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          Contact Let's Nurture For Develop An On-Demand Food Delivery App like UberEATS (Sydney)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Are you searching for your own food ordering and delivery app or an on-demand marketplace? [Let's Nurture][1] - one of the [Best on-demand food delivery app development company][2] developing on-demand restaurant mobile applications on all platforms- Android, iOS, Windows, and Cross-platform. **Innovative features and solutions for food delivery app:** - Food delivery app using Blockchain - Chatbots for food ordering and delivery - Tell Alexa to order food for you We have delivered multipl...
          Is That New Tech (Chatbots, AI, Blockchain) Really Valuable for Your Business? How to Find Out.      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
There are a lot of shiny new objects out there. Here's how to stay current and spend wisely.
          Artificial Intelligence And The Future of Accounting      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The Future of AI Accounting Artificial intelligence has become an extremely hot topic over the last couple years. While many people welcome the thought of self-driving cars and chatbot customer service agents, others are rife with worry over the disappearance

The post Artificial Intelligence And The Future of Accounting appeared first on CloudTweaks.


          Play your way to fluency in Turkish with revolutionary apps for iOS, Android + Web      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Play your way to fluency in Turkish with revolutionary apps for iOS, Android + Web

Cutting edge Turkish learning with apps, VR + AR

If you're searching for a cutting edge way to learn Turkish
, you are in luck. Mondly is reinventing the language learning space by creating unique ways for Turkish
learners to dive into a world of language immersion.

After creating a wildly popular app (30+ million downloads in 190+ countries) for iOS and Android, Mondly has gone on to create two breakthrough firsts in language education: the first VR (virtual reality) language learning experience with voice recognition and Chatbot technology and the first AR (augmented reality) language app with speech recognition.

Wow! Curious? Read on to discover much more about this one-of-a-kind mobile Turkish
learning service...

Play your way to fluency in Turkish

Mondly is a revolutionary way to learn Turkish
right from the comfort of your phone or computer. It takes you on a gamified Turkish
language journey designed around real-life situations like ordering food in a restaurant, dealing with emergencies and going on vacation - to name just a few.

Mondly covers beginner, intermediate and advanced Turkish
proficiency levels, sports an easy-to-use customizable dashboard plus world class multilingual speech recognition technology. Mondly allows you to synchronize your Turkish
learning between all devices (iOS, Android and Web).

Focus on useful Turkish
phrases rather than individual words

Mondly takes you beyond learning Turkish
vocabulary by focusing your learning time on high-frequency phrases that are immediately useful in real life.

Learn Turkish
by listening to native speakers

Mondly works with professional native Turkish
speakers to provide you with authentic pronunciations and natural accents.

Practice real Turkish
conversations

The Mondly method aims to get you immersed in Turkish
ASAP using chatbots, AR and VR, removing the stress of speaking with actual people until you're already comfortable conversing.

This single feature is key in overcoming the fear of speaking Turkish
before you dive in head first with natives - great for folks who are nervous about speaking Turkish
and want to get practice in a nearly-real-life way without the extra stress of being on the spot.

Retain more Turkish
using a unique spaced repetition system

Mondly's technology uses tested and effective intervals for repetition to help you acquire Turkish
fluency not only quickly but permanently.

Enjoy shiny new Turkish
lessons daily

The Mondly team works tirelessly to provide 20+ million active and ecstatic learners with new Turkish
lessons
every single day!

Turkish
language learning categories and lessons

Instead of having a linear approach to Turkish
, Mondly is highly-customizable and allows you to select topics that are of immediate interest or need to you rather than having to muck through a bunch of stuff you will likely never use.

Depending on your needs, you can select and choose from a wide variety of categories to get started learning Turkish
. These general categories include Family, Country & Languages, Travel, Vacation Activities, Public Transportation, Seasons & Weather, Romance, Core Vocabulary, Preparing a Trip, Airport, Business, Restaurant, Hotel, Fun, Bank, City Tour, Doctor, Help, Animals, Colors & Numbers, Fruits & Food, Parts of the Body and more.

Turkish
learning statistics and leaderboard

Often when learning Turkish
, we forget just how much we have progressed already and this can lead to frustration and potential abandonments of The Turkish
Dream. With Mondly, this is unlikely to happen! Their interface includes a nifty statistics section to keep you informed of exactly what you've learned and how much progress you are making.

In addition, you can challenge yourself to level up with other Mondly Turkish
learners using the leaderboard - this can be an excellent source of motivation and provides a way for you to compare yourself to others learning Turkish
all around the world. Who knows, you could be the next #1 spot on the Turkish
leaderboard!

The coolest bonus with Mondly Turkish

If you're like me and your language learning goals go beyond just learning Turkish
, Mondly is a top choice as they offer a single affordable price that gives you access to all 30+ available languages.

This means if you go ahead and subscribe to Mondly Turkish
now
, you will immediately get access to dozens of other languages as well!

Not only that, the ability to select both the language you want to learn in and the target language you are learning allows you to create custom combinations that fit your specific needs. If you're not a native English speaker, this could be just the thing you've been looking for, as you can choose to learn Turkish
from your native language rather than learning from English - and considerably improve the results you get from the time you spend playing your way to Turkish
fluency.

In case you're curious, this nifty feature allows for an astounding 1056 language course combinations in one product!

Mondly is changing the way millions of people learn Turkish
and 30+ other languages!

  • 33 languages available
  • 500,000+ reviews on the App Store and Google Play with 4.7/5 rating
  • 2017 Facebook app of the year in Europe, The Middle East and Africa
  • Best New App in the App Store in January 2016
  • MondlyVR is the first Virtual Reality language learning app with speech recognition in the world
  • MondlyAR is the first Augmented Reality language learning app with speech recognition in the world
  • MondlyKIDS was selected as "Editor's Choice" on Google Play in late-2017

Words straight from Mondly's CEO, Alex Iliescu

Our long-term commitment is to bring learners one step closer to fluency effortlessly through a mix of innovative technology, breathtaking design and an outstanding learner experience.

Being selected as an Editors' Choice app by Google is an acknowledgement of the quality language experience we are offering learners worldwide with Mondly. Our long-term commitment is to bring learners one step closer to fluency effortlessly through a mix of innovative technology, breathtaking design and an outstanding learner experience.

Here's what Facebook says

Mondly is the first company to launch a VR experience for learning languages with speech recognition and chatbot technology.

Join 20+ million users - start learning with Mondly today

Check out this revolutionary Turkish
language learning app
.

Available for iOS, Android and Web

Take your Turkish
learning everywhere across devices and on your computer - Mondly is available for them all.


          인공지능과 신경망- AI의 개념 및 실용 사례 레포트      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
인공지능과 신경망 - A.I의 개념 및 실용 사례챗봇의 개념, 활용사례 및 시장전망 [챗봇,인공지능,4차산업,chatbot,음성비서,챗봇사례,왓슨]인공지능 개념정리 레포트[인공지능][인공지능 개념][인공지능 역사][인공지능 분야][인공지능 문제풀이방법][인공지능 활용사례]인공지능의 개념, 인공지능의 역사, 인공지능의 분야, 인공지능의 문제풀이방법, 인공지능의 활용사례 분석[레포트][레포트]인공지능 기술 적용 사례인공지능기술의 필요성 및 사례 좀 더 업그레이드하여 자료를 보완하여 과제물을 꼼꼼하게 정성을 들어 작성했습니다. 위 자료 요약정리 잘되어 있으니 잘 참고하시어 학업에 나날이 발전이 있기를 기원합니다 ^^ 구입자 분의 앞날에 항상 무궁한 발전과 행복과 행운이 깃들기를 홧팅 사전적 의미의 인공지능은 ‘인간의 학습 능력과 추론능력 지각능력 자연언어의 이해 능력 등을 컴퓨터 프로그램으로 실현한 기술‘을 뜻한다. 즉 우리가 일상생활에서 사용하는 모든 전자기기들이 가진 구동 매커니즘 및 프로그램의 알고리즘 등 현재 과학 기술의 모든 분야에 걸쳐 직 간접적으로 관련되어 있다. 인공지능 개발의 궁극적 목표는 인간의 지능으로 할 수 있는 사고 학습 자기계발 등을 컴퓨터가 할 수 있도록 하는 방법을 연구하는 컴퓨터 공학 및 정보기술의 한 분야로서 컴퓨터가 인간의 지능적인 행동을 모방할 수 있도록 하는 것이다. 그렇다면 인공지능의 역사는 언제부터일까 ­인공지능의 역사 및 개발 인공지능의 역사는 1956년 미국의 다트머스 대학에서 열명의 과학자들이 모여 인공지능에 관한 회의를 가진 것이 그 시초이다. ‘컴퓨터가 인간의 지적 활동을 대신하도록’ 이라는 명제 하에 주욱 개발되어온 인공지능의 인공지능 기술이 필요한 사례 조사 및 문제해결 방법)인공지능 기술이 필요한 사례 조사 및 문제해결 방법)[ 빅데이터 개념,활용사례,윤리적해석 보고서 ] 빅데이터 개념분석및 빅데이터 활용사례분석과 빅데이터 관련 윤리적이슈 분석 레포트[ 기업들의 빅데이터 활용사례연구 레포트 ] 빅데이터의 개념,특징분석및 주요기업들의 빅데이터 활용사례분석과 빅데이터의 향후전망연구 레포트[고령화사회 문제점과 대책방연연구 레포트] 고령화사회 개념,원인,영향분석및 고령화사회 문제점과 대책방안사례와 제안및 고령화사회에 대한 나의의견[ 콜라보레이션 마케팅 사례연구 레포트 ] 콜라보레이션의 개념과 특징,성공요인분석및 콜라보레이션 마케팅 기업사례분석과 향후전망연구레포트) SWOT 분석의 개념 및 성공 사례[기업가정신 연구레포트] 기업가정신 개념과 중요성분석및 기업가정신 모범사례분석과 나의의견[ 성희롱 사례와 대처방안 레포트 ] 성희롱 개념,원인,문제점분석/ 성희롱 국내사례와 해외사례분석/ 성희롱 대처방안과 예방법및 나의의견[A+레포트]선택적 복지제도의 개념과 유형 및 발전과정과 적용사례문화마케팅 기업 사례분석과 기대효과분석및 문화마케팅 개념,유형,실효성분석과 느낀점연구- 문화마케팅 연구레포트임파워먼트 분석 레포트 임파워먼트 모델(Empowerment Model)의 개념과 특징 및 사례와 한계성에 따른 개선방안기업인수합병 (M&A) 개념분석과 글로벌기업들의 M&A 성공,실패사례분석및 M&A 미래전망연구 레포트[아동복지 연구레포트] 아동복지 개념,필요성,정책사례분석및 아동복지 문제점과 개선방안제안및 아동복지에 대한 나의의견정리 조회수:32회
          5 Ideas to Use Instagram Stories to Drive Small Business Growth      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Facebook-owned Instagram launched Stories in August 2016 as a direct copy of an already popular Snapchat feature. Today, Instagram Stories has 300 million daily active users. As a result, Snapchat growth slowed 82 percent.)

