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SlashGear interviews Futura 2000 on Samsung and the power of cross-branding

The artist / designer known as Futura 2000 has executed a rather interesting set of collaborative projects in his lifetime, painting a portfolio of historically significant cross-overs that’s lead him straight to Samsung. The folks at Samsung took the opportunity very recently to team up with Futura for the first time to present a unique use-case for the Galaxy Note 10.1 (tablet with S-Pen stylus) and its major potential in the hands of this creative icon and legend. In our interview we found that though Samsung presents this man as a larger-than-life hero here in their second collaboration (here using the Galaxy Note II as a central device), he’s actually quite the down-to-earth conversationalist, and has shown his approach with the Galaxy Note device series to be made with the same intrigue as your everyday average gadget enthusiast.

The Galaxy Note II event in New York City introduced a project Futura and Samsung would present together immediately following the main keynote that headed off the night. The night ended with a Kanye West concert, but not before Futura’s crowd-sourced digital mural was crafted live as the Samsung press and special guests filtered in to the venue. Made of a vast collection of guest-created images collected from Galaxy Note II devices throughout the night, the artist made one wild amalgamation to shine on its many contributors.

Above: Futura sits amongst the fray at the Galaxy Note II event in NYC. Below: DJ Hudson Mowhawke delivers tunes at the Galaxy Note II event near a giant display showing off the finer points of the Galaxy Note series.

In the hands-on period between the keynote and the concert, Futura sat at attention yet very obviously relaxed in the center of what was essentially a mad rush for touches on the newly available devices. A darkened club atmosphere, bright lights and colorful devices, and the artist in the center of it all, wearing dark pants, sneakers, and a white t-shirt with a leopard print pocket. His demeanor was that of a wise worldly fellow mixed with the seemingly unending hunger for staying on-point with not just his own artwork, but the most interesting and fabulous tools with which to do it.

That’s where Samsung comes in.

Above: Samsung’s Galaxy Note II keynote shows the collection of creative partners they’ve got ready to speak on the features of the Note series at the event.Futura: They’ve asked me to speak on the creative possibilities on the tablet – specifically with the S-Note function and a lot of the different stuff you can do with the device. Kind of like a paint program, but it’s quite intense. I just got my device recently and within a few days of just messing with it, without even a formal walk-through, I felt like the device was intuitive enough to figure out, and I was able to do some really cool stuff.

This is quite different.

The intensity, the sensitivity – I was messing around with something and it looked just like I spray painted it!

SlashGear: Have you gotten to use the Note II extensively yet?F: Ah here, actually, I’ve got it in my back pocket. We’re gonna get plug in on it pretty soon and they’re gonna project my screen on to the monitor there and just go at it.SG: I [Chris Burns] just got it too and reviewed it for SlashGear – it’s really nice, feels really good. [see our full review of the T-Mobile Galaxy Note II right now if you do so please]F: Yeah it’s fun – it does feel good, and sexy, yeah.

SG: Your career path has been many different places – it’s always been interesting to see you delving into working with brands. Lots of different brands – designing a bike here, or this or that there – do you see yourself continuing to do that now?

With Samsung specifically, how do you see that affecting your art career?

I spent tons of money on all the kinds of stuff. Probably had every phone, PDA, you know, that’s probably been out there – if it’s cool, I may have got my hands on it, you know, as a consumer. So finally, [I get] to work with a brand that’s got a product that I can really use.

At this point Futura hails a server that’s been circling, asking quite politely if he can have two of the spring rolls she’s been serving to the crowd. In such a laid-back environment that this man creates, we can’t resist grabbing a roll as well.

F: There we go! Thank you so much, I’m going to dip this one, *dips from the sauce presented thusly*, thank you!

So all the collaborations. You know, the bike collabo, that makes sense, I guess, you know, Nike. CK1, that was like 6 years ago – maybe not so much. But you know, Samsung though, yeah, this is awesome.

And what I was saying is – you can do some stuff on this device that you can export out. I mean, you know, what, I got an idea for a painting, or a design sketch thing. It’s like other devices can’t just do that. This could be a very interesting addition.

Above: DJ Craze – another of Samsung’s special guests – lays down a few fine musical constructs for party attendees.SG: If you have a brand, and Samsung, they have a brand – do you feel like this is a cross brand? Your name, Futura, do you feel like that’s a brand?F: Yes. I do. I have a – I mean I subsequently closed my shop in Japan. You know, I had a shop in Japan where I was making stuff and putting my name on it. And thus those products are from, you know, my brand. But now, no, I’m actually kind of no longer doing that. However –

Skye, grab these foodie people! *Futura once again hails a server via his partner*

Above: The crowd gets thick at the event right before the Kanye session is about to begin.F: But yes I understand that the Futura signature was once a graffiti tag on the walls of New York subways is now a brand. And I’m cool with that actually. I mean I’m not – I’m choosing these collaborations based on, obviously, what it is, not what the pay day is.

