ABL-Tech Member News & Industry Trendletter * October 20, 2020
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COVID Remixes the Future of Work:
"Hard" and "Soft" Skills

                     Blog by Mimi Grant

For years, the "future of work" has been on the horizon. But, who knew, we were just one pandemic away from pushing "fast forward" on working from home, and implementing a host of "skills of the future."

According to "The 2020 Cornerstone Global Research Report," in recent years, "Talent leaders have prioritized 'hard' skills like data analytics and programming, rather than 'soft' skills like creativity and collaboration." But, COVID has quickly shifted the tide "toward a mix of hard and soft skills," with organizations fostering an environment in which "innovation, adaptation, and diverse thinking produce repeated competitive success." As Bernadette Wightman, a Managing Director at BT (formerly British Telecom), summarized at the World Economic Forum, "As demand for mathematics, computing and data analysis grows, so too will the need for human attributes like creativity, critical thinking, persuasion and negotiation."

The Cornerstone research team surveyed business leaders from 500 large, global companies, and 1,000 employees from industries skewing towards tech, banking, finance, insurance, and manufacturing. One key finding was, for employees, "People are taking charge of their own careers and demanding more as they realize the market is no longer an employer market but an employee market," according to Meredith Taghi, VP of Deutsche Post DHL. What's more, 66% of the survey's employee respondents said that "meaningful work" was "extremely or very important" when choosing an employer to work for, compared to 65% who said the same for "competitive pay."

Looking towards the future, the plurality of employers and employees alike want employees to develop technology skills. Yet, when asked which skills were most important to their firms in the past, the top skills mentioned were: agility and adaptability, creativity, critical thinking, communication, and learning new skills, which "may suggest that employers look for soft skills when making hiring decisions, but look to hard skills when making development decisions."


Awarenow CEO Spotlighted on Podcasts & Industry Journal

Alina Trigubenko of awarenow was recently interviewed on two podcasts: the Badass Show, which features digital entrepreneurs, and Career Coaching Xs and Os, which highlights trends and insights in that field. Also, Alina published an article in The Six-Figure Coach Magazine - 9 Trends in Executive Coaching for the 2020s; How You Can Come Out Ahead, in which she discusses: normalization and growth; increased competition; specialization; scaling; credentialization; integration; rising expectations; measurable results; and digitalization. (Alina Trigubenko, WLA)

Cornerstone Addresses Thriving in a Changing World & Unveils AI-Powered Skills Engine

On October 22, at 11 a.m., Cornerstone will present a free webinar - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Talent Management - which will explore tactics and strategies to weave "DEI" into all phases of the employee lifecycle, including recruiting, learning and development, compensation, performance, and succession. Also, on November 2, Cornerstone will hold its virtual Content Summit 2020 - Thriving in a Changing World, which will cover stress and change management, mindfulness, resilience, and more.

Meanwhile, Cornerstone announced the availability of its Cornerstone Skills Graph, an AI-powered skills engine that has been built into the company's portfolio of products, enabling organizations to implement "strategic skilling" - the practice of matching skills to people, learning content, and job roles - to predict, prepare for, and quickly respond to dynamic business changes. And, Cornerstone has published the results of a new workforce trends report - A License to Skill: Embracing the Reskilling Revolution - See Mimi's blog above for her take on the report's findings. (Adam Miller, WLA)

DarioHealth Chosen by HMC HealthWorks & Vitality Group

DarioHealth Corp. and HMC HealthWorks have entered into a sales and distribution partnership in which HMC will incorporate DarioHealth's digital therapeutics solution into its comprehensive care management programs. And, Vitality Group has chosen DarioHealth's solutions for inclusion in its new Gateway Flex offering, which enables employers to personalize the healthcare experience to meet the diverse and changing needs of their employees, and to pay only for solutions in which their employees engage. (Rick Anderson, WLA)