 

But what, exactly, is a "Story?" And are there benefits for business use?

 

Stories Demystified

 

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A Story is a piece of micro-content that disappears after 24 hours.

 

Stories can be photos/images, recorded videos, text with a colorful background, live video or 'boomerangs' (short, looping video content like an animated GIF).

 

Photos or videos can be uploaded from your camera roll, or you can record within the app. You can add effects, filters, stickers, text, interactive polls, animated GIFs and all manner of fun stuff to your Stories.

 

You can also add a clickable hashtag, @ mentions and locations to your Stories. This all helps with gaining extra visibility. Both hashtags and locations have Story feeds users can follow.

 

In 2017, Facebook also introduced the Story feature to both Messenger and the main Facebook app after Stories had already gained quite a foothold on Instagram.

 

“The way people share and connect is changing; it’s quickly becoming more real-time and visual.” ~Facebook [Source: TechCrunch]

 

Should you include Stories in your marketing mix?

 

The short answer is a resounding yes! For several reasons, to name a few:

 

  1. Micro-content is extremely easy to create.
  2. Both Instagram and Facebook position the Stories feature at the very top of their respective mobile apps. This provides tremendous visibility for your followers. Stories on Facebook are also very easy to create on desktop and are visible on desktop.
  3. People have very short attention spans these days and Stories are incredibly easy and fun to consume.
  4. For Instagram business accounts with over 10,000 followers and/or verified accounts, you can also add a URL to your Stories where your followers swipe up to go to your designated web page. (Now, with the launch of Instagram’s IGTV, you can choose to direct your followers to one of your IGTV videos or an external URL).
  5. Stories are growing 15X faster than feed sharing.
  6. Instagram boasts over 300 million daily active users and Facebook has over 150 million DAU’s.

 

“The Stories format is on a path to surpass feeds as the primary way people share things with their friends sometime next year.” ~Chris Cox, Facebook Chief Product Officer

 

Regularly publishing Stories for your business is a great way of producing micro-content for top of mind and top of feed awareness.

 

5 Story ideas for your business

 

  1. Do live broadcasts. Live Stories get the most prominent positioning at the top with a red “LIVE” icon. You can also do a “Live with” where you invite a guest on and Instagram splits the screen in half. Both your followers and your guest’s followers will see the telltale Live icon at the top. Your Live Story could be a product sneak peek, behind-the-scenes, meet the staff, customer spotlight, Q&A session, special offer, exclusive discounts and more.
  2. Conduct polls. I’ve found interactive polls to be an excellent method for sparking increased engagement. Instagram makes it super easy to add a simple and fun voting button as a slider, or a simple two word or emoji choice. You can even share the poll results later as another Story.
  3. Highlight user generated content. If you gather user generated content across your social channels, you could share screenshots with the relevant user @tag and an appropriate hashtag. These could be simple shout outs, or testimonials and reviews. Instagram auto-suggests hashtags when you start to type. Be sure to first search and settle on the best hashtag for your Story, as this can really help others discover you.
  4. Announce new content. If you publish blog posts/articles, podcast episodes, vlogs (video blogs), and/or live streaming videos, be sure to use Stories to let your Instagram followers know. Always include the related URL in the Swipe Up feature, if you have it.
  5. Share exclusive deals. Entice your followers to keep coming back to consume your Stories by regularly sharing special offers, codes, or unexpected bonuses.

 

Embrace micro-engagement, too

 

Whether you choose to include Stories in your marketing mix or not, I highly recommend starting to at least view and engage with Stories. This is a great way to create what I call micro-engagement.

 

When you view Stories on Instagram, the person/business will see that you've seen their content in their Insights. Granted, not everyone necessarily views their Insights for each Story, but many do, including myself.

 

When possible, try sending a quick reply or even an emoji response to a Story. This goes to the account holder’s private inbox. (Depending on user settings, the ability to reply may not be available on all Stories).


In closing, it is worth noting here that at YouTube’s 2018 VidCon video conference, the company announced that it, too, will be launching a Stories feature.

 

Clearly, Stories are here to stay and businesses would do well to map out a powerful micro-content strategy.

 

Related Content:

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Social Media

Facebook Privacy: What Small Business Owners Need to Know

Facebook Messenger Chatbots Give Small Business Owners an Edge

 

About Mari Smith

mari_0362xFACE_preview.jpg

Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.

 

Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.

 

Web: Mari Smith  or Twitter: @MariSmith

You can read more articles from Mari Smith by clicking here

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Mari Smith to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Mari Smith is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Mari Smith. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.


          Full Stack Developer - We Build Bots - Cardiff CF11      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
*Full Stack Developer* We are We Build Bots and you might have guessed it already, but we build bots. Chatbots to be more precise. Our flagship platform,... £30,000 - £35,000 a year
From Indeed - Fri, 18 May 2018 11:50:13 GMT - View all Cardiff CF11 jobs
          Robots could answer Cardiff bin collection questions      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Cardiff council says using a "humanized Chatbot" will cut down on costs caused by staff sickness.
          Digital Persons Emerge Again      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Recall our long look at using digital personas to represent brand equities, including integrating a chatbot to represent useful information to the consumer.   Our consumers reacted well to this, but the interest faded.  That  also include a personality and image that places her in the 'Uncanny Valley'. 

ANZ has birthed its first "digital person". Jamie, an AI invention styled as a 25-year-old New Zealand woman, started work on Tuesday morning.

Jamie's first job is to chat with customers on the 30 questions the bank gets asked most often by customers.  Though "she" is capable of learning, it's "moderated" learning, so customers trying to teach Jamie swear words, or bad habits, will fail.

But chatting with Jamie for a few minutes results in her dropping hints that there's something more to her than a series of rote answers.  Ask her about her weekend, and she may tell you she enjoys ice dance. ... " 


          6 Reasons to Implement A Conversational Marketing Strategy      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

You’ve probably heard by now that chatbots are the future of marketing. With every development in communication technology comes another opportunity for marketing, and chatbots are no exception. Combining automation with a conversational interface, chatbots are driving businesses to rethink their marketing channels and consider implementing a conversational marketing strategy.

But even if you’re new to chatbots, conversational marketing — a feedback-oriented approach to marketing — isn't a new concept. It involves listening to your potential customers on a one-to-one basis and developing a positive relationship with them by providing helpful, contextual content based on their individual requests. Sound familiar? That’s because conversations have always been an important component of inbound marketing.


          Is That New Tech (Chatbots, AI, Blockchain) Really Valuable for Your Business? How to Find Out.      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
There are a lot of shiny new objects out there. Here's how to stay current and spend wisely.

          Deutsche Telekom používá chatbota pro komunikaci uvnitř firmy      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

CleverlanceČeská firma Cleverlance vyvinula pro Deutsche Telekom nového chatbota pro komunikaci uvnitř firmy. Jedná se o interaktivní systém, přes který si zaměstnanci firmy mohou rezervovat místo pro práci, nebo například zasedací místnosti ke schůzkám. K aplikaci ve formě inteligentního chatbota mohou zaměstnanci Deutsche Telekom přistupovat prostř...

          Meet the Kazakhtan startups exhibiting at Echelon Asia Summit 2018      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

From chatbots to drone games, Kazakhstan startups showcased products and services that have championed the local market Echelon Asia Summit 2018 ended on June 29 following a series of panel discussions, fireside chats, The TOP100 Fight Club, and exhibitions of startups from across Asia –including Kazakhstan. The startups participated in Echelon through Smart Zholy, an […]

The post Meet the Kazakhtan startups exhibiting at Echelon Asia Summit 2018 appeared first on e27.


          (USA-OK-Oklahoma City) Full Stack Application Developer      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
          Quand les humains prennent le travail des robots doués d'intelligence artificielle      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

L'intelligence artificielle étant une technologie qui évolue vitesse grand V en ce moment, on se pose naturellement la question de savoir si les robots, dotés de cette intelligence artificielle, vont à terme prendre leur travail aux humains. Personne n'imagine que pour le moment, ce sont bien souvent les humains qui prennent leur travail aux robots :-)

C'est pourtant le cas, à lire cet étonnant article du Guardian. L'article souligne que l'intelligence artificielle est un sujet très ardu, et pour l'instant, l'intervention humaine est de toutes façons capitale, afin que les machines 'apprennent' correctement. Une intervention plus ou moins désirable. Souvent moins, comme par exemple lorsque des développeurs lisent vos emails afin d'entrainer une I.A

L'intelligence artificielle c'est très ardu, et pour certaines entreprises, ça l'est même beaucoup trop, nous apprend le Guardian.

Il est difficile de construire un service alimenté par l'intelligence artificielle. Tellement difficile qu'en fait, il est moins cher et plus facile d'amener les humains à se comporter comme des robots que de faire en sorte que les machines se comportent comme des humains, souligne le journal.

"L'utilisation d'un humain pour faire le travail vous permet de passer outre un certain nombre de défis techniques et de développement commercial. Cela n'est pas évolutif évidemment, mais cela vous permet de construire quelque chose et de sauter la partie difficile dès le début", a expliqué au Guardian Gregory Koberger, PDG de ReadMe, qui assure connaître beaucoup de cas ce genre.

Selon le journal, ne sont pas rares les entreprises qui font carrément semblant d'avoir développé une technologie d'I.A évolutive auprès des investisseurs, alors qu'en réalité la dite technologie n'a de fondement que l'intelligence humaine. Tout comme le Turc mécanique ou l’automate joueur d'échecs de Johann Wolfgang von Kempelen,. Le Turc mécanique est un célèbre canular construit à la fin du 18ème siècle : il s’agissait d'un prétendu automate doté de la faculté de jouer aux échecs, mais qui dissimulait en fait un humain, qui était le véritable joueur.. 

