March 19, 1998Placing the bucket over the slab next to Heat Duct tunnel.
(text and photos by Shannon Mackenzie) January 24, 2018Last week, a group of architects from Phoenix came to visit Arcosanti and took a special Architecture & Planning tour with resident and Penn State graduate Ryan David.You can see these architects’ work and read publications about their projects on their website at http://www.localstudioaz.com
Categories: Eisen News House approves historic reforms to reduce car ratesThe Michigan House today approved a landmark plan to fix our state’s much-maligned car insurance system and reduce rates for all Michigan drivers, state Rep. Gary Eisen announced.Rep. Eisen voted in favor of the plan to offer drivers personal injury coverage options, rein in medical costs and fight fraud – features designed to end Michigan’s long-standing tenure as the state with the costliest car insurance rates in the nation.“It’s been a priority to give drivers relief and by working together we can reform the highest average auto insurance premiums in the nation,” Eisen, of St. Clair Township, said after the vote. “This plan better serves the interests of Michigan drivers.”Michigan’s costs are high largely because it’s the only state mandating unlimited lifetime health care coverage through car insurance. The plan allows those currently using the coverage to keep it, and those who want it in the future to continue buying it – while providing more affordable options.The plan:· Guarantees lower rates for all Michigan drivers.· Gives drivers a choice on car insurance policies.· Stops price gouging on medical services for car accident victims.· Combats fraudulent claims to help lower costs.The sweeping legislation now advances to the Senate for consideration.##### 09May Rep. Eisen votes to reform highest auto insurance premiums in the nation
In recent years, some cities, including Memphis and Phoenix, withered into health insurance wastelands, as insurers fled and premiums skyrocketed in the insurance marketplaces that were set up under the Affordable Care Act.But today, as in many parts of the U.S., these two cities are experiencing something unprecedented: Insurance premiums are sinking and choices are sprouting.In the newly competitive market in Memphis, for example, the cheapest midlevel “silver” plan for 2019 health coverage will cost $498 a month for a 40-year-old — a 17 percent decrease compared to last year.And four insurers are now selling ACA policies in Phoenix. That’s the same market that then-presidential candidate Donald Trump highlighted in 2016 because all but one insurer had left the region — he called it proof of “the madness of Obamacare.”Janice Johnson, a 63-year-old retiree in Arizona’s Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, said her monthly premium for a high-deductible bronze plan will be $207 for 2019, instead of $270, because she is switching carriers.”When you’re on a fixed income, that makes a difference,” said Johnson, who receives a government subsidy to help cover her premium. “I’ll know more in a year from now if I’m going to stick with this company. But I’m going to give them a chance, and I’m pretty excited by that.”Looking across all 50 states, the premiums for the average “benchmark” silver plan, which the government uses to set subsidies, are dropping nearly 1 percent. And more than half of the counties in the 39 states that rely on the federal HealthCare.gov exchange are experiencing a 10 percent price decrease, on average, for their cheapest plan.In most places, the declines are not enough to erase the price hikes that have accrued since the creation of the health care exchanges in 2014.Instead, next year’s price cuts help to correct the huge increases that jittery insurers set for 2018 to protect themselves from anticipated Republican assaults on the markets. While Congress came up one vote shy of repealing the federal health law in the summer of 2017, Trump and Republicans in Congress did manage to strip away many of the structural underpinnings that induced people to buy plans and helped insurers pay for some of their low-income customers’ copayments and deductibles. Insurers responded with a 32 percent increase, on average, for 2018 plans.”Insurers overshot last year,” said Chris Sloan, a director at Avalere, a health care consulting company in Washington, D.C. “We are nowhere close to erasing that increase. This is still a really expensive market with poor benefits when it comes to deductibles and cost.”For 2019, the average premium for the benchmark silver plan will be 75 percent higher than it was in 2014, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)When Republicans failed to kill the health law last year, they inadvertently may have made it stronger. Insurers banked hefty profits in 2018, and that attracted new companies to most ACA markets.All these factors were especially influential in Tennessee, where the average benchmark premium is dropping 26 percent, according to an analysis by the federal government. That’s a bigger drop than in any other state.Seventy-eight of 95 Tennessee counties had just one insurer for 2018. That monopoly allowed the insurer to set the prices of its plans without fear of competition, said David Anderson, a researcher at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy in Durham, N.C. “They were massively overpriced,” Anderson said of all available policies.But for the coming year, 49 Tennessee counties will have more than one insurer, with a few — like Shelby County, where Memphis is located — having four companies competing. There, Cigna dropped the price of its lowest-cost silver plan by 15 percent. Even then, Cigna was underbid by Ambetter of Tennessee, a company owned by the managed-care insurer Centene Corp.”We’re finally at the point where the market is stabilized,” said Bobby Huffaker, the CEO of American Exchange, an insurance brokerage firm based in Tennessee. “From the beginning, every underwriter — [and] the people who were the architects — they knew it would take several years for the market to mature.”Still, the cheapest Memphis silver premium is nearly three times what it was in 2014, the first year of the marketplaces. A family of four, headed by 40-year-old parents, will be paying $19,119 for all of next year unless they qualify for a government subsidy.”The unsubsidized are leaving,” said Sabrina Corlette, a professor at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute. “They are finding these premiums unaffordable.”The landscape in Phoenix is greatly improved from when Trump visited after the federal government announced a 116 percent premium increase for 2017; the number of insurers at that time had dropped from eight to one.Now, three new insurers are entering Maricopa County. Meanwhile, Ambetter, the only insurer that offered plans for 2018, reduced its lowest price for a silver plan for next year by 12 percent — and it offers the cheapest such plan in the market.Still, Ambetter’s plan is 114 percent above the least expensive silver plan offered there in the first year of the exchanges. And neither Ambetter nor any of the insurers coming into the market for 2019 offer as broad and flexible a choice of doctors and hospitals as consumers had back then, according to Michael Malasnik, a local broker.Since the start of the exchanges, Malasnik said, insurers have “raised their rates by multiples, and they’ve figured out you have to be a very narrow network.”Each plan in Phoenix for 2019 contains trade-offs, he said. Only Bright Health’s plan includes Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Ambetter’s plan includes the most popular hospital and doctor groups, Malasnik said. But those providers are not as conveniently located for people living in the southeastern corner of the county, and that makes other insurers’ plans more appealing for some customers.”Geography is the name of the game this year,” Malasnik said.Theresa Flood, a preschool teacher who lives outside Phoenix, said none of the provider networks of the plans she considered included her doctors, such as the specialist who treats her spine problems. She has had four surgeries, and a neurologist who monitors a cyst and benign tumor in her brain is also outside the network she ended up choosing.”I have to establish care with a whole new spine doctor and establish care with a whole new neurologist if I want to follow up on these things,” said Flood, who is 59. “You’re going from ‘established care’ to ‘who in the heck am I going to see?’ “The plan Flood ultimately chose would have been too expensive, except that she and her husband John, who is a minister, qualified for a $1,263-a-month subsidy that will drop the cost to $207 a month. That bronze plan from Ambetter carries a $6,550-per-person deductible; so Flood expects she’ll still have to pay out-of-pocket for her treatments and doctor visits unless she needs extensive medical attention.”It’s gone from being able to have a plan that you could sort of afford and got some benefit from, to putting up with what you can afford and hoping nothing happens that you actually have to use your insurance,” she said. “At this point, I’ll take what I can get.”Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit news service, is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, and is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Copyright 2018 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.
