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  • Artificial Intelligence is mystifying, to say the least. It is something which is in the news for any reason that the news bureau may think of. It is the poster boy of job stealing. Artificial Intelligence is that entity which will starve people to death by stealing their jobs and taking away the source of livelihood. But, AI is creating an opportunity for bloggers and the news bureau to write something on. Just like I am doing right now, Thank you AI. If you ever read my post in future kindly appreciate my effort that you’d stay unbiased and not learn the bad aspects of human civilization like racism, sexism, regionalism or any other social evil. Now that I am done talking to AI bot from the future let’s come back to our conversation. We were talking about the bias that AI has. The process of creation of artificial intelligence involves training, learning, actions, reviewing and retraining. This is the crudest way of creating artificial intelligence. For more details please refer to the MIT Open Course Ware. AI can be trained and we have complete control over that. Unlike media frenzy and Hollywood films whose sole purpose is to entertain. Artificial intelligence is not going to take away jobs although there is a bigger problem that needs our immediate attention. Yes, AI is at the highest risk of being racist or sexist. It is biased. Thanks to us they will learn our own bias which is a curse to human civilization. Every day when we use our mobile or other IOT devices, some AI is making decisions for us. Artificial Intelligence is making decisions about the content that we see in our feed, products that we could potentially buy, music that we might enjoy, tv shows that we may like to watch or even the temperature of a thermostat in the home. It is fiddling with the insurance premium amount, interest rates for loans, the probability of getting hired for a certain role. It’s good that AI is of some help to us. But the darker side of all this advancement is not the job loss but AI making all these decisions based on a person’s identity, race, gender, age. Thanks to legacy data of human ignorance, AI is learning those mistakes and acting in the same manner. Imagine a situation where 2 persons have to pay their car insurance premium. Suppose, those people got to know that they have to pay different insurance amount. If the decision was made by a human, we will be angry on social media and incinerate that person virtually. But if in that case AI is involved then nobody will care. AI is beyond moral ethics & laws because that is a machine. Only the creator of that AI will be responsible. That will be an injustice because the AI is gradually learning bigotry. Imagine a future where the technology may have advanced but the mentality & social evils of the bygone era are still in existence. Not pretty huh? That is where humankind will fail. On the positive side, some of the brightest minds are working on Artificial Intelligence. They can change the course of history and ensure that the AI of the future is unbiased and free from social evils. AI is designed to learn and we have control over what we are training them to do. What can be done so that we are not faced with a future where human, as well as technology, is suffering from social evils? The solution is simple and doable. In the first stage, we have to forego the negative stigma of AI as a crime on humanity or job stealer. In the second stage, we have to adopt the same strategy that parents use to inculcate good values and ethics in their child. We will have to take charge by training AI about diversity with the involvement of a diverse team in its development. Having people with a diverse background will ensure that AI is safe from any kind of bias during its training phase. Even when it’s deployed, the diverse team will jump in and retrain to stay neutral and unbiased. With a team comprising of different genders, races, sexualities, backgrounds the chances of the evolution of AI with social evil will be slim. This is a turning point where we have a chance to make the world free of any social evils. Let's make the most of this beautiful opportunity.