Attention... la prochaine fois que vous parlerez avec un chatbot, ne dites pas n'importe quoi, car c'est peut-être un humain que vous avez au bout du fil... :-)

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          Comment on A vision into the future of HR: bots will help recruiters be more humane by Avichal Jadeja      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
These days chatbots specifically built for HR for excellent conversational experiences. It can perform functions to onboard employees, for hiring purpose, employee reviews and many more. Chatbots are so promising because they’re built to learn and improve. Over time, conversational apps are primed to get smarter and build better user experiences. Come experience the world of chatbots on engati.com
          Full Stack Developer - We Build Bots - Cardiff CF11      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
*Full Stack Developer* We are We Build Bots and you might have guessed it already, but we build bots. Chatbots to be more precise. Our flagship platform,... £30,000 - £35,000 a year
From Indeed - Fri, 18 May 2018 11:50:13 GMT - View all Cardiff CF11 jobs
          Quriobot: Lifetime Subscription for $59      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Expires September 02, 2018 23:59 PST
Buy now and get 95% off





The Pitch

No one can help your customers quite like you can, but you're only human and need human things, like sleep. Quriobot, on the other hand, never sleeps, which makes it great for taking care of your customers when you need to step away. Whether you're a brand-new startup or an established operation, Quriobot lets you outfit your website with a helpful chatbot that's ready to go in minutes. Using drag-and-drop templates, you can customize your Quriobot to replace contact forms, ask visitors for feedback, and perform other helpful functions that make for a better visiting experience. So, feel free to kick back and let Quriobot do the work for you.

  • Create your own Quriobot using simple drag & drop templates
  • Program conversations that match your company's tone w/ the intuitive designer
  • Use a variety of step types to retrieve vital information from your customers
  • Ensure customers are treated properly by applying conditional rules to Quriobot’s behavior
  • Adjust every element of Quriobot to fit your brand guidelines & your site's visual style
  • Track Quriobot's performance & analyze the information it collects via smart reporting
  • Integrate Quriobot with all your favorite services like MailChimp, Slack, WordPress, Zapier, Salesforce and more!

Reviews

  • Product Hunt: 250 upvotes

System Requirements

  • Internet access required

Important Details

  • Length of access: lifetime
  • Redemption deadline: redeem your code within 30 days of purchase
  • 2,000 chats per month
  • No Quriobot branding
  • Unlimited agents & Unlimited bots
  • Email support
  • Integrates with chat clients
  • Data storage is ISO 27001, ISO 9001, and PCI DSS certified

          PFM chatbot Plum connects to Monzo and Starling      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Money management chatbot Plum is excited to announce that it will now support challenger banks Monzo...
          Hotéis do Grupo Mendes em Santos aderem a atendimento via chatbot      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
O Parque Balneário Hotel e o Carina Flat Hotel, empreendimentos do Grupo Mendes situados em Santos (SP), acabam de implantar em seus sistemas de atendimento uma ferramenta de inteligência artificial. Além de realizar reservas fora do horário comercial, o Chatbot representa uma grande evolução na relação entre pessoas, marcas e tecnologia utilizando um software em […]
          Offer - Increase Profit by CRM Software in Saudi Arabia - UNITED ARAB EMRIATES      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
If you want to increase your Income then Alrasmyat, offering best Chatbots Integrated CRM Software in Saudi Arabia to maintain your business services with the help of fully integrated M2M, Augmented reality and AI, expert CRM Software in Saudi Arabia. It helps to improve in consistency through reviews, Quality of products deliverable, Approachability and safety of the organizational assets. Services we Offers: Erpisto ERP: · Quick Overview · Financial Management · Microfinance ERP Software · Enterprises HR and Payroll · Budgeting and Financial Planning · CRM · Erpisto Sales Management · Inventory Management · Asset Management · Warehouse Management (WMS) · Point of Sales (POS) · Ready E-Commerce Shop · Production Management · Process Manufacturing · Discrete Manufacturing Mobile#: +966547315697 Email: sales@bilytica.com https://www.alrasmyat.com.sa/n/erpisto/cloud-crm-software-in-saudi-arabia/ https://www.bilytica.com/erpisto/crm-software-solutions-in-saudi-arabia/
          Offer - Increase Profit by CRM Software in Saudi Arabia - UNITED ARAB EMRIATES      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
If you want to increase your Income then Alrasmyat, offering best Chatbots Integrated CRM Software in Saudi Arabia to maintain your business services with the help of fully integrated M2M, Augmented reality and AI, expert CRM Software in Saudi Arabia. It helps to improve in consistency through reviews, Quality of products deliverable, Approachability and safety of the organizational assets. Services we Offers: Erpisto ERP: · Quick Overview · Financial Management · Microfinance ERP Software · Enterprises HR and Payroll · Budgeting and Financial Planning · CRM · Erpisto Sales Management · Inventory Management · Asset Management · Warehouse Management (WMS) · Point of Sales (POS) · Ready E-Commerce Shop · Production Management · Process Manufacturing · Discrete Manufacturing Mobile#: +966547315697 Email: sales@bilytica.com https://www.alrasmyat.com.sa/n/erpisto/cloud-crm-software-in-saudi-arabia/ https://www.bilytica.com/erpisto/crm-software-solutions-in-saudi-arabia/
          Andrejus Baranovski: Contextual Chatbot with TensorFlow, Node.js and Oracle JET - Steps How to Install and Get It Working      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Blog reader was asking to provide a list of steps, to guide through install and run process for chatbot solution with TensorFlow, Node.JS and Oracle JET.

Resources:

1. Chatbot UI and context handling backend implementation - Machine Learning Applied - TensorFlow Chatbot UI with Oracle JET Custom Component

read more


          Comment on #SXSW Exclusive: 7 Ways to Use Chat Bots to Elevate #HR by Avichal Jadeja      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
These days chatbots specifically built for HR for excellent conversational experiences. It can perform functions to onboard employees, for hiring purpose, employee reviews and many more. Chatbots are so promising because they’re built to learn and improve. Over time, conversational apps are primed to get smarter and build better user experiences. Come experience the world of chatbots on engati.com
          Cross platform app development      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
We need an app built for wellness. This would require the following features broadly: 1. Fitness video streaming 2. Audio play (including background music) 3. Chatbot for fitness related queries 4. User... (Budget: ₹37500 - ₹75000 INR, Jobs: Ionic Framework, Mobile App Development, React.js)
          Full Stack Developer - We Build Bots - Cardiff CF11      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
*Full Stack Developer* We are We Build Bots and you might have guessed it already, but we build bots. Chatbots to be more precise. Our flagship platform,... £30,000 - £35,000 a year
From Indeed - Fri, 18 May 2018 11:50:13 GMT - View all Cardiff CF11 jobs
          Chatbots to deliver $11B USD in annual savings for retail, banking, and healthcare sectors by 2023: Juniper      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
A recent study by Juniper Research has concluded that chatbots are one digital transformation investment that really pays off. According to the Hampshire, U.K.-based firm’s July 3 research paper, “How chatbots will transform the retail industry,”, businesses can expect to save more than 2.5 billion customer service hours by 2023 thanks to the widespread adoption…
          Alexa for Business? 'Ubiquitous' Computing Comes to the Workplace      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
With a new chatbot-style digital assistant, companies may gain functionality akin to Alexa for business.
          Passage AI Chatbots Now Converse In All Major Languages      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   


          Angular 6 Chatbot Client      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Azure Bot Service speeds up development by providing an integrated environment that’s purpose-built for bot development with the Microsoft Bot Framework connectors and BotBuilder SDKs. The SDKs provide several ways for your bot to interact with people. Azure Bot Service can be integrated across multiple channels to increase interactions and reach more customers using your website or app to email,
          The Push For A Gender-Neutral Siri      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Have you ever noticed something most virtual assistants have in common? They all started out female. One of the most famous, Amazon's Alexa, got her name because of CEO Jeff Bezos' preference. "The idea was creating the Star Trek computer. The Star Trek computer was a woman," says Alex Spinelli, who ran the team that created the software for Alexa. Spinelli is now the chief technology officer of LivePerson. His boss, CEO Robert LoCascio, is bothered by that story about Alexa. "That's just not a good enough reason to make a technology a woman," LoCascio says. LivePerson builds chatbots and artificial intelligence personas for brands. Chatbots are those little characters that pop up on your screen to offer help. LoCascio is one of the leaders of an effort called the Equal AI initiative . Its members include Arianna Huffington and Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales. LoCascio believes the male-dominated AI industry brings its own unconscious bias to the decision of what gender to make a
          DOMINO #7 launches a new mission and a new cover artist      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Media Release -- It's the series that has been called "everything a comic should be," and Domino's adventures are just getting started!

Following the events of DOMINO ANNUAL, superstar creative team Gail Simone and David Baldeon are bringing fans an all-new story arc – one where vampires come out to play and where Domino learns she's not the only temptress putting everyone under her spell.

"Domino isn't just for X-fans anymore," teased editor Chris Robinson. "Gail and David have big plans that take Neena Thurman up against some unexpected threats from the larger Marvel Universe."

Don't miss all the twists, reveals, and epic action, featuring artist Gang Hyuk Lim (Infinity Countdown: Darkhawk), who joins DOMINO as the brand-new regular cover artist when DOMINO #7 hits comic shops this October!

DOMINO #7
Written by GAIL SIMONE
Art by DAVID BALDEON
Cover by GANG HYUK LIM
On Sale 10/10/18

To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com

or simply chat with some of your favorite heroes with Marvel's chatbot accessible through Twitter and Facebook

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy-five years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing.

For more information visit marvel.com.





          The AVENGERS HALLOWEEN SPECIAL to feature brand new frightful stories      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Media Release -- This Halloween, the Avengers will shock readers with their spookiest stories and the most fearful tales! Iron Man and Captain America take on a journey for one of Howard Stark's abandoned weapons…but what they find is different than any kind of horror that they've encountered…

With bonus stories featuring your favorite Marvel heroes, including Daredevil, Punisher, and the X-Men, AVENGERS HALLOWEEN SPECIAL brings together an epic team writers and artists to take your favorite characters on all-new frightful journeys, including acclaimed creators Gerry Duggan (Despicable Deadpool, Infinity Countdown, Infinity Wars), Robbie Thompson (Doctor Strange and the Sorcerer's Supreme, Spider-Man/Deadpool), and Canadian horror producers and screenwriters Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska (The Soska Sisters) (American Mary, See No Evil 2)! Plus, superstar writer Jay Baruchel (The Goon, This is the End) make their Marvel Comics debut!

"It's going to be a horror anthology with five frightful tales full of chills and thrills," teased editor Jake Thomas. "The stories will showcase your favorite Marvel heroes through a funhouse mirror of the macabre, twisting their stories into terrifying tales sure to send shivers up your spine! The only thing scarier than reading this issue would be missing it!"

