Lightbits Labs | January 18, 2022
Lightbits Labs (Lightbits), the first software-defined and NVMe-based data platform for any cloud, is pleased to announce it has been named a winner in the 2022 BIG Innovation Awards presented by the Business Intelligence Group.
This is recognition for the company’s unique Complete Data Platform, which is an innovative architecture of NVMe/TCP, Intelligent Flash Management, and VMware vSphere 7 Update 3 compatibility that delivers high performance, simplicity, and cost-efficiency for VMware environments. As such, Lightbits, the inventor of NVMe/TCP, is quickly becoming the defacto standard for managing, analyzing, and storing data on any cloud. Leveraging NVMe/TCP protocol and a shared storage architecture, Lightbits delivers the lowest latencies and highest scalability while delivering performance equivalent to local flash. Lightbits solves the storage challenges for cloud-centric applications with greater efficiency than proprietary appliances and when combined with VMWare vSphere is giant leap forward in delivering an end-to-end NVMe solutions ecosystem.
This recognition is further validation that Lightbits fills a critical need for modern IT organizations looking to inject efficiency and agility into the data center. We invented NVMe/TCP, its native to the software, and thus delivers all the low latency and high performance of local flash. And Lightbits is the only solution available with Intelligent Flash Management for maximum cost-efficiency. So, while we may pause to appreciate this recognition, we’ll keep making BIG innovations that enable customers to efficiently leverage their IT investments to extract maximum value from their data.”
Carol Platz, Vice President of Marketing, Lightbits Labs
“Innovation is driving growth in the global economy,” said Maria Jimenez, chief operating officer of the Business Intelligence Group. “We are thrilled to be honoring Lightbits as they are one of the organizations leading this charge and helping humanity progress.”
About Lightbits Labs
Lightbits Labs (Lightbits) is leading the digital data center transformation by making high-performance elastic block storage available to any cloud. Creators of the NVMe over TCP (NVMe/TCP) protocol, Lightbits software-defined storage is easy to deploy at scale and delivers performance equivalent to local flash to accelerate cloud-native applications in bare metal, virtual, or containerized environments. Backed by leading enterprise investors including Cisco Investments, Dell Technologies Capital, Intel Capital, and Micron, Lightbits is on a mission to make high-performance elastic block storage simple, scalable and cost-efficient for any cloud.
The NVMe, and NVMe/TCP word marks are registered or unregistered service marks of the NVM Express organization in the United States and other countries. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use strictly prohibited.
About Business Intelligence Group
The Business Intelligence Group was founded with the mission of recognizing true talent and superior performance in the business world. Unlike other industry award programs, these programs are judged by business executives having experience and knowledge. The organization’s proprietary and unique scoring system selectively measures performance across multiple business domains and then rewards those companies whose achievements stand above those of their peers.
University of Tennessee, Knoxville's Haslam College of Business | February 14, 2022
On a Thursday morning in fall 2021, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville seniors weren't sure what to expect from the next session of their capstone marketing course at the Haslam College of Business. As they took in the scenic view of a desert landscape surrounding them, they watched their fellow students fill the class space, where instructor Mark Collins stood at the front of a futuristic-looking auditorium.
These students weren't on a field trip; they were in their apartments and dorm rooms, attending an experimental hybrid section of Marketing Strategy (MARK 460), which Collins, distinguished lecturer of marketing at Haslam and director of the college's Office of Technology-Enhanced Education, believes to be the first class at UT to utilize virtual reality as a regular delivery modality.
Engaging Marketing Students in a New Way
VR technology has become common in fields like medicine where training involves high risk or high price tags, but Collins was inspired by marketers who had begun using the related technology of augmented reality, enabling users to view their physical surroundings through a phone or tablet and see computer-generated content such as a brand mascot overlaid on the space. With the encouragement of the college's leadership, he obtained Oculus Quest 2 headsets to interface with the VR platform Spatial, which provides high-quality audio and video and integrates easily with smartphones and Microsoft Office.
For this hybrid section of MARK 460, Collins planned for six or eight class sessions in the middle of the semester to be delivered via VR and the rest face-to-face. In the same semester, he taught another section of the course that was completely face-to-face. He says that while both sections achieved the required level of learning for the class, he believes the VR class absorbed the material at a higher level.
