AI Social and Contextual UC #427 – 2018 Year of Real AI-Artificial Intelligence, AIR-AI Realities, Social Selling and …

 (c) AI Forum & Unified Communications

 TeamsUserForum.com 
December 15 – 2017 – Issue #427

AI Forum – Exploring the Wild World of Artificial Intelligence and other Communications, Mobile, Contextual-Intelligence and other communications companies

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Not Artificial Intelligence but AA – Artificial Advice

This is a really great interview in Fortune magazine, not because of its innovation but about its real world use case – listening not talking in the contact center.  The second part is about how listening turning into learning and advising clients.  Click on image for the complete article, here are excerpts.
 
Artificial Advice
“Digital advice is a credible product. People will put money into a digital advisory solution. Our clients are putting in about a billion dollars net every month into [what we call] Intelligent Portfolios. But it is just a product. What our clients tell us is that to have a real relationship, it’s going to be more than just technology. That’s why from the moment we introduced Intelligent Portfolios we said the product is going to have 24/7/365 access to speak with live licensed professionals. We never believed that the notion of people staying with a plan during difficult times in the market was a given.

In the contact center – Artificial Experiences
Artificial intelligence is utilized much more for service experiences. We have a saying at Schwab that we use our data to serve, not to sell. That’s the greatest opportunity for artificial intelligence. I’ll give a very simple example: You call up one of our call centers, and you have a concentrated position in XYZ stock because you worked there for 35 years. Our computers can listen to that call, interpret what you are saying, and reach right back out to you with an option strategy that gives you some downside protection in the event that that individual stock runs into problems.”

Bottom-line – In 2018 and beyond real AI will lead where real-world practical solutiolns not powerful wins the day by listening rather than doing all the talking.

2018 Year of Social Selling 
Integration of Strategy Phase 3 – Pilot Program
The goal of this Phase is to integrate knowledge from Phases 1 & 2 into a specific pilot project.  Organizational strategy diffusion begins with what-works and what doesn’t.  In one Fortune 100 study, the client stopped at Phase 2 because the organization commitment was not ready until a new CEO was found.
Here are some of the key elements:
  • Social Selling and Social Media Explained – presentation to everyone on what it is, what works and what leads to failure.  This is internal socialization of social selling as getting people “on the same page” is horrendous task yet without this effort, factions often arise to derail the process.
  • Integrating Social Influencer aka KOL-Key Opinion Leaders involvement into the pilot program.
  • A custom KSS-Kirstel Social Selling delivery system will be organized based on Development Phase 2.  A KSS Pilot Delivery system will consist of specific training and evaluation of these elements and tools for each sales person involved in traditional and social selling will be included.
Some elements of the pilot program would include:
– Social Media “Word of Mouth” Sales
– Social selling is really an extension of, not replacement for being a great sales person and great selling processes, what, where and how will social selling be used to extend that process will be developed
– Social Influencer and Leadership – “you cannot manage a sales force, you lead it” and social selling leadership development will be included.
– Internal social selling leadership and external social influencer programs will be integrated into content development and delivery
– Social Selling is really social “listening” via social media not just talking
– We have “two ears and one mouth” learning to listen via social media is part of the process
– Engagement begins but it’s not a FCC-first call close
– Social selling is not just an email, writing a Twitter/FB/Linkedin post, creating new content for social selling via each media for B2B and B2C will be presented
– Social Media Shortening & Closing Sales – Endorsements to Purchase Cycles
– The difference is selling and social selling is really being social via social media
– It’s Free but Your Time is Not Free
– Social selling will not give you more time, it can enhance your physical presence via social media and lead to greater sales
– Promotion Online – Social Selling P’s – Price, Product, Place, Promotion, Prospecting, Placement
– Specific message content development for each sales person
– Timing is Everything – Integrated Communications Calendars – See KSS Calendar next
– Integrating with and building individual content calendars
– Benefits of Sharing
– Demonstrations and collaborations with to gain market exposure
– Social Media Marketing – Best Practices
– “Road rules,” easy shortcuts and also “common sense” ways
– Meeting Sales and Performance Goals –
– Link social selling with sales revenue goals
– Dis-engaging “Lurkers” – combating either competitive, hackers and others
– Review good social practices and integrate with and recommend changes to Corporate Social Media rules, regulations and legal limits
– Creating a Social Sales Media Team Presence
–  Ideas on individual performance coupled with group/team efforts
– Where Are Your Customers?
– Integrate current led-generation practices with social selling strategies
Personal Social Selling Development
In previous projects users needed guidance and planning on creating useful customer social selling engagement content for development and delivery of content.  To that end, we created KSSC a calendar approach to planning content delivery discussed in detail on the following pages.  Coupled with personal instruction on creating your “own voice” in content development this process provides an efficient and effective means for social selling success.
As part of the above guidance to sales staff, we will also provide a comprehensive onsite and online educational program to include the following as well as knowledge gained from Phase 1-2:
– Connections – how to create and connect with other social media influences
– Curation – review and curate company content, provide guidance and enhanced thought leadership via influencer team
– Content – how to create content to have compelling knowledge
– Collaboration – learn how to collaborate with internal and external social leaders, if any.
– C-Level – get help from C-levels to gain access to and assist and guide others on their social media efforts along with gaining-retaining followers
– Concerns – learn key points in responding to concerns expressed by global crisis issues, cultural issues, terrorism, customer comments and others including social media.  Learn how to build and monitor system for sales, support/service, IR/PR and compliance issues
– Crisis – provide crisis response team to address 7×24 tracking to avoid situations such as Uber (sexual harassment) Target (hack attack), Wells Fargo (internal corruption), Chipotle (incompetence) and learn how to other respond to corporate devastating consequences with live “tweetchats” demonstrating responsiveness
– Build tools to track results for monitoring, managing, auditing and making the most of your social influencers and KOL-key opinion leaders program.
Phase 3 Deliverable – Field pilot test to select sales staff for x months as determined by size and scope of pilot, evaluate results and build management report for future action, if any.  If you are serious about social selling, contact Evan here.
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Artificial Realities Via Augmented/Virtual and others 
These new AIR-artificial intelligence realities will incorporate serious AI machine learning systems with real-world practical realities solving workplace problems.  From stock trading to factory floor and intelligence rooms where people design, operate and build new things and fix human issues will provide the means to add AIR value.
Not only Microsoft Hololens but hundreds of others will come to market.  Here are just a few from Microsoft:
  • Ford – who are reinventing the way they do product design by blending 3D holograms digitally with both clay models and physical production vehicles.
  • thyssenkrupp – who have found ways to dramatically decrease operational costs with remote assist and training.
  • Stryker – who has set out to improve the process for designing operating rooms for hospitals and surgery centers.
Microsoft noted some of the ways workers are using mixed reality to improve how they get work done include:
  • Remote Assist – Collaborating with a remote expert to accomplish real tasks, in real spaces, in real-time.
  • Training – Creating customized first-person perspective training manuals and step-by-step instructions on new products, processes, and equipment.
  • Design – Being able to plan and layout space, collaborate with others, and walk through designs in the real world without costly physical build-outs.
  • 3D in Office – Collaborating with easy 3D content integration. This is the same 3D content that we will see bridge from PC screens to full mixed reality experiences.
  • Mixed Reality Meetings – Team members are looking to be able to join others in real-time or asynchronously, bring in 2D and 3D content, with flexibility to change the location at any time.
  • Mixed Reality Data & Analytics – Information workers are gaining access to content in many ways that is contextually and spatially relevant.”

