26 Photos 1 Audi 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better More From Roadshow Comment Audi E-Tron GT concept on the streets of Los Angeles Since debuting its Traffic Light Information system way back in 2016, Audi has been slowly establishing partnerships with local municipalities to bring it to more intersections in more places. Today, Audi is announcing another four cities in the US, effectively doubling the number of traffic lights that it can monitor here. The TLI system relies on vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications to wirelessly send the timing of a municipality’s traffic lights directly to the car using its integrated LTE connectivity. The car then uses that information to say, if you’re waiting at a red light, how much longer it will stay red. Or, if you’re approaching a “stale” green light that’s about to change, the car can tell you that you’re not going to make it, meaning you might as well just coast to a stop and save both some gas and your brakes. The timers and instructions appear on both Audi’s Virtual Cockpit system and on the heads-up display, if equipped, letting drivers know whether they have time to queue up another playlist before the light turns green, or if they should stop rocking and get ready to roll. The four new cities going live today are Denver, Colorado; White Plains, New York; Gainesville, Florida and Orlando, Florida. That’s a total of 13 cities in the US where the service works, or some 4,700 intersections. If you find yourself commuting through one of those 13, then lucky you, but you will need to pay for the privilege of receiving that sweet metadata. TLI is part of Audi’s Connect Prime services package, which costs $199 for six months or $499 for 18 months. You do, at least, get the first six months free. Share your voice Tags Auto Tech Audi
Tesla Motors Inc chief executive Elon Musk pauses during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, 8 September 2014. Photo: ReutersElon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, was sued for defamation on Monday for falsely suggesting that a British caver who helped rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach from a Thailand cave in July was a pedophile and child rapist.Vernon Unsworth, who lives north of London, sued over Musk’s 15 July tweet to more than 22 million followers referring to him as a “pedo guy,” a comment for which Musk later apologised.He also claimed that Musk falsely called him a child rapist and sex trafficker in a 30 August email to BuzzFeed News.Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Musk and the company.Unsworth is seeking at least $75,000 of compensatory damages plus unspecified punitive damages in his complaint filed in the US District Court in Los Angeles.The Hertfordshire County resident said he also plans to file a second lawsuit with the High Court of London for reputational damage suffered in the United Kingdom.”Elon Musk falsely accused Vernon Unsworth of being guilty of heinous crimes,” L. Lin Wood, a lawyer for Unsworth, said in a statement. “Musk’s influence and wealth cannot convert his lies into truth or protect him from accountability.”The case adds to a slew of litigation against Musk, including over his running of Palo Alto, California-based Tesla.Musk stunned investors last month with tweets saying he had “secured” funding to take his electric car company private in a buyout valued at $72 billion, before backing off.The billionaire’s behavior has raised concerns about his corporate leadership, and several Wall Street analysts and some investors have urged Tesla to appoint a strong second-in-command. Musk has admitted to severe stress from running Tesla.’Sorry, pedo guy”Unsworth said he has been exploring caves since 1971, when he was 16, and now shares a house in the Thailand countryside near Chiang Rai with a 40-year-old woman who owns a nail salon.He said he became a target for Musk after cavers rejected Musk’s offer of a mini-submarine created by his rocket company SpaceX to rescue the soccer team which was freed from the cave on 10 July after an 18-day ordeal.Though Unsworth told CNN three days later that Musk’s offer was a “PR stunt” that had no chance of working and that Musk could “stick his submarine where it hurts,” he said that did not justify Musk’s use of Twitter and the media to defame him.The 15 July tweet by Musk touted the mini-submarine and then, referring to Unsworth with a shorthand description of pedophile, said, “Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.”Three days later, Musk defended his mini-submarine proposal, but said he had “spoken in anger” toward Unsworth, and that “his actions against me do not justify my actions against him,” and that “the fault is mine and mine alone.”But Unsworth said Musk urged in his 30 August 30 email that the BuzzFeed reporter “stop defending child rapists,” and called him as “an old, single white guy From England” who moved to Chiang Rai, “renowned for child sex-trafficking,” to take a 12-year-old bride.Unsworth said he is not a pedophile, child rapist, child sex trafficker, husband of a 12-year-old bride, or liar, and that the defamatory statements “were manufactured out of whole cloth by Musk” because of the disagreement over the mini-submarine.”On the surface, it appears that Mr. Unsworth can assert the elements of defamation,” said Nancy Costello, director of the First Amendment Clinic at the Michigan State University College of Law, in an interview.”Being called a pedophile can be defamation per se, meaning the claim could obviously damage his reputation,” she added.The case is Unsworth v Musk, US District Court, Central District of California, No. 18-08048.