And to some degree, it’s not like – and as I say now, I had to close my store. It’s not like my motive is to manufacture things, put my name on them, you know – I want to pursue my art career. And I recently had a show in New York about a month ago.

I’m trying to get out of that lifestyle, get back into painting.

Above: Futura poses in front of one of his works of art at his recent show: Future-Shock at Valmorbida in New York. Image via 12ozProphet.

Stick around SlashGear for our continued interview series with the top minds in many industries and of many different disciplines, each of them making use of the technology that makes our modern world great. With an artist like Futura creating greatness with a device like the Galaxy Note II as a tool, the tool’s potential shines like a beacon for all to see – and want. Expect tech companies to continue with this trend in the near future – and keep an eye on Futura as he moves into tomorrow right on the cuff with creative intent.

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The Power Of Strategic Storytelling

Present with confidence and clarity, no matter your audience

Our role as marketers working across disciplines, departments and media means that we’re often required to present our plans to a range of different stakeholders. On most occasions, these may be simple status updates and email correspondence with direct colleagues or line managers.

However, there are also times when we may need to present to senior managers and leaders in order to obtain buy-in or support for a concept or big idea.

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Whilst it’s important to acknowledge that every senior stakeholder is different, there are some common characteristics to bear in mind:

Highly-focused – their attention will be concentrated on a specific number of objectives and projects.

Action-orientated – they’ll often have a clear ‘bias for action’, prioritizing the tasks and actions that are likely to drive the most effective results.

Time-poor – they may be very time-poor, running from one meeting to another and juggling multiple requests at a time.

It’s important to consider the above as you’ll notice that your presentation and communication style will need to be tailored accordingly based on your audience. Whenever you present, it’s likely you will need to speak to different stakeholders with varying needs for detail:

Senior stakeholders are unlikely to have the same amount of time, attention and awareness as direct colleagues and line managers and are, therefore, an audience worth thinking about carefully before starting any interaction.

Within this post I’m going to cover three broad areas to help you present ideas in the most effective way:

Set the agenda/ clarify objectives

Write a logical storyline

Deliver the presentation

1. Set the agenda/clarify objectives

Before you start building your presentation you need to be crystal clear very early on about your overarching objective. This will help set the context and narrative for everything that follows.

Remember: The objective of the communication is different from the subject:

The more passive, subject-orientated approach is often what’s communicated whereas a more direct, interactive approach is required to set the right expectations for the meeting.

Stop and think critically about the meeting objective and make it clear at all stages:

Before you develop presentation content

On the meeting notice

At the meeting itself

Most presentations are designed to drive some type of change so decide up front the route you’re looking to take:

All three routes are appropriate for developing presentations – there will be times when you require decision or action. Sometimes you will be looking to provide some critical information or update. Once you’re clear on the objective, however, the next step is to develop a strong, logical narrative.

2. Write a logical storyline

The decisions you make around the story you develop will be crucial for gaining the attention you need to meet your objective. Keep three things in mind when you build your storyline:

Put your audience front and centre

Study who they are and what topic/style appeals to them

Anticipate questions, objections, etc.

Make it easy for the audience to follow your storyline

Background (situation, complication), key question(s), answer

Answer order: reveal-first or reveal-last

Create 1-minute, 5-minute and 30-minute versions

Plan ample time to build and adjust your story

Draft your storyline early on in the project

Vet the storyline and findings with key stakeholders

 Consider how you will tailor your presentation to your audience’s expectations and needs:

Once you have established a clear picture of your audience, consider the way you will structure the flow of your presentation. There are typically two main approaches:

Answer first

Develop a hypothesis (a probable “answer”) from an early fact base and business judgment

Then test the hypothesis with facts and analysis

Diagnostic first

First, collect facts

Then infer the answer

There are pros and cons for both approaches:

There are six key steps to creating an ‘answer-first’ structure:

1. Situation

Describe the background to the problem.

2. Complications/ constraints

Define the major problems and constraints facing the analysis. What has changed?

3. Critical question

Formulate the primary question to be addressed by the analysis.

4. Hypothesis/ answer

Answer the question to resolve the complications.  Each hypothesis should be supported by a “logic tree”.

5. Primary assertions

Key assertions, which prove the hypothesis, should be mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. Each is supported by second level facts which verify the assertion.