Eckert & Ziegler to Run Tumor Radiation Business Through TCL

Eckert & Ziegler Strahlen- und Medizintechnik AG plans to run its business with tumor radiation equipment together with TCL Healthcare Equipment (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. The two companies recently signed a binding letter of intent under which Eckert & Ziegler will transfer its division with the so-called afterloaders (HDR brachytherapy) to a separate company in which TCL will acquire 51% of the shares. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. (Frank Yeager, SGV)

GF Piping's New System Handles Aggressive Media without Corrosion

GF Piping Systems has added SYGEF® ECTFE to its extensive line of engineered piping systems. The new product was designed specifically to convey highly aggressive media, such as concentrated sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), without corrosion, even under extreme pressure and temperature conditions. With good chemical resistance, excellent abrasion resistance, and high impact strength, it meets all the requirements for demanding industrial environments, such as chemical processing, water treatment, and microelectronics. (Mike Smith, SGV)

Intellect Declared a Leader in G2 QMS Grid & Announces Annual Conference

Intellect has been recognized as a Leader in the G2 Grid for Quality Management (QMS) in 2020. Also, on November 9-10, Intellect will present its annual customer and partner virtual conference, offering opportunities for networking, plus learning and sharing the newest trends in QMS, business process automation, and digital transformation. Meanwhile, read Intellect's recent blog: COVID-19's Impact on Quality Management. (Romeo Elias, WLA)

Parasoft Releases AI-Powered Testing Suite & Announces Upcoming Events

Parasoft has announced the 2020.2 releases of Parasoft's enterprise solutions: SOAtest, Virtualize, Selenic, and Continuous Testing Platform. Expanding UI and API testing to incorporate platform-specific locators for Salesforce and Guidewire low-code development environments ensures the testability of enterprise application software. This enables DevOps teams to deliver high-quality applications faster. Meanwhile, on October 21, from 10-11 a.m. Pacific, Parasoft will present: Evolve From Manual Testing to Functional Test Automation in One Day: Web UI & API Test Automation Virtual Workshop.

And, on November 17, Parasoft will hold: Automated Software Testing and Quality Virtual Summit: How Industry Leaders Are Solving Real Software Quality Problems. (Elizabeth Kolawa, Ph.D., SGV)

Pegasus One Named to Inc 5000 List of America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies

For the second year in a row, Pegasus One was named to the Inc 5000 List of America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies, with a 69% three-year growth rate. "Not only have the companies on the 2020 Inc. 5000 been very competitive within their markets, but the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared with prior lists as well," Inc. reports. "The 2020 Inc. 5000 achieved an incredible three-year average growth of over 500%, and a median rate of 165%. The Inc. 5000's aggregate revenue was $209 billion in 2019, accounting for over 1 million jobs over the past three years." (Tushar Puri, OC)

PeopleG2 to Co-Host Webinar on "The Essence of Future Leadership"

On October 28, at 11 a.m. Pacific, Chris Dyer of PeopleG2 will co-present a webinar - The Essence of Future Leadership. Also, Chris has published an article in Training magazine - 5 Tips to Build an Outstanding Company Culture. Meanwhile, recent blogs from PeopleG2 include: 5 Ways to Improve Candidate Experience for Faster Hiring and 5 Frequently Asked Background Check Questions Answered. (Chris Dyer, SGV)

Tanner Research CEO to Present Virtual Nutrition Science Workshops

On the evenings of November 18 (click here) and December 17 (click here), John Tanner, Ph.D., of Tanner Research, will present free Nutrition Science Virtual Workshops, via Zoom, where he will relay to participants the scientific information they need to avoid heart disease and other leading killers with a proper diet. The group will discuss strategies for change and John will field questions. (John Tanner, Ph.D., SGV)

Xsolla Launches Unconventional for Game-Like Virtual Events

Xsolla is launching Unconventional, a platform for holding virtual events with 3D avatars inside 3D worlds for the game industry. Xsolla already provides 1,500+ game companies with access to 700+ payment systems around the world. And it has been expanding its services by providing a "game business engine" for developers so they can just concentrate on making games. Now with Unconventional, the company is trying to help developers who are no longer able to go to big events in person. It's an alternative to talking to people on Zoom calls all the time. Around 500 people can attend events inside the Unconventional space. To create Unconventional, Xsolla is partnering with Pantera Entertainment. The first event will be Epic Games' Game Carnival Hosted by Unreal Engine, starting at the end of October and running through the end of the year. Xsolla will keep the Unconventional virtual space open for people to meet and entertain themselves. (Shurick Agapitov, WLA)

