Tag Archives: sales

New Contentful CMS targets content delivery for retailers

Contentful has launched a content infrastructure system to drive online sales by enabling more content management across channels for retailers.

Like a headless content management system, the Contentful CMS allows users to publish and update content across all digital platforms at once, but at an enterprise-grade scale. The vendor claimed content infrastructure enables retailers to repurpose existing content, improve impact and deliver marketing messages to target audiences.

Headless CMS enables content creation and sharing across multiple channels with one action by removing the head — or presentation layer — which defines the channel or platform in a traditional CMS. Content infrastructure has the same benefits as headless CMS, but unifies content to be managed from one content hub.

Contentful claimed content infrastructure markets digital content four to seven times faster than a traditional CMS by enabling users to do the following:

  • organize content specific to their business;
  • create content once for different platforms;
  • store all content in a central hub;
  • edit content without the involvement of developers;
  • manage teams with roles and permissions; and
  • publish content to any device.

Contentful intends its content infrastructure to enable brands to build and manage targeted, customized marketing for event-driven campaigns and localize the content for any market. Through the vendor’s Content Delivery API, editors can update content through a web app synced with any platform for consistent management.

The vendor claimed its array of content management services has decreased bounce rates, increased mobile conversion, personalized content across a breadth of languages and locales, updated content at a fraction of the time as legacy tools, and delivers new customer touch points five times faster than with a traditional CMS.

In 2018, Contentful was named a contender in Forrester’s Wave for web content management systems, challenged by leaders Adobe, Acquia and Sitecore. According to Contentful, its headless enterprise focus makes it flexible for developers. Forrester recommended the vendor for progressive digital initiatives that require content unification across channels, but also have easy access to developer resources.

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For Sale – Lenovo T460s Business Ultrabook Laptop

Having to advertise this again after previous sales was cancelled due to mutual agreement. Price is the same as agreed with previous buyer – £410 including next day delivery.

My wife has asked to sell her laptop. We are expecting the birth of our 2nd child next month so she wants some extra cash to buy furniture for the new arrival etc. She wants £420 (reduced from £470) for it so I could persuade her to include delivery.
The laptop is a Lenovo T460s Business Ultrabook laptop. It still has Lenovo warranty which is on-site repair till 5th December 2019 (1.5 years). Spec is below:

Intel Core i5-6200U Processor (2.30GHz)
8.0GB RAM
1x192GB SSD SATA III
Windows 10 Professional 64Bit
14.0in 1920×1080
Intel HD Graphics 520
720p HD Camera
Card Reader
Fingerprint Reader
TrackPoint with TouchPad
Ethernet
Intel Wireless-AC 8260(2×2 AC) with BT4.1
3 Cell Lithium-Ion
Original Lenovo Charger.

Lenovo Warranty will be transferred to new owner upon receiving payment.

Condition wise I would say is very close to Brand New. She’s only been using it for like surfing the internet and occasional Youtube videos hence why it’s so clean.

Thanks for looking.

Some pics below

Price and currency: 410
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT / PPG
Location: High Wycombe
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator refresh adds deals pipeline

A LinkedIn Sales Navigator refresh adds a deals management feature, smoother search experience and mobile deal pages to the social media giant’s social sales platform.

The revamp injects an array of new ways to search, manipulate and process LinkedIn’s vast troves of personal and consumer data and data from CRM systems and puts LinkedIn in a better position to monetize the information — coming off a hot quarter for LinkedIn, which reported June quarter earnings of $1.46 billion, up 37% from Q2 2017.

These upgraded features represent the next step in AI-assisted sales and marketing campaigns in which B2B companies mash up their own customer data with information on LinkedIn.

Microsoft banking on LinkedIn revenue

Microsoft bought LinkedIn in June 2016 for $26.2 billion. While Microsoft doesn’t always announce how AI is assisting automation of sales-centric search tools in Sales Navigator, a premium LinkedIn feature that also integrates LinkedIn data to CRM platforms such as Salesforce and Dynamics CRM, some experts have noted how AI subtly manifests itself in the search. 

The LinkedIn Sales Navigator refresh was unveiled in a blog post by Doug Camplejohn, vice president of products for LinkedIn Sales Solutions.

The new “Deals” web interface extracts and imports sales pipeline data from the user’s CRM system and enables users to update pipelines considerably faster, Camplejohn said in the post about the LinkedIn Sales Navigator refresh.

“Reps can now update their entire pipeline in minutes, not hours,” he wrote.

Adobe Sign connector added

Meanwhile, a new feature in Deals, “Buyer’s Circle,” pulls in and displays opportunity role information to streamline the B2B buying process. Users can see if any “key players” such as decision-maker, influencer or evaluator, are missing from deals, according to LinkedIn.

We all live in email.
Doug Camplejohnvice president of products, LinkedIn

The vendor called another new function in the LinkedIn Sales Navigator refresh — Office 365 integration — “Sales Navigator in your inbox.”

