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https://killexams.com/exam_list/CA-TechnologiesKillexams : Owners of vacated CA Technologies’ campus paid pennies on the dollarNo result found, try new keyword!A group of investors and developers purchased CA Technologies’ former office park at 1 Computer Associates Plaza in Islandia for $24.1 million, Newsday reported. The transaction took place in ...Mon, 23 Jan 2023 14:24:00 -0600entext/htmlhttps://therealdeal.com/new-york/tristate/2023/01/23/owners-of-vacated-ca-technologies-campus-paid-pennies-on-the-dollarKillexams : CA Technologies
(CA Technologies, Inc., Islandia, NY, www.ca.com) The world's largest diversified software vendor offering more than 500 applications from micro to mainframe. Founded as Computer Associates in 1976 by Charles Wang and three associates, its first product was CA-SORT, a very successful IBM mainframe utility. Its first personal computer software was SuperCalc, one of the earliest spreadsheets. CA Technologies grew via numerous acquisitions over the years, and in 1989, was the first independent software company to reach $1 billion in sales. In 2018, CA was acquired by Broadcom and operates as a Broadcom subsidiary.
Charles WangWang developed the world's largest diversified software company that covers all segments of the industry from micro to mainframe. (Image courtesy of CA Technologies, Inc., www.ca.com)Fri, 28 May 2021 19:22:00 -0500entext/htmlhttps://www.pcmag.com/index.php/encyclopedia/term/ca-technologiesKillexams : Avoiding AV Complexities
When it opened in 1964, the 12-story Contra Costa County Administration Building in Martinez, CA, was state-of-the-art. But over the years, time had taken its toll.
“The building was costing the county a fair amount of money to maintain,” said Wayne Tilley, information system division director—communications, at the Department of Information Technology for Contra Costa County. “Systems were aging out and could not be maintained effectively. The building was at a critical age point.”
County administrators and the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors realized the need for a new building. The solution would be to build a new four-story administration building across the street from the original building and then raze the 1964 structure. In 2017, the Board of Supervisors approved $60 million for the new 71,000-square-foot building; construction began in 2018 and was completed in 2020.
Ahead of the Curve
“Those of us at the county started talking more and more about AV and its complexities—its inability to be simplistic, what remote to use, how to turn things on, linking to third-party systems—and how to make that better, but more importantly, what AV could bring to the county,” said Tilley.
Tilley engaged with several companies he had worked with in the past, and found himself meeting with Chris Apple, vice president of sales for Interactive Digital Solutions (IDS), a company that both he and the county had worked with for 12 years, even before Tilley began working for the county.
“We started to sketch things out,” recalled Tilley. “We looked at how to make AV simpler, use automation, use a one-touch panel instead of multiple remotes, and room scheduling. In a couple of hours, we had everything that we could think of.”
IDS would eventually win the bid for the new building’s AV system. “We’ve been designing this system for a year and a half—it took four months to get everything installed,” said Matt Rhodes, director of sales for North America for IDS. “Everything” included outfitting 15 executive offices, 40 conference rooms, 10 break rooms, a training room, the chamber room for the Board of Supervisors meetings, and 20 digital signage locations plus an outdoor kiosk.
“Most places don’t want to invest in a full IP-based AV enterprise solution like Contra Costa County has,” said Rhodes. “But that can be expanded county-wide for a centralized video solution. In 2019, before COVID, most designers and organizations were not doing a multi-software meeting platform approach; it was all Zoom or Webex. We were ahead of the curve and saw the need for multiple software platforms in each room—and the county wanted to do what we thought was a great idea. Of course, now, multiplatform is a must have.”
One of the biggest reasons the partnership between IDS and Contra Costa County exists, according to Rhodes, is the company's on-site engineering and remote management support. “We’re ingrained into the support structure, with an engineer on site one day a week and during board meetings. We’re also just 90 minutes away should something unexpected happen," Rhodes said. "This all leads to a partnership that is good and healthy, which is why the county is one of our best customers.”
Part of the simplicity that Tilley wanted can be found in how IDS designed the system, with every room built on the same foundation, from the board chamber to the smallest conference room. This gives users a common experience throughout the building.
“Each room has a profile of how it can be used: its permitted occupancy and available technologies,” said Tilley. “We don’t have a bunch of people trying to use the same room at the same time. Now, a person walks in, the room is preset, they turn on the panel, and have their meeting.”
The panel is from Crestron or Avocor(opens in new tab), depending on the size of the room. “Larger rooms use a Crestron(opens in new tab) control panel,” explained Tilley. “This allows me to come into a room, touch a button that turns on the lights and the monitor, then touch a link and bring up my video meeting. I can also control speaker and mic levels, plus the camera in the room can count the number of people to verify capacity.”
Rhodes added that each room needs some sort of compute resource. “This lets users schedule meetings, but it also lets Wayne and his team, as well as us off site, see all the equipment and know its health. During COVID, we would know if lower room capacities were exceeded. Before COVID, no one really carried about that type of basic analytics. If nothing happens in a room after 15 minutes, it’s released for other users.”
