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Front introduces customer-centric features with deeper CRM integration – TechCrunch

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Front of the customer communication platform Today we are organizing an event to present three new features. These new features focus on viewing detailed customer information directly from the Front UI.

If you’re new to Front, your business started out as a shared email inbox product, allowing you to work with your incoming email as a team. For example, if your company uses mailing lists such as support @ companyname.com, sales @ companyname.com, jobs @ companyname.com, multiple team members can see incoming emails on reception.

You can assign them to specific team members to prioritize conversations before replying, discuss the current conversation in the comments section, or view a draft email before sending it.

Over time, Front has evolved to consolidate more channels of communication. You can now use Front for SMS conversations, live chats with customers on your website, Facebook messages, and more. The company has also improved its products with more powerful features.

For example, you can use a simple “if this then that” rule to define a rule that automates your workflow. This is a good way to divide your work among several team members so that the right people can see your incoming messages as soon as possible.

Today, the company is introducing features that are particularly useful for teams interacting with larger customers, such as sales, support, and customer success teams. First, front-end users can learn more about the customers they interact with right from their inbox.

The updated context panel works best when the team interacts with multiple people working for the client. Instead of viewing past conversations with someone in particular, you can view past conversations with everyone who works for that client.

Front is already integrated with CRMs such as Salesforce and HubSpot. You can now easily import data into the context panel. You can see the name of the account owner, the customer segment, and the SLA (Service Level Agreement) commitment with that customer.

Second, Front is adding new features for its automatic routing capabilities through tight integration with CRM. For example, you can search for the name of the account owner in CRM and assign incoming emails directly to the account owner.

If the account owner changes in Salesforce, the rules are automatically updated in Front. If you get messages from important customers, you can also get annual revenue data from your CRM and set VIP tags.

Image credit: front

Finally, Front will be upgrading the analytics page soon. For example, you can track a team’s performance for a particular account and compare it to an SLA.

With these updates, Front is positioning itself as a better working tool for large business customers with expensive B2B contracts. Current Front customers include Shopify, Dropbox, Flexport, Checkout.com, Lydia, and Airbnb.

Image credit: front

Front Introduces Customer-Centric Features With Deeper CRM Integration – TechCrunch Source Link Front Introduces Customer-Centric Features With Deeper CRM Integration – TechCrunch

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Chris Sheldrick of What3words: Lessons from Scaling a Startup

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For businesses founded on creating new geo-positioning standards, it is difficult to find a What3words office in West London.

Google search does not take you to the office, but to an elevated aisle that overlooks the old factory that currently houses What3words and other business clutches. “It’s ironic,” Chris Sheldrick, co-founder and CEO of What3words, said of the turmoil.

What3words was born out of Sheldrick’s frustration in his previous job as a musician’s tour director. Incorrect transcription of GPS coordinates could cause road crews to arrive miles from the site.

Together with mathematician friend and co-founder Mohangane Salingham, Sheldrick designed the What3words system that divides the world into 57 tonnes of 3 x 3 m squares. Each square is identified by a combination of three words from 40,000 dictionaries.

Sheldrick launched a major leadership challenge in trying to develop commercially feasible ideas with the goal of making big ideas a world-class navigational tool.

Building the system was a challenge, but it only makes sense if the team convinces so many people to adopt What3words as their standard localization tool.

Sheldrick, 40, introduced potential early adopters (those he calls “ambitious innovators”) with the aim of incorporating products into a large group of key users as “must-haves”. We took up this challenge by persuading them.

“We have literally traveled the world, from the traders in Portobello Road Market to the governments we sit with. Governments shared all the issues that needed to be addressed., Just with our mobile app, ”says Sheldrick.

One of the first customers was Mongolian Post, whose management, Sheldrick, met at an event at the World Economic Forum in China. As a result of the transaction, What3words opened an office in Ulaanbaatar and now operates many of its global services.

“It was basically always the same pitch,” says Sheldrick. “We have always focused on the human benefits of What3words and how it can make the world less frustrating, more efficient and more secure.”

In the UK, What3words was aimed at the local population. “He’s a farmer, an arborist, a vet, someone who goes somewhere new every day, even someone like a film crew, who was very important in our daily lives.” Sheldrick said.

