Posts Tagged ‘Management’
Nest proved that energy monitoring can be tantalizing. And it’s about to get even better. The company just announced that it has acquired MyEnergy to further enhance its suite of monitoring tools. Terms of deal were not released.
Originally called Earth Aid, the startup launched its online dashboard in 2009 as one of the first energy monitoring solutions. Similar to EnergySavvy, Google’s Powermeter andMicrosoft’s Hohm, Earth Aid, and now MyEnergy, provides consumers with information on how much electricity, water, and natural gas they use and how much they spend on these utilities. Simply connect your online utility accounts with the platform, and the system imports all the necessary bits and displays them on the beautiful web dashboard.
Spend a few quick minutes on MyEnergy.com and it’s easy to see why Nest wanted MyEnergy in its corner. The system is wonderful. Just like the Nest Learning Thermostat.
In 2011 the startup raised $ 4 million in Series A funding from Point Judith Capital, the Clean Energy Venture Group, and Capital-E. According to today’s announcement, MyEnergy has users in all 50 U.S. states and spans more than 1,500 utility territories.
“Giving our customers more in-depth access and analysis of their energy usage has always been part of the Nest vision,” said Tony Fadell, Nest founder and CEO said in a released statement today. “We’ve made great strides in the past year and a half; by bringing MyEnergy into the Nest family, we can reach our goals even faster. The MyEnergy team is incredibly like-minded and we’ve already begun working with them to find ways to integrate their technology into Nest products.”
The Nest Learning Thermostat is beautiful. But the web dashboard is lacking in depth. There is plenty of room for improvement. MyEnergy will likely not only make it look better, but dramatically enhance the tool set by giving the homeowner information from their neighborhood.
Nest is charging forward, simultaneously building out consumer aspects and partnering with utility companies. This acquisition clearly fits within Nest’s vision. It’s unclear exactly what Nest plans to do with MyEnergy, but as a Nest user myself, I’m rather excited to see what Tony Fadell and team does with the beautiful MyEnergy platform.
Under new CEO Marissa Mayer, Yahoo has been working on expanding the services it offers across multiple platforms and its latest move on that front is the acquisition of Astrid. The Astrid Tasks and To-do list app is a popular productivity manager on Android and iOS, particularly notable for its tie-ins with Google Calendar and the ability to assign tasks to others. In a blog post, CEO and co-founder Jon Paris announced the company will be joining Yahoo’s mobile team with a goal of “making the world’s daily habits more inspiring and entertaining.” As for existing users, the service will continue to work as-is for 90 days, and those who have paid for annual subscriptions to add on file storage, backup and more can expect refunds from Yahoo. There will also be a way for users to download all their data, although there aren’t any details on that yet. Astrid had received funding from Google Ventures, among others, but as shown by the launch of Google Keep it seems the usual giants in tech will be focusing on in-house ways to offer productivity features.
Source: Astrid Blog
Munich-based startup and TechCrunch Disrupt NY Battlefield contestant KISI Systems is launching its Indiegogo campaign today. KISI and KISIBox together comprise a keyless entry solution that lets users provide timed, revokable access to their own apartments on an as-needed basis. It’s the perfect complement to collaborative consumption services like Airbnb and TaskRabbit and in general a very useful addition to any household.
KISI takes its cues from enterprise-grade tools that allow businesses to control who can and can’t gain access to a facility – co-founder Bernhard Mehl explained that he and his co-founders decided it was an idea that would make perfect sense when applied to a consumer setting, too.
The KISI system is a combination of hardware and software, with a set price of $ 479 up front when it hits retail. Initially, backers can get it for $ 249 for the first Indiegogo supporters, and the best part is that the service is included with the hardware purchase, so this isn’t something that you end up necessarily paying for on a continual basis. There is a SaaS model planned as well, for people who’d like access to premium features, but Mehl says that in general, they aren’t interested in making homeowners feel like they’re renting the locks on their doors.
“We stripped an enterprise product down to a consumer-friendly version, and provide very easy-to-use key-management tools, so we have a web app and you can manage or see who accessed your apartment, or who currently has access on their smartphones,” Mehl says. “It’s a more decentralized or democratized access, so that it’s not the house owner who controls all the keys, but the resident themselves.”