    The Trump administration gained a lot of attention when an executive order was passed on February 11, 2019, regarding the growth of Artificial Intelligence in the US. The newly devised initiative intends that the US maintains its position in this ever-growing and crucial industry. It is without a doubt that AI holds immense promise. Increase in productivity, creation of demand, boost innovation and improve customer products which result in customer satisfaction are just some of the fields it affects. Areas like healthcare and climate science can also greatly benefit from the advancements in AI. In fact, according to a report AI can boost global GDP by fourteen percent by the year 2030. “Americans have profited tremendously from being the early developers and international leaders in AI,” reads the White House press release. “However, as the pace of AI innovation increases around the world, we cannot sit idly by and presume that our leadership is guaranteed. We must ensure that advances in AI remain fuelled by American ingenuity, reflect American values, and are applied for the benefit of the American people.” According to Trump administration, the “Accelerating America’s leadership in Artificial Intelligence ” , is based on five key pillars namely: • Research and Development: There has to be increased in investment in research and development. Federal agencies will be asked to prioritize the investment in artificial intelligence research in their budget and report on how the money is spent for a more comprehensive view of investment in AI. • Infrastructure: Newer infrastructure will encourage information sharing but also solve any issues that are related to invasion of privacy. • Governance: The AI policies will be exclusively drafted by the government agencies and it has to be ensured that the use of AI is safe and ethical. • Workforce: Government agencies will be asked to prepare the workforce to work in the field and ensure proper training and education in computer science. • International Engagement:  The US will have to collaborate with other emerging players and also attend talented immigrants in the field who have inputs. None of the propositions in the executive order are groundbreaking but the sheer modesty of it is gaining all the traction.   These pillars are very general but this is the essence on which the initiative is based upon and the government will come out with new information and updates within six months. The order was extremely crucial for the US because its traditional long-time lead was slowly slipping away. China, South Korea, and France have invested heftily in the expansion of Artificial Intelligence, with China nearing a whopping $4.5 billion between 2012 and 2017. One of the biggest A.I. venture deal was completed in April 2018, when Alibaba led a $600 million deal for China-based facial-recognition start-up, SenseTime. People have been too busy focusing on the tremendously low prices of Chinese products and the crazy similar knockoffs of western gadgets. The world view became that of China is good at copying but bad at innovating. However, observing companies including the likes of Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu, Huawei, it is evident that China has been building an international Artificial Intelligence empire and has already done enough planning to build a functional tech ecosystem in the future. With US admin passing the executive order most people assumed it is time for the US versus China for A.I. dominance but Kai-Fu Lee, who worked for Google, China before Google decided to exit the country said that China is nowhere near the US when it comes to research and development but China is definitely winning when it comes to implementation of A.I. and is unstoppable at that. Something that we can all agree on unanimously is how important AI is and how it is not just another tech-trend which will lose its popularity eventually. Almost all businesses will be in touch with AI in the very near future-be it an everyday business to something as intense as cancer research. Today, China is on the path to becoming the undisputed global AI leader and this will impact every business. Under President Xi Jinping, China has made tremendous strides in the tech field. Businesses and the Government have been collaborating together to formulate plans to make China the hub of AI. Until recently, speaking at the World Artificial Intelligence Convention in Shanghai, China’s vice premier, Liu He, said that AI would depend heavily on international cooperation.  “We’re hoping that all countries, as members of the global village, will be inclusive and support each other so that we can respond to the double-edged-sword effect of new technologies,” He said through a translator. “AI represents a new era. Cross-national and cross-discipline cooperation is inevitable.” This new mellow approach came just a year after the Chinese government’s announced their ambitious and aggressive AI plan. This plan called for Chinese AI researchers to lead the world by 2030, and for domestic companies to build an industry worth more than $150 billion. The ambitions and progress of China have led to talk of an artificial-intelligence arms race with the US. The US government is about to ramp up the spending on the research of AI but we are still waiting for the Government to come out with more information. The statements from China’s officials have also depicted that China is about to opt a much softer approach when it comes to AI. China has been interested in discussing international regulations and standards regarding the development of AI. It will be interesting to see how China versus United States dynamic turns out in the next crucial years.
