The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2018-01-20T02:30:51Z Modern grooms turn to professional wordsmiths to deliver a knockout speech 2018-01-20T02:30:51Z modern-grooms-turn-to-professional-wordsmiths-to-deliver-a-knockout-speech The wedding speech shocker may become a thing of the past with more modern grooms, and best men, turning to professional speechwriters to help them express their sentiments, emotions and excitement on the big day. Anita Stevens, who specialises in writing wedding speeches, said that as men become more involved in the wedding preparations, they are taking their duties, including the speech, a lot more seriously.  “It’s not uncommon for couples these days to spend upwards of $50,000 to create the perfect wedding” said Anita. “So many grooms are realising that it’s no longer acceptable to overlook or deliver a half-baked speech. After all, we live in the age of social media where everything is recorded and shared online. “A terrible speech will be remembered long after the flowers and invitation designs have been forgotten, so it’s worth spending the time, effort and in some cases, money, to get it right. Why risk spoiling such a special - and expensive - day with an ill prepared speech where the results can be horrendous?” Most of us have endured a bad wedding speech. Common mistakes – often intended as jokes – include bagging the institution of marriage, lamenting the demise of single life, and a best man who thinks - and drinks - like he’s at a 21st birthday party, leaving uncomfortable guests and a mortified bride and in his wake. Think Zach Galiafanikis’s character of Alan in ‘The Hangover 2.” A survey done in the UK asked 1000 brides what they regretted about their wedding and No. 1 was the best man’s speech. Another asked 380 wedding guests what would most likely dominate the conversation on a trip home from a wedding and 95% answered: the speech. 50% also said they’d seen a bad speech nearly ruin a wedding. “The speech can make or break a wedding”, said Anita. “And if speech writing isn’t your thing there is no shame in hiring a professional to help you find the right words.” A professionally written groom, best man or father of the bride speech can cost less than some brides spend on their bouquet and can have arguably greater impact. Anita takes the time get to understand the speaker’s personality and style and extract their personal stories and emotions so that the content is authentic and the tone matches the speaker. “You won’t lose any of the sentiment. They’re still your words and stories. I just pull it all together and make sure it captures all the important things you want to say. I also provide guidance and advice on etiquette and the types of stories that should — and most definitely shouldn’t — be included,” said Anita. The end result is a well-structured speech with the right balance of sentiment and humor that not only sounds authentic but also comes from the heart.” Fotomedia Introduces Quality Yet Affordable Web Design Services 2018-01-19T11:05:00Z fotomedia-introduces-quality-yet-affordable-web-design-services Brisbane: It’s very important for any business (large or small) to have a website created by a team of experienced and skilled web designers. A good website allows a business to be competitive in the online or offline market. Fotomedia is one such professional boutique creative agency that serves its valued clients with high quality and affordable web design Brisbane.  No doubt the Internet (a unique platform) has become not only a trusted but leading resource for people to find information. And those businesses that do not have a skillfully created website lose potential customers. Considering this, it’s a must for any business to have strong online presence, and it can only happen if they have a user-friendly and compatible website. Why hire Fotomedia for a unique and stunning web design? Fotomedia is a top-notch creative agency that comprises an expert team of in-house award winning designers. Their web design Brisbane studio provide a comprehensive range of website design services to clients not only in Brisbane, but Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. They even serve international markets assuring best results.  Anyone with a business idea, or an existing business but their website is not performing as expected can rely on their web design and development team. The team will discuss about the most feasible solution with the business owner as to how they can be helped.  The qualified designers with technical know-how are well aware of how to turn ideas into a reality. In fact, they can look after all of the design, development and hosting of one’s website. That way a person gets to focus solely on his business.  Fotomedia is a professional studio with an organised team of designers who’re well versed in the techniques of creating a professional looking website. They’re able to comprehend the value important of lead conversion for their client’s business. Thus, they insert the right components which help them to retain visitors for long. Once done, the company is able to convert visitors into customers.  The designers with Fotomedia (a reputable web design Brisbane studio) are extremely creative in their approach. They implement their unique and creative ideas that make a website look not only user-friendly but stylish as well. Besides, they’re aware of the latest marketing trends. With passing time, trends do revive. Considering this, it seems so clear why it’s crucial to go with the up-to-the-minute designing styles to give a fresh and an impressive look to the website.  