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Why do we love statistics? Well, they help simplify multifaceted issues in terms that are more easily understood. So often studies use abstract notions that would be better explained in simpler terms, and this is where statistics shine. Recently a whitepaper popped up in the virtual inbox discussing the leading causes of electrical outages, and some of its points were somewhat convoluted. The authors of the whitepaper quoted a prominent government regulatory agency who said, “Trees were generally accepted as the single largest cause of electric power outages.” Whoa, really!

This was a statement to catch attention and it worked. Most people would continue reading it while thinking, what about storms, wildfires, etc? Those events are usually the top causes when it comes to power outages. And further reading supported that, but the trees were an effective hook. The whitepaper’s statistics revealed it was not a simple issue. It reported that the major cause of outages varied between storms, vegetation, wildfires, and combinations of the three.

Having gotten the reader’s attention, the whitepaper shifted to vegetation management as a controllable element for limiting power outages. It also reviewed how today’s utilities were going about vegetation management. They still rely heavily on visual inspections usually performed by a combination of aerial surveys and ground crews to verify what was seen from the air. The takeaway from the paper was utilities and regulators understood the weakness of this method, but were uncomfortable with the advanced technologies behind today’s vegetation management systems.

Errant Vegetation

Intelligent vegetation management methods are proven to be an enormously important tool, but only a few large utilities are taking advantage of this technology on their networks. For those unfamiliar with the term, vegetation management is the control and elimination of unwanted vegetation. And that brings up another important statistical point.

North American utilities are spending between US$6-8 billion annually on maintenance to reduce errant vegetation intrusions on the transmission and distribution networks. Statistically vegetation management is typically the largest segment of a utility’s annual maintenance and operations (O&M) budget. And yet vegetation remains at the top of the list for causes of electricity outages, so what is happening!

It's not complicated, but it seems that way. Keeping it simple, traditional vegetation management practices are heavily reliant on labor intensive processes. Unfortunately, they are only able to cover a fraction of their rights-of-ways (ROW) each year. There are too many miles of transmission and distribution lines needing attention each year for these old-school techniques. After several major blackouts took place, regulators stepped up with mandatory standards and practices, which moved utilities toward more use of technologies to meet their requirements.

Digital Boots

Summarizing, ROWs, and hardware have to be surveyed yearly, along with the removal of intrusive vegetation. The boots on the ground approach can’t keep up with these demands. This is why some remarkable technologies have become the tools of choice. Helicopters, and fixed-wing aircraft quickly provided a method of aerial surveying with arrays of sensors and cameras, but drones are safer and more cost effective.

LiDAR (light detection and ranging) has been brought in to speed up surveying and quickly became the technology of choice. There are other tools like satellites providing twenty-four hour imaging coverage, with a view plane that can zoom from macro to micro. Photogrammetry is also popular especially as asset condition and health were added to the list of characteristics needing to be monitored.

These geospatial and remote-sensing systems supply the vegetation manager, engineer, field-crew, etc. the ability to view more terrain faster and with enhanced detail. As the technologies matured, they added more features, but they weren’t user friendly and increased complexity of the process. The vegetation management team had so much big-data and huge amounts of visual imagines to shift through, it became unmanageable.

This is where advancements such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, predictive analytics, cloud storage and computing, with sophisticated software come into play. These technological advancements have been a part of advanced asset management platforms for years. They were designed to make sense of the zettabytes of big-data being produced by every corner of today’s interconnected grid. Well, those techniques are also being applied to vegetation management systems in the form of smarter vegetation management systems.

Data Driven Insights

In 2020, GE Digital introduced what they call a “purpose-built Visual Intelligence Platform for utilities.” It supports vegetation management and asset inspection using modern technology to tame the unwieldy big-data coming from the distribution and transmission corridors. Talking with Brian Hoff, VP of Product Management Analytics and Asset Management at GE Digital, revealed some fascinating facts about this technology.

Hoff started the discussion saying, “The Visual Intelligence Platform (VIP) is able to ingest all the kinds of visual inspection data the utility has. VIP processes that data and produces business intelligence that can be acted upon. The data can be from satellites, LiDAR, photographic, ground-based view, field surveys, or any other source. It doesn’t matter, VIP is not limited by the data the utility has. We like to say, VIP is designed to use the right data for the right use case at the right time for the right cost. That is because no one type of data is the best for every application.”

Hoff continued, “Utilities are under a great deal of pressure to reduce outages and Excellerate the resilience of their power networks. They have focused their efforts on the transmission network, but statistics point out most outages happen on the distribution network, which is a great place to apply VIP for real results. A large utility in the southeastern part of the country recently completed scanning 60,000 miles of their distribution circuits and the data is being used by VIP. VIP is the foundation for that utility’s distribution system’s vegetation management program. It will also be utilized for distribution system’s asset inventory and inspection surveys. The platform is expected to analyze asset conditions and develop targeted action plans.”

Hoff explained, “Machine learning automates the estimation of vegetation growth by comparing how pixels move from one LiDAR survey to the next. This gives vegetation management teams an advantage by identifying tree growth for tree maps used in risk-based assessments for trimming plans. This optimizes tree trimming prioritization, trim volume, and other vegetation remediation tasks. The platform also includes an asset management module for distribution and transmission lines with a focus on hardware, maintenance, and ground clearance analysis. With capabilities such as these, VIP can reduce costs and Excellerate reliability and safety.”

Smarter Management

A report from Utility Analytics Institute reveals there is a growing interest in intelligent vegetation management applications from utilities worldwide. Like most newer technologies these products have taken time to establish themselves. As utilities become comfortable with them, however, they realize the benefits these applications offer can’t be ignored. They have discovered intelligent vegetation management platforms will take the sting out of the combination of vegetation and extreme weather events on power lines.

Recently Hitachi Energy announced the launch of the Hitachi Vegetation Manager. The Hitachi Vegetation Manager combines satellite imagery and deep AI visual analysis to automatically detect and manage vegetation near power lines. It assures all work will only be performed where and when it’s necessary. According to Hitachi Energy’s spokesperson, “It’s the first of its kind in spaceborne resource planning solutions for electric utilities. It’s part of the broader visual Hitachi analytics suite, Lumada Inspection Insights, which helps slow-to-evolve utilities adopt AI-powered technology.”

National Grid Partners are partnering with AiDash to deploy AiDash’s Intelligent Vegetation Management system on National Grid’s electric lines. It’s an end-to-end satellite-powered platform that uses AI algorithms to monitor and analyze what is taking place along the electric lines vegetation wise. Satellite data provides actionable information after being processed by AiDash’s software. From there it can be used with predictive analytics to identify future risks due to vegetation.