Bottom-line – AIR will be as profound as AI maybe more so, however without AI data-driven knowledge will really be useless even bring about the harm that is unfounded but often said.

Social Selling 2018 – Accelerating Business Development
Building a complete blueprint for enterprise social selling – Part 2 – Development Phase
By Evan Kirstel @evankirstel
In Phase 2, knowledge and research gained from Phase 1 will be integrated into a client strategy with specific recommendations on the nature and scope of go/no-go into social selling pilot in Phase 3.
This is an outline or blueprint for a comprehensive Social Selling program.  You can use any or all of the contents to design your own program.  However, we have included all the critical items here for your consideration.
Here are the key elements to be considered:
* Build new social selling strategy for all channels such as OEM, VAR/channel, direct/indirect, other channels and customer types.
* Integrate earlier customer interviews as well as new and long-term customers whether vertical, industry and account-based.  That is, who are they, do they see your vision and solutions into their company operations and time frames.  Are you building for now or future customer products?
* Build Strategic Customer Assessments
  1 – Customer type – vertical, specialty, distribution, OEM
  2 – Content – what are they saying, selling telling their customers, what do they know about you (what research are you providing them to help them evaluate you) – explore their Omnichannel purchasing processes including multi-source social content syndication news gathering
  3 – Media Channels – what mainstream and other media channels are they using
  4 – Channels of Distribution – build “agile” channel models adapting to known and emerging technologies
  5 – Apps – are customers using app for selling/supporting
  6 – Technology – what social selling/media and technologies are they using – did they build or buy
  7 – Organization – where is their organization going – merge, divest, domestic and international
  8 – Brand – is their brand something that is important to you
  9 – Random – what regulatory, political, environmental factors have on customer buying now and in the future
  10 – Vision – where are customers now and where are they going and how can you “walk in their moccasins” now and in the future
* Develop customer/buyer personas – based on knowledge the above topics and client/industry issues.
* Review of current sales technologies in all its forms.
  – Evaluate models, pilots and test drives of various social selling systems will be explored and narrowed to the Delivery Phase next.
* Develop and build new Social Selling Strategy on specific elements making each element “more social” than pure selling
  – Start selling – build new social “cold calling” build new social syndication newsfeeds
  – Upsell – build new means to selling “dogs” and finding “happy meals”
  – Pitch-sell – build new social selling “pitches”
  – Re-sell – integration of social selling with resellers, VARs, channels, partners
  – Cross-sell – exploring ways to social selling multi-vendor solutions
  – Follow-up selling – is social selling working, “mid-course” corrections and testing multiple approaches
  – Shorter selling – build ways to shorten sales cycle, integrate CAC-customer acquisition cycles and building selling cycle calendar (no point in selling Christmas trees in January)
  – Outselling – outsourcing options for social selling
  – Support selling – “constant courtesy” – integration of selling and support
  – Cool selling – can toys, movies, and fun be to use
* Integrate all of the above and other social selling content into corporate sales training program and provide content development for future programs (as needed).
* Evaluate social selling and integration with current/proposed compensation plans.
* Organizational integration of social selling – throughout the entire process identified weakness will be included in the deliverable.
* Organizational marketing “socializing social selling” to other departments – often internal selling is harder than external and what internal roadblocks emerge to divert or block the social selling strategy.
* Incorporate industry research and other “thought leadership on who else is talking about Social Selling?
* Integration of organizational compensation systems with HR for personnel management – hiring/firing is the often the greatest challenge — integration of social selling is key to an overlay or replace to current selling processes.
* Develop funnel buying stages
  – Develop a social selling approach based on key elements in the buying cycle and what customers need to know at each stage, accelerating where possible, testing concepts if possible to evaluate what works, doesn’t and viable social selling “best practices.”
* Ongoing audit and assessment KPI factors (baselined now for Phase 5)
  – No selling or social selling practice is viable without some form of auditing and key metrics.  Albeit social selling metrics are more about social media engagements, likes and other mentions and postings.  Social selling engages with various customer types is just one kind of metric.  All content factors will be included in the assessments.  Integration with other organizational KPI will be reviewed.
Summary – At the completion of Phase 2 the deliverable will be a presentation and “actionable” options for management review and determine if the organization is ready for Phase 2 – Pilot.  In other words, this is a “no-no-go” to Pilot Phase.


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Skype & Teams TeamUP for Product Roadmap
Never liked product roadmaps because it is typically a bunch of engineers who show up and throw up on a wall of what they hope to do not what they are committed to doing.  We all like to impress our superiors or wives/GF with promises but if you look at the features below anyone with a brain can see through this list.  You wonder why some of these features are still late 2018 and there are other features not even on the list.  Anyway click on any image to weep or rejoice.
 