Fotomedia is a professional web design studio that offers high customisation according to the client’s needs to create an appealing website. They offer complete flexibility when it comes to molding the terms as well as conditions as per their client’s diverse requirements. Reptile Encounters finds new Melbourne home 2018-01-19T04:49:00Z reptile-encounters-finds-new-melbourne-home Reptile Encounters, Melbourne’s Mobile Zoo, have moved their business headquarters to a new Melbourne location. Located in Burwood, the new home houses over 200 animals in an exciting and innovative warehouse environment. The venue also provides office space for the company. The move was done over November and December, meaning there was little rest for the staff over the Christmas break, as they moved snakes, lizards, turtles, birds and even crocodiles to the new venue. Not to mention dozens of heavy enclosures! Reptile Encounters is known as one of the country’s best mobile zoos, specialising in educational wildlife programs for the k-12 market. They also perform regular shows at shopping centres, trade shows and corporate events. Now with the new location, they are planning to offer holiday programs, private parties and teacher workshops on premises, where you can go to them! “It is very exciting to be taking this next step”, owner Josh Cox said. Josh has always had a passion for animals and started the business in 2007. He loved the idea about being able to bring native animals into the classroom and seeing kids faces as they got to hold and learn about the various animals really inspired him. Back then, Josh only had about 30 reptiles including a few snakes, lizards and turtles. But now his entourage has grown to include not only reptiles, but amphibians, birds, insects and mammals. “Our ecosystem is all about diversity, which is why I want to offer an array of different native fauna at our shows”, Mr Cox said. The team has grown significantly too with Reptile Encounters now employing 8 regular staff who perform shows all over Victoria. Highly trained and equally passionate, they have helped take the business to where it is today. There are also many volunteers who come in to feed and look after the animals. School incursions are a big part of the business with reptile shows proving very popular with all age groups. Primary school shows are interactive and hands on, but also focus on making the students as comfortable as possible with their introduction to native wildlife up close. The secondary school wildlife programs are also hands on, and specifically tailored to align with the Victorian Science and Biology Curriculum. Reptile Encounters now also offers 2 different shows for VCE students. They integrate with VCE Biology Unit 1 Adaptations and VCE Biology Unit 4 Evolution which means the incursions are not only entertaining, but aligned to the curriculum. Teachers are also provided with material to assist with any follow up and further study on the topics. The animals are already feeling right out home in their new location and the team already has plans to build a new bird enclosure on site. Itoc achieves the Amazon Web Services DevOps Competency demonstrating strategic support for developer automation, monitoring, logging and performance solutions in AWS. 2018-01-19T03:03:49Z itoc-achieves-the-amazon-web-services-devops-competency-demonstrating-strategic-support-for-developer-automation-monitoring-logging-and-performance-solutions-in-aws Itoc is proud to announce that we have achieved the AWS DevOps Competency which demonstrates our continued investment in next generation capabilities to bring increased value to our customers. This competency reflects recognition by AWS and our customers of our deep experience working with businesses to enable them in implementing continuous integration and continuous delivery practices. The competency additionally highlights our investment and proven experience in delivering best of breed DevOps solutions leveraging automation of infrastructure provisioning and management with configuration management tools on AWS. AWS established the DevOps Partner Competency Program to identify Consulting and Technology APN Partners with deep industry experience and expertise. APN Partners with the AWS DevOps Competency have demonstrated industry expertise, readily implemented solutions that align with AWS architectural best practices, and have staff with AWS-certifications. DevOps is a challenging skill set to master. The stakes are high but so are the rewards, and with disruptors continually chasing and challenging traditional development and delivery methods every software based business needs to be focused on building next generation services using innovative technologies and business models. Rapid value to customers is paramount. DevOps is becoming mainstream and with many large organisations getting on board many will challenge agile and recognise DevOps as the new Application Lifecycle Management paradigm. Currently the top priorities are customer engagement, education, digital disruption, innovation, and low risk introduction. These are areas in which Itoc has been working with customers to underpin their next generation products and services. “Combining DevOps with the rich feature set of the AWS platform enables customers quicker software development, reduced life cycle overhead, better security & faster deployment to market“ Steve Mew, CTO – Itoc Being a specialist in the DevOps arena, Itoc delivers solutions that offer speed of innovation and delivery to market whilst observing security and architecture best practices. If cloud is core to the success of your service development efforts we would love to hear from you. Itoc AWS Cloud services Cloud Foundation Cloud Migration IntelligentOps – Next generation cloud managed services Cloud Architecture & Consulting Services Big Data & Analytics Machine Learning We look forward to combining our proven experience in both DevOps and our Financial Services competencies to deliver outstanding solutions to our customers