There is No Single Way to IoT

It is called the Internet of Things (IoT) - plural - for a reason. IoT encompasses everything from traditional IT devices like laptops and phones to next-generation technologies like virtual assistants (Alexa, Google Home) to previously unconnected technologies like TVs to everyday utilities like HVAC systems and even refrigerators. With this wide range of things, agencies are finding it difficult to catalog every IoT device, making the creation of policies and processes even more challenging.

Shadow IoT--connected devices that aren't managed or monitored by an organization's IT resources--is a real concern for IT teams. In one study, 90% of organizations found IoT devices they were not aware of using their network. These devices can include fitness trackers, digital assistants, and smart televisions. Once these devices are identified, huge security challenges still remain as many of them were not designed with security in mind. There is also such a wide range of devices and manufacturers that policies cannot be applied consistently across all of the different products and systems.

Even known IoT devices can provide security challenges and concerns. Historically, systems running building automation - lights, elevators, sprinkler systems, HVAC - were separate from the IT systems. Today, these Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) regularly connect to external networks and introduce risk back into the agency networks. As a workaround, a survey of IoT leaders found that 45% of respondents said they were deploying IoT devices on a dedicated network. Continue reading

No More Poker Face – Decoding Attendees’ Real-Time Reactions

We've written here about how the government is looking at facial recognition to improve security and make access to places and data more efficient. While the policy and technology challenges are worked out within multiple government use cases, event planners can look to the same technology to improve how they deliver content and education.

As this article points out, surveys provide a snapshot of audience reaction to an event, but they do so in days, even weeks after it has wrapped. Additionally, there is a lot of effort that goes into getting survey responses back and analyzed, and even then, the sample size may not be statistically valid.

Good speakers and planners know the power of reading the room and adjusting on the fly to keep and increase audience interest and participation. But bright lights, sheer audience size, and general logistics make that problematic. Tracking social media can also provide a real-time pulse on how attendees are digesting and reacting to content. But getting this feedback is dependent on attendees using these platforms and using them in real-time. With facial and biometric technologies, event planners and marketers can remove these challenges and dependencies and collect attendee feedback without having to ask anything of those attendees.

Audience engagement tools using biometrics can identify attendees' emotions without identifying the face or person. In one implementation, video cameras mounted at the side of the stage film the facial expressions of the audience. This feed is run through AI-powered software to identify and track expressions of the people watching the stage and what emotion they are expressing (fear, anger, happiness, etc.). A raw look at this data is available, but within a couple of minutes the software can more fully analyze it and provide a quick view if the audience is reacting positively or negatively.

Following the event, speakers can go back through the data to see where there were emotional peaks. From there, speakers can update their content based on the points that made the most significant connection with the audience.

Pricing can vary depending on the type of technology used and the analytics being run. On average, costs fall in the $5,000-$10,000 range. Some companies offer pricing per attendee, and others have a flat fee. While this can be a large investment, if you weigh the cost of facial recognition against the costs associated with speaker fees, and the event budget in general, spending money to find the effectiveness of sessions makes a lot of sense for future planning.

What are your thought on using facial recognition technology for event planning and management? Have you tried it? Do you want to? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Easy as RPA

Robotic Process Automation (RPA). It may sound like a premise to a movie where robots take over the world, but it's very real and it's helping organizations realize modernization goals. Despite the name, RPA has nothing to do with robots. It is about software that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automate high-volume, repetitive tasks. This can include queries, calculations, and maintenance of records and transactions.

In government, RPA is already being implemented in a wide variety of applications.

  • Inspections - As agencies look to modernize the way they perform inspections of the water we drink, the roads we travel, and the buildings we travel to, they are using RPA to move off paper-dependent processes.
  • Claims review -- RPA is built into an intake tool used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid that ingests records, automating the process and identifying potential problems.
  • Procurement - RPA is being used to automate and streamline the close-out process of government contracts, freeing up staff to work on actual programs, rather than spending time documenting that work.
  • IT asset management - Managing IT assets is a combination of automated and manual tasks. The introduction of RPA greatly reduces the need for manual intervention when it comes to enforcing governance and process, freeing up staff to work on mission-focused projects rather than tracking the technology used on those projects.

Continue reading

Acquisition and Procurement: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

With another Government Fiscal Year ramping up, we're starting with a whole new year of budget and contract opportunities in the government market. As we've written here before, the acquisition and procurement process in government is evolving to adapt to the technologies and services being procured as well as changes in the workforce that supports it.

The federal government has been rolling out a number of changes to modernize the procurement process. The Government Services Administration (GSA) is taking steps to streamline their scheduled offerings from two dozen into one. The goal of this consolidation is to remove overlap between schedules and eliminate confusion around what schedule should be used. This shift is happening in three phases:

  • Phase 1 -- Issued a consolidated schedule solicitation with a simplified format, streamlined terms and conditions, and new categories and special item numbers (SINs) This phase is complete.
  • Phase 2 -- Mass modifications of existing contracts. Finishing in 2019.
  • Phase 3 - Final consolidation. Slated for July 2020.

