Technology Industry Trends & Insights * ABL Member News * February 17, 2016

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TECHNOLOGY TRENDS - IN BRIEF


WELCOME NEW MEMBERS!

  • Jeff DiToro, InClix

    Jeff is President and CEO of InClix, an Internet software company concentrated on the design, development, and marketing of proprietary and branded remote-browser-based software applications with integrated content solutions for creative applications. InClix is a wholly owned subsidiary of Roland DG Corporation, where Jeff is also Division President of Digital Media Solutions, responsible for the strategic guidance of the global software portfolio development. InClix builds digital media tools as a resource to empower and connect users with a global digital marketplace to facilitate business transactions. Its customers are active in industries such as digital printing, 3D fabrication, healthcare, promotional products, multimedia, digital signage, art and design, and consumer products. Previously, Jeff was Senior Global Software Product Manager at Roland DGA, and directed New Product Introductions of Consumer Electronic Lifestyle products for Skinit Inc. He also co-founded Renaissance Graphics Inc. and worked for 3M, Agfa, and Shimano. Jeff has joined the Orange County Round Table.
     

  • Sri Sambangi, Clorder

    Sri is Founder, President and CTO of Clorder, which has developed an easy-to-use, cloud-based, innovative online ordering solution for restaurant owners, as well as a platform to build, establish, and grow their online presence. Clorder's suite of services provide restaurants with actionable business analytics, customer trends, and ordering insights. Services include marketing, SEO, graphic design, and website development and hosting. Products include online ordering platforms, mobile apps, and management portals. Sri is also currently Founder of, and Principal Consultant and Technology Advisor to, TrueTalent Demand Inc., which provides technology strategy to clients. Previously, he worked closely with the founders of Cornerstone OnDemand to build its human capital management products. Earlier, he was a Senior Software Engineer at Keane Inc., and a Computer Scientist at Defence Research and Development Organisation, one of Asia's largest defense organizations. Sri has joined the West Los Angeles Round Table.


  • UPCOMING ABL TECHNOLOGY ROUND TABLES

    • 3/03  - Orange County Area Round Table
    • 3/04  - Downtown Los Angeles Round Table
    • 3/11  - West Los Angeles Round Table

    •  


    MIMI GRANT'S POST: 

    The Ransom Note Read Round the World
    Also on LinkedIn

    Ransomware attacks are becoming Big Business. The Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center hack (reported in this issue as our lead Trend) is just the latest widely reported attack: other recent hacks have sidelined the computer systems at the Lincolnshire County Council in England and Israel's Electricity Authority regulatory body. But the Hollywood Pres attack appears to be unique in the amount of the ransom it's demanding: $3.6 million.

    We've come a long way from the first known ransomware, written and disseminated on floppy discs in the pre-Internet days of 1989 by Joseph Popp, PhD (a Harvard-trained evolutionary biologist). According to Wikipedia, his "AIDS" trojan, which triggered a payload claiming that the user's license to use a certain piece of software had expired, encrypted file names on the hard drive, and required the user to pay $189 to unlock the system. Since then, ransomware has become increasingly sophisticated, much easier to disseminate (thanks to email and the Internet), and more expensive to disable.

    The CryptoLocker ransomware - which first appeared in September of 2013, demanded $2300, if payment wasn't made within three days of infection. It took the U.S. Department of Justice nine months to shut that operation down, but only after at least $3 million had been extorted. A year later, in June 2015, the FBI reported that nearly 1000 victims had contacted the Bureau's Internet Crime Complaint Center to report infections by the Cryptowall ransomware trojan, with estimated losses of over $18 million. Even police departments have been reported to pay ransoms, just to get their systems restored.

    But the Hollywood Pres hack demonstrates the downside of succumbing to the easy way out: paying the extortionist's demand. As Troy Gill, manager of security research at AppRiver says: "the only reason these thieves keep perpetrating these attacks is because people are paying them. If all of the victims stopped paying ransoms, they wouldn't have a successful business model, whose core objective is to steal your money."