AudioCodes – Hybrid Cloud
Clearly Microsoft is struggling to get their PBX strategy in a way that meets the traditional user and the new cloud-only crowd.  AudioCodes is working on mapping their own strategy within this framework.  As they say, “The OPCH deployment model has been supported ever since the introduction of CloudBond 365, which means that we have this solution available right now. In the past, we referred to the solution as Skype for Business Hybrid Voice. Today, we refer to it by the OPCH acronym. As a matter of fact, most of our CloudBond 365 appliances installed over the past few years are deployed in this Hybrid Voice model, enabling voice services for Skype for Business Online. The exact same CloudBond 365 solution will also bring voice capability to Microsoft Teams in the future, through Direct Connect.
Something that will be new to our CloudBond 365 family ties in very well with Microsoft’s announcement that Modern Authentication for Skype for Business Server has gone to Public Preview. This allows CloudBond 365 to authenticate Skype for Business users against the Azure Active Directory, eliminating the need to set up bidirectional trusts between CloudBond 365 and the on-premises user forest(s). For topologies that are now supported in Public Preview, please read this.
It is also important to note that our entire CloudBond 365 family of solutions have User Management Pack 365 built-in. This is a powerful but simple web portal that ensures a smooth deployment and provides a single pane of glass across all Skype for Business deployment models.”
Bottom-line – This is a mess and I admire AudioCodes and anyone else trying to make sense of this chaos and those of you as MS Partners willing to jump into the fire.
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Amazon re:Invent Conference #1 Influencer Speaks Out 
Editor Note: Evan Kirstel was recognized as #1 Amazon re:Invent Conference Influencer
Amazon Connect Contact Center Amazon Connect Cloud Contact Center
By Evan Kirstel @evankirstel
Amazon Connect – Quick Highlights
– Setup a contact center in 10 minutes – not hours
– Published public “pay as you go pricing” – no setup, monthly, maintenance fees
– No hardware other than headsets required – telephony included
– Integration of Amazon Lex chatbot conversational interfaces derived from Alexa tech
– Major application integration with key industry players
– Partner support for custom solutions
Amazon Connect is a self-service cloud contact center as a service platform based on original technology used internally by 70,000 agents daily.  Externally, APN-Amazon Connect Partner Network is an extension of their internal solution globally.  They are seeking partners in a number of technical and market spaces mentioned below to fill in the expertise “gaps” that Amazon does not now possess.  Amazon sees they fill “gaps” in enterprise contact center services, markets, customer applications that are missing today especially as it related to Amazon Web Services (AWS) “cloud offerings.” In addition, they see the Amazon Alexa offering to be used in enterprise situations not just homes.  To the end, Amazon LEX (chatbot tech) and AI-artificial intelligence will “empower enterprises using Amazon Connect to bring the same natural language interactions to their customer service sessions as Echo devices bring to consumers in their homes.”  Simply, they see customer “voices” being used to validate access without complex PIN codes, telling the system what they want faster than any other means coupled with AI “bots” guiding them even though complex airline rebooking, cooking or other complex business process settings.
Platform Integrations
Amazon Connect is an open platform so it is easy to integrate with other systems such as customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, AWS platform and others. For example, you could build advanced voice recording applications and integrate with solutions from Amazon, IBM, Wasabi and other cloud storage providers to enhance contact flow experiences.  This would accelerate the integration of real-time chatbot overlay conversations to enhance customer questions, interactions and transactions.  Adding analytics of “big data” voice and even video recordings can provide additional customer insights and actions for improved call handling.  These kinds of recording can also be used to store call recordings, where you can control access and lifecycle big data content.
Amazon Connect provides an API for contact technology integration and also is working the leading providers of the following technologies and solutions:
– CRM-customer relationship management
– Helpdesk/incident/case management
– Workforce optimization and quality management
– Analytics – customer data, predictive, prescriptive
– Outbound campaign management / dialing
– Natural language IVR
– IVR routing expertise
– Expert systems and artificial intelligence aka chatbots
Amazon Partner Network – APN
Amazon is equally serious about growing various kinds of skills of the current partner community.  Some of the many services APN offers:
– Technical integration advice and guidance
– Free training in Amazon Connect business and technical fundamentals
– Promotion of APN partners to internal sales specialists and SI partners
– AWS Quick Start Solution Packages
– “Readiness assessment” from APN professional services team to validate partner expertise
– Assist partner to create their own APN integration that is documented, reviewed and validated by APN team
– Limitation – reseller program is “invitation only” they screen partners based on criteria mentioned above.
Amazon Connect Case Study
Amazon Connect has only been available since March and information on current customers is limited. However, they offered their recent experience with the Red Cross after the hurricane disasters as an example of their ability to provide rapid build and deployment.  Red Cross and Amazon worked with Voice Foundry (APN partner) to prepared disaster resolution plan to offset the increased call volumes after hurricane.  Within 48 hours VoiceFoundry and APN launched a stand-alone call center for processing of customer requests.  With APN both teams were setup to determine initial call routes and build queues capable of processing and call handling.  72 hours after initialization Amazon personnel began processing calls on behalf of the American Red Cross and providing excess call capacity from the existing Verizon telephony environment.  As of one point, 30,000 calls were processed by AWS Connect with more than 200K of total call volumes.  VoiceFoundry continues to provide ongoing assistance to update and refine call routing rules based on inbound call sources.
Summary – Amazon is totally disrupting the customer contact center space as they have many other marketspaces with customer-centric solutions with open platform integration with assistance from the partner community.

FDA Approved UC 
 
Not really but a likely reality for unified communications.  According to Qualcomm, “The Capsule Platform delivers comprehensive medical device integration and clinical data management across the hospital enterprise. An industry leading Medical Device Information System (MDIS), Capsule connects, integrates and analyzes data into the EMR and other intelligent enterprise systems helping enhance clinical workflows and improve operational efficiencies. Capsule provides:
  • One of the largest dynamic libraries of medical device driver interfaces (DDIs), with over 750 drivers that read and translate device protocols
  • Four enterprise connectivity options and integration with 48 major EMR’s and Health IT systems offering customers flexibility to meet virtually any connectivity need
  • Accurately charts vitals and other patient-specific information to add accuracy and simplicity to clinical workflows
  • Single-screen charting of configurable vital signs and modifiers to speed data entry and further streamline workflows
  • Analytic tools and an Early Warning Scoring System (EWSS) help clinicians better recognize signs of deterioration and make appropriate intervention
Flexible Connectivity Across Care Settings
– SmartLinx offers four enterprise connectivity options that meet virtually any connectivity need
– 2net Hub integrates short-range radios including Bluetooth, Bluetooth Smart, and Wi-Fi for flexible connectivity and an effortless user experience
– 2net Mobile offers customers Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) flexibility by integrating with market-leading mobile devices and operating system (OS) combinations
Open, Vendor-Neutral Design
– SmartLinx delivers one of the industry’s largest dynamic libraries of medical device driver interfaces (DDIs), with over 750 drivers that read and translate device protocols
– 2net offers an open device-and application-agnostic design with a choice of secure mobile gateways, connecting to an expansive array of devices, apps, sensors and therapeutics Secure Medical-Grade Infrastructure
– SmartLinx uses and supports the latest HTTPS, VPN tunnels for point-to-point communications, and WPA2 Enterprise for Wi-Fi network access
– 2net delivers end-to-end connectivity designed to meet FDA and HIPAA safety and privacy standards, with 11 layers of authentication, encryption and access control.
Bottom-line – Forget phones or handhelds just pinch your arm or mumble to yourself to call Mom but watch out Mom may see you need more vitamins and less beer.  Did you see the new lower standard for blood pressure, not sure if anyone can hit that new lower target.  AI will bring us much more than we need and not sure if we are ready to absorb all this information into our daily lives.

