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Got Talent: Recruiting platform Brilliant Hire raises €1M from SAP.iO

SAP.iO Venture Studio makes a €1 million follow-on seed investment in Brilliant Hire, a bias-free, skill-based pre-screening platform that helps digitize recruiting to provide faster and greater insights

Brilliant Hire co-founders, Swetha and Hemant with Juergen Mueller, CTO of SAP

In most hiring processes, hitting the buzzer to catapult candidates to the next round does usually not occur as quickly as on prime television shows. Talent is nevertheless what both are looking for.

There’s a strong connection between achieving business objectives and hiring the right talent, hence increasing the quality of candidates within the hiring funnel is fundamental to success. Tech is promising a shortcut to identifying the best candidates for job offerings, by also eliminating (un-)conscious bias towards applicants, and improving hiring efficiency. Will software be the next recruiting manager you meet in an interview? Not quite, but it could make all the difference.

Brilliant Hire offers skills-based job applicant screening, providing faster and greater insights without bias. The latest funding allows the venture to proceed with the recently released Brilliant Expert Network. Brilliant Experts is a complimentary service to Brilliant Hire, providing experts who evaluate candidates at any skill level and any discipline. With this service, recruiters simply send candidates the Brilliant Hire link and subsequently receive a full breakdown of a candidate’s skills from the expert. On the backend, the Brilliant Hire teamensures the quality and availability of the evaluating expertsremains high. The platform is unique across the screening industry by combining both machine learning with human evaluators.

Brilliant Experts has been used at SAP by the Silicon Valley Next Talent program over the past few months. With the addition of Brilliant Experts, Brilliant Hire removed the burden of assessment evaluation and decreased the wait time of applying candidates by more than 50 percent:

“We went from a one to two weeks response time to just two days. This resulted in over 400 candidates screened and only 100 qualifying ones to be interviewed – all without burdening recruiters or managers.”

Caitie Sullivan, program manager, Silicon Valley Next Talent Program, SAP

The team has shown early successes, including helping software company SAP SuccessFactors hit their ambitious 2019 hiring targets. This includes hiring over 100 engineers across the San Francisco and Bangalore offices. Beyond SAP, Brilliant Hire has been used by Mercedes-Benz R&D and the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Today, Brilliant Hire is offering a 3-month trial allowing companies to screen up to 300 candidates evaluations for just $1. Simply head over to the SAP Store to start your trial today.

To continue delivering their vision of screening-as-a-service, the new funding enables the team to grow in key areas. During the second half of 2019, Brilliant Hire will add Go-To-Market experts, designers and various engineering resources across San Francisco and Bangalore — hence hiring themselves! If you believe in the team’s mission and are interested in joining, reach out to their General Manager, Ryan Phillips, at ryan@brillianthire.io or check out the team’s career page.


About Brilliant Hire

Your hiring process is biased, we can help you fix it. Be brilliant in the way you hire. Try Brilliant Hire via the SAP Store and find more information on brillianthire.io.

About SAP.iO Venture Studio

The SAP.iO Venture Studio invests in small, entrepreneurial teams inside SAP and helps them build and launch successful products that attack some of the biggest problems in enterprise software. More information on sap.io/studio.

SAP again recognized for its open innovation approach with startups and intrapreneurship

December 7, 2022 — For the third consecutive time, SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) was recognized with the Corporate Startup Stars Award 2022 as one of the Top 50 companies encouraging startup innovation. The annual award celebrates companies promoting best-in-class open innovation practices and fostering global corporate-startup collaborations.

SAP also received the Intrapreneurship Program Award for enabling employees to become intrapreneurs and transform their innovative ideas into new growth businesses for the company. On December 6, the International Chamber of Commerce and innovation advisory firm Mind the Bridge announced this year’s winners at the award ceremony in London.

SAP follows a holistic open innovation approach. With its strategic business unit SAP.iO, the company supports early-stage ventures to accelerate and scale new ideas inside and outside the company.

“Both the internal and external side of our open innovation is critical to the future of SAP as it helps our customers continue in their digital transformation processes,” said Alexa Gorman, Senior Vice President SAP.iO. “This recognition demonstrates that we continue to successfully help startups and employees scale to provide our customers with additional innovation that complements their investments in SAP’s products.”

SAP.iO offers a curated portfolio of more than 450 startup solutions.