    The best ransomware defense that security experts advise:

    • Backup your files - and keep them offline and offsite (stored away from potentially infected computers)
    • Vigilantly update your software and hardware with recommended patches and security updates
    • Since your system's only as strong as the least sophisticated employee who has access to it: drill them on identifying - and not opening - phishing emails
    • Only give employees access to the files, folders, and drives necessary to do their work
    • Disconnect a potentially infected computer from the network immediately
    • Have installed and regularly run malware detection software
    • Have access to a dedicated cyber-defense team

    With appreciation to ABL Members Todd Stout, President of FirstWatch, and Oli Thordarson, CEO of Alvaka Networks, for providing additional material for this post, and to Oli for what the actual ransom message looks like.

    Please add your own recommendations for how to defend your systems from being hacked and your company (and others) from being extorted!

    [photo credit: pcworld.com]
     


    TECH MEMBER NEWS - IN BRIEF

    INSIGHTS FROM ADAPTIVE BUSINESS LEADERS

    HIT MEMBER NEWS - IN BRIEF

    TECHNOLOGY TRENDS

    Ransomware Takes Hollywood Hospital Offline, $3.6M Demanded by Attackers


    Hackers are holding a Southern California hospital for ransom following a recent cyber attack. The Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center's computer system has been offline for more than a week as computer forensics experts, the FBI, and the Los Angeles Police Department investigate. Staff began noticing "significant IT issues," when the hospital declared an internal emergency, CEO Allen Stefanek told NBC4 last week. Now, computer-based tasks are being carried out via pen and paper. Hundreds of patients were diverted to nearby hospitals, while others have simply missed treatments. The Radiation and Oncology departments, meanwhile, are temporarily shut down. It remains unclear what type of malware took down the L.A. medical center's network. But hackers are reportedly demanding a ransom of 9,000 Bitcoins, or about $3.6 million. According to Softpedia, the ransomware may have spread to a number of hospital computers via a local LAN server, or the attackers are simply exploiting the infection of a small number of key machines. There is no indication that any patient or employee data - including lab work, X-rays and CT scans, or medical records - was compromised. The Medical Center's website is still online. Ransomware usually suggests that an employee on the inside clicked on a bad link or downloaded a malicious attachment. The software then takes over and locks the system, and hackers demand money for its return. This type of attack recently forced Israel's Electricity Authority to shut down its PCs. (pcmag.com, 2/16/16)
         Ransomware attacks are on the rise, including an attack on Mount Pleasant, TX-based Titus Regional Medical Center in January. Meanwhile, Forrester Research has predicted that this year ransom attacks will begin to target medical devices such as pacemakers. While healthcare is the sector most targeted by hackers, it's the least prepared when it comes to cyberattacks, the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology reported recently. (fiercehealthIT.com, 2/16/16)
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    White House Unveils Broad Strategy for Strengthening Cybersecurity


    President Obama unveiled a sweeping cybersecurity strategy last week, which directs his administration to implement a series of "near-term actions." The Cybersecurity National Action Plan, or CNAP, creates several public-private partnerships, several intragovernmental centers focused on cyber issues, a senior administration position for cybersecurity, and launches a new public awareness campaign. CNAP includes substantial investments in IT modernization and cybersecurity, which is included in the president's Fiscal 2017 budget proposal. In coordination with CNAP, Obama issued an executive order that created a permanent Federal Privacy Council. 
          Through CNAP, the administration announced the creation of a federal Chief Information Security Officer position, who will drive cybersecurity policy, planning, and implementation across the federal government. The Homeland Security, Commerce, and Energy departments will jointly establish the National Center for Cybersecurity Resilience, which will provide a place for companies and sector-wide organizations to test the security of systems in a contained environment - "such as by subjecting a replica electric grid to cyberattack." The Federal Privacy Council will bring together agency and department privacy officials to guide more comprehensive federal privacy efforts.
          CNAP establishes the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, which will bring together leading technical minds from industry, as well as executive and legislative branch experts to make recommendations for strengthening public and private sector cybersecurity over the next decade. The Commission will report to the President with its specific findings and recommendations before the end of 2016, providing the nation a roadmap for future actions that will build on CNAP and protect our long-term security online, according to a fact sheet. The administration has also asked the National Cybersecurity Alliance and leading technology firms to raise public awareness for two-factor authentication. At the same time, the federal government will adopt more effective identity-proofing solutions, strong multi-factor authentication, and reduce its reliance on the Social Security Number as an identifier.
          The administration unveiled additional industry outreach and collaboration plans under CNAP:
     *It will work with Linux Foundation's Core Infrastructure Initiative, and other organizations, in an effort to secure Internet "utilities" such as open-source software, protocols, and standards.
     *It will work with industry partners to develop a Cybersecurity Assurance Program "to test and certify networked devices within the 'Internet of Things.'" (fiercegovernmentIT.com, 2/9/16)
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    VCs Put $140 Million in OC High Tech in Q4


