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Industry News

Business Process Automation: How Can It Benefit You And Your Business - Automation.com (press release) (registration)
Business Process Automation: How Can It Benefit You And Your Business - Automation.com (press release) (registration)
August 12, 2017

Business Process Automation: How Can It Benefit You And Your Business
Automation.com (press release) (registration)
Leveraging technology to automate workflows is what Business Process Automation (BPA) is all about. The objective of BPA is to reduce human intervention as much as possible to save time and money. “Side effects” such as improved service levels and cost ...

Author: "Business process automation" - Google News
HRExaminer v8.31
HRExaminer v8.31
August 7, 2017
John Sumser Kicks Off a Series on Culture this week. John Writes, “Culture Is the Aggregate of the Experience of All Stakeholders. The Largest Single Element, by Far, Is Employee Experience.” Read, Culture? 1.


Paul Hebert Is Sure to Get You Thinking in His Article, Employee Engagement is About Making Things Harder for Employees, Not Easier.


John Sumser Went to School at The MIT Media Lab and Shares His Class Notes In, People Analytics: MIT July 24, 2017.


There Is No Shortage of Forgettable Email Solicitations From HR and Recruiting Vendors. John Sumser Explains How the Best Ones Don’t Try to Sell You Anything at All. Read, How To Do It.


HRIntelligencer 1.10 Highlights: When Will Automation Reach Your Industry?, How to Understand Machine Learning Adoption in the Enterprise, What Tomorrow’s Business Leaders Need to Know About Machine Learning, Who Earns the Most in the Gig Economy?, Plus More.


On Episode 132 of HR Tech Weekly: John Sumser’s New Report on Artificial Intelligence, Stacey Harris Appointed to IHIRM Board, SyncHR Get $16 Million in Funding Led by NEA, Efficient Forms Announces Partnership With AltaLink Capital, and Facebook’s Plan to Convince Businesses Workplace Beats Slack and Microsoft Teams.


John Sumser talks with Eileen Clegg, A Visual Journalist and Founder of the Company, Visual Insight. She Is Known for Her Visual Facilitation of Human Interactions, and for Her History Timeline Murals. Listen to HRExaminer Radio - Executive Conversations.


On Episode 26 of HRx Big Ideas Radio, John Sumser Talks With Dr. Dale A. Masi, Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland. Dr. Masi Is the Author of Fifteen Books and More Than Seventy Articles Dealing With EAPs, Evaluation, and Various Mental Health Issues. Listen to Big Ideas Radio.
Author: John Sumser
10 Cities Taking a Nature-Driven Approach to Innovation
10 Cities Taking a Nature-Driven Approach to Innovation
August 7, 2017
Portland, Ore.'s Pearl District

It’s not enough for the country’s most advanced and sophisticated cities to be at the forefront of technological innovation with “smart” parking meters or informational kiosks. They also need to be sustainable and show an ability to preserve natural areas, according to Anil Ahuja, an engineering professional regarded as the “Smart Cities Guru” and author of the 2016 book Integration of Nature and Technology for Smart Cities.

Ahuja has compiled the Top Ten U.S. Cities Integrating Nature & Technology report to highlight which cities are leaders at balancing new technology with good nature policies.

“A smart city doesn’t just provide technology or economic solutions,” he said in a statement. “The smartest cities in the world are integrating nature to create a truly sustainable city. I have identified a number of cities in the United States that are excellent examples for other smart cities to model themselves after.”

The cities were selected based on four factors key to a thriving, vibrant city, according to a press release:

Social – quality of life. Does the city implement technology to optimize opportunity, such as green roofs, green facades, bike lanes, healthy food markets, efficient health-care facilities and biophilic design? Economic – quality jobs. Does the city attract and retain top tier talent and attract high-tech industries and investments? Environmental – quality air and water. Does the city have adequate amounts of green space to improve air quality and the right green infrastructure to manage storm water runoff? How does the city utilize technology for more efficient water and energy usage? Technology – ease of communication. Does the city utilize technology to speed up the flow of information?

