ABL-Tech Member News & Industry Trendletter * August 25, 2021
    These upcoming ABL ZOOM Tables will discuss "Your Website Best Practices - Current Changes? Why?"

  • 9/02 - ABL-Tech OC ZOOM Table - featuring Rachel Valentine, Head of CA Business Operations, plus oversees People Operations for all of Vincit USA
  • 9/03 - ABL-Tech SGV ZOOM Table - featuring Ali Payani, Co-Founder and CEO of LookinLA
  • 9/10 - ABL-Tech WLA ZOOM Table - featuring Harrison Barnes, Founder and CEO of BCG Attorney Search
  • 9/23 - ABL Virtual FOCUSED WORKSHOP: "Are You Headed for an Exit?" - featuring Dave Berkus, with Randy Heyler & Thomas Leffler; Click for more info; ABL Members, look for your Emailed Invitation to Register.
  • Explore Membership in ABL's Executive Round Tables >>>

>>> Rachel Valentine is Head of CA Business Operations, plus oversees People Operations for all of Vincit USA. With 600+ employees globally, Vincit, a public company on the Nasdaq First North, designs and develops custom web services, mobile apps, and embedded systems. Vincit USA has been named to the 2021 Inc. 5000 list, while Vincit California was recognized by Fast Company as a Best Workplace for Innovators 2020; Inc. as a Best Workplace in 2019; and listed as a Top Workplace in Orange County by both the Orange County Business Journal and Orange County Register. Vincit clients include Yamaha, Logitech, Kelloggs, GE, KCRW, Berkeley, Urban Armor Gear, and more. Rachel's current responsibilities include overseeing recruitment, on-boarding, employee relations for all US employees, and general business operations for the California office which produces $8.5 million in revenue. She is previous Co-Founder and Director of Coded in OC, a nonprofit collective of tech companies that make up the growing fabric of Orange County. She has worked in the OC tech scene for the last ten years in various roles supporting Marketing, Sales, Recruiting and HR. Rachel has joined the ABL-Tech OC Round Table.

Google, if you want your employees to come back to the office:

                    Show Them The Money!

                     Blog by Mimi Grant

One of the hottest sub-topics to emerge in recent weeks in the "Return to Work" discourse is "remote worker pay cuts," specifically those proposed by Google that vary by urban, suburban, and more rural locales.

They kind of remind me of that World War I Top 40 hit, "How Ya Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm (After They've Seen Paree?)" - in reverse. Of course, the song was referring to Uncle Sam conscripting farm boys and sending them off to war in France, only to experience the Big City, "liquor, jazzing around, [and] painting the town."

Fast forward about a 100 years, and few of today's tech stars were raised on farms, and if they've been working in tech's mega centers in Silicon Valley, Silicon Beach, the rest of the Bay Area or Orange County, chances are excellent they've had lots of experience in megalopolises, liquor, jazzing around, and painting the town, along with the traffic jams, high parking fees, and higher rents, that come with working in ultra-urban environments.

While it wasn't Uncle Sam that changed their environment overnight, it was the government. When California Governor Newsom issued "shelter-in-place" orders, shuttering the State on March 19, 2020, I understand that immediately, young engineers and software developers emptied out of their cubicles and cramped City-quarters to head East: some went to Austin, others to Nashville and Charlotte, Jacksonville and Denver, even Sacramento rounded out the Top 15 areas with "net inflow of tech workers." OK, so they're not exactly farm-towns, but, according to RENTCafe, this month, the average monthly rent for an 865-square-foot apartment in Austin is $1539 (up 9% YOY), compared to the $2933 tab for an 825-sqft apartment in Mountain View (down 7% YOY), or $3035 for a 749-sqft apartment in San Francisco (down 11% YOY). Hmm, a bigger place for roughly half the rent?.

In addition to larger quarters, and virtually zero commuting time and parking fees, many tech workers are finding they're just as productive for their employers - plus they're really enjoying their newfound "life-work" balance.

If Google sincerely wants to bring workers back to their campuses, rather than threatening their 135,000 employees with 5-25% pay cuts, depending on how far away from their offices they've moved, they might consider pay raises for those who return to live closer to the mother ship... ...CLICK HERE TO READ REST OF BLOG.


