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IT Visionaries podcast

IT Visionaries

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  Mission  

Your #1 source for actionable insights, lessons learned, and exclusive interviews with trailblazing members from the C-Suite. When you subscribe to IT Visionaries, you’ll get two weekly episodes highlighting CIOs, CTOs, and CISOs. Each show is packed with value, stories, and trends - all directly from leaders on the frontlines of technological innovation. IT Visionaries is made by the team at Mission.org and brought to you by the Salesforce Platform.

Your #1 source for actionable insights, lessons learned, and exclusive interviews with trailblazing members from the C-Suite. When you subscribe to IT Visionaries, you’ll get two weekly episodes highlighting CIOs, CTOs, and CISOs. Each show is packed with value, stories, and trends - all directly from leaders on the frontlines of technological innovation. IT Visionaries is made by the team at Mission.org and brought to you by the Salesforce Platform.

 

#324

The Power of Observation and Function Versus Beauty with Michael Peachy, VP of User Experience at Ri...

Even when trying really hard to please people, it’s difficult. Most people don’t know exactly what they want. And when they do know, they often don’t know how to articulate it. In our personal lives, this can be frustrating, for sure. In the professional world, it can be crippling for a company if they don’t have a pulse on their customers’ wants; but, even more importantly, their needs. [Michael Peachy] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/peachey/) , the VP of User Experience at [RingCentral] (https://www.ringcentral.com/) , suggests the best  practice for understanding customers is for a company to enhance their observational capabilities.  Main Takeaways ---Using Powers of Observation: To design effectively, a company has to understand how customers are using their products. Surveys help and so do conversations, but observations are best. Tech tools won’t replace the power of human contact, but they can augment observational capacity. Seeing where people place their mouse on screen, for instance, can help strengthen design elements. Observing customers who are struggling with a specific aspect of an app can increase empathy from designers and motivate them to address the issue. ---Function Versus Beauty: It’s an age-old question as to whether function as opposed to beauty is paramount in design. Function is number one. Without it, products will definitely fail. Beauty is nice but not necessary. The ideal is design that has both function and beauty. ---BCB Demystified: Everything is interconnected as people who work in the business sector are also consumers. Apps often start in enterprise first. Then employees like them because of the functionality so they take them home and share them and the apps spread among consumers. Consumers also bring apps they like from home back into the business market because they want to use these products at work. IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

14 Oct 2021

44 MINS

44:00

14 Oct 2021


#323

The Power of Passion to Develop Technology with Idit Levine, Founder and CEO, Solo.io

Certain types of technology are easier to understand for some people than for others, and that’s okay. Passion is contagious; iIt attracts employees and customers. Strong, passionate leadership with clear vision increases employee satisfaction that then translates to satisfied customers. Developers who make products that build and maintain infrastructure toil to solve problems so their customers can pursue their own desires. [Idit Levine] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/iditlevine) , the Founder and CEO of [Solo.io] (https://www.solo.io/) , shares her zeal for her company’s work as well as a belief in her team’s competitive nature. Main Takeaways ---The Power of Passion: Passion is often underrated. It is the engine of creativity and accomplishment. Lean into passion in order to educate others, gather phenomenal employees, and attract customers.   ---Creation from Competition: Competition can be something that people shy away from. Perhaps this is because they wrongly equate it to being domineering. True competition is about striving to be the best version of oneself and creating an environment for one’s entire team to do the same. Embrace competition to win. ---Knowing the Why of Founding: Founding a company is a huge endeavor. Knowing the reason to be a founder is essential. For Idit Levine, founding was about building on the successful things she had learned from previous stops but also learning from experiences she found wanting and believing she could do even better.  ---Supporting the Team: A CEO should be obsessed with their employees. Leaders must make sure their employees are content and empowered to be their best. Happy employees lead to satisfied customers.   ---Listening to the Market but Pushing Too: Listen to the market, but don’t just listen to the market. Customers don’t always know what they need or the direction of where a technology must head. It’s the job of a CEO to lead and determine the company’s course and the products they must build. IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

12 Oct 2021

40 MINS

40:12

12 Oct 2021


#322

Making Magic by Integrating the Digital and Physical Worlds with Peggy Johnson, CEO of Magic Leap

When a new technology with tremendous potential rolls out, expectations are sky high. It’s going to be a magical technology that changes the world, right? If it doesn't take off immediately with consumers, there can be a tendency to overreact, be let down, give up, and move on to the next new thing that’s supposed to change the world. But what if the technology is augmented reality and it does, truly, change the way people see the world? Even though everyone isn’t walking around every second, using AR, just yet, augmented reality has been making great strides over the last decade. And [Peggy Johnson] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/peggyljohnson/) , the CEO of [Magic Leap] (https://www.magicleap.com/) , explains that digital augmentation will be the norm eventually. “There will be a time again where we'll look back and say, ‘Remember when we didn't have digital augmentation in front of our eyes.’ Whether that'll be in the form of glasses that we'll wear or contacts maybe at some point, I do believe we will have that kind of capability as a tool to help us just get through our days, do our jobs, and to entertain us. This is the start of it.” The way to combat overreacting when a new technology is not immediately broadly used is to simply realize that it takes time to change the world; in particular, how people see the world. With augmented reality, the complex goal is to seamlessly integrate physical and digital spaces. That’s a real challenge. Technological advancement of this magnitude takes patienceents and there are always fits and starts. But it’s happening right now. On this episode of IT Visionaries, Peggy shares the state of AR today and where she sees it heading in the future. She also explains how technological advancement has a trajectory that can sometimes be misunderstood. If a technology does not immediately take off with consumers, some mistakenly write it off as a failure. She also discusses the journey trials and tribulations that Magic Leap has been through as a company, including how she’s helped the company pivot from a consumer-facing to product one that focuses solely on enterprise applications. Peggy clarifies that this is just part of the process as a powerful technology is often first directed toward consumers, then to enterprise, and then finally cycles back to consumers in a major way. Enjoy the episode! Main Takeaways ---It’s Okay to Pivot: Resisting change is like trying to try to stop the seasons. Magic Leap was first more consumer-focused but then pivoted to enterprise. Its initial consumer-facing approach helped to visually clarify what augmented reality could be. Now, there are many enterprise use cases for Magic Leap.  ---Proving Value: For consumers, value is about having great content and then enough of it. For enterprise clients, proving value is also constant. Magic Leaps works with current application vendors of their enterprise clients to help heighten their existing applications with AR. Security and privacy are big concerns for companies that must be addressed too. In the enterprise-lane, the AR device typically needs to be used all day so it has to be very comfortable to wear: smaller, lighter, and not too hot. No one wants overheated employees. ---Creating Ahead of the Curve: Being out front with new technologies requires a bold mentality. When a company creates products ahead of the curve, they have to make things that have never been made before. A company culture of innovation supported by similarly oriented partners gets great work done. ---Vendors as Partners: There’s no doubt AR is complex and groundbreaking so new products and components need to be built all the time. In this sense, the supply chain is always having to catch up with very speedy tech. Having vendors that are more like partners help to keep the supply chain moving efficiently. IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

07 Oct 2021

43 MINS

43:44

07 Oct 2021


#321

Create Structures to Free Employees to be Their Best, with Preeti Somal, VP of Engineering at HashiC...