Dave Berkus on: Startup Valuations & Financing Your Company

InnMind recently interviewed Dave Berkus in this video - Startup Valuation with Dave Berkus & How Not to Screw a Billion Dollar Deal, in which they discuss how to calculate startup valuation at pre-revenue stage; how startup valuation works; and how it can help in investment decision making. Also, Dave has published his own video about Financing your company? Debt or equity? And if debt, what do you know about the real cost and risks?, in which he gives "a six-minute master class on the subject." Meanwhile, read recent blogs from Dave here, which include: "So, do you have that entrepreneurial DNA?;" "Entrepreneurs do not easily retire;" "Should you include your sweat equity in a business plan?;" and "What is your biggest error in company planning?" (Dave Berkus, SGV & WLA)

BeSmartee on: Robust Security for POS Systems & Digital Lending Solutions

In Importance of a Robust Security in Your POS, BeSmartee urges that banks and other financial institutions must be vigorous in shoring up the security of their POS systems to avoid easily preventable digital banking data breaches - especially since the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with a 238% increase in cyberattacks focused on banks, according to ZDNET. And, in The Power of Digital Solutions in the Lending Space, BeSmartee reports that digital lending is continually evolving to keep up with the growing demands of customers, and that banks are losing customers due to tech companies offering streamlined financial services. (Veronica Nguyen, OC)

Electrosonic on: Tech's Role in the Themed Entertainment Industry

Bryan Hinckley of Electrosonic co-hosted a recent "Fusion" podcast and blog - The Role of Technology in the Themed Entertainment Industry, in which he says that technology can create incredible experiences, but at the end of the day, people don't care about the technology, they care about the story and experience. So the key is to use tech in new and different ways to allow people to escape out of their daily lives. Also, read other recent blogs from Electrosonic, including: "What Comes First in Experiential Design, the Story or the Technology?;" and "The Lobby: How the Technology Experience Starts at the Door." (Bryan Hinckley, SGV)

GetVisible on: Soon-to-be-Published Marketing Book & Additional Resources

Jason Ciment of GetVisible has provided a peek at his second marketing book, I Need More Patients, coming in November - a step-by-step program to grow through online channels for practically any business that wants revenue and any nonprofit that wants donations. Jason says to send him a private message on LinkedIn for an advanced review copy before it launches. Also, Jason is interviewed on a recent Berbay Marketing & PR podcast episode about digital marketing.

Meanwhile, Jason provides the following tips and resources:
> Emotional Persuasion: 8 Words to Make Your Conversions Skyrocket.
> 3 Scalable Content Promotion Strategies to Blast Your Funnel.
> Get your article or blog post into Google's index; into Instagram and other social media; and read by your own customers and subscribers.
> Q&A keyword research tool helps you find the questions your customers want answered. (Jason Ciment, WLA)

LookinLA on: Crisis Recovery, Digital Marketing & Leadership Styles

LookinLA has a variety of free eBook downloads available, including: COVID Report: From Crisis to Recovery, which explores how individual U.S. states and industries are faring and how they can recover; What is the Strategic Digital Marketing Funnel? And how can you create one?, which offers a guide to intelligent strategy at each phase of the digital marketing funnel; and What Are the Best Leadership Styles in Business?, which discusses factors to consider when choosing your leadership style. (Ali Payani, SGV)

NexGen Search Solutions on: Microaggressions

In Microaggressions... should HR own it?, Cynthia Nelson of NexGen Search Solutions acknowledges that microaggressions are currently HR "hot potatoes." So how does HR decide when it's a valid microaggression? And if HR makes a decision that the employee doesn't like - is that also a microaggression? (Cynthia Nelson, OC)

