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The Tech Talks Daily Podcast

Author: Neil C. Hughes

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Fed up with tech hype and buzzwords? Looking for a tech podcast where you can learn and be inspired by real-world examples of how technology is transforming businesses and reshaping industries?

Keep informed of the latest business and tech trends by listening to stories of other people in your field and how they are overcoming challenges with emerging technologies. Learn from the guest's actionable tips, and lessons learned to obtain greater clarity and how you can leverage technology.

In this daily tech podcast, Neil interviews tech leaders, CEOs, entrepreneurs, futurists, technologists, thought leaders, celebrities. I have also teamed up with Citrix and its Citrix Ready partners to reveal how they are solving problems together while building the future of work.

We discuss how tech trends such as AI, machine learning, 5G, IoT, AR, VR blockchain, crypto, and digital transformation strategies are already reshaping our world.

Guests from every industry educate listeners through sharing their road to success, startup stories, and how technology transformed their business and life. Join me for a daily dose of optimism and motivation as I prove that technology really does work best when it brings people together.
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David Bartels Broker/Owner Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty joins me on Tech Talks Daily. David is one of America's Top 100 Real Estate Agents who believes the US real estate sector primed and ready for a phase of deep recalibration post-pandemic, powered specifically by blockchain technology. David is a distinguished expert in real estate negotiations, distressed property solutions, foreclosure avoidance, and real estate investing. It has some interesting takes on how the current pandemic has significantly impacted the global real estate sector. He shares his vision to empower prospective home sellers to market and sell their homes themselves; We also discuss how, for too long, prospective home sellers have been forced to choose between two extremes on the home selling spectrum – bloated full-service agent fees versus the uncertainty of navigating the home selling process independently. I also learn why only 8% of prospective home sellers grapple with the prospect of marketing and selling their home themselves, without enlisting the services of full-fee agents. However, the latest technological innovations can create a more consumer-centric model while addressing the legacy sector issues that have placed too much power in the hands of full-service agents.
Zane Venture Fund is a woman-led venture fund investing in early-stage, tech-enabled B2B, B2C or DTC companies, with exceptional diverse founders, and teams. Their mission is to catalyze the proliferation of world-class organizations led by diverse founders and teams building tech-enabled solutions by providing capital access and support to companies that can capitalize on these resources to scale their business. Shila Nieves Burney is the founder of Atlanta-based Zane Venture Fund. An entrepreneur at her core, Shila is dedicated to reinventing the world of venture capitalism with – and for – the next generation of diverse entrepreneurs. In June, Shila and ZVF announced the Zane Access Pre-Capital Program, a new program aimed at helping these entrepreneurs from the very beginning of their startup journey. This 12-week program, sponsored in part by Techstars’ Brad Feld, is specifically focused on providing and supporting diverse founders (women, POC, LGBTQ+, etc.) The Zane Access Program is a first-of-its-kind approach to leverage our network and provide these early-stage founders with the strategy they need to accelerate growth, gain traction and get founders thinking about how to go down the right funding roadmap for their companies – be it venture, crowdfunding, or a different option.
Alex Lutskiy is the Co-Founder and CEO of Innovecs, a global software development company. Under his leadership, Innovecs became one of the fastest-growing US companies, according to Inc. 5000 in 2017, 2018, and 2019. The company is also recognized on The 2020 Global Outsourcing 100® list by IAOP and is one as the youngest on the list. Alex founded Innovecs in 2012, starting with three team members - now we have 800+ people on the team. Moreover, Innovecs is achieving +65% YOY growth for the last three years. Before Innovecs, Alex held several executive management positions at CitiGroup, Ipsos, and GlobalLogic. Alex shares valuable insights from his success story, change management, human-to-human approach, and tips and tricks on entering emerging markets. He also reveals a few tips and tricks for growing from 3 people to 800+ employees and achieving +65% YOY growth for three years in a row; I learn more about their the human-to-human approach in B2B business and why emotions and relationship are exactly what drives the business. We also discuss the challenges and opportunities for tech companies in emerging markets in a virtual world without borders where entrepreneurs’ mindset has changed.
