Supplier Report: 8/27/2016


Storage was a hot topic this week. IBM introduced new, more affordable offerings which resulted in a copious amount of articles.

Oracle’s legal battles are keeping them in the news. Their battles with Oregon and Google are still going and growing in complexity.  HP is also getting sued for age discrimination.

Apple purchased personal health data company Gliimpse and Microsoft purchased AI scheduling tool Genee.


  • Is Watson Smart Enough To Breathe Life Into IBM?

    White believes that given IBM’s relative absence in the Enterprise SaaS solutions market, the deal is not likely to run into anti-trust roadblocks. He feels Workday’s growth in the SaaS space will complement IBM’s aim to provide a flexible cloud structure and help establish a noteworthy footprint in the space. Drexel Hamilton has a Buy rating and a 12-month target price of $186 on IBM. The stock closed at just above $159 in trading yesterday.

  • IBM launches flash arrays for smaller enterprises, aims to court EMC, Dell customers

    The company is also aiming a migration program designed to poach customers from the likes of Dell and EMC. IBM’s “Flash In” migration program is carried out by its various partners. Via Flash In, IBM is looking to integrate its systems with storage rivals or replace them.

    IBM launched the Storwize V7000F and Storwize 5030F as mid-range and entry level flash systems. The systems come with Spectrum Virtualize, which is software designed for data compression, provisioning, and snapshots across various systems.

  • IBM looks to take advantage of Dell EMC ‘disruption’

    Channel players not already involved with IBM are also being invited to the party. “Business partners looking to add IBM as a strategic vendor will find a set of comprehensive benefits that compare very favourably to what they may experience today,” said IBM.

    Up to 80 percent of IBM all-flash storage is sold by IBM Business Partners. “The IBM Flash In initiative will amplify the company’s all-flash offensive to help Business Partners reach new clients not currently served by IBM, and clients who may face potential disruption if there are product portfolio integrations with Dell and EMC,” the vendor said.

  • IBM Named a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for its Flash Storage Solutions

    IBM’s position as a leader comes after it announced the expansion of its FlashSystem portfolio, including DeepFlash andStorwize products, to help clients more quickly extract value from data for competitive advantage. Among the 380 patents that differentiate IBM’s flash products and services are its FlashCore and MicroLatency technologies. Clients rely on these technologies to quickly access the mounting volumes.

  • It’s time for all-flash says IBM, but IT chiefs won’t necessarily agree

    “As long as your working set size is within your available SSD [in a hybrid flash setup] then everything happening, on for example SQL Server, will be fine. The only time you need all-flash is if you have a large number of SQL datasets that you need access to; in effect requiring random access.”

    He added: “Far too many people see it as a panacea but it’s a pointless way of storing lots of data.”


  • Is Oracle Funding an Anti-Google Group?

    The company has stated that it is has funded the Google Transparency Project, which according to its website, “is a research initiative of the Campaign for Accountability, a 501(c)3 project that uses research, litigation and aggressive communications to expose how decisions made behind the doors of corporate boardrooms and government offices impact Americans’ lives.”

  • Why Google Needs to Win the Android Case Against Oracle

    So it’s important that these APIs remain neutral so companies can’t fleece the world at large every time they are used. Media reports indicate that courts have thus far ruled in favor of maintaining this neutrality of APIs. And that’s exactly why the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has repeatedly filed amicus curiae (friend/impartial advisor to the court) briefs so the courts hold that APIs aren’t copyrightable and to prevent Oracle from monetizing the Java API through its acquisition of Sun.

    And in fact, the case revealed that it was Sun’s practice to allow companies to freely use Java APIs. Sun’s strategy in those days was to use this approach to extend Java’s reach as far as possible so more developers would build on it. The idea was that once the ecosystem gathered momentum, it would help Sun sell other products.

