ABL-Tech Member News & Industry Trendletter * January 24, 2023
    In February's ZOOM Tables, we'll be discussing "Future of Decision Making: What Will Work?"

  • 2/02 - OC ZOOM Table - featuring Sampson Yang, CEO of The Joy Factory
  • 2/03 - SGV ZOOM Table - featuring Bob Kelley, CEO of Adaptive Business Leaders Organization
  • 2/10 - WLA ZOOM Table - featuring Uri Blackman, Founder & CEO of GIDEON Informatics Inc.
  • Explore Membership in ABL's Executive Round Tables >>>
Auxora Wins "Most Competitive Product" Award

Auxora, which was acquired by TFC just over two years ago for $14.2M, announced that its 400G nWDM Filter Block won the "2022 Infostone Hero List" - the most competitive product of optical communication. The Infostone Heroes list is chosen by 30 experts in the field of optical communication and Infostone Consulting, who evaluate the products based on their: technology, cost, market share, customer satisfaction and third-party test performance, as well as company business performance, growth rate, R&D intensity, patents, and other factors. (Jinghui Li, SGV)

Coherent Unveils New Laser Product Lines

Coherent Corp. has announced the introduction of its next-generation pump laser diodes that achieve an industry-record high output power of 50 W from a single chip - 40% more than that of the existing product, enabling high-power industrial fiber laser designs with fewer pump laser diodes. AND, Coherent introduced its 905 nm triple-junction edge-emitting semiconductor lasers for light detection and ranging (LiDAR) in industrial applications. PLUS, Coherent debuted a product line of diffractive optical elements (DOEs) for high-power industrial lasers - leveraging its proprietary nanoimprint technology and design simulation tools to offer a new line of highly customized DOEs that achieve very high optical efficiency and extremely uniform laser beams. (Randy Heyler, SGV)

Envision Financial Systems Shares Survey Results on Tech Trends

Envision Financial Systems is sharing the results of its recent Big-Think Mini Survey, which asked business and technology executives about advancing securities processing and back-office operations tech trends. Respondents indicated that seamless inter-app connectivity and artificial intelligence were the top issues they were focusing on for the future. The heart of the survey was an examination of respondents' views on the importance of several specific tech trends [AI, inter-app connectivity, robotic process automation, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, cloud environments] and how much effort their firm is expending in that area. (Satnam Gambhir, OC)

OEwaves Announces Lock Box for Locking Two Lasers

OEwaves, Inc. has announced a new product for phase locking of two lasers, the Hi-Q Laser Phase Lock System. The OE5000 allows offset locking of two individual lasers separated in frequency by as much as 50 GHz. Many applications require locking a laser to a second "reference" laser to achieve high spectral purity or frequency stability. OEwaves' OE5000 allows achieving the lock in a simple setup with a fiber input carrying light from each laser and an electric output to actuate the lock. The programmable frequency interval is controlled by USB input from the user's computer. (Lute Maleki, Ph.D., SGV)

Parasoft Named a Leader in Continuous Automation Testing Platforms

The Parasoft Continuous Quality Platform has been deemed a Leader in The Forrester Wave: Continuous Automation Testing Platforms, Q4 2022 report. In this report, Forrester VP and Principal Analyst Diego Lo Giudice states, "Parasoft doubles down on infusing AI capabilities into its platform." And, "Parasoft's strengths lie in its extensive nonfunctional testing types like security, code quality, unit testing, test data management, performance, and service virtualization. It has undisputed strengths in API testing made easy with AI and integrated with its service virtualization offering." (Elizabeth Kolawa, Ph.D., SGV)