Ahuja's list includes Boston, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020, and to be carbon-neutral by 2050. The city also uses its residents as sensors; apps such as Street Bump allow motorists to collect road conditions while they drive, while the Citizens Connect app allows Boston residents to report public issues directly from their smartphones into the city’s work order management system, which routes it immediately to the right person in City Hall to fix the problem.

And in Seattle, which was called out for being a pioneer and leader in establishing and increasing the adoption of green standards, the city has numerous programs to improve energy efficiency, largely through green development policies and building standards.

The Green Building Sustainable Communities Program, for example, creates projects that meet sustainable outcomes. The city also provides tax breaks, loans and other incentives to businesses and residences that utilize green practices.

In 2016, Seattle eliminated departmental silos and consolidated technology professionals from 15 departments into one, which has led to better collaboration and improved efficiencies. The city developed its Next Generation Data Center, which in part, brought together servers from disparate locations.

“Through IT consolidation we focused on how we could share infrastructure to reduce costs and operate more efficiently,” Seattle Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller told Government Technology. “As a result, the project came in more than $2 million under budget and we were able to effectively introduce new technologies like hyper-converged infrastructure and cloud solutions that help our staff deploy solutions more quickly.”

And Orlando, Fla., was recognized for its approach to smart operation of transportation, security and emergency management, and energy waste reduction programs. More specifically, it has retrofitted 28 public buildings to enable real-time energy consumption tracking which has led to an average 31 percent reduction in annual utility costs.

“Many of the retrofits included advanced controls that enable facility managers to track energy consumption in real time and to receive notifications when large systems like chillers or condensing units are using abnormal amounts of energy, allowing facility staff to quickly address problems,” according to the report.

Portland, Ore., promotes energy efficiency through a number of residential, commercial and government initiatives. It was the first city to create a local action plan to reduce carbon emissions. Portland aims to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050.

Ahuja's top cities for integrating nature and technology listed alphabetically are:

Boston – Engaging its citizens through crowdsourced mobile technology to enable smart government. Chicago – Leveraging data to make cities healthier, more efficient and more livable. Los Angeles – Leveraging big data, mobile and cloud based technologies to save energy and improve efficiency. New York – Maximizing real-time traffic information to reduce congestion, improve the flow of traffic and decrease carbon emissions. Orlando – Recognized for its approach to smart operation of transportation, security and emergency management and energy waste reduction programs. Portland, Ore. – Investing in IoT sensor networks and leveraging smart agriculture applications and big data to benefit the local region. San Diego – Adopting the Climate Action Plan, which will improve public health and air quality, conserve water, and use current resources more efficiently. San Francisco – Multiple initiatives including waste reduction, electric car charging and building performance optimization. Seattle – A pioneer and leader for establishing and increasing the adoption of green standards. Washington, D.C. – A leader in smart mobility and for its ratio of park acres to citizens.

Ahuja did not respond to Government Technology's interview requests.

Author: Skip Descant
HR Tech Weekly: Episode #132: Stacey Harris and John Sumser
HR Tech Weekly: Episode #132: Stacey Harris and John Sumser
August 7, 2017
This week: John Sumser’s New Report on Artificial Intelligence, Stacey Harris Appointed to IHIRM Board, SyncHR Get $16 Million in Funding Led by NEA, Efficient Forms Announces Partnership With AltaLink Capital, and Facebook’s plan to convince businesses Workplace beats Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Author: John Sumser
LinkedIn’s Native Video and the Art of Capturing the Attention of New Candidates
LinkedIn’s Native Video and the Art of Capturing the Attention of New Candidates
August 12, 2017
Today’s top candidates are social. Many of them are scrolling through social media feeds to see what their friends are doing. Take the opportunity to share compelling native videos to draw them into...

