Take a deep breath. It's Friday. I'm Jordan Parker Erb, and today I'm taking you inside the "complete chaos" at Oracle as layoffs and restructuring roil the database giant.
By the way, apologies for the slight delay this morning — we had a technical issue. (Fitting for a tech newsletter!)
Let's get to it.
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1. Oracle insiders describe "complete chaos" from layoffs and restructuring. Earlier this week, Oracle began a sizable layoff, potentially impacting thousands of employees — and those who haven't yet been laid off are scrambling to figure out whether they'll be next.
The hardest-hit units, current and former employees said, were in the marketing and customer experience divisions. Some marketing teams have seen their headcount slashed by anywhere from 30% to 50%.
In some cases, they said, managers were given the choice of who would get cut, while others had no say in how the layoffs would affect their teams.
The Advertising and Customer Experience team was said to have been cut, too. "The common verb to describe ACX is that they were obliterated," one employee said.
This leaked org chart shows Oracle's cloud leaders after the company's major organizational changes.
A look inside Oracle over the past week.
In other news:
2. The Federal Trade Commission is deepening its investigation into Amazon's Prime sign-up and cancellation process. The FTC sent out subpoenas and other demands for information after Insider reporting. Here's our scoop on what's going on.
3. Axed "Robinhoodies" say they were tipped off to layoffs weeks ago. Former Robinhood employees said they saw signs of belt-tightening — including plans to shrink office space — long before the company laid off 23% of its staff. Five former employees took us behind the scenes.
4. Elon Musk's countersuit against Twitter says the company is operating a "scheme" to mislead investors. Musk argued that he is entitled to drop the deal entirely — and Twitter pushed back, saying the billionaire's story is "implausible." Get the big takeaways.
5. Nike is offering $5,000 employee bonuses for some tech job referrals. Grappling with internal turmoil and a wave of exits, the company announced the new referral program, which has been met with mixed reviews from employees. Here's what we know.
6. Fifteen current and former Apple female employees say the company dismissed claims of misconduct. After the Financial Times reported the HR unit retaliated against some of them after speaking up about the incidents, Apple vowed to "make changes." What we know so far.
7. Startup founders' mental health is crumbling. Dried-up funding and the stress of a turbulent economic year has piled stress on founders who are already trying to do the impossible: build iconic tech companies. Why some founders "are especially not OK."
8. Elon Musk denied that he's planning to build his own private airport in Texas. Local news site Austonia reported last week that an airport could help grow his companies in the region, but Musk said that's "not true" and it "would be silly." Get the full rundown here.
Odds and ends:
9. Mark Zuckerberg is minting an NFT of his Little League baseball card. In a post announcing Instagram's expanded support for NFTs, Zuckerberg shared his own "soon-to-be NFT." See the potential digital collectible of a young Zuck.
10. We broke down how to unsend text messages using iOS 16. iPhone users with iOS 16 will have 15 minutes to unsend a text — and delete it from the recipient's phone. How it works and how to do it.
The latest people moves in tech:
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Dr. Shravani Durbhakula
Given Big Tech’s dubious track record in health care, Oracle’s nearly $30 billion acquisition of electronic health records company Cerner is already prone to doubt. Add to that Oracle’s challenging problem inherited from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The VA’s health administration, which oversees the nation’s largest health care system with 9 million patients, is embroiled in technical problems in its massive data implementation contract with Cerner. Oracle now owns the problem – literally.
This became apparent June 19 in The Spokesman-Review. That’s when an investigative article about problems with Cerner software at Spokane’s Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center ran in this newspaper. Those findings have since reverberated in several health care and military-oriented media outlets. A government audit’s preliminary findings, which are subject to revision, document Cerner software putting patients into what amounts to a black hole where appointments, lab work, refilling prescriptions and other routine follow up procedures failed to work. In all, nearly 150 patients were said to be harmed due in large part to Cerner software.
Credit Oracle’s senior leadership for not ducking the issue. Oracle had a number of ways to avoid addressing the media and the resulting accountability. For one, reporter Orion Donovan-Smith obtained a draft report from his own sources on problems implementing Cerner software. As a draft report, a common tactic would be to defer commenting until a final report is released. Yet Oracle Vice President Deborah Hellinger committed the company to making the software work.
Explaining that the database giant’s software engineers were already working on technical and operational changes, she said the goal is to exceed expectations of providers, patients and the VA. Hellinger went on to say Oracle has “a moral obligation to deliver the best technology possible for our nation’s veterans, and we intend to do so.” This statement creates a sense of urgency while inspiring confidence that Oracle is up to the job. Invoking a moral obligation to developing effective technology for the nation’s veterans elevates the mundane debugging of software and resolving help desk tickets into a patriotic duty.
To be sure, Oracle stopped short of pledging to solve specific issues, which pre-dates the company’s acquisition of Cerner. In 2018, the VA signed a $10 billion contract with Cerner to migrate health records from a 1980s-era legacy system. The deployment in 2020 at Mann-Grandstaff is the first part of what is envisioned as a nationwide rollout over 10 years.
The Office of Inspector General has issued a dozen critical reports about the VA’s patient records modernization initiative. Meanwhile, the GAO, the auditing arm of Congress, recommended delaying the deployment of Cerner to other VA facilities until further testing is completed. Such audits invite additional scrutiny. President Biden signed legislation last month that requires the VA to issue quarterly reports on progress with its Cerner electronic health records rollout.
Members of Congress know the political importance of veterans. “For more than a year, Cerner and VA leadership have avoided accountability, withheld key findings and information, and put the lives of our nation’s heroes at risk,” said U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, reacting to The Spokesman-Review’s coverage.