      Whenever a change happens in society, it’s often faced by opposition or resistance. Sometimes you believe in those opposing forces, sometimes you ignore those oppositions. There is another scenario where you are fed information that keeps your perception towards new changes completely negative.   Often we start to believe a lie. Whenever that lie is repeated, we start to ruminate and make excuses that make us believe that change is wrong. In a similar fashion, you may have come across many myth or statements. It is normal. You and I cannot escape the information overload. It is okay to be surrounded by those myths but it is completely not okay to raise a question. I will talk about some of the myths that are being circulated about Digital workplace. 1. Digital Workplace is all about technology Generally, when we hear transition to a digital workplace, we correlate it with buying of brand new gadgets, tools, technology. The main focus is on technology. But Digital Workplace transformation is not about technology. It has two different components. Those components should be in proper sync. Often the technology aspect is given more importance than the human element of the digital workplace. The excitement is for the latest technology. We, as a human being, love anything that is new.   But everything that has bling is not diamond. The real problem that the technology is supposed to solve is ignored completely. Technology is a tool which aide us to achieve something.   The goals could be tangible or intangible. The completion of goals matters. But the moment, the focus shifts to tools rather than the actual problem, things devolve.   Technology is a small component to achieve the bigger goal of creating digital workplace. This myth completely ignores the fact that the end user of any digital workplace is going to be human. The collaborative online workplaces are driven by human users. 2. Digital Workplace is Secondary Investment Administrative or operational work often takes a back seat whenever the resources of an enterprise are allocated. The budget often skewed towards another functioning area of any business. It could be increased in marketing expenditure or it could be getting a spanking new office. Such other investments appear so fancy that people often forget the importance and positive impact of having a digital workplace 3. Flexible Working Hours and locations lead to social Isolation You may be worried that if you are not working together with your team under one roof then you will miss out hidden treasures. You may feel that they will ignore you while making key decisions. This will lead to the formation of a clique that will exclude you. You will be isolated. Instead of all this, flexible working hours and locations do not have a negative impact on productivity. The collaboration tools can improve work-life balance. But don’t you think the flexible working hours help in managing the chores of day to day life. These chores could be taking parents to a hospital or catching up with old friends. You will have the liberty to enjoy life beyond professional commitments.   4. Home Office has many distractions and will decrease productivity Talking about the distractions of working from home, they are in plenty. Your family may need your attention. That faucet in the kitchen may start leaking water and will need repair. You may have to wash your work attire, pajamas. I agree there are distractions in the home office.   But water-cooler and coffee vending machine conversation are distracting. Even worse, when you are discussing an interesting topic with your seniors, you may stay longer out of courtesy. How can you miss out a nerve-wracking, irritating co-worker who are interested more in your activities than minding their own business?   5. Digitization means digitizing traditional paper processes While adopting a digital workplace, many organizations make a mistake of transforming their traditional operating procedures into digital form. That is a lost opportunity. Rarely such opportunity arises for organizations. Instead of emulating the paper process as it is in a digital way, organizations should review their procedures. The adoption of a digital workplace can help organizations find flaws in their existing procedure or it can be used to optimize and reap more benefits. So hold on a little bit before going full throttle. Adopt digital workplace with an unbiased view and take it as a golden opportunity.   Conclusion: Often we start to believe a lie. Whenever that lie is repeated, we start to ruminate and make excuses that make us believe that change is wrong. But we should not let those myths affect our conscious mind impairing our own judgment.
      Nowadays, silos are used to store grain, coal, cement, wood chips, food products, sawdust, ideas, and solutions. I am sure that the intention of the inventor of silos was to store physical products only. It may not have occurred to him that so many people will infringe his copyright and create virtual silos. These silos are present across the world, throughout organizations. When we talk about an organization, a silo is a clique formed by people who have similar interests, instincts and approach. They could be from the same department or have similar semantics or cultural alignment. People often form a group of people with similar thought processes or eating habits or job roles.  In some situations, these silos are compulsory due to compliance issues. They exist to avoid conflict of interest like in the case of banking institutions. Although, silo syndrome is a problem that organizations can’t get rid of completely. Silo syndrome is a critical ailment. It is not a human ailment, as it sounds, but something that affects the health of organizations. Its effects are long term and can hamper the growth or existence of any business entity.  