complex, highly-regulated large-scale Financial Services environments. Report on the App Economy in 2017: Reshaping industries and lifestyles globally 2018-01-19T02:52:45Z report-on-the-app-economy-in-2017-reshaping-industries-and-lifestyles-globally App Annie, the most trusted mobile app market data and insights company, today announced its largest annual report - 2017 Retrospective - that sheds light on key trends driving the app market’s growth for the year, and insights to apply to 2018. Key statistics for Australia can be found later on in this media alert. More details can also be found in the full report here. 2017 saw continued app disruption in all consumer businesses, with industries such as finance, travel and video streaming going through major restructuring as apps come to the fore of their services and operations. Case in point: some businesses are receiving more than half of their sales via mobile channels, within which app users are 3x more likely to spend than mobile web users. In industries such as finance and retail, for instance, the convenience and immediacy of apps have made traditional person-to-person services less relevant for consumers. Irrevocably, apps are taking on a bigger role in many industries. “A decade after Apple’s launch of its app store heralded the smartphone app revolution, apps continue to reshape entire industries on an unprecedented level in 2017. Apps no longer play a mere supplementary role in these sectors, and have grown to become an integral part of their services and sales,” said Jaede Tan, Regional Director, App Annie. “Against this changing backdrop, sound app analytics and insights have become imperative for businesses looking to make the most out of the app economy.” Other Report Highlights: App markets continue to mature, bringing increased monetisation opportunities Global app downloads surpassed 175 billion, with users downloading 60% more apps in 2017 than in 2015 In the same period, daily time spent on apps rose by 30%, to hit 3 hours in 2017 Consumer spend in app stores more than doubled over past two years, to exceed $86 Billion in 2017 Growth in spending is set to be driven by strong smartphone and app adoption in developing economies and apps’ ability to capture greater share of wallet in mature economies Australia-specific trends and statistics include: A rise in the use of Fintech apps, up 25% in the past year Sessions in retail apps have increased by 80% over the past two years In the media and entertainment industries, consumer app spend has risen 292 % when comparing 2017 with 2015 Top five video streaming apps in Australia rank; Youtube, Netflix, AFL Live, ABC iView and Foxtel Go. Total spend in gaming apps has climbed 50% over the past three years Top apps by total monthly users in Australia include: Facebook Messenger is our number one most downloaded app, followed by Facebook itself, followed by InstaGram, WhatsApp Messenger and Snapchat Our most-downloaded games were Pokemon Go, Candy Crush Saga, Clash of Clans, Words With Friends, and then Monopoly at Maccas. Apps making the most money in Australia include: Tinder comes in at number one, followed by Netflix, Spotify Zoosk and Youtube. In mobile gaming, Heart of Vegas leads the way, followed by Slotomania, Cashman Casino, Clash of Clans and Candy Crush Saga. Four of the top five countries by downloads and consumer spend are emerging markets - China, India, Brazil and Russia Total consumer app spend in Australia reached US$1.08 billion - the 8th highest globally India overtook the United States to become the number 2 country by downloads in 2017, with app usage driven by the introduction of subsidised, unlimited 4G access in September 2016 Top markets have seen double digit percentage growth in consumer spend over the last two years, with China significantly the largest market by consumer spend User engagement hit new heights with average smartphone user accessing close to 40 apps per month Australians spent an average of 140 mins per day on their phones in 2017 In most markets, the average user has more than 80 apps on their phone High level of engagement will result in more direct with customers, higher lifetime value Worldwide app engagement is well above mobile web In major markets, smartphone users spend 7x more time in native apps than mobile browsers, and access them 13x more often App disruptions across verticals continue to redefine our daily lives Fintech: Booming interest in cryptocurrency has led to a rise in cryptocurrency apps, while increasingly pervasive payment apps in APAC are creating cashless societies in emerging markets Retail: 70% to 210% increase in total time spent in retail apps, massive funding rounds for retailers focused in Southeast Asia Social: Facebook’s apps continues to dominate leaderboards for most markets, Instagram sees 70% growth in time spent over past two years owing to new features, Telegram sees 75% increase in monthly active users (MAU) in same time period Video Streaming: Online-first broadcasters e.g. Netflix are forcing traditional TV providers to compete with online services, with BBC launching their iPlayer to remain competitive, for instance If you’d like to speak with Jaede Tan, Regional Director, App Annie, do let us know and we’d be more than happy to facilitate. Media enquiries please contact: Luke Frost (for App Annie in ANZ) +61 407 271 064 Aussies can hire a tradie through voice for the first time via hipages skill for Amazon Alexa 2018-01-19T02:37:11Z aussies-can-hire-a-tradie-through-voice-for-the-first-time-via-hipages-skill-for-amazon-alexa Sydney, 18 January 2018. hipages, Australia’s leading platform to find and hire qualified and trusted tradies, has today announced the launch of their skill on Amazon Alexa, allowing Australians to book a professional tradie via Alexa devices including the Amazon