While it is easy to assign blame to Cerner, the VA or both, Klas Research finds in a exact study that perceptions of electronic health records systems are formed by an organization’s IT leadership, the vendor and medical personnel as end users. Well-known for analyzing health technology, the firm concludes an organization’s IT leadership is the single most important determinant of success in EHR systems. As longtime health IT observers know, implementing large projects often comes down to management and personnel considerations as much as technical ones.
The bottom line is the track record of Big Tech in health care is dubious at best. Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM and Microsoft have either struggled or outright failed at bold new health initiatives. Technology alone is not enough. As Dr. Robert Pearl, a professor at Stanford University who served as CEO of a large medical system notes, despite engineering know how to create powerful tools, patient record data is tricky business. Many of the issues plaguing Cerner and the VA is the migration of data from the old EHR system.
Oracle has an enormous opportunity here to put their words into action. As Oracle founder Larry Ellison said, “Better information will fundamentally transform health care.” He’s right. Focus on veterans’ health care to make medical data work for those who served the country.
Dr. Shravani Durbhakula is an anesthesiologist and pain physician at Johns Hopkins University. Twitter: @ShravaniD_MD
An earlier version of this piece misspelled the name of Dr. Shravani Durbhakula, due to a copy editor’s error.
The latest version of Oracle’s Fusion Sales customer relationship management (CRM) application wants to automate the most repetitive sales tasks by providing users with automated recommendations to increase productivity and close more deals.
The new look Fusion Sales tool looks to build on the data Oracle has collected for over 40 years and remove several manual steps in the B2B sales process.
“Traditional CRM systems were designed to be a system of record for planning and forecasting, versus a tool to help sellers sell more," said Rob Tarkoff, executive vice president for Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience. "As a result, sellers spend countless hours on data entry and administration that stunts sales productivity."
The updated sales application already comes bundled with Oracle’s Cloud Customer Experience CRM suite, which also includes marketing, customer service, finance, and HR modules.
Fusion Sales could turn marketing leads into opportunities
The updated sales application offers a step-by-step guide that helps sellers onboard faster. These steps can be based on the custom recommended practices of an individual enterprise, as well as helping to automate the process of qualifying and converting marketing leads into opportunities.
“When connected to Oracle Fusion Marketing, Fusion Sales automatically creates highly qualified leads and then passes them to sellers for follow-up,” the company said in a statement.
Sellers will be able to see quotes, proposals, and implementation schedules once new opportunities are created inside the CX cloud.
These quotes are automatically updated throughout the sales process as a deal progresses and are enriched with historical data that includes prior successful deals, the customer’s industry sector, and other key account attributes.
The application can also surface intelligent content recommendations for sellers that can be fed in from the marketing team. These approved pieces of information, such as commonly asked questions, can be used to quickly answer buyer or customer queries, easing the time taken to complete the sales process.
New app lets users create personalised mircosites
The updated version of Fusion Sales also includes a new Digital Sales Room, where an enterprise can create personalised microsites for its customers.
These sites can include resources such as quotes, past contracts, reference stories, and details of past or upcoming Zoom meetings to help move buyers closer to a purchasing decision.
These sites can also track certain customer signals or behavioural patterns based on their interaction with the website, and these signals can be used as further sales insights for training and future deal-making strategies.
Competition continues to be strong in the CRM market
With these product moves, Oracle is looking to keep pace in what is becoming an even more competitive cloud CRM space, alongside the likes of Microsoft, Salesforce, and SugarCRM.
Salesforce has been looking to leverage AI to make recommendations to users since it launched its Einstein product back in 2016, and Microsoft has added its own Sales Insights for Dynamics CRM.
“In 2021, many companies continued to pivot toward the more digital world that we now live in, including the procurement of technologies that would help them Improve their level of engagement with their customers and the experience that customers receive,” said Alan Webber, program vice president for customer experience management strategies at the analyst firm IDC.
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BELLEVUE, Wash., August 04, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Accelalpha, a portfolio company of Century Park Capital Partners, announced today that is has completed the acquisition of Frontera Consulting, a leader in implementation and management of Oracle Cloud applications. The combination expands the geographic reach of both firms’ consulting services and managed services, while broadening their solution delivery capabilities and industry expertise.
Founded in 2008, Frontera was one of the first Oracle Partners to focus on Oracle Cloud applications, implementing the first ever Fusion Financials client in North America. Since then, Frontera has developed capabilities and certifications in ERP, EPM, PPM, HCM, and SCM, as well as Oracle Integration Cloud. Frontera has grown to develop deep expertise and a strong reputation within the Financial Services, Professional Services, Public Sector, Telecommunications, and Media & Entertainment industry verticals and has a strong presence in the U.S. and U.K.
The Frontera transaction marks the seventh acquisition by Century Park in the Technology Services sector and the fourth acquisition for Accelalpha. Tony Trevino, Principal at Century Park Capital Partners, commented, "We’re delighted to join forces with the Frontera team as we continue to expand our geographic reach and capabilities around mission critical applications for our enterprise customer base. We look forward to seeing what Frontera and Accelalpha can accomplish together."
Kevin Beyer, Managing Partner at Frontera, will continue to lead the Frontera operating unit within the Accelalpha family. Beyer said, "The combined organization of Frontera and Accelalpha creates a leading global consulting service provider with the ability to deliver a broader set of Oracle Cloud solutions and a depth of targeted industry knowledge. The two companies are an outstanding fit, geographically, technically, and culturally."
Nat Ganesh, Accelalpha CEO, concluded, "I have admired Frontera’s capabilities and reputation for a long time and we are excited to finally join forces with a great organization. The combination of Accelalpha and Frontera will bolster our market leadership as an organization that can implement, integrate, and manage all of the Oracle Cloud applications end-to-end to deliver comprehensive digital transformation solutions for our clients across the globe."