Marshall Toplansky's Op-Ed Piece Published in Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times recently published an op-ed article written by Marshall Toplansky and Joel Kotkin - California's budget surplus has vanished and its economy is in danger. It can go one of two ways. About the article, Marshall remarked, "Let's hope that this can contribute to broadening prosperity and improving a difficult business environment." [Marshall also notes: California is naturally positioned to take advantage of the growing move to re-shore industries, a trend driven largely by tensions with China and supply chain issues. The good news is that industries that are most primed for re-shoring - aerospace, medical equipment, defense and electronics - are also big businesses for California.]
ALSO, in a recent episode of the Feudal Future podcast - Is There Anyone Left? - Marshall and Joel are joined by author and political economist Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt to discuss the crisis and growing numbers of men exiting the labor pool. [For example, Eberstadt shares that there are now four million more unfilled positions since before COVID - very few of which were previously filled by persons who succumbed to the pandemic, and only "a couple of hundred thousand" of these jobs were previously held by participants impacted by Long COVID.] (Marshall Toplansky, OC)

Alvaka on: Cybersecurity for Healthcare & Water Infrastructure Entities + Infrastructure Monitoring Solutions & A Quotable Quote

In Why Healthcare Entities Should Invest in Robust Cybersecurity, Alvaka reports that cyber-attacks on healthcare organizations are not focused solely on data: they are going after critical health management and medical support devices too. As increased reliance on technology continues, it is more critical than ever to prioritize cybersecurity in defense and resilience. Alvaka shares that healthcare organizations spend far less than the average company on cyber, and it's time that this must change.
AND, in Impact of Cyber Attacks on Water Infrastructure, Alvaka notes that few categories of infrastructure are more critical to human existence than water, as well as wastewater processing and transport systems. All manner of critical infrastructure is under constant attack by cyber criminals and state-sponsored attackers, and the impact of cyber-attacks on water infrastructure is particularly concerning.
PLUS, in Infrastructure Monitoring Solutions: Tool vs Service, Alvaka discusses things to consider when determining the right infrastructure monitoring solution for your business.
MEANWHILE, Alvaka CEO Oli Thordarson shares this quote from Joe Atchison’s quote of the week: "When times are good you should advertise; when times are bad, you MUST advertise." Alex Altman, Managing Director of Carat Business. (Oli Thordarson, SGV)

Dave Berkus on: How to Think Like a Growth CEO

In Clues: How to think like a growth CEO, Dave shares a way to test yourself with a tool useful for any leader seeking to create positive change. He loosely bases it on the book "Designing for Growth," by Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Oglivie. Plus Dave references the Stanford d.School's five-step process of ideation.
Other recent posts from Dave include: Recurring revenues: Oil or glue? and Looking to be acquired? Think the 10/40 or 20/20 rules. (Dave Berkus, SGV & WLA)

California Lightworks on: Climate Change, Banking Regulations & Why Grow Light Drivers Fail

George Mekhtarian, CEO of California Lightworks, recently posted on LinkedIn: "With the latest antics in Washington D.C., I want to share a contributor piece I wrote in LED Magazine about the critical nature of passing banking regulatory reform, like the SAFE Banking Act. We must pass reform now so that we can improve safety, security, and our environment. Passing banking reform is a climate change issue." Read George's article: LEDs, the climate disaster, and how banking regs fuel cannabis carbon problem. ALSO, In Why grow light drivers fail, California Lightworks reports that drivers are a critical part of an LED horticultural grow light systems, which can help save on operational costs, but at the same time, can also be frustrating because LED drivers notoriously fail. California Lightworks discusses how to avoid headaches, drawing from their vast experience and research. (George Mekhtarian, SGV)

CuraeSoft on: Internal Business Goals for 2023 + Remote & Hybrid Workplaces

Mark Parinas, CEO of CuraeSoft, has recently conducted several polls on LinkedIn, including:
> Which of these goals are you setting for yourself this year: What is your internal business goal for 2023?
> Did your business have to go remote during the pandemic?
> Do you think more companies should go hybrid? (Mark Parinas, WLA)

