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Google is calling the next version of its mobile operating system Android KitKat. The news comes as a surprise as the firm had previously indicated version 4.4 of the OS would be Key Lime Pie.
The decision to brand the software with the name of Nestle's chocolate bar is likely to be seen as a marketing coup for the Swiss food and beverage maker.
However, Google told the BBC that it had come up with the idea and that neither side was paying the other.
"This is not a money-changing-hands kind of deal," John Lagerling, director of Android global partnerships, told the BBC.
Instead, he said, the idea was to do something "fun and unexpected".
However, one branding expert warned there were potential pitfalls to such a deal.
"If your brand is hooked up with another, you inevitably become associated with that other brand, for good or ill," said Simon Myers, a partner at the consultancy Prophet.
"If that brand or business has some reputation issues that emerge, it would be naive to think as a brand owner that your good name, your brand equity, would not be affected."
Nestle has faced criticism in the past for the way it promoted powdered baby milk in the developing world. It has also had to recall numerous products, most recently bags of dog food following a salmonella scare in the US.
Google has also attracted controversy of its own, including a recent report from the US government suggesting that Android attracts more malware attacks than any other mobile OS.
Google also announced that it has now recorded the system being activated on a smartphone or other device more than one billion times.
Since 2009, Google and its partners in the Open Handset Alliance have codenamed each Android release after a type of treat, with major updates progressing a letter along the alphabet.
Previous versions have been called Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo (short for frozen yoghurt), Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean.
Although the developers had referred to the forthcoming version as KLP in internal documents, Mr Lagerling said the team decided late last year to opt instead for the chocolate bar.
"We realized that very few people actually know the taste of a key lime pie," he explained.
"One of the snacks that we keep in our kitchen for late-night coding are KitKats. And someone said: 'Hey, why don't we call the release KitKat?'
"We didn't even know which company controlled the name, and we thought that [the choice] would be difficult. But then we thought well why not, and we decided to reach out to the Nestle folks."
Mr Lagerling said he had made a "cold call" to the switchboard of Nestle's UK advertising agency at the end of November to propose the tie-up.
The next day, the Swiss firm invited him to take part in a conference call. Nestle confirmed the deal just 24 hours later.
"Very frankly, we decided within an hour to say let's do it," Patrice Bula, Nestle's marketing chief told the BBC.
Mr Bula acknowledges there were risks involved - for example, if the new OS proved to be crash-prone or particularly vulnerable to malware it could cause collateral damage to KitKat's brand.
"Maybe I'll be fired," he joked.
"When you try to lead a new way of communicating and profiling a brand you always have a higher risk than doing something much more traditional.
"You can go round the swimming pool 10 times wondering if the water is cold or hot or you say: 'Let's jump.'"
Executives from the two firms met face to face at a secret event held at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February to finalize the details.
To promote the alliance, Nestle now plans to deliver more than 50 million chocolate bars featuring the Android mascot to shops in 19 markets, including the UK, US, Brazil, India, Japan and Russia.
The packaging had to be produced in advance over the past two months. But despite the scale of the operation, the two firms managed to keep the story a secret,
"Keeping it confidential was paramount to Google's strategy," acknowledges Mr Bula. "Absolutely nothing leaked."
The Android team also took steps to preserve the element of surprise, notifying only a "tight team" about the decision.
"We kept calling the name Key Lime Pie internally and even when we referred to it with partners," revealed Mr Lagerling.
"If we had said, 'The K release is, by the way, secret', then people would have racked their minds trying to work out what it was going to be."
Most Google employees will have learned of the news only when a statue of the Android mascot made out of KitKats was unveiled at the firm's Mountain View, California, campus.
"A lot of things, especially in tech nowadays, become public before they are officially supposed to be," said Mr Lagerling.
"I think it's going to a big surprise for a lot of people, including Googlers."