Accelalpha is a leader in solving critical business challenges through a unique combination of industry insight, technology depth, and a world-class team with an unmatched level of experience and domain expertise. Accelalpha leverages its expertise in end-to-end enterprise solution implementations to help companies build integrated logistic capabilities, optimize sales processes, modernize the supply chain, and realize benefits of the cloud. Our rigorous, result-oriented approach to developing solutions allows us to deliver tangible results in a shorter time frame. Accelalpha is recognized by Fortune as a best small and medium workplace and certified as a great place to work. For more information on Accelalpha, please visit www.accelalpha.com.
Frontera Consulting is a leading provider of business and technology consulting services to global organizations. Collaborating closely with our clients, we create transformational solutions to meet business needs and drive performance. Our mission is to create long-lasting value for our clients through the innovative use of technology and process expertise, earning the role of trusted advisor. Frontera is headquartered in New York, with operations in London and Hong Kong, and a development center in India. For more information on Frontera, please visit www.fronteraconsulting.net.
About Century Park:
Century Park Capital Partners is a Los Angeles-based private equity group established in 2000 that invests in family businesses, owner-operated firms and corporate divestitures with the purpose of accelerating growth and transforming these companies into leading industry players. We specialize in acquiring strategically well-positioned yet under-resourced middle market companies with identifiable potential for value creation. We leverage our C-level executive partners ("Century Leaders") in targeted sectors to build an investment thesis, evaluate opportunities, and lead portfolio companies through the value creation process. We further support our investments with proven operational and best practice initiatives, led by our Operating Team, including buy-and-build acquisition integration programs and infrastructure additions. For more information on Century Park, please visit www.centuryparkcapital.com.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220804005950/en/
Century Park Capital Partners
Director of Business Development
Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) hopes an Oracle executive’s presence at the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on July 20 signifies a “game changer” for the troubled health records system at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Ending the hearing on that note, the Montana lawmaker and VA committee chair had good reason to draw on Oracle’s decades-long experience developing complex databases. The electronic health records rollout is an injustice to veteran-patients and is becoming one of the worst government IT projects ever.
Oracle completed its nearly $30 billion acquisition of the electronic health records, or EHR, company Cerner last month, among the biggest healthcare deals in exact years. Cerner was awarded a $10 billion contractin 2018 to transition Veterans Affairs from a 1980’s era legacy system for digitizing patient records. The goalis to enable care continuity through the sharing of Defense Department medical records with the VA as military personnel transition from active duty to veteran status.
Cost over-runs, delays, service outages and malfunctioning software are detailed in over a dozen inspector general reportssince the Cerner system was first deployed at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Wash., in 2020. Costs have since increased to $16 billion, and there is no end in sight. At the beginning of the hearing last week, Tester cited an Institute for Defense Analysis estimate that puts the true cost of the VA’s electronic health records modernization program at over $56 billion by the time it’s completed.
There is nothing new about government contracts running over budget and behind schedule. What has members of Congress ready to pull the plug on Cerner is the faulty software causing harm to veterans.
An IG reportissued this month details examples of what is described as an “unknown queue,” a bizarre process and design flaw in which referrals to specialty care providers, laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging and other follow-up services go missing. In all, the new Cerner system failed to deliver 11,000 orders. The result is what the IG cited as nearly 150 instances of patient harm.&nbsp;
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) explained at the hearing that she met with veterans and providers this month in Spokane. “There continues to be flaws with the EHR that risk patient care and safety,” she said. Murray is demanding the EHR rollout be suspended in Washington state. Regarding the so-called unknown queue, Murray mentioned a VA official who denied patients were getting harmed despite the problem having been documented months before. “I have talked to veterans who have suffered serious harm,” she said.&nbsp;
It’s easy to see how patients are harmed. Even before the unknown queue issue, the Inspector General documented 38 unresolved threats to patient safety due to Cerner software. That critical report, issued in March, lists problems that include data migration from the old system, medication reconciliation and referrals to specialists. The problems range from wrong patient genders to veterans not getting their medications. The new EHR complicated medication management and care coordination, according to the IG. These are routine functions that patient data systems should perform. But too often this one doesn’t.
Veterans Affairs is not the only organization struggling with patient records data. Doctors and nurses have a love-hate relationship with electronic health records software that can affect clinical workflows throughout the country.
While the amount of paper records stuffed in filing cabinets have been reduced, doctors are often staring at a screen and trying talk to patients at the same time. Buggy, poorly-designed software prompted MedStar Health and the American Medical Association to launch an unprecedented campaign called “errors happen regularly,” — their own version of the EHR acronym. Overhauling the design and use of EHRs is a “national imperative” according to the AMA.
Oracle believes it can do better. That’s why it was not a Cerner representative but Oracle Vice President Mike Sicilia who appeared before senators last week. He claims the Veterans Administration will be the “gold standard” for EHR implementation worldwide and pledged to triage and fix patient safety issues.&nbsp;
As Sen. Tester noted, this month’s hearing was “calm.” But expect the gloves to come off if Oracle falls short.
Senators and representatives can do more than vent their anger during committee hearings and require more reports on the EHR program, as they did in a measure signed into law earlier this year. Congress has the power to terminate the entire agreement based on a Congressional Research Service legal analysis of federal contracting procedures.
Veterans’ lives are at stake. Oracle is saying the right things, now it must do them.&nbsp;
Dr. Shravani Durbhakula, MD, MPH, MBA is a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine anesthesiologist, pain physician, researcher and educator who focuses on innovation at the intersection of medicine, public health, and business and how it can advance patient care. Follow her on Twitter @ShravaniD_MD
Company Deloitte Type Vacancy Location Curius Sector Master Required language Dutch, English Website https://careersatdeloitte.com?utmutm_source=Curius&utm_medium=paid_linkad&utm_campaign=landingspage_consideration&utm_term=study_association&utm_content=consulting_awareness
CORE consultant with focus on Oracle ERP systems. At Deloite.
