policy" and "How to Reduce Hiring Risks Using Social Media Screening." (Chris Dyer, SGV)

Welcome New Member: Kim Darling, Founder, President & CEO of Competitive Health, Inc.

Competitive Health maintains direct agreements with leading digital health solutions, telehealth companies, retail clinics, and PPO networks to provide unlimited access and unprecedented savings to its clients and members - employer groups, insurance carriers, TPAs, affinity groups, and exchanges. Competitive Health provides savings solutions for doctor visits, hospital procedures, retail clinics, telehealth, behavioral health, dental, maternity, chronic care, senior programs, and more. It also provides wholesale access to programs that are proven to manage diabetes, depression, and pregnancy. Kim has led Competitive Health since 1996 and also founded WellCard Savings, in 2010, a leading free healthcare savings program. Previously, Kim was Co-Founder of Rete+Pay, worked in National Accounts for First Health/First Data, and in Regional Sales for Humana. Kim has joined the ABL-Health OC Round Table.

Welcome New Member: Jiang Li, Ph.D., Founder & CEO of VivaLNK, Inc.

VivaLNK is a provider of connected healthcare solutions for patient care and telemedicine, whose portfolio includes wearable medical grade devices and data analytics applications that continuously monitor the health and well-being of individuals. At the core of its family of products is VivaLNK's eSkin, a first-of-its-kind breathable thin film substrate with integrated circuits and sensors designed for long-term wearable use. Today, VivaLNK has 70+ commercial partners, its multi-vital sensor has received the CE Mark, and its ECG platform has received FDA clearance. Prior to launching VivaLNK in 2014, Jiang was VP of Engineering at Thin Film Electronics, and earlier at Kovio. Still earlier, he was VP of Product Engineering at Spansion, and Director of Product Engineering at Advanced Micro Devices. Returning to ABL, Jiang has re-joined the ABL-Health SV Round Table.

Meanwhile, Current Health has chosen VivaLNK's continuous temperature sensor for its AI-powered remote patient monitoring solution designed to reduce hospital overcrowding and readmissions. Instead of relying on the patient to manually measure and report temperature multiple times per day, the medical grade VivaLNK continuous temperature sensor does this automatically by sending patient temperature to the Current Health system on a continuous basis even while the patient is asleep. This stream of data can present a more accurate picture and trend on the condition of the patient.

Alvaka Networks Urges Companies to Prioritize Network Security

In Is Cyber Insurance Unintentionally Increasing Ransomware Attacks?, Alvaka Networks discusses a statement by the FBI regarding ransomware, in which they express their "discourag[ment] [towards] payments of cyber ransoms, arguing that it could encourage this criminal business model." Alvaka counters that "having your business equipped with sufficient protective measures is the best method to halt the development of more cybercriminals. Cyber insurance is valuable ... [but] business owners should place greater emphasis on strengthening network security and attaining adequate IT knowledge. A safer network reduces the probability of a breach, and not having a network compromise means your insurance will not have to pay a ransom. As a result, the cyber insurance you have purchased would not be producing an unintentional growth effect on the ransomware criminal business model." (Oli Thordarson, ABL-Health OC)

Anthem Blue Cross Deploys Digital Kiosks to Provide Interpretation & Telehealth Services

Anthem Blue Cross has recently deployed 200+ digital solutions kiosks inside 80 health centers across California to provide real-time video interpretation services and access to telehealth. The kiosks include Wi-Fi enabled tablets that allow treating clinicians to engage certified interpreters without having to pre-schedule in-person interpreter appointments or wait with third-party call centers. 240+ languages are accessible. The tablets can also be used to provide comprehensive, whole person care by enabling access to medical specialists via telehealth and information about free community resources to address non-medical needs. Anthem plans to install hundreds more across California. (David Pryor, MD, ABL-Health LA)