Groundswell on: Engaging Remote Employees

In 6 Strategies on How to Engage Remote Employees, Groundswell, where Adam Miller is Co-Founder and Executive Chair, examines how you can engage remote employees to keep them happily employed in your company, and how your company can continue to reap the benefits that accrue from a productive remote workforce. In summary, Groundswell suggests six strategies: Enforce sustainable work habits; Provide opportunities to network; Make the physical office space more enticing; Supercharge your onboarding processes; Keep the virtual doors wide open; and Get interested in your employees. (Adam Miller, JD, WLA)

Half Past Nine on: Lessons from 2008: Growth Tactics for Marketing in a Recession

In 6 Growth Tactics For Marketing In A Recession: Lessons From 2008, Half Past Nine's Kenneth Shen acknowledges that cycles in the economy are nothing new, and that there are brands that come out on top every single time. Ultimately, marketing is not a cost, it's an essential operating investment. Kenneth provides examples from brands that proved the case in point during The Great Recession, December 2007 - June 2009. He covers such topics as what happens when brands reduce marketing budget; leveraging MarTech, and analytics; adapting messaging and tone; reviewing pricing strategy; and more. (Kenneth Shen, WLA)

LookinLA on: Sales Prospecting, Lead Generation Tips, and More
Project Insight on: Challenges of a Remote Project Manager & Selecting Project Management Software in 2023

Project Insight is making recent webinars available to watch on-demand:
> The Top 5 Challenges of the Remote Project Manager and How to Overcome Them: Some tips and tricks to help make remote work feel more "live."
> Do's and Don'ts of Selecting Project Management Software in 2023: Selecting a suitable project management suite can be a daunting affair, for the simple reason that the market comes flooded with a confusing medley of options. (Thomas Leffler, OC)

ProProfs on: Assessing Leadership + Creating Learning Pathways

In Leadership Assessment Guide for Succession Planning, Hiring & Training, ProProfs provides what you need to know to leverage leadership assessments for better business outcomes. By improving your leadership selection and development processes, strategic leadership testing boosts productivity, enhances workplace positivity, and helps you achieve your business goals.
AND, in Role of Online Assessments in Creating Learning Pathways, ProProfs shares that a learning path is a group of courses, modules, quizzes, or other activities bundled together, which enable learners to progressively build knowledge through mastery of different topics. This adds more structure and sequence to your training programs and is a great way to close knowledge gaps. (Sameer Bhatia, WLA)

Biospectal Acclaimed in Recent Industry Journals

Biospectal is included in a recent CB Insights article - The Digital Health 150: The most promising digital health companies of 2022 - which unveils a list of 150 of the top private companies transforming healthcare with digital technology. AND, Startup Reporter's recent article - Startup Discovery at Frontiers Health 2022 - spotlights Biospectal's participation in the recent Frontiers Health event. (Eliott Jones, ABL-Health SV)

LigoLab's CEO Discusses Changing Times & Eroding Margins + Lab Industry's Staffing Shortages

Suren Avunjian, CEO of LigoLab, recently co-presented a webinar - Changing Times and Eroding Margins: RCM Solutions - now available to watch on-demand. The discussion offers an opportunity to understand the difficulties associated with revenue cycle management and practical technology-based solutions. Topics included a range from the current laboratory testing landscape to embracing automation as a strategy geared towards maintaining successful fiscal growth within the diagnostic market..
MEANWHILE, in a recent TechTimes article - How LigoLab is Helping Medical Labs Battle Staffing Shortages - Suren explains how technology, and specifically a lab's LIS, can help fight the industry's current shortage of qualified personnel. (Suren Avunjian, ABL-Health LA)

MedWand Teams with AT&T, HP and Oracle to Launch the Urban-Rural Healthcare Alliance

MedWand's idea for the Alliance, announced at the recent CES, is to increase access to care by sharing resources through telemedicine. Essentially, it's a hub-and-spoke platform that can connect urban medical centers with multiple rural or underserved urban communities. At CES, MedWand's 2500-square-foot booth transported attendees to different physical locations via interactive telemedicine pods, live remote exams, educational presentations, and more. (Bob Rose, ABL-Health OC)