Since 2016, the Corporate Startup Stars Awards have honored companies that are role models in open innovation and are strongly committed to collaborating with startups. Startups nominate the companies that they believe are most active in the area of open innovation.

“The combination of Intrapreneurship and Venture Studio that SAP.iO has developed over the past eight years is now one of the benchmarks at the international level,” said Alberto Onetti, Chairman of Mind the Bridge. “This is true both for the ability to deliver results, meaning high quality projects, and for the continuous improvement of reach and inclusion.”

About SAP.iO
SAP.iO delivers new partnerships and products for SAP by accelerating and scaling startup innovation as well as incubating employee ventures. SAP.iO brings together innovators from every region, industry, and line of business to transform how businesses run. Since 2017, SAP.iO has helped 450+ external startups and internal ventures accelerate their growth while enabling thousands of SAP customers to access innovation. For more information, visit http://sap.io/.

Inspiring Innovators: Chandralika Hazarika Co-Founder of BigThinx, On The Right Place, The Right Time.

At SAP.iO, we work with innovative people and new technologies that positively impact our world every day, and we think it’s time to share their stories with you! In our series, “Inspiring Innovators,” we get to hear how leaders of cutting-edge startup technologies overcame, thrived, and pursued their goals. SAP.iO’s Alexa Gorman sat down to discuss the road to success and lessons learned with some of our most inspiring startup founders.

Meet Chandralika Hazarika

 

Having someone anticipate your needs before you ask is something of a talent. Waitstaff that refills your glass at a restaurant without being asked, a business offering umbrella’s on a day you’ve forgotten yours, or a friend that drops by with coffee on the morning you’ve run out. Being able to think ahead and predict what your family, friends, or even customers might need is a tricky skill to manage, but useful. Sometimes it is a case of the right place and the right time, as it was with our next inspiring innovator Chandralika Hazarika. Her unique combination of skills and strategic vision allowed her to anticipate a need in the marketplace BEFORE it became critical, thus allowing her company to come ready with a solution as soon as it was sought. Most useful indeed.

With more than 15 years of branding and marketing experience, Chandralika turned her attention to entrepreneurship with a focus on building digitally empowered brands. An architect by education, she always wanted to do something on the creative side of the business with people. While she worked as a branding manager, she gained experience understanding design and working with technical people.

In an instance of the right place, right time, Chandralika met her future co-founder, Shivang Desai, by chance in Bangalore when he was searching for tech talent. With a background in finance and strategy, Shivang had already started three technology companies. The two realized that their strengths were completely different but complementary; thus coming together to create something new would have a great chance of success. Looking to build simple, intuitive high-tech products that are quickly adopted, they came together to form Bigthinx in 2016.

Bigthinx is an artificial intelligence company building software for online fashion retailers, using mobile body scanning, virtual try-ons, and digital twins. Their technology creates a 3D body scan using two full-body photos for precise instant apparel size and fit predictions, creating a personalized virtual avatar that is a digital replica and automates the production of 3D digital clothing from catalog photos at scale. This technology enables try-ons of any clothing virtually to see how it would look and fit as if in reality. These quick, easy, and impactful virtual shopping experiences drive significant reductions in returns and increased conversions for online retailers. Bigthinx works with the world’s largest retailers and fashion brands in the US, Europe, and Asia.

“When you know the body data, that can be shared with the designers, so they design better for the body types in that region. You know, it’s all about impacting the whole supply chain beyond just reducing returns. And in doing so, we would influence fashion design, reduce waste, and create happy retailers and customers!”

At Bigthinx, Chandralika continues to build new ways to put consumers first, still looking to anticipate their needs before they ask. In addition, she is a fashion design enthusiast and owns a fashion label called Velvet Piano. If all of this were not enough, Chandralika also received the distinguished Accenture “Women in Tech” 2021 award.

Get more highlights from the interview here!

Crosschq Named Best in Class HR Technology for Recruitment by 2022 HRO Today Association Awards

Crosschq, pioneers of the Talent Intelligence Cloud™, which is powering a revolution in data-driven hiring and people analytics, today shared that it was recently named the Best in Class HR Technology for Recruitment in North America by the 2022 HRO Today Association Awards.

For more than 15 years, the HRO Today Association has recognized company and individual accomplishments in human resources, technology, and leadership around the world. This year’s North America and EMEA program garnered hundreds of submissions, with 71 selected as finalists. The awards for these regions were presented during the virtual HRO Today Association Conference, which took place on November 16, 2022. Of those named as finalists, 37 companies and individuals, including Crosschq, took home awards during the ceremony.