6 min read Image credit: Shutterstock March 20, 2018 Entrepreneur Staff Facebook’s Brand Is Becoming the Uber of Social Media, and That’s Not a Good Thing Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Once upon a time less than five years ago every startup in existence pitched itself as the Uber of whatever it did. Nobdy frames their startup that way anymore. An ever unspooling series of scandals running the gamut from raunchy corporate culture to deliberately evading municipal regulators and alleged theft of trade secrets led to the ouster of Travis Kalanick, who now lives in exile and is remembered as the CEO who yells at his lowest-paid employees when they voice a complaint.Facebook and its famously boyish founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg appear to be spiraling toward the same branding calamity. The corporation and the man have consistently denied or downplayed Facebook’s role as a chief purveyor of Russian misinformation during the 2016 presidential campaign. An avalanche of new problems is burying Facebook with revelations that its loosey-goosey privacy rules allowed Cambridge Analytica, the company at the center of the scandal surrounding clandestine Russian involvement in the 2016 election, to “harvest” data from up to 50 million people without their permission (or, in the vast majority of cases, their knowledge) to sharpen the 2016 presidential campaigns of, first, Ted Cruz, then Donald Trump.The reporting on the Cambridge Analytica scandal is must reading no matter how burned out you are on politics and scandals. It reveals that Facebook operates a lot like a bar that doesn’t check ID — if you can pay for your drink, you get served and what happens after that is not their worry. In this instance, Cambridge Analytica — the data research firm owned by Steve Bannon and billionaire Robert Mercer, the same pair who brought us Breitbart News — hired a Cambridge University professor, Alexander Kogan, to entice Facebook users to download an app that vacuumed up their personal information as well as their Facebook friends.Related: Russian-Linked Facebook Ad Scandal Shows Just How Intricate Targeting Can BeThe data was supposed to be used for academic research but, as we know now (and Facebook has known for a long time but told nobody), it was used to draw exquisitely detailed profiles of American voters to guide how they were pitched during the 2016 campaign. Facebook is defensively arguing what is looking like one of the largest data breaches ever is not, in the narrowest possible sense, a data breach. As they explain it, everyone who dowloaded Kogan’s app agreed to surrender their data, but Kogan used the data he acquired in violation of his agreement with Facebook.That is something like telling a person who believes they have been robbed they are really victims of an embezzlement, so calm down and realize it isn’t Facebook’s fault. Alex Stamos, Facebook’s outgoing chief of security, seems to be among the many people skeptical of this explanation. According to The New York Times, Stamos has resigned from Facebook because of “internal disagreement rooted in how much Facebook should publicly share about how nation states misused the platform and debate over organizational changes in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections.”Stamos advocated disclosing more about how the Russians rigged Facebook and he advocates trying harder to keep them out of the upcoming elections. Zuckerberg, you will recall, in November 2016 dismissed as a “pretty crazy idea” that Russians had used Facebook to spread fake news. That was the same month Stamos’s team had already confirmed the Russians had done exactly that.Stamos, who once oversaw 120 people, was all but fired in December and left to oversee a staff of three.Related: Here Are the Russia Facebook Ads That Tried to Dupe YouZuck will be flushed from his comfort zone.The fall from grace of Facebook and huge social media companies in general (Twitter is better know known for Russian bots than earnest public debate) is likely to result in more regulation and more energetic scrutiny from regulators. Lawmakers in the U.S., U.K. and EU are clamoring for Zuckerberg personally to testify before investigating committees. Zuckerberg has only dispatched other executives to do that, and their testimony has been widely seen as evasive.“I will be writing to Mark Zuckerberg asking that either he or another senior executive from the company appear to give evidence in front of the committee as part our inquiry,” British lawmaker Damian Collins, head of a parliamentary committee that has been investigating Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, said to The Washington Post. “It is not acceptable that they have previously sent witnesses who seek to avoid difficult questions by claiming not to know the answers.”U.S. lawmakers seem intent on hearing from Zuckerberg himself.Related: Facebook Says 126 Million Users May Have Been Exposed to Russian Posts“They say ‘trust us,’ but Mark Zuckerberg needs to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about what Facebook knew about misusing data from 50 million Americans in order to target political advertising and manipulate voters,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said in a statement.Being hauled in front of congressional committees for a public grilling is just the unpleasant beginning for Zuckerberg and his company. Public outcry is likely to give new momentum to legislation to regulate political advertising on social media just as it is regulated in legacy media. Equally likely is heavy pressure on the Federal Trade Commission to enforce a 2011 consent order supposedly governing how Facebook protects release of user data to third parties. The order calls for fines of up to $40,000 per breach of privacy. The penalties for compromising the data of 50 million people could, at least in theory, run into the billions of dollars. The Electronic Privacy Information Center, which led the public movement that resulted in the consent order and has since sued the FTC for failure to enforce it, argues this latest data loss underscores the need for a national data protection law and a standalone agency to enforce it.“This is the consequence of the Federal Trade Commission’s failure to enforce the 2011 consent order with Facebook,” Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told The Washington Post. “The United States needs a dedicated privacy agency and a comprehensive privacy law. The FTC can’t do the job.”Related: Mark Zuckerberg ‘Dead Serious’ About Stopping Russian Facebook AbuseThere are limits to how bad it gets when your brand is tarnished. Uber, after all, remains an enormous and growing company likely to only get richer. Kalanick, wherever he is and whatever he is doing, remains a billionaire. It’s just neither is esteemed any longer or used as an example of excellence. Facebook, vastly larger and far more central to the daily life of many more people, is in no danger of going out of business, just as Zuckerberg is certain to remain one of the wealthiest people on Earth. How much it or he is respected or admired is much more uncertain. Peter Page Next Article Senior Editor for Green Entrepreneur Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Add to Queue –shares Facebook Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg have squandered the public’s good will by downplaying just how compromised the platform was during the 2016 election. Enroll Now for $5
