ABL-Tech Member News & Industry Trendletter * September 22, 2023

>>> Mike Mastro is President and CEO of The Primas Group, a software development, technology solutions, and professional services provider for contact center companies. Primas CX turns call centers into omni-channel contact centers without the hassle and expense of a major upgrade to existing systems or moving to the cloud. The innovative package includes 20 world-class CX apps that can be implemented affordably in just a few days. Primas CX can be a perfect "middle ground" option that allows call centers to dramatically improve their customers' experience, improve agent morale/performance, and positively impact contact center operations without changing their technology. Clients may choose the whole package or just the apps they need to provide the utmost customer service. In June 2023, Primas launched an advanced AI-based chatbot, combining ChatGPT technology with Primas's own chatbot solution. The resulting chatbot platform learns content on a client's website and utilizes that information to generate responses or provide assistance based on user queries. Mike has led Primas Group since 1994. Previously, he was a Sales Manager for Periphonics, selling IVR solutions in the southwest U.S. and worked in R&D for InteCom. Mike has joined the Orange County Round Table.

    These upcoming ABL ZOOM Tables will discuss "Key Issues in Planning for 2024"

  • 10/05 - OC ZOOM Table - featuring Satnam Gambhir, CEO of Envision Financial Systems
  • 10/13 - LA ZOOM Table - featuring Sameer Bhatia, CEO of Batia Infotech and its subsidiary ProProfs.com
  • Explore Membership in ABL's Executive Round Tables >>>
Alvaka (Oli Thordarson) Spotlighted in OC Business Journal + Oli to Present at Oct. 5th Expo

Alvaka is featured in a recent Orange County Business Journal article - Protecting Firms, Government, Groups From Ransomware's Threat.
AND, CEO Oli Thordarson will be a presenter at the Advanced Office Technology Expo and Open House, on October 5, on the topic of "Lessons learned in the trenches of Ransomware Recovery." (LA)

California Lightworks (George Mekhtarian) Publishes Success Story Video

California Lightworks (CL) has published a 1-minute video - Case Study: Nourse Farms - which describes how this fruit and vegetable grower utilizes CL's MegaDrive LED lighting system, providing the benefits of outdoor summer quality in a year-round greenhouse environment, offering the best of both worlds for optimal plant growth. (LA)

CuraeSoft's (Mark Parinas) coAmplifi Detailed in USA Today Article

coAmplifi, a software solution from CuraeSoft, is featured in a recent article in USA Today - coAmplifi unveils online work platform for remote productivity and engagement, which details how the product increases productivity and a healthier work-life balance.
ALSO, CEO Mark Parinas recently conducted a poll on LinkedIn; see the results at the link: Will your business survive the next global crisis? How did your business handle the Covid-19 shutdown? (LA)

Eckert & Ziegler (Frank Yeager) Collaborates with RefleXion Medical & Telix Pharmaceuticals

Eckert & Ziegler has entered into a comprehensive collaboration agreement with RefleXion Medical and Telix Pharmaceuticals to jointly develop a new concept - Satellite Hot Labs (SHLs). SHLs are designed specifically for radiolabeling, quality control and storage of molecular targeting radiotracers, referred to as BioGuides, that are used in biology-guided radiotherapy to direct the radiation beam to indicated solid tumor cancers. (LA)

myKaarma (Ujj Nath) Launches Fixed Ops News

myKaarma has debuted Fixed Ops News, which delivers video content on how auto dealers nationwide are adapting to evolving service industry demands and solutions. Recent topics include how to gain buy-in for new software solutions, keeping up with advanced payment processing trends, and more. (OC)

Parasoft (Elizabeth Kolawa, Ph.D.) Offers On-Demand Webinars on AI & More

Parasoft has made several of its recent webinars available to watch on-demand:
>> Use AI to Double Your Test Suite for a Higher ROI.
>> Accelerate Software Compliance With AI.
>> Stressed About Performance Testing? Simulate It! (LA)

