Tag Archives: Government Procurement

News You Can Use: 8/3/2016

sn_firefeet_dan carlson

  • AI and machine learning on social media data is giving hedge funds a competitive edge

    Morse said sentiment derived from consumers about certain brands, which can also impact equity prices, is a new twist on the subject currently being explored and which we can expect to see a lot of in the future. Twitter can also gauge macro and geopolitical factors he said, citing a study last year which showed Twitter data predictive of unemployment levels in the US.

    StockTwits, which provides real time commentary on individual companies, was the inventor of the cashtag, adopted by Twitter over time.


  • This American Life: Choosing Wrong

    Stories of people making the wrong choice, even though the right one is staring them squarely in the eye. Basketball players making a conscious decision to not do the thing that makes them better, pollsters refusing to see the truth of Donald Trump, and more.

    This was a great podcast about doing the wrong thing and why it happens. Totally worth a listen.


  • The Government Buys $2 Trillion Worth of Stuff Every Year. Here Are 5 Ways To Do It Better

    Promote smart risk-taking and innovation:
    Almost all interviewees agreed that the procurement workforce’s contribution to solving complex problems is limited by a risk-averse, change-resistant orientation. Agency leaders must encourage creative problem-solving and invest in training and recruitment that promotes this approach.


  • Why I quit often…

    ”Now that you change jobs often, your resume looks like the sponsor page @ a fundraiser.” I get this often from prospective employers and and colleagues. It’s the elephant in the room…and I get it. It looks bad. They want to know: Why can’t you just keep a job? Stop jumping ship! My response is complicated. I don’t want to keep quitting. I don’t enjoy changing health plans every year, remembering more system login’s and passwords or proving myself over and over again – It’s not easy, trust me. It’s exhausting – but I need to be motivated and do what’s best for me. Similarly, you need to drive your career and once you surround yourself by motivated people, things will happen – for everyone.


  • Supply chain problems can be solved through professionalization, innovation, speed

    “The challenge we all face is that the rate of change is accelerating, often not in our direct control but with major consequences for our businesses. Global and local challenges are at the heart of competitive strategy and all institutions are being forced to confront them in an increasingly efficient and innovative way. The supply chain industry is at the center of operations in most industry value chains and therefore has a vital role to play.”


Photo: dan carlson

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News You Can Use: 6/22/2016

sn_horses_Isabella Jusková

  • Cable and telecom companies just lost a huge court battle on net neutrality

    The court verdict puts to rest — for now — a key question: Whether the Internet represents a vital communications platform that deserves to be regulated with the same scrutiny as the common networks of the past, such as the telephone system. Writing for the court, Judges David Tatel and Sri Srinivasan held that despite advances in technology, the underlying importance of the Internet to everyday communications and commerce makes it more similar to the phone system than not. Today, for example, consumers are accustomed to using not just the email accounts that their broadband provider gave them, but also using third-party services such as Gmail as well as Netflix, Amazon and Uber.


  • What’s going on with IT hiring?

    CompTIA, an industry group, said about 96,000 IT jobs were lost last month across all industries, not just the technology sector. That figure includes the impact of the approximately 37,000 telecommunications jobs sidelined by the Verizon strike, which was settled this month. But it was a rough month, by some estimates.

    Analysts have been generally cautious this year about IT hiring trends. Although the unemployment rate for IT professionals is about half the national average of 4.7%, said CompTIA, some analysts use terms ranging from “modest” to “pre-recession” to describe IT hiring.


  • The Psychology of Solitude: Being Alone Can Maximize Productivity, with Scott Barry Kaufman
  • 4 Steps to Avoid ‘Death by Meeting’

    Whether your meetings are derailed by the shiny object syndrome, or you get stuck in the weeds, the only person who can save you is you! That’s why, when I’m facilitating team events, I make sure that our agendas include business items as well as elements relevant to the team. That way, we weave in learning with business needs, giving team members an opportunity to practice and apply the skills they are learning.

    What often happens, when a team gets stuck in the weeds or off track, is that team members start making eye contact with me: raising an eyebrow, in effect begging me to, “Get us out of here — we are stuck!” It always strikes me that it’s me, the guest facilitator, who is asked to save the day.


  • Doth thou protest too much?

    Many will applaud this effort to reign in what is seen as an out of control protest process. After all, the protest rate has grown some 45 percent during a period of time that total federal spending has dropped 25 percent. In 2001 there were about 700 individual protests filed with the GAO; in 2015 that number was over 2,500. Interestingly, of those protests on which GAO ultimately ruled, its “sustain rate” had dropped to 12 percent—from 18 percent just a few years earlier and 22 percent in 2001.


  • How Google killed Nest and why acquisitions fail

    I think the real problem is that when most companies do an acquisition they treat it almost like you and I would buy a car. They focus on the price and closing the deal after becoming interested in the firm’s products and/or services. But you don’t buy people, and a firm without the employees who made it a success is a failure in the making and worth a fraction of its assessed value. Part of the real cost of the acquisition is critical employee retention, and retention packages do a poor job of making people want to stay.