What impact will you make?
Once the world opens up you will spend a lot of time at the client location so that any questions your team or client has are easily and efficiently solved through an ad hoc meeting. The other hours you can choose to work at the office together with your colleagues, or to work from home if you don't feel like commuting. The day starts with a team standup for your current project, where you discuss the progress of the project and challenges you face. Then, together with your manager, you will prepare for an Oracle workshop which will be given to your client to discuss the challenges they might face during implementation of their new Oracle Fusion Cloud environment. Afterwards, you will have a coffee break with your manager to reflect on your first glance of being an Oracle consultant in action.
You spend your lunchbreak walking and looking for the best sandwich bar with your fellow consultants. After your lunch you are fully recharged to continue preparations for the IT audit interviews for another client. The last time you worked on an IT audit you audited the Oracle E business suit application of a client. However, this time it is actually an Oracle cloud system which needs to be audited, which you have never seen before. Luckily your senior is there to deliver you pointers and guide the interviews. You free up the last part of your day to work on a team-building activity you are organizing within your industry team, before you head into your weekend.
You come home from a challenging but rewarding day. Just like most others, this day contributes to your steep learning curve and the quickly increasing responsibilities fuel your ambition. Not to mention that your ever-growing knowledge in your fields of expertise is much appreciated by your clients, whom you interact with professionally and on a regular basis.
This is how
As a consultant with a focus on Oracle ERP systems, your passion lies in helping organizations with optimizing their risk management within their IT related business processes and learning more about Oracle ERP systems. With help of a team of senior colleagues you will be building a foundation to understand different IT environments and the Oracle ERP systems, to help clients with possible problems with their risk management related challenges. You will by doing through training and a lot of on the job learning. Together with your team, you will finish parts of the projects that you work on, to ultimately successfully implement a control framework, finish an IT audit report, or complete a risk assessment. During your time as consultant, you have enough time and space to continuously learn and enhance (new) skills, while learning on the job and from your fellow colleagues. Accordingly, your continuously growing understanding of multiple Oracle ERP systems will ensure that none of your clients are left with overuse of Diagnostics Utility, nor will they have any
segregation of duties conflicts in their responsibilities. Deloitte serves a wide range of clients, from start-ups, to governmental organizations, to world class corporations, but with a focus on Oracle you will quickly end up at our larger clients.
What we offer
• A competitive salary;
• A development program that allows you to continually develop;
• A work-from-home office setup allowance to make sure you have everything you need for an ergonomically-correct workstation;
• Flexible working hours, you are in charge of your own agenda;
• 26 days of paid annual leave, and the opportunity to purchase additional leave days; • The option to exchange three national holidays for three non-national holidays; • A laptop, which is also for personal use;
• A good pension scheme with a personal contribution of only 2%.
• An overtime policy that allows you to receive compensation for overtime; • An opportunity to take part in our collective health insurance scheme;
• An opportunity to benefit from tax-efficient facilities such as company fitness and a bicycle scheme.
What you offer
If you like the challenge of the above function description and meet the following profile criteria, we would like to meet you!
• Passion for advising clients in the area of IT risk management;
• You work well in a team and know how to manage your time and work;
• Eagerness to learn and develop yourself;
• Enterprising with good communication skills;
• Fluent in writing and speaking English (Dutch is a great advantage);
• You are result-oriented, stress resistant;
• A completed university degree; (IT-related is a pré)
• Experience with or interested in Oracle ERP systems;AT OsborneNIBC BankLogo CuriusWitteveen + BosMerkle
2628 BX, Delft
Rekeningnr.:: NL 36 ABNA
Gary Sims / Android Authority
The Raspberry Pi, everyone’s favorite single-board computer, celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. At $35, the original Pi Model B was an instant success and was quickly embraced by hackers, hobbyists, and students alike. Even an entire decade later, the Raspberry Pi continues to live at the heart of countless electronics and computing projects, including many of our own here at Android Authority.
With such a thriving global community, it’s probably not very surprising that someone’s always trying to squeeze every last bit of potential from the Pi’s versatile hardware. To that end, here are five cool and elaborate Raspberry Pi projects we’ve seen over the past ten years.
While many of us already have a voice assistant like the Echo Dot in our homes, most of them lack personality. Social robots haven’t taken off either, with projects like Jibo nearly going bankrupt in exact years. Luckily, there’s a whole world of customizable, DIY virtual assistants out there if you’re adventurous, many of which revolve around the Raspberry Pi.
The video above shows off one such assistant in action — it’s essentially a 3D-printed model of the L3-37 droid from Star Wars. A giant servo allows the droid’s head to pivot, making it seem much more interactive than your usual display or speaker.
Since Amazon doesn’t let you use a custom wake word on its Echo devices, the droid’s creator Patrick commissioned a Raspberry Pi to act as the brains instead. The Pi uses Amazon’s Alexa Voice Services SDK to offer the same functionality as any other Echo device. The droid lifts its head whenever the wake word is invoked — pretty cool!
If you like the idea of a voice-activated Star Wars-themed droid, you’ll be happy to know that this is far from the only implementation we’ve seen over the years. Tinkerers have used Raspberry Pi boards to control everything from an old-school R2D2 to a BB-8.
One Raspberry Pi is pretty powerful for its diminutive size, but if you need to run programs that involve loads of number-crunching, having multiple can speed things up significantly. In 2019, software company Oracle followed this logic and built the world’s largest Raspberry Pi cluster. The result? A supercomputer with over a thousand Raspberry Pi boards stacked five meters high.