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When Ford first introduced the assembly line, he could only imagine how it would affect the automotive industry. But what about how it could affect supply and demand within the life sciences industry? Automotive and similar factories have been converted before to help build items most needed. Not the least of which, today, is to help supply those in the life sciences industry with the PPE and medical devices they need. Demand is high. Supply is not. Enter blockchain technologies. As health systems become overburdened and disruptions to ‘normal’ life occur on a global scale, it’s important to ensure critical resources are prioritized. So, what can businesses do to help ensure supply and demand are met in not only these critical times, but for the future. FIVE WAYS TO ENSURE SUPPLY MEETS DEMAND When it’s difficult to supply even the most in demand products, it’s time to take an assessment of various scenarios. These scenarios can help leaders predict what and when they’ll need certain products and critical items. Assess your scenario within the framework of increased disruption.What are your capabilities?Identify the most immediate needs to meet, any risks to be aware of, and take action.Determine any structural changes you’ll need to make.Prepare to pivot. Be aware you may be in a continuous cycle of determining risk, assessing where you are and need to go, any configurations you’ll need to make to get there, and any operational procedures to improve and move forward. By assessing, prioritizing, and visualizing, companies are able to craft a clearer scope of vision. The scenarios created can offer insight into key pieces of planning to help mitigate disruptions of supply chain processes. This crisis will have long-lasting effects and implications from how we work to how we assure supply and demand. It’s in these strange crosshairs, the life sciences industry finds itself at the center of this pandemic, and at the same time is the life force which has given blockchain technologies fuel to improve. No matter where you are on the spectrum of supply chain technology, there is calculated risk to every decision. Just because we’re easing restrictions now, doesn’t mean there won’t be an about face in the next few months, and what companies do between now and then is critical. Supply is already short. Now is the time to take immediate action to help mitigate risk for patients, providers, your clients, and your communities WHAT TO DO NOW AND HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE The scale of risk is unlike any leaders have seen in recent years. Its speed adds to the uncertainty as numbers rise, decisions change, and most are left wondering what’s next. Businesses who respond quickly and confidently can help to alleviate some uncertainties, but can craft a plan crucial to understanding the complexities of blockchain within the industry. Strong data, analysis, predictive modelling can help to anticipate any further or potential disruption. Taking these steps can help make businesses more resilient in the future and also help them manage future challenges. It’s integral to have strong, responsive, and resilient risk management capabilities. To do this, your business will want to ensure their capabilities are technology-led platforms which support analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Whether you’re mitigating risk, preparing an assessment, or determining your capabilities, it’s important to ensure you’re transparent. We are all in this together. Even in business. Transparency builds trust as does assuring supply and demand by mitigating risk. It’s these things which will soon become the basics of business protocols. Business processes have shifted online, looking for your next job has become more daunting than ever before. But here’s the good news. Leaders, hiring managers, recruiters, and prospective employees are all navigating a new way of doing business and finding talent to keep those businesses running. In the wake of work-from-home policies, remote working, and the shifting landscape of working outside the office, technology careers are prime opportunities to both gain increased knowledge in your chosen field or begin your career path. If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics professional opportunities, check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to email@example.com.
28. May 2020
In the race to develop tests and create vaccines, the Life Sciences have become leaders within the Data industry. Working in tandem with a variety of sources such as human capital, blockchain, Data, and Analytics professionals to get help delivered to where it’s needed most. This remains a critical time for the Life Sciences. As we work to flatten the curve and take steps to reopen the economy, the Life Sciences industry is also helping to empower the workforce for the foreseeable future. For many businesses, this means allowing remote working either through the end of the year or indefinitely. The ability for those in the Life Sciences industry to collaborate remotely widens the availability and offers more virtual engagement for patients, providers, and researchers without risk of contagion. There are four key areas in which companies can focus their efforts: Strengthen and empower your workforce and business community.Ensure demand meets supply.Leverage your Data to advance how patients are treated.Ensure technologies and processes are in place to virtualize patient/provider engagement. We’ll look at each of these over the next few weeks. So, how do you empower your workforce, build your community, and ensure continuity for your business? First, determine how you might best attract and retain talent for the problems to solve now and in the future. Five Ways to Ensure Workplace Flexibility