California-based Blue Cedar is using its security technology to protect the VitalPatch wearable healthcare biosensor app from VitalConnect on mobile phones and tablets. The companies will also collaborate to protect critical patient information in transit to the cloud.
This comes from a partnership with MediBioSense, a UK-based digital healthcare innovator and distributor of Blue Cedar’s patented code-injection technology.
VitalPatch is a wearable biosensor that attaches to a patient’s chest. It detects and delivers key vital signs and biometric measurements, including heart and respiratory rate, single lead ECG, and skin temperature, and then transmits the data to a mobile device before transmission and storage in the cloud.
“We’re excited to team with Blue Cedar to enhance mobile app protection for our flagship solution,” said MediBioSense CEO Simon Beniston. “Mobile apps and cutting-edge technology are a game-changing combination in healthcare, helping to improve lives and meet the increasingly stringent demands placed on modern healthcare services. But ultimately, these apps are only as effective as their level of security – especially with GDPR on the horizon – so we are partnering with mobile app security innovator Blue Cedar to ensure that patients’ data are secured at all times and that their privacy needs are met consistently.”
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the pan-European data-protection law slated to take effect in May 2018, applies to European Union residents and to organisations worldwide that collect or process EU citizens’ personal data. It will require mobile enterprises to show what data are gathered, where they are stored, and how they will be safeguarded.
“This partnership is a natural progression for Blue Cedar as we continue our commitment to healthcare security innovation and increase our global footprint across the medical industry,” said Blue Cedar CEO John Aisien. “MediBioSense has earned its place as a true innovator that is renowned for delivering disruptive healthcare to the global market. With this new partnership, Blue Cedar will help MediBioSense secure all real-time data flowing from the VitalPatch app to any recipient database, be it a hospital database that preserves a patient’s electronic health record upon discharge, a medical trial database or a database in the cloud. For the first time, we’re enabling their solution to securely go anywhere and everywhere, while still maintaining the highest standards of data protection.”
The risks that insecure apps pose to hospital and patient data have been well documented for years. Nevertheless, the healthcare space continues to see a rapid proliferation of medical apps designed to help consumers track their personal health. Healthcare organisations too are increasingly aware of the need for and role of mobile devices and applications in connecting clinicians with each other and with their patients.
This partnership allows MediBioSense to sell VitalPatch, offering prospective customers the assurance that all data collected are secured by Blue Cedar’s technology. MediBioSense, located in Doncaster, UK, contracts with the monitoring device’s manufacturer, VitalConnect, to provide compatible software and sell the finished product.
VitalPatch has received Food & Drug Administration’s clearance for sale in the USAs and regulatory approval (CE Mark) for distribution in the EU.
IRVINE, CALIF. (PRWEB) FEBRUARY 13, 2018
NGD Systems, Inc., the leader in computational storage, announced today the completion of Series B round of financing with $12.4M. The round was led by new investor Partech Ventures with participation from Orange Digital Ventures. Existing investors Alcor Micro and Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV) also participated in the round. In addition, the company has received a $4M credit facility from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).
“NGD Systems is very pleased to announce the closing of our B-Series round,” said Nader Salessi, President and CEO of NGD Systems. “We see the strong participation of both our existing investors and our new lead investor as validation of both our technology, and explosive market opportunity.”
The proceeds will be used for strategic growth initiatives, including the acceleration of go-to-market activities, continued innovation of the company’s technology, and migration of its advanced 14nm SSD controller to mass production. The new round of financing brings NGD’s total capital investment to date to $26M.
“The new application architectures are increasingly requiring the capability to gather and process data at the edge of the cloud rather than send everything for central processing,” said Reza Malekzadeh, General Partner at Partech Ventures. “We believe the team at NGD Systems has the right expertise and experience to deliver this new generation of Intelligent Storage devices and their progress to date has been remarkable.”
“We are extremely pleased to see further validation of our initial investment thesis from a strong syndication led by Partech ventures,” said Amir Nayyerhabibi, Chairman of the Board of NGD Systems and partner at Benhamou Global Ventures. “We believe the new paradigm shift created by NGD Systems will impact a wide array of industry applications such as AI, cloud computing, and content delivery.”
“NGD Systems’ in-situ processing approach revolutionizes the deployment of applications that today require huge clusters of expensive multi-socket servers with large amounts of RAM. When combined with high capacity and low power consumption, the result is significant cost, footprint, and power savings,” said Mike Heumann, Managing Partner at G2M Research, a market research firm specializing in NVMe storage.
“We’re excited to expand our partnership with NGD Systems in support of their growth and expansion,” said Derek Hoyt, Managing Director at Silicon Valley Bank. “Our primary objective is to provide the right financing, connections and global services to help the NGD Systems team move their business forward quickly.”
About NGD Systems
Founded in 2013 with HQ in Irvine, Calif., NGD Systems (formerly NxGnData) is a venture-funded company focused on creation of new category of storage devices that brings computation to data. NGD has designed its advanced proprietary controller technology which deploys patented Elastic FTL algorithm and Advanced LDPC Engines to provide industry leading capacity scalability. The controller also deploys the patented In-Situ Processing technology to enable Computational Storage capability. The company is led by an executive team that helped drive and shape the flash storage industry, with decades in leadership positions with storage companies such as Western Digital, STEC, and Memtech. Learn more about us and our products at http://www.ngdsystems.com.