Last year IBM launched their AI-driven software for their cloud-based Environmental Intelligence Suite. IBM said, the suite contains applications that predict how the environment will impact a company’s assets, employees, and customers. For something like vegetation management, the platform assesses the state of the vegetation across the enterprise’s service territory. With proactive management, it can prioritize tasks, predict risks, and assist with decision making.

These smarter vegetation management systems have been developed to reduce the number of outages identified using data-driven analytics, but utilities need to use these tools to be effective. Traditional vegetation management systems identify the majority of vegetation needing attention, but they often miss what’s known as “trouble trees.” These are the trees located on and off the ROW that “could” contact power lines. AI-powered vegetation management platforms look for trees with that signature and quickly identify them. Utilities using this technology can remove those problem trees while saving money and improving reliability. It gives them a big edge over those utilities stuck in the 20th century.

Tue, 12 Jul 2022 03:33:00 -0500 text/html https://www.tdworld.com/vegetation-management/article/21243895/smarter-vegetation-management
Killexams : What Strategists Can Learn from Sartre

Photograph by Fredrik Broden

I remember the day I realized the world was getting weird — so strange and unpredictable that conventional approaches to market forecasting would not work. It was an otherwise ordinary day in May 1985. I was part of a team at SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute) that was analyzing the results of a national survey of American customer attitudes. Our program was called Values and Lifestyles (VALS), and it was a well-regarded, innovative breakdown of the purchasing public into nine different lifestyles roughly based on Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: people whose lives revolved around survival, belonging, achieving, the search for peak experience, and so on.

With the help of Simmons Market Research, we had correlated different purchasing patterns with the different lifestyles. To date, VALS had been a sustained success. If suburban women between the ages of 25 and 45 driving minivans reliably and regularly chose Caffeine Free Diet Coke over Classic, whereas young males between 15 and 25 reliably went for the sugar and caffeine jolt, then the marketers at Coca-Cola would know how to spin the ads they put on MTV differently from the ads they placed on Lifetime. The theory and practice of market segmentation had been evolving for 20 years. In fact, it had been growing hand in hand with the U.S. economy as it made the transition from mass manufacturing for a mass market during the middle of the 20th century toward a more segmented market that could be described by our nine lifestyle types — nay, even, stereotypes.

On that day in May 1985, however, I realized that the VALS system was losing its predictive power. People were no longer behaving true to type. Women were shopping at Bloomingdale’s one day, Wal-Mart the next. The segment we called Achievers started behaving like Experientials. Some men were behaving like bankers by day, punkers by night. This was bad news for clients who were trying to use market segmentation to target the different stereotypes. But it was good news for the human spirit, because what this tendency amounted to was human freedom flexing her muscles. People were behaving less predictably. They were defying stereotypes.

The Unpredictable Economy
Because I had been trained as a philosopher, I immediately knew what was happening. American customers, without direct influence from the likes of Jean-Paul Sartre or Martin Heidegger, had nonetheless discovered existential freedom. They would no longer be predictable. And indeed, customers around the world have been unpredictable ever since. No general system of market segmentation or analysis has managed to capture their patterns of behavior in any reliable way.

This realization has implications that far transcend marketing, which, typically, commences once a company has identified a strategy and developed products or services for a defined customer base. For corporations, keeping up with customers who are less predictable than consumers of old requires a capacity for innovation. Where the old economy relied on mass production to meet universal needs, the new economy demands customized innovation to satisfy an endless range of wants and whims.

The old production economy was predictable because it operated in the realm of necessity; it produced goods and services people needed, and those were relatively stable. The new economy plays in the realm of freedom; it produces goods and services for a customer who is not bound by needs. The old economy called for strategies built by engineers who could calculate according to necessary laws. The new economy calls for strategies created by existentialists who understand freedom. Most important of all, the old economy operated at a regular pace, in the clockwork time of industrial production. The new economy lurches forward and backward, in some new kind of time that was anticipated, once again, by the existential philosophers.

We’re all in existential time these days. It’s not just that we’re facing a more unpredictable future; the pace and rhythm of events is also increasingly variable and unpredictable. Especially since September 11, 2001, the corporate planning horizon has widened to embrace fundamental uncertainty spanning life-or-death, boom-or-bust dimensions. This is not all bad for the human spirit — if a wider horizon reminds us of our freedom.

Just as existential philosophy emerged in Europe between the two world wars, when life got weird for individuals and the old verities no longer seemed to hold true, so existential strategy emerged during the final decades of the 20th century, as life was getting weird for organizations. Just as individuals reached for an existential philosophy that was adequate to a new sense of freedom, so corporations are now looking for the kinds of strategic tools that can accommodate real uncertainty. An existential economy, in short, demands existential strategy.

Existentialism 101
But what does that mean? For starters, existentialism is a philosophy that stresses the importance and robustness of individual choice. In a world where it sometimes seems as though there are too many choices, and too little authoritative guidance in making those choices, existentialism provides a viable approach to strategy — perhaps the only viable approach. In this article, I’d like to offer an elevator-ride introduction to the existentialist philosophy, then call out a series of specific ideas from the writings of the existentialists to show how they can help us understand our business realities and decisions on a practical day-to-day level.

In Silicon Valley, there’s a saying: “Who needs a futurist to tell us about the future? We’re building it!” This is pure existentialism. The point isn’t so much that the pace of change is increasing — Alvin Toffler’s argument in Future Shock (Amereon Ltd., 1970). Instead it’s calling into question who’s in charge — God, haphazard fate, or human invention? The existentialists have something to tell us about taking charge of our own future.

The term existentialism gains its basic meaning from its contrast with essentialism. The ancient philosophers, particularly Aristotle, understood change as biological growth. A favorite example was the acorn turning into an oak. It can’t do anything else. It is the essence of an acorn to become an oak. It cannot choose to become a maple or an elm. Its oak essence precedes its existence. First acorn, then oak.

Impose this model of growth and change on human beings and you get Plato’s theory of gold, silver, and bronze souls — souls slated, from birth, to fulfill a predetermined path. Part of the education system in Plato’s Republic involves a series of standardized national tests for separating the aristocratic guardians from the lowly worker bees. This was the first articulation of what we now know as a tracking system. You’re born bronze, silver, or gold. The tests will reveal your essence. And, as with the high-stakes exams that characterize the French system of education, once your essence is revealed, there’s very little likelihood that your existence will ever escape your class.

Such essentialism sounds downright un-American … and it is. If your essence precedes your existence, then all you can do is play out the pattern of your essence. The passage of time, to an essentialist, is like the unrolling of an Oriental rug whose every stitch, every line, every pattern was first obscured within the rolled-up rug, and then revealed as the past moved into the present.

The future, according to essentialist philosophy, is like a rug as yet unrolled: The pattern is in there; you just can’t see it yet. And as with most Oriental rugs, its pattern is probably repetitive. Prior to the focus on history and evolution by figures like Vico, Herder, Hegel, and Darwin, “the future” was seen through essentialist eyes. The very word future connoted a stretch of time that would contain more of the same, occasionally better, occasionally worse, as the eternal cycle of generation and corruption, rise and fall, repeated itself age after age.