Elliot Clark, CEO & Chairman of SharedXpertise, publisher of HRO Today, commented, “With the HRO Today Association Awards, we aim to recognize the companies and individuals advancing the HR function. What Crosschq provides improves upon several of the challenges and pain points that talent teams frequently lament. It emphasizes transparency and collaboration while identifying process inefficiencies and delivers critical insights. Crosschq is truly a best-in-class recruitment solution, and we congratulate them on this win.”

Crosschq CEO Mike Fitzsimmons shared, “As an organization, Crosschq is aligned around a common goal: to redefine hiring success. And we know that to help HR and TA leaders create diverse, winning teams, they need access to actionable data and insights that supports Quality of Hire. The solutions we deliver reflect that, and on behalf of the Crosschq team, I would like to express our gratitude to the HRO Today Association for this tremendous recognition.”

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Four Companies Collaborate to Support DX in Manufacturing

Fujitsu, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., SAP Japan Co., Ltd. and Skillnote Corporation plan to collaborate on the development of platform services supporting digital transformation (DX) in the manufacturing industry, with a focus on the manufacturing of aircraft, railways, ships and large machinery.

Finding ways to respond flexibly to rapid changes in the global economy, including a dramatic reduction in the working age population in many developed countries, represents an ongoing challenge for the manufacturing industry.

To this end, the demand for measures to ensure business continuity throughout the supply chain and to standardize and systemize technologies and skills is gaining increasing importance.

Many on-site production management tasks still rely on manual labor, however, and especially small and medium-sized manufacturers often face barriers to DX adoption, including trouble securing skilled workers and difficulty in calculating the return on investment.

There also remain concerns that the local digitization and systematization of individual companies may create organizational silos that hinder overall optimization of the entire supply chain and operations linked to the engineering chain.

To address these challenges and to provide a basis for efficient, continuous high-quality manufacturing by using common data and information, Fujitsu, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, SAP Japan and Skillnote plan to develop manufacturing platform services “co-created” with users.

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Crosschq Named Best in Class HR Technology for Recruitment

Crosschq, pioneers of the Talent Intelligence Cloud™, which is powering a revolution in data-driven hiring and people analytics, today shared that it was recently named the Best in Class HR Technology for Recruitment in North America by the 2022 HRO Today Association Awards.

For more than 15 years, the HRO Today Association has recognized company and individual accomplishments in human resources, technology, and leadership around the world. This year’s North America and EMEA program garnered hundreds of submissions, with 71 selected as finalists. The awards for these regions were presented during the virtual HRO Today Association Conference, which took place on November 16, 2022. Of those named as finalists, 37 companies and individuals, including Crosschq, took home awards during the ceremony.

Elliot Clark, CEO & Chairman of SharedXpertise, publisher of HRO Today, commented, “With the HRO Today Association Awards, we aim to recognize the companies and individuals advancing the HR function. What Crosschq provides improves upon several of the challenges and pain points that talent teams frequently lament. It emphasizes transparency and collaboration while identifying process inefficiencies and delivers critical insights. Crosschq is truly a best-in-class recruitment solution, and we congratulate them on this win.”

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Customers and Online Shoe Retailers Put Their Best Foot Forward for Climate

It can be difficult to buy a pair of shoes online, and if you have a high instep, wide feet, or a bone spur, the problem is exacerbated. It is common for customers shopping online to buy two sizes of the same model so they can try them on at home and return the pair that doesn’t fit.

The size of the problem is considerable, with half of all shoes bought online being returned. The primary reason for these returns is a poor fit or wrong size — a staggering 75%!

There is a significant cost to these returns. In Europe alone, 330,000 tons of CO2 emissions are created every year by people returning shoes. Returns and re-shipments cost the industry €10 billion annually and cost customers a cumulative 275 million hours — an average of 32 minutes per return — per year. And this doesn’t account for the amount of waste that is generated, including the additional packaging involved and items that are returned but cannot be resold.

On the customer side, some people only discover a pair of shoes doesn’t fit well when they wear them out for the first time, after which they are unable to return them. What happens to these shoes? Some will be listed on peer-to-peer secondhand sites but others will sadly go to landfill, where 22 billion pairs end up each year.

