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THE INTERNET OF THINGS 2018 REPORT: How the IoT is evolving to reach the mainstream with businesses and consumers

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 02:05 PM PST

planned investment iot 2018This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming how companies and consumers go about their days around the world. The technology that underlies this whole segment is evolving quickly, whether it’s the rapid rise of the Amazon Echo and voice assistants upending the consumer space, or growth of AI-powered analytics platforms for the enterprise market.

And BI Intelligence is keeping its finger on the pulse of this ongoing revolution by conducting our second annual Global IoT Executive Survey, which provides us with critical insights on new developments within the IoT and explains how top-level perspectives are changing year-to-year. Our survey includes more than 400 responses from key executives around the world, including C-suite and director-level respondents.

Through this exclusive study and in-depth research into the field, BI Intelligence details the components that make up the IoT ecosystem. We size the IoT market and use exclusive data to identify key trends in device installations and investment. And we profile the enterprise and consumer IoT segments individually, drilling down into the drivers and characteristics that are shaping each market.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • We project that there will be more than 55 billion IoT devices by 2025, up from about 9 billion in 2017.
  • We forecast that there will be nearly $15 trillion in aggregate IoT investment between 2017 and 2025, with survey data showing that companies' plans to invest in IoT solutions are accelerating.
  • The report highlights the opinions and experiences of IoT decision-makers on topics that include: drivers for adoption; major challenges and pain points; deployment and maturity of IoT implementations; investment in and utilization of devices; the decision-making process; and forward- looking plans.

In full, the report:

  • Provides a primer on the basics of the IoT ecosystem.
  • Offers forecasts for the IoT moving forward, and highlights areas of interest in the coming years.
  • Looks at who is and is not adopting the IoT, and why.
  • Highlights drivers and challenges facing companies that are implementing IoT solutions.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the IoT, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

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POINT-OF-SALE TERMINALS: How evolving merchant demands are pushing POS terminal providers to up their game in an increasingly competitive environment

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 01:04 PM PST

pos terminals graphicThis is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

The downfall of US brick-and-mortar commerce is overblown — despite sharp gains in e-commerce, which will nearly double between now and 2021, the lion’s share of purchasing continues to take place in-store. And that’s unlikely to change anytime soon, since the online environment can’t yet compensate for the reasons customers like brick-and-mortar shopping.

That means the point-of-sale (POS) terminal, which merchants use to accept payments of all types and to complete transactions, isn’t going anywhere. But that doesn’t mean it’s not changing. As merchants look to cut costs amidst shifts in consumer shopping habits, POS terminals, which were once predominantly hardware offerings used exclusively for payment acceptance, are evolving into full-service, comprehensive solutions. These new POS terminals are providing an array of business management solutions and connected offerings to complement payment services. 

This is where the smart terminal, a new product that’s part-tablet, part-register, comes in. Merchants are increasingly seeking out these offerings, which afford them the connectivity, mobility, and interoperability to run their entire business. And that’s shaking up the space, since it’s not just legacy firms, but also mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) players and newer upstarts, that offer these products. 

As merchants begin demanding a wide variety of payment solutions, terminal providers are scrambling to meet their needs in order to maintain existing customers and attract new ones. This is leading to rapid innovation and increased competition in both the POS terminal hardware and software spaces.

BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has put together a detailed report on the shifts in this landscape, how leading players can meet them, and who’s doing it most effectively.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • Evolving merchant needs are impacting POS terminal players’ strategies. Merchants select terminal providers based on four key areas: payment functionality, user experience (UX), over-the-top (OTT) offerings, and distribution/customer service. Terminal firms need to innovate in these areas, or risk falling behind.
  • Larger players need to double down on existing success. Smaller players can often be more nimble, which gives them the opportunity to innovate more quickly and build in-demand solutions. That’s a disadvantage to market leaders; however, they can, and should, leverage their massive distribution networks when upgrading or updating their offerings. Meanwhile, smaller players can win by focusing on niches instead.
  • It’s all about the platform. No single feature is likely to make or break a merchant’s decision to pursue a specific provider. Above all, they want a robust ecosystem that can evolve over time. 

In full, the report:

  • Explains the current state of in-store retail and why terminal firms need to evolve to meet it.
  • Groups features that matter to merchants and explains why they’re important and what terminal providers stand to gain from focusing on them.
  • Determines the leading players in the space.
  • Assesses how the leading players stack up, and which offerings are the most comprehensive.
  • Issues recommendations about how to develop an attractive platform that best serves merchants' needs as the market continues to shift. 

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND more than 250 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> Learn More Now
  2. Purchase and download the report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

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New York is quietly working to prevent a major cyber attack that could bring down the financial system

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 01:00 PM PST

Wall Street

  • With a lack of leadership from the federal government, New York is one of the first states to implement new cyber regulations.
  • The state is quietly working to prevent a major cyber attack that could bring down Wall Street's financial system.
  • But even with the strictest cybersecurity regulations in the country, experts warn New York's efforts may still not be enough.

NEW YORK — Five months before the 9/11 attacks, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld sent a memo to one of his advisers with an ominous message.

"Cyberwar," read the subject line.

"Please take a look at this article," Rumsfeld wrote, "and tell me what you think I ought to do about it. Thanks."

Attached was a 38-page paper, published seven months prior, analyzing the consequences of society's increasing dependence on the internet.

It was April 30, 2001. Optimistic investors and frenzied tech entrepreneurs were still on a high from the dot-com boom. The World Wide Web was spreading fast.

Once America's enemies got around to fully embracing the internet, the report predicted, it would be weaponized and turned against the homeland.

The internet would be to modern warfare what the airplane was to strategic bombers during World War I.

The paper's three authors — two PhD graduates and the founder of a cyber defense research center — imagined the damage a hostile foreign power could inflict on the US. They warned of enemies infecting computers with malicious code, and launching mass denial of service attacks that could bring down networks critical to the functioning of the American economy.

"[We] are concerned that US leadership, and other decision makers about Internet use, do not fully appreciate the potential consequences of the current situation," the report said. "We have built a network which has no concept whatsoever of national boundaries; in a war, every Internet site is directly on the front line. If we do not change course soon, we will pay a very high price for our lack of foresight."

The US government had a problem on its hands and it seemed a long ways from figuring out how to handle it.

More than 17 years later, that problem seems to have only gotten worse.

Follow the money

Willie Sutton, the notorious Brooklynite who spent his life in and out of prison, once told a reporter he robbed banks because that's where the money is. Computer hackers aren't so different.

In 2016, hackers attacked companies in the financial services sector more than companies in any other industry, according to IBM. Over 200 million financial records were breached that year, a 937% increase from 2015. And that's not including the incidents that were never made public.

As hackers become more sophisticated and cyber attacks more routine, New York is on notice. Home to the most valuable stock exchange on Earth, New York City is the financial capital of the world. When the market moves here, it moves everywhere.

So it was no surprise when in September 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) was gearing up to implement sweeping, first-of-their-kind cybersecurity regulations to protect the state's financial services industry — an unprecedented move no other state or federal agency had taken anywhere in the US.

Cyber attacks against the US financial sector in 2016

Cybersecurity in New York's financial industry was previously governed by voluntary frameworks and suggested best practices. But the NYDFS introduced, for the first time, regulations that would be mandatory, including charging firms fines if they didn't comply.

Maria Vullo, the state's top financial regulator, told Business Insider that her No. 1 job is to protect New Yorkers.

"They're buying insurance. They're banking. They're engaging in financial transactions. And in each of those activities, they're providing their social security information, banking information, etc.," she said. "The companies that are obtaining that personal information from New Yorkers must protect it as much as possible because a breach of that information is of great consequence to the average New Yorker."

On March 1, the regulations turn a year old, although some of the rules are not yet in effect and will phase in over time.

The NYDFS oversees close to 10,000 state-chartered banks, credit unions, insurance companies, mortgage loan servicers, and other financial institutions, in addition to 300,000 insurance licensees.

The combined assets of those organizations exceed $6 trillion, according to the NYDFS — and they're all in constant danger of being hacked.

Banks are vulnerable

In the summer of 2014, an American, two Israelis, and two co-conspirators breached a network server of JPMorgan Chase, the largest US bank.

They got hold of roughly 83 million customers' personal information, including names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.

The hackers didn't steal any money from personal bank accounts, but that wasn't the point.

They wanted access to a massive trove of emails that they could use for a larger, separate money scam. In just three years, that operation netted the hackers more than $100 million.

The JPMorgan hack wasn't the end game. It was a piece of the puzzle.

Matthew Waxman Quote

The attack began with the simple theft of a JPMorgan employee's login credentials, which were located on a server that required just one password.

Most servers with sensitive information like a person's banking data require what's called multi-factor, or two-factor authentication.

But JPMorgan's security team had lapsed and failed to upgrade the server to include the dual password scheme, The New York Times reported at the time.

The attack, the breach, and the reputational damage that followed could have been avoided with tighter security. Instead, the hack went down as one of the largest thefts of customer data in US history.