According to Tilley, a benefit of multiroom control is the ability to expand videoconferencing to breakout rooms. “During board meetings, we can accommodate public overflow by opening up other rooms so that they can watch the proceedings and make statements to the board as though they were in the main board chamber," he noted.
“Smaller rooms use Avocor’s 65-inch or 86-inch touchscreen displays,” explained Dana Corey, senior vice president and general manager for Avocor. “Twenty of the smaller displays are spread throughout the building and five of the larger displays are split between the board chamber, executive offices, and other meeting rooms for controlling video meetings and whiteboard presentations.”
IDS is Avocor’s top reseller, according to Christal Giles, western regional sales manager for Avocor. “We’ve been working with IDS since 2019, and we’re currently working with them on the county’s new Health Department Services Building, with 13 65-inch touchscreen displays, and the Employee Human Service Building, with 65, 75, and 86-inch touchscreen displays,” Giles added.
Avocor’s displays utilize the Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) using an Avocor i7 OPS PC with Windows 365. With an OPS side slot in the display, users can swap in a new PC without having to deal with external cabling.
Now In Session
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors started meeting in its new chambers in September 2020, with the public attending virtually. While various departments would move into the building during the pandemic, it wouldn’t be until March 2022 when the public could attend meetings in person.
According to Tilley, the AV design goal for the board chamber was simplicity. “It needed to be easy for board members, administration folks, and our CCTV partners that televise the meetings,” he added.
All the mics easily plug in and have auto sync with auto level control. There’s Wi-Fi in the room, so the public can watch meetings on their smartphones and hear real-time Spanish translation, or watch English and Spanish dual-line open captions. There’s also wireless audio assist for people to use with their smartphones and ear buds. With all this technology, there is still one human required: the ASL interpreter.
The highlight of the chamber is its video wall, a 16x9-foot widescreen display made of 64 panels. “I wish we could have gone bigger,” said Tilley, “but we were limited by the available height. With a new building, you shoot for the moon—but architects and accountants bring you back to reality to what the true department needs are. And that goes back to an AV system that works independently and seamlessly.”
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Mon, 13 Feb 2023 19:12:00 -0600entext/htmlhttps://www.avnetwork.com/news/avoiding-av-complexitiesKillexams : Manufacturing victory
There is good news and bad news in American foreign policy . The bad news first: The country’s defense industrial base is hollowed out, leaving the United States without the weapons that it would need in future conflicts and barely able to maintain a precarious peace in the near term.
The good news: The problem is fixable, and doing so would not only strengthen America’s defenses but boost the economy by creating durable jobs.
On all fronts, in other words, America would stop writing checks it can’t cash.
We simply don’t have the industrial capacity to maintain our current policy menu indefinitely, which includes aiding Ukraine in its war against Russian aggression and boosting Taiwan to forestall an invasion from China.
Indeed, a new report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Washington, D.C., detailed the challenges facing the defense industrial base. That study , titled "Empty Bins in a Wartime Environment," concluded that “in the event of a major regional conflict — such as war with China in the Taiwan Strait — the U.S. use of munitions would likely exceed the current stockpiles of the U.S. Department of Defense.”
Some of the report’s findings are bleak.
Seth Jones, the senior vice president of CSIS and the author of the report, said the U.S. would likely run through its stockpile of long-range anti-ship missiles, or LRASMs, a weapon that would likely be used in any showdown with China, in less than a week. CSIS ran war games that showed the U.S. would deplete many key precision-guided munitions in a very short time frame. This occurred, Jones noted , in “virtually every” iteration of the war games.
This is disturbing. As the historian Cathal J. Nolan convincingly argued in his 2017 book, The Allure of Battle, most modern wars are wars of attrition. A protracted conflict would likely take America to its breaking point, possibly leaving it without the means to fight and supply its forces. Such occurrences are not unheard-of. And they are not without severe political ramifications.
In World War I, for example, this happened to Russia and Great Britain. The czar’s inability to field arms properly contributed to the public’s loss of faith in his rule. And the so-called Shell Crisis of 1915, in which British forces had to contend with a shortage of artillery shells, became a scandal that weakened Prime Minister Henry Asquith and led to the rise of his successor, the former Minister of Munitions David Lloyd George.
It’s not just about offense. This problem erodes a country’s ability to prevent war. As Jones noted: “How do you effectively deter if you don’t have sufficient stockpiles of the kind of munitions you’re going to need in a China-Taiwan Strait kind of scenario?”
“The defense industrial base,” Jones has said, “is not prepared for the security environment that now exists.” At present, he warned , the U.S. defense industrial base is operating on a “peacetime footing” that is hardly adequate for the challenges of today, much less those on the horizon. Indeed, those threats are of a different caliber and magnitude than what the U.S. has encountered in latest years.