25% of the Fortune 50 trust Samasource to deliver secure, high-quality training data and validation for the technology teams driving humanity forward. From self-driving cars to smart hardware, Samasource fuels AI. But I wanted to learn more about the story behind this tech success story. Founded over a decade ago, its teams are regarded as experts in image, video, sensor data annotation and validation for machine learning algorithms in industries including automotive, navigation, AR/VR, biotech, agriculture, manufacturing, and e-commerce. Their staff are driven by a mission to expand opportunities for low-income people through the digital economy. Their social business model has helped over 50,000 people lift themselves out of poverty Here in 2020, the pandemic is affecting every tech sector - including AI. But what exactly have been the effects on AI so far? How will companies in this field be impacted in the long-run? Do they need to pivot their business models? These are just a few topics Wendy Gonzalez, President and Interim CEO of Samasource discusses with me. As the leading training data company fueling Silicon Valley’s AI, Samasource has seen firsthand how the pandemic has affected the entire industry. Given Samasource’s vertical expertise, Wendy takes a deep dive into how the autonomous vehicle and virtual reality industries are being impacted. We discuss how AI/ML companies are pivoting business models to adapt to new times and how they are using AI to fight against COVID-19. We also discuss how this pandemic will change the investments made into AI and what AI leaders need to prioritize right now to be successful post-pandemic
We live in a time where busyness is a badge of honor. Time off can seem like a forgotten or even despised concept. Although this is a tech show, as it's Sunday, I wanted to explore how time off and leisure will be the essential skills and competitive advantage that keep you happy and unique. Many are working from home for the first time. It can be challenging to find work/life balance. Taking time off isn't about extravagant vacations; it is about finding small ways to take breaks throughout the day. Today's guest is Max Frenzel. He is an AI researcher, digital creative, coffee lover, writer, beatmaker, and Co-author of Time Off, a book about finding success without the stress. Many of the greatest minds in history knew about the importance of time off. But this is not an outdated concept. Even though most of us seem to have forgotten about it, time off is just as applicable (and essential) now than ever. Today, people who are recognizing this ancient wisdom are reaping tremendous benefits from it.
Mario Ciabarra, CEO of Quantum Metric (SaaS platform that delivers behavioral and predictive analytics for major global brands like Neiman Marcus, Lenovo, Lululemon, etc.), returns to the Tech Talks Daily Podcast. As a teenager, Mario worked in retail, identifying which customers needed help choosing products. Growing up through the digital era, he questioned how companies could do this digitally with both scale and speed – providing the best customer experiences to increase brand loyalty, drive higher revenue, more digital channel adoption, and reduce costs. Fast forward to 2015, Mario founded Quantum Metric, a platform for Continuous Product Design (CPD), which is a fundamentally new approach to this idea, helping organizations deliver digital products that have a greater impact, both quickly and reliably. Under Mario’s leadership, Quantum Metric has seen rapid adoption from Fortune 500 eCommerce, travel, entertainment, and financial services companies. Securing a $25M Series A capital raise in 2018, Quantum Metric’s customer base, team, and revenues have more than tripled in 2018 and 2019. Mario discusses how CPD is empowering a new generation of cross-functional teams, where Product, Marketing, VoC, Ops, and Engineering work together to discover, analyze, and align on what next project will make the most substantial impact to their business in real-time. He also shares tips for startup founders on overcoming the biggest challenges in getting companies to adopt and embrace your tech, We also explore how the trend of CPD is increasingly empowering a new generation of cross-functional teams, where Product, Marketing, VoC, Ops, and Engineering work together to discover, analyze, and align on what next project will make the largest impact to their business in real-time.
BAE Systems is one of the world's leading global defence, security, and aerospace companies. The company recently announced an Applied Intelligence spin-out, cybersecurity venture called SOC.OS. The announcement is considered another milestone in what has been an eventful and remarkable few years for its CEO, David Mareels. David is a graduate of BAE Systems' demanding SIGMA leadership programme. His journey with the company has taken him from project engineering management in Portsmouth, to a Eurofighter Typhoon program in Warton, before settling in Applied Intelligence in 2018. During this time, he became involved in the corporate incubator programme, taking a lead role at SOC.OS. SOC.OS is a SaaS product and can be thought of as embedding an extra analyst into the team, one who can remember every interconnected relationship between every alert produced from each security tool, even if generated weeks and months apart. SOC.OS continuously operates, analyzes, triages, and prioritizes the most important incidents before escalating it to the IT security team for further review via a graphical user interface. I invited David onto the podcast to learn how technology is transforming multiple industries. But also learn more about David's journey from engineering graduate to CEO.
