L&T Technology Services partners with CogniLore to accelerate digital transformation needs of educational institutes and corporates- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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L&T Technology Services, a global pure-play engineering services company, announced that it served as a technology partner to Canada’s CogniLore Information Solutions enabling it to offer its acclaimed proLibro digital delivery tools for mass adoption by educational institutes and businesses who now face the imminent task of realigning their operations and business model for a “work from home” environment.
The move is in line with the recent spurt in demand of educational institutes to deliver their age-old teaching mechanisms to the COVID-19 triggered work from home mode where academia-student engagement model has attained a virtual note. This offering is also valuable for businesses which so far relied on print versions or documents.
To accelerate this transition, CogniLore is moving early to general release of version 3.0 of its proLibro digital delivery tools and is offering unlimited end user licensing for free to enable these institutions to rapidly transition to digital and provide the opportunity to reduce client costs while giving users a vastly superior digital publication experience. CogniLore has also decided to suspend end user fees until September 1st, 2020 to further speed up this deployment.
 Mark Mcleod, Global Director – Integrated Content Management, L&T Technology Services said,“LTTS is delighted to partner with CogniLore, to redefine how content is consumed. The version 3.0 suite of digital delivery systems allows organizations to speed up the use of content with increased migration online. With LTTS’ machine learning library, natural language processing capabilities, and machine vision computing abilities, CogniLore can help companies globally to transform to meet the demands of an evolving technological ecosystem. LTTS’ Digital Delivery Platform, involving flexible technology and processes, helps clients build high-quality, reliable and relevant content in a fully interactive environment. With the ability to quickly ramp-up during unexpected times, the platform seamlessly links both new and existing customer content to Industry 4.0 technology.”
CogniLore CEO, Andre Dube, “We want to ensure that affected institutions can make this transition rapidly while helping them to alleviate the costs associated with getting their content to students and workers who are suddenly working at a distance. While we believe that our system is the best of breed in digital delivery for both content owners and end user, our adherence to common standards means that clients can transition to other platforms at any time they choose.”
LTTS’ support and CogniLore’s offer includes:

Suspension of all user licensing fees throughout the summer to offer content owners and end users the opportunity to freely access digital content using proLibro’s powerful toolset while catching up and adjusting to remote work.
Free access to proLibro Build and the Connect Cloud access management and distribution accounts to support the rapid transition and secure deployment of this content – whether for commercial or non-commercial distribution.
Complimentary support and guidance from LTTS and CogniLore experts in the management and implementation of tools that will help speed up content transition from common content production formats such as MS Word, InDesign, EPUB or XML based content management and authoring systems.
Free proLibro reader Apps for all end user platforms with support to produce custom branded elements and management of product release to app distribution marketplaces.

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Coronavirus and the Transformation of the Workplace at Socialbakers – Blog – 10 minute

COVID-19 represents a challenge to businesses on so many levels. As societies come to grips with the pandemic and restrictions are slowly lifted, one of the next challenges to await some of us is the return to the workplace.
Over the last several weeks or months, the vast majority of employees have been asked to take social distance and work from home. The safety of the workforce is the primary concern of any business leader. So as businesses are asking themselves just how they can start to bring employees back to the office in a safe and prudent way, I’d like to share a few of the steps we’ll be taking at Socialbakers.
Remote Work Remains Relevant
For many years, businesses have been worrying about the productivity of remote workers. COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation and over the last several weeks we have learned just how productive our teams can be while working remotely.
Socialbakers is a technology business and we have always been very WFH friendly. So one area in which I believe that we will see a lasting impact on the way we work post-COVID-19 is remote work.
While there is no compression algorithm for experience, this period is serving to teach businesses that employees can not only function, but thrive working remotely. In a recent Gartner survey of 317 CFOs, nearly a quarter of respondents said they will move at least 20 percent of their on-site employees to permanent remote positions in an effort to achieve the cost savings of a remote workforce.
And more businesses may follow the lead of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who announced that employees at his companies, including Twitter and Square, will be able to work remotely forever. Not every business can work remotely, but those that can are likely to do so in larger percentages moving forward.
With technologies like Slack, Zoom, Monday.com, and many other cloud-based collaboration tools, teams can be as productive as they are in the office, if not moreso. One important point to remember is that it’s not the tools that make employees productive, it’s the company values, the employee engagement, and the clarity of the leadership that drive productivity.
The downside of more remote working will likely be on the human side, but I believe that this will be more of a perceived downside than a real one. While there will be less opportunity for a coffee with a colleague, teams will have to get creative about how they keep up the personal side of collaboration.
At Socialbakers, we have already seen such creativity happening organically over the last weeks with virtual lunches and virtual happy hours bringing teams together during this period of enforced distance.
Office Guidelines After the Pandemic
When it comes to the physical workplace, there are some important questions to answer. The most important one for me is how do we offer our employees a safe, healthy environment in which to connect with co-workers and be productive?
First things first, we will make sure that face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer are readily available in the office. We are producing Socialbakers face masks, which we feel will not only keep our employees safe but they will be proud to wear. There will also be hand sanitizer dispensers available in every reception, collaboration space, and meeting room, and employees will be encouraged to use them before interacting with each other.