Cornerstone OnDemand Agrees to $5.2 Billion Acquisition by Clearlake Capital Group

Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSOD) has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Clearlake Capital Group, a leading private equity firm. Clearlake will acquire the outstanding shares of Cornerstone common stock in a transaction with an enterprise value of approximately $5.2 billion. Upon completion of the transaction, Cornerstone will become a private company with the flexibility and resources to continue to provide market leading, talent management software-as-a-service solutions. "Cornerstone will be even better positioned to innovate, to capitalize on our market opportunities and to extend our platform," said Adam Miller, Founder and Co-Chairman of the Board. "The added significant strategic flexibility and financial resources will create new opportunities for our employees, provide our clients with more capabilities to empower their people and enable us to help millions more people realize their potential." (Adam Miller, WLA)

Eckert & Ziegler Gets Manufacturing OK in Germany & Acquires Brazilian Isotope Specialist

Eckert & Ziegler (EZ) Radiopharma GmbH has received manufacturing authorization from the Lower Saxony authorities for several thorium and lutetium compounds in accordance with the German Medicines Act. This authorization enables EZ to supply its pharmaceutical industry customers with therapeutic radioisotopes for clinical trials and beyond. The radioisotopes are the central active ingredients in a series of innovative cancer drugs that are currently being tested in advanced phases by numerous drug manufacturers.
Also, EZ has acquired Ambientis Radioproteção, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, a company with 25 years of experience in radiation protection services and which holds Latin America's only ISO-17025 certified counting laboratory. (Frank Yeager, SGV)

Electrosonic a Finalist for 10 AV Awards

In the annual AV Awards, Electrosonic is nominated for the 2021 Integrator of the Year Award, plus nine of the company's projects have been shortlisted for additional Awards - far and away the most of any other entrant. Electrosonic is nominated for two projects in of the following categories: Retail Project of the Year; Themed Entertainment and Attractions Project of the Year; Venue Project of the Year; and Events and Entertainment Project of the Year; and for one project in Corporate Project of the Year. Winners will be announced on November 5. (Bryan Hinckley, SGV)

OEwaves Unveils HI-Q Ultra-Wideband VCO

The unique design of the new OEwaves HI-Q VCO is based on photonic generation of spectrally pure signals at millimeter wave frequencies with phase noise that is independent of frequency - accomplished with patented technology of semiconductor lasers injection locked to ultrahigh quality factor (Q) crystalline optical whispering gallery mode resonators. The high-performance VCO allows enhanced radar system visibility, stable clocking, increased channel capacity for communication systems, data links, and high capacity and high frequency next-generation wireless systems. This level of performance in a small form factor enables new capabilities in legacy systems, as well as new markets for a variety of terrestrial airborne, and space and small satellite applications. (Lute Maleki, SGV)

Optimum Info to Sponsor 2021 Warranty Chain Management Conference

Optimum Info is co-sponsoring and exhibiting at the 2021 Warranty Chain Management conference, in Las Vegas, August 29 - September 1. The conference is an annual event gathering executives dedicated to the advancement of warranty management from a variety of industries, including Equipment, Transportation, Machinery, and Powersports manufacturers. Optimum Info's team will be present at the event with a dedicated booth for conference attendees to learn and evaluate their products.
Meanwhile, read Optimum Info's Electric Vehicles and the Future of Retail. (Arvind Verma, OC)

Parasoft Succeeds with Smiths Medical and Inovytec

Parasoft partnered with medical industry leaders, Smiths Medical and Inovytec, to help streamline the delivery of life-saving medical devices using its unified, fully integrated testing solution for C/C++ software development. Both innovative companies delivered safe, secure, and reliable products by implementing test automation practices into their development workflow; download the Inovytec and Smiths Medical success stories to find out how.
Also, read a recent article from Parasoft - Software Security: A Sounding Board for Needed Change. (Elizabeth Kolawa, Ph.D., SGV)

