Video-Powered Virtual Storefronts Fuel The Next E-Commerce Boom

According to Gartner researchers, live commerce is one of the hottest digital selling trends as retailers and even B2B companies engage customers with personalized sales through streaming video. To be clear, these are not yesterday’s social brand ambassadors. TVPage has pioneered this latest trend, offering an AI-based, cloud platform that brings together store associates, approved influencers, and products for the most dynamic online e-commerce machine to date.

“We are at the forefront of social e-commerce, using video to put virtual yet personalized salespeople directly in the online store,” said Allon Caidar, co-founder and CEO at TVPage. “It’s a full cycle marketing engine for customer engagement and online shopping, turning companies into their own social media destination that pops up as people search for products.”

Bustling virtual storefronts

Large retailers and other companies worldwide are using TVPage to replicate the kind of expert selling consumers crave. For example, when a retailer signs up, they gain a virtual storefront for their own sales associates, as well as independent influencers, all of whom serve as social brand ambassadors. Using a mobile app or web browser, these ambassadors keep consumers engaged by uploading videos, photos, and other information about products on the retailer’s website. They use social media to share their content, answer customer questions, and invite interested consumers to special online events.

“Consumers can chat with social brand ambassadors anytime to find out if a product comes in a different color or size,” said Caidar. “Ambassadors might decide to schedule beauty makeovers based on the questions they’ve received, or spotlight gaming releases that reflect breaking trends. Customers can purchase products directly from their videos.”

Companies can set and monitor social ambassador metrics from one dashboard, paying their own employees based on individual performance goals. TVPage also helps its customers find and manage independent influencers, including sourcing and paying freelance social ambassadors.

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UK-based WeGift raises £6.7M to create world’s first real-time digital incentive platform

Rewards and incentives are considered one of the most effective ways to encourage workers to put forth great efforts and work efficiently. Every year over $620 billion (approx £462 billion) of gift cards is issued globally, with half of this value being purchased by corporates to reward or incentivise their employees or customers. This market is growing strongly and is expected to reach $1.9 trillion (approx £1.4 billion) by 2027.  

ending rewards, incentives, and non-cash payouts are manual, expensive, time-consuming, and error-prone. And this is where London-based WeGift comes and changes the broken process. WeGift is a cloud-based, open API solution that allows businesses to transfer value to consumers in real-time and globally. 

Raised £6.7M Series A round

Recently, the digital incentives platform raised $8 million (approx £6.7 million) in a Series A extension led by AlbionVC. Existing investors including Stride.vc, SAP.iO fund and Unilever Ventures also participated in the round. Following the fundraise, Ed Lascelles, General Partner at AlbionVC, will join WeGift’s Board of Directors.

Founder and CEO Aron Alexander commented: “Historically businesses had to spend thousands of hours a year manually buying and distributing digital rewards. WeGift helps companies intelligently automate this process to power new customer acquisition and retention campaigns. We give them instant access to a huge choice of rewards and payouts, an ever-growing network of more than 700 brand partners, across 30 markets and 20 currencies. We are disrupting a broken market on a global scale, and this investment, together with our partnerships with Albion VC, Unilever Ventures, SAP.iO Fund, and Stride. vc, is an instrumental step forward in achieving our vision.”

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What sports can teach entrepreneurs: Life lessons for business success

Sports teach discipline. In my case, athletics also taught me a lot about culture, as soccer wasn’t embraced in American when I was young.

Athletics provided an opportunity to play alongside some amazing friends who either came from or descended from different parts of the world, which prepared me for today’s workforce. The strongest companies recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion, and we operate in a global economy.

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How Drones and Robotics Revolutionize Building Inspections

nderneath the gleaming surface of modern megacities is an archaic patchwork of antiquated building inspection processes long overdue for a 21st century makeover. Meet H3 Dynamics, a cloud-based inspection services platform that is using drones and ground robots as the eyes and ears of engineers currently grounded by the pandemic and long hampered by last-century norms.

“By automating and digitizing visual inspection processes, we’re creating an accessible layer of information on structures and buildings in any city or corporate location,” said Taras Wankewycz, founder and CEO of H3 Dynamics. “Organizations can track the physical conditions of urban and remote facilities with a level of safety, efficiency, and accuracy not possible before.”

Perfecting the Human Plus Machine Equation

Headquartered in Singapore, H3 Dynamics customers include companies and government agencies worldwide across a long list of sectors such as smart cities, real estate, maritime, oil and gas, utilities, renewable energy, and mining. Customers might be private equity firms that own facilities, insurance companies, site operators, safety inspection and certification organizations, or regulators involved in legislating safety mandates. H3 Dynamics also has clients that resell its digitized visual monitoring services to their own customers.