Echo. The hipages – Find a tradie ‘Skill’ will connect consumers with local, professional tradies, through simple voice command with Amazon Alexa. David Vitek, CEO and co-founder of hipages, said: “hipages was built to make the tradie-booking process much easier and effective for both tradies and consumers. Now with our integration with Amazon Alexa, we take the simplicity of locating and hiring a qualified and licensed tradie one step further. Voice technology opens the door to many new opportunities for hipages and we are excited to be one of the first transactional skill-based services to integrate with Amazon Alexa in Australia.” The hipages – Find a tradie ‘Skill’ within Amazon Alexa will allow users to quickly connect with a local tradie who meets their needs via a few simple steps, by using only their voice: 1. Tell Alexa what kind of tradie is needed (e.g. “Alexa, ask hipages to find me a plumber”) 2. Tell Alexa where the work is to be carried out (e.g. “Sydney, 2000”) 3. Set a contact phone number (optional). The hipages team then connects the user with a local tradie available to execute the relevant job. “When the chance arose for us to integrate hipages to Amazon Alexa, our engineering and product teams started work to ensure our collaboration would come to rapid fruition from a technical perspective. We are very excited to announce a successful integration, allowing Australians to connect to a tradie in a matter of minutes, by simply telling Alexa which tradie they need and where the job needs completing,” said Vitek. “The hipages skill for Alexa brings a new and helpful capability for Alexa customers in Australia,” said Rob Pulciani, Director, Amazon Alexa. “Voice is a natural and intuitive interface that can be of great help to customers around the house. Now, customers can simply ask for assistance with all kinds of tasks, and the hipages skill can help.” To use hipages - Find a Tradie via Amazon Alexa, owners of an Amazon Echo device are invited to simply enable the hipages ‘Skill’ on their Amazon Alexa app via their phone, in early February. This will provide them with access to over 110,000 registered tradespeople across all trade categories such as plumbing, building, painting, tiling, electrical work, handyman work, garden maintenance, air conditioning, concreting and other home repair jobs. A total of two million Australians have used hipages to-date. To learn more about hipages - Find a Tradie ‘Skill’ for Amazon Alexa, visit - ENDS - For more information, contact: hipages Guillaume Papillon, PR & Communications manager 0405 074 109 DEC PR Luisa, Jennifer, Summer or Duyen (02) 8014 5033 Over 1000 Aprenticeships and Traineeships go begging 2018-01-19T01:18:25Z over-1000-aprenticeships-and-traineeships-go-begging MEDIA RELEASE 19th JANUARY 2018   Over 1000 apprenticeships and traineeships go begging   The Apprentice Employment Network NSW & ACT (AEN NSW ACT) and its 23-member Group Training Organisations (GTOs) have over 1000 unfilled apprenticeships and traineeships across the Sydney metropolitan and regional areas. Jason Sultana, the Executive Officer of AEN NSW ACT said “this is our peak recruitment time of year for the industry. Members (GTOs) are indicating they cannot fill all the apprenticeships and traineeships they have available right now which target young people especially school leavers. Indications are that the current generation of school leavers don’t understand the long-term benefits of completing an apprenticeship or traineeship.” “There are some wonderful career opportunities available. We have a high demand for young people to work in the automotive, hospitality, electrical, construction and timber industries to name a few.“ GTOs are also funded to run short term Pre Apprenticeship programs to assist young people get a head start into an apprenticeship or traineeship. A large number of Pre Apprenticeships programs are commencing in the next few weeks with many graduates placed immediately into apprenticeships upon completion. NSW Deputy Premier, The Hon. John Barilaro, a qualified tradesman in his own right reached out to school leavers this week through Facebook to highlight the importance of considering vocational education as an alternative pathway to a rewarding career. He indicated 9 out of 10 jobs of the future will have a vocational pathway connect to it. John Liddicoat, AEN NSW ACT Chair and General Manager of Novaskill said “the demand for skilled trades people will continue to increase in the next few years. If the next generation of young people don’t take up apprenticeships we are faced with a massive skill shortage across key industries in the future. I encourage parents of school leavers to consider the benefits of apprenticeships and think long term about what is best for their child. AEN NSW ACT has created an easy to remember web address to assist school leavers find an apprenticeship or traineeship through a GTO. The web address is For further information about the Pre-Apprenticeship programs and the contact details of our 23-member GTOs please visit About the Apprentice Employment Network NSW & ACT The Apprentice Employment Network NSW & ACT is a peak body for employers in vocational education and training in NSW and ACT. Group Training Organisations employ apprentices and trainees, then place them with a host, providing workplace coaching and support until the apprenticeship or traineeship has been completed. For media enquiries, please contact: Jason Sultana 0419 466 584 Anaplan Launches Planning Industry’s First Bring Your Own Key Encryption Solution 2018-01-18T21:37:59Z anaplan-launches-planning-industrys-first-bring-your-own-key-encryption-solution Anaplan, a leading platform provider driving a new age of connected planning, today announced the launch of Anaplan Bring Your Own Key (BYOK), a data encryption solution. A