ABL-Tech Member News & Industry Trendletter * August 18, 2020

>>> Alina Trigubenko is Founder and CEO of awarenow, which provides an all-in-one business management platform for clients in coaching - business and independent, schools, consultants, health and wellness centers, medical clinics, and yoga and meditation studios - so that they can create and run scalable digital offerings. Features include booking and staff resources management, scheduling, office automation, analytics, billing systems integration, built-in teleconference and Zoom integrations, live chat, texting, emailing, online programs, courses and webinars, blogging platform, and more. Alina is also the LA branch co-founder of Consciousness Hacking, a worldwide community of mindful people who are creating meaningful connections among pioneers in neuroscience, brain research, meditation, IT entrepreneurs, creators, and founders. Her background includes being Co-Founder of Transformational Food, in Moscow; producer and member of the board of directors of War & Peace Media Group; independent producer and writer in LA and Moscow on programs distributed to channels globally; Producer of AirPano.com; and a producer, news editor, and correspondent at TV Center, in Moscow. Alina has joined the ABL-Tech WLA Round Table.

>>> Jason Makevich is Founder and CEO of Greenlight Information Services, which provides its clients with managed services and technologies that enable IT departments to operate more efficiently, and deliver more value to the organization. IT departments within small and medium-sized businesses often have many limitations with time, tools, and expertise. Projects go undone for months or longer. Support to the end-users becomes reactive, rather than proactively preventing many issues. Systems run on aged infrastructure, with insufficient resources. While many IT consulting firms focus on staffing, Greenlight focuses on partnerships. Greenlight does not just place IT talent into an organization. They work with the organization's IT department on operational efficiency, projects, and valuable business initiatives, integrating Greenlight's team and systems into the existing IT department. With Greenlight's experienced talent and systems, IT departments can finish projects that have been piling up, and execute many more high-value initiatives for the organization. Jason has led Greenlight since 2010, and was previously a Partner in Procomp Services, and an IT Consultant with P&O Nedlloyd. Jason has joined the ABL-Tech OC Round Table.

>>> Shurick Agapitov is Founder and CEO of Xsolla, Inc., a video game business engine with a set of tools and services that help developers and publishers operate and sell more games globally. The data-driven hub provides customized recommendations, as well as business development resources needed to drive revenue and growth for game companies. With just a bit of background information provided about a project, Xsolla Business Engine presents the most relevant Xsolla solutions for its development stage, monetization type, and platform. Xsolla operates as a merchant and seller-of-record for major gaming entities like Epic Games, Valve, Twitch, Ubisoft, and PUBG Corporation. Under Shurick's guidance, the company recently formed the Xsolla Funding Club, a video-game-industry-focused investment network designed to help indie studios reach development goals through capital investment, while maintaining artistic and creative control of their IP. Shurick is also Co-Founder of 80.lv, and Co-Founder/angel investor in Slemma. Previously, he was CEO of 2pay, the largest payment aggregator for online games in Eastern Europe. Shurick has also joined the ABL-Tech WLA Round Table.


myKaarma, where ABL-Tech Member Ujj Nath is CEO, is looking for a dynamic leader to be their new VP of Finance. This is a freshly created position, spurred by the growth of the company, which involves oversight into Finance, Accounting, and Legal, while working closely with the CEO and Executive Team to implement cost savings and process efficiency. myKaarma is a Toyota Production System (Lean) shop and uses lean principles to kaizen and improve continuously. Lean experience would be a huge bonus, but if the candidate shows promise, myKaarma holds regular lean classes for their employees and this person would be expected to embrace lean principles of operation.

myKaarma is looking for an ambitious and systematic thinker, while it also values creativity and problem solving immensely. If you feel you know someone who is an "up and comer" or is already there, please refer the person to ujj.nath@mykaarma.com. The detailed job description can be found here.

    These upcoming ABL Round Tables will be held via ZOOM to ensure Social Distancing for our Members. See your Round Table invitation for participation instructions, and the ABL.org Members Only website for all the Technology Round Table invitation specifics.

