Category Archives: Industry News

News You Can Use: 8/16/2017

  • China’s Next Target: U.S. Microchip Hegemony

    Today, the industry is riven by a nationalist battle between China and the U.S., one that reflects broad currents reshaping the path of globalization. Washington accuses Beijing of using government financing and subsidies to try to dominate semiconductors as it did earlier with steel, aluminum, and solar power. China claims U.S. complaints are a poorly disguised attempt to hobble China’s development. Big U.S. players like Intel Corp. and Micron TechnologyInc. find themselves in a bind—eager to expand in China but wary of losing out to state-sponsored rivals.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-next-target-u-s-microchip-hegemony-1501168303

  • Does 99.5% planned uptime = 99.5% actual uptime?

    There are 744 hours in a 31-day month. Without digging further into how the vendor calculates the uptime percentage, it would be natural to do simple math and quickly determine that .005 downtime equals four hours per month. This seems very reasonable, on the surface, but remember math is tricky and the vendor controls the math. Some vendors calculate their uptime percentage as:

    Actual Hours System Up divided by (Hours in the Month minus Planned Downtime)

    The key question to ask is “how much planned downtime do you have in any given month?” You will find a wide array of answers to this question. For example, one leading vendor plans for 40 hours of planned downtime a month to apply patches, fixes, and general system maintenance. The very reasonable four hours of allowed downtime in their marketing equation equals 44 hours, or almost two days, of actual downtime a month. Very tricky!

    http://www.cio.com/article/3209041/cloud-computing/does-995-planned-uptime-995-actual-uptime.html

  • Kristi Hedges: “The Inspiration Code: How The Best Leaders Energize People
  • This is how Travis Kalanick is plotting his comeback as Uber CEO

    Some company executives are concerned that Mr. Kalanick could use a SoftBank investment to dilute other shareholders’ stakes while he continues to buy stock back from employees in a bid to amass power. And aligning with Masayoshi Son, the founder and chief executive of SoftBank, could provide Mr. Kalanick with a key ally, especially if Mr. Son seeks to appoint new board members who favor Mr. Kalanick’s return as chief executive as part of an investment.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/4045787/this-is-how-travis-kalanick-is-plotting-his-comeback-as-uber-ceo

  • Supply chain’s continuing image problem

    And this is making recruitment a challenge. DHL surveyed over 350 supply chain and operations professionals in the five major regions of the world as a basis for its research. Fifty-eight percent of the companies surveyed said that it is hard to find potential employees who possess the right combination of tactical/operational expertise and professional competencies such as leadership and analytical skills.

    Although supply chain managers are aware that their jobs require taking on a more strategic role, that perception does not seem to be shared by job candidates or even internally at managers’ own companies. According to the DHL report, almost 70 percent of surveyed companies said that their search for supply chain talent is hampered by a “perceived lack of opportunity for career growth” and the “perceived status of supply chain as a profession.” This same misconception is also an internal problem, according to the survey. Only 25 percent of survey participants agreed that their own companies view supply chain as equally important as other disciplines.

    http://www.supplychainquarterly.com/news/20170728-supply-chains-continuing-image-problem/

Photo: Bryan Minear

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News You Can Use: 8/9/2017

  • AliAlibaba and Tencent are carving up Southeast Asia’s startup ecosystem

    A much-cited report co-authored by Google last year showed that Southeast Asia has 260 million internet users with 3.8 million more going online per month. That’s tipped to grow the internet population to 480 million people by 2020. Sure, that isn’t China level yet — the country has 731 million internet users, half of which are mobile — but it does mean that, alongside India, Southeast Asia is a region of serious tech development potential.

    That same Google report forecasted that the region’s ‘internet economy’ — i.e. all business generated from the web — will be worth $200 billion by 2025. That’s up from 6.5-fold from 2015, when it was estimated to be worth $31 billion. E-commerce alone is tipped to rise from $5.5 billion in 2015 to $88 billion in 2025, of which half will originate from Indonesia, the world’s fourth largest country, according to the report.