For the past quarter of a century, the U.S. has been mired in asymmetrical conflicts, primarily with nonstate actors such as al Qaeda and the Islamic State or with third-rate armies such as Iraq's. These are hardly enemies that compare to the military and economic power of the Chinese Communist Party of today.
Indeed, the U.S. military hasn’t fought a war with industrialized nation-state competitors since World War II. Yet both the Biden and Trump administrations have correctly recognized that the world has reentered an era of great power conflict, with America and Europe facing threats from Russia and China. But our defense industrial base has yet to adjust.
As the New York Timesreported on Jan. 18, in latest months the U.S. has begun to transfer weapons from stockpiles in Israel to Ukraine. The weapons are stored as part of an agreement in which Israel can request access to the weapons, should it run low — which happened during wars in 2006 and 2014. But otherwise, the stockpiles are only accessible to U.S. military personnel. The U.S. has also requested that the Jewish state transfer its Hawk missiles, which are in storage in the event that they need to be refurbished and used, to Ukraine. The U.S. is also dipping into stockpiles in South Korea to help arm Ukraine.
“Stockpiles in the United States,” the report said, “have become strained and American arms makers have not been able to keep up with the pace of Ukraine’s battlefield operations.” The CSIS study noted that it might take as long as three to seven years to replenish certain munitions that are now being used in Ukraine. With some top U.S. military officials predicting a Chinese invasion of Taiwan by 2025, the U.S. might not have that long. Indeed, there is now a nearly $19 billion backlog in U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.
On Jan. 11, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro warned that if the defense industry didn’t boost production, arming both the U.S. and Ukraine would soon become “challenging.” Del Toro was responding to comments made by Adm. Daryl Caudle, the head of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, at a Surface Navy Association conference. Caudle openly panic that “the Navy might get to the point where it has to make the decision whether it needs to arm itself or arm Ukraine.” That these officials felt compelled to voice their concerns publicly speaks volumes about how perilous the situation has become.
Nor are they alone.
In April 2022, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks warned of a “substantial decline” in competition in the defense industrial base. Hicks lamented that the U.S. is reliant on a mere “five prime contractors” and called for greater “competition.” Indeed, a February 2022 Pentagon report singled out the 1990s as a time in which “the defense sector consolidated substantially, transitioning from 51 to 5 aerospace and defense” contractors. Now, for example, 90% of missiles come from a mere three sources. The number of suppliers in major weapons systems categories has “declined substantially,” the Pentagon study noted .
Ironically, the U.S. is now suffering from the aftereffects of the “unipolar moment” of the 1990s when America was the sole, uncontested world power after the Soviet Union’s collapse. Those heady days are now gone, as even top administration officials have conceded.
During the 2022 rollout of the administration’s national security strategy, Biden national security adviser Jake Sullivan echoed Hicks’s concerns. Sullivan noted the importance of making “far-reaching investments” in the nation’s “industrial and innovation base.”
Policymakers are right to be worried.
“History has proved that nations once great that neglected their national defense are dust and ashes,” Gen. Douglas MacArthur warned in 1935. MacArthur was then serving as the Army’s chief of staff, battling with Congress over defense budget cuts amid the Great Depression.
As Adolf Hitler’s Germany and Imperial Japan increased their defense spending, the Western democracies of France, Germany, and the U.S. cut theirs.
Yet the Depression alone wasn’t responsible for the sorry state of military readiness on the eve of World War II. The U.S. has often rapidly drawn down its forces after conflict, including after World War I and, in later years, after both World War II and Operation Desert Storm. At the end of World War I in 1918, the U.S. had the fourth-largest army in the world. By the late 1930s, it was 18th — just ahead of the Netherlands.
When then-Brig. Gen. George Patton took over the Army’s 2nd Armored Brigade in the months before Hitler invaded Poland, it had a mere 325 tanks, compared to Nazi Germany’s 2,000. Patton even had to use a Sears and Roebuck catalog to order nuts and bolts for the tanks as the Army’s quartermaster was unable to supply them. As historian Arthur Herman detailed in his book Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II, at the time, the Army had just six working arsenals to manufacture weapons. Eighty-five percent of the machines in those arsenals were over 10 years old, with some stretching back to the 1860s and the Civil War.
As Herman chronicled, it took American ingenuity and government-backed incentives to unleash the country’s industrial might, providing the U.S. and its allies with the “arsenal of democracy” that proved key to victory. But history offers another warning, as well.
The U.S. didn’t start to arm seriously until 1938 — three years before Pearl Harbor. And it was still woefully unprepared and underarmed in the beginning stages of that conflict. Indeed, it didn’t have the means to launch a full-scale invasion of Hitler’s Fortress Europe until the summer of 1944. Absent the use of nuclear weapons, many military planners didn’t think an invasion of mainland Japan would be possible until 1946 at the earliest.