"Banks are especially vulnerable," Matthew Waxman, a professor and the co-chair at Columbia University's Cybersecurity Center, told Business Insider. "Disruption to the information systems on which banks rely could have shockwaves throughout the financial system, undermining public confidence in banking or knocking off line the ability to engage in commercial transactions."

That's the kind of catastrophic damage that worried the authors cited in Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s 2001 memo.

They weren’t only concerned about stolen email addresses and social security numbers. They were worried about the fallout from such activity.

Banking works because consumers trust the system. But what if people lose trust?

Waiting until a catastrophe

News of impending cybersecurity regulations in New York in the fall of 2016 was both welcomed and shunned.

Some companies saw it as a chance to improve their own security standards while others complained of government overreach. Some were relieved to find they wouldn't have to make any adjustments to the way they operated. Others were overwhelmed by the heavy lifting they would have to do to comply.

How a company views the regulations depends in large part on its size. Bigger institutions with more cybersecurity professionals and more resources at their disposal tend to already have in place much of what the regulations require. Many smaller companies, which tend to be under-staffed and under-resourced, have a lot more work to do to catch up.

New York Regulations Key requirements for companies

The only additional thing Berkshire Bank has to do is sign off on its annual compliance form, which it sends to NYDFS to prove that it's doing everything it's supposed to be doing.

"We actually have to do nothing [new] from a compliance standpoint," the company's chief risk officer Gregory Lindenmuth told Business Insider.

While several cybersecurity consultants told Business Insider they acknowledge the NYDFS rules as a positive step in the right direction, they also point to a new law in Europe as a leading example of the role government has to play in protecting individuals' privacy rights and ensuring that companies secure consumers' personal information.

In 2016, the European parliament passed a law called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — landmark legislation that imposes millions of euros in fines on companies that do not adequately protect their customers' data.

Whereas the NYDFS regulations cover just one industry in one US state, the GDPR affects companies in all industries across all 28 member states of the European Union. Companies that do not report a data breach or fail to comply with the law more generally could be fined up to €20 million or 4% of its global revenue.

Matthew Waxman, the Columbia professor, says it's not surprising that the implementation of such a law remains far-fetched in the US.

"It's sometimes very difficult to get the government to take action against certain threats until a catastrophe takes place," Waxman said. "But that could change very suddenly if the banking system were knocked offline or another very major disruption to everyday life affected the lives and security of citizens on a massive scale."

But are the deterrents strong enough?

Data protection advocates calling for stricter cybersecurity regulations in the US are generally happy about the NYDFS rules.

For the first time, a state government is taking seriously the protection of consumer data, they say. It's giving companies in the financial sector an ultimatum: protect New Yorkers or face punishment.

Maria Vullo Quote

But the nature of that punishment is not entirely clear.

"My big criticism of the regulations is there's no clear consequence for non-compliance," Tom Boyden, a cybersecurity expert who helps companies defend against cyber attacks, told Business Insider. "If companies don't feel like there's going to be any consequence for any action on their part, companies aren't going to take [the regulations] seriously."

In fact, for many companies, Boyden thinks "that's the default position."

Vullo, the head of the NYDFS, said she has the ability to fine companies that are not complying and is willing to exercise that authority, although how much that cost may be would depend case-by-case.

"I don't want this to be a punitive atmosphere, but obviously if institutions are not taking this seriously, then there will be consequences," she said. "But it's not the objective."

If anything, the objective is to make it clear that cyber threats are real and that New Yorkers and the companies that maintain their personal information are facing higher risks of attack.

Cybersecurity affects everyone, and Vullo said she hopes the regulations will help companies prioritize it.

"Everyone is part of our cybersecurity team," Theresa Pratt, the chief information security officer at a private trust company in New York, told Business Insider. "It doesn't matter what myself or my colleagues do from a technical perspective. If I have one user who clicks a bad link or answers a phisher's question over the phone, it's all for naught."

New York leading the way

wall street us flag

The new rules have far-reaching implications beyond New York. A business in the state that has a parent company based in Germany, for example, still has to comply with the regulations.

This leaves some organizations in the precarious position of having to either restructure company-wide cybersecurity practices or build an entirely new and unique security apparatus that is specific to its New York offices.

"I do think that because of the scope of some of these regulations, they're kind of blurring the lines between countries and continents. I think we're going to see more and more of this," GreyCastle Security CEO Reg Harnish told Business Insider. The New York-based consulting firm is helping companies comply with the new regulations.

In the absence of leadership from the federal government on certain issues related to cybersecurity and data protection, states like New York are beginning to fill the void. Several cybersecurity experts told Business Insider that the NYDFS regulations could become a model for other industries or even policies at the national level.

Last year, at least 42 states introduced more than 240 bills or resolutions related to various cybersecurity issues, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And since the NYDFS rules took effect, financial regulators in Colorado and Vermont have followed New York's lead with cybersecurity regulations of their own.

Indeed, cyber experts have come a long way in better understanding the threats we face since Rumsfeld's dire cyberwar memo in 2001. But 17 years on, the former secretary of defense's concerns still seem as relevant as ever.

Perhaps the memo was a prescient warning — a warning that fell on deaf ears, but is not too late to address.

SEE ALSO: Top intelligence chiefs issue a dire warning about the Kremlin's ongoing efforts to influence the US

DON'T MISS: The US's most secretive intelligence agency was embarrassingly robbed and mocked by hackers

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CHATBOTS EXPLAINED: Why businesses should be paying attention to the chatbot revolution (FB, AAPL, GOOG)

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 11:02 AM PST

bii chatbot ecosystem

This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

Advancements in artificial intelligence, coupled with the proliferation of messaging apps, are fueling the development of chatbots — software programs that use messaging as the interface through which to carry out any number of tasks, from scheduling a meeting, to reporting weather, to helping users buy a pair of shoes. 

Foreseeing immense potential, businesses are starting to invest heavily in the burgeoning bot economy. A number of brands and publishers have already deployed bots on messaging and collaboration channels, including HP, 1-800-Flowers, and CNN. While the bot revolution is still in the early phase, many believe 2016 will be the year these conversational interactions take off.

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we explore the growing and disruptive bot landscape by investigating what bots are, how businesses are leveraging them, and where they will have the biggest impact. We outline the burgeoning bot ecosystem by segment, look at companies that offer bot-enabling technology, distribution channels, and some of the key third-party bots already on offer. 

The report also forecasts the potential annual savings that businesses could realize if chatbots replace some of their customer service and sales reps. Finally, we compare the potential of chatbot monetization on a platform like Facebook Messenger against the iOS App Store and Google Play store.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • AI has reached a stage in which chatbots can have increasingly engaging and human conversations, allowing businesses to leverage the inexpensive and wide-reaching technology to engage with more consumers.
  • Chatbots are particularly well suited for mobile — perhaps more so than apps. Messaging is at the heart of the mobile experience, as the rapid adoption of chat apps demonstrates.
  • The chatbot ecosystem is already robust, encompassing many different third-party chat bots, native bots, distribution channels, and enabling technology companies. 
  • Chatbots could be lucrative for messaging apps and the developers who build bots for these platforms, similar to how app stores have developed into moneymaking ecosystems.  

In full, the report:

  • Breaks down the pros and cons of chatbots.
  • Explains the different ways businesses can access, utilize, and distribute content via chatbots.
  • Forecasts the potential impact chatbots could have for businesses.
  • Looks at the potential barriers that could limit the growth, adoption, and use of chatbots.
  • And much more.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are several ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
  2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

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Kylie Jenner's tweet about dumping Snapchat made one group of investors $163 million (SNAP)

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 10:15 AM PST

kylie jenner selfie

  • Shares of Snapchat's parent company, Snap, fell more than 8% on Thursday after Kylie Jenner tweeted that she didn't use the app anymore.
  • Short sellers made $163 million in a single day on the stock move.

Though shares of Snapchat's parent company tumbled Thursday after Kylie Jenner tweeted about how she didn't use the app anymore, one group of investors laughed all the way to the bank.

"Sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore?" she asked her Twitter followers. "Or is it just me... ugh this is so sad." She followed up with another tweet: "Still love you tho snap ... my first love."

Short sellers — or traders betting on a stock decline — made a whopping $163 million in a single day as Snap shares fell as much as 8.5%, according to data compiled by the financial-analytics firm S3 Partners.

It was a nice payday for Snap skeptics who had amassed a nearly $2 billion short position in the company after adding to their wagers since the beginning of the year. Following Thursday's sell-off, Snap short sellers now have made more than $250 million on a mark-to-market basis in 2018.

S3 shared a breakdown of Snap's short-interest activity, along with a summary of other heavily shorted application-software companies.

Screen Shot 2018 02 23 at 8.29.16 AM

The photo-sharing company has seen a boatload of user backlash after redesigning its app. More than 1.2 million people have signed a petition on Change.org called "Remove the new Snapchat Update."

The wave of negativity surrounding the rollout has caused Wall Street firms to downgrade the stock. Raymond James downgraded the stock in January, and just two days ago Citigroup followed suit by lowering its price target to $14 a share.