    On Alibaba

    The first step was Alibaba’s $1 billion investment in Lazada, an Amazon-like e-commerce company serving six countries in Southeast Asia, in April 2016. The deal represented the first major investment into the region from a Chinese company.

    Alibaba has since firmed up its shareholding, paying another $1 billion in June to take its ownership to 83 percent, while, under its tutelage, Lazada expanded its business into groceries with the acquisition of Singapore-based Redmart while it launched an Amazon Prime-style offering in partnership with Netflix and Uber. Amazon is expected to enter Southeast Asia this year, with sources telling TechCrunch an original goal of launching Q1 proved to be too ambitious.

    On Tencent:

    Tencent, meanwhile, has a long-standing investment in Thailand-based media company Sanook, while it invested $19 million in a joint media venture with Ookbee, another Thai company. On the product-side, it has aggressively pushed its free-to-play music service Joox in Southeast Asia as a rival to Spotify, while it recently invested in U.S. karaoke app Smule which has strong traction in the region and plans to expand in Asia.

    “Through their investments and acquisitions, it’s very clear that Alibaba and Tencent are interested in Southeast Asia. They share our vision, that this region is ripe for opportunities in the e-commerce, payments, and marketplaces space,” Vinnie Lauria, founding partner at Singapore-based VC firm Golden Gate Ventures, told TechCrunch in a statement.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/07/22/alibaba-tencent-southeast-asia-game-of-thrones/?ncid=rss

  • Why Would Anyone Let Their Employer Stick A Microchip Into Their Body?

    The chips, RFID-compatible devices roughly the size of a grain of rice and typically injected between the thumb and forefinger, are strictly voluntary, the company says. About 50 out of 80 employees in the River Falls, Wisconsin, headquarters have opted in, as have the company’s college interns. They’ll be able to use the chips to unlock doors around the office, log in to computers and copy machines, and, naturally, make purchases at the in-office minimart.

    “Now, instead of remembering hundreds of passwords, we’ll be able to hold our hand over an RFID reader,” says CEO Todd Westby.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40444110/why-would-anyone-let-their-employer-stick-a-microchip-into-their-body

  • Knowing How to Tell a Good Story Is Like Having Mind Control | Alan Alda
  • Protiviti Study Contains New Findings on Value of Procurement

    According to a new procurement study by global consulting firm Protiviti, nearly half of finance leaders claim that 20 percent or less of procurement savings wind up dropping to their companies’ bottom line. Amid a business environment where monetary returns, business value and financial risk are under intense scrutiny, the survey report highlights a clear disconnect between corporate finance and procurement in the perceived value contributed by the procurement function to an organization’s profitability.

    According to the survey findings, the perceived disconnect stems from the way procurement functions track and communicate savings, as well as how they collaborate with finance departments and work with the business to ensure these savings positively affect the bottom line. Forty-one percent of those surveyed say that although procurement savings are being tracked (overall, less than half actually track absolute savings), the measurement and value are not being articulated across the organization. In addition, just over one in three view the working relationship between finance and procurement as collaborative, suggesting much room for improvement.

    http://www.scmr.com/article/protiviti_study_contains_new_findings_on_value_of_procurement

  • Do You Have Too Many Suppliers?

    As you can see, if you want a truly optimized award across a category, sometimes the organization will have too few suppliers. The right number of suppliers is the number that the organization ends up with after every category is optimally allocated across both the strategic spend and the tail spend. While it will usually be less than the number of (active) suppliers in the supplier database (as most organizations that do not do sourcing across all categories will end up buying from more suppliers then they need to), it won’t always be significantly less. You can’t always cut your supply base in half just because you think you have twice as many suppliers as you need. You properly source each category, and when all is said and done, the suppliers you have selected represent the proper pool size. Any remaining suppliers that aren’t absolutely essential for a non-sourced product or service get cut and then you have a properly sized supply base as it was properly designed. 10K vs 20K vs 50K is irrelevant. Only so much value comes from consolidation alone. Remember that.

    http://sourcinginnovation.com/wordpress/2017/07/26/do-you-have-too-many-suppliers/

Photo: Melanie Magdalena

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News You Can Use: 8/2/2017

  • Is IT having an identity crisis?

