ABM, which is wrapping up its Executive Forum being held in Chicago this week, voted nine new companies into membership at its board of directors meeting Monday.Media members include Editorial Projects in Education, InsuranceNewsNet.com and new international member Beuth Verlag GmbH.The association also added six associate members, including Adobe Systems Inc., bXb Online, LiveIntent, MagToGo, Tout and WeiserMazars LLP. “These new members—ranging from traditional and international media companies to progressive businesses focused on app development, social media, virtual event technologies and digital monetization solutions—support ABM’s initiative to represent the wide range of platforms and models leveraged by business information and media companies,” said ABM president and CEO Clark Pettit in a statement. Meanwhile, news out of the Executive Forum includes a bit of research ABM did in partnership with Outsell that examined mobile content and business models. B-to-b executives responding to the joint survey, it seems, are not in it for the money—yet. Instead, brand enhancement, content delivery, serving advertisers’ needs and creating a superior digital experience were the top mobile objectives, with 64 percent, 60 percent, 60 percent and 52 percent of responses, respectively. At the bottom of the objectives list were “new revenue from mobile users (29 percent) and “enable mobile e-commerce” (24 percent).Additionally, only 20 percent of respondents indicated they have a formal mobile strategy in place. The majority of respondents (56 percent) say their mobile strategy is somewhere between formal and ad hoc. A quarter, or 24 percent, say mobile is on an ad hoc, project or case-by-case basis. Given that objectives aren’t quite standardized and that 40 percent of respondents expect to break even with their mobile investments and 48 percent expect a negative ROI, mobile initiatives are clearly still in the experimental phase.For more results from the study and the slide deck on the ABM/Outsell presentation from the Executive Forum, click here [pdf].
Dan Cohen AUTHOR All three military departments are accepting risks to their facilities in their fiscal 2017 budget requests by postponing needed sustainment and restoration projects, the Pentagon’s top installation officials told lawmakers Thursday.Insufficient investment in recent years has resulted in the degradation of many Navy installations’ piers, runways and other facilities, Steven Iselin, principal deputy assistant secretary for energy, installations and environment, told the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee.The Air Force included funding in its budget proposal for only 30 construction projects out of 500 requested by major commands, said Miranda Ballentine, assistant secretary for installations, environment and energy, reported Military Times. She said she expects the backlog of degrading facilities to grow.About 15 percent of DOD facilities are in “failing” condition and about 12 percent are in “poor” condition, Pete Potochney, acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, told the panel.Officials “are doing the best we can in making sure dollars are spent wisely and to compete for those resources in this budget environment,” Potochney said. “Facilities degrade more slowly than readiness, and in a constrained budget environment, it is responsible to take risk in facilities first,” he said.The witnesses’ written testimony and a webcast of the hearing can be found on the committee website.
Dear Editor,As a Wilmington senior citizen who watches the Selectmen meetings weekly, I would like to offer my strong support and endorsement for Greg Bendel. He was elected to the Board of Selectmen three years ago and has shown by his action, knowledge, and deep concern for ALL of the residents of Wilmington.As an educator and coach, he is well aware of the needs of our children. Having served on the Wilmington Housing Authority, he is concerned and motivated to help our citizens. Raising a young family in Wilmington, he is aware of all the problems we share and all the great things Wilmington has to offer.Greg is available and makes it a priority to attend as many of the meetings and functions around town, knowing first hand of the wants and needs of the people. Along with Kevin Caira, who was elected to the Board three years ago and serves as Chairman this year, they have conducted the meetings in a very open, caring and transparent way.During public comments, Mr. Caira, in my opinion, is very generous, allowing everyone to speak and handles the sometimes unreasonable behavior with courtesy, civility, and patience. Mr. Caira has been involved in so many activities and volunteering in our town, including coaching Little League and Wilmington High School football and softball. And there are so many others.He was Vice Chairman of the Yentile Famr Recreational Development Committee, founding member and Vice President of the Wildcat Alumni and Friends Association member, and former Lodge President of the Wilmington Sons of Italy. (Also Past President and current National President of the Sons of Italy’s Committee for Social Justice.) And many more achievements for both Kevin and Greg to mention here.Both of these gentlemen are serving for the right reasons… and that is for you, for me, and for ALL of the townspeople of Wilmington.I would ask you to join me on April 27 and vote for Greg Bendel and Kevin Caira.Please know how very important your vote is.Thank you,Marilyn CoxLike Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE GETS TO WORK: 20 Building Projects Happening In Town RIGHT NOWIn “Business”SELECTMEN NEWS: Board Supports Fire & Police Substation In North Wilmington; Town To Vote On Project In April 2020?In “Government”LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Bendel & Caira Are Trustworthy & Keep Their Campaign PromisesIn “Letter To The Editor”
