Richard Adhikari

About the Author Richard Adhikari


Customer Experience

Machines Could Become Driving Force Behind CX

Customer experience improvements have become an important part of companies’ digital transformations, according to survey results Mitel released Tuesday. More than 2,500 senior IT decision makers across North America, the UK, France, Germany and Australia responded to the survey. The participants represented businesses ranging from 250 to 10,000-plus employees in a wide range of industries.

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Marketing

B2B Tech Marketers Have Work Cut Out for Them

Product reliability and ease of use are key for B2B technology marketers, suggests a recent survey of technology product and service decision makers in the U.S. Four hundred B2B tech buyers participated in the survey, conducted for Lavidge by WestGroup Research. Overall, 68 percent cited reliability as the most critical criterion in their purchase decisions; 64 percent said ease of use was key.

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Cybersecurity

MacOS High Sierra Flaw Creates High Anxiety

Apple has released a security update to fix a serious flaw revealed via Twitter. The patch is available for macOS High Sierra 10.13.1. macOS 10.12.6 and earlier versions aren’t affected. “This morning, as of 8 a.m., the update is available for download, and, starting later today, it will be immediately automatically installed on all systems running MacOS High Sierra 10.13.1,” Apple said.

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Trends

E-Commerce Provides Fertile Ground for B2B Growth

Business-to-business firms view increased online activity as an effective way to boost their growth, according to a new report from CloudCraze. Eighty-nine percent of the 400-plus B2B decision makers CloudCraze surveyed in the United States and Europe expected digital commerce would help their businesses grow. E-commerce has altered the role of sales teams, the CloudCraze survey also suggests.

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Cloud Computing

IBM Adds 2 New Processors to Quantum Computing Ecosystem

IBM on Friday announced 20-qubit and 50-qubit quantum processors for its IBM Q early-access commercial systems. The 20-qubit processor — featuring improvements in superconducting qubit design, connectivity and packaging — has coherence times of 90 microseconds, which allows high-fidelity quantum operations, IBM said. The 50-qubit processor is an operational prototype.

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Enterprise Security

Microsoft Partners Up to Boost Windows Defender Threat Detection

Microsoft has partnered to integrate threat detection products from Bitdefender, Lookout and Ziften into Windows Defender, extending security to macOS, iOS, Linux and Android devices. No additional infrastructure will be required, Microsoft said. Once the integration is set, new events from onboard macOS, iOS, Android and Linux devices will begin surfacing on the Windows Defender ATP console.

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Consumer Security

5 Ways Etailers Can Make Online Shoppers Feel Safe

At least 145 million Americans were impacted by a data breach at Equifax that netted thieves personal information such as names, addresses, birthdates, Social Security Numbers and driver’s license numbers. That pales in comparison to the earlier Yahoo breaches, which affected more than 1 billion accounts. However, those incidents may be just the tip of a very large iceberg.

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Sales

New Relationship Marketing Hub Aims to Goose Conversion Rates

Optimove has released a new version of its relationship marketing hub. Optimove 6.0 lets users automate targeted marketing campaigns for new visitors as precisely as they can for current customers, the company said. It combines Web analytics with look-alike data, machine learning, and AI from its retention ecosystem to make accurate predictions of future spend before customers make a purchase.

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Home Tech

Sony’s Aibo Resurrected From Robot Pet Cemetery

Sony has revived its robot dog, Aibo, which it put down, so to speak, in 2006. The autonomous entertainment robot brings fun and joy to the entire family, Sony claimed. It can bond emotionally, give people love and affection, and let them experience the joy of nurturing and raising a companion. Aibo has ultra-impact 1- and 2-axis actuators that let it move smoothly and naturally along 22 axes.

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SMB

6 Ways E-Commerce SMBs Can Offer Great Customer Service on a Tight Budget

Keeping customers satisfied is the No. 1 priority of any retail business. Technological advances such as interactive voice response systems, chatbots, omnichannel accessibility and robotics have helped many large e-commerce companies improve customer satisfaction rates. However, these options require financial and manpower resources that small and mid-sized firms often don’t have.