  • 9/03 - ABL-Tech OC Zoom Table
  • 9/04 - ABL-Tech SGV Zoom Table
  • 9/11 - ABL-Tech WLA Zoom Table
  • Explore Membership in ABL's Executive Round Tables >>>

6 Antidotes for Zoom Fatigue

                     Blog by Mimi Grant

As we "celebrate" five months of "Sheltering in Place," something that's become as ubiquitous in our lives as masks and hand sanitizer is Zoom. It was only a couple of months into COVID-time when an ABL Member first lamented about their "Zoom Fatigue." Since then, of course, the complaints have mounted, as many of our Members - and business people around the globe - reflect that they're typically spending four hours a day (or more) on Zoom. Given their multi-time-zone interactions with international dev shops and customers, those days are long.

In fact, when Googling "Zoom fatigue," in less than a second, Google spit out 83,200,000 results; fortunately, she also has 26,700,000 responses to "how to combat zoom fatigue."

According to the experts, we primarily get exhausted Zooming because we're sitting down, for long stretches at a time, looking at "Gallery View," and ourselves. So, not surprisingly, they recommend... CLICK HERE TO READ REST OF BLOG.

[Photo Credit: nadia_snopek/Adobe Stock; https://www.mindful.org/zoom-exhaustion-is-real-here-are-six-ways-to-find-balance-and-stay-connected/]

AfterNow Unveils AR/VR Platform for Remote Presentations

AfterNow has announced the launch of AfterNow Prez Remote in private beta, which is available now. The new software platform delivers more meaningful and engaging remote meetings by harnessing the power of augmented and virtual reality, supporting a presenter with up to 500 participants. The technology, combined with Oculus or Microsoft headsets, empowers executives, sales teams, trainers, and educators to present immersive content to their audience, resulting in increased engagement, satisfaction, and retention, while avoiding burnout and fatigue. (Phillippe Lewicki, WLA)

BeSmartee Demonstrates Mortgage POS Platform

BeSmartee is demonstrating its mortgage POS platform and moderating a cyber security panel at this year's Mortgage Innovators Conference, August 16-18. Visit BeSmartee's virtual kiosk and panel. In July, BeSmartee demonstrated its platform at the National Mortgage Professional's virtual Originator Tech event. (Veronica Nguyen, OC)

myKaarma Integrates with Logitrac to Improve Transactions

myKaarma has announced its integration with Logitrac to improve the speed and efficiency of loaner car transactions. At the opening of agreements, customer payment details are entered and stored for future use and a speedy return and collection process. The integration enables proactive cost control, streamlined procedures, and an experience that is transparent, connected, and fully mobile. Meanwhile, on September 24, myKaarma will share industry insights at Ted Ings' Fixed Ops Roundtable, where the "automotive industry goes to stay ahead of the curve." (Ujj Nath, WLA)

Nortridge Software & PayNearMe Team on Expanded Options

Payments platform PayNearMe and Nortridge Software have announced a new integration that allows Nortridge's clients to leverage PayNearMe's full suite of tender options - including cash and electronic payments - directly within Nortridge's loan software. The integration eliminates the need to flip between software platforms when taking payments over the phone, a process that is fraught with errors and inefficiencies. Call center agents can also easily send text reminders with a unique link that allows customers to complete electronic payments on their smartphone or cash payments at local convenience store retailers. (Greg Hindson, OC)

Parasoft: Webinar to Focus on Compliance Costs & Lifecycle Traceability; Featured in Journal

On September 9, at 7 a.m. Pacific, Parasoft will co-present a webinar - Cut Compliance Costs and Ensure Lifecycle Traceability with codeBeamer ALM & Parasoft, which will discuss how bidirectional traceability helps simplify, automate, and reduce the cost of compliance with safety- and security-critical standards.