"Because it was so different, it made them focus and pay attention a lot more," says Collins, who makes a clear distinction between VR and other types of remote learning. "The interaction and engagement by the students in VR is night and day compared to if we only had met on Zoom. Part of it, I'm sure, is the fact that they're an avatar, so they don't feel that self-consciousness."
Bridgette Liederbach, a Haslam marketing major scheduled to graduate in May 2022, agrees.
Having an avatar makes the classroom experience feel personal and like we are all in the room together but also makes it less intimidating. Zoom sometimes makes me uncomfortable to have my camera on and [unmute myself] because I know everyone will see my face pop up on their screen, but using Spatial makes talking in class easier."
Bridgette Liederbach, a Haslam marketing major
Potential for Teaching Across Disciplines
For future sections of the course, Collins wants to take his entire class on a virtual field trip to a store, using VR footage of retail aisles that has already been shot.
"I want to stand there with them in front of that and say, 'OK, what's happening here? Why are there 13 different types of Cheez-Its?'" he says. "Then we can go down the aisle and see how the competitors are reacting, and what they're doing that kind of matches up with what Cheez-It did."
Other Haslam faculty members have approached Collins about the feasibility of using VR in their courses, and he is enthusiastic about the possibilities, especially as more units, apps and software become available at lower price points. While he doesn't recommend teaching full courses exclusively via VR yet, he imagines financial reports in which students could reach out to pick up information and place it where it belongs, or a VR supply chain where they could identify and manipulate bottlenecks.
"Across all disciplines, there are moments where we want the students to understand something at a really deep and meaningful level, and we can use VR to make that engagement and interaction happen," he says. "I can see using it in a focused, short time span, to keep it really powerful rather than just becoming the new normal."
Kaon Interactive | February 16, 2022
Kaon Interactive, the leading provider of interactive sales and marketing applications for B2B enterprise brands, has launched the first metaverse collaboration platform designed exclusively for B2B sales. LiveShare changes the customer's role from observer to an active participant during virtual meetings by enabling real-time multi-user collaboration within Kaon's applications. The result is increased customer engagement, personalization, and knowledge transfer; resulting in better buying decisions, faster.
Stop Presenting. Start Collaborating.
Tailored specifically for B2B sales engagements, LiveShare was designed around the philosophy that hybrid and virtual meetings must actively involve all participants, rather than rely on passive screen sharing which results in low engagement and distraction.
Unlike video conferencing solutions (like Zoom, WebEx, Teams) which are used for screen sharing of sales presentations, LiveShare is a virtual collaboration platform that enables sellers and buyers to interact, share insights, and immerse themselves in interactive storytelling applications that accelerate buyer consensus.
LiveShare provides the ability for each session attendee to have autonomous control within a shared digital application so that they can engage and explore value propositions and solution details at their own pace. This allows prospects to self-diagnose challenges, bring real problems to the surface for sellers, while also providing the salesperson a path to close. "LiveShare encourages full engagement by everyone while still maintaining a level of guidance by the Sales host to communicate differentiated value and provide real-time contextual knowledge," says David Gould, Senior Product Manager at Kaon Interactive. "All this results in faster learning and consensus buy-in."
The focus on metaverse collaboration (a digital space where people can engage with others or explore on their own) was in anticipation of the need for distributed enterprise sales teams to transition to experiences that are calibrated for an era of digital-first remote selling. What's remarkable about LiveShare is that it brings everyone together in one collaborative session with a sales host, where some of the users can experience and explore the application in full virtual reality (from within a VR headset) while others can be using a browser on a PC, and yet others can be in-person together on a touch-screen or using a Microsoft Surface tablet or iPad Pro. They will all be collaborating together, across geographies, and from their individual roles and perspectives.
The biggest engagement threat in virtual meetings is allowing attendees to unconsciously take the role of passive observer and subsequently tune out. Cognitive science has proven that engagement and active collaboration increases learning, which leads to more informed and enthusiastic buyers, independent of the venue."