6. Secondary assertions

Facts should verify the primary assertions and be explicit enough to translate into an effective presentation.

The hypothesis/answer is the cornerstone of the answer first ‘logic tree:

By using an ‘answer-first’ approach you can arrange your presentation in a clear, logical structure that builds out from an initial answer/ hypothesis. For example, imagine the following scenario:

An inductive, bottom-up ‘diagnostic-first’ approach may look something like the following:

Whilst this approach has many merits, it ultimately has no hierarchy of questions/issues and it’s difficult to prioritize analysis.

On the other hand, a deductive, top-down ‘answer-first’ approach enables you to effectively support a central hypothesis with a series of supporting assertions:

The primary and secondary assertions help justify the direction you’re proposing and adds additional credibility to your argument.

3. Deliver the presentation

The third and final stage is the delivery. After all the practice and prep this stage is crucial for landing the right messages in the right way. There are a few key points to keep in mind:

Practice your ‘movie pitch’

As referenced earlier on in the post, there is often a range of different stakeholders with varying needs for detail so be prepared to state your message at three different levels:

It’s sometimes useful to consider how movies are pitched to studio executives. They start with a top-line synopsis to grab attention before following up with more detail.

Set the context

Depending on what has or hasn’t been communicated in the past, it’s unlikely your audience will automatically remember what you told them last time. Depending on who’s in the room outline set the appropriate level of context:

What happened last time you met

What’s changed

Your objective for today

Remember: Your project isn’t always as important to them as it is to you so cover only the necessary details as headlines.

Choose your words wisely

Your choice of words can have a big impact on the message you want to deliver. Always be mindful of your audience and consider what will resonate most effectively. Some useful tips include:

Avoid jargon and acronyms unless they are universally understood.

Think about both how you speak and what you say.

Use ‘directive’ language and ‘active’ speech:

Conclusion

Presenting to different stakeholders, especially senior managers and leaders, is a great opportunity to align actions, sell in a concept or achieve buy-in for a big idea. Senior management are often very busy and time-poor so spend time early on in the process crafting a message that will resonate with your intended audience.

In summary, remember the following three steps:

Set the agenda

Write a logical storyline

Deliver effective and persuasive presentations

Peering Across The Abyss: Clothing And Shoe Companies Cross The Erp Chasm

Nineteen ninety-eight opened with great promise for the apparel and shoe industry. The economy was strong, skirt lengths were rising to new heights (thanks to Ally McBeal), and the stock market was humming. Furthermore, much of the apparel and footwear industry buzzed with anticipation. Software giant SAP AG of Walldorf, Germany, was about to launch what seemed to be the solution to the industry’s manufacturing and distribution problems. A tailored version of R/3, SAP’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) juggernaut, promised to untangle the knot of variables–style, size, color, etc.–that had stymied earlier attempts at production and distribution integration.

In January 1998, industry participants rang in the year celebrating the Apparel/footwear Solution (AFS), which several companies had been co-developing with SAP for two years. On New Year’s Eve day in 1997, in a conference room in Rockford, Mich., Wolverine World Wide inked a deal with SAP that the $670 million maker of Hush Puppies and other brands hoped would lead its systems out of the Dark Ages. Two weeks later, in Carlstadt, N.J., employees at Bruno Magli USA gathered in their offices to enthusiastically kick off the luxury-footwear maker’s AFS implementation.

A number of apparel and footwear manufacturers have embarked on a momentous journey: buying, installing, and managing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Datamation has been chronicling the shift, particularly at one company, AeroGroup International, since the summer of 1998. At that time, the $150 million maker of Aerosoles casual comfort shoes in Edison, N.J., started on the long and tortuous path of buying, installing, and managing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Aerosoles CIO Jeffrey Zonenshine invited Datamation to chronicle the company’s moves. In this third chapter of the saga, information executives discover more painful truths about ERP implementations, and AeroGroup switches to a new software vendor. For the full story, read Part 1, Risky business: bold R/3 effort by Aerosoles and Part 2, Riskier business! The high cost of ERP implementations

But 4,000 miles away, the mood was decidedly grim in a small office complex in the tiny German village of Hallbergmoos. There, in one of the buildings that housed SAP’s AFS development effort, five IT staffers from Sara Lee Hosiery were making a startling discovery. After eight months of poring over code in intense collaboration with AFS programmers, the Sara Lee team was shocked to find that SAP had decided–six months earlier–to ax a key function on which their implementation depended.

The gloom in Hallbergmoos that day has spread. As 1999 unfolds, the buoyant anticipation that greeted AFS’s debut has evaporated, at least at some companies. In its place is stoicism, mingled with muted panic and dead silence. By the end of 1998, several AFS projects had been delayed, and at one–AeroGroup International, the Edison, N.J.-based maker of the Aerosoles line of casual shoes–it was coming unraveled.