“We all live in email,” the blog post said. “Now you can take Sales Navigator actions and see key insights without ever leaving your Outlook for Web Inbox. “

LinkedIn also touted what it called a “new search experience” in the Sales Navigator update, saying it redesigned the search function to surface search results pages faster and easier.

Also as part of the LinkedIn Sales Navigator refresh, LinkedIn added mobile-optimized lead pages for sales people working on mobile devices. LinkedIn also named Adobe Sign the fourth partner to its Sales Navigator Application Platform (SNAP). Other SNAP partners include Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and SalesLoft.

Avaya earnings show cloud, recurring revenue growth

Avaya hit revenue targets, increased cloud sales and added customers in its second full quarter as a public company — welcome news for customers and partners anxious for proof that the company is regaining its financial footing following last year’s bankruptcy.

Avaya reported revenue of $755 million in the third quarter of 2018 — down from $757 million last quarter, but within the vendor’s previously announced targets. When excluding sales from the networking division, which Avaya sold last year, adjusted revenue was 1% higher than during the third quarter of 2017.

To keep pace with competitors like Microsoft and Cisco, Avaya is looking to reduce its dependence on large, one-time hardware purchases by selling more monthly cloud subscriptions. This transition can make it difficult to show positive quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year growth in the short term.

Recurring revenue accounted for 59% of Avaya’s adjusted earnings in the third quarter — up from 58% the previous quarter. Cloud revenue represented just 11% of the quarter’s total, but monthly recurring revenue from cloud sales increased by 43% in the midmarket and 107% in the enterprise market, compared with last quarter.

Avaya reported an $88 million net loss in the third quarter. Still, the company’s operations netted $83 million in cash, which is a more critical financial indicator, in this case, than net income, said Hamed Khorsand, analyst at BWS Financial Inc., based in Woodland Hills, Calif.

“This is a company that’s still in transition as far as their accounting goes, with the bankruptcy proceedings,” Khorsand said. “[The net cash flow] actually tells you that the company is adding cash to its balance sheet.”

Also during the third quarter, Avaya regained top ratings in Gartner’s yearly rankings of unified communications (UC) and contact center infrastructure vendors. Avaya’s one-year absence from the leadership quadrant in the Gartner report probably slowed growth, Khorsand said, because C-suite executives place value in those standings.

Avaya’s stock closed up 3.61%, at $20.68 per share, following the Avaya earnings report on Thursday.

Avaya earnings report highlights product growth

The Avaya earnings report showed the company added 1,700 customers worldwide during the third quarter. It also launched and refreshed several products, including an updated workforce optimization suite for contact centers and a new version of Avaya IP Office, its UC offering for small and midsize businesses.

The product releases demonstrate that Avaya continued to invest in research and development, even as it spent most of 2017 engaged in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, said Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research in Westminster, Mass.

“As long as we continue to see this steady stream of new products coming out, I think it should give customers confidence,” Kerravala said. “Channel partners tend to live on new products, as well.”

The bankruptcy allowed Avaya to cut its debt in half to a level it can afford based on current revenue. But years of underinvestment in product continue to haunt the vendor, as it tries to play catch-up with rivals Cisco and Microsoft, which analysts generally agreed have pulled ahead of all other vendors in the UC market.

Avaya acquired cloud contact center vendor Spoken Communications earlier this year, gaining a multi-tenant public cloud offering. Avaya plans to use the same technology to power a UC-as-a-service product in the future.

“We are investing significantly in people and technology, investing more on technology in the last two quarters than we did in all of fiscal 2017,” said Jim Chirico, CEO at Avaya.

Avaya is expecting to bring in adjusted revenue between $760 and $780 million in the fourth quarter, which would bring the fiscal year’s total to a little more than $3 billion.

Gaming the System | Gimlet Creative

Last year, the gaming industry made roughly $90 billion in sales worldwide. That’s more than double what movies made at the box office last year.

And here’s why that comparison to Hollywood is relevant. Because, like with films, the most popular video games are HUGE. They have great graphics, popular characters, and the franchises keep getting repeated over and over again. Unfortunately, blockbuster games and movies can be as thin on diversity as they are on plot.  

In this episode, we’re talking about the Moonlights and Napoleon Dynamites the indie games that are breaking out, changing paradigms, and making a case for independence in gaming.

 

This episode features:

Navid Khonsari — Co-Founder of iNK Stories

Larry Hyrb —  Xbox’s Major Nelson

Rik Eberhardt — Studio Manager at MIT Game Lab

Mia Consalvo —  The Canada Research Chair in Game Studies and Design at Concordia University

Sherida Halatoe —  Found of Tiger & Squid Game Studio

Karla Zimonja —  Co-Founder of The Fullbright Company

Katie Stone Perez —  Developer Experience Lead at Xbox

Transcript: 

CRISTINA QUINN: Navid Khonsari says most people think Iran looks like this.

NAVID KHONSARI: The deserts, and women covered up in veils and men covered up and looking like clerics.