“For these people, being ready to use it and preach about it was very important in their daily lives. Then it was said that it would be really handy to integrate it into the X, X app. Talk to the app and say, “Can you natively integrate What3words into your platform?” ”

Key Leadership Lessons

* Clearly and focus on your initial business strategy. In this case, it is intended for people who rely on precise location information.

* Eat breakfast with a different employee each day to hear what they’re doing and get insight and feedback.

* As leaders, encourage raw enthusiasm among customers – they will be product evangelists.

* Empower other members of the management team to help design company strategy.

These early users acted as an extension of the What3words staff and attracted other users, Sheldrick said. “This experience taught me how important it is to sustain and nurture raw enthusiasm, and it also taught me that all users are important because I don’t know where to log in. paddy field. “

In 2018, Mercedes-Benz adopted What3words for its in-car voice recognition system. Other auto brands followed, including Mitsubishi, Tata, Lotus, Ford and Triumph.

“I don’t think walking into an organization with just one stat or one fact will give you a single integration. Let this be the future of your industry and who we work with. And it’s always important to know how many consumers we have in the country you care about, ”says Sheldrick.

The company has offices in the United States and Germany, but many of its 130 employees are located in the United Kingdom. Sheldrick has breakfast with different What3words employees every day. “As a really huge idea-making process, we only spend at least an hour listening to what we’re doing in this part of the business. “

The meeting gave him a “stimulus” in the morning. “It’s about not making the same mistakes. [repeatedly]He says. It’s also part of what Sheldrick describes as a process of “empowering others” to design a company’s strategy.

What3words salaries include entrepreneurs, former senior executives of major global organizations, academics, creatives, and graduates. “It’s a good balance between incredibly smart people,” says Sheldrick.

It’s important to leave people out and visit potential users in other countries. It means allowing people to manage their own schedules, says Sheldrick.

Over 85% of UK emergency service teams use What3words, including the Metropolitan Police and the London Fire Department.

The business model licenses technology to organizations and makes services available to consumers free of charge. However, the business still needs a lot of money, nowhere near the scale that Sheldrick recognizes as necessary.

In the latest account for the year ended December 31, 2019, the company reported a pre-tax loss of £ 14.5million with revenue of £ 393,000. According to Sheldrick, revenues will increase in 2020 and may generate income “soon” due to growing demand. “It is important for us to evolve very quickly.

The company has raised just under £ 30million in 15 rounds of funding. More recently, in March, £ 12million was invested by Ingka Investments, the investment arm of the Ingka Group, which owns Ikea.

Three questions for Chris Sheldrick

Who is your leadership hero?

Naval Ravikant is the co-founder, president and former CEO of AngelList, a funding platform for start-ups. I agree with much of what he writes. It’s about thinking long term. Much of what he talks about is the power of thought and the value of the mind.

What was the first leadership lesson you learned?

At 22, I was the boss of the first company. We were trying to build all these pop bands, but I thought it was great because we could decide what they were going to play. I told everyone what to do and felt it was taking a back seat to them. They did a great job, but I couldn’t figure out the internal organs. From a young age, it taught me an important lesson. If you want real approval, let someone else run the project yourself.

What would you do if you hadn’t started What3words?

I played bassoon, but had to quit after the injury, which led to my first venture. There’s this big Patreon company doing music business like SaaS [software as a service] model. I love music, but I want to start such a business.

In the first three months of the 2020 pandemic, people stopped dating, halving the use of What3words. At the same time, the number of revenue-generating client companies has exploded. The use of What3words by UK retailers increased by 1000% between March and November 2020 due to the increase in online shopping.

“We think long term. We were convinced that the pandemic would subside someday, so we stuck with a long-term strategy focused on developing new product features to get things back to normal. “

What3words has reviews. NS BBC investigation A problem was found at a similar polling address for use by mountain rescue teams in England and Wales. One address given to the team was Vietnam.

Sheldrick says such problems are “rare” and there are safeguards built into the system to avoid confusion. “One of our key principles is to place three word addresses that sound the same as far apart as possible, which is important to minimize the risk of human error,” he said. Said.