But Snapchat users who are calling for the old ways are out of luck. In a statement released Wednesday, the company said the new app was here to stay, with some adjustments on the way.

Here's how the company's stock has performed over the past year as well as a look at how short interest has fluctuated.

2 23 18 snap short interest COTD

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Independent filmmakers are irate after Amazon slashed royalties by 60% on its self-distribution platform

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 10:08 AM PST

Cloudy with a Chance of Sunshine Brand New Day Entertainment Freebird Entertainment

  • Amazon Video Direct allows filmmakers, free of charge, to upload their work (movie, TV series, shorts) on Amazon for customers to buy, rent, or watch on Prime Video.
  • However, beginning March 1, filmmaker royalties for projects that are on Prime will decrease 60%.
  • Filmmakers are outraged and some in the industry believe Amazon is taking advantage of artists who desperately need the service, as it's one of the few outlets for their work.

Independent filmmakers who for the last few years have found a way to get some cash for their work by distributing it on Amazon's self-distribution arm, Amazon Video Direct (AVD), were disappointed to learn recently that their royalties would soon be slashed by 60%. 

Unlike Amazon Studios — which acquires films for theatrical and streaming, and produces TV series and movies in-house — AVD gives filmmakers an outlet, free of charge, to let their work be available on Amazon to purchase, rent, or be viewed on Prime Video (which filmmakers get royalties from Amazon for).

On January 29, filmmakers who had uploaded their work to AVD were notified that beginning March 1, the royalties they got for putting their work on Amazon Prime would drop from its current 15 cent per-hour rate to 6 cents per-hour for any project worldwide that had under 100,000 hours streamed in a year.

The email, which Business Insider obtained, also stated that all hours streamed for a title would be reset back to zero at the end of 365 days.

This means that, despite how many hours projects pile up in a year's time, all the titles will go back to 6 cents per-hour at the start of a new year.

Amazon touts AVD as a "self-service publishing interface, without the need for complex negotiations or contracts." But Amazon's ability to change things on the fly has now left filmmakers angry, and has forced them to decide if they should continue using the platform, or seek other financially rewarding outlets for their work.

"The new reality for filmmakers is the whole thing is completely one-sided"

For many low-budget filmmakers, being on AVD (as well as YouTube and other web-streaming distribution outlets) is where they will earn a good majority of revenue for their work. Most have put their projects on the service because they are creating content that won't attract the major film festivals or have the potential to be acquired for millions of dollars. The 60% royalty decrease has some filmmakers feeling they are getting the rug pulled from under them by one of the biggest companies in the world.

37 problems lisa ebersole"I have a hard time imagining that independent film is affecting their bottom line," Lisa Ebersole, director of the web series "37 Problems," told Business Insider. "It feels like such an arbitrary place to cut."

Ebersole said she was earning around $1,500 a month from having "37 Problems" available to Prime subscribers through AVD. She said the extra cash helped her not have to find a third job to support herself and her art.

Filmmaker Rebecca Norris, who has her movie "Cloudy With a Chance of Sunshine" on AVD for purchase or rent (but not Prime), was so impressed by the ease of AVD she even wrote about the advantages of using the service.

Norris said she was planning to make her movie available on Prime but then got the email about the royalty change and is now reconsidering adding her title.

"If you do the math for our film, we would have to have 11 people watch the entirety of the film to make a dollar," Norris said of the 6-cent royalty. "We don't know if it's worth it."

And Mike Whitla, whose animated music shorts catered for kids, "Howdytoons," have increased in views on Prime every month since he uploaded them, said with the change in royalties he feels he's going back to square one. He also said the change by AVD shows how filmmakers are at the mercy of Amazon because you have no contract with the company.

"One of the difficulties of the new reality for filmmakers is the whole thing is completely one-sided," Whitla said. "They can decide tomorrow, 'No, it's not going to be 6 cents anymore, we're going to go to 3 cents' and what is my choice? I can remove the content and make zero or keep it there. It's not a good situation to be in so it's very frustrating."

Here is a breakdown of the AVD content rates beginning March 1:

Tier 1: 0-99,999 hours streamed, $0.06/hour
Tier 2: 100,000-499,999 hours streamed, $0.10/hour
Tier 3: 500,000-999,999 hours streamed, $0.15/hour
Tier 4: 1 million-plus hours streamed, $0.06/hour

There was a small amount of good news in the changes, however. The previous 500,000-hour, or $75,000, annual pay cap on AVD titles will be lifted beginning March 1; and filmmakers will continue to receive 50% of the sales from their AVD titles purchased or rented on Amazon.

"The big untold story in our business"

Some in the industry see this as the latest example of powerful companies getting hours of content for pennies. Even the analytics Amazon gives its filmmakers turn out to be unhelpful.

"This is the big untold story in our business," said Emily Best, CEO of Seed & Spark, a crowdfunding and streaming service known well in the independent film community. "The data tech companies can see at any moment — what people are mousing over their website, where a sale exactly came from — filmmakers have none of those tools. We handed all the power to Amazon and Netflix. They have the data and independent filmmakers don't."

Whitla said the data provided by AVD is extremely limited and not very helpful for him.

"I have no idea how people are finding my stuff through Amazon Video Direct," he said. "The analytics we're provided, you feel like you're fumbling around in the dark. I get very meager analytics. I get a report that says the total minutes in each country in each day, and then I can sort that by series. That's it."

Seed & Spark began its own subscription service, similar to Amazon Video Direct, and offers a 22 cents per-minute royalty to its filmmakers. Best said her company is also striving to provide audience data that goes far beyond what AVD and the other big streaming companies will provide its filmmakers.

Vimeo has also expanded into the streaming distribution realm. The company has an eye-popping 90% revenue split for filmmakers who upload their movies to its Vimeo On Demand subscription service.

"We believe that putting more money in the creator's pocket is a good thing for our industry and the broader video ecosystem," Vimeo CEO Anjali Sud said. "It encourages more people to become storytellers and earn a living from those stories."

Howdytoons mike whitlaWith the royalty tweak by AVD and the recent change in YouTube's advertising program that has also affected small video makers, companies seem to be trying to distance themselves from DIY filmmakers who need these services the most.

However, in a statement to Business Insider regarding the royalty change on AVD, an Amazon spokeswoman pointed to the fact that titles getting higher "customer engagement" would now be rewarded with higher royalty rates. She also highlighted the elimination of the annual $75,000 cap, and stressed that Amazon always listened to "provider feedback."

Amazon also confirmed to Business Insider that movies that take part in Amazon Video Direct's Film Festival Stars — titles from select major film festivals that join AVD — will get enhanced royalties and not take part in the four-tier rate structure.

It's hard to say if the 60% royalty decrease by AVD will cripple its business model. Many of the filmmakers on AVD Business Insider talked to said they were likely going to continue using the service, or were unsure if they would leave it. And filmmakers getting into the self-distribution game aren't completely dismissing AVD.

Filmmaker Jamie Stuart, who is preparing to self-distribute his debut feature "A Motion Selfie," is currently figuring out how he's going to unveil it to audiences.

"When I blanked the festivals I submitted to and self-publishing looked like the ultimate option, I began focusing on Vimeo and Amazon," Stuart said. "Vimeo seemed more attractive — better features, more customizable. Amazon seemed like a slightly more complex undertaking. For instance, they required close captioning — however, my movie has no spoken dialogue. Plus, it would take several days for the movie to go live once it was submitted. The plan I settled on was to launch with Vimeo, then consider going to Amazon as a step two. Revenue is revenue."

But Emily Best warned that when you deal with a company like Amazon, you have to be wary of every decision.

"The idea that they were ever going to be on the independent filmmaker's side, that's not what they were built to do," Best said.

SEE ALSO: I tried cutting the cord with Sling TV for a month — here's why I returned to cable

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Samsung announces the Galaxy S9 — here's what's new

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 09:00 AM PST

galaxy s9 and s9 plus camera

Samsung announced the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ on Sunday at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) event in Barcelona.

Whether you're a Galaxy S8 owner or you've been keeping up with the S9 rumors, little about Samsung's new smartphone is new. The Galaxy S9 retains the overall design of the Galaxy S8, but Samsung listened to criticisms about the placement of fingerprint sensor and adjusted its location, which should make it easier to unlock the phone with your fingerprint.

The biggest advancement in the Galaxy S9 is the camera. Samsung said the new camera could outperform its own Galaxy S8, which was one of the best smartphone cameras you could buy. With some improved camera tech, the Galaxy S9's camera has the potential to take on the Google Pixel 2 as the best smartphone camera.

And for the first time in a Galaxy S phone, the cameras on both new models are not equal. Samsung gave the S9+ a dual-lens camera system while the regular S9 has a single lens system.

Check out the new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ from Samsung:

SEE ALSO: Here's how the 'unlimited' plans from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile compare

There are two new Galaxy smartphones, the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+

Much like the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy S9 has a 5.8-inch quadHD AMOLED display with a tall 18:9 aspect ratio, which is now pretty standard among the top flagship smartphones. 