What customers have in common are hard-to-reach sites, from the tallest skyscrapers to remote industrial outposts that defy the most intrepid human being’s effort to scale. But this is not a story about machines replacing people.

Drones and ground robots, as well as people, can capture information from buildings with video and other camera images, bringing this data into the H3 Dynamics platform. The system uses technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D modeling to create an interactive map that displays defects on the scanned structure surfaces, classifying potential risks, whether aesthetic anomalies or unsafe areas that require repair. Civil engineers or other recognized industry experts review and validate the automated findings. Customers can generate a written report that details safety risks. In addition, the company has created shelter systems where drones and other robots can get batteries recharged and upload data to the H3 Dynamics cloud.

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Increasing Team Effectiveness with SAP.iO Startup Cloverleaf

Team effectiveness helps employees integrate, increases employee satisfaction, and improves productivity. Cloverleaf, a startup in the Future of Work cohort at the SAP.iO Foundry San Francisco, helps to build great teams and improve employee engagement using existing employee data and assessments to provide insight into increased team effectiveness. We sat down with Cloverleaf Co-Founder Darrin Murriner to better understand the imperative for building great teams.

Q: What does Cloverleaf do?

A: Cloverleaf helps build great teams and improve employee engagement using existing employee data and assessments to provide insight into increased team effectiveness. From teams at small businesses to large enterprises, we equip employers and empower employees to give the greatest contribution to their organization and have the most fulfilling opportunity in their role. Cloverleaf gives users intelligent nudges and reminders before and after meetings to improve their team behavior.

Q: Why is team effectiveness so important?

A: Thriving teams have higher levels of productivity and higher levels of employee engagement. Creating strong teams is important because decreased levels of employee engagement lead to higher absenteeism, more errors, accidents and defects, lower productivity, lower profitability, and lower job growth.

Q: How has the pandemic impacted the need for Cloverleaf’s solution?

A: With many employees now working remotely, teams need to learn how to add value to their organization in a new environment. By providing team-based coaching in the flow of work, we give leaders the tools and insights they need to be effective leaders with remote and cross-functional teams. The goal of our product is to increase transparency and trust in a way that leaves everyone feeling a stronger sense of belonging and purpose. As a result, we have inclusive team environments that improve productivity.

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Asia Berlin Summit: Female Entrepreneurship Panel- The Founding Gap

Recently the Asia Berlin Summit hosted a panel discussion called Exploring the impact of family, restrictions, support systems and gender bias on women founders. Panelists included: Aimie-Sarah Carstensen (Founder, ArtNight), Dr. Alexander Hirschfeld (Female Founders Monitor), Chanyu Xu (Founder & CEO, her.one), Alexa Gorman (SVP and Head of SAP.iO EMEA Foundries), Caecilia Chu (Founder, YouTrip), with Moderator: Elain Tse (COO, Passion.io).

Watch Panel Discussion Here…

The Eyes Have It: The Future Of Human-Machine Relations

Has this ever happened to you? Shopping for fresh vegetables at your local market when you notice that special someone across the aisle? And when your eyes lock, you know there is that kind of Mona Lisa smile directed at you behind the mask. You can’t help but feel the sparks fly and that something amazing is about to happen – just from a single look.

That’s what one company is planning to make happen in the workplace of the future. But with a twist! This kind of eye contact is all about making the daily work of employees more convenient, ergonomically-friendly, and even fun by controlling applications based on user intention – via eye tracking.

The future of human-machine interaction

Munich-based enterprise software company 4tiitoo is a leader in eye track interaction. Their mission – to make work more productive, healthy, and attractive to workers.

4tiitoo’s Natural User Interaction to all Applications software platform, or NUIA, revolutionizes the way people interact with devices by using machine learning to model eye control/tracking to predict user intention.

This kind of hands-free eye control provides increased efficiency and a better user experience for people (like me) glued to their workplace computer by reducing mouse-click interactions.

An escape from the perpetual mouse trap

This may be hard to believe, but the humble, ever-steadfast computer mouse is now over 50 years old. And let’s be honest. It has not evolved enough to address the enormously complex and rapidly evolving human-machine computing environments.

Think about it. 4tiitoo posits that an average user like you or I will make thousands of mouse clicks, maybe even tens of thousands, in a given work week and cover several kilometers a day of mouse movement.

With 20-30% a day spent on mouse interactions, user productivity is not what it could be. Plus, that little mouse is still not the healthiest of interfaces to use in terms of repetitive motion stress.

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SAP.iO Startup Cuéntame Supports Mental Health in the Workplace

In 2020, the global pandemic and the related economic uncertainty have increased stress levels for employees around the world. The loss of productivity caused by the surge in mental health disorders is estimated to cost companies a trillion dollars per year. We sat down with Regina Athie, the founder of SAP.iO Foundry San Francisco startup Cuéntame, to discuss mental health and better understand Cuéntame’s solution, which supports the mental health of Spanish-speaking employees in Latin America and North America.

