CollabNet DLM Wins 2017 Stevie Award for New Software Development Solution of the Year

CollabNet recognized for significant innovation that advances DevOps

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – May 24, 2017CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, is proud to announce that the company recently won a Stevie Award’s American Business Award in the category of “New Product or Service of the Year – Software – Software Development Solution,” for its CollabNet DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM) solution.

CollabNet DLM is an innovative leap for the DevOps market. It provides managers with a single real-time, dashboard view of their processes, and allows them to measure, monitor, predict and improve any aspect of their products to enhance their overall application portfolio. This view not only displays the progress and health of each application, but also the ways in which these applications contribute to value the organization delivers.

CollabNet DLM also allows users to conduct value stream mapping (VSM) for their development processes and tools. VSM is emerging as a best practice in DevOps for two important reasons. One, it accelerates continuous delivery (CD) so that organizations can quickly deliver new capabilities and better customer experiences. And two, VSM allows an organization to see the ROI of DevOps.

This award is a valuable recognition of the innovative work CollabNet has performed to help enterprises realize the value of DevOps,” said Flint Brenton, CEO at CollabNet. “Fundamentally, CollabNet DLM lets managers detect and respond immediately to any issues in their development pipeline, which lets organizations across industries reduce costs, deliver applications quickly and increase the value those applications provide to customers. We are honored that our product has received this recognition.”

As a bronze Stevie Awards winner, CollabNet has been entered into the People’s Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Products. Open voting runs until June 2 and anyone can vote for CollabNet DLM by visiting: https://peopleschoice.stevieawards.com/register-vote/57397/3214.

While there are many point tools in the market designed to speed up software delivery, only CollabNet’s DevOps Lifecycle Manager offers the intelligence and management leverage necessary to increase both the pace and quality of development. Along with the company’s flagship product, TeamForge, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager showcases CollabNet’s steadfast commitment to creating solutions that help enterprises of all sizes and government organizations harness the full power of DevOps and develop better software faster.

For more information about the DevOps Lifecycle Manager, please visit: https://www.collab.net/products/devops-lifecycle-manager.

About Stevie Awards

The Stevie® Awards are the world’s premier business awards. They were created in 2002 to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals worldwide. In short order the Stevie has become one of the world’s most coveted prizes. http://stevieawards.com/aba

About CollabNet

CollabNet helps enterprises and government organizations develop and deliver high-quality software at speed. CollabNet is a winner of the 2016 Best of Interop Award, a Best in Show winner in the application lifecycle management and development tools category of the SD Times 100 for 13 consecutive years, and a gold winner of the 2016 Golden Bridge Awards. CollabNet offers innovative solutions, consulting, and Agile training services. The company proudly supports more than 10,000 customers with 6 million users in 100 countries. For more information, please visit www.collabnet.com.

Industry asserts brand new attitude at WINDPOWER 2017

May 23, 2017

ANAHEIM, Calif., May 23, 2017 — U.S. wind industry leaders and the leader of the California Senate described the mounting economic benefits of increased wind power as thousands arrived in Anaheim for the American Wind Energy Association’s annual WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition.

“With wind’s success comes new and solvable challenges. Management of the grid needs to evolve to meet these challenges,” said Tristan Grimbert, newly elected AWEA Board Chair, and President and CEO of EDF Renewable Energy. He said to compete in the low price energy environment will take increased and improved transmission; fairer market rules; and for the market to recognize and compensate for wind’s attributes. “A brand new attitude is to embrace now, all forms of support to help forge the necessary policies and regulations for wind to thrive,” Grimbert said.

State Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León gave the keynote address on Tuesday, highlighting wind power’s success.

“California’s clean energy economy is a model for the rest of the nation and the world,” said Kevin de León, California State Senate President pro Tempore. “We’ve turned some of our biggest environmental challenges into incredible opportunities. We can dramatically expand clean energy while also growing our economy and putting people to work.”

De León authored California’s signature 50 percent renewable energy standard in 2025. That leadership continues this year as the Senate President has legislation that would take California to the next level. Modern wind power originated in the mountain passes of California. As one of the most affordable and reliable forms of electricity generation, wind will play an increasingly important role in the state and nation’s expanding clean energy mix.

“Wind power has grown to be America’s largest source of renewable capacity because we’ve delivered on our promises,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “We said more wind could be reliably added to the grid, that with stable tax policy we could grow jobs, and that with a level playing field we would invest in America. We delivered. Today we have five states over 20 percent wind, and over 100,000 American wind jobs. And we’ve invested $14 billion two years running in communities that need it the most.”