The Galaxy S9+ has a 6.2-inch quadHD AMOLED display, also with a 18:9 aspect ratio.

The overall design of the Galaxy S9 hasn't changed much since the Galaxy S8.

The Galaxy S9 will be hard to beat in low-light photography.

Samsung boasts that the Galaxy S9 will have a dual-aperture camera that will help with low-light camera performance. It'll also perform better in well-lit settings. Both new devices have a wide f/1.5 aperture that allows more light to hit the sensor than smartphones with narrower apertures. We're unaware of a smartphone with a wider aperture. 

If the Galaxy S9 only had a wide f/1.5 aperture, it could potentially allow too much light for brighter settings, and photos could come out overly exposed and void of detail. As part of the dual-aperture system, the Galaxy S9 camera aperture can narrow down to f/2.4 for brighter settings. 

You can adjust the aperture width in the Galaxy S9's camera app in pro mode, too. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

6 reasons you should buy a Nintendo Switch instead of a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One in 2018

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 08:15 AM PST

Nintendo is on a roll, with no end in sight.

Super Mario Odyssey

The company's latest big game — "Super Mario Odyssey" — received near-universal praise, and the Nintendo Switch is beating the competition month after month in sales.

There's a good reason for that: The Nintendo Switch is the best console to buy. Here's why!

SEE ALSO: With over 70 million sold, the PS4 is the most popular game console in the world — these are its 29 best games

1. The Switch has the best lineup of games ...

Since launching in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch has taken the mantle as the must-have console for playing the best games. This is the number one reason to buy the Switch: It's the only place to play the best games available right now.

Yes, there are excellent exclusives on the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. "Horizon Zero Dawn" on PS4 and "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds" on Xbox One stick out as strong arguments for each, and that's not wrong.

But let's be clear: The Switch is stacked with huge, new games that can be played only on the Switch.

... like "Super Mario Odyssey" ...

The latest hit that can be played only on the Switch is "Super Mario Odyssey." It has an average score of 97/100 on Metacritic, putting it among the 10 highest-rated games.

It's highly rated because it's an outrageously good game, full of delight and surprise around every turn. "Odyssey" is the latest example of Nintendo's approach to major games of late: Take classic franchises and evolve them to new heights.

It's hard to overstate the quality of "Super Mario Odyssey"; it's clever, and massive, and beautiful, and deeply referential, and so much more. It is, frankly put, one of the best Nintendo games of the past decade — perhaps of all time.

Read our review of "Super Mario Odyssey" right here.

... "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" ...

Whether you've been playing "Mario Kart" games for years or you've never touched one, "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" is a tremendous delight. 

It's the definitive "Mario Kart" experience, with a ridiculous number of courses and playable characters. Best of all, the Switch becomes a portable "Mario Kart" machine if you take the console in portable mode — each Joy-Con becomes a gamepad, and the Switch is the screen. Being able to casually challenge a friend to "Mario Kart" by simply having the Switch with you is pretty incredible.

Crucially, "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" is a perfect game to play alone or with friends. The vast majority of the time I've spent with the game has been sitting next to my wife, playing together online against the world. Since the game came out in late April 2017, it's been a recurring delight in my apartment. 

Read our review of "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" right here.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Walmart learned a valuable lesson a decade ago — and it's a warning for huge companies like Amazon

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 07:53 AM PST

Lousiana Walmart

  • Walmart learned an important lesson about corporate reputation in the mid-2000s, CEO Doug McMillon said at the National Retail Federation's annual Big Show in January.
  • It realized it needed to focus on being a good citizen in addition to putting customers and employees first.
  • It's a valuable lesson for any corporation that has achieved ubiquity, like Amazon.

Walmart went through some big changes in the mid-2000s, and it's a huge lesson for any company that operates on a similar scale.

Speaking to attendees at the National Retail Federation's annual Big Show in New York City in January, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon explained the company had not cared much about its reputation for decades. It didn't pay attention to the positive press in the beginning, and it didn't pay attention when the tide started turning against it.

"At some point point, Walmart became big, and societal expectations changed," McMillon told the crowd. "And we missed the memo."

McMillon said that Walmart had been ignoring its critics, but then tried to combat the negative attention with facts.

"That didn't really work," McMillon said.

Eventually, the company decided to confront its critics head-on.

"Let's find the people who dislike us the most and go figure out why, and see if there's some good in what they're saying — and then implement it," McMillon said, paraphrasing words from Lee Scott, who was Walmart's CEO  from 2000 to 2009.

That led to a watershed moment for Walmart as it started its first large-scale humanitarian efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. McMillon said Walmart "unleashed" its entire staff, sending products, money, and people down to affected regions.

"We'll worry about what it costs later," he remembers Scott saying.

McMillon points to that moment in the company's history as the point when Walmart became a better corporate citizen.

"After it was over with, in the days and weeks that followed, we all looked at each other and said, 'What would it take for us to be that company all the time?'" he said.

That was the first time Walmart realized its scale and the power it had to affect people's lives in a meaningful way. Since then, Walmart has used its influence in different ways.

"We can set policies, make decisions, and help people to make the entire supply chain better," McMillon said.

Walmart has undertaken initiatives to become more sustainable by cutting waste and taking carbon out of its supply chain. It started offering store employees better wages and expanded maternity leave, and began to give back to its communities.

"What we've learned is it also generates good financial results," McMillon said. "We save money, we eliminate waste, and the whole cycle works together."

It's a lesson that some younger companies might be able to learn from.

A teachable moment

amazon prime

Walmart was the biggest bogeyman of the late 20th century. According to critics, it was singlehandedly responsible for putting mom-and-pop shops out of business across the country, and for changing the retail landscape of America.

But Walmart has now changed the narrative, and no one talks anymore about big-box stores ruining small towns' character. 

Instead, the newest bogeyman is e-commerce and online sales. Amazon is the largest player online by a large margin. Fairly or not, Amazon is frequently blamed for what many have dubbed "the retail apocalypse," with thousands of stores closing their doors and local malls struggling.

Amazon's ubiquity in American life is now undeniable, and though the company has a progressive reputation due to its relatively liberal policies, well-compensated employees, and tech halo, it can't afford to lose that. Sales may be flowing now, but customers — even ones with a Prime membership — are fickle. 

Boycott movements like the anti-Trump Grab Your Wallet campaign aren't enough to move the needle now, but they could be in the future. People want to feel good about where they are buying from, now more than ever, and headlines about struggling warehouse workers don't help Amazon's reputation.

Amazon has achieved scale in much the same way Walmart did, and it can't afford to ignore its critics. It needs a moment much like Walmart's with Hurricane Katrina to restore goodwill among its consumers.

SEE ALSO: Walmart's online struggles show how far it has to go in its war with Amazon

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Diet Coke has released four new flavors — here's what our resident Diet Coke fans have to say

How drones will change the world in the next 5 years

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 07:09 AM PST

drone hardware market 1

This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

The fast-growing global drone industry has not sat back waiting for government policy to be hammered out before pouring investment and effort into opening up this all-new hardware and computing market. 

A growing ecosystem of drone software and hardware vendors is already catering to a long list of clients in agriculture, land management, energy, and construction. Many of the vendors are smallish private companies and startups — although large defense-focused companies and industrial conglomerates are beginning to invest in drone technology, too. 

In a report from BI Intelligence, we take a deep dive into the various levels of the growing global industry for commercial drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This report provides forecasts for the business opportunity in commercial drone technology, looks at advances and persistent barriers, highlights the top business-to-business markets in terms of applications and end users, and provides an exclusive list of dozens of notable companies already active in the space. Finally, it digs into the current state of US regulation of commercial drones, recently upended by the issuing of the Federal Aviation Administration's draft rules for commercial drone flights. Few people know that many companies are already authorized to fly small drones commercially under a US government "exemption" program. 

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • We project revenues form drones sales to top $12 billion in 2021, up form just over $8 billion last year.
  • Shipments of consumer drones will more than quadruple over the next five years, fueled by increasing price competition and new technologies that make flying drones easier for beginners.
  • Growth in the enterprise sector will outpace the consumer sector in both shipments and revenues as regulations open up new use cases in the US and EU, the two biggest potential markets for enterprise drones.
  • Technologies like geo-fencing and collision avoidance will make flying drones safer and make regulators feel more comfortable with larger numbers of drones taking to the skies.
  • Right now FAA regulations have limited commercial drones to a select few industries and applications like aerial surveying in the agriculture, mining, and oil and gas sectors.
  • The military sector will continue to lead all other sectors in drone spending during our forecast period thanks to the high cost of military drones and the growing number of countries seeking to acquire them.

In full, the report:

  • Compares drone adoption across the consumer, enterprise, and government sectors.
  • Breaks down drone regulations across several key markets and explains how they’ve impacted adoption.
  • Discusses popular use cases for drones in the enterprise sector, as well as nascent use case that are on the rise.
  • Analyzes how different drone manufacturers are trying to differentiate their offerings with better hardware and software components.
  • Explains how drone manufacturers are quickly enabling autonomous flight in their products that will be a major boon for drone adoption.