Silo syndrome is lack of free flow of cross-departmental communication. It affects the probability of finding unique solutions to unique challenges that organizations have to tackle these days.  Conversation over water coolers or coffee vending machines do take place, but more often, these conversations are nothing but irrelevant gossip. With a completely new and unique set of challenges, organizations cannot rely on traditional methods to solve a problem. The boundaries are fading away in job profiles and responsibilities. the solutions to the unique set of problems that need a completely unique strategy to tackle. It’s all in the mindset. The effects of Silo Syndrome can spiral out. It can reduce efficiency, motivation level and may affect productivity altogether. 1. Have a Unified Vision  The firm resolution to break silos can start from the top management level. Once the top management is on the same wavelength, then only they can shift the mindset from “my department” to “our organization” mentality. Evolution is inevitable in organizations. Such evolution often leads to the creation of many goals and objectives. It’s not uncommon to have myopic vision and focus on the short term goals over the long term goals.  The leader has to ensure that they keep everyone aware of the unified vision. Also, employees of the organization should think of ways to contribute and make an impact. 2. Share best practices of each Silo across the company  The leadership should focus on leading by example. The best practices can be shared via a newsletter or an internal blog portal. It will encourage the employees to be creative and adventurous with their approach. Thus the organization will be able to address any issue that they may have. Having a brainstorming session where all the team members are heard can will boost morale.  3. Appreciate the breakdown of Silos  Your organization can put in place a reward mechanism. Any decision which is made with team effort should be rewarded.  All these rewards will help motivate the people to shift their mentality from “it’s not my work” to “it’s our work.” 4. Have an anonymous feedback mechanism and take suggestions  We are born fearless and confident in ourselves. But as we grow up we are conditioned to follow certain rules and regulations. The constant procedure of seeking validation from others makes us question our own abilities and we become more and more skeptical of ourselves. Thus, making us timid and we stop confrontation altogether to avoid conflict. Your organization may have a feedback mechanism in place. But the element of anonymous feedback is important. This facility of keeping identity anonymous will ease the anxiety of employees. Nobody wants to fall into the bad books of a manager or coworker from the same department or another department. With this mechanism, find the core problem. You should also make an effort to thank the anonymous helper in the company without disclosing identity. This will encourage more people to take part and contribute.  Conclusion Silo has been in discussion for many years. Organizations of various sizes have been tossing this idea around without any solution so far. Irrespective of diagnosis, these silos are problems for most of the organizations in the world.  You may be wondering why so much effort? These efforts are not important enough to invest time or money. I agree with the fact that it is hard to put any metric for Silo Syndrome but the ripple effects will be felt down the line in the future.  Breaking down the silos is not an easy task for any enterprise. But one should not stop trying. The cost of having an organization suffering from Silo Syndrome can impact employees as well as the whole organization in the long term. With the help of teamwork and a decent mindset, Silo Syndrome can be destroyed. There is nothing more powerful in any organization than having all employee rowing in the same direction.
    Task management tools are of use for everyone- be it a small company or a fortune 100 company. It supports simple individual assignments to corporate chores management activities. Until and unless you don’t know what and when to do, you will not be able to figure out how to do it. Now credit where credit is due , a lot of businesses that are huge now may not have needed a task management tools in their initial stages and have made it this far. Come to think of it, task management and project management are terms which have been thrown around since 1954 when a US Air Force general used it for military purposes. Long before that, task developments were tracked using floating charts, also very popular still Gantt system which was a more refined method of tracking progress, was also introduced a couple of years later. As of now, 77% of the companies and a whopping 87% of the high-performance companies use project/task management tools. At least 62% of the businesses have resolved to management tools to track the time and funds allocated to projects, 38% businesses turn to these tools as they feel there is lack of integration between the resources that are deployed in projects. Again, something that is of great importance, to raise morale and to continue putting in the hard work, visibility of progress is an indispensable use of the management tools. Imagine a cosmetic company’s assistant brand manager, when he/she joins in she may think that her primary job is to assist her boss with the brand management. But every job is ever-changing, this month he/she could be working on the pricing aspect but the next month she could be working with the marketing team and coming up with marketing strategies for a new release. Every job is a series of projects that come and go, sometimes convenient and sometimes inconvenient. When a business selects its management tools, they have to diagnose the areas in which they need such tools. Some of the most sought after features a company looks for could be easy to manoeuvre should help with homogenizing the ongoing projects and also should be directly from the horse’s mouth. 