Add to Queue Green Entrepreneur Podcast December 7, 2018 –shares News and Trends Earlier this week at the International Cannabis Policy Conference, which is being held at United Nations Headquarters in Vienna, Austria, participants were very excited about the prospects of the United Nations World Health Organization rescheduling the legal status of the plant.All signs looked promising. Last May, the UN released its first-ever review of marijuana, offering some positive assessments. And earlier this month, the Federal Drug Administration got involved, asking the American people what they thought the U.S.’ recommendation should be.But, in a somewhat surprising blow, the World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence came out with an announcement saying it would decline to give recommendations or reschedule cannabis. The Committee argued it needed more time to complete a thorough critical review.“It’s unfortunate to hear the news on the decision from the WHO,” said Evan Eneman, CEO of the MGO/ELLO Alliance. “Every day we see more and more researchers, health institutions, investors, large multinational operators and entrepreneurs entering the space to support the sustainable growth of this industry.”Related: FDA Welcomes Public Comments on MarijuanaShaken But Not SurprisedWhile many experts in the cannabis industry are disappointed, not all are surprised. Emily Paxhia, co-founder and managing partner at cannabis-focused hedge fund Poseidon Asset Management, noted that the cannabis industry is used to seeing “progress coupled with setbacks.” Hurdles are inherent to the nature of this space, she added. “We are always optimistic and hopeful about seeing progress, understanding the plant and studying it further, so we can better comprehend all the positive attributes that the plant can bring to society,” she told Green Entrepreneur. “But, it’s also not that surprising to see that outdated perceptions and misperceptions are holding back adoption of studying, researching and looking more positively into the cannabis plant.”Jonas Duclos, co-founder and CEO of Switzerland-based JKB Research, called the WHO announcement “obviously disappointing but not a real surprise,” explaining that “the main problem is that governments are far behind when it comes to innovation and research. They are not well informed and don’t know the right people to work with.” He sees opportunity in the disconnect. “The cannabis industry has to be led by its real wellness potential, rather than the profits it can beget. Although the WHO is a key actor in this process, this opens the door for others to demonstrate initiative in the short term.”Related: How Bad Is It?But, while many in the cannabis industry were unhappy with the WHO’s decision, some agreed with it.“We need to think of cannabinoids as we do any other plant-derived pharmacological agent that has historically been derived from plants such as paclitaxel, morphine and even codeine,” said Christine Allen, professor at the University of Toronto and Chief Scientific Officer at Avicanna, a Canadian cannabinoid biotech company. “All of these drugs have a safe and effective dose and are contraindicated in certain patient populations. It is critical that the gaps in our knowledge are filled in a timely manner in order to sufficiently educate the medical community and the public,”CEO of Avicanna, Aras Azadian, also agrees with the WHO’s decision. “We have tested many products currently on the market that contain potentially toxic degradants and can be metabolized in the body to compounds with an unknown safety profile. Cannabis has become a cash crop and many unqualified companies are offering these unsafe products to consumers and patients. We’re afraid that many of the benefits patients experience with CBD products specifically may also be a placebo effect as we have tested the bio-availability of CBD products,” he saidWhat’s NextLezli Engelking, founder of the Foundation Of Cannabis Unified Standards, (FOCUS) who tracks issues like these predicts that the WHO won’t take action — if they take action at all — until March of 2020.But he cautions that “given the surprising and novel move by WHO, all bets are off. Policy can always be adjusted — just as it was today. One thing is for sure though: the time is now for the cannabis industry to step up their game and show the world it can produce safe, consistent, quality products that don’t pose an unnecessary risk to patients, consumers, the public, and the environment.”Adding to this point, Eneman said the industry as a whole, and society, have an “obligation to understand exactly what this plant is capable of as well as how it can be misused or abused.“It is clear that this plant in all the existing and contemplated forms is far safer than many other substances we consume. It is also clear as to the direction we are heading, and it is an important time to focus on establishing international trust and transparency for this industry. We need the support from policymakers, operators, financiers and regulators. There have been pioneers for years willing to support the safety and efficacy of the cultivation and consumption of this plant, and there are many many new entrants who want to explore the possibilities of what it can do, including the largest, most credentialed and most influential researchers in the world. WHO and others need to get behind this movement and allow all of the good stewards to help shape the way for a safe, effective and sustainable industry.” Each week hear inspiring stories of business owners who have taken the cannabis challenge and are now navigating the exciting but unpredictable Green Rush. In a surprising development, the U.N. comitee decided to punt on their decision to recommend or reschedule cannabis. VIP Contributor Image credit: Shutterstock The World Health Organization Won’t Reschedule Cannabis. Should We Care? cannabis, biotech and entrepreneurship reporter Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Next Article Listen Now 5 min read Javier Hasse
This story appears in the July 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Export with Ease Next Article –shares July 1, 2006 Laurel Delaney Add to Queue Magazine Contributor 1 min read A free online filing system makes your mandatory paperwork a breeze. Complying with export laws just got simpler. AESDirect, a free and highly sophisticated system, simplifies the process of filing Shipper’s Export Declaration information to the Automated Export System. Though as of press time a date hadn’t been set, it will soon become mandatory to file all your export documentation electronically. AES-Direct offers these benefits:1. Ensures export compliance: It returns a confirmation number to verify that you successfully filed your export documentation.2. Corrects errors: Get immediate feedback when data is omitted or incorrect, and correct errors at any time.3. Eliminates paper review: Say goodbye to the time delays of handling paper.4. Stays up-to-date with various trade agreements: AES conforms to NAFTA and GATT, making it easier to do business in multiple countries.5. Evaluates and measures potential markets: Accurate and timely export statistics help your business stay ahead.For further information, visit AESDirector call the AES hotline at (800) 549-0595.Laurel Delaney runs GlobeTrade.comand LaurelDelaney.com, Chicago-based firms that specialize in international entrepreneurship. Apply Now » The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Growth Strategies