About Partech Ventures
Founded in 1982 in Silicon Valley, Partech Ventures is a global investment firm with a team spread across offices in Paris, Berlin, San Francisco and Dakar. Most Partners have been entrepreneurs themselves or have held management positions within tech companies. The partnership acts and invests as a single team, helping entrepreneurs build fast-growing tech and digital companies addressing large markets across multiple continents. Partech Ventures partners with entrepreneurs at the seed, venture and growth stages. Companies backed by Partech Ventures have completed 21 initial public offerings and more than 50 major M&A transactions with leading international companies. Since 2012, the team has built a pioneering business development platform fostering synergies and business relationships between entrepreneurs and strategic partners. Learn more about Partech Ventures at http://www.partechventures.com
About Benhamou Global Ventures
BGV is an early-stage venture capital firm with deep Silicon Valley roots, with an exclusive focus on enterprise technology opportunities in global markets. BGV currently has 25 active companies in its portfolio. The BGV team of 8 investment professionals has successfully built and implemented a cross-border venture-investing model with companies from Israel, Europe and Asia. Eric Benhamou, former chairman and CEO of 3Com, Palm and co-founder of Bridge Communications, founded the firm in 2004. Comprised of an experienced partnership team of global operating executives and investors, BGV is often the first and most active institutional investor in a company and has a powerful network of technical advisors, executives and functional experts who actively engage with its portfolio companies. The company has offices in Palo Alto, California and Tel Aviv, Israel. For more information: visit http://www.benhamouglobalventures.com
About Orange Digital Ventures
Orange Digital Ventures detects and supports early-stage start-ups. Endowed with a budget of 20 million euros for the first year, Orange Digital Ventures finances start-ups that are transforming the telecommunications and digital sectors with innovative solutions, disruptive technologies or through the invention of new business models in the form of minority shareholdings. Orange Digital Ventures supports start-ups focused on new connectivity services, corporate cloud and data services, payments and the internet of things. It supports start-ups worldwide. http://www.digitalventures.orange.com
About Silicon Valley Bank
For 35 years, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has helped innovative companies and their investors move bold ideas forward, fast. SVB provides targeted financial services and expertise through its offices in innovation centers around the world. With commercial, international and private banking services, SVB helps address the unique needs of innovators. Learn more at http://www.svb.com
SAN JOSE, CALIF. (PRWEB) FEBRUARY 02, 2018
IntelliVision, a pioneer and leader in AI/deep learning video analytics software for Smart Cameras, today announced that it has powered the 4 millionth camera with its intelligent video analytics software.
As a leading independent software vendor (ISV) for Smart Camera analytics and AI-powered cameras, IntelliVision’s video analytics products are in use in over 4 million cameras around the world. IntelliVision has been named a Red Herring 2017 Global Top 100 Company and has been awarded Entrepreneurial Company of the Year 2017 in Security and Video Analytics by analyst group Frost and Sullivan.
“As one of the first video analytics software products commercially deployed in smart cameras, IntelliVision is streets ahead of the competition,” said Vaidhi Nathan, IntelliVision CEO. “Top camera manufacturers and customers alike have trusted us for their Smart Home, Smart City, Enterprise and Auto smart camera solutions.”
IntelliVision’s AI/deep learning video analytics product line includes:
- Face Detection, Recognition and Search
- Intelligent Motion, Object Detection and Tracking
- Intrusion/Perimeter Watch
- Object Classification (People, Vehicle, Pet)
- License Plate Detection and Recognition (LPR/ANPR)
- Audio/Sound Recognition
IntelliVision is a market leader in AI and Deep Learning video analytics software for Smart Cameras, providing video analytics solutions for several markets including Smart Home/IoT, Smart Security, Smart Retail, Smart Business, Smart City and Smart Auto (ADAS). IntelliVision technology has been recognized as the Brains Behind the Eyes™ for many applications using cameras to analyze video content, extract metadata, send out real-time alerts and provide intelligence to other home, business and security systems. IntelliVision provides the largest suite of video analytics products in the market today. Its products are used by Fortune 500 companies, the US Government and many leading brands. IntelliVision is headquartered in San Jose, California with offices in Asia and Europe.
For more information, visit:http://www.intelli-vision.com
IdentityMind is at the forefront of delivering an easy compliance solution to companies conducting an ICO. – Jose Caldera, CMO, IdentityMind
PALTO ALTO, CALIF. (PRWEB) JANUARY 31, 2018
IdentityMind Global™, Digital Identities You Can Trust, today announced the immediate availability of its KYC Plug-in for ICOs. It provides a turnkey solution for customer onboarding functionality and user experience to walk ICO participants through the know your customer (KYC) process to meet regulations worldwide.
The solution enables companies to perform required KYC and anti-money laundering (AML) checks on ICO participants. Regulatory requirements to prevent fraud and money laundering are essential for the lawful distribution of tokens. Since the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has not yet issued a definitive ruling on ICO tokens and participation there is debate and uncertainty about which token sales are subject to securities regulations and how these rules might impact ICO-funded startups that the SEC later finds to be noncompliant.
“As ICOs become more prevalent, and as money continues to flow into ICOs, regulators globally are starting to take notice,” said Jose Caldera, CMO, IdentityMind Global. “The regulatory risk, in conjunction with the risk of enabling fraudsters, financing of terrorism, and money launderers should motivate organizations performing ICOs to properly identify the participants in the ICO process. IdentityMind is at the forefront of delivering an easy compliance solution to companies conducting an ICO.”
By all accounts, 2017 was the year ICOs went mainstream. According to industry researcher Token Report, there were approximately 266 ICOs in Q3 2017; 500 in Q4. Over $4 billion was raised through ICOs in 2017. To date, IdentityMind has realized significant customer traction in the ICO market with over 40 clients using IdentityMind to raise over $450 million.
The IdentityMind KYC plug-in for ICOs includes:
- A web-ready software client that directs the participant through the entire KYC process.
- A preconfigured risk-based KYC ruleset that meets the regulation of the countries where there are detailed regulations and a general KYC process for countries where regulation has not been specified. For example, the Canadian Securities Administrators have ruled that ICOs and altcoins are securities, subject to regulations on a case-by-case basis. Israel, Japan and Russia allow ICOs but warn that they are subject to future regulations. Still other countries like China and South Korea have moved to ban the creation or selling of ICOs.
