Saturday, 1 September 2018

Applications Of Artificial Intelligence In The Supply Chain

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Supply chain management accounts to a huge portion when it comes to the finances of a manufacturing or a logistics-driven business. Even the smallest improvements can make the flow more fluid which can result to more efficient processes, increased productivity, higher yield, or more deliveries. With today’s supply chain becoming more advanced, companies have turned to artificial intelligence to help manage their supply chain. Here are some useful applications of AI in the supply chain.

AI can augment certain processes in a way that benefits their human counterparts. There are some functions that simply take humans too much time to do such as complex computations or data analysis. AI can be employed in these situations to reduce errors and risks.

Automating machines help reduce human errors to almost zero in the supply chain. By removing human workers from the equation, this can bring work-related risks to an all-time low. This also makes the workplace much safer for people who operate these automated machines.

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Automated machines can also work non-stop which can boost productivity even further. It can have the capacity to monitor itself and alert people in charge if there is any problem in the system.
Lastly, AI can be used to help managers create forecast strategies based on existing data. This can very well optimize supply chain decision-making.

Eddie O'Brien is the CEO of the Americas at Arvato Bertelsmann, overseeing the growth and execution of a multibillion-dollar business that delivers a host of BPO services including SCM, CRM, financial and IT solutions. He worked for several multinational companies in locations as varied as Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, and Spain. For more reads on technology, visit this

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Game Changer: Xbox One Might Be Getting a Keyboard And Mouse Support

It has been long since Microsoft started teasing its audience about a keyboard and mouse support for the Xbox One, but it seems the wait is almost over. Microsoft has recently partnered with Razer for its Chroma RGB lighting support in most of its Xbox games.
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According to sources, Microsoft and Razer laid their plans at the Xfest event this year. Razer will allow game developers to use its API to deal with Chroma lighting effects on some Xbox games. Chroma showed off how it works on games like DOTA2 and Overwatch. If this is the case, Xbox One users can see this change at this year’s update for the console. The presentation also stated guidance for app developers on how keyboard and mouse support for the Xbox will work. Unlike gamepads, the Xbox can only support one keyboard and one mouse in one gaming console. This update can give gamers an immersive experience of their game. Microsoft also provided pointers on how mouse and keyboard support can impact competitive multiplayer games. It is important for developers to keep in mind the presence of the mouse and the keyboard to help players make specific playlists based on what input device they are using.

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What does this mean for gamers? This means that the jump from PC to Xbox One and other gaming consoles can grow. It can also mean the possibility of being able to play with other players using different gaming consoles.

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Monday, 25 June 2018

Machine Learning: More Than a Buzzword

Machine learning has been defined by Stanford University as “the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed.” While the past few years have seen a rise in demand for conferences, venture investments, and business-related inquiries, many technology executives are still exploring the wide-ranging applications of machine learning in business issues.

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Sales data analysis is one of the many contributions of machine learning to business. It has benefited from the growth in sales-centered data because of the increase in digital interaction. Through this, sales teams have the ability to tap into metrics from social media platforms, website visits, and A/B testing without having to experience systems bogging down on them due to the massive volume of data they have to sift through. Notably, machine learning speeds up the process of revealing the most useful information. 

The fraud detection process has been significantly improved as some payment services employ machine learning tools to search for fraudulent transactions such as money laundering. Machine learning processes segregate these from lawful transactions. It examines specific features in a data set and then establishes models which provide the foundation for reviewing and classifying each transaction. This assists in preventing fraud even before the completion of the transaction. 

While many believe that AI takes the job of compiling reports and making decisions from employees, that isn’t necessarily the case. Data-entry employees can still use their experience to deliver value to firms that no longer need as many hours of manual data scanning. 

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Edmund O’ Brien is a certified public accountant and serves as the CEO of the Americas at Arvato Bertelsmann. His most recent responsibility has seen him in several executive positions at Microsoft, including Vice President World Wide Operator Channel. For similar updates from Edmund O’ Brien, subscribe to this blog.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

The Pillars Of Digital Marketing

As consumers continue to go digital, organizations must keep up in promoting their products and services. Conventional marketing methods are still necessary, but these should be supplemented by marketing through online channels to expand reach, increase touch points with audience, and provide more value to customers.

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Some of the fundamental elements of a digital marketing campaign are the following:


“What gets measured gets done.” A metric has to be established to determine if a digital marketing drive is successful or needs improvement. By checking on a variety of marketing metrics, such as click-through rates, impressions, cost per click, and many others, a company can track if its efforts are being converted into sales or referrals.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO remains an important pillar of digital marketing because it helps increase the visibility of a business and bring in traffic online without the need for advertisements.