This spring, more than a dozen AFS projects will go live, according to company officials and SAP. Only two projects were operational as the year opened, though, despite the fanfare surrounding the software’s official introduction in April 1998. They were:

Reebok International launched AFS at its Greg Norman division in August 1998–a success. But the division generates less than $100 million in sales, a blip among the $3.6-billion company’s revenues.

What’s going on? Despite its impressive R/3 lineage, AFS is full of new programming code that hasn’t been proved in real-life production environments. IT executives trying to stitch the two together found their implementations–and their nerves–frayed. Some of the difficulties are endemic to ERP in general. Some are due to SAP’s stumbles as it entered the complex business of apparel and footwear. The lessons from 1998 are a cautionary tale for IT executives in any industry looking for a single solution to their enterprisewide problems.

Stepping in it

The cutting and stitching that’s at the heart of the apparel and footwear industry may echo old-world craftsmanship, but it’s anything but quaint. “Some of the most complex design problems in any manufacturing sector are in footwear,” says Nick Brown, a partner with Comprehensive Computer Services Inc. (CCSI), maker of Footworks, a UNIX-based software package.

Fresh from the semiconductor industry three years ago, Gary Acromite was hired by Wolverine World Wide as chief information officer in 1995. He thought the footwear industry would be a snap. “I thought, Gee, this’ll be easy,” says Acromite. Far from it. Each day, apparel and footwear makers keep track of thousands of stock-keeping units, or SKUs, that have shelf lives measured in months and even weeks. Furthermore, market conditions are among the toughest in any industry. Against the fickle winds of fashion, companies contend with a complex supply chain that depends on myriad small and technologically unsophisticated overseas production facilities.

To avoid getting stomped by flat sales and inefficient processes, the industry needed to shoehorn itself into a new, more efficient way of doing business. To Peter Burrows, that relief would come in the form of a global software partner. “We wanted what other industries have,” says Burrows, chief technology officer for Reebok. Burrows approached SAP officials three years ago and suggested they create a tailored version of R/3 for the apparel and footwear industry.

SAP has been wildly successful doing the same sort of thing in 17 industry niches. Since dominating the manufacturing sector, it has methodically drummed up new customers for R/3 in sectors such as oil and gas or aerospace and defense. SAP’s clout is so powerful that the mere mention of its planned entrance in a market triggers a flurry of activity. “As soon as SAP announced it would do insurance-claims processing in 2001, we had three or four clients call and ask, ‘Should we be early adopters?’” says Vinnie Mirchandani, vice president in business applications for the Gartner Group, the market research firm based in Stamford, Conn.

But SAP’s foray into the apparel and footwear industry was different. First, the idea originated from Burrows rather than from SAP’s finely tuned marketing machine. Second, SAP was daunted by the patched-together state of the clothing and shoe industry, according to Burrows. “It appeared messy and hard to deal with, and the company said, ‘Why should we be in it?’” he recalls. A spokesperson for SAP said no one at the company was available to discuss AFS. To encourage SAP, Burrows agreed to collaborate with VF Corp. to underwrite the software’s development. VF, headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., is the largest apparel company in the U.S., with $5.2 billion in sales of such brands as Vanity Fair, Lee, and Wrangler. The two companies would be the charter members of the AFS consortium.

By May 1996, Reebok and VF were ready to submit their merged requirements to SAP. But a third investor was needed to help offset the cost. Burrows says he convinced SAP America to cover the costs until another partner could be found. Ultimately, the final third was provided by Sara Lee Hosiery, already an R/3 customer, and systems integrator Kurt Salmon Associates of Atlanta, which joined the consortium as associate members.

Three’s a crowd

Industry consortia are a key element in SAP’s entrance into new markets. The company’s modus operandi includes partnering with a handful of large organizations and then adding more early customers as the software matures.

The AFS consortium operated according to a strict set of rules: Only Reebok and VF Corp. could add functionality to AFS. The other companies could only make suggestions for accomplishing processes. Burrows admits that he fought hard to ensure that Reebok earned a competitive edge from its investment in the development of AFS. “We tried to structure it so the other guys couldn’t get in. We asked, ‘Why should we let you in?’” After all, he adds, “we put up all the risk.” Burrows declines to say how much Reebok invested. AFS participants at the lower membership level report paying upwards of $125,000 to join.