In other efforts to be more efficient, procurement teams across government have been looking at implementing emerging technologies to automate manual processes, plus speed up and secure the overall acquisition lifecycle. For example, the use of blockchain is helping buyers "comparison shop" for pricing as well as closing out contracts.

Finally, acquisition groups are playing a big role in ensuring new technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) are consumable by the federal government. GSA is partnering with the Pentagon's Joint Artificial Intelligence Center to advance the efforts of the AI Center of Excellence, employing tactics that have worked in other agencies including the Department of Agriculture.

We've pulled together a number of events that are applicable to the procurement community as well as industry and government looking for ways to introduce new technologies and services into the government.

Continue reading

Government Marketing University Names Finalists for 2019 GAINER Awards

From time to time GovEvents will come across information we feel our members and audience would benefit from. Here's something we wanted to share:

Government Marketing University(GMarkU) announced today the finalists for its 2019 GAINER Awards, the top honors for government marketing excellence across the U.S. Public Sector. Winners will be announced at GMarkU's annual GAIN Conference on November 12, 2019, at the Fairview Park Marriott, Falls Church, VA.

The GAINER Awards recognize excellence in government marketing within lead generation, social media, brand awareness, events, partner marketing and innovation. The event will also recognize a government marketing thought leader for the 2019 GAINER Lifetime Achievement Award.

Congratulations to the following stellar government marketers who are the 2019 GAINER Government Marketing Awards finalists.

  • Meredith Allen, Director, Public Sector Marketing, FireEye
  • Ariel Bradford, Marketing Manager, U.S. Public Sector and Marie Hill, Sr. Channel Marketing Manager, NetApp
  • Vanessa Bush, Marketing Manager, Public Sector, CrowdStrike
  • Ashley Cabrera, Marketing & Proposal Specialist, Preferred Systems
  • Connie Coleman, Sr. Field Marketing Manager, Federal, ServiceNow
  • Laura Curtis, Senior Marketing Campaign Leader, ViON
  • Shannon Edwards, Marketing and Communications, GovPlace
  • Leslie Griggs, Director of Marketing, Crystal Group
  • Jennifer Held, Marketing Manager, Civilian and Seabreeze Osburn, Marketing Manager, DoD, Amazon Web Services
  • Kelli Katona, Marketing Communications Specialist, Phillips Corporation
  • Tom Mahoney, Director, Demand and Marketing Operations, DLT Solutions
  • Allison Mason, Senior Director, Public Sector Marketing, Red Hat
  • Melissa McGovern, Global Lead, Industry Solutions - Public Sector, Google Cloud
  • Oliver Nutt, Head of Marketing & Communications, General Dynamics Information Technology
  • Shannon Prather, Marketing Cultivator, GISinc
  • Lisa Sion, Director, Public Sector Marketing, Cloudera
  • Andrew Scott, Social Media Manager, Micro Focus
  • Lisa Sherwin Wulf, Sr. Director of Marketing, Government & Education, SolarWinds
  • Brandon Shoup, Marketing Team Lead, Carahsoft
  • Josie Smoot, Director, Marketing Communications, IronBow
  • Milo Speranzo, Director, North American Marketing (Federal), Dell EMC
  • Laura Stzremenski, Marketing and Brand Manager, IntelliDyne

"We are thrilled to honor and celebrate these superstars in government marketing," said Lou Anne Brossman, CEO and Co-Founder of GMarkU. "The 2019 GAINER Award finalists have made significant strides in excelling at creating innovative government marketing campaigns and are at the forefront of advancing government marketing excellence. We congratulate our finalists and look forward to their continued contributions within our government marketing community."

"I was proud to be a 2018 GAINER Award recipient that showcased the talent and capabilities of our entire marketing team," said Maria Moore, Vice President, Marketing at DLT Solutions and 2018 GAINER Award winner. "I'm so proud of the work my DLT Marketing Team does every day, and to have it recognized by GMarkU and our peers highlights how effective our work is. I look forward to meeting the 2019 GAINER Award finalists and winners at GAIN 2019."

Finalists have implemented government marketing campaigns that have raised the bar within government marketing and will be recognized during the awards luncheon at the 2019 GAIN Conference on November 12, 2019, at the Fairview Park Marriott in Falls Church, VA. The event attracts over 200 government-marketing professionals, and attendees can expect deep-dive discussions on "The Customer Journey" with high-quality marketing training and content, government-marketing specific certifications, and the opportunity to network with peers, vendors and service providers.

If you're interested in attending GAIN 2019, visit: https://thegainconference.com.

To view event sponsors and inquire about available sponsorships, visit https://thegainconference.com or contact Lou Anne Brossman at lbrossman@gmarku.com or 703-408-4311.

Stay connected with Government Marketing University by following us on Twitter @GetMarkedU and LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/government-marketing-university/. For more information, visit www.gmarku.com.

About Government Marketing University

Government Marketing University is an innovative learning platform that applies a collaborative, community-based approach toward knowledge sharing and skills development in the field of public sector marketing. Experts from all corners of the U.S. public sector marketplace -- marketers, thought leaders, government, media and sales -- are contributing their knowledge to this unique, content-rich platform. Government Marketing University offers training, research, certifications, mentoring, and community resources all in one place.

View the original article on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20191015006043/en/