CRISTINA QUINN: Navid knows that if most people think about Iran at all, the images that come to mind are probably from the hostage crisis in 1979 or the violence of the iranian revolution that led up to it.

During the revolution, Navid was ten years old and living in Tehran. He remembers the hostages, and the violence, but he also remembers how it all began…

NAVID KHONSARI: My grandfather took me out to the streets and as we walked the streets I saw that sense of joy. I saw that sense of possibility that sense of hope that this country could change — change for the for for good, for the better, for people who were on the streets.

CRISTINA QUINN The Iranian Revolution started as a popular uprising — people from all walks of life coming together to overthrow a corrupt, western-backed king.

But then it changed, it turned violent.

NAVID KHONSARI: That hope kind of became a little bit darker. And and violence was out on the streets in the fighting took place and my father who was a doctor would spend the night in the emergency ward tending to wounded civilians and soldiers.

CRISTINA QUINN: Eventually, Navid’s family left Iran, for Canada. But throughout his life, whenever he tried to explain what it was like living in Iran during the revolution, to offer a more nuanced understanding of the country, he felt like he wasn’t getting through.

He wanted to humanize this monumental moment. And he came up with a kind of counter-intuitive solution. A video game.

THEME ENTERS

CRISTINA QUINN: I’m Cristina Quinn and this is dot-future, a branded podcast from Microsoft and Gimlet Creative, about making the future happen.

Because the future doesn’t just HAPPEN. It’s the result of a series of choices that we’re making right now. You can wait for the future to come to you … or you can engage with it, and get ahead of the curve.  

Welcome to dot-future.

THEME OUT

CRISTINA QUINN: Today we’re talking about gaming. Four out of five American households have gaming devices — like a tablet, XBOX or a Playstation — and over half of adults in the US play games. Half!

Production-wise, we have come a long way since:

GAME SOUND – PAC MAN

CRISTINA QUINN: The top-selling games today are hyperrealistic. They immerse players in war zones, put them on the run from zombies, and take them to the thirty yard line with 12 seconds left in the game. Last year, the gaming industry made roughly $90 billion in sales worldwide.

That’s more than double what movies made at the box-office last year. And here’s why that comparison to Hollywood is relevant. Because, like with films, the most popular video games are huge. They have great graphics, popular characters, and the franchises keep getting repeated over and over again.

I mean, you know how it’s kind of crazy that we have, like, how many Fast and Furious movies are there? What are we up to, like eight? Well, guess what? There are eleven games in the Halo family. Eleven. Blockbuster games even follow a Hollywood style RELEASE calendar, according to Larry Hyrb. He’s kind of the public face of Xbox Live. If you’re a gamer, you know him as “Major Nelson.”

LARRY HYRB: Maybe we’ve got a summer blockbuster, but we always have these huge releases, you know in the holiday season at the end of the year, and it’s noisy because the new Call of Duty is going to compete with the new Star Wars movie.

CRISTINA QUINN: Games like Call of Duty are what you call AAA games.

SCORING IN

CRISTINA QUINN: AAA is an unofficial industry rating. But it doesn’t actually stand for anything. The running joke is it means the game took:

  • A lot of time.
  • A lot of resources…and…
  • A lot of money.

CRISTINA: Even if you’re not a gamer you probably recognize the names of AAA gaming companies and their games — Nintendo with Super Mario, Microsoft with Halo, and Activision with Call of Duty.

And just like blockbuster film, blockbuster games are plagued by some of the same problems. The storylines can be kind of stale and repetitive. There’s a hero. Some stuff blows up. You have to fight something, or survive some catastrophe.  

And what that hero looks like is also repetitive — AAA games are as thin on diversity as they are on plot. There’s a really popular gaming writer name Leigh Alexander. Last year she wrote all about this in a notorious blog post called “Gamers Are Over.”

She wrote about how the AAA gaming culture can be summed up like this, quote: “Have Money. Have women. Get a gun and then a bigger gun.”

She was done with it — and she argued that even DEVELOPERS want games to be made for and by a more diverse group of people — to reflect real stories and real human struggle.

And that’s what today’s episode is about: the part of the gaming industry that’s providing an alternative to AAA games. We’re talking about The Moonlights and Napoleon Dynamites — the indie games that are breaking out, changing paradigms, and making a case for independence in gaming.

And, in the process, changing that 90-billion dollar gaming industry from the INSIDE.

SCORING OUT

CRISTINA QUINN: So, back to the video game we mentioned at the beginning. Navid Khonsari wanted to create a game…to provide a more nuanced perspective…

NAVID KHONSARI: You know you take a look at a lot of the call of duties and a lot of the war games that are out there it’s always like while you’re on the beaches of Normandy but you’re playing a member of the you know the U.S. Army and you’re shooting at Germans. But that’s really where the history stops.  

Navid made 1979: Revolution Black Friday. It’s the story of the Iranian revolution, told with the nuance that he didn’t see portrayed elsewhere.  