FDA Approved UC 
 
Not really but a likely reality for unified communications.  According to Qualcomm, “The Capsule Platform delivers comprehensive medical device integration and clinical data management across the hospital enterprise. An industry leading Medical Device Information System (MDIS), Capsule connects, integrates and analyzes data into the EMR and other intelligent enterprise systems helping enhance clinical workflows and improve operational efficiencies. Capsule provides:
  • One of the largest dynamic libraries of medical device driver interfaces (DDIs), with over 750 drivers that read and translate device protocols
  • Four enterprise connectivity options and integration with 48 major EMR’s and Health IT systems offering customers flexibility to meet virtually any connectivity need
  • Accurately charts vitals and other patient-specific information to add accuracy and simplicity to clinical workflows
  • Single-screen charting of configurable vital signs and modifiers to speed data entry and further streamline workflows
  • Analytic tools and an Early Warning Scoring System (EWSS) help clinicians better recognize signs of deterioration and make appropriate intervention
Flexible Connectivity Across Care Settings
– SmartLinx offers four enterprise connectivity options that meet virtually any connectivity need
– 2net Hub integrates short-range radios including Bluetooth, Bluetooth Smart, and Wi-Fi for flexible connectivity and an effortless user experience
– 2net Mobile offers customers Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) flexibility by integrating with market-leading mobile devices and operating system (OS) combinations
Open, Vendor-Neutral Design
– SmartLinx delivers one of the industry’s largest dynamic libraries of medical device driver interfaces (DDIs), with over 750 drivers that read and translate device protocols
– 2net offers an open device-and application-agnostic design with a choice of secure mobile gateways, connecting to an expansive array of devices, apps, sensors and therapeutics Secure Medical-Grade Infrastructure
– SmartLinx uses and supports the latest HTTPS, VPN tunnels for point-to-point communications, and WPA2 Enterprise for Wi-Fi network access
– 2net delivers end-to-end connectivity designed to meet FDA and HIPAA safety and privacy standards, with 11 layers of authentication, encryption and access control.
Bottom-line – Forget phones or handhelds just pinch your arm or mumble to yourself to call Mom but watch out Mom may see you need more vitamins and less beer.  Did you see the new lower standard for blood pressure, not sure if anyone can hit that new lower target.  AI will bring us much more than we need and not sure if we are ready to absorb all this information into our daily lives.

More AI UC
 
While you may not think of this as traditional UC but when you think about where UC is going next it begins to make more sense.  One easy example is the device or system automatically recognizes you and connects you into your scheduled concall.
In addition, the AI system could automatically connect presentations and other data required.  The Algorithmia system say their “serverless infrastructure is custom built to host scalable AI models and advanced algorithms. Simply add your code and we’ll automatically generate API pipelines for hassle-free deployment and maintenance free scalability. Any model you add can optionally be monetized in the marketplace.”  Here is a useful video to help get you thinking about what AI might really do.
Bottom-line – Traditional UC is running out of gas as users want more from their UC technology than just vmail integration and better calendars.  Team collaboration is touted as the means to cut the insanity of endless email chains.  Integration of machine learning and other techniques are needed to help extend what we call UC into what it will become in the future.

AI User Forum Seeking Nominations for AIQ Awards
 
While this concept is in the early development stages, we are seeking submissions and nominations for the AIQ Awards.  These awards will be issued periodically based on merit, scholarship, research, innovation, theory and practice.  The intent is to foster research but also viable AI applications.  While the term AI has been around since the 1930s and expanded into indepth discussion by Alan Turing and his colleagues and others, the Imitation Game or Turing Test was considered the benchmark for determining whether something was artificial or human.
Today, everyone uses the term AI in everything from toasters to clothes like it was a panacea.  Personally I have worked on AI since the mid-1980s and find there is a lot of hype but not a lot of real results.  Yes there is a lot of research and development with many so-called AI products but they aren’t really intelligent at all.  Much of AI is in the form of machine learning where machines gather vast amounts of data and use some mathematical formulas to determine results.  This is not AI just more hype.  In addition, I prefer the term machine intelligence rather than artificial as machines are powered by electricity and yes humans are as well, the source of that power comes from organic systems rather than batteries or external power sources.  From decades of research and analysis there are, in my humble opinion, three forms of machine systems that would be considered as critical to any AIQ test.  They are vertical, lateral (horizontal) and oblique.
Vertical Intelligence is in simple terms making not one kind of soup but all kinds of soup.  Creating different kinds of soup is actually much harder than you think.  That is, one soup manufacturer tried applying the AI skills they used in making tomato soup to vegetable soup and they just didn’t work.  Now reports on their findings are somewhat vague but humans have very complex tasting skills or rather smelling skills.  These human senses alter in ways that may not be important to the machine but are important to any chef.  The concept of vertical AIQ is to take one simple concept and apply that intelligence to other “things” in that area of study.  You can apply Vertical IQ to essentially all things in one area.  Making better tires, windows, food products and the like are really important and where AI skills and solutions are needed.
Lateral Intelligence
is where one set of skills can be applied to other thinks.  This is where AI gets complicated really fast.  As humans we can get off our bikes and drive a car without even thinking about it.  However, the skills for each are completely different from a machine perspective.  Driving is different, speed is different, road rules are different, safety and so on are all really different.  Yet they are both forms of transportation.  We don’t think that flying in airplanes or trains as very different but they require forms of AI that are completely different.  This is where the enormity of AI development would really struggle to achieve any viable results.  Yet we need to have transportation AI that addresses these issues and much more at the same time to be useful.  For example, there is a major effort in self-driving vehicles.  Yet, how much of that research is about the vehicle and how much is the interface with a smart highway, traffic lights, weather, traffic conditions 10 miles ahead and more.  Lateral intelligence like lateral search or thinking is complex I may like murder mystery movies but does that mean I am interested in doing one.  My view on Lateral IQ intelligence is demonstrating relationships between one system and another though related system to solve a different problem or others.
Oblique Intelligence
is different.  Each form whether vertical, lateral or oblique offers unique challenges to the developer and benefits to society.  Oblique is somewhat in between vertical and lateral.  It combines concepts used by both but brings new solutions.  Few would argue that voice recognition is here but often the system really doesn’t understand even the many different dialects of English that we find here.  However, it is getting better but really doubt that listening to millions of words spoken every day you really understand what people really mean because of people don’t say what they really mean ever.  This makes this type of intelligence “oblique” in the way it will emerge.  Telling a joke, evoking emotion, inspiring leadership are forms that humans don’t really understand all that well but provide real humanity.  Creating a machine to do that would be even more complex yet as they are important to humans as the food they eat.  As humans we seek and do all kinds of things that make no sense but are useful to enriching our lives as humans.
Bottom-line
– the AIQ Awards like with many human issues is “a hope not a cure” with an effort to find common ground to issues, achieve useful results and improve humanity.  We look forward to any comments including good “thought leadership” not just product hype though you can submit your product for consideration.  We also realize that products will improve over time and therefore the AIQ can increase as well.
You can submit your product at anytime and it will be reviewed as time permits.  Evan Kirstel leading AI Influencer has been named Chairman of the AIQ Awards.  We are seeking other members to the review committee, however not just university researchers but real-world practitioners to evaluate and provide guidance.

