Tag Archives: Trump

News You Can Use: 3/8/2017

  • Trump expected to cut federal IT spending

    “Initiatives like data center consolidation and adoption of cloud services – even though not completely successful – have set the table for leaner spending,” Bjorklund said.

    The Trump administration will be helped as well by declines in the cost of IT. It will likely put modernization investments on hold “until they can figure out the way ahead,” Bjorklund said.

    http://www.computerworld.com/article/3174085/it-industry/trump-expected-to-cut-federal-it-spending.html

  • Make your conference calls stink less…

    You need to assume that some of what you’re saying just isn’t going to get through. So go over your key points quickly yet frequently. Think of them as road signs that remind your audience where you’re heading: If you don’t check in every so often, they might get lost. You don’t have to repeat the message in the same exact way every time, but reinforcing your ideas is a must when so many other factors (both technological and human) are conspiring against you.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/3068455/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/your-conference-calls-sound-terrible-but-you-dont-have-to

  • This Video Explains Why “I Don’t Have Time” Is a Poor Excuse
  • The Best Questions to Ask in Every Job Interview Round

    “What are the Immediate Projects You’d Like Me to Work on in the First 30, 60, and 90 days?”

    With this one, you’ll get a sense of what types of tasks your new manager will want you to work on when you first start work. The key here is to keep digging until you’re clear on the first set of expectations for the role.

    http://lifehacker.com/the-best-questions-to-ask-in-every-job-interview-round-1792859446

  • Rethinking Sourcing Suites and Their Sub Components — Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant

    And as procurement organizations increasingly mass-customize how they deliver value to the business and the technology approaches and providers they use to deliver those new capabilities and associated outcomes, we believe that evaluative exercises need to be ever more tailored to an individual organization’s needs. For subscribers, Gartner is moving in this direction as well (which we applaud). But static reports that take six months to create and then are updated every two years with monolithic graphics run counter to this trend.

    http://spendmatters.com/2017/02/09/rethinking-sourcing-suites-sub-components-gartners-2017-magic-quadrant/

Photo: Lionello DelPiccolo

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News You Can Use: 2/22/2017

  • Trump eyes end to an H-1B system that favors largest outsourcers

    The H-1B lottery favors large firms. In the 2015 fiscal year, for instance, the top 10 firms received 38% of all the H-1B visas in computer occupations alone. All these firms, except for Amazon and to a partial extent IBM, are outsourcers. These large companies have the resources to submit enough visa applications to help ensure they receive a bare minimum of approvals.

    Also

    Instead, the Trump administration is hinting at changes that may end the random lottery distribution and replace it with a merit system. It could distribute visas based on wages or whether a visa holder was educated in the U.S. It could favor non-dependent H-1B companies — a legal definition for firms that have less than 15% of their staff on the visa — over dependent firms, which includes all the all the large offshore firms.

    http://www.computerworld.com/article/3167586/it-outsourcing/trump-eyes-end-to-an-h-1b-system-that-favors-largest-outsourcers.html
    H-1B advocate Sen. Orrin Hatch sets stage for new visa battle

    Among Hatch’s proposals are capping the number of visas any single employer can apply for, and requiring employers to attest that they first tried to hire an American worker. He also proposed something called a “shot clock” rule that will revoke a visa if it isn’t used within a certain period of time.

    http://www.computerworld.com/article/3171151/it-careers/h-1b-advocate-sen-orrin-hatch-sets-stage-for-new-visa-battle.html

  • To pay or not to pay: Too many victims say yes to ransomware

    According to the FBI, the collective amount of ransoms paid in all of 2015 in the US was $24 million. In 2016, it had jumped to $209 million in just the first three months – which means if the growth curve continued it would easily have topped $1 billion by the end of the year.

    http://www.csoonline.com/article/3168931/data-breach/to-pay-or-not-to-pay-too-many-victims-say-yes-to-ransomware.html

  • Preparing Our Economy for the Impact of Automation & AI
  • Why Office Perks Are Traps, Not Benefits