    Forty percent of the CIOs said that they make 50% or less of the IT decisions for their companies. And 39% said that business departments buy their own technology without consulting IT “often,” “very often” or “most of the time.” Meantime, IT departments themselves perform a shrinking proportion of the technology work they still oversee, with 24% of the respondents saying they outsource more than 50% of their IT and only 9% saying they outsource none at all.

    If outsourcing is the norm, and business departments outside IT are increasingly procuring their own technology, it may be time to ask exactly what IT’s role and identity is in the modern workplace.

    Also:

    Whatever IT’s identity within an organization may be, if it’s primarily viewed as a cost center, that’s not a good thing. “IT is a foundational element,” says Ed McLaughlin, CIO at Mastercard. “You really have to cease thinking of technology as a cost center. Technology is one of the primary assets of a business.”

    http://www.computerworld.com/article/3191986/it-management/is-it-having-an-identity-crisis.html

  • Do Raises Make Employees Happy or Is It Something More?

    “One of the most striking results we’ve found is that, across all income levels, the top predictor of workplace satisfaction is not pay. It is the culture and values of the organization, followed closely by the quality of senior leadership and the career opportunities at the company. Among the six workplace factors we examined, compensation and benefits were consistently rated among the least important factors of workplace happiness.”

    However, there was a study from Princeton that found that “having a higher income increases happiness but only up to about $75,000 per year.” After that, “higher pay doesn’t influence happiness much, and other factors take over.”

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/297326

  • The Case for National Childcare
  • 8 Ways Any Millennial Can Be a Millionaire in 5 Years

    Investing can be tricky, but it’s one of the best ways to get a return on the money you currently have. If you want to make significant money quickly, you’ll need to take some major risks, which means being willing to lose all the money you put in. For best results, start by investing a good amount of money. You can make more potentially if you risk more. Pick certain sectors that you find yourself most interested in and concentrate on investments in those spaces. Before any of this though, take time to learn as much as possible about the stock market.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/297322

  • Six Words And Phrases That Make Everyone Hate Working With You

    3. “IT IS WHAT IT IS”
    Clichés like this make you sound like a lazy thinker. We default unthinkingly to empty expressions when we’re trying to give the impression we have something to say but really don’t, and also when we want to sound as though we’re comfortable with something but might not be. “Business is business,” “it is what it is,” and phrases like them aren’t just meaningless and repetitious—they sound like you don’t really care or that your brain just isn’t in gear. Good luck getting promoted that way.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40441775/six-words-and-phrases-that-make-everyone-hate-working-with-you
    This is my dad’s favorite saying, guess he won’t be getting that big butcher shop promotion…

Photo: Brodie Vissers

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News You Can Use: 7/26/2017

  • Why Is Brexit So Expensive?

    The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, says the financial settlement will be “based on the principle that the United Kingdom must honor its share of the financing of all obligations undertaken while it was a member of the Union.” As a member of the EU, the U.K. is responsible for approximately 15 percent of the 28-member bloc’s common budget. Since the EU budget is determined every seven years (the current one spans until 2020), European lawmakers want the British government to honor the financial commitments it made when the budget was agreed upon in 2013. These obligations include EU-wide investment projects, pension promises to EU officials, and other liabilities. If it agrees, the U.K. would effectively be paying into the EU budget a year beyond its projected exit date: March 2019.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/07/why-is-brexit-so-expensive/534063/?utm_source=feed

  • The Top Stressor for Workers Is Not What You Think

    Polling more than 10,000 men and women in the technology industry, job website Comparably uncovered the top stressors for people at work. Above having a long commute, difficult co-workers, a bad manager or long hours, the majority of workers said “unclear goals” was the most stressful aspect of their careers. In fact, 42 percent of workers admitted to being stressed by this goal ambiguity, with “commute” and “bad manager” tying for second, each with 16 percent of the votes. And it looks like the last thing people are worried about are long hours (12 percent), after having difficult co-workers (14 percent).