Simply put, The Drones Report is the only place you can get the full story on the rapidly-evolving world of drones.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the fascinating world of drones.

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How to use the new-look Snapchat like a pro, whether you're new to the app or you've been using it for years

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 07:00 AM PST

FILE PHOTO: The Snapchat app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration taken September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

Snapchat's recent design overhaul is here to stay, whether users like it or not.

That's according to Snap Inc. executives, in response to an online petition pleading with the developers to revert to an older version of the app.

Despite the 1.2 million signatures on that petition, and the disapproval of notable Snapchat user Kylie Jenner, Snap insists the update is ultimately what's best for the user and that they are confident everyone will learn to love it eventually.

Naturally, all this hullabaloo seems ridiculous for those who have never interacted with the famously difficult-to-use photo sharing app, which critics argue has only become less intuitive since the update.

Luckily, I'm a millennial who has been practicing the unrecognized art of explaining how to use technology all my life, I'm a shameless Snapchat fan, and I'm here to help. 

Here's everything you need to know to use the new-look Snapchat, and a guide to all the quirks that will have you perfecting your Snap skills in no time!

SEE ALSO: Snapchat will now let you create your own custom Lenses and Filters — here's how to make them

Level 1: The Basics. In this section, I'll do a basic overview of the app's features and how to use them.

After downloading the free app, you'll need to provide an email address and phone number, and create a password and screen name. 

The layout

Snapchat's layout is designed to be simple, no-frills, and easy-to-navigate. It is anything but.

The key is to resist thinking to hard. There are three major screens:

1. The camera, which is always the first screen you'll land on upon opening the app.

2. The "Friends" page

3. The "Discover" page

You navigate between these pages by swiping left or right from the camera. 

If you've ever used the Facebook or Instagram apps, swiping to navigate to a new section of the app will seem natural. After all, social mobile apps have been borrowing innovative functions and designs from Snapchat for years now.

The camera is the default start-up screen. From there, you'll swipe right to view your "Friends" page.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Silicon Valley is so expensive that even Facebook and Apple employees can't afford to live near the office

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 07:00 AM PST

silicon valley

  • Silicon Valley's housing crisis is serious.
  • A new report from Open Listings reveals that workers at five major tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, and Google, would have to spend over 28% of their salary to pay a monthly mortgage on a home near work.
  • Software engineers at Apple have it worst. They would have to pay an average of $5,211 a month to afford the median-priced home in Cupertino.


Silicon Valley's housing market is so bleak that even tech workers are struggling to buy homes.

A new report from Open Listings reveals that software engineers at five major Bay Area tech companies would need to spend over 28% of their salary to pay a monthly mortgage nearby.

Open Listings, an online home-buying startup, used its data to look at median home sale prices near the headquarters of some of the largest and most high-powered tech companies in Silicon Valley over the last 12 months. It then gathered public salary data from Paysa to get the average income of software engineers working for those companies in the South Bay.

From there, Open Listings calculated what percent of tech workers' monthly income would have to be put towards a mortgage for a home within a 20-minute commute from the office (based on mortgage payments for a 30-year fixed loan with a 4% interest rate).

The results were not pretty.

Apple's software engineers have to shell out the most. With a median home sale price of $1.16 million in Cupertino, Apple workers would have to pay an average of 33% of their monthly income. That comes out to a monthly payment of about $5,211 on mortgage and property taxes.

Living in a median-priced home near the Google campus in Mountain View would cost Google software engineers 32% of their monthly income ($5,619). A home costs about $1.24 million.

With a median home sale price of $1.23 in Menlo Park, Facebook workers would have to shell out 29% of their paycheck ($5,431) to afford a home within a 20-minute drive of the office.

Software engineers at Reddit would have to put 32% of their monthly income towards a mortgage for a home nearby, while Twitter workers would have to part with 30%.

Their chances of signing a mortgage are bleak

Spending 30% of their monthly income on a mortgage payment "may not sound that crazy," said Judd Schoenholtz, cofounder and CEO of Open Listings.

In San Francisco, some desperate renters pay 50% of their income on rent.

But most lenders have a standard rule that a monthly housing payment — including principal, interest, property taxes, and insurance — should not take up more than 28% of income before taxes. Few lenders will approve a mortgage above that threshold because it would strain the buyer's ability to make payments.

"So when we say workers from Google or Apple would need to pay more than 30% of their income for a home nearby work, the reality is many of these workers wouldn't be approved for a mortgage in the areas we analyzed," Schoenholtz told Business Insider.

"Instead they would be forced further away with their home buying efforts. Or, like many others, they may be forced to rent much longer than they would like to," he added.

SEE ALSO: Silicon Valley is so expensive that people who make $400,000 a year think they are middle-class

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How Silicon Valley's sexist 'bro culture' affects everyone — and how to fix it

The biggest misconception about the opioid crisis, according to the Oscar-nominated director of Netflix's 'Heroin(e)'

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 06:50 AM PST

Heroine Netflix

  • Elaine McMillion Sheldon's Oscar-nominated documentary "Heroin(e)" confronts the challenges of the opioid epidemic by depicting those who are fighting the rampant crisis in Huntington, West Virginia. 
  • Sheldon spoke to Business Insider about the misconceptions of the drug crisis that she sought to counterbalance, including the reach of opiate addiction, the plight of first responders, and negative perceptions of West Virginia, her home state.


In her Oscar-nominated documentary, "Heroin(e)," director Elaine McMillion Sheldon confronts the national opioid epidemic by depicting those who are fighting the rampant crisis in Huntington, West Virginia — a town that suffers an opioid overdose rate 10 times the national average.

In an interview with Business Insider, Sheldon discussed a number of misconceptions that surround the opioid crisis, many of which she sought to counterbalance in her Netflix original film. 

HEROINESheldon described how the crisis has reached beyond the common perception of heroin and opioid abuse as a "lower-class issue," infiltrating communities of all kinds across the nation.

"People have described it as like an 'addiction of misery,'" Sheldon said of the epidemic. "But the problem with describing it as such is that it seems to say that those who aren't in misery, those with good jobs and a good standing in society are exempt from addiction, which just isn't the case. I think America has pushed addiction off as a largely lower-class or a very racialized issue. And addiction doesn't see color. It doesn't see gender."

Sheldon's film partly follows the Huntington, West Virginia firefighters and first responders who revive overdose victims with the opioid antidote-drug naloxone.

She described how the process of making the film changed her own perception of those fighting the epidemic on the front lines, who also suffer from the difficulty of their selfless work. 

"I think the biggest surprise and the biggest concern for me was learning that the people on the front lines also need care," Sheldon said. "The first responders that are quite exhausted from this, they have this exhaustion from being compassionate and being able to help. And they feel helpless in that they're bringing back the same person several times in one week, and they're not feeling like they're doing their job helping people."

Sheldon added that her effort to depict the "kindness" and "inner-resilience" of those fighting the crisis also served to combat negative perceptions of West Virginia, her home state.

"Especially in a place like West Virginia, in media portrayals you wouldn't think of West Virginia as a place that's leading a progressive way forward and treating people differently, but Huntington was one of the first places in the state to have [naloxone] syringe exchange," she said. "And it was important for us as native West Virginians to show that we're part of the solution, too. Yeah, it's a problem here, but the people here have come together and decided, we're not enabling, but we have to do something because it's a public health crisis."

Watch "Heroin(e)" on Netflix.

SEE ALSO: What Facebook is looking for in the TV-like series it's bankrolling, according to an exec who just got a show renewed

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: You can connect all 9 Best Picture Oscar nominees with actors they have in common — here's how

There's a clear playbook for Amazon to upend healthcare — along with an obvious victim

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 06:20 AM PST

Jeff Bezos

  • Amazon's ambitions in healthcare have become more apparent over the last year, leading to speculation about what the company might do if it got into the prescription drug business. 
  • Analysts at Bernstein carved out a clear path Amazon could take, with the help of the company's new nonprofit joint health venture with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway.
  • The company could start working directly with large, self-insured employers.  If Amazon went that route, it could hit certain businesses, including the pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts, which works with these large employers. 


It's still remains to be seen if Amazon will get into the prescription drug business, though there have been a lot of hints. That hasn't stopped people from speculating what kind of impact they could have on the space, or even mapping out what their potential entry could look like. 

"We believe that disruption is coming for healthcare and Amazon will be an accelerant of this disruption," Bernstein analyst Lance Wilkes wrote in a note Thursday. "We believe this is unusual, in that healthcare usually moves slowly, and investors have been rewarded for not being ahead of actual changes in healthcare. This time is different, we believe, because cost is now the most important consideration for payers (government and employers)."

The idea is that Amazon could come in and sell prescription drugs directly through its site, delivering them via mail and impacting retail pharmacies.

