(c) AI Forum & Unified Communications
January 12 – 2018 – Issue #430
AI Forum – Exploring the Wild World of Artificial Intelligence and other Communications, Mobile, Contextual-Intelligence and other communications companies
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Welcome to the AI, UC Apps & Cloud Communications Forum
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200 followers this week and if you are on Twitter, please follow and we will follow you back. I also do @telecomreseller (10,800 followers), @whatstadoing (4,518 followers) and many others have proven results in gaining-retaining Twitter and other social media followers – click here.
Seeking Submissions for AIQ Awards
While this concept is in the early development stages, we are seeking submissions and nominations for the AIQ Awards. These awards will be issued periodically based on merit, scholarship, research, innovation, theory and practice. The intent is to foster research but also viable AI applications. While the term AI has been around since the 1930s and expanded into indepth discussion by Alan Turing and his colleagues and others, the Imitation Game or Turing Test was considered the benchmark for determining whether something was artificial or human. Click on image for more.
This is part of an ongoing series on social selling. You can see the entire presentation here. This article will focus on building ongoing thought leadership in social selling. The focus of Phase 7 is research and development of integration of social selling including AI technologies into all company products and solutions including corporate management and operations
. It is easy to see that customers using Amazon Alexa will move from “get more ….” to Alexa suggesting “you will be out of….may I order more.” IBM Watson is already doing this suggesting to customers that “vineyard #33 needs more water due to the slope of the terrain.” Walmart pioneered automatic product shelf re-ordering more than 20 years ago and there is progress on many other fronts. However, there is more to just predicting or anticipating customer needs to actively directing customers to the new company strategy. The mention of Dick Tracy is that consumers will be integrating all their personal and business communications within one or a few apps. Without integration of social selling technology, companies will succumb to declining sales and associated management reorganization death struggles.
After which or in parallel to earlier Kirstel Social Selling (KSS) phases, indepth analysis of how selling technology can be integrated into products and solutions either using current selling technologies, building new or integrating with others such as IBM Watson and other artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, neural networks and others will be pursued. Click on image for complete KSS.
Bottom-line – AI must be part of the entire corporate ecosystem “pie” not just “by the slice.”
This is a great chart on companies with the most patents in AI. It certainly does not mean they will use them or even know how to use them but certain strong push to be the leader. However, if I was Amazon, Google, Walmart or any company that has an idea on what AI can do for their company I would put every dollar I could on AI R&D.
Fujitsu is developing key technologies under a comprehensive framework they call Human Centric AI Zinrai. Fujitsu is incorporating component technology such as machine learning, deep learning and visual recognition, into its digital solutions and services.
Bottom-line – Clearly Fujitsu is accelerating serious IP for AI.
IBM Jam Looking for Jelly
Never heard of this before (guess they need to amp up their social media marketing) but like the idea. As they put it, “IBM’s InnovationJam platform is purpose-built for large-scale, online collaboration. Sophisticated analytics help both the sponsor – and participant – find conversations of interest.Participants ‘jam’ by contributing their expertise and opinion in various topic areas, mixing it up with others’ to create a powerful voice.
The IBM Jam Program Office is a niche team dedicated to delivering every InnovationJam™ engagement. Team members work directly with clients, sharing best practices spanning more than 15 years managing large-scale collaborative events. IBM’s InnovationJam™ offering is ideal for companies and enterprises looking to kick-start a transformation or change program through a transparent ‘conversation’. Often tied to a larger campaign, the output from a Jam helps clarify – and in some cases course correct – activities and initiatives established at the highest level of an organization. Sponsors are provided the raw content as well as a post-event analytics report, illustrating recommendations gleaned from the Jam.”
Bottom-line – The idea of using social influencers (see graphic above and video on link) and other experts to track content topics and trends is not a new idea. Nor do I think that this approach to “thought leadership” actually works. However, doing nothing will gain you nothing either. I recommend that a customer-centric approach that I have yet to find though look forward to seeing one day. That is, over the past year I have done my own “data mining” to glean useful content from 100 websites to post on twitter for a major client. Frankly, I found very little useful information that would be helpful in evaluating their products much less putting together presentations to C-levels (ROI/TCO) they would understand and approve.
Social Media Content Tracking aka Spying
Since we are on the subject of social media content tracking which seems to be the rage these days, Digital Roots approach starts with the collection of user-generated content. Social posts are collected from forums, websites and various social platforms’ APIs (such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) where relevant conversations are happening around your brand.” What I mean by spying is they track what viewers select and from the vantage think they understand what viewers much less real customers want.
Bottom-line – Me-too platforms do not help companies build great content. They tell often ill-informed marketing novices about topics which may or may not be useful to existing or prospective customers.