66% of the companies have said that they choose project management tools based on the support available. The functionality of the tool should be prioritized above any other feature. Some popular functions used by companies when they use these tools include status reports, documentation, desk tickets, work orders etc. 76% of the respondents have said that they are either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the management tools they have employed. The growth in demand for such tools has also resulted in the generation of demand for project management professionals and software. With automation and well-organized management tools, task management helps to do more with fewer resources. The communication is better, effective association, optimal resource utilization helps in running a business smoothly and all these factors give the business an edge over its competitors as it helps in the following: Maximize productivity: Any business’s top goal is always to magnify productivity because being productive leads to being profitable. There may not be a direct trackable link between being productive and being successful, but it is evident in many life situations that being productive has led to the success of some kind. With task management tools on hand, it is more feasible for a business to assign, prioritize, manage and complete tasks with said tools and helping by automating and streamlining tasks hence, increasing yield. Elevated approachability: Ever since cloud computing blew up, it has also made a spot for cloud-based management tools.  There is no need to download or install such tools, neither does it require expensive hardware. It can be approached round the clock by people who have access to it and an active internet connection. The physical location of people who have access to the tools is disregarded as it can be accessed anywhere. Crew association: It is extremely important that all the members of the team work in a cohesive manner and it is the duty of the project manager to keep a tab on that. It would be absolutely redundant that every member is moving in a different direction and it is the exact opposite of maximizing productivity. Creating a team spirit with open communication and everyone is clear about what they need to do results in morale boost and hence increase in productivity. Roger Martin, former dean of Rotman School of Management wrote a piece in Harvard Business Review comparing “work” to a series of projects. In the same article, he describes that the future of the business world is going to depend on knowledge and project-based approach by referencing Hollywood movie studios and consulting companies and people who work there will use their speciality knowledge learned from school or experience in the organizing principle which is the project. The modern business system is increasingly structured as knowledge-based and project-defined. In such a model, every employee is a project manager, regardless of their title. Thus, it’s time to build projects around people and here’s where project/task management software comes into the picture and helps with the absolute most.
    Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels There are high chances that you are among those high achievers who love to have more money. Moreover, who doesn’t love money? Competition and decreasing profit margins are forcing businesses to save money or shut shop. No matter what the condition may be, investors and creditors love to see positive numbers. As a key decision maker, you have to take care of the people who are working with you. You cannot risk disappointing them by failing to save money or delay paying salary or other commitments. Apart from these essential needs, you may have aspirations as well. Those aspirations should be fulfilled or else you will lose motivation gradually. Having money gives you the freedom to fulfill those aspirations. It gives you an opportunity to enjoy and spend quality time with your friends and family. Running a business can be hard. It can affect you as well as the people around you. We all deserve a reward for the stress that we go through. All those sleepless nights deserves a proper reward. A little bit of extra money can help you to treat yourself or your family with a vacation. Everybody deserves to feel alive including you.  You may be running your business without realizing that you are using project management practices. Project management practices can be as simple as using a to-do list or using alarms. Once your business grows, you will need robust project management tools to manage many aspects of your business. A project is a combination of several tasks. The end goal is to create a product or service or the desired outcome within a certain time frame. It should be completed before a specific deadline. The goal of any business is to get monetary value for the product or service. The project management tools help you in completing projects as per your client’s specifications. Your client base may consist of a few large clients or several million clients. Sometimes, your clients do not know what they need. Often they are unable to convey properly. Generally, they convey their desire and ignore their necessity. As a business owner, it is your obligation to understand what is good for them and translate those briefing into tasks. This can help the stakeholders of the project to do tasks without any roadblocks. There are two