ProProfs on: Tools for Working Remotely

In Delightful Tools: Our Secrets to Working Remotely During COVID-19, ProProfs provides a list of tools that they use for time management, communication, collaboration, project management, training, and hiring, along with some "motivational tips from our CEO's desk." (Sameer Bhatia, WLA)

Alvaka Networks Addresses Backup & Disaster Recovery Challenges + Ransomware-as-a-Service

In Top Backup and Disaster Recovery Challenges, Alvaka Networks CEO Oli Thordarson answers questions posed by technology writer John Edwards. Oli's thoughts and experiences are based on 35+ years working in the IT profession, and alongside other IT professionals, and provide valuable insight for backup and disaster recovery preparedness. And, in Dharma Ransomware-as-a-Service Places SMBs at Significant Risk, Alvaka describes the "fast food of cybercrime," Ransomware-as-a-Service and cybercriminal firm Dharma. (Oli Thordarson, ABL-Health OC)

Bayer Teams with Recursion to Strengthen Digital Drug Discovery & Advance Therapies

Bayer and Recursion Pharmaceuticals, a digital biology company industrializing drug discovery, are collaborating to leverage Recursion's purpose-built artificial intelligence-guided drug discovery platform and Bayer's small molecule compound library and deep scientific expertise to discover and develop new treatments for fibrotic diseases of the lung, kidney, heart, and more. In addition, Leaps by Bayer, the impact investment arm of Bayer AG, is leading Recursion's Series D financing with an investment of $50 million. (Rama Penta, ABL-Health SV)

Biospectal Honored as a Top Remote Patient Monitoring Startup by High-Tech Connect

Biospectal was selected as runner-up, out of 160 contestants, as a top startup innovator in remote patient monitoring at High-Tech Connect's recent International E-Healthcare Applications Summit in Winterthur, Switzerland. Biospectal said this clearly shows that remote patient monitoring, such as its blood pressure solution, is no longer the future but a necessity in today's world, especially when Covid-19 demands a shift to clinical monitoring at the point of patient care. (Eliott Jones, ABL-Health SV)

CHEQS Partners with Healthy Business Group to Offer Telehealth Solutions

CHEQS has announced a new affiliation with Healthy Business Group, to serve benefit advisers, TPAs, and risk bearers, providing access to critically vetted telehealth solutions at national account pricing with simple member enrollment. (Dave Brown, ABL-Health OAK)

Inglewood Imaging Center Announces "Less Squeeze & More Accuracy" with Upgraded Mammogram Tech

Inglewood Imaging Center recently announced its technology investment and center modernization, which for mammograms includes: 3D Wide-Angle Tomosynthesis; artificial intelligence and computer-aided detection; potentially 40% less call-backs compared to conventional digital mammograms; and improved patient tracking and reporting software. In addition, IIC has further improved the mammogram experience with its "5-Senses Approach" that includes: "comfort compression" that's rated as 46% less squeeze; warm, inviting lighting colors; aromatherapy; soft, calming music; and a piece of chocolate upon exam completion. (Brad Schmidt, ABL-Health LA)

LigoLab & TestDirectly Spotlighted in Industry Journal & Executive War College

MedicalLab Management magazine recently published Product Spotlight: TestDirectly from LigoLab, and LigoLab Information System published How Our Lab Partner Embraced Innovation and Won a Statewide Testing Contract, which details how, in May 2020, the Florida Department of Health partnered with Northwest Laboratory, LigoLab, and TestDirectly to screen the state's 500,000 long-term-care residents and employees for COVID-19. This partnership was also spotlighted at the recent Executive War College, where LigoLab CEO Suren Avunjian co-led a virtual Master Class, detailing lessons learned. (Suren Avunjian, ABL-Health LA)

MedWand Among "4 Medical Devices That Are Changing the Game in 2020"