    Is it any wonder, then, that the “benefits” at so many companies aren’t benefits at all, but ploys to get you to work longer? Dry cleaning and laundry services available on-site? Great — now you can put in a few more hours a week, because your clothes will be cleaned for you. Free pizza for the long hours you put in on that important project on Friday? Fantastic — no lunch break, meaning more work we can extract from you. These so-called perks, in other words, tend to be Trojan Horses. While you’re chewing away on pizza and having your laundry delivered to your office, the company and its leaders are smiling because you are still in your office.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/289056
    Interesting context for the last SourceCast Episode (59)

  • Why Coworking Isn’t Just a Rented Desk

    If you are not creating value for your customers, then stop what you are doing. We create value at Alley by offering massively discounted services for each and every one of our members. Most of our members are emerging startups and they need help, so we created a platform to help them grow. These services have been vetted, and all of the services we offer are from our members. You basically live with them, next door to your accountants or insurance providers. We also have direct links into investor relationships. We partner with firms such as ERA and Techstars to give the companies exposure. This is great deal flow for investment firms and this is wonderful for our members who need to raise money. I am proud to say that since our inception Alley companies have raised over 1 Billion in funding based on our last studies. This year, two of our companies have made it into the elite accelerator, Y Combinator.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/289129

Photo: Redd Angelo

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SourceCast: Episode 58: H-1Blues

As President Trump attempts to make major immigration reforms, this episode focuses on what happens to the tech sector if he is successful.

Photo: Jerry Kiesewetter

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News You Can Use: 2/8/2017

  • Think employers must protect workers’ personal info? Think again

    For example, the workers in the Pennsylvania case turned over their personal information as a condition of employment, not for safekeeping, according to the court decision. Using reasoning employed in a case brought by account holders against their bank, the judges decided the safety of the information wasn’t guaranteed.

    Referencing another old case, the court said UPMC isn’t obliged to pay up if the stolen data resulted in purely economic losses but not damages to health, safety or property. That ruling drew on a decision where workers at a tire store sued for lost wages when the business shut down for a week when the property was flooded.

    http://www.networkworld.com/article/3158565/security/think-employers-must-protect-workers-personal-info-think-again.html

  • Time for procurement to become entreprocurial

    So what does Entreprocurial behaviour look like in practice?

    • It is the CPO who convinces the executive board that building new factories to service a new and competitive market is high risk, but that the supplier network is reliable enough to contract manufacture and distribute the products, and so it is a risk worth taking.
    • It is the procurement manager who not only secures a great innovation idea from an external party, but also takes personal ownership to turn that into an actual product.
    • It is the CPO who shifts the focus from the supply market to a focus on adding value to the customer.

    http://www.procurementleaders.com/blog/my-blog–guest-blog/time-for-procurement-to-become-entreprocurial-662294

  • How Journalism Was Corrupted by the Power of Privilege

    Journalism is a topic I care about deeply and will cover frequently on this blog. Getting facts to people in the best possible method is good for any career. That said, Gary was a bit heavy handed in his point, but the outsider view has value.
  • Why Silicon Valley is high-fiving over Trump’s SEC pick

    Perhaps more notably, says Tusk, Clayton “isn’t a policy activist. I don’t think this is someone with an ideological view about how security regulation should be expanded.”

    That’s in stark contrast to Mary Jo White, a former litigator who stepped down as the head of the SEC at the end of the Obama administration. White had visited Silicon Valley nearly a year ago and put investors and founders on notice that the SEC was becoming concerned by spiking valuations in the private sector, among other things. As we wrote back in October, the SEC seemed to be using an investigation into troubled Theranos specifically to expand its mandate into Silicon Valley’s startup ecosystem.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/26/why-silicon-valley-is-high-fiving-over-trumps-sec-pick/?ncid=rss

  • How to create your own opportunities at work

    While it can be scary to work on a project with no obvious stakeholders, if it’s a truly valuable undertaking, it’ll prove itself. Other people will see its value as it develops, and you yourself will become more certain of it.