  • Oracle v. Oregon: Round 1 of Lawsuit Goes to State

    Brown and her team denied any agreement had been reached, and the legal battle continues. One of the first decisions in the case was handed down this week in Oregon’s favor. Oracle had asserted that emails were withheld in a way that violated public record laws, but the judge left little doubt as to his decision, saying “Oracle is wrong, both on the law and the facts.”


  • Microsoft announces free Windows Server licenses when migrating from VMware

    To make more VMware customers switch to Hyper-V, Microsoft is announcing a new VMware migration offer where customers can get Windows Server Datacenter licenses for free when they buy Windows Server 2016 Datacenter and Software Assurance migrating from VMWare. From September 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, customers who switch from VMware to Hyper-V can avail this offer. Basically, customers has to pay only for Software Assurance which provides benefits including new product version rights, deployment planning, technical and end-user training, support, and a unique set of technologies and services.

  • Microsoft buys AI scheduling tool Genee to make Office 365 smarter

    The app works by being CCed in emails, and using natural language processing to parse the contents of the email to understand the key requirements for the meeting — and then automatically sending out a meeting invite on your behalf. So it’s arguably an early example of the AI-powered chatbots now springing up all over the place. There are a set of standard commands Genee understands by default but users can also create their own custom commands.

    Microsoft notes the tool is “especially useful for large groups for when you don’t have access to someone’s calendar”. Genee’s co-founders, Ben Cheung and Charles Lee, “plan” to join the company, it adds.

  • The marriage of Microsoft and Linux

    What’s changed for Microsoft and open source in recent years is Microsoft has refocused on solving both its own and customers’ business problems. That means, first, Linux is treated as an equal to Windows. “Microsoft actually uses a lot of Linux in-house. It’s no longer everything has to be run on Windows internally.” Microsoft is doing this because “We’re solving business problems and we’re very pragmatic.”


  • 5 Ways the Dell Purchase of EMC Will Benefit VMware

    Simplification of the hardware and software stacks. Although the cloud will be a huge part of the future of IT, some companies will still want or need to run applications locally. That fact, combined with the general direction of IT toward simplification, means it’s easy to foresee a tighter integration between Dell, EMC and VMware to simplify application delivery.

  • Dell: EMC Buy Will End Legacy Perceptions Of Dell As A PC Company

    While Dell does a lot more than PCs, the company from CEO Michael Dell on down still embraces its pedigree as a major PC vendor, Khan said. “Michael’s goal is to make Dell an end-to-end enterprise solutions company,” he said.

  • EMC still hiring in Massachusetts even as Dell merger looms

    Officials at EMC have been mum about the company’s headcount, especially in the wake of the merger announcement in October 2015. A spokeswoman for EMC declined to comment on the fact that the firm is still hiring in Massachusetts, saying only that “we’ve made it a practice of not disclosing the number of job openings at any given time.”

    The job openings could also signal continued economic development in MetroWest communities, where EMC owns millions of square feet of property, employs thousands of workers and serves as a substantial pillar for the local economy.


  • Apple Acquires Personal Health Data Startup Gliimpse

    Silicon Valley-based Gliimpse has built a personal health data platform that enables any American to collect, personalize, and share a picture of their health data. The company was started in 2013 by Anil Sethi and Karthik Hariharan. Sethi is a serial entrepreneur who has spent the past decade working with health startups, after taking his company Sequoia Software public in 2000. He got his start as a systems engineer at Apple in the late 1980s.

    The acquisition happened earlier this year, but Apple has been characteristically quiet about it. The company has now confirmed the purchase, saying: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

  • Is Focus on Shareholder Value Killing Manufacturing?