Marshall Toplansky to Speak at 2024 Economic Forecast Event on Oct. 11

Marshall Toplansky will be a featured speaker at the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce's 2024 Economic Forecast session, on October 11, an annual event to help with budgeting, finance, real estate, and investment decisions affecting you, your business and your success.
AND, watch a recent episode of Marshall's The Feudal Future Podcast - Uncovering the Economic Transformation and Challenges of Appalachia. (OC)

Project Insight (Thomas Leffler) to Present Project Management Webinar on Oct. 4

On October 4, Project Insight (PI) will present a webinar - Putting It All Together FTW! Participants will learn how to keep their projects running smoothly; master the art of staying on-task and on-schedule; stay within the project's scope; understand how to pivot when things get difficult; and more. (OC)

The Joy Factory (Sampson Yang & Miranda Su) Teams with Microsoft & EVS

The Joy Factory announced its aXtion Pro case for Microsoft Surface Pro 9, the first from the company to achieve internal thermal dissipation, MIL-STD and IP68 ratings, setting a new standard in device protection for frontline and connected workers operating in rigorous, rugged, and harsh environments.
AND, The Joy Factory, has formed a strategic alliance with EVS, a cutting-edge provider of supply chain software solutions, bringing together The Joy Factory's innovative protective cases and versatile mounting options with EVS's warehouse management system and indoor positioning platform, optimized for iPad tablets. The collaboration aims to deliver a seamless and powerful supply chain solution. (LA & OC)

Dave Berkus on: Product Releases & Smart Money Investments

In Everything changes from concept to release, Dave urges everyone to plan for change; sometimes at the last minute. A product at the concept stage contains feature-functionality that customers may not want or be willing to pay for, or which just might not work well enough for release to the public, he explains. Allow for the cost and extra time for tweaks - make the first release a limited, controlled one, so that changes and corrections can be made much more easily than if a general release all at once.
Click here to read more of Dave's posts, including: "Have you found your 'teacher customer'?" "Is your product ready for your market?;" "Ouch! If I had only learned this before losing millions!;" and "Take only "smart money" investments." (LA)

Clovers (Adam Miller, JD) on: Writing Inclusive Job Descriptions & Fostering Cognitive Diversity

Fortune magazine has published Meet Adam Miller, whose latest venture is a tech platform to help nonprofits.
ALSO, read recent blogs from Clovers: Your guide to writing inclusive job descriptions, which describes how to transform your job description into a powerful tool that appeals to more (and more qualified) candidates; and Cognitive Diversity in the workplace, which explains this type of diversity that embraces the different ways people think. It includes team members with varying ideas, problem-solving skills, and thought patterns. (LA)

Get Visible (Jason Ciment) on: How to Write for SEO

In How to Write for SEO in 2023, Get Visible explains what the terms search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing mean, why search engine rankings matter, tips for using the power of SEO, and more. (LA)

GIDEON Informatics (Uri Blackman) on: How Infectious Diseases Spread + eBooks Available for Libya & Morocco

In How Do Infectious Diseases Spread?, GIDEON Informatics examines the various types of infectious diseases and their modes of transmission; unveils the powerful role of prevention strategies; and celebrates the unmatched impact of vaccines and immunization that have historically controlled and combated some of history's most formidable diseases.
MEANWHILE, in the wake of recent devastating natural disasters in Libya and Morocco, GIDEON has been making its infectious diseases ebooks for these regions available to healthcare and frontline workers at no cost. (LA)

Half Past Nine (Kenneth Shen) on: Immutable Laws of B2B Demand Generation + What Growth Really Means

In The Nine Immutable Laws of B2B Demand Generation, Half Past Nine's Kenneth Shen shares an accumulation of his eight years of leading and advising 10+ B2B marketing departments.
AND, in a recent post, Kenneth discusses the function of growth, noting that growth is a cross-functional activity, happening at the intersection of Product, Marketing, and Sales. (LA)