    Keep in mind, however, that it’s essential that you believe in the value of the undertaking. If you’re not sure it’s worth pursuing, get a second opinion from someone you trust (a close colleague, a mentor), or table it until you find another opportunity that makes your heart beat faster with conviction.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/3067743/career-evolution/how-to-create-your-own-opportunities-at-work?partner=rss

Photo: Javier Garcia

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The impact of H-1B modification on tech companies

Note: This blog is apolitical and I will do my best to keep this post free of spin and stick to the facts.

During my research for last week’s supplier report, it was clear that President Trump’s immigration policies were a major pain point for IT companies. It was such a reoccurring thread that I felt I needed to go deeper to better understand the situation.

On January 27th, 2017 Donald J. Trump released an executive order that modified travel rights into the United States from several countries.

The executive order imposed a 90-day travel ban on the citizens of seven predominately Muslim countries: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. It also suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days. Additionally, it indefinitely prohibits Syrian refugees from entering the U.S.

As of February 5th, the Department of Justice is blocking the President’s executive order:

The US Justice Department filed an appeal just after midnight Sunday, asking to pause a sweeping decision from the judge that temporarily halted enforcement of several key provisions of President Trump’s executive order.

The status of the executive order has fluctuated during last week, and it is clear that President Trump is planning to fight this most recent setback:

Trump’s modification of immigration policy has many in the technology industry concerned that the order was just the first step of more sweeping immigration reforms. It is being reported that the Trump administration is also drafting modifications to the H-1B visa program.

The US H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ graduate level workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as in IT, finance, accounting, architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, medicine, etc.

The program allows for 65,000 (+20,000 additional IT workers) into the country annually. Depending on the country, a worker can stay in the United States for 3 years with an option for an additional 3 year renewal.

Although there are annual controls on who is accepted into the via program, there doesn’t seem to be precise records on how many people in total are currently working in the U.S. under the H-1B visa program. It is estimated to be between 650,000-850,000.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the possible executive order on work visas “is part of a larger immigration effort” and stems from “an overall need to look at all of these measures.” C-level executives from many of the large technology firms have denounced this activity:

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella:

“There is no place for bias or bigotry in any society, in any context. That’s where we start from,” Nadella told employees. “It is the enlightened immigration policy of this country that even made it possible for me to come here in the first place, and gave me all this opportunity.”

Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin:

“I think it’s important to not frame this debate as being ‘liberal’ versus ‘Republican’ and so forth,” Brin told the crowd. “It’s a debate about fundamental values, about thoughtful policymaking and many of the other things that I think are — apparently not universally adored — but I think the vast majority of our country and of our legislators and so forth support.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook sent an email to employees (and has not yet publicly commented):

There are employees at Apple who are directly affected by yesterday’s immigration order. Our HR, Legal and Security teams are in contact with them, and Apple will do everything we can to support them. We’re providing resources on AppleWeb for anyone with questions or concerns about immigration policies. And we have reached out to the White House to explain the negative effect on our coworkers and our company.

As I’ve said many times, diversity makes our team stronger. And if there’s one thing I know about the people at Apple, it’s the depth of our empathy and support for one another. It’s as important now as it’s ever been, and it will not weaken one bit. I know I can count on all of you to make sure everyone at Apple feels welcome, respected and valued.

Perhaps the Trump administration’s investigation and overhaul of the H-1B program is due to accusations of companies abusing the program. For example, Disney has been accused of laying off qualified domestic workers in favor of cheaper H-1B workers coming from India.

While the argument is being made that American interests are being protected by these measures, there is concern that by increasing the wage requirements for H-1B workers and making it more difficult to get these resources, US companies will just shift the job entirely to cheaper labor markets like India:

India’s technology companies, led by Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, Infosys and Wipro, have argued they are helping corporations become more competitive by handling their technology operations with specialized staff. They also contend the visa programs allow them to keep jobs in the U.S. and that if they have to pay more for staff, they will handle more of the work remotely from less expensive markets like India.

This is (clearly) a complicated issue that only gets more complex through a political filter. It seems possible that the H-1B program has been abused in the past and it is alarming that there isn’t precise documentation on how many people are working under the program currently.

The United States is a country that was forged through immigration and there are many examples of people coming here with nothing and creating companies and jobs. Turning away from that cultural identity can be damaging and have long lasting impact.

Photo: Ferdinand Stöhr

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