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Wanted – Lian Li PC-X900 R Mid Tower Case in red

Discussion in ‘Computer Classifieds’ started by Essoman, Jan 14, 2018 at 12:14 AM.

  1. Essoman

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    anyone have one or knows where to purchase, would be very grateful.

    Location: Beccles

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CES 2018 for CIOs: Rise of the AI voice assistant class

CES 2018 happened. Four miles on the Vegas Strip, the latest gadgetry, some 4,000 vendors, 170,000 attendees, 7,000 media, three days of sessions, not including the pre-show briefings, backroom meetings and off-site soirees where the secret stuff goes down — what, if anything, does the world’s biggest consumer tech show mean to CIOs?

Should a CIO, for goodness’ sake, care that the Numi intelligent toilet by Kohler Co., an CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree, has a voice-controlled toilet lid lifter and seat warmer among other more intimate services? Or that the Kohler-Konnect Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror is the world’s first bathroom mirror with Amazon’s AI voice assistant Alexa?

Isaac Sacolick, who’s been a CIO at BusinessWeek and McGraw Hill Construction and is now president and CIO at consulting firm StarCIO, believes so. “The Kohler Konnect mirror was probably one of the more interesting voice assistants I looked at,” said Sacolick, who, like SearchCIO, monitored the event remotely. The message: AI voice assistants have gone mainstream.

Sacolick, author of Driving Digital: The Leader’s Guide to Business Transformation Through Technology, remembered when smartphones debuted at CES and were dismissed by peers as having little impact on IT strategies. “But sure enough, people started bringing in smartphones and you needed to worry about BYOD and putting in MDM managers and thinking about policy.”

He sees the dominance of voice interfaces at CES 2018 as signaling another gearshift for CIOs, akin to the migration of data centers to the cloud and the move from web-only to mobile apps. “Now CIOs are going to have go from mobile user experiences to voice UX and make sure the applications they build out have a voice capability.”

Where it makes sense, said Nigel Fenwick, Forrester Research principal analyst who focuses on CIO issues. “We’re not going to put a voice interface on everything, because there is cost and complexity associated with that, and the return is not necessarily going to be there,” he said. So CIOs “will want to be cautious” and use conversational interfaces where they have a “maximum impact.” (Don’t tell that to the vendors: Amazon has a plan to put an Echo in every boardroom.)

But Fenwick agreed that the migration of AI voice assistants from the consumer market to the workplace is inevitable. CIOs will start seeing demand from Millennials. And the technology will evolve from voice interfaces retrofitted on select enterprise applications to AI voice assistants working side by side with employees. “Teenagers growing up are going to be used to having that conversation with a device — and expecting an intelligent response,” he said.

Marriage of IoT and AI

Moreover, voice assistants — of the smart and not-so-smart variety — are just one component of an increasingly complex technology landscape CIO now have to manage, Fenwick said, as companies likes the ones presenting at CES this year outfit the world with a digital skin.

“The big thing for CIOs will be handling all the sensors that are going to be enabled through IoT platforms,” he said, adding that the ability to process and gain insight from IoT data will “separate the winners from the losers” in the next few years. Voice assistant technology that allows users to communicate with IoT devices ups the ante.

“The role of the CIO at once becomes more complicated because of the need to integrate new technology with backend systems of record” as well as “understand what’s happening with the customer in order to create unique value for the customer,” Fenwick said.

The marriage of an AI interface and IoT at CES 2018 also struck Sacolick as a gamechanger. Many of the CIOs he deals with in his consulting business see IoT devices as vehicles for collecting data, allowing companies “to be smarter about what’s happening out in the field.”

“But as soon as you start thinking about these devices as two-way — instead of just data collection devices — they are presentation devices or intelligence devices, making decisions for people” then questions about reliability, performance and analytics arise. How much computing, for example, takes place centrally in the cloud and how much locally? 

“I do think for enterprises it’s still early,” he said, but noted that when you see AI chipmakers Intel and Nvidia battling it out at CES for supremacy in the autonomous vehicle space, it’s time to pay attention. 

‘How, not whether’

Analyst Mike Ramsey, who covers connected vehicles for research outfit Gartner, said that what struck him from this year’s huge focus on autonomous cars was a shift in emphasis. “The focus was on how this was going to work — how will we make money? How will the tech be deployed? It was not whether the tech will work,” Ramsey said, waiting to board a flight home from the show.

A point of debate in the industry is the integration of virtual assistants, which Ramsey said come in two varieties: a voice assistant that communicates your wishes to the world (order a pizza) and “deeply integrated” inteligence that’s embedded in the car’s controls. Google, Amazon and Apple assistants continue to make inroads, but Ramsey said the industry’s embrace of the big tech companies is not universal or without reservations.