- Reports to satisfy examiners and regulatory auditors for those countries where these are specified.
- A platform to perform enhanced due diligence for clients that require further assessment.
- Validate the risk of Bitcoins used to participate in the ICO event.
“By working with IdentityMind, we are assuring that all participants go through KYC and AML processes before partaking in our $500 million Dragon ICO,” said Chris Ahmad, founder and CEO of Dragon Corporation. “This is perhaps the largest ICO to date and by working with IdentityMind we’re able to verify participants on a global basis in a quick and efficient manner.”
“Aite Group research has found that there is a critical mass of young companies that are demonstrating ‘best effort’ to regulators by acting on expert advice from compliance, anti-fraud and AML professionals,” said Kristina Yee, senior analyst for Aite Group’s Retail Banking and Payments practice. “Companies planning ICOs need to work with knowledgeable service providers to implement the appropriate KYC processes. Those entities that have made no or little effort to meet compliance stand out from the compliant crowd and are vulnerable to fines and serious penalties.”
March 14 KYC Plug-in for ICOs Webinar
IdentityMind will be hosting a free 45-minute webinar, “KYC Compliance for ICOs Made Easier,” beginning at 11 am. PDT, Wednesday, March 14. To register, please go here.
- Webinar: “Token Sales, ICOs, Virtual Currency Exchanges: What You Need to Know”
- Slideshare: “18 Regulatory Insights for ICOs Worldwide”
- Blog: “The Three Most Important Things When Launching an ICO”
IdentityMind’s KYC plug-in for initial coin offerings (ICOs) is immediately available to organizations worldwide. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. For more information, visit IdentityMind on Web, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Blog.
About IdentityMind Global
IdentityMind Global, Digital Identities You Can Trust, provides a SaaS platform that builds, maintains and analyzes digital identities worldwide, allowing companies to perform identity proofing, risk-based authentication, regulatory identification, and to detect and prevent identity fraud. Built-in transaction monitoring enables e-commerce fraud prevention, anti-money laundering (AML), and counter terrorism financing (CTF). Our patented eDNA™ technology securely tracks the entities involved in each transaction (e.g. onboarding, account origination, money transfers, online payments, etc.) to build unique digital identity trust reputations. This reputation is anonymously shared between customers in IdentityMind’s Global Identity Network.
© 2018 IdentityMind Global. All rights reserved. IdentityMind Global and the IdentityMind logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of IdentityMind Global in the United States and other countries. All other brand, service or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or owners.
Director of Corporate Communications
The following article by Deborah Weinswig was published by Forbes on January 26, 2018
The FGRT team attended and presented at NRF 2018 Retail’s Big Show in New York a couple weeks ago, and in last week’s article, I noted that retail technology had taken center stage at this year’s show. The Innovation Lab at the conference, which was sponsored by startup accelerator XRC Labs, showcased a variety of promising solutions from emerging companies. The products and services on display are designed to help retailers improve service, awareness, shopper consideration, engagement and the postpurchase experience.
Three of the customer engagement solutions on display in the Innovation Lab struck me as especially useful. Profitect has created an analytics platform that provides retailers with real-time data from all areas of their organization as well as with simple solutions for fixing issues. Fellow Robots uses robots to scan in-store inventory and engage customers in new ways—by providing directions to the location of specific products in a store, for example—and also provides store employees with tools for real-time inventory information. Findmine helps customers decide what to wear by acting like a personal stylist and choosing just the right product recommendations from among thousands of items online.
Profitect: According to Guy Yehiav, CEO, Profitect offers an analytics solution that shows retailers what works well and what doesn’t. Profitect’s technology then notifies the retailer in very simple terms how to solve or improve issues, or how to replicate and enhance what’s working.
Yehiav gave two real-world examples of how his company’s solutions work. First, he described how the solution supports inventory analytics. If a store shelf is empty, he said, Profitect will identify the problem using statistics and machine learning that yields a 100% true positive so that people don’t waste time looking at the wrong things, and will send a manager an email with instructions to refill the shelf location with a specified item. In this case, Yehiav said, “The email message will report ‘fill shelf B2 with two cases of water.’ It doesn’t detail why the shelf is empty, but rather helps to resolve the vacancy quickly. The message is simple and instructive.” Profitect’s inventory solution can help retailers improve inventory accuracy, on-shelf availability of products, adjustment of physical inventory, vendor quality, and operational execution lapses, while helping them reduce out-of-stocks, damage rates, and markdowns.
Yehiav’s second example highlighted how Profitect quickly determines areas of opportunity. He said that customers at a particular clothing retailer were returning a jacket that had a faux fur collar at a higher rate than usual. Profitect’s solution identified the minor increase in returns on its second day from launch. The retailer’s team received prescribed actions to identify the root cause and was able to quickly determine within one business day that the underlying problem was that the jacket did not have a “Dry Clean Only” care tag sewn in the garment. Therefore, customers were machine-washing it and the faux fur was falling apart, leading customers to return the jacket. Profitect’s analytics solution works at all points along the supply chain, including logistics, DC operations, planning and allocation, marketing, and omnichannel operations.
Fellow Robots: Marco Mascorro, CEO of Fellow Robots,participated in a panel title “Robotics and AI: Trailblazing Technology for Future Retail” at the NRF 2018 show. He discussed how autonomous retail technologies can transform organizations and said, “It is not uncommon for individuals to interact with robots today.” I was intrigued, having had my own robot interaction at CES last year—with a robot who actually made me blush when it said, “You complete me.”