The world has changed; work has too. Many people are reassessing both their personal and professional lives. The truth is that the personal and professional worlds have always been intertwined. People never left their humanity outside the front door of the office. Now, due to the increase in remote work, there may not even be a physical office. And the integration of personal and professional life is more obvious today than ever before. Work is being done at home, but so is taking care of the household or kids. There’s a lot of life for people to sort out. It’s a challenging time, for sure, but also one filled with potential. Companies have an opportunity to take care of their employees in new ways. Or, if they are reluctant to change, employees can leave for other opportunities. Instead of an outdated and unhelpful mentality about controlling workers, companies have to adjust to make sure employees have the freedom they need to do their best work. Part of this is making sure that work culture is good. Leaders don’t try to control employees; they make sure their path is smooth to do their work. It’s also about providing the right tools at the opportune time to get work done efficiently. Most people are decent and hard working. They want to be productive and to be respected. If companies take care of their core needs, employees will produce, increase ROI, innovate, and care for customers.  On this episode of IT Visionaries, [Preeti Somal] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/preeti-somal-131890/) , the VP of Engineering at [HashiCorp] (https://www.hashicorp.com/) and [Mark Thiele] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/markthiele/) , the CEO and Founder of [Edgevana] (https://www.edgevana.com/) , discuss how companies can transform to create more productive work environments in this new era of increased personal and professional integration. Enjoy the episode! Takeaways: ---A Good Culture and the Right Tools: In this new world of increased remote work, companies must create an environment where workers feel satisfied and productive in order to retain them. First, create a work culture based on trust, freedom, and support. Then, provide the right technical tools that make work easier for employees to be their best. ---Control is a Mirage: Most employees care and do quality work. Trying to control workers based upon the fear of a few underperformers is counterproductive. Control isn’t even really possible nor should it be desirable. It restricts the freedom that is necessary for most workers to achieve their goals. Instead, performance must be evaluated through common sense and accomplishments rather than surveillance. ---New Wave of Internal Tools: Low-code and no-code developments are allowing for lots of new tools to be created within companies. These new tools can be micro-targeted to help a few employees, but also have the ability to be designed, developed, and integrated rapidly. With so many new internal applications, it’s important to develop an organizational team and platform to track them. --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

05 Oct 2021

49 MINS

49:48

05 Oct 2021


#320

The Importance of Having Fun Technology with Dieter Shirley, Co-creator of CryptoKitties and CTO and...

A lot of times people look at someone who changes the world and think that person must have known exactly what they were doing right from the very beginning. A lot of times, people are dead wrong. Creating comes from a place of not knowing exactly what comes next, and being willing to try to make something new anyway. Sure, trying something new takes courage; but, it’s more about being willing to try things and not be concerned with the outcome. Also, in reality, individuals don’t change culture — people join forces to do that. If a company wants to change the world, then they need to develop a culture that promotes creativity. [Dieter Shirley] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/dieter-shirley-75166434/) , the Co-creator of CryptoKitties and the CTO and Lead Architect of [Dapper Labs] (https://www.dapperlabs.com/) , explains the creative process he has learned to employ. “We would try all sorts of crazy stuff. Of course, most of it didn’t go anywhere. But that was how we learned. Even if CryptoKitties hadn’t taken off, we would have learned a ton and been able to try something else.” Creative people often make objects that other people collect. Creative-types do this because creating new things help them to interact with the materials of the world and then shape them into a certain type of order. Collectors collect because these items help provide meaning to their lives. In this way, both creators and collectors are attempting to create order. Today, these objects can be digital too. CyptoKitties — digital blockchain cats — the latest basketball sneaker, or the hottest painting are now all one in the same. People will queue up for digital collectibles just like they would stand in a line at the sneaker store. They’ll outbid each other for digital memorabilia just like they would for that painting.    On this episode of IT Visionaries, Dieter talks about all he and his team learned when they created CryptoKittes, the limitations that blockchains such as etherium placed on their ability to scale CryptoKitties or other similar products, and how they've applied that knowledge to NBA Top Shot — which are digital NBA and WNBA collectibles they build on their blockchain, Flow. Enjoy the episode! Main Takeaways ---Try Crazy Things: Just create new things. Not knowing where everything is going is okay. The creation process is never wasted time even if a certain project isn’t considered successful. Creating is about learning. Regardless of the outcome, what’s learned can always be applied moving forward. ---The Power of Fun and Games: Having a spirit of playfulness in the creative process allows new things to be tried. It’s also really important to make technology that’s fun too. If consumers find the tech fun in itself, like a game, for instance, they’ll take the time to interact with the technology. ---If You Build it, They Will Come: Just build the tech and keep it simple. If you build something, that gives it a chance for consumers to use it. If it’s simple, even better. If it’s fun, that’s the best because people will take the time to actually use it. People don’t need to know everything about a certain technology to use it. They just need to be interested in it and be able to learn just enough to engage with it. ---If You Need To, Build It Yourself but Better: Sometimes, taking matters into your own hands is the best path forward. CryptoKitties crashed the Ethereum network. Rather than relying on Ethereum or any other blockchain, Dapper Labs built its own blockchain, Flow, that increased efficiency and met their requirements to scale. ---Something That Never Dies: Digital memorabilia is attractive because it never dies. Collectors collect items to create meaning for their lives. Digital items, that can live forever, can provide comfort to collectors in that they will always exist and be there for them to provide that meaning. ---Trust Your Team: As a leader, it’s imperative to trust the team. Even if a leader is initially very involved in the creative process of a certain project, over time the team members working on the project every day will likely develop greater expertise. When that happens, the best thing a leader can do is trust the team. This, of course, also opens up the leader to meet other responsibilities, including dreaming up new projects. --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