Rakuten Advertising is the leading global provider for marketing and advertising services and technology. Working with agencies and brands around the world, Rakuten Advertising brings together unique media inventory, a global affiliate network, advanced machine learning, and consumer insights to deliver experiences that increase brand awareness and marketing performance – while pushing the advertising industry forward. Stuart McLennan, Senior Vice President, APAC Region at Rakuten Advertising, joins me on Tech Talks Daily to share his insights on affiliate marketing. He has a proven track record of building and managing high-performance teams, delivering multiple reorganizations and changing management initiatives to ensure the prospect consolidation position as The World’s #1 performance agency. Highly experienced in creating go to market narratives to meet clients’ changing demands across data, analytics, and digital paid media, securing significant new business revenue and existing client cross-sell revenue. We explore the impacts of COVID-19 on publisher networks and industries such as travel, hospitality, and luxury brands. But also how can these sectors can evolve and potentially bounce back. With online shopping experiencing massive growth, we also talk about motivating users when shopping at home. Finally, we attempt to bust a few myths and misconceptions in the industry and learn how the marketing landscape will continue to evolve.
As banking systems struggle to survive the impact of the current pandemic, customers look to their banking providers seeking financial aid, stability, and accessibility to banking services. Before the pandemic, banks were figuring out how to renovate their legacy models and deploy advanced technologies. Fast forward to 2020, and banks are suddenly on the fast track to not only replace traditional operational tools with digital options but meet increased demand and provide full-fledged services to customers without displacing the trust that existed before. John Dangoia, Head of Product Management for the U.S. and Europe at Finacle, is a dynamic product and operations executive with 25+ years of experience leading growth in industry-leading banking and insurance businesses. Before joining Infosys, John was Vice President of Product Management at Fiserrv in support of the company’s Financial & Risk Management Solutions (FRMS) Group. Finacle is used by leading banks in over 100 countries to serve more than 1 billion people and has aided numerous banking systems with their digital transformation initiatives. Finacle is part of EdgeVerve Systems, a subsidiary of Infosys. We discuss how the shutdown of physical branches and manual processes being unavailable have led to the profound significance of the access to digital services. But banking modernization has suddenly become an urgent feat, leaving banking management questioning which programs genuinely make a difference to the end-user. We explore why focusing on providing solutions that offer the most significant relief to customers is imperative during a crisis, and the banking system’s role in helping the economy recover from a global pandemic.  
Greg Kefer from AI-powered COVID-19 chatbot company, LifeLink, joins me on Tech Talks Daily. In today's episode, I explore the Chatbot benefits for healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies as the landscape in healthcare continues to evolve. COVID-19 has left healthcare providers in dire need of support - both on the front lines and back-of-house (call centers are seeing a 10x increase in volume!). In response, health systems like Jefferson Health, Memorial Health, and Banner Health have all quickly deployed chatbots like LifeLink because of its unlimited capacity to pre-screen and schedule appointments for patients. I learn more about how this sudden need has pushed chatbots into the mainstream and transforming it overnight. Greg shares chatbots' new mission-critical role in the healthcare system and what this means for the "new normal" of healthcare.
Yuval Rooz, co-founder and CEO of Digital Asset, is working with developers to incorporate blockchain approaches that simplify how distributed applications and processes are built and interconnected between organizations to easily drive business transactions. Previously, he served as both the CFO and COO. In this capacity, Yuval hired the majority of the company’s executive leadership, established its global presence, and oversaw its acquisition of four technology startups. Before DA, Yuval held positions at Citadel and at DRW Trading, where he managed an algorithmic trading desk and helped launch DRW Venture Capital. Digital Asset has an interesting, developer-friendly, open-source application platform called DAML. With DAML, developers can easily build and deploy multi-party applications on any distributed ledger platform or database; blockchain experience is not required. As the demand for developers with blockchain skills continues to rise (Linkedin listed it as a top-ten in-demand skill for 2020) this is a great solution for developers to expand their talents in the dAPP space or enterprises keen to expand product offerings. Companies such as ASX, HKEX, Amazon, Tencent’s WeBank, and others are using DAML to build new trading platforms built on blockchain or for software development to launch and deploy new products and services on a blockchain or a traditional database. Yuval joins me on Tech Talks Daily to discuss how blockchain is evolving from technology focused on the financial services industry to one that is being adopted across vertical markets such as healthcare and retail. I also learn how VMware recently joined the company’s Series C financing round. With the investment, VMware joins technology leaders Salesforce Ventures and Samsung Venture Investment Corp (Samsung) as investors in Digital Asset and its growing ecosystem of DAML partners.  