We will also make sure we make space to allow for social distance. We plan to adjust our office environment to create new areas for informal meetings, which would normally have taken place over a coffee in the cafe area or on one of our sofas.
Now we plan to space out informal seating so people can meet together a safe distance apart. In conference rooms, we will remove some chairs so that they can never get to full capacity and people can leave a safe distance between themselves and their neighbor. 
When it comes to the return to the office, we plan to create rules of engagement at the company level and at the team level. These rules will be around the time employees plan to spend in the office, their reasons to come in, and finally the social rules of being in the office.
We will allow each team to decide how they would like to work together towards their respective goals. Some teams need to meet weekly, others need to catch up on a daily basis. No one size fits all.
What is going to be important is that we can plan office time based on team needs and in alignment with the local regulations. I believe that these changes will represent the biggest mindshift for employees, as once they reenter the workplace they will very quickly go back to old habits. It will be down to team leaders and managers to help their teams adapt to the new normal with more prudent workplace behaviors.
Socializing While Social Distancing
When it comes to social time in the office, many of the traditional office perks we have been offering employees will also need to change post-COVID. While get-togethers will need to change for the time being, they are still a very important part of who we are as a company.
Something our teams always looked forward to was the Friday Breakfast, which is an important opportunity for all employees at our headquarters to take some time to grab something to eat with their co-workers and catch up. Moving forward, we don’t want to remove such important opportunities to build relationships, but we know we will need to rethink them.
As a leadership team we are investigating ways in which we can work with local restaurants to replace the open buffet format and replace it with smaller snack boxes that would be delivered more frequently over the course of the week so that employees who are in the office can enjoy the sociability across our large office space. We also see this concept as a way to help the restaurants in our community who have suffered during the crisis.
Finally, a key topic is business travel. At Socialbakers, we are a global business with employees all over the world, from New York to Singapore, London to Sao Paulo. In the past, travel was commonplace as a way to keep physically close to our customers and to our co-workers.
While I don’t believe business travel will be a thing of the past, as in-person meetings are so very important, for the time being we will be encouraging our teams to really ask themselves if a trip is business critical, or if it can be handled via video conference.
The Takeaway
Navigating the return to work will be a learning process for all of us and I believe we need to view it as more of a transition than a switch to a new normal. Leaders will need to make sure they are enabling real two-way communication with employees, encouraging them to share any questions they have or challenges they face as a result of changes to the workplace.
If leaders are able to show employees the steps they are taking to keep them safe and secure, while enabling them to be productive, the COVID-19 crisis may end up being an opportunity to not only strengthen the corporate culture, but to increase employee engagement and boost productivity in the long run.

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Is Your Business Ready for the New Pace of Digital Transformation? | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sourced from Syspro.

While digital transformation has ostensibly been on top of the CIO’s agenda for years, the reality is that many businesses have been slow on the uptake. Recent events like the lockdown in South Africa and across the world have forced their hand, and those that were on the back foot are now scrambling to keep up.
However, when it comes to accelerating digital transformation, businesses need speed, not haste. Now more than ever it is essential to understand that technology is an enabler, a means to an end and not the end itself.
In order to succeed, it is critical to begin with a strategy, to understand what business benefits need to be achieved and how technology can assist.
No more delaying the inevitable