“We’re not just here to stay, we’re here to grow, and grow, and grow,” added Kiernan.

The Western Hemisphere’s largest wind energy conference features over 400 exhibitors, including 91 at the show for the first time. Kiernan in his remarks and columns this week in trade media described 16 trends that will continue to buoy the industry beyond 2020, once the wind energy Production Tax Credit completes its current phaseout. They include the falling cost of wind energy, expanding state policies like California’s, and upgrades to the nation’s power grid and transmission infrastructure.

New AWEA Leadership

In his new role as AWEA Board Chair, Grimbert appointed two Board members to fill temporary vacancies until 2018 member elections: Laura Beane, President and CEO, Avangrid Renewables, and Paul Loeffelman, Director, Corporate External Affairs and Head of Corporate International Affairs, for AEP. Earlier on Monday, AWEA welcomed new Board members elected by AWEA’s members in the 2017.

Panel: Energizing the Value Proposition for Wind Energy to Support Growth Beyond 2020

Wednesday, May 24

What: General session, featuring special presentations by Ben Fowke, President and CEO of Xcel Energy, and Chris Brown, President, Vestas Americas, and a panel discussion, followed by a media availability for media attending the conference.

Wind energy today is a highly competitive source of power in many regions of the U.S., thanks to steady and significant reductions in wind generation costs in recent years. Coupled with a growing preference for clean energy on the part of consumers and industrial customers, policy support from the PTC and state RPS policies, and the price volatility of natural gas, wind energy has grown impressively and now delivers 5.5 percent of electrical power in the U.S. With the continued falling cost of solar and the PTC sunset, the industry must make an effective business case for wind energy moving forward.

Who:

Special presentations and dialogue from:

  • Chris Brown, President, Vestas Americas;
  • Ben Fowke, President and CEO, Xcel Energy;

Panelists:

  • Amy Francetic, SVP, New Ventures & Corp. Affairs, Invenergy LLC;
  • Aparna Narang, Senior Director, Electric and Gas Acquisition, Pacific Gas and Electric Company;
  • Chris Brown, President, Vestas Americas;
  • Renee Carlson, Procurement Manager, Global Energy, 3M Corporation;
  • Moderator: Stephanie Kushner, CEO, Broadwind Energy;

When: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, May 24

Where: General session to be held at the Power Station, simulcast in all education stations, the AWEA booth and streaming online. This year’s new simulcast feature enables the general session to reach a record number of viewers. A media availability will take place tomorrow in the Green Room (pictured below) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time, following the panel.

You can register for the General Session livestream here.

California was an early wind energy pioneer and still ranks fourth in the U.S. in wind power installations with over 5,600 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity. That growth has led to $12.5 billion dollar in capital investment and up to 4,000 jobs. This includes manufacturing jobs at 12 wind-related factories across the state. Wind farms in California pay rural landowners $20 million a year in land lease payments.

Wind energy supporters who aren’t attending this year’s conference can follow this week’s event by using the hashtag #windworks primarily on Twitter or Facebook.

A media kit for the conference is available here: www.awea.org/WINDPOWER2017MediaKit

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AWEA is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry. We represent 1,000 member companies and over 100,000 jobs in the U.S. economy, serving as a powerful voice for how wind works for America. Members include global leaders in wind power and energy development, turbine manufacturing, and component and service suppliers. They gather each year at the Western Hemisphere’s largest wind power trade show, the AWEA WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, next in Anaheim, California, May 22-26, 2017. Find information about wind energy on the AWEA website. Gain insight into industry issues on AWEA’s blog, Into the Wind. And please join us on , and follow @AWEA on .

H.E Eng. Yasser El Kady, Minister of Communications & Information Technology Recognizes the Winners of the GE Egypt Digital Innovation Challenge

GE (NYSE: GE) today held the Award Ceremony for the GE Egypt Digital Innovation Challenge, which was attended by His Excellency Engineer Yasser El Kady, Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT). The Challenge was held under the patronage of the Ministry of MCIT and was done in partnership with the Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC), an affiliate of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA).

The 2016-17 GE Egypt Digital Innovation Challenge featured 188 submissions from young entrepreneurs, university students and software developers, coming from 18 different governorates across the country, who submitted their digital solutions for Egypt’s challenges in energy, healthcare and transportation sectors. The judging panel included nine judges from GE in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and the US, from the GE Digital, GE Renewables, GE Energy Connections, GE Healthcare, and GE Transportation businesses, in addition to two judges from TIEC. Each winner will be granted an EGP 100,000* cash prize, in addition to receiving a four-week online training to further develop their digital solution on Predix, GE’s platform for industry that enables the secure collection and analysis of data in real time. Additionally, the three winners will be granted a free Predix license for one year.