Alexa for Business: AI Taps Corporate Strategy
In case you don’t have Alexa in your home or car you can have it everywhere you go. Well, almost anywhere. Wonder why they don’t have an app for that to make it easier for Amazon to take over your life but they are not in a hurry they know they will get you soon. Apple is DOA and Google is trying to get their act together. In the meantime, they are adding everything you can call anyone and these among the growing list of things Alexa will do for you.- Join meetings in conference rooms: You can simply say “Alexa, start the meeting”. Alexa turns on the video conferencing equipment, dials into your conference call, and gets the meeting going.
– Help around the office: access custom skills to help with directions around the office, finding an open conference room, reporting a building equipment problem, or ordering new supplies.
– Enable calling and messaging: Alexa helps make phone calls, hands free and can also send messages on your behalf.
– Automatically dial into conference calls: Alexa can join any meeting with a conference call number via voice from home, work, or on the go.
– Intelligent assistant: Alexa can quickly check calendars, help schedule meetings, manage to-do lists, and set reminders.
– Find information: Alexa can help find information in popular business applications like Salesforce, Concur, or Splunk.
Bottom-line – Amazon already knows more about everyone than even the NSA and they didn’t have to spy, you gave to them freely. Adding AI to business tracking is relatively simple as they have AWS to capture all the big data they need. Oddly, big brother isn’t watching you – Amazon is. Amazon knows more about Target, Walmart, and any other company you can think of regarding their strategy, customers and logistical chain and other business operations.
If you want to read more about “podwars” click on the image below:
Building AI or Trying To
This is a cool concept as an open source platform. TensorFlow provides multiple APIs. The lowest level API–TensorFlow Core– provides you with complete programming control. We recommend TensorFlow Core for machine learning researchers and others who require fine levels of control over their models. The higher level APIs are built on top of TensorFlow Core. These higher level APIs are typically easier to learn and use than TensorFlow Core. In addition, the higher level APIs make repetitive tasks easier and more consistent between different users. A high-level API like tf.estimator helps you manage data sets, estimators, training and inference.
Bottom-line – AI development platforms focus on the platform and the perception they know what knowledge really is. Even making soup is hard which means you really know what you think you know or need to know before building anything.
No One “Rule of Thumb” for AI
Like human muscles, AI will be used in various applications and by different practitioners in many different ways. The term algorithm means “rule of thumb” which is a great way to understand the reality of AI and in the future. Algorithms will provide “rules” and “thumbnail” measurements for the problem undertaking, however, like auto-correct in spell checkers, they often miss common grammar issues. Here is a great chart and article for your consideration:
Bottom-line – I am a fan of visualization as regression is a backward search approach and decision-trees/rules are often based again on previous experience. Clustering takes a “herd” approach to the issue. What is really missing is what I can future-casting approach. As in business, you cannot react to the issue and predictive analysis leads one in the wrong direction. However, a directive approach moves the issue towards the goal you desire. More to come on this subject later.
AI User Forum Seeking Nominations for AIQ Awards
While this concept is in the early development stages, we are seeking submissions and nominations for the AIQ Awards. These awards will be issued periodically based on merit, scholarship, research, innovation, theory and practice. The intent is to foster research but also viable AI applications. While the term AI has been around since the 1930s and expanded into indepth discussion by Alan Turing and his colleagues and others, the Imitation Game or Turing Test was considered the benchmark for determining whether something was artificial or human.
Today, everyone uses the term AI in everything from toasters to clothes like it was a panacea. Personally I have worked on AI since the mid-1980s and find there is a lot of hype but not a lot of real results. Yes there is a lot of research and development with many so-called AI products but they aren’t really intelligent at all. Much of AI is in the form of machine learning where machines gather vast amounts of data and use some mathematical formulas to determine results. This is not AI just more hype. In addition, I prefer the term machine intelligence rather than artificial as machines are powered by electricity and yes humans are as well, the source of that power comes from organic systems rather than batteries or external power sources. From decades of research and analysis there are, in my humble opinion, three forms of machine systems that would be considered as critical to any AIQ test. They are vertical, lateral (horizontal) and oblique.
Vertical Intelligence is in simple terms making not one kind of soup but all kinds of soup. Creating different kinds of soup is actually much harder than you think. That is, one soup manufacturer tried applying the AI skills they used in making tomato soup to vegetable soup and they just didn’t work. Now reports on their findings are somewhat vague but humans have very complex tasting skills or rather smelling skills. These human senses alter in ways that may not be important to the machine but are important to any chef. The concept of vertical AIQ is to take one simple concept and apply that intelligence to other “things” in that area of study. You can apply Vertical IQ to essentially all things in one area. Making better tires, windows, food products and the like are really important and where AI skills and solutions are needed.