Don't miss all the horror and thrills this October, when AVENGERS HALLOWEEN SPECIAL hits comic shops!

AVENGERS HALLOWEEN SPECIAL #1
Written by GERRY DUGGAN, THE SOSKA SISTERS, JAY BARUCHEL, ROBBIE THOMPSON & MORE
Art by BOB QUINN, EOIN MARRON, JONAS SCHARF & MORE
Cover by Geoff Shaw
On Sale 10/31/18

To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com

or simply chat with some of your favorite heroes with Marvel's chatbot accessible through Twitter and Facebook

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy-five years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing.

For more information visit marvel.com.





          Chatbots Boosting CX, but Vendors are Misaligned with Client Security Woes: Study      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

As examples of chatbot popularity emerge, Nearshore Americas conducted a survey of buyers and vendors of chatbots, revealing challenges like security concerns and negative perception.

The post Chatbots Boosting CX, but Vendors are Misaligned with Client Security Woes: Study appeared first on Nearshore Americas.


          Consumer, perché l’intelligenza artificiale ha già vinto      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

L’intelligenza artificiale non è più estranea ai consumatori, anzi: a loro piace sia miscelata con la componente umana, sia in grado di emularlo completamente.

Circa tre quarti (73%) degli intervistati da Capgemini per una ricerca del Digital Transformation Institute hanno infatti affermato di averla utilizzata e il 69% di essere rimasto soddisfatto.

Il report “The Secret to Winning Customers’ Hearts with Artificial Intelligence: Add Human Intelligence” ha rivelato che il 55% dei consumatori predilige interazioni che nascono da un mix di intelligenza artificiale e componente umana, mentre il 64% preferirebbe che l’intelligenza artificiale assomigliasse di più all’uomo.

Per quasi la metà degli intervistati (48%), le caratteristiche affini a quelle umane possono incrementare l’interesse dei consumatori, favorendo una maggiore propensione all’acquisto.

Metodologia

Hanno preso parte alla realizzazione del report 10.000 clienti e 500 manager di  aziende in 10 mercati a livello globale .Tutte le aziende coinvolte hanno riportato ricavi superiori al miliardo di dollari nell’esercizio fiscale del 2017. Il sondaggio si è svolto a maggio 2018 ed è stato integrato con tre focus group virtuali composti da 8-10 consumatori ciascuno negli Stati Uniti, Francia e Germania. La ricerca include interviste a stakeholder dell’industria ed a esponenti del mondo accademico

Tuttavia, molte aziende non riescono a gestire reclami e preferenze espressi dai consumatori quando utilizzano l’intelligenza artificiale nella customer experience, concentrandosi maggiormente su parametri tradizionali come il costo di implementazione e il ritorno sull’investimento (ROI).

Il report ha rilevato che al 63% dei consumatori piace l’intelligenza artificiale per il fatto di essere disponibile 24 ore su 24, 7 giorni su 7, poiché permette loro di avere un maggiore controllo delle interazioni.

I consumatori stanno familiarizzando anche con l’idea degli alter ego digitali: il 48% afferma che l’opportunità di poter delegare compiti a un assistente personale elettronico sia una prospettiva entusiasmante, mentre il 46% ritiene che questi possano migliorare la qualità della vita.

La crescente dimestichezza dei consumatori nell’utilizzare l’Intelligenza artificiale li sta ulteriormente rassicurando sul fatto che tale tecnologia presenti caratteristiche affini a quelle umane.

Più di tre consumatori su cinque (62%) si sentono a proprio agio con una tecnologia dotata di una forma di intelligenza simile a quella umana.

Quasi la metà (49%) afferma che avrebbe una maggiore affinità con quelle aziende in cui le interazioni abilitate dall’Intlligenza artificialke presentano più caratteristiche simili a quelle umane, e sorprende che la stessa percentuale di preferenza abbia un carattere trans-generazionale.

Infatti, in tutti i gruppi di età compresa tra i 18 e i 55 anni, i consumatori preferiscono che le interazioni siano rese possibili da un mix di intelligenza artificiale e componente umana.

Tuttavia, i clienti preferiscono che la loro interazione con l’Intelligenza arrtificiale sia solo a livello auditivo ed esperienziale, ma non visivo. Se da un lato i consumatori sono entusiasti del fatto che l’intelligenza artificiale si rivolga a loro con voce umana (62%) e sia dotata della capacità di comprendere le emozioni (57%), dall’altro le caratteristiche fisiche sono considerate “inquietanti”. Oltre la metà (52%) dei clienti, infatti, non si trova a proprio agio quando l’intelligenza artificiale vuole sembrare una persona reale.

Dal report emerge anche che due terzi dei consumatori (66%) vorrebbero essere avvisati qualora le aziende decidessero di adottare l’Intelligenza artificiale per interagire con essi.

Nonostante l’interesse dei consumatori per una customer experience basata sull’intelligenza artificiale, le aziende stanno dando priorità alle metriche tradizionali piuttosto che alle preferenze dei clienti.

Il report ha rilevato che tra i fattori considerati prioritari dalle aziende nell’implementazione dell’Intelligenza artificiale ci sono i costi (per il 62% delle imprese) e il ROI (per il 59% delle imprese).

Soltanto per il 7% delle aziende, invece, è fondamentale gestire i reclami dei consumatori, mentre il 10% degli intervistati ritiene l’impatto sulla customer experience uno dei fattori chiave da tenere in considerazione nell’implementazione delI’Intelligenza artificiale. Si tratta, però, di un approccio inefficace, dato che i consumatori sono disposti a spendere di più nel caso in cui venga loro offerta una customer experience positiva.

Dall’indagine è emerso che il 38% degli acquirenti ha speso di più a seguito di un’esperienza con l’Intelligenza artificiale positiva, tanto che un quarto degli intervistati ha incrementato la propria spesa fino al 10%. Inoltre, le interazioni abilitate dall’Intelligenza artificiale favoriscono anche un maggiore grado di fidelizzazione e di fiducia nei confronti della società.

L'articolo Consumer, perché l’intelligenza artificiale ha già vinto è un contenuto originale di 01net.


          Full Stack Developer - We Build Bots - Cardiff CF11      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
*Full Stack Developer* We are We Build Bots and you might have guessed it already, but we build bots. Chatbots to be more precise. Our flagship platform,... £30,000 - £35,000 a year
From Indeed - Fri, 18 May 2018 11:50:13 GMT - View all Cardiff CF11 jobs
          Autonomous Cloud Webcast Series, July 2018      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

• The Vision for an Efficient and Productive Enterprise on-demand

• Integration Cloud: The Future of Integration has Arrived July 10th 2018

• Introducing Blockchain Cloud Service July 16th 2018

• Customer Conversations with Intelligent Chatbots August 8th 2018

Register: www.oracle.com/autonomous/webcasts

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PaaS Partner Community

For regular information on Oracle PaaS become a member in the SOA & BPM Partner Community for registration please visit www.oracle.com/goto/emea/soa (OPN account required) If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

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Technorati Tags: SOA Community,Oracle SOA,Oracle BPM,OPN,Jürgen Kress


          Yes, Stress Can Kill - Here's How It Affects Your Body If It Goes Unmanaged For Too Long      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Many of us have learned to simply accept stress as a normal part of the daily grind. It's almost even become a way we gauge one's work ethic; if you're not stressed, you're probably not doing enough. But as much as it's been ingrained in American culture that stress equates to success, the consequences can truly be life-threatening the longer it goes ignored. To find out how exactly stress can kill, we spoke with Athena Robinson, PhD, clinical psychologist, and chief clinical officer of therapy chatbot and app Woebot.

First, let's define the term. "Stress can be loosely defined as pressure or tension that one can feel emotionally and physically as a result of a situation or their interpretation about a situation," Dr. Robinson told POPSUGAR. And like all emotions, stress can tell us information, whether a deadline is coming down to the wire or you're late to your dinner reservation. In these cases, stress can actually be beneficial as it gives us an adrenaline rush and motivates us to get things done. But here's when it becomes a real issue.

"The trouble comes when someone feels high levels of stress on a chronic basis, especially regarding situations over which they have little or no control," Dr. Robinson said. On a psychological level, being overstressed can lead to conditions like depression, anxiety, and sleep problems. It can also impact your physical health by exacerbating chronic pain and increasing headaches, she explained. When you continue to have high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, Dr. Robinson said it can result in more severe consequences: decreased immune function and bone density, impaired learning and memory, and increased blood pressure. "The rumors are true . . . chronic stress can indeed lead to medical complications such as increased risk of coronary heart disease events and related mortality."

The good news is that the consequences of chronic stress can be reversed if caught in time. Depression, anxiety, and sleep problems can be improved with stress reduction techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness programs, and exercise. However, a physical side effect as severe as a stroke, for example, isn't reversible.

"Nonetheless, now is always a good time to learn how to manage stress if you are in need," she said. "Implementing helpful strategies sooner rather than later may help mitigate the number and severity of consequences you experience later in life."

If you experience the following stress signals, seek ways to effectively manage your stress immediately:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Pressure in chest
  • Shallow breathing
  • Increased body temperature
  • Low energy
  • Clammy hands
  • Feeling down or depressed
  • Repetitive thoughts about one topic
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Increased irritability or short temperedness
  • Increased substance use

           Digital Counties Survey 2018: Winners Prioritize Culture, Collaboration and Automation       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Click through the rest of our story for detailed write-ups on each winner.

A county IT leader may encounter any number of existential crises: Budget cuts shred the IT workforce. Wildfires literally burn half the county to the ground. A new business process dumps 80,000 new users on the system. These are the kinds of things that can break an IT shop.

The winners of the 16th Annual Digital Counties Survey, conducted by the Center for Digital Government,* have tackled these and a range of other seemingly mortal threats, and come out shining. They’ve learned to cope with the unexpected and seen their thoughtful investments bear fruit in the face of unexpected challenges.

When the going gets rough, this is how IT gets going.

Nevada County, Calif., 1st Place, up to 150,000 Population Category

In Nevada County, headcount is down 26 percent from pre-recession levels, and CIO Steve Monaghan is learning to do more with less. 

That means doing the big jobs first: Cybersecurity is critical and he’s attacked that. It also means leveraging IT assets. Investments in cloud have helped him to make the most of sparse resources. Mostly, though, Monaghan’s task as an IT leader has been to impart a sense of ownership to all involved in supporting the county’s technology needs. 