Elemeno Health CEO Interviewed in Industry Journal

Arup Roy-Burman, CEO of Elemeno Health, is spotlighted in a recent Republic Journal interview. Topics discussed include: Arup's inspiration for founding Elemeno Health; his process for launching the company; the #1 skill entrepreneurs need to succeed; biggest challenges; favorite apps and tech devices; his vision for the future of healthcare; and more. (Arup Roy-Burman, MD, ABL-Health OAK)

MedWand Turns Smartphone into a Digital Clinic

MedWand Solutions has announced that its clinical-grade telemedicine device has expanded its capabilities to mobile phones and is expected to be available for consumer purchase in late 2020. Empowering patients to receive physical exams on their phone during virtual visits from their doctors, MedWand also allows physicians to use their own smartphone device to securely examine a MedWand patient anywhere at any time. When used by a patient, the MedWand can allow clinicians to listen to heart and lungs, obtain basic vitals, look into a patient's ears, nose, and throat, obtain an EKG, and more. All of this information gets sent in real time to a clinician who watches, listens, and interacts through a secure video portal on their computer, and starting this fall, on their smartphone. (Bob Rose, ABL-Health OC)

Savi Group Describes How Medical Practices are Adapting to COVID-19

In How Medical Practices are Adapting to COVID-19, Savi Group outlines a variety of initiatives and protocols that different providers have put in place. Read other recent Savi Group blog posts here, including: "How Reducing Patient Wait Times Leads to Success"; "Medical Billing and Coding Tips from the Experts"; "How to Prepare Your Medical Practice for COVID-19 Outbreaks"; and "The Rise of Telemedicine During a Global Pandemic." (Sumit Mahendru, ABL-Health OC)

Microsoft Power Virtual Agents: Now you can build no-code chatbots without developers

While tools like Microsoft's Azure Bot Service make it relatively easy for developers to build and deploy bots, finding the time and necessary resources can often be a problem. That's where services like Power Virtual Agents (PVAs) come in, providing a software-as-a-service route to chatbots, without the need for developer experience. Part of Microsoft's Power Platform, PVAs are a member of a family of low- and no-code development tools targeted at business users who need an app now to solve a specific problem - aiming to make building a chat bot as easy as working with Excel macros. (Read Article: Tech Republic, 7/14/20)

The Dilemma of Running TikTok on Devices with Corporate Data

Social media apps are entrenched in data and the devices they sit on, some say, could make an entire company vulnerable. That brings us to the TikTok controversy. Concerned about the app's relationship to the Chinese government and possible surveillance, the U.S. government is assessing the national security risk of TikTok. While Amazon asked employees to delete TikTok from cellphones then quickly recanted, Wells Fargo requested a "small number" of employees to delete the app off corporate-owned devices. This led the CIO Dive team to ask: Is it a problem to run TikTok on devices with access to corporate data? (Read Article: CIO Dive, 7/20/20)

Future In-Car Technology Could Monitor Driver Health; Meanwhile, Tesla Anticipates Cars with Complete Autonomy This Year

Steve Surhigh, the VP/GM of automotive cloud services for Samsung-owned Harman, recently discussed some ways a car could monitor the driver's health. If the vehicle includes a system that monitors the driver's vital signs, and it detects something is noticeably wrong, having a teledoctor available could be part of the auto's connectivity package. Also, sensors in the steering wheel, similar to those found on treadmills or stationary bikes, could track your pulse. Alternatively, your car could receive this information from wearable devices, like smartwatches and fitness trackers. Data could be shared via Bluetooth or in-car 5G. Ford has floated the idea of burying six pulse sensors in the driver's seat. (Read Article: Digital Trends, 7/8/20)

Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said recently that he's "extremely confident" that his company's autos will have the basic functionality for level 5 (complete) autonomy this year. Tesla is also developing new heat-projection or cooling systems to enable more advanced computers in cars, Musk said. (Read Article: Reuters, 7/8/20)