  • Verizon to bid $3B for Yahoo’s core Internet business
    First Verizon buys AOL, and now they are looking into buying Yahoo. Verizon is where all of your old embarrasing email addresses like (mustang_guy_1972_xx@yahoo.com) go to die. 

Photo: Isabella Jusková

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News You Can Use: 6/15/2016

sn_sparkle_Jamie Street

  • Can Vendor Scorecards Cut Down on IT Project Failures?

    Besides providing performance feedback during a large project, the scorecards also are expected to be a way for the state to take into account previous performance in future procurements, something that has been difficult to do in the past because evaluations were based on requirements built into the procurement vehicles. “We had no systemic way of measuring performance and taking it into account,” Ramos said. “We saw that as a gap.”


  • AI Will not Save Procurement … It Will Only Hasten its Demise

    An AI can detect the presence of risk indicators that you have defined against known risks, it cannot identify risk indicators for unknown risks. If the algorithm doesn’t understand that a tsunami is a risk because it can damage harbours and destroy coastal plants, the risk will not be identified until it discovers a news story about how the supplier plant had to shut down. And if it does not understand that legal proceedings can bankrupt a small company, it could overlook a filing with the potential to bankrupt the supplier. If the supplier was strategic, that is something the organization would want to know about immediately.


  • DAO: A Sandbox For ‘Smart Contracts’

    Smart contracts are the digital equivalent of the pen-and-paper kind which, even today, are the gatekeepers to major business relationships. Smart contracts work by executing themselves automatically under a given set of conditions, which are pre-programmed into the software that supports them. In the case of DAO, funds will be transferred based on a majority vote, which itself is executed by digital signatures. Slock.it is the company behind DAO’s smart contract infrastructure.


    The issue is one of control. There is potential for smart contracts to put buyer-supplier relationships under significant strain if, for instance, a dispute occurs and adequate consideration has not been given to the process for dealing with this in the digital setting. In computer-to-computer purchasing, for example, with which party does the burden of proof sit? The recent and public SWIFT-Bangladesh Bank saga has already showcased the extent of the tensions caused by disagreements over who’s system is at fault.


  • How to Keep Millennials in Procurement

    Another differentiating characteristic about millennials is that they are not as interested as previous generations in climbing the traditional career ladder, going from a junior buyer to a senior buyer, to a manager and on to procurement director, Peck said. They can be happy with lateral career moves that spark change in their daily routine or challenge them in a new way.

    Career training, too, is highly valued among millennials — something Peck pointed out was a huge positive for procurement and supply chain organizations. In her experience, Peck said it can be “like pulling teeth” to encourage other generations of employees to take training courses or continue their education. With millennials, however, this isn’t a problem.


  • The Purchase Order Is In … Now What?

    At ROYCE, we’ve been burned in the past because we were so starstruck that a luxury department store actually chose us that it blinded us from the far-reaching implications of that order. No one was asking the important questions — What’s their credit history? What are the logistics chargebacks? What the hell is a “loyalty discount?” (Side note: I will never forget the time that a prestigious UK retailer gave us a significant PO, only to subtly mention in the fine print that there were 21 percent off worth of discounts and co-op advertising costs, after already succumbing to aggressively discounted landed costs!) There’s nothing more anticlimactic than landing a career deal, only to meekly utter “thanks, but no thanks.”


  • ‘Vendor overload’ adds to CISO burnout

    “The new CISO is more the CIRO (chief information risk officer) tasked with managing risk to data and technology,” said Dawn-Marie Hutchinson, executive director in the Office of the CISO at Optiv.

    “Five years ago, the role was buried many layers down in the organization, if it existed at all,” she said. “Today, the CISO is a business leader.”

    Diedre Diamond, founder and CEO of CyberSN, speaking at the recent SOURCE Boston conference, offered three other reasons: Lack of understanding of the role, lack of advancement potential and unhappiness with leadership or company culture.


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News You Can Use: 6/8/2016

sn_thecliff_Will van Wingerden

  • 3 Unrealistic Career Goals You Need To Abandon

    Creating career deadlines is all about balance. Planning ahead is a solid way to visualize what you want to achieve, but it can lose value if you only see those deadlines in black and white. Often times, new opportunities and unique ideas come from the gray areas, and strict schedules don’t always encourage that creativity. If you have a milestone you keep missing, remind yourself that it may not really exist and consider taking it off the list.


  • IT career roadmap: Technology evangelist

    “You’re drawing on aspects of a bunch of different fields, technology, sales, marketing, psychology, even acting. You not only have to have technical depth and credibility, but also polished sales and marketing skills so that you can handle objections, you can promote messaging in a non-threatening way. And you have to know a lot about the business climate you’re operating in — what’s the market like? What are the circumstances that have brought a company to where it is?” Sage says.


