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Automated or Human, Consumers Demand Smart, Speedy Service
May 6, 2021
The fifth annual Customer Expectations Report from Gladly reveals what today's consumers want from brands, especially when shopping online. The report describes how consumers' expectations of retailers have changed in the last year amid a global pandemic and an online shopping boom. Also suggested is that online shoppers tend to prefer human agents over digital assistants.
How to Avoid the Cost of Churn With Better Customer Experiences
April 27, 2021
Customer churn is costing mid-market companies an average of $5.5 million per year. Retailers need to avoid the expensive mistakes that result in such disastrous churn. This presents a clamorous alarm to marketers. One solution to this costly predicament is to get sales teams to work effectively, and consistently, in CRM platforms.
Nvidia and the End of Movies as We Know Them
April 19, 2021
GTC21, this year's Nvidia GPU Technology Conference, was terrific as always. The alleged focus was on AI and autonomous cars. But, as I watched presentation after presentation from folks out of the entertainment industry, I realized that if you started putting some of these various elements together, they effectively predicted the end of movies as stand-alone, costly entertainment.
Microsoft Nabs Nuance for $19.7B to Bolster Cloud for Healthcare
April 13, 2021
Microsoft has announced it is purchasing Nuance Communications, a natural language to computer processing company, in a deal valued at $19.7 billion. "Nuance's popular healthcare-focused products and services will provide Microsoft an instant revenue stream and relationships with existing Nuance customers," noted Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT.
How to Ride the 'Consumer Wave' to Better Customer Experiences
April 5, 2021
Even the most customer-centric businesses can overestimate their performance or miss the broad trends in customer behavior. That is why NICE inContact conducts annual surveys that track the customer experience from the perspective of businesses and consumers. CRM Buyer discussed the recent findings and related issues in more detail with the company's CEO Paul Jarman.
Sophisticated CRM Now at the Core of Customer Success
April 1, 2021
With most workers continuing to work remotely, CRM has become an important tool for managing relationship risk. Financial firms have to deal with market and operational risk, consumer retailers have to focus on supply chain risk, and all companies have to keep an eye on economic risk. Relationship risk is no different, and the role of the CRM is right at the center.
Think Tank Calls for US Industrial Policy to Combat China's Quest for Tech Dominance
March 30, 2021
A report from the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation called on the U.S. government to take an active role in promoting industrial competitiveness, and to formulate an advanced industry and technology strategy, which should include a set of policies and programs explicitly designed to support specific industries and technologies.
AI, ML Not Yet a Plug-and-Play Proposition for Marketers: Study
March 24, 2021
Personalization and automation, two of the hottest buzzwords in the lexicon of CRM practitioners, are all the rage for marketers these days. But only 14 percent of organizations are using artificial intelligence or machine language to automate their marketing campaigns. A survey by Rackspace Technology reveals that the majority of organizations worldwide lack the internal resources to support these high-powered CRM initiatives.
Advance Strategies to Eliminate E-Commerce Chargebacks
March 19, 2021
Half of consumers who originally planned to return to their pre-pandemic in-store shopping routines once coronavirus is under control now plan to stick with online shopping. That shift in preferences means that e-commerce merchants must keep up with trending ways to market, sell, and prevent fraud. Let's look at a few of the most important developments and see where they're going.
AI Contract Spending Set to Grow in Federal Market
March 9, 2021
The United States government is trying to get smarter about getting smart. Throughout the federal government, and especially in defense and national security, artificial intelligence is getting an increased amount of attention, including the adoption of hefty AI budgets. That should lead to increasing contract opportunities for information technology vendors with high competence in AI.
AI Vision System Hoodwinked by Pen and Paper
March 9, 2021
Skeptics of giving computers control over high-risk activities like driving cars were given some ammunition last week when researchers at OpenAI discovered their two-month-old machine vision system could be tricked with a pen and paper into misidentifying objects. For example, their new system could be fooled into identifying an apple as an iPod by attaching a note to the apple with the word iPod on it.
Commission Issues Blueprint to Boost AI Prowess in US
March 3, 2021
A road map for continued U.S. leadership in artificial intelligence has been revealed in a 756-page report released by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. Two years in the making, the report made a number of recommendations to make the United States a leader in the AI age, including an emphasis on the need for the U.S. to win the AI competition with China.
AI App Puts New Life in Old Photos
March 2, 2021
Nostalgia website MyHeritage has launched a new service that allows you to create lifelike animations of faces in still photos. The AI-powered service called Deep Nostalgia, launched last week, is free to try and is remarkably accurate in depicting how a person would look if captured on video. Their eyes blink, their head moves and their mouth forms a smile.
Contactless Goes Far Beyond Payments: It's For Everything
February 23, 2021
Retailers are finding new ways to retool their customer experiences to conform with the new contactless "everything" supply chain; and artificial intelligence and computer vision technologies are lending a notable hand. Out are the bulky metal lockers where customers had to open doors that many other people have come in contact with to retrieve their items staged from online purchases.
Wearable Device Aims to Diminish Distractions, Sharpen Focus
February 11, 2021
Foci is a "Focus Wearable" device by U.K.-based company Tinylogics that combines cognitive biometrics with artificial intelligence and machine learning to help you focus better. That combination of technologies presents an eerie yet intriguing approach to help people easily bothered by mental distractions a way to clear out their brain clutter.