GAME SOUND – 1979 REVOLUTION: BLACK FRIDAY

CRISTINA QUINN: And it’s an INDIE game. It’s heavy on story. 1979 puts you, the player, in the middle of Tehran during the Iranian Revolution and presents you with a series of options at every turn. Shots are fired. Where do you go? Who do you save?

POST SOUND

CRISTINA QUINN: Critics loved the game. It’s an unmistakeable indie darling. It racked up a bunch of awards, like Best PC and/or Console Game at the ‘16 Bit Awards.

This is a huge success for an indie game developer, but that’s not what Navid was, for much of his career. He started out as the cinematic director at Rockstar games, which makes Grand Theft Auto and Max Payne. He worked on some of the most profitable games in history.

But eventually all of the drug deals and shootouts and car crashes got old. He wanted to make something more real. To do that, Navid quit his job at Rockstar Games and set out on his own to make a game about his real life experience.

He and his wife, who’s a documentary filmmaker and anthropologist, founded a studio together. They called it iNK Stories. It’s based in Brooklyn. Their work is inspired by cinema verite — a raw, intimate style of documentary filmmaking.  So Navid calls what iNK Stories makes, “verite games.” 1979 blends real history and the game’s action, with real life photographs and archival footage.

NAVID KHONSARI: The game has got me splattered all over it. When you’re in the home looking at the home movies that’s actually super 8 footage that my grandfather shot from 1950 to 1979 and it includes my mother’s swimming at the Caspian Sea. My grandfather great grandfather and family had a big feast and myself attending my first day school.

CRISTINA QUINN: But Navid wanted to make sure that the game was not just just a glimpse into his own past. He wanted it to be accurate, more accurate, than the books he’d read or the films he’d seen about Iran’s revolution. So he and a small team conducted more than 40 interviews with people who were living in Iran during the revolution.

He also hired academics, and religious advisors, to ensure that the game was authentic.

The end result is a subtle portrayal of a critical moment in history.

GAME SOUND – 1979 REVOLUTION: BLACK FRIDAY

CRISTINA QUINN: Do you think there are some stories better told through the immersive, video game experience than through other mediums?

NAVID KHONSARI: Yeah. These are incredible tools to put you right in that space to put you in the head space or in that environment or in that particular instance where something is taking place. These are probably the most powerful way of creating empathy. So in a weird way if we want to actually understand a little bit more about humanity and really feel what it’s like we actually have to engage with some kind of technology that allows us to go there.

CRISTINA QUINN: Navid is part of a new class of game developers who are intent on making games that are both personal AND fun. It’s a mission that, in the hands of triple A gaming companies, often fails.

RIK EBERHARDT: You can see a game that’s made by, you know, people who look like me so middle aged white guys and those those games often don’t have anything to say

CRISTINA QUINN: Rik Eberhardt works at MIT’s Game Lab — which experiments with new game technology.

RIK EBERHARDT: And when they do try to say something they’re not they’re they’re trying to adopt somebody else’s language, and it feels wrong.

He says indie games are coming from a genuine place…and that comes across in the experience of playing the game…

RIK EBERHARDT: And with an indie game, yeah, you can absolutely see the person who made it where what where they came from what they brought to the game what culture they’re from.

CRISTINA QUINN: Culture and story haven’t necessarily been a major focal point of video games. From the very beginning of gaming, the focus has been on graphics and speed.

SCORING IN

CRISTINA QUINN: In 1977, Atari released what would become known as the Atari 2600. By 1980, millions of homes were introduced to the idea of playing games not at an arcade, but in your living room.

GAME SOUND – ATARI

CRISTINA QUINN: But Atari didn’t stay on top for long. In 1985, Nintendo released its “Entertainment System.”  The package came with a controller, and a gun for playing Duck Hunt.  

DUCK SOUND

CRISTINA QUINN: Then in 1989 Nintendo leveled up gaming, when it released a HANDHELD console, the Game Boy.  

For millions of people, being able to take your games with you was totally novel — and it changed the gaming industry — and family road trips — forever.

SCORING OUT

CRISTINA QUINN: In 2002, Microsoft introduced Xbox Live, allowing console players to play with other gamers throughout the world, something they still do today, of course.

LARRY HYRB: If I wake up at 3:00 in the morning because I can’t sleep. I can pop on my console and all of a sudden I’m playing with friends that may or may not be online or I’m going to discover new friends.

CRISTINA QUINN: This is Larry Hyrb — or Major Nelson — from Xbox again.  He’s been at the company for 14 years, and for a million Twitter followers he’s the go-to-guy for all-things Xbox.

Here’s the thing about Xbox Live, a player in Philadelphia can connect with a player in the Philippines. There’s always someone to play with.

LARRY HYRB: So if you have a young one, or maybe the baby is taking a nap, you can still go online and within 30 seconds to be connected with friends around the world… you’re playing an interactive game.

CRISTINA QUINN: Games are just everywhere. They’re on your phone, they’re in the back of your airplane seat — you can get virtual reality gear at Gamestop!

And everything looks and sounds flawless.

