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Killexams : IBM Experience action - BingNews Search results Killexams : IBM Experience action - BingNews Killexams : IBM board probes claims of fudged sales figures that led to big bonuses for execs

Exclusive IBM's board of directors has started an investigation into claims that its sales numbers were manipulated, leading to executives securing big bonuses. If the board fails to take any action, it may face a lawsuit to claw back millions of dollars from top staff.

In late March, just days before IBM was sued for securities fraud, the IT giant's board received a demand letter from attorneys representing shareholders.

The letter, according to sources familiar with the matter, asked the board to investigate allegations that later surfaced in the securities lawsuit: that the company, under former CEO Ginny Rometty and current CEO Arvind Krishna, deceived shareholders by unlawfully manipulating mainframe revenues in a way that misled investors and inflated executive bonuses.

Our sources tell us that if the IBM board fails to deal with the allegations, a derivatives lawsuit is expected to follow in which the plaintiffs will try to claw back millions of dollars worth of bonus payments made to executives.

A shareholder derivatives lawsuit is brought by shareholders on behalf of a corporation. It is filed against corporate leaders – company board members, officers, or others – alleged to have neglected their fiduciary duty.

We're told IBM's board has engaged a law firm to investigate the fraud allegations. If the board takes no action to address the supposed fraud, the plaintiffs should then be able file a derivatives claim in the company's name.

Assuming the court finds sufficient merit in the plaintiffs' claim to allow a derivatives case, and if the plaintiffs prevail, most of any damage award would belong to the company – which would benefit shareholders, but would not go to them directly.

A legal scholar who spoke with The Register on background for lack of familiarity with this specific case said it's unusual for shareholders to present the board with a demand letter because unless you can show the board is conflicted or acting in self-interest, shareholders generally aren't allowed to initiate a derivatives case.

IBM did not respond to two requests to confirm or deny the existence of the demand letter.

Buried on page 38 of a 10-Q filing with the SEC last week, however, Big Blue disclosed it had received and responded to such a missive.

"On March 25, 2022, the Board of Directors received a shareholder demand letter making similar allegations [to the securities class-action lawsuit] and demanding that the company's Board of Directors take action to assert the company's rights," IBM noted in the submission, a detail that so far has gone unreported.

"A special committee of independent directors has been formed to investigate the issues raised in the letter."

The securities fraud claim [PDF] against IBM was filed on April 5 in New York, on behalf of the June E. Adams Irrevocable Trust. It names as defendants not only IBM, but current and former corporate leaders including Rometty, former CFO Martin J. Schroeter (now CEO of IBM spin-off Kyndryl), current CFO James J. Kavanaugh, and current CEO Arvind Krishna.

Since the lawsuit was initially filed by law firm Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman, LLC, it has been joined by at least five other law firms representing other IBM shareholders. In June, the court recognized Iron Workers Local 580 Joint Funds as the lead plaintiff.

The complaint contends that IBM between April 4, 2017 and October 20, 2021 "improperly and in violation of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ('GAAP') embarked on a fraudulent scheme to shift billions of dollars in revenues from its mainframe line of business to its Strategic Imperatives and CAMSS line of business."

... a fraudulent scheme to shift billions of dollars in revenues from its mainframe line of business to its Strategic Imperatives and CAMSS line of business

CAMSS is an abbreviation for Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, Security and Systems, business segments that were designated as strategic imperatives by IBM's leadership. The complaint argues that IBM instituted a bonus scheme that rewarded execs and encouraged IBM salespeople for the sale of CAMSS products. As a result, revenue arising from mainframe sales got reclassified as CAMSS sales, which boosted bonuses even as it misled investors – by giving shareholders an untrue picture of the IT giant's sales performance – it is claimed.

The Register spoke with two former IBM sales employees who were unaffiliated with the litigation and had between them more than forty years of experience with Big Blue. They described manipulative sales reporting – not all of which is necessarily unlawful – as a common practice, not only at IBM but at other large enterprise software firms.

"Think of it as, like, the worst kept secret," said one, who described one way IBM salespeople adjust sales figures to their own advantage. "It all starts with the CRM system, the customer relationship management system. IBM uses SugarCRM, but they make it very easy when you get a deal.

"You go through a bunch of checkboxes and you check off which categories pertain to this deal and how much of it is services, how much of it is hardware, how much in particular is cloud-based or analytics. And this is the big thing with the CAMSS, right? To check off all the boxes pertaining to CAMSS and then you allocate a percent to that."

That is to say, you only have to assign a small part of the sales deal to CAMSS to record it as a CAMSS win.

The other described various dubious directives that salespeople had to comply with, which steered salespeople toward meeting management goals and discouraged rocking the boat.

For example, this individual described IBM Z Linux part number manipulation. "A very common practice was to create a duplicate part number," this former IBMer explained. "It's a unique part number but there's no difference in product or delivery."

That makes no difference to the customer, we were told, but the way products got categorized affected sales staff and executive compensation.

The issue before the court in New York is whether flexible accounting of this sort, to the extent it can be documented, violated the law or IBM misled investors. If IBM's board finds no corrective actions are necessary, a successful derivatives complaint could return millions paid in unwarranted executive bonuses to company coffers. ®

Editor's note: This article was updated to clarify that the demand letter was sent in late March, just before the securities lawsuit was filed in April, as confirmed by the 10-Q filing.

Tue, 02 Aug 2022 07:27:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : WorkForce Software Honored Alongside IBM and Google in Comparably's Annual Ranking of Top Companies for Having the Best Leadership Team

Comparably's Best Leadership Team Award demonstrates WorkForce Software's leadership team's commitment to creating the best employee experience and supporting global team members on their career journeys

LIVONIA, Mich., Aug. 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the first global provider of integrated employee experience and workforce management solutions, WorkForce Software, is announcing that it has been recognized by Comparably, a leading workplace culture and corporate brand reputation platform, for having the Best Leadership Team. The award – determined by anonymous employee sentiment rankings over the past 12 months – places WorkForce Software's leadership team among the top in the U.S. for large companies (more than 500 employees). This is the second award WorkForce Software has won from Comparably in 2022.