PeopleG2's Chris Dyer to Participate in Book Signing, Lead Webinars & More

Chris Dyer, CEO of PeopleG2, along with Kim Shepherd, will participate in the Salt Fine Art artists and authors event on the evening of August 27 in Laguna Beach. There, Chris and Kim will sign their recent book, Remote Work.
Meanwhile, Chris recently interviewed Bryan Hinckley of Electrosonic on his Talent Talk Radio Show, on how technology is changing the way we, as people and companies, connect in the workforce and make experiences that are valuable to us.
Also, on Aug. 26, Chris will co-present a webinar - Advanced Remote Work: Learn the Strategies to Do More in Less Time.
Plus, watch a replay of Chris's recent Human Focused Leadership webinar.
And, recent press releases from Chris include: Remote Work Improves Equity, When Done Well and War on Remote Work Misguided Amid Variants, Restrictions. (Chris Dyer, SGV)

Profi CEO Spotlighted in Industry Journal

Authority Magazine recently published Social Impact Tech: Alina Trigubenko of Profi On How Their Technology Will Make An Important Positive Impact, an interview in which Alina shares her backstory, talks about her mentors, character traits most instrumental to her success, and the tech tools that Profi is helping to create that can make a positive social impact on society.
Also, read a Profi case study: How Innovation Experts Are Building Their Consulting Community Vision with Profi. (Alina Trigubenko & Adam Miller, WLA)

Tanner Research CEO to Present Virtual Nutrition Science Workshops

On the evenings of August 25 (click here) and September 23 (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, plus give a free book to participants. (John Tanner, Ph.D., SGV)

Vincit USA is #2151 on the Latest Inc. 5000 List + Vying for a High Tech Award

Vincit USA is #2151 on the 2021 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation, and the Orange County Business Journal named it a 2021 Best Place to Work for the fourth consecutive year.
Plus, Vincit is a Finalist in this year's Octane OC High Tech Awards, in the Outstanding Small Technology Company category. Winners will be announced on September 23.
Meanwhile, Vincit's free white paper on Industrial Transformation will help prepare you for four future scenarios, while TechCrunch recently featured the company in Why I make everyone in my company be the CEO for a day. (Rachel Valentine, OC)

Xsolla Launches Investment Platform for Indie Games

Xsolla is launching a game investment platform for indie games, with the payments platform investing as much as $40 million alongside other accredited investors, reports Venture Beat. The goal of the platform is to simplify the fundraising process for independent developers and give them access to capital; introduce accredited investors to game projects selected by Xsolla's experts; align the interests of independent game developers and accredited investors through a revenue split-structure; and give investors the opportunity to diversify capital and risk across multiple projects.
Meanwhile, at the recent Game Developers Conference 2021, Xsolla spoke of a new trend and how it will impact games in the future: Watch the full video.
And, read the company's blog post, How to Scale Influencer Marketing for Your Video Game. (Shurick Agapitov, WLA)

BCG's Harrison Barnes on: Universal Motivators & Dealing with Problems

In Are You Motivated by Power, Relationships, or Achievement?, Harrison Barnes, of BCG Attorney Search, believes that there are three universal motivators: power, relationships, and achievement, and that it's very important that you determine which of these motivate you, and position yourself to make the most of this personality and outlook.
And, in Top 8 Things You Must Remember When Everything Goes Wrong, Harrison notes that every problem and struggle you go through is an opportunity to improve, become stronger, and help yourself and others. (Harrison Barnes, JD, WLA)

Dave Berkus on: Leading Direct Reports & Dealing with Investors

In Do you tell someone "WHY" along with "WHAT?", Dave explains why empowering your direct reports with the reasons for your orders gives them incentive to act, motivation to accept authority, and purpose behind action.
And, in Are you being watched at work?, Dave suggests that people lose trust and respect when they catch someone, especially someone above them, acting differently than his or her self-proclaimed rules, or even violating company rules. But does rank really have its privileges? On the contrary, Dave says it's one of the most vital elements of good management - restraining oneself when rank would ordinarily grant special privilege, and instead acting as one would expect a subordinate to act.
Other recent blogs from Dave include Why your investors may not respond when you need money. (Dave Berkus, SGV & WLA)

Electrosonic on: Utilizing Expert Partnerships

In How Expert Partnerships Help Themed Entertainment Continue to Evolve, Electrosonic relates that when awe-inspiring augmented reality, interactive and display technology, powerful audio solutions and artificial intelligence are unleashed upon experiences around the world, those who take them in are in for incredible memories. But that's only half of the story. These solutions come to life when technical companies and integrators join forces with creative organizations, learning to speak one another's language and translate fantastic ideas into real-world installations. (Bryan Hinckley, SGV)