Despite an increasing drive towards digitalisation, many businesses have delayed the implementation of technologies like mobility. However, in the wake of global disruption, companies have been left with no choice other than to mobilise workforces and adapt to new ways of working, even to the point of reinventing revenue streams.
Work from home strategies, which previously may have taken months to get off the ground, has now had to be implemented in a matter of weeks simply to enable businesses to operate.
“This is a significant change for the vast majority of businesses, and organisations need to be cognizant of the fact that it is not just a matter of implementing some new technology. You cannot just give employees a new laptop and software and expect them to pick up where they left off,” says Sonja Weber, Lead Delivery Solution Manager at T-Systems South Africa.
Strategy first, always
The current global situation has forced businesses to develop new routes to market, new products, new business models and more. Agility is no longer a source of competitive advantage; it is the only way to survive. However, while technology is essential in enabling businesses to continue operating, it is not a silver bullet.
“Implementing technology without a strategy is a recipe for disaster. If technology is going to help your business, you need to begin with the business outcome in mind and then understand how processes need to change. Once you have this foundation in place, you can find the best technology to meet your objectives. There are many ways to do things from a technical perspective, but not all of them will give you the business benefits you need,” explains Andre Schwan, Deal Solutions Manager at T-Systems South Africa.
The time to collaborate is now
Now, more than ever, it is critical for business and IT to work together. Digital transformation cannot be an IT problem – any change needs to support the business, either by enabling new ways of working or by altering profitability structures. There are also a number of softer issues in play, including expectations from a mobile workforce, managing employees remotely, how technical problems are handled and more.
“To remain relevant today and in the future, IT and business need to work together to generate revenue streams. We need to work from an outcome-based perspective, using the strategy we have developed to drive technology implementations. Everything has changed, from the way we work to our business continuity planning, and IT needs to become an active contributor rather than simply a supporting function,” says Grant Somerset, Specialist Sales Executive at T-Systems South Africa.
The “new normal”
While lockdown will not last forever, the repercussions of this pandemic will be long-lasting. Even when the lockdown is lifted, it is doubtful that we will be able to resume ‘business as usual’. The situation is forcing businesses to consider how they operate on a fundamental level, and digital transformation is the enabler that delivers the tools businesses need to continue operations.
“We need to adapt our business models, understand what our operating models will look like in the future and how technology can support this. Areas like business process automation and cloud services are invaluable tools in helping enterprises to be more efficient, adapt faster to change and more,” says Schwan.
“When it comes to actually get it right, however, there are many pitfalls and challenges. Choosing the right partner can prove invaluable because nothing beats experience. Managing complexity and reducing risk is key because the reality is that businesses cannot afford to get it wrong anymore,” Weber adds.
There are a number of benefits for businesses that can get it right, including the ability to reduce costs through a smaller physical footprint and reduced staff complements through automation. It is also possible to improve work-life balance by reducing the number of time employees spend in traffic, offer more flexible working arrangements and leverage greater agility and speed to market. The mobile workforce will likely become the ‘new normal’ and businesses need to gear themselves toward it sooner rather than later.
Edited by Luis MonzonFollow Luis Monzon on TwitterFollow Tempemail on Twitter

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Why the Covid-19 pandemic could kick-start digital transformation at scale- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