is where one set of skills can be applied to other thinks. This is where AI gets complicated really fast. As humans we can get off our bikes and drive a car without even thinking about it. However, the skills for each are completely different from a machine perspective. Driving is different, speed is different, road rules are different, safety and so on are all really different. Yet they are both forms of transportation. We don’t think that flying in airplanes or trains as very different but they require forms of AI that are completely different. This is where the enormity of AI development would really struggle to achieve any viable results. Yet we need to have transportation AI that addresses these issues and much more at the same time to be useful. For example, there is a major effort in self-driving vehicles. Yet, how much of that research is about the vehicle and how much is the interface with a smart highway, traffic lights, weather, traffic conditions 10 miles ahead and more. Lateral intelligence like lateral search or thinking is complex I may like murder mystery movies but does that mean I am interested in doing one. My view on Lateral IQ intelligence is demonstrating relationships between one system and another though related system to solve a different problem or others.
is different. Each form whether vertical, lateral or oblique offers unique challenges to the developer and benefits to society. Oblique is somewhat in between vertical and lateral. It combines concepts used by both but brings new solutions. Few would argue that voice recognition is here but often the system really doesn’t understand even the many different dialects of English that we find here. However, it is getting better but really doubt that listening to millions of words spoken every day you really understand what people really mean because of people don’t say what they really mean ever. This makes this type of intelligence “oblique” in the way it will emerge. Telling a joke, evoking emotion, inspiring leadership are forms that humans don’t really understand all that well but provide real humanity. Creating a machine to do that would be even more complex yet as they are important to humans as the food they eat. As humans we seek and do all kinds of things that make no sense but are useful to enriching our lives as humans.
– the AIQ Awards like with many human issues is “a hope not a cure” with an effort to find common ground to issues, achieve useful results and improve humanity. We look forward to any comments including good “thought leadership” not just product hype though you can submit your product for consideration. We also realize that products will improve over time and therefore the AIQ can increase as well.
You can submit your product at anytime and it will be reviewed as time permits. Evan Kirstel leading AI Influencer has been named Chairman of the AIQ Awards. We are seeking other members to the review committee, however not just university researchers but real-world practitioners to evaluate and provide guidance.
2018 Year of Social Selling Strategy
Phase 4 – Expansion
Phase 4 consists of four major parts:
1 – Integrate knowledge, experiences and suggestions from Phase 3, the Pilot Phase (click on image for all 7 phases).
2 – Building domestic and global deployment plan including global training program – estimated 3-12+ months depending on size and scope of sales force.
3 – Expand KSS-Kirstel Social Selling Strategy into other areas of the business not included in Phase which could be partners, technologies, business units, specific geographic centers and other areas.
4 – Expand as shown below the integration of Social Selling Strategy into specific communications and sales activities not included in Phase 3 which may include:
– Social Selling Social Communications – Understanding what medium to use with social selling
– Email Marketing – Functions it fulfills for Social Media
– Email Marketing Metrics
– Events & Event Marketing
– Online Surveys
– Community Relations
– White Papers
– Trade Shows
– Print & Magazine Ads
– Traditional telephone sales
– Conference calls
– Press Conferences
– Press Releases
– TV advertising
– Video – YouTube
– Contact/call centers
– Apps – recommendations for social selling and social media apps
– Tag Barcodes, QR-Quick Reference code & NFC-Nearfield Communications
– Cloud & Cloud Computing and any other technology such as AI, IoT, etc.
– Twitter – account review and recommendations for better performance and engagement
– Linkedin – same as above
– Facebook – same as above
– Blogs – same as above
– Snapchat – same as above
– Instagram – same as above
– Pinterest – same as above
– Other Social Selling Platforms not listed
– Other business areas such as HR, finance, support, manufacturing, logistics and others.
5 – Build new social selling content options including optional KSSA – Kirstel Social Selling App (click on image for more)
6 – Deployment – expansion into key markets and segments (channel, international, etc.).
7 – Tracking – monitoring and tracking and present KPIs to management – at managements option build and maintain a Social Selling NOC-network operations center to help guide, track, fix and otherwise provide the next level in the Social Selling process explain in detail in Phase 5.
Deliverables – Monthly reports from pilot program and detailed results reports to CXOs.
Not Artificial Intelligence but AA – Artificial Advice
This is a really great interview in Fortune magazine, not because of its innovation but about its real world use case – listening not talking in the contact center. The second part is about how listening turning into learning and advising clients. Click on image for the complete article, here are excerpts.
“Digital advice is a credible product. People will put money into a digital advisory solution. Our clients are putting in about a billion dollars net every month into [what we call] Intelligent Portfolios. But it is just a product. What our clients tell us is that to have a real relationship, it’s going to be more than just technology. That’s why from the moment we introduced Intelligent Portfolios we said the product is going to have 24/7/365 access to speak with live licensed professionals. We never believed that the notion of people staying with a plan during difficult times in the market was a given.
In the contact center – Artificial Experiences
Artificial intelligence is utilized much more for service experiences. We have a saying at Schwab that we use our data to serve, not to sell. That’s the greatest opportunity for artificial intelligence. I’ll give a very simple example: You call up one of our call centers, and you have a concentrated position in XYZ stock because you worked there for 35 years. Our computers can listen to that call, interpret what you are saying, and reach right back out to you with an option strategy that gives you some downside protection in the event that that individual stock runs into problems.”