Meanwhile, Parasoft was spotlighted in a recent article - How Six Companies Are Using AI to Accelerate Automotive Technology, which reports that "Parasoft's C/C++test software automation product is currently being used in the automotive sector to minimize the countless hours traditionally spent analyzing complex test vectors. In use, the C/C++test automation tool assists test engineers by reviewing thousands of lines of code for violations and learning about the decisions a programmer made during development. After assessing any issues, a machine learning engine prioritizes the most significant violations and finds potential solutions for them." (Elizabeth Kolawa, Ph.D., SGV)

Pegasus One's On-Demand Webinar Addresses Infusing AI Into Your Enterprise

Pegasus One is offering an on-demand webinar - Infusing AI into your enterprise, which presents how to: Run Sentiment Analysis; build intuitive and intelligent bots; remove language barriers; and create natural-sounding speech models and high-quality transcription.

Meanwhile, Pegasus One recently announced the establishment of its Rising Scholar Scholarship at Santiago Canyon College. (Tushar Puri, OC)

PeopleG2 Presents Webinar, eBook & Blog on Critical Business Issues

On August 19, at 11 a.m. Pacific, PeopleG2 CEO Chris Dyer will co-host a webinar - Resiliency, Agility, and Grit - Three Critical Skills, which will discuss how to embrace change, chaos, COVID, and bounce back stronger than ever. Meanwhile, Chris is interviewed in two recent podcasts: The future of work: Reflection of culture and Remote Work Before It Was Cool.

Also, PeopleG2 is offering a free ebook: Reopen Slowly, Hire Fast, and has published a post: FCRA Compliance Support Tools by PeopleG2: Stay Legal. (Chris Dyer, SGV)

VCP Collaborates with Hippo Manager to Transform Wellness Practices

Hippo Manager and VCP have partnered to deliver a comprehensive cloud-based solution to veterinary practices for wellness plans and practice management with one easy-to-use point of access. VCP's solution provides recurring billing and payments, along with experienced wellness coaches, extensive analytics and dashboards, and marketing support - all now available for the first time through Hippo Manager practice-management software. The platforms are both optimized with online enrollment options, curbside check-ins, and text-to-pay to help practices communicate effectively with clients while social distancing. (Bob Richardson, OC)

Dave Berkus on: Your End Game, Selling Your Company & Succession Planning

In What's your personal-business end game?, Dave states that it's important to envision your business end game even at the outset, especially when planning to take in money from others as investors, all of whom will seek a payoff someday in a sale or IPO. An effective way to do this, Dave shares, is to make a list of up to ten possible future buyers of your company, and to spend time defining what those buyers would want when purchasing your business. Would it be your intellectual property? Your skilled employees? Your brand and market recognition? Your distribution channel relationships? Whatever you envision that value to be, you should work to build that portion of your business by paying special attention to it as you work to build the operation. It will help you to explain the value of your business to potential investors and certainly help focus your efforts as you advance toward that goal of a liquidity event in your future.

Read additional posts from Dave, including: Decoding and learning from a business failure; An economics lesson for growing companies; Selling your company for less than expected?; and What would happen to the business if you die, leave or are disabled? (Dave Berkus, SGV & WLA)

GetVisible on: EOS Traction & Predictive Index Personality Profiling

In episode 2 of the Covid Conversations Podcast from Jason Ciment, CEO of GetVisible, Jason talks with Sergiu Simmel, an accomplished leadership consultant. Sergiu discusses the impact of COVID-19 on the workforce and how the lens of Predictive Index personality profiling and the leadership principles of EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) Traction can guide the changes you may need to make when managing your workforce in this new reality. And Jason enjoys contemporizing Sergiu's examples to real-world situations. "This is a really deep dive into human psychology and quite insightful how people are constantly at war with who they really are and who they think they need to be to the outside world," Jason says. (Jason Ciment, WLA)

Intellect on: How Pharma Co's are Meeting Current Operational Challenges

In 4 Top Trends for Pharmaceutical Companies & Manufacturers During COVID-19, Intellect reports that, to meet current challenges and to stay ahead, pharma companies are focused on enabling business agility, operational resilience, risk mitigation, and utilizing a remote and distributed workforce. And Intellect shares a recent McKinsey article that contends that these new trends are likely to continue after a COVID-19 recovery. (Romeo Elias, WLA)

ProProfs on: Best Distance-Learning Software & Easy Steps to Create Online Surveys

In 10 Best Distance Learning Software Platforms Trending Now, ProProfs shares a list of distance learning platforms with integrated tools for file sharing, screen sharing, video-conferencing, meetings, collaboration, and whiteboarding, along with virtual classroom and project management software, all of which enable effective learning.

