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Date posted: December 26, 2015

Wences Casares, CEO of Xapos, speaking on EconTalk in July, posited an interesting way to create a relatively low-risk hedge against the potential explosive rise of Bitcoin over the next decade.

Here’s what Casares suggested during his appearance on EconTalk:

I happen to believe that there’s more than 50% chance that Bitcoin succeeds; and if Bitcoin succeeds, I believe that a Bitcoin is going to be worth more than a million dollars. I believe that some time in the next 10 years, one Bitcoin is going to be worth more than a million dollars. So, just like it would be very, very irresponsible to own an amount of bitcoin that you cannot afford to lose, it would also be silly not to own a little bit of Bitcoin. To put more than 1% of your savings in Bitcoin. Because if I am wrong, your downside is cut at 1% to hurt you very much. So, let’s say that your savings are $100,000. So, what I would say is you should have $1000 in Bitcoin.

If I am right, those 4 Bitcoins [value was $250 per Bitcoin at time of podcast] will be $4 million. Which is 40 times your entire savings. So it’s not like you will say I wish I had more. You bought plenty. So it’s asymmetrical that to have a little makes sense. Do not have enough Bitcoin that you cannot afford to lose, but have a little bit.

Russ Roberts, EconTalk’s host, said in response to Casare’s recommendation: “This could be life-changing… this is practical. It’s a very interesting way to think about it.”

Casares’ one percent solution to hedging the rise of Bitcoin seems practical to me, too, and, if it makes sense to you, use my link and complete a purchase of at least $100 worth of Bitcoin and Coinbase will send us both $10 worth of Bitcoin for free.

Date posted: December 22, 2015

How can manufacturers enable end-user customers to use and improve high tech products before they exist? Virtual reality, of course. For the first time, future users are able to actually test products that do not yet exist thanks to the multi-sensory experience developed by OPTIS.

During the upcoming CES show, OPTIS will present a new experience simulator connected to a Virtual Reality software, VRXperience. According to the company, with OPTIS VRXperience, manufacturers can put themselves in the user’s place and predict his or her interactions with a product still at the prototyping phase. Based on the exact physical vision and sound simulation, VRXperience delivers only reliable, true to life feelings. In an immersive and multi-sensory experience, manufacturers can virtually pilot intelligent products: the safest way to optimize them early in the design process and to create an engaging end-user experience.

OPTIS, the virtual prototyping company, brings life and emotion to all industrial projects. Its world-leading solutions pave the way for a revolutionary design process: towards zero physical prototype. Since 1989, OPTIS offers its know-how in light, acoustics and human vision simulation into famous CAD/CAM software and dedicated virtual immersive solutions. This synergy creates true-to-life virtual mock-ups which are used as real decision-making tools.

Today, VR makes testing products before they exist in reality a reality.

Date posted: December 17, 2015

In a white paper titled, Two Types of Business Intelligence, Sage ERP asks, “What kind of information does an organization’s employees need in order to perform their jobs to the best of their ability?”

“Generally speaking,” says the white paper’s writer Don Farber, Cofounder, Vineyard Corporation, “executives and managers are looking to gather strategic information, analyze it, temper it with their own knowledge, and then make what are often wide-reaching decisions. Nonmanagerial staff, on the other hand, most benefit from task-specific information, details that will help them perform individual business operations in the most efficient manner possible. Two different groups, two different types of information. Both groups in need of business intelligence.”

So, according to the white paper, why is it that over 65 % of all organizations implemented only strategic business intelligence solutions, effectively helping their executives and managers but leaving everyone else out in the cold? Farber’s answer:

There’s no question that there are some software solutions that should be restricted to a small group of users within an organization. Considerations such as access to sensitive information, required technical expertise, and departmental responsibilities are all valid points when debating “who gets their hands on what.” But sometimes we let the form of a technology erroneously restrict our vision of who could benefit from that technology. And that’s what happened with business intelligence software. Ideal for big-picture analysis and for identifying corporate strategies, the form of traditional BI software—its interactive nature, its graphic display, its slice-and-dice capabilities—convinces organizations that it’s applicable solely to their managers and executives. And yet the overriding purpose of BI software—the delivery of relevant information to people so that they may make better business decisions—in no way should exclude nonmanagerial staff. If relevant information can help an executive better reach a strategic decision, it stands to reason that comparable information can help a staff member better execute operational tasks.

The conclusion Farber reaches is that all parts of an organization can benefit from business intelligence. The type of information required by various staff members will differ. So, too, will the manner in which the information is conveyed. But if one of the keys to remaining competitive in today’s markets is to enable an organization to make better and faster business decisions, those decisions need to be made by everyone within that organization.

Business intelligence for everyone.

Date posted: December 15, 2015

What’s the next must have software category for B2B businesses. There’s a lot of hype in the enterprise software space. Is BPM the next “must have” software? Ultimus Software thinks so. In a recent white paper, the Cary, NC-based maker of BPM software makes a pretty strong case. Ultimus asserts:

BPM is the natural choice to be the next must have software category. As with CRM and ERP, it takes advantage of enhancements to the computing infrastructure to address real business problems. Unlike CRM and ERP, it moves beyond the functional silo approach to enable businesses to work across departmental, user, and organizational boundaries. It builds on the gains we have already achieved in individual user and departmental productivity, extending them into an organizational context.

Ultimus points out what most industry observers already know: “Customers won’t tolerate slow response times, bad service, or incomplete information. Businesses can’t afford system deployments that take years to implement and years to deliver results. At the same time, organizations have learned more about their customers and processes than ever before.”

It is well documented online and in the business press that companies have learned there are pitfalls to implementing workflow and integration solutions in stovepipes with limited process awareness. But does this combination of business needs and implementation experience sets the stage for BPM?

“Perfectly,” according to Ultimus.

The white paper concludes, “By helping companies model, automate, manage, and optimize their business processes, BPM provides the framework for sustainable competitive advantage. Picture the impact of being able to respond to customers in days rather than weeks—and respond with more complete, more accurate information, while spending less than your competitors. That is exactly what BPM delivers.”

What do you think is the next must have software for business? Is it BPM or something else?

Date posted: December 9, 2015

Historically, the B2B industry has not been known for being flexible or mobile friendly. Labor-intensive transactions–happened behind a desk–were time consuming and paper intensive. But today, with the rise of commuter commerce, the industry is seeing major benefits in accommodating on-the-go customers. According to a recently released Accenture study, 50% of B2B organizations have already implemented mobile strategies into their business model and 36% have mobile plans in the works. That means only 14% of B2B organizations don’t intend to focus on mobile in the next year.

Although B2B organizations are making gains in mobile optimization, there is still considerable room for growth. Accenture found that only a handful of companies has developed specialized mobile offerings, including mobile apps (15%), mobile-optimized websites (13%) and mobile catalogs (10%). Chris Dalton, CEO of CloudCraze, an expert in B2B eCommerce, strongly believes the future of B2B eCommerce lies in mobile. He suggests brands should be prioritizing to optimize the customer experience, from streamlining the order process through buy buttons to developing mobile applications.