Bottom-line – In 2018 and beyond real AI will lead where real-world practical solutions not just the most powerful one wins the day by listening rather than doing all the talking.
Artificial Realities Via Augmented/Virtual and others
These new AIR-artificial intelligence realities will incorporate serious AI machine learning systems with real-world practical realities solving workplace problems. From stock trading to factory floor and intelligence rooms where people design, operate and build new things and fix human issues will provide the means to add AIR value.
Not only Microsoft Hololens but hundreds of others will come to market. Here are just a few from Microsoft:
- Ford – who are reinventing the way they do product design by blending 3D holograms digitally with both clay models and physical production vehicles.
- thyssenkrupp – who have found ways to dramatically decrease operational costs with remote assist and training.
- Stryker – who has set out to improve the process for designing operating rooms for hospitals and surgery centers.
Microsoft noted some of the ways workers are using mixed reality to improve how they get work done include:
- Remote Assist – Collaborating with a remote expert to accomplish real tasks, in real spaces, in real-time.
- Training – Creating customized first-person perspective training manuals and step-by-step instructions on new products, processes, and equipment.
- Design – Being able to plan and layout space, collaborate with others, and walk through designs in the real world without costly physical build-outs.
- 3D in Office – Collaborating with easy 3D content integration. This is the same 3D content that we will see bridge from PC screens to full mixed reality experiences.
- Mixed Reality Meetings – Team members are looking to be able to join others in real-time or asynchronously, bring in 2D and 3D content, with flexibility to change the location at any time.
- Mixed Reality Data & Analytics – Information workers are gaining access to content in many ways that is contextually and spatially relevant.”
Bottom-line – AIR will be as profound as AI maybe more so, however without AI data-driven knowledge will really be useless even bring about the harm that is unfounded but often said.
Social Selling 2018 – Accelerating Business Development
Building a complete blueprint for enterprise social selling – Part 2 – Development Phase
In Phase 2, knowledge and research gained from Phase 1 will be integrated into a client strategy with specific recommendations on the nature and scope of go/no-go into social selling pilot in Phase 3.
This is an outline or blueprint for a comprehensive Social Selling program. You can use any or all of the contents to design your own program. However, we have included all the critical items here for your consideration.
Here are the key elements to be considered:
* Build new social selling strategy for all channels such as OEM, VAR/channel, direct/indirect, other channels and customer types.
* Integrate earlier customer interviews as well as new and long-term customers whether vertical, industry and account-based. That is, who are they, do they see your vision and solutions into their company operations and time frames. Are you building for now or future customer products?
* Build Strategic Customer Assessments
1 – Customer type – vertical, specialty, distribution, OEM
2 – Content – what are they saying, selling telling their customers, what do they know about you (what research are you providing them to help them evaluate you) – explore their Omnichannel purchasing processes including multi-source social content syndication news gathering
3 – Media Channels – what mainstream and other media channels are they using
4 – Channels of Distribution – build “agile” channel models adapting to known and emerging technologies
5 – Apps – are customers using app for selling/supporting
6 – Technology – what social selling/media and technologies are they using – did they build or buy
7 – Organization – where is their organization going – merge, divest, domestic and international
8 – Brand – is their brand something that is important to you
9 – Random – what regulatory, political, environmental factors have on customer buying now and in the future
10 – Vision – where are customers now and where are they going and how can you “walk in their moccasins” now and in the future
* Develop customer/buyer personas – based on knowledge the above topics and client/industry issues.
* Review of current sales technologies in all its forms.
– Evaluate models, pilots and test drives of various social selling systems will be explored and narrowed to the Delivery Phase next.
* Develop and build new Social Selling Strategy on specific elements making each element “more social” than pure selling
– Start selling – build new social “cold calling” build new social syndication newsfeeds
– Upsell – build new means to selling “dogs” and finding “happy meals”
– Pitch-sell – build new social selling “pitches”
– Re-sell – integration of social selling with resellers, VARs, channels, partners
– Cross-sell – exploring ways to social selling multi-vendor solutions
– Follow-up selling – is social selling working, “mid-course” corrections and testing multiple approaches
– Shorter selling – build ways to shorten sales cycle, integrate CAC-customer acquisition cycles and building selling cycle calendar (no point in selling Christmas trees in January)
– Outselling – outsourcing options for social selling
– Support selling – “constant courtesy” – integration of selling and support
– Cool selling – can toys, movies, and fun be to use
* Integrate all of the above and other social selling content into corporate sales training program and provide content development for future programs (as needed).
* Evaluate social selling and integration with current/proposed compensation plans.
* Organizational integration of social selling – throughout the entire process identified weakness will be included in the deliverable.