Comparably's 5th Annual list of Best Leadership Teams is derived from thousands of anonymous employee ratings on their executive leadership teams and direct managers through over a 12-month period. In addition to WorkForce Software ranking on the list of highest-rated companies for having the best leadership team, the list also includes market leaders such as Amazon, Google, Nextdoor, Cisco, SAP, Deloitte, Microsoft and more.

"We are truly honored to be named one of the Best Leadership Teams, as recognized by our incredibly talented employees around the world," said Mike Morini, CEO of WorkForce Software. "I am extremely proud of our leadership team and their commitment to create an environment built on transparency, communication, empathy and the collective success of every team member. At WorkForce Software, we've worked hard to demonstrate through action that we value our team. We encourage everyone to bring their unique experiences, ideas and skillsets to our organization, and we are stronger and more successful because of it."

WorkForce Software was also named the 2022 Comparably award winner for having the Best Product & Design Departments, the 2021 recipient of Comparably's Best Company Culture and Best Company Compensation awards and the 2020 recipient of Comparably's Top Companies for Work-Life Balance. This commitment to deliver exceptional employee experiences continues into 2022, with hundreds of employees anonymously delivering High Marks about their work experiences. WorkForce Software's managers, executive team and the CEO, Mike Morini, each earned A+ rankings from the 2022 Comparably survey. The company continues to earn "A" marks for having the best Overall Culture and garners "A+" rankings in the top 5% of 14,975 similar sized companies in the areas of Team Sentiment, Manager Ratings, CEO Rankings, Executive Team and Leadership Scores.

Comprehensive company results can be found on the Comparably website, which lists data and reviews for each award category. Verbatim anonymous quotes from WorkForce Software employees throughout the company are available from Comparably, such as these notable quotes highlighting sentiment about the leadership: 

  • "Our leaders genuinely care about their employees. Even though this is my first consulting role in a fully remote environment, I feel more connected and invested than in any previous company." (Employee in Services)
  • "They are the best leadership team I've ever worked for. Genuine and trustworthy. They convey clear goals and have created a culture here where we truly care about one another and strive to create the best modern workforce management software available." (Employee in Marketing)
  • "My direct leader stresses the importance of taking care of myself on a human level first, as this way I will also be able to show up better as an employee. They are interested in my future career goals and how to help me achieve them, even if that would mean switching to another internal team." (Employee in Customer Success)
  • "The clear and concise information we are given the caring nature about our culture and the way they have positioned us to become number 1 in market." (Employee from Engineering)

To learn more about WorkForce Software, see current global job openings, and join this leading, modern workforce management technology company, visit

About WorkForce Software
WorkForce Software is the first global provider of workforce management solutions with integrated employee experience capabilities. The company's WorkForce Suite adapts to each organization's needs—no matter how unique their pay rules, labor regulations, and schedules—while delivering a breakthrough employee experience at the time and place work happens. Enterprise-grade and future-ready, WorkForce Software is helping some of the world's most innovative organizations optimize their workforce, protect against compliance risks, and increase employee engagement to unlock new potential for resiliency and optimal performance. When your employees include deskless or hourly workers, unionized, full-time, part-time, or seasonal, WorkForce Software makes managing your global workforce easy, less costly, and more rewarding for everyone. For more information, please visit

Tue, 09 Aug 2022 01:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Costs of Data Breach on Average Reach Record $4.4 Million

Consumers are likely footing the rising expenses of data breaches.

This year saw a record-high increase in the average cost of a data breach, reaching $4.4 million, according to a research from IBM Security issued on Wednesday. That was an increase of 2.6 percent from the previous year and a 13 percent rise since 2020.

According to IBM, more than half of the businesses polled admitted to passing on these expenses to consumers in the form of increased pricing for their goods and services.

Based on an examination of data breaches that occurred at 550 firms globally between March 2021 and March 2022, the yearly report was created. The Ponemon Institute carried out the study, which IBM financed and assessed.

The cost projections are based on up-front charges like ransom payments and the cost of analysing and limiting the breach. Regulatory penalties and lost sales that may not be discovered for years are additional expenses. The majority of those surveyed said that it took them more than a year on average to incur just under half of the expenses associated with a specific breach.

For instance, In response to a class action lawsuit brought by consumers over a data breach that was discovered over a year ago and exposed the personal information of an estimated 76.6 million individuals, T-Mobile said Friday that it will pay $500 million to resolve the matter.

T-Mobile will pay $350 million to resolve the customers’ claims and an extra $150 million to Boost its data security, subject to court approval, which may occur before the end of the year. Information on customers, including names, Social Security numbers, phone numbers, addresses, and dates of birth, were exposed in the breach, which was made public in August.

Critical infrastructure from the financial services, industrial, technology, energy, transportation, communication, healthcare, education, and public-sector sectors was a target of several of the most expensive breaches examined in the IBM report.

According to IBM, the average cost of these breaches was $4.8 million, which is nearly $1 million higher than the average cost incurred by businesses not relying on vital infrastructure.

The especially high costs of breaches in the health care sector contribute to some of that. The average cost per breach for healthcare, which is regarded as vital infrastructure, was the highest at $10.1 million, up from $9.2 million in 2021.

Both nation-state attackers and cybercrime gangs have found critical infrastructure to be an increasingly alluring target in accurate years. Even though both JBS USA, a meat processor, and Colonial Pipeline paid the equivalent of millions of dollars in ransom to get their data freed last year, both businesses were forced to close for days as a result of ransomware attacks.

Consumer panic purchasing was triggered by the shutdowns, which led to an increase in the price of meat and fuel in several US regions.

Government and cybersecurity professionals also warn that if Russia’s conflict with Ukraine drags on, the possibility of cyberattacks targeting vital infrastructure in the US and other nations that support Ukraine might rise.