Sara Lee Hosiery sent an elite team of IT professionals to Germany to work with AFS programmers there. But the pantyhose business is less subject to the whims of fashion than Reebok’s or VF’s lines of apparel. Sara Lee’s knitting machines frequently churn out one product for an entire year. Repetitive manufacturing, a feature of the AFS production planning module that would oversee the steady production runs, was key to Sara Lee’s implementation.

Only when the Sara Lee staff began to ask questions about the missing feature were they told it had been deleted, says Randy Hyack, director of IT and SAP project manager for Sara Lee Hosiery. After recalling the staff to Winston-Salem, N.C., Sara Lee Hosiery replotted its AFS strategy: It would shelve AFS until the product was more stable and the functionality it needed could be written in. “We spent a lot of resources on the AFS project that could have been applied to other projects,” says Hyack.

Sickles and rakes

Some executives who attended the teleconferenced AFS consortium meetings were satisfied with the sessions, but others expected more support and direction. Meanwhile, the consortium members were increasingly under the gun as 1998 passed: Sales were soft and the stock values of many AFS customers plummeted, including Authentic Fitness, Florsheim, Justin Industries, Reebok, Superior Uniform, Wolverine World Wide, and Warnaco.

Nerves became frayed. “SAP didn’t pay enough attention to the 25 of us who participated,” says one member who did not want to be identified by name. “We were executives from around the world, and they turned us into a hostile band of farmers with sickles and rakes.”

Some participants say they aren’t quite sure what became of the consortium and didn’t perceive much benefit in it anyway. “It died of its own weight,” says Brent Pulsipher, chief information officer for Tropical Sportswear International in Tampa, Fla., another AFS early adopter. “We were supposed to have a conference call every month, and we only had two. It was too much of a question-and-answer session.”

How SAP’s Apparel/Footwear Solution works

AFS is an add-on component to its R/3 enterprise resource planning software. The add-on has the following features:

It allows manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors to use a product grid to track shoes and clothing by variables such as material number, style, size, color, and quantity.

It allows users to prioritize and schedule orders.

It enables users to process orders received via telephone, fax, EDI, or the Internet.

Companies that outsource manufacturing can track vendors based on priorities such as cost, quality, and reliability.

It can be integrated with standard R/3 modules such as financials, logistics, and human resources.

One reason for the problems with the consortium and AFS in general was the industry’s hunger for the product and its enthusiastic jump to AFS once word spread of the add-on’s existence. “That caught SAP by surprise,” claims Burrows. “There are other packages out there, but they’re not as complete and they’re not global. I think SAP underestimated how desperate the industry was for a good solution.”

Indeed, SAP’s readiness to enter an industry doesn’t always signal the industry’s preparedness for SAP. “We constantly counsel customers in industries that SAP is trying to penetrate that the concept of best practices is not as well understood in these markets,” says Gartner Group’s Mirchandani.

Tropical Sportswear is confident it bought AFS for the right reasons, though. The clothing maker says it received the core functionality it needed in AFS. But after wading through the crowds at SAP’s annual SAPphire conference in September 1998 in Los Angeles, CIO Pulsipher has no illusions about where the $400 million company falls within the R/3 family: “If you go to SAPphire, you realize you’re a gnat on the elephant. So you go where the elephant goes.”

“Although SAP had a product, it wasn’t evident to us that it was available,” says Harry Kubetz, senior VP of operations at Kenneth Cole Productions.

“We tell people who are signing with SAP–and for that matter with PeopleSoft and Oracle–that you’re joining a club,” Mirchandani adds. “You may think you’re hot stuff in your industry, but when you join, your leverage drops the day you sign the contract.” SAP’s vast roster of R/3 clients is crowded with billion-dollar businesses that have to jostle for SAP’s attention. “With 14,000 customers, even Exxon is a blip,” says Mirchandani of R/3’s sprawling client base.

Kenneth Cole Productions evaluated AFS but chose AS/400-based software from JBA International–the same software AeroGroup is reportedly planning to use. “Although SAP had a product, it wasn’t evident to us that it was available,” says Harry Kubetz, senior vice president of operations for the $225 million New York City fashion company. He prefers the JBA approach–direct contact with JBA on the project–to the SAP approach, which requires that customers rely on consultants and systems integrators for implementation. And the project’s $2 million tab, including hardware, software, and consulting, is $3 million less than Kubetz calculates he would have paid for the SAP product. It’s also 50% less than the much smaller AeroGroup (with projected 1998 revenue of $150 million) planned to spend on its AFS implementation.