Oracle used the cluster to display a tech demo at its annual developer conference, but similar clusters have also been built for specific applications over the years. In 2020, for example, Oracle constructed a smaller 84-node Pi cluster that contributed computational power to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).
Similarly, the Los Alamos National Laboratory has access to a 750-node Raspberry Pi cluster. According to their High Performance Computing Division, the hardware comes in handy to experiment with software that will eventually run on much more powerful (and power-hungry) supercomputers.
Raspberry Pi OS is based on Debian Linux, the same operating system that most commercial-grade servers run. In fact, this has allowed many of us to use the Pi as a NAS, media server, and web host. But do you ever wish your hardware had data center-like 24×7 reliability? You’re not alone. Someone built an off-the-grid Raspberry Pi web server that can keep going pretty much indefinitely.
Related: Is Android just Linux?
Reddit user Viko detailed his endeavor to build such a system in a 2016 post on the Raspberry Pi subreddit. The hardware setup was pretty straightforward — Viko used an LTE modem, solar panel, and a 52Ah lead-acid battery. They then tucked all of the components, minus the solar panel, into a sealed box for weather resistance. While this could be done with any computer, the Raspberry Pi is the perfect candidate because of its low power consumption and small form factor.
According to Viko, the Pi-powered web server achieved 100% uptime over several months of varying weather conditions. The setup even powered through thunderstorms, floods, snow, and communication disruptions.
The Pi Zero is a cut-down version of its larger, credit card-sized sibling. While you lose some performance (and a fair number of ports) from the larger models, it’s still plenty capable. Case in point: you can use it to emulate many older consoles, especially handheld ones like the Game Boy. But what if you wanted the portability of those consoles too? Well, the Pi Zero is small enough to fit in a handheld-sized enclosure (or an original SNES cartridge!).
Making your own Pi-powered handheld console is pretty simple, especially if you have access to a 3D printer. You can buy most of the electronics individually or as part of a kit. You’ll need a custom PCB for the buttons, a battery, and an LCD screen in addition to the Pi. As for software, most recommend using RetroPie, which can help emulate most older consoles.
If an off-the-shelf solution seems too mainstream, though, we recommend checking out some more elaborate custom Pi-based handhelds. This one, for instance, can load games from modded game cartridges containing an embedded microSD card. Another project not only fit a Raspberry Pi within a Game Boy enclosure but also retained the ability to run original game cartridges.
The Raspberry Pi is among only a handful of computers to have ever made it to the stratosphere, thanks to a rather specialized piece of equipment called high altitude balloons (HABs). These balloons can typically reach heights of up to 45km — higher than the Earth’s ozone layer. They’re often used for weather forecasting, telemetry, and imagery. As you’d expect, the Raspberry Pi is more than capable of these duties and has become a popular choice for researchers and hobbyists.
In 2014, hobbyist Dave Akerman developed a custom tracking board (a GPS receiver, antenna, and radio transmitter) for the Raspberry Pi that allows anyone to send and track a high-altitude balloon. Of course, there are many details you should probably consider first. The legality of the intended flight path and where your balloon will land will probably be your primary concerns. Still, the idea of launching an object into space is undeniably exciting.
While these might be five of the coolest Raspberry Pi projects we’ve seen, this list doesn’t scratch the surface of the impressive and downright whacky inventions people have come up with in the Pi’s first decade. Do you have a favorite Raspberry Pi project that we didn’t cover? Let us know in the comments!
I'm assigning C3.ai (NYSE:AI) a positive risk/reward rating based on its exceptional leadership team, discounted valuation, fortress balance sheet, its industry-leading position, strong technical underpinnings, and asymmetric potential return profile. Operating within one of the largest secular trends of our time, artificial intelligence, opens the door to explosive growth potential. C3.ai is a top choice for high-risk, high-reward investors seeking exceptional opportunities.
The marketplace broadly expects Artificial Intelligence or AI to be an immense opportunity and views it to be a game-changer technology in the future. By way of logical extrapolation, if it's a game-changer technology, AI will become a requirement for enterprise adoption in order to remain competitive.C3.ai's spring 2022 investor presentation illuminates each of these AI possibilities: Both a game changer and required adoption. The following two screenshots from the presentation summarize the size of the market opportunity and its importance to chief information officers.
In essence, as described in the presentation by C3.ai’s Chairman, CEO, and Co-founder, Thomas Siebel, the software industry is on the brink of a secular growth shift, from a history of descriptive systems to a future of predictive systems.
C3.ai speaks directly to the game-changer nature of AI as well as the competitive requirement for enterprise AI adoption in discussing how customers use its platform and the benefits that are expected to be achieved. The following three screenshots from the spring presentation detail C3.ai’s value proposition.
What's particularly unusual about the customer detail is the precise quantification of economic value across business segments that C3.ai’s platform is expected to deliver. Please note that I have detailed the annual economic benefit expected in the header above each image.
Leading European Utility Company: $6.7 Billion Euros Per Year
$3 Trillion Asset Financial Institution: $3.5 Billion Per Year
Top Five Global Energy Company: $3.8 Billion Euros Per Year
For the three customers above, the expected annual economic benefit to be derived from implementing C3.ai’s platform is $14 billion. This is an extraordinary value proposition across just three clients. If the benefits are achieved, these companies would clearly have a competitive advantage in their respective industries. The value proposition is extraordinary in light of C3.ai’s revenue base of $253 million in its just-completed fiscal year 2022. Based on the above customer details, C3.ai’s platform offers an incredible return on investment and is truly a game changer if the benefits are realized.
C3.ai’s growth strategy is threefold: Penetrate existing customers, expand multi-tiered distribution, and expand its ecosystem.