    During the time that shareholder value and stock prices became more important than employees, the U.S. has suffered from:

    1. Growing Manufacturing Unemployment – From 2000 to 2010 manufacturing lost around 6 million jobs. Since the recovery from the Great Recession only 828,000 employees have been hired in manufacturing.
    2. Slowing GDP Growth – Since 2000, GDP growth has averaged a very weak 1.8%
      Increasing Pay Gap – The wealthiest 1% have captured almost all of the growth in income since the 2008 crash.
    3. Increasing Pay Gap – The wealthiest 1% have captured almost all of the growth in income since the 2008 crash.
    4. Increasing Offshoring – Outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to low-cost countries has been the most popular strategy, and EPI asserts that between 2000 and 2007 3.6 million manufacturing jobs were lost. After the Great Recession, between 2007 and 2014, another 1.4 million manufacturing jobs were lost.
    5. Growing Trade Deficit – Our total trade deficit has grown to $10 trillion in the last 30 years.

  • Salesforce is suddenly hiring fewer people after spending nearly $4 billion buying companies this year

    There are 30% fewer open jobs listed on Salesforce’s website over the past three months, with most of the job reductions occurring since early July, according to a note published on Friday by the market research firm Cowen and Company.

    The firm notes that there have also been some “travel restrictions” within the company, citing unnamed sources.

  • HP Is Running Out of Ink

    After the spinoff from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) , 60% of HP’s revenue comes from personal computers and 40% from printing. Of the $1 billion in non-GAAP operating profit last quarter, 77% of the company’s came from printing. Printing had an operating margin of 17.3% and is the biggest contributor to HP’s profits. Printing supplies (ink) makes up 67% of printing revenue.

    Meanwhile, Personal Systems, or the personal computer division, represents 23% of profits and carries a slender 3.5% operating margin. Systems generated a profit of $242 million in the second quarter. The division outperformed the market to achieve an overall market share of 19.4%, up 0.4 points.

    The company has become number one in commercial PCs, with a market share of 24.6%. Total unit shipments fell 9% last quarter, however. Desktop revenue declined 13% and units shipped ddropped 10%.

  • Is big data in big trouble?

    If you are a technology buyer, you are probably looking beyond these earnings. You are paying attention to the other developments that occurred in this space this summer: Workday acquired Platfora in July, Qlik Tech got absorbed by private equity firm Thoma Bravo in June. You might also have heard that Amazon is planning to release its business intelligence visualization solution next month, and you know that both Microsoft and Google already have products in this market.

    Betting on one vendor for visualization and business intelligence is becoming increasingly difficult. Rather than worry about the earnings of the industry players, it’s better to focus on their approach and architectural vision instead.

  • Tableau has hired longtime AWS executive Adam Selipsky as its CEO

    Selipsky has spent more than a decade at AWS. Before that, he was an executive at RealNetworks, leading the video subscription and media player division.

    The change is intriguing, particularly given Tableau’s recent financial troubles, said Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT.

    “Despite continuing customer growth, the company has been struggling, and its shares have lost a substantial percentage of their value in the past year,” King said.

  • Cisco wants to be a software company? Why customers should look beyond the hype

    So what does it all mean? For Cisco, it all sounds like business as usual. It’s selling as much software as it ever did but that is simply bundled up in a way that shifts the business model away from selling monolithic hardware. This has been happening to lots of tech firms for at least the last decade as any PC hardware firm will attest. Equally, without the hardware and software integration, some of the need for platform-based firms such as Cisco would go away.

    Cybersecurity is the perfect example of this trend, a sector in which buying security layers bundled up in boxes has given away to the concept of security as a layer in a software-defined network. The sheer complexity of managing hardware using distinct systems ensured the success of this model.

    But what has really changed here is the way software has followed hardware in becoming a commodity. That is what the cloud is: a way of offering complex systems through a consistent set of standards and technologies that let anyone buy the same service for the same price. But the integration between the two remains complex when building network infrastructure, however unsexy that sounds to analysts. Cisco will continue to employ a lot of people who understand how to make the two gel.

  • HP Sued for Alleged Age Bias in Mass Layoffs

    HP slashed roughly 30,000 jobs in 2012 under CEO Meg Whitman, and has conducted smaller cuts since then. According to the complaint, workers over 40 were “significantly more likely” to have their jobs eliminated under the company’s reduction plan.

