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Interview: Flexjet CTO, Greg Johnson, on challenges of re-designing fractional providers’ app

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Flexjet has recently released its new app for their customers, allowing owners to fully manage their account with the fractional ownership company, from booking flights to placing catering requests. Corporate Jet Investor: Have customers been asking for an app? Corporate Jet Investor: Is this being driven by customer experience rather than the aim of cutting customer service costs? Corporate Jet Investor: A lot of charter brokers have launched apps saying that they offer end-to end bookings without any phone contact. We aren’t expecting anyone to buy a fraction of an aircraft online, so for fractional companies there is always going to be the necessity for more communication with clients than just through the app. Corporate Jet Investor: Is it fair to say that fractional companies are now catching up with online charter brokers? We hold over 480TB of data, which is rapidly growing, and we have a huge technology infrastructure to support this. Corporate Jet Investor: Which feature(s) of the app do you see as being the most innovative? Johnson: We will continue to update the app, and add more features to enhance the customer experience even more. This is a fluid process, and we will constantly learn from which features users like the most, and continue to use feedback to improve what the app can offer.
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Trump's Plan to Make Government IT Great

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The American Technology Council, which President Donald Trump established this spring by executive order, has four years to rebuild the federal government's information technology structure. An overwhelming majority of federal IT managers (81 percent) said that the federal government's aging IT infrastructure had a significant impact on their agencies' cybersecurity risk, Chappell told the E-Commerce Times. IT infrastructure, Sy told the E-Commerce Times. No single government agency is tasked with overseeing innovative thinking about technology, so having an agency such as the ATC is great, according to Sy. "Having government agencies move to the cloud is a good first step -- but then what? Singapore has two agencies responsible for government IT and technology innovations. "These two agencies are in lockstep with all other Singapore government agencies," Sy said. "How many times do we see government waiting to step up and make change only when bad things happen? The government has to step up," Sy said. "The government is planning on using powerful open source technology on top of their legacy systems.
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Dorry Kordahi, CEO of DKM Blue shares his lessons in leadership

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Dorry Kordahi is Managing Director and Co-founder of DKM Blue Global, a multi-award-winning promotional marketing and corporate clothing company. The climb begins My climb began 16 years ago with a business plan that looked like pages from a doodle pad. My industry training exposure to merchandise came from working for a family company in Sydney, but spending time overseas made me want to prove that, at the age of 26, with no academic qualifications, money or help, I could become a success in the industry. With that clear in my head, I booked a flight back from Europe the next day and registered my company, DK Management, as soon as I arrived. As it was, it became a cornerstone for my business. Attitude and customer service were the 2 things in which my company was going to excel – the next 2 cornerstones. These would allow me to use the established overall management and back-end functions of DKM Blue for the new operations, thereby cutting their overheads by as much 95% in some cases, and increasing profits concomitantly. I have worked very hard to climb my particular mountain, and I enjoy its many benefits. Lots of people have excellent ideas, but the ones who actually follow through and turn them into reality are much rarer. Certainly, but there are so many more to climb.
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Chief financial officers take on traditional CMO tasks using data and analytics to drive customer strategy

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With the drive to improve customer experience a company-wide concern, the traditional role of the CMO is evolving to include the data-centric CFO as the driver of customer experience. A combined study between Dunn & Bradstreet and Forrester revealed that 53% of finance leaders surveyed report being responsible or accountable for customer-focused initiatives. Because positive business results are often fueled by customer experiences, chief financial officers use data and analytics to drive home customer strategy. By insuring that it is rooted in insights that drive favorable outcomes, 36% of finance executives surveyed were identified as customer-obsessed leaders. CFOs, with their leadership position, cross-organizational perspective, and ability to understand complex sets of data, are uniquely positioned to implement insights-driven behaviors and processes within their organizations. “As the strategic steward of cash flow, revenue, and profitability, the CFO has a substantial stake in the organization’s customer obsession efforts, as the link between customer strategy and business results is tangible. Thus, CFOs need to take an active role in leading their organizations from customer focused to customer obsessed. Today, 53% of the finance leaders surveyed report they were responsible or accountable for their organizations’s customer-focused intitaitves,” according to the Forrester report. Investing in the right tools and technology, as well as augmenting internal data with third-party data and analytics are some of the key actions leading finance executives are taking. The study further outlines seven critical data competencies to master, qualities and resulting metrics that set customer-obsessed finance leaders and followers apart, and how-to strategies to focus efforts around using data and analytics to become a customer-obsessed organization.
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The buzz of Queensland’s energy: David Smales, CEO of Energy Queensland