The global online footwear market is thriving, with a market size valued at US $99.1 billion in 2021 and a predicted growth rate of 6.8% from 2022 to 2028. According to a study by Quantis, the footwear industry currently responsible for 1.4% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Additionally, 77% of people believing the shoe industry should do more to reduce its level of waste. The market is crying out for an innovative approach to scale down waste.

Enter German startup Footprint Technologies. The company has stepped up to the challenge of reducing waste in the footwear industry through the development of an innovative solution that benefits the customer, the planet, and the industry as a whole.

Using technology based on artificial intelligence (AI), shoppers can now scan their own feet to a high degree of accuracy and match it to find the perfect fit model and size of shoe.

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Deepgram lands new cash to grow its enterprise voice-recognition business

Deepgram, a company developing voice-recognition tech for the enterprise, today raised $47 million in new funding led by Madrona Venture Group with participation from Citi Ventures and Alkeon. An extension of Deepgram’s Series B that kicked off in February 2021, led by Tiger Global, it brings the startup’s total raised to $86 million, which CEO Scott Stephenson says is being put toward R&D in areas like emotion detection, intent recognition, summarization, topic detection, translation and redaction.

“We’re pleased that Deepgram achieved its highest-ever pre- and post-money valuation, even despite the challenging market conditions,” Stephenson told TechCrunch in an email interview. (Unfortunately, he wouldn’t reveal what exactly the valuation was.) “We believe that Deepgram is in a strong position to thrive in this tougher macroeconomic environment. Deepgram’s speech AI is the core enabling technology behind many of our customers’ applications, and the demand for speech understanding grows as companies seek greater efficiency.”

Launched in 2015, Deepgram focuses on building custom voice-recognition solutions for customers such as Spotify, Auth0 and even NASA. The company’s data scientists source, create, label and evaluate speech data to produce speech-recognition models that can understand brands and jargon, capture an array of languages and accents, and adapt to challenging audio environments. For example, for NASA, Deepgram built a model to transcribe communications between Mission Control and the International Space Station.

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SAP.iO Foundry Singapore and HCLTech Launch Intelligent Enterprise Program

November 25, 2022SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) and HCLTech launched a virtual startup program focused on the Intelligent Enterprise at SAP.iO Foundry Singapore. Five international startups have been selected by a jury of experts from SAP and HCLTech to join the program. These startups are building innovative solutions for companies in the following areas: Industry 4.0, sustainability, and the metaverse.

The long-term future of companies depends on their ability to proactively respond to today’s challenging, unprecedented market conditions. To compete in a highly disruptive and rapidly evolving world, companies must be able to rewire their organizations to create efficient, automated business processes – applying advanced technologies to transform static, siloed processes into agile, intelligent workflows.

“Asia is home to some of the most innovative countries in the world. Along with a huge and rapidly growing young talent pool, we are also seeing significant investments flowing into the region, making it a hotbed for startup innovation, said Paul Marriott, President, SAP Asia Pacific and Japan. “Through this collaboration with HCLTech, we are bringing together the right technology, support, and insight to further accelerate startup innovation and introduce game-changing solutions – especially in the areas most essential in building future-readiness – to more of our customers, more quickly.”

The 13-week program, in collaboration with HCLTech’s SAP Ecosystem Unit and eSTiPTM, its flagship open innovation platform and program, offers startups access to curated mentorship from SAP and HCLTech executives, exposure to SAP® technology and application programming interfaces (APIs), and opportunities to collaborate with SAP and HCLTech customers around the world.

“HCLTech is a catalyst for change, and our commitment to innovation only strengthens with this program that we are driving in collaboration with SAP.iO. We jointly aspire for accelerated growth for our customers, leveraging niche and meaningful innovations. We are keen to establish our thought leadership in the areas of sustainability and Industry 4.0, and this collaboration is a step towards that”, said Kalyan Kumar, Chief Technology Officer and Head, Ecosystems at HCLTech. 

The following startups are participating in the program:

  1. H3 Dynamics combines machine learning, remote telerobotics and off-grid capabilities for drone services that can deploy and manage commercial condition monitoring, security and safety solutions.
  2. DeepBrain specializes in humanizing digital customer service and bridging the gap between enterprises and their customers.
  3. Invigilo enhances workplace safety culture by enabling real-time and continuous monitoring using AI-video analytics.
  4. WeavAir enables companies to measure carbon emissions based on energy consumed by real estate and transportation assets.
  5. Versafleet automates modern supply chains with route optimization, electronic proof-of-delivery, instant notifications and real-time job-status tracking.