 “We are proud of the role that young minds can play towards the country’s digital transformation and see the importance of partnering with global companies to drive knowledge transfer and to enable youth with capabilities that help them excel,” said H.E. Eng. Yasser El Kady, Minister of Communications and Information Technology in Egypt. His Excellency explained the Ministry’s efforts to drive innovation and build the right ecosystem for entrepreneurship in Egypt, and highlighted that Egypt aims to become globally competitive in the fields of innovation and scientific research, hence we need to leverage similar initiatives done through entities like TIEC to prepare youth for that at an early age.

Ms. Asmaa Hosny, CEO of ITIDA, added: “ITIDA has several initiatives to enable local talent with technologies that will help them serve Egypt, the region and the world. Training Egyptian youth on Predix, GE’s platform for industry, will help innovators realize their potential to find solutions to industrial challenges while leveraging the Internet of Things.”

Additionally, Ayman Khattab, President & CEO, GE North East Africa, said, “We are proud to be a partner to TIEC on this initiative and are thankful for the support received from MCIT to make this a success. We look forward to working more with them to help drive Egypt’s digital transformation. Egypt has the talent and capabilities to be a global hub for software development, and it is our role to enable youth with the right resources to help them solve Egypt’s industrial challenges today, and in the future.”

Below are the winning ideas in the GE Egypt Digital Innovation Challenge:

Energy:

  • The challenge was to develop a digital solution that will help stabilize the electric grid, as various power sources including gas, wind, solar and coal, go online and offline.
  • The solution is a software that detects the voltage and current of each of the three phases of the distribution network in the Egyptian grid and connects it to a control box that monitors and analyzes data. This enables the injection of single phase photovoltaic (PV) sources, and switching between the phases seamlessly per their current load, hence decreasing unbalance of the grid and improving its satiability and reliability.
  • The winner is Ibrahim El Sayed Ibrahim, a 26-year-old Masters of Science and Engineering student who works as an electric engineer in the field of power generation.

Healthcare:

  • The challenge was to develop a digital solution to help track a hospital’s installed base of equipment, and improve process, operations and flow. 
  • The solution is an application that connects Bluetooth enabled sensors placed on equipment with Bluetooth enabled mobile devices to help monitor the condition and location of medical equipment. The system also supports Bluetooth fixed beacons to locate medical staff and personnel within a medical environment, hence improving the efficiency at any medical institution and better managing its assets.
  • The winners are Hany Fathy Hamad and Talal Osama ElShabrawy, who are both Telecommunications Engineering professors at the German University in Cairo

Transportation:

  • The challenge was to develop a digital solution to remotely monitor the rail fleet, and record information about operations, maintenance cycles and scheduling.
  • The solution is a control system, that leverages IoT technology, by collecting data from sensors placed on locomotives and trolleys, and then transmits it to a control center that will help drivers remotely analyze and monitor the fleet. This ultimately helps detect issues before they occur, and helps manage fleet scheduling, hence improving the efficiency of rail transportation which will help decrease carbon emissions, road traffic and accidents on the road.
  • The winning team is Egyptian Smart Transport Cargo (ESTC), which includes Yasser Ashoosh, Amr Abdeen, Haytham Tag, and Mohamed Gaffer, who are students at the Faculty of Engineering, studying Mechatronics at the University of Banha, located in Banha, and Dr. Nader Mansour, Mechatronics Professor at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Banha.

GE’s approach to open innovation is helping address customer and country needs more efficiently and effectively. By sourcing and supporting innovative ideas wherever they might come from, we can apply GE’s scale and expertise to solve some of the world’s toughest challenges.

-ends-

* Terms & conditions apply. The cash prize is subject to the Egyptian tax law and its regulations. 

Media Suite 15 adds new online chat, Cloud storage, and cutting edge 360 video editing features to the latest in award-winning home theater, video and photo editing.

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Taipei, TaiwanMay 23rd, 2017CyberLink Corp. (5203.TW),the world’s leading consumer multimedia software company, today released the biggest update in years to its comprehensive, class-leading software collection, CyberLink Media Suite 15. This latest version packs must-have home theater technologies alongside a host of editing, burning, ripping, conversion and online tools that satisfy the diverse multimedia needs of the entire family.