And, in 6 Steps to Create an Attractive and Engaging Survey, ProProfs notes that online surveys are one of the best methods for data collection, and ProProfs Survey Maker provides features such as customization, branding, reporting, and integrations. ProProfs then provides simple steps to create a survey online in under 10 minutes. (Sameer Bhatia, WLA)

Biospectal Honored by Swiss Innovation Agency & Swiss Medtech

Innosuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency, features Biospectal as a success story in fostering innovation through Swiss technology - in this video profile, which highlights the unique opportunity Biospectal is pursuing in partnership with the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology, to use software-only, cuffless blood pressure monitoring and management in smartphones to scale hypertension management globally. Also, Biospectal was recently honored to be one of only seven Swiss companies to make a presentation at the Swiss Medtech Jury Hearing in late July. (Eliott Jones, ABL-Health SV)

Elemeno Health Presents Innovations to the U.S. Air Force

Elemeno Health was selected from 1,600+ submissions as an official Base of the Future - Challenge Showcase Selection at the recent AFWERX innovation program from the U.S. Air Force. This year's event, held online, brought together industry, individuals, academia, investors, military, and government team members to present innovative solutions for Air Force areas of interest and facilitated an environment of connection and collaboration. (Arup Roy-Burman, MD, ABL-Health OAK)

KMD's Project is First in L.A. to Deploy Tracing Tech on an Active Jobsite

Global Construction Review's recent article - Skanska deploys worker-proximity tracing system at Los Angeles hospital project - describes how Skanska USA is using an electronic tagging system to keep workers 6 feet apart at the $188 million Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center building project, a KMD Architects project. The system also logs the amount of time people were closer than 6 feet apart, meaning it can be a retroactive contact-tracing system should a worker test positive for Covid-19. The hospital project team is the first in LA to deploy this technology on an active jobsite, and "as a result, rather than closing down an entire project or quarantining a large portion of workers due to a single positive Covid-19 case, the Proximity Tracker identifies a small subsect of the 150-person onsite team to potentially be affected." (Rob Matthew, ABL-Health SF)

Pulse Healthcare Marketing Client Brings Science-Based Fracture Prevention Program to U.S.

Pulse Healthcare Marketing client Bone Index Ltd., a healthcare diagnostics company with hand-held osteoporosis diagnostics technology, recently announced that it will launch the world's first science-based, personalized fracture prevention program, Bindex Total Bone Health, in the U.S. The key objective of the program is to prevent the most significant risk factor of osteoporotic bone fracture - the first fracture. (Robin Raff, ABL-Health SF)

Savi Group Explores How COVID-19 is "Fueling a Healthcare Revolution"

In How COVID-19 is Fueling a Healthcare Revolution, Savi Group discusses how, during the pandemic, telemedicine is advancing by "leaps and bounds," and senior care is shifting from nursing homes to in-home care - plus home-based care programs also hold great potential to help people of all ages who are recovering from an illness or rehabilitating. Further, the pandemic "shows us the weaknesses of depending on employer-based healthcare options when a national health crisis rocks the country. Millions of people are sadly unemployed and losing access to medical care at a time when it is more important than ever. This situation is forcing people to look at alternatives to employer-based care and raising the voices of those calling for universal health insurance." (Sumit Mahendru, ABL-Health OC)

Select Data a Finalist in HIMSS NursePitch Contest

Select Data was named one of six Finalists in the HIMSS NursePitch online competition, to showcase their new "model drive" NLP tool, called SmartCare. A Pre-Seed and Series A competition, in collaboration with the American Nurses Association, the online competition presents nurse-led innovators to a team of judges who represent health innovation, business, provider, and venture capital companies. (Ed Buckley, ABL-Health OC)