Ransomware attacks were the cause of 11% of the data breaches examined in this year’s report, up from 7.8% in 2021. Theft or compromised credentials caused almost one in five breaches. Phishing assaults were responsible for another 16 percent.

Wed, 27 Jul 2022 01:54:00 -0500 Catherine A. Leal en-US text/html
Killexams : Analysts Believe International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM)’s Share Price Will Fall -22.01% From Current Levels.

The trading price of International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM) floating lower at last check on Tuesday, August 02, closing at $131.14, -0.68% lower than its previous close.

Traders who pay close attention to intraday price movement should know that it has been fluctuating between $130.70 and $132.70. The company’s P/E ratio in the trailing 12-month period was 20.92, while its 5Y monthly beta was 0.93. In examining the 52-week price action we see that the stock hit a 52-week high of $144.73 and a 52-week low of $114.56. Over the past month, the stock has lost -6.48% in value.

International Business Machines Corporation, whose market valuation is $117.73 billion at the time of this writing, is expected to release its quarterly earnings report Oct 18, 2022. The dividend yield on the company stock is 5.00%, while its Forward Dividend ratio is 6.60. Investors’ optimism about the company’s current quarter earnings report is understandable. Analysts have predicted the quarterly earnings per share to grow by $1.91 per share this quarter, however they have predicted annual earnings per share of $9.34 for 2022 and $10.12 for 2023. It means analysts are expecting annual earnings per share growth of 17.80% this year and 8.40% next year.

Analysts have forecast the company to bring in revenue of $13.56 billion for the current quarter, with the likely lows of $13.16 billion and highs of $14.3 billion. The average estimate suggests sales will likely down by -23.10% this quarter compared to what was recorded in the comparable quarter last year. From the analysts’ viewpoint, the consensus estimate for the company’s annual revenue in 2022 is $60.03 billion. The company’s revenue is forecast to grow by 4.70% over what it did in 2022.

A company’s earnings reviews provide a brief indication of a stock’s direction in the short term, where in the case of International Business Machines Corporation 1 upward and no downward comments were posted in the last 7 days. On the technical side, indicators suggest IBM has a Hold on average for the short term. According to the data of the stock’s medium term indicators, the stock is currently averaging as a 50% Buy, while an average of long term indicators suggests that the stock is currently Hold.

Here is the average analyst rating on the stock as represented by 1.00 to 5.00, with the extremes of 1.00 and 5.00 suggesting the stock should be considered as either strong buy or strong sell respectively. The number of analysts that have assigned IBM a recommendation rating is 19. Out of them, 10 rate it a Hold, while 6 recommend Buy, whereas 0 assign an Overweight rating. 1 analyst(s) have tagged International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) as Underweight, while 2 advise Sell. Analysts have rated the stock Hold, likely urging investors to take advantage of the opportunity to add to their holdings of the company’s shares.

If we dig deeper into the stock’s outlook, we see that the stock’s PEG is 2.32, which symbolizes a positive outlook. A quick review shows that IBM’s price is currently -2.31% off the SMA20 and -3.86% off the SMA50. The RSI metric on the 14-day chart is currently showing 43.09, and weekly volatility stands at 1.31%. When measured over the past 30 days, the indicator reaches 1.88%. International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM)’s beta value is currently sitting at 0.86, while the Average True Range indicator is currently displaying 2.73. With analysts defining $115.00-$160.00 as the low and high price targets, we arrive at a consensus price target of $142.31 for the trailing 12-month period. The current price is about 12.31% off the estimated low and -22.01% off the forecast high, based on this estimate. Investors will be thrilled if IBM’s share price rises to $142.50, which is the median consensus price. At that level, IBM’s share price would be -8.66% below current price.

To see how International Business Machines Corporation stock has been performing today in comparison to its peers in the industry, here are the numbers: IBM stock’s performance was -0.68% at last check in today’s session, and -1.93% in the past year, while Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) has been trading -1.59% in accurate session and positioned -2.42% lower than it was a year ago. Another comparable company Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) saw its stock trading -0.22% lower in today’s session but was down -14.60% in a year. Furthermore, Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) showed a decrease of -0.29% today while its price kept declining at -14.75% over the past year. International Business Machines Corporation has a P/E ratio of 20.92, compared to Microsoft Corporation’s 28.83 and Alphabet Inc.’s 20.01. Also during today’s trading, the S&P 500 Index has plunged -0.22%, while the Dow Jones Industrial also saw a negative session, down -0.58% today.

An evaluation of the daily trading volume of International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM) indicates that the 3-month average is 5.60 million. However, this figure has increased over the past 10 days to an average of 8.44 million.

Currently, records show that 901.50 million of the company’s shares remain outstanding. The insiders hold 0.10% of outstanding shares, whereas institutions hold 56.90%. The stats also highlight that short interest as of Jul 14, 2022, stood at 22.41 million shares, resulting in a short ratio of 4.47 at that time. From this, we can conclude that short interest is 2.48% of the company’s total outstanding shares. It is noteworthy that short shares in July were up slightly from the previous month’s figure, which was 21.31 million. However, since the stock’s price has seen -1.21% year-to-date, investors’ interest is likely to be reignited due to its potential to move even lower.

Tue, 02 Aug 2022 04:02:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : 82 companies support Harvard, UNC in affirmative action Supreme Court cases

Aug. 1 (UPI) -- A group of 82 corporations on Monday signed onto amicus briefs filed in the Supreme Court defending Harvard and the University of North Carolina's consideration of race in their admissions processes.

The companies, including Apple, Google, Meta Platforms, Starbucks and General Electric signed the briefs arguing that racial and ethnic diversity positively benefits the experience of students at the universities and leads to more diverse workplaces that "enhance business performance."

"Research and experience demonstrate that racial diversity improves decision-making by increasing creativity, communication and accuracy within teams," the companies wrote in one brief.

The briefs came in response to a pair of cases against the universities in the Supreme Court, both filed by Students for Fair Admission, or SFFA, -- a group founded by conservative Edward Blum.