7 min read Register Now » In 2018, my company, Miller Heiman Group, did something crazy: After years of relying on multiple customer relationship management systems (CRMs), endless spreadsheets, numerous marketing systems and disorganized data … we decided to start over. From scratch.Related: 4 Reasons Why Companies are Choosing CRM Over Traditional Marketing toolsThis makes sense, because anyone who has worked at a business that’s changed ownership, acquired other companies or expanded into other countries understands the headaches associated with working in a multi-CRM environment.Different business units and regions may use different CRMs, each with its own functionality, data storage process and renewal cycle. Our company used 15 of them! And that scenario created an ineffective environment, to say the least.As a company which advises sales leaders all over the world on how to be more effective, we needed to own our own methodology and drive best practices into our own back office. We became our own case study.This is not insignificant because CRM represents the largest software market in the world, with $39.5 billion in revenue, according to EContent. But instead of funneling our data and processes into an existing CRM structure, we chose to build our own solutions into an off-the-shelf model from the ground up. Why go to all that trouble? In 2017, CIO magazine studied more than a dozen analyst reports and discovered that approximately one-third of all CRM projects fail.That finding, together with our own experience, told us we could do better.What a good CRM should doIn fact, we wanted to actively manage our customer relationships. A CRM should serve as a helpful tool throughout the customer life cycle, whether it’s used by a presale engineer creating a data sheet or a salesperson calculating downstream revenue.We wanted to break out of those silos. With good reason: Our work wasn’t being managed in a centralized or consistent way. Most of our sales leaders avoided our CRM systems and managed their tasks via forecasting calls and a series of spreadsheets.And we weren’t alone in this: We knew that such CRM issues happen at other companies. In fact, just 25 percent of sellers surveyed in our company’s World-Class Sales Practices study expressed a high degree of confidence in their CRMs’ data.So, our goal was to become more efficient. Indeed, before we eliminated our old CRMs, we had been drowning in tedious tasks. Typically, sellers reached out to multiple team members, as well as the client, to gather the information necessary to make even small changes to an account. And this consumed a tremendous amount of selling time: We estimated this was eating up about 50 percent of our time at one point. The result was that we were turning our sellers into administrative assistants.Related: How CRMs Can Spark (or Continue) Fast GrowthOverall, our old CRMs demotivated our sales force personnel and wasted their time — a common complaint, according to anecdotal evidence. In fact, in 2001, Ingersoll-Rand poured $2 million into rolling out a new CRM and discovered that the new system increased its sales’ reps workloads, rather than freeing up their time to sell. The result was a relaunch aimed at mitigating pain points.In sum, we wanted to analyze data, not just store it. All of our previous CRMs had performed data entry and other automated tasks, but none had the capability for a built-in sales methodology. Yet we knew a CRM could do more — including consistent global forecasting and revenue tracking. So, that was the goal we set for ourselves.Here’s what we did.From start to launch, the process took approximately two years. But we didn’t just flip the switch on a new product. We changed our entire back-office process flow and integrated legal, finance IT ops and sales-ops processes, gathering feedback and gaining stakeholder buy-in throughout. We also encountered some valuable lessons and reminders that reinforced our decision:We put end-users first. While a 90 percent adoption rate is the minimum required to affect sales performance, just 47 percent of companies achieve this level. There was no point in creating a new tool if no one used it, so end-user needs were front-of-mind throughout our development and testing process. When Ingersoll-Rand relaunched its CRM, the company directly involved its sales force in the system’s redesign.We added value with predictive analysis. The ability to accurately predict the methodology-backed action that will increase the odds of closing deals lets sellers see what moves they need to make to move an opportunity through the pipeline. But traditional CRMs aren’t built with this function — or sellers’ needs — in mind. Adding an insight-driven arm to the product revolutionized the way our sellers do their jobs.We scrubbed our data. We needed to trust our CRM. That meant combing through all the back-end data from those 15 legacy systems and importing only the information we knew was clean. Dirty data damages your reputation — and your ability to do your job. A 2017 study of home sale prices found that estimates on Homes.com were inaccurate 84 percent of the time. Would you trust a company with that kind of track record to sell your house?We kept existing systems in place to ensure consistency. Although everyone wanted to launch the new tool as quickly as possible, we couldn’t just pull the plug on legacy systems. Our project budget included fees for about a year’s worth of duplicate licenses on contracts with different renewal dates.We invested in tech that increased the time to sell. While sales relationships of the past relied on interpersonal relationships, today’s buyers no longer consider sellers an essential resource. The analysis provided by our new tool changed that: Sellers have instant access to actionable insights that prove their worth. According to Marketing Week, a CRM strategy helps car manufacturer Renault better understand the customer journey and how best to engage those people on the path to purchase.We streamlined to improve security. Housing clients’ personal and financial information in multiple places only increases the likelihood of a massive leak like the JPMorgan Chase breach that affected more than half of American households. A single, dedicated CRM means fewer dangers to monitor — and more visibility into suspicious behavior.We remembered the little things. Our 60-day pilot process involved both internal stakeholders on our operating team and a small group of clients. While we received very little feedback on the CRM’s overall function, one small feature we overlooked was a PDF writer. While our CRM was built with mobile in mind, people still wanted the ability to print documents — a small tweak that added essential functionality.We kept prospective and existing client messaging consistent. If sellers can’t see every client communication in one place, multiple people will reach out. When that happens, your company looks disorganized, and clients and prospects grow frustrated. A dedicated CRM allows the sales team to present a united front.Related: 4 CRM Hacks Every Entrepreneur Should Be UsingIn sum, if I could offer just one takeaway from the whole process, it’s this: A CRM is just a tool. If sellers and sales organizations truly want to find value, they should first align around a consistent sales methodology that guides their actions. When that solid foundation is in place, the right CRM will provide the insights to give your company the competitive edge it deserves. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. April 16, 2019 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right.