If the shoe doesn’t fit, squeak

Even AFS customers that are going live in January 1999 say it has been a rough experience. Did companies at times feel like guinea pigs? “You can say that again,” says Bruno Magli USA president Peter Grueterich. With revenues of $60 million, Bruno Magli is one of the smaller companies to adopt AFS. Its implementation is six months late and 15% over budget. The company expected to go live in January 1999. Grueterich dismisses the delay as necessary while the company geared up for the busy fall and holiday selling season. He adds that the lapse was fortunate: While Bruno Magli put the project on hold, SAP released version 1.0C of AFS, considered by many customers to be far superior to 1.0B.

AFS customers also report trouble with SAP’s Accelerated SAP (ASAP) methodology as a road map for rapid implementations. The much-touted set of instructions is designed as a streamlined guide for implementing R/3 in companies with revenues of $500 million or less. But as with many maps, the instructions have been stashed away in favor of improvisation.

Progress report

Sources: Company statements, SAP press releases

The more than a dozen companies ready to go live with AFS implementations this spring are relying on their own methodologies. And they are moving very slowly to roll out the software. Wolverine originally planned to go live in January 1999 with one AFS module, for sales and distribution, and with SAP’s standard financials. But only the financials will be turned on as planned. Wolverine’s conservative roll-out of just one AFS module has been halted while the company irons out glitches with some of its interfaces. It plans to implement the module later this spring. As for the other AFS modules, they simply aren’t ready, asserts Wolverine CIO Acromite. When they are (Acromite expects them to be ready later in 1999 when SAP releases AFS 1.0D), Wolverine will phase them in. Referring to the implementation, Acromite asks: “Why push it to meet a date on the calendar?”

The Big Bang approach has plenty of support among AFS customers, though. Florsheim Group plans to switch to its new RS/6000 AIX platform on January 30, 1999. When it goes live, Florsheim will dump a dozen mainframe databases in iDMS and COBOL, all of which are being converted to Oracle7. The Chicago maker of men’s footwear expects to have all of its wholesale systems off the mainframe by next summer. Support systems for the company’s 270 retail stores, which represent half the company’s $250 million in yearly revenues, will be running on SAP retail modules by the fall, according to chief information officer Tom Poggensee.

Florsheim is taking the plunge with two modules that other AFS customers have shied away from, materials management and warehouse management. Poggensee says the company has had some trouble with the addition of forecasting to the materials management module, “but overall, we didn’t think it was that bad.” As for the warehouse management, he echoes the sentiments of many of the smaller companies about AFS in general when he says, “It’s a good first step. Where we’re coming from, it’s a giant step.”

Supportive souls

Poggensee expects to do plenty of adjusting even after the new system is turned on. He is holding off on implementing some of the still-unresolved AFS functions, such as the means by which allocations are handled and certain aspects of warehouse processing. “We’re not preventing ourselves from going back” and continuing to refine the original vision, he says. “Change is hard enough to do.”

The enormous scope of ERP can be overwhelming, even when your implementation is on course and appears headed for success. Says one CIO overseeing a $20 million reengineering project that includes adopting AFS, “When I look across the abyss, I don’t know if I have the energy to get across it.”

Finding The Percent Of Total In Power Bi

In this article, we will review how to find the percent of the total calculation in Power BI.

Although you might have already learned this from the other modules, reviewing it would be beneficial for its common usage in various scenarios.

To show you a simple example, we will create a measure for Total Sales.

To create this measure, I will use the SUM function and then put in the Total Revenue column.

Then, I will drag Total Sales into the canvas and make an association with the Product Name dimension.

Then, we need to figure out the percent of sales of all the products under the Product Name column through the total.

To do this, we need to divide every single number in Total Sales by the total. The only way to achieve this is to change the context of the calculation so that the Product Name column would be ignored.

We will create a new measure called Every Sales, reference the Total Sales inside CALCULATE, and then use the ALL function with the Product Name column since it can remove filters from the dimension.

After dragging in the measure, you can see that every single row has the same result.

To get the percent of total, we will create a new measure called % of Total which uses the DIVIDE function to divide Total Sales by Every Sale, and then put in a zero as the optional alternate result.

We can now drag in our new measure and change the format to show percentages.

These two measures would not be necessary so we can remove them.

After removing those two intermediary calculations, this is how the table would finally appear.

To better visualize the percent of total table, we can select the stacked bar chart under Visualizations and then sort the results into a descending order.

Getting the percent of the total was very simple since all we had to do is to put in the correct dimensions then use the ALL function to remove the filters for that calculation.

In this section, we will discuss the context considerations surrounding percent of total in Power BI.

A lot of the results that you get from percent of total calculations heavily depend on the context where you place your formula.

For example, the context in this particular example is Product 7.

All of these percent of total results add up to 100% since we have removed the filters for Product Name inside the formula of Every Sale.