30 Sep 2021

53 MINS

53:24

30 Sep 2021


#319

Creating a Team of Problem Solvers with Epicor’s Himanshu Palsule

In the sport’s world, some teams have all the talent they need to win championships, but, oftentimes they can’t seem to put it all together to be the last team standing at the end of the season. On the other hand, there have been moments when the most unlikely teams come together to shock the world. But when you look back, their success is not so surprising. It’s simply that their culture, their togetherness, was underrated. Championship teams don’t just appear; instead they are built. Company cultures are a lot like teams. Winning is the work, and work must get done. This is especially true when complex software products have to be created that solve problems for customers. [Himanshu Palsule] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/himanshu-palsule) , the President and Chief Product and Technology Officer at [Epicor] (https://www.epicor.com/) , explains how the team works together at Epicor. “We operate pretty flat, including our CEO, Steve Murphy, who’s a process engineer himself. We  all roll up our sleeves and talk to the person that has the answer versus sort of go down a hierarchy of people. If you want to succeed at Epicor, you need to be comfortable with that.” Part of building a great team is when leaders are members of the team too and not above it, and everyone works together. Another aspect of being on a successful team is being able to define what the team does well, stick to that core identity, and then having respect for other teams for what they do best. Every game is a series of problems and then solutions. Solve enough problems and the game is won. Great teams create cultures that identify each problem correctly and then work together to solve them. On this episode of IT Visionaries, Himanshu discusses how the Epicor team works together to provide enterprise resource planning software. To do their job effectively, he describes a culture of teamwork that extends to even incorporating the fans, the customers, into the team too. Enjoy the episode! Main Takeaways ---Being a Vendor/Coach: Sales go ary when salespeople either push a client too hard to take on more than they need or allow a client to overcommit to more than they require. Rather than thinking from only a sales perspective, it is helpful for a vendor to think of themselves as the client’s coach. With this mindset, they seek to help educate and support the customer so that their business can succeed. This mentality allows long-standing relationships based upon respect to develop. ---Core Identity Versus Respecting Other Players: As a large player in an industry, it’s important to identify core company work and stick to that. If there are other players with a specific technology to solve a particular problem, it’s good to respect their product and allow them to do what they do best too. A large player in the industry doesn’t have to do everything; they just need to do their thing. ---Creating a Problem-Solving Culture: A constructive culture is essential to solve project problems and get work done. Creating an environment where hierarchy is not rigid and communication is fluid is one key. Another key is providing some guardrails to brainstorming sessions in a group of can-do people. Parameters can drive creativity. ---Fielding a Good Team: Team building involves creating places for people to learn. Partnerships with academic institutions certainly can help. It’s also important to look for potential employees who have a specific skillet that can be adaptable even if they haven’t done the exact type of work before. These sorts of workers can be trained to be very productive members of the team. --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/)   ... Read more

28 Sep 2021

46 MINS

46:44

28 Sep 2021


#318

Infrastructure Lays the Foundation for Developer Artistry with Tony Minessale, Founder and CEO of Si...

In general, creative-types fall into two camps. The first camp loves the excitement of creating something flashy — things that people can identify, experience, and viscerally respond to. The second camp is made up of those who care about building a foundation so that other people can create great things upon it. If they do their jobs really well, their work may go relatively unnoticed. But that’s okay with them. They can sit back and smile, knowing they helped other creators do their best work. [Tony Minessale] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/anthonyminessale/) , the Founder and CEO of [SignalWire] (https://signalwire.com/) , describes the satisfaction that comes with building a strong foundation to help developers do what they do best. Main Takeaways ---Creating Infrastructure so Developers Can Flourish: Some people are attracted to the bright lights of creating flashy applications. That’s fine and helpful too. It’s also necessary to have people that are focused on creating a strong foundation of infrastructure so that developers can build their artful products on top of it. ---Lessons From Open Source: Open-source work can teach developers a lot. There’s a sense of community that is often established. Also, there’s something meaningful in people doing work for its own sake, rather than for money. On the other hand, the open- source model does have its limitations. Often, a developer can end up serving too many masters because a solution for one person can be a problem for another. At some point, creating a company makes more sense as the capital allows focus and the ability to create a unified team to serve the vision.   ---The Benefit of Rolling out Tech Gradually: Consumers learn more about a new technology when it is delivered to them over time in multiple products that are successively more complex. This graduated process helps consumers to understand a given technology better. It also provides more sales. ---No Sympathy for the Buzzword: If buzzwords are rated, they’re overrated. Buzzwords can be bandied about by anyone wise enough to recognize them. Too often, however, they lose their meaning from overuse, are imprecise, or don't serve in educating other people and fostering effective communication.    ---An Internet Driven Telecom Industry is Inevitable: Legacy telecommunication models are still around, but an internet telecom industry is the future. Even now, satellite internet has enough bandwidth to stream content. Legacy telecom companies will evolve as they always do to make money. It may take a while for people to adapt but the technology is here.  IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

23 Sep 2021

34 MINS

34:34

23 Sep 2021


#317

From Different Leadership Vantage Points: Data Drives Value but is Driven by Values

One way to think about data is that it is like rain, and it is pouring outside. Imagine c-suite executives running around in a parking lot with huge buckets trying to capture as much as they can. Afterward, they return to the office, analyze the data, and then decide what to do based upon their discoveries. But in this example, it’s not about how many buckets you come back with, it’s what’s in the buckets that matters most. Data is interpreted based upon a person’s values. In fact, certain types of data are acquired, or discarded, because of someone’s core principles -— their guiding light as to how they see the world and their role in it. Entire companies make decisions about how to use data based upon their mission. It all comes down to values whether at the personal level or at the overall company level.      In business, data is leaned on because it is measurable. Data is useful, no doubt. It can guide decisions. But, really, the heart of decision-making is about a leader’s values. The underlying question is: What do you believe in?  On this episode of IT Visionaries, guest host, [Michael Rivo] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelrivo/) , Director, Salesforce LIVE, Virtual Events Content & Platform at [Salesforce] (https://www.salesforce.com/) , is joined by [Kimberly Paige] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberly-evans-paige-5a595b6/) , EVP and CMO of [BET] (https://www.bet.com/) , and [Dan Torunian] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniel-torunian-8380511) , VP of Employee Technology &Experiences at [Paypal] (https://www.paypal.com/) . They discuss how their intuition and values drive how they use data and help make decisions for their respective companies. Takeaways: ---Data Drives Decisions: Data is driving decisions all across companies. At BET, it is being used to adjust brand marketing. At Paypal, it is being used to increase the wellbeing of employees so that they can, in turn, serve customers more effectively.  ---Data Versus Instinct: Using data to make decisions certainly is important. Striking a balance between using data and using intuition is key for good leadership. It’s ideal to find an even balance between both data and intuition, while leaning slightly on common sense. ---Collaboration Through Mission: Shared values and a shared mission creates collaboration and helps break down silos of people and data. Data can be used to support a company’s mission, but values are the foundation. It’s important to remember that values are at the core of everything, including how data is gathered, interpreted, and acted upon. IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