Q: What does Cuéntame do to support mental health?

A: Cuéntame provides personalized mental health services and resources for all employees at their convenience. By using questionnaires and artificial intelligence (AI) technology, we are able to place employees on tailored tracks that suit their needs best because mental health solutions are not one-size-fits-all. Cuéntame offers a full spectrum of tools, lessons, and coping techniques, including mediation, webinars, podcasts, and psychotherapy.

Q: Why did you found Cuéntame?

A: Each of Cuéntame’s co-founders has a unique experience with mental health in their personal life. For me, I realized there was a need for more creative mental health solutions when my dad was diagnosed with depression, but our insurance refused to pay for any treatments. Depression is just like a physical illness, such as cancer, yet society and employers do not make it a priority. Cuéntame provides a tailored digital solution to meet mental health needs for Spanish-speaking employees at any company.

Q: How has the importance of mental health in the workplace changed since the beginning of the pandemic?

A: Before the pandemic, mental health was seen as a luxury. It didn’t focus on preventative measures–instead, it focused only on providing support to employees in a crisis. Now, in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic, mental health is largely about providing tools to support employees and their families cope with the symptoms of our current situation, whether it is depression, anxiety, loneliness, or burnout. Our treatments to these problems include providing tools to overcome these symptoms, teaching resiliency, and creating communities of support in and outside of work.

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Beyond Smart Cities: How Drones And Robotics Revolutionize Building Inspections

Underneath the gleaming surface of modern megacities is an archaic patchwork of antiquated building inspection processes long overdue for a 21st Century makeover. Meet H3 Dynamics, a cloud-based inspection services platform that’s using drones and ground robots as the eyes and ears of engineers currently grounded by the pandemic, and long hampered by last century norms.

h a level of safety, efficiency, and accuracy not possible before.”  

Perfecting the human plus machine equation

Headquartered in Singapore, H3 Dynamics’ customers include companies and government agencies worldwide across a long list of sectors such as smart cities, real estate, maritime, oil and gas, utilities, renewable energy, and mining. Customers might be private equity firms that own facilities, insurance companies, site operators, safety inspection and certification organizations, or regulators involved in legislating safety mandates. H3 Dynamics also has clients that resell its digitized visual monitoring services to their own customers. What customers have in common are hard to reach sites, from the tallest skyscrapers to remote industrial outposts that defy the most intrepid human being’s effort to scale. But this isn’t a story about machines replacing people.

Drones and ground robots, as well as people, can capture information from buildings with video and other camera images, bringing this data into the H3 Dynamics platform. The system uses technologies including AI and 3D modeling to create an interactive map that displays defects on the scanned structure surfaces, classifying potential risks, whether aesthetic anomalies or unsafe areas that require repair. Civil engineers or other recognized industry experts review and validate the automated findings. Customers can generate a written report that details safety risks. In addition, the company has created shelter systems where drones and other robots can get batteries recharged, and upload data to the H3 Dynamics cloud.

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SAP Startup Spotlight: Supervizor

Alban Clot, co-founder and Managing Director (Sales & Operations) of Supervizor, is a graduate of ESCP Europe. Alban began his career in the consulting industry. He held several positions until he became a partner within an independent consulting firm. He then co-founded Supervizor with Cyrille de Gastines and held the position of Director of Operations. Alban is now leading all business development, marketing and operations teams and is in charge of the international expansion of Supervizor. In this interview, he talks about what his company offers and what’s next for Supervizor.

E-3 Magazine: Why did you start Supervizor to begin with?

Alban Clot: Supervizor is a financial audit and internal control software for CFOs of mid-market and large companies. They usually need to get rid of accounting errors and comply with anti-fraud regulations but rely today on inefficient manual internal controls and outdated external audits that waste time and money. Supervizor is the first automatic financial anomaly detection software dedicated to corporate finance that leverages AI to analyze 100 percent of transactions and instantly highlight anomalies and frauds, remotely and on an ongoing basis. Supervizor was created in order to resolve a pain every company encounters. The technology is the result of more than 10 years of research. The goal is to respond to a problem that companies encounter during their audit process. Indeed, the need to bring auditors to the premises and the long and costly processes are difficult for many of them. Supervizor has created a remote and automated audit solution to facilitate the audit process. After several years of use, 100 percent of the accounts analyzed revealed significant anomalies.

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Exploring Circular Technology That Enables Sustainability, Inclusion, Net-Zero Waste, and Circular Cities with Dr. Garry Cooper of Rheaply

Dr. Garry Copper, neuroscientist turned sustainability technologist and circularity advocate had a pivotal moment – that our field is one-noted and we need to build a reuse bridge to capture value left in materials to transition to a sustainable world, a fly-wheel of wealth for communities who have been left out in the linear economy. Led by curiosity and studying how people remember and forget, he stumbled on CE, and his life was changed forever. He is the CEO of a Chicago-based technology start-up Rheaply that helps manage material flows and the life cycle of assets in the circular economy through reuse, realizing the 4.5 trillion dollar opportunity. 