first in the cloud planning industry, Anaplan BYOK allows customers to self-manage keys, which enables them to encrypt and decrypt workspaces and have sole access to their data on the Anaplan platform. Organisations within industries that handle highly sensitive data can benefit from connected planning in the cloud with their most proprietary or confidential information, such as public-sector organisations that use personally identifiable information and consumer packaged goods companies that use proprietary formulas or designs for competitive advantage. “Listening to customers, learning from them, and responding to their needs is central to Anaplan’s culture,” said Anaplan President and CEO Frank Calderoni. “Our BYOK solution is an example of how we innovate alongside our customers to address their requirements, ultimately helping them achieve true connected planning using the industry’s most secure and trusted cloud planning platform.” “To effectively manage enterprise performance, companies need a flexible planning and modeling platform that allows all business units to participate in the planning process,” said Doug Henschen, Vice President and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research. “However, security concerns have prevented some companies from adopting connected planning. A product that allows them to participate without sharing access to confidential or proprietary information has the potential to be truly disruptive, since it opens the connected planning space to new entrants.” To learn more about the Anaplan BYOK solution, click here: About Anaplan Anaplan is driving a new age of connected planning. Large and fast-growing organisations use Anaplan’s cloud platform in every business function to make better-informed plans and decisions and drive faster, more effective planning processes. Anaplan also provides support, training, and planning transformation advisory services. Anaplan is a privately held company based in San Francisco with 18 offices and over 150 expert partners worldwide. To learn more, visit CA Technologies to partner on collaborative robotics research 2018-01-18T05:24:16Z ca-technologies-to-partner-on-collaborative-robotics-research SYDNEY - 18 January 2018 - CA Technologies (NASDAQ:CA) today announced that it will partner on Cobotics – a collaborative robotics project – working alongside Tampere University of Technology and Tieto in Finland. The Cobotics collaboration project will explore the challenges of building safe, secure and effective Human-to-Robot workflows. Ensuring proper control and execution of these “cobot” workflows and understanding their information requirements is central to maximising the potential of robot-human collaboration. “Robotics has reached a stage where the value that robots provide can be significantly amplified by enabling them to truly collaborate with humans. Developing the right models and algorithms for that collaboration, while paying careful attention to safety and cybersecurity will define the next phase in the robotics field. CA has the experience and our researchers have the deep technical expertise that can help inform this evolution,” said Otto Berkes, executive vice president and chief technology officer, CA Technologies. The project has jointly been funded by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, Finland’s Tampere University of Technology, Finnish IT software and service company Tieto, and CA Technologies. “We believe that collaborative robotics is the fastest growing area in the domain of robotics and we believe that our expertise in communications, policy management, security and visualisation, will enhance the project,” says Berkes. The first phase of the project is predicted to conclude at the end of December 2018. CA Strategic Research innovates from the ground up through scientific research and discovery and partnerships with global governments, renowned academic institutions, and industry consortia. “Engaging in truly international collaboration with reputed companies, such as CA Technologies and Tieto in the field of co-botics is very exciting for us in Tampere University of Technology. It defines the essence of National Science Foundation Industry University Collaboration with international competence. The TEKES and NSF funded Center of Visual and Decision Informatics (CVDI) is proud to host such a project,” says NSF CVDI Finland Site Director, Professor Moncef Gabbouj, Tampere University of Technology. “Collaborative robotics are seen as a relatively new area within information technology. The NSF CVDI Cobotics is a project where research and development of next generation technologies in augmented intelligence, artificial intelligence, data science, machine learning including visual analytics and other disruptive technologies enable and enhance development in well-being, happiness and productivity at work. For several years we have been collaborating in research with Tampere University of Technology and warmly welcome CA Tecnologies into our research ecosystem,” concludes Matti Vakkuri, Head of Technology, IoT, at Tieto Corporation. About CA Technologies CA Technologies (NASDAQ:CA) creates software that fuels transformation for companies and enables them to seize the opportunities of the application economy. Software is at the heart of every business in every industry. From planning, to development, to management and security, CA is working with companies worldwide to change the way we live, transact, and communicate – across mobile, private and public cloud, distributed and mainframe environments. Learn more at Follow CA Technologies Twitter Social Media Page Press Releases Blogs Legal notices Copyright © 2018 CA, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks, trade names, service marks, and logos referenced herein belong to their respective companies. ANZ Businesses Ahead of International Peers Designing IoT Programs That Deliver Incremental Revenue, Says New Forbes Study 2018-01-18T04:11:51Z anz-businesses-ahead-of-international-peers-designing-iot-programs-that-deliver-incremental-revenue-says-new-forbes-study SYDNEY – January 18, 2018 – The internet of things (IoT) is heralded as a foundational technology for breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, robotics and other potentially broadly applicable advances. But for frontline decision makers – the executives charged with implementing IoT in their company – it can sometimes feel impossible to separate facts from hype. It can be even more daunting to discern the practical steps required to get started with IoT in their business.   