Westfax Explains Dangers of Using Text Messaging for Medical Information

In Can You Share HIPAA Information Over Text?, Westfax says that, generally, text messaging is not HIPAA compliant and is not advisable. In fact, HIPAA guidelines call for healthcare providers to inform patients that SMS text messaging is not a secure format. Westfax discusses what to do if patients want to use it anyway to receive medical details. (Barry Clark, ABL-Health OC)

Wipfli Joins Cloud Security Alliance; Acquires ApostleTech; Hailed by Forbes; + Provides eBooks & Articles

Wipfli LLP has joined the Cloud Security Alliance, the world's leading organization dedicated to defining and raising awareness of best practices to help ensure a secure cloud-computing environment.
AND, ApostleTech, a leader in custom customer relationship management implementations, has recently merged into Wipfli. PLUS, Forbes has named Wipfli to its list of America's Best Tax and Accounting Firms.
MEANWHILE, resources from Wipfli include: Six digital technology terms every CEO needs to know and How are you keeping up with changing cyber trends? (Jeff Johnson, Steve Rousso & John Dao, ABL-Health Bay Area)

ChatGPT Passes US Medical Licensing Exam

An AI chatbot that generates humanlike responses passed all three parts of the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam, according to findings published in the preprint server medRxiv. Researchers evaluated the performance of ChatGPT - a model launched by OpenAI in November - on the exam. For Part 1 of the comprehensive exam, second-year medical students typically spend 300 to 400 hours preparing. It covers didactic and problem-based learning, including basic science, pharmacology and pathophysiology. The final part is completed by post-graduate students. Researchers found ChatGPT "performed at or near the passing threshold for all three exams without any specialized training or reinforcement." While it varies by year, the USMLE pass threshold is approximately 60% most years, study authors noted. ChatGPT performed above 50% accuracy across all examinations and exceeded 60% in most analyses. "These results suggest that large language models may have the potential to assist with medical education, and potentially, clinical decision-making," the researchers said. (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-physician-relationships/a-peek-into-healthcares-future-ai-passes-medical-licensing-exam.html)

MEANWHILE, ChatGPT is 'not particularly innovative,' and 'nothing revolutionary', says Meta's chief AI scientist: The public perceives OpenAI's ChatGPT as revolutionary, but the same techniques are being used and the same kind of work is going on at many research labs, says the deep learning pioneer. (https://www.zdnet.com/article/chatgpt-is-not-particularly-innovative-and-nothing-revolutionary-says-metas-chief-ai-scientist/)

Startups Want to Help Airlines Prevent Future Tech Meltdowns

Airlines should take advantage of new cloud-based tools, industry consultants said, to help prevent the recent snafus enabled by the use of antiquated and siloed technology at Southwest Airlines and the FAA. According to airline-industry consultants, these newer tools, some originating from startups, offer the potential to make airline systems more automated and less dependent on older technologies that can require manual updates and are increasingly expensive to maintain. The meltdowns at Southwest and the FAA, just weeks apart, were because of weaknesses in systems scheduled for upgrades - underscoring the urgent need to give priority to efforts to modernize those systems, as well as the consequences of waiting to do so, the consultants said. Unlike many existing systems, newer, cloud-based infrastructure and databases can scale horizontally, taking advantage of distributed computing resources across the internet as needed, allowing information to flow more freely and reducing the likelihood systemwide shutdowns. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/startups-want-to-help-airlines-prevent-tech-meltdowns-11673652512)