“COVID has been the catalyst for digital transformation at scale,” according to Publicis chief operating officer, Jo Coombes. The pandemic has undoubtedly forced many businesses to transform their offerings and move into a more online format to meet the changing behaviours of consumers, requiring brands and brand owners to be nimble. But what role, if any, should brands play in the pandemic and how can they remain supportive to customers during these uncertain times? Tempemail executive editor, Stephen Lepitak posed this question as part of a panel discussion at Tempemail’s Digital Transformation Festival.
Consumers expect brands to be helpful during the pandemic
“92% of consumers believe that brands should continue advertising throughout the outbreak and be there for them,” says The Trade Desk senior VP, EMEA, Philippa Snare, referencing a study conducted by Kantar Media. As customers are forced to stay home during lockdown, they are inevitably consuming more information – watching more TV and browsing more online. “They want brands to continue talking to them and to represent something that’s meaningful to society; that’s helpful.”
TSB’s chief marketing officer, Pete Markey, agrees, “It’s really important for brands and brand owners to listen” and be in tune with what consumers are feeling. He suggests marketers focus on clarifying their communication messages.
Financial services, of course, counts as essential business, with Markey revealing how TSB has had to be extremely proactive to ensure branches and call centres remain open and operating. “We’ve had to put additional levels of cover and support in place for customers,” he says, “to make sure we communicate what we’re doing and that people know about it.” TSB also launched an ad during the pandemic – featuring staff members – to provide a “message that we’re here to help and to give customers a sense of calm and reassurance.”
How to avoid pitfalls when advertising during a pandemic
For Coombes, brands should look at how customer needs have changed and consider how they can help people to feel safe and in control.
It’s a hard time for businesses to know how to respond, agreed the panellists. TSB, for instance, according to Markey, initially focused on the short term and prioritised on the internal organisation, adjusting the teams to re-orientate around their customers. Only then was the brand able to put together a longer-term plan.
“We’ve looked at 2020 and mapped our activity against what those phases could look like and then what our actions around each would be,” he says. “But we’ve built in enough flexibility so that if lockdown continues longer or we see different trends emerge, we can shift and move things around to meet those needs at that moment. It’s been challenging.”
Coombes calls it “scenario planning” and says the best way to do this effectively from an agency perspective, is in partnership with the client. “We’ve been working very closely with the client team to review which brands should be on air, what they are saying, what was planned and what’s still relevant,” she says, to make sure that brands are reinforcing messages that are in line with government suggestions.
Should brands use the crisis to experiment?
Careful consideration around messaging is key as brands want to avoid putting out something that’s irrelevant. Coombes suggests that now is the time for brands to experiment. “There’s a huge opportunity to test new things and see how they land,” she says. “On the one hand, you want to test and innovate when things are stable, because at least you can control it. But at the same time, we’re constantly seeing new things come out that make you think what worked and what didn’t. We need to learn quickly”
Speed, agility and flexibility are crucial qualities for brands to harness during these times. Snare suggests brands figure out new ways of enticing potential customers by offering relevant content for free – especially if it serves them during the pandemic. Such is the case with The Trade Desk’s educational platform, Edge Academy, which provides people with free resources to brush up on their skills. “It can be a meaningful way to connect to your consumers,” she says.
Brand initiatives that are winning in a changing market
Data can also help brands to move more quickly and to make snappier decisions, adds Snare. “Brands absolutely need to have and use their first party data. But it’s also about how they’re using that data to make split second decisions with artificial intelligence engines and using that third and first party data together to know their customer better.” It allows them to track consumer behaviour quickly and means brands can redirect their ads to the most relevant platforms, knowing that that’s where their consumers will access content.
There are ways for brands to emerge triumphantly out of the pandemic, if they’re able to troubleshoot where customers need them most. TSB have done this successfully, by noticing early on that there was an increase in scamming and fraudulent behaviour throughout the outbreak.
“We’ve been at the forefront of trying to tackle that, both with the advice we’re giving out and with our fraud refund guarantees. So, if anyone is conned, it’s not their fault and we will refund them automatically,” says Markey. “We’re the only bank that’s doing that.” He adds that if companies can work on providing solutions to specific problems posed by consumers, then they’ll have a much better chance at being relatable and remaining relevant.
Echoing the sentiment, Coombes shared her experience of how several brands are falling flat with their campaigns because they appear to be too disingenuous in their lack of practical help. She thinks EE’s gifting of data to NHS workers act as a really simple but effective solution.
“The brands you feel are winning at the moment are the ones that have got a very clear sense of purpose around what they’re about,” says Markey, reminding marketers that often their brand purpose will stretch beyond what they do for their immediate customer base. If brands can be a bit more experimental with their approach and embrace the current changes and respond accordingly to their consumers, it could result in a really interesting time for the industry. Coombes concludes: “There’s a huge shift for a lot of organizations, having to think more digitally-first. After this, they won’t go back to where they are; it’s setting precedent.”

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Enterprise Operations Transformation: A multifaceted approach to help organizations be future ready- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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By Somit Kapoor, Vice President and Global Head – Enterprise Operations Transformation (EOT),  Wipro Ltd.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations have been forced to rethink their long-term business strategy now more than ever. We are transitioning from a reality where businesses were conducted on premise, and are slowly establishing the long term possibility of remote working. Organizations are rethinking traditional models of working and are helping clients recover through simpler methods of conducting business.They are also utilizing new age technologies such as workflow systems coupled with Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI). This is further being facilitated by virtual collaboration tools such as chat bots and other digital collaboration tools like video calling platforms, cloud storage etc. As organizations make their way towards digital transformation, they must build a long term framework that encapsulates changes required within the organizational processes and prescribes methods to implement them effectively.
How can Enterprise Operations Transformation (EOT) Practice help businesses be future ready?
EOT is a practice that orchestrates the transformation initiatives of clients through a structured framework with a strong focus on technology led transformation of operations across the business value chain. It helps customers re-imagine their end-to-end processes from a holistic and long-term perspective. In the COVID-19 era, organizations must gear up to setup Digital Labs in order to cater to the changes in needs of the business. These labs help envision and implement not only short-term transformation requirements, but also build a roadmap for organizations to be future-ready.
The first step towards digital transformation is analyzing the processes within an organization. This reveals inefficiencies due to factors like unorganized data, absence or asymmetric information on business processes etc. EOT uses essential levers for transformation i.e. Lean Six Sigma, Process Mining, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), AI and Analytics to eliminate/reduce inefficiencies, so that the organization can realize tangible and sustainable benefits.
The success of a transformation approach also requires the presence of an enterprise-grade methodology. This is where the rigor of the EOT Framework is principally useful to help organizations navigate through the transformation deployment process.