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The buzz of Queensland’s energy: David Smales, CEO of Energy Queensland. Covering 1.7 million square kilometres, stretching from Tweed Heads to Torres Strait and from Brisbane to Birdsville, the company employs around 7,400 staff based in 100 locations. Its wavy green-and-yellow logo reflects the elasticity of the sunshine state, characterised by stunning, rugged coastlines and enormous expanses of arid outback. He began his 30-plus-year career as a 16-year-old apprentice working in the power industry, moving through junior positions to leadership roles in energy companies, completing an MBA en route. He’s a leader who keenly appreciates that his responsibility is more than just connecting Queenslanders to power; it’s also understanding the emotional connection. It’s dealing with the devastation a flood, cyclone or drought can bring to an area 7 times the size of Great Britain, with more than half its near 5 million population living outside the greater metropolitan area of its capital, Brisbane. Cyclone Debbie was one such force of nature. An overwhelming Category 4, she struck Queensland in March this year, leaving more than 60,000 Queenslanders without power. “There are a lot more things coming onto the market, too,” adds David. “There are also all sorts of technology coming out to optimise the grid, even to the extent of people being able to trade energy between houses.
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Major Tech Firms Pressure FCC to Stay the Net Neutrality Course

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Major Tech Firms Pressure FCC to Stay the Net Neutrality Course. The Internet Association, which represents 40 of the United States' leading technology companies -- including Facebook, Google, Amazon and others -- on Monday filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission, urging it to maintain Net neutrality regulations enacted during the Obama administration. The rules have created a level playing field that has helped fuel innovation in the broadband Internet space, according to IA, and any attempt to unravel them could have a disruptive impact on the industry. Good for the Economy? "Clear rules of the road have given edge-based apps and services the certainty needed to attract investment and growth without being concerned about ISPs acting as gatekeepers," states the IA document, "and the growth of these services has driven demand for faster and better broadband access," which has led to continued ISP investment and broadband subscriptions. Investment has increased since the Net neutrality rules were enacted -- including a 5.3 percent, or US$7.3 billion, increase in telecom investment by publicly traded companies, along with a 56 percent, or $89.9 billion, increase in cable investment since 2009, the Internet Association reported. They could "give the advantage to cloud service providers that can package and price their offerings to best match the price needs and expectations of their target markets," he told the E-Commerce Times. Arcane and Overreaching? The regulations invite regulatory overreach, the company argues, citing attempts to investigate free data programs and further providing a framework for price regulation. The American Cable Association also filed comments Monday, asking the FCC to remove the Title II regulations, which it says places an undue burden on small ISPs.
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Akridge CTO Tommy Russo On The Growing Demand For Strong, Secure Office Connectivity

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Akridge CTO Tommy Russo On The Growing Demand For Strong, Secure Office Connectivity. Since joining Akridge in 1997, Russo has been a leader in providing connectivity services to the developer's clients. Bisnow: In today's market, what are your tenants' top three demands regarding their office space? The amenities that today’s clients want often vary from client to client. Clients must connect to other office locations and the web to do business. Bisnow: How important is internet connectivity to Akridge’s portfolio? We prioritize connectivity infrastructure in the design process and manage every aspect of connectivity in our buildings to ensure that our clients have access to the most secure, reliable and cost-effective services. Akridge is committed to providing reliable internet and telecom connections in all the buildings we develop, as well as all the buildings we manage. Russo: It's all about optimizing efficiency: of space, of workers and of systems. These aspects each affect the bottom line of a business.
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Can Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co’s (CTO) Debt Pose A Serious Problem For The Company?