GetVisible on: Cyberweapons Arms Race Book Recommendation

Jason Ciment, CEO GetVisible, provides these resources:
> Book recommendation: This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race; "Big thanks to IT guru David Oderberg from www.Terrasage.com for introducing me to this book about cyber security exposure and zero day exploits."
> Add animation effects to photos with pixaloopapp.com - makes images more compelling.
> Check out uberduck.ai - it's an artificial voice synthesizer with lots of different voices, it's a fun thing. (Jason Ciment, WLA)

Half Past Nine on: AI Copywriting - Does It Work?

Since robots writing copy with GPT-3 is "all the buzz right now," Half Past Nine test drove a variety of the top products currently available and found that "some are amazing, but many are not." Read the full write-up, with sample writing from each, in AI Copywriting: Does It Work? We Tested 7 Of The Top Softwares So You Don't Have To. (Ken Shen, WLA)

Intellect on: Document Control & User-Friendly Software

In 3 Ways Document Control Software Helps Companies Go Green, Intellect reports that, very often, people in your organization might think that they are working with the latest version of a particular document, when in fact they are not. In quality management, engineering, and health & safety; it's important that everyone be operating from the same page (or in this case, from the same document). This is where document control can solve a host of different problems.
And, in The 5 Key Characteristics of User-Friendly Software, Intellect says that nowadays software users expect the software to guide them through whichever process they are working on. They want software to be intuitive. So what characteristics go into software that make it a delight to use?
Meanwhile, watch Intellect's recent webinar on-demand: Exploring Intellect's Mobile App. (Romeo Elias, WLA)

LookinLA on: B2B Marketing Predictions

Ali Payani, CEO of LookinLA, wrote a recent article in Forbes - Five B2B Marketing Predictions For Business Owners - in which he discusses a rise in account-based marketing, sales enablement technology, and smarter content development, as well as the increasing popularity of chatbots; and improvement on reaching millennial buyers.
Also, in this webinar replay - B2B Marketing + Sales: Building A Winning Content Strategy - Ali is featured, along with other experts.
Meanwhile, LookinLA is featured in Top Design Firms as one of the best marketing firms out there.
Click here to read other recent posts from LookinLA, including: Five Strategies For Creating A Powerful Company Slogan; B2B Marketing Growth & Trends Report; and Ecommerce Growth and Trends Report. (Ali Payani, SGV)

Pegasus One on: Machine Learning Failures & Acceptance Criteria

In Uncharted territory: How (and why) traditional Machine Learning fails, Pegasus One says there are a number of elements that contribute to machine learning (ML) failures. Traditional ML is not designed to answer the "why" questions; it can only provide answers for the "what," the "how long," or the "yes/no." To avoid the pitfalls of a ML failure, it's important to do three things; in summary they are: Begin with an eye on the end game - always keep your final ROI in mind; Remember that it's a process - building a successful ML project means gathering data, cleaning, visualizing, and then repeating again and again; and Get crisp on your goals and success metrics.
And, in Getting to done: Acceptance criteria and the Agile workflow, Pegasus One discusses acceptance criteria (AC), which helps define how end users utilize the features of a product or solution. By placing parameters around project scope, AC plays an integral role in achieving successful outcomes, both in development and for users. (Tushar Puri, OC)

ProProfs on: Leadership Development Training, Employee Satisfaction Surveys & Net Promoter Scores

In A Complete Guide to Leadership Development Training, ProProfs takes the reader "through leadership training and everything else related to it."
And, in 40 Employee Satisfaction Survey Questions That You Can't Ignore, ProProfs provides a detailed roadmap to frame employee satisfaction survey questions to help create a happy work culture.
Also, in How to Calculate Net Promoter Score, ProProfs describes how to do this, its purpose, types of NPS surveys, and more.
Meanwhile, ProProfs Quiz Maker has successfully updated its user interface for an even better user experience - with more automation, more options, and quicker navigation. (Sameer Bhatia, WLA)