To better understand the current state of IoT, Forbes Insights partnered with Hitachi Vantara to survey more than 500 senior executives around the world, including 220 in Asia Pacific who are leading IoT initiatives within their companies. A new report, “The Internet of Things: From Theory to Reality – How Companies Are Leveraging IoT to Move Their Businesses Forward,” sponsored by Hitachi Vantara, highlights the key findings from this research and addresses the following issues:   ·       Is IoT still an aspiration or is it becoming an operational reality? ·       How is IoT being used within companies? ·       What does IoT implementation look like at this early stage? ·       Are there companies that are more advanced with using these technologies? ·       What are some of the implementation lessons learned? ·       What are the practical steps companies can take as they begin their own IoT journey?   “Across the Asia Pacific region, it is clear that executives see the value in IoT initiatives,” said Bruce Rogers, chief insights officer at Forbes Media. “With 70% stating that they see IoT as either important or very important to their business, it is fast becoming a competitive differentiator that will affect almost every industry.”   “The results of the survey demonstrate the clear impact that IoT is having on businesses in our part of the world. ANZ enterprises are more likely to design programs that generate incremental revenue and positively affect the bottom line,” adds Nathan McGregor, vice president and general manager, Hitachi Vantara, Australia and New Zealand. “The Forbes study also showed that to fully reap the rewards of the technical advances in IoT, enterprises need to address real and perceived challenges around IoT security and skills.”   Key findings for Australia and New Zealand: 87% of ANZ respondents operate IoT programs designed to generate incremental revenue, as opposed to cost savings or creating operational efficiencies (compared to 60% globally).  53% of ANZ respondents ranked artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning as an important technology initiative in their company (compared to a 44% global average). 67% (42% globally) also placed these among the top priorities for the next five years . The most important objectives of IoT efforts in Australia and New Zealand to-date include: enhancing the customer experience (17% vs. 13% globally), increasing productivity (17% vs. 15% globally) and cost reduction (13% vs. 6% globally). 70% of ANZ respondents stated that their IoT strategy involved learning from small projects before moving on to larger scale deployments (65% globally).   Challenges for local enterprises: IoT security and skills Concerns about keeping IoT secure were nominated as the greatest challenge their company faced in building out its IoT capabilities (ANZ 53% vs. 32% globally) 67% believe the consequences of a data breach in IoT presents greater consequences than other technology initiatives (44% globally). 43% of ANZ respondents said they do not have the right personnel to manage the data generated by IoT programs (29% globally).   “The findings of Forbes’ executive survey aligns with what we at Hitachi are also hearing from our customers: IoT is increasingly becoming a strategic imperative to effectively compete in the digital economy – and IoT is hard,” said Asim Zaheer, chief marketing officer at Hitachi Vantara. “It is imperative to ensure you have well-defined goals, outcomes and top-down support for your initiative at the outset, and a strong partner to help you drive your desired outcomes.”    About this research The data in this report is derived from a 2017 Forbes Insights survey of 502 executives who identified themselves as responsible for, or familiar with, the IoT activities of their companies. Respondents were based in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific, and represented a range of industries, with not one comprising more than 25% of the total. All respondents were director or above, and came from companies with 500 employees or more. Forbes Insights also conducted interviews with several senior executives to add context to the findings.   About Forbes Insights Forbes Insights is the strategic research and thought leadership practice of Forbes Media, a global media, branding and technology company whose combined platforms reach nearly 94 million business decision makers worldwide on a monthly basis. By leveraging proprietary databases of senior-level executives in the Forbes community, Forbes Insights conducts research on a wide range of topics to position brands as thought leaders and drive stakeholder engagement. Research findings are delivered through a variety of digital, print and live executions, and amplified across Forbes' social and media platforms.     