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Can Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co’s (CTO) Debt Pose A Serious Problem For The Company?. Here are a few basic checks that are good enough to have a broad overview of the company’s financial strength. For Consolidated-Tomoka Land the ratio of operating cash flow to overall debt stands at 28.7%. This means that total debt is well covered by annual operating cash flow. I reckon an operating cash flow of at least 20% of overall debt for a company to be in a good financial shape. For Consolidated-Tomoka Land, the debt to equity ratio is 99.2% and this indicates that the company is holding a high level of debt / liabilities compared to its net worth, and in the event of financial stress may experience difficulty meeting debt or interest obligations. No matter how high is the debt, if a company can easily cover the interest payments, it’s considered to be making a good use of that excessive leverage. If it earns at least 5x or more of its interest payments, that’s an indication of financial strength. Final words Whilst Consolidated-Tomoka Land’s debt to equity ratio is high for my liking, it’s interest costs are well covered by it’s net income and the company’s operating cash flows are strong enough to fuel it’s future growth activities or pay dividends. If you are not interested in Consolidated-Tomoka Land anymore, you can use our free platform to see my list of over 150 other stocks with a high growth potential.
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IT LIFE: Ronan Kelly, ADTRAN CTO

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Ronan Kelly, ADTRAN CTO and President of the FTTH Council, takes us through his career in IT and experience with networks What is your role and who do you work for? Fortunately I have a long list of fascinating projects that I have been engaged in throughout the years, however my time spent with startup telecom operator Smart Telecom was definitely the most interesting to date. We deployed so many disruptive and innovative services, all with a tiny passionate team who wanted to change the face of the Irish telecoms market. The broadband access world is changing. A new paradigm is emerging which brings the benefits of software defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV) to broadband access networks. Many recognised the potential of the new approach, but equally many others struggled to understand or see the opportunity. There is a large task ahead for the industry in driving awareness of the real potential, and educating the broader engineering resources so that they can deploy and maintain these disruptive approaches. What technology were you working with 10 years ago? Ten years ago I was leading a fantastic team in Smart Telecom where we were rolling out a multitude of innovative technologies. Like Ethernet, this technology has continued to evolve, to the point now where implementations of Wave II 802.11ac can achieve multiple Gbps throughput rates.
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How The Weather Channel Does Social Media

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Watson: At The Weather Channel, our main goal is to provide weather information to help our fans plan their day and stay safe during severe weather. One of the most critical responsibilities of my job is during severe weather outbreaks; we use Twitter to break down storm information to our followers, making sure people have the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe. We have meteorologists on the social media team to ensure that we’re always posting accurate information. Twitter, however, allows us to push out alerts as they are issued and we are able to update forecasts in real time. With weather reporting, social media coverage is a 24/7 job; it never ends. Watson: It’s important for all of us at The Weather Channel to post the most accurate information online and on social channels. To ensure that the correct information is being posted, we have guidelines in place and we always have a meteorologist on duty to review posts before they are published if needed. CCO: What tools do you use to manage all the content? Since last year we’ve had a big push to use Facebook Live. Focus: We publish a variety of content using Facebook Live, but what tends to do best for our brand are live streams and reports from the field during big weather events.
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TMO Background Mode Interview with the CTO of It’s Borrowed Joe Moreno

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TMO Background Mode Interview with the CTO of It’s Borrowed Joe Moreno. Joe Moreno is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a former U.S. Marine officer, a former Apple software engineer for nine years, and is now the Chief Technical Officer of ItsBorrowed.com. In high school, influenced by his father, Joe decided to join the Marines. He was also very much into computers and became a Marine programmer, working on production systems. Later, after the academy, he became a supply & logistics officer, and his skills caught the attention of Apple in 1998. He was virtually hired on the spot at a career fair for military officers. We spent some time chatting about Apple’s recent history and his work with databases, WebObjects, Unix and Apple’s online store. Listen in to hear us chat about iPhone ordering tricks from the Apple store during the annual September chaos. Joe Moreno is a graduate of the U.S.
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What do Atlassian and JB Hi-Fi have in common? Excellent workplace giving