Gavin Finn, Kaon CEO and president
In a recent study, Gartner noted that 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels by 2025. One of the greatest challenges for enterprise sales teams in a remote environment is keeping prospects engaged and paying attention. It was found that 67% of workers find it easier to be distracted during virtual meetings versus in-person. Communicating complex subjects that articulate the differentiated value in an enterprise environment requires both a set of visually engaging interactive applications and a robust platform built to create sustained economic value.
"The transition from presentation mode to collaboration and engagement is the most urgent challenge facing enterprise sales organizations," says Finn. "At Kaon, our technology and user experience innovations have created a paradigm shift in how complex selling and storytelling takes place in a virtual or hybrid environment."
About Kaon Interactive
Kaon Interactive is a B2B software company. Kaon's interactive sales and marketing applications simplify complex product and solution stories in a visually engaging way anywhere, anytime, turning prospects into customers. The company's interactive sales and marketing applications transform product and solution marketing content into visual storytelling experiences to deepen customer engagement, reduce marketing expenses and accelerate the sales cycle. Both virtual and in-person, more than 5,000 Kaon interactive applications are being used worldwide by leading global B2B companies in such industries as life sciences, manufacturing, and technology.
Liquidware | February 08, 2022
Liquidware, the leader in digital workspace management, announced that CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Anthony Keller, Director, US Channels, Liquidware, to its 2022 Channel Chiefs list. CRN's annual Channel Chiefs project identifies top IT channel vendor executives who continually demonstrate expertise, influence and innovation in channel leadership.
A panel of CRN editors selected the honorees for their channel dedication, industry stature and accomplishments as channel advocates. The 2022 Channel Chiefs are influential leaders who continue to shape the IT channel with innovative strategies, programs and partnerships.
Having been a previous recipient of this accolade, I am delighted that Anthony's efforts in reinvigorating our channel and his leadership have been recognized. For 2022, we will accelerate our 'channel first' strategy to help further expand our existing Enterprise focus. This recognition for Anthony signals Liquidware's enhanced focus on deep relationships with leading "trusted advisor" channel organizations."
Chris Akerberg, President and COO, Liquidware
During 2021, Anthony and his channel team achieved the following results:
Increased active channel partners by 30%
Average deal size through the channel grew by 70%
Registered deal pipeline grew by 18%
License sales through the channel increased 28% year-on-year
Anthony holds an MBA from St. John's University, graduating in the top 10 percent of his class. Starting his career at AppSense, Anthony moved to VMware to build and scale the newly created VMware Cloud Provider Program working closes with MSPs. During his six years at VMware he was part of a team that grew the SaaS business 30%+ year-on-year. Being focused on the EUC space throughout his career, joining Liquidware to build and scale their channel program was a natural career progression.
XenTegra is a Liquidware Center of Excellence and Acceler8 partner, their CEO Andy Whiteside commented, "Partnering with Liquidware is a pleasure for the team at XenTegra. Their solutions solve problems that our Digital Workspace focused company needs to help our customers. They understand how VARs work and communicate with us weekly to drive solution oriented outcomes for the customers we both serve."
"CRN's 2022 Channel Chiefs recognition is given exclusively to the foremost channel executives who consistently design, promote, and execute effective partner programs and strategies," said Blaine Raddon, CEO of The Channel Company. "We're thrilled to recognize the tireless work and unwavering commitment these honorees put into fostering outstanding business innovation and building strong partner programs to drive channel engagement and success."
Liquidware is a leader in digital workspace management solutions for Windows workspaces. The company's products encompass all facets of management to ensure the ultimate user experience across all workspaces – physical, virtual, DaaS or in the cloud. Enterprises across the globe utilize Liquidware solutions to dramatically decrease time spent managing workspaces, while delivering increased security, flexibility and scalability. Supported platforms include Microsoft physical, Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), and RDS desktops, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, VMware Horizon, Amazon WorkSpaces, and Nutanix Frame. Liquidware products are available through a global network of partners.
About The Channel Company
The Channel Company enables breakthrough IT channel performance with our dominant media, engaging events, expert consulting and education, and innovative marketing services and platforms. As the channel catalyst, we connect and empower technology suppliers, solution providers, and end users. Backed by more than 30 years of unequaled channel experience, we draw from our deep knowledge to envision innovative new solutions for ever-evolving challenges in the technology marketplace.