MIA CONSALVO: They’re stunning, right? They’re amazing to look at.

Mia Consalvo is the Canada Research Chair in game studies and design at Concordia University.

MIA CONSALVO: I think that expectations are being ratcheted up just kind of across the board. Even, for example let’s say with sports games like Madden or you know like a baseball game where you would think that the game is just about playing football but really in those games now. I mean they need photorealism. You know they need the actual images of the players the real players. They have role-playing system where you can create your own character, you can create you and be recruited and work your way up from the minors to the majors.

CRISTINA QUINN: That’s because games are in a fierce competition for our attention, according to Larry Hyrb.

LARRY HYRB: Our hours in the day that you and I and the listeners have for entertainment — how are you going to spend them? There’s just so much product out there right now, that people have trouble bursting through.

CRISTINA QUINN: And to compete at the blockbuster level, it takes a lot of money to stand out. Money that indie developers and publishers often don’t have. But what they do have — according to Mia — is nerve, and creativity.

In a way, the stakes for indie game developers are actually lower, because they don’t have to play ball with the big guys. They can take risks and experiment with visual style or even get… emotional with their games. That’s what Sherida Halatoe set out to do when, as a college student, she began working on the game Beyond Eyes.

GAME SOUND

CRISTINA QUINN: The game’s protagonist is a little girl, named Rae. Rae is blind, and at the beginning of the game, she loses her cat, Nani. Beyond Eyes is a quest, to help Rae find her missing pet. Sherida isn’t blind – but she wanted to make Beyond Eyes to help people understand what it’s like to feel adrift …

SHERIDA HALATOE: When I was 10 years old. My father died and it was a very horrible experience of course but it taught me a lot about life

CRISTINA QUINN: She wanted to help people who’ve felt lost see themselves in a videogame

CRISTINA QUINN: So, why..why is the character blind?

SHERIDA HALATOE: So for me it’s kind of a metaphor because my dad was the most important thing for me in my life like my whole world you know revolved around that…. so that being taken away was a huge loss. And that kind of kind of made it a visual translation there

CRISTINA QUINN: As Rae wanders through the game, the edges of the screen are white, but slowly, the path forward spreads out before her, like water colors rushing to the edge of a page.  Strokes of color swirl around the edges.

SHERIDA HALATOE: I really like watercolors and I like the idea of how things become..like when you, you know, put watercolor on paper it just kind of drifts out, you know, flows out. I like the idea of not being able to see and then touching something and everything flowing out like water.

CRISTINA QUINN: It’s so gentle, and so beautiful. The premise feels so different than other games. You’re just helping a little kid find her cat.

SHERIDA HALTOE: In essence this story of Beyond Eyes is about loss but also about overcoming

CRISTINA QUINN: Sherida’s definitely an outlier in the gaming industry. She didn’t grow up wanting to make games. In college, she took a game development course and realized that games gave her the ability tell stories in a new way. Even her way of measuring the impact of the game isn’t very gamer-y.

She keeps a glass bottle on her desk, in her office. And every time she gets an email from someone who says that the game moved them to tears, she pours a few drops of water into the bottle…

SHERIDA HALATOE:  In the first six months, the thing was half full or something. In the end, I think I got a half cup or something?

CRISTINA QUINN: Sherida’s not typical but she is successful. Beyond Eyes was featured at the E3 conference in 2015 — the world’s top gaming conference. She’s now working on a new series of short games called “Trails of Life.”

MUSIC

CRISTINA QUINN: It’s extremely rare for an indie developer to gain success on their first game. Usually, it takes years of releasing games and slowly building an audience. And lots of those developers cut their teeth at AAA studios before launching a game of their own.

MUSIC OUT

CRISTINA QUINN: Karla Zimonja knows that from personal experience. She spent 7 years working as an animator on lots of games, like the Bio-Shock series, and Zoo-Tycoon:

KARLA: I ended up working on a zoo game There were a lot of very repetitive tasks that I would have to do, like animate a sitting position to standing position for every single animal in the game. And a lot of like, you know, turns 30 degrees right turns 90 degrees or right turns you know turns 90 degrees right from standing turns or you know and from walking and from running and it very much turned it into a kind of feeling like a spreadsheet.

CRISTINA QUINN: Karla felt like a cog in the machine and decided to leave the triple A system. She and a friend got together to strike out on their own. They started a gaming studio called Fullbright.

They decided to make their debut game feel just like a first person shooter game. You know — the games where you see through the eyes of a character as they move through the world — but with one important distinction: no shooting. They called the game “Gone Home.”

GAME SOUND – GONE HOME

CRISTINA QUINN: Gone Home is set in a spooky Victorian house in the year 1995. It’s raining…the phones are down…and there aren’t any cell phones to call for help.

KARLA ZIMONJA: Gone Home is the story of a college student arriving home after being abroad to find that her family has moved into the new house and nobody is there when she gets there. And she explores the house and find out all about what her family has been doing in her absence.