    A spokesperson for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise denied that age was a consideration in the company’s layoffs. “The decision to implement a workforce reduction is always difficult,” the spokesperson said Monday in an emailed statement, “but we are confident that our decisions were based on legitimate factors unrelated to age.”

Photo: Maximilian Weisbecker

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News You Can Use: 8/24/2016


  • Why outsourced call center roles are coming back onshore

    While companies must pay more for onshore call center agents (offshore labor rates are typically 40 to 55 percent of onshore rates), increased automation has helped defray some of the extra expense of local labor. “While companies are ready to pay more for better quality services, increased technology leverage in a traditionally labor-intensive contact center space has offset some of the additional cost,” Bhargava says.

    In addition, companies are increasingly adopting a work-at-home model for agents, which incurs lower operational costs than onshore full-time-equivalents (FTEs). Work-at-home agents are typically 5 to 10 percent cheaper than on-site professionals in the U.S., Bhargava says.

  • What’s Next After Supply Chains?
  • More airline outages as carriers grapple with ageing technology

    The reservations systems of the biggest carriers mostly run on a specialized IBM operating system known as Transaction Processing Facility, or TPF. It was designed in the 1960s to process large numbers of transactions quickly and is still updated by IBM, which did a major rewrite of the operating system about a decade ago.

    A host of special features, ranging from mobile check-ins to seat selection and cabin upgrades, are built on top of the TPF core, or connected to it.

    “They have surrounded that old industry infrastructure with modern technology,” said Bob Edwards, United Continental Holdings’ former chief information officer until 2014. “Those systems have to always reach back into the old core technologies to retrieve a reservation or to figure out who flies between Dallas and New York City.”

    When a power outage shuts off that reservations system – as happened on Monday to Delta Air Lines’ “Deltamatic” system – TPF falls out of sync with the newer technologies that passenger service agents use to assist travellers, Edwards said.

  • Exclusive: Honeywell explores acquisition of JDA Software

    The acquisition would illustrate how Honeywell, a U.S. diversified industrial conglomerate, is keen to boost its automation portfolio after it agreed last month to acquire Intelligrated Inc, a U.S. distribution systems and logistics company, for $1.5 billion.

    JDA Software’s majority owner, buyout firm New Mountain Capital LLC, has already explored a sale of the company to private equity firms, and there is no certainty its latest talks with Honeywell will result in a deal, the people said on Monday.–sector.html

  • SAP Targets Terrorism With AI

    SAP National Security Services, which describes itself as an independent subsidiary of the German-based software giant that’s operated by U.S. citizens on American soil, works with homeland government agencies to find ways to track potential terrorists across social media.

    “One [use] is the identification of bad actors: People that may be threats to us—people and organizations,” says Mark Testoni, president and CEO of SAP NS2, as the company is known. “Secondarily, once we’ve identified those kinds of players and actors, we can then track their behaviors and organizations.”

Photo: Nico Beard

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SourceCast: Episode 37: Down and Dirty

sn_abandoned_Martin Wessely

Everybody loves IT… but what happens when our beloved IT jobs go away? Companies like Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, and HPE are cutting and when will they stop?

Photo: Martin Wessely

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Supplier Report: 8/20/2016

sn_service_Mike Wilson

While IBM is finding ways to keep itself alive (like a 7 year deal with WorkDay), it is also finding ways to keep people alive (see Japanese diagnostic article).

Oracle is trying to do good things for this world by opening a high school on its campus, but then they wipe out their karma by trying to sue google a third time over Java.

Microsoft bought a company from a 17-year-old kid, SalesForces bought a company called BeyondCore, and Cisco might eliminate 14,000 5,500 jobs.