About Hitachi Vantara Hitachi Vantara, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., helps data-driven leaders find and use the value in their data to innovate intelligently and reach outcomes that matter for business and society. We combine technology, intellectual property and industry knowledge to deliver data-managing solutions that help enterprises improve their customers' experiences, develop new revenue streams, and lower the costs of business. Only Hitachi Vantara elevates your innovation advantage by combining deep information technology (IT), operational technology (OT) and domain expertise. We work with organisations everywhere to drive data to meaningful outcomes. Visit us at Lawn Block - Turf Made Easy 2018-01-18T02:03:54Z lawn-block-turf-made-easy Lawn Block – Turf Made Easy Laying Turf has never been traditionally classed as an “Easy” job. It’s dirty work – It’s heavy work and you either need to pay someone to do it or get some family or friends round to help as you swear that you’ll never do it again. “Lawn Block” from ALC Turf changes all that forever. Erin Quinlan – General Manager for ALC Turf explains – “Traditionally when turf is delivered to a home or a site it’s either in long slabs or it’s in heavy and hard to manage rolls which makes it all quite awkward to manage for the client looking to lay the turf at home themselves”. “Because Lawn Block is cut and delivered in an easy to manage block it becomes effectively like laying carpet squares but on a bigger scale”       Traditional Size                                             Lawn Block Size   Lawn Block because of its size and nature is also ideal in either smaller yards or in larger areas such as rear yards where access to the block is limited and simply getting the turf to the required area is an issue in the first place. Ease of use was also a large factor in the birth of Lawn Block as ALC owner and Chief Agronomist John Keleher explains – “Because of the amount of new development and smaller block refurbishment going on we were seeing an increase in the number of people who were looking for a DIY solution to a small area problem”. “Lawn Block means that they can pick it up – get it home easily in a mates ute or even a station wagon depending on the size of the job and have it layed and done without all the fuss that’s normally associated with laying turf” Lawn Block comes in an easy to manage size and can easily be stacked around the area to be turfed in neat piles for ease of management. ALC supply “Clean-Green” Lawn Block in Zoysia, Sir Walter Buffalo Grass, Wintergreen Couch and Oz Tuff Sports and their friendly team can advise you on not only the right type of clean green turf for your site but also how the “Clean Green Growth Management Program” can work at your home to deliver a healthy garden and a healthy animal. For more details simply visit – or Clean Green Turf Lawn 2018-01-18T02:01:32Z clean-green-turf-lawn Pets are family too “I’d love to have a really nice garden but I have pets and I’m always worried that fertilising my lawn and my plants could hurt my animals” This is one of the most common statements that people make when it comes to selecting lawn maintenance products and lawn varieties according to Erin Quinlan General Manager of Queensland based producers Australian Lawn Concepts (ALC). “What started off five years ago as the occasional enquiry has turned into one of the most common questions we get from clients looking to balance a healthy garden with safety and peace of mind for their pets”. Stories abound of dog and cat lovers who have tried to balance both garden and pet only to be confused with what may harm their beloved pets, so they do nothing. The gradual increase in enquiry, together with a long standing love of the family pet and the traditional family playground prompted business owner, and chief agronomist for ALC, John Keleher to set out in search of a cleaner more pet friendly way to produce turf. The task not only to produce a more environmentally friendly turf, but also to develop a system that would allow his clients to effectively transfer the “Clean Green Growing Program” from the farm to their home. “What started out as a simple quest to reduce our chemical use on-farm and reduce our environmental footprint has turned out to be an absolute winner both for the farm and our soil but more importantly for our clients who are the real winners in this”. The “Clean Green Growth Management Program” from ALC allows not only new turf owners but also existing turf owners and gardeners in general to feed their yard and their plants on a regular basis without concern for their animals or the environment.   The program consists of 4 all-natural elements which when used in unison provides a strong growing matrix for the plant or garden plus a constant supply of chemical free nutrients. “The program produces perfect results on the farm so being able to recreate the farm growing conditions at the client’s home has made establishment, maintenance and up-keep both safe and easy for our clients who are pet lovers” says Peter De Pasquale, Customer Service manager for ALC. “I’m a pet owner myself and use the program at home in my garden so I love the peace of mind that the program brings – but the real winner has been in finally being able to help our clients who want both a beautiful garden and a care free environment for their pets”. ALC supply “Clean-Green” Turf in Zoysia, Sir Walter Buffalo, Wintergreen Couch and Oz Tuff Sports and their friendly team can advise you on not only the right type of clean green turf for you site but also how the “Clean Green Growth Management Program” can work at your home to deliver a healthy garden and a happy pet. For more details simply visit – SLR Announces Key Advisory Appointment 2018-01-18T01:32:42Z slr-announces-key-advisory-appointment SLR has recently announced the senior appointment of Technical Director Anthony Lane to assist in the growth of the firm’s Land Quality and Hydrogeological services in the Asia Pacific region.     