CRISTINA QUINN: Although it seems like a ghost could pop out at any moment, the game isn’t scary. As a player, you search for clues — notes, and audio diaries — to help piece together what happened to this family.

KARLA ZIMONJA: An enormous part of the game is putting other pieces for yourself and learning about the characters in your own time and way.

CRISTINA QUINN: Characters that don’t appear on screen — but whose personalities, dreams, and entire lives are slowly revealed as you play the game. And perhaps the most remarkable reveal is what the New York Times called “the greatest video game love story ever told.”

GAME SOUND – GONE HOME

CRISTINA QUINN: It’s a love story about two young women. Although Fullbright didn’t set-out to be a voice for LGBTQ people in the game world, Gone Home wound up getting a lot of attention.

Because there aren’t that many queer characters in big video games. AAA publishers tend to be pretty risk averse when it comes to storytelling. Karla says when AAAs see a pitch that deviates from the norm…they’re not likely to go for it.

KARLA ZIMONJA: You know, the marketing guys at whatever publishing company would have been like “teen lesbians? No one’s going to buy that…are you on crack?”

By funding Gone Home themselves, Fullbright was able to make the game a reality, and a smashing success. The gaming website Polygon named it their Game of the Year, and it won the British Academy Games Award for best debut.

But more importantly to Karla, is the opportunity for her game to influence other, bigger gaming companies.

KARLA ZIMONJA: Indie games are often the source of new paths and new, like, approaches to things. We have, like, the low overhead where it’s like the really big companies don’t…they come in there like those big ocean liners they can’t turn.

Karla’s company sunk their savings and 18 months of work into Gone Home.

KARLA ZIMONJA: It’s nice to have people think your ideas are worth something. It’s essentially like the big guys being like, ‘oh yeah that little guy had a great idea.’

It kind of means they’ve arrived. But even more powerfully — it means that the stories — like the one in Gone Home — are worth telling.

Here’s Katie Stone Perez, who works for Xbox at Microsoft.

KATIE STONE-PEREZ: By giving all of these different people an opportunity to tell their story and to bring their voice to the table it really ends up creating those moments where people do feel like it is representative of their story and their lives and their passions.

Katie says it’s the responsibility of the gaming industry to make sure that the community feels seen and heard by having more diversity within games. That’s why Katie joined Microsoft’s [email protected] team and helped it grow.

[email protected] gives indie game developers the tools they need to bring their games to life on the Xbox platform, and they promote their favorites at major industry events.

KATIE STONE-PEREZ: Traditionally the industry has been more, ‘oh you know the right person to talk to..and you know you know do you know the right person to go get funding from and you know the right person to do this?’ And so we’ve really been about, you know, democratizing that process for everyone.

One of the developers who’s benefited from that democratization: Navid Khonsari, with his depiction of Iran in 1979 Revolution Black Friday.

The game’s success has helped rewrite how people see Iranians — and how Iranians see themselves.

NAVID KHONSARI: For the first time they see themselves portrayed as protagonists in a positive light, rather than terrorist number one two and three.

Navid says his game is helping people see one another. Like, really understand each other.

NAVID KHONSARI: This is powerful. For us that’s been really really really enriching and we’ve made look we made a lot of mistakes and it was our first game that we’ve made, but at least we know that we overcame the most difficult part which was connecting.

CRISTINA QUINN: And all it took to connect — to make a moment in history more human — was a video game.

CREDITS

THEME

CRISTINA QUINN: .future is a co-production of Microsoft Story Labs and Gimlet Creative.

We were produced this week by Katelyn Bogucki, with help from Victoria Barner, Garrett Crowe, Frances Harlow, Jorge Estrada, Nicole Wong, Abbie Ruzicka and Julia Botero. Creative direction from Nazanin Rafsanjani. Production assistance from Thom Cote.

We were edited by Rachel Ward and mixed by Zac Schmidt. Our theme song was composed by The Album Leaf. Additional music from Waltho, Eliot Lipp and Marmoset.

Special thanks to: Derek Johnson, Aleah Kiley and Lena Robinson.

PROMO

CRISTINA QUINN: Coming up next time on dot-future … stories of how people on 4 continents are using one of the most popular games in history to heal, grieve, rebuild, and reinvent.

LYDIA WINTERS: I can’t even really begin to describe how Minecraft has changed my trajectory, and where I was going. It’s hard to even see back to where I was going because I’m so far from my starting point.

CRISTINA QUINN: That’s next time on dot-future.

If you like dot-future, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts!  Make sure to type period future to find us, like period as in a dot. Dot future.. And while you’re at it, leave us a review so we know how you feel about the show! Don’t get left in the past. Join us in the dot Future …   at dot future dot net. That’s D O T future dot net.

I’m Cristina Quinn. Thanks so much for dot listening!

THEME OUT

Microsoft brings intelligent cloud, intelligent edge vision to life at Computex Taipei | Stories

Nick Parker and Roanne Sones hold the new HP ProBook x360 on stage
Nick Parker, Microsoft corporate vice president of Consumer and Device Sales, and Roanne Sones, Microsoft corporate vice president of Platforms, unveil the new HP ProBook x360 on stage at Computex 2018.