ways to have more money: earning more or saving more. Let’s see how project management tools can help you deliver the products or services that your clients will be eager to pay for and you end up with more money in your bank account. Let's look at how James and Robert were managing and growing their software consulting business. LEVERAGING TEAMWORK James and Robert started their freelance career in March. They were getting regular clients. At one point, they were getting more clients than they could handle. James loved administrating and Robert hated the administrative part of the business. Robert wanted to hire a virtual assistant but James wanted to keep control in his own hands. Due to this conflict of interest, they decided to split their business. After 6 months, James was running his one-person software consulting business. But, Robert grew his business into a full-fledged software consultancy firm. Robert’s firm was offering end to end solution to clients across the world. Robert was leveraging the skills of his virtual team distributed across the globe. In this scenario, James was ignoring the importance of teamwork. Robert was well aware of his shortcomings. Robert leveraged the power of teamwork and took the first step in creating a team. He hired a virtual assistant to manage the areas that he was not good at. 2. TIME MANAGEMENT James was managing his time by himself. James was dedicating more effort in time management than actual work. But, Robert was growing his company. Robert had manpower yet he decided to leverage the power of project management tools. Robert was managing time for himself as well as his team. This inculcated a habit of discipline in his team. The whole team was performing well and it was evident by the revenue growth. Whereas, James was managing time for himself. He was way too preoccupied in time management than working on a project. But, Robert was using project management tools to manage his time as well as his teammates. 3. PROJECT TRACKING On Christmas, James and Robert decided to go for a quick lunch together in a Michelin star hotel. They had a lavish meal and a good time recalling memories of their college time. James offered to pay the bill. Robert insisted and took out his American Express Platinum Card to pay the bill. After paying the bill, they got out of the hotel lobby and strolled back to their home. Robert: How is your business doing? James: Nothing new. The business is a bit slow due to Christmas. Robert: I can understand. Everybody is in a festive mood. James: How are things going on your side? Robert: The situation is the same on my side. There are 3 project deliveries in 6 hours. 9 clients are coming on board next week with an average order value of $7500. It is slow compared to the rest of the year. James: You are aware of every single detail of your business even though you don’t like to organize. Robert: Don’t worry my friend. I use project management tools. You should also give it a try. 4. SMOOTH COMMUNICATION In the case of communication, James had an advantage over Robert. James had to communicate with himself and he was good at that. Unfortunately, Robert had to rely on Project Management Tools. He was able to communicate with his growing team. Robert's team was living across different time zones. Robert was able to communicate with the tools available in Project Management Suite. 5. TASK DELEGATION James was taking care of the business on his own. James was juggling with his work life and professional life. He was unable to handle the stress of running everything on his own. One day he got a call from Robert. Robert: Hey man! What’s up? James: All good. How you have been? Robert: I am good. I called you to tell that you are coming this weekend for a Skiing trip to Japan with me and my whole team. I will email your tickets in the evening. James: I appreciate it. But I have pending work that I need to finish by the end of this weekend. Robert: Are you kidding me? Who works on the weekend? James: I don’t have an army of employees with me. Robert: Don’t be a spoiler. I have managed the tasks of my team members and they are always free on weekends. What’s the point of earning if you can’t splurge on yourself? We got one life. Live it. CONCLUSION Both James and Robert started their business in identical conditions and opportunities. You can see that Robert leveraged the power of project management tools. Robert built a much bigger and larger enterprise than James. James was able to run his business but he was self-employed. The only visible difference was the use of Project Management Tools by Robert. Even though his team was distributed globally, Robert was collaborating with his team. He was taking care of day to day acts of the business through project and task collaboration solutions. Robert’s customers, as well as vendors, were connected. They were working in a seamless environment together in one place. They were able to collaborate at one place rather than running around like a headless chicken. There is a difference between being busy and actually working. James was busy running his business. But, Robert was working on his business. Robert identified his shortcomings and made the most out of his strengths. Using the Project Management Tools, Robert was leveraging teamwork, managing time, tracking project, having smooth communication and delegating tasks. All these helped Robert to save more money, grow his income as well as the whole business. Success is all about resilience and never giving up. Robert identified his unique aspect and focussed on that single positive aspect. Rest all fell into place naturally. If you enjoyed this article, share it with your friends and subscribe to our newsletter. We will keep you updated with our insightful articles.  