Media Suite is headlined by the latest versions of CyberLink’s playback and editing software — PowerDVD 17, PowerDirector 15, and PhotoDirector 8. Industry-trusted disc burning and media conversion software, and the addition of Full HD screen recording, 360-degree video editing and 25GB of free online storage, make the new release ideal for consumers looking for a truly all-in-one software collection.

Media Suite 15 also sees the addition of YouCam 7’s enhanced online chat and webcam tools, providing fun and functionality for the entire family. Online chats and webcam recordings can be enhanced with the integration of PowerPoint presentations, real-time facial beautification tools and over 200 fun effects available through a full set of capture tools. What’s more, YouCam allows users to use their webcam to login to both Windows and popular websites by using facial recognition technology, the most secure protection around.

CyberLink has always been at the cutting-edge of technology to create and play with digital media, and through Media Suite we are able to bring our best-in-class tools to even more consumers,” said Dr. Jau Huang, CEO of CyberLink. “It’s a solution that’s budget-conscious while still including all the features that meet the diverse multimedia needs of the entire family.”

Media Suite 15 brings a raft of new features to the table, led by PowerDVD’s support for Roku®, Apple TV® and ChromecastTM media casting devices and ability to play and pin YouTube 4K video for offline enjoyment. A range of new action video editing tools including innovative 360 video editing combine with powerful new photo layering templates, and video-to-photo creation tools to meet the latest demands of multimedia consumers and creators.

Media Suite 15 Products

CyberLink Media Suite 15 includes more than $800 worth of Cyberlink’s top selling software:

  • PowerDVD 17 – The essential companion to your connected home theater.
  • PowerDirector 15 – A unique combination of high-end performance and advanced editing features.
  • PhotoDirector 8 – Complete editing and adjustment tools to bring your photos to life.
  • Power2Go 10 – Burn data, rip and convert music to CD, DVD and Blu-ray disc.
  • MediaEspresso 7.5 – Convert media to play on-the-go, including Ultra HD 4K.
  • YouCam 7 – Fun image enhancements and webcam tools to keep you connected.
  • Screen Recorder – Capture everything on your desktop in Full HD.
  • MediaShow 6 – Effortlessly organize your media collection.
  • PowerProducer 6 – Turn your photos and videos into Hollywood-style Blu-ray and DVD discs.
  • WaveEditor 2 – Edit audio tracks and create mobile ringtones.
  • LabelPrint 2.5 – Design and print stylish CD/DVD labels in 4 easy steps.
  • PowerBackup 2.6 – Effortlessly backup up to 50GB of data onto a Blu-ray disc.
  • PowerDVD Copy 1.5 – Copy DVDs in high-quality including smart auto-shrink to disc capacity.
  • Instant Burn 5 – Burn to Blu-ray disc instantly with packet writing technology.
  • CyberLink Cloud – 25GB to store, download and backup your media online.
  • Content Packs – Three exclusive travel, holiday and wedding themed content packs.

Media Suite 15 Availability

Media Suite 15 is available today from the CyberLink online store in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Japanese and Korean.

Versions and Pricing

Media Suite 15 Ultimate: US$149.95

Media Suite 15 Ultra: US$129.95

Upgrade from older versions of Media Suite starting from US$69.95

For more information and for a complete list of products included in Media Suite 15, please visit the Media Suite product page.

About CyberLink
CyberLink (5203.TW) is a world leader in multimedia software design. Since 1996, CyberLink has transformed how people enjoy and create media on PCs, mobile devices and in the Cloud. The company’s award-winning products are sold to all major PC manufacturers as well as millions of customers worldwide. Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, CyberLink also runs regional operations through offices in the US, Japan, Europe and Asia-Pacific territories. Further information about CyberLink can be found at cyberlink.com.

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Press Contacts:

Corporate: Chloe Wu at press@cyberlink.com or by phone at: +886-2-8667-1298, ext. 1124
CyberLink Japan: Hiroyuki Imazawa at contact_pr_jpn@cyberlink.com or by phone at: +81-3-5875-6650
CyberLink USA: Allie Tedone at contact_pr@cyberlink.com or by phone at +1 (646) 571-0120
Germany: Volker Maxisch at contact_pr_deu@cyberlink.com or by phone: +31-43-306-0797
France: Laëtitia D’Urso at contact_pr_fr@cyberlink.com or by phone:+33-(0)1 79 30 90 39
United Kingdom: Volker Maxisch at contact_pr_uk@cyberlink.com or by phone: +31-43-306-0797

All companies and product names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and are the sole
property of their respective owners. Copyright © 2017 CyberLink Corp. All rights reserved.