  • IBM Inks Deal with Workday for Cloud Computing

    IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced Workday, a leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources, has adopted the IBM Cloud as part of a multi-year strategic partnership. IBM Cloud will become the foundation for Workday’s development and testing environment providing Workday with greater efficiency, flexibility, and global scale.
    Why the Workday cloud deal is good for IBM in RTP

    IBM Cloud will become the foundation for Workday’s development and testing environment, and it’s a big, long-term win for IBM. Workday picked Big Blue over some competitors such as Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (where it already runs part of its business).

    As part of the arrangement, IBM’s platform-as-a-service cloud development tool, BlueMix, will supply many of the services Workday will require.

  • IBM’s Watson Diagnosed Patient in Ten Minutes

    After months of physician-failed diagnosis, a super computer steps in and saves the life of a female patient from Japan, suffering from leukemia.

    IBM Watson Health has committed to developing a partnership between humanity and technology with the goal of transforming global health. With the ability to read 40 million documents in 15 seconds, IBM’s Watson –super computer powered with artificial intelligence- studied the patient’s medical records for ten minutes and was able to compare her type of cancer against 20 million oncological records, according to International Business Times.

    Physicians in Japan decided to try out IBM’s Watson on patients after all other treatment options had failed. The Watson revealed that the patient’s condition was another form of leukemia and required a different treatment from the one originally prescribed. So far, this is proving to be a life-saving approach.

  • As census failure blame points at IBM, why we shouldn’t be surprised by its failings

    IBM has already been banned from being allowed to work with Queensland State departments after its A$1.25 billion payroll failure in 2013.

    The fact that IBM may be at fault in this particular software project should not come as a surprise. Firstly, software projects are generally hard and there is evidence that a majority will fail for a variety of reasons, but a principle one being failure to capture all of the requirements correctly. This certainly appears to be the cause in the poor preparation for the eCensus project.

  • CEO Ginni Rometty Tells Bloomberg Businessweek How IBM Plans to Compete With Google

    She told Chafkin that she views IBM as “the grown-up company” to the startup tech companies. She said people from Google and Facebook come to IBM because “they really want to have an impact on serious things.”

    In other words, you can work on an app at Google or you can help move jet planes around at IBM, Chafkin explained.


  • Oracle builds a high school on their campus

    Oracle knew it had to be part of this new way of teaching, modeled after Stanford’s school of design. “It’s not a production design or fashion design or interior design. Design thinking is a way to solve a problem,” Design Tech High School executive director Ken Montgomery said.

    Problems like global warming. “A lot of our programs and how we learn are done through projects. It’s not like you are sitting in a classroom getting a lecture, you’re doing a hands-on activity to help reinforce what you are learning in the classroom,” student Nick Dal Porto said.

  • Can NetSuite Take Oracle to $10 Billion in SaaS Revenues?

    Oracle is already the number two player in ERP after SAP, but they have half the market share than the German software company. The Global ERP market is expected to reach $41.69 billion by 2020 and the only real competitors in this space are SAP and Oracle.

    Now that NetSuite has joined hands with Oracle, they have a real shot at closing the gap with the industry leader SAP.

  • Oracle craves cloud companies

    Oracle follows a familiar pattern of either acquiring companies that bolster its existing market position in areas such as ERP or CRM, or buying firms that help it fill in gaps in the company’s broad portfolio, says Gartner analyst Chad Eschinger, who covers the company closely. In chronological order, explores 10 key cloud deals Oracle has made over the years.

  • Oracle accuses Google of lying during Java copyright trial

    Oracle is now planning to appeal the verdict after already seeking a new trial, on the grounds that Google presented so little evidence during the trial to support its case that Oracle should win, despite the jury’s findings. Furthermore, the corporation hasn’t ruled out filing a new claim against Google’s Chrome OS, for infringing on its copyright in the desktop space. Despite the recent verdict, it doesn’t appear that this dispute will be going away any time soon.