I followed up with Fellow Robots to learn more about its technology. Lowe’s is using the company’s robots to provide inventory scanning, planogram compliance and data analytics. Specifically, if a customer comes into a Lowe’s store and asks a “LoweBot” where an item is located, the robot can physically direct the customer to the item. The robots also help the staff manage inventory levels and alert staff when product counts are low or when products are in the wrong place. Thavidu Ranatunga, Fellow Robots’ CTO, said that the company’s robots have helped client companies increase their return on investment by up to four times on average depending on the retailer’s needs. Ranatunga added that the robots have been positively received by store staff because inventory is not a task that employees generally enjoy performing. He believes that the robots’ design has helped endear them to customers, too, because they look friendly and engaging, and he said that customer response has been overwhelmingly positive. “There will always be that small percentage of people who are not going to engage with a robot, but we are finding that most customers are enjoying this experience,” Ranatunga said.
Findmine: “Personalization” and “curation” may be two of the most overused words in retail today, but Findmine’stechnology solution is an extremely good provider of both. In a panel discussion at NRF 2018, Michelle Bacharach, the company’s cofounder and CEO, described how Findmine answers the question “How do I wear this?” for consumers. Findmine has created an algorithm that serves over 11M outfits everyday across e-commerce and mobile websites and marketing channels like Facebook messenger and email campaigns. Bacharach emphasized that shoppers want recommendations of not just what to buy and but also they specifically want suggestions of items that will truly work for them in their lives. “When you show customers how to use what they’re buying, they will spend 200% more,” she said. This underscores the fundamental value of customer service—providing customers with items they feel are personal to them, and therefore special, and understanding how customers will put these items to work in their lives. Retailers may be providing customer service in new ways—such as through a website that shows personalized suggestions rather than through a store associate who brings particular items to a fitting room—but the core principle is still the same: making sure the customer feels valued. Findmine uses data to determine the best outfit to suggest to a customer that’s on-brand, in-stock, and seasonally appropriate, no matter what the customer is buying, Bacharach said, which makes shoppers feel like retailers really “get them.”
The following article by Richard Kestenbaum was published by Forbes on January 28, 2018.
This Is What The Retail Industry Is Talking About Now
In the retail industry, the largest annual exposition is usually the National Retail Federation Big Show that takes place every January in New York. Notwithstanding the enormous amount of recent retail store closings, the mood at this year’s just-concluded Big Show was buoyant. Mike Webster, Senior Vice President at Oracle said it straight out, “We’re optimistic on retail. Stores and physical experiences play a critical role in the value proposition.” Oracle is a paradigmatic exhibitor at the Big Show; the companies on display are primarily technology companies. They are there to promote every conceivable electronic solution to retailers’ problems and there are thousands of exhibitors from companies big and small. It’s not a simple matter for retailers to wade through all the possible technology solutions. As Michele Dupre, Group Vice President at Verizon Enterprise Solutions told me, “[retailers] have to pick the right technologies and implement fast to make themselves relevant. It’s incredibly complex.”
Over the course of several days, I met with the senior people from a broad array of some of the largest tech companies, including AT&T, Cisco and Cognizant Technology, as well as many other companies, large and small.
One of the things that struck me about the people I met at these large companies was how impressive they all were. To a person, they were articulate, thoughtful and knowledgeable about their challenges and opportunities. At a time when the state of our national politics is such a mess, it’s a comfort to know that these tech companies whose sales total close to $1 trillion, a sizable chunk of the U.S. economy, are adapting to how the world is changing without dysfunction. They are honest with themselves about the challenges they face to build their companies for the future.
The Conversations Are All About The Store Experience
The conversations revolved around one big topic – what’s now thought of as a critical issue for stores and referred to as “the customer experience.” What’s caused them to talk this way? Retail stores are challenged now, they have to offer something better than they have in the past to motivate customers to come in. The tech companies are doing everything they can to address these issues. Dirk Izzo, Senior Vice President of the Industry Solutions Group at NCR said to me, “The challenge we see is that more and more retailers need to integrate the physical world with the digital world.” What he means is that NCR and other tech companies are facilitating the collection of the same type of data about customers who are in stores as retailers already collect about customers who are shopping online. For example, when a consumer shops on a website, the retailer can see what they click on, what they buy, what they delete from their shopping cart, how long they dwell on a product image and many other behaviors. In physical stores, it’s harder to see and measure those metrics. New technology is now devoted to analyzing images and video and making human-like judgments from them. It won’t be long before a retailer will know what a customer looks at in a store, what they pick up and keep, what they put down, where they walk in the store, where they spend time standing and what catches their attention. Many consumers say that sort of observation “creeps them out.” But the data show that consumers actually prefer it. Last week the Sports Industry Association held its Outdoor Retailer Show, the biggest trade show for the active outdoor market. At that show, Ruben Martin, Co-Founder and CEO of the e-commerce software solution provider Quivers, quoted a report from Accenture. He said, “65% of consumers say they are more likely to shop at a retailer in-store or online that knows their purchase history.” That’s not exactly what creeps people out, but we’re getting closer to it all the time and consumers have shown they want it if it gives them additional convenience and service.
Having specific information on each consumer will allow a retailer to offer more products that are specifically tailored to each consumer’s individual preferences. Laurence Haziot, Global Managing Director and General Manager of Consumer Industries at IBM, said to me, “Marketing was segmenting consumers. Now, each consumer is one segment on their own, with expectations heavily depending on the moment and the context. Consumption habits are evolving and the consumer wants what they want: New, safe, without gluten, allergy-free, safely and ethically produced and they just want to buy it the way they want.” Aggregating all that information lets a retailer see how to better organize their store which leads to better outcomes for consumers. That’s what tech companies are talking about and I’d bet the word “experience” was used more than any other at the conference for three days straight.
Matt Powell, an industry advisor at the market research firm NPD Group, spoke at the Outdoor Retailer Show and he agreed with Haziot of IBM. Powell said, “Consumers are in charge of trends. It’s a brand’s responsibility to recognize those trends and to feed them. Brands and retailers don’t create trends anymore, consumers do.” That can’t be done without technology, it’s the only way to satisfy so many different needs simultaneously.