In such tradition-bound societies, the elders know best because they know the past. Filial piety is a core value of Confucianism. Sons follow the occupations of their fathers. Tradition rules. The past rules the present. Like the pattern of the seasons or the constellations in the heavens, the basic order of the universe is not subject to biological evolution or historical change.

This sense of time and order remained sacrosanct until the works of Georg Hegel and Charles Darwin gained influence. These two writers, though very different from each other, together were the most significant sources of existential thought; only when their work was accepted was essentialism’s repetitive and cyclical image of time displaced by a linear, historical, evolutionary time that allowed for the emergence of something genuinely new under the sun.

Suddenly, humanity had a future — in the sense in which existentialists think of the future, as an open-ended, indeterminate field of untried possibilities. For existentialists, existence precedes essence. It’s not that no one or nothing has an essence. It’s just that essence, for free human beings, anyway, is achieved rather than prescribed. You become the results of the decisions you make. You don’t find yourself, as those suffering “identity crises” try to do. You make yourself by making decisions. You’re not just the result of the genes you inherited or the circumstances of your birth. Of course genes and family background make a difference, but what you choose to do with them is subject to existential freedom.

Consider the way that time is measured, and the way we normally experience it. Ever since the invention of the mechanical clock, people have conceived of time as passing in the kind of even blocks represented on Cartesian graph paper. For rocket scientists plotting a trajectory to the moon, this model of time might be the most appropriate. But as both Heidegger and Sartre noted, this kind of mathematized, regular tick, tick, tick of a mechanical clock contradicts the experience of a truly human temporality. Our minds experience time as expanding and contracting, quickening with excitement, slowing with boredom. There is a lived contrast between long durations and punctuating epiphanies. Things last a while, then they change, and there are significant choices to be made at the cusps and bifurcations.

Moments of Urgency
Such punctuations call for strategies developed prior to the moment of urgency. And as the world gets more strange, these moments will be more frequent. Scenario planning gives executives a way to rehearse different futures in the relative calm of a meeting room rather than in a “war room” set up for emergencies. Better to craft a strategy during the calm between the cusps. Once you’ve rehearsed different futures in the form of vivid scenarios, then you’re ready for the one that rolls out in fact. And even better: Once you’ve scoped out a range of alternative futures, you’re in a better position to nudge reality in a direction you’d prefer. (See “How Scenario Planning Explains Uncertainty,” at the end of this article.)

A future filled with new possibilities presents a backdrop for planning that is very different from a future that is a reshuffling of the same old same old. Reshufflings should follow laws that allow for prediction according to rules that cover every possibility. A future filled with genuinely new possibilities might not even be describable using categories and metrics that cover what has occurred before. How could a 19th-century scientist anticipate, much less predict, prime time, venture capital, gigabits-per-second, butterfly ballots, fuel cells, genetic engineering, cellular telephony, and so on?

Once you appreciate this fundamental shift in the nature of “futurity,” you are in a better position to appreciate the need for existential strategy. Once you abandon an essentialism within which the future is, in principle, predictable, and adopt an existentialism within which the future is, in principle, unpredictable, you’re bound to need a robust set of guidelines for making decisions that will be effective in any of a range of futures that might unfold.

As a philosophy, existentialism stresses that human beings have almost unlimited choice. The constraints we feel from authority, society, other people, morality, and God are powerful largely because we have internalized them — we carry the constraints around within us.

As a result, sometimes existentialists get a bad rap for preaching nihilism and meaninglessness — free fall instead of freedom. Everything is possible (they’re accused of preaching), and therefore human beings can ignore morality and duty. Thus, Nietzsche proclaimed the death of God. For Smerdyakov, the nihilist in Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, the death of God meant that mere anarchy was loosed upon the earth. But Nietzsche himself distinguished between a nihilism of strength and a nihilism of weakness. For the weak, the death of God means that all is permitted. For the strong, the death of God does not mean we are doomed to despair and meaninglessness. Instead, we have the opportunity to create our own lives and our own conscious sense of responsibility. Nietzsche said the only God he could worship would be a God who could dance.

This turns out to be very close to the role of managers, particularly senior executives, in large complex organizations. They don’t take on the role of God, but they do choose to define morality and its consequences for their organizations. In their classic management text In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies (Harper & Row, 1982), Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr. argued that the job of the manager is “meaning making.” This challenge to make meaning in an otherwise meaningless environment is itself made to order for the existential strategist.

How, then, does one “make meaning” for an entire organization — and ensure that the choices will turn out better than if that organization simply followed in old established pathways? The existential philosophers crafted some ideas that have fairly immediate relevance to strategic practice: finitude, being-toward-death, care, thrownness, and authenticity. (See “Five Principles of Existential Strategy,” below.) Let’s explore each and its application to existential strategy.

Five Principles of Existential Strategy

  1. Finitude. You can’t be all things to all people. If you’re not saying “no” to some possibilities, then you’re not acting strategically.
  2. Being-Toward-Death. No one is too big to fail, to die, to go bankrupt. Gliding on momentum can lead to
    a crash.
  3. Care. Define your interests more precisely than ROI or return to shareholders. If you don’t know where you stand, you’ll fall for anything.
  4. Thrownness. You have a past; you have experiences and core competencies. Know them, use them, and don’t forget them.
  5. Authenticity. Don’t be bound by your past. Feel free to reinvent yourself and your company for an uncertain future.

Finitude is the existential principle closest to the conventional notion of corporate strategy, making hard decisions because you can’t do everything.

Indeed, in this mortal life, you may be able to accomplish almost anything, but you cannot do everything. There isn’t time. If you choose to be a butcher, you generally can’t simultaneously be a baker and a candlestick maker. Understanding finitude helps the existential strategist focus on the trade-offs organizations face. You can go for lowest cost or highest quality, but rarely both at once. There are choices to be made. Not all good things go together. If you’re not saying no, you’re not doing strategy. If you’re not saying no, you’re not acting strategically.

The word decision derives from the Latin for “cut off.” IBM made a strategic decision to get out of the consumer business and concentrate on services to businesses. Hewlett-Packard Company cut Agilent Technologies Inc. adrift because measuring and testing technology was not its core competence. When corporate raiders make a hostile takeover and then break up a business and sell off its parts, their reasoning often has to do with an evaluation that shows the segments are worth more on their own than as parts of a confused whole in which executives prove unable to make tough decisions.

I saw the power of finitude when working with wealthy foundations, which, like government agencies, rarely feel the risk of failure. At first glance, the job of foundation managers looks easy: Just hand out a pot of money. At closer range, the challenge is harder: how to Excellerate the world without squandering resources or inducing dependencies that do more harm than good.