Importantly, the U.S. also had key allies in World War II, such as the Soviet Union and the British Empire, which could tie down their opponents. And even at the war’s opening stages, the U.S. dwarfed Japan as an industrial power. Also: Many of the key American defense industrial planners in World War II had learned from the bitter experiences of World War I, when the U.S. was similarly late to mobilize — and when many arms and material didn’t reach Europe until after the fighting was over.
The U.S. was late to enter both world wars, giving its industrial powers time to gear up and prepare. And it was not initially the primary combatant. Suffice it to say: These are not advantages that the U.S. currently possesses.
In the event of a Sino-American conflict over Taiwan, time is a luxury that the U.S. might not have. As one secretary of defense famously said : “You go to war with the Army that you have, not the Army that you might want or wish to have at a later time.” This is particularly true when it comes to the defense industrial base, which can’t be built overnight.
Encouragingly, there is growing awareness of the deterioration of the defense industrial base. And concern is bipartisan. Lawmakers as ideologically diverse as Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), among others, have called to revitalize our nation’s industrial base to better safeguard U.S. interests.
Multiyear contracting for munitions would alleviate some of the fears of companies, allowing them to produce needed arms without incurring undue risks. Indeed, such a strategy was critical to harnessing its industrial strength on the eve of World War II. The U.S. must incentivize industry, cut red tape, and promote innovation.
“Spending more money,” defense strategist Elbridge Colby said , “isn’t necessarily the answer.” Competition is. And that is something that America has historically excelled at. As British Foreign Secretary Edward Grey observed during World War I: “America is like a giant boiler” — once the fire is lit, “there is no limit to the power that it can generate.” That fire needs to be lit — and fast.
As Jacob Helberg, the newly appointed commissioner of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, observed, “The decline of American manufacturing jobs and the rise of China as a manufacturing powerhouse” has had “profound consequences for U.S. national security.” It is, he lamented in 2021, “shocking how reliant the U.S. military is on Chinese production.” The U.S. must reduce its dependency on the manufacturing capabilities of hostile nations. This is common sense that needs to be more common.
The past few years have shown the importance of supply chains and the need to reshore critical materials. This will mean more investment upfront. But it will also mean more jobs for the U.S. and key allies.
Finally, the very definition of the defense industrial base needs to be expanded to include areas beyond armaments. The growing importance of rare earth metals, which are key to defense technologies, has been belatedly recognized. But China’s chokehold on the production of basic drugs, including penicillin and blood pressure medication, gives Beijing leverage that could allow it to shut down U.S. hospitals — or hamper the fighting ability of American fleets and fighting men and women.
It is incumbent upon both U.S. officials and businesses to do what’s necessary to avert a looming disaster. As MacArthur told journalist Theodore White in 1940: “The history of failure in war can be summed up in two words: Too late.”
Sean Durns is a foreign affairs analyst based in Washington, D.C. His views are his own.
Fri, 10 Feb 2023 04:29:00 -0600entext/htmlhttps://www.washingtonexaminer.com/restoring-america/patriotism-unity/manufacturing-victoryKillexams : In a Violent America, Safety Becomes a Sales Pitch
The school year was starting in 10 days, and Donald Keegan was a busy man. An associate superintendent of the North Syracuse Central School District, Keegan had to make sure the bus drivers were trained and the cafeterias fully staffed. He had a tour to lead that afternoon and a school board meeting in the evening.
But that late August morning, Keegan took time to attend a demonstration inside a local factory, where he observed a series of windows being obliterated by an AR-15-style rifle.
Keegan was joined by other school officials from central New York, a school custodian and a pair of school architects. They stood with their arms crossed as Tom Czyz, the founder of Armoured One, a company that sells protective glass and film, fired more than 30 rounds at a window at close range. The room shook with skull-rattling force. By the end of the presentation, Czyz’s arms were speckled with shards of glass and dripping with blood.
“It’s sad, really,” Keegan said later in an interview. “But it’s part of our job to make sure kids don’t get shot. That is part of the current reality.”
Of all the troubling aspects of gun violence, among the most dispiriting may be scenes like the one in the Syracuse, New York, glass factory: Preparing school administrators for a mass shooting is becoming routine.
Rising gun violence, punctuated by massacres such as the attack at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, last year and the shooting on Michigan State University’s campus this week, is fueling not only the debate over gun control but also a more than $3 billion industry of companies working to protect children or employees against mass murder.
The offerings are numerous: automatically locking doors, bullet-resistant tables, Kevlar backpacks, artificial intelligence that detects guns and countless types of training exercises, like breathing techniques to avoid panic during an attack or strategies for how to use a pencil to pierce a shooter’s eyes.
But even as Congress increases funding for school security measures — including $300 million to help schools “prevent and respond to violence” as part of a bipartisan gun control compromise — the effectiveness of the school security industry’s products and services remains largely unproven.
“This is an entire industry that capitalizes on school shootings; however, these companies have very little evidence that what they are selling works,” said Odis Johnson, the executive director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Safe and Healthy Schools and a Bloomberg distinguished professor at the university. (Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, an alumnus, has been a major supporter of gun control efforts.)