Greg Lebsack on: Empowerment & the Secret to Sales Growth

In The Power of Empowerment, Greg acknowledges that empowering employees is hard. It requires intentional effort and careful planning. But leadership has evolved from a top-down, command-and-control approach to one that recognizes the untapped potential within the employees and seeks to empower them. This transformational power of empowerment is a game-changer for today's CEOs and leaders.
AND, in The secret to sales growth - find the Fit, Greg states that finding product-market fit should be the number one priority for any business looking to reignite sales growth. Product-market fit means creating a product that perfectly meets the needs of its target customers in a way that drives viral adoption and word-of-mouth marketing. (OC)

Optimum Info (Arvind Verma) on: Benefits of an Integrated Warranty Management System

In 5 Ways an Integrated Warranty Management System Can Help Your Business, Optimum Info (OI) describes how an online and integrated warranty claims management solution can dramatically improve efficiency of claims submission and processing.
AND, in Kawasaki Motors Reduces Dealer Package Processing Time by Over 60%, OI shares how Kawasaki Motor Corp USA achieved a remarkable transformation in their dealer package processing by using Optimum's APEX system. (OC)

Orange Crew (Laith Pahlawan) on: Is the Cloud Right for Your Business

In a recent post, Laith Pahlawan, CEO of Orange Crew, discusses if the cloud is right for your business - declaring it a business accelerator. Laith also conducts a poll - Are you using the cloud? See the results at the link. (LA)

Payani Group (Ali Payani) on: Agile Sales & Marketing Alignment, Maximizing Valuation & More

In Agile Sales and Marketing Alignment for Software Companies, Payani Group discusses the benefits of such an alignment, as well as implementing it.
AND, in Your Exit Strategy: 5 Marketing Strategies for Maximized Valuation, Payani Group suggests that one to three years before you plan to sell, revamp your marketing strategy to ensure you're following industry best practices for the current moment. This can increase sales, brand awareness and brand authority, all of which will maximize the value of your company so you can gain the highest valuation when you sell.
PLUS, read other recent articles from Payani Group: How Private Equity Firms Leverage Analytics for Better Investments and The Importance of Having a Customer Obsession Focus. (LA)

ProProfs (Sameer Bhatia) on: How to Build a Customer Service Chatbot in 3 Minutes

In this 3:34-minute video - How to Build a Customer Service Chatbot in 3 Minutes - ProProfs demonstrates how to create a customer service chatbot using expert-designed templates. With a chatbot, you can answer your customers faster and improve satisfaction rates efficiently. (OC)

Eitan Medical (Roger Massengale) Chosen by Intramed Plus

Eitan Medical announced that - following its recent launches of Sapphire Connect and Eitan Insights - South Carolina's Intramed Plus, a recognized leader in infusion services, has begun utilizing Eitan's new innovative connected infusion technology. Eitan's new technology enables remote visibility of Sapphire infusion data, a unique capability which is supporting data-driven insights to Intramed's clinicians. (OC)

El Camino Health (Cecile Currier) Achieves Milestone Using da Vinci Robot

The surgery team at El Camino Health (ECH) recently performed its 15,000th procedure using the da Vinci robotic surgical system. ECH is number one in the Bay Area for cumulative volume of patients treated using the da Vinci robot. (BA). (BA)

Elemeno Health (Arup Roy-Burman, MD) Solution Expanded Among OSF Facilities

OSF HealthCare announced it's expanding use of the Elemeno Health just-in-time microlearning solution as a foundational element in its transformation of clinical learning. OSF Innovation piloted the Elemeno best practices nursing platform last year and has decided to implement it among its 15 hospitals and within ambulatory, hospice, and home care settings. (BA)

Fomat Medical (Nick Focil) Launches AlzWell App & Asks for Feedback

Nick Focil, CEO of Fomat Medical, recently shared a post about a technology they have been working on for four years and that has now launched - called AlzWell. Nick says, "Please download it and give me your honest feedback. It's an app for families that have to take care of a loved one with Alzheimer's. It helps them collaborate, find out when the loved one has wandered off, and so much more. It has been a crazy ride, but I'm super excited to let everyone know." AlzWell can be downloaded here . (LA)

LigoLab (Suren Avunjian) Explores Funding Vs. Bootstrapping for an Enterprise Software Company