In terms of penetrating existing customers, C3.ai believes it has reached roughly 5% penetration of its existing client base. As a result, existing customer penetration alone represents an enormous growth opportunity from a $253 million revenue base. If the 5% figure is in the ballpark, existing customers represent a $5 billion opportunity. More conservatively, if penetration is closer to 10%, the opportunity remains substantial at $2.5 billion.
These penetration estimates are well supported by Palantir’s (NYSE:PLTR) customer penetration trajectory. Please refer to my prior Palantir reports for greater detail: Palantir Visibility Into The Upside and Palantir Red Flag Or Opportunity. C3.ai targets similar key customers with similar adoption trends. As a result, Palantir represents an excellent comparable company for valuing C3.ai. Interestingly, similar to Palantir, C3.ai’s existing customer base is quite small at only 218, as can be seen in the following screenshot from the presentation.
Customer growth of 82% is exceptional, although off of a small base. Importantly, C3.ai is targeting large strategic customers for its market entry. These customers represent some of the largest individual opportunities for AI over time. Additionally, as industry leaders, they should help drive C3.ai adoption amongst industry peers. The following screenshot provides color as to C3.ai’s existing customer base.
Shell, the top five energy company highlighted previously, is expected to derive $3.8 billion euros per year of economic value and has decided to standardize on C3.ai’s platform. The following three screenshots provide an excellent overview of how C3.ai’s platform is generally adopted and implemented through time. I have provided a header above each to highlight the process of customer penetration and the visibility that this creates. The screenshots also shine a spotlight on the true nature of the AI opportunity as a continual process rather than a discrete solution.
Shell: Detailed Implementation Plan Through Time
Shell: Detailed Deployment Roadmap Creates Visibility As AI Enables The IoT Revolution
Shell: Detailed Implementation Roadmap Creates Visibility
The same adoption cycle is on display in the next screenshot detailing the US Air Force’s C3 AI implementation.
US Air Force: Detailed Implementation Roadmap Creates Visibility
The US Air Force is nearing year one of its implementation while Shell is approaching year three. C3.ai’s client penetration occurs via a well-defined and detailed implementation roadmap. This process and the long-term strategic nature of AI adoption are conducive to a high degree of visibility into the ultimate opportunity size at each customer. As a result, the company’s estimated 5% penetration, or a more conservative 10% penetration estimate, is likely well supported by internal customer data. Of importance, notice that AI is the application layer that enables the full potential of the IoT or Internet of Things revolution.
The two remaining legs of the C3.ai growth strategy are interrelated and pertain to new customer acquisition. The multi-tiered distribution strategy is comprised of three vectors: Geographic, industry vertical, and partner ecosystem. Segmenting C3.ai’s market penetration strategy by geography is common, as is the segmentation by industry vertical.
The industry segmentation takes on added importance for C3.ai as each industry has its own unique AI requirements. Industry segmentation creates the opportunity for C3.ai to develop standardized industry solutions which are the key to creating economies of scale. Meaning, a primary challenge to broad AI adoption is the cost of developing customized solutions. Customized solutions lack scalability due to the inability to sell them to the broader marketplace. The following screenshot displays C3.ai’s scalable solutions.
The multi-tiered distribution and ecosystem expansion strategies can be visualized in the two images below. They highlight how the strategy was applied to the Shell opportunity. Notice that C3.ai is partnered with a leading energy service company on the top of the cube, Baker Hughes (NASDAQ:BKR), and a leader technology firm on the side of the cube, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).
C3.ai is partnered with industry leaders in four major verticals: Financial services, aerospace and defense, oil and gas, and utilities. At the same time, it's looking to expand its partnerships with leaders in the remaining industries. This appears to be an optimal approach as the industry leaders know the intricacies of their markets best and can enable more rapid and full penetration of each vertical.
In addition to industry vertical leaders, C3.ai has partnered with all major technology product and service providers. This ensures that it can serve the entire enterprise universe regardless of each company’s existing technology infrastructure. Similar to its industry vertical strategy, C3.ai’s technology partner strategy is the optimal approach in that it's technology agnostic, which ensures C3.ai can compete across the entire AI opportunity set.
The growth strategy being implemented by C3.ai looks to be perfectly suited for the AI market opportunity. It targets industry-leader partners for vertical distribution and all major technology platform leaders for breadth of distribution. As new customers are acquired, they then enter the process of implementation, which offers extraordinary growth potential by fully penetrating each customer’s long-term AI opportunity set.
Importantly, paraphrasing Siebel from the presentation, C3.ai views its AI opportunity to be largely a matter of execution at this stage. Siebel believes there's little market risk in that the AI software opportunity estimate of $600 billion by 2025 is a high confidence industry projection. He views there to be little technology risk as C3.ai is in the marketplace at scale today with a broad and industry-leading AI portfolio. Finally, Siebel believes that there's no meaningful competitive risk in the near term, leaving execution as the key to C3.ai’s success.
In other words, Sibel views C3.ai’s future success to be largely in the company’s control, which is an ideal position. The market’s view of AI and the industry players is more nuanced and understandably confusing as AI is applicable across all information systems. There are an incredible number of firms and products that many consider to be under the AI umbrella. C3.ai captured the market’s view of the competition in the following image.
Upon review, many of the firms and offerings in the above image do indeed compete with C3.ai in terms of specific AI-related applications or features. That said, they do appear to be largely tangential competition, perhaps with the exception of Palantir. The following screenshot demonstrates how many of these leading firms and offerings integrate with C3.ai’s platform approach. They are circled in blue on C3.ai’s console image.
In essence, C3.ai has designed its platform to be a new AI-specific software layer that incorporates the leading-technology tools of the day. The company has positioned itself on top of or parallel to these providers and can accommodate its clients use of their preferred tools. In this respect, C3.ai faces little meaningful competitive risk, as suggested by Siebel. I view Palantir, in the center of the competitive collage, as a natural competitor and possibly a great fit to be a suitor for C3.ai.