For program developments and opportunities to participate in innovation workshops with the selected startups, look out for updates on https://sap.io/sgp-f22/.

About HCLTech

HCLTech is a global technology company, home to 219,000+ people across 54 countries, delivering industry-leading capabilities centered around digital, engineering and cloud, powered by a broad portfolio of technology services and products. We work with clients across all major verticals, providing industry solutions for Financial Services, Manufacturing, Life Sciences and Healthcare, Technology and Services, Telecom and Media, Retail and CPG, and Public Services. Consolidated revenues as of 12 months ending September 2022 totaled $12.1 billion. To learn how we can supercharge progress for you, visit hcltech.com.

About SAP.iO

SAP.iO delivers new partnerships and products for SAP by accelerating and scaling startup innovation as well as incubating employee ventures. SAP.iO brings together innovators from every region, industry, and line of business to transform how businesses run. Since 2017, SAP.iO has helped 450+ external startups and internal ventures accelerate their growth while enabling thousands of SAP customers to access innovation. For more information, visit http://sap.io/.

Solar-tech developer BladeRanger acquires Raycatch assets

BladeRanger, the developer of an autonomous solar panel cleaning robot, has acquired the assets, operations and 400,000 shares of climate tech company Raycatch Ltd. for approximately $1.5 million.

The acquisition will allow BladeRanger to expand its footprint in the Israeli and global renewable energy markets. It will supply a holistic solution to solar fields and sites, enhancing efficiency and profit and delivering significant savings in operating costs in the energy generation process.

Raycatch is responsible for the development and sale of Deep Solar: a solar field management platform that performs advanced automatic analysis and monitoring in order to streamline and maximize renewable electricity generation efficiency.

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Web-Store Plugin Reduces CO2 Footprint of Online Shoe Shopping

Currently more than 50 % of all shoes purchased online are returned, most of them due to an improper fit. Fashion Industry company Footprint Technologies and SAP are going to change that. Their cloud-based Artificial Intelligence solution helps online shoe buyers to find their perfect fit, on the first try. The footprint app is installed into online shoe retailers’ web-shops, using SAP Commerce Cloud as a proven connector. Online retailers increase their profitability by minimizing size- and fit-related returns, customers are happy and the planet benefits from saving CO2 emissions and packaging waste.

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Help Holiday Shoppers Shop with Retail Solutions on SAP Store

This holiday season, consumers are more budget conscious than ever as they react to inflation – and smart retailers are harnessing all the tools available to keep sales up while spending goes down. A seamless shopping experience across channels, simplified product discovery that anticipates buyer needs, price optimization – these are all essential to building customer loyalty and repeat purchasing. And savvy retailers have recognized that the ability to respond to overnight shifts in consumer behavior can be achieved only with the agility enabled by the cloud.