21 Sep 2021

51 MINS

51:50

21 Sep 2021


#316

The New Rituals of Work: Design Leads the Way

Despite so many technological advances, the way people worked stayed fairly static for many years. Work has now changed suddenly; there is no doubt about that. Where work was mostly in person, now a lot of work is remote or in a hybrid model. Nobody wanted this change to happen in this way — by being forced to quickly adjust due to a global health crisis. It’s like the whole working world collectively face-planted. No one asks to fall. But with any fall, there is an opportunity to reassess, get back up, and change course. Now, there is a tremendous opportunity to redesign the rituals of work. [Ashok Krish] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/krishashok/) is the Global Head of Digital Workplace at [Tata Consultancy Services] (https://www.tcs.com/) , and he believes we are in a transitional phase of work where new routines and rituals are being established. “A lot of new rituals of remote work had to be put in place. And I think that is the single biggest culture change that a lot of companies missed; more so than the technology. I think the technology, most companies already had it. They just accelerated the adoption and rollout of it.”  The entire world is right in the middle of a work culture change. Employees are still learning to work and be productive from a distance. And companies are figuring out how to bring people together despite distance. But there is a way to bridge the divide between a company and it’s employees, wherever they may be physically working. Thoughtful analytics and technological design are the answer, and when applied effectively, they can create new digital norms that foster productivity and employee contentment.     On this episode of IT Visionaries, Ashok explains how work must be reimagined with these new norms in mind. He details how new rituals must be designed and then incorporated, and he dives into how reshaping the old way of work can actually open up new possibilities and efficiencies within the technology companies already have under the hood. Enjoy the episode! Main Takeaways ---Transitioning Work Rituals: Work has changed suddenly from mostly in person to often remote. The old rituals of work no longer apply today. Long, frequent meetings don’t work well remotely. Perhaps they were never really efficient in person either. New rituals must be established for remote work to be successful and for workers to be content.   ---Valuing Frontline Workers: Frontline workers are immensely valuable. Given the tumult of the last eighteen months, companies have learned to better appreciate their frontline workers. Historically, frontline workers were underserved by IT and had to find their own tech solutions. Now, there is more of a focus on providing frontline workers the IT support they need. ---New Work Norms: New norms must be established given more work is remote or hybrid now. Technology can be used to increase productivity and contentment in the workforce. Using tech to limit meeting times and messages increases the importance of these activities. It’s essential to get two-way communication going, perhaps especially in high power distance cultures. Interactive town halls, that aren’t too long, can create two-sided communication that connects leaders with their employees.  ---Creating a Culture of Connection: The challenge with remote work is that we can no longer rely on physical proximity to create connection between people and to identify when people are feeling disconnected. Analytics can be helpful to determine if people are overworked and stressed. Then, HR needs to reach out to establish contact to make sure employees are doing okay. ---Ritualization of Design: New IT design principles must be established that support today’s work and workers. Ritual can be helpful for many types of work because it establishes an efficient guide on how to efficiently get things done the right way. IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

16 Sep 2021

45 MINS

45:36

16 Sep 2021


#315

Getting Our Health Together: How to Connect Tech and Humanity

Some people are super health conscious, with their days driven by early-morning trips to the gym and kale smoothies. Others try their very best to avoid thinking about anything health-related at all, pushing thoughts of vegetables or long walks right out of their minds. Regardless of which camp you fall in, your overall health is important and your medical history is critical data. So why is it so difficult to get access to important health information for ourselves and those we love? Is the onus on us? Or is it due to a breakdown within the system? Either way, we clearly need systems and technology that support our health. [Vijay Anand] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/vanand/) is the EVP of Engineering at [Castlight Health] (https://www.castlighthealth.com/) , and he believes that technology combined with the human touch can increase everyone’s health. “What we actually do is a combination of things. [We] certainly help you with content that helps you understand, why is that important? And what is it? But it's also about now using the power of high touch, right? This is essentially a key element of what our care guides do. On their single panel as they support our users, they actually have your whole health profile, but also the key recommendations and the gaps that you need to be closing.”  Healthcare can feel like the ocean. It’s huge, important, overwhelming at times, and its waves can crash down on a person if they’re not careful. There’s a sea of healthcare information out there. Without some assistance, no one person can gather it all, make sense of it, figure out a plan, and then act accordingly. Fortunately, we do have help. There is technology that can guide us through the data and help us figure out what to do. Well-intentioned people can be a great support too. The key is getting technology and humanity working together toward the common goal of individual and community health.  On this episode of IT Visionaries, Vijay explains the steps we can take to create a system that aggregates health data, personalizes it, and then helps engage people in making healthy decisions. He also shares how future innovation can help those who need services the most by identifying need and targeting care. Enjoy the episode! Takeaways: ---Three Tech Steps Toward a Healthy System: The first step is aggregating data from a variety of sources concerning health providers and procedures. Secondly, users need the ability to have personalized health information that is driven by the data. The last step involves engaging users so that they can adjust their behaviors to act on information that supports their health.  ---Commonality Between Taxes and Healthcare: Making technological advances for people is not only about taking something that is incredibly complex and making it more simple. People need confidence that they can actually do something in order to even give it a try. The need for confidence to complete one’s taxes is similar to the confidence required to care for one’s health, as it is in many other important endeavors. The human touch can help support people’s confidence and encourage their perseverance. ---Tech/Health Innovations: Targeting services to people who really need it is something to look forward to and be motivated to do. Information will hopefully become less siloed and more holistic. A.I. advances will target/personalize health even more and then drive healthy behavior changes. IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

14 Sep 2021

52 MINS

52:29

14 Sep 2021


#314

Communication is Key: A.I. and Humans Speaking in Prose

We talk to our computer by asking it a question and then the computer talks back, trying its best to answer it. At least that’s how the conversation generally happens between humans and A.I. Sometimes we’re happy with the computer’s answer and other times, not so much, and we either try again until we’re successful or give up. But real learning takes place with true dialogue, when there are successive exchanges that deepen understanding and where either a person or a computer can start the conversation. For people and computers to learn, good data is very important — as are ways to access it quickly. Even more important is constructive communication driven by language. [Corey Patton] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/coreypatton) is the Co-Founder and CEO of [Pramana Labs] (https://pramanalabs.com/) , and he thinks prose and narrative conversations are the future in communication between A.I. and people. “We created a way to learn about a relational database using training processes and NLP models that allows a user to just ask the question in free text. What are the most home runs that any Angels outfielder has had in seven at bats, and then instantly get the answer back. It comes back in tables and graphs, and then also human prose, narrative language.”  Developments in natural-language processing are beginning to allow for dialogue between people and A.I., which in turn creates a foundation for learning. Many people point to the bright, shiny object of vehicle automation when thinking about the potential for A.I., but perhaps the most exciting aspect of A.I. overall is the future of conversation and the amazing opportunity for learning quality exchanges between people and computers will provide. After all, this thirst for learning, and our need to talk to do so, may draw humans and computers even closer together. On this episode of IT Visionaries, Corey covers the bases about how natural-language processing is being incorporated into the sports world, with professional leagues such as the NHL and beloved publications like Baseball America relying on the technology to get information to audiences more accurately and quickly. And, as Corey says, that’s just the beginning for Pramana Labs as its applications are seeping into other industries spanning from commerce to finance to mortgage lending. Enjoy the episode! Takeaways ---Building a MVP: When creating a product, it’s important to solve one particular problem for a customer rather than trying to solve all of them. Lean on the customer to inform the scope of the product based on what they need. ---Making the NLP Reusable: Having reusable, paramentixed, and interchangeable pieces of NLP data cuts down the time required to get a question answered. Once a question is answered, another question can be asked with only a slight variation, and then another answer can be quickly provided. In this sense, both speed and delivery of accurate information increases. ---Answering Questions for Intent: The key in NLP is to discover what question a person is trying to ask and then offer up the correct answer. Looking at the entire sentence signature through an analysis of all the pieces that the computer has been trained for allows A.I. the ability to decipher the sentence and then respond accordingly.  ---A True Two-Way Conversation: The future of NLP is really tech that scans a database and then provides prose, narrative responses. In fact, A.I. will react to things that are happening in real time and create a narrative for what it is seeing without the user necessarily having to ask any questions. This will allow A.I. to initiate conversation and guide a person to the knowledge that they are seeking. IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