Stephan Schambach, Founder & CEO of NewStore told me, “Retail is grappling with technology changes and how to create better shopping experiences. There’s a lot of renewed interest by retailers in technology to meet the bar that Amazon has set.” Tom Chittenden, Vice President and General Manager of Retail Industry Solutions at NCR said, “NCR is about traveling to a specialty retailer and the grocery and having the same experience… Retailers today want to out-innovate their competitors and that’s how they’re staying relevant. How do they do that? With access to data.”
The offerings from technology companies are fantastic. Ted Westerheide, an advisor to IBM said, “Discovering intent and taking action is the goal. We differentiate it from [Amazon’s smart speaker] Alexa’s understanding of key words… [This is] understanding intent and [the] meaning of a sentence.” The underlying technology I saw is so remarkable there were many I never thought would happen in my lifetime.
It is tempting when you talk to technology people who are so impressive and compelling to get tunneled into thinking that great new technology will solve the big problems on its own. While technology is now a critical factor to retailers’ success, it will never be all that’s necessary. Retailers have to deliver great product and technology can enhance that but never replace it. Cara Peckens of Imre who spoke at the annual Outdoor Retailer Show said, “Be tech-enabled. Not tech-led. Technology is most valuable when it feels invisible to the consumer.” Webster of Oracle said it right in our meeting. “We’re not as excited by the shiny objects you’ll find at a trade show like this… The ability to execute those [new technologies] and make them work for our customers [is the key].”
What’s Needed Along With Technology
One of those execution questions is the store associate. No matter how many whiz-bang gizmos you put in a store, they are only effective if the store associate knows how to use them and has the right interaction with a customer. Every consumer knows all about the ill-informed sales associate or the store helper who couldn’t give a shoulder’s shrug about what you need. That person is making $11 an hour and they are not moved to bridge the gap between their employer and the in-store customer. Technology addresses that to some degree by making the store associate more efficient and more effective. But it doesn’t address the issue of an imbalance between skills and motivation and what customers need. It may be that the greater efficiency created by new technology justifies a higher wage for a sales associate and that makes the equation work. But that won’t be true all the time, it’s just a partial solution. Guy Yehiav, the CEO of Profitect, said in our meeting, “what concerns me about artificial intelligence is that at the end of the day it still creates a report that humans have to read, understand and act upon. If you don’t get people all that great information and act on it, it won’t accomplish the goals that retailers have. Just identify and prescribe to them what you want to find and how you want them to act. People inherently want to do the right thing.” If you don’t have the right people using all that great information and acting on it, it won’t accomplish the stores’ goals.
Even more important than the sales associate and the technology is what the great staff and great technology are being used for. With all the focus on the latest software, it’s easy to forget that the essence of a great store isn’t technology, it’s about helping consumers to buy. Online retailers talk a lot about converting online visitors into online customers. But nothing has been invented that is better for converting visitors to customers than a great retail store. Technology is a critical piece of conversion and so are great sales associates but what does it mean to have a great store in 2018 and beyond? It can’t be what it was historically, that doesn’t work anymore given all the changes in consumer behavior we’ve seen. So what is a great store experience now?
For that question, I went to a conference the day after the NRF Big Show. It was entitled The Future of Retail and it was run by a consulting firm called PSFK that specializes in consumer and retail. Naturally, they also talked about technology, you can’t discuss the future of retail without it now, it’s foundational to the business. But they also raised some other topics relating to what needs to happen in stores now.
There were a number of great speakers at the PSFK conference but two were particularly relevant to the questions that the NRF Big Show raised. One was Rachel Shechtman of Story. If you’re not familiar with it, Story is a retail store in New York that changes its entire presentation every 4-8 weeks. (My fellow Forbes.com contributor, the always-interesting Pam Danziger, describes Story in more detail in a recent blog you can find here). Shechtman says she views retail as a media channel. What she means is that she connects her ever-changing merchandise to themes that relate to sponsors and advertising that communicate to customers in her store. Shechtman thinks a store is not just a medium to sell things. It’s also a medium to convey advertising and have promotions of other brands that can drive new streams of revenue. In a store that is limited by square feet, selling advertising takes almost no space and adds directly to profitability. It also generates themes around which Shechtman sells merchandise. Most important, the sponsorships and themes make the store so much more interesting and entertaining for consumers and that’s the power of Shechtman’s creation. Story has more sources of revenue than most stores and they are not always obvious candidates for a retail store. “I get excited by unlikely bedfellows,” she said. “When I got an email from CIGNA…I didn’t know what to do. So we created a relaxation lounge and had Pilates on weekends.” She sets up her store “to give a higher return on investment for time.” Her store can also extend beyond the store itself. “Sometimes we have Thirsty Thursdays or Snack Saturdays. Food trucks are small businesses that want exposure. They become co-marketing partners and they’re grateful for partnership and exposure.”
The other super-relevant speaker was Ron Faris, who sold a company to Nike and is now General Manager of Nike Digital Studios & Nike’s SNKRS app. Faris talked about four elements that make retail successful in the way the world works now. Those elements are:
It sounds vague when he says it, but when he explains it, it’s not vague at all. Faris describes energy as the intersection of product, story and experience. Like Shechtman, he sees products as needing a storyline to be compelling. There has to be something about them beyond their intrinsic usefulness that makes them even more desirable. The experience of buying the product and the time spent using it has to be worthwhile and entertaining to the consumer.
Engagement sounds ambiguous but it’s measurable. Faris tracks the number of social media shares that a product or a campaign gets. People who want to tell their friends aren’t just consumers, they’re enthusiasts. People who don’t feel compelled to share aren’t the best audience to help grow sales.