Five Levels of Meeting AI by Rowan Trollope

One never wants to take credit for another person’s work. I hope Rowan won’t mind me praising his efforts in dealing with another nuance of meetings that needs a lot of work.  Here is what he said.  Click on the image for more.
Level 1: Command and Control
At first, we will get meeting bots that remind us of the command-and-control bots we’re using already, We’ll be able to tell a bot, “Join the meeting,” and it will do the setup for us, so we don’t have to push buttons.
These meeting bots will have with limited vocabulary, limited awareness of context, and will have to be explicitly activated. They will make meetings less painful to join, by simplifying the mechanical procedures we all hate, like dialing complex conferencing numbers.
Level 2: Natural-Language Understanding
Moving beyond basic voice recognition, we’ll start to see bots that understand context and are aware of the state of a meeting they’re in. We’ll be able to say, “Remind Sam to send this presentation to the team.”
On-demand Level 2 meeting bots will be able to make basic linguistic connections, keep track of what’s happening in a meeting (who’s in a meeting, which file is being displayed), and will be able to operate more of the minutiae of work interactions.
Level 3: Semantic Understanding with Domain Expertise
A this level, a meeting bot will be able to say to you, “I have analyzed your meeting and here is a summary of the key points.” This level of meeting bot will listen to meetings and will be able to discern the topics discussed. The chatbot might help you remember key points raised in a meeting.
These bots will extract word clouds and possibly sentiment analysis from meeting recordings to construct summaries of what transpired. For more accuracy, they’ll be able to incorporate company- and domain-specific knowledge bases, like FAQs and jargon dictionaries, in their analysis. A Level 3 bot will go beyond operational convenience; it will help people work towards their goals by doing some of the cognitive processing of meeting content.
While there are already semi-reliable post-meeting support tools that summarize topics and sentiment, I believe that we’re five years away from being able to build Level 3 bots reliable enough to start shipping in products. Analyzing human intent from human speech is vastly more complex than converting speech into text (which machines can do now), and it’s beyond today’s natural-language technologies. But we are moving in this direction.
Level 4: Intelligent and Proactive Team Member
At this level, bots are accurate enough in their understanding of human intent that they will be given permission to interject into a meeting in real-time: “Since you are wondering about projections for your market in three years, here is Gartner’s latest report on that.”
Also at this level, AI may also understand nonverbal interpersonal communication. If you look at someone in a meeting and say, “So you’ll follow up?” the bot will understand who you’re talking to, what you’re talking about, and whether or not the person agreed to follow up. It will be able to work with people after a meeting, helping them keep their promises.
Level 4 meeting bots will help teams succeed by keeping people on track after a meeting ends.  The full extension of a Level 4 meeting AI is one that can sense and understand the full range of human communication, the majority of which is non-verbal. How AI will use human communication that may be at odds with what people actually say, though, will be an interesting challenge for developers.
Level 5: Team and Strategic Intelligence
Level 4 bots will help individual teams succeed, but Level 5 bots will tie separate teams together. At this utopian (or dystopian, depending on your perspective) level, “The meeting intelligence is not just in one meeting, it’s in every meeting,” according to Andy Payne, Senior Director of Cisco Emerge, one of our research arms.
This level of bot is aware of overlapping meeting topics, workers’ individual skillsets, and the projects that people are working on across the company, based on data gleaned not just from content of meetings, but also from social network analysis that includes chat and email data mining. A Level 5 bot might be aware of over-arching company goals, and could suggest team members for projects, and make introductions between people based on goals, project needs, and personal compatibility.
Bottom-line – While I don’t agree with what he calls AI, I do like what he is trying to do with this approach.  Hopefully, actionable efforts will result from this very complex research.

In working with more than a dozen companies over the past two decades many struggled with designing and building a corporate university for both internal and external students.  Among the many factors limiting the implementation of such corporate educational programs is that many had people who knew public or even traditional university programs often lacked the skills for a corporate university.
First, they had very limited knowledge of what channel partners need much less the ability to design and deliver courses these partners would attend.
Second, they focused the learning on what the company knew not what the prospective and potential partners needed to manage complex projects.
Third, they delivered the programs via means that the did not meet partners learning situations.  In other words, they build traditional education delivery rather than smartphone and virtual training delivery.  Here is the culmination of all the work but importantly, this is just one approach, there are also many others.
Here is just some of the research completed:
  • Research into more than a 10 strategic plans for corporate universities and others
  • Reviewed corporate and mobile websites and systems such as smartphone apps
  • Reviewed industry standards associations and certifications
  • Interviewed potential channel partners
  • Completed more than 100 hours in research, development and preparation of this presentation
Here is the phased approach required to build a corporate university
  • Phase 1 – Assessment Research
  • Phase 2 – Design
  • Phase 3 – Development
  • Phase 4 – Delivery
  • Phase 5 – Global Implementation
  • Phase 6 – Future Directions
Here are the details for each phase:
Phase 1 – Assessment – Overview
In this phase, exploratory research needs to be completed to determine what is really needed including a “gap” analysis.
  • Based on management direction
  • Conduct 5-10 personal indepth interviews with current and prospective channel partners and determine, among other things:
    • What do they know now
    • What they like and why
    • What they don’t know and what areas they need help on or are confused by
    • What they would like to know on any topic (like internet, wireless, network services, technology and other topics)
    • Other topics business, technology and management
  • Corporate staff
  • Channel existing and potential partners/developers
  • Customers, industry experts and others
  • Research industry “best practices”
  • Research/gather competitive analysis
  • Review and integrate with Corporate values and strategic goals-values
  • Review existing knowledge sources
  • Develop budget
  • Write report
  • Present findings to leadership
Phase 2 – Design
There may or may not be enough to begin program design, however, with any agile process, beginning now get results faster.
  • Based on guidance from Phase 1
  • Design certification curriculum plan for:
    • Corporate staff & leadership
    • Channel partners including suppliers
    • Customers
  • Evaluate metrics, cost and ROI
  • Review options with:
  • LCMS-Learning Content Management System
  • TMS-Talent Management System
  • Evaluate industry standards and directions
  • Integrate and align with Corporate Corporate “Core Values” and strategic goals
  • Develop current year budget for development, delivery, etc.
  • Time and if desired, design five-year plan
  • Present “Best Practices” for current year and five-year plan to leadership
Phase 3 – Development
In building more than 100 courses including many on agile development, development always takes longer than you think.
  • Based on inputs/outputs from Design Phase 2
  • Evaluate
  • Insource
  • Outsource
  • Packaged off-the-shelf source
  • Build learning matrix of delivery options – video – live and via tele/presence, web, mobile, instructor-led, virtual, hands-on, simulation, expert system, other
  • Integrated with internal business processes and consider ISO9003
  • Determine external governance, regulatory and compliance requirements
  • Evaluate timelines and constraints
  • Formalize plan update budget for Delivery
  • Present to leadership and socialize
Phase 3A – Development of Online Courses/Certification
In a rapidly changing marketplace, few can attend onsite much even live virtual classes.  This really means start with online first and then build backwards.
  • Online Certification
  • Each Level with added incentives
  • Online Tutorials
  • Online Webinars
  • Value Proposition
  • Customer Solutions-Applications
  • Portals
  • “Best Practices”
  • Online Sales Solutions
  • Online Customer Case Studies
  • Weekly Newsletter – Blog-Twitter-FB-LinkedIn
  • Online white papers
  • Build mobile access to content
  • Connect with onsite training for group classes
  • Build glossary/FAQs
Here is an example of a completed curriculum:
Phase 4 – Delivery
The adage few ever want to go to training.  Pilot and pilot again until they can’t get enough.
  • After course content is developed, an initial pilot of each course is delivered and evaluated
  • Courses are monitored (in-class and by evaluation form) and reviewed on:
  • Evaluate user acceptance
  • Integration with business processes
  • ROI-Return On Investment
  • Metrics including budget
  • Other issues
  • Incorporate input, changes and recommendations
  • Schedule for further delivery
Phase 5 – Global Implementation
From the start look at where you are going and be ready for multi-national and multi-language deployments.
  • Plan national/global pilot
  • After pilot, evaluation of training on users is completed based on performance, integration, business process and other issues
  • If approved, then build delivery master schedule along with:
  • Monitoring and evaluation techniques
  • ROI, metrics, user acceptance
  • Review and present findings to leadership
Phase 6 – Future Directions
Always be looking five-years or further ahead as that is what the company product team should be working on.  Indeed, technology always changes faster than we predict though customer acceptance lacks almost as much.  That is not to say they are not ready for or wanting your solutions.  However, they are often working on other ideas they also want and corporate budget cycles generally are 2-3 behind any rollout.  In addition, global deployment is generally 1-2 years behind as well.
  • Prior to and part of course evaluation is the ongoing development of a long-range strategic plan which would include:
  • Integration with current and future business processes
  • Leadership and business strategy
  • Review of emerging learning techniques including modeling, e-learning and simulation to augment existing training methods and enhance the training experience
  • Optimize potential for personal learning development and long-term career path options
  • Continuous evaluation of ROI, metrics, user needs and direction from leadership
  • Maintenance of long-range strategic plan
  • Review and present to leadership