This story originally appeared on Reuters Barnes & Noble Buys Microsoft’s Stake in Nook Media, Ending Two-Year Partnership Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Add to Queue Next Article Image credit: Reuters | Mike Blake December 5, 2014 Reuters Barnes & Noble Inc struck a deal to buy Microsoft Corp’s stake in Nook Media LLC, ending a two-year partnership and clearing the way for the bookseller to spin off its loss-making e-reader and digital content division.Barnes & Noble shares closed down 5.4 percent on the New York Stock Exchange after the company also reported a much-weaker-than-expected quarterly profit, due to lower sales of Nook devices.The company estimated the value of the cash and share deal at about $125 million. Nook, launched in 2009, enjoyed initial success but has ended up costing Barnes & Noble hundreds of millions of dollars as it was unable to keep pace with Amazon.com Inc’s Kindle and Apple Inc’s iPad.Microsoft invested $300 million in Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader in 2012 to gain a foothold in the fast-growing e-books market. As of Sept. 9, Microsoft owned about 17 percent of Nook Media through preferred shares.Barnes & Noble said in June it would spin off its Nook Media business, which includes college bookstores, to focus on its retail book business.”We mutually agreed that it made sense to terminate the agreement,” a Microsoft spokesman said in an email. Microsoft will lose money on its initial investment, but will also be spared any future payments to fund Nook, which were running at about $21 million per quarter.Under the agreement announced on Thursday, Microsoft will have the right to receive about 22.7 percent of total proceeds of Nook’s digital business, which excludes the college bookstores, if it is sold in the next three years.Pearson Plc owns 5 percent of Nook Media, which had revenue of $815 million in the second quarter ended Nov. 1.The company said it would buy Microsoft’s stake in Nook Media for $62.4 million in cash and about 2.7 million in shares.Barnes & Noble said it now expected to complete the separation of its Nook Media business at the end of August 2015. It had earlier expected to complete it by March.The company said its total revenue fell 2.6 percent to $1.69 billion in the second quarter. Retail sales fell 3.6 percent.Net income fell to $12.3 million, or 12 cents per share, from $13.2 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average expected a profit of 31 cents per share on revenue of $1.69 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.(Additional reporting by Ramkumar Iyer; Editing by Don Sebastian, Ted Kerr, Siddharth Cavale and Gunna Dickson) –shares Register Now » Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Microsoft 3 min read
Add to Queue Next Article Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand It’s a good thing Lady Gaga didn’t quit her day job.The celeb’s startup for building online communities, Backplane, has burned through $18.9 million in funding in five years and is now out of business, TechCrunch reports.Backplane was Gaga’s vision for an online social network, a place where her so-called “little monsters” (that is, Gaga fans) could come and connect.The startup fetched an original $40 million valuation back in 2011, Vanity Fair reports.But the Fame Monster’s bubble has since burst.Backplane launched a single product, LittleMonsters.com, which was born out of Lady Gaga’s fan website. The monsters site was billed as a high-end social media and photo sharing network:The LittleMonsters.com page as it appeared in March 2015Image credit: via Wayback MachineLady Gaga poured $1 million of her own cash into the launch, with Google Ventures, Menlo Ventures, and Google’s Eric Schmidt also funding the endeavor.But since the LittleMonsters.com launch, the company’s seen little success. Now backplane has defaulted on its loans, forcing the company to go belly up, TechCrunch says. A group of investors has bought the company’s assets, everything from the patents to the office space, and is planning to restart the business, TechCrunch adds.Gaga’s fumble comes just as many venture capitalists are tightening their own purse strings, slowing the era of billion-dollar tech startup valuations.But Lady Gaga’s days in Silicon Valley aren’t over yet. The star recently partnered with Intel and Vox Media via her Born This Way Foundation for the new “Hack Harassment” project that will work to quell cyberbullying and sexual harassment on the Internet. Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. lady gaga Hilary Brueck April 12, 2016 Enroll Now for $5 Lady Gaga’s Startup Just Went Out of Business 2 min read –shares This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine Image credit: Courtesy of Intel
At one time, there was a fairly universal business model which applied to virtually every company. The customer would become aware of their product through a printed advert or billboard. They would then speak with the company selling the product to obtain a quote. After mulling over their potential purchase for several days, they would finally (hopefully) decide to go ahead and buy the product in question. The process could be a long one, with a decreasing chance of making a sale as each step of the path progressed.These days in the era of digital marketing, the process of consumer decision making has changed beyond all recognition. User behavior has been streamlined and today’s business model is a much briefer one than in the past. Now, when a consumer decides they need a product, they can surf the internet immediately, find exactly what they need virtually instantly and make a snap purchasing decision. Researching online takes a matter of minutes or hours rather than days trawling around stores and calling suppliers. Reviews are right there at the consumer’s fingertips and product demos can be viewed immediately before making any purchasing decision. This accessibility has had a major impact on the standard business model. It no longer follows a linear and traditional path. It has become a moving target that has digital marketing right at its heart.Read More: Eye Rolls at Pre-Rolls: How to Escape the Trap of Annoying AdsRecognizing A NeedThe first step of the traditional business model involved the consumer recognizing that they had a need for a product or service. Today, there is a wealth of options that companies can choose from to facilitate this stage of the process. Social media can have a powerful impact, reaching a targeted audience base within the brand’s most relevant demographic, with around 3 million advertisers now using Facebook to reach consumers. Email newsletters can reach out to interested parties and previous customers to highlight the latest products and promotional offers, encouraging them to find out more. Banner adverts can attract the attention of web surfers… in short, the options are extensive and effective.The Information-Gathering PhaseOnce the consumer has recognised their need, they begin gathering information about the product or service that they require. This is, arguably, the stage at which digital marketing can be most powerful. Around 89% of all consumers now begin their search for product information on the internet. That means that when companies harness the power of a strong SEO strategy paired with sponsored and PPC advertising they can rise up the search engine rankings to get their brand in front of the widest possible audience.Even local companies can benefit from taking a digital marketing approach. While they may be catering for a more localized