Urgency and scarcity work together. When a product is scarce, it requires effort to get and that generates urgency. The people who have the drive to get it are product leaders and Faris thinks of them not as shoppers but as gamers. They are involved to get a win, which they define as buying and owning the product. That makes them evangelists for the product which naturally leads to social media shares. Social media spreads the word to more casual, less energized buyers. It builds demand for a later time when a product is less scarce and more obtainable. Powell of NPD agrees. He said, “Scarcity is [an]… important message…Scarcity and newness are important traffic drivers. Scarcity is a good thing.”
In traditional retail, you design the best possible product and put it up for sale. It’s always been a complicated business but now the skills required for success are orders of magnitude greater than they ever were. When you look at what you need to do in technology, creating a story, creating urgency, creating shares on social media, it’s clear that many more disciplines are now required to motivate a consumer to make a purchase, especially at full price. Retail is now a much broader business than it ever was, very different than it was historically. It needs additional, different skills than were ever required before and the organizations that can succeed now are very different too. If you’re structured as a traditional retailer, this can be a scary time because grafting all these skills on to a legacy organization is highly challenging.
It’s no wonder that when you go to a trade event or conference, there’s a range of topics that were never the focus of the conversation before. The skills needed now are so broad that it’s easy to get focused on one big aspect of it like technology and think — that’s all that’s needed. Herding all these various disciplines into one entity that produces a product, markets and sells it is hard and it makes retail more challenging than ever before. But it’s also fascinating. All these great theories and strategies are now being tested in real time. No one knows what will ultimately work, companies are trying everything and that is a great opportunity for consumers and fantastic to watch.
Rob Katz, the CEO of Vail Resorts, also spoke at the Outdoor Retailer Show. Vail has been highly innovative in how they approach their consumer and that has led to their continued success over an extended period. One of the things Katz said about change is that “Changing involves personal risk. You can fail, you can look silly, you will likely be called silly and dumb.” What’s worse, Katz said, is that innovation never comes at zero cost. “Innovation requires conflict,” he said. To have successful innovation, Katz believes the forces resisting change will always push back and if you’re not ready to have conflict to innovate, you won’t succeed. Innovation is not just about having a good idea, innovation is about making it happen in the face of substantial and vocal opposition. Kristin Carpenter-Ogden, an outdoor industry analyst at Verde Strategy told me, “Change is the new normal in our business and we must get used to being in a constant state of remodeling. That’s counterintuitive and scary to many people. It’s not uncommon to have pivotal people within brands and retailers working to protect the status quo to protect their jobs. Nothing makes change harder than that.”
In his presentation at the Outdoor Retailer Show, Ruben Martin of Quivers quoted Harry Selfridge, the founder of the Selfridge’s store. “Excite the mind and the hand will reach for the pocket,” Selfridge said. We think that so much has changed in retail but Selfridge said those words over 100 years ago. Perhaps the changes happening now are only getting us back to the essence of what a store needs to be. Powell of NPD put it simply, “Retailers must get back to the days of inspirational and aspirational products that surprise and delight customers.”
“As an industry pioneer in digital identities, we help companies provide the most holistic and trusted view of users and entities conducting business in the global digital economy,” said Garrett Gafke, CEO, IdentityMind Global. “Mitek’s Mobile Verify has proven to be an invaluable and complementary technology solution for verifying identities in the digital channel so companies can comply with know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) regulations during customer onboarding and throughout their lifecycle.”
Young customers, the unbanked and international users often lack the credit history or other personally identifiable information that is often used to identify consumers online. However, they represent a large market opportunity. Using identity documents to verify these customer segments enables financial services, money service businesses and virtual currency companies to quickly and securely enroll users who have limited information or thin credit files.
“With this expanded partnership, IdentityMind can offer a means of digital identity verification that is all-inclusive,” said James B. DeBello, CEO, Mitek. “Adding our facial comparison technology to our advanced Mobile Verify ID document authentication will help IdentityMind customers create the trust necessary for conducting business in the digital channel.”
About IdentityMind Global
IdentityMind Global provides a SaaS platform that builds, maintains and analyzes digital identities worldwide, allowing companies to perform identity proofing, risk-based authentication, regulatory identification, and to detect and prevent identity fraud. Built-in transaction monitoring enables e-commerce fraud prevention, AML, and the counter terrorism financing (CTF). Our patented eDNA™ technology securely tracks the entities involved in each transaction (e.g. onboarding, account origination, money transfers, online payments, etc.) to build unique digital identity trust reputations. This reputation is anonymously shared between customers in IdentityMind’s Global Identity Network. For more information, visit: http://www.identitymindglobal.com.
Mitek (NASDAQ:MITK) is a global leader in mobile capture and identity verification software solutions built on the latest advancements in AI and machine learning. Mitek’s identity verification solutions allow an enterprise to verify a user’s identity during a digital transaction. This enables financial institutions, payments companies and other businesses operating in highly regulated markets to mitigate financial risk and meet regulatory requirements while increasing revenue from digital channels. Mitek also reduces the friction in the users’ experience with advanced data prefill and automation of the onboarding processes. Mitek’s innovative solutions are embedded into the apps of more than 5,900 organizations and used by more than 80 million consumers. For more information, visit www.miteksystems.com or www.miteksystems.co.uk. (MITK-F)
PALO ALTO, CALIF. (PRWEB) JANUARY 17, 2018
IdentityMind Global™, the Trusted Digital Identity Company, today announced highlights from 2017 underscoring the rapidly growing adoption of the company’s digital identity-based compliance, risk management, and fraud prevention platform and product solutions.
“2017 will be remembered as the year when financial and digital businesses ‘crossed the chasm’ in the adoption of digital identities as the way to create the most holistic and accurate view of users and entities transacting within the global digital economy,” said Garrett Gafke, CEO, IdentityMind. “IdentityMind, the industry pioneer in digital identities since 2013, is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of these global customers.”