California Investigating Google for Potential Antitrust Violations

California has opened its own antitrust probe into Google, intensifying the pressure on the search giant already in the middle of investigations by the Justice Department and a host of other states, according to three people with knowledge of the inquiry. The move by California's attorney general comes as Google has come under increasing scrutiny from both Congress and foreign regulators for its market conduct and acquisitions that have turned it into the world's top search engine and the most profitable online advertising company. (Read Article: Politico, 7/9/20)

Pandemic Creating Demand for PCs, Laptops; Microsoft Adjusts Windows 10X Plans

Remote working and schooling are undoubtedly fueling an increase in demand for PCs. IDC says PC shipments have increased 11.2% year-over year, while Gartner places it at a more modest 2.8%. Microsoft also reported an increase in demand for PCs during its latest earnings back in April, and a big overall jump in Windows usage. Microsoft is adjusting its Windows 10X plans thanks to the pandemic: the 10X operating system variant will now be arriving on traditional single-screen laptop devices first. Microsoft had originally planned to introduce Windows 10X on dual-screen devices, but the pandemic shifted the company's priorities. (Read Article: The Verge, 7/10/20)

Meanwhile, families are expecting to spend more on back-to-school shopping this year, partly because of e-learning tech needs spurred by the pandemic, a survey finds. Laptops, tablets, speakers, and headphones are likely to be big sellers, with the average K-12 family expected to spend nearly $800. (Read Article: Click Orlando, 7/19/20)

U.S. Gamers Have Spent Record $6.6 Billion in 2020

Video game spending in the US reached its highest point since 2010, according to a new NPD Group report, with sales through June reaching $6.6 billion on hardware, software, and accessories. It's the highest total for the first six months of the year since spending hit $7 billion a decade ago. Spending has been dramatically higher in 2020 than it was compared to last year, with sales through June up 19% year over year, and June sales specifically were up 26% compared to the same month in 2019. (Read Article: The Verge, 7/17/20)

Coca-Cola Introduces Contactless Technology to Pour Your Beverage

Coca-Cola will launch a contactless Coca-Cola Freestyle dispenser, which allows customers to choose and pour drinks from their phones without having to create an account or download an app. Consumers can hold their camera up to the display, which will auto-scan a QR code and connect to the cloud to bring the machine user interface to their phone. Customers can then select from the full menu of brands and flavors, and the dispenser will subsequently pour their drink. (Read Article: USA Today, 7/13/20)

Remote Work is Here to Stay & Workers Feel More Productive, Surveys Find

A Gartner survey of 127 business leaders found that 82% plan to maintain a partial work-from-home structure even after COVID-19 is no longer a threat, and 47% plan to allow employees to do so permanently. Along with regular remote work allowances, other organizations are planning to allow flex days (43%) or flex hours (42%), and a small number (15%) are planning to transition to a workweek of four 10-hour days. No matter how an organization chooses to slice it, there's going to be widespread changes to how many of them operate. (Read Article: TechRepublic, 7/14/20)

And, a recent Lenovo survey of 20,000+ respondents from across the globe found that 63% said that they are currently more productive working remotely than they were in the office. And 52% said they expect to continue in this new normal workplace, even if/when restrictions are lifted. (Read Article: TechRepublic, 7/15/20)

Tech Companies are Ending Leases, Consolidating Offices as Remote Work is Here to Stay

In the tech hubs of Seattle, Silicon Valley, New York and elsewhere, many CEOs are coming to the conclusion that real estate is not a worthwhile expense. Start-ups that never intended to be fully distributed are letting leases end or looking for ways to get out of longer deals, while bigger employers are closing facilities, consolidating space, and exploring ways to provide workers with flexible arrangements and options closer to home to avoid long commutes. (Read Article: CNBC, 7/13/20)

207 East Memory Lane
Santa Ana, CA 92705

Phone: 714-245-2400 | Fax: (714) 245-1428
Email: Janet@abl.org

Copyright © 2020 Adaptive Business Leaders Organization. All Rights Reserved.