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Home Tech

Noon Home Debuts New Way to Light Up Your Life

Noon Home officially launched on Thursday and simultaneously unveiled its Noon Smart Lighting System, after two years of raising funds and developing products in stealth mode. The Noon Smart Lighting System blends ambient, task and accent lights to layer lighting, improve the way a room looks. It consists of a Room Director switch and companion Extension Switches, which communicate via Bluetooth.

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Smartphones

Apple May Have Fudged iPhone X’s Face ID

Apple reportedly has reduced the accuracy of the iPhone X Face ID feature to speed up production. It’s not clear how much the new specs will reduce Face ID’s efficacy, but if the reporting is accurate, there could be problems recognizing changes in facial hair, glasses and other ancillary features, suggested Gerrit Schneemann, senior analyst at IHS Markit. “That would be a real problem.”

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Audio/Video

Harman Kardon’s Cortana-Powered Smart Speaker Underwhelms

Early reviews of the Harman Kardon Invoke with Cortana — the smart speaker that features Microsoft’s personal assistant — have been lukewarm at best. The speaker will be available in the U.S. starting Sunday. Like Amazon’s Echo line and Google’s Home speakers, Invoke lets users play music, manage calendars, set reminders, check traffic, get news reports, and control other smart home devices.

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Marketing

Email Marketing Goes Hand-in-Glove With E-Commerce Shipping

ShippingEasy on Thursday launched Automated Email Marketing as an addition to its customer management module. This new tool has a powerful rules engine that helps users increase sales, the company said. Among other things, it can set up a trigger to send an email to first-time buyers immediately after an order is downloaded — customized with a logo and specific coupon code if desired.

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Personal Computers

Microsoft Unveils Power-Packed Surface Book 2

Microsoft on Tuesday launched the Surface Book 2, positioning it as the laptop of the future. The device is powerful enough for the next wave of computing, characterized by mixed reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning and immersive gaming, said Microsoft Devices Corporate Vice President Panos Panay. Integration between the Surface Book 2 and the Adobe Creative Cloud has been improved.

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Products

New Cloud Tools Aim to Streamline, Monetize Partner Relationships

AppDirect on Tuesday announced new products and functionality for its Cloud Commerce Platform.
The new tools, AppReseller and Cloud Management Suite, enable software vendors to launch reseller partner programs quickly. Software as a Service providers can use the new capabilities to help their small and mid-sized business users manage and leverage their software more effectively.

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Internet

Companies Cheer Completion of Open-Design Transatlantic Internet Cable

Microsoft on Friday announced completion of the Marea undersea cable, which stretches 4,400 miles between Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Bilbao, Spain. A joint project of Microsoft, Facebook and global telecommunication infrastructure company Telxius, the cable lies more than 17,000 feet below the ocean’s surface. It is the first cable to link Virginia and Spain.

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Social CRM

Nimble’s Social CRM Finds Its Way Into Office 365

Social sales and marketing software provider Nimble and cloud services consultant NeoCloud have partnered to deliver a simple, affordable contact management and CRM package for Microsoft Office 365. NeoCloud has agreed to bundle Nimble CRM into all of its Office 365 deployments, beginning this month. Nimble CRM adds employees’ individual connections to a shared team relationship manager.

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Deals

SoftBank to Take Fearsome Robots Off Alphabet’s Hands

SoftBank on Thursday announced that it will acquire robotics company Boston Dynamics from Alphabet, parent company of Google. SoftBank Robotics is the company’s subsidiary that focuses on the development, sales and maintenance of humanoid and service robots. “Smart robotics are going to be a key driver of the next stage of the information revolution,” said SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son.”

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Deals

Pegasystems Nestles in AWS, Azure Clouds

Pegasystems has deepened its 7-year-old relationship with Amazon AWS, and also has teamed up with Microsoft Azure, company officials told Pegaworld attendees on Tuesday. The deals are part of a series of planned partnerships aimed at giving Pega’s clients choice in their cloud environment and avoiding lock-in. Pega last month inked an agreement to deliver Pega software on Pivotal Cloud Foundry.

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