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Nuance and DFKI Jointly Advance Cognitive and Conversational AI for Autonomous Driving

New study one of many projects underway as Nuance opens office at DFKI as part of expanded partnership for automotive, healthcare and enterprise solutions

BURLINGTON, Mass. and SAARBRUECKEN, Germany – May 23, 2017 – Today Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) announced it has expanded its partnership with Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz (DFKI GmbH), the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and world’s largest research center, dedicated to the development of AI methods and applications. Nuance opened an office at the DFKI campus in Saarbruecken to further advance cognitive and conversational AI innovation across several joint research initiatives, including the relationship between humans and in-car systems, as well as AI applied to healthcare systems and omni-channel customer care.

Nuance and DFKI have already begun work addressing the application of conversational and cognitive AI for autonomous systems for self-driving cars, where automotive assistants in these environments must be intelligent and collaborative to effectively engage passengers when it’s their turn to drive.

Autonomous cars will provide more hands-off time for people, where they’ll now spend their time being entertained or productive – either watching movies, catching up on the latest news, or making better use of long commutes through work productivity apps and services.  However, control of the vehicle needs to be handed back to the driver quickly and seamlessly when hands-on engagement is needed. To better understand the many scenarios where transfer of control will need to happen and how, Nuance and DFKI conducted a human-based usability study to identify the most effective ways to grab a passenger’s attention.

Participants of the study were placed in a simulated autonomous car environment in a variety of situations, such as reading, listening to music, writing an email, and watching a movie.  While participants were engaged in activities, the autonomous system would alert them through vibration (haptic), visual and auditory cues to see which of the senses responded the fastest to take the wheel.  The study included a variety of scenarios such as inclement weather conditions, system diagnostic warnings, sensor defects, traffic jams and general rules of the road. Following the scenarios, participants were asked to rate their experience on the pleasantness, usability, information trust and information usefulness in each of the scenarios.

Key findings of the study were:

  • Integrated, multimodal user interfaces leveraging voice, touch and visual cues were preferred by the majority of participants. Drivers weren’t as responsive or pleased with notifications using the same modality as their current activity, and would rather a combination of alerts adapted to their current activity. For example, if someone is reading a book, participants preferred to be alerted by a sound or vibration.  And when engrossed in e-mails or work activity, drivers preferred to be alerted by sound.
  • Systems must have contextual data and information from the car and the car sensors, including information about the current activity of the driver, and the best alert cue to ensure faster reaction and better user experience.
  • Independent of the current driver activity, sound is considered more pleasant and effective than visual cues, leading to faster reactions than simply vibrations or haptic alerts. 
  • Drivers trust audible and haptic responses from the automotive assistant more than visual cues alone.
  • Data indicates that the reaction time is the lowest when the driver is engaged in a listening activity, such as listening to a book or music.

The DFKI study is complementary to a recent survey conducted by Nuance in US and the UK among 400 drivers looking at the type of activities that drivers are planning to do as passengers in an autonomous car.  

If alone on a longer trip, respondents cited their top five activities in the car would be listening to the radio (64%) relaxing (63%), talking on the phone (42%), browsing the Internet (42%) and messaging (36%) — all representing a combination of visual, auditory and haptic tasks.

If driving with others, people naturally engage more in activities with the co-passengers, like having conversations (71%) or listening to the radio (58%), rather than talking on the phone (only 19%) or messaging (23%).

Our partnership with DFKI is focused on advancing the state of the art of AI solutions for physicians, healthcare organizations, automakers, and enterprises,” said Vlad Sejnoha, Chief Technology Officer, Nuance Communications. “Nuance and DFKI share the vision that advanced personal assistants and cognitive technologies can effectively amplify human intelligence, and in the process, transform patient and customer care, and make our experience with smart devices and the connected car vastly more productive and rewarding.”

“Cognitive and conversational AI are the key technologies driving the second wave of digitalization, that is based on deep machine understanding of digital data. Partnering with Nuance allows us to put innovation into action – taking our research and directly applying it to the systems that people use every day, and addressing the real-world challenges and complexities of connected smart service platforms.  With a Nuance office at the DFKI Campus in Saarbruecken, where research groups on autonomous driving, deep learning, multimodal dialogue, and language understanding are located, we will continue to push boundaries on the conversation between humans and smart environments, and ultimately bring to market the next generation of cars, bots, assistants and smart objects that simply make everyday life better and safer,” said Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster, CEO of DFKI.