Workology is the art and science of work, HR and recruitment. Join the resource revolution.
Author: jessica@xceptionalhr.com
City, ISP to Learn from No-Cost Smart Project in Small Mississippi Jurisdiction
City, ISP to Learn from No-Cost Smart Project in Small Mississippi Jurisdiction
August 12, 2017
Ridegeland, Miss., clocktower at dusk

A small Mississippi city is joining the likes of technology superstars like Kansas City, Mo., and Seattle, testing the waters — however gingerly — of digital connected devices.

Ridgeland, population 24,000, will partner with C Spire, a Mississippi-based Internet provider, to explore the development of “smart” streetlights and traffic signaling that operate according to real-time traffic flow, a move many cities are adopting in an effort to function more efficiently and conserve energy.

C Spire will conduct a two-month test in October and November to experiment with “smart lighting and traffic camera analytics," said Dave Miller, a C Spire spokesman.

“While we’re still working out what’s possible for both applications, one thing we’re hoping to see with smart lighting is what controls or settings can be adjusted to reduce energy usage,” said Miller. “With traffic camera analytics, we’d like to evaluate the application’s ability to identify and alert anomalies such as accidents and perhaps point to better ways to handle traffic flow.”

The company will install some sensors in a handful of streetlights, and test the different functionalities and sensor performance, said Ivy Kelly, technology strategist at C Spire. “Any energy gain we might see out of that, and see what it does and how it works, and see how it impacts our network, and see what value it can bring to Ridgeland.”

Ridgeland's population is relatively affluent, and serves as a suburban community of Jackson, the state’s capital, just to the south. Improved traffic management is often on the minds of policymakers, as the city population swells to about 75,000 on many days, said Mayor Gene F. McGee, citing the appeal of the city’s shopping and other options.

“So yes, we do have traffic issues, so we’re always looking for opportunities to improve traffic controls in the city," he said, "and we thought this would be a great opportunity to work with C Spire to utilize their technology and to see how we might improve the services to our citizens and our guests that come here."

Ridgeland and C Spire's memorandum of understanding for the project does not involve an exchange of money; rather, both sides hope to learn from the experiment.

“We’re allowing them [C Spire] to get on our particular city facilities at no cost,” said McGee. “And of course they’re not charging us anything. Once we get through this process, and we analyze the results of what we’re doing, then we’ll be able to make a determination as to what we want to do, and plan for the future.”

The traffic analytics project will use existing traffic cameras, and feed the data into a dashboard so that it can be more effectively analyzed. Street lights will be outfitted with cellar-enabled modules to be remotely controlled, Miller explained.

“Smart lighting has the potential to reduce energy usage, which in turn reduces the city’s energy bills,” said Miller.

The test project allows C Spire to fine-tune its own smart cities applications, in a way to respond to the needs of small cities like those in Mississippi and other parts of the country.

“I think more of our cities are starting to understand the value of data and data collection in municipal operations, but not many of them have the resources to hire full-time IT staff,” observed Shari Veazey, executive director of the Mississippi Municipal League.

Any city, said Miller, is looking to help its bottom line by working more efficiently and delivering services in more meaningful ways.

“If you look at Mississippi and some of the challenges that our communities have, they’re really kind of ideal candidates for smart city type of solutions to problems and maybe providing more efficient ways and smart ways to dispense services,” he said.

Take Oxford, Miss. — about two hours north and home to the University of Mississippi — which several years ago installed 300 smart parking meters in downtown, which accepted multiple forms of payment. In less than a year, parking revenues topped $500,000.  

“This type of experiment with the city of Ridgeland — this first technology trial — is going to give us some key learnings that we hope to be able to apply as we work with other cities and communities across our footprint,” Miller said.

Veazey added that because C Spire is a Mississippi-based company, "we are hoping that this test of smart city is successful and can be available to other cities in Mississippi." 

Author: Skip Descant
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