    High-tech companies in Orange County scored more than $140 million in venture capital funding in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to numbers released by the Irvine office of real estate brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle. The total was a 39% increase from the same period in 2014 and brought the total for all of 2015 to $609 million, a year-over-year gain of 94%. High-tech investment volume remains strong, recording $100M+ in five consecutive quarters, with the software industry attracting the highest amount of VC funding, according to Jones Lang LaSalle's research. (socaltech.com, 2/12/16)
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    The App Economy Could Double to $101 Billion by 2020


    By 2020, the app economy, which consists of everybody who makes money and has a job thanks to mobile apps, could double in size to $101 billion, according to market researcher App Annie, which projects it to expand 24% in 2016 to reach $51B. The growth will be driven by increasing usage of apps and by greater smartphone adoption around the globe. Games generated 85% of the app market revenue in 2015, or $34.8B globally. That's expected to grow to $41.5B in 2016 and $74.6B in 2020. But other categories will grow even faster than games, as app publishers now come from every industry, including banking, retail, airlines, ridesharing services, and government agencies. App usage will get a boost on newer platforms such as wearables, TVs, virtual and augmented reality, home Internet of Things (IoT), and automotive. While large markets, including the U.S., Japan, and China, remain central to overall app revenue growth, App Annie sees tremendous opportunity in fast-growing markets such as India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Argentina. China is expected to surpass the U.S. in total revenue from app stores by the first half of 2016. It passed the U.S. in downloads in early 2015. (venturebeat.com, 2/10/16)
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    Los Angeles has 5% of All Unicorns: Report


    Los Angeles has 5% percent of all the "Unicorn" companies globally, according to a new study released by the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. The school tallied up the number of startup companies with $1 billion valuations, as a measure of business activity, and found that Silicon Valley had 39% of Unicorns, followed by New York (9%), Beijing (6%), Los Angeles (5%), Boston (4%), and Shanghai (3%). The study's authors said that Unicorns in a region or country signals the creation of new wealth, embodies radical innovation, and the potential for disruptive market change. USC Marshall said the study defines companies as a unicorn if they exceeded a value of $1 billion during any month between January 2014 and the end of 2015. (socaltech.com, 2/3/16)
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    Senate Passes Ban on Internet Access Taxes; President Expected to Sign


    The U.S. Senate voted last week to pass the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, which would permanently ban taxes on Internet access and other online services. The provision, passed by the House of Representatives last June, would prohibit states from taxing Internet access and from levying any new taxes that target Internet services with no offline equivalent. The bill would prohibit taxes on bandwidth or email, for example. It would not apply to sales taxes on online purchases. Some lawmakers and retail groups have been pushing Congress for years to approve an online sales tax, but opponents have successfully blocked their efforts. The tax moratorium now goes to President Obama for his signature, which he is expected to sign. (pcworld.com & wsj.com, 2/11/16)
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    Tech Firms Push Toward a Future Without Passwords