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in Flint, Mich., has as one of its objectives the improvement of the city of Flint — a clear goal that nonetheless leaves plenty of latitude for choices by the trustees. After spending millions in the 1980s on what was to be a destination resort called AutoWorld, they watched in horror as people somehow chose Disneyworld for their vacations instead.

In the early 1990s, the managers of the Mott Foundation engaged my colleagues and me to develop a set of scenarios showing different possible futures for Flint — a city that had been badly stung by Michael Moore’s movie Roger and Me. The upshot of the exercise was a commitment to make Flint a better place to raise children — a manageable goal that gave a new focus to the foundation’s finite grant making. Looking out for the kids was both consistent with the original deed of the gift by the Mott family and in keeping with current needs in Flint. The city had been a great place to raise a family back when rust-belt manufacturing produced a living wage. But the new economy had cut many of the old jobs, and now it would take a bold initiative to make the city a better place for kids once again.

If you think your life is not finite, if you think you’re immortal, then you may act as if you’ve got time for everything. If you follow the existentialists in dwelling on death, however, each day of your life will gain both preciousness and a sense of existential urgency.

The National Education Association (NEA), America’s largest labor union — thought by some to be immovable, immortal, and unchangeable — benefited from an imaginative kick in the pants from a scenario entitled “One Flight Up.” That scenario told a story in which the NEA’s building in Washington, D.C., had been sold to Sylvan Learning Systems, which leased back to the NEA a small suite of offices located “one flight up” from the main entrance. After absorbing this scenario, the president of the NEA was quoted in the New York Times as saying, “If we don’t change the way we do business, we’ll be out of business in 10 years.” This statement, his colleagues declared, would have been unthinkable a few years earlier, before he’d looked death in the face.

The union did change. Under its next president, Bob Chase, the NEA adopted “new unionism,” a strategy focused less on wages and terms of employment and more on helping its members meet the challenges they were facing in the classroom.

Asking folks to look death in the eye is not easy. Being-toward-bankruptcy is no fun. Xerox needed a vivid scenario painting a picture of a world where the copier would converge with the scanner and computer printer, and the copier business would go away. We painted such a scenario … but it wasn’t scary enough to motivate change, and their denial of death led to real bankruptcy.

BP, which once stood for British Petroleum, looked down the cellar stairs at a world “Beyond Petroleum,” the new meaning for its initials. Scenarios that mimic being-toward-death can function as a kind of anticipatory disaster relief. A near-death experience lived in imagination can draw forth the passion that exists underneath smug self-satisfaction; that kind of motivation is needed to take the actions necessary to avoid real death. It can make managers care — a relatively weak word. The German equivalent, Sorge, has more urgency to it. It means to really care, to supply a damn. It means something close to passion.

Heidegger focused on care as a feature that differentiates human beings from purely cognitive, Cartesian creatures. Sure, we think, we calculate, we cogitate. But we do so in a way that is different from how computers do it. My computer doesn’t supply a damn. It doesn’t care. And so much the better: It is unbiased; it is unswayed by desire; it can do the wholly rational, objective calculations I want from a computer. I, on the other hand, have biases. I have desires. And so much the better again: for my desiring, my caring, gives meaning to my life. A knife is good for cutting. A computer is good for calculating. Each has a function. What am I good for? If the meaning of my life can be reduced to the kind of function that defines the essence of a knife or a computer, then my life is reduced to that of a functionary. I become a tool in someone else’s drama, a mere means to their ends, not my own.

Often organizations, especially large, long-standing ones, need a greater sense of urgency. It’s not just a matter of giving a damn about reducing time to market for new products. Sometimes a corporation must reinvent itself. Sometimes a company must break free of its past. Once upon a time Motorola made car radios. When Robert Galvin wanted to manufacture semiconductors, some of his managers thought he was nuts. But Bob Galvin, son of Motorola founder Paul Galvin, cared enough to keep his father’s legacy alive even after the car radio business declined. Later they reinvented Motorola yet again as a manufacturer of cell phones and pagers. With Bob’s son Chris retiring as chairman and CEO, the company is set to reinvent itself once again. In a world that’s gone from slow and predictable to fast and perplexing, you have to be free to reinvent yourself … or you die.

Of course you can’t reinvent yourself as anything whatsoever. Companies have histories. IBM doesn’t sell dog food. Sara Lee isn’t set up to manufacture computers. Heidegger called this nondeterministic conditioning Geworfenheit, or thrownness. We each landed on the earth somewhere, not nowhere. We each inherit much of who we are from our parents, our culture, or the community in which we find ourselves. Even the entrepreneur finds the second year of her new company “thrown” in a certain direction by her first year. Right-angle turns are tough. Momentum has its merits. But even for the largest corporations, straight-line extrapolation from the past into the future is a poor guide for strategic planning.

Thrownness is not just a constraint. Upside possibilities beckon the existential strategist. Aspirational scenarios showing rewarding opportunities can complement descriptive scenarios painting risks. When executives at Motorola sought our help to update their China strategy, we realized they’d been coasting on momentum. A hard look at both downside and upside scenarios led them to boost their investment, claim greater market share, and solidify their leadership position. The sheer size of the opportunities that exist in China are enough to dwarf the imaginations of planners coasting on extrapolations from the past. It takes a dancing existentialist to see such vast possibilities.

Authenticity is a way of being true to yourself, but the concept is tricky because, for the existentialist, being true to yourself can’t be defined as being true to your essence. Nor can it be reduced to fulfilling a function. Authenticity demands fidelity to your past, but also openness to possibilities in the future — not just one possibility (that would be a necessity), but several possibilities. Authenticity is being true to both your thrownness and your freedom. It’s making choices among possibilities and taking responsibility for your decisions.

While consulting at Motorola, I also had an opportunity to work with the company’s New Enterprises group. Their mandate was to come up with new business ideas that were close enough to Motorola’s core competencies to be plausible yet that still fell outside existing lines of business. Threading this needle is what authenticity is all about. If you try too hard to be true to your essence — your core competence — then you deny your freedom. But if you pretend you’re free to do absolutely anything — if you forget your thrownness — then you’re in free fall. Motorola’s New Enterprises group had to thread this needle, so they took a hard look at how their competence in information technology could be applied to a new and different domain: the creation, storage, and conservation of electric energy.

Neither for companies nor for individuals is the future completely indeterminate. Neither companies nor individuals are utterly free. We carry our pasts like tails we cannot lose. And that’s a relief, because we don’t want to begin each day from scratch. The skills we have learned, the competencies we have achieved, supply direction and power to be used in the present as we carve the near edge of the future.