Social media marketing

With billions of people having at least one social media account, it makes sense to implement social media marketing. A few of the many advantages it has over other digital marketing strategies is that it allows a business to engage or interact with their audience and social analytics are useful in determining customer preferences.

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Mobile marketing

Smartphones, tablets, and laptops have shaped how people live, consequently revolutionizing the marketing industry. By targeting consumers with such devices, business can gain more mileage in marketing.

Eddie O’ Brien has had a notable career serving in various multinational companies, including Coca-Cola and Microsoft. Currently, he is the CEO of Americas at Arvato Bertelsmann, a BPO services provider that offers digital marketing solutions. For more discussions about the industry, visit this Facebook page.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

No Offense: Swearing Will Be Banned On Skype, Xbox, And Other Microsoft Products

Users will have to be careful with their words with Microsoft planning to ban offensive language on its platforms. Effective May 1, 2018, the company will update its Service Agreement to ban swearing on its products including Xbox, Skype, OneDrive, and Office 365. 

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The new code of conduct states that users are prohibited from sharing inappropriate material including those with nudity, pornography, graphic violence, offensive language, and criminal activity. Microsoft made it clear that they will not watch on users’ movement or listen to conversations via Skype. Instead, they will only respond to customers who report other users of sharing inappropriate content. 

According to a tweet by Mike Ybarra, Microsoft’s Director of Xbox Programme Management, there is still no policy change for Xbox Live. Many people assume that these recent tweaks will make it easier for the company to catch users who post abusive content through its services. Xbox Live’s chat features are often used negatively by bullies to harass other gamers. 

On the other hand, some users think that this new agreement is potentially dangerous because it might involve rifling through one’s personal files. This might result in abuse of personal data, even if the company drafted the new agreement with only favorable intentions.

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Eddie O’Brien currently works as the CEO of the Americas at Arvato Bertelsmann. He has also spent years working as an executive in Microsoft. Visit this page for more tech-related news.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Notable supply chain management trends for 2018

With customers now having access to the limitless amount of information and choices, businesses need to stay ahead of the curve. One way of doing so is to be aware of supply chain management trends that are expected in 2018. Some of them are listed below: 

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  • Going digital: More and more companies now realize that they have to transition their supply chain into digital to make it more intelligent, scalable, and efficient. With brands becoming more transparent nowadays, a digital supply chain management strategy also boosts to their competitive advantage. 

  •  Artificial intelligence: Some of the world’s largest companies have begun to use AI as part of their supply management strategies. Examples of these are Facebook, Google, Apple, and Tesla. Mark Zuckerberg explains the strategy, “You can think of it kind of like Jarvis in Iron Man.” There are companies that also already utilize such technology, in the form of machine vision and robotics in industrial applications, such as warehousing. By 2021, it is expected that one in four large global companies will be using AI automation or AI-powered assistants in SCM. 

  •  Elastic logistics: Demand and market fluctuations means there are business operations that have to be flexible or agile. In 2018, many experts predict that elastic logistics will make its way to countless companies. 
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Edmund O' Brien has had a long and storied career working for many international companies, including Arthur Anderson, Coca-Cola, Reckitt Benckiser, and Microsoft. For more business insights, follow this Facebook page.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Reflecting On The Microsoft Acquisition Of Linkedin

When it comes to mergers and acquisitions, it doesn’t get any bigger than Microsoft and LinkedIn. At $26 billion, not only is it the biggest tech deal in history, but it’s also one of the biggest acquisitions ever.

It was no doubt a surprise for all of those involved, especially the people who worked at LinkedIn. How it was kept a secret from everyone, nobody knows. The only sure thing was that when it was finally announced, the jaws of every LinkedIn employee had hit the floor. The whole acquisition involved a cash transaction, with LinkedIn shares being bought at $196 a share. This, of course, included the company’s net cash.

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As with every merger and acquisition, certain provisions were such as the retention of LinkedIn’s brand and culture were set in place to ensure that LinkedIn employees still had their motivation to drive them. And although LinkedIn is still independent, its CEO now reports to Microsoft’s head honcho, Satya Nadella.

Some people still question the value of the acquisition -- $26 billion. Was it worth it? LinkedIn is the biggest professional network not just in cyberspace, but also in the world. After reaching the top of that mountain, LinkedIn has only continued to grow. And who knows what else it can achieve under Microsoft?

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Eddie O’Brien is the CEO of the Americas at Arvato Bertelsmann, overseeing the growth and execution of the multibillion-dollar BPO services provider in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. He has held several executive positions in various multinational firms, including at Microsoft. Follow this Twitter page for more business news.