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/297492

  • Which Jobs Will Machines Take Over? Movie Critics, Doctors, Truckers…
  • FCC admits it didn’t document alleged cyberattack

    The Federal Communications Commission now claims to have no data on a DDoS attack that took down its website in May, just months after stating it had “gigabytes” of documentation on the incident. The supposed attack followed talk show host John Oliver redirecting viewers to the FCC’s comment section, where he encouraged them to complain about the organization’s stance on net neutrality. With over 9 million comments reportedly left on the site, the FCC quickly responded, stating that it couldn’t accept more feedback, because it was incapacitated by an alleged DDoS attack.

    Now, after a freedom of information request filed by Gizmodo attempted to reveal more about the ‘attack,’ the FCC is claiming that its previous thorough analysis on the incident “did not result in written documentation.”

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/20/the-fcc-admits-it-didn-t-file-a-report-on-its-own-ddos-attack/

  • I’ve Been A Manager For Over 10 Years. These Are The Biggest Lessons I’ve Learned

    It can be hard to get strong personalities to align with decisions with which they don’t entirely agree. But having every team member opt in and back a decision is key. It’s on you, as the manager, to create a scenario where everyone can get on the same wavelength before you move forward with a plan. It all comes down to communicating in a way that makes it easier for others to say yes, even if you think you don’t have the time. Putting in this effort up front will pay off in the end, and the trust you build will carry on into the next decision, and the next, and the next.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40441456/ive-been-a-manager-for-over-ten-years-these-are-the-biggest-lessons-ive-learned

Photo: Shopify

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News You Can Use: 7/19/2017

  • This Public Speaking Habit Is Annoying Your Audience

    When you pace too much, you’ll lose out on the opportunity to use your movement to punctuate what you’re saying. In writing, you use spacing to separate paragraphs on a page, and punctuation to build pauses into a sentence. Movement can do the same thing when you speak.

    For example, suppose you said, “We have to move in new directions. We have to innovate.” If you stood still and delivered those two lines non-stop, they’d land with little impact. If added a short pause between the sentences yet remained still the whole time, you’d have a bit more impact. But if you paused and also moved between delivering the first line and the second, you’d have the most impact.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40438283/this-public-speak-habit-is-annoying-your-audience

  • What is that agile certification really worth?

    “Agile project success has less to do with whether or not developers are certified and much more to do with whether or not the entire organization is making the culture shift towards an agile mindset all the way from the lowest-level developer up to the CEO,” Doucette says.

    Taking time as an organization to understand, adopt and apply agile principles and practices is what it’s all about, he adds; agile certification, scrum masters, agile coaches and the like are not going to be effective on their own unless there is company-wide buy-in of the principles and practices behind the methodology, Doucette says.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3033058/certifications/do-agile-certifications-mean-anything.html

  • How to Control Your Rage, With Buddhist and Michelin Star Chef Eric Ripert
  • Senators warn FCC that it better be ready for Wednesday’s net neutrality Day of Action

    Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and Hawaii’s Brian Schatz asked the commission to confirm that it won’t be caught flat-footed during Wednesday’s net neutrality Day of Action.

    The two pro-net neutrality Senate Democrats cited an incident in May during which the FCC’s comment portal crashed due to what Pai described as a “non-traditional DDoS attack.” The Senators were rightfully suspicious about the supposed DDoS claim as it would have coincided with a call to action by TV host John Oliver, who urged viewers to leave comments expressing their displeasure at the FCC’s policies.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/07/10/wyden-schatz-letter-to-pai-net-neutrality-day-of-action/?ncid=rss

  • The Overlooked Job Skill That Could Be the Key to Your Next Raise

    A recent study out of the University of Iowa showed that those who can type quickly are more likely to emerge as leaders of remote groups. That’s a direct correlation between typing speed and being perceived as a high performer.

    It goes without saying that high performers at work get promotions and raises more quickly. Thus, better typing skills should lead to higher salaries. Somewhere, Mrs. Ames is reading this and thinking, “I told you so!”

    The Iowa study found that “individuals who can type faster are able to more quickly communicate their thoughts and drive the direction of a team.” In my experience, that is spot on.

    http://www.thesimpledollar.com/the-overlooked-job-skill-that-could-be-the-key-to-your-next-raise/

Photo: Brodie Vissers

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