A typical digital transformation is envisioned through the 4 levers of the EOT framework – Simplification, Automation, Intelligence and Immersive Experience. Thus, it is important to understand the process that is being transformed, apply the right lever to the right step, and reap the optimum benefits. The levers are applied in such a way that they not only confer benefits independently, but also bestow benefits in the form of a multiplier effectively.
Dealing with uncertainties in the business landscape
There is a significant rise in the usage of remote working tools in the past few weeks and organizations have started investing in building this particular infrastructure to be future ready. EOT can help organizations choose the right set of tools, internal or external, for a particular process or a function. It can also significantly improve the entire process by using process engineering and analysis techniques to either create efficiencies within processes or create new processes altogether.
It is impossible for a single organization to be equipped with all the necessary platforms, tools and capabilities to deal with such unprecedented transformation. Therefore, it is imperative for organizations to be part of a larger ecosystem that drives collaboration via Integrated Automation, through a 360-degree approach involving Technology, People and Processes. The 360 degree approach refers to various tools and platforms that can be used to either enhance or create new processes while having the right set of talent to utilize these resources effectively.
The potential impact of EOT
COVID-19 has already fast tracked the way organizations are investing in Digital Transformation technologies. EOT can help clients transform numerous processes, especially the ones which have been presented with the greatest challenges, e.g. Order Processing or Claims Processing, which have seen significant increase in volume in the past one month as it has become difficult to maintain collaboration amongst teams. EOT facilitates increased inter-organization connectedness and also strengthens the inter-process efficiency by unifying all the process on a single platform.
While COVID-19 has presented organizations with various challenges, it has also provided them an opportunity to completely change the way they function. Organizations are slowly coping with the current situation and are considering solutions from a long-term perspective. This accounts for the very basic metrics that might be used for measuring the efficiency of running business, and also takes into account a more rounded perspective to be future proof

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NYT ‘hastens’ transformation of ads biz as it braces for a 55% plunge in ad sales- Tempemail – 10 minute

The New York Times is speeding up the overhaul of its ads business after being hit by a slump in advertiser spend across print and digital – despite record subscriber figures.
The company reported quarterly ad sales of $106m – a dip of 15% from the $125m it made in Q1 2019. Digital advertising declined 8% year-on-year while print revenues dropped by 21%.
High volumes in reader traffic saw programmatic offer only some cushioning to the decline in direct sales. The Times noted particular drops in demand from the luxury, media, entertainment and financial categories.
The biggest hit to the quarter came in the latter weeks, when the coronavirus saw swathes of advertisers cutting, pausing or pulling spend. Based on the trends of the last month, chief executive Mark Thompson warned investors that advertising in the second quarter is likely to fall by 50-55% compared to a year ago, “with limited visibility beyond that”.
The rapid slowdown has prompted Meredith Kopit Levien, chief operating officer of the company, to “hasten” the multiyear strategy put in place to transform the company’s ads business.
The international media co will now focus on winning the media spend of a larger concentration of advertisers in a smaller number of earmarked categories such as tech, telecom and financial services. Kopit Levien explained the Times had seen better success negotiating “larger, multi-platform” deals with these clients in the past.
“I think it’s fair to say [that] in both print and digital we’ve got more pressure in our legacy categories, and I think we can assume that that will continue through the crisis,” she said.
The Times will continue to invest in products that tap into the first-party data and consumer insights gleaned from its subscription model, while its audio business will also be nourished. Podcast revenues grew by 30% in the quarter, primarily due to the success of The Daily, which Kopit Levien said had become an “even larger and more sought-after platform for our advertisers”.
“We do expect some softening of demand for both data-driven display and audio during the recession, but less so than in our legacy products,” she added.
Despite the plummet in advertising revenues, topline readership and subscriber numbers painted a more positive picture for investors. The company posted 587,000 new digital subscriptions from February to April, making Q1 the best quarter in its subscriber history.
It now counts more than 5 million paid-for digital-only subscriptions and more than 6 million total subscriptions across digital and print.
“The Times’s business model, with its growing focus on digital subscription growth and diminishing reliance on advertising, is very well positioned to ride out this storm and thrive in a post-pandemic world,” said Thompson.
“We believe that the company will emerge from this global crisis with a distinctive and valuable advertising revenue stream to complement a digital news subscription business, which is now by far the largest and most successful in the world. The revenue from those subscriptions – and our strong balance sheet – give us real confidence, not just that we can remain financially sound through the pandemic, but also that we can safely invest in our digital growth strategy and continue to hire new talent to help execute it.”