Evolving from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, modern Halloween has become less about literal ghosts and ghouls and more about costumes and candy. To celebrate the night of the dead, Delhiites dress up at their spookiest best.Skeletons, tombstones, spider webs and glowing pumpkins are amongst the popular decor items, but the list can go on and on. The day has become yet another excuse for youngsters to dress up at their horrific best and have some fun. Party stores, costume shops and make-up artists are gearing up to cash in on the trend to transform people into creepy characters ahead of the festival. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Know to be an American holiday, Halloween seems to be gaining fast popularity in India. “People have started getting quite serious about their looks, as many popular pubs and nightclubs in the city are throwing parties that hold ‘ghostly’ competitions and give away fancy prizes to the best dressed,” said – a makeover expert. Recognising an increasing demand for Halloween parties director of a local bar said, “We have decorated our pub with scary chandeliers and skeletons, making it look like a dark dungeon. Our in-house DJ will play scary music all night to make it a complete Halloween experience. We are also calling three artists to paint faces.” Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixChild-friendly Halloween setups also seem to be in demand as they are being organised to cater the needs of both parents and toddlers. “The idea is to involve the whole family in this festival, which is why we are going for a lighter Halloween theme party this year. We will have people dressed up in cartoon characters such as superman, spiderman etc. We are also organising a best-dressed competition and children will also be allowed to take instant photographs with their favourite cartoon character,” said an event organiser. In spite of being the most ‘in’ thing recently, Halloween somehow seems to be stuffed within the boundaries of a clubhouse or a private party. The famous trick or treat tradition is not that successful in a country where parents spend a lot of energy warning children not to talk to strangers. This puts us in a position to question the custom we have adopted mindlessly. Because let’s face it, no Indian parent would want their children to dress up in a blood sucking vampire costume, they would rather dress them up as engineers or doctors! While Dussehra was celebrated to fight good over evil then why to bring evil back in the form of Halloween? Think about it!
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday that the BJP will not get any seat in Bengal and there will be a “new combination” government at the Centre. In an interview to a national channel, Banerjee said: “BJP will get zero in Bengal. Bengal and Uttar Pradesh will emerge as the kingmaker states. BJP will score a zero in Punjab, Delhi and the southern states.”She alleged that the BJP and RSS are supporting Congress candidates. “BJP is backing Congress and CPI(M) and vice versa. Even RSS is backing Congress candidates. They are doing this in Punjab also,” she pointed out. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataBanerjee said with confidence that neither the NDA nor UPA will come to power in Delhi. “Neither of the two will come to power in Delhi on its own. There will be a completely new combination this time,” she said. Asked to comment on who would become the Opposition’s choice for Prime Minister, she maintained: “The Prime Minister will be selected by the United India leaders unanimously. We will sit and discuss amongst us and there will be a common minimum programme and on the basis of that, the new leader will be elected. We will find a good Prime Minister for sure,” she said. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateBanerjee alleged that the BJP is dividing people on the basis of religion and trying to control the food habits of people. “They are using religion as a commodity to win elections. They are using religion to create a divide among the people and are inciting one against the other. It is a dangerous trend in the country, she remarked and added: “We believe in the religion of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda. For us, tolerance is religion. BJP has imported a new religion and is spreading hatred throughout the country. But people in Bengal are secular. You will find Hindus in Iftar parties and Muslims during Durga Puja celebrations. We have Durga Puja committees where Muslims hold key roles. For generations, the Hindus and Muslims have lived together. It was Rabindranath Tagore who had tied ‘rakhi’ as a mark of protest against the British government’s proposal to partition Bengal in 1905,” she said, adding: “We are tolerant in Bengal and BJP cannot get votes by dividing people,” she said. Banerjee alleged that the language of Narendra Modi and some of the BJP leaders are “nasty” and such language is uncalled for. “As political leaders, we must have control over the language we use. The Model Code of Conduct should be kept in mind.” She felt that the BJP should not bring the Balakot incident in political campaigns. We all respect the Indian Army and no one should bring them up and their achievements during poll campaigns,” she maintained. Banerjee reiterated that if the United India government comes to power there will be an inquiry into Modi’s decision to ban high-value notes. “The note ban is a big scam and it will be probed once the new government takes over. It has shattered our economy and has made lakhs of people unemployed.” Asked about the participation of young people in politics, she said: “It is time for them to take up the baton. We all want our future generations to take up the baton.” She said Abhishek did not want to join politics but later, he changed his mind. Banerjee categorically said she does not support the Citizenship Amendment Bill and NRC. “They are being used to create fear psychosis among the people. But rest assured, BJP will not be able to divide society.” Commenting on her simple living, the Chief Minister added: “I do not take the salary as the Chief Minister or the salary as the Union Railway minister. I have written more than 80 books and the royalty I get helps me to use my own car and survive. As advised by doctors, I walk 20 km a day and try to look after my health.”