“We spend a lot of time building culture around taking an entrepreneurial approach,” he said. “We’ve done workshops, we have done a whole service-management initiative aimed at defining everything we offer, every piece of equipment we manage, so that everything has an owner within IT. Everybody knows who is responsible for what, and we ask people to be entrepreneurs over their own services. We want them to run with the ball.” 

Take for instance the network analyst in charge of the VMware farm. “His documentation is immaculate. He has a very tightly run ship. We know what we have, and as a result the service level is very high. We’ve never had an outage on that virtual farm, because he has really taken it to heart that those are his,” Monaghan said. 

Same goes for the analyst overseeing the replacement of the first-generation VPN platform. “He taps into other members to support that, but ultimately he owns that. There’s a sense of ownership that drives the project forward, which in turn leads to an enhanced, more reliable product for the customer,” Monaghan said.

How can a government IT leader spark that entrepreneurial spirit? Much of it comes down to setting expectations. “In the last six months we had a Ph.D. in organizational development come in for multiple sessions to refresh our Values and Expectations document, to do a workshop geared around what it means to take ownership,” he said. “As IT leaders, we have to build these cultural processes, something bigger than any one project. That’s the secret sauce of delivering excellent IT services.”

Click here to see all the winners in this category.

Arlington County, Va., 1st Place, 150,000-249,999 Population Category

CIO Jack Belcher doesn’t just want to be a back-end provider. He says his department’s job is to serve the public good, a mission he pursues with uncommon vigor. 

“If you make sure the network is running, that the servers are secure — well, that’s what you are expected to do,” he said. “Taking it to the next step is what distinguishes a CIO from an IT director. That next step is all about understanding your community.” 

It isn’t easy to know what the public wants or needs, or how IT can best facilitate. To meet the challenge, Belcher has gone right to the source, organizing a series of public gatherings around the theme of “Defining Arlington’s Digital Destiny.” 

“The idea is to bring together leaders from education, from the community, from government, to think about what might be possible,” Belcher said. He’s hosted events on the future of education, the nature of work, and what it means to be an intelligent community. 

These public gatherings have directly informed the IT agenda. Take for example the recently completed deployment of a countywide fiber-optic network. “These discussions transformed our vision of what to do with that asset,” he said. 

Sure, the fiber could spur development and drive economic growth — they knew that going in. But with community input, the vision evolved. “We saw that we could provide an immense value in the form of digital equity, providing people in affordable housing with free broadband access. That helps break the bonds of poverty,” Belcher said. “It took these discussions to bring that idea to the surface and make it possible.”

Community input likewise helped spur development of a mobile project-tracker app to help keep residents informed about civic undertakings. “We want to make that data available in a form where residents can easily find out what we are doing. How are we spending our money? We want to leverage the technology to provide that level of transparency.”

When the CIO seeks citizen input, there’s risk involved. What if they ask for something extravagant? What if they put something entirely unexpected on the table? Belcher said a strong relationship with county leadership gave him the confidence to open that door. “You can’t do this unless your elected officials have the confidence that you are doing the right thing. There has to be a level of mutual trust,” he said.

Click here to see all the winners in this category.

Dutchess County, N.Y., 1st Place. 250,000-499,999 Population Category

It’s not just that budgets are stagnant. It’s that, in a time of stagnant budgets, everybody still wants more. Towns want upgraded websites. Cops want cutting-edge technologies. For Glenn Marchi, commissioner of the Dutchess County Office of Central and Information Services, the challenge is to deliver on all that, without breaking the bank. 

“Shared services are key to doing that,” he said. 

This year Marchi’s team worked with public safety officials to bring online emergency 911 service, computer-aided dispatch, and new records managements systems for law enforcement and corrections. The initiative saved the police $500,000 by leveraging county IT resources, including existing hardware and multi-jurisdictional software licenses. 

Marchi has taken the same approach in beefing up the websites of half a dozen towns, police departments and fire districts. His IT professionals will design a site and host it on shared infrastructure. By leveraging these resources across multiple uses, “we can design to exactly their specifications, and we can do it at a lower cost than an outside vendor,” he said.

Towns are free to use outside vendors, and Marchi says isn’t looking to compete with local private-sector IT providers. But he adds that in many cases, the county’s shared-service approach will prove the logical economic choice. 

IT leaders looking to follow this model would do well to reach out actively to civic leaders. The Dutchess County executive hosts an annual Municipal Innovation Summit to ensure mayors and town council members know what is available to them. 

“Our county executive leads that discussion, and anytime an IT solution pops up, my job is to share how that technology can enable a business solution or solve a business problem. I’m there as the CIO for the county to share how technology can be employed to achieve our specific strategic goals,” Marchi said. 

Without such gatherings, it can be hard for a shared services initiative to pick up steam. “We have had seven newly elected town supervisors and mayors in the past year. They have no idea these services are even available,” he said. “It’s our job to tell that story.”

Click here to see all the winners in this category.

Sonoma County, Calif., 1st Place, 500,000-999,999 Population Category

When wildfires swept through Sonoma County, Calif. in the fall of 2017, Director of Information Systems John Hartwig found the IT landscape as radically transformed as the rolling hills, now scorched and scarred.

“The wildfires put a lot of things on hold. Everybody had to step back and take a new look at the situation,” he said. Geospatial systems suddenly were front and center, along with document management capabilities. Website volume blew up exponentially.

“GIS, for example, had a huge responsibility in things like tracking the fire, tracking the road closures. All that had a spatial component to it,” he said. “The volume on the websites went up at least three times from everybody trying to seek information and find resources. With document management, suddenly everybody was processing requests that would be essential to us filing for federal aid. That means we needed a lot of forms and a lot of document-capturing tools to make sure our record keeping was clean, consistent and available for future reference.”

The key to success: an early investment in virtualization. 

“We had made an advance move early on to virtual machines, where we were able to shift resources on the fly — storage, memory and processing capacity — to the applications that were most urgent,” Hartwig said. 

The county had begun roughly three years ago to virtualize its server environment: An original inventory of more than 700 servers is now about 90 percent virtualized. That infrastructure delivered the flexibility and agility needed to spin up IT capacity and balance workloads in the face of the new, unexpected demands. 

“It put us in a very good position to add to or share resources. If we have 50 applications that are critical to the response, it’s nice to be able to slide resources over to those applications,” Hartwig said. “I don’t think we could have had all these services up and running if we were still on dedicated equipment.”

Click here to see all the winners in this category.

Montgomery County, Md., 1st Place, 1,000,000 or More Population Category

In Montgomery County, Md., the county runs the booze business. Last year that became IT’s problem, and it triggered a renewed focus on cybersecurity.

“The liquor system needed automated support for warehousing, distribution and point of sale. So it was decided that we would incorporate that into our relatively new Oracle ERP system,” said CIO Sonny Segal. That meant a sudden leap in the user base. “We are up to almost 100,000 external identities in addition to the 20,000 county identities.”

Segal already had a watchful eye on cyberissues, but with the massive influx of non-county users on the system, security became the focus of renewed attention. The IT team put new mechanisms in place to guard against spam and phishing attacks. They also tightened end-point management, effectively cutting enterprise vulnerabilities in half.

“We have taken a very aggressive stance on eliminating endpoint vulnerabilities through continual scanning and remediation,” Segal said. “We are not shy about taking end points offline and pursuing replacement and reimaging on a very aggressive schedule. Those things have paid off in the form of greatly reduced risk.”

Segal upped the security game by implementing tighter controls around IT devices, ensuring that all devices that touch county systems are registered for IT security oversight. He also uses dashboards and other reporting mechanisms to hold individuals and departments more publicly liable for their role in supporting the cybereffort.

“We have implemented risk-based dashboards that include the number of people who didn’t take cybertraining, the number of security instances that can be assigned to specific business units,” he said. “That all connects to our dedication to managing by measurement. Our chief administrative officer has each of the department heads accountable in public sessions for measurements in their business areas. Now security is one of those measured scorecards, and as result we have seen significant improvements in risk reduction.”

Click here to see all the winners in this category, and click through the rest of our story for detailed write-ups on each winner.

*The Center for Digital Government is part of e.Republic, Government Technology’s parent company.

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Up to 150,000 Population Category

Click points on the map above to learn more about each winner. Red indicates 1st place winners, yellow indicates 2nd place winners, green indicates 3rd place winners, and blue indicates winners that placed 4th through 10th.

1st Nevada County, Calif.

One of 10 Sierra Nevada agencies that were ground zero to the state’s formative Gold Rush, Nevada County, Calif., built on IT accomplishments to reclaim the No. 1 spot in the smallest population category for the second time in three years. Guided by a supportive Board of Supervisors that has set clear technology investment policy, a strategic plan focused on service and an enterprise technology reserve fund, the county of nearly 100,000 has expanded and refreshed online and tech offerings.

County supervisors prioritized innovation in their 2018 value statements, forming an innovation team led by the chief information officer. The county also held a Citizen’s Academy to educate residents on their government. It launched a new regional law enforcement activity map last month, and has created a new public communications position aimed at identifying ways to improve information pushed out to the public through social media and the Internet. The agency is in early stages on an enterprise-level contract management system and has implemented a new in-vehicle video system that fosters collaboration between its district attorney and sheriff’s office.

Nevada County's CivicPlus-powered public website went live in August 2017 with responsive design that eliminated the need for a separate mobile site. The MyNeighborhood app on the website offers parcel, land and property data with new layers documenting marijuana ordinance and roadway information; and the county’s Open Data Portal offers residents a better way to search 18 layers of GIS data. AskNevadaCounty, another app accessible through the website, uses Accela’s customer relationship management (CRM) system to sort questions in eight categories, submit service requests and get answers from six city departments. Plus, new kiosks facilitate residents’ access to probation, sheriff’s and building departments, enabling functions including probationer self-service and building plan submission.

2nd Albemarle County, Va.

Although it slipped from first to second place this year, Albemarle County, Va., (population 108,000) continues its success in transparency and efficiency for citizens. The county uses GIS-enabled apps to let the public view open building permits and important county records like building applications and parcel activity. Residents are also encouraged to give feedback on the county budget and stay up to date with e-newsletters, email and community meetings. The county Board of Supervisors authorized the establishment of a broadband authority to meet the area's growing Internet needs, and the authority has gotten a $430,000 grant to expand broadband and improve wireless coverage for first responders in rural Albemarle.