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What do Atlassian and JB Hi-Fi have in common? Excellent workplace giving. The not-for-profit organisation has bold plans to see one million Australians donating a small portion of their pay packet to charitable organisations by 2020, as part of its One Million Donors campaign. “ACF advocates for workplace giving as the most effective way for working Australians to support charity,” Jenny explains. “Many leading employers put workplace giving at the heart of their internal engagement programs, which has proven to have a great impact on their people and culture, and ultimately their business,” Jenny says. Through the awards, we’re able to celebrate workplace giving success stories, and hopefully inspire more employers and their staff to get involved.” With entries for the 2017 Workplace Giving Excellence Awards now open, The CEO Magazine chats to some of the winners from 2016 about why they got involved and how it has helped their businesses. “While each giving program was very different in nature, they had commonalities – superb leadership, excellent communication and strong relationships with their charity partner,” Jenny adds. JB Hi-Fi, Winner of Best Overall Program “We commenced our giving program, Helping Hands, in 2008 following an assessment of ways for our business to contribute to the community,” says Richard Murray, Group CEO of JB Hi-Fi. “The program was streamlined by directing all workplace-giving donations to a single charity – Room to Read, a global non-profit dedicated to improving literacy and gender equality in education for children across Asia and Africa. “To date, Atlassian has donated more than $6.4 million to Room to Read, which has provided more than 260,000 children access to education.” Images: Courtesy of Australian Charities Fund Nominations for the 2017 Workplace Giving Excellence Awards are open until 25 August, ahead of the presentation ceremony to be held in Melbourne on 2 November.
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Free AI Chatbot Goes to Bat for Beleaguered Consumers

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DoNotPay, an AI-based chatbot app created to help fight parking tickets in the UK, now addresses roughly 1,000 consumer concerns and is available throughout the United States as well as across the pond. When opened, the app presents a blue screen that asks what it can help the user with, and offers a search field in which the user can type a response. DoNotPay also offers an extra help option. "Though DoNotPay focuses specifically on guiding consumers through commonplace but complex legal forms and issues, it's easy to see how the company's approach to using a bot-enabled infrastructure might be applicable in related circumstances," observed Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. For example, typing in "medical bill" or "bank overcharges" triggered the extra help field, which lets users email the app's support staff with their problem. "We've needed something like this for a while," said Laura DiDio, principal analyst at ITIC. she told CRM Buyer, "and this app will be very useful there." In response to a "landlord dispute" search, DoNotPay served up options for fixing unrepaired property and retrieving an unreturned security deposit in California, along with parking dispute options for California. Need for Consumer Protection The current political climate could mean more consumers soon may be seeking DoNotPay's help. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development.
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Nest Labs Tech Chief on What Robots Can Do Better Than Humans

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Nest Labs Tech Chief on What Robots Can Do Better Than Humans. Unlike some skeptics, Yoky Matsuoka believes that today’s cutting-edge robots won't lead to a dystopian future in which machines enslave mankind. “The advancements we are making are great, but we still have a long way to go” before creating robots like those featured in Hollywood movies that can speak, think, walk, and move like humans. Speaking Monday at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colo., Matsuoka explained that the kinds of robots that will likely be developed in the next 10 years will do a fantastic job performing repetitive tasks. “We suck at repetitive things,” said Matsuoka, giving the example of lifting heavy objects, like airline workers who carry heavy suitcases. “Robots don’t hurt their backs, so let them do it,” said Matsuoka. Matsuoka believes that robots may eventually fix people’s bad behaviors like when they fail to turn off the lights and air conditioning when they leave the house. She considers Nest Labs’ Internet-connected thermostats as being a type of robot that can sense changes in its environment like rising temperature and then make adjustments based on a person's personal habits, even though those thermostats don’t have arms or heads like people expect robots to have. Since Nest Labs first debuted its thermostats in 2011, Matsuoka said the company has saved people “13 billion kilowatt hours of energy,” which she said is “enough to “power New York residential homes for four years." During a field trial, Matsuoka explained that she learned that some Nest Labs customers were upset about their thermostats automatically using less energy because they didn't explicitly ask for it.
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Vendor Exposes Millions of Verizon Customers on Amazon Cloud