QA Supermarket provides comprehensive QA testing services on-demand and with competitive, completely transparent prices. The company is on a mission to offer Manual Testing as SaaS. The startup was founded by current CEO Paul Belevich, whose previous roles include Product Development Director at Blue Lithium (acquired by Yahoo!) and GM of Wargaming Research and Development Center in Austin. Most recently, he was founded software development company Software2Life. I wanted to learn more about how they found a way to change a long, boring, and difficult application testing to an easy, transparent, and hassle-free one. We talk about the differences between Automated and Manual testing. We discuss what trends they are noticing in the industry. We also bust a few myths and misconceptions in the world of application testing,  
Dectec is a Behavioural Science consultancy where they help clients predict future market responses and applying their insights across far-reaching sectors, including banking, telecoms, and retail. The company was created to provide the most accurate and best value forecasts available on how people will behave in new situations. The team are enthusiastic proponents of behavioral research, randomized controlled trials, and data modelling. Founded in 2002, they are based in London and are staff-owned and are members of the Market Research Society and Management Consultancies Association. I wanted to learn more about how they model human behavior to reveal the responses to different scenarios, giving clients a significant edge over their competitors in choices across range, pricing, communications, and offer. Dr. Henry Stott is the Co-founder of Dectech and a passionate proponent of doing more randomized controlled trials in business. Henry has over 25 years of commercial experience across retail, finance telecoms, and other sectors. Before Dectech, he helped to create Oliver Wyman's Risk practice. We talk about what factors drive people's behavior and decision making. We also explore the alternative methods out there to predict the 'future', and I learn how accurate they are.
A team of NASA researchers seeking a new energy source for deep-space exploration missions, recently revealed a method for triggering nuclear fusion in the space between the atoms of a metal solid. I felt compelled to find out more. Lawrence Forsley is a senior experimental physicist with NASA, research fellow at the University of Texas, and CTO of Global Energy Corporation. During the past 45 years, he has worked with laser fusion, mirror fusion, tokamaks, modular bremsstrahlung sources, sonoluminescence, and bulk Pd/D electrolysis and the patented co-deposition protocol. Lawrence specializes in temporally, spatially, and spectrally resolving infrared through gamma-ray energy photons, charged particles, and neutrons. He is an author or co-author of over 40 scientific papers and book chapters. In his spare time, he’s developed and deployed autonomous seismic sensors around the world and applied space-based Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (DInSAR) to places hard to write home from, let alone pronounce. We discuss the methods to drive and monitor condensed matter nuclear reactions in industrial, US Navy, and NASA laboratories, with an eye toward a clean, energy-rich future.
Extended Threat Detection and Response (XDR) is an emerging hot category that I wanted to learn more about. My curiosity led me to Hunters.AI, which is the first autonomous threat hunting solution. It's a pure-play vendor-agnostic XDR startup noted in the Gartner report. For CrowdStrike users, Hunters extends threat detection beyond the endpoint and enables XDR capabilities. Hunters.AI generates and delivers actionable visualized attack stories allowing organizations to more quickly and effectively identify, understand, and respond to attacks. Uri May Co-Founder & CEO, Hunters, reveals how XDR has emerged as the next-gen successor to EDR and SIEM solutions. He also shares why it's different and what it brings to the IT security stack. On the subject of missed signals, I learn how XDR finds legitimate threats while filtering out the noise and why a vendor-agnostic approach is essential to success. Finally, we discuss how Hunters grants XDR capabilities using AI for autonomous threat hunting.
Regardless of how a business looks at flexibility, workplace innovation continues to advance at high speed, evolving into a more natural and integrated aspect of life and dominating modern workers' expectations. The shift in traditional work's rhythm creates assumed challenges that may be intimidating for organizations trying to adapt. Pushing aside misconceptions and uncovering the truth about flexible work can accelerate an organization's path to delivering a successful balance of work and flexibility to all its employees, regardless of age or working preferences. Jed Brown, SVP of Product & Design at Fuze joins me on Tech Talks Daily to explore the three main misconceptions that prevent flexible work from being successful throughout organizations, and importantly explains how the right technology will not only kick-start flexible work now, it can also prepare a business for what's to come, keeping them open to the future too. About Fuze Fuze is a global cloud communications provider for the enterprise. Its intuitive unified communications and contact center platform enables seamless transition between calling, meeting, chatting, and sharing powered by the industry-leading intelligent cloud architecture. Fuze empowers the digital and distributed workforce to communicate anywhere, anytime, and across any device. Founded in 2006, Fuze is headquartered in Boston, MA with offices around the world.