Albemarle considers cybersecurity an important concern. The county partners with the University of Virginia and the city of Charlottesville to discuss cybersecurity issues, and meets with other universities, school districts and localities statewide to publish the Cybersecurity Partnership for Virginia Cities and Counties report (funded by the National Science Foundation).

This region shares just one emergency communications center, and this year, the county successfully rolled out two records management systems for four public safety agencies to replace incompatible legacy systems. IT teams partnered to launch New World Systems for the police department and Image Trends for fire and rescue, as well as computer-aided dispatch system updates.

3rd Allegan County, Mich.

Third place is a familiar ranking for Allegan County, Mich., which finished in the same spot for counties of up to 150,000 residents last year. Despite this success, county leadership notes, however, that within its ongoing vision it needs to be “continuing to evaluate the technology itself to find efficiencies that will ultimately help offset increasing costs.” If there’s a simpler way to sum up the heart of gov tech efforts, we haven’t heard it. It all speaks to Allegan’s practicality. This is an efficient county that is, for example, prolonging the life of its PCs and laptops by using virtual desktops, thereby still enabling quick and responsive computing. Allegan has also redirected money saved there to cybersecurity.

Meanwhile, the county continues to use analytics and look at trends to tailor its website to customer needs, also using data to build new online services and improve upon existing ones. Data is also helping the county with law enforcement and emergency services deployment, for which it is using GIS and computer-aided dispatch mapping to enhance preparedness, noting emergency management events “rely on data sharing, real-time mapping and data system integrations.” This is especially important with an aging nuclear power plant nearby. The county is also engaged in smaller improvements such as replacing its online court calendar system and deploying digital signage that displays docket information in its courthouse lobby. It’s also improving its online veteran services site and its parks reservation system. Moving forward, digital inclusion is also a priority. The past two years, the county has worked with the Connect Michigan Public Services Commission to complete a broadband assessment. That info is now being used by local city leaders to guide projects aimed at increasing broadband access within their communities.

4th Mono County, Calif.

Mono County, Calif., is home to 13,981 residents, and while it may be small in terms of its population, it has big plans for the future. Mono County, which tied for fourth place in its population category, is currently working with the California Department of Transportation to explore using the Highway 395 corridor and the fiber-optic network that runs alongside it as a testing site for smart transportation technologies. The county is envisioning using Highway 395 as a testbed for autonomous vehicles and other emerging technologies, given its two-hour proximity to Tesla’s Gigafactory in Reno, Nev.

In addition to its smart transportation aspirations, Mono County has several Web initiatives as well. The Transparent Mono County website portal is expected to roll out this month and consolidate its open and transparent applications into one location, which will also feature the capabilities to allow users to retrieve information in three clicks or fewer. The county’s website also has an area for contractors and vendors to bid on its projects using a platform where they can enter their business profile, respond to open RFPs and receive notification of new projects.

4th Montgomery County, Va.

Montgomery County, Va., population 98,509, managed to hold onto its fourth-place spot for a third year in a row, this year tying with Mono County, Calif. The county continued its focus on cybersecurity with the completion of two cybersecurity assessments, one by the Virginia National Guard’s Data Processing Unit and the other with a private entity. Recommendations from those assessments will be implemented in a three-phase cybersecurity plan, the first phase of which has already been completed. The county also this year hired a full-time network engineer/security analyst to oversee software and system patches and address vulnerability concerns.

The county has opened a couple of new buildings, including a state-of-the-art dispatching facility for the newly established New River Valley Emergency Communications Regional Authority (911 Authority). The 911 Authority centralizes dispatch functions for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia Tech Police Department, and the police departments for the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg. The Authority has plans to implement next-generation 911 capabilities, including text messaging, into its dispatch services in the future. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office also got 30,000 square feet of office space in a new Public Safety Building, and the Animal Care and Adoption Center opened its new facility to the public in April 2017. Animal adoptions have increased thanks to the improved environment in the new facility, as well as the implementation of a cloud-based animal care management site and a pet finder site. The county’s dedication to social media paid off last summer during a dog food supply shortage — a “code red” Facebook post saw 1,500 pounds of food donated within two days. A second "code red" for kitten food a month later reached nearly 17,000 people and was so effective that some area stores were sold out.

5th Napa County, Calif.

Napa County has been through a lot in the past six months. Its population of 142,456 went through a month-long wildfire in October, where devastation eventually spread across multiple Northern California counties. Staying in fifth place for the second year, Napa County is working toward a citizen-centric approach for IT with constituent safety at the forefront. With the wildfire came shocking realizations about weaknesses in emergency operations. The Emergency Operations Center purchased additional GIS technology to gain more knowledge on pertinent geographical data. IT is also working with Health and Human Services to create a data warehouse to connect data analytics capabilities to different programs in Napa. The existing 911 system will also eventually be replaced, extending service to American Canyon and Yountville in the process. During the fire when people weren’t being notified of what was going on, officials knew change was needed. IT is in the process of purchasing InformaCast, a notification system, to provide enhanced staff notification during emergency events. Currently in place is a NIXLE channel used to communicate emergency alerts, recovery information and act as a key source for community messaging and connectivity. NIXLE is also used to send text alerts on road closures, evacuation orders, shelter information and recovery details.

And despite the focus on getting better prepared for emergencies, traditional IT also got some upgrades. The county website was redesigned and moved to a modern content management system, creating more efficient access to GIS data. Throughout the year, IT leadership will continue beefing up security practices to better safeguard county data, regardless of its location.

5th Roanoke County, Va.

Roanoke County, Va., retained its fifth-place spot this year, continuing to build on its impressive array of open data and citizen engagement efforts with a new app that provides its 93,655 residents with information about the new federal Mountain Valley Pipeline that will run through the county. Through the Mountain Valley Pipeline Viewer application, residents can use an interactive map to view layers of information about the project, including various routes, mile-post markers, workspace areas and tax parcels.

Roanoke County gathered some of the information for the Pipeline Viewer app through the efforts of its newly formed Drone Team, which did a flyover of the project site to map the area. Created under the auspices of the county Fire and Rescue Department in order to help evaluate fire areas and find lost hikers, the Drone Team has quickly proven that it has many more potential applications than were originally envisioned for it. The county is planning on using the team to conduct inspections and create orthomosaics, 3-D meshes and more that will assist in future projects.

The security breach that affected the city of Atlanta at the beginning of 2018 was enough of a wake-up call for Roanoke County to decide that it needed to take a serious look at its own cybersecurity posture. While the county received a good score on a vulnerability assessment conducted by the Virginia National Guard, just above a four on a five-point scale, it discovered that it needed to improve its security training for employees and is already making plans to do so.

6th Franklin County, Va.

In Franklin County, Va., supporting residents and government operations has most notably centered on public safety. These efforts include ongoing improvements to the fire and rescue radio system, and a 911 dispatch fail-over plan with neighboring Patrick County. Additionally Franklin County is leveraging mapping and data to assess response times and make improvements to how public safety crews are deployed. Mapping critical infrastructure, like gas lines, has also been an ongoing effort to keep the county’s 56,000 residents and public safety teams safe during emergency situations.

When it comes to Internet connectivity, Franklin County is taking a proactive approach to broadband through public-private partnerships. The county is currently assessing where technology and service is most lacking and using that information to prompt conversations with service providers about how to fill gaps and design an inclusive coverage plan.

Cybersecurity continues to be a work in progress in the county. Awareness training and cybersecurity insurance are part of the plan, but the county’s detailed strategy continues to evolve as its needs are identified and change. Like many other counties, Franklin is not doing this work unhampered. The state continues to add requirements while funding recedes, and changes to the tax base have prompted discussions about where to go next. A rapidly aging population is compounding the issue of revenue and taxable income. In spite of these challenges, the county is looking to redevelop a business park to move the needle and create more opportunity for tax revenue to make its way into county coffers.

6th York County, Va.

For a county in the smallest population category, York County, Va., has a surprising number of leading technology efforts underway. Many endeavors underline a strategy of upgrading and streamlining systems to operate as efficiently as possible. Examples include consolidating data centers and a new financial management system. York County’s commitment to transparency is demonstrated by a public portal now in development that will offer timely financial information, including tax and real-estate data, on a public dashboard. Engagement tools in regular use include online surveys, a resident notification service, video streaming and an active Facebook presence that has increased its followers by more than 200 percent over the past year and a half. When it comes to public safety, the county sheriff’s department is using drone technology to enhance crime-fighting efforts and lobbying to allow the use of drone-captured data in judicial proceedings. High marks also go to York County for its cybersecurity practices, which it has built upon significantly in recent months. An additional layer of intrusion detection now safeguards police bodycam video on its way to the cloud, as well as the county’s open Wi-Fi network. In-depth traffic analysis helps keep tabs on user activity and ongoing awareness training is continually enhanced to meet evolving threats.

7th Skagit County, Wash.

Located north of Seattle, Skagit County, Wash., faces a host of issues despite the state’s overall healthy economy. Technology is expected to play a key role in improving the county’s public health concerns, for example, with the deployment of a software tool that will evaluate the effectiveness of county health initiatives. New mapping and analytics software will also help the county prevent drug overdoses and deaths. Skagit is mounting a major community engagement initiative that will make meetings more productive and draw in underrepresented groups, and technology will make the county’s engagement more interactive. For example, the government expects to have an online survey tool that will allow commissioners to see how well they are engaging the community, and how they can improve engagement and measure feedback around such issues as new infrastructure for ferry service. The county has also modernized service operations with the Information Technology Infrastructure Library service models, and is the first county to implement a “one-stop” property search that integrates data from separate internal systems to provide a common view of information on its public website.

8th Summit County, Utah

With a population of just under 40,000, Summit County comes in eighth place in its population category for its work in public safety and emergency preparedness, among other initiatives. In reviewing its disaster recovery plan in 2016, the county found they it did have not the computer power to set up a hot site during a disaster. The county purchased the necessary equipment and installed it in late 2017. It included three Dell R630 servers running VMware VSphere 6.5 and a Dell Compellent SC4020 Storage Array with 30 TB of usable disk space. This was a small build, but major for a smaller county and significant, as the county can now run all its applications and storage on it if the main systems were to go down. The setup is a mirror image to the current one and can be flipped and installed in a few hours.

One of Summit County Council’s top strategic goals is to improve the transportation system by reducing traffic congestion. The Bike Share mobile app was a pilot started in 2017 in the hopes of reducing traffic in the summer. It allows residents to register by website or smartphone and pay for rentals, and the “electric bike share” was a huge success. The public signs up easily via smartphone and the website provides statistics on the usage of bikes.

9th Chatham County, N.C.