LigoLab CEO Suren Avunjian recently penned an article for Forbes - Funding Versus Bootstrapping For An Enterprise Software Company. Suren shares that at LigoLab, "we made the strategic choice to bootstrap. This decision allowed us to grow organically, solely accountable to our clients. Free from the perpetual cycle of fundraising, our focus remains unwavering: delivering maximum value to our partner laboratories instead of appeasing investors. ALSO, LigoLab announced that its platform is now available in a tiered pricing model that caters to various laboratory discipline types, sizes, and complexities. The tiered pricing fills a void, allowing independent pathology groups and molecular and reference labs to select the LIS platform tier that aligns best with their current operations instead of settling for a one-size-fits-all LIS solution. (LA)

MedWand (Bob Rose) Lands Cover Story in Business Journal + Launches VirtualCare Kiosk Services

The Orange County Business Journal recently featured MedWand as its cover story, in MedWand Expects $50M in Sales as Device Grows at Homes and More. The article dubs MedWand as "the 21st century digital house call."
MEANWHILE, MedWand has launched VirtualCare Kiosk services for its telemedicine platform, offering providers an innovative solution to conducting comprehensive MedWand exams from various locations, including patients' homes, regional clinics, or any distant remote areas. This convenient feature enables providers to effortlessly review and share examination results with fellow clinicians in their network, eliminating the need for extensive time and costly formal EHR integration. (OC)

Nelson Hardiman (Harry Nelson, JD) Discusses FTC's New Guidance for Health Data Privacy

Nelson Hardiman (NH) has made its recent webinar available to watch on demand: The Future of Healthcare Privacy: Projecting What's Ahead and Planning Next Steps.
PLUS, read NH's article - Coping with the Clampdown: FTC's New Guidance for Health Data Privacy. It has become critical for businesses that collect, use, store or disclose consumer health data to fully understand and implement practices to protect consumer health data privacy and security. In late July 2023, the FTC provided new practical guidance to help businesses stay within evolving regulatory guidelines and maintain the trust of their consumers, and NH discusses some of the main points. (LA)

Sheppard Mullin (Linda Igarashi) Launches AI Industry Team

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP has launched its multi-disciplinary Artificial Intelligence (AI) team with more than 110 attorneys across the firm's global platform. It helps clients with an array of AI-related legal and operational issues across a wide range of practices and industries. In addition to advising companies which are actively utilizing or developing AI technology on the legal issues they face, the team provides strategic counseling to such companies regarding risk analyses and mitigation strategies and are intimately involved in the development and implementation of their AI go-to-market and monetization initiatives. Additionally, the team develops policies and frameworks governing the proper use of AI platforms, tools and solutions across the enterprise and conducts legal and operational audits of the same. (OC)

WestFax (Barry Clark) Announces Significant Changes to Print Driver

WestFax's print driver is a software package that works on all 32/64 bit Windows machines and acts as a virtual printer allowing any application that supports printing to send a fax as easily as printing a physical document. Recent updates include updated cover page functionality to map additional fields; auto-updater that can update the driver without uninstall; and interface updates and UI Improvements. (OC)

AI is a Lot Like Streaming - the Add-ons Add Up Fast

Streaming-only channels are producing some truly exceptional content. But keeping up adds up. Now, we're starting to see the same trend in the world of AI - many services, each with their own fees. There are two classes of AI you're going to be paying for in the coming years (if you're not already shelling out for AI right now). You'll be paying for standalone AI services, such as ChatGPT Plus and Midjourney, and you'll be paying for AI add-ons for any cloud service that can find an excuse to bolt AI on to their offerings. (https://www.zdnet.com/article/ai-is-a-lot-like-streaming-the-add-ons-add-up-fast/)

Tech Execs Warn Lawmakers to Keep AI "Under the Control of People"

Microsoft President Brad Smith testified that a "safety brake" is specifically needed for AI systems that manage critical infrastructure like power grids and water systems. Smith testified alongside William Dally, the chief scientist and senior VP of Nvidia, and Boston University law professor Woodrow Hartzog. Dally told senators that "keeping a human in the loop" is critical to ensure the robots don't run amok. (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/congress-ai-artificial-intelligence-hearing-rcna104501)