Schools and apartments have to be built to withstand fires and earthquakes, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issues fines for hazardous working conditions. But there is no equivalent of rigorous and standard monitoring of whether an employer is reasonably prepared for an active shooter.
This regulatory netherworld, industry executives say, is partly the result of the nation’s political paralysis over guns. Many say protective windows and backpacks would not be necessary if guns, particularly military-style rifles, faced more restrictions. Creating standards for school security against guns, some believe, would be seen as giving in to the notion that mass shootings are a part of American life, that they can be defended against but not eliminated.
Czyz said political leaders who did not support stepping up security measures at schools — or “hardening” them — were naive. “If you aren’t for hardening the schools, then unlock your front door, unlock your windows and let whoever in,” he said. It typically costs about $350 to install an Armoured One protective window in a classroom door, which Czyz said could slow down someone trying to shoot his way into a locked room.
With each new mass shooting, more schools and businesses, even in parts of the country that support stricter gun control, are taking steps to bolster the security of their buildings and train their staff. In a survey of more than 1,000 public schools last year by the National Center for Education Statistics, a research arm of the Education Department, the majority said they were taking some measures, such as putting locks on doors, to defend against shooters. As the threat of violence grows, so is the industry that is offering ways to stop it.
An industry gathers to show off its products.
In one measure of how school shootings have become normalized, the industry holds an annual conference — meeting last summer in Orlando, Florida, just like dairy farmers, golf course managers and tax lawyers did over the past year.
At the Omni Orlando Resort, the National School Safety Conference attracted dozens of businesses selling a wide range of products, from locking devices for classroom doors to a series of “ballistic” tables meant to be used as shields. The participants included law enforcement agents and educators.
Most of the vendors were small operators, but there were a few larger companies like Navigate360 and Raptor Technologies, whose security app was used by the Uvalde School District to alert employees that an active shooter was in the elementary school. But even after a Uvalde school employee used the app, the gunman was able to enter classrooms and carry out the shooting while police officers waited to confront him, which led to more deaths.
The failure of the law enforcement response in Uvalde hung heavily over the conference because many of the technologies and products on display were designed to buy time before the police can arrive. If the police fail to take further action, many of the products cannot ultimately help.
During the day, conference participants attended presentations and walked through a hall of displays. At night, there were entertainment and networking events that are typical of conferences.
A casino night was hosted by ZeroEyes, which sells a software platform that monitors existing security cameras and uses artificial intelligence to detect and warn about people carrying guns into buildings. According to the company, if the AI system picks up what appears to be a gun, it sends an alert to a ZeroEyes employee, who determines whether the threat is real and law enforcement should be dispatched.
Since the company was founded in 2018, ZeroEyes technology has detected “hundreds of guns,” one of the founders, Sam Alaimo, said in an interview. Many detections involve students taking unloaded guns or fake guns to school as pranks.
The company sponsored a social event at the conference to provide attendees a break from the “emotionally exhausting” course of school shootings, Alaimo said.
“Like many others whose business is tied to life and death, such as military personnel, heart and brain surgeons and oncologists, school administrators cannot always remain steeped in the gravity of their severe subject matter,” he said in an email. “A sponsored event at the end of the show is a way to commiserate, decompress and prepare for another day of tackling a major issue.”
‘Trying to change the way people live.’
Some business owners in the active-shooter-defense industry say they are not just selling products but preparing people to defend themselves.
One of them is Ken Alexandrow, a former police officer in Tennessee who runs Agape Tactical, a company that has taught nurses, teachers and church staff techniques for defending against a shooter. His basic sessions cost $1,000.
“We are trying to change the way people live in society,” Alexandrow said over breakfast while visiting New York to discuss his classes with a company that provides unarmed security guards for businesses. “We want to make people responsible for themselves and stop acquiescing security to someone else.”
He said that many training companies focused on teaching people how to run or hide from a shooter, but that meeting violence with violence was also effective. “Fighting works,” he said.
Alexandrow started by training employees and volunteer security guards at churches around the South. These students tended to be older men who were familiar with firearms.
More recently, Alexandrow has branched out into health care and day care.
On his laptop, he played a video of day care workers pouncing on and punching him as he walked through a building in a red padded suit, carrying a fake rifle.
Alexandrow has also trained people how to “drive” a pen, a pencil or a set of keys into a shooter’s eyes and into the brain.
“If they are squeamish, we tell them, ‘Think about what the shooter has in store for you,’” he said.
Joe LeMaster attended a training that Alexandrow held in North Carolina at the Outpatient Surgery Center of Asheville in July. LeMaster, who oversees the surgery center’s nursing staff, said the employees had learned how to rush a shooter, grab a firearm by the barrel and push it toward the ceiling, among other protective strategies.
“It was empowering for them to know there is more options than being a victim and waiting for something to happen,” he said.
