Monday, April 13, 2015

Vonage CEO Speaks Out on SMB UCaaS Trends

Skype can now translate English to Chinese, Italian in real time | Recipe for success starts with diversity

Network World Convergence and VoIP

Vonage CEO Speaks Out on SMB UCaaS Trends
We talked recently about UC trends with Vonage CEO Alan Masarek who has been at the company's helm since November 2014. Our interview followed the company's recent $25 million acquisition of Simple Signal, a service provider offering Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) for small and medium businesses (SMBs). To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More


Digital Customer Experience Delivery Platforms
Forrester states that businesses today struggle to understand and use the tools necessary to create and manage unified, multichannel digital customer experiences across multiple touch-points. Read Now


ROI of IBM's Exceptional Digital Experience Solutions
Infographic highlights a recent IDC Study to assess the economic impact of moving away from a homegrown solution or custom integration of components from multiple vendors to IBM's integrated Exceptional Digital Experience suites. This white paper reports the findings. Learn More>>

Skype can now translate English to Chinese, Italian in real time
Star Trek fans know of the Universal Communicator, which is a part of the Star Fleet logo worn on their chests. It instantly translates alien speech into English and vice versa, enabling inter-species communication. We've all wanted something like that, and Microsoft is getting very close with Skype Translate.Skype Translate is a function in its Skype communication tool that translates languages in real time. It takes English audio and converts it to the foreign language in both audio and text. The audio comes out in a natural-sounding voice, instead of the usual computer-generated voice, and text is displayed in the Skype client."Today, we meet another chapter for Skype Translator on our journey to enrich the way we communicate with family and friends around the world. Our long term goal is to translate as many languages as possible on all relevant platforms, and deliver the best Skype Translator experience for our more than 300 million connected customers," Yasmin Khan of the Skype team wrote in a blog post.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More


Webcast - Cloud as a growth engine for business.
IBM and our business partners invite you to join us for a demonstration and interactive discussion about how you can benefit from moving your digital presence to the cloud and quickly deliver new innovative services — both internally and externally. Learn More>>

Recipe for success starts with diversity
A restaurant manager and a former cook don't fit the profile of the typical Silicon Valley IT startup employee. But they're just two of the most recent hires at Mindflash, a company that offers an online training platform for enterprises and is taking bold steps to exemplify how diversity can exist in the Valley. Mindflash's CEO, Donna Wells, has a recipe for success that includes diversity as one of the main ingredients, starting at the top with visionary board members and venture capital investors. Hunt where your competitors aren't looking "For all the bad press about VCs lately, I have to be honest that the firm we work with gets a lot of the credit for being very willing to hire 'non-traditional' leadership. It's a no-brainer idea that's starting to gain traction; in the Valley, you're competing against all these other companies who aren't leaving the neighborhood, and that's just not sustainable. There's an awful lot of competition for the traditional white, male, 30- to 40-year-old candidates. But there's phenomenal talent, exciting talent out there who are racial and ethnic minorities, who are women, who are GLBTQ -- there's not much competition for that talent," Wells says. Focus on soft skills Another key for Mindflash is to recruit from this diverse pool with an emphasis on soft skills, and train for the technical know-how. The restaurant manager, the cook and another employee, a former professional cyclist, are just a few examples of this method, according to Wells. "We've learned we can have great success, great outcomes by focusing on attitude and soft skills during the interview process. We look for passion, discipline, innovative thinking, problem-solving skills and teamwork, and then we know we can train for the rest of the tech skills we need. Skills can be taught; attitude and demeanor, communication, teamwork and negotiation -- those are much more endemic and harder to teach," Wells says. Flexibility to do your job well Flexibility is another important ingredient. Half of Mindflash's team works out of its Silicon Valley headquarters, while the other half works remotely from home offices as far away as Massachusetts and Arizona. Forty percent of headquarters-based women work from home one to two days a week, and another 40 percent of female employees work full-time from home offices. "We want to give all employees, especially people with families, a great work-life balance. Everyone needs some flexibility to do their job well. I've learned over the years how easy it is for folks to spend their entire day in meetings and not accomplish any real work. That's detrimental to the business, and it lowers morale and retention for the very employees you're trying to retain. If they don't feel they're making a tangible difference every day, they'll get burnt out and they'll leave," Wells says. Leverage technology whenever possible That flexibility is gained through effective use of technology at Mindflash, which leverages productivity and collaboration tools such as Yammer, Skype, Asana, GoToMeeting, Sococo and Hall, which removes many of the geographic constraints the company could have faced. "Because technology removed many of the location constraints, I can have great developer talent in Boston or Phoenix, wherever and it's like they're in the next room. We've been able to take advantage of that," says Wells. Wells adds that the company's focus on flexibility makes the firm more inviting and attractive for tech talent, too, as does the incredible diversity statistics and unconventional approach to hiring. Lead by example "We make it a point to broadcast through our example that diversity is a core value of ours, and that helps drive recruiting of more diversity. Once you have someone else in the company who's female, who's from a racial or ethnic minority, who came up from a restaurant -- that sends a really strong signal to other potential employees and helps bring in even more diverse candidates," says Wells. "That impact cannot be underestimated. It shows you're willing to put your money where your mouth is." To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More


Accelerating Speed-to-Market and Reducing Cost
This session uses a mix of demonstration and interactive discussion of how you can benefit from moving your digital presence to the cloud and quickly deliver new innovative services—both internally and externally. Learn More

Spaced out tech auction: 8 vintage space items go on the block
Saturn V Launch Vehicle Digital Computer (LVDC) Memory ModuleImage by RR Auction It’s not often that vintage space memorabilia becomes available, but if you have any money left after paying your taxes or that refund is burning a hole in your pocket, starting April 16th you might want to check out RR Auction’s Online Space Exploration Auction. They’ve got stuff that’s been in orbit and to the moon and back. What’s that piece of hardware? It’s the Saturn V Launch Vehicle Digital Computer (LVDC) Memory Module, which has a starting bid of just $500! So, here’s some insanely cool space stuff that you probably didn’t know existed and never thought would be available.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

Location-based apps' next frontier: Indoors
It's a recent Saturday and I'm searching for Spider-Man -- the comics version -- at the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Mass. Entering the busy shop across the street from the famous university, one must shuffle carefully through the entrance to avoid bumping into other shoppers.Navigating in Seattle: New uses for collected dataTo read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here(Insider Story) Read More

4 ways to jumpstart your career for less than $1,000
Is there anything better than putting on a jacket you haven’t worn in a while and discovering $20 in the pocket? Well, we’ve pushed that small pleasure up a notch and added a twist: If you suddenly had a spare $1,000, and wanted to put it toward furthering your professional aspirations, what would you spend it on?To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here(Insider Story) Read More


First Look: Microsoft's new Spartan browser for Windows 10

Here's what sets Spartan apart from Internet Explorer.


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1. iPhone 7 rumor rollup: May the Force Touch be with you

2. Florida teen charged with felony hacking for using password his teacher showed him

3. 4 ways to jumpstart your career for less than $1,000

4. IBM, Fujifilm show tape storage still has a long future

5. Massachusetts police department pays $500 CryptoLocker ransom

6. Antivirus doesn't work. So why are you still using it?

7. More real-world oddball tech job interview questions

8. Peeping into 73,000 unsecured security cameras thanks to default passwords

9. Skype can now translate English to Chinese, Italian in real time

10. 12 free cloud storage options

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