Given my view that Palantir is a natural competitor of C3.ai, it's helpful to view C3.ai’s valuation on its own and in relation to Palantir as a comparable enterprise. It should be noted that C3.ai remains an earlier stage company and is unprofitable. Management expects to reach sustainable free cash flow generation within two to three years. This is in line with the lone analyst earnings estimate for 2025.
While the earlier stage nature of C3.ai and the industry generally creates heightened risk, there's heightened opportunity. Investors are well compensated for the heightened risk by C3.ai’s strong balance sheet. The company has a book value of just under $1 billion, which is nearly all cash and equivalents. C3.ai has a fortress balance sheet from the perspective of its early stage of growth.
Due to the lack of current earnings and the nature of C3.ai’s secular growth opportunity, sales estimates are the most important metric for intermediate-term valuation purposes. The table below was compiled from Seeking Alpha and displays consensus sales estimates for C3.ai (the top section) and Palantir (the bottom section). I have highlighted in yellow the consensus growth rates, and in blue the current valuation to sales.
Notice that the expected growth rates are nearly identical over the coming three years, while C3.ai trades at a substantial discount to Palantir. In my prior Palantir reports, I cover the challenge that Palantir faces in terms of its traditional customized software development approach. Palantir has discussed its priority to address this in referring to “productizing” its offerings in exact times.
Given its scalable industry solutions outlined above, C3.ai should have a distinct market advantage in the AI space. The value proposition on offer from C3.ai, $14 billion across three companies outlined above, should be well received across the broad marketplace. It should be noted that Palantir is taking a much broader approach than AI with its platforms. This too opens the door for C3.ai, an AI-focused company, to gain significant traction across the broad AI opportunity set.
C3.ai’s 30% discount to Palantir on a price-to-sales basis points to the opportunity for multiple expansion. This offers a relative buffer within a generally high valuation multiple industry. In fact, many leading application software companies trade in the 12.65x sales range today. Relative to the AI opportunity set and its software peers, C3.ai trades at a substantial discount. The discounted valuation is further reinforced by roughly $9 per share of net cash on C3.ai’s balance sheet.
C3.ai’s executive leadership offers additional downside support and enhanced execution potential. Siebel created the leading CRM platform prior to Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), Siebel Systems, which was acquired by Oracle. Many of the Siebel Systems veterans are with C3.ai, and the board of directors appears to be top quality. I have included two screenshots below for those interested in the executive leadership details.
Next, I will walk through the price action which appears quite constructive, and then wrap things up.
The technical backdrop for C3.ai is one of well-defined resistance levels (the orange lines on the charts below) and emerging signs of strong support (the green line). The following three-year weekly chart provides a bird’s eye view of C3.ai’s trading history. Notice that the company came public during the most speculative phase of the bull market in December 2020 and opened at $100 per share. The shares are currently priced near $19 or roughly -80% below the opening price.
There are six well-defined resistance levels highlighted by the orange lines, which represent upside technical price targets. Only one support level is visible, which is represented by the green line and is the primary downside technical price target. The return potential to each of these targets and other key levels discussed above are summarized in the table below.
I have highlighted in yellow what I view as a high probability potential return spectrum over the short term (0 to 1 year). The blue highlighted cells represent an additional high-probability potential return spectrum over the nearer term (0 to 3 years).
The following 1-year daily chart provides a closer look at the first three technical upside targets and the primary support level. Please note that the gold trend line is the 50-day moving average (near $18) while the grey line is the 200-day moving average ($27.54). The moving averages represent additional support (50-day MA) and resistance (200-day MA) levels.
While the upside resistance levels are clearly defined and well above the current price, the most interesting technical behavior is in relation to the primary support level (the green line). C3.ai provided disappointing guidance when it reported its fiscal year 2022 fourth quarter results on June 1, 2022. The stock sold off nearly 20% the next day in reaction to the company’s cautious guidance, before finishing the day down only 5%. C3.ai went on to rally over 12% the following day.
Importantly, in the above chart, notice the massive volume surge over the three days following the guidance cut on June 1, 2022. What's interesting is that C3.ai did not breach its prior closing low of $13.85 reached on May 11, 2022. In essence, lower near-term growth was already priced into the shares compared to what was guided to by management on June 1, 2022. This type of price behavior in reaction to a large guidance cut is generally bullish, especially when accompanied by a surge in trading volume as this points to heavy accumulation.
Management guided to mid-20% revenue growth in the near term due to week macroeconomic conditions. Previous expectations were for revenue growth in the mid-30% range. Of note, on the Q4 2022 conference call, management stated that 30% to 35% revenue growth remains achievable under more favorable macroeconomic conditions.
Given the price action since March 2022, the green support level now resembles the neckline of an inverted head and shoulders bottom formation. This level has been thoroughly tested and held since March 2022, which suggests the area near $16 should offer exceptionally strong support. The following six-month daily chart provides a closer look at the bottoming pattern.
Notice that the shares are sitting on top of the 50-day moving average (the gold line). Business conditions could deteriorate further in the short term which would open the door to further downside risk below the primary support level. That said, technically speaking, C3.ai has carved out a substantial bottom formation while exhibiting bullish price action in response to materially reduced guidance.
It should be noted that C3.ai has a dual class structure with the voting power vested in Siebel. This renders C3.ai ineligible for inclusion in most indices. While this theoretically lends itself to less liquidity in the shares, it can be a material positive from a technical perspective in a bear market.
On the upside, with heavy insider ownership and a public float of only 80 million shares, the supply of shares could become quite tight if C3.ai continues to execute successfully. This dynamic could offer a powerful boost to upside momentum under bullish conditions for C3.ai.