09 Sep 2021

36 MINS

36:41

09 Sep 2021


#313

Breaking the Data Bottleneck

Each day, we’re coming into contact more and more with artificial intelligence and machine learning that is meant to make our lives better. We’ve all had some A.I. experiences that have gone really well. Perhaps, we didn’t even realize A.I. was helping us at first. On the other hand, getting help from A.I. doesn’t always work out perfectly, at least not right away. So why the inconsistency? If the human mind can take in so much complex information and make sense of it, why can’t our computers? Or can they if they have good data to learn from? [Brad Porter] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/brad-porter-1a989) , CTO of [Scale AI] (https://scale.com/) , believes the key to A.I. learning efficiently is the right labeling: “What you need is those samples to be labeled perfectly because if they're labeled ambiguously, then the model can't actually decide what exactly is signal versus noise. So one way to solve that is to throw more and more data at it. Eventually you have enough data that the algorithms learn, okay, this is the signal and all these other pieces are the noise. If you get [a] really high quality signal, though, you can learn that signal very quickly if there's not a lot of noise in it.” Computers need lots of data to learn. More accurately, they really need lots of quality data labeled properly. Fundamentally, this just makes sense. The best way to learn something is through repeated exposure and practice. This is just as true for people as it is for computers. That’s where Brad comes in. On this episode of IT Visionaries, Brad explains how his diverse work experience, particularly his work in robotics, ultimately led him to focus on solving the problem of data labeling for A.I, which is setting us up for an exciting future. After all, if proper labeling is the key, and the key is becoming more readily available, then we can expect great things in the A.I. space. Brad discusses some of those great things, including how the tech will help us understand medical histories and its use in autonomous vehicles. Enjoy the episode! Main Takeaways ---Breaking the Data Bottleneck: There is a lot of data in the world for A.I. to access. The primary issue for machine learning is for the computer to be able to distinguish what information is most important so it can learn. In this way, people and computers are similar. But computers need our help to know what data is essential.  ---Labeling Data is Key: It’s easy to get caught up in the glamorous possibilities of A.I. and how it can help us. Computers need data to learn, but they need the right data to learn effectively and efficiently. Labeling data is essential to speed up the pace in computer learning.  ---What is Signal Vs. What is Noise: Proper labeling helps A.I. distinguish between signal as opposed to noise. A.I. doesn’t necessarily need massive amounts of data to learn if the right, properly-labeled data is being provided. ---Quantity vs Quality: Without proper labeling, there has been a tendency to simply inundate A.I. with data so learning can happen eventually. Of course, this is inefficient and costly. Proper labeling streamlines this process. In an ideal situation for learning, there’s a tremendous amount of data that’s also all properly labeled. With large amounts of properly labeled, automated data, A.I. has a real chance to take off. --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

07 Sep 2021

42 MINS

42:08

07 Sep 2021


#312

Using A.I. to Assure Identity and Privacy in the Digital Age

It used to be the case that we mostly proved our identity by offering up a piece of paper. Perhaps that seems silly now — at least a little. In the digital age, that is definitely no longer the situation — and for good reason. Right now, we have difficulties of our own. Today, our digital information seems like it is everywhere and available for anyone to access, whether they are well intentioned or not. Because there is so much information, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to prove who someone actually is or is not. Through the use of A.I., Persona answers the fundamental question: Are you who you say you are? [Rick Song] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/rick-song-25198b24) is the CEO and Co-Founder of [Persona] (https://withpersona.com/) , and he believes removing humans from the verification process is part of the solution. Main Takeaways: ---Identity Service Tools: Building identity infrastructure can be incredibly challenging for companies if that is not their area of expertise. Rather than having to create that structure from scratch, integrating an A.I. platform can make identity verification much easier. Using A.I. technology increases speed, privacy, and specificity. ---Tailoring to Companies and People: Many companies and people suffer due to lack of trusted identity services geared directly for them. Companies typically have difficulty identifying their customers. Through the use of A.I. technology, customers can be reached that historically have not had access to important resources. ---Learning to Sell: It’s definitely not easy transitioning from engineering to selling. Good friends, mentors, practice, and lots of honesty help. Focusing on the customer rather than what the company does is the key. Find what the customer cares about and hone in on that.  --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

02 Sep 2021

39 MINS

39:17

02 Sep 2021


#311

Aggregation at the Edge: Beyond the Decentralized Versus Centralized Debate

Many times we think about ideas in terms of debate — that there are only two ideas that are oppositional in nature and that one is superior to the other. This is true right now in the network conversation concerning an industry push toward either decentralized edge computing or more centralized network systems. What if, as is often the case, there is another way to think about duality where a unity lies somewhere in between? [Raj Yavatkar] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/rajyavatkar1982) , CTO of [Juniper Networks] (https://www.juniper.net/us/en.html) , believes that to be the situation in terms of the debate for supremacy between decentralized versus centralized networks.  “So before I get into the debate, which is a very interesting debate, you can say that three factors, a trio of trains, are coming together. People are putting more and more workloads to the public cloud, the 5G infrastructure, which is very densified, and there [are] micro cells.There's a densification of the traffic, which is at the edge. And third is the new applications based on A.I., M.L. and analytics. So when you look at all these three trends, it's not so much just sending the traffic to the public cloud. You're using edge from multiple lists.”  In this episode of IT Visionaries, Raj proposes that, in truth, networks can be both things simultaneously as they become increasingly “aggregated at the edge.” He also shares that teleportation via quantum networking is occurring right now. Main Takeaway ---Aggregation at the Edge: Rather than an either or proposition concerning decentralized edge computing or centralized network consolidation, there is a great deal of network aggregation at the edge. On one hand, there is a drive to centralize due to the ability to send traffic to the public cloud. Alternatively, issues concerning limits of data transfer across national boundaries due to GDPR regulations as well as the potential need for local networks for automation are promoting edge computing. In reality, aggregation is still occurring but simply on the edge. ---Customers Drive Tech Advances: Customers are the vanguard of technological advancement and driving development based upon their evolving needs. Customers increasingly want automation and predictive analytics to support maintenance. In terms of network service, this includes maintaining the physical products that support the network operating seamlessly. ---Quantum Networking is Real: Not only is computing capacity advancing rapidly but so is communications. Simply put, quantum networking is real. It is based upon the idea of encoding data into quantum bits in order to send it along a network. In other words, teleportation is not relegated to the realm of science fiction. It’s happening now. --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

31 Aug 2021

33 MINS

33:52

31 Aug 2021


#310

Breaking Boundaries to Fund A Better Future with Calibrate Ventures’ Kevin Dunlap

