Poly Announces Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2020 Financial Results

Poly | November 05, 2019

Plantronics, Inc. (NYSE: PLT) ("Poly" or the "Company") today announced second quarter fiscal year 2020 results for the period ending September 30, 2019. Highlights of the second quarter include the following: “During the second quarter, we made further progress reducing our debt and managing corporate spend,” said Chuck Boynton, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “As we analyze inventory levels across our value chain, in light of the evolving macroeconomic conditions and significant product transitions underway, we believe it is prudent to reduce channel inventory at this time by reducing sales to channel partners. This reduction will primarily impact our fiscal Q3 results and is incorporated into the guidance we are providing today.” At Zoom's annual user conference, Poly announced the Studio X family, two new purpose-built all-in-one video bars designed to dramatically simplify the video conferencing experience. Combined with the Poly Studio and Poly G7500 the Company now has a full portfolio of software-driven video endpoints positioned to capture the rapid growth in the video conferencing market.

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Collins Teaches First UT Class Delivered Via Virtual Reality

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."

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VMware Recognized by Frost & Sullivan for Customers Launching New Business Ecosystems at Scale with its Enterprise-Grade Blockchain Platform

VMware | March 23, 2022

Based on its recent analysis of the Global Blockchain Services space, Frost & Sullivan recognizes VMware with the 2022 Customer Value Leadership Award for creating an enterprise grade-blockchain that allows companies to deploy multi-party applications with a range of popular smart contract languages. VMware is a leading multi-cloud and application technology provider with over 20 years on the market, enabling digital innovation and improving business performance with best-in-class solutions. VMware is a leading provider of multi-cloud services for all apps, enabling digital innovation with enterprise control. The company works to harness the next wave of innovation and help solve customers' toughest challenges through disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, edge computing, and machine learning. "Creating a private permissioned blockchain based on Byzantine fault-tolerant state machine replication, VMware's architecture facilitates enterprises to run distributed, multi-party applications in multiple smart contract languages, with network trust and resilience built in," said Nick J. Baugh, Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. "VMware Blockchain thus equips enterprises with a robust and highly efficient platform that does not suffer the main drawbacks of alternative blockchain models. Compared to other blockchain models, such as proof-of-work mechanism, VMware's approach is highly efficient and sustains massive numbers of nodes and data transactions." Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that demonstrates excellence in implementing strategies that proactively create value for its customers, focusing on improving the return on the investment that customers make in its services or products. The award recognizes VMware's unique focus on augmenting its customers' value, beyond simply good customer service, leading to improved customer retention and customer base expansion. Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in various regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analyses, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry. About Frost & Sullivan For six decades, Frost & Sullivan has been world-renowned for its role in helping investors, corporate leaders, and governments navigate economic changes and identify disruptive technologies, Mega Trends, new business models, and companies to action, resulting in a continuous flow of growth opportunities to drive future success.

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New Audit Resources from ISACA Help Professionals Keep Pace with 2022 Audit and Compliance Trends and Updates

ISACA | December 22, 2021

As the year winds down, many audit professionals are shifting their focus to 2022 priorities—including developing dynamic new strategies such as agile auditing, revisiting established technologies from a remote or hybrid working environment perspective, and closing any gaps between compliance expectations and current practices—and how they can enhance their skills to meet the needs of the evolving audit landscape. To meet these needs, ISACA has released three new audit resources—its VPN Security Audit Program, Destination: Agile Auditing white paper, and a new edition of its IT Control Objectives for Sarbanes-Oxley publication. During the pandemic, the reliance on virtual private networks (VPNs) was heightened as many shifted to working from home—as did the need to manage its risks and implement safeguards. ISACA’s VPN Security Audit Program provides a foundation for auditors to provide assurance around the effectiveness of implemented VPN controls, including pre-audit planning, governance and oversight, implementation and configuration, operations, and maintenance and monitoring, to avoid some of the following risks: The increase in number of end users combined with extended VPN use may put additional pressure on infrastructure and adversely affect performance. Failure to detect unauthorized VPN activity may cause denial of service due to excessive traffic or connection attempts. Lack of alignment of data classification requirements with VPN requirements and configuration may impair compliance initiatives that are reliant on data classification. During the pandemic, organizations embraced methods to increase agility and efficiency, including by using Agile. Destination: Agile Auditing outlines how audit professionals can incorporate Agile principles into their audit methodologies. Auditors can learn the basics about Agile auditing, its benefits, how Agile complements established assurance standards, how developing competency in Agile can enhance the planning, fieldwork, and reporting phases of an audit. The white paper also includes examples of elements from the Agile tool set, including an Agile road map and Agile audit engagement workflows and illuminates key components like sprints, audit backlog and daily standups. Internal and external auditors, IT auditors and managers, and financial and operational managers can also ensure they are keeping up with the latest guidance in complying with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in a new edition of ISACA’s IT Control Objectives for Sarbanes-Oxley publication. This latest edition incorporates updated guidance and standards from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and its Auditing Standards Board, with updates including: Integrating guidance for implementing internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) using COBIT® 2019, for IT and financial management within enterprises and for their internal and external auditors and consultants Aligning with COBIT 2019 Focus Area: Information & Technology Risk Providing the mapping of the role of COSO Internal Control – Integrated Framework, 2013 to COBIT 2019 Highlighting technological innovations and their impacts on auditing IT controls. The audit landscape is constantly shifting as technologies and regulations evolve, making it essential that audit professionals prioritize continuous learning to ensure they are applying the most current and effective audit practices. ISACA is committed to equipping the global audit community with the tools they need to deliver the highest audit standards at their organizations.” Robin Lyons, IT Audit Professional Practices Lead About ISACA For more than 50 years, ISACA has advanced the best talent, expertise and learning in technology. ISACA equips individuals with knowledge, credentials, education and community to progress their careers and transform their organizations, and enables enterprises to train and build quality teams. ISACA is a global professional association and learning organization that leverages the expertise of its more than 150,000 members who work in information security, governance, assurance, risk and privacy to drive innovation through technology. It has a presence in 188 countries, including more than 220 chapters worldwide. In 2020, ISACA launched One In Tech, a philanthropic foundation that supports IT education and career pathways for under-resourced, under-represented populations.