Because of this, we are able to do that intermediary calculation with DIVIDE wherein the sum of the total was used as the denominator.

However, the percent of total formula can return a different result depending on which context you put it into.

For example, I will copy and paste the table and then use Customer Names as the context for the calculation.

As a result, the percent of total in every row displays 100%.

This is because the % of Total measure does not work in this context since we need to remove the filters first.

However, if we put in the other dimensions, the Every Sales measure would not work since only the filter in Product Name is being removed in our formula.

To show you an example, the Every Sales measure here is still returning the values from the Total Sales of the customers.

If we want to get the percent of total per customer, we need to make changes in the Every Sales measure or change the table using a slicer.

By selecting a customer through a slicer, the table of results will now work since the percent of the total is now being filtered by a particular customer.

Instead of selecting one customer at a time, you can also change the slicer settings so that selecting multiple customers would also be possible.

Selecting multiple customers will still yield correct results since the Product Name context is properly used.

Simply changing the context or using slicers would enable you to efficiently retrieve desired results in various situations.

That is how you get the percent of total in Power BI and how using different contexts affect your calculations.

Understanding how context works is very important since you can get drastically different results by changing it as shown in our examples.

All the best,

Sam

How Can The Power Of Iot Enhance Telehealth Services?

IoT, or the Internet of Things, could make Telehealth even better. People are choosing to see their doctors online more and more. In the past few years, Telehealth, or providing health care services from a distance, has grown by leaps and bounds. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, less than 1% of all healthcare in the U.S. was done through Telehealth. Now, more than 70% of doctors say they are more likely to use it, and 75% say it helps them give better care. With the help of Telehealth, doctors and nurses can take care of a larger number of patients without being there in person. If IoT devices were used to provide this kind of virtual care, it could have even more benefits. Using IoT devices to give this virtual help could increase its benefits even more.

Benefits of Telehealth Services

We can already see how technology is changing healthcare by making it less reliant on humans (and therefore less prone to mistakes made by humans) and more focused on the patient. The main benefits of the Internet of Things for healthcare organizations are as follows −

Less Cost − By using IoT technologies and connected medical devices, costs will go down because doctors and nurses can keep an eye on their patients in real-time using.

Better patient experience − An improved patient experience is achieved when patients are linked to the healthcare system through the Internet of Things.

Decreasing wastages − Using the Internet of Things (IoT) for data gathering and process automation decreases errors, waste (such as unneeded tests and costly imaging), and system expenses (especially the ones related to the human factor).

Improved Treatment Outcomes − Healthcare solutions that use big data and are connected through cloud computing can give carers real-time data that they can use to make smart decisions and give treatments that are backed by evidence.

How does IoT help in Telehealth?

Those who live in remote areas, who are underserved, or who are unable to leave their homes due to illness. Especially, disabilities can benefit greatly from the convenience of telemedicine. It also facilitates access to subspecialty care, such as neurology, for those in need. Better access to tools and health data outside of traditional office visits can also boost care quality outside of medical facilities.

Patient monitor − One of the most important ways IoT can improve telehealth services is by letting doctors watch patients from afar. This gives doctors a better idea of a patient’s health without having to see them in person. This real-time remote monitoring could make it much easier for people to get health care. Providers can get information about their patients through a dashboard or clinical decision support system that puts all the information in one place and lets them see the status of their patients in almost real-time.

Planning for best security − Keeping patient identities and health information safe and secure is a real challenge for people in charge of health care. IoT uses both phone lines and internet connections to work, so it’s important for users to have safe connections. Both types of information are very sensitive, so security is very important while they are being stored and sent.

Reminders about Medications − On a less important note, IoT could remind people when they need to take their medicine. Some sensors could even tell if someone missed a dose and tell their primary care providers about it. Medical wearables could help patients remember when to take their medicines, so they don’t have to. They could tell people when to take a certain medicine and how much of it to take.

Infrastructure − For example, power points, cable access points, permission for device cabling, no connectivity barriers, and the right amount of space for installation should all be checked out ahead of time to prevent any more problems. Even though IoT doesn’t need complicated infrastructure to work, you should make sure there aren’t any problems at the last minute. You may also need a team of people who know about networking and can help you with everything from setting up devices to managing them.

How Powerful IoT and Telehealth Can Be?

It makes sense to use IoT in Telehealth. This technology is great for enabling and growing telemedicine services because it lets people connect from far away and collects data. Combining it with IoT devices will help it grow even more and start a new era of easy access to health care.

Conclusion

IoT might not only cut down on the number of people who need to go to the hospital, but it also lets doctors and nurses give effective care to patients both at home and in the hospital. It has a lot of potential for health care, especially Telehealth.