Every solution starts with an idea. Consumers needed more home security, so the founders of Ring came up with the smart doorbell. Home owners had trouble finding time to complete recurring tasks like vacuuming, so Roomba automated the vacuum. But despite those great ideas, every founder needs some help along the way. Or more specifically, they often need financial backing to scale a business, and they need someone to believe in them when others won’t.  “We often joke that our best investments are the ones that nobody else likes. We're investors in Dollar Shave Club and I was told that was stupid. It was acquired for a billion dollars. With Ring, people laughed at me and they're like, ‘You invested in a doorbell business?’ A lot of times the ones that aren't necessarily obvious are really the best opportunities. So it was digging in and understanding if this does work, is it going to be really valuable?” [Kevin Dunlap] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevindunlap/) is Co-founder and Managing Partner of [Calibrate Ventures] (https://www.calibratevc.com/) , a VC firm focused on funding early-stage A.I. and automation companies. Every year Kevin and his partners sift through hundreds of companies looking to take the next step in their entrepreneurial journey. But what separates the companies that receive funding from the ones that never make it past the pitch stage? And what trends is he seeing within the automation and A.I. space? On this episode of IT Visionaries, Kevin explains Calibrate process for picking companies to partner with and what questions start-ups should be answering before they step up to pitch to VCs. Enjoy this episode.   Main Takeaways ---It’s All About Data: Data capturing and data labeling remains the two most important factors to developing functional A.I. solutions. When data is not effectively captured and/or labeled, the algorithm cannot effectively decipher what it needs to in real time. An example of this involves self-driving cars that need to not only be able to recognize the distance of a truck in front of them, but what kind of truck is in front of the vehicle, and all the other road conditions that could impact a drive. ---Honesty Gets you Far: Everyone wants to impress in their pitch to a VC, after all, the ability for them to fund a business could make or break a company. But one of the leading things that separates good pitches from great ones is the ability to admit where there is a gap in your business and how funding will help you close that gap. Going into a pitch meeting with all the answers is an early red flag and raises more questions than answers. ---Building a Better Tomorrow: With a growing labor shortage in tough skills and technical skills, companies and government programs must invest in STEM and STEAM programs to ensure that we are funding future generations of innovations, but also opening up more geographical regions as well. This also means that investors want to see how owners recruit talent to an organization, but also their strategy for training and retraining individuals to fit the needs of the business. --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

26 Aug 2021

43 MINS

43:52

26 Aug 2021


#309

The Privacy Paradox: How Digital IDs are Empowering Consumers to Take Control of their Digital Exist...

Standing in line at an airport is a bad experience. Shuffling through your wallet once you reach the front of that line only to realize you don’t have your driver’s license, that’s a worse experience. From boarding airplanes to purchasing alcohol, the technology that enables digital driver’s licenses already exists, but with adoption levels still so slow, the question is what’s the hold up? “I always liken it to chess and checkers — checkers, super easy to play. And giving access to people is playing checkers. Giving access to people based upon them being who they say they are, that they're doing what they're supposed to be doing, that they are where they're supposed to be, that they've been given approval for those assets, that's chess.There's this notion of authentication authorization approval, and today it's expanded into verification and proofing. So four key components and just like chess, you learn how to play it relatively quickly, but you spend the rest of your life mastering it.” At least 17 states in the continental US have considered or implemented digital driver’s licenses, but few have been able to create a system that leads to widespread adoption across the population and in government offices alike. On this episode ofIT Visionaries, [Richard Bird] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/rbird/) , the Chief Customer Information Officer at [Ping Identity] (https://www.pingidentity.com/en.html) , explains what the hold up is in getting digital driver’s licenses to all 50 states, and he sheds light on the biggest obstacle that is stalling the adoption process. Main Takeaway ---The Privacy Paradox: From GDPR to CCPA, all data privacy legislation requires companies to protect consumers from harm that could come by way of using its product or services. But there are few or no rules or guidelines that protect users from their own digital identities. This means that companies must take on a larger role in not only making sure that users’ digital identities are secure, but that they are educating users on the proper ways to protect themselves. ---You’re So Predictable: Digital identity experiences need a vessel to live on such as smartphones or wearable devices, but one of the big concerns from implementing these pieces of equipment is the amount of data that will be gathered from these events. What is the appropriate level of data aggregation and how much is too much when it comes to being able to predict things such as human behaviors and predictability patterns? ---A More Inclusive Environment: Digital identity has the power to be a key driver to globalgrowth and digital transformation, but at the same time it can also lead to data biases that are collected from these. If someone fails to update an address on their driver’s license, that information could lead to misrepresentation of population. --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

24 Aug 2021

43 MINS

43:10

24 Aug 2021


#308

Delivering Personalized Needs-Based Learning at Scale with EnGen’s Dr. Katie Nielson

The way we learn is no longer unilateral. So why act as if still one teacher, standing in front of a group of students lecturing them on a particular subject is the best way for them to learn a second language? Instead of teaching simple words or phrases such as bike, or car, what if the focus was on developing the skills that actually help people advance their careers?  “The old way of teaching, where you teach the same thing to everybody — teacher in front of the room, using a textbook that gets purchased — no one thinks that's a good way of doing it. Good teachers actually go out and try to find supplemental materials that were interesting to their students. They look for news articles, or short stories, or something, but they can't take all that content and curate it and deliver it to learners. It's impossible for humans to do that. However, machines are really good at doing that. When I realized that was the very best way to teach learners, I decided to try to use computers for what technology can do best, to let people do what teachers do best.” That’s [Dr. Katie Nielson,] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/katienielson/https://www.linkedin.com/in/katienielson/) who earned her PhD in the school of languages from the University of Maryland in 2013, where her research focused on technology-mediated language training. Katie has dedicated her career to making language learning more accessible and now, as the CEO and founder of [Voxy EnGen] (https://www.voxyengen.com/) , she’s using technology to deliver high-quality needs-based instruction to immigrants and refugees. On this episode of IT Visionaries Katie, dives into why the way we teach language in the states is a broken process and how to fix it. She also explains how her platform is delivering personalized learning at scale to those that need it most. Enjoy! Main Takeaways ---If There’s A Problem, Fix it: When you’re developing a solution to a problem, you have to think about how your solution can be applied across different verticals. This means taking time to research the various options you have when it comes to getting your product to market, but also thinking about what your unique identifier is. ---A Barrier to Success: English is often what holds workers back from succeeding at their jobs. Instead of non-English speakers having to go to class in order to advance their linguistic skills, they should be able to do that on their own time with a program that teaches them the basics, but real-world scenarios based on their jobs to help them  improve. ---Setting a Baseline: When you’re developing any kind of algorithm or personalized experience, the first thing you have to identify and establish is a baseline for your measurement. This is how you identify the areas where someone needs to grow, but it also can be used as a tool to identify how far a user has come with your program. --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

19 Aug 2021

37 MINS

37:25

19 Aug 2021


#307

Core Strength: How LogicSource is Building Better Profit Margins Through Software, Data, and Insight...