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BLP Industry.AI and Google Cloud announce a strategic partnership to provide digital transformation across industries- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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BLP Industry.AI, a provider of enterprise AI and IoT applications for industry, has announced a strategic partnership with Google Cloud to assist companies improve operational efficiencies through digital transformation.
BLP Industry.AI (Industry.AI) will use Google Cloud, as it’s preferred cloud platform.  With this partnership, Industry.AI and Google Cloud will work with enterprises to optimize and automate operational, manufacturing, and business processes, as well as product solutions.
Customers can now receive an end to end solution starting from installation of  IoT sensors and gateways on the factory floor in order to digitize production lines – to advanced AI-based applications which provide insights to drive productivity gains. The IoT platform leverages AI and big data analytics to provide insights that in turn drives productivity across industries around the globe. Enterprise customers can deploy the AI-based applications for a range of transformative applications such as asset health and predictive maintenance, inventory management, supply chain optimization, asset tracking, performance monitoring, and energy efficiency.  In addition, they also provide visual analytics-based solutions to ensure wearable safety gear compliance, surveillance, social distancing enforcement and detecting manufacturing defects.
“With this partnership, we are joining forces to drive industrial productivity across organizations,” said Tejpreet Singh Chopra, CEO, BLP Industry.AI. “Leveraging the deep technology of Google Cloud, we have built AI-based applications that will accelerate the adoption of AI and IoT across industries.”
Karan Bajwa, Managing Director, Google Cloud India, said, “We are happy to work with BLP Industry.AI to enable organizations to use new digital technologies and information to transform the way these companies work. Large scale data management, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are key components of this association.”
The Industry.AI platform is fully integrated with a rich set of Google Cloud services, including IoT Core, Cloud Bigtable, and big data and advanced analytics solutions. Industry.AI has developed an expertise in implementing Industry 4.0 solutions in a wide range of industries including manufacturing, ports, transportation, aviation, steel, real estate, automotive, energy, and oil & gas. The Industry 4.0 solutions leverages the differentiated Google Cloud services in Analytics, ML, and IoT.