In the Harvard case, SFFA argues that affirmative action rules discriminate against Asian American students while the North Carolina case alleges that Asian-American and White students are discriminated against in favor of Black and Latino applicants.

The group has filed similar lawsuits against affirmative action nationwide.

The companies cited "strong evidence" that supports the notion that university students who study with diverse peers "exhibit enhanced cognitive development" that is needed for a range of skills necessary in the current economy.

"Students of all racial backgrounds benefit from diverse university environments," the brief read. "Building a diverse classroom experience is how to turn out the most informed critical thinkers. Classroom diversity is crucial to producing employable, productive, value-adding citizens in business."

A second amicus brief filed by major science and technology companies argued that a racially diverse workforce helps science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, companies recruit and retain talent while also contributing to innovations and new technologies that are in line with the needs of their global customer base.

"Companies whose workforces are racially and otherwise diverse will be better equipped to identify and address any number of scientific and technological challenges," the companies wrote. "Tech companies work on unconventional questions that require creative solutions and diverse groups consistently outperform homogenous groups on exactly that type of problem solving."

IBM, Aeris Communications, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University signed a third brief that asserted diversity not only serves to "promote better outcomes for students in STEM" but also "contributes to better science."

"As such, American businesses at the forefront of innovation in STEM depend on the availability of a diverse cross-section of talented graduates from the nation's most rigorous and elite institutions."

The Supreme Court in 2016 ruled 4-3 that "considerable deference is owed to a university in defining those intangible characteristics, like student body diversity, that are central to its identity and educational mission" in a decision authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Kennedy, however, was replaced by Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, and the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett gave conservatives who have been more critical of affirmative action policies a 6-3 majority on the court.

Justice Samuel Alito in a dissent to the 2016 ruling asserted that affirmative action policies no longer serve the purpose of "helping the disadvantaged.'

"Now we are told that a program that tends to admit poor and disadvantaged minority students is inadequate because it does not work to the advantage of those who are more fortunate," he wrote. "This is affirmative action gone wild."

Mon, 01 Aug 2022 11:35:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Revolutionising the Wearable: An interview with DIGISEQ Co-Founder Terrie Smith

Revolutionising the Wearable: An interview with DIGISEQ Co-Founder Terrie Smith 4By Terrie Smith, Co-Founder and CEO, DIGISEQ

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself 

My career in payments spans 20 years, with leading roles in digital and mobile payment service development at companies including IBM and MasterCard, where I was responsible for several pioneering technology patents.

At MasterCard, I led the development of the Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES), which is the backbone of mobile contactless payment services like Apple Pay and Google Pay. Colin Tanner, DIGISEQ’s Chief Technology Officer, was previously Business Leader at MasterCard developing Mobile PayPass issuance.

Having seen the potential of this technology, which marries contactless and mobile payments through secure tokenisation, we were inspired to co-found DIGISEQ in 2014 to bring wearable tech mainstream. Today I lead the company as CEO, and Colin is the inventor of our trailblazing technology mobile personalisation (RCOS™), which enables payment data to be delivered to any wearable object directly via the consumer’s Android or iOS mobile device.

2. Talk to us about DIGISEQ. Which product or service do you offer, and what differentiates DIGISEQ from its competitors?

DIGISEQ is the world’s first tokenised wearable payments service, enabling wearable tech users to pair their bank card to their item, track their activity, and select which payment features to use, giving them complete control. This is done through DIGISEQ’s Manage MiiTM mobile app, which can be white-labelled with the branding of clients, essentially making us an invisible payments partner for banks, payment schemes and brands.

Unlike active wearable tech such as smartwatches with limited battery lives, with tokenised wearable tech, virtually any form factor – like a ring, key tag, even a bracelet charm – can be inserted with a chip and turned into a contactless payment or digital ID token.

DIGISEQ’s wearable tech combines the convenience of contactless payment and secure digital ID to protect against lost and stolen cards, fraud and ID theft – all in one wearable item that goes wherever the user goes, with no PIN required, and real-time tracking for added security.

Through our mobile personalisation (RCOS™) technology, DIGISEQ securely provisions payment data over-the-air to customers’ iPhone or Android mobile devices, so users can activate their own wearable item in their comfort of their home, without needing to wait for their bank or any other issuer to do it on their behalf.

DIGISEQ’s mobile personalisation and tokenisation ensures all provisioned prepaid or tokenised payment data is fully protected, with contactless transactions secured in exactly the same way as card or phone NFC payments. 

3. How is wearable tech improving experiences for banks and brands?

Many businesses have previously been deterred from offering wearable tech due to perceptions about high costs and complexities. DIGISEQ’ passive wearable tech solution changes all that, because it combines the convenience of contactless payment, secure digital ID, and tokenisation.

DIGISEQ connects an entire ecosystem, serving as the link between banks, product creators, retailers, chip manufacturers and service providers.

Previously, any chip-enabled item, like a plastic card or other form factor, requiring personalisation or provisioning with user data, would need to go through the costly, time-consuming process of being personalised by the manufacturer before being delivered to the brand, and then delivered to the user.

DIGISEQ handles the personalisation and payment enablement of the wearable item from end to end, without the need for the manufacturer or even the brand to do anything beyond embedding the NFC chip into the wearable item. This saves huge amounts of time and money, and means the item can delivered faster to the user. We do the heavy lifting on behalf of businesses and clubs to ensure that items get to users and can be activated by them as quickly as possible.

DIGISEQ’s wearable tech and services are already being used to great effect in sports and entertainment venues, dramatically speeding up entry times with encrypted ID for secure access, and fast contactless payments inside venues. Additionally, our wearable items can be provisioned with special promotional offers that can be used in real time, incentivising even more usage and providing a truly immersive and unforgettable user experience.

In fact, our technology is already being used by major banks like ABN AMRO, luxury brands like Philippe Starck and at prestigious events, including the 2019 Golden Globes Awards. Over the last 12 months, DIGISEQ’s wearable tech has enjoyed a successful partnership with Spanish La Liga football club Real Betis. Most recently, DIGISEQ was chosen by German mobile payment app VIMPay to allow any German bank customers to use their wearable item to make contactless payments worldwide, through prepaid or tokenised payment accounts.