The gist of this article has moved mainly from the philosophy of existentialism toward its implications for corporate strategic planning. Here at the end, it’s worth reflecting on the resonance that resounds from the soundness of existential strategy in the corporate world and its implications for the people who then learn about existential time from the practice of scenario planning and existential strategy in organizations. The practice of existential strategy can make us more authentically human. Once existential philosophy has been demystified by its translation into the pragmatic world of corporate strategy, its validity gains added power in enabling each of us, as individuals, to live lives of deeper authenticity and freedom.

How Scenario Planning Explains Uncertainty

Scenario planning is not the only tool of the existential strategist, but it is the preeminently appropriate tool for dealing with existential freedom. Scenario planning first flourished in the context of large corporations such as Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies, businesses whose planning horizon was so long that predictions based on extrapolations from the past would almost certainly be outrun by a fast-changing reality.

Royal Dutch/Shell did well with scenario planning in the 1980s. When other oil companies were planning to increase prices for oil, on the basis of extrapolations from the price increases in 1973 and 1979, the planners at Shell developed a range of scenarios, narrative extrapolations from knowable potentialities, that included both price increases and scenarios for falling prices — a thought that was unthinkable to planners at the other oil majors. When oil prices crashed in 1986, Shell was the best prepared of the global oil companies, and its fortunes rose accordingly.

Since the 1980s, scenario planning has been embraced by many other companies, so many that, by the turn of the millennium, scenario planning ranked as the No. 1 planning tool among corporations polled by the Corporate Strategy Board. Of course, this is good news for scenario planners. But it is also good news for everyone else. Scenario planning opens up a range of possibilities, for good and ill, much broader and wider than traditional tools that strive for a single right answer. Scenario planning helps us to entertain worst-case scenarios, as responsible managers must. Just as Heidegger argued that a sense of our own mortality can sharpen our sense of the fragility of our assumptions, so the development of best- and worst-case scenarios can awaken us to a sense of the preciousness of life.

By encouraging thinking about a divergent range of possibilities rather than a consensus forecast, scenario planning can draw on both the motivation that comes from a fear of vividly depicted failure and the inspiration that comes from a skillfully drawn success. Upside scenarios can raise the sights of an organization mired in stagnation. Where essentialism condemns us to more of the same old thing, upside scenarios instill a sense of existential urgency about higher possibilities.

Upside scenarios can function like the “inner game of golf” or “inner skiing.” Once you have mentally rehearsed the right swing or the perfect turn, you are more likely to be able to hit that drive or manage that mogul. There’s a lot to be said for the idea of mind over matter. But before the mind can steer matter in the right direction, the appropriate image needs to be framed as vividly as possible, whether it’s a golf swing, a ski turn, or a new success strategy. Upside scenarios can do for companies what a Tiger Woods tape can do for golfers.

— J.O.

Reprint No. 03405

Author Profiles:

James Ogilvy (
jay_ogilvy@GBN.com) cofounded Global Business Network (GBN) in 1988. He is the author of Many Dimensional Man: Decentralizing Self, Society, and the Sacred (Oxford, 1975), Creating Better Futures: Scenario Planning as a Tool for a Better Tomorrow (Oxford, 2002), and, with Peter Schwartz, China’s Futures: Scenarios for the Fastest Growing Economy, Ecology, and Society (Jossey-Bass, 2000).
Fri, 31 Mar 2017 16:38:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.strategy-business.com/article/03405
Killexams : UserTesting Introduces Test Templates to Help Companies Understand Changing Customer Perceptions Around Inflation

The latest templates are designed to drive greater insights across an organization and bridge the divide of changing consumer behaviors and expectations, enabling companies to deliver better customer experiences

SAN FRANCISCO, June 30, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--UserTesting (NYSE: USER), a leader in video-based human insight, today announced the availability of new test templates for the UserTesting® Human Insight Platform that enable companies to better understand their customers’ expectations, behaviors, and perceptions around inflation. UserTesting has designed test templates that help organizations adapt to changing economic trends by gathering customer perspectives quickly–and using the insights to make business and product decisions that keep customers loyal during an economic downturn.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220630005260/en/

According to accurate McKinsey findings, consumer confidence has dropped as a result of inflation. By collecting and understanding customer data and insights, companies can address their target customers’ needs to help maintain loyalty for the long term. Failing to do so, companies will leave opportunities on the table and risk losing customers due to poor experiences. UserTesting gives companies clarity into what their customers are thinking and expecting, which provides a distinct advantage over competitors that don’t take human insight into account.

This UserTesting template bundle is ideal for decision makers at consumer-focused companies and includes pre-built test plans that help them:

  • Understand how customers are changing their preferences, habits, and priorities in reaction to inflated market conditions

  • Bolster customer loyalty by understanding how customers hope companies will respond to inflation

  • Make confident decisions when repackaging a product or service by collecting proactive customer feedback on changes

  • Hear how customers will respond to changes in pricing due to inflation

Organizations can use UserTesting’s pre-built demo questions as-is or customize the templates to address their specific business needs. Capturing feedback can be done by leveraging the UserTesting first-party, opt-in network of contributors or directly from a company’s own network.

"There’s global uncertainty regarding inflation for consumers and businesses alike. Despite these challenges, businesses still need to create experiences that keep customers returning," said Janelle Estes, Chief Insights Officer of UserTesting. "UserTesting helps companies uncover opportunities to create new and differentiating experiences, by knowing how their target audience feels at any given time. This allows companies to keep customers at the forefront of every decision and minimize the impact of inflation on the business."

The new templates focused on consumer expectations around inflation add to the more than 100 pre-built testing templates available on the UserTesting Human Insight Platform.

About UserTesting
UserTesting (NYSE: USER) has fundamentally changed the way organizations get insights from customers with fast, opt-in feedback and experience capture technology. The UserTesting Human Insight Platform taps into our global network of real people and generates video-based recorded experiences, so anyone in an organization can directly ask questions, hear what users say, see what they mean, and understand what it’s actually like to be a customer. Unlike approaches that track user behavior then try to infer what that behavior means, UserTesting reduces guesswork and brings customer experience data to life with human insight. UserTesting has approximately 2,500 customers, including more than half of the world’s top 100 most valuable brands according to Forbes. UserTesting is headquartered in San Francisco, California. To learn more, visit www.usertesting.com.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220630005260/en/


UserTesting, Inc.
Andy Dear

Thu, 30 Jun 2022 01:01:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://finance.yahoo.com/news/usertesting-introduces-test-templates-help-130000251.html
Killexams : Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test

Ramping capacity
Samsung is considering building as many as 11 fabs in central Texas, investing an estimated $200 billion and creating as many as 10,000 jobs. The plans came to light when the company filed paperwork for tax breaks. Samsung already has broken ground on a new $17 billion fab in Taylor, Texas. The remaining nine fabs, including two in nearby Austin, would be built over the next couple decades. Tax breaks could amount to $4.8 billion. The fabs would start operating in 2034, with the last two slated to open in 2042.