  • MIT and Microsoft unveil on-skin device controlling technology

    The fact is that “DuoSkin” is the name of the whole project and process, the tattoo just happens to be the physical vehicle for it. Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao, a Taiwan native, explains on a video how in her homeland “flash tattoos” are a highly popular and cheap way to express yourself, and how she wanted to capture that same essence to make a real breakthrough in wearable technologies.

    With this in mind, the “DuoSkin” technology relies on any graphic design software to create the tattoo, a regular printer to print the design on tattoo paper, a vinyl cutter to cut it out, and then gold leaf film to trace the tattoo once again for the final product. The user just haves to apply the metallic-looking design onto their skin like they would do with any other temporary tattoo: just a gentle rub and some damp cloth to turn your skin into a computer interface.

  • Microsoft acquires Beam, will compete against Twitch

    How long has Beam been around for? Not long, with the company launching in January, with over 100,000 users joining the service in the last few months. Beam also won TechCrunch Distrupt’s $50,000 prize startup competition in May.

    Chad Gibson, a partner group program manager at Microsoft’s Xbox Live division said in a statement: “We at Xbox are excited about this convergence between playing and watching, and want to provide gamers with the freedom and choice to have great multiplayer experiences across all of Beam’s platforms. This acquisition will help gamers enjoy the games they want, with the people they want, and on the devices they want”.

  • Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Buyout of LinkedIn Starting to Look Even Smarter

    LinkedIn finished with adjusted EBITDA of $292 million and non-GAAP net income of $153 million. Although a non-cash charge of $101 million led to a GAAP net loss of $119 million, that’s a one-time charge and LinkedIn appears poised to start reporting a GAAP net profit consistently. Some cost synergies brought about by the merger might help the company achieve profitability even sooner.

    Additionally, investors should note that MSFT might not even have contemplated a merger during LinkedIn’s better times — LinkedIn stock was already down 40% YTD before the deal was announced.

    That said, with a fast-growing top line as well as a rapidly expanding bottom line, there’s a solid chance LNKD might be able to pay for itself and Microsoft might not have to make another huge write-off a la Nokia, and it could avoid damaging investor confidence in Microsoft stock.


  • New HPE releases bring enterprise-level storage to SMB market

    The Palo Alto, Calif.-based IT giant, which spun off from the original Hewlett-Packard Company last year, released two new storage solutions today – the flexible hybrid cloud-based StoreVirtual 3200 and solid-state drive (SSD) based MSA 2042 – specifically aimed at helping SMBs modernize their on-site infrastructure without breaking the bank.


  • Cisco Reportedly Plans To Lay Off About 14,000 Employees, Or 20 Percent Of Its Workforce

    San Jose, California-based Cisco is expected to announce the cuts within the next few weeks, the report said, as the company transitions from its hardware roots into a software-centric organization.
    IT professionals: Time to brace for more layoffs

    Chowdhry said he expects job cuts to rise drastically as more companies subscribe to “super cloud” services from the likes of Amazon and Microsoft . These services manage hardware, software, networks and databases and eliminate the need for workers to manage various technology layers, Chowdhry said.

    In January, Chowdhry estimated that layoffs in the tech industry would hit 330,000 this year. On Wednesday, he said he had raised his estimate to 370,000. Some other analysts said that forecast was too bleak.

  • Why Hewlett Packard Enterprise bought SGI

    So why would HPE, which split from HP last year and has since been spinning off units at a regular pace, suddenly be buying SGI? Particularly as it’s only a week since rumours began to swirl that HPE was itself about to be bought by private equity firms.

    The answer, it would seem, is to fully ground itself in the growing areas of big data, AI and HPC.

    In its announcement of the acquisition, HPE itself referenced SGI’s HPC and big data analytics credentials, with the executive VP and GM of the company’s enterprise group, Antonio Neri, saying: “At HPE, we are focused on empowering data-driven organisations. SGI’s innovative technologies and services, including its best-in-class big data analytics and [HPC] solutions, complement HPE’s proven data centre solutions.”