TestDirectly from LigoLab Uses Electronic Workflow to Significantly Improve COVID-19 Testing

The implementation of TestDirectly, a scalable solution developed and designed by LigoLab Information System, has significantly improved COVID-19 testing in DuPage County, IL, and many other counties across the U.S. - thanks to intuitive patient self-registration and scheduling, shorter wait times, and much faster turnaround times for test results. For DuPage County, in particular, patient pre-registration with TestDirectly's electronic workflow has removed the issues they were having with handwritten order forms and with patient communication at the Wheaton, IL drive-through location, enabling the site to serve more people and get them their results quickly and easily. (Suren Avunjian, ABL-Health LA)

VivaLNK Highlighted for Pioneering Work in "Electronic Skin" Products

The recent WearTechDesign Editor's Blog - A growth sector - for those with skin in the game - spotlights VivaLNK as an example of a company that's developing electronic skin products. The article says: "An early use of wearable sensors was in China during the SARS pandemic at the turn of the 21st century. Today companies like California-based VivaLNK and Massachussets-based MC10 are providing wearable sensors to help combat Covid-19. VivaLNK's wearable sensors are used for temperature, pulse, respiratory, ECG and accelerometer readers. The lightweight (7.5g) and reuseable/rechargeable sensors are water-resistant and FDA/CE marked. The US company says it has supplied its wearable sensors to China, the Americas, Europe, and the RoW." (Jiang Li, Ph.D., ABL-Health SV)

Ransomware: These Warning Signs Could Mean You're Already Under Attack

Since the average ransomware attack can take anywhere from 60 to 120 days to move from the initial security breach to the delivery of the actual ransomware, hundreds of companies could have hackers hiding in their networks at any time, getting ready to trigger their network-encrypting malware. So what are the early indicators for companies that are trying to spot a ransomware attack before they cause too much damage? Any what should they do if they discover an attack in progress? (Read Article: ZDNet, 8/11/20)

Lyft & Uber Threaten to Suspend Operations in California Due to AB5

Both Uber and Lyft have announced that they may be forced to suspend operations in California, for at least several months, after a California superior court judge ruled that both on-demand ride service companies must abide by Assembly Bill 5 to reclassify their drivers as employees. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that "it's hard to believe we'll be able to switch our model to full-time employment quickly," and Lyft President Josh Zimmerman said that California voters can "vote yes on Prop 22." A lawsuit was brought against Uber by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with city attorneys from Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, to force Uber and Lyft to comply with AB5. (Read Articles: socaltech, 8/13/20 and 8/12/20)

3 Technology Priorities Emerge Out of the Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has placed new pressures on the CIO and the role technology plays in the business. "We're living at work" instead of working from home, said Mike Wisler, CIO of M&T Bank, while speaking on a Forbes CIO Summit digital panel. The distinction emphasizes how little control companies had over the rapid transformation of operations. Remote work became a necessity instead of an option, placing new pressures on leadership.

Three technology priorities have emerged out of the pandemic, according to Karalee Close, Global Leader, technology advantage at BCG: Securing operations, including safeguards for employees and securing remote work; Digital acceleration; and Business resilience. The coronavirus spurred a wakeup call for digital capabilities at the forefront of the technology stack and 80% of companies expect to accelerate digital transformation efforts, said Close, speaking on a Summit panel. (Read Article: CIO Dive, 8/11/20)

As E-Commerce Booms, Robotic Arms Pick Up Human Slack

While companies such as FedEx, DHL, UPS, and Amazon have long relied on billions of dollars' worth of automation to get packages to customers quickly - from conveyors that divert packages down one path or another, to guided vehicles that shuttle about entire shelves of goods - robot arms are something different. And now they're the first arms of their kind to ever appear in a FedEx facility, and among the earliest examples of the day-to-day use of this technology anywhere in the world. These robots typify an important and growing trend in automation in general, and robotics in particular. What's new here is that existing machines are getting both "eyes" and "brains" that allow them to sense and respond. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 8/8/20)

What's Different About Hiring Data Scientists in 2020?