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. February 28, 2017 Enroll Now for Free Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 5 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Chatbots are the new rage as more top brands are advancing the technology and integrating it into their chat systems. Big names such as Facebook and Telegram have already made moves in this arena by creating their own chatbots and chatbot platforms.Over the past couple months, I’ve been trying to implement chatbots into my company Due. For many, chatbot marketing can sound overwhelmingly complicated, but a chatbot, not so much. It can truly save you enourments of time.With numerous advancements and tools being created to make the process easy, making a chatbot does not seem out of the question. So, if you are thinking about jumping on the chatbot bandwagon, here are the top 10 platforms for you to know about.Related: Enterprise Chatbots Platforms and the Future of WorkChattyPeopleChattypeople is the best chatbot platform for creating an AI chatbot on Facebook with integrated Facebook commerce. With Chattypeople you can create a Facebook message both quickly and easily, no coding required. The platform’s simplicity makes it ideal for entrepreneurs and marketers in smaller companies, while its technology makes it suitable for enterprise customers. You can make a simple bot answering customer service questions or integrate it with Shopify to monetize your Facebook fan pages. ChattyPeople is where f-commerce and ai-commerce come together. Chattypeople is 100% free to get started.Related: Enterprise Chatbots and the Conversational Commerce Revolutionizing BusinessMEOKAYMEOKAY is one of the top tools to create a conversational Messenger bot. It makes it easy for both skilled developers and non-developers to take part in creating a series of easy to follow steps. Within minutes, you can create conversational scenarios and build advanced dialogues for smooth conversations. Once you are done, link and launch your brand new chatbot.Related: How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot For Free Without CodingSmoochSmooch acts as more of a chatbot connector that bridges your business apps, (ex: Slack and ZenDesk) with your everyday messenger apps (ex: Facebook Messenger, WeChat, etc.) It links these two together by sending all of your Messenger chat notifications straight to your business apps, which streamlines your conversations into just one application. In the end, this can result in smoother automated workflows and communications across teams. These same connectors also allow you to create chatbots which will respond to your customer chats…. boom!Related: Make Chats With Chatbots WorkBotsifyBotsify is another Facebook chatbot platform that helps make it easy to integrate chatbots into the system. Its paid subscription helps you in five easy steps. 1) Log into the botsify.com site, 2) Connect your Facebook account, 3) Setup a webhook, 4) Write up commands for the chatbot you are creating, and 5) Let Botisfy handle the customer service for you. If the paid services are a little too much, they do offer a free service that lets you create as many bots as your lovely imagination can dream up.Beep BoopIf you are looking for another paid platform, Beep Boop may be your next stop. It is a hosting platform that is designed for developers looking to make apps for Facebook Messenger and Slack specifically. First, set up your code using Github, the popular version control repository and Internet hosting service, then input it into the Beep Boop platform to link it with your Facebook Messenger or Slack application. The bots will then be able to interact with your customers with real-time chat and messaging.Related: The How-To: Using Chatbots As A Tool For Customer ServiceChatfuelNeed a Facebook bot? Well, look no further, as Chatfuel makes it easy for you to create your own Facebook and Telegram Chatbot without any coding experience necessary. It works by letting users link to external sources through plugins. Eventually, the platforms hope to open itself to third-party plugins, so anyone can contribute their own plugins and have others benefit from them.Facebook Messenger PlatformHave you checked out Facebook Messenger’s official page lately? Well, now you can start building your own bot directly through the platform’s landing page. This method though, may be a little bit more complicated than some of the previous ways we’ve discussed, but there are a lot of resources that Facebook Messenger provides in order to help you accomplish your brand new creation. Through full-fledged guides, case studies, a forum for Facebook developers, and more, you are sure to be a chatbot creating professional in no time.Telegram BotsBuild a bot directly from one of the top messaging apps themselves. By building a bot in Telegram, you can easily run a bot in the application itself. The company recently open-sourced their chatbot code, making it easy for third-parties to integrate and create bots of their own. Their Telegram API, which they also built, can send customized notifications, news, reminders, or alerts. Integrate the API with other popular apps such as YouTube and Github for a unique customer experience.Related: #4 Chatbots Took Full Advantage Of India’s DemonetizationBotKitA toolkit can be integral to getting started in building chatbots, so insert, BotKit. It gives a helping hand to developers making bots for Facebook Messenger, Slack, Twilio, and more. This BotKit can be used to create clever, conversational applications which map out the way that real humans speak. This essential detail differentiates from some of its other chatbot toolkit counterparts.FlowXOLast, but not least coming in with the bot platform for business is FlowXO, which creates bots for Messenger, Slack, SMS, Telegraph and the web. This platform allows for creating various flexibility in bots by giving you the option to create a fully automated bot, human, or a hybrid of both. ChatBot expert Murray Newlands commented that “Where 10 years ago every company needed a website and five years ago every company needed an app, now every company needs to embrace messaging with AI and chatbots.”