SkyWater announced plans to build an advanced $1.8 billion fab, in partnership with the state of Indiana and Purdue University, if the CHIPS Act passes. “This endeavor to bolster our chip fabrication facilities will rely on funding from the CHIPS Act. Federal investment will enable SkyWater to more quickly expand our efforts to address the need for strategic reshoring of semiconductor manufacturing,” said Thomas Sonderman, SkyWater’s president and CEO. “Through our alliance with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and Purdue Research Foundation, we have a unique opportunity to increase domestic production, shore up our supply chains, and lay the groundwork for manufacturing technologies that will support growing demand for microelectronics.”

Meanwhile, the CHIPS Act is making progress. The U.S. Senate voted to begin debating the bill. However, an amendment for millions in additional spending was included, which could lead to more of the back-and-forth that has held up passage for more than a year. Once again applying pressure, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo warned of a “a deep and immediate recession” if the U.S. should ever lose access to Taiwanese suppliers.

Palomar Technologies is expanding its Innovation Center in Singapore to meet growing demand in Southeast Asia for process development and specialty OSATs. “Strong demand from our regional Asia Pacific customer base has driven us to expand the footprint of our Singapore Innovation Center for the second time in five years,” said Rich Hueners, Palomar’s managing director. “This expanded area will serve to host plasma cleaning, dry boxes, and customer-specific test equipment, while the original lab area will continue to host the die attach, wire bond and vacuum reflow equipment.”

Materials Research
New research is claiming cubic boron arsenide could be a “game-changing” semiconductor with a “very high mobility for both electrons and holes,” according to this MIT article. “Imagine what boron arsenides can achieve, with 10 times higher thermal conductivity and much higher mobility than silicon,” said lead author Jungwoo Shin.  Find the technical paper here.

After four years, Apple agreed to a $50 million settlement of the class action lawsuit brought by customers who bought MacBook Airs with “butterfly” keyboards. In the end, that will work out to $50 to $395 per customer repair. In court documents, Apple stated: ““The proposed settlement to resolve this case is not an admission of guilt or wrongdoing of any kind by Apple.”

IQE accused Tower Semiconductor of “misappropriation of its intellectual property.” In February, Intel agreed to acquire Tower Semiconductor for $5.4 billion.

Siemens Digital Industries Software entered into an agreement to acquire ZONA Technology, which specializes in aeroelastic simulation technology. “The aerospace industry is facing unprecedented technological challenges as it pursues the complexity of both climate-neutral aviation and the rebirth of supersonic travel,” said Jean-Claude Ercolanelli, senior vice president of simulation and test solutions at Siemens. The company said the deal will boost Siemens’ capabilities for end-to-end airframe structure decision and certification workflow.

ASM agreed to acquire LPE, expanding its footprint in silicon carbide epitaxy equipment. “LPE, with its strong culture of innovation and traction with silicon carbide device makers, both for 150mm and 200mm substrates, is well positioned to serve the needs of global automotive customers and their decarbonization drive,” said Benjamin Loh, president and CEO of ASM. “Next to ASM’s expanding position in advanced Epi applications for the logic/foundry and memory markets, ASM is also a leader in silicon epitaxy solutions for the power electronics, analog and wafer markets. LPE’s offering of advanced SiC epitaxy tools complements ASM’s offering.”

PDF Solutions and SAP teamed up to connect financial and operational data to Excellerate efficiencies. “Our customers are seeking more ways to leverage their process and product data as part of their Industry 4.0 initiatives,” said Kimon Michaels, executive vice president for products and solutions at PDF Solutions. “Collaborating with SAP was a logical next step for us because of the complementary synergies across our organizations. The Sapience Manufacturing Hub is designed to provide businesses that use SAP solutions with direct access to new sources of data that can be correlated with existing ERP data, providing unique insights to help our mutual customers achieve sustained profitability in semiconductor manufacturing.”

Getting Greener
Advantest has a 17,000-square meter biotope on the grounds of its Gunma R&D Center. It released a new video of the biotope. The goal is to restore the original ecosystem of Kanto plain in Japan.

Further Reading
July’s Manufacturing, Packaging and Materials newsletter was published this week, with these top stories:

In case you missed this month’s Test, Measurement & Analytics newsletter, check out the stories on improving yield with machine learning, finding frameworks for end-to-end analytics, and why e-beam’s role is growing for defect detection.

Upcoming events
In-person and hybrid conferences are back. On the schedule:

• IEEE International Conference on Manipulation, Manufacturing and Measurement on the Nanoscale (3M-NANO), Aug. 8 – 12 (Tianjin, China/Hybrid)
• SPIE Optics & Photonics, Aug. 21 – 25 (San Diego, CA)
• AI Hardware/Edge AI Summit, Sept. 13 – 15 (Santa Clara, CA)
• Semicon Taiwan, Sept. 14 – 16 (Taipei, Taiwan)
• SPIE Photonics Industry Summit, Sept. 21 (Washington, D.C.)
• SPIE Photomask Technology/Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography, Sept. 25 – 29 (Monterey, CA)
• 55th International Symposium on Microelectronics, Oct. 3 – 6 (Boston)

Thu, 21 Jul 2022 19:06:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://semiengineering.com/week-in-review-manufacturing-test-207/
Killexams : A Personal Fight Against The Modern Laptop

If you haven’t gone laptop shopping recently, you’re in for a big shock when you do. While the current generation of MacBook Pros is rightly torn to shreds for being an overpriced machine with a stupid gimmick of a Touch Bar, there are issues with laptops across the industry. No one has figured out how to take a high-res iPad screen and add a keyboard, most laptops with a display smaller than 13 inches are capped at 720 resolution, new features are introduced at the expense of old ones, binary blobs are cast into a web of BIOS whitelists and missing drivers, No, the Microsoft Surface doesn’t count, because while it’s a nice machine it’s a tablet with a keyboard, not a laptop.

After months of searching, [Hamish Coleman] found the closest thing to a perfect laptop. It’s a Thinkpad X230 from the ancient days of yore, or 2012 depending on how you’re counting. It’s close to perfect, though: aside from an old CPU and GPU, the only real show stopper is the keyboard. Replacing that keyboard was [Hamish]’s personal fight against the modern laptop (YouTube, embedded below), and he’s making it easier for us to fight against the current crop of craptops, too.

Since the introduction of the first Thinkpad, the keyboards for these machines remained relatively unchanged until 2011. For the consummate Thinkpad-sporting professional, that’s two decades of muscle memory, replaced with weird keys, deleted keys, and Page Up and Page Down buttons in the completely wrong spot. The keyboard for the X220 fits into a Thinkpad X230, making for an easy mechanical replacement, but the firmware simply doesn’t work.