Cloud Solutions for the Agility You Need to React and Respond

With these innovative solutions, SAP and our partners can help you maximize opportunities now during the busiest shopping season and gain momentum for the year ahead. On SAP Store, you’ll find a wide range of solutions that you can try, buy, and deploy quickly. SAP rigorously validates partner solutions for quality, interoperability, and a similar look and feel for usability and fast adoption. Check out these cloud solutions for retail today.
Coveo Search and Recommendation for SAP Commerce – Online buyers can easily and quickly find what they’re looking for, as well as personalized recommendations for what they might be looking for, with this AI-powered industry cloud solution. When shoppers can discover more options in an online product catalog with automated suggestions based on their intent, they tend to buy more.
EcoCart Carbon Neutral Orders – With this solution, your customers can opt to offset the environmental impact of their orders at checkout with a single click and add 1-2% to their total – which can boost conversion and customer loyalty while strengthening your brand. In addition, EcoCart Plus can help you build and execute a comprehensive sustainability strategy.
Retail Suite – Everyday Price by Eversight – Drive sales growth and margins through dynamic AI-powered price optimization with this industry cloud solution that integrates with the SAP Customer Activity Repository application. Even as the cost of goods increases and shopper preferences change, you can set the right price at the right moment by experimenting and benchmarking against the competition – using your own business rules.
Recommerce Management System by Loop Logistics – Shoppers can rent, resale, or buy secondhand products thanks to this solution, which lets you make use of unsold products without discounting or destroying them. This solution, accelerated with the SAP.iO strategic business unit that invests in start-up innovation, helps retailers reduce environmental impact and generate new revenue streams.
Mention Me – This referral marketing platform uses unique data sets to build dynamic conversion programs, helping you increase customer loyalty and advocacy. It harnesses customers’ enthusiasm for your brand and gathers first-party data that allows you to see the true lifetime value of a customer’s propensity to refer. Development of Mention Me was accelerated by SAP.iO.
MyWave.AI Intelligent Personalization Platform – This solution combines AI, personal data, and proactive automation to deliver intelligent personalization at scale. Based on customer preferences in the context of past behavior and intent, MyWave.AI dynamically offers relevant products or advertising along with intelligent cross- and up-sell options.
Threekit 3D and Augmented Reality – This visualization platform allows brands to offer immersive experiences to their customers, who can view, spin, build, and customize products to their specifications. The enhanced product experience gives customers confidence in their selection, increasing conversion rates and reducing returns.
SAP Intelligent Returns Management – Optimize your margin on returns and enhance the customer experience by guiding them through a smooth product return that keeps them engaged and updated throughout the process. The solution also helps you identify key trends early and mitigate issues to drive correction actions and optimize assortments and price points.
SAP Omnichannel Promotion Pricing – This solution enables consistent pricing for promotions across all sales channels, calculating effective prices for a product or set of products by applying promotional rules. The result is a consistent buying experience across the Web, sales order, point of sale, and so on. An administration service deletes obsolete prices and promotional rules.
Zoovu Conversational Assistants for SAP Commerce & Sales Cloud – This solution for product discovery makes it easy to find, evaluate, and buy by bringing context to the search. It guides the buyer through the process with relevant questions and interactive buying advice. Conversational assistants enrich product content automatically with industry-specific taxonomies and work across all industries.
You can find the full list of cloud solutions from SAP and our partners for retail on SAP Store here, many available for a demo or free trial.

Public sector drives strong demand for conversational AI, with 2.7M+ users served on the Yellow.ai platform

With governments across the world working to enable broad-scaled digital transformation, public sector organizations are increasingly gravitating towards the adoption of Conversational AI solutions to redefine the citizen experience. According to data released by Yellow.ai, a leading enterprise-grade Conversational AI platform, the company has served over 2.7M unique users for its government sector clients worldwide.

Recently mentioned in the Gartner Hype Cycle for Digital Government Services, 2022, under the chatbot category, the company works with key government departments across countries. The Yellow.ai platform has recorded an exchange of over 79M messages focused on citizen delivery services, exchanged between its Dynamic AI agents and end-users during over 5M sessions.

Raghu Ravinutala, CEO & Co-founder, Yellow.ai said, “Public sector organizations need to address numerous queries daily, and doing so manually is a time-consuming task. At the same time, citizens have a growing expectation of being able to conveniently avail government services. That’s where Conversational AI can step in to improve efficiency and human productivity, streamlining the process of delivering citizen services digitally while keeping humans in the loop. We have seen a huge surge in traction from government agencies across countries and our deployments are helping address some very unique use cases by bringing power to citizens’ fingertips on channels that they actively use. With continued emphasis on digitization, we expect Conversational AI to soon become an integral pillar in delivering stellar services to citizens.”

While text-based messaging channels are the preferred medium for citizen delivery services, the company is also seeing voice-based Conversational AI solutions gain momentum. The major use-cases, as observed, are for automating customer support, filing documentation related to government entities, booking services, raising complaints, making payments, and locating branches and offices, where the most traction is being witnessed on channels such as WhatsApp.

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How Startup FindMine Leverages AI to Lift E-Commerce Content, Revenue

Anyone who’s ever run a website can relate to the challenge of populating that site with an adequate supply of quality content that will keep an audience coming back and support the business’ revenue goals.

That challenge is especially applicable to businesses such as apparel, home decor, and beauty products, where manufacturers and retailers alike must present an adequate amount of content in ways that will engage those visiting their sites.

For example, an article of clothing may catch a site visitor’s eye, but it’s possible to get them more interested if they can see that clothing with various combinations to find one that appeals to them. The process of building those combinations is quite challenging.

A startup named FindMine is looking to solve the problems in this scenario: the ability to create combinations in a scalable way and, in so doing, improve the “shoppability” of a website to make it more robust — from a customer experience point of view and a business point of view. And to do so in ways that accurately reflect the brand’s value proposition.