for the Future Enable your employees to work remotely through digital, virtual, and collaborative technologies.Build a transparent culture through meaningful connection between healthcare providers, patients, partners, and vendors. Make sure everyone’s on the same page at every stage.Innovate new ways to interact through digital means and encourage business continuity through remote work, virtual AI to assist with customers, and evolve connections to meet strategic objectives.Widen your scope to collaborate across geographies at a global scale.Automate when possible to expand detection and response Life Sciences Brands Set New Standards for the World of Healthcare The sudden and long-lasting impact of COVID-19 requires brands to move more quickly than ever before to best serve their customers. It’s imperative customer operations offer quality, caring, and compassion particularly within the healthcare and by design Life Sciences industry. In order to offer the best care and treatment, Life Sciences brands must use the Data and Analytics information they’ve acquired from healthcare records, researchers, and more to ensure quality care for both customers and employees. In times of uncertainty and fear, leaders must make informed, swift decisions. Trust is paramount is work, research, customer and employee relationships move to and remain online rather than face-to-face. While our collective emotional state adds to the challenge, it also offers new opportunities to be forged. The work-from-home model is dependent on having the right secure technology. Employees and businesses need to feel as secure working from home as they would in an office environment. To create this experience and build trust, implementing networking infrastructures will be more important than ever before. Put People First As important as secure technologies, solid networking infrastructures, and customer care are, the number one priority to ensure you can meet each of these is to care first and foremost, for your workforce. It’s this caring which will enhance your efforts allowing for business continuity as you also care for your customers. We are all in unchartered territory these days, but leaders who put their employees first are building another level of trust. Understanding the unique intensity of caring for family members and managing wellness as well as navigating increased workloads for some of their employees may seem untenable. But when your workforce is armed with the latest information, assurance of frequent communication, and the chance to celebrate small wins and jobs well done, the people you care for will care for your business. Business processes have shifted online, looking for your next job has become more daunting than ever before. But here’s the good news. Leaders, hiring managers, recruiters, and prospective employees are all navigating a new way of doing business and finding talent to keep those businesses running. In the wake of work-from-home policies, remote working, and the shifting landscape of working outside the office, technology careers are prime opportunities to both gain increased knowledge in your chosen field or begin your career path. If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics or other Data professional opportunities, check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to email@example.com.
21. May 2020
Small business. Big business. From Amazon to Zoe’s Restaurant, everyone has taken a hit during the pandemic. Some are closed indefinitely while some have been retrofitted to make masks, ventilators, or have even become makeshift labs to find a vaccine or a cure for the coronavirus. But what’s one thing all these businesses have in common? The need for marketing. We’ve all had emails assuring us our favorite business is doing their part to flatten the curve. Others might explain they’re refocusing or redoubling their efforts to support front line workers, but they’ll return to business when they can, and small enterprises? Every sale is a bonus for them as they struggle to make ends meet and stay in business. So, what are some ways that Marketing Analytics are helping these businesses both big and small plan for the future? They’re making use of marketing analytics. Shift Strategies. Build Community. It’s a virtual business world, but that doesn’t mean you should stop marketing, or that your customers aren’t still around. By showing you care about your customers whether it’s taking steps to sanitize surfaces or offering high-value content. By shifting strategies from outbound to inbound, it’s giving your customers a chance to window shop, browse, and consider before buying. Whether they’re having to be cautious about their finances or not, how you present yourself to them, keeps them around for the long haul. Being there for your customers shows them you appreciate them and care about them. And that you’re not just about the sale. This is the virtual handshake which keeps your customers coming back and gives them something to look forward to in the future. Show Support. Express Solidarity. This is for both your employees and your customers. When you show support and express solidarity from within your company, it speaks volumes to your customers. These are trying times for everyone, if you must close your doors, be clear in your communications. Be honest and explain what’s happening, if and when you hope or expect to resume operations, and stay positive. Niche Market Analysis Determine who your customers are and how they might react in times like these. How they react can determine what you do next and how you do it for your business? As much as you should have an overview of your demographics, it’s also important to take a deeper dive. Knowing this information can help you plan the most effective marketing strategy for the future of your business. This kind of