After some reverse engineering, [Hamish] managed to get this older keyboard working. Of course, this isn’t new; Zmatt unlocked the controller for his Thinkpad keyboard around this time last year. [Hamish] is taking this one step further by building his own tools to unlock laptops more accurate than the Thinkpad X230. The GitHub repo, now unlocks the entire Thinkpad xx30 series, and some work is being done with the xx50 and xx60 series.

Over the past year, we’ve seen a lot of hacks involving the Thinkpad X220 and X230 laptops. The chipped batteries are now unchipped, the standard 1366×768 resolution can be bumped up to 1080, and we can get rid of the dreaded Intel Management engine on these machines. For a six-year-old laptop, these old Thinkpads are shaping up to be the perfect machines for anyone who cares about free hardware. That’s free as in beer and speech – you can pick one of these machines up very cheaply.

Tue, 02 Aug 2022 12:00:00 -0500 Brian Benchoff en-US text/html https://hackaday.com/2017/01/26/a-personal-fight-against-the-modern-laptop/
Killexams : computer keyboard

A set of input keys on a personal computer or computer terminal. Along with the standard letter keys on a typewriter, computer keyboards have keys for cursor movement and entering commands as outlined below. See keyboard.

Enter (Return) Key

The Enter key ends a line or paragraph of text, and in many cases activates the next function in the program.

Cursor/Arrow and Modifier Keys

The four Arrow keys pressed alone move the cursor on screen one line or character. Used with modifier keys, they move the cursor in bigger jumps such as top of document, end of line, etc. In Windows, Shift, Control, Alt and the Windows key are the modifier keys that are held down while pressing the Arrow keys. In the Mac, Shift, Control, Alt/Option and Command are used. See modifier key, Control key and Command key.

Escape Key (Esc)

Commonly used to exit or cancel the current mode such as exiting from a menu, the Esc key may also be used to clear an area or repeat a function such as redrawing the screen.

Numeric Lock

Locks a combination number/cursor keypad into numeric mode only.

Home and End Keys

Commonly used to move the cursor to the left or right side of the current line or to the top and bottom of a document. Often used with a modifier key; for example, Control-Home may jump the cursor to the top of the file.

Page Up/Page Down Keys

Used to move the cursor up and down a page, screen or frame. On laptop keyboards, these keys are often used with the Fn modifier key. See Fn key.

Function Keys

Used to call up a menu or perform a function, they are located in a cluster on the left side or in a row across the top of the keyboard (F1, F2, etc.). Function keys are often used with modifier keys to extend their capabilities.

Backspace Key

Used to erase the character to the left of the cursor. The wide, typewriter-style Backspace key is preferred.

Delete Key (Del)

Used to erase the character to the right of the cursor. Modifier keys affect larger text segments; for example, Control-Del or Alt-Del generally deletes a word.

Insert Key (Ins)

Toggles between insert mode and overtype mode. Ins may also used to "paste" text from the clipboard.

Repeating Keys

Most computer keys repeat when held down. If you hold a key command combination down, the command will be entered several times. For example, Control-Del or Alt-Del will continue to delete words for as long as the keys are held down.

Audible Feedback

Keys may cause a click or beep to be heard from the computer when pressed to acknowledge that the character has been entered. This sound is generally not adjustable for personal preference.

Keyboards feel different, and prospective buyers should spend time testing any laptop computer before purchasing it. Even popular laptops can have awkward cursor, Page Up/Down, Home and End key placements or reduced sizes. This can be critical and mainly affects the fast touch typist.

A desktop computer keyboard can be replaced at any time with a high-quality keyboard, and that same, premium keyboard can be plugged into a laptop, but this is not an optimum solution when traveling. See keyboard.


Keys Too Small for Your Fingers?

Try these for size. A young boy has fun on the giant keyboard in the Walk-Through Computer that opened at The Computer Museum in Boston at the end of 1995. (Image by FAYFOTO/John Rich; courtesy of The Computer History Museum, www.computerhistory.org.)

_BAT2.JPG image

The Bat Keyboard

People with the use of only one hand can type on Infogrip's Bat keyboard by pressing keys like piano chords. Some people also use the Bat to type with one hand while they move the mouse with the other. (Image courtesy of Infogrip, www.infogrip.com)


What Happened to Innovation?

In the 1990s, Samsung introduced an excellent, ergonomic laptop keyboard that offered an adjustable V shape, and IBM introduced its famous TrackWrite keyboard. The latter, known as the "Butterfly" keyboard, popped out of the laptop into a full-size keyboard. There has been little innovation on laptop keyboards ever since. (TrackWrite image courtesy of Craig Leres.)

Thu, 21 Feb 2019 16:48:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/computer-keyboard
Killexams : Startups News No result found, try new keyword!Showcase your company news with guaranteed exposure both in print and online Online registration is now closed. If you are looking to purchase single tickets please email… Ready to embrace the ... Thu, 04 Aug 2022 06:27:00 -0500 text/html https://www.bizjournals.com/news/technology/startups Killexams : Bobidi launches to reward developers for testing companies' AI models

In the rush to build, test and deploy AI systems, businesses often lack the resources and time to fully validate their systems and ensure they're bug-free. In a 2018 report, Gartner predicted that 85% of AI projects will deliver erroneous outcomes due to bias in data, algorithms or the teams responsible for managing them. Even Big Tech companies aren't immune to the pitfalls — for one client, IBM ultimately failed to deliver an AI-powered cancer diagnostics system that wound up costing $62 million over 4 years.

Inspired by "bug bounty" programs, Jeong-Suh Choi and Soohyun Bae founded Bobidi, a platform aimed at helping companies validate their AI systems by exposing the systems to the global data science community. With Bobidi, Bae and Choi sought to build a product that lets customers connect AI systems with the bug-hunting community in a "secure" way, via an API.

The idea is to let developers test AI systems and biases — that is, the edge cases where the systems perform poorly — to reduce the time needed for validation, Choi explained in an email interview. Bae was previously a senior engineer at Google and led augmented reality mapping at Niantic, while Choi was a senior manager at eBay and headed the "people engineering" team at Facebook. The two met at a tech industry function about 10 years ago.

"By the time bias or flaws are revealed from the model, the damage is already irrevocable," Choi said. "For example, natural language processing algorithms [like OpenAI's GPT-3] are often found to be making problematic comments, or mis-responding to those comments, related to hate speech, discrimination, and insults. Using Bobidi, the community can 'pre-test' the algorithm and find those loopholes, which is actually very powerful as you can test the algorithm with a lot of people under certain conditions that represent social and political contexts that change constantly."

To test models, the Bobidi "community" of developers builds a validation dataset for a given system. As developers attempt to find loopholes in the system, customers get an analysis that includes patterns of false negatives and positives and the metadata associated with them (e.g., the number of edge cases).