With over 40 years’ experience, Anthony is  an advisor, investigator and auditor in relation to contaminated site assessment and remediation; hydrogeology and groundwater resources; landfill life cycle; ground gas/soil vapour; risk assessment and communication as well as environmental approvals and management. Recognised as a leader in his field, Anthony has worked extensively on projects across all states in Australia as well as in New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.   Anthony is an EIANZ-accredited Site Contamination Specialist and also a highly sought-after environmental site auditor holding registrations in Vic, NSW, ACT, SA and WA.   SLR’s Asia Pacific Regional Manager Paul Gardiner added: “It’s an exciting time for SLR’s growth in the region and we are honoured to have Anthony join our team.  His extensive local and international expertise together with his strong leadership will enable the team to continue to provide innovative and practical solutions to our clients across all our business sectors.”   SLR’s global Land and Water group is the largest technical area for the company with now over 260 professionals working across the firm’s five operating regions.   This announcement follows the company’s launch of landscape architecture and transport advisory services in Asia Pacific in 2017. Signmee Named in Capterra’s Top 20 Most Affordable for Digital Signature Software 2018-01-18T01:29:21Z signmee-named-in-capterra-s-top-20-most-affordable-for-digital-signature-software Melbourne based company Signmee announced today that it has been named a Top 20 Most Affordable Digital Signature Software product by Capterra, a free online service that helps organisations find the right software.   Commenting on Signmee’s inclusion and high placement in the list, Founder and Chief Executive Nicole Bouchier said, “I’m thrilled that Signmee has been recognised and placed in the Top 20 of Capterra’s  Digital Signature Software category. Our ongoing development, understanding of and response to our customers’ requirements has meant that we scored well for ease of use, features and functionality, customer support and value for money. We work to provide tangible benefits to our clients, whether they be a school, sports group, corporate or government department. We are also proud to be the only Australasian software development company to be represented in the Top 20.”   Top 20 Most Affordable Digital Signature Software is an independent assessment that evaluates standard features offered by a product, cost of these features, and customer reviews on feature fit, value and quality. The Top 20 Most Affordable Digital Signature is available at .   Signmee is an advanced online forms platform, complete with legally binding eSign using a smart, secure and simple password sign workflow. All types of forms and contractual agreements, including consent forms for students, registration forms for events, new customer contracts, surveys, order forms can be created and adapted using the simple and intuitive interface. Use forms from a bank of pre-created templates, or build your own.  Track open and response rates, send advices and reminders via email and SMS, then view and download response data to transfer into other business systems. Clients also have a record of their responses in their own, free, Signmee account. A free trial of the web based Signmee software is available at .   About Capterra: Capterra is the world’s leading free software discovery and reviews platform, whee organisations of all types and sizes start their search. Founded in 1999, Capterra was acquired in 2015 by Gartner, Inc. features the largest online collection of software user reviews and research across hundreds of categories. Every year, Capterra helps millions of buyers find the right software solutions for their business.  Solar Panels never leave home without them! 2018-01-18T01:16:23Z solar-panels-never-leave-home-without-them When you need to recharge yourself and your 12V system, look no further than an Adventure Kings Solar charging system.   We have pioneered a range that starts from a simple 10W USB solar charger to a fully fledged 250W output array with MPPT Regulation for absolute maximum output to give you the options to power your setup no matter what you take camping with you.   All Adventure Kings Solar panels use Monocrystalline silicone cell construction which is the most efficient panel design available remaining lightweight and compact whilst still outputting effective power for use at home or in the bush.   We have fully standalone systems that include a solar regulator in both hard framed designs or the more flexible folding solar blankets which are excellent for space saving in the back of your vehicle or for emergency use.   We even have a fully customisable 110W Hard mounted system that includes fittings so you can easily and permanently mount it to your vehicle, camper trailer, campervan, caravan or boat with your choice of solar regulator.   We stock both the easy to operate low cost PWM style of regulator that has become the standard across the industry, or you can upgrade to one of our high efficiency, high output MPPT style regulators which gives you up to 30% more efficiency in cloudy or overcast conditions ensuring you get the most out of your solar setup no matter what the weather conditions.   Adventure Kings maintains its reputation for supplying functional camping setups whilst also still offering some of the most affordable solar setups available to the Australian market!   Whatever your 12V setup, Adventure Kings has a Solar charging system to efficiently top up your batteries and run accessories, with zero running costs and zero noise, whilst you kick back and relax and enjoy your favorite campsite in peace and quiet....   When you are looking for a solar panel setup, you can’t look past an Adventure Kings Solar setup.