There are three ways Amazon could approach the prescription drug industry, as Bernstein sees it:

  • The company could purchase a pharmacy benefits manager, an organization responsible for negotiating lower prices for prescriptions. 
  • Amazon could partner with another healthcare organization to be the mail order portion of a health plan, like for example working with UnitedHealthcare's OptumRx PBM division. 
  • And it could also go it alone and just create its own mail-order system and sells that to employers who can add it to their health benefits. 

In January, Amazon along with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway, launched a new independent nonprofit venture aimed at lowering healthcare costs for their employees. There weren't many details right off the bat, so it's unclear the exact approach companies will opt for. They could team up to form a health insurance plan, or find other ways to negotiate for cut backs on healthcare spending. 

By banding these three self-insured employers together, Amazon's roadmap into the prescription drug business might not have to rely on partners or acquisitions of pharmacy benefits managers. Instead, Amazon could have the leverage to convince employers, starting with these three organizations, to buy into Amazon's mail service. 

That large employer strategy could put Express Scripts, one of the largest standalone PBMs in the US, at even more risk than previously anticipated, Wilkes told Business Insider. If employers decide to build their own transparent PBM, they might rely less on Express Scripts' services. National account employers make up about 21% of Express Scripts' gross margin, according to Bernstein. 

PBMs tend to make about one-third of their gross margin from rebates paid out for prescriptions by drugmakers, one-third from transactions happening at retail pharmacies, and one-third from their mail and specialty pharmacy services. 

Should online prescriptions — particularly for recurring prescriptions — pick up market share from retail pharmacies and mail-order services start to favor Amazon, Bernstein anticipates that this threatens about 55% of Express Scripts' gross margin.

SEE ALSO: Amazon is selling an exclusive line of over-the-counter medications

DON'T MISS: What we know about the new healthcare company Amazon, JPMorgan, and Berkshire Hathaway are forming

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We asked Jamie Dimon why JPMorgan is forming a new healthcare company with Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway — here's what he said

This former Twitter exec never went to college, learned to code at the White House, and was a terrible boss until he met Ben Horowitz

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 06:18 AM PST

Wade Chambers

  • Meet Wade Chambers, a former VP of engineering at Twitter, Yahoo, and other places, now the CTO of health startup, Grand Rounds.
  • But an early disaster the first time he tried to become a manager almost derailed him.
  • He shares his tips for how he, and anyone, can succeed no matter the odds.

When you think of the stereotypical Silicon Valley tech success story, you probably think about a straight-A student from a premier university, like Stanford or Harvard inventing something in their dorm room.

Wade Chambers' career is anything but stereotypical.

He's a self-described graduate from the "school of hard knocks" and shared with Business Insider the lessons he learned about how to teach yourself anything, become a better manager, and how to throw off your self-limiting fears.

Today Chambers is the CTO of Grand Rounds, a healthcare startup that offers artificial intelligence software to help doctors make more accurate diagnoses.

But he's better known in the industry as Twitter's former vice president of engineering, someone with a Valley tech career that stretches back a couple of decades, all the way to Netscape. That was the browser company that forever crowned Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz as tech moguls.

Hanging with President Ronald Reagan

Chambers was born into poverty in southeast Missouri. He never went to college but instead joined the US military at age 19 to escape his hometown. In the military, he landed a job as a "graphics specialist" at the White House, someone who created fancy graphics for military presentations in the Situation Room.

President Regan and Wade Chambers"It was there that I taught myself how to program," he said.

"It was a heady time for a 19 year old," he described, working in a place were President Ronald Reagan or Vice President George H.W. Bush could be seen roaming the halls with guests like Mikhail Gorbachev.

His first manager role was a disaster

He left the White House when a coworker offered him a job as a programmer at a startup, later moving to Silicon Valley for a better-paying job.

He worked hard, did well, and caught the eye of the CEO, who promoted him to manager. He was about 28.

As manager, "I kept on doing all of the things that made me successful up to that point," he describes.

Two months later, the people on his team were quitting. "I was lucky enough to have a senior engineer on the team who took me out for lunch and told me how much I sucked."

"I was lucky enough to have a senior engineer on the team who took me out for lunch and told me how much I sucked."

The guy gave Chambers lots of examples. "I was sucking all the oxygen out of the room," he said. "I was talking about my ideas. I wasn’t growing anybody inside of the team."

"I was really just barking out orders and kind of expecting people to fall in line."

To this day, he feels mortified when he thinks back. He quit the manager position and changed jobs, eventually landing at Netscape where he met vice president Ben Horowitz.

Taken under Ben Horowitz's wing

Horowitz also suggested he become a manager. About three years had passed but he refused. "I was like, 'no thank you. I've seen that story before, seen how it ends, I suck,'" Wade recalls.

Ben HorowitzHorowitz didn't back down, instead asking, "Has anyone ever talked to you about leadership or management or coached you?" Chambers didn't even know those things existed. Horowitz became his mentor.

"He committed to it. I committed to it. It was a dramatically different experience," he said. Horowitz later hired him to join a new startup founded with Andreeseen, Opsware. "I went on to be Ben and Marc’s vice president of engineering at Opsware," he says. And HP went on to acquire Opsware for $1.6 billion.

Tips from the school of hard knocks

Over time, he learned some tried-and-true tools for career development that work for anyone.

Tip No. 1: "Great is better than new." People often tend to "run to what's new, what's flashy" he said. But Chambers says it's better to ignore the fads or tricks and seek out experts. Read their books. Take their online courses. Listen to their lectures, and so on.

presentationTip No. 2: "Discomfort is better than safe." People hate discomfort but its a sign. "Every time you are screwing up, there is something you don’t know," he said. It's a new area for you to grow and find an expert who can teach you.

Your goal is to go "from the unconscious incompetence, to the conscious incompetence, to the declarative knowledge, to the procedural knowledge, to practicing it, then making it a conscious competence — all the way to a skill when you are not thinking about it anymore," he said.

That takes work and living with discomfort "and not retreating to where your ego feels good and you are safe," Chambers said.

The good news is that living with discomfort is also a skill that you get better at over time.

Tip No. 3: "Effective is better than efficient." Once you know you want to learn something, plan for the long game not a shortcut.

Say you want to become better at giving presentations. You may be tempted to spend a week or two reading a bunch of tips about graphics and presentations rules, "instead of learning how to communicate" to a variety of people, under a variety of circumstances, Chambers said.

But by following tips No. 1 and 2, finding an expert and living with discomfort, you can master presentations, or anything else you need for your career.

SEE ALSO: This engineer created a fool-proof plan to overcome shyness — and it led her to jobs at Apple, Google, and now Microsoft

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Elon Musk explains the one thing that went wrong with SpaceX's Falcon Heavy flight

Apple is working on high-end headphones that may launch as soon as this year (AAPL)

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 06:16 AM PST

Apple Beats 10

  • Apple is making over-ear headphones, according to a new report.
  • The accessory will be Apple-branded and focus on audio quality.

Apple is developing a new pair of over-ear headphones, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the KGI Securities analyst with an excellent track record of predicting future Apple products. Apple Insider first found Kuo's report.

Kuo says the headphones will have a new design, but doesn't go into specifics. It sounds like the headphones will be similar to the over-ear headphones Apple makes through its Beats subsidiary. They would also build on the success of AirPods, Apple's wireless earbuds and carry the Apple branding, not Beats branding.

Apple is also likely to focus on audio quality to set the headphones apart from Beats and other similar headphones. They could launch as soon as this year.

Read more details on Apple Insider.

SEE ALSO: Roku's CEO explains why he hasn't been crushed by giants like Apple and Amazon — and why a newcomer can conquer the streaming TV market

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: These bionic arms make kids feel like superheroes

More than 50 tech startups look set to go IPO this year, Bank of America's top tech banker says

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 06:00 AM PST

Snap IPO 2/7/18

  • The market for tech public offerings bounced back last year after a poor showing in 2016.
  • This year and next should be even better, predicts Neil Kell, the head of Bank of America Merrill Lynch's tech banking practice.
  • Not only are there lots of companies waiting to go public, the markets have been strong, and investors are primed for new tech offerings, Kell said.

Last year, the market for initial public offerings among tech startups bounced back from a weak 2016.

But this year could be even better.

That's the word from Neil Kell, head of the tech, media, and telecom equity capital markets business at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. His forecast: The number of tech IPOs will jump from about 38 last year to more than 50 in 2018. And next year could be just as good.

"Looking at the pipeline, I don't think I've seen it this healthy in technology in a long time," Kell said.

The types of startups going public are likely to represent a wide range of technology sectors, from traditional internet services to mobility to cybersecurity to enterprise software as a service, he said. Among the companies that has already filed the paperwork for a public offering is cloud storage company Dropbox.

Additionally, some new types of technology companies could also hit the markets, such as those tapping into artificial intelligence or building AI-related applications, he said.

"We're certainly having more and more dialog with AI-oriented companies," he said.