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Digital Transformation and the COVID-19 Crisis- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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By Anand Kumar Keshavan, Chief Architect, Extentia Information Technology(With inputs from Umeed Kothavala, Chief Executive Officer and Chetan Shetty, Chief Operating Officer)
What should businesses do with their digital transformation programs at the unprecedented crisis unleashed by this lethal virus?
Before attempting to answer this question, let us examine the impact of the crisis on those organizations that have gone ‘digital’ in a big way versus the ones who have been a little slow. Software companies, such as Extentia, have been able to transition to a distributed collaborative model with minimal disruption to service delivery. Of course, technology companies are rather exceptional, because most of the order-to-cash cycle can be done digitally – as we can deliver our work product digitally.
What about businesses such as retail and healthcare where the goods or services must be physically delivered to the customers? How much would a mature digital transformation program have impacted their ability to provide such services to their customers during this crisis?  Let us go back to the definition of digital transformation to answer this question in an enlightened way. (At the moment, there is no empirical data to measure correlation between the maturity of digital transformation and the ability of a business to adapt to the new normal. I am sure business schools will spend the next few years trying to understand this with the help of empirical data. We can expect hundreds, if not thousands of case studies in the coming years!)
Any digital transformation program attempts to use technology to optimize the entire order-to-realization cycle by eliminating or reducing paperwork, automating workflows, minimizing human errors, and using data analytics/ML techniques to provide insights into possible issues in the cycle. And all this must be done while providing customers and stakeholders with a great experience. Many digital transformation programs do not pay adequate attention to the ‘user experience’ aspect, which is probably one of the most important ones. Improving internal efficiencies at the cost of customer experience can prove to be a great mistake; ignoring internal users or stakeholders at the cost of process efficiency, can, likewise, alienate a major user group. Of course, misusing the insights provided by data analytics to spam customers or play with user privacy can backfire and negate the value of the effort.
The caveat here is that there are some goods and services that cannot be delivered (yet) without human contact. For example, a business such as UrbanClap or Uber cannot provide their services to their customers, despite being hundred per cent digital from ground up. Food delivery teams cannot deliver food because all restaurants are shut. A healthcare provider, on the other hand, can provide a subset of their services by using telemedicine tools, even during a lock down. The quality of the patient service it can provide will depend on the maturity of its digital transformation program. A hospital that has invested in collecting detailed medical records of its patients, and using digital copies of its test reports, etc., is in a better position to provide telemedicine services than one that hasn’t done so.
A bank can provide a lot of its services online, and a bank that has a more advanced digital transformation program will have the ability to disburse loans even during these times, compared to a less evolved one. A fascinating example is that of retail. Ecommerce retailers are unable to provide the logistic support during the lock down periods, due to the inability of delivery personnel, and the general disruption to the entire logistics chain. But supermarket chains with a robust digitization program can provide innovative solutions to the delivery problem – order and pick up, delivery to certain fixed points where their trucks can be placed at different times of the day, and so on.
Apart from the ones above, we can think of several examples where an advanced digital transformation plan might help businesses with business continuity:
# Following sales opportunities and tracking through cycle and maintenance remotely – supporting customers anywhere and with a distributed team
# Tracking and managing remote work sites and planning their supply chain and inventory remotely
# Tracking assembly lines or warehouses and taking autonomous action based on multi-parameter decision making algorithms and insights
# Renewal of contracts and other paperwork with digital signatures
# Measure, monitor, and manage energy consumption at remote plants and offices
# Monitor performance of remote equipment, vehicles, and hardware – without local physical presence
# Financial transactions of various kinds that require complex workflows – but don’t require physical availability
What is emerging from all this is that the businesses who have invested in digital technologies to deliver goods and services to their customers and employees are better positioned to handle crises like the one we are facing today, as their ability to tweak their business models in a short time is much higher. Furthermore, the fact that they can do so during the present situation will enable them to attract customer loyalty when the crisis has passed. Obviously, this is what great user experiences are all about.
One outcome of this crisis will be the accelerated adoption of autonomous vehicles such as drones for delivery of physical goods. This will surely enable the delivery of essential goods such as food, medicines, and such during the next crisis. Could it also accelerate the development of autonomous on road vehicles and robots for such delivery? Hard to say.
The companies that already have digital transformation programs are likely to accelerate their plans both during and after the crisis as their past investments begin to pay off. The others must seriously rethink their approach towards digital transformation or risk being left behind.

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We saw 2 years of digital transformation in 2 months: Satya Nadella- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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As COVID-19 impacts every aspect of work and life globally, Microsoft has seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in just two months of its third quarter (January-March period), according to CEO Satya Nadella.
“From remote teamwork and learning to sales and customer service to critical cloud infrastructure and security, we are working alongside customers every day to help them stay open for business in a world of remote everything,” he added during an earnings call.
As new work norms evolve, organisations are realizing they need a comprehensive solution that brings together communications, collaboration and business process, built on a foundation of security and privacy.
“More broadly, we continue to see momentum with organizations across Microsoft 365. Office 365 now has 258 million paid seats. Usage of Windows virtual desktop tripled this quarter as organizations deploy virtual desktops and apps on Azure to enable secure remote work,” informed Nadella.
Microsoft 365 Personal and Family now has more than 39 million subscribers.
“Windows 10 now has more than 1 billion monthly active devices, up 30 per cent year-over-year, and we are seeing demand for Windows 10 PCs from small screens to large screens to dual screens,” the Microsoft CEO added.
For over a decade, developers have come together remotely on Microsoft-owned open source repository GitHub to build the world’s software.
“As of today, we have 50 million developers on GitHub,” said Nadella.
Developers are collaborating on mission-critical projects from tracking the spread of COVID-19 to implementing contact tracing to helping expand access to personal protective equipment.
“We are bringing GitHub to even more developers, making core features free for the first time for teams of any size,” he added.
Amid the changing jobs market, LinkedIn’s role in creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce has never been more acute, according to Microsoft.
“LinkedIn is where more than 690 million professionals go to connect, learn new skills and find new opportunities, contributing to record levels of engagement across the platform in Q3,” said Nadella.
Professionals watched nearly four million hours of content on LinkedIn Learning in March, a nearly 50 per cent increase month-over-month.
“With LinkedIn Live, people and organizations can broadcast video content to their networks in real time. Streams are up 158 per cent since February,” he informed.
Microsoft saw all-time record gaming engagement in its third quarter, with nearly 19 million active users of Xbox Live, led by the strength on and off-console.
“Xbox Game Pass has more than 10 million subscribers, and we are seeing increased monetization of in-game content and services. And our Project xCloud gaming service now has hundreds of thousands of users in preview across 7 countries, with 8 more launching in the coming weeks,” Nadella added.