    Technologists aiming to strike a balance between security and ease of use are converging on the smartphone. The latest developments from Google parent Alphabet Inc. and from Apple Inc. go beyond using special programs designed to manage all of your passwords, or entering a code sent via text message. Instead, they treat a handset as a replacement for passwords and other identification. Alphabet is now operating a beta test program for "Sign in with your phone," which lets Android users log into its services - on any device - without a password. And in the future, Google engineers aim to give Android phones the ability to recognize individual users by analyzing patterns of speech, typing, and other behavior. Apple, for its part, has outfitted its latest iPhones with special high-security chips that let programmers develop apps to let users log in by touching their finger to the phone instead of entering strings of characters. The iPhone's built-in Touch ID fingerprint reader has become a popular way to unlock the phone, but app developers are starting to use it with other onboard security features to eliminate passwords entirely. Mobile phones also serve as personal identification in credit-card alternatives such as the Apple Pay and Android Pay services. And banks are beginning to experiment with using phones to replace ATM cards. Citigroup and Wells Fargo & Co. are experimenting with systems that let people withdraw cash by using a special code displayed on a phone's screen. (wsj.com, 2/8/16)
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    Dell Can Check PCs for Malware, in the Cloud, Every Time They Boot Up


    Dell has unveiled software which uses the cloud to protect computer systems from persistent threats and malware attacks during the initial process of turning a PC on. Its new security suite includes post-boot BIOS verification which Dell says will enable customers to ensure that their PCs remain free from malware during the initial startup process. BIOS verification works by using a cloud environment during the initial PC booting process to compare and test the firmware installation against data containing official measurements of what it should look like held within the Dell BIOS lab. Dell says that the new system will help extend security throughout the "entire device lifecycle" and provide greater visibility for administrators looking to prevent malware attacks against systems during the time they're powering on. By conducting the BIOS test in the cloud, rather than on the device itself, users can be assured that the test is carried out in a secure environment, rather than on a potentially compromised PC. "With the growing complexity of BIOS-specific attacks, and with new malware variants possessing the ability to reinstall themselves within the BIOS, organizations need a more sophisticated way to know that their systems have not been compromised," according to Brett Hansen, Dell's executive director of data security solutions. (zdnet.com, 2/5/16)
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    FAA: More Registered Drone Operators than Registered Airplanes


    The Federal Aviation Administration says there are now more registered drone operators in the U.S. - 325,000 - than there are registered manned aircraft - 300,000. In fact, the number of small unmanned aircraft is even larger because drone operators often own more than one drone, said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. Drones weighing between half a pound and 55 pounds must be registered. Drones above that weight go through normal FAA registration requirements for aircraft. (washingtonpost.com, 2/8/16)
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    Auto Side Mirrors May be Replaced with Video Cameras


    Many automakers are now demonstrating video systems that replace side mirrors with cameras. Continental, a major parts and systems supplier to automakers, calls them digital mirrors, and touts significant noise reduction, potential for CO2 reduction because of reduced drag and improved fuel economy, and increased field of view. In a customized Mercedes-Benz CLS, Continental demonstrated how its system would work. Thumb-size video cameras on the exterior of the car replace the side-mounted mirrors and use interior screens on the left and right side of the dashboard to deliver views of what is next to and behind the car. The screens are near where a driver would normally look to check a mirror, and the camera views are wider than what a physical mirror can provide, eliminating blind spots along the side of the car. The cameras, which can automatically adjust to reduce glare from sunlight or increase brightness at night, are also helpful in tight parking spots.
           Almost two years ago, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Tesla Motors petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to allow video cameras to replace side mirrors. The Auto Alliance estimates that external mirrors, depending on their profile, account for 2% to 7% of a car's aerodynamic drag. Rearview cameras provide a precedent - those that eliminate the blind spots directly behind vehicles are already deemed a significant safety improvement and will be mandatory in cars and light trucks in the U.S. by 2018. (nytimes.com, 2/4/16)
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    .XYZ Hits 2 Million Registrations