Drew Houston

Numerous factors point to a strong IPO market this year

Several factors are driving the expected upsurge in offerings, Kell said. Perhaps most notably, many technology startups — including dozens of so-called unicorns that have valuations north of $1 billion — have been privately funded by venture capital firms for years through many rounds, and those firms are looking to finally cash in on their investments, he said. With the market on a long bull-run and the economy undergoing its second longest expansion since World War II, those firms may also want to have their startups go public before the good times come to an end.

Part of the thinking is, "We're in a good market. Strike while the iron is hot," Kell said.

But much of his optimism about the tech IPO market is due to the fact that the economy remains strong and investors have been generally bullish, despite the recent volatility in the stock markets. At the same time, many portfolio managers have more cash than typical in their holdings and need a way to invest that; tech stocks, which frequently promise fast-paced growth opportunities, offer an attractive option, Kell said.

And the recent volatility might actually be beneficial for tech companies thinking about going public, he said. When stocks are largely trading sideways, public offerings can offer some of the only promising avenues for growth, he said.

"Their investment decisions become more challenging in volatile markets," he said. "Good growth opportunities can become even more attractive in this environment."

Last year, 38 tech companies went public, raising $10 billion combined, according to data from Renaissance Capital. That followed two down years, in which fewer than 30 tech startups went public each year. Over that two-year period, those IPOs raised just $10.8 billion combined.

SEE ALSO: $10 billion Dropbox has filed the paperwork for an IPO

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NOW WATCH: What it's actually like to hear voices in your head

A top Coinbase exec explains the master plan to turn the $1.6 billion cryptocurrency exchange into the next Google

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 05:00 AM PST

Dan Romero


  • Business Insider checked in with Dan Romero, VP and general manager at Coinbase, to find out what its like trying to grow and scale one of the hottest startups in tech.
  • Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange, saw $1 billion in revenue last year as bitcoin surged in popularity and nearly hit $20,000 in value.
  • Now Romero is tasked with building an organization and product that is suited to handle wild consumer demand. That includes implementing technologies like SegWit, a sometimes-controversial technology that aims to improve bitcoin.
  • Romero downplayed rumors that Coinbase is seeking a CFO ahead of a prospective IPO, saying instead that he's focused on building a company that could do for cryptocurrency what Google did for search.

Coinbase is one of the hottest startups in tech — and with good reason. The cryptocurrency exchange hit $1 billion in annual revenue as this year's bitcoin mania sent the popular digital coin surging up to almost $20,000, before it came back down. 

With a reported 10 million customers served on the platform, Coinbase is far and away the most popular exchange in the US. And investors have noticed, giving the six-year-old startup $100 million in capital at a $1.6 billion valuation in a funding round last August.

But popularity comes at a price, and Coinbase has stumbled through the difficult of scaling from a niche product to a real, sustainable business. It was under these circumstances that Dan Romero, a four-year veteran of Coinbase, took on the role of general manager and vice president of the company in January. 

Romero, who previously ran the startup's business development, is now in charge of growing and scaling both the engineering and product side of Coinbase, as well as its internal operations. Or, in Romero's own words — "the overall customer experience, that's what I wake up every day and focus on," he tells Business Insider.

In conversation with Business Insider, Romero downplayed a recent Recode report that the company was hiring a CFO to go public — but didn't deny it, either. In a bigger-picture sense, Romero says that Coinbase is trying to build a company that could do for cryptocurrency what Google did for search. 

Below, find our conversation with Romero, touching on everything from upstart cryptocurrency exchange rivals like Robinhood, to the sometimes-controversial SegWit technology that could improve bitcoin, to the future of Coinbase itself. 

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. 

With competition growing, Romero says Coinbase is focusing on the mission

Becky Peterson: The competition seems to be growing, with a lot of companies launching cryptocurrency exchanges. How do you define yourself and see the positioning of Coinbase in the long-term compared to other companies in the space?

Dan Romero: We are a first mover in the space in terms of building a consumer friendly brand. We are enabling individuals to be able to get into the ecosystem and be able to experiment with digital currency.

We've had a lot of challenges around with scaling. We've had a lot of customers come on to the platform in the last year and we're doing everything in our power to make sure we're giving them a great customer experience. It's not where it needs to be today. I think hopefully soon we'll have made significant improvements there.

But I think if we shift to long-term, Coinbase is going to be 100% focused on cryptocurrency. Our mission is to build an open financial system for the world. We're not interested in equities or options trading or any of the other kind of traditional financial system products.

We're a neutral platform that is focused on bringing digital currencies to the world more broadly, and not picking favorites or following a political path.  

We're focused on digital currency. Where we will be successful is if customers fundamentally think of us as "the crypto company." That is our focus. So with other folks coming into the market, it's validation that cryptocurrency is more mainstream. But we fundamentally don't view cryptocurrency as a feature. It's our business.

If you look at a couple of the more recent entrants into the market, they don't allow you to send and receive digital currency, or they make you jump through significant hoops to do that. And I think that is antithetical to the idea of cryptocurrency to begin with.

It's fundamentally something to be used, and you can move it around just like you can more your own files around. So the fact that a service would come in and let you speculate on price but not actually use currencies — in some ways that's actually concerning to me.

Peterson: What do you mean? The fact that Coinbase offers payment features and things like that?

Romero: Yeah, but I think a great example, there is a competitor that's rolling out today, where if you go to their help section, they don't allow you to send digital currencies to them, and in order to access withdrawals you have to go through multiple hoops and it may take you a week to do that.

Peterson: Are you talking about Robinhood?

Romero: Yeah, I think they're launching today.

Coinbase may be hiring a new CFO to take the company public 

Peterson: Back to the business side of things — this week Recode reported that Coinbase is looking for a new chief financial officer to help take the company public. Is that true? 

Romero: We are hiring a bunch of different executives at the company. It's part of the scaling effort. We have a CFO right now. We may or may not be looking for a CFO. But I think the broader story here is that we're trying to scale the company because we're looking to build a lasting company in the space.

We may or may not be looking for a CFO. But I think the broader story here is that we're trying to scale the company because we're looking to build a lasting company in the space.

Peterson: In the case that Coinbase does go public, how do you convince investors that this company has a future?

Romero: I think our view is that this is similar to the beginning of the internet. So we're trying to build a Google-like company for the cryptocurrency space. Things like SegWit are a good example, where we need to ensure that we have the latest and greatest in terms of cryptocurrency. That's how we're going to be the cryptocurrency company, that if we do go public at some point in the future, we'll have that narrative.

So we will be focused on that as a business, rather than a feature. We think a lot of the developer interest we've seen grow in 2017 is validation of the fact that this is something that will have staying power, rather than a flash in the pan.

Peterson: When it comes to new technology like SegWit — how do you perceive the role of Bitcoin Core and the open source foundations behind the cryptocurrencies on your platform? Do you think those foundations will lead innovation on crypto or do you see Coinbase doing R&D?

Romero: We are actually trying to increase the amount of contributions we're making at the core protocol level. We have a significant amount of talent that we're trying to hire for, for engineers that would only be working on protocols. So no direct benefit to Coinbase, they would be doing open source development on protocols like bitcoin and ethereum.

We have an engineer right now who's working on the Lightning Network. We view this as both beneficial to Coinbase in the long-term because it makes digital currencies more scalable and more accessible for more people. But at the same time, it's us giving back. Because we're obviously a business that benefits from the open source protocols that exist.

I think you'll see us continue to hire more people whose sole responsibility will be to work with core developers in multiple digital currency protocols and try to help accomplish roadmaps that those communities have set out.

The company will double headcount to around 500 people this year

Tina Bhatnagar Coinbase

Peterson: Do you have a headcount or hiring numbers for 2018?

Romero: We're effectively doubling the numbers in terms of headcount, from roughly 250 to 500. We wish we could hire faster but it's very hard to hire in San Francisco, New York and London.

Peterson: Do you have to do a lot of training or are you mostly hiring people who have experience in crypto?

Romero: It's pretty hard to find people with experience in crypto specifically. We've found that a lot of engineers at more traditional software companies are getting pretty interested in cryptocurrency and that those folks are coming into Coinbase and learning on the job.

If you're a senior software engineer and you've worked with distributed system or just hard computer science type problems, this is stuff that you can pick up pretty quickly once its your full-time job.

Peterson: Is it the same when it comes to hiring executives? You just hired Tina Bhatnagar, who was previously at Twitter. 

Romero: Cryptocurrency hasn't been around for a long enough period of time, so to hire an executive who can scale a support operation, who also has cryptocurrency experience — I'm not sure that they exist.

Tina's a great example. She was dealing with an order of magnitude larger scale support organization, and having her skill set come in — maybe she's earlier on the digital currency learning curve, but that's a sweet spot for us. She's quickly picking it up on the job, and is clearly a talent person.

But the nice thing is that she's seen the movie before, in terms of scaling a support organization, so she's able to hit the ground running.

In the last month and a half she's done more in some ways than we were able to do before. So it's really great to bring in experienced folks on a variety of different functions.

Peterson: Are there any more updates on the roadmap, in terms of major technical changes like SegWit?