Algolia Acquires MorphL to Advance Marketing Prowess
January 26, 2021
Search-as-a-service company Algolia on Monday announced its acquisition of Google DNI-funded machine learning startup MorphL to fuel Algolia's new artificial intelligence offering. The company hopes the new service will eliminate barriers to AI implementation and help businesses drive website conversion and personalization.
Conversational Platform Trends for 2021
January 19, 2021
Live chat and conversational platform technologies have made significant advancements in recent years. Thanks to AI and machine learning, these implementations have gone beyond just being a customer support tool, to a crucial component of an e-commerce revenue engine. Here's what retailers need to know to get maximum conversions and satisfied customers from live chat tools in 2021 and beyond.
CES 2021: What Worked, What Didn't
January 18, 2021
We still seem to do these remote activities as we did when we met in person. Streaming and video conferencing tools we are using still don't allow us to do what we once did face-to-face, but they have other advantages that aren't being utilized to make the experience better. Let's talk about who did a great job, and what worked at CES; and then what sucked at the event. We'll close with a look at a promised new vehicle from GM: the Cadillac Lyriq.
Consumers Becoming More Tolerant of Chatbots for Certain Tasks
January 15, 2021
If you want to smooth over irate clients and offer more efficient customer services, consider conversational bots instead of a roomful of human company reps. Researchers see consumers' comfort levels with a variety of chatbot technologies softening towards customer service, scheduling, banking, and therapy.
Young Entrepreneurs Bring High Tech to Quell Surgical Fears
January 14, 2021
The last thing George Kramb expected from years of walking surgeons through actual operations using medical machinery was to step into a role that helped guide patients worldwide through their own medical journeys. Kramb and his partner Patrick Frank are now listed on the "2021 Forbes 30 Under 30" list in recognition of their status as rising stars in the business world.
The Critical Role of High-Tech R&D in the COVID-19 Era
January 12, 2021
Maintaining and increasing research and development spending in the COVID-19 era is critical for high technology vendors to deliver new solutions and services, continue to innovate, and position their businesses to rebound from the negative effects of the global pandemic. Analysts, financial advisors, and investors concur that, wherever possible, vendors should continue to aggressively invest in R&D.
Virtual CES
January 11, 2021
This year, due to COVID restrictions, CES is all digital. Let's talk about what you'll see at the show, and what might make an event like CES work better virtually. I used to teach a class on how to put together tech events, and I'm pulling out my old notes for this. We'll close with the product of the week, a monitor launched by Dell that is focused on video conferencing in the new normal.
Scientists Press AI Researchers for Transparency
January 8, 2021
An international group of scientists is demanding scientific journals demand more transparency from researchers in computer-related areas when accepting their reports for publication. They also want computational researchers to include information about their code, models and computational environments in published reports.
2021: The Year of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
January 4, 2021
While the pandemic has been painful, it has caused things to accelerate in several areas impressively rapidly. Two of those areas are robotics and artificial intelligence, which we'll see adapted broadly this decade with a considerable bump in 2021. Let's talk about all of that this week, and we'll close with the first product of the week in 2021, the Somnofy AI Sleep Monitor.
The Evolution of Personal Communications Technology Through 2050
December 14, 2020
Sometime in the 2030s PCs and phones will merge, if they hadn't already. In the 2040s people and personal technology will merge as humans and robotics evolve into hybrids of each other. Since we're approaching the end of 2020, let's talk about what's on the way over the next three decades, and build up to what's in store for personal communications technology in 2050.
Qualcomm's Powerful Preview of 2021's Premium Smartphones
December 7, 2020
Qualcomm last week launched its Snapdragon 888 platform which will show up in premium phones next year. This promises to take the high-end of Android smartphones to levels of performance they've never seen before. Let's talk about what is coming to market in Android phones -- and likely iPhones -- next year, because you've got to believe Apple watched this launch and is now furiously working to create similar functions.
Machine Learning Is Changing the Future of Software Testing
December 3, 2020
Machine learning, which has disrupted and improved so many industries, is just starting to make its way into software testing. Heads are turning, and for good reason: the industry is never going to be the same again. Let's delve into the current state of affairs, and explore how ML techniques are radically changing the software testing industry.
Tech Gift Ideas to Help Tackle Your Holiday Shopping List
November 30, 2020
Today is Cyber Monday, which doesn't mean as much this year because the related sales have been going on for much of November as retailers try to bring in every available dollar they can. This week, let's look at some of the best deals or products that stand out as game changers in their segment.
IBM, Microsoft, and the Future of Healthcare
November 9, 2020
Healthcare is a mess, not just here in the U.S., but in most countries. Some of the biggest problems in this data-rich era are the lack of interoperability and fact-based advice. Two companies that stand out as aggressively trying to fix this are IBM and Microsoft. Let's contrast IBM's and Microsoft's healthcare efforts this week -- and we'll close with my product of the week: the most advanced electric motorcycle on the market.
Open Source Groups Merge for Better High-Tech Traction
November 4, 2020
The Linux Foundation is doubling down on open source collaboration to drive more innovation in technology that uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning. The LF AI Foundation and ODPi merged on Oct. 25 to form the LF AI & Data Foundation. This new organization will build and support an open community and a growing ecosystem of open source AI, data, and analytics projects.
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What was your initial reaction to news of the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack?
It demonstrates that all critical infrastructure sectors are at high risk of disruption by cybercriminals.
Everyone will be paying for this attack in the form of higher energy costs.
Governments need to work more closely with private industries to protect networks for the sake of public safety.
It's a global problem. An international alliance must be formed to hold the perpetrators accountable and prevent future attacks.
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