demographic, they can take advantage of local SEO to point customers towards their physical presence. Around 86% of shoppers search for a local business to meet their needs online so the digital marketing avenue is something that even the smallest business can profit from. Gone are the days of relying on the Yellow Pages or locally distributed flyers.Read More: 3 Ways Mobile Technology is Changing the Brick-and-Mortar ExperienceEvaluation Of OptionsNext, we reach the evaluation stage. At one time, businesses could be fairly confident that as long as they were the first to reach the customer they could make a sale however this is no longer the case. Thanks to the internet, price comparison is the work of minutes. Companies can harness this power themselves, however, by featuring live price comparisons on their own website so that consumers need to look no further. By keeping the customer on the site, the chances of a sale increase.Assessing The EvidenceOnline reviews also have a key role to play at this stage of the consumer decision-making process. Evidence has shown that around two-thirds of all shoppers reference reviews before making most kinds of purchases. By taking a proactive response to consumer reviews, it’s possible to create a positive brand impression for outstanding customer service and so to sway the consumer in the company’s direction even if there are negative reviews.Making The DecisionBy this point, buyers have all the information they need to make a purchasing decision at their fingertips. Digital marketing has done its work. It is now important to ensure that the process of making the sale is as simple and efficient as possible with a smooth-loading, user-friendly site and a secure payment facility.It’s clear that, regardless of the size or type of a business, digital marketing is essential in today’s modern competitive marketplace. Harnessing its potential to generate leads, convert customers and close sales couldn’t be more important.Read More: How AI will Change the Game for Influencer Marketing B2BMetricDecision Making Processdigital marketingMarketing TechnologySEO Previous ArticleStop Wasting Your Programmatic Ad SpendNext Article10 Tried and True PR Tips to Grow Your Small Business How Does Digital Marketing Impact The Consumer Decision Making Process? Ben AlfreyMay 3, 2019, 4:00 pmMay 3, 2019
Crimson Agility Receives Two Nominations from Magento PRNewswireJune 6, 2019, 9:21 pmJune 6, 2019 Most Innovative Commerce Experience and Best B2B Buyer ExperienceCrimson Agility, a full-service e-commerce consulting and development firm, has been honored with two nominations from 230+ entries, for the 2019 Imagine Excellence Awards by Magento, an Adobe Company. Crimson and its clients, Amped Innovation and Performance Health, snagged highly-coveted nominations for the Most Innovative Commerce Experience Award and the Best B2B Buyer Experience Award, respectively.The winners will be announced at the Imagine 2019 event in Las Vegas.Amped Innovation sells much needed solar appliances in Africa. The problem was affordability. More than 80% of Amped customers earn less than $2.50 per day.“By working with Crimson to incorporate micro-payments into the Magento platform, we tapped into emerging markets in Africa and Asia making our solar products accessible to the poorest customers,” said Andi Kleissner, Co-Founder and CEO of Amped Innovation. “Our customers can now buy previously unattainable products on a payment plan they can afford.”Marketing Technology News: StarfishETL Partners with PeopleSense, Inc.“The collaboration enabled Amped to achieve triple-digit growth, while introducing a life-changing line of products in previously untapped markets,” added Kleissner.Performance Health is a leader in consumer healthcare and the largest global manufacturer and distributor of products to the rehabilitation and sports medicine markets.Crimson’s nomination alongside Performance Health for the Best B2B Buyer Experience Award stemmed from the positive results of the features and capabilities Crimson added to Performance Health’s e-commerce sites.“With multiple, highly-complex e-commerce sites, we’ve put Crimson and Magento through the ringer, testing their knowledge and capabilities beyond what we ever imagined,” said Kristin Greenwell, E-Commerce Director at Performance Health. “They have exceeded our expectations since day one.”Marketing Technology News: How Digital Can Save Brick-And-Mortar Retail with Customer Experience ObjectivesThese capabilities provide a user experience that rivals the performance of the best-designed B2B websites. The e-commerce sites accommodate power users who manage thousands of ship-to addresses, many requisition lists, negotiated pricing, and hundreds of employees buying online for the company.“Crimson’s knowledge of Magento and e-commerce is unmatched. We have been so impressed with their accountability and determination to make our website look, feel and most importantly, PERFORM how we and our customers expect,” added Greenwell.“We are proud to stand with both our clients as finalists for these two prestigious awards. We credit our success to a shared vision, collaboration, and hard work,” says David Baier, Managing Partner at Crimson Agility.Marketing Technology News: StarfishETL Partners with PeopleSense, Inc. B2BCommerce ExperienceCrimson AgilityMagentoNews Previous ArticleAgency Veteran Joao Machado Joins Sabio’s SVP of Product MarketingNext ArticleApollo.io Brings on ClearSlide Co-Founder Jim Benton as CEO
blockchaincrmcustomer datacustomer experienceData Managementevergagemarketing cloudNewsNGDATApersonalizationSalesforce CDPSalesforce Customer 360Salesforce MarTechtealium Previous ArticleB-Scada Inc. Launches New Text Messaging Marketing PlatformNext ArticleMarTech Interview with Brad Agens, Founder at Glocally As we sink deeper and deeper into the ‘Experience’ economy, it’s getting even more noisier in the MarTech ecosystem with the coming of age for Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). Last month, SAP threw their hat into the CDP ring and now, this week, it’s Salesforce’s turn to disrupt the MarTech flywheel for CRMs and DMPs.Salesforce has announced its new-age product, Salesforce Customer 360, to enhance Data Management across all omnichannel Cloud offerings. Salesforce Customer Data platform was announced in Dreamforce 2018, and it took almost ten months for the #1 CRM company to align it with its concurrent Marketing Cloud solutions. Additionally, Adobe just announced the beta version of its platform and Oracle is rumored to debut its own very soon as well! In this anxious times for Cloud platforms connecting to CRMs and DMPs, we expect CDP providers to seize the moment and see a new line of MarTech customers who would invest in CDPs, pushing CRMs and DMPs to the backstage.Can Customer Data Platforms Solve all Marketing Challenges?According to Evergage, no CMO can deny that they need a CDP now or ever! According to the CDP Institute, industry revenues from CDP is expected to grow to $1 Billion in 2019. The major push will come from the collective technology innovations and marketing strategies of 29 new CDP vendors that emerged in the MarTech Radar in 2018. With SAP, Salesforce and Adobe taking the CDP game forward, linking real-time analytics and Cloud offerings together for targeted and relevant personalization, the MarTech Equation for CMO’s stacks will change very soon.At least that’s what Salesforce is promising to deliver here.The company that adding new innovations to Customer 360 