    Los Angeles-based domain name registrar XYZ says it has just passed two million registrations on its domain extension, just over a year after reaching the one-million-registrations mark in June of 2015. The company, led by startup veteran Daniel Negari, said that 700,000+ of its registrations so far have been in China. The company said some of the highlights of the new domains include Starship.xyz, the robot delivery firm founded by Skype co-founder Janus Friis; Crowding.xyz, a Mexican crowdfunding site; Voter.xyz, a site that helps match users to political candidates using a Tinder-like swiping app; and most famously, for Google's parent, Alphabet, Inc. - which can be found at abc.xyz. (socaltech.com, 2/11/16)
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    Study: More Americans Using Online Dating Apps, Sites


    More American adults are using online dating sites or mobile apps than ever before, according to a new Pew Research Center study. While it didn't track exactly what mobile apps and sites users have been flocking to, the study said that 18- to 24-year olds have increased nearly threefold, with usage by 55- to 64-year-olds doubling since 2013. The study said 15% of adults have used online dating sites or apps, and called the move to mobile dating apps "dramatic." Los Angeles companies have been at the forefront of the move towards mobile apps and online dating. (socaltech.com, 2/11/16)
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    TECH MEMBER NEWS

    BatchMaster Selected by Fantasy Cookie Company


    Fantasy Cookie Company has purchased BatchMaster Software's BatchMaster ERP with SAP Business One to manage its current and future company growth and demand. One of the biggest benefits of using BatchMaster ERP is the ability to have Advanced Planning and Scheduling to reduce raw material inventory and cost of goods, according to Ricki Reves of Fantasy Cookie Co., who added: "We are also looking forward to rolling our quality control management into a single ERP solution which will provide needed data for future audits." (Sahib Dudani, Orange County)
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    Cornerstone Debuts February '16 Release & Achieves FedRAMP Compliance


    Cornerstone OnDemand has announced its February '16 Release, which introduces updates to Cornerstone Recruiting and Performance and major design updates to the mobile app.  Meanwhile, Cornerstone achieved compliance with the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. As one of the only talent management solutions to receive FedRAMP authorization, Cornerstone has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring a secure environment for U.S. government clients looking to effectively recruit, train, manage, and connect their employees. (Adam Miller & Dave Wachtel, West Los Angeles)
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    Eckert & Ziegler Expands Cooperation with Drug Developers


    Eckert & Ziegler AG (EZ), a specialist for isotope-based applications in medicine, science and industry, is expanding its cooperation program with promising drug developers in the field of nuclear medicine and will support Curasight, a spin-off based on research done at the National University Hospital (Rigshospitalet) and University of Copenhagen, in obtaining market clearance for its uPAR breast cancer diagnostic agent. To do so, EZ will focus mainly on the development and validation of the pharmaceutical production process and leverage its isotope laboratories and global infrastructure for this purpose. In exchange, EZ will receive minority interests and will commit to a financial investment. (Frank Yeager, Downtown Los Angeles)
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    Envision Financial Systems Highlighted in The Silicon Review


    The Silicon Review magazine recently profiled Envision Financial Systems as a "forward-looking company with rich mutual fund and technology experience." The article notes that the mutual fund shareholder accounting market has changed and recordkeeping is now being done by brokers and financial advisors. As such, Envision has made a significant investment in its PowerAgent product suite so that it can be used by brokers and investment companies. Envision provides a highly flexible mutual fund shareholder recordkeeping system, tailoring its solution to meet the specific needs of its customers, and proactively engages with industry groups and regulatory agencies so that it's positioned to address upcoming current regulatory requirements and industry best practices. (Satnam Gambhir, Orange County)
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    Lumen21 Named to "Fastest-Growing IT Services Companies" List