  • Salesforce gobbles up analytics outfit BeyondCore (for undisclosed sum)

    BeyondCore touts its tight integration with Microsoft Office with its ‘BeyondCore Apps for Office’ solutions. It looks as though the firm will have a degree of autonomy post-completion, but it will be interesting to see what happens to this integration moving forward.

  • Amazon Takes Shot At Microsoft And IBM With Its Latest Analytics Service

    Real-time stream analytics are certainly a big deal for customers running IoT, gaming, and AdTech solutions in the cloud. It provides an opportunity to query the never ending stream of data, which is always in motion. For example, with stream analytics, Uber can easily find out how many taxis crossed a specific tollgate in the last 10 minutes. Also known as fast data, real time streams are becoming an essential element of enterprise Big Data strategy.

  • Will IBM Edge Trounce HPE Discover Again This Year?

    While IBM continues to execute on game changing unique technologies like Watson, its Open Power initiative, and its impressive move to turn infrastructure capability into a competitive advantage, HPE has failed to deliver on Moonshot, Memristor, and Itanium—its answer to IBM’s Power—is effectively a dead technology. In fact, most of HPE’s acquisitions since Whitman appear to be in some form of distress.

Photo: Mike Wilson

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News You Can Use: 8/17/2016

sn_chains_Joey Kyber

  • Filler Words Like “Um” Aren’t All Bad, and Can Be Used to Your Advantage

    But, according to the experts, there’s still a right and wrong way to use them. Fraundorf recommends you try to use only a few when you talk, noting that too many can make comprehension harder. And Steven D. Cohen, assistant professor of communication at the University of Baltimore, suggests you use “like” and “I mean” as fillers instead of “uh” or “um.” People tend to be more forgiving of words that suggest contemplation as opposed to words that draw attention to a loss for words. Cohen also points out that filler words used in the middle of a sentence are less likely to be noticed, and a silent pause may be the best form of filler if you’re looking to have a dramatic impact on your listeners. If you want to read more on the benefits of filler words, check out the link below.

  • Don’t Follow Your Passion by Mike Rowe
  • Brainstorming Is Dumb

    The old brainstorming method infiltrated the American workplace over half a century ago, after an advertising executive named Alex F. Osborn coined the method in the 1940s. As companies all over the country adopted the method, psychologists started to wonder: Does brainstorming actually work? Many scientific studies later, they had their answer: a resounding no. Study after study found that people who use this group technique produce fewer good ideas than those who ideate alone.

    But there is an alternative that works better:

    Over the past 20 years, researchers have discovered a collection of group techniques that they’ve found are more effective than both brainstorming and working alone. One of the best ones they’ve devised is brainwriting—it’s a kind of like brainstorming, except that group members write their ideas on pieces of paper instead of sharing out loud. People then pass those sheets of paper around the group and read each other’s ideas while they continue to write down their own ideas. This method allows the kind of group interaction that’s constructive (i.e., sharing ideas and building on them), while avoiding the pitfalls of face-to-face brainstorming.

  • 7 Ways to Cut Travel Expenses

    Small savings add up when it comes to long funding rounds and weeks at a time being spent on the road. For example, say that you and your partners need two hotel rooms, for a total of 21 nights, across various cities. Saving just $25 per hotel room per night will equal savings of $1,050. That’s a significant amount for a fledgling startup.

  • Supply chain profile: Daniel Myers

    Q: What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen during your career?

    A: I have seen us move in the industry from a siloed [view] to sharing information. We call my division the “integrated supply chain” because breaking down divisions is the secret to business success. We’ve got to be consumer-driven and optimize the total value chain to succeed, moving from silos to a focus on common metrics. The Information Age allows you to do that.

    Q: What hasn’t changed?

    A: The focus on having leaders of integrity who can build trust and “followership.” You can sense when you have a great leader because people want to be there. That’s true for all generations; Millennials want to work for something greater than money—they want to work for something they’re proud of.

Photo: Joey Kyber

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