will help creating a comprehensive customer data solution for entire Marketing Cloud ecosystem. And, yes, it could solve the challenges that today’s CDPs are trying to address and much more.Why CDPs Rock the CRM Market?CDPs are broad-spectrum MarTech platforms compared to CRMs and DMPs that come with their own legacies in many organizations. CRMs are designed to gather and analyze data from only one particular customer relationship channel, and that’s where they falter in delivering relevant 360-degree customer experience that most modern marketing teams are craving for, today! CDPs bring data from every customer interaction channel, streamlined and funneled into one single platform, and this directly translates into Sales-Marketing alignment that CMOs always prioritize. Better Sale-Marketing alignment deliver higher revenues and higher customer loyalty.We are pursuing unified data, and not scattered data.In 2017, Steve Lucas, CEO of Marketo (now, an Adobe Company) had said, this about CRM –“The whole acronym – CRM – is fundamentally flawed because it implies that we get to “manage” our customers. They don’t want to be managed, they want to be engaged. It’s a fact that buyers are in now charge, and they demand brand experiences that let them feel valued, align with their values, and connect with them on a personal level. I call this concept the Engagement Economy, and succeeding in this new world means engaging with customers continuously – at every touchpoint, on every channel – throughout the entire lifecycle.”According to NGDATA, “A CDP maintains unified data. Add a dash of AI and Blockchain to it — and, voila, you have the most powerful Data Management platform ever conceived in MarTech. So, even if data is being captured from multiple channels, it will be tagged to a single customer….”According to Forbes, “With a greater understanding of customer needs, as well as the ability to anticipate future needs, there’s a higher likelihood that customers will become repeat customers. Forty-four percent of organizations surveyed by Forbes Insights report that a customer data platform is helping drive customer loyalty and ROI in their organization.”That’s not alone.Here is a quick snapshot of how CDPs have been changing CMO’s tactics in the past few years.Source: The Relevancy Group- 2016CDPs Essential to Contextual Relevance and Interactive Customer ExperiencesAccording to Tealium’s CEO, Jeff Lunsford, CDPs are a very refined and customizable option for modern Marketing teams. He spoke to MarTech Series:“As specialized enterprise software propagates throughout the enterprise, companies are also using an increasing number of software applications. Even companies that select an all-in-one suite for customer experience or marketing purposes will typically have ten more or more very critical systems outside that suite that they want to share data with. This challenge leads to the logical evolution of a vendor-agnostic, neutral data layer within the enterprise, which sits underneath and orchestrates data flows between these various suites and solutions.”Read Also: Hot Topics Recap: Cannes Lions 2019So, what about the neutral layer in the CDPs?Jeff explained, “The neutral data layer helps enterprises overcome classic data silo issues and allows data to flow freely across the organization. Enterprises that want to future-proof their tech stack and maximize the insights they can gain from their data would be wise to select a solution that enables data freedom and empowers them to quickly adapt to evolving customer needs.”Tealium is one of the pioneers in the CDP market.In a recent interview, Lotame’s Global VP- Evgeny Popov, said, “DMP by design has interoperability in mind thus allowing data to flow to any activation channel to allow omnichannel marketing. The key to this is connectivity across platforms and channels. At Lotame, we have our first-party connectivity suite which gives marketers the ability to collect data from online and offline sources, map it together, and determine the relationships that exist between billions of signals flowing from desktops, smartphones, tablets, and connected devices such as smart TVs. Our second and third-party data marketplaces, along with our Machine Learning look-alike modeling tool, allows customers to layer on additional profiles for scale.”Read More: Blockchain in Advertising: The Implications for Every Player in the SystemB2B Market: That’s where CDPs will Drive Customer Experience Economy in 2019-2024Theresa O’Neil, CMO of Showpad: “Tech giants’ moves to launch CDPs demonstrates the focus B2B companies are placing on creating streamlined, omnichannel customer experiences. Once the sales team gets involved, it’s essentially a black box, with zero awareness of who the customer is and a lack of insight into previous interactions with content and other sales materials. With disjointed information, salespeople can’t demonstrate unique business value, which thereby prevents them from hitting quota. And without bottom of the funnel data and analytics, marketing can’t optimize content to support the sales team.”Showpad’s CMO continued, “We need the same data analysis we have at the top of the funnel extended through the bottom of the funnel too. We’re seeing more enterprise players invest in customer data management capabilities for risk of losing their customers with a disjointed omnichannel experience. Having prospect data aggregated and centralized from the first interaction will help salespeople and marketers provide an exceptional experience for the customer and at the end of the day, boost revenue.”Read Also: TechBytes with Vinayak Nair, VP Research Ops and Custom Analytics at Verto AnalyticsSalesforce Customer 360: Belting Out Powerful MarTech Integrations Unified by Data, Analytics and AdaptabilityIn the official announcement, Salesforce declared:“When we introduced Customer 360, it was a new way for companies to connect Salesforce apps and deliver unified cross-channel customer experiences. In other words, Customer 360 represents a fundamental commitment on the part of Salesforce — including marketing, sales, service, and commerce — to provide a unified customer profile that can be used across our customers’ organizations.With Customer 360 we promised to deliver a unified ID. With it, companies can easily connect and resolve customer data across their various Salesforce apps. The ID points to a single customer (or other key entity), fires up deeper, more connected insights, and enables stronger engagement across the entire customer journey.”The Curve Ahead: AI, Automation and Migration to Big Data+ BlockchainSalesforce made an acquisition deal with Tableau recently- adding powerful Data Science platform to its Marketing Cloud capabilities. Then, it also announced a significant upgrade to Pardot, their Marketing Automation platform. Together with Salesforce Einstein AI and Salesforce Blockchain CRM, we see their CDP platform creating a new roadmap for CDP market in 2020. If Salesforce is doing it, it’s definitely going to become CMO’s ubiquitous MarTech choice to build, grow and sustain in a customer-obsessed ‘Experience’ economy. Let’s see how SAP, Adobe and Oracle Marketing Clouds pace their innings in the hyper-personalized MarTech ecosystem in the coming weeks. Don’t ignore Google’s MarTech horizon, though!Thank you, Jeff and Theresa for chatting with us, and providing deep insights into CDP ecosystem. To participate in our editorial programs, please write to us at News@martechseries.comRecommended: Big Data Push to MarTech Continues as Google Taps Looker for $2.6 Billion Will Salesforce Customer 360 Arrival Push CRMs and DMPs Out of Equation in 2020? Sudipto Ghosh1 day agoJuly 22, 2019