It is not clear how many people have stopped a shooter after taking a class, but in some cases, fighting a shooter can reduce injuries and deaths. Two men were credited with halting the gunman at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in November by disarming and kicking him in the face. Five people were killed and 18 wounded, and police said the death toll could have been higher if not for the actions of the two men, one an Army veteran and the other a Navy petty officer. In January, a man in Alhambra, California, disarmed a gunman who had killed 10 at a nearby ballroom and prevented him from entering another dance hall, where he appeared ready to shoot more people.
But Johnson, the Johns Hopkins professor, said that while teaching self-defense skills was important, the focus should be on preventing guns from falling into the wrong hands.
“The idea that a teacher escalating the situation by confronting the shooter is not going to have unintended consequences is naive,” he said. “That is why we need comprehensive gun reform to prevent guns from getting into the building.”
Massad Ayoob, who runs “armed citizen” classes around the country, said medical professionals were the most common students in his classes, which include instruction on how to draw a gun and “fast, accurate shot placement.”
“They treat the survivors of violence,” he said. “They see physically the tragedy of these things.”
Ayoob, who is the president of the Second Amendment Foundation, which advocates gun rights, also teaches students how to deal with the psychological and legal fallout after they kill someone.
In Utah, where teachers can obtain permits to carry concealed weapons in schools, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office trains school personnel how to safely handle firearms, techniques to deescalate a conflict and how to shoot at an attacker rampaging through a school. Sgt. Spencer Cannon, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, said he was surprised at how many of the attendees — a mix of teachers, speech pathologists and janitors — did not own a gun.
“We expected to have a lot of people who are all about guns,” Cannon said. “But we have people who have never touched a firearm.”
As part of the course, the teachers and other school personnel are taken to a shooting range, where “they get a feel for what they are like,” he said.
A common customer: Educators.
Many of the executives in the active-shooter-defense industry who were interviewed for this article said they did not support more gun restrictions.
Czyz, the owner of the protective glass company in Syracuse, said the gun debate “has blinded” many schools and businesses into overlooking practical steps they could take, while the broader issues remained mired in politics.
“Should we start addressing gun laws and mental health? Yup,” said Czyz, a former homicide detective. “But we have been having the same stupid argument since Columbine in 1999.”
Czyz added that he did not support a ban on military-style rifles because he “does not trust the government” to carry that out effectively.
Maria Cloonan, an administrative assistant at a school in western Massachusetts, said some staff members were panic about the psychological impact that active-shooter training could have on students and faculty.
“Some folks think the training is too strenuous on kids and staff,” said Cloonan, who serves on her school’s “safety team.”
But she said she believed that such training was helpful. Two years ago, when she was director of a nursery school in a church in Springfield, Massachusetts, Cloonan hired a firm run by two former local law enforcement officers to train her teachers how to deal with a shooter. She had grown nervous because of increased crime in the city.
“We hope and pray this doesn’t happen to us,” she said. “But we also hope a child never has to use an EpiPen, but if they do the training kicks in.”
Keegan, the associate superintendent in North Syracuse, said that he thought there should be tighter gun restrictions but that the issue felt distant from his daily reality.
“We certainly hope for greater levels of gun control, but that is not something that we are going to hang our hat on,” he said.
Still, each year, his schools are adding more intense security measures. This fall, for example, North Syracuse has started posting armed officers at its elementary schools, in addition to the middle and high schools.
The school district recently approved about $30 million for safety and security enhancements to its buildings. Keegan is considering buying more of Czyz’s glass. He’s constantly being pitched on new products.
“We are getting hit with people trying to sell us,” he said. “My email is blowing up every day with that stuff.”
Thu, 16 Feb 2023 23:32:00 -0600en-CAtext/htmlhttps://ca.news.yahoo.com/violent-america-safety-becomes-sales-133143592.htmlKillexams : Argonne scientists receive Energy Secretary’s Honor Awards for nuclear nonproliferation and sustainable aviation fuels work
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized scientists from DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory with two of its prestigious Secretary’s Honor Awards in a virtual ceremony on Jan. 24. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Deputy Secretary David Turk and Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration Jill Hruby presented a total of 44 team achievement awards and five individual awards for achievements and milestones reached in 2022.
Nuclear reactor conversion the focus of Argonne team
One of the awards recognized a team of eight from Argonne’s Nuclear Technologies and National Security directorate — John Stevens, Nelson Hanan, Patrick Garner, Jordi Roglans-Ribas, Bonnie Basiorka, Karen Grudzinski, John W. Holland and Caryn Warsaw — for outstanding efforts to convert nuclear research reactors that use highly enriched uranium into reactors that use low-enriched uranium. This step reduces proliferation risk and is key to the peaceful use of reactors.
“This team’s focused expertise ensured successful conversion of multiple research reactors over the past decade.” — Temitope Taiwo, director of Argonne’s Nuclear Science and Engineering division
Notably, the team converted Kazakhstan’s IVG reactor in March 2022 after successfully converting the VVR-K reactor in 2016 and the VVR-K CA reactor in 2013. The conversion process is integral to the National Nuclear Security Administration’s nonproliferation goals.