raw Data offers a wealth of information and resources to help you best analyze your information. Gather Data. Track. Analyze. This can help you get an overview of what’s working, what isn’t, and how you can pivot based on your customer’s needs. This time is an opportunity to assess, reassess, and pivot if needed to determine what works best for you and your customers. From here, you can refine your strategies, get creative in your ideas, test, and track. Remember, Marketing is a process. Marketing is a long game. Have patience. Be consistent. While the fruits of your labors may not be immediately felt, customers may feel of a sense of normalcy knowing you’re with them during this pandemic. Everyone’s in the same boat. We’re all in this together. Whether you’re a business on the front lines or have to close your doors for a while, using these strategies help not only your customers have something to look forward to, but you as well. As business processes have continue to shift online, looking for your next job has become more daunting than ever before. But here’s the good news. Leaders, Hiring Managers, recruiters, and prospective employees are all navigating a new way of doing business and finding talent to keep those businesses running. In the wake of work-from-home policies, remote working, and the shifting landscape of working outside the office, technology careers are prime opportunities to both gain increased knowledge in your chosen field or begin your career path. If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics professional opportunities, check out our current vacancies or contact one of our expert consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to email@example.com
14. May 2020
As states begin to lift restrictions, projections of cases and deaths, are expected to rise. Racing against the clock are scientists, Predictive Data Modelers, Bioinformatics Statisticians, and AI. Together with Machine Learning platforms, they’re working to find a solution to not only flatten the curve, but stop the virus in its tracks. And the first line of defense they’re turning to? AI. AI as First Line of Defense Against Covid-19 Once a challenge to humans as taking over jobs, AI is now at the center of cutting-edge technologies to track the pandemic. Combined with other technologies such as machine learning, bioinformatics, and other Data solutions, AI has become a first line of defense against the outbreak. With the ability to filter through massive Data sets at a speed unmatched by humans, AI is working to crack the code of how best to treat Covid-19 patients. And to help flatten the curve? Some companies are using surveillance systems to help determine hotspots, track contagion points, and help to slow the spread of the virus. Experts understand computation prowess alone won’t solve this disease. But its speediness will ratchet up the information so we can avoid years of trial and error. AI and Big Data can help give research groups, pharmaceutical firms, and even private businesses, who’ve tossed their hat into the ring to help fight this pandemic, a leg up. Healthcare Analytics Enters the Fight While there is a risk to Data given to algorithms, some private sector businesses are willing to take the chance. This kind of information can help to predict future hotspots to catch the virus in its tracks and work to ensure it doesn’t spread out from these localizations. Using the technologies we have in place like AI, Machine Learning platforms, Big Data, and Bioinformatics can help to speed up treatment, improve vaccines and pharmaceuticals, and offers near real-time solutions. As with anything involving large amounts of Data given directly into a machine, there is an urge to be cautious. Hotspots on a map can pinpoint where the worst or newest cases have sprung up. This insight gives experts a 360-degree view of patients using Machine Learning. Using a wide array of healthcare Data such as X-rays, ER visits, medical codes, and more, a new tracking system shows hidden areas where outbreaks could occur but may not be expected catching the virus in its tracks. Monitoring is Critical as States Lift Restrictions Though coronavirus is not the flu, flu season isn’t taking any time off. So as the two viruses collide, it’s more important than ever to monitor the spread. This can ensure hotspots are pinpointed early, efforts to flatten the curve, and monitor flare ups should the arise as the country begins to reopen. Experts are working around the clock and using this clinical Data to inform their models. Predictive modeling, AI surveillance systems, and Bioinformatics used in healthcare Data are working together to find a cure. It’s important humans do their part, too. This just might be a best case scenario of machine and human working in cooperation toward a common goal. But one thing this world needs at the speed of light beyond AI to syphon through Data? Professionals who have the technical prowess to understand the machines and the human skills of communication to explain the analyses. One Final Thought… Business processes have shifted online, looking for your next job has become more daunting than ever before. But here’s the good news. Leaders, hiring managers, recruiters, and prospective employees are all navigating a new way of doing business and finding talent to keep those businesses running. In the wake of work-from-home policies, remote working, and the shifting landscape of working outside the office, technology careers are prime opportunities to both gain increased knowledge in your chosen field or begin your career path. If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics or other Data professional opportunities, check out our current vacancies or contact one of our expert consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to email@example.com.
07. May 2020