According to Aite Group’s Julie Conroy, writing in “Top Ten Trends in Retail Banking and Payments 2018: Accelerating Evolution,” “…Digital identity management plays a pivotal role in financial services. Financial Institutions need to assert the identity of a digital customer requesting a service in real time while keeping friction in the transaction to a minimum. Static authenticators, such as passwords, are vulnerable to fraud and will increasingly be replaced by dynamic factors representing the individual’s digital identity and transactional behavior. Almost paradoxically, it will become possible to establish customers’ identity with near certainty while protecting their anonymity. This way, a customer’s personal data is much less exposed to data breaches, which is necessary to comply with privacy regulation such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).” IdentityMind is well positioned to address the risk management, fraud prevention and compliance requirements of financial and digital commerce businesses.
Key 2017 milestones included:
- Robust Enhancements to Fraud Detection, ICO, and KYC Solutions: IdentityMind delivered enhanced transaction monitoring and customizable workflows for enterprises in its sophisticated anti-fraud solution that utilizes machine learning to detect e-commerce and marketplace fraud. On the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) front, the company delivered a KYC plug-in that is popular with ICOs and allows companies to easily integrate a know your customer (KYC) solution within their own platform. The company also enhanced its global KYC capabilities by offering an SDK for image capture and selfie verification enabling customers to perform enhanced due diligence on their customers.
- Improved AML Capabilities: IdentityMind delivered improved anomaly detection and machine learning capabilities to the company’s anti-money laundering (AML) risk-based solution that includes trusted digital identities, transaction monitoring, rules, case management, know your customer, regulatory reporting, and alerts.
- Increased Traction in Marketplace and Shared Economy Businesses: The company witnessed increased traction in delivering solutions to marketplace and shared economy businesses. It’s commonplace for open marketplace buyers and sellers with mobile apps to become havens for money laundering. Buyer and seller collusion is commonplace. IdentityMind addresses this by vetting and connecting buyer and seller relationships beyond device identification. This also includes shared economy scenarios.
- Global Customer Growth: IdentityMind experienced a 108% year-over-year customer growth rate, led by explosive growth in Initial Coin Offering (ICOs), a way for companies to raise money outside of the traditional venture capital channels. Today, IdentityMind has customers on six continents and is growing exponentially in Latin America, Canada, China, and the US.
- Key Awards and Industry Accolades: IdentityMind Global was the recipient of several industry awards including: RegTech100 by FinTech Global; 100 Most Innovative Startups and 21 Top Fintech Companies for RegTech and Top 10 Fintech Startups; and Crowd Favorite Award at FinDEVr London.
- Expansion in Latin America: IdentityMind opened a new office in Mexico City to provide training, support, and product development for the company’s growing Latin America customer base. IdentityMind also maintains offices in Spokane, Mexico City, London, and Beijing. Many people in Latin America are thin file customers with limited to no access to traditional financial services. This makes it challenging for traditional systems to identify them or even understand whether or not they represent a business risk. IdentityMind’s solution leverages digital identities to provide the most accurate risk assessment on the market.
- Innovation Leadership with Patented eDNA™Technology for Trusted Digital Identities: As a follow on to the 2016 patent granted for IdentityMind’s core technology – Electronic DNA™, or eDNA™ – the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted two additional patents: (1) the use of Trusted Digital Identities to mitigate merchant risk and (2) the use of Trusted Digital Identities for sanctions screening of cryptocurrency transactions.
- Strategic Additions to Executive Leadership Team: IdentityMind added industry veterans Gregg Gumbinger as vice president of channels and Rao Wu as head of global sales. Wu brings enterprise sales experience having previously held senior sales leadership roles with Jumio, Reputation.com, and Wheelhouse. Gumbinger has 30 years of deep payments and risk experience holding senior management positions at Integrity Payments, Bluefin Payments, Visa, Cybersource/Authorize.net, First Data Corporation, and was also the founding member of the Western States Acquiring Association.
- Expanded Partner Ecosystem: IdentityMind provides one of the industry’s most comprehensive identity validation platforms on the market integrating 30+ vendors through a single, standards-based API. New integration partners to the IdentityMind partner ecosystem include: Confirm.IO, document authentication technology; Neoway, identity verification services for consumers and merchants primarily in Brazil and Latin America; White Wings Technologies, money service bureau (MSB) integration; KYC2020, a single source for checking lists for KYC, AML, PEP, and CFT due diligence and BitRank®, a provider of a scoring mechanism for digital currencies.
- Increased Adoption of Digital Identity-based Systems in the Enterprise: IdentityMind saw increasing adoption of its platform and products in the enterprise as these companies have now come to realize the benefits of digital identity-based systems not just at the time of onboarding but throughout their customer’s lifecycle. The growth of mobile and other online channels will only further accelerate this trend.
- Helping SMBs: IdentityMind found increasing popularity for its products among FinTech SMBs due to its ability to reduce operational costs and meet all their compliance requirements in one, integrated solution. FinTech’s include money remittance, lenders, money service businesses, and others.
- Booming Adoption in the ICO Market: In 2017 IdentityMind realized significant customer traction in the ICO market, with over 30 clients using IdentityMind to raise over $450 million. IdentityMind is at the forefront of delivering an easy compliance solution to companies conducting an ICO.
- Cryptocurrency Growth Fuels AML Demand: With the rapid escalation of cryptocurrencies in 2017, IdentityMind witnessed similar high demand for its AML solution including KYC and transaction monitoring, helping cryptocurrency exchanges meet transaction monitoring and regulatory compliance requirements.
IdentityMind at the Ready with GDPR Compliance: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is set to come into full effect on May 25, 2018 and will dictate how companies address data privacy and protection in Europe. Many companies will be at risk if they use identity data without the full consent of the data subject. IdentityMind fully complies with GDPR and uses it solely for fraud prevention and regulatory purposes.
