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In-store technology is not just the province of major retail chains. Small and medium-sized retailers feel the pressure as well to provide customers with digital experiences in-store.

But if retrofitting the mirrors in fitting rooms or rolling out virtual reality seems pricey, there are other ways to edge into the in-store digital world without blowing up the IT budget.

One approach is to use relatively inexpensive beacon technology and apps to interact with and provide personalized information on the fly to shoppers in the store. Beacon devices use near-field communication via Bluetooth to detect smartphones.

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When teams roll out tablets to replace their physical playbooks, they place a high priority on protecting both the devices themselves and the data inside them.

For physical protection, the Denver Broncos, which rolled out digital playbooks on Apple iPad devices in 2012, housed the tablets in OtterBox Defender Series ruggedized cases.

“Since I pay the bills for those things, breakage was definitely a concern,” says Russ Trainor, vice president of IT for the team. “When you go walking through the locker room, the iPads are on the floor, in the locker, under bags, under shoes. So we needed a good, sturdy cover for them.”

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1. Flexibility: Hyperconvergence lets organizations meet current and future needs without having to replace existing infrastructure components. Adopters can easily take advantage of new features provided in software updates.

2. Commodity resources: Hyperconverged systems use low-cost commodity hardware components that are relatively inexpensive, fast and easy to replace when they fail.

3. Centralized virtualization and management: All components are combined in a single shared resource pool with hypervisor technology. Systems management and virtualization are pre-installed, and many systems are optimized for specific workloads.

4. Improved agility: IT infrastructure is greatly simplified, allowing data centers to meet a variety of needs powerfully and responsively.

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Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm at the heart of the “Panama Papers” leak that has rocked the world of international politics and business this week, apparently had very weak security measure in place to protect is websites and data.

News organizations have been publishing stories this week about the law firm helped set up shell corporations and offshore tax havens for the world’s political and financial elite, but the stories all stem from a trove of 11.5 million documents — 2.6 terabytes of data — that was taken from the firm's files.

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Microsoft revealed at its Build developer conference on Wednesday that eight months after it launched Windows 10 that the platform is being “actively used on more than 270 million devices.” That figure is up from the milestone of 200 million devices Microsoft reported at the start of 2016.

While that’s an enviable pace, Microsoft has loft goals. In April 2015, the company said it aimed to have 1 billion devices running Windows 10 by the summer of 2018, ZDNet notes

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One of Microsoft's biggest announcements at its annual developer-focused Build conference on Wednesday was the practical applications for Conversations as a Platform

During the conference's opening keynote, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Conversations as a Platform could revolutionize business productivity and give transactions a personal flavor. By combining voice and image recognition technologies with artificial intelligence APIs, Microsoft's engineers have created applications Nadella referred to as "chatbots" that can assist users in anything from an everyday business transaction to helping the blind visualize the world around them.

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  1. Provide inspiration: Business leaders need to be active collaborators, receptive to hearing new ideas as well as working with teams on promising new concepts. Leaders should make it a habit to use collaboration tools, such as web conferencing and social media, when interacting with coworkers.

  2. Foster creativity: Leaders should have the courage to shift from a command-and-control management philosophy to an approach that is more collaborative. When a co-worker’s promising idea becomes reality, organizations should reward creative thinkers with recognition, bonuses and promotions.

  3. Help workers “collide”: Great ideas are often born when coworkers literally bump into each other. This doesn't happen much when they hide inside their cubicles. A powerful wireless network and the freedom of a bring-your-own-device policy can allow the mobility that fosters this movement.

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Google is hoping that machine learning technology will help it compete in the cloud services market and win business from large enterprises. Machine learning — the idea that an artificial intelligence can learn from and make predictions based upon data it accesses — is “what’s next” in technology, Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google parent Alphabet, said last week when Google announced its plans, according to TechCrunch.

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For a growing number of organizations, the road to BYOD begins with a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

VDI, which runs the user desktop inside a virtual machine residing on a data center server, enables fully personalized desktops for each user while providing the security and simplicity of centralized management. In recent years, VDI has emerged as a quick and effective way of enabling BYOD without exposing an organization to unnecessary risk. With VDI, existing enterprise applications can run without modification, giving users easy, trouble-free access from their personal mobile devices.

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