FindMine built an artificial intelligence (AI) engine that builds these combinations and presents them to visitors. The company started, in part, because CEO Michelle Bacharach was personally frustrated by the need to create combinations herself for a variety of products. And, through experience as a product manager, she understood the importance of removing friction from the buying process.

“Every company in retail sells one product at a time. Think about how you use stuff: You don’t wear a shirt with no pants and no shoes,” Bacharach says. “In my life as a consumer, I always wondered, why is this so annoyingly hard?”

FindMine launched its product in 2016. The New York-based company, part of the SAP.iO startup accelerator program, has secured venture capital funding of $10 million. FindMine has 30 employees and has built an impressive roster of global brands as customers.

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Virtual Store Platform Obsess Introduces First-of-Its-Kind

New Industry Innovation Enables Any Brand to Create Its Own Customized Metaverse Experience. Charlotte Tilbury Is First Partner to Launch “Branded Avatars” as Part of Its Immersive Holiday Shopping World.

Obsess, a leading experiential e-commerce platform enabling brands to create immersive virtual stores, today launched “Branded Avatars,” a first-of-its-kind industry technology that enables brands to customize the look-and-feel and character style of shopper avatars to create branded metaverse experiences on their e-commerce sites. The new capability then lets shoppers personalize all aspects of their branded avatar, including skin tone, facial features, body shape, clothing and makeup.

Charlotte Tilbury is the first brand to partner with Obsess to offer the innovative new functionality, introducing it as part of its Charlotte’s Beauty Realm holiday wonderland to further personalize the virtual store experience and deepen its connection with customers.

While consumers could create avatars in mobile apps and gaming environments previously, Obsess’s new technology represents the first-time shoppers will be able to customize their own avatars in a browser-based virtual store environment—with no download, signup, login or fee required. The function also allows shoppers to apply complete makeup looks to their avatars for the first time ever, giving brands the opportunity to curate unique beauty looks for their customers.

In addition, the new function enables friends to shop and attend events together in real time with their friends’ avatars. Shoppers can use their personalized avatars to walk through and experience the virtual environment together, discovering, learning about and purchasing products, all while interacting and conversing in real time.

“Innovative brands have been looking to incorporate more personalization, gamification and social interactivity into their virtual store experiences to make shopping in these environments more engaging, social and fun—essentially more like shopping in real life,” said Neha Singh, Founder and CEO of Obsess. “We’re thrilled to launch this industry-first innovation and to push avatar technology forward for all consumers outside of gaming environments. Our platform now enables brands to create their own custom metaverse on their site—where both the environment and avatar style match the brand’s look-and-feel—to give consumers an unforgettable shopping experience.”

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Specright Recognized as a Representative Vendor in New Gartner® Market Guide for Packaging and Product Specification Management

Specright, Inc., the pioneer of Specification Management software that helps customers take control of their supply chain data, today shared business momentum milestones from this year that cement its position as category leader, including new recognition from Gartner. The 2022 Gartner Market Guide for Packaging and Product Specification Management names Specright as a Representative Vendor for Packaging and Product Specification Management (PPSM).

“With two million products on our platform globally, Specright is helping companies make the products and packaging that we use every day in an efficient, sustainable way – from Tide Pods, to Carmex chapstick, and even the packaging for COVID-19 vaccines,” said Matthew Wright, CEO and founder at Specright. “It’s rewarding for the entire Specright team to reap the recognition of our industry-leading position in the market.”

Digitized Specification Management is vital for businesses in packaging, product development, supply chain, manufacturing, and more that need to easily create, share, and track product and packaging specifications while working closely with suppliers to bring their product to market while ensuring sustainability. Specifications are constantly changing, and managing this data with Excel spreadsheets, PDFs, and email can result in product recalls, waste, and production delays when outdated specs are used. Specright not only digitizes this data with a patented, spec-first platform but introduces a new way for companies to make amazing, sustainable things by developing them from the ground-up.

Specright’s approach has led to year-over-year doubling of revenue and the number of active platform users since the company’s first funding round. Multiple companies in the Fortune 500 as well as challenger brands choose Specright as the foundation for digitizing their supply chains, including Colgate-Palmolive, Taylor Farms, and Johnson & Johnson, and the platform boasts 99 percent customer retention.

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