WorkDone on: High-Performance Teams & Labor Unions in the Future of Work

WorkDone CEO Joe Rogers, along with Kirsten Campbell of The Campbell Agency, continue to host online discussions - called WorkDoneLive, which are available to watch on-demand:
>> How to Build High Performance Teams, featuring Quincy Jordan from AgileThought.
>> Labor Unions in the Future of Work, featuring Norman Rogers of United Steel Workers Local 675.
(Joe Rogers, WLA)

Alvaka Provides List of Mitigations to Reduce Risk of Cyber Attacks

In Reduce the Risk of Ransomware & Other Cyber Attacks, Alvaka Networks declares that ransomware is an existential threat to every business - large and small - so it's crucial that companies take steps to reduce the risk of cyber attacks. The average ransom amount for just one of the hundreds of ransomware variants has risen to $939,063 per victim. Additional expenses include lawyers, incident response (including forensics and remediation), reputational damage, new computing devices, potential breach notification, lawsuits, fines, loss of employees and clients. These expenses are often multiples of the ransom paid and cannot be avoided, even if you choose not to pay the ransom demand or have a fully viable backup. Alvaka then provides a list of mitigations to reduce the risk of cyber attacks. (Oli Thordarson, ABL-Health OC)

Biospectal Raises $4.3 Million Funding Led by Digital Health Investor, SeedLink

Biospectal SA, the remote patient monitoring and biosensing software company, recently announced the closing of a $4.3 million round of seed funding led by digital health investor, SeedLink, with additional funding from LabCorp, Athensmed, Swiss-based Privilege Ventures, and other European and US investors. Biospectal will leverage the new funds to scale its OptiBP smartphone blood pressure monitoring application and data platform technology worldwide. View a short video of how Biospectal OptiBP works here. (Eliott Jones, SV)

Elemeno Health Raising Growth Funds on StartEngine + Signs Major Channel Partnership

Elemeno Health recently launched a fundraising campaign on StartEngine and so far has raised over $736,600 from 119+ investors. "With this raise, we are leveraging our learnings from the past 3 years to: optimize our platform for scalability, simplify and accelerate client onboarding, and improve margin. And that sets us up to multiply our channels and resultant sales," Elemeno said.
Meanwhile, Elemeno announced that it will provide its data-driven training and microlearning platform to the Pacific Neuroscience Institute (PNI), based in five locations in Los Angeles and Orange counties. PNI provides precision state-of-the-art care for patients with a wide spectrum of neurological and cranial disorders. In addition to its own locations, PNI also provides care at affiliated Providence Hospitals throughout the Southern California region. (Arup Roy-Burman, MD, ABL-Health OAK)

GeBBS Healthcare Acquires Aviacode & Earns HITRUST CSF Certification

GeBBS Healthcare Solutions announced the acquisition of Aviacode, a Salt Lake City-based provider of medical coding and compliance services to hospitals and physician groups - part of GeBBS' growth strategy, supported by its investors, ChrysCapital. Aviacode clients will benefit from GeBBS' end-to-end RCM services, workflow/automation tools, and large geographic footprint. And GeBBS will expand its US-based delivery capabilities and medical coding/audit/CDI services portfolio.
Also, GeBBS's iCode platform and SaaS applications, along with its supporting infrastructure, have earned Certified status for information security by HITRUST and received certification against the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, which consists of standards, guidelines, and best practices to manage cybersecurity risk. (Gabe Stein, ABL-Health LA)

King & Spalding to Present Virtual Medical Device Summit in September

On September 9-10, King & Spalding will host its 14th Annual Medical Device Summit, as a multi-track virtual program exploring cutting-edge issues facing the medical device industry. The agenda can be found here. (Marcia Augsburger, JD, ABL-Health SF)

LigoLab's TestDirectly Offers Direct-to-Consumer Business Model

In Expand Laboratory Services to the Home and Improve Patient Engagement with New Direct-to-Consumer Business Models, LigoLab Information Systems describes its TestDirectly direct-to-consumer web portal which integrates with all laboratory information systems and simplifies the collection, testing, and reporting of specimen samples. It does this by replacing paper forms and manual processes with an electronic workflow that eliminates the potential for human errors, order entry bottlenecks, and reporting delays. (Suren Avunjian, ABL-Health LA)