The partnership between Nuance and DFKI is also advancing NLU’s mapping of words to meaning to further develop conversational and cognitive AI interfaces between people and virtual assistants across a number of vertical markets, including healthcare and enterprise omni-channel customer care.  Nuance already supports NLU across more than 40 languages today and is continuously expanding through the application of “Deep NLU,” which goes beyond traditional approaches by extracting deeper linguistic information, a prerequisite for understanding the subtleties of human language. The DFKI team will help take on a project to localize Deep NLU into German, leveraging their existing experience and technology components in this area.

Nuance is a shareholder of DFKI, together with other global players like Google, Microsoft, Intel, SAP, BMW, Bosch, and Deutsche Telekom.

About the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence GmbH (DFKI)

The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence is the leading German research institute in the field of innovative software technology. In the international scientific community, DFKI ranks among the most recognized „Centers of Excellence” and currently is the largest research center worldwide in the area of Artificial Intelligence and its application in terms of number of employees and the volume of external funds. 485 employees from 60 countries are currently conducting research focusing on Smart Data & Knowledge Services, Cyber-Physical Systems, Multilingual Technologies, Plan-Based Robot Control, Educational Technology Lab, Interactive Textiles, Robotics Innovation Center, Innovative Retail Laboratory, Institute for Information Systems, Embedded Intelligence, Smart Service Engineering, Intelligent Analytics for Massive Data, Intelligent Networks, Agents and Simulated Reality, Augmented Vision, Language Technology, Intelligent User interfaces, and Innovative Factory Systems. Impact: more than 98 professorships of former DFKI employees, and 70 spin-off companies with approximately 2,500 highly qualified jobs. For more information: www.dfki.de

About Nuance Communications, Inc.

Nuance Communications is the pioneer and leader in conversational and cognitive AI innovations that bring intelligence to everyday work and life.  The company delivers solutions that can understand, analyze and respond to human language to increase productivity and amplify human intelligence.  With decades of domain and artificial intelligence expertise, Nuance works with thousands of organizations – in global industries that include healthcare, telecommunications, automotive, financial services, and retail – to create stronger relationships and better experiences for their customers and workforce. To learn more visit www.nuance.com.

Trademark reference: Nuance and the Nuance logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Nuance Communications, Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners.

Contact Information

For Press

EMEA

Vanessa Richter

Nuance Communications, Inc.

+32 475769507

vanessa.richter@nuance.com

North America

Rebecca Paquette

Nuance Communications, Inc.

1-781-565-5000

rebecca.paquette@nuance.com

ANA Study Finds Agency Compensation Models Shifting Away From Fees and Incentives

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Commissions and Value-Based Compensation on the Rise

Report Shows Transparency Initiative Also Having an Impact

SAN DIEGO, May 22, 2017 — The use of labor-based fees and performance incentives by marketers is decreasing as advertisers look to simplify their agency compensation practices, according to a new report by the ANA (Association of National Advertisers).

The latest ANA agency compensation research revealed that as a result of the ANA’s 2016 Media Transparency initiative, brands are more aware of their own agency compensation practices and are reviewing them at the highest level of their organizations.

The report, Trends in Agency Compensation: How Marketers Are Simplifying Agency Management and Seeking Transparency, is the 17th edition of the triennial study; it will be released tomorrow at the 2017 ANA Advertising Financial Management Conference.

The study found that the drop in labor-based fees was the first such decline since 2006. Although it remains the most-used method, it is losing momentum in favor of a small but increasing use of traditional commissions and value-based compensation.

In addition, the use of incentives has significantly declined for the first time in 50 years of the survey. Respondents indicated incentives do not improve agency performance. Structuring and managing effective incentive plans is complicated, time-consuming, and often ineffective.

IMPACT OF TRANSPARENCY REPORT
Referencing the ANA’s media transparency study, respondents said the effort has had an impact on their approach to agency compensation. They are examining and restructuring their contract agreements as part of their overall agency compensation practices.

The study showed that senior management involvement in agency negotiations more than doubled (from 33 percent to 73 percent) in 2016 from the last survey three years ago, while involvement of finance nearly tripled (from 15 percent to 45 percent). At the same time, corporate senior management involvement in agency cost reviews increased from 52 percent in 2013 to 79 percent last year. Also, half of respondents who were aware of the report have changed their rebate and bonus practices.