California to Set Guidelines for Public Sector Generative AI; Federal AI Safety Push Moves Forward

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order to launch a study into the development, use and risks of AI, and to develop a process for the evaluation and deployment of the technology across the state. Gov. Newsom included a list of requests for state agencies in the executive order with accompanying time frames. Within 60 days, the California Department of Technology along with other agencies will draft a report to Newsom detailing the most significant, potentially beneficial use cases for deployment of generative AI tools in California. By January 2024, California government agencies will issue general guidelines for public sector generative AI procurement, use and training requirements, according to the executive order. (https://www.ciodive.com/news/California-executive-order-generative-AI-Zoom-FTC/693012/)

MEANWHILE, 8 More Companies Join White House AI Safety Push: Eight additional software and technology companies have agreed to participate in a White House initiative on AI risk management. Adobe, Cohere, IBM, Nvidia, Palantir, Salesforce, Scale AI, and Stability committed to test AI products before releasing them to the public, share information on AI risk management and prioritize research on the public-facing risks of AI. The new group of companies join Amazon, Anthropic, Google, Inflection, Meta, Microsoft and OpenAI, which in July made a similar voluntary pledge toward curbing AI risk. (https://www.ciodive.com/news/white-house-AI-salesforce-nvidia-IBM/693604/)

AND, DHS Unveils New Guidelines on AI Use: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will not collect or disseminate data used in artificial intelligence activities and will ensure all facial recognition technologies will be thoroughly tested as part of a new set of AI guidelines released recently. The new DHS policies, developed by a department task force on AI, are part of the broader Biden administration aim to manage the risks of the technology. The department also announced that Chief Information Officer Eric Hysen will serve as its first chief AI officer. He will promote AI innovation and safety at DHS, and advise Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and department leadership on AI issues. (https://thehill.com/policy/technology/4204733-dhs-unveils-new-guidelines-on-ai-use/ )

A Key Question in Google's Federal Trial: How Formidable is Its Data Advantage?

In the federal government's first monopoly trial of the modern internet era, a central character has emerged: data. Its role, its use and its power are key issues in the Justice Department's case against Google. The government claims that Google bribed and bullied smartphone producers to be their featured search engine, funneling far more data to Google and cutting off competitors. Data, the government says, drives the flywheel of Google's success. Each search query adds data, which improves search results, attracting more users who generate still more data and ad revenue. And Google's ever-growing data advantage, the government asserts, is an insurmountable barrier for rivals.

The government's case is not that Google violated the law in becoming a search giant. Instead, the government claims that after Google became dominant, the company broke the law with its tactics to defend its monopoly. Contracts with industry partners to be their default search engine were the weapon - exclusive deals that froze out rivals, the government claims. So Google is now protected from competition behind a fortress built with data.

Google replies that the government's case is an artifice of misleading theory unsupported by the facts. The government has chosen to "ignore inescapable truths," John Schmidtlein, Google's lead lawyer, asserted in his opening statement. Those truths, according to Google, are that the company holds its leading position in search because of its technical innovation. It competes with others for default-placement contracts and wins mainly because Google is the best search engine. Those contracts, Google argues, help reduce prices for smartphones and benefit consumers. (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/18/business/google-antitrust-trial-data.html)

A Year After CHIPS Act Passage, Firms are Starting to Take Advantage

A year after President Biden signed into law the $52 billion CHIPS Act that offers computer chip companies billions of dollars in subsidies to expand their manufacturing operations in the U.S., some companies are starting to submit their applications for the funding. The act was designed to reestablish the U.S. semiconductor manufacturing supply chain in the face of geopolitical concerns over China, especially its aggressive military stance on Taiwan, the disputed island nation where a large percentage of the world's high-end microprocessors are made. (https://www.timesunion.com/business/article/year-chips-act-passage-firms-starting-take-18359885.php)

New U.S. Partnership with Vietnam to Explore Semiconductor Supply Chain Opportunities

The U.S. State Department is partnering with the Government of Vietnam to explore opportunities to grow and diversify the global semiconductor ecosystem under the International Technology Security and Innovation (ITSI) Fund, created by the CHIPS Act of 2022. Vietnam shows promise as a partner in ensuring the semiconductor supply chain is diverse and resilient. The partnership is beginning with a review of Vietnam's current semiconductor ecosystem, regulatory framework, and workforce and infrastructure needs. The outcome of this review will inform potential future collaboration on developing this critical sector.