MEANWHILE, FAA is "Years Away" from Upgrading System that Grounded All U.S. Flights: The FAA software that recently failed, causing thousands of flight delays and cancellations, is 30 years old and at least six years away from being updated, a government source familiar with the situation told CNN. The FAA also now admits that "personnel who failed to follow procedures" caused the computer system failure that triggered the delay. The Notices to Air Missions (NOTAM) database failure triggered the FAA to implement the first nationwide stop of air traffic in 20+ years. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has held multiple meetings with top FAA officials since the meltdown and "has made it very clear" he wants the NOTAM database updated much faster than the FAA's planned timeline, according to the government source. (https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/12/tech/faa-notam-system-outage)

SUBSEQUENTLY, Southwest Airlines committed $1B to IT upgrades: Southwest CEO Bob Jordan said his company has committed more than $1 billion of its annual operating budget to maintaining and upgrading IT systems, in a recent letter addressed to the carrier's rewards customers. The investment is part of a 5-year strategic plan, Jordan said. (https://www.ciodive.com/news/southwest-airlines-technology-data-upgrades-FAA/640890/)

CES 2023 Attendance Topped 115K

CES 2023 ended with total attendance topping 115,000 industry professionals, making it the largest audited global tech event since early 2020, the Consumer Electronics Association reported. The organizers also reported that the event attracted 3,200+ exhibitors, including 1000 startups. Another key number from the event: nearly 2.2 million net square feet of exhibits - 70% larger than CES 2022. (https://www.tvtechnology.com/news/ces-2023-attendance-tops-115k)

ALSO, ZDNet reports on everything important that was announced in the realm of AR and VR at CES:. (https://www.zdnet.com/article/ces-2023-was-huge-for-ar-and-vr-heres-everything-important-that-was-announced/)

Tech Spending Still Going Up - Where the Money is Going

Times are changing fast, but analysts at Gartner are forecasting IT spending will still grow in 2023, just by less than previously expected. As big tech companies have started cutting jobs, Gartner has published a lower forecast of 2.4% growth over 2022 in enterprise IT spending - dialing back its $4.66 billion projection for 2023 to $4.49 billion. Gartner analysts also now estimate the 2022 IT spend totaled $4.39 billion, marking a decline of 0.2% compared to 2021. Looking forward, Gartner made some predictions about where the money is likely to be invested during the next 12 months: more software and services, less for devices. (https://www.zdnet.com/article/tech-spending-is-still-going-up-just-heres-where-the-money-is-going/)

"Flexible, but Stable" Jobs Top 2023 Worker Wishlist

About half of job seekers (45%) wouldn't accept a job that didn't offer accommodating hours, according to Randstad's 2023 Workmonitor report. Additionally, 48% said they'd quit a job if it "prevented them from enjoying their life." Randstad's report paints a picture of worker priorities in markets across the North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia: employees want stability in their career overall, but flexibility in their day-to-day lives. (https://www.hrdive.com/news/flexible-but-stable-jobs-2023-randstad-workmonitor/640803/)

Tech Highlights from 2022 - In 8 Charts

McKinsey has provided a look back at some of the important technology story lines from 2022 - as told through eight charts, with a smattering of insights to go along with them. The topics include: A tipping point for AI?; Tech talent remains tight, but there's unconventional hope; It just keeps getting cloudier; Quantum computing progress brings high expectations - and a little fear; In technology, we (must) trust; and Metaverse mania ensues. (https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/tech-highlights-from-2022-in-eight-charts)

California: Zero-Emission Vehicles Made Up 19% of Car Sales In 2022

The State of California said that it has determined that 18.8% of all new cars sold last year in California were zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), with 40% of all ZEVs purchased in the country sold in the State. According to California's Energy Commission, there were 345,818 zero emissions vehicles sold in California in 2022, up 38% from 2021, and up 138% from 2020. (https://www.socaltech.com/fullstory/0083154.html)

Cyber Criminals Finding It Harder to Make Money from Ransomware Attacks - But That Doesn't Mean It's Less Dangerous