MedWand is spotlighted in a recent TenoBlog post - 4 Medical Devices That Are Changing the Game in 2020. An excerpt: "A medical device called MedWand has offered a potential solution for video visits. Following the doctor's instructions, the patient plugs the device into their computer and runs the wand over their body to get vital signs. This allows for a more comprehensive virtual exam." Meanwhile, MedWand has published a 2.5-minute video of its device in action. (Bob Rose, ABL-Health OC)

Savi Group Reports on How Big Data Can Revolutionize Healthcare

In How Big Data Can Revolutionize Healthcare Forever, Savi Group reports that there are mountains of data that healthcare organizations can use to improve their operations, provide better patient care, reduce errors, and more. Savi discusses the opportunities and what systems are needed. And, in Why You Should Care About Improving Patient Experience, Savi reports that by integrating data and digital technologies into operations, medical practices can identify areas of improvement and boost the overall health of their organizations. (Sumit Mahendru, ABL-Health OC)

VivaLNK Launches Multi-Vital Monitoring Solution for Infectious Respiratory Diseases + Teams with Mazzetti

VivaLNK recently announced the availability of its new multi-vital ambulatory monitoring solution for Infectious Respiratory Diseases. Currently deployed in Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, it's now available in the Americas and Western Europe. The solution works by automatically and continuously collecting patient vitals, and wirelessly sending them to a secure on-premise server, accessible by caregivers. In remote patient monitoring or remote field hospital deployments, an optional patient app and mobile device, and a cloud-hosted application are available. Also, UC San Francisco will utilize VivaLNK's continuous wearable ECG sensor for a 3,000-subject multi-year study on atrial fibrillation. Spanning up to 10 years, the study aims to detect biomarkers of early atrial transformation in AF.

Meanwhile, VivaLNK has partnered with Mazzetti, a provider of healthcare building systems engineering solutions, to deploy rapid response patient monitoring solutions for COVID-19 in the U.S. Already, VivaLNK's reusable wearable medical sensors have been deployed in China at 15+ hospitals throughout the virus outbreak. "As the pandemic continues to be unpredictable, we're preparing for the need to set up rapid response situations for patient monitoring," said Walt Vernon, CEO of Mazzetti. "Deploying this technology ensures our local health system is prepared to handle the patient flow while maintaining superior care for those in need." (Jiang Li, Ph.D., SV, & Walt Vernon, JD, SF)

100 Tech Predictions for 2021 and Beyond

Research firm CCS Insights has delivered a set of 100 tech predictions for the years 2021 and beyond. The exercise is an annual one for the company, but underpinning many of the trends that the firm identified for the next few years is, unsurprisingly, the radical transformation of work that the pandemic has brought about. For example, CCS anticipates a wave of products that will improve the so-called "home-working last mile." Overall, the firm's prognostic seems positive, and they are confident that the technology sector will recover faster than the overall economy. (Read Article: ZDNet, 10/5/20)

Video: "Trends and the Impact of COVID-19 on Technology Industry"

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter our daily lives and disrupt innovations throughout the technology sector. As part of the Consumer Technology Association's Technology & Standards Fall Forum, CTA analysts provided an overview of current industry trends and the effects of the crisis on the technology industry: Watch the video. (CTA SmartBrief, 10/8/20)

Top 5 Ways Remote Leadership is Different

Being a leader is tricky under normal conditions and, as we know, things don't always stay normal. What do you do when a large part of your workforce has been working remotely for the first time, for months on end? A study carried out pre-pandemic in the Journal of Business and Psychology found some interesting things about virtual team leaders, including five things that are different about remote leadership. In summary, they are: Remote leaders tend to be achievers; Charm is less powerful; Be goal focused; Connect people with help; and Plan. (Read Article: TechRepublic, 10/12/20) Also, How to effectively lead during the pandemic urges business leaders to tap into the human side of management. (Read Article: CIO Dive, 10/12/20)

