All posts on June, 2016


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Devs Light Up for Alexa

Amazon last week announced the availability of more than 1,000 different skills for its Alexa voice assistant technology. Third-party developers have created the vast array of new capabilities for the highly popular line of consumer products that use Alexa, including the Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap and Amazon Fire. The announcement comes less than a year after Amazon released the Alexa Skills Kit.

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Strategy

The Marginal Customer

I start a lot of client engagements with a simple question: Who’s the customer? It’s amazing the answers that I get. Some people know the customer’s demographic and business or personal needs, and they focus on those things. Others don’t even grasp the difference between a customer and a consumer. You might expect this if you are working in the B2C rather than B2B space.

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Transportation

Larry Page May Be Blazing a Trail for Self-Flying Cars

Google cofounder Larry Page reportedly is working with two Silicon Valley startups to develop a flying car. One is Zee.Aero, which Page personally has funded since its launch in 2010, when it set up shop next to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. The firm reportedly has filed a patent application for a small, all-electric vehicle that could take off and land vertically.

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Mobile

Uber Tosses Its Drivers a Few Bones

Facing growing pressure from labor unions and regulators across the U.S. and key overseas markets, Uber on Monday introduced a series of new apps and benefits for its core group of drivers. The goal is to make their working hours more productive and profitable. Among the new apps are Driver Destinations, which lets drivers restrict ride requests to their current routes.

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Exclusives

SugarCRM CTO Clint Oram: Make Every Customer Experience Extraordinary

SugarCRM cofounder Clint Oram is one of the original architects and developers of the Sugar application. As the company’s CTO, he currently leads SugarCRM’s corporate development strategy and alliances teams. The biggest CRM challenge right now is that “technology is changing the way customers work with companies,” Oram said. “Technology has driven speed and relevancy expectations through the roof.”

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Tech Law

Supreme Court Snubs Google’s AdWords Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear Google’s appeal of a lower court ruling in a suit alleging the company used deceptive practices in the sale and placement of advertising through its AdWords program between 2004 and 2008. Google, a unit of Alphabet, sought to overturn the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals September 2015 ruling that the lawsuit could go forward as a class action case.

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Strategy

Creating the Right Business Culture for Success

In an era when technology is changing the ways people conduct every aspect of their lives, it’s not a surprise that business leaders have come to depend on it as the lever that will elevate their sales and marketing performance to the next level.
Productivity has increased because of technology, and the implementation of technological tools has had a direct effect on sales effectiveness.

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Tech Law

Yahoo Publishes NSLs Following Freedom Act Reforms

Yahoo last week published the text of three National Security Letters it received from the FBI in 2013. The letters demand the names, addresses, length of service, and electronic communications transactional records — existing transaction and activity logs and all email header information — of the targets. However, they do not ask for any content — either the subject lines or bodies of emails.

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Analytics

Facebook AI Digs Deep Into User Content

Facebook on Wednesday introduced DeepText, an artificial intelligence-fueled text analytics engine. “Text is a prevalent form of communication on Facebook,” wrote Facebook software engineers Ahmad Abdulkader, Aparna Lakshmiratan and Joy Zhang in a post describing its capabilities. “Understanding the various ways text is used on Facebook can help us improve people’s experiences with our products.”

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