White Paper: Trusted Digital Identities
Video: Trusted Digital Identities
Director of Pubic and Analyst Relations
SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Virtual Instruments accelerated its momentum in 2017 as the industry leader in application-centric infrastructure performance management (IPM). 2017 was Virtual Instruments’ best year to date as evidenced by record bookings, an impressive 173 percent growth rate in new customers and the launch of the industry’s most comprehensive infrastructure performance monitoring and analytics platform. In addition, the company announced several critical strategic partnerships and executive additions that position it well for 2018 and beyond.
As enterprises adopt hybrid data center strategies, IT teams are confronted with escalating scale and complexity. Legacy, silo-centric monitoring tools lack an understanding of how applications relate to infrastructure and the relative business value of the applications running on the infrastructure – both of which are vital to proactive prevention of mission-critical application outages and slowdowns. A recent survey by ESG Research and Virtual Instruments highlights an increased need for application and infrastructure team collaboration in order to avoid performance problems. As a result, some of the world’s leading organizations have now realized that the solution lies in managing their infrastructure from an application-centric point of view. 2017 marked the beginning of the app-centric IPM era for Virtual Instruments.
In December 2017, Virtual Instruments launched the next generation of its infrastructure performance monitoring and analytics platform, VirtualWisdom, to help organizations accelerate digital transformation, improve business agility and proactively manage the cost and performance of their enterprise data centers. By leveraging an app-centric approach to infrastructure management, VirtualWisdom allows enterprises to guarantee performance-based service level agreements (SLAs) for key stakeholders and applications within the organization.
During 2017, Virtual Instruments also announced version 5.6 of its Load DynamiX Test Development Environment (TDE) and a new family of Load Generation Appliances. This release introduced the highest performance and most scalable storage workload generation solution for the 32Gb Fibre Channel and 40Gb Ethernet connectivity for storage infrastructures. This same release also helps storage vendors identify performance load limits and ensure performance scalability before storage systems are deployed into production environments.
Media and analysts recognized Virtual Instruments’ leadership in the IPM and storage industries in 2017. Storage Magazine named Virtual Instruments “Storage Monitoring & Reporting Vendor of the Year” in its 2017 Storage Awards, and Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) positioned Virtual Instruments as a “Value Leader” and the vendor with the “Best Predictive Analytics” capabilities in EMA’s 2017 Radar Report on Storage Intelligence.
Virtual Instruments drove an impressive 173 percent growth in new customers in 2017, with the preponderance of growth coming in the healthcare and service provider verticals. The company held three regional Customer Advisory Board (CAB) sessions in the Midwest, South Central and Northeastern U.S. regions, where attendees received a “sneak peek” into upcoming product announcements, and customers were encouraged to share their initiatives, challenges, use cases and best practices. Virtual Instruments used this feedback to guide the direction of new product development, including the latest versions of Load DynamiX Enterprise and VirtualWisdom.
In addition to refreshing its existing partner program, Virtual Instruments announced multiple new technology and reseller partnerships in 2017. In October, the company announced a new technology integration with Cisco that dramatically simplifies and lowers the cost of real-time performance and availability monitoring for business-critical infrastructures. By integrating Cisco SAN Telemetry Streaming with the VirtualWisdom platform, Virtual Instruments eliminates the need to deploy physical network TAPs and probes, thus extending the platform’s reach within existing enterprise accounts and expanding to mid-market customers.
In order to meet a broader set of customer needs for Virtual Instruments’ network-attached storage (NAS) product portfolio, the company announced a partnership with Gigamon, the industry leader in network visibility solutions. By partnering with Gigamon and introducing support for the SMB protocol for the VirtualWisdom NAS Performance Probe, Virtual Instruments now offers the industry’s most comprehensive set of performance monitoring solutions for NAS deployments.
Expanding Executive Team
Virtual Instruments added several industry veterans to its leadership team in 2017 to support the company’s continued global growth. Sheen Khoury and Rick Haggart joined the executive team as executive vice president of worldwide sales and senior vice president of professional services, respectively. Sean O’Donnell joined as the new EMEA managing director, where he is responsible for building on the company’s initial success in the U.K., Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
“2017 was the most successful year yet for Virtual Instruments and the markets we serve,” said Philippe Vincent, CEO of Virtual Instruments. “As we continue to accelerate our product innovation and expand our customer and partner ecosystem, we’re empowering IT infrastructure and operations teams to collaborate with their application owners to proactively optimize the performance and cost of the supporting infrastructure. This increased collaboration enhances overall business agility as well as the value of the infrastructure. App-centric IPM will continue to gain significant traction with enterprises in 2018, and we look forward to supporting them in their digital transformations.”
Will Demonstrate with Ambarella at CES 2018
IntelliVision, a pioneer and leader in AI/deep learning video and audio analytics software for Smart Cameras, today announced availability of its full product line of intelligent video analytics software on Ambarella’s most advanced S5L IP camera SoC (System on Chip). The software will be demonstrated in the Ambarella booth at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.
“We have the most advanced AI and deep learning-based video analytics software in the industry so it makes sense to run it on the most advanced camera chipset,” said Vaidhi Nathan, IntelliVision’s CEO. “IntelliVision and Ambarella have been good partners for many years and this product combination strengthens our lead in AI and edge computing – the new computer vision battleground.”
IntelliVision’s AI/deep learning video analytics product line includes:
- Face Detection, Recognition and Search
- Intelligent Motion, Object Detection and Tracking
- Intrusion/Perimeter Watch
- Object Classification (People, Vehicle, Pet)
- License Plate Detection and Recognition (LPR/ANPR)
- Audio/Sound Recognition
IntelliVision’s video analytics products are in use in over 3 million cameras around the world. IntelliVision has been named a Red Herring 2017 Global Top 100 Company and has been awarded Entrepreneurial Company of the Year 2017 in Security and Video Analytics by analyst group Frost and Sullivan.