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Beyond Identity Expands Integrations With Leading SSO Providers

Beyond Identity | April 18, 2022

Invisible, unphishable multi-factor authentication (MFA) provider Beyond Identity today announced integrations with additional single sign-on (SSO) solutions from CyberArk, Google Cloud, OneLogin by One Identity, Shibboleth, and VMware to accelerate enterprise and higher education adoption of completely passwordless MFA. These new integrations – which come on the heels of Beyond Identity announcing $100 million in Series C funding – further expand the industry’s most extensive ecosystem of identity and SSO providers committed to the advancement of passwordless MFA. Passwords remain the most vulnerable link in the authentication chain and are involved in 80% of data breaches. Passwords are a compromised authentication method and an initial attack vector for ransomware and account takeover attacks. Adversaries employ phishing techniques to steal credentials or simply purchase previously stolen passwords to gain access. Recent high-profile security breaches, such as TransUnion South Africa, further underscore the fact that passwords are the root cause of cyberattacks. The prevailing assumption is that MFA will protect organizations from password-based attacks. Unfortunately, attackers are easily bypassing existing MFA solutions at scale. To shore up the federal government’s cybersecurity defenses and deliver on President Biden’s Executive Order on Cybersecurity, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently released a Zero Trust Architecture Strategy that requires agencies to stop using easily phishable MFA, including push notifications, one-time passwords over SMS, and voice-based systems. “Strong authentication” is a foundational component of any zero trust strategy, and the U.S. government now requires “passwordless MFA.” “Beyond Identity’s approach aligns with the OMB’s recent guidance: passwordless MFA with no phishable factors,” said Kurt Johnson, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Beyond Identity. “We are thrilled to welcome cybersecurity leaders CyberArk, Google Cloud, OneLogin by One Identity, Shibboleth, and VMware into our technology ecosystem. We look forward to bringing secure and frictionless MFA to these important solutions with our Secure Work product that transforms the user experience while significantly bolstering defenses.” Secure Work, one of three products built on Beyond Identity’s cloud-native platform, safeguards an organization’s SaaS apps, cloud resources, and critical data by eliminating passwords and restricting access to authorized and secure devices. It empowers zero trust by cryptographically binding a user’s identity to their devices with proven public/private key technology. The solution ensures every device has the correct security settings and required security software running at the time of login – before granting access. Beyond Identity’s advanced authenticator collects dozens of device security posture checks at the time of login. These granular security attributes can then be used to enforce security policies and stop risky users and devices from authenticating, protecting all critical resources. About Beyond Identity Beyond Identity is fundamentally changing how the world logs in with a groundbreaking invisible, unphishable MFA platform that provides the most secure and frictionless authentication on the planet. We stop ransomware and account takeover attacks in their tracks and dramatically improve the user experience. Beyond Identity’s state-of-the-art platform eliminates passwords and other phishable factors, enabling organizations to confidently validate users’ identities. The solution ensures users log in from authorized devices, and that every device meets the security policy requirements during login and continuously after that. Our revolutionary approach empowers zero trust by cryptographically binding the user’s identity to their devices and analyzing hundreds of risk signals on an ongoing basis. The company’s advanced risk policy engine enables organizations to implement foundationally secure authentication and utilize risk signals for protection, rather than just for detection and response.

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