Chatham County, N.C., is a newcomer to the rankings, finishing 9th  for jurisdictions in its population category. Located in the Piedmont area of the state, just west of Raleigh, Chatham County adopted a new comprehensive plan in late 2017. The county notes that “until that plan was adopted the efforts of Chatham County tech efforts have been pretty traditional.” In the months since it has been put in place, however, the tech team has been rebranded "Chatham IT" and now includes representatives from all county agencies that service other departments. This helps to align tech efforts with ongoing work to improve the overall county government while also continuing traditional IT support. Technologists in Chatham have worked hard to make themselves more visible so that their work is included in all ideas and vendor efforts.

In terms of public-facing work, the comprehensive plan has been published online in its entirety to foster transparency and accountability. While discussions have been had around providing more open data, work has not progressed past the discussion phase. The county website, however, is being reworked with a citizen-centric vision that has already led to the additions of a permitting portal and e-notices. Chatham is also working to collaborate with local municipalities to help bring broadband to unserved and underserved areas, with one specific effort taking the form of grant applications for funding. Throughout the survey, however, what is perhaps most striking about Chatham is its potential for the future. Tech and innovation work at the moment is a bit modest, but with the comprehensive plan now in place, a commitment is being made to incorporating it into more efforts moving forward.

10th Gloucester County, Va.

A sparsely populated coastal region, Gloucester County, Va., cites developing wireless broadband throughout the area as one of its top priorities, an effort that recently resulted in a new public-private agreement with Cox Communications. And in January 2018, broadband was made available for 96 residential and 20 commercial properties in the northern half of the small county, home to a total of fewer than 37,000 citizens.

County meetings are streamed live to residents via the Granicus platform, while other avenues to encourage citizen engagement include text-to-voice Readspeaker via the county website, which also makes more information around budgets and compensation available. In additional engagement efforts, Gloucester County is active on social media, communicating with constituents on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. This year the county also updated its website, streamlining services to citizens and making content ADA compliant.

Gloucester County is in the process of syncing currently siloed databases and systems, an effort that could lead to the development of dashboards, data-consolidation and error-proofing. They are also working toward implementing a central ERP system to create efficiencies across the agency. In the interest of creating strong cybersecurity with a small footprint, the county has moved several key applications to software-as-a-service and other hosted environments.

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150,000-249,999 Population Category

Click points on the map above to learn more about each winner. Red indicates 1st place winners, yellow indicates 2nd place winners, green indicates 3rd place winners, and blue indicates winners that placed 4th through 10th.

1st Arlington County, Va.

Arlington County is a first-place digital county for the third year running. Of note among an impressive array of comprehensive initiatives are the county’s engagement efforts, where they continually demonstrate a commitment to service delivery that aligns with citizen priorities. To standardize on their own proven strategies, the county has published a six-step public engagement guide outlining a process for capital projects guided by principles including inclusion and mutual respect, timely and accessible communication, transparency, and accountability. The county is also making strides on open data, with an advisory group weighing in on efforts like an inventory of countywide data, identifying data-sharing opportunities, establishing governance policies and partnering with local universities to extend analytics capabilities. New online tools include an internally developed library app that offers users geolocation, bar code scanning, notifications, meeting room booking and catalog search features.

Collaborative endeavors include serving as host to the first regional government chief information officer summit to facilitate coordination between local jurisdictions on technology and innovation-related issues. Along those same lines, the county is looking into a partnership with area public schools to share network and telephone systems to make operations more efficient. When it comes to cybersecurity, Arlington County has added many new and upgraded tools to its arsenal to guard against phishing emails, ransomware and malware, as well as other threats to the network. A “quick-step” button gives staff a simple way of passing suspicious emails along to IT staff as attachments. To fortify its disaster recovery posture, the county is transitioning from its two county-based data centers to an “active-active” data center setup off-premise in colocation facilities.

2nd Charles County, Md.

Advancing into second place since last year, Charles County has a long-running history with the Digital Counties survey — and 2018 is no different. The county’s ability to build upon its citizen-centric focus plays a large part in its success. Transparency between the locality and constituents is key — and making strides to connect broadband in rural communities is a big piece of the effort. Charles County has been working with cable TV franchises as well as private Internet service providers (ISPs) to help extend connectivity to rural areas.

Expansive online initiatives also help get citizens involved. The county website provides easily navigable resources, including a transparency page to view county budget information, audit reports, and salary data at any time and an interactive checkbook. The GetConnected program also became a mobile-friendly tool that helps connect residents and most of the county’s social media links, all on one page. Internally, the county’s Institutional Network (INet) connects over 120 anchor sites and city departments.

Strengthening cybersecurity efforts continues to be an area of focus for Charles County IT. The Cybersecurity Awareness Training program provides a curriculum for and assessment of full-time and part-time employees in best cybersecurity practices. As mentioned last year, the county chose to retain its cybersecurity insurance to guard against breaches. Taking it one step further, the county will test its own network by undergoing a Comprehensive Risk Assessment.

3rd Cabarrus County, N.C.

Though investing heavily in education and school construction, Cabarrus County, N.C., has continued to support and fund technology initiatives to automate and consolidate services, create shared services, and increase collaboration between departments and jurisdictions. The county partnered with SeamlessGov to transform the way citizens interact with the government and complete a mobile-friendly website redesign with user-optimized content. The new site offers an intuitive and consistent user experience that modernizes citizen/staff interactions. The site provides an integrated live chat feature with a chatbot that offers articles from a new help portal. And if the article doesn’t meet the citizen’s needs, they are connected to an integrated help desk contact form.

The county’s Open Data platform, using Esri ArcGIS online subscriptions, was redesigned for mobile access to provide county data; support local, regional and national collaboration; and provide self-service access to residents, businesses, municipalities, researchers and economic developers. The county also boasts new informational video vignettes to engage and inform citizens about government activities, services and events.

4th Boone County, Mo.

Boone County, Mo., home of the University of Missouri, rose from 10th place in its category in 2017 to fourth place in this year’s survey. Located in the literal heart of the state about midway between Kansas City, Mo., and St. Louis, Mo., Boone County is just a short drive north of the state’s capital. The jurisdiction’s most significant accomplishment in the past 12 months was perhaps the ongoing redesign of its website, more than half of which is now live and available to the public. Like many jurisdictions, Boone is using this redesign to make its overall Web presence more user-friendly, complete with enhanced access to services and data. To that end, the redesign is being guided by citizen-centric research, which has already led to new features such as embedded social media feeds, mobile-friendly functionality, and consolidated menus. Work on the website will continue moving forward in phases.

In terms of internal improvements, much has been done for emergency responsiveness. Last year, the city and county 911 services were consolidated, and they have now moved into a new centralized crisis management hub. Responders and adjacent personnel have also transitioned to new software and a new database that make it easier to share information and do things in the field such as record road closures with a mobile device for subsequent upload to public-facing platforms. Hiring processes have also become more efficient throughout the county, with many moving from paperwork to a digital portal. Although much of the work in Boone is practical, there is innovation underway as well. One such project includes a collaborative effort between Boone County IT, the University of Chicago and the Corporation for Supportive Housing to develop a data aggregation tool to identify citizens in need of homelessness assistance or other services.

5th Davidson County, N.C.

Davidson County, located adjacent to Winston-Salem, N.C., has been a leader in performance-based budgeting for more than 15 years. By focusing on outcomes and evaluating programs by measuring the relationship between resources and results, the county has saved over $29 million during that time period. A key driver in performance budgeting has been technology. For example, Davidson has invested in document management software for its human resources department that has eliminated inefficient paper management while freeing up valuable space once occupied by filing cabinets.

The county also attributes its open, transparent government policies and practices to the success of performance-based budgeting. Examples include live streaming of all commissioner board meetings and a public-facing budget and financial dashboard that shows citizens how and where county funds are being used. To bolster its IT security needs, the county has been carrying cyberinsurance for the past six years. This is in addition to several comprehensive cybersecurity measures taken by the county to protect its information assets.

5th Pitt County

When it comes to providing improved health care for citizens, Pitt County, N.C., which serves 175,842 residents and ranked fifth in the 150,000-249,000 population category, took on two health-care-related initiatives.

In a public-private partnership, Pitt County teamed up with Vidant Health to leverage the company’s investment in electronic health records. In 2017, the county finalized an agreement with Vidant to service resident needs by using the company's hosted electronic health record system. The county found it provided a better health outcome for residents while keeping a lid on costs. PulsePoint, which launched earlier this year, is a public-facing mobile app that lets CPR-trained residents volunteer as first responders in emergencies by connecting to Pitt County’s 911 data system. This app, along with the Vidant partnership, aids the county in its three-year Technology Strategic Plan, which aligns technology initiatives with the county’s mission and goals.

Other initiatives from Pitt County include the addition of a location-based open data platform from Esri, which features frequently-requested information in user-friendly formats. Self-service tools allow citizens to filter, sort and export many types of data, including planning and permitting, land records, education and parks and recreation. The tool is a vastly improved resource compared to the previous county data portal. In addition, a new complaint tracking tool for environmental health allows staff to better monitor conditions and predict future outbreaks.

6th Delaware County, Ohio

Delaware County has taken a number of steps to better communicate and engage with constituents. A farming community north of Columbus, Delaware County is also the fastest-growing county in the state, making improved opportunities to connect with residents all the more essential. Some of these improvements include rebranded visuals such as the county website, which was relaunched in April 2018 after a seven-month overhaul. Public meetings are live-streamed via YouTube, which allows for viewing on mobile devices. The county has also turned to Survey Monkey as well as social media platforms for feedback from residents related to county infrastructure needs.

In June 2018, the county plans to have launched its Text 911 service, which allows the public to send text messages to the Emergency Communications Dispatch Center. And in the Clerk of Court office, court documents can now be e-filed, and search capabilities are now available for attorneys and the public.

Meanwhile, the Delaware County Auditor is now using remotely sensed infrared imagery technology to detect crop types, total acreage and other information. The county is also putting drone technology to work, using UAV imaging tools to inform status updates for the public on various county projects. Other notable efforts include tangible steps toward reducing paper use, and tablet computers issued to county assessors to encourage increased productivity in the field.

7th Union County, N.C.

In Union County, N.C., technology is not about the shiniest new tools or throwing money at problems — it’s about meeting the needs of the more than 222,740 residents and county staff. With a dedicated IT team of just 14, the county has been able to meet the demands of a rapidly changing environment while investing in areas that will serve as the foundation for future innovations. One such example is efforts to implement data standards to ensure that digital records are not only secure, but accessible for future users. In a similar vein, IT staff are evaluating outdated legacy systems for retirement and pushing to digitize physical documents. County staff are also working to create an interdepartmental form and file structure for the planning, inspection, tax and registrar departments. This will improve efficiencies and simplify home purchase paperwork across the four departments.