Cyber criminals are making less money from ransomware attacks as victims increasingly refuse to pay their ransom demands. Analysis by cryptocurrency and blockchain company Chainanalysis suggests that ransom payments dropped by 40% last year, declining from $765.6 million in 2021 to $456.8 million in 2022. Meanwhile, cybersecurity researchers at Coveware have also suggested that the number of victims paying ransoms has declined significantly in recent years, dropping from 76% of victims in 2019, down to 41% of victims in 2022. The figures don't and can't account for every ransomware attack, but researchers suggest that the pattern is clear - fewer victims are giving into extortion demands and ransomware gangs are, overall, finding it harder to monetize attacks. But that doesn't mean ransomware attacks pose any less of a threat; cyber criminals are still hacking into networks and encrypting data, causing disruption to businesses, infrastructure, and everyday services - and even if victims aren't giving into ransom demands, ransomware gangs are still leaking stolen information in retaliation. (https://www.zdnet.com/article/fewer-ransomware-victims-are-paying-up-but-theres-a-catch/)

Scientists Are Training Computers to Forecast COVID-19 Outbreaks Weeks Ahead

Like the meteorological models that drive weather forecasts, a system to predict COVID-19 outbreaks emerges from a river of data fed by hundreds of streams of local and global information. They include time-stamped internet searches for symptoms such as chest tightness, loss of smell or exhaustion; geolocated tweets that include terms like "corona," "pandemic," or "panic buying"; aggregated location data from smartphones that reveal how much people are traveling; and a decline in online requests for directions, indicating that fewer folks are going out. The resulting volume of information is far too much for humans to manage, let alone interpret. But with the help of powerful computers and software trained to winnow, interpret and learn from the data, a map begins to emerge. If you check that map against historical data - in this case, two years of pandemic experience in 93 counties - and update it accordingly, you may have the makings of a forecasting system for disease outbreaks.

That's exactly what the team led by a Northeastern University computer scientist has done. In their bid to create an early-warning system for COVID-19 outbreaks, the study authors built a "machine learning" system capable of chewing through millions of digital traces, incorporating new local developments, refining its focus on accurate signals of illness, and generating timely notices of impending local surges of COVID-19. (https://www.newsexaminer.com/how-scientists-trained-computers-to-forecast-covid-19-outbreaks-weeks-ahead/article_474f9d66-da92-5a7d-b9a5-4c14590ab666.html)

Companies Can "Hire" a Virtual Person for $3-14K a Year in China

Tech company Baidu said the number of virtual people projects it's worked on for clients has doubled since 2021, with a wide price range of as little as $2,800 to $14,300 per year. Virtual people are a combination of animation, sound tech and machine learning that create digitized human beings who can sing and even interact on a livestream. While these digital beings have appeared on the fringes of the U.S. internet, they've been increasingly popping up in China's cyberspace. Some buyers of virtual people include financial services companies, local tourism boards and state media, said Li Shiyan, who heads Baidu's virtual people and robotics business. (https://www.cnbc.com/2023/01/02/companies-can-hire-a-virtual-person-for-about-14k-a-year-in-china.html)

House Members Reintroduce Digital Reserve Corps Bill

House members from both sides of the aisle have reintroduced legislation that would create a National Digital Reserve Corps - a civilian organization tasked with addressing digital and cyber needs across the Federal government. The National Digital Reserve Corps bill - introduced by Reps. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., and Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, on Jan. 11 - would require the General Services Administration to detail individuals to agencies according to the government's specific cybersecurity needs. The bill would allow private-sector tech specialists to sign up for a three-year period in which they would work for the Federal government for 30 days each calendar year to take on digital and cybersecurity projects, digital education and training, data triage, acquisition assistance, and development of technical solutions. The legislation is one of many attempts across government to address a nationwide shortage of cyber talent. (https://www.meritalk.com/articles/house-members-reintroduce-digital-reserve-corps-bill/)

Copyright © 2023 Adaptive Business Leaders Organization. All Rights Reserved.