MedWand Projected to "Revolutionize the Healthcare Industry"

TechRound featured MedWand in a recent article - The Future of TeleMedicine Includes Physical Exams Thanks to Award-Winning Start-up: MedWand, which includes: "Created by a primary care physician and a team of expert medical device engineers, the award winning, one-of-a-kind, clinical-grade telemedicine device, MedWand, is projected to revolutionise the healthcare industry. Housing up to 10 diagnostic tools in one device, MedWand is not only leading the way for the future of virtual healthcare, but the company also provides what is currently missing in telehealth - physical exams. When conceiving which diagnostics would go into MedWand, the MedWand team selected tools most commonly used in the specialty of family medicine, designed to make the job of primary care clinicians easier and healthcare more accessible. (Bob Rose, ABL-Health OC)

Providence Digital Innovation Group Discusses Behavioral Health Solutions

Providence Digital Innovation Group (DIG) recently hosted a live online discussion, "It's Behavioral Health's Time, Finally," available to watch here. Providence reports that roughly 1 in 5 people will have a behavioral health need each year, and COVID-19 has caused those numbers to increase. This discussion shares how the Providence DIG is working on solutions to keep up with the need. (Marcee Chmait, ABL-Health LA)

VivaLNK Spotlighted in Business Insider Article

A recent Business Insider article - 5 examples of popular wearable devices in healthcare - features VivaLNK and its ECG monitor, which records data on heart rate, RR interval, and respiratory rate, designed for in-clinic and remote patient monitoring applications. Business Insider reports that more than one-fifth of the US population is expected to use a smart wearable device this year. (Jiang Li, Ph.D., ABL-Health SV)

The 14 Leadership Principles that Drive Amazon to Success

In recent months ABL-Tech Members have been discussing some of the approaches that have significantly contributed to Amazon's success encapsulated in the book: Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon - including writing a press release and FAQs about a new product or service to be released months in the future, and then honing it for success. This article summarizes Amazon's unique methods of hiring and developing its leaders with a sharp focus on its 14 leadership principles that have sculpted the company's cutting-edge innovation and Darwinian culture, developed and implemented by CEO and founder Jeff Bezos himself. Every Amazon employee is expected to adhere to these 14 principles, established to create a strong entrepreneurial and highly driven company culture.
In summary, they are: 1. Customer Obsession; 2. Ownership; 3. Invent & Simplify; 4. Are Right, A Lot; 5. Learn to Be Curious; 6. Hire and Develop the Best; 7. Insisting Highest Standards; 8. Think Big; 9. Bias for Action; 10. Frugality; 11. Earn Trust; 12. Dive Deep; 13. Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit; and 14. Deliver Results. (https://www.ceotodaymagazine.com/2021/07/what-are-the-14-leadership-principles-that-drove-amazon-to-success/)

Elon Musk Reveals His 5-Step Engineering Protocol

Recently, Elon Musk broke down a fascinating protocol he and his teams use to engineer breakthrough cars and rockets. He reveals five steps he believes are essential to engineering something wholly new. What's important is that these five steps occur in precisely the order he lays out. In summary, they are: 1. Make the Requirements Less Dumb; 2. Try and Delete Part of the Process; 3. Simplify or Optimize; 4. Accelerate Cycle Time; and 5. Automate. (https://cleantechnica.com/2021/08/16/elon-musk-reveals-his-5-step-engineering-protocol/)

In Search of a Sense of Purpose

In April, 4 million US workers resigned voluntarily from their jobs - a 20-year record according to the Labor Department. So, what's prompting so many workers to resign? One clear reason is burnout. While "The Great Resignation" poses a staffing challenge for employers, it reveals a lot about the importance of purpose. People are wired to be motivated by what's meaningful to them. Not only does purpose bolster wellbeing and engagement, but it can motivate us to embrace and catalyze change. In this time marked by burnout, uncertainty and transition - organizations have an opportunity. Employees are leaving in droves because they want more. And much of what they want seems to be something a sense of purpose can provide. (https://www.kornferry.com/insights/this-week-in-leadership/finding-purpose-during-the-great-resignation)