“Mercedes announced its own system that has a lot of capability, not just basic things like asking it to change your radio station or call Mom, but weird questions, like ‘Can I wear flip-flops tomorrow?'” he said. The ongoing “tussle between the tech giants and the automakers,” he said, is less about who owns the data and more about brand.

“The issue for them is who owns the experience in the car? They don’t want you to get in and feel like what you love about your car is Alexa,” Ramsey said.

Forrester’s Fenwick had something to say about that.

“You see at CES a sort of shift that has happened over the last few years — and continued to accelerate this year — towards the individualization of product or consumer experience. And that reflects the ability of companies to greatly tailor the experience of the product or service to their customers’ needs and desires,” he said. It’s a challenge for brands — and for CIOs.

“How do you build a technology architecture that is flexible and adaptable, that can quickly integrate as yet undeveloped technologies into the architecture in order to create revenue?” he said.

Watch for more reports this week on the CES 2018 consumer trends CIOs need to pay attention to.

Wanted – Lian Li PC-X900 R Mid Tower Case in red

Discussion in ‘Computer Classifieds’ started by Essoman, Jan 14, 2018 at 12:14 AM.

  1. Essoman

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    anyone have one or knows where to purchase, would be very grateful.

    Location: Beccles

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Wanted – Lian Li PC-X900 R Mid Tower Case in red

Discussion in ‘Computer Classifieds’ started by Essoman, Jan 14, 2018 at 12:14 AM.

  1. Essoman

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    anyone have one or knows where to purchase, would be very grateful.

    Location: Beccles

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Wanted – New Surface book 2 13 inch 1050 GPU

Discussion in ‘Laptop, Notebook & Macbook Classifieds’ started by Riddick1977, Jan 12, 2018 at 9:29 PM.

  1. Riddick1977

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    Hi,

    Anyone got a Surface book 2?

    Location: Lincoln

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NRF 2018: Where Microsoft partners bring intelligent retail – Microsoft Partner Network

The National Retail Federation’s annual trade show, NRF 2018, is the largest retail trade show in the US, and I’ll be there next week in New York City with some of our most innovative partners. NRF 2018 is the best place to experience the latest trends in retail, discover how brands of all sizes are approaching digital transformation, and get an early look at the latest retail technologies, innovations, and solutions. Thanks in part to Microsoft Azure, retailers are utilizing data, AI, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to optimize learnings and grow their businesses.

Microsoft understands that data-driven insights are key to a successful digital transformation for intelligent retailers. Leveraging data in smart and strategic ways helps retailers offer differentiated and personalized shopping experiences––and much more. Armed with the right data and solutions, retailers are transforming their online and brick-and-mortar offerings.

Here are the three Microsoft retail partners who will showcase their Azure-based solutions at NRF 2018:

Bunsar

Bunsar is based in Istanbul, Turkey, and created an Azure-based app that uses AI for visual search and product matching. The product is a real-time “recommendations mirror” that brick-and-mortar stores can use to draw foot traffic. The technology identifies the outfit you’re wearing, matches it to similar outfit options in its database, and makes recommendations for matching accessories and clothing. The Turkish equivalent of Macy’s­, Boyner Group, has an affiliate application called Hopi that is now tapping into Bunsar’s platform.

Xenia

Software developer Xenia Retail designed a seamless retail experience that eliminates shopping carts and check out lines. Shoppers use an app on their phone or on a tablet provided by the retailer. The app gives them tools and data that a sales associate would normally have, including crowd-sourced reviews, buying history, and suggestions for additional items. Shoppers simply hold the phone in front of the product, select the quantity, add it to their cart, and complete the purchase in the app or at a self-checkout terminal. There’s no scanning required, and employees in the back room fulfill the order. Xenia is based on Windows and runs on Azure. The company is integrating Power BI, Dynamics 365 and Outlook into its offerings.

Aprimo

Aprimo provides marketing operations and digital asset management technology to brands such as CVS, Pandora, IKEA, DICK’S Sporting Goods, and Samsonite. A major home-improvement retailer has also adopted Aprimo’s Azure-based solution to improve brand consistency and provide a single source for content. Role-based permissions control access to content, and users get advanced enterprise search to quickly find and reuse content.

Visit Microsoft and our partners at booth #2803 to gain inspiration, experience how retail is changing, and find out how we are collectively helping retail businesses transform to exceed customer expectations. I’ll also be speaking about Digital Leadership in Retail, joined by customers Luxottica and the Schwarz Gruppe on Monday, January 15 from 11:30 AM–12:30 PM. I look forward to seeing you there and exploring the exciting technology innovations that are powering the retail industry.

Join the conversation at the Microsoft Partner Community here.

Explore Bunsar Discover Xenia Check out Aprimo