Conclusion

Educational pedagogy is a complex and ever-changing process.  I use a quote from Winston Churchill to reflect what most students agree with.  He said, “I am always ready to learn, though don’t always like being taught.”
Click on any image for complete presentation.

Google Fake News – AI Video Conferencing

There is so much fake #AI news it begs the question – what is real or not #AI ?Engadget wrote, “Google’s new Hangouts Meet kit essentially packages the ASUS Chromebox hub, a 4K-sensor camera (with added AI wizardry), a mic and a touchscreen display.”  Yet there was no explanation of what this “AI wizardry” was.  Seriously when will all this stop.

Bottom-line – What they should be doing is merge their room tech with what they are doing with Google Maps which is frankly very exciting.  In all the smashup of technology there is a lot of AI that can be used in a room or huddle video conferencing system.

TECHtionary Named Finalist IQ Awards HashNewGrams

HashNewsGram

By TECHtionary.com

Click on IQ image for details.

This free app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.
Approved today is version 2.8 of HashNewsGrams which further expands features with a Twitter post Library and Log. You can post and save all Twitter posts to the Library each time you post. You can either Tweet or Tweet and Save each posts. Then you can easily repost each Twitter post or edit and then post them.
 The real key to HashNewsgrams is the multi-media features which allow you to post an essentially unlimited amount of text far beyond the 140 or 280 characters now available. You can add up to 4 images as you can with Twitter but also add a video, a custom free hand drawing, audio recording or Acticon(tm) which are “action-icons” to add emphasis to your Twitter posts. Background – Never get stuck at 140 or 280 or … characters again! HashNewsGram 2.5 breaks the Twitter 140 or 280 character limitation barrier. You can post essentially unlimited text, videos, pics, audio recordings including pre-recorded music and audio from the HashNewsGram library, created freehand paintings or drawings using the drawing features and library, multimedia images called Acticons-Action Icons. #HashNewsGram is a FREE Twitter #hashtag news gathering app for iPhone and iPad. You can select your favorite #hashtag topics and put them in folders and subfolders and organize your Twitter news gathering and personal newsfeed. Then tap on the selected folder subfolder and see the posts in the categories selected. This is a great way to simplify your Twitter news feed. HashNewsGram is one of the many apps such as ZoomLite, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, SleepTracs, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, BaseballFansClub, RewardsVIPClub, and others from TECHtionary.

Microsoft Teams Gluon Neural Net with Amazon 

Another deep learning attempt between two major “competitors” was revealed.  Notwithstanding yet another developers “honey pot” for pseudo AI, you wonder who is really going to provide the “deep learning” between Amazon and Microsoft.

 From GeekWire, comes this “Deep learning involves training a computer to recognize patterns or unlock insights based on a set of rules for parsing a massive pool of data. As you might expect, this is an extremely complicated and time-consuming process that requires a fair amount of skill. Cloud companies offer ways to speed up the process, but a fair amount of skill is required to get meaningful results.”  Click on the image for complete article.

It is hard to say that they are using the same platform Gluon to work together or what they are telling each other the goal will be.  I would have been more excited if there was a more specific goal focused on an vertical issue or use case or global issue.  Here are a few thoughts on what they should be done such as focus on reasoning.

Reasoning, in essence, discourages openness, surprise, or ambiguity. It is a process, mental or mechanical, that works through a series of pieces of evidence to new data until the problem is solved. In certain circumstances, reasoning is a process set against time: All answers are known; it is just that time eludes them. Reasoning is also a natural language issue because language is often the means on which the evidence is built. In the field of learning languages, the building process is often a history of ideas gathered together into stories. These stories are told in order to pass on information or reasoning processes. In stories, as in reasoning processes, clues are included or omitted to frustrate the process.

Neural Networks
From the press release, click on image, “With the Gluon interface, developers can build machine learning models using a simple Python API and a range of pre-built, optimized neural networkcomponents. This makes it easier for developers of all skill levels to build neural networks using simple, concise code, without sacrificing performance. AWS and Microsoft published Gluon’s reference specification so other deep learning engines can be integrated with the interface.”   This is a lot of techno-babble saying they have no idea what they are doing or predict any results, if any.
What a Neural Network
The term neural networks, as proliferated by AI researchers, explains how the networks of the brain work together to allow thinking to take place. Examinations of people with low intelligence versus those with high intelligence do not biologically demonstrate any clear neurological distinction. Perhaps at some point, intelligence in humans might effectively be understood, and the development of machine intelligence might be a requirement for this understanding. The development of machine-based neural networks might also give rise to a greater understanding of human thinking processes.
To simplify the process look at the Figure which shows the following a library of books with hyperlinks or crosspoint between ideas, text, images and other content.
First, a cross/point (intersection point) is composed of different types of information, including text, graphics, or data.
Second, each grid of different types of information can be changed as necessary. Additions, deletions, and modifications can be easily incorporated into the cross/point grid.
Third, each grid of information can be expanded “to the nth degree.” The structure of the cross/point is n-dimensional. Its boundaries can be expanded.
Fourth, a cross/point idea network allows for n-dimensional linking by connecting any number of nodes together at any point, top-bottom and/or side-to-side.
Fifth, a cross/point can be represented in a simple expression.
Structurally, administration can be viewed as a configuration of thought patterns that relate individuals and collectives of varying sizes, shapes, and degrees of understanding, cohesion, and stability. Dynamically, administration appears as a patterned swirl and flow of ideas. Many of them channel through transactional circuits between persons and persons, persons and groups, and groups and other groups. For our purposes, communication patterns and flows are particularly important. Patterns relate communication to organization, and flow relates communication to decision-making. Thus, the concepts networking, thought processing, and decision making are inexorably interwoven.
In other words, this it is the same image from three different angles just like the way three different people would look at the same problem each from their own perspective.
Bottom-line – Really don’t expect anything because in reality, Amazon and Microsoft both want world domination.  However, neural networks do offer the means to bridge the man-machine interface, however, more “code” won’t help you solve what you want for lunch.