“It is very important to understand how What3words are created, how they work and why they are created. If we all pass latitude and longitude to each other, What3words doesn’t need to exist.

He adds that machines are very good at transmitting latitude and longitude to each other. “What3words is really made for situations where this is impossible and where we humans are involved. Basically we’ve tried to do it as stylishly as possible.

Chris Sheldrick from What3words: Lessons from Scaling a Startup Source Link Chris Sheldrick from What3words: Lessons from Scaling a Startup

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How fast are algorithms improving?

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Scientists at MIT provide the first systematic and quantitative proof that algorithms are one of the most important sources of improvement in computing.

MIT Scientists show how quickly algorithms improve in various examples, demonstrating the critical importance of algorithms in computer advancements.

Algorithms are like the parents of a computer. They teach computers how to understand the meaning of information, and then allow them to do something useful with it.

The more efficient the algorithm, the less the computer has to work. For all of the technological advancements in computer hardware and for the many discussed lifetimes of Moore’s Law, computer performance is only one aspect of the big picture.

Behind the scenes, the second trend is happening. The improved algorithm requires less computing power. The efficiency of the algorithm may not get a lot of attention, but if a reliable search engine suddenly slows down by a tenth, or if moving large data sets feels like it’s going through mud. You will definitely notice.

As a result, scientists at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) asked: How quickly will the algorithm improve?

The existing data on this issue was largely anecdotal and consisted of case studies of specific algorithms believed to represent a wider range. Faced with this lack of evidence, the team set out to process data from 57 textbooks and over 1,110 research treatises to trace the history of algorithm improvement. Some research treatises directly report the quality of the new algorithm, while others have been reconstructed by the author using “pseudocode”, an abbreviated version of the algorithm that explains the basic details. I had to.

The team examined a total of 113 “algorithm families”. This is a set of algorithms that solve the same problems that have been highlighted as the most important in computer textbooks. For each of the 113, the team reconstructed its history, tracked each time a new algorithm was proposed for the problem, and paid particular attention to a more efficient algorithm. From the 1940s to the present day, the team has a wide performance spectrum, broken down into decades, and has found an average of eight algorithms per family, two of which improve efficiency. To share this assembled knowledge database, the team also created Algorithm-Wiki.org.

Scientists have illustrated how quickly these families have improved, focusing on the most analyzed function of the algorithm, how quickly it can be guaranteed to solve the problem (IT speaking). For example, “worst-case time complexity”). What emerged was not only great variability, but also important information about how transformative algorithmic improvements were made to computing.

For large-scale computational problems, 43% of the algorithm family saw improvements equal to or greater than the many advantages of Moore’s Law. In 14% of the problems, the performance gains from the algorithms far outweighed the performance gains from the hardware gains. These advancements have become more important in recent decades, as the benefits of algorithmic improvements have been particularly important for big data issues.

The single most significant change observed by the author occurred when the family of algorithms went from exponential complexity to polynomial complexity. The effort required to solve an exponential problem is like a person trying to guess a lock combination. If you only have one 10-digit number, it’s easy. With four dials like a bike lock, no one can steal your bike, but chances are you can always try all the combinations. At 50, that’s almost impossible – it takes too many steps. Problems of exponential complexity are similar to those of computers. As problems multiply, computers quickly exceed their ability to handle them. Finding a polynomial algorithm often solves this, allowing you to solve the problem in a way that cannot be improved by hardware.

As the roar of Moore’s Law, which comes to an end, quickly permeates global conversations, researchers must increasingly look into areas such as algorithms to improve the performance of computer users. Is called. According to the team, the results confirm that historically the benefits of the algorithm have been huge, so the possibility is there. But if they benefit from algorithms rather than hardware, they are different. Moore’s Law hardware improvements run smoothly over time, and algorithms typically benefit from significant but rare milestones.