* Organizational marketing “socializing social selling” to other departments – often internal selling is harder than external and what internal roadblocks emerge to divert or block the social selling strategy.
* Incorporate industry research and other “thought leadership on who else is talking about Social Selling?
* Integration of organizational compensation systems with HR for personnel management – hiring/firing is the often the greatest challenge — integration of social selling is key to an overlay or replace to current selling processes.
* Develop funnel buying stages
– Develop a social selling approach based on key elements in the buying cycle and what customers need to know at each stage, accelerating where possible, testing concepts if possible to evaluate what works, doesn’t and viable social selling “best practices.”
* Ongoing audit and assessment KPI factors (baselined now for Phase 5)
– No selling or social selling practice is viable without some form of auditing and key metrics. Albeit social selling metrics are more about social media engagements, likes and other mentions and postings. Social selling engages with various customer types is just one kind of metric. All content factors will be included in the assessments. Integration with other organizational KPI will be reviewed.
Summary – At the completion of Phase 2 the deliverable will be a presentation and “actionable” options for management review and determine if the organization is ready for Phase 2 – Pilot. In other words, this is a “no-no-go” to Pilot Phase.
FDA Approved UC
Not really but a likely reality for unified communications. According to Qualcomm, “The Capsule Platform delivers comprehensive medical device integration and clinical data management across the hospital enterprise. An industry leading Medical Device Information System (MDIS), Capsule connects, integrates and analyzes data into the EMR and other intelligent enterprise systems helping enhance clinical workflows and improve operational efficiencies. Capsule provides:
- One of the largest dynamic libraries of medical device driver interfaces (DDIs), with over 750 drivers that read and translate device protocols
- Four enterprise connectivity options and integration with 48 major EMR’s and Health IT systems offering customers flexibility to meet virtually any connectivity need
- Accurately charts vitals and other patient-specific information to add accuracy and simplicity to clinical workflows
- Single-screen charting of configurable vital signs and modifiers to speed data entry and further streamline workflows
- Analytic tools and an Early Warning Scoring System (EWSS) help clinicians better recognize signs of deterioration and make appropriate intervention
Flexible Connectivity Across Care Settings
– SmartLinx offers four enterprise connectivity options that meet virtually any connectivity need
– 2net Hub integrates short-range radios including Bluetooth, Bluetooth Smart, and Wi-Fi for flexible connectivity and an effortless user experience
– 2net Mobile offers customers Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) flexibility by integrating with market-leading mobile devices and operating system (OS) combinations
Open, Vendor-Neutral Design
– SmartLinx delivers one of the industry’s largest dynamic libraries of medical device driver interfaces (DDIs), with over 750 drivers that read and translate device protocols
– 2net offers an open device-and application-agnostic design with a choice of secure mobile gateways, connecting to an expansive array of devices, apps, sensors and therapeutics Secure Medical-Grade Infrastructure
– SmartLinx uses and supports the latest HTTPS, VPN tunnels for point-to-point communications, and WPA2 Enterprise for Wi-Fi network access
– 2net delivers end-to-end connectivity designed to meet FDA and HIPAA safety and privacy standards, with 11 layers of authentication, encryption and access control.
Bottom-line – Forget phones or handhelds just pinch your arm or mumble to yourself to call Mom but watch out Mom may see you need more vitamins and less beer. Did you see the new lower standard for blood pressure, not sure if anyone can hit that new lower target. AI will bring us much more than we need and not sure if we are ready to absorb all this information into our daily lives.
More AI UC
While you may not think of this as traditional UC but when you think about where UC is going next it begins to make more sense. One easy example is the device or system automatically recognizes you and connects you into your scheduled concall.
In addition, the AI system could automatically connect presentations and other data required. The Algorithmia system say their “serverless infrastructure is custom built to host scalable AI models and advanced algorithms. Simply add your code and we’ll automatically generate API pipelines for hassle-free deployment and maintenance free scalability. Any model you add can optionally be monetized in the marketplace.” Here is a useful video to help get you thinking about what AI might really do.
Bottom-line – Traditional UC is running out of gas as users want more from their UC technology than just vmail integration and better calendars. Team collaboration is touted as the means to cut the insanity of endless email chains. Integration of machine learning and other techniques are needed to help extend what we call UC into what it will become in the future.
In working with more than a dozen companies over the past two decades many struggled with designing and building a corporate university for both internal and external students. Among the many factors limiting the implementation of such corporate educational programs is that many had people who knew public or even traditional university programs often lacked the skills for a corporate university.
First, they had very limited knowledge of what channel partners need much less the ability to design and deliver courses these partners would attend.
Second, they focused the learning on what the company knew not what the prospective and potential partners needed to manage complex projects.
Third, they delivered the programs via means that the did not meet partners learning situations. In other words, they build traditional education delivery rather than smartphone and virtual training delivery. Here is the culmination of all the work but importantly, this is just one approach, there are also many others.