I met Garry a few months back at a Green Biz event and had chills after hearing him evangelize how the “circular economy can only be realized when it’s real for everyone, and everyone can participate. Materials flow everywhere.” I was blown away as he described his purpose “to make his story not remarkable,” empowering more people and particularly women of color to participate and not just be a passive stakeholder in making our communities sustainable. Rheaply is a part of Circular-City Chicago in tri-sector partnerships including local non-profit community champions. We pull on the threads of digital divide and food sovereignty, and hydroponic farming in Chicago too.

The future is bright. In Episode 45, he explores his journey as someone who wants to make an impact, and a black man in an almost exclusively white environment for most of his career. His dream for Rheaply is to operationalizing a net-zero waste strategy and help businesses be efficient in a COVID world by reducing holding and carrying costs, capturing material value and leveraging spend avoidance. However, we diverge and in a provocative discussion to explore the business case “let’s keep our marketplace on Earth” (not to be missed)!

As we unpack the business model emergency for circularity, the big question emerged…has COVID accelerated or decelerated climate and sustainability transition? We talk about recent weather disruptions and fires in California, and the burning question is “can you do business when folks can’t go outside?” The Earth is the business case. It’s not climate change, it’s a climate emergency. We also talk about doing the right thing particularly when it comes to social responsibility in forced child labor and the black lives matter movement. Do either of these pressing social issues really “need” a business case or is this a space to step up and be good stewards in business?

One of Rheaply’s key partners is SAP and Rheaply is currently in the SAP.iO Foundry. Big shout out to John Licata at SAP.iO. Garry explores his journey as a start up founder with lessons earned for other technologists. Also shout out to John Holm, a friend of Supply Chain Revolution from Pyxera Global, and a Circular Cities-Chicago advocate. Also, shout out to Harold Chapman for all the work you do to feed and teach the students in Chicago that there is sustainable way to live, eat, and learn. 

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Computer vision in supply chain – a chat with Cogniac

Cogniac is a company that uses convolutional neural networks to quickly and painlessly automate visual inspection tasks in all kinds of scenarios.

I invited Cogniac CEO Chuck Myers, and Cogniac CTO and co-founder Bill Kish to come on the podcast to tell me more, and we had a fascinating conversation where I learned how their solution is being used in scenarios as diverse as railroads, automotive companies, and timber yards.

To learn how supply chain leaders improve end-to-end supply chain visibility, download the research study of 1,000 COO’s and Chief Supply Chain Officers – “Surviving and Thriving How Supply Chain Leaders minimize risk and maximize opportunities


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Foundry New York startup Rheaply Featured on The Digital Supply Chain podcast

We live on a planet of finite resources so it makes a lot of sense to make the maximum possible use of all the resources we have. This is the fundamental tenet underlying the Circular Economy (which we have talked about previously on this podcast), and it is also the principle that Rheaply is building a platform to address.

Rheaply is a startup working with the SAP.io foundry in New York and they have developed a platform to allow organisations maximise use of their assets, saving money in the process, and avoiding unnecessarily sending items to landfill.

Rheaply’s Chief of Staff, and Head of Sustainability to joined the podcast to come on the podcast and explain how Rheaply works.

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FindMine for SAP Commerce Cloud Now Available on SAP® App Center

FindMine, a New York-city fashion tech start-up, announced that its FindMine app for the SAP® Commerce Cloud solution is now available on SAP® App Center, the digital marketplace for SAP partner offerings. FindMine for SAP Commerce Cloud allows brands and retailers in fashion, beauty, and home goods to help customers answer the age-old question, “How should I use this?” for every product.

Providing guidance to e-commerce shoppers in choosing outfits has historically meant lots of manual work. FindMine learns to mimic a company’s stylists through Artificial Intelligence to truly scale outfit guidance. This lifts online revenue and shopper engagement. For consumers, it recreates the experience of getting styled by a personal stylist. FindMine for SAP Commerce Cloud achieves significant revenue gains by showing shoppers three different ways to wear each item, resulting in higher CLTV, AOV, UPT, conversion, and margin.

Achieving this experience without automation is physically impossible for most retailers. With FindMine, every outfit, furniture/decor set, or makeup look can feature in-stock products, maximizes revenue lift, and looks like it’s been hand-picked by the company’s merchants or stylists. Most importantly, it reinforces what the brand stands for and differentiates it from competitors. FindMine for SAP Commerce Cloud has reduced time around this activity by more than 90% for merchandisers.

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