By promoting use of wearable tech, banks and brands can significantly reduce their reliance on producing and personalising plastic cards, improving their environmental and sustainability efforts. All data is sent digitally to the user’s item, eliminating the need for plastic cards or paper tickets.

4. How has the pandemic affected the use of wearables?

People worldwide were already shifting to non-cash payment methods like contactless cards and mobile payments before the pandemic struck. As contactless payments have surged in direct response to the pandemic, it’s created the ideal environment for wearable tech to become an everyday part of consumers’ lives.

The secure provisioning of payment credentials into a ring, a wristband, a fitness tracker or pretty much any accessory, is as easy as a tap on a smartphone or card.  

5. DIGISEQ recently announced it has secured an undisclosed investment. Can you elaborate on the investors? What was it about their experience that appealed to DIGISEQ, and how was the investment secured?

The investment comes from Rtekk, a fintech-focused portfolio company of Investcorp, a leading global alternative investment firm with $41.2 billion of assets under management. Rtekk has established a market-leading position of investing in lower mid-market technology companies with a specific focus on the data analytics, IT security, fintech and payment sectors.

This initial backing of an experienced investor like Rtekk is the first of many clear signs showing the massive potential of DIGISEQ’s ground-breaking technology, which can be used in every conceivable scenario where payment transactions and identity verification could be used. The potential use cases for DIGISEQ’s tech span payments, identity and secure access, and digital trustmarks for goods like apparel, artworks and collectible items. 

6. How will the funding be used to enable company growth and what will be DIGISEQ’s primary focus post-investment?

The investment will be used to accelerate DIGISEQ’s rapid expansions plans as demand for our wearable tech surges amongst bank issuers, payment schemes and sports venues worldwide.

With the backing of Rtekk, the benefits of our pioneering technology, which creates the perfect blend of convenience, security and engagement, can be brought to even more people and organisations globally. We’ll be using the investment to expand our Object-as-a-Service and RCOS™ services to payment schemes, banks, and other issuers.

7. What are the key trends and opportunities in the wearables space?

For sports venues, one of the biggest sources of fan frustration is queuing. Nobody likes being made to wait in lengthy queues to access the stadium, or miss any in-person action because they’re stuck in a long line at a counter to get food, drink or fan merchandise. And for clubs and venue owners, ensuring that ticketholders are correctly identified – and eliminating the possibility of counterfeit tickets being granted access – are top operational priorities.

Wearable tech solves some of the biggest challenges that sports venues have to deal with, by dramatically speeding up entry times with encrypted ID for secure access, and fast contactless payments that reduce the need to fumble around in pockets or bags for cash.

Since the introduction of our technology, football club Real Betis has seen a 50% rise in average stadium attendance, and now currently boasts an average attendance of 48,000 – the fourth-highest in Spain. This is a prime example of how wearable tech is creating limitless opportunities for the future of stadium access, payment options, and drawing fans closer while also boosting revenues.

For banks, issuers, and other brands like retailers, wearable tech empowers them to get closer to their customers, through stylish and aspirational items that go with them wherever they go. By making contactless payments and digital ID even more convenient with wearable objects, banks and other businesses can drive up transaction volumes, increase app engagement, and get a granular view over their customers’ everyday payment behaviour with real-time tracking.

There’s no limit to the possibilities that wearable tech can create for people to engage with their favourite brands, and the opportunities to forge even deeper, real-time interactive connections will transform user experiences in ways we haven’t even begun to imagine.

8. What do you predict is the future of wearables?

Having seen how the world moved beyond plastic cards to mobile, the world is now moving beyond mobile, with millions of objects intersecting and connected for consumer needs. There’s no doubt the world is getting more digital by the day, and data can now be provisioned into a tiny chip that can be invisibly integrated into a wide range of items in various shapes and sizes, from high-end fashion items, collectible merchandise and unique items like artworks to stop counterfeit fraud.

The wearable payment devices market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 29% between 2022-2032, with an estimated market valuation of US$13.43 billion just in 2022 alone. This is being driven by the rapidly growing Internet of Things network connecting payment applications, access control and brand consumer engagement across an expected 41 billion devices by 2027.

I’m hugely excited by the potential of wearable tech to provide people even more choice and convenience in how, when and where they can pay, without compromising on an individual’s style. I’m proud that DIGISEQ is playing such a transformational role in embedding payments and wearable tech more easily and intuitively into people’s everyday lives.

Wed, 03 Aug 2022 04:45:00 -0500 en-GB text/html
Killexams : IoT hits top gear with Extreme E in battling climate change

As the outfit’s CEO and founder and former Formula 1 champion looked on from the paddock, scorched by the near 40-degree heat baking the former Nato base in Sardinia, Nico Rosberg’s X Racing (RXR) team took the win at the Island X Prix II of Extreme E Season 2.

It would have been the team’s third victory of Extreme E Season 2, but despite valiant efforts in dragging to the finishing line a car missing its entire front wing, RXR suffered a heavy time penalty after the smash-up that caused the damage to its own car and to that being driven by racing legend Carlos Sainz, father of the namesake Ferrari F1 driver.

And so ended another chapter in Extreme E. But away from the thrills of the race, there was also a serious element to proceedings, with the event designed to highlight and attempt to alleviate sadly real and present environmental damage. And advanced networking technology is front and central to this aim, not only in making the racing event possible, but also in contributing to solutions to prevent and minimise issues arising from climate change.

Fundamentally, the Extreme E series hopes to raise awareness of the climate emergency by mixing sport with a purpose to inspire change. It aims to leave behind a long-lasting positive impact through its legacy programmes and showcase the performance of all-electric vehicles in extreme conditions. Specifically, the five-race global voyage aims to pave the way to a lower-carbon future through the promotion of electric vehicles, draw attention to the impacts of climate change and the solutions we can all be part of, and accelerate gender equality in motorsport.