Not a Headset but an AI Personal Assistant  

In case you think Apple is asleep at the enterprise wheel, here is an exciting solution for any desktop phone, contact center agent, mobile/car route sales person or even factory floor.  Check out these specs to impress anyone –

Beats Solo3 Wireless delivers up to 40 hours of battery life driven by the efficiency of the Apple W1 chip. Or, with Fast Fuel, a quick 5-minute charge provides 3 hours of playback to quickly get you back on track. Integrated on-ear controls, coupled with dual beam-forming mics, allow you to take calls, play music, adjust volume and activate Siri while on the go.  Click on image for more.
In other words, you can integrate voice recognition into your voice conversation and then even add an app for that to listen and guide agents or sales or even the CEO in their conversation. Also, reports from users also said it has good noise cancellation. And, at $299 quite a bargain.
Bottom-line – Deskphones only have one ear speaker, Beats has two speakers, people have two ears, you can decide which one is better.

Top of Mind Keeps You First in Line  

This is a webinar presentation available for sales teams at a nominal fee.
Key points are:
1 – Know Thy Customer
2 – Be the Thought Leader
3 – Create Calls-To-Action often
4 – Decide Marketing Methods
5 – Build a Calendar & Commit
Are you really in the line at all or just think you are?
Click on image for the complete presentation and contact Tom Cross at cross@gocross.com for details and scheduling.

From UC to IC – Intelligent Communications

This is from MS Office 365 blog “customers can take advantage of the capabilities in Microsoft Teams starting today. We are committed to providing visibility into the Teams product roadmap, so our customers can assess when Teams is right for them. We intend to make an updated roadmap for Teams available in October.  Click on the image for the complete article.
We plan to continue to offer and support Skype for Business in Office 365 and Skype for Business Server on-premises. For customers who are not yet ready to move their PBX and advanced calling capabilities to the cloud, we will release a new version of Skype for Business Server targeted for the second half of calendar year 2018.”
 
Nice doubletalk – buy what we want you to buy today or wait until late 2018 or never.

First Multi-Media Calendar Planner App for iPhone & iPad Approved

SleepTracsPro 3.4 is approved for iPhone and iPad.  Among the many benefits is an exciting new multi-media planner.  While planner and calendar apps abound, we added features that are not found in others.  We also will be adding even more features that in addition to support for iOS 11, here are the key features in SleepTracsPro 3.4 NOTE: due to Apple removing AppStore from iTunes you are now forced to get your apps from the AppStore app on your iPhone or App – it wasn’t our idea.
– Sleep Scheduling,
– Snooze Nap features,
– Snap Alert
– Actical – action calendar
– ZoomLite
– Dream Diary journal/log,

NEW – Multi-media Planner with multi-colored text, pics, videos, drawings, audio messages and acticons for iPhone and iPad.

Please visit http://sleeptracs.com/ for tips, applications and ideas.

Key features of SleepTracsPro are:

– Actical – Action calendar with Acticons-action icons and first calendar with drawings. Add drawings and images to your calendar to improve tracking and performance.

– Snooze – The Snooze feature is designed to let you get your “power nap” or “cat nap” anytime; you can select your snooze time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

– Snap – feature is a new feature not found in any sleep app we have found so far. Snap is really a “snap out of it” feature that you put in your shirt pocket and when no motion or limited motions are detected, it gives you a vibration or tune/tone. Designed to help you overcome falling asleep in class or on the job, it should not be used while driving.

Sleep – feature offers you a scheduling tool You can select your sleep time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

Weather – current weather is displayed when user awakes.

ZoomLite is an exciting weather center, camera, large format clock and 3-level magnifying flashlight app. You are able to see weather, large font clock, take a picture and easily read labels, meds bottles, check meds, cuts/sores, household issues and other fine print articles and other hard to read documents or any other reason to see something closeup with 3-step magnifying flashlight.

Dream Diary journal has unlimited notepads with multi-color drawing features, text notes, audio recording, backgrounds with pictures from camera or gallery and sharing features for email, social sites, gallery and other ways.

Planner – everyone needs to get organized and nothing is better than having it all in the same place. The new version 3.4 in the first to include all forms of multi-media including multi-colored text (you can choose what color text you like to indicate priorities or other personal notations), you can include pictures and videos from either camera or gallery, you can add freehand drawings, audio recordings like “Get organized” and our own proprietary Acticons™ which are “action icons and emojis” to emphasize an event or activity.

Independent Reviews

“Sleep apnea is a serious health issue and solutions are scarce often making sleep worse than better. SleepTracsPro journal/diary is a significant help where I can take pics, even videos and including detailed notes where I can track diet, temp, weather and other factors which I know impact sleep. I strongly recommend SleepTracsPro for any one with sleep apnea or just wants to better understand their sleep habits and patterns.” R.S. – Atlanta

“SleepTracsPro gives me great insights on my sleep habits as I am able to use the Dream Diary to write notes, even make drawings of my dreams as well as share them with others. SleepTracsPro is a must-have for any one struggling with all the challenges of getting better sleep.” S.C. – Seattle

SleepTracsPro is one of the many apps such as SleepTracs, ZoomLite, Baseball Fans Club, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, RewardsVIPClub, HashNewsGram and many others from TECHtionary.com.

Wireless Charging Vase – No Flowers !
 
“Wireless charging as a concept has been around since Nikola Tesla, a Croatian inventor, first suggested in the 19th century that you could transfer power between two objects via an electromagnetic field.”  Soon wireless charging will be available in almost any concept — who knows what happens to your brain with all that electronic magnetism in the air.

 

Personal Speakerphone
 
One of the many things I really don’t like is webinar speakers using a speakerphone.  They really don’t care how much room echo there is and sounds like they are speaking in a warehouse.  Polycom may have a solution for this with a personal speakerphone.  While no speakerphone can eliminate room echo, road noise, HVAC noise and other noises, this may help. 
  • Polycom HD Voice and industry-leading full duplex, echo cancellation
  • Polycom NoiseBlock technology automatically eliminates non-speech background noise
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • 4 microphones and 10-foot (3-meters) microphone range – 2 to 3 times more coverage than most personal speakerphones
  • Rugged and stylish cast aluminum case – won’t break like plastic speakerphones if dropped
  • Spill resistant – IP64 dust and water-resistance rated
  • Security cable included for fixed meeting room and huddle room deployments

It is waterproof too, rather coffee proof.

I asked for pricing and they said it will be released in 4Q.