    Sales can be rough. Getting those numbers every month and achieving quarterly and annual targets. Closing deals can become a really long and tedious process, making cold calls and follow-ups until you finally clinch the deal. And even so, supporting the client is more important than anything else, you don’t want to lose out on those precious clients after putting all that hard work. The sales module in your hive is focused on making the sales process a little less gruelling and time-consuming. We’ve enlisted the top 4 ways to get started with your sales right away. #1 Customize deal stages to suit your business The way we work depends a lot on the workplace culture and the type of industry we belong to. Your customers and prospects can be varied, a freelancer, B2B client or a company of under 10 employees. Each customer will have a different journey in your sales cycle. Every client is unique and the acquisition flow is different. The sales module in your Crrux hive allows flexibility in managing deal stages using different filters and sorting options. You have the flexibility of using different currencies for different deals. Further, the kanban boards allow viewing, tracking and updating the deals to be hassle-free. #2 Kanban boards Kanban boards depict all work in a visual and organized manner so that work can be tracked from start to end in a single glimpse. The sales pipeline boards gives a bird’s-eye view of all the deals in different stages, allowing prompt action on important and most urgent deals. Besides, using the different filters you can view the sales deals based on their priority, status of deal or the organization to which they are linked. In kanban boards you can update deals much quicker, whether it is checking the cumulative deal value in a particular column or dragging and dropping the deal cards across the pipeline as your work progresses. #3 Manage an online marketplace If you have an array of products or services, Crrux can be your platform to showcase and sell. The Crrux website lets you create a full-fledged catalog of your products or services, where you may give details of the product or service, pricing information,  images and other details. Your customers can book services or place orders as they do on any other platform, and also interact with you by posting comments on the offerings. #4 All your collateral in one place Selling and marketing require thorough strategizing and planning, and that means documentation. With the article item in your hive, you can manage all your product data sheets, white papers, pricing sheets, support documents and other collateral with ease. Using the rich-text editor you may add images, embed videos, add tables or simply have a text document. So go ahead and get results by aligning your sales pipeline in your Crrux hive!
    Collaboration tools and digital software have been around for over two decades and they have been instrumental in evolving the way work is done across the globe. The digital transformation journey fueled by online collaboration tools and digital workplaces are proven by research to increase the productivity of a company by almost 20-30 percent. We have come a long way from depending on email and excel sheets to managing all work on digital tools. And yet, there’s a lot of scope to expand and grow in this landscape. The ideal digital workplace is one with a seamless tight-knit collaboration and engagement platform and in the current scenario we are far from the ideal. Where are we headed in this journey? What are the pragmatic outcomes? What gaps and shortcomings in organizational systems can hinder this progress? Let us look at the major trends, their current status and different aspects that might affect them in the year 2019.   Distributed teams Unlike a decade back, employees are no more restricted to working under a single roof. The concept of distributed teams and spillage of talent across the globe, or even working in third space workplaces has become quite a norm. And with these distributed teams comes the challenge of having every person of the team on the same page. Silos in collaboration and operational tools only create unnecessary barriers to the already persisting geographical barrier. A recent Workforce Futures study showed that while enterprise managers allowed employees to work remotely, they were not equipped with the necessary tools by their organizations. Of the total 6600 employees, 44 percent believed that a remote working environment was not championed by their executives, and 38 percent said that they were not equipped with the necessary technology to work effectively when remote. A well-coordinated platform to communicate and work is an absolute necessity to help achieve productivity without hindrances of the geographical boundaries. With more of such distributed teams, we need to have corporate data accessibility and sharing outside the company’s firewall which is both seamless and secure. AI and ML getting stronger Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) is being increasingly integrated in a range of business operations across organizations. According to a study , 46 percent of global businesses have already adopted AI. 43% of decision makers see AI having a positive impact, and only 3% of business leaders think that it will have a negative impact. But, AI had its shortcomings in 2018, it was too horizontal in terms of usability, lacked proper information architecture and saw data governance issues. Data is key to companies making decisions about product, services, strategy, customer and employee experience. There is a lot of data on hand but research shows that only 1 percent of data is being used effectively. The GDPR enforcement and growing security concerns will hopefully pave the way for a better data governance system in