The locations Extreme E visits are all, in some way, affected by environmental issues such as desertification, deforestation, melting ice caps, plastic pollution and rising carbon emissions. By holding races in areas that are suffering as a result of the environmental crisis, the organisers hope to raise viewers’ awareness and interest in environmental issues.

Racing to stop forest fires

In addition to the action on the scorched terrain, the Island X Prix in June 2022 highlighted how Sardinia was one of the areas hardest hit by wildfires in Italy in summer 2021, which devastated forests across the Mediterranean region. The fires blazed through 20,000 hectares of land, displaced more than 1,000 people and killed around 30 million bees. Wildfires such as these are calculated to be responsible for 20% of total global CO2 emissions and cost $5bn to fight.

As a result, the Extreme E team embarked on a legacy sustainability project, including a fire prevention campaign, within the local communities in the area of Montiferru. This was carried out along with Extreme E’s official technology and communication partner Vodafone Business.

The three-year collaboration will see Vodafone Business capabilities in areas such as 5G, mobile private network (MPN), the internet of things (IoT) and mobile edge computing (MEC) integrated into Extreme E’s global operations, with full involvement in the purpose-driven elements of the series and special prominence on Extreme E’s legacy programmes and the science laboratory on board the event’s base on the ship St Helena.

Assessing the extent and nature of the partnership with the new all-electric car racing series, which furthers its reach into motorsport after having been involved with Formula E, Amanda Jobbins, chief marketing officer (CMO) at Vodafone Business, says the enterprise arm of the telecommunications giant is, like Extreme E, on a journey as it embarks on its mission to provide businesses with solutions beyond connectivity as part of their digital transformation journey.

Yet Jobbins emphasises that the firm is very keen to maximise the potential of the full Vodafone brand. “You know the old adage, ‘no one ever got fired for buying IBM’? The brand is very important to the positioning for Vodafone Business, because we’re known as a consumer company, but we want customers to realise that we have these enterprise capabilities, we have business solutions for them. So [the partnership] is a fantastic brand opportunity.

In Sardinia, Vodafone Business has deployed IoT sensors to quickly detect a fire and promptly send an alert to the authorities

“Our Formula E relationship was just a team sponsorship, and we weren’t really getting the amplification out of that [given] there’s so many brands involved with Formula E. We’d heard about Extreme E and we knew a lot of the drivers participating with Nico and [others], so we began a conversation and [found] the purpose pillars of our organisations aligned 100%. It just seemed like a fantastic marriage essentially. We have an opportunity to really help them.”

Through its IoT solutions, Vodafone Business has committed to helping with sustainability efforts, including agriculture, forestation and decarbonisation of energy grids. Specifically in Sardinia, Vodafone Business has deployed long-life, low-power, wide area network (LPWAN) sensors to quickly detect a fire and promptly send an alert to the authorities.

The bespoke technology inside the sensor uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect gases in the smouldering phase of a fire, resulting in alerts in hours rather than days. The centralised cloud platform leverages big data tools to monitor, correlate, analyse and send these alerts to firefighters, public authorities, forest owners and scientists.

The IoT gas sensors operate without the need for cellular coverage and will be installed in trees to detect the smouldering phase, before the fire takes hold, which will preserve the forest footprint by shortening reaction times in the “golden hour”.

Vodafone believes that using a mesh gateway to connect to a cloud-based alert centre means this is a much faster-acting solution to the problem of wildfire detection than using cameras or satellites. It expects the partnership to benefit the local area and the environment through reduced cost of firefighting, reduced impact on the economy, reduced insurance costs, and saving lives and wildlife species.

Creating a smart forest which can detect ultra-early warning signs of a forest fire is an innovative use of IoT, helping to mitigate the impact of climate change, says Reuben Kingsland, head of product management at Vodafone Business.

“Long-life solar-powered sensors using distributed LoRa gateways connect in a mesh network via border gateways to the cloud which enables large-scale and cost-effective deployment in remote parts of the world,” he notes.

“Large areas of remote forest can be monitored 24/7 by sensors communicating with one another and relaying sensory data back to a Vodafone LTE-enabled gateway which sits at the edge of the forest – which, in turn, connects to the cloud platform. This near-real-time insight enables faster, safer and more cost-effective decisions to be made to prevent the spread of fires.

“As a secondary benefit, general forest health can also be monitored over time as the sensors collect temperature, humidity and air quality day and night.”

Activating and amplifying

Meanwhile, back on the track, Vodafone Business is also offering the technology for the race’s Command Centre where teams monitor the progression of their cars around the circuit. Vodafone Business has supplied a wireless network offering basic connectivity of 200Mbps, through three microwave links going from the track and back to the Command Centre.

But the event needs the next level of connectivity, notes Jobbins, and Vodafone Business is currently in discussion with the Extreme E head of IT.

“Here at the track, they want a basic connectivity, because it’s only season two. They’re still ironing out the kinks of their own championship. And they’re looking at how to activate it better. Activation for them really requires connectivity and applications – and that’s where we want to help.

“We’re exploring the art of the possible – right now, they don’t have communication with the driver in the car, for example. They’ve got a medical car they’re going to roll out and it will need communication. We could start with the basics and build up: get a solid infrastructure in place, like we have, and then build on the hierarchy of needs. So that would be driver communication, medical car communication, then it’s the next layer, which is going to be around data and analytics.”

Again, in this regard, Vodafone Business sensors and trackers will be used in vehicles, and the data generated could be used in the fan experience, for example. There are also possibilities within asset tracking for the vast array of technology, machinery and other products at use at one of the events.

“I think you have to work overtime to think about how to bring the experience to the people and then also to amplify after the race and in other locations,” Jobbins adds. “I’ve got this concept of a digital twin for the legacy programme. So, we’re hearing about the legacy programme here, and suddenly around wildfires. As I mentioned, wildfires are happening all over the world. Why couldn’t we have a twin experience in those locations at the same time [and act like] a smart city?