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 8 2018Hip replacement surgery is highly successful in relieving pain, restoring mobility and improving quality of life. More than 330,000 procedures are performed each year in the United States, and that number is expected to almost double by the year 2030.As with all surgical procedures, the possibility of a complication exists, and dislocation is the most common problem. The risk of dislocation is higher in patients who have had a second hip replacement, known as revision surgery. Some people need a revision surgery many years after their first hip replacement when the original implant wears out. Hip instability after joint replacement is another reason a patient might need a revision surgery.Research conducted by Dr. Geoffrey Westrich and colleagues at Hospital for Special Surgery and other joint replacement centers indicates that a newer type of artificial hip known as a “modular dual mobility” implant could be a good option for patients who need a revision surgery. Their study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons in Dallas this month.”Although the concept of dual mobility was originally developed in France in the 1970s, the technology is relatively new in the United States,” says Dr. Westrich, director of research of the Adult Reconstruction and Joint Replacement Service at HSS. “Our study found that the newer technology with modular dual mobility components offered increased stability, lowering the risk of dislocation, without compromising hip range of motion in patients having a revision surgery.””Dual mobility” refers to the bearing surface of the implant – where the joint surfaces come together to support one’s body weight. A hip replacement implant is a ball-in-socket mechanism, designed to simulate a human hip joint. Typical components include a stem that inserts into the femur (thigh bone), a ball that replaces the round head of the thigh bone, and a shell that lines the hip socket.Related StoriesNew technology to harvest energy from the human kneeBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryStudy analyzes high capacity of A. baumannii to persist on various surfacesModular dual mobility implants provide an additional bearing surface compared to a traditional implant. With the dual mobility hip, a large polyethylene plastic head fits inside a polished metal hip socket component, and an additional smaller metal or ceramic head is snap-fit within the polyethylene head.”Currently, there are few large-scale outcome studies on the modular dual mobility device in revision hip replacement,” Dr. Westrich noted. “We set out to determine the rate of dislocation and the need for another surgery following revision hip replacement using this implant and report on the functional outcomes.”The study included 370 patients who underwent revision hip replacement with the dual mobility implant between April 2011 and April 2017. The average patient age at the time of surgery was 65.8 years. Clinical, radiographic and patient reported-outcome information was collected.To be included in the final report, patients needed to be seen for follow-up for at least two years after their surgery, and the average follow-up was 3.3 years. “At the latest follow-up, we found that surgery with the dual mobility implant resulted in a very low rate of instability for the revision patients, namely 2.9 percent, with good functional improvement and a low rate of reoperation,” Dr. Westrich noted. “While longer-term follow-up is needed to fully assess the newer device, in our study there was clearly a benefit provided by the dual mobility implant in the first few years following revision surgery.” Source:https://www.hss.edu/newsroom_study-finds-dual-mobility-hip-reduces-dislocation.asp
Source:https://www.engineering.pitt.edu/News/2019/Kozai-neural-activation-frequency/ Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 8 2019Electrical stimulation of the brain is common practice in neuroscience research and is an increasingly common and effective clinical therapy for a variety of neurological disorders. However, there is limited understanding of why this treatment works at the neural level. A paper published by Takashi D. Y. Kozai, assistant professor of bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, addresses gaps in knowledge over the activation and inactivation of neural elements that affect the desired responses to neuromodulation.The article, “Calcium activation of cortical neurons by continuous electrical stimulation: Frequency dependence, temporal fidelity, and activation density” (DOI: 10.1002/jnr.24370), was published in Neuroscience Research. Co-investigator is Kip Ludwig, associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.For this study, Kozai’s group – the BIONIC Lab – used in vivo two-photon microscopy to capture neuronal calcium activity in the somatosensory cortex during 30 seconds of continuous electrical stimulation at varying frequencies. They imaged the population of neurons surrounding the implanted electrode and discovered that frequency played a role in neural activation – a finding that conflicted with earlier studies.”Electrical stimulation has a large number of parameters that can be used to activate neurons, such as amplitude, pulsewidth, waveform shapes, and frequency,” explained Kozai. “This makes it difficult to compare studies because different stimulation parameters are used in other studies. Based on the parameters that were previously employed, it was thought that activation occurs in a sphere centered around the electrode where neurons near the electrode would activate more than neurons far from the electrode.Related StoriesDysfunctional neurons repaired in dementia mouse modelALS mobility and survival could be improved by increasing glucoseChronic inflammation removes motivation by reducing dopamine in the brain”Recent research, however, shows that stimulation mostly activates distant neurons whose axons are very close to the electrode by transmitting action potentials backward to the neuron cell body,” he continued. “We demonstrate that both of these things can be true depending on stimulation frequency and duration.”According to Kozai, the fact that researchers can use varying stimulation parameters to activate different neurons in the same location has huge implications in basic science research. The findings will allow them to activate different neural circuits with the same implant to elicit different behaviors. Beyond its research applications, Kozai believes that this knowledge may also help in clinical settings.”Empirical evidence in the field suggests that frequency plays a role in deep brain stimulation, but the why and how have puzzled scientists since the beginning,” said Kozai. “This research is a first glimpse into understanding the mechanisms underlying the role of frequency in clinical therapies. In the long-term, this research could also give insight on how to activate distinct glial and vascular populations, which could have a prolonged impact on behavior, attention, and tissue regeneration.”Kozai believes that more research needs to be done to understand neuronal activation properties and hopes that this work will lead to new tools in neuroscience and improved neuromodulation therapy by explaining why electrical stimulation produces its effective responses.