Here is just some of the research completed:
- Research into more than a 10 strategic plans for corporate universities and others
- Reviewed corporate and mobile websites and systems such as smartphone apps
- Reviewed industry standards associations and certifications
- Interviewed potential channel partners
- Completed more than 100 hours in research, development and preparation of this presentation
Here is the phased approach required to build a corporate university
- Phase 1 – Assessment Research
- Phase 2 – Design
- Phase 3 – Development
- Phase 4 – Delivery
- Phase 5 – Global Implementation
- Phase 6 – Future Directions
Here are the details for each phase:
Phase 1 – Assessment – Overview
In this phase, exploratory research needs to be completed to determine what is really needed including a “gap” analysis.
- Based on management direction
- Conduct 5-10 personal indepth interviews with current and prospective channel partners and determine, among other things:
- What do they know now
- What they like and why
- What they don’t know and what areas they need help on or are confused by
- What they would like to know on any topic (like internet, wireless, network services, technology and other topics)
- Other topics business, technology and management
- Corporate staff
- Channel existing and potential partners/developers
- Customers, industry experts and others
- Research industry “best practices”
- Research/gather competitive analysis
- Review and integrate with Corporate values and strategic goals-values
- Review existing knowledge sources
- Develop budget
- Write report
- Present findings to leadership
Phase 2 – Design
There may or may not be enough to begin program design, however, with any agile process, beginning now get results faster.
- Based on guidance from Phase 1
- Design certification curriculum plan for:
- Corporate staff & leadership
- Channel partners including suppliers
- Evaluate metrics, cost and ROI
- Review options with:
- LCMS-Learning Content Management System
- TMS-Talent Management System
- Evaluate industry standards and directions
- Integrate and align with Corporate Corporate “Core Values” and strategic goals
- Develop current year budget for development, delivery, etc.
- Time and if desired, design five-year plan
- Present “Best Practices” for current year and five-year plan to leadership
Phase 3 – Development
In building more than 100 courses including many on agile development, development always takes longer than you think.
- Based on inputs/outputs from Design Phase 2
- Packaged off-the-shelf source
- Build learning matrix of delivery options – video – live and via tele/presence, web, mobile, instructor-led, virtual, hands-on, simulation, expert system, other
- Integrated with internal business processes and consider ISO9003
- Determine external governance, regulatory and compliance requirements
- Evaluate timelines and constraints
- Formalize plan update budget for Delivery
- Present to leadership and socialize
Phase 3A – Development of Online Courses/Certification
In a rapidly changing marketplace, few can attend onsite much even live virtual classes. This really means start with online first and then build backwards.
- Online Certification
- Each Level with added incentives
- Online Tutorials
- Online Webinars
- Value Proposition
- Customer Solutions-Applications
- “Best Practices”
- Online Sales Solutions
- Online Customer Case Studies
- Weekly Newsletter – Blog-Twitter-FB-LinkedIn
- Online white papers
- Build mobile access to content
- Connect with onsite training for group classes
- Build glossary/FAQs
Here is an example of a completed curriculum:
Phase 4 – Delivery
The adage few ever want to go to training. Pilot and pilot again until they can’t get enough.
- After course content is developed, an initial pilot of each course is delivered and evaluated
- Courses are monitored (in-class and by evaluation form) and reviewed on:
- Evaluate user acceptance
- Integration with business processes
- ROI-Return On Investment
- Metrics including budget
- Other issues
- Incorporate input, changes and recommendations
- Schedule for further delivery
Phase 5 – Global Implementation
From the start look at where you are going and be ready for multi-national and multi-language deployments.
- Plan national/global pilot
- After pilot, evaluation of training on users is completed based on performance, integration, business process and other issues
- If approved, then build delivery master schedule along with:
- Monitoring and evaluation techniques
- ROI, metrics, user acceptance
- Review and present findings to leadership
Phase 6 – Future Directions
Always be looking five-years or further ahead as that is what the company product team should be working on. Indeed, technology always changes faster than we predict though customer acceptance lacks almost as much. That is not to say they are not ready for or wanting your solutions. However, they are often working on other ideas they also want and corporate budget cycles generally are 2-3 behind any rollout. In addition, global deployment is generally 1-2 years behind as well.
- Prior to and part of course evaluation is the ongoing development of a long-range strategic plan which would include:
- Integration with current and future business processes
- Leadership and business strategy
- Review of emerging learning techniques including modeling, e-learning and simulation to augment existing training methods and enhance the training experience
- Optimize potential for personal learning development and long-term career path options
- Continuous evaluation of ROI, metrics, user needs and direction from leadership
- Maintenance of long-range strategic plan
- Review and present to leadership
Educational pedagogy is a complex and ever-changing process. I use a quote from Winston Churchill to reflect what most students agree with. He said, “I am always ready to learn, though don’t always like being taught.”