Survey: C-Suite Leaders Find Social Distancing, Remote Work a Hindrance

C-suite leaders are finding pandemic-driven workplace measures to be barriers to productivity, according to survey results published in an Oct. 5 report by consulting firm West Monroe. Of the 150 leaders surveyed, 40% said social distancing was the greatest hindrance to productivity, while 37% cited remote work. 69% said their companies are investing in more technology. Data and analytics platforms were the most common technology to be adopted during the pandemic, with 57% of survey respondents reporting trying the tech in the past six months, while 21% reported trying both artificial intelligence and machine learning. Additionally, mergers and acquisitions appear to be a popular strategy for adapting to the new economy, as 43% of survey respondents said their company is strongly considering an acquisition in the next six to 18 months. (Read Article: HR Dive, 10/12/20) Also, in What CEOs Really Think About Remote Work, top executives at Netflix, BlackRock, and other companies weigh in on at-home arrangements, office reopenings, and the future of work. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 9/23/20)

Google Improves Search Quality with AI Enhancements

Google has announced a number of improvements to its core search engine, with a strong focus on how the company is using AI to help its users. These include the ability to better answer questions with very specific answers, very broad questions, and a new algorithm to better handle the typos in your queries. Most of these are meant to be useful, but some are also just fun. You will now be able to hum a song and the Google Assistant will try to find the right song for you, for example. (Read Article: TechCrunch, 10/15/20)

Tesla to Release Beta Version of "Full Self-Driving" Feature to Some Drivers

Tesla will release a new beta version of its "Full Self-Driving" driver-assistance package on October 20, Elon Musk tweeted last week, available to "a small number of people who are expert and careful drivers." Tesla cars come standard with Autopilot, the company's driver-assistance technology that can steer, accelerate, and brake automatically. The Full Self-Driving package, an $8,000 option, includes features that allow cars to change lanes, recognize stop signs and traffic lights, and park automatically, but the add-on is far from fully autonomous, despite its name. (Read Article: Business Insider, 10/12/20)

Hyundai Greenlights Development of a "Walking Car" with 4 Dog-Like Legs

Hyundai is working on what it calls a "Transformer-class vehicle" right out of a science-fiction film. The automaker has formed an Ultimate Mobility Vehicles Studio in Silicon Valley to develop its so-called "walking car," based on the Elevate concept vehicle that wowed visitors to the 2019 CES technology show in Las Vegas. Envisioned initially as a vehicle to assist first-responders to reach remote disaster zones, the walking car will also be explored by Hyundai's team for its potential in consumer and industrial uses. The design, says Hyundai, allows the machine to walk with mammalian or reptilian gaits, while also allowing it to move in any direction. When not in the field, the ultimate mobility vehicle can drive on-road by folding its legs into stowed-drive mode. (Read Article: Detroit News, 10/7/20)

Robot Cleaners Are Coming - to Wipe Up Your Coronavirus Germs

Every day at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, custodial teams wheel two boxy robots down the halls from one patient room to the next, using ultraviolet light to disinfect them from the coronavirus and bacteria. All covid-19 patient rooms and a few break rooms - about 30 spaces in total - of the San Diego County-based hospital get disinfected each day by the robots, which are capable of disinfecting an operating room in 12 minutes, something that takes a worker 90 minutes. In patient rooms, the mobile lights disinfect more thoroughly than most humans. The hospital's purchase of the UV robots underscores how the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the drive toward automation across the U.S. economy - this time, not just with the goal of having machines more efficiently do the work of humans but also eradicating germs and limiting human contact due to the public health threat. The trend is being most strongly felt in airports, stadiums, and public transportation, where authorities are snapping up new technologies aimed at automating cleaning, from floor scrubbers to disinfecting drones. (Read Article: Washington Post, 9/8/20)

House Panel Says Big Tech Wields Monopoly Power

America's biggest technology companies have leveraged their dominance to stamp out competition and stifle innovation, according to a Democratic-led House panel, which said Congress should consider forcing the tech giants to separate their dominant online platforms from other business lines. The recently released report capped a 16-month inquiry into the market power of Amazon, Facebook, Alphabet's Google, and Apple. No legislative changes are imminent, but the report's sweeping conclusions boost the odds for new laws in the future and publicizes evidence that will give momentum to the companies' critics in both parties. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 10/6/20)

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