“So [with assets] we want to tag it and track it, and run data analytics on it, so that they can optimise the performance of the cars and then optimise the championship. They can get more fans engaged and together we can amplify the message of climate change and why it’s so critical people pay attention now.

“We keep hearing the doomsday messages [and so] don’t wait. We know we’ve got to really keep the pressure on everyone to keep the pressure on all organisations essentially to meet these targets. For us, that first step [is] bringing more innovation into how Extreme E grows the championship, and we want to grow together, going forward.”

Sun, 07 Aug 2022 19:30:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : In Ukraine, the Private Sector Keeps Meeting the Moment

A powerful new force, largely overlooked but hardly unappreciated, is fighting side by side with soldiers and citizens to defend Ukraine against the heartless Russian onslaught now entering its sixth month: the private sector. 

Dozens of American corporations are digging deep for the cause: Dupont vowed to contribute $200,000, IBM $500,000 and Adobe $2.5 million, just to cite three random examples. 

At last count, 359 private-sector organizations, primarily corporations, have either donated or pledged more than $1.5 billion, either in cash or in-kind contributions, according to new data from the United Nations, with support from the Connecting Business Initiative, a global network that engages the private sector in disaster preparedness, response and recovery. 

Examples abound elsewhere, too. Danish logistics firm DSV has transported Ukranian refugees to Poland, where home retailer JYSK has donated 26,000 blankets. More than 36,000 AirBnb hosts worldwide, including 3,000 in the U.S., have offered temporary residences to up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.  

In Ukraine, telecom firms are allowing international calls to the country free of charge and eliminating roaming charges there. Eurostar, a high-speed rail service, is giving free seats to Ukrainians with a valid visa going to London. Levi’s has donated $300,000 to aid Ukrainian refugees and pledged to match contributions from employees on a two-for-one basis.  "The level of mobilization by companies around the world in support of the people of Ukraine is record-breaking," says Osnat Lubrani, UN resident coordinator in Ukraine.

With increasing frequency, then, whether after a volcanic eruption in Tonga or flooding in Sri Lanka, private enterprise is coming to the rescue. Government agencies and nonprofit organizations can do only so much to enable a country to cope with disasters. Corporations, utilities, and others in the private sector are needed to leverage skills and material resources, cut through red tape and quickly lend a hand.  

Recently I addressed a conference in Geneva hosted by the United Nation's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Participants from 14 countries shared experiences and best practices about the growing urgency for local businesses to play a role in preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters.

Private-sector champions have emerged everywhere. DHL operates a 500-person disaster response team based all over the world that dispatches logistics certified to calamity-stricken areas within 72 hours to unload pallets, inventory and warehouse relief supplies and coordinate assistance. After the Ebola outbreak in Africa in 2014, the private sector constructed isolation units for patients and donated thermal scanners to detect infected individuals. In response to an earthquake in Pakistan in 2010, Agility, TNT, UPS, and Maersk delivered life-saving relief supplies to its citizens.        

Altruism motivates the private sector, but so does economics. In a disaster, revenues among local small businesses often plunge. Big corporations rely on those entrepreneurs to get products to market for consumers to buy free of disruption and protect the bottom line. So companies that otherwise compete fiercely with each other commercially come together collectively to confront crises.     

As I well know from personal experience, the Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone nations in the world. Typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions frequently threaten daily life and business here. In anticipation of such calamities, our businesses united in 2010 to forge the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation. The public-private partnership relies on the private sector to prepare neighborhoods and businesses for – and to recover from – natural disasters.        

That foresight came in handy last December as Super Typhoon Rai battered the Philippines. Winds up to 168 miles per hour shattered homes into smithereens, forced millions to flee and left hundreds injured and dead.          

Our private companies swung into action. Filipino water companies, Coke and Pepsi distributed bottled water and mobile water treatment plants to prevent outbreaks of diarrhea and typhoid. Airlines and shipping firms donated free seats and cargo space to transport civic volunteers and deliver relief supplies. Linemen from the larger electric utilities helped local franchises restore power. Shell pumped fuel into generators that powered hospitals and municipal halls. The push was heroic.

As the world braces for the next inevitable disaster, private enterprise is showcasing its strengths. The corporate sector is also acting in the public interest to express compassion and generosity toward people desperately in need. In the process, whether the crisis is in Ukraine or the Philippines, they’re delivering a value that goes well beyond mere dollars and cents.

But obstacles remain. Some humanitarian organizations retain a lingering distrust of businesses. They may suspect corporations involved in relief operations of taking an interest only in generating profits and outmaneuvering competitors.

In response, NGOs both local and international should forge pre-agreements with the private sector. Such arrangements enable construction companies to quickly rebuild damaged roads after calamities and logistics firms to dispatch trucks and barges to deliver relief goods.

Only through public-private partnerships can participating parties ensure cooperation -- and avoid chaos -- in the event of the future disasters that inevitably strike. Only then can the UN and other international aid agencies confront any crisis as prepared as humanly possible to keep its victims safe from danger.

Butch Meily is president of the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, a member of the Connecting Business Initiative.

Tue, 02 Aug 2022 17:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Get to Know Jimmy Tsang, Pondurance VP of Marketing

The post Get to Know Jimmy Tsang, Pondurance VP of Marketing appeared first on Pondurance.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog | Pondurance authored by Pondurance. Read the original post at:

Tue, 02 Aug 2022 00:00:00 -0500 by Pondurance on August 2, 2022 en-US text/html Killexams : AI Regulation: Where do China, the EU, and the U.S. Stand Today?

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems are poised to drastically alter the way businesses and governments operate on a global scale, with significant changes already under way. This technology has manifested itself in multiple forms including natural language processing, machine learning, and autonomous systems, but with the proper inputs can be leveraged to make predictions, recommendations, and even decisions.