Companies are built off profitability. The investments you make are designed to support the products or services you sell. But let's be honest for a moment, you like buying the things that are core to your business because that’s what you care about. The secondary expenses that occur, those are less fun. Whether you’re dealing in electronics, retail, mortgages, or hamburgers, inevitably there are expenses that arise that don’t support your product. So how do you cut down on those expenses? And how can all the data gathered from shipping and receiving actually improve your profit margins?  “What's not core to you is core to us. What I mean by core to your businesses is at Harley Davidson, they make motorcycles. They source and buy steel, bolts, oil, leather, so on and so forth. But what they also need to operate their business is they need marketing. They need packaging, they need stores to sell their motorcycles in. Their retail operation. They need to ship things. It's everything else.” [Craig Garno] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/craiggarno) is the CTO at [LogicSource] (https://logicsource.com/) and he’s helping companies such as LuluLemon, BIG Lots, and Tupperware cut down and streamline their spending. On this episode of IT Visionaries, Craig explains why companies that fail to focus on indirect services will struggle to scale the business while also paying more than fair market value. Plus he dives into how LogicSource is helping these businesses trim the fat on those investments, and the role data management plays in its efforts.Enjoy this episode. Main Takeaways ---Lost in Time: One of the main challenges to solving indirect procurement problems is the lack of attention these services are afforded. In most cases, the data input is still done manually, which also means most of the technology is behind as well. Businesses need to invest in these services in order to not only understand the areas within the supply chain where they are experiencing disruptions, but also to have a better idea of the costs they are incurring on items such as packaging and delivery services. ---Understanding How to Use Data: Once companies begin investing in their internal structures, they need to follow that action by doing a deep dive into understanding what data points are most important to the overall success of the business. But you also need to have a better understanding across the business of how to read and understand what the data is telling you. Once this is accomplished, you will have a better idea of how to fix some of the challenges the company is facing when it comes to procurement spend. ---Keep it Simple: The key to good product design is to not overcomplicate the application. When apps are easy to read, agile, easy to scale, and simple to understand, you have a greater chance of the product gaining traction and more adoption. --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/)   ... Read more

17 Aug 2021

35 MINS

35:32

17 Aug 2021


#306

How NCR is Creating a Passive, Frictionless, Buying Experience with Tim Vanderham

There are 750 million transactions processed every day. Let that number sink in… Across ATMs, self-checkout machines, and online payments, NCR — through both hardware and software infrastructure — is helping you checkout faster. We already have tap-to-pay credit cards and payments-synced watches. So is there a way for transactions to actually get more seamless? And can creating that more effortless experience actually save you money?? [Tim Vanderham] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/tim-vanderham-68940b) , CTO and SVP at [NCR] (https://www.ncr.com/) , said it’s not that unrealistic. “We're going on this notion of frictionless, passive, and then us as consumers sharing our data where we want to share it so that we get benefits from it in our daily lives. If you're not a bank individual, but you start thinking about what's happening with decentralized finance around cryptocurrencies and blockchain, I can start to leverage that data in ways that I can ask for loans from my financial institution when I'm making larger purchases. It also gives me a way to save an extra $500 for a week.” In 2021, data is precious currency, especially when you’re a company that moves hundreds of billions of data points at a time. On this episode of IT Visionaries, Tim provides a new outlook on the future of your transactions Tim also goes into how NCR, a company established in 1884, is going through its own digital transformation to deliver customers the interactions with brands they desire. Enjoy this episode. Main Takeaways ---Into the Serververse: Right now a majority of transactions are done with the swipe of a credit card or through physical cash. But that will change, and one way it will change is through the use of digital wallets on smartphones. These digital wallets will be able to store and read your information without you ever having to actually pull out a credit card. ---It’s Just a Transaction: NCR covers more than 750 million transactions a day, which means that hundreds of billions of data points pass through its system. These data points will eventually allow consumers to use that information to create better financial profiles — meaning if a user routinely invests 20 dollars into an account, the system will be able to automatically do that or that data will be used to create recurring buying profiles. ---From Hardware to Software: When you’re transforming a company that has been around for more than a century, you have to understand the verticals your company operates in. This means identifying where your technology is successful, and where you can improve. For NCR, that means moving away from just hardware products and developing a software platform that allows the three unique industries it serves to operate under one umbrella.  --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

12 Aug 2021

40 MINS

40:08

12 Aug 2021


#305

Leading through Change: Why Every Digital Transformation Doesn’t Include the Tech Stack

Let’s think about this for a second — what is more important: the pace at which a business must change its technology in order to keep up with its competitors or the culture that makes the whole thing flow efficiently? It’s an interesting conundrum, and one that [Gautham Pallapa] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/gpallapa) , Senior Executive Advisor at [VMware] (https://www.vmware.com/) thinks about often. “I look at things through the lens of culture, organization and people and processes first, because it's very easy to bring in the right technology. Technology is much more discreet. It's people and the culture that's not.” The bottom line for Gautham: culture wins, and it’s time for companies of all sizes to invest in it. On this episode of IT Visionaries, Gautham, self described as a culture evangelist, author, and a founder, explains how he works with some of VMware’s biggest customers to help them transform their businesses. He talks about why he advocates for culture ahead of technology, and he gives his reasons for why focusing on workplace culture is going through a digital renaissance of its own. Enjoy this episode. Main Takeaways ---Taking a Modern Approach: While every company goes through some kind of digital transformation, it is important to also make sure that while you’re investing in your technology, you also invest in your workplace culture. Oftentime companies focus solely on the things that drive value and profit margins and not enough on the components of the organization that make it run. ---Leading with Empathy: 87% of remote workers report working longer hours than the traditional nine-to-five. With more employees working remotely than ever before, businesses must adapt their leadership styles to reflect the changing workplace. This means taking into account the challenges remote workers face and working with them through those struggles. ---End the Day on High Note: One of the ways organizations can lead with empathy is by creating a workplace culture that not only motivates employees to accomplish their tasks, but also praises them for their accomplishments. This can include implementing meetings such as “spin downs,” which are end of the day conversations designed to praise employees for the work they did that day. --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

10 Aug 2021

40 MINS

40:07

10 Aug 2021


#304

Building the Better, More Scalable Algorithms with SigOpt’s Scott Clark

An A.I. the model is similar to a boat in that it needs constant maintenance to perform. The reality is  A.I. models need adjusted boundaries and guidelines to remain efficient.  And when you live in a world where everyone is trying to get bigger and faster and have a certain edge, [Scott Clark] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/sc932/) is helping make that possible with his finely-tuned A.I. modeling techniques. “As you're building up these rules and constructs for how that system will even learn itself, there's a lot of parameters that you need to set and tune. There's all these magical numbers that go into these systems. If you don't have a system of record for this, if you're just throwing things against the wall and seeing what sticks, and then only checking the best one, and you don't have a system of what you tried, what the trade-offs were, which parameters were the most important, and how it traded off different metrics it can seem like a very opaque process. At least that hyper parameter optimization and neural architecture search and kind of tuning part of the process can be a little bit more explainable, a little bit more repeatable and a little bit more optimal.” More explainable, and more optimal, but most importantly scaleable and reproducible. On this episode of IT Visionaries, Scott, the CEO and Co-founder of [SigOpt] (https://sigopt.com/) , a company that’s on a mission to empower modeling systems to reach their fullest potential, explains the basic steps that go into successful models, how his team tweaks and optimizes those models to build more efficient processes. Plus, Scott touches on the future of algorithmic models — including how they will improve and where they struggle. Enjoy this episode. Main Takeaways ---Bad Data, Bad!: When you’re building algorithm models you have to not only focus on the data you are putting into those models, but you have to know where that data is coming from and if that data is trustworthy. When you have untrustworthy data — either its coming from an unknown source or is bias in any way — this can lead to models that deliver poor results. ---Delivering Consistency: While every algorithm needs to be tweaked and tuned at the start, the best way to deliver consistent, scalable algorithmic models is to make sure you are able to define hyper-specific patterns that the algorithm can abide by. When algorithms know what rules they are looking for (such as this person only likes medium sized shirts with stripes) it has a set of hyper-specific boundaries it can operate off of in order to deliver the best results. ---Where is the Band Conductor?: Algorithms will continue to infiltrate our everyday lives, but the truth is they still need humans to effectively run them, to tune them, and to make sure that the decisions they are making are the right ones.  --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