Click on any image for complete presentation.
Top of Mind Keeps You First in Line
This is a webinar presentation available for sales teams at a nominal fee.
Key points are:
1 – Know Thy Customer
2 – Be the Thought Leader
3 – Create Calls-To-Action often
4 – Decide Marketing Methods
5 – Build a Calendar & Commit
Are you really in the line at all or just think you are?
Click on image for the complete presentation and contact Tom Cross at firstname.lastname@example.org
for details and scheduling.
First Multi-Media Calendar Planner App for iPhone & iPad Approved
SleepTracsPro 3.4 is approved for iPhone and iPad. Among the many benefits is an exciting new multi-media planner. While planner and calendar apps abound, we added features that are not found in others. We also will be adding even more features that in addition to support for iOS 11, here are the key features in SleepTracsPro 3.4 NOTE: due to Apple removing AppStore from iTunes you are now forced to get your apps from the AppStore app on your iPhone or App – it wasn’t our idea.
– Sleep Scheduling,
– Snooze Nap features,
– Snap Alert
– Actical – action calendar
– Dream Diary journal/log,
NEW – Multi-media Planner with multi-colored text, pics, videos, drawings, audio messages and acticons for iPhone and iPad.
Key features of SleepTracsPro are:
– Actical – Action calendar with Acticons-action icons and first calendar with drawings. Add drawings and images to your calendar to improve tracking and performance.
– Snooze – The Snooze feature is designed to let you get your “power nap” or “cat nap” anytime; you can select your snooze time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.
– Snap – feature is a new feature not found in any sleep app we have found so far. Snap is really a “snap out of it” feature that you put in your shirt pocket and when no motion or limited motions are detected, it gives you a vibration or tune/tone. Designed to help you overcome falling asleep in class or on the job, it should not be used while driving.
Sleep – feature offers you a scheduling tool You can select your sleep time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.
Weather – current weather is displayed when user awakes.
ZoomLite is an exciting weather center, camera, large format clock and 3-level magnifying flashlight app. You are able to see weather, large font clock, take a picture and easily read labels, meds bottles, check meds, cuts/sores, household issues and other fine print articles and other hard to read documents or any other reason to see something closeup with 3-step magnifying flashlight.
Dream Diary journal has unlimited notepads with multi-color drawing features, text notes, audio recording, backgrounds with pictures from camera or gallery and sharing features for email, social sites, gallery and other ways.
Planner – everyone needs to get organized and nothing is better than having it all in the same place. The new version 3.4 in the first to include all forms of multi-media including multi-colored text (you can choose what color text you like to indicate priorities or other personal notations), you can include pictures and videos from either camera or gallery, you can add freehand drawings, audio recordings like “Get organized” and our own proprietary Acticons™ which are “action icons and emojis” to emphasize an event or activity.
“Sleep apnea is a serious health issue and solutions are scarce often making sleep worse than better. SleepTracsPro journal/diary is a significant help where I can take pics, even videos and including detailed notes where I can track diet, temp, weather and other factors which I know impact sleep. I strongly recommend SleepTracsPro for any one with sleep apnea or just wants to better understand their sleep habits and patterns.” R.S. – Atlanta
“SleepTracsPro gives me great insights on my sleep habits as I am able to use the Dream Diary to write notes, even make drawings of my dreams as well as share them with others. SleepTracsPro is a must-have for any one struggling with all the challenges of getting better sleep.” S.C. – Seattle
SleepTracsPro is one of the many apps such as SleepTracs, ZoomLite, Baseball Fans Club, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, RewardsVIPClub, HashNewsGram and many others from TECHtionary.com.
Summer is often a good time to catch up on great reading
and while we are really too busy to read, reading on your iPhone is really great even at the DMV which I did yesterday. Both books on Turing are great but the Copeland book is even better.
You really realize that many of you who are reading this would not be here at all except for what Alan and his colleagues. Why you ask. If they hadn’t broken then Enigma and other codes, WWII would have taken much longer costing millions of lives including my dad and his brothers who were all in Europe. Anyway, great insights on computing, AI and the future even though he died 73 years ago. Click on image for either book and see if you could pass your own Turing Test.
Compare Outlook Free/Busy Times Across Companies – Free Trial Now Available from Microsoft AppSource
Approved Contact allows you to compare your open times in Microsoft Outlook with contacts outside your company to easily find open times for everyone.
Approved Contact announced the availability of Approved Contact in Microsoft AppSource. Approved Contact allows you to see available times on any online calendar from Microsoft Outlook with Approved Contact’s patent-pending Calendar Comparison technology.
Approved Contact deployed its solution on Microsoft Azure and stores calendar data in Azure SQL Database so that calendar integrations with other technologies such as email, bots, text, and voice recognition systems are simple and more secure.