The technical setup appears quite bullish from a long-term investment perspective as it's an ideal environment for those looking to accumulate the shares. In fact, from the perspective of a long-term investor, one would be hard pressed to find a larger secular growth opportunity than artificial intelligence universally applied. C3.ai is a uniquely positioned pure play on this megatrend with an exceptional leadership track record. The discounted valuation and fortress balance sheet further reinforce C3.ai as a top asymmetric risk/reward opportunity for those seeking exceptional growth potential.
Thank you for reading. We continually curate the most asymmetric and broadly relevant risk/reward opportunities of our times. The stoxdox platform is designed to empower all investors by providing the highest quality, unbiased, professional analysis delivered in an actionable format. We will be launching a Seeking Alpha Marketplace in the near future. Please follow us to keep abreast of updates and the coming Marketplace launch.
Oracle Names WorkForce Software the Cloud HCM ISV Partner of the Year as Winner of the 2021 Oracle Cloud HCM HR Heroes Visionary Award
WorkForce Software wins the Visionary Award for ISV Partner of the Year, an Oracle Cloud HCM HR Heroes Award, by changing the way customers benefit from greater automation, productivity, and efficiency through the use of cloud technology.
LIVONIA, Mich., Aug. 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- WorkForce Software, the first global provider of integrated employee experience and workforce management solutions, announced today that it has been recognized in the Oracle Cloud HCM HR Heroes Awards as the winner of the Visionary Award for the HCM ISV Partner of the Year category. This award celebrates the most innovative technology solution that complements Oracle Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM) and transforms the customer experience.
For large employers with unique workforce needs such as substantial union, hourly or shift-based employee teams, the WorkForce Suite, powered by Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), is one of the most reliable, performant, and secure cloud platforms available in the market today. WorkForce Software has one hundred percent of their resources dedicated to delivering modern workforce management solutions for global enterprisesâ€”fully focused on innovation and customer value. WorkForce Software is ISO 27001, ISO 27017, ISO 27018, and ISO 27701 certified and EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant making it an ideal workforce management solution for global employers. With pre-built integrations to HR and payroll systems, WorkForce Software delivers functionally rich workforce management capabilities without compromise while helping eliminate exposure to compliance risk.
The past year has presented a unique set of challenges for global employers and employees alike. Employers are navigating continued labor shortages, increased expenses, retention challenges, shifts to remote work, changing employee demands, and demands for progress on worker safety and diversity, equity and inclusion. Many outdated systems, processes, and previous technology investment decisions are hampering progress, driving more organizations to seek a technology solution that connects their workforce to the business â€“ even those working in frontline positions often without corporate email access. The 2021 Oracle Cloud HCM HR Heroes Award recognizes WorkForce Software for its innovative solutions to digitally transform its customers' employee communications and make work more human by leveraging Oracle Cloud HCM running on OCI.
"It takes a visionary to deliver solutions that can help organizations become more resilient, flexible, and positioned for the future," said Yvette Cameron, senior vice president of global product strategy, Oracle Cloud HCM. "WorkForce Software is changing the way customers work with greater automation, and efficiency through the use of technology and we congratulate them on their Oracle Cloud HCM HR Heroes Award win."
"We are thrilled to be recognized by Oracle as their ISV Partner of the Year, especially in a time where there have been such dramatic changes to the way people work." said WorkForce Software CEO Mike Morini. "The WorkForce Suite, powered by OCI, is a comprehensive modern workforce management solution. With customers reporting up to 40 percent performance improvements from deployments in the Oracle cloud, it is essential that every business is executing on their cloud migration strategy to achieve operational efficiency and agility necessary for businesses to remain competitive."
WorkForce Software and its WorkForce Suite were also recently recognized by industry analyst groups with distinguished honors including, WorkForce Software earning the leadership position in Nucleus Research's 2022 Workforce Management Technology Value Matrix report, ranking higher than all other software providers; WorkForce Software was named Champion in SoftwareReviews' Workforce Management Emotional Footprint report for the enterprise market, surpassing all other vendors; WorkForce Software was honored as the Gold STEVIE ® award winner in 2022 American Business Awards ® for Innovation of the Year â€“ Business Products Industries; The Company's employees ranked them highest to earn WorkForce Software honors alongside Microsoft and Amazon in Comparably's Annual Ranking of Top Companies for having the best product and design departments; WorkForce Software was named a Gold Winner in the Most Innovative Company of the Year Best in Biz Awards 2021 for the Company's innovative and modern workforce management and employee experience platform; WorkForce Software was a Winner in the 2021 Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Technology Awards and received top honors for product innovation and value realized by its customers with its modern workforce management and integrated employee experience platform in the 'Best Advance in Emerging Workforce Management' category; WorkForce Software was also recognized by Ventana Research as Exemplary Value Index Leader for creating the best customer experience and delivering the best return on investment to its global customers.
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 needsâ€”no matter how unique their pay rules, labor regulations, and schedulesâ€”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. Whether your employees are deskless or office 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 www.workforcesoftware.com.
About Oracle PartnerNetwork
Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) is Oracle's partner program designed to enable partners to accelerate the transition to cloud and drive superior customer business outcomes. The OPN program allows partners to engage with Oracle through track(s) aligned to how they go to market: Cloud Build for partners that provide products or services built on or integrated with Oracle Cloud; Cloud Sell for partners that resell Oracle Cloud technology; Cloud Service for partners that implement, deploy and manage Oracle Cloud Services; and License & Hardware for partners that build, service or sell Oracle software licenses or hardware products. Customers can expedite their business objectives with OPN partners who have achieved Expertise in a product family or cloud service. To learn more visit: http://www.oracle.com/partnernetwork
Oracle, Java and MySQL are registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation.
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