Accordingly,enterprises are increasingly embracing this dynamic technology. A 2022 global study by IBM found that 77% of companies are either currently using AI or exploring AI for future use, creating value by increasing productivity through automation, improved decision-making, and enhanced customer experience. Further, according to a 2021 PwC study the COVID-19 pandemic increased the pace of AI adoption for 52% of companies as they sought to mitigate the crises’ impact on workforce planning, supply chain resilience, and demand projection.  

Challenges of Global Regulation

For these many businesses investing significant resources into AI, it is critical to understand the current and proposed legal frameworks regulating this novel technology. Specifically for businesses operating globally, the task of ensuring that their AI technology complies with applicable regulations will be complicated by the differing standards that are emerging from China, the European Union (EU), and the U.S.


China has taken the lead in moving AI regulations past the proposal stage. In March 2022, China passed a regulation governing companies’ use of algorithms in online recommendation systems, requiring that such services are moral, ethical, accountable, transparent, and “disseminate positive energy.” The regulation mandates companies notify users when an AI algorithm is playing a role in determining which information to display to them and provide users the option to opt out of being targeted. Additionally, the regulation prohibits algorithms that use personal data to offer different prices to consumers. We expect these themes to manifest themselves in AI regulations throughout the world as they develop.

European Union

Meanwhile in the EU, the European Commission has published an overarching regulatory framework proposal titled the Artificial Intelligence Act which would have a much broader scope than China’s enacted regulation. The proposal focuses on the risks created by AI, with applications sorted into categories of minimal risk, limited risk, high risk, or unacceptable risk. Depending on an application’s designated risk level, there will be corresponding government action or obligations. So far, the proposed obligations focus on enhancing the security, transparency, and accountability of AI applications through human oversight and ongoing monitoring. Specifically, companies will be required to register stand-alone high-risk AI systems, such as remote biometric identification systems, in an EU database. If the proposed regulation is passed, the earliest date for compliance would be the second half of 2024 with potential fines for noncompliance ranging from 2-6% of a company’s annual revenue.

Additionally, the previously enacted EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) already carries implications for AI technology. Article 22 prohibits decisions based on solely automated processes that produce legal consequences or similar effects for individuals unless the program gains the user’s explicit consent or meets other requirements. 

United States

In the United States there has been a fragmented approach to AI regulation thus far, with states enacting their own patchwork AI laws. Many of the enacted regulations focus on establishing various commissions to determine how state agencies can utilize AI technology and to study AI’s potential impacts on the workforce and consumers. Common pending state initiatives go a step further and would regulate AI systems’ accountability and transparency when they process and make decisions based on consumer data. 

On a national level, the U.S. Congress enacted the National AI Initiative Act in January 2021, creating the National AI Initiative that provides “an overarching framework to strengthen and coordinate AI research, development, demonstration, and education activities across all U.S. Departments and Agencies . . . .” The Act created new offices and task forces aimed at implementing a national AI strategy, implicating a multitude of U.S. administrative agencies including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Defense, Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Pending national legislation includes the Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2022, which was introduced in both houses of Congress in February 2022. In response to reports that AI systems can lead to biased and discriminatory outcomes, the proposed Act would direct the FTC to create regulations that mandate “covered entities”, including businesses meeting certain criteria, to perform impact assessments when using automated decision-making processes. This would specifically include those derived from AI or machine learning. 

The Federal Trade Commission is Proactive

While the FTC has not promulgated AI-specific regulations, this technology is on the agency’s radar. In April 2021 the FTC issued a memo which apprised companies that using AI that produces discriminatory outcomes equates to a violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive practices. And the FTC may soon take this warning a step farther—in June 2022 the agency indicated that it will submit an Advanced Notice of Preliminary Rulemaking to “ensure that algorithmic decision-making does not result in harmful discrimination” with the public comment period ending in August 2022. The FTC also recently issued a report to Congress discussing how AI may be used to combat online harms, ranging from scams, deep fakes, and opioid sales, but advised against over-reliance on these tools, citing the technology’s susceptibility to producing inaccurate, biased, and discriminatory outcomes.

Potential Liability for Businesses in the U.S.

Companies should carefully discern whether other non-AI specific regulations could subject them to potential liability for their use of AI technology. For example, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) put forth guidance in May 2022 warning companies that their use of algorithmic decision-making tools to assess job applicants and employees could violate the Americans with Disabilities Act by, in part, intentionally or unintentionally screening out individuals with disabilities. Further analysis of the EEOC’s guidance can be found here.    

Broader Impact on U.S. Businesses

Many other U.S. agencies and offices are beginning to delve into the fray of AI. In November 2021, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy solicited engagement from stakeholders across industries in an effort to develop a “Bill of Rights for an Automated Society.” Such a Bill of Rights could cover syllabus like AI’s role in the criminal justice system, equal opportunities, consumer rights, and the healthcare system. Additionally, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which falls under the U.S. Department of Commerce, is engaging with stakeholders to develop “a voluntary risk management framework for trustworthy AI systems.” The output of this project may be analogous to the EU’s proposed regulatory framework, but in a voluntary format.

What’s Next?

The overall theme of enacted and pending AI regulations globally is maintaining the accountability, transparency, and fairness of AI. For companies leveraging AI technology, ensuring that their systems remain compliant with the various regulations intended to achieve these goals could be difficult and costly. Two aspects of AI’s decision-making process make oversight particularly demanding:

  • Opaqueness where users can control data inputs and view outputs, but are often unable to explain how and with which data points the system made a decision.

  • Frequent adaptation where processes evolve over time as the system learns.

Therefore, it is important for regulators to avoid overburdening businesses to ensure that stakeholders may still leverage AI technologies’ great benefits in a cost-effective manner. The U.S. has the opportunity to observe the outcomes of the current regulatory action from China and the EU to determine whether their approaches strike a favorable balance. However, the U.S. should potentially accelerate its promulgation of similar laws so that it can play a role in setting the global tone for AI regulatory standards.  


Thank you to co-author Lara Coole, a summer associate in Foley & Lardner’s Jacksonville office, for her contributions to this post.

Wed, 03 Aug 2022 09:20:00 -0500 en text/html
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