“Supporting Microsoft AppSource also meant integrating Microsoft Azure Active Directory for single sign-on. When new users sign in with their Microsoft account, we automatically create their account and sync their calendar after Microsoft authenticates the new user,” said Dana Sale, president, Approved Contact. “So, it is easy to start a trial of Approved Contact directly from Microsoft AppSource. We support every major calendar system, but our ‘Sign in with Microsoft’ integration has streamlined how new users come into Approved Contact.”
Rob Howard, director of Office 365 Ecosystem, Microsoft Corp. said, “Calendar management is a central pillar of business communication, so initiatives that make daily scheduling more effective are important business tools. We’re pleased to see Approved Contact’s commitment to Microsoft Services and offer its solution in Microsoft AppSource.”
(Without Approved Contact, you cannot see open times outside your company)
(With Approved Contact, you can see open times outside your company.)
New Calendar-Syncing Option: “Sign in with Microsoft”
Our newly available “Sign in with Microsoft” support allows you to use your Office 365 account for easy new user sign-in and calendar syncing. You can use your Office account to create your profile and grant access to your free/busy times. We keep your changes in sync automatically, so as you add/delete meetings, your online calendar is always kept up to date.
“Sign in with Microsoft” grants access to your free/busy times securely because it does not require your password to be stored on a third-party site. For enterprise sites, an Office administrator can establish your employees’ profiles and connect their calendars automatically from Azure Active Directory. Alternatively, you can easily create your own profile from your Office 365 account by navigating to www.approvedcontact.com.
Cloud Services Integrations: Open API Streamlines Scheduling
Approved Contact enables you to connect your calendar intelligently to almost anything used in digital communication: websites, text, email, mobile, voice recognition, CRM, and telephone systems. Although the Approved Contact API is available only to customers and partners, it is free to use to further automate the scheduling process into your business processes.
Every day millions of business users rely on their calendar to make them more productive. This new integration between Outlook and Approved Contact will reduce the untimely interruptions required to schedule your next meeting.
For more information, visit Microsoft AppSource to start your trial and then enable our add-in from the Microsoft Store.
Follow Approved Contact on Twitter at @approvedcontact.
About Approved Contact
Approved Contact is an innovative company that is improving productivity for companies large and small. Approved Contact allows you to easily share calendars with anyone. Changes you make to your calendar update automatically to Approved Contact. Using Approved Contact enables you to connect your calendar to websites, text, email, mobile, voice recognition, and telephone systems. For more information, visit www.ApprovedContact.com.
HashNewsGrams 2.3 Adds FreeHand Drawings, Audio Recordings, Video & Pics
Breakthrough the 280 Character Text Barrier
You can post essentially unlimited text, videos, pics, audio recordings, freehand paintings and drawings, multimedia images and Acticons-Action Icons.
#HashNewsGram is a FREE Twitter #hashtag news gathering app for iPhone and iPad. You can select your favorite #hashtag topics and put them in folders and subfolders and organize your Twitter news gathering and personal newsfeed. Then tap on the selected folder subfolder and see the posts in the categories selected. This is a great way to simplify your Twitter news feed.
HashNewsGram is one of the many apps such as ZoomLite, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, SleepTracs, iSleepTrack, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, RewardsVIPClub, and many others from TECHtionary.
Linkedin Selling Unified Communications Group – Buyers Welcome
Please join our Linkedin Group if you are selling and even buying UC gear/gizmos/gadgets/gagals and more. Beyond networking opportunities, news, and educational resources, this group is about helping its members increase sales. Vendors, VARs, Agents and anyone selling and marketing unified communications solutions are welcome. If you are a buyer, you join and see what’s available.
Certified Training – Affordable, Available, Actionable & Tax Deductible
WebRTC-SIP Certification, Social Media Contact Centers, Sales Professionals and Business
Custom and Complete SIP Professional Certification Program
|TECHtionary Knowledge Source
Click here for TECHtionary — World’s First and Largest Animated Library on Technology with more than 3,015 animated tutorials.
Advertising, Exhibiting, Training and other Marcom Programs, call 303-594-1694 or click here.
The User Forum provides classroom and webseminar training as well as a non-production environment for those IT departments without additional equipment, budget or time. This allows planners and users to test ideas, dial in and dial back out, IM file transfers, remote desktop sharing, video conferencing, run scenarios, review logs, break linkages and learning about new telephony features and network access. The User Forum is also designed for both the system integrator/consultant who wants to learn about tech without having to build their own system as well as the enterprise customer who doesn’t have the time, resources or knowledge to develop one. Coming soon, User Forum Labs are designed to be “hands-on” or “over-the-shoulder” with experts available for Q&A and classes for feature-specific review.
About User Forum
The User Forum is a vendor-independent laboratory environment designed for learning, technical guides, knowledge resources and online “live” services. The User Forum provides planning, project management, consulting, training, case studies, white papers, speaking engagements, market/customer research, network planning and other services.
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