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Five takeaways from running Tempemail’s Digital Transformation Festival- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

As Tempemail’s Digital Transformation Festival catch-up hub goes live, allowing you to watch more than a hundred interviews with industry leaders and lively panel sessions on demand, Lynn Lester reflects on what she’s learned from hosting our first virtual event.
What does digital transformation have in common with allowing your kids to shave your head, still having a full tank of petrol after three weeks and surviving on the basics with no over-indulgence? Covid-19 of course. It has been one of the biggest threats but also biggest drivers of change in our lifetimes, and every business needing to survive is pivoting fast right now.
Our own transformation journey resulted in Tempemail’s Digital Transformation Festival, a virtual event sharing stories, advice and insights from brilliant brands and leading lights from across the industry.
I was very fortunate to watch every single session we produced for the afternoon recaps that I recorded each day. Topics ranged from how the automotive industry is evolving to the repurposing of music in a world where gatherings are currently forbidden, fake news, threats facing media businesses and how brands are engaging with communities and consumers.
Here I have condensed many hours of content down to five key takeaways that resonated with me the most.
What do we mean when we say digital transformation?
This question was posed to some of the most senior people in the industry, from agency leaders to brand CMOs and it was clear that it’s a term that signals much confusion because it means many things to many people. The consensus is that it’s about driving significant change internally and externally, and while tech is the enabler, it should not be the first element you focus on. Spearheading any transformation project has be someone with internal influence because for it to be successful, you must get the buy-in from your own people first.
But given that ‘digital’ transformation is such an ambiguous term, shouldn’t we be changing it to something that makes more sense instead?
You have the permission to change
Right now, people have never been more understanding, open-minded and forgiving. This means that brands, and any business for that matter, have the permission to try, test, learn, adapt, and try again.
Marketing departments all over the world are modifying comms plans continually as they try and hustle their way out of this crisis. They are more agile, collaborating closer with trusted partners and being bolder than ever before. Some brands and agencies have even produced TV and integrated campaigns within one or two weeks, which raises the question of whether the industry will adapt its pace permanently.
The bottom line is that if there was ever a time to try something new, now is your chance.
But whatever we do, we must be mindful and supportive of the people around us: staff, clients and partners who are trying to adjust to a life that is unpredictable and scary at times.
Data, data, data
This seems to be the holy grail right now. What do your customers think? How do they feel? How are they behaving? It seems obvious but brands are in desperate need of more insights than ever before and those worth their salt are using listening tools to inform their next communications move. As Pete Markey, chief marketing officer of TSB put it: “Brands have a danger of zigging whilst their customers are zagging.”
There is also huge opportunity to own the search space, ensuring your brand is the authoritative voice when people are asking questions online, instead of giving leeway to fake news and misinformation or competitors.
Brand safety, however, continues to throw up a whole layer of complexity, with the blocking of covid-19 related keywords resulting in the missed opportunity of ads being seen in safe environments and in turn, publishers suffering the financial pain.
Pitching of the future
Video calls, no travel and working from home in a smart top and PJs on the bottom is the ‘new normal’ right now. And so is remote pitching, where some big accounts are being won during lockdown.
The use of technology to secure top talent will continue to make this format a preferred option for many, whereas others will of course opt back to the face to face experience.
Either way, remote pitching has forced new creative thinking and has saved an awful lot of money and travel time in the process.
Be human and offer value
According to a recent Kantar survey, 92% of consumers think brands should still be advertising.
It is important that brands continue to entertain, inform, and inspire but steer clear of preaching, said our festival contributors. Instead, add value to people and their lives by bringing music into homes, offering recipe ideas and entertainment suggestions to keep the kids amused.
In Asia, Lazada and Pomelo are focussing on livestreaming to bring their e-commerce proposition to life by humanising the brands they work with and allowing the consumer to see the real people behind the scenes.
Then you have brands such as the Co-operative which has partnered with FareShare, a charity that supports foodbanks, to Everton FC, which is working in the community and even calling its older fans to lend an ear and make sure they are coping.
If Covid-19 has taught us anything it’s that whatever we do now to build consumer sentiment will pay dividends in the future as the world starts to recover and people begin to get back on their feet.
Lynn Lester is managing director of live events at Tempemail

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