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Vendor Exposes Millions of Verizon Customers on Amazon Cloud. The disclosure follows reports that an engineer at Nice Systems, which provides workforce management technology to track call center performance, allowed the data of 14 million Verizon customers to reside on an Amazon Web Services S3 bucket. The Verizon data was part of a larger data exposure, according to UpGuard, the firm that discovered the problem. The company did not comment on the reported Orange data exposure. The only party -- besides the vendor and Verizon -- to gain access to the customers' information was the researcher who discovered the exposure, Verizon said. It was Chris Vickery, director of cyber risk research at UpGuard, who discovered the exposed data, an UpGuard spokesperson confirmed to the E-Commerce Times. The "overwhelming majority" of the exposed data had no external value, the company said, but it confirmed that it included a "limited amount of personal information." To the extent that PINs were included in the data set, they were used to authenticate a customer calling into Verizon's wireline call center, but they did not provide online access to customer accounts, according to the company. Although Upguard hasn't discussed how it discovered the exposed data, it's likely the researcher scanned the S3 namespace -- a unique root folder where users store their data -- looking for misconfigured buckets, Nunnikhoven told the E-Commerce Times. Amazon should not be blamed entirely for the incident, he said, noting that the S3 buckets are secure by default.
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McAfee CTO: Hybrid machine/human approach to cybercrime shows most promise

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McAfee CTO: Hybrid machine/human approach to cybercrime shows most promise. Dive Brief: The best future cyberdefense model will combine AI and humans, says Steve Grobman, chief technology officer at McAfee, according to Venture Beat. Grobman said because attackers are human, they are good at figuring out ways around defenses. They can also use AI to their advantage to launch attacks. While the attacker has held the upper hand, Grobman said AI could help swing favor back to the defender side. Dive Insight: When it comes to cybersecurity, one concern is that hackers will begin using AI to launch attacks at the same time cyber-defense companies use AI to protect companies. The result could be an escalating security battle in which whoever has the better AI system on a particular day wins. Either way, the use of AI is likely to be big in cybersecurity. But Doomsday predictions about robots completely taking over cybersecurity and other jobs have been overhyped and over exaggerated. On the positive side, leveraging AI in cybersecurity could aid the current cybersecurity talent shortage and allow human workers to focus on more complex, challenging tasks while machines handle the basic blocking and tackling.
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Tech Bloc Hiring Chief Talent Officer for SA’s Tech Industry

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Tech Bloc Hiring Chief Talent Officer for SA’s Tech Industry. Tech Bloc is pursuing a chief talent officer (CTO) to recruit talent on behalf of all technology companies across San Antonio. The Tech Bloc CTO will focus on the development, recruitment, and placement of tech talent inside San Antonio-based companies, providing a single-point-of-contact and coordination for the hiring of IT workers, employers, and educators in San Antonio, according to Tech Bloc CEO David Heard. The plan is for the position to become self-supporting over time. “I think [this new Tech Bloc position] will help broaden our reach for finding hard-to-find hires,” Geekdom Fund co-founder Michael Girdley said. “The data collected will help the City align training programs and the educational system so as the industry changes we can keep up with this demand and forecast talent needs.” “For the first time, our community is working together through Tech Bloc on how to address the building of a deeper base of tech talent for San Antonio,” Heard said. “This was driven from the input we have received – that lack of access to tech talent is our number one impediment to growth.” Aimee Hoyt, who responsible for talent recruitment at Rackspace, will chair the Tech Bloc CTO advisory board, which will include other talent officers from local companies such as H-E-B and USAA. The groundbreaking approach of creating the position of chief talent officer for the city’s entire tech ecosystem is a reflection of San Antonio’s unique, collaborative nature, Geekdom CEO Lorenzo Gomez said. They are considering replicating this [model] in their communities.” An affiliate partner with Tech Bloc, the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation has also been working closely with Heard and others over the past year to bring the vision to fruition. “Our business and economic development community’s support of concepts and positions like this makes San Antonio unique and better positions us to compete for top companies around the world,” SAEDF President and CEO Jenna Saucedo-Herrera said.