 

Turing Test 
Summer is often a good time to catch up on great reading and while we are really too busy to read, reading on your iPhone is really great even at the DMV which I did yesterday.  Both books on Turing are great but the Copeland book is even better.  You really realize that many of you who are reading this would not be here at all except for what Alan and his colleagues.  Why you ask.  If they hadn’t broken then Enigma and other codes, WWII would have taken much longer costing millions of lives including my dad and his brothers who were all in Europe.  Anyway, great insights on computing, AI and the future even though he died 73 years ago.  Click on image for either book and see if you could pass your own Turing Test.
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Omnichannel Customer Engagement Integrated in Kirstel Social Selling Strategy
Kirstel Social Selling Strategy (KSS) is now available.  Evan Kirstel noted, “this is just the latest efforts in building “thought leadership” in sales and social selling.  “Engagement via social selling is more than just social media requiring enhanced sales training, communications skills and new technology. Omnichannel customer engagement is integrated deeply within KSS.  With KSS the next-gen sales staff can “meet” new B2B prospects, gain revenue, lower costs and importantly shorten the sales cycle. With KSS business partners can also benefit by adding new, relevant social business customer engagements per month. The combination of current selling technologies such as CRM and other tech tools, social media influence, social business know-how, and passion for sales is key to social selling.   The KSS strategy drives visibility & engagement with customers, influencers, key opinion leaders, analysts, journalists, CXOs and others while cutting through the noise to generate leads and set up an ongoing social selling strategy.”
Here are highlights of Kirstel Social Selling Strategy:
– Social selling is not just selling via technology.  As we have integrated CRM and other custom/public tools into our selling processes, social selling is expanding use of technology to enhance the communications process, reduce sales cycle, reduce order confusion, accelerate customer acceptance throughout the lifecycle, enhance long-term “gain” ratio thereby reduce customer churn, enhance customer experience, increasing product/solution margin, integration of selling technology into products and services and other factors.
– The Kirstel Social Selling Strategy KSS is a professional services engagement to begin the process of engaging with corporate and channel sales (if any) to enhance their ability to use social selling as part of their sales process. In addition, KSS can optionally be involved in improving sales processes, compensation plan, marketing communications and other aspects of the business.
– KSS is a multi-phase project with Go/No-go points to limit risk while expediting the process to maximize corporate performance and efficiency.
Here are the 7 Phases of KSS with Go/No-go points at each stage:
  • Phase 1 – Determine – End-to-end customer assessment of sales process and cycle
  • Phase 2 – Develop – Integration of social media strategy and technology into business culture
  • Phase 3 – Deliver – Pilot social selling strategy and deployment of new KSS into pilot environment
  • Phase 4 – Deploy – Expand social selling into key markets and segments (channel, international, etc.)
  • Phase 5 – Detect – Detect, monitor and track performance and present KPIs to management
  • Phase 6 – Discuss – Discuss and explore performance at the Center for Social Selling Excellence
  • Phase 7 – Discover – Explore social selling integration into future selling and products.
Click on image for complete details on each KSS Phases:
About  
Evan Kirstel and other teammates represent more than 300,000 Twitter followers and 30,000 on Linkedin and other social media platforms.  We have proven social selling and professional development skills to assist your organization now and in the future.
To get started in social selling today, contact:
m: 978-761-1524 | e: mailto:kirstel@gmail.com
Twitter @EvanKirstel
Schedule a call via https://calendly.com/kirstel
Subscribe to newsletter – http://bit.ly/2hYsAis
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Compare Outlook Free/Busy Times Across Companies – Free Trial Now Available from Microsoft AppSource

Approved Contact allows you to compare your open times in Microsoft Outlook with contacts outside your company to easily find open times for everyone.

Approved Contact announced the availability of Approved Contact in Microsoft AppSource. Approved Contact allows you to see available times on any online calendar from Microsoft Outlook with Approved Contact’s patent-pending Calendar Comparison technology.

Approved Contact deployed its solution on Microsoft Azure and stores calendar data in Azure SQL Database so that calendar integrations with other technologies such as email, bots, text, and voice recognition systems are simple and more secure.

“Supporting Microsoft AppSource also meant integrating Microsoft Azure Active Directory for single sign-on. When new users sign in with their Microsoft account, we automatically create their account and sync their calendar after Microsoft authenticates the new user,” said Dana Sale, president, Approved Contact. “So, it is easy to start a trial of Approved Contact directly from Microsoft AppSource. We support every major calendar system, but our ‘Sign in with Microsoft’ integration has streamlined how new users come into Approved Contact.”

Rob Howard, director of Office 365 Ecosystem, Microsoft Corp. said, “Calendar management is a central pillar of business communication, so initiatives that make daily scheduling more effective are important business tools. We’re pleased to see Approved Contact’s commitment to Microsoft Services and offer its solution in Microsoft AppSource.”

(Without Approved Contact, you cannot see open times outside your company)

(With Approved Contact, you can see open times outside your company.)

New Calendar-Syncing Option: “Sign in with Microsoft”

Our newly available “Sign in with Microsoft” support allows you to use your Office 365 account for easy new user sign-in and calendar syncing. You can use your Office account to create your profile and grant access to your free/busy times. We keep your changes in sync automatically, so as you add/delete meetings, your online calendar is always kept up to date.

“Sign in with Microsoft” grants access to your free/busy times securely because it does not require your password to be stored on a third-party site. For enterprise sites, an Office administrator can establish your employees’ profiles and connect their calendars automatically from Azure Active Directory. Alternatively, you can easily create your own profile from your Office 365 account by navigating to www.approvedcontact.com.

Cloud Services Integrations: Open API Streamlines Scheduling

Approved Contact enables you to connect your calendar intelligently to almost anything used in digital communication: websites, text, email, mobile, voice recognition, CRM, and telephone systems. Although the Approved Contact API is available only to customers and partners, it is free to use to further automate the scheduling process into your business processes.

Every day millions of business users rely on their calendar to make them more productive. This new integration between Outlook and Approved Contact will reduce the untimely interruptions required to schedule your next meeting.

For more information, visit Microsoft AppSource to start your trial and then enable our add-in from the Microsoft Store.
Follow Approved Contact on Twitter at @approvedcontact.

About Approved Contact

Approved Contact is an innovative company that is improving productivity for companies large and small. Approved Contact allows you to easily share calendars with anyone. Changes you make to your calendar update automatically to Approved Contact. Using Approved Contact enables you to connect your calendar to websites, text, email, mobile, voice recognition, and telephone systems. For more information, visit www.ApprovedContact.com.

HashNewsGrams 2.3 Adds FreeHand Drawings, Audio Recordings, Video & Pics 
 

Breakthrough the 280 Character Text Barrier

You can post essentially unlimited text, videos, pics, audio recordings, freehand paintings and drawings, multimedia images and Acticons-Action Icons.
#HashNewsGram is a FREE Twitter #hashtag news gathering app for iPhone and iPad. You can select your favorite #hashtag topics and put them in folders and subfolders and organize your Twitter news gathering and personal newsfeed. Then tap on the selected folder subfolder and see the posts in the categories selected. This is a great way to simplify your Twitter news feed.
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