Exposing sensitive systems and models to the outside world might supply some companies pause, but Choi asserts that Bobidi "auto-expires" models after a certain number of days so that they can't be reverse-engineered. Customers pay for service based on the number of "legit" attempts made by the community, which works out to a dollar ($0.99) per 10 attempts.

Choi notes that the amount of money developers can make through Bobidi — $10 to $20 per hour — is substantially above the minimum wage in many regions around the world. Assuming Choi's estimations are rooted in fact, Bobidi bucks the trend in the data science industry, which tends to pay data validators and labelers poorly. The annotators of the widely used ImageNet computer vision dataset made a median wage of $2 per hour, one study found, with only 4% making more than $7.25 per hour.

Pay structure aside, crowd-powered validation isn't a new idea. In 2017, the Computational Linguistics and Information Processing Laboratory at the University of Maryland launched a platform called Break It, Build It that let researchers submit models to users tasked with coming up with examples to defeat them. Elsewhere, Meta maintains a platform called Dynabench that has users "fool" models designed to analyze sentiment, answer questions, detect hate speech and more.

But Bae and Choi believe the "gamified" approach will help Bobidi stand out from the pack. While it's early days, the vendor claims to have customers in augmented reality and computer vision startups, including Seerslab, Deepixel and Gunsens.

The traction was enough to convince several investors to pledge money toward the venture. Today, Bobidi closed a $5.5 million seed round with participation from Y Combinator, We Ventures, Hyundai Motor Group, Scrum Ventures, New Product Experimentation (NPE) at Meta, Lotte Ventures, Atlas Pac Capital and several undisclosed angel investors.

Of note, Bobidi is among the first investments for NPE, which shifted gears last year from building consumer-facing apps to making seed-stage investments in AI-focused startups. When contacted for comment, head of NPE investments Sunita Parasuraman said via email: "We're thrilled to back the talented founders of Bobidi, who are helping companies better validate AI models with an innovative solution driven by people around the globe."

"Bobidi is a mashup between community and AI, a unique combination of expertise that we share," Choi added. "We believe that the era of big data is ending and we're about to enter the new era of quality data. It means we are moving from the era — where the focus was to build the best model given with the datasets — to the new era, where people are tasked to find the best dataset given with the model-complete opposite approach."

Choi said that the proceeds from the seed round will be put toward hiring — Bobidi currently has 12 employees — and building "customer insights experiences" and various "core machine learning technologies." The company hopes to triple the size of its team by the end of the year despite economic headwinds.

Thu, 14 Jul 2022 00:06:00 -0500 en-GB text/html https://uk.style.yahoo.com/bobidi-launches-reward-developers-testing-110006471.html
Killexams : Salt Security Platform Enhancements Make it Easier to Operationalize API Security

Threat hunting, API call sequencing, and contextual API security testing speed incident response and eliminate more API threats

PALO ALTO, Calif., July 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Salt Security, the leading API security company, today announced new enhancements to its next-generation Salt Security API Protection Platform, extending abilities in threat detection and pre-production API testing. The latest features include deeper and earlier insights into attacker behaviors and attack patterns, visual depictions of API call sequences, and support for attack simulation ahead of releasing APIs into production. With the new capabilities, Salt enhances its market-leading capabilities in runtime protection, providing organizations a more comprehensive view of API usage and the API attack surface so they can Excellerate their business understanding and accelerate incident response time.

(PRNewsfoto/Salt Security)

Building upon its existing threat detection and monitoring algorithms, the Salt platform provides organizations with quick, automatic, and continuous visibility into any risks or vulnerabilities within their API ecosystem. Customers can more easily spot and block API attacks before bad actors can reach their objective, and they can also more quickly identify unusual API usage patterns and remediate API vulnerabilities.

New features in the Salt Security API Protection Platform include:

  • Threat hunting capabilities within more detailed attacker timelines – Salt continues to be the only API security company that creates a consolidated attacker timeline. New platform capabilities support threat hunting and better illumination of the sequence of attacker steps, enabling organizations to conduct faster incident analysis and expedite remediation efforts.

  • Visualization of API Call Sequences – Salt becomes the first API security vendor to offer a visual depiction of the various paths that API calls are following. This visualization makes clear how users are interacting with APIs, revealing actions that should and should not be allowed, how users or services are entering digital systems, usage that shouldn't be allowed, API design flaws, and other usage details.

  • Contextual API security testing – Salt is making robust attack simulation capabilities available across runtime, pre-production, and development cycles. These simulations can help organizations identify business logic flaws early in the lifecycle, and integration with CI/CD systems means developers can address security gaps before releasing APIs.

In the Salt Security State of API Security Report, Q1 2022, 86% of respondents admitted to lacking the confidence in knowing which APIs expose sensitive data. Identifying and monitoring for API vulnerabilities in real-time is crucial for protecting companies' vital assets so they can focus on business operations instead of risk.

"Bad actors work tirelessly to refine their tactics and techniques to make threats more difficult to detect. Successfully defending against modern, sophisticated API attacks requires solutions that can swiftly detect illegitimate activity and behavioral abnormalities in real-time," said Elad Koren,
Chief Product Officer, Salt Security. "Our latest platform capabilities deliver critical insights sooner and across the full API lifecycle. With increased context over time, combined with automated threat alerts, organizations can better defend themselves against attacks and fix API vulnerabilities before they can be exploited."

Salt Security will be at Black Hat USA from August 10-11 at booth # 932. To learn more about Salt Security, its platform, or to request a demo, please visit https://content.salt.security/demo.html.

About Salt Security

Salt Security protects the APIs that form the core of every modern application. Its API Protection Platform is the industry's first patented solution to prevent the next generation of API attacks, using machine learning and AI to automatically and continuously identify and protect APIs. Only Salt Security has the ability to correlate activities across millions of APIs and users over time and provide real-time analysis of all that data. Deployed in minutes, the Salt Security platform learns the granular behavior of a company's APIs and requires no configuration or customization to pinpoint and block API attackers. For more information, please visit: https://salt.security.

Press Contact
Dex Polizzi
Lumina Communications


View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/salt-security-platform-enhancements-make-it-easier-to-operationalize-api-security-301589881.html

SOURCE Salt Security

Wed, 20 Jul 2022 00:42:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://finance.yahoo.com/news/salt-security-platform-enhancements-easier-120000601.html
Killexams : Can YOU spot the tennis racquet in this Wimbledon-themed puzzle? No result found, try new keyword!Hopes Grove Nurseries, based in Tenterden, have challenged puzzlers to spot the butterfly among the peonies in a garden-themed brainteaser designed to put observation skills to the test. Fri, 24 Jun 2022 19:51:00 -0500 en-gb text/html https://www.msn.com/en-gb/lifestyle/other/can-you-spot-the-tennis-racquet-in-this-wimbledon-themed-puzzle/ar-AAYQTTz
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