When it comes to cybersecurity and resilience, Union County makes a valiant effort to defend its IT infrastructure — even in the face of harsh and sometimes dangerous weather. In addition to having a full-time cybersecurity professional dedicated to securing tech assets, an off-site location protects county data from the likes of hurricanes, tornadoes, severe winter weather and even earthquakes. Data is backed up nightly and checked to ensure it is intact and uncorrupted. Plans are in the works to relocate the backup center.

8th Onslow County, N.C.

Onslow County has appeared on lists of the places in the U.S. where opioid abuse is at its worst, and in response its leaders directed IT to help set up a detox center in cooperation with a group of public and private organizations. The department has helped establish the necessary IT infrastructure to run the center when it opens later this year.

The county has committed to opening its GIS data and has published some very utilitarian data sets online, such as permits, health inspections, flood ratings and video of county commission meetings. It’s on its way to a more general approach to open data beyond the geospatial offerings.

In an effort to drive innovation, the county has set up an idea incubator meant to act like an internal startup where employees can put forward creative suggestions. That atmosphere of support for thoughtfulness extends to IT’s methods for staff retention and growth; it prides itself on listening to employees’ ideas and treating mistakes as “paths to growth.” It is also working on setting up an academy where employees can hone leadership and management skills.

Going forward, performance measurement and management will be a big area of emphasis for Onslow County. It is planning to convene a committee that will work on aligning performance metrics with goals. The IT staff will support that effort by using cloud-based business intelligence software and setting up internal and external performance dashboards.

9th Paulding County, Ga.

Paulding County, Ga., which has nearly doubled in population since 2000, earned ninth place in its size category for an emphasis on connecting more than 152,000 residents to services around the clock, expanding its level of cybersecurity training to staff, and updating its existing Internet presence. Officials in the suburban county outside Atlanta already reach citizens via virtual town halls, live-streaming board meetings, and on social media, including via their Facebook site and YouTube channel. Residents can make service requests, register for programs, pay fees, and research voting, land and parcel data via the county website.

But officials are enhancing the city website to aggregate social media connections and include a blog from the chairman. The new site is expected to go live later this year. During the next 12 to 18 months, officials will also improve their expense transparency with the deployment of an Open Checkbook application; and make additional use of voice messaging apps. Also on the way in the next two years are self-service kiosks for citizens and expanded use of digital signage.

The county maintains 12 miles of fiber-optic cable underground and its fiber plant connects to a Tier 1 provider, but future plans are to use special tax monies to connect the plant to a second Tier 1 provider for redundancy. The agency backs up its data nightly, and maintains disaster recovery and continuity plans, but has hired an outside cybersecurity firm to assess staff — and has noticed improvement as a result. Additionally officials have secured their firewalls, and have conducted annual penetration testing.

10th Jackson County, Mich.

A shift in IT leadership this spring means Jackson County, Mich., is in a bit of transitional period, but it has big plans for using technology to help move the county forward. IT’s goals are aligned well with the county’s strategic plan, with particular emphasis on economic development, safe and healthy communities, and government efficiency. The agency is focused on making as many citizen services available online as possible to avoid any unnecessary trips to county offices. Going forward, plans include continuing to update online offerings, developing their GIS division, and implementing mobile apps and Google Home capabilities.

Strengthening the county’s cybersecurity posture tops the IT department’s list of priorities, and staff members are looking into cyberinsurance, as well as ransomware prevention tools, security-as-a-service and data encryption enforcement. Jackson County is also working on its disaster recovery plan, identifying what operations would be mission-critical in the event of a major outage and actively using GIS to determine points of need in its infrastructure and network. On the public safety front, the county has plans to implement next-gen 911 and video surveillance in the near future, along with some use of drones.

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250,000-499,999 Population Category

Click points on the map above to learn more about each winner. Red indicates 1st place winners, yellow indicates 2nd place winners, green indicates 3rd place winners, and blue indicates winners that placed 4th through 10th.

1st Dutchess County, N.Y.

Dutchess County, N.Y., claimed the top spot in its population category this year by putting significant emphasis on connecting with residents and finding new ways to innovate and create efficiencies countywide. The county’s Office of Central and Information Services (OCIS) lists citizen engagement as its No. 1 priority, an effort clearly evident in its robust social media presence to communicate and maintain transparency with residents. Expansion of online services, including GIS, electronic payments and more, has created $15 million in annual savings for the public. Further, OCIS is working on redesigning its online presence with a focus on mobile-first and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as industry standard best practices for county Web applications, including headlines that can be read by Amazon Echo devices. Citizen-centric plans for the next one to two years also include texting, Google Home capabilities, chatbots and more.

Shared services are key to OCIS’ work and include the appointment of a county shared services coordinator and 32 shared services available for cities. The county also offers a $1 million annual grant program to incentivize cities to use more shared services. Along these lines, one of Dutchess County’s big projects for 2018 is to upgrade its Emergency Public Safety Program, including 911 computer-aided dispatch among other public safety technologies. The county has announced an agreement to partner with the city of Poughkeepsie Police on these upgrades, which has already saved the town $500,000 before the system even goes live later this year.

To strengthen its workforce, OCIS is expanding business partnerships with area colleges to recruit diverse tech talent and foster an inclusive environment. The agency has also invested heavily in cybersecurity training for county staff, and has made investments in cyberinsurance, as well as ransomware prevention and response to bolster its security enterprisewide.

2nd Chesterfield County, Va.

Chesterfield County recently updated its open data policy and created an enterprise data governance strategy, a backdrop on which it can encourage more information sharing between departments.

The county has worked with regional partners on several projects, including a cross-jurisdictional cybersecurity partnership, creating a website to promote education and awareness about opioids in the area, participating in a health and human services-related platform to share data and help cut down on duplicate entry, and police department teamwork on mapping crime.

Chesterfield IT has invested real resources into establishing a culture of creativity and relationships, setting up the technology infrastructure to allow telecommuting, which 65 percent of its staff takes advantage of for parts of each week. The department also uses a competency tool to identify specific areas where staff could use training or career development, and then recognizes and rewards them for pursuing that new knowledge. There’s also a mentorship program that pairs up employees with leaders. Since 2013, the vacancy rate has dropped from 18 percent to 7 percent.

The teleworking option, along with the county’s heavy use of the cloud for email, file storage and other applications, is also central to its plans to keep working in case of emergency.

The county’s budget for the next fiscal year includes a $1 million increase to support innovation and enterprise initiatives. Among the work it’s taking on: Setting up a cloud-based enterprise business intelligence platform, setting up big data analytics for police and fire department sensors and identifying commonly-FOIA’d information so it can be published on the county’s open data platform.

3rd Frederick County, Md.

Frederick County, Md., which ranked third among agencies with 150,000-249,999 residents in the 2016 Digital Counties Survey, leveraged agency collaborations, citizen engagement, key new tools and population growth to earn third place this year in the 250,000-499,999 population category. Its IT organization leads an IT Technology Council to further interagency collaboration between county and municipal public safety, library and education agencies. The Livable Frederick Master Plan offers a collaboration framework for other agencies, the private sector and community groups. In the next year, county emergency management will link its computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system to adjoining counties to reduce dispatch times.

The county executive has made citizen engagement a priority; the agency surveyed residents in support of the agency’s budget and streams budget presentations and town halls, addressing comments in real time via Facebook Live. It also held an online chat with parks and recreation and reaches residents through many social media platforms. The county, which now serves more than 252,000 residents, reaches them via a responsively-designed website; online apps that use mapping to enable the reporting and tracking of road conditions and issues; and a Notify Me app that offers text or email notification on specific issues, job and bid postings and emergency alerts. The county is seeking a consultant to identify key performance indicators that could be displayed in public-facing dashboards.

The county’s IT organization is using a project portfolio management tool to prioritize and assign staff to key projects. It recently deployed a security incident event management tool using artificial intelligence and machine learning to scrutinize real-time information for potential security issues, and stood up a new Cyber Security Operations Center offering real-time assessment and analysis. Going forward, security officials plan to procure penetration testing tools and mount a phishing awareness campaign.

4th Douglas County, Colo.

After finishing first in last year’s 250,000-499,999 population category, Douglas County, Colo., has dropped to fourth in the current survey, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t progress being made there. In fact, the jurisdiction has a pretty long list of new tech and innovation projects that have gone live or into development this year, including an Ask Douglas County skill for Amazon’s Alexa, a multitude of new GIS apps for both internal and public use, an elaborate expansion of its existing open data portal, a new GeoHub with a wide breadth of layered maps, integrated Waze data to help new transportation projects, and more. As Douglas County notes, its population is tech savvy, and 90 percent of constituents have high-speed Internet connections at home, which has led to a situation where citizen demands require that the jurisdiction’s tech and innovation work keep pace. This is varied work, ranging from publication of financial data dating back five years to expanding the range and speed of Wi-Fi available at the Douglas County Fair.

Internally Douglas continues to do important work in the area of cybersecurity, faced as all jurisdictions are by an ever-evolving set of more complex threats. To this end, Douglas County is using new security technologies, extensive security awareness training for its IT staff and improved cyberincident response plans. As many jurisdictions have, the county has also moved to using DocuSign, which enables electronic signatures that lead to more efficient internal workflows, as well as new e-procurement systems. In terms of the future, innovation work continues. Douglas County is, for example, working to grow its GeoHub into its primary open data site by 2019. Drone usage also continues to expand, with new uses for that tech including for search and rescue and weed control.

5th Durham County, N.C.

Durham County, N.C. — population 312,000 — has jumped from its previous 10th place to fifth place this year in the Digital Counties Survey. The county’s strategic plan focuses on five goals: Community and Family, Health, Secure Community, Environment and Visionary Government. The Computers 4 Kids program is part of the Information Services and Technology department’s commitment to Community and Family. The program refurbishes computers and partners with local organizations to redistribute the computers to area nonprofits, Durham Public Schools and North Carolina Central University.

New apps from Durham County indicate its extensive efforts to meet citizen needs. The county Department of Social Services launched a mobile app to let citizens submit documents for Food and Nutrition Services, Medicaid, Work First (employment services) benefits or Crisis Services applications. The goal is to help people avoid multiple in-person trips to county offices.

A joint city-county portal and app,