Historically, data science hiring practices evolved from software engineering. A hallmark of software engineering interviewing is the dreaded brain teaser, puzzles like "How many golf balls would fit inside a Boeing 747?" or "Implement the quick-sort algorithm on the whiteboard." Candidates will study for weeks or months for these and the hiring website Glassdoor has an entire section devoted to them. In data science, the traditional coding brain teaser has been supplemented with statistics ones as well - "What is the probability that the sum of two dice rolls is divisible by three?" But companies are starting to realize that these brain teasers are not terribly effective and have started cutting down their usage. In their place, firms are focusing on project-based data assessments. These ask data science candidates to analyze real-world data provided by the company. Rather than having a single correct answer, project-based assessments are often more open-ended, encouraging exploration. Interviewees typically submit code and a write-up of their results. These have a number of advantages, both in terms of form and substance. (Read Article: TechCrunch, 8/12/20)

Tech Giants Back Legal Challenges to Trump's Foreign Worker Restrictions

Top U.S. tech firms filed a legal brief recently backing a challenge to President Trump's temporary ban on the entry of certain foreign workers to preserve jobs for Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. In the brief, filed in a lawsuit brought in California by major U.S. business associations, the companies argued that the visa restrictions will hurt American businesses, lead employers to hire workers outside the U.S., and further damage the already struggling U.S. economy. Trump issued a presidential proclamation in June that suspended the entry of a range of foreign workers until the end of the year, a move his administration said would free up jobs for unemployed Americans amid the economic fallout of the pandemic. Among those affected by the temporary ban are skilled foreign workers entering on H-1B visas and managers and specialized workers being transferred within a company on L visas - both visa types used by tech companies. (Read Article: Reuters, 8/10/20)

Trump Orders TikTok's Chinese-owned Parent Company to Divest Interest in US Operations

President Trump issued an executive order on August 14 directing ByteDance, the Chinese-owned parent company of TikTok, to divest interest in the app's US operations within the next 90 days. Trump explained in the order that he believes there is "credible evidence" that ByteDance "might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States" following the company's acquisition of the social media app Musical.ly. The step marks just the latest twist in the dramatic back and forth between the popular video app and the President after he declared last month that he would ban TikTok from operating in the US. Trump issued an executive order last week that would ban the app from operating in the US in 45 days if it is not sold. But Aug. 14's order specifically directs ByteDance to destroy all data obtained from US TikTok owners and inform the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US once it has done so. (Read Article: CNN, 8/15/20)

Meanwhile, a Wall Street Journal article from August 11th - TikTok Tracked User Data Using Tactic Banned by Google - reports that TikTok skirted a privacy safeguard in Google's Android operating system to collect unique identifiers from millions of mobile devices, data that allows the app to track users online without allowing them to opt out.

Plus, Microsoft's TikTok Acquisition Presents Both Political & Technical Challenges

Microsoft's bid to carve out parts of TikTok from its Chinese owner ByteDance will be a technically complex endeavor that could test the patience of President Trump's administration, according to sources familiar with the setup. Trump has given Microsoft until Sept. 15 to put together a blueprint for an acquisition that safeguards the personal data of Americans stored on the short-video app, and he has issued an order to ban it if there is no deal by then. (Read Article: Venture Beat, 8/10/20)

Corporate America Worries WeChat Ban Could Be Bad for Business

U.S. companies whose fortunes are linked to China are pushing back against the Trump administration's plans to restrict business transactions involving the WeChat app from Tencent Holdings Ltd., saying it could undermine their competitiveness in the world's second-biggest economy. More than a dozen major U.S. multinational companies raised concerns in a recent call with White House officials about the potentially broad scope and impact of Mr. Trump's executive order targeting WeChat, set to take effect late next month. Apple Inc., Intel Corp., Ford Motor Co., Walmart Inc., and Walt Disney Co. were among those participating in the call, according to people familiar with the situation. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 8/13/20)

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