KISI is designed for apartment tenants primarily, and can be made to integrated with your intercom system to provide complete building access from a web-based dashboard. Mehl says that where in the past this has been accomplished through sharing of hardware keys, that’s a dramatically outdated prospect, since it involves granting a type of access you can’t easily revoke, at least not without changing your locks. The platform is why KISI isn’t just another Lockitron, providing things like integration with an intercom system, and a record of when keyholders have accessed your apartment, and for how long.
The big opportunity for KISI is to take advantage of the rise of services like Airbnb, Exec and TaskRabbit, and collaborate with those companies to help provide temporary access to service pros who might only need it for a few minutes, a week or an afternoon.
“All the hardware parts are installed in your apartment, and you can open even the front door of the house with your smartphone, and yet nothing changes for anyone else who has physical key access” he said. “Up to now, you had to change the whole system to get automated access, but the cool thing is that we’ve managed to accomplish that without requiring a complete overhaul.”
KISI has already impressed enough to win an entrepreneurial startup grant from the German government, and they’ve won various prizes, including from the NYCEDC, which provided them with $ 25,000 for the “Next Idea” award.
KISI will launch in New York City and Munich first, and will then expand to other markets after that. It doesn’t replace existing standards like Z-Wave, but works with them, and can also be used in combination with existing devices like Lockitron, so there’s opportunity for it to grow into existing home automation systems.
Xerox PARC spinout company PowerCloud Systems is debuting a new kind of home networking solution today on Kickstarter, one that in some ways resembles the very successful Almond router, but one that also offers tremendous flexibility and granularity of control over home network access. The Skydog is a home networking tool that allows you complete control over who has access to your network, how much access they have, and what they’re allowed to access, and it can all be controlled remotely, too.
The Skydog consists of a router with 802.11n networking capabilities and simultaneous dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) operation. But the hardware is just one small part of the equation: it’s the software side that makes things really interesting, thanks to a powerful web-based dashboard that’s designed to be accessed from any Internet-connected PC, smartphone or tablet. The dashboard, unlike the firmware access panels of most routers, is actually a cloud-based service layer that provides simple, easy-to-understand controls for various network settings.
For instance, using Skydog, you can receive a text-based notification whenever a new device joins your network, complete with that device’s name. Skydog also shows you exactly how much bandwidth is being used by what device, and even lets you meter access by device or group, so you could allocate more bandwidth to a living room TV for video streaming, for instance, or limit the access of guests to prevent them running up your monthly traffic totals.
Skydog also has extensive parental controls, which allow for content filtering (you can tell it to block websites that fall into broad categories) and time limits on access to specific sites. Lock down Facebook during exam time, for instance, and have Skydog send you a notification when the user with the limit imposed hits their maximum allotted time. And if you need to diagnose a problem, there’s real-time monitoring, complete with remote outage alerts and remote router cycling, so you can spend less time on the phone with your ISP’s tech support department.
“In general, you can think about what we’ve done as taking enterprise-grade technology and making it usable for consumers,” PowerCloud CEO Jeff Abramowitz explained in an interview. “The idea for Skydog really came from employees of the company, friends and family of the company and even our investors taking our business products home, using them and realizing that they gave a level of visibility and control that no existing products really had.”
PowerCloud has been providing its CloudCommand technology for businesses, schools, hotels and other enterprise clients for a couple of years now, and the leap to the consumer market made sense in that it addressed a need that wasn’t really being filled by any competing products. Sure, Almond had simplified home networking by making its a process independent of computers, but in general home networking is still just about connecting devices to the Internet; there’s been very little innovation in terms of giving people more control over how and when they connect, which definitely seems like a missed opportunity given the explosion of the number of connected devices in any given home, and the changed role of the web in the lives of both children and adults.
Skydog is available as a $ 79 pre-order on Kickstarter, and will retail for $ 99 when it hits stores. The service it offers will be available free to users, though since it is a cloud service Abramowitz didn’t rule out the possibility of introducing paid premium tiers and features down the road. Asked why they went the Kickstarter route, he said that Skydog was looking for a new way to access the consumer market for this kind of product.
“Obviously Kickstarter is common for earlier startups, but not necessarily for a company that’s been around for a while,” Abramowitz said. “What we realized is that we’ve got a very disruptive and exciting product, but it really is a very large and mature space, and the existing paths to market are pretty well owned by the incumbents. Getting product on the retail sense is a very resource-intensive proposition.”