Romero: Nothing specific. At a high level, we're focused on providing customers what they want and what customers continually tell us is that they want high reliability during peak times,. So we're continuing to focus on the scaling of the core infrastructure. I think the other big area for customers is wanting to add new assets.

We're going to be slow to do that. We're going to carefully evaluate any new assets we add to the platform, first and foremost from a security angle to make sure we're not adding assets that potentially have a security vulnerability.

We are never going to be the brand that adds every asset under the sun first. For us it's about being the most trusted.

CoinBase is betting on SegWit, a technology to improve bitcoin

Peterson: Coinbase announced this week that it's rolling out support for SegWit, a software upgrade for bitcoin. How did the update process go? I understand you were testing it for a while. 

Romero: If you look at social media over the last couple of months you have a lot of feedback saying, "Why hasn't Coinbase implemented SegWit? It took this team two days to update this product. Why can't Coinbase, with all the money and engineers they have, do it in just as quick of a time?"

It's a little underestimating the scale that we're operating at.

We're holding billions of dollars in customer digital currency. Any change we make to that core business structure has to be thoroughly tested both from the implementation, to make sure it's working, standpoint, but also some serious security considerations.

We're a very much a measure twice, cut once culture — and in some cases maybe it's measure three times and cut once.

We're a very much a measure twice, cut once culture — and in some cases maybe it's measure three times and cut once.

But the upgrade for SegWit was challenging for a couple of reasons. A primary reason is that we have our own proprietary implementation of bitcoin, in terms of the node software we run.

Because we operate at a pretty large scale, we need something that can run for all of the transactions and customers that we're dealing with, but separately that also provides additional security benefits to us.

So when we have an upgrade like this, we have to actually take it and re-implement it ourselves in some capacity. So I think that is going to inevitably makes it a little slower to make changes. But when we do, you'll know that we've been really thoughtful about doing that.

So I think at a hig- level, it's something we've been tracking. And it took us a while to get done but we're quite pleased that it's finally ready to go and it's going to be rolling out to customers in the next few days.

Peterson: Besides the impact this will have on the greater bitcoin network, how will SegWit affect Coinbase customers?

Romero: The fees aren't determined by Coinbase as much as the network. It's a marketplace. You can only have so many transactions in a given block and if there are a lot of transactions on the network at any given moment, then the fees will naturally increase.

So what SegWit does is it allows more transactions to be in the network at any given time. And given how big Coinbase is relative to the network, it means that we aren't consuming any more of the network for customer transactions than we need to be. So we're technically making our infrastructure as efficient as we can.

You'll see on Reddit and Twitter, people will say, "Okay, SegWit, great. What about transaction batching?" That's something I think we're going to be considering as well. It's all about prioritization, and for us bitcoin is an area that we're continuing to invest in.

Peterson: What's transaction batching?

Romero: It's just another technique to efficiently process transactions. It's not an upgrade so much as a best practice when you're at scale.

SegWit is a first step in terms of improving the efficiency of our bitcoin infrastructure, and we view it as a benefit for our customers as well as the bitcoin network and community at large that we're updated with the latest and greatest.

Romero says SegWit is about customers, not bitcoin politics 

Peterson: Critics of Coinbase have suggested that the company was against SegWit at some point because you were in support of a different upgrade to bitcoin altogether.

Romero: That is unequivocally false. We always try to do right by our customers. 

What it is, is that ultimately we hold a lot of bitcoin on behalf of customers. Those customers, in the case of a fork, want access to those coins, especially if the fork is going to have more of a legitimate developer community behind it.  

We need to make sure that we're keeping that bitcoin safe, and in the event that there are situations like forks where customers potentially have two different assets, we should let customers choose what to do with those assets.

There is a group of people in the world who think that Coinbase should have one very clear political stance, and I think that's just not where we are at this point.

We're a neutral platform that is focused on bringing digital currencies to the world more broadly, and not picking favorites or following a political path.  

SEE ALSO: Visa takes the blame for a glitch that hit Coinbase cryptocurrency investors with thousands of dollars in 'ghost' charges

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NOW WATCH: Goldman Sachs is telling its multimillionaire clients not to worry about valuations or inflation

AI 101: How learning computers are becoming smarter

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 04:06 AM PST

artificial intelligence social network eter9

Many companies use the term artificial intelligence, or AI, as a way to generate excitement for their products and to present themselves as on the cutting edge of tech development.

But what exactly is artificial intelligence? What does it involve? And how will it help the development of future generations?

Find out the answers to these questions and more in AI 101, a brand new FREE report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, that describes how AI works and looks at its present and potential future applications.

To get your copy of the FREE slide deck, simply click here.

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THE AI DISRUPTION BUNDLE: The guide to understanding how artificial intelligence is impacting the world (AMZN, AAPL, GOOGL)

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 02:03 AM PST

global ai commerce financing trend

This is a preview of a research report bundle from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

Artificial intelligence (AI) isn't a part of the future of technology. AI is the future of technology.

Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have even publicly debated whether or not that will turn out to be a good thing.

Voice assistants like Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa have become more and more prominent in our lives, and that will only increase as they learn more skills.

These voice assistants are set to explode as more devices powered by AI enter the market. Most of the major technology players have some sort of smart home hub, usually in the form of a smart speaker. These speakers, like the Amazon Echo or Apple HomePod, are capable of communicating with a majority of WiFi-enabled devices throughout the home.

While AI is having an enormous impact on individuals and the smart home, perhaps its largest impact can be felt in the e-commerce space. In the increasingly cluttered e-commerce space, personalization is one of the key differentiators retailers can turn towards to stand out to consumers. In fact, retailers that have implemented personalization strategies see sales gains of 6-10%, at a rate two to three times faster than other retailers, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group.

This can be accomplished by leveraging machine learning technology to sift through customer data to present the relevant information in front of that consumer as soon as they hit the page.

With hundreds of hours of research condensed into three in-depth reports, BI Intelligence is here to help get you caught up on what you need to know on how AI is disrupting your business or your life.

Below you can find more details on the three reports that make up the AI Disruption Bundle, including proprietary insights from the 16,000-member BI Insiders Panel:

AI Banking Cover

AI in Banking and Payments

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most commonly referenced terms by financial institutions (FIs) and payments firms when describing their vision for the future of financial services.

AI can be applied in almost every area of financial services, but the combination of its potential and complexity has made AI a buzzword, and led to its inclusion in many descriptions of new software, solutions, and systems.

This report cuts through the hype to offer an overview of different types of AI, and where they have potential applications within banking and payments. It also emphasizes which applications are most mature, provides recommendations of how FIs should approach using the technology, and offers examples of where FIs and payments firms are already leveraging AI. The report draws on executive interviews BI Intelligence conducted with leading financial services providers, such as Bank of America, Capital One, and Mastercard, as well as top AI vendors like Feedzai, Expert System, and Kasisto.

AI Supply Chain

AI in Supply Chain and Logistics

Major logistics providers have long relied on analytics and research teams to make sense of the data they generate from their operations.

AI’s ability to streamline so many supply chain and logistics functions is already delivering a competitive advantage for early adopters by cutting shipping times and costs. A cross-industry study on AI adoption conducted in early 2017 by McKinsey found that early adopters with a proactive AI strategy in the transportation and logistics sector enjoyed profit margins greater than 5%. Meanwhile, respondents in the sector that had not adopted AI were in the red.

However, these crucial benefits have yet to drive widespread adoption. Only 21% of the transportation and logistics firms in McKinsey’s survey had moved beyond the initial testing phase to deploy AI solutions at scale or in a core part of their business. The challenges to AI adoption in the field of supply chain and logistics are numerous and require major capital investments and organizational changes to overcome.

explores the vast impact that AI techniques like machine learning will have on the supply chain and logistics space. We detail the myriad applications for these computational techniques in the industry, and the adoption of those different applications. We also share some examples of companies that have demonstrated success with AI in their supply chain and logistics operations. Lastly, we break down the many factors that are holding organizations back from implementing AI projects and gaining the full benefits of this disruptive technology.

AI in E-Commerce Report

ai ecommerce

One of retailers' top priorities is to figure out how to gain an edge over Amazon. To do this, many retailers are attempting to differentiate themselves by creating highly curated experiences that combine the personal feel of in-store shopping with the convenience of online portals.

These personalized online experiences are powered by artificial intelligence (AI). This is the technology that enables e-commerce websites to recommend products uniquely suited to shoppers, and enables people to search for products using conversational language, or just images, as though they were interacting with a person.

Using AI to personalize the customer journey could be a huge value-add to retailers. Retailers that have implemented personalization strategies see sales gains of 6-10%, a rate two to three times faster than other retailers, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG). It could also boost profitability rates 59% in the wholesale and retail industries by 2035, according to Accenture.

This report illustrates the various applications of AI in retail and use case studies to show how this technology has benefited retailers. It assesses the challenges that retailers may face as they implement AI, specifically focusing on technical and organizational challenges. Finally, the report weighs the pros and cons of strategies retailers can take to successfully execute AI technologies in their organization.


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