© 2019 AFP By March 2017 Cathay reported its first annual net loss in eight years and announced a three-year overhaul to cut costs and improve efficiency.Under new chief executive officer Rupert Hogg the move appears to have paid off—last month the airline announced it had swung back into the black after two years of losses.Brendan Sobie, chief analyst at CAPA, said HK Express was too good an opportunity to pass up once it became clear the troubled HNA Group was looking to sell.”It’s in their home market, they have to look at it, and quite frankly they’d be silly not to do it,” he told AFP.According to Sobie, structural constraints and limited airport slots made it difficult for Cathay to establish a separate low-cost carrier, which was why it had previously said it would not think about a no-frills carrier until Hong Kong airport’s third runway came into operation in 2024.Losses ‘woke them up’He said the lack of space at home was also a limitation for competitors, making the move int the sector less urgent for Cathay, which had opposed budget airline Jetstar’s application to operate in Hong Kong in 2015.But the purchase was not a financial “slam dunk” for Cathay, Sobie warned, given the small margins of budget airlines in the region and the fact that HK Express reported a net loss of $18 million in 2018, according to Cathay.Shukor Yusof, the founder of aviation consultancy Endau Analytics, said Cathay’s brief foray into the red changed thinking at the company.”The losses Cathay suffered in consecutive years woke them up and they realised if they didn’t alter their thinking, they’d be marginalised and become irrelevant,” he said.”Then they saw how Singapore Airlines changed its strategy and that strategy worked,” he said, adding that Cathay should have moved into the budget sector 10 years ago.He said turning HK Express around was a “big ask”.”But if they apply stringent cost cuts and exploit the buoyant Chinese market, profitability is a possibility in two to three years,” he said.He predicted HK Express may start to price aggressively and target a select group of travellers, with mostly leisure flyers among them. “I foresee HK Express behaving and exhibiting characteristics similar to Ryanair in Europe,” he said, referring to the notoriously no-frills Irish low-cost carrier. Asia’s biggest international carrier has historically eschewed the low-cost sector, even as the region’s rising middle class has fuelled an unprecedented boom in air travel and demand for cheaper routes.But last week it finally bit the bullet, announcing it was buying HK Express for $600 million from the debt-laden Chinese conglomerate HNA Group.The move allows Cathay to take over the city’s only budget carrier and gifts it much needed slots at one of the world’s busiest transport hubs—prompting many to ask why it had taken the airline so long to make such a move.Analysts say Cathay’s reluctance to embrace the budget model was a result of its conservative way of thinking, in much the same way Nintendo was dragged kicking and screaming into the mobile gaming market after years of weak earnings.But it is not too late for the airline, they say.”It’s more like catching up rather than changing the landscape,” Jackson Wong, analyst at Huarong International Securities, told AFP, adding that Cathay realised it had to “face reality” that the budget market was something they needed to embrace.Asia-Pacific is now the world’s largest market for low-cost carriers, accounting for nearly 600 million seats in 2018, according to CAPA Centre for Aviation.Too good an opportunityAnd thanks to the region’s booming middle classes, seat capacity has quadrupled over the past decade.During that time Cathay resisted moving into the low end of the market, even as their rivals did the opposite—Singapore Airlines formed Tigerair in 2003 and Qantas followed up with Jetstar Asia.Now Asia’s skies are littered with budget carriers: Air Asia, Scoot, Nok Air, IndiGo, Lion Air, VietJet, the list keeps growing.For a while Cathay’s intransigence worked, it remained an avowedly premier—and profitable—brand.But as the regional budget scene grew, airlines in China and the Middle East began competing on longer haul flights and the more luxury frills Cathay offered. Cathay Pacific’s purchase of rival HK Express was an inevitable plunge into the no-frills market as the premier marque belatedly faces the reality that it can no longer ignore the budget sector, analysts say. Explore further New CEO Rupert Hogg has overseen a return to profit for Cathay Pacific after two years of losses and now it is now entering the budget sector Cathay Pacific to buy budget airline HK Express for $628 mn Citation: Cathay ‘faces reality’ with budget airline buy, say analysts (2019, April 2) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-cathay-reality-airline-analysts.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
20 years of Kargil: How not crossing LoC proved challengingadvertisement Next Abhishek Bhalla New DelhiJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 14:38 IST Kargil warHIGHLIGHTSFailure of intelligence and surveillance could not detect Pak movement: Gen VP MalikNot crossing LoC also proved to be a challenge: MalikArmy chief Bipin Rawat says all movements on borders can be tracked todayRecalling the challenges for the army in 1999, Gen VP Malik (Retd), the then Chief of Army Staff said on Saturday, failure of surveillance and intelligence gathering led to the Kargil intrusion 20 years back.With lessons learnt, a lot has changed since then and the Indian Armed forces have better capabilities to detect enemy movements not just in Kargil but in all border areas of Pakistan and China, Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat said.The two along with few other veterans were part of a discussion on the Kargil War to celebrate 20 years of the victory over Pakistan.”We have revisited our capabilities to ensure such intrusions don’t happen. We have UAVs, air assets of the air force and other tactical means like quad copters for better surveillance today,” Gen Rawat said on the sidelines of the event in Delhi.Other veterans including Gen Malik shared their experiences regarding the gaps and ground situation then.”We lacked surveillance equipments and even helicopters were not capable of locating enemy locations. We were dependent on foot patrols”, he said.He also added that there was a complete intelligence failure and the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee government’s instructions not to cross the LoC added to the challenges.”I had to ask the Prime Minister not to speak about it (not crossing the LoC) in public and explained that in case we don’t achieve our targets fully we will have no option but to cross the Line of Control,” said Malik.Malik said during the war he had often seen “long faces” in South Block but never encountered this in the forward areas. “My morale was not high when I was in South Block but when I met troops in forward areas it became high,” he added.Speaking about other challenges on the ground, Malik said there was initially no assessment on what the Pakistan Army was doing and everyone thought they were Mujahideens or terrorists at high peaks.”Even military formations on ground adopted anti-militancy operational tactics. This was the reason why we suffered high number of casualties initially,” he said.He pointed out that there was a major shortage of weapons and equipment, particularly high altitude clothing.”The fact that we overcame all these challenges was because of a blend of political, military and diplomatic leadership that got involved. We met 2-3 times a day,” he said.Also read | 20 years of Kargil victory: Army soldiers trek to Batra Top, Tiger Hill to commemorate dayAlso read | Letters from KargilFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAnumika Bahukhandi