Daniel Theobald is the CEO of Vecna Robotics. His company recently raised $50M for their Series B and has been helping automate materials handling for global clients like FedEx. Daniel is a passionate leader who is dedicated to the idea that technology can be used to improve life for everyone on the planet. Daniel is also a co-founder of Mass Robotics - an independent, non-profit organization serving as the innovation hub for robotics and connected devices in the Greater Boston, MA area, so he has his pulse on the innovation of the robotics industry. But I wanted to learn more about the robotics company that believes the future belongs to those who empower humans. We talk about how robotics, AI and automation help keep the supply chain running, the importance of robots and humans working together to increase workflow efficiency, and what the robotics industry needs to do to push interoperability forward. We also discuss why humans and robots are better together.
AWeber delivers powerfully-simple email marketing software specifically designed for small businesses. Since 1998, They have helped over 1,000,000 small businesses around the world grow their businesses by giving them the tools and knowledge they need to connect with their prospects and customers. AWeber is a 100% remote-first team. That means they work from the comfort of their homes while making an impact on customers around the world. they value collaboration, flexibility, and entrepreneurial spirit — not what you wear or where you choose to do your most productive work. They also believe that an incredible culture is not about where you work, but about the people that you work with.
When a utility embarks on a capital project, they’re doing so to serve their customers better, comply with regulations, and/or build the value of their asset network—and they’re increasingly making drones a part of their efforts. Utilities are using drones across the capital project lifecycle. Whether to inventory assets, monitor current project work, or evaluate pre-completion performance, project managers achieve greater data breadth and precision. Not only does this help justify CapEx spend, but it also enables better project management. PrecisionHawk, the market leader of commercial drone analytics, has seen first-hand the challenges of keeping utility asset databases up-to-date. During routine inspections for all of their utility clients, PrecisionHawk has found discrepancies in location data for up to 50% of poles. And while ground teams typically find that 10% of poles are out of compliance, they have, on average found that the number is actually 25-30%. As a solution, Drone technology is implemented to accurately geolocate all pole assets, convert imagery and data into metadata for quality assurance, and execute strategic business decisions accordingly with substantial evidence. Robert Henley joins me on Tech Talks Daily in a conversation about how utilities leverage drone technology to improve their asset management systems and validate capital projects tied to critical infrastructure.
Sporting leagues are beginning to unveil their plans to return to play, and the NBA is planning to return at Walt Disney World. When exploring the future of sport, leagues must start thinking about the live stream viewing experience will look like for fans. They also have to consider if platforms are capable of supporting the influx of people tuning in from home and how they'll be able to replicate the in-person fan experience at home. Jed Corenthal, the CMO of Phenix (real-time streaming technology platform), discusses what platforms must prioritize seamlessly delivering virtual experiences that will keep fans happy. If games are delivered in real-time and synchronous streams, the opportunities to engage viewers are endless – from trivia games to switching up camera angles and even selling merchandise – but this is all only possible if livestream technology is up to par. Phenix has customers on five continents, and all focused on delivering a superior user experience by reducing latency, maintaining a high-quality stream, and reaching large audiences. I learn more about how they were challenged to create compelling interactive mobile content to keep viewers engaged throughout the Oscars broadcast with short development timeline. Disney/ABC selected Phenix and its partners to deliver the first ever Official Oscars Trivia Game. During commercial breaks, the game featured a real-time "audience cam" capturing celebrities chatting and socializing. The 2019 Oscars digital experience was nominated for an Emmy Award. Jed shares this and many more stories.
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Comments (3)

Neil Parker

I enjoy listening to Tech Blog Writer while washing dishes or cooking.

Aug 3rd
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Neil Parker

Fascinating concept & episode. Thoroughly enjoyed it, thanks!

Jun 18th
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