    The Silicon Review magazine named Lumen21 Inc. to its recent SR 2015 50 Fastest Growing IT Services Companies list, calling it a "stand-out in the marketplace," and noting Lumen21's focus on building IT compliant solutions for regulated industries such as healthcare, financial services, and retail, while leveraging more and more of the cloud platform. The magazine also recently profiled Lumen21, hailing the company's Compliant Cloud Computing Solution as HIPAA compliant and validated by HITRUST (Health Information Trust Alliance) Common Security Framework. "The solution is compliant 'out-of-the-box' . . . It is our belief that it's the only such audited compliant solution to run on top of the Microsoft Azure Cloud or The Amazon AWS cloud," the article reports. (Ed Don, Orange County)
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    Masergy Wins Award & Named Finalist for Another


    TMC has named Masergy Communications' WebRTC Suite as a recipient of a 2016 INTERNET TELEPHONY Product of the Year Award. Both Masergy's Visual Automated Attendant and Virtual Meeting Room solutions were highlighted for using the WebRTC standard to innovate real-time voice and video communications for improved worker productivity and enhanced customer experience.  Also, Masergy's Software Defined Platform, which is the foundation for its hybrid networking, managed security, and cloud communications services, was named a Finalist in the 2016 BIG Innovation Awards, presented by the Business Intelligence Group. The honor recognized Masergy for its innovation in bringing automation, virtualization, and programmability to its global network fabric, reducing the complexity associated with customers' IT tasks. (Dean Manzoori, Downtown Los Angeles)
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    Mentor Graphics Expands Embedded Software Development Capabilities


    The Mentor Embedded Linux (MEL) platform, from Mentor Graphics Corp., has been updated to Yocto 2.0 and expanded to include new security enhancements and additional industrial protocols. The new release includes Wurldtech Achilles Communications Certification Level 1 and Level 2, the industry benchmark for securing industrial connected devices. This certification protects the critical embedded infrastructure, reducing risks of cyber security threats and attacks. A new feature - simplified mandatory access control kernel (SMACK) - is a Linux kernel security module that protects data and process interactions from malicious manipulation by using a set of custom mandatory access control rules. Embedded developers using the MEL platform will realize improved security of embedded devices with rich feature sets. (Greg Lebsack, West Los Angeles)
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    MSC's New Release Speeds Complex Assembly Layout Modeling & Validation


    The fifth release of MSC Apex is now available, MSC Software Corp.'s award-winning next-generation Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) platform. The MSC Apex Eagle release introduces: *The fifth release of MSC Apex Modeler - a CAE Specific direct modeling and meshing solution that accelerates CAD clean-up, simplification, and meshing workflow; and *The third release of MSC Apex Structures - an add-on to MSC Apex Modeler which expands MSC Apex to a fully integrated and generative structural analysis solution. The new Eagle release delivers innovative solutions for modeling and validating complex assemblies with the introduction of new part representations and connection types. (Chris Brecher, Orange County)
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    NC4 Street Smart Chosen by Flint, Michigan Police Department


    The Flint, Michigan Police Department, with 108 sworn members, has implemented NC4 Street Smart to help track crime and enhance the safety and security of the city's population of 99,750. NC4 Street Smart improves the information technology available to officers in the field for real-time data sharing, enabling officers to communicate on crime issues while still on scene. This information is then cross referenced with archival information to better identify crime patterns and hot spots - possibly meaning the difference between a continued crime spree and the arrest of individuals. Cities that have been using NC4 Street Smart report notable reductions in crime, decreases from the time of an incident to the time of arrest, and improved officer safety due to access to critical information. (Chris Gundel, West Los Angeles)
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    PeopleG2 to Present Webinar on Managing a Virtual Workforce


    On February 24, from 10-11 a.m. PST, PeopleG2 will present a webinar - Managing a Virtual Workforce: The Hottest Trend for Emerging Companies - which will "provide the tools you need to make your company a virtual success."  Meanwhile, PeopleG2 CEO Chris Dyer's radio show, on which he interviews top executives about leadership and talent development, is now broadcast on-demand on iHeart Radio, as well as every Tuesday at 1 p.m. on TalentTalkRadio.com. (Chris Dyer, Downtown Los Angeles)
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    INSIGHTS FROM ADAPTIVE BUSINESS LEADERS