“This team’s focused expertise ensured successful conversion of multiple research reactors over the past decade,” said Temitope Taiwo, director of Argonne’s Nuclear Science and Engineering division. “Their ongoing commitment is also evidence that the important work of converting remaining research reactors will continue. Argonne is proud of this team and supports their ongoing peaceful efforts.”
Argonne leadership particularly acknowledged experts Hanan, Garner and Roglans-Ribas for tireless commitment and extensive travel to lead and execute projects involving definitively complex conversions of Russian-designed reactors. They also led additional projects in the Czech Republic, Libya, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Poland and Russia.
Only two Russian-designed research reactors outside of Russia still use highly enriched uranium, thanks in part to the Argonne team. One of the reactors is in Kazakhstan, the other is in North Korea. The team, led by Hanan and Garner, is scheduled to return to Kazakhstan in early 2023 to continue their work.
Wang honored for helping promote aviation decarbonization
The second award recognized the multiagency, multilaboratory Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) Grand Challenge team, which includes Argonne Distinguished Fellow Michael Wang. The team launched a government-wide initiative to decarbonize the U.S. aviation sector with advanced fuels and gain broad industry support for the initiative. The grand challenge is to make these fuels less expensive and more sustainable as well as expand their production and use.
Wang, interim director of Argonne’s Energy Systems and Infrastructure Analysis division, was “pleased and honored” to be part of the 43-member team, which includes members from DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Federal Aviation Administration and several national laboratories.
The SAF Grand Challenge team, which was also commended by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, rallied support through extensive stakeholder outreach. Stakeholders include the White House Council on Environmental Quality, airlines, airports, aircraft manufacturers, fuel producers and nongovernmental organizations. The team formalized efforts and helped ensure strong support by executing a memorandum of understanding among DOE and the U.S. departments of Transportation and Agriculture.
The DOE also recognized the team’s achievement in developing a SAF Grand Challenge roadmap. This will guide agency efforts moving forward and help working groups evaluate issues such as financing facilities and harmonizing global life cycle assessment modeling. Altogether, the team’s efforts helped establish the U.S. as a leader in creating a SAF industry.
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science.
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.
Brian K. Miller; Executive VP, CFO & Treasurer; Tyler Technologies, Inc.
H. Lynn Moore; CEO, President & Director; Tyler Technologies, Inc.
Hala Elsherbini; Senior Director of IR; Tyler Technologies, Inc.
Ahmed Sami Badri; Senior Analyst; Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division
Aleksandr J. Zukin; MD & Head of the Software Group; Wolfe Research, LLC
David B. Unger; Associate Equity Analyst; Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division
Gabriela Borges; Analyst; Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Research Division
Jonathan Frank Ho; Technology Analyst & Partner; William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division
Joshua Christopher Reilly; Senior Analyst; Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division
Keith Michael Housum; MD & Equity Research Analyst; Northcoast Research Partners, LLC
Matthew David VanVliet; VP & Application Software Analyst; BTIG, LLC, Research Division
Peter James Heckmann; MD & Senior Research Analyst; D.A. Davidson & Co., Research Division
Robert Cooney Oliver; Senior Research Analyst; Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division
Saket Kalia; Senior Analyst; Barclays Bank PLC, Research Division
Terrell Frederick Tillman; Research Analyst; Truist Securities, Inc., Research Division
Hello, and welcome to today's Tyler Technologies Fourth Quarter 2022 Conference Call. Your host for today's call is Lynn Moore, President and CEO of Tyler Technologies. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded today, February 16, 2023. I would like to turn the call over to Hala Elsherbini, Tyler's Senior Director of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.
Thank you, Emma, and welcome to our call. With me today is Lynn Moore, our President and Chief Executive Officer; and Brian Miller, our Chief Financial Officer. After I provide the safe harbor statement, Lynn will have some initial comments on our quarter, and then Brian will review the details of our results and provide our annual guidance. Lynn will end with some additional comments, and then we'll take your questions.
H. Lynn Moore
Thanks, Hala. Our fourth quarter results marked a solid finish to an eventful year as public sector demand remains strong and SaaS adoption continues at an accelerated pace. Total revenues grew 4.3%, with organic growth, excluding COVID-related revenues, of approximately 6%, inorganic revenue growth for the full year was solid at approximately 8.2%.
Brian K. Miller
Thank you, Lynn. Yesterday, Tyler Technologies reported its results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2022. Both GAAP and non-GAAP revenues for the quarter were $452.2 million, up 4.3% and 4.2%, respectively. Organic revenue growth, excluding COVID-related revenues, were 6% on a GAAP basis and 5.8% on a non-GAAP basis.
H. Lynn Moore
Thanks, Brian. During 2022, we achieved notable milestones towards several key strategic initiatives. We've made meaningful progress on our cloud journey through continued investment in cloud optimization and moving to cloud-only deployment for many of our core solutions. Our intentional innovation is based on knowing our clients and anticipating their future needs.