organizations. In 2019, we hope to overcome these limitations and implement extensive use cases with AI and ML. Customer support can be improved by using AI-enabled systems which recognize customers and provide the customer history, transaction details and contextual cases to help the support agent to solve and offer better products/ services to the customer. Sales personnel can save time and effort by getting accurate sales data on prospects and customers using AI-enabled sales intelligence tools. Project managers can better manage available resources based on real-time information about workload, skills and context to plan projects accurately. The rise of workplace chatbots and RPAs Chatbots or conversational user interfaces come with a promise to make our work lives easier. They are designed to tackle information overload and simplify service provisions. Similarly, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) take care of all the grunt work where a predefined set of rules help manage all repetitive work, documentation and tasks with the goal of saving time, achieving consistency and error-free results. However, both chatbots and RPAs have a long way to go before we start getting the output and experience that has been expected out of them. A survey by chatbots.org showed that consumers are not very happy with the current state of chatbots. Around 53 percent of those surveyed found chatbots to be “not effective” or “somewhat effective”, whereas 22 percent had an opinion that “bots weren’t smart enough”. Taking into consideration the user value proposition we can utilize chatbots in a variety of everyday work tasks like managing support, organizing documentation, taking care of compliance etc. With the advent of 2019, we can hope for better designed and more effective chatbots at our workplaces. Virtual and Augmented Reality Virtual Reality software (VR) has been in the news for some years now, poised as a major transformational thing of the future. But, VR did not see much utility and adoption with businesses and consumers. Augmented Reality (AR) has slowly but steadily climbed its way up. The AR market globally was valued at $3.33 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach approximately $133.78 billion in 2021, growing at a CAGR of above 85.2 percent in the duration of 2016 - 2021. Whereas, VR is predicted to reach $7.17 billion by the end of 2019 and close to $75 billion by 2021. With distributed teams becoming a norm across companies, the technologies enabling VR and AR are proving to be useful for businesses. Even with employees not present in the same physical spaces, communication is still possible. Immersive boardroom experiences, changing backgrounds, cataloging body language, supporting avatars are some of the things that are practically made possible by VR and AR. In an ideal digital environment, we would like to reap the results of chatbots, RPAs, AI, VR and AR collectively. Making better cognitive decisions for complex, multi-channel operations. Digital transformation is rapidly changing the way we work, in every industry across different stakeholders. These technology trends are paving a way for bigger and more impactful technologies of the future.
    Highlights New look and feel for statistics New functionality: Configure website pages with pre-styled sections and settings New look and feel for statistics If you are a frequent user of metrics and statistics then the latest revamp of the statistics panel is going to make your work much better. A major change in the statistics panel is that you can now check the metrics for yourself as well as for other users in the hive. Thus, giving you an overview of the way work is progressing. The statistics on Projects, Sales, Support and Billing together give you insights on workload, timeliness of work, sales deals status, SLA compliance and transaction metrics. The table view on the Projects page has been improved so that you can get a quick overview of the overall status and priorities of your tasks. The "Overall Deals Size" section in the statistics on Sales page has been improved with a filter to view by currency. To give you a glimpse of the improvements, we have attached sample screens of the Projects statistics panel. For more details, check the statistics panel of various app pages in your hive. New functionality: Configure website pages with pre-styled sections and settings If you are using Crrux to manage a website and having an online identity is important to you, then this update will help enhance the overall look of your website and the various pages.    We have added a number of settings to help you showcase your business and give focus to what matters most to you. You now have the ability to add pre-styled sections to construct your web pages as desired.   An array of section layouts have been added on every page so that you can add sections with different layouts according to the website content you wish to display.     Options to configure each section like align your title, descriptions and images to suit your requirement.  The image below shows the different section layouts available.       You can experiment with different colors, frames, background images for all your website pages. As well as add and remove sections, columns, rows and display cards to suit your requirements. Check the image below for a glimpse of the new settings.      
      The Digital Workplace - Building a more productive digital work environment service by service from Oscar Berg Crrux is designed with an objective to provide a seamless yet lean way to work as a collective cutting across teams and processes to plan, engage, sell, and support  customers for success.  It helps you manage the crux of your work holistically across your employees, partners or communities. Give it a try!