The Metaverse Is Coming

A new tech-industry battle is taking shape over the "metaverse" as companies such as Facebook and Roblox Corp. work to shape a virtual realm that most consumers don't yet know exists. The metaverse concept, rooted in science-fiction novels such as "Snow Crash" and "Ready Player One," encompasses an extensive online world transcending individual tech platforms, where people exist in immersive, shared virtual spaces. Through avatars, people would be able to try on items available in stores or attend concerts with friends, just as they would offline. Other major companies are also expressing interest, including Nvidia Corp., Microsoft, and Match Group - who have all talked recently about ways their companies are looking to participate in building or supporting elements of shared virtual worlds. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/roblox-facebook-see-the-metaverse-as-key-to-the-internets-next-phase-11629286200)

Google Dismantling Health Division as CEO Departs for Cerner

One of the reasons Google is dissolving its health division is its chief, David Feinberg, MD, is leaving for Cerner on September 1 - where, according to an SEC filing, he'll earn nearly $35M in his first 15 months on the job. Google then plans to split its health projects and teams across several different parts of the company. (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/google-shuttering-its-health-division-as-chief-departs-for-cerner.html); (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/ehrs/new-cerner-ceo-will-get-nearly-35m-in-first-15-months-on-the-job-6-details.html)

Is Healthcare Too Hard for Big Tech?

With Google Health and Apple both reported to be, respectively, closing down and scaling back their healthcare efforts, it's worth asking just how disruptive consumer technology companies can be in this hugely complex and fragmented industry. Healthcare is seen as a huge opportunity, and by all accounts, the big tech firms are doing well selling their core products in the sector. However, unlike healthcare-focused tech firms - notably EHR firms - the healthcare sector gets only a part of the CEO's attention in big tech firms and only a part of the overall company resources. (https://www.healthcareitnews.com/blog/healthcare-too-hard-big-tech-firms)

These 15 IT Certifications Have Best ROI

XIT training company Global Knowledge has released a ranking of the 15 top-paying certifications in 2021 based on the responses of 3,700 US-based respondents. Number one on the list was the Google Certified Professional Data Engineer, which the survey found can bring in $171,749. Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect was next on the list with a salary of $169,029, followed closely by Associate AWS Certified Solutions Architects, who bring in $159,033. CRISC, CISSP, CISM, PMP, CISA, MCSE, CompTIA Security+, CCA-V, and other certifications all made their way onto the list, with salaries ranging from $151,000 to $110,000. Certifications for Azure, Cisco, Nutanix, and VMware were also featured on the list. The researchers behind the study noted that many of the top-paying certifications relate to cloud computing and cybersecurity. ITIL Foundation is the most widely held certification, the survey found. (https://www.zdnet.com/article/these-15-it-certifications-have-the-best-roi/)

White House Issues Executive Order on Promoting Competition in American Economy, Including Technology

President Biden recently issued an expansive executive order designed to enhance competition across multiple sectors of the U.S. economy, including technology, healthcare, and more. In sum, the order involves 72 initiatives by more than a dozen federal agencies, specifically targeting "competition problems" that President Biden said have led to higher prices across various sectors. Regarding technology, the Order announces an Administration policy of greater scrutiny of transactions by large internet platforms, with particular attention to the acquisition of nascent competitors, serial mergers, the accumulation of data, and competition by "free" products. The Order also encourages the FTC to establish rules on surveillance and the accumulation of data and the effect on user privacy. (https://www.kslaw.com/news-and-insights/white-house-issues-executive-order-on-promoting-competition-in-the-american-economy)

Pentagon Says Its New AI Can See Events "Days in Advance"

The US military is testing the use of cutting-edge data-gathering tools combined with artificial intelligence to predict enemies' next moves up to days in advance. Deployed to the wider force for real-world situations, the technology could put together information in real-time from existing satellites, radars, undersea sensors, as well as cyber and intel capabilities, and make it available through the cloud for AI models to process. All of this information is already available, stressed Glen VanHerck, commander of the US Northern Command, but it currently takes hours and days for dedicated analysts to browse through the mountains of data that are generated every day, before noticing patterns of interest. (https://www.zdnet.com/article/the-pentagon-says-its-new-ai-can-see-events-days-in-advance/)

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