The ANA has been urging marketers to become increasingly involved and engaged in agency contract and digital media supply chain management. A key way to accomplish that goal is to be keenly aware of how media transparency issues are minimized within the framework of the client/agency contract,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. „Now, our latest compensation research indicates that marketers are taking up that challenge by aggressively addressing transparency concerns and streamlining and simplifying agency compensation practices.”

ADDITIONAL FINDINGS:

  • Commission-Based Payment: Driven by marketers’ push for simpler compensation methods, the use of traditional media commissions — near „extinction” at only 3 percent of respondents in 2010 — has climbed back to 12 percent. Commissions are being used primarily for media services, and notably for programmatic media, which involves both human labor and technology costs.
  • Value-Based Compensation: This newer method reappeared after no reports of its use in the previous two surveys. Although only a small percentage (7 percent) employ this method, it is a further indication that marketers continue to explore alternative approaches to traditional fees or media commissions.
  • Negotiation: Most advertisers (53 percent) still negotiate agency compensation annually; however, this practice is down 19 percent from the previous survey. Those who negotiate „when required” is at 40 percent, up substantially from 2013 (26 percent).
  • Multiple Agencies: Marketers are compensating a wide number of agency types (an average of 1.85 agencies each), indicating clients are choosing an agency mix to get the expertise and results they need even when it means managing multiple relationships.

METHODOLOGY
The ANA Trends in Agency Compensation study has been conducted every three years for nearly the last 50 years among client-side marketers. The current research, which was supported by contributions from Dave Beals, president of and CEO at JLB + Partners, and Demand Metric, was conducted six months after the release of the ANA’s findings on media transparency to look at how the compensation landscape has been affected by transparency concerns. This report covers findings from an online survey conducted by the ANA in December 2016 and January 2017 among a sample of 82 member companies familiar with agency compensation practices at their companies, representing more than 1,100 client/agency compensation agreements.

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ABOUT THE ANA
The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) makes a difference for individuals, brands, and the industry by advancing the interests of marketers and promoting and protecting the well-being of the marketing community. Founded in 1910, the ANA provides leadership that advances marketing excellence and shapes the future of the industry. The ANA’s membership includes more than 1,000 companies with 15,000 brands that collectively spend or support more than $250 billion in marketing and advertising annually. The membership is comprised of more than 750 client-side marketers and more than 300 associate members, which include leading agencies, law firms, suppliers, consultants, and vendors. Further enriching the ecosystem is the work of the nonprofit Advertising Educational Foundation (AEF), an ANA subsidiary, which has the mission of enhancing the understanding of advertising and marketing within the academic and marketing communities.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Duke Fanelli
Non-ANA members may access the executive summary of Trends in Agency Compensation: How Marketers Are Simplifying Agency Management and Seeking Transparency.

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AJC Praises President Trump’s Call on Muslim Nations to Confront Islamist Extremism

May 21, 2017 – New York – AJC praised President Trump for his clarion call on Muslim countries to take responsibility for leading the fight against Islamist extremism. “Drive them out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your communities,” he said.

“Honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires,” said Trump, “means standing together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews and the slaughter of Christians.”

Addressing more than 50 Arab and Muslim heads of state in Riyadh today, the president said that “the nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries, and for their children.”

“President Trump’s refreshing honesty is welcome and needed in describing the Islamist extremist threat that developed in the Middle East years ago, and spread across the region and around the world,” said David Harris, CEO of AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organization, which has frequently traveled in the Sunni Arab world over the past nearly three decades. “We agree that the fight against Islamist extremism is a battle between the forces of good and decency, on the one hand, and evil and a death cult, on the other, and that victory depends, above all, on what Arab and Muslim nations do to counter and defeat this violent, deadly scourge.

Trump asserted that the U.S. relationships with Muslim countries are based on “shared interests and values,” and they will continue to partner in fighting the extremist threat. To that end, he urged the Muslim leaders to ensure that “terrorists find no sanctuary on their soil,” and announced an agreement with Gulf countries to fight against the financing of terrorists.

Harris also praised Trump for his unflinching words on Iran and the regime’s support for terrorism and destabilizing involvement in Syria and other countries. “The people of Iran have endured hardship and despair due to their leaders’ reckless pursuit of conflict and terror,” said Trump.

„And he could not have been clearer in his description of Hezbollah and Hamas as the terrorist groups they most assuredly are,” Harris added.

ADL Says Re-Election of Iranian President Rouhani Reminds Us How Little Has Changed

New York, NY, May 21, 2017 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said the re-election of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani does not change the imperative that the world must be vigilant and oppose the regime’s internal and external aggressions.

Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:

This election reminds us how little has changed in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Incumbent Hassan Rouhani was one of the handful of candidates handpicked by Iran’s Supreme Leader and the Guardian Council. And, indeed, the ultimate power in the country continues to lie with the Supreme Leader. It is even a stretch to call this an election in any conventional sense when all the contestants were hand-picked by the Supreme Leader, when outsiders were not permitted to observe the process, and when minority candidates were excluded from the polls.

It is unhelpful when Western media portray Rouhani as the ‘moderate’ candidate. This description only clouds the reality of modern Iran. It is a brutal theocracy that oppresses its own people, albeit some quarters prefer to strengthen the bureaucrats and others prefer to strengthen the clerics. But regardless of the winner in this process, the outcome is the same: authoritarianism, militarism, repression, and an unbroken allegiance to the Islamic revolution.

We cannot forget that under this so-called ‘moderate’ leader, there was no slowdown in Iran’s aggressive regional policy, including state sponsorship of terrorism; active participation in war crimes committed in Syria; and unceasing belligerence against Israel that manifested through financial and material support for terror organizations along with an unrelenting stream of anti-Semitic propaganda. Nor was there a moderation of its gross human rights violations against religious minorities, the LGBT community, journalists and others, particularly its widespread use of imprisonment and execution to intimidate its own citizens.

It is important that the U.S. Administration has been tough in holding Iran accountable through enhanced sanctions related to its missile program and human rights outrages. We call on the international community to be vigilant and continue to press for real policy, democratic and social reform.

DJ Khaled surprises statistics graduation

(UC Berkeley video by Stephen McNally)

Steve Stoute — a cultural force who has built a name in the music industry and as a marketing and brand entrepreneur — brought his savvy to the Zellerbach Playhouse at UC Berkeley Thursday, telling graduating statistics students that “data is the instrument, now go be the artist. Keep pushing the culture forward.”

Steve Stoute

Then he introduced his surprise for the grads. “Here is your gift today!” he told them, bringing out DJ Khaled. The record producer and DJ took the floor in a pale blue track suit and, after a little encouragement, got the students to put their hands in the air as he performed “All I Do Is Win.”

“This is amazing ’cause I didn’t graduate myself,” he told the audience. “So this is the closest thing to graduation for me too.”

And he added, “They don’t want us to graduate, so we gon’ graduate!”

Stoute, founder and CEO of Translation LLC, a marketing and branding firm, and author of  The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy, has built a successful career in business but acknowledged to the graduates it was his first time in a cap and gown, though he attended five schools.

“And my parents are in the audience!” he said. “Mom, Dad, this is as close as we’re ever going to get!”

American Heart Association names new Chief Administrative Officer

DALLAS, May 19, 2017 – The American Heart Association (AHA), the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease, has named a key senior executive to its nationwide leadership team. The veteran corporate attorney and finance executive will be tasked with driving enhanced operational performance on an enterprise basis while achieving improvements in business efficiencies. 

Larry Cannon joins the AHA as its new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) at the organization’s national headquarters in Dallas. As CAO, Cannon will oversee the enterprise business operations of the 93-year-old non-profit. In addition to overseeing all financial management, he will also be responsible for the AHA’s technology, human resources, facilities and other strategic business investments and operations.

Cannon served most recently as the Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Corporate Secretary for FTS International, Inc. in Fort Worth, TX.  FTS International is the largest private oil and gas well completion company in North America, with operations in China. Prior to that, he was a corporate attorney for Jones Day in Dallas, TX, and Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago, IL, where he structured and negotiated domestic and international securities offerings, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and other corporate finance transactions.

The American Heart Association is an increasingly global organization, acting as one unified voice on the many issues involved in realizing our vision of a world free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke,” said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown.“ As we continue to grow and evolve our business models, both in the U.S. and abroad, I’m very excited by the business rigor and experience Larry brings to our life-saving work. Under his leadership, I’m confident we’ll experience even greater operating efficiencies that result in even greater impact.“

“I’m excited to help lead new business models for the American Heart Association to further position the organization’s work with individuals and organizations to transform communities and extend and improve people’s lives,” Cannon said. “I look forward to implementing the best practices I’ve learned from my corporate career as well as new innovative approaches to establish new strategies for the American Heart Association.”

Larry Cannon began his career as a certified public accountant with Ernst & Young, LLP. He is an alumnus of Baylor University in Waco, TX, and the DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, IL.

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on and .