Arria Nlg: Connecting The Data World With The Power Of Language

Arria NLG has a unique approach towards the deployment of NLG. As there are so many markets and use cases where NLG can and will offer a huge value-addition, Arria NLG’s software design allows its customers to decide on where to implement NLG to meet their goals and challenges. The company’s “Studio” solution which can be deployed as a SaaS and on-premise solution has been designed for users within an organization to write and deploy their own narratives. Studio is supported by their SDK and also with the Microservices available on their NLG marketplace store. Arria also has a professional services division to help clients with their implementation.

The Foundation of Arria NLG

Arria NLG was set up to enable the use of NLG and was inspired by the history of the founders of the University of Aberdeen and their dedication to language. Arria’s mission is to democratize NLG technology making it easily available to everyone, everywhere. Arria’s journey dates back to 1495 when the University of Aberdeen was founded with a focus on language and the pursuit of truth in the service of others. Bishop Elphinstone believed in the Power of Language as we do today. His beliefs are what led to the creation of Natural Language Generation technology.

It was not until 2009 that the University identified the global potential of the breakthrough of their NLG software technologies and finally in 2013 commercialized the technology as we know it today, Arria NLG. The company brings the power of language to data, big data technology,and AI. At Arria, they are not just building a global commercial enterprise, but a scientific legacy.

About the Team

Stuart Petersen is the Chief Strategy Officer at Arria. The company is led by Co-Founder, Chair and CEO, Sharon Daniels as well as two leading experts in NLG technology, Chief Scientists and co-founders, Dr. Ehud Reiter and Dr. Yaji Sripada. Sharon has decades of experience in developing and implementing technology within global enterprises. Her background in business strategy, technology, and how to implement new transformative technical capabilities within complex commercial settings allows Arria NLG to meet and exceed its growth targets. Sharon is recognized globally as an industry leader. Notably, Sharon was also co-founder of Diligent Corporation which was acquired in May 2024 for US$624 million

Strong Leadership Position with Global Recognition

Arria’s patent portfolio protects its proprietary articulative analytic techniques and NLG Technologies. With these 13 core NLG patents (and many more pending), Arria maintains its commanding position in the NLG marketplace. This patent achievement allows Arria to maintain sole ownership of its core differentiators with the strength and scalability of pure computational linguistics. In addition, the technology suite ensures everyone has an NLG solution to fit their specific skill sets and needs (STUDIO, SDK and Microservices).

In 2023, Arria won the Best Innovation in NLP category at the Alconics awards, the world’s only independently-judged awards celebrating Artificial Intelligence for Business, which were announced at the AI Summit in London.

Also, in 2023, one of Arria’s customers, Urbs media in conjunction with the Press Association, received a 706k EURO grant from Google to fund its local news automation service (which is powered by Arria’s STUDIO technology). This is one of the largest grant allocated from Google’s Digital News Initiative (DNI) to date, which is focused on stimulating and supporting innovation in digital journalism across Europe.

Customer-Centric Solutions

Arria NLG offers a unique approach of providing solutions and services that directly give a user the power to cleanly and consistently capture and deploy human expertise and insight directly from the heart of the data, all in real-time. The company believes that the technology will really push big data even further into the mainstream.

Arria NLG does not know all the use cases where NLG can be deployed because when we look at everyday life, we can see so many areas and use cases where NLG can be deployed for the immense benefit to both people and business.

Challenges Executed by Arria NLG

Arria NLG’s story has been the traditional technology company in a technology paradigm that has been in its infancy, irrespective of how good that technology is and is now moving into the core adoption phase. Even though NLG has been around for some time now, the growth of big data and NLP (Natural Language Processing) has been the enabler for NLG to become embraced by businesses at scale. Arria feels that we are now at that adoption and growth phase of NLG.

NLG is an area where there are so many potential use cases within different industries such that a company can get lost in trying to meet all the requests coming in from these areas. Successful companies analyze, focus and execute on where there is the coalescence of repeatable opportunities with a large potential market audience and the application being able to meet those needs. At Arria, the company has striven to focus on where they believe the best markets and use cases are and stay focused on them.

Insights into the Future

The company foresee a huge adoption of NLG across many markets and use cases and the ones that we had not even thought were possible. NLG is being co-mingled with NLP to drive what is now being called “Augmented Analytics”. As Arria is providing “Studio” solution to their clients so that they have the ability themselves to build NLG into the core fabric of their business, the company truly believes that we have only started to scratch the importance of NLG and Arria is perfectly positioned to become the pervasive solution to one of the most pervasive technologies for many years to come.

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