“This is the first article to show how quickly the algorithm improves in a wide range of examples,” said Neil Thompson, researcher at MIT and lead author of the new article at CSAIL and the Sloan School of Business. I am. “Through our analysis, we were able to tell how many more tasks could be done with the same amount of computing power after improving the algorithm. The problem is billions or trillions of data. As this increases, improvements in algorithms are practically more important than improvements in hardware. In an age of growing concern about the footprint of the IT environment, this has no problem for businesses or other organizations. It’s a way to improve. “

See also: “How fast is the algorithm improving?” »Yash Sherry and Neil C. Thompson, September 20, 2021 IEEE minutes..
DOI: 10.1109 / JPROC.2021.3107219

Thompson wrote a treatise with Yash Sherry, a visiting student at MIT. The article is published in IEEE minutes.. This work was funded by the Tides Foundation and the MIT Digital Economy Initiative.

How fast are algorithms improving? Source link How fast are algorithms improving?

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Best home theater systems of 2021

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Vizio Elevate soundbar lifts the roof with Dolby Atmos

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If you want to upgrade the sound of your TV, there are a lot of options available, but first you need to decide to buy. Sound bar or home theater system.. There is nothing better than getting the best possible performance. AV Receiver And multi-speakers Dolby Atmos For setup, if you want something simple and affordable, the Soundbar is the answer.

The soundbar is compact and offers plenty of performance in an affordable package. You can also get one with advanced features like Atmos and Wi-Fi streaming. One of the things that isn’t usually possible is the ability to upgrade them. However, some sound bars are paired with an optional separate subwoofer and rear speakers. If you want to use a combination of speakers, the AV receiver is the best choice.

The receiver offers a lot in a fairly bulky housing, and unlike the soundbar, it has a large number of HDMI inputs to accommodate many different sources. speaker As you can see, adjustment is also an attractive hobby. Surround sound The system, at least not at first. I used a pair of Marantz receivers and Bowers and Wilkins floorstanding speakers in a stereo-only home theater system for about five years, and didn’t feel like I missed them.

Whether you choose the soundbar or the AV system route, you have a variety of options, including different combinations of cinema speakers or surround sound speakers. There should be something here for you. These are the best home theater systems available today. We update this list regularly as new options come to market.

When it comes to making money, it’s never better than the Roku Streambar home theater system. This speaker offers both a dialogue-enhancing soundbar and a 4K streamer integrated into a single housing. If you need more bass or surround speakers, you can upgrade your system as well. You can choose the speaker pack.

Read Roku Streambar’s review.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Initially priced at $ 1,200, the Klipsch Reference Theater Pack is now priced at a third party. Packed with powerful sound from a compact 5.1-channel audio system, this set is the perfect home theater option for your apartment or playroom. Great for movies and not bad for music. Just add a receiver.

Read a review of the Klipsch Reference Drama Pack.

Ty Pendlebury / CNET

If there’s one thing we settle for an affordable stereo speaker, the Bookshelf Speaker 3030 offers great movie and music playback for $ 469. Between $ 350 Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2s Q Acoustics are much cheaper, more transparent, fairer, and have better bass response. This makes the 3030i more suitable for home theater situations, especially if you’re not using a subwoofer.

Read the Q Acoustics 3030i review.

Sarah Tew / CNET

It was a few years ago and I haven’t used 8K video, but frankly I don’t want to buy what I can do now. The Onkyo TX-NR696 continues to win CNET Editor’s Choice Award and has almost everything a receiver needs, including Dolby Atmos and Chromecast streaming. It is also wonderful.

Ty Pendlebury / CNET

Rotating speakers are cool, but the best Vizio soundbars we love the most are the sounds. This Dolby Atmos system includes a subwoofer and rear channel speakers, making it a hybrid between a receiver-based system and a soundbar.

Read the Vizio Elevate P514A-H6 review.

Sound United

I’m going to go out and say 8K compatible receivers are confused now. Currently, apart from the fact that 8K video is practically unavailable, it is affected by a bug that prevents playback of some 4K video sources. Still, future fixes, and there are workarounds, but if you need an 8K receiver right now, the Denon AVR-S960H is for you.

Read the Denon AVR-S960H review.

Sarah Tew / CNET

If you want the best Dolby Atmos performance from a single soundbar, nothing better than the Sennheiser Ambeo sound system. It’s not cheap, it’s not small, but it’s perfect if you want the best sound.

Best Home Theater Systems of 2021 Source Link Best Home Theater Systems of 2021

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