    Dave Berkus on:  Big Data and Marketing


    In Big data: Information is NOT knowledge, Dave explains that adding context to data creates actionable knowledge. There's even a new term for this - thick data: data dense with information that is useful and can be mined with available tools to create actionable strategies. There are times when strategic marketing demands information that is readily available in files owned and controlled by you, Dave notes, and there are tools and a new generation of experienced data engineers ready to unlock this treasure chest of big data and turn it into actionable knowledge.  And, in Marketing and big data: Finding that needle in the haystack, Dave says that - using big data that has been mined for specific information - we can now market to individuals within classes (ie, age, gender, financial ability). You may not be aware of all the data your company stores, or whether it is usable at the atomic level - by source location or name or IP address. "Make a short list of all the places you know you accumulate information about your customers and prospects," Dave suggests. "Spend a little time with your tech resources understanding the form and accessibility of that data. Then decide whether there is unmined gold in those undiscovered places." (Dave Berkus, Downtown Los Angeles & West Los Angeles)
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    Kim Shepherd on:  Recruiting & Company Culture


    Kim Shepherd, CEO of Decision Toolbox, contributed insights to a recent Business 2 Community article - Candidates Are Customers: Don't Just Market Open Positions, Sell Them! An excerpt: "Finding the [employee] talent you need isn't significantly different than wooing new customers. As Decision Toolbox CEO Kim Shepherd points out, the sales process aligns well with modern recruitment necessities: 'The first step is to treat candidates as customers - not only because it will help land talent, but also because every candidate is, in fact, also a potential customer. That means nurturing every candidate who sends a résumé.'"  Meanwhile, Upstart Business Journal has published an article - Your Culture is Your Brand, which is derived from the book Get Scrappy: Business Insights to Make Your Company More Agile, co-written by Kim and angel investor Dave Berkus. (Kim Shepherd, Downtown Los Angeles)
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    Subbu Murthy on:  IT Management in the Cloud Era


    In Introducing SMDB: The Shift From CMDB to Service Management, UGovernIT's Subbu Murthy discusses the progression of some aspects of IT management from pre-Cloud to today. He gives a brief background on the pre-Cloud configuration management database (CMDB) and then introduces its successor, today's Service Management Database (SMDB).  And, in On Demand CDO Services, Subbu explains that when organizations did not understand technology, they responded by creating the position of the Chief Information Officer (CIO), who helps businesses communicate their technology needs and helps IT align the resources to match those needs. However, many CIOs focused their attention on execution, which meant that they were slow to respond to the Digital Enterprise. So organizations responded by creating a new role - the Chief Digital Officer (CDO). But CDOs can be beyond the reach of small to mid-sized enterprises. Enter on-demand CDO services. (Subbu Murthy)
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    HIT MEMBER NEWS

    SAVI Group Offers Keys to Managing External Revenue Drivers


    In its recent post - The Key to Managing External Drivers of Revenue - SAVI Group ponders why medical practices are less effective at managing external revenue drivers, specifically patient payments (deductibles, self-pay) and collections. SAVI Group goes on to elaborate on several tips for optimizing the claims submission process. In summary, they are: *Avoid claim rejections, unnecessary collection cycles, and resubmission fees, as well as *Communicate patient responsibility; and Alleviate patient confusion. (Veena Mahendru, Los Angeles Healthcare)
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    The Innovation Institute's Larry Stofko Writes about Big Data


    In the recent CIO magazine opinion piece - Concentric use of information - The three P's of big data, Larry Stofko, of The Innovation Institute (TII), writes about Person, Place, and Population, and notes that: "In the near future, a full set of all available information from multiple systems should be in place at the individual patient level . . . Genomic sequencing tests are predicted to be as low as $100. Therefore, this affordability will create a new paradigm whereby crunching genetic data sets to generate precision and personalized treatments will become common practice."  Meanwhile, MultiMedical Systems, a California-based clinical engineering service company, is TII's newest addition to its portfolio of healthcare service companies. (Larry Stofko, Orange County Healthcare)
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