Question and Answer Session
(Operator Instructions) Your first question comes from the line of Sami Badri with Credit Suisse.
Ahmed Sami Badri
I had a question about the margin troughing in '23. And maybe you could just provide us color on the ramp on -- from the bottom of '23, what should we be thinking about where margins could go in '24? And I think the big thing here is maybe you could provide us color on like, what are some reasons why the bounce off the trough could be faster versus slower? What are some things that could influence the speed of the margin movements?
Brian K. Miller
Yes, I think it's still a little early for us to provide much color around sort of how we see that trajectory playing out in 2024 and over the midterm, say, over the next 5 to 7 years. As we mentioned in the prepared remarks, we expect to have an Investor Day around midyear and provide more detail on that. But we're still refining those models. So not really able to provide a lot of color on that as we've talked about some of the factors that provide us confidence that we do return to margin expansion in 2024, particularly around the wind down of some of the bubble costs as we exit our first data center. We think that this year actually, we sort of reached that inflection point where the impact of declines in licenses are offset by the current stream of recurring revenues from subscriptions.
H. Lynn Moore
Yes. I think just to amplify on that, we've talked over the last couple of years, we're about 4 years or so into this cloud transition. And we've talked about sort of the two pieces of it, the getting to the other side on the revenue side, and then sort of getting the other side on the cost and expense side. And as Brian mentioned, on the revenue side, we're seeing that sort of inflection point that's going to take place probably later this year. And in the last couple of years, the lost licenses has been a significant impact.
Ahmed Sami Badri
Got it. I want to shift gears a little bit and just talk about your end market, your customers, the funding flywheel. We've clearly started to see some companies that are indexed to federal, state and municipal budgets start to see the benefit of funds flowing in. They could be coming in from ARPA. Some of them are still coming in from the CARES Act. And just in general, state and local budgets are up or up a lot, I guess, in 2022 -- fiscal 2022. And looks like they're going to be up low single digits in fiscal year '23, which means like the base level of staying local budgets are just much higher than what we've really seen before. Have you been able to identify some of those incremental lifts in those budget allocations or federal funds start to come into the business in the form of contracted revenue or bookings?
H. Lynn Moore
I think the answer is probably similar to what we've said in the past. I would say, as I look at our clients' budgets, they're generally very healthy. As I've mentioned before, they were not as impacted by COVID as people thought. They are having access to federal funds. Some of it, Brian -- the timetables of one of that, they still have a couple of years (inaudible). So we're just generally seeing healthy budgets, healthy buying seasons, sort of just a really good, robust market. In terms of identifying specific deals, there are occasions for that. But I think really what it does is it's more about just overall confidence in our clients being willing to spend money.
Your next question comes from the line of Rob Oliver with Baird.
Robert Cooney Oliver
Great. Lynn, one for you. You mentioned the milestones on the cloud side since 2019 when you pivoted to the cloud-first approach. And certainly, it seems like those are paying off, particularly with new business around subscription, definitely felt that among your customers in Indianapolis last year talking to them about the readiness for cloud. But I wanted to ask a little bit about -- you talked about new flips. How should we think about the pace of conversions. This is clearly going to be an important driver here, they're up modestly from last year, nothing to really write home about. So can you just help us understand how you're thinking about maybe success relative to conversions and migrations of existing customers this year? And then I have a quick follow-up for Brian.
H. Lynn Moore
Yes. Sure, Rob. I think you're right. Our flips actually -- I think they're up quite a bit year-over-year. I think this year, we did about 336 flips. Last year, we did about 239 flips, provide or take. So up roughly 40%. I see flips being a significant driver of revenue growth over the next 5 to 7 years. I see them continuing to grow at a healthy pace. And I don't really -- I'm not in a position to tell you that we're going to grow another 15%, 20% each year, but we have a wide and deep customer base that has become a priority, and we're prioritizing our flips internally.
Robert Cooney Oliver
Great. Okay. Excellent. And then, Brian, just one on the Q4 operating margin was a bit below our expectations. And that could be driven indeed by those flips or by NIC, but just wanted to get a little bit more color on that.
Brian K. Miller
Yes, I'd say probably the two biggest factors there were one that licenses declined pretty significantly, and we've talked about that expectation kind of going into 2023. But Q4 had a bit of a deeper decline from the mix of new business. So licenses were a relatively low number. And again, most of that is a shift in the mix as opposed to less new business. We did -- as we typically have with our more license-heavy products and public safety and platform technologies, some slippage out of the quarter in terms of timing, but that's pretty typical. So I'd say the lower licenses were a big factor. And then -- probably the other factor is the higher R&D expense that we mentioned where some expenses that we had expected to be capitalized were actually expense because of the nature of the development efforts. And so that impacted our margins as well.
Your next question comes from the line of Matthew VanVliet with BTIG.
Matthew David VanVliet
I guess looking