The CHIPS Act of 2022 created the ITSI Fund, which provides the U.S. Department of State with $500 million ($100M per year over five years, starting in FY 2023) to promote the development and adoption of secure and trustworthy telecommunications networks and ensure semiconductor supply chain security and diversification through new programs and initiatives with U.S. allies and partners. (https://www.state.gov/new-partnership-with-vietnam-to-explore-semiconductor-supply-chain-opportunities/)

CTA Calls Tech 8th Pillar of Human Security at UN Assembly

The Consumer Technology Association announced the addition of technology as the eighth pillar of the Human Security for All (HS4A) initiative for having the potential to improve the human experience. "Technology is making our world a better place to live for literally billions of people, and we are only just scratching the surface of what's possible," said CTA CEO Gary Shapiro during the 78th session of the UN General Assembly. UN secretary general's envoy on technology Amandeep Singh Gill also spoke, highlighting the efforts of the HS4A campaign, and advocated for a public-private advisory board to develop an AI and technology governance framework. (https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/health-tech/un-official-tech-leaders-tout-power-data-ai-improve-global-health-sustainable)

US Hospitals Paid $100M to Russian Ransomware Hackers

The Justice Department revealed U.S. hospitals have paid millions of dollars in ransom to a cybercriminal network with suspected ties to Russian intelligence, according to CNN. The FBI has been investigating the ransomware gang for years, and the Justice Department indicted nine members on Sept. 7, offering multimillion dollar rewards for tips leading to the alleged criminals, who are still at large. According to the indictment, the men are accused of using TrickBot to hack computers and Conti to lock them until ransom was paid. The group has targeted around 300 organizations in the U.S., including hospitals. Even after the cyberattack is resolved, costs are high to restore IT systems.

Healthcare companies overall are spending more than any other industry to recover from cyberattacks, according to an IBM analysis reported by The Wall Street Journal. Healthcare companies spend on average nearly $11 million to recover from a cyberattack, compared to around $6 million for financial companies and $3 million for retailers. The report also noted there have been more than 400 cyberattacks on healthcare companies and 61 million people have had their medical data stolen or exposed online in 2023 so far, which is up from previous years. (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/cybersecurity/us-hospitals-paid-100m-to-russian-ransomware-hackers.html)

EDITOR'S NOTE: After reading the above article, ABL Member Oli Thordarson, CEO of Alvaka, commented, "I can concur that our healthcare cases have been among our highest billing and generally about twice the billing expense of clients in non-healthcare sectors."

Apple Patent Suggests Augmented Reality Info on Windshields

A recent patent filing indicates Apple may be looking into an augmented reality system that projects information onto car windshields. The patent application describes using sensors such as visible-light cameras, infrared cameras, radar, and ultrasonic or lidar units, to build a three-dimensional picture of the environment around the vehicle. Geographical positioning data could be incorporated as well, the application says. Using this data, the system would then overlay information in such a way that it would appear to be populating the environment itself in true AR style, rather than appearing as flat displays on the windshield. In the application, Apple suggests some possible uses, like highlighting signs with relevant information, or outlining a destination that may be obscured by buildings. Apple also suggests using the system to cajole drivers into being more cautious - virtual speed bumps could be projected onto the road if the driver is going too fast, encouraging them to slow down. It could even work with adaptive suspension to simulate the feeling of passing over speed bumps, Apple suggests. The patent application doesn't offer much detail on the hardware that would make this possible. Apple isn't the only company thinking of turning windshields into display screens. AR tech was featured on two concept cars from Mercedes and Volkswagen that debuted at the recent 2023 Munich auto show. (https://www.motorauthority.com/news/1140733_apple-investigates-augmented-reality-windshield)

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