TAIPEI, Taiwan — June 6, 2018 — Wednesday at Computex Taipei, Microsoft Corp. underscored its commitment to the partner ecosystem and announced new programs and a new category of intelligent devices, designed to take advantage of a digitally connected world and drive new growth and opportunity for the industry. At the event, Microsoft shared how the era of the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge will usher in the next phase of innovation and create a broad portfolio of devices that will blend more naturally into people’s lives.

Nick Parker, corporate vice president, Consumer and Device Sales, showcased how Microsoft is bringing the industry together to build the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge, delivering new experiences and solutions not previously possible.

“For Microsoft, it’s more than just screens and devices; it’s about creating services and experiences with technology that support ambitions and aspirations,” Parker said. Imagine the devices and experiences we can create with ubiquitous computing, infused with AI and connected to the cloud. This is such an incredible time for the industry.”

Parker was joined on stage by Roanne Sones, corporate vice president, Platforms, who announced a new partner community for the intelligent edge, a new category of Windows 10 devices called Windows Collaboration Displays and a new offering with Windows 10 IoT Core Services.

New programs to help build the intelligent edge

The intelligent cloud and intelligent edge will offer a new world of possibilities for the industry to deliver more flexible and custom experiences for everyone, whether a thermostat in a smart home or an interactive display in a smart office. In addition to modern devices from leading partners, Sones shared news and momentum in areas including these:

  • New intelligent edge partner community: To accelerate innovation in this new era we invite all our partners to join our intelligent edge partner community. The community will help partners connect with one another to identify opportunities to collaborate on technology innovation and achieve shared business goals. In addition, community members will be able to participate in trainings and community events, and can participate in early adopter programs that provide access to documentation, specs, OS builds and certification details. Those wanting to sign up should visit http://microsoft.com/intelligentedge.
  • Windows IoT core services: Microsoft revealed a new service offering that will enable partners to commercialize a secure IoT device, backed by industry-leading support. The service offering helps make it easier to manage updates for the OS, apps, settings and OEM-specific files; includes Device Health Attestation (DHA); and is backed with 10 years of support. More about the service offering can be found on the Windows blog.

A new category of devices: Windows Collaboration Displays

Microsoft 365 brings together Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security that delivers a complete, intelligent and secure solution to empower employees. It’s a global productivity platform that enables multisense, multidevice experiences that put people at the center for both work and life. People around the world already use the power of Microsoft 365 across PCs, tablets, phones and other devices from our partners to work how, when and where they want.

Along with its partner ecosystem, Microsoft announced new opportunities to bring Microsoft 365 experiences to life through a new category of devices called Windows Collaboration Displays. These new devices allow users to experience Microsoft 365 collaboration tools, Office, Teams and Whiteboard, at room scale. A variety of Collaboration Displays from Sharp and Avocor will be available later this year.

Microsoft at Computex

Visitors to Computex Taipei can view the new Windows 10 devices and IoT solutions at the Microsoft Booth, on the 4th floor of the NanGang Exhibition Hall, L Area #0110. The show is open June 5–9.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Rapid Response Team, WE Communications, (425) 638-7777, [email protected]

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

Office Depot says ‘no’ to Oracle ERP Cloud customizations

Office Depot, a firm with about $11 billion in sales, is moving major applications to the Oracle ERP Cloud. In doing so, Office Depot wants to avoid any customizations as it shifts from in-house systems.

The retailer will use best practices embedded in various Oracle ERP Cloud platforms: in this case, Oracle’s Supply Chain Management Cloud, its cloud-based Human Capital Management (HCM) and Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) systems. Oracle announced Office Depot’s decision Jan. 29.

Rejecting customizations was easier for some systems than others. HR business processes lend themselves well to this change, said Damon Venger, senior director of IT applications at Office Depot.

With HR they “are not reviewing our customizations — we are getting rid of them,” Venger said.

By not customizing its Oracle ERP applications, the retailer will simplify its IT processes, and reduce the cost of maintaining and managing them, he said.

Office Depot started selling the initiative internally last year. “It’s hard for executives in the business to say, ‘I have to do performance management in a specific way,” Venger said. That’s the goal at least. Supply chain will “definitely be more challenging,” he said.

Deciding on no customization is ‘trendsetting’

Office Depot uses Oracle products, including PeopleSoft, hosted in an Oracle data center. It uses Hyperion Financial Management products, and a supply chain product.

It’s hard for executives in the business to say ‘I have to do performance management in a specific way.’
Damon Vengersenior director of IT applications, Office Depot

The HCM and EPM migration will take about a year, and supply chain about two years. The company plans to use Agile development processes to complete the migrations.

For a company its size, Office Depot’s decision on customizations is “trendsetting,” said Seth Lippincott, an analyst at Nucleus Research. But it’s also possible because vendors are developing “what they would consider best practices in every one of their capabilities,” he said.