05 Aug 2021

35 MINS

35:37

05 Aug 2021


#303

Using AI to Create a World without Waste

Every day we make a choice — to recycle, to compost, or to simply discard an item. But regardless of what decision the consumer makes, corporations are one of the biggest contributors to environmental damage.  “Recycling and composting and all that stuff. It's great, but it's not where the real problem is, the real problem is the way we make things and move things around. It's the factories, and supply chains. If you want to reduce waste in the world, that's where you target.” Reducing waste is an ambitious challenge to tackle, but it's one [Steve Pratt] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephen-pratt-094b5916/) , Founder and CEO of [Noodle.ai] (https://noodle.ai/) , is facing head-on. The strategy: use artificial intelligence and machine learning to help manufacturers and supply chain distributors limit the amount of waste they produce everyday. On this episode of IT Visionaries, Steve explains just how much waste is produced yearly by industrial operations  and the monetary ramifications that waste brings. He also explains the way his team is using A.I. to help manufacturers predict hiccups with their machines, and why it's time for users to overcome their fear of A.I. Enjoy this episode.   Main Takeaways: ---It’s Not a Hardware Problem: The biggest problem facing industrial machines remains the software that runs them. In order to cut down on waste, the software must be consistently updated and optimized based on the working conditions. ---Data Library, Data Lake, Data Everywhere: There’s been an explosion of data, and yet corporations still can’t figure out how to put it all to good use.One way to use data is by extracting it from industrial machines, which can be in operation for decades, and then using it to design A.I. solutions based on variables a machine needs to run on. ---You Have to Test Your Models: When you are trying to build an effective modeling solution, you should consistently test your models to understand if your predictive models are working as they should. Make sure you take your time and test over and over again before implementing. A vast majority of A.I. solutions fail because they are not properly tested. IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

03 Aug 2021

42 MINS

42:45

03 Aug 2021


#302

The State of Security with Salesforce's Taher Elgamal and TAG Cyber’s Ed Amoroso

Too lucrative, too easy, and not enough investment. In the simplest terms possible, that is how you could describe the current state of cybersecurity. Over the last month, we’ve heard from some of the top minds in the industry, and a general consensus is that despite the innovations and optimism in the world of cybersecurity,  those three issues remain at the heart of the problem.  “There's more tools available. There is more research. The hacking communities are actually businesses. They employ people, they pay people and they ride these things and it is becoming easier. The overall system has not been very well-studied to understand what are the right things to do and what things we should limit and that kind of thing.” That’s [Taher Elgamal] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/taherelgamal) , CTO for Security at [Salesforce] (https://www.salesforce.com/) and on this episode of IT Visionaries, our cybersecurity series concludes as [Taher ] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/taherelgamal) is joined by [Ed Amoroso] (https://www.tag-cyber.com/about/eamoroso) , Founder and CEO of [TAG Cyber] (https://www.tag-cyber.com/) . The two discuss the state of cybersecurity, including where companies are getting their security measures right, and where the industry is struggling as a whole. The two also detail why the growing divide in skills is a problem without an immediate solution, and why financial incentives are simultaneously the biggest opportunity to stop attacks and the biggest threat to escalating attacks. Main Takeaways ---Cyber Know How: Today it’s easy to simply buy a product or service and bolt that service on top of your current tech stack. But one of the biggest problems most enterprises are running into is a lack of knowledge in how to actually operate those services efficiently and effectively. ---Test, Then Test Again: Securing a network is not a one-time fix, it requires companies to be continually testing their networks for vulnerability. A good practice is to place a heavy emphasis on hiring white hat employees, or other hacker services whose sole responsibility is to attempt to break your network. When you are continually testing, it's much easier to understand where your weaknesses are and then design products to patch those weaknesses.  ---Can’t We All Get Along?: There are more cybersecurity applications than ever before, but even with the growing number of available vendors, attacks are increasing. Until cyber threats begin to dwindle yearly, a good solution would be for companies to start sharing assets and information in order to help build more securable and unbreakable products. IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

29 Jul 2021

40 MINS

40:02

29 Jul 2021


#301

Software is King, but Hardware is Still an Integral Tool with Future of Tech Enterprise, Bob Venero

The work from home shift has revolutionized IT Departments more than any invention ever could.  When closets became offices, and commutes morphed into strolls around the neighborhood, corporate IT was left scrambling. Many companies were ill prepared to support remote workers and this shift exposed security vulnerabilities.  “The level that this pandemic made everybody go right at home, immediately created tons of risk around how you're going to support traditional security. That was out there and remote workers and remote security, it changed the dynamic tremendously.”  While that dynamic had been changing for a while, it was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. On this episode of IT Visionaries, we sat down with [Bob Venero] (https://www.linkedin.com/in/bob-venero-aa00037/) , President and CEO of [Future Tech Enterprises] (https://www.ftei.com/) , a global solutions provider that works closely with the Fortune 500. Bob explains why companies that have shifted to a philosophy of bringing your own devices, are opening themselves up to a bevy of productivity and security challenges. He also dives into the level of security challenges the pandemic has caused and how his company is aiding those enterprises through this big pivot. Main Takeaways: ---No. 1 in our Hearts: The rise of software as a service is evident with many companies moving to a public cloud infrastructure, but companies still must focus on hardware components as well. Hybrid infrastructure models, where companies have a mix of public cloud and on-premise are the only way to ensure a company can avoid drops in productivity in case an internet failure occurs.  ---Is this BYOD?: With more employees working from home, companies have started to deploy a bring-your-own-device approach — a service where employees are provided with stipends and allowed to pick out their own device. The problem with this approach is it opens the company up to a lot of productivity flaws, including employees buying models based on price and if it can actually perform the duties of the job. ---It’s a Skill Issue: While many developers have focused heavily on producing software components, a ripple effect is that it has created a big gap in terms of personnel that can actually develop hardware products and service those products. IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at [salesforce.com/platform] (https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/overview/) ... Read more

27 Jul 2021

42 MINS

42:43

27 Jul 2021