Going the Kickstarter route isn’t just about getting consumer backing, he said, but about promoting the Skydog community. The Skydog platform features a forum and is intended to promote sharing of network management strategies, so that people can exchange templates, tips and tricks for running their own household wireless. Kickstarter not only helps with funding, but gets that seeded early.
Skydog also works with your existing setup, as you can just plug in an AirPort Express, for instance, and get it running through the dashboard. The intended ship date is May 2013, so early backers won’t have to wait long for the device, which has already been extensively beta tested. If you’ve been looking for a way to make your home network easier to control and monitor, or you want to set your parents up with a networking solution you can manage completely even from across the country, this is a little project that could have a big impact on your lives.
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Developing a wonderful order of business application is hard– we desire them to be easy to use but impossibly effective, with every function you can possibly imagine but no friction or mess. Wunderlist, the product of Berlin-based 6Wunderkinder, discovered a sizable audience thanks to both simpleness and ubiquity– from desktop computers to mobile, there’s generally no platform with which you can’t make use of Wunderlist, and it’s extremely simple to utilize. But with the new version 2.0 of Wunderlist, 6Wunderkinder is attempting to create an app that’s both simple and powerful, and after a week around using it I’m astounded at exactly how well the business pulled it off.
The most recognizable distinction in Wunderlist 2.0 is the look and feel of the app itself. It’s easier and cleaner on every …
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Shortly after World War I, Ford and GM developed the large modern-day company, with its monetary and statistical controls, mass production, and assembly lines. In the 1980s, Toyota stuck out for integrating quality with constant refinement. Today, Google is transforming business yet again-the method we work, exactly how companies are controlled, and how workers are handled.
Management professional Bernard Girard has actually been analyzing Google since its founding in 1998, and now in The Google Method, he checks out Google’s advancements in depth-many of which are far removed from the best practices taught at the top business schools.
As you review, you’ll see exactly how much of Google’s success is because of its focus on individuals and automation. You’ll additionally learn exactly how eCommerce has exceptionally altered the relationship between businesses and their consumers, for the first time providing customers a vital function to play in a significant corporation’s development. Finally, Girard speculates about the limitations of Google’s company model and discusses the obstacles it will deal with as it continues to grow.
Google’s culture is among innovation. Why not make that spirit of innovation your very own?
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RadioShack’s board of directors have asked present CEO James F. Gooch to step down from his position, efficient right away. While the management group does not have a replacement in mind, present CFO Dorvin Lively will presume control of the store while a recruitment agency starts headhunting. Neither party offered any sort of explanations for the announcement, however the wording of the release (below) did bring to mind the phrase “bloodless coup” for some explanation.
Continue reading RadioShack parts business with CEO James F. Gooch in management shakeupFiled under: MiscRadioShack parts business with CEO James F. Gooch in management shakeup originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 26 Sep 2012 12:12:00 EDT. Please see our terms for usage of feeds. Permalink|| E-mail this|Remarks
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Canon has launched the beta version of a brand-new picture management platform, intending to supply a central place for seeing pictures from a broad selection of services and networks. Called “Project 1709″– obviously only a working title– the site includes hefty integration with Facebook, enabling individuals to watch comments and suches as on images pulled from the service. It additionally includes proprietary search functionality, which utilizes pre-existing tags as well as EXIF data and additional information to increase the accuracy of results.
Project 1709 is accepting invite requests from today– while versions are offered in both English and German, the only choice in the “nation” section of the registration type is “United Kingdom.” Along with Facebook …
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Is email eradicating your productivity? You’re not the only one. The most significant time management and innovation problem dealing with individuals today …
Exactly how to take care of all our e-mail?
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The “consumerization of IT” is a key term used by organizations to describe the influx of consumer tech in business. Employees are increasingly purchasing smartphone devices and expecting big enterprise IT support departments to allow them to access company email systems, intranet resources, and line of business applications. This presents a number of challenges for IT, especially when employees want to use their own personal equipment at work.
Microsoft recognizes this increasingly common trend and plans to include a management client on Windows 8 ARM tablets to potentially position them as “bring your own” devices for employees. Although some organizations have started to licence and use GOOD technology to manage iOS and Android email…
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