Some users argue that they need ERP customizations because of unique business requirements or industry-specific practices. But those arguments are waning as vendors add industry-specific capabilities, Lippincott said.

If customizations are about “letting people feel comfortable and safe in what they’re used to, it won’t help,” Lippincott argued. A firm will still go through a change management process. It makes sense for the long-term to force users into the new environment, he said.

APIs will connect customizations, but once started problems mount.

Office Depot made ‘pragmatic’ decision

Judith Hurwitz, the CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, called Office Depot’s decision “pragmatic.”

Routine updates mean testing against the customizations. “You are always sort of out of sync” with the latest updates. They may take months of testing. Asking a vendor for customizations can add millions, she said.

“Are your processes really so unique, so different?” Hurwitz said. For most firms, they aren’t, she said.

Venger said the decision to migrate to the cloud “was not a blind move to go.” Office Depot analyzed its real costs, including data center costs, licensing — every aspect.

Oracle ERP Cloud “came with a significant cost-savings,” and functionality upgrades, Venger said. With the on-premises system, “unless we customized it, you wouldn’t have functionality changes,” he said.

Wanted – 1060 6GB

Let down by black Friday sales I am looking for a 1060 6GB.

Have seen some go on here between £150-200 so looking for around the same depending on model.

Must have receipt and warranty.

PPG or bank transfer is fine.

Location: Colchester

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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Wanted – 1060 6GB

Let down my black Friday sales I am looking for a 1060 6GB.

Have seen some go on here between £150-200 so looking for around the same depending on model.

Must have receipt and warranty.

PPG or bank transfer is fine.

Location: Colchester

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Cisco revenue expected to grow, as new products gain acceptance

Following a two-year revenue decline, Cisco has forecast an increase in sales in the current quarter, as enterprise customers warm up to new products stemming from the company’s security and intent-based networking initiatives.

On Wednesday, Cisco revenue was projected to increase by 1% to 3% in the current quarter. The company based the forecast on the progress it has made in transforming itself from a maker of traditional network switches and routers to a software-centric, subscription-based business.

“Cisco is prudent when it comes to guidance and outlooks; the executive team must be profoundly confident in the company’s ability to clear the bar,” said Brad Casemore,  an analyst at IDC.

In the fiscal first quarter ended Oct. 28, revenue from software and subscriptions rose 37% year over year to $5.2 billion. Nevertheless, total revenue from products and services fell 2% to $12.1 billion, marking Cisco’s eighth consecutive quarterly decline. A decrease in router sales was a significant contributor to the drop.

Cisco revenue helped by 1,100 new Catalyst 9000 customers

Despite the decline, Cisco continued to show progress in areas expected to drive future growth. Applications and security were up 6% and 8%, respectively, and the company had more than 1,100 customers for its latest line of campus switches, called the Catalyst 9000s.

Cisco is prudent when it comes to guidance and outlooks; the executive team must be profoundly confident in the company’s ability to clear the bar.
Brad Casemoreanalyst at IDC

“We’re pleased with the early feedback [on the Catalyst switches],” Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said during a conference call with analysts. “We would hope the platform continues to accelerate.”

Sales of the switches — introduced in June — are significant because the software included with the hardware is sold through a subscription model. Cisco expects the central management console for the switches, called the Digital Network Architecture (DNA) Center, to become an important contributor to recurring revenue, as more networking products are tied to the software.

DNA Center is also a component of Cisco’s recently announced intent-based networking initiative. The goal of IBN is to integrate automation and machine learning into network management so operators can make changes to devices through policy-driven software, rather than reconfiguring each piece of hardware separately.

Customers upbeat on Cisco-Viptela SD-WAN

Cisco reported encouraging talks with customers interested in the SD-WAN technology the company acquired in early August after completing the $610 million purchase of Viptela. “I would expect that we’ll start to see customers move somewhat this quarter. And then, in the second half of the [fiscal] year, I think our customers will begin to deploy some of these solutions,” Robbins said.

The SD-WAN market has evolved into a race between Cisco and VMware for the top slot, according to London-based IHS Markit. This month, VMware said it would acquire VeloCloud, which IHS identified as a revenue leader along with Viptela.

Other indicators of potential Cisco revenue growth include the company’s work in the hyperscale data centers of Google and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China’s largest online retailer and public cloud provider.

Cisco is helping Alibaba build a new data center that would use Cisco infrastructure technology. The partnership with Google includes building technology for interoperability between the Cisco HyperFlex hyper-converged system and the Google public cloud.

Cisco’s work with Google will improve its standing in the market for technology that sits at the edge of an enterprise data center and connects the organization to its public cloud provider, Robbins said.

“They [cloud providers] definitely have come to the conclusion that the edge is going to be mission-critical for our customers going forward,” he said. “As they think about that, we’re the very natural partner for them.”

Cisco’s net income for the quarter was down 2% to $3 billion, based on non-GAAP results. Earnings per share were 61 cents, which was flat from a year ago and slightly higher than the 60 cents forecast by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.