  • Operating with Empathy: How to Build Organizations for Real People
  • Is Workplace Culture Overrated? (Infographic)

    Culture often influences an employee’s decision to join a company, and small perks go a long way. Two-thirds of employees with access to free food say they’re very happy at their current jobs, and workers who have strong relationships with their colleagues feel 50 percent more satisfied than those who don’t.

    Check out the infographic in the link to learn more about the benefits of fostering a healthy company culture.


  • U.S. CIO aims to cut legacy spending, proposes IT modernization

    The administration’s proposed solution is an IT modernization fund (ITMF) that would be subject to oversight of an independent panel that would help prioritize the most pressing technology projects while also evaluating the business case that the agency makes in pitching a project. And, crucially, agencies that dip into the $3.1 billion fund would be expected to repay the initial outlay for the IT project back into the fund over time, as operating savings materialize.


  • When This Boss Walks 10 Miles a Day, She Leads a Much Healthier Team

    A study by the University of Minnesota showed treadmill desks boost job performance, and we who work and walk are a testament to that fact. We not only feel great, we’re knocking it out of the park, with creative and innovative design ideas that come to us while walking/working. Leading by example is important for every business owner looking to improve his or her team’s health. Being fit and happy is contagious.


Photo: Will van Wingerden

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News You Can Use: 11/4/2015

sn_terminal_Jordan Sanchez

  • Millennials: Death to the Cubicle!
    Open floor plans are not the answer, having worked in open spaces and cube farms – neither are good.  It is about the culture of the work place.  If the company has their people on the phone all day, you need enclosed places.  If you are developers that need to collaborate (and spent large portions of the day in quiet), open floor plans work nicely.  

    Millennials have grown up understanding that work is an activity, not something that happens in any predetermined time or space. Accordingly, they insist on having the freedom to choose where and when they work, and they want to be measured on performance — not face time or office politics. So how does that change the way our workplaces and workflows are designed?


  • Federal IT outsourcing spend alarmingly poorly managed

    The GAO analyzed agency policies, procurement and contracting data, and interviewed agency and contractor officials. While leading companies strategically manage about 90 percent of the IT procurement spending, these government agencies strategically managed just a fraction of that. The U.S. Navy, for example, which spent $3.3 billion on IT services in 2013, awarded just 10 percent of that work via strategically managed outsourcing contracts, according to the GAO. The U.S. Air Force strategically managed 17 percent of its $1.4 million IT services spend, the U.S. Army did so with 27 percent of its $3.5 billion spend, and NASA did so with 35 percent of its smaller $855 million IT outsourcing investment. DHS was the best performer, sourcing 44 percent of its $2.2 billion IT procurement budget in strategic deals.


  • 11 Tweaks to Your Daily Routine Will Make Your Day More Productive
    Listicles… there are some solid points in this post once you get around the trash:

    “Eating a frog” is the greatest antidote to procrastination, and the most productive people know the importance of biting into this delicacy first thing in the morning. In other words, spend your morning on something that requires a high level of concentration that you don’t want to do, and you’ll get it done in short order. Make a habit of eating three frogs before you check your e-mail because e-mail is a major distraction that enables procrastination and wastes precious mental energy.


  • Software vendors – fear and loathing

    Why? Because the most successful software firms are masters at high-pressure, bullying sales tactics. Take Oracle. The company specializes in trying to convince potential new customers that its license terms and model are harmless and easy to use.

    Once the customer licenses the product, however, Oracle takes a new tack. The company launches software audits and then argues that there are license restrictions it did not talk about during the sales process but that the customer has now breached.

    How do Oracle and other vendors get away with these tactics? Path dependency. Software vendors know that once a large company has implemented an enterprise-wide or otherwise significant software tool it is hard to switch.


  • The Six Strategic Sourcing Samurai

    So who are these six strategic sourcing samurai? They are the six remaining companies that took the time and effort to not only research and build a solution, but take it to market and wait while the market caught up with the vision that a few pioneers had fifteen years ago — a vision of true best-cost global sourcing from a total cost of ownership (and, more recently, from a total value management) perspective.


  • 39% of L.A. millennials ‘chronically stressed’ about money, survey finds

    A new survey by Bank of America and USA Today found that L.A. millennials ages 18 to 34 say they have a clear understanding of their financial situation and 44% are prepared for a rainy day, with three months of living expenses saved up.

    But 75% say they worry about their finances “often” or at least “sometimes,” with 39% saying they are “chronically stressed” about money.


  • Are US tech giants harming national security by partnering with China’s firms?

    A report made public this week from a security firm with longstanding ties to the Defense Department, the Defense Group Inc., said IBM’s partnerships in China, which are part of a global initiative that the company calls Open Power, are already damaging US national security. “IBM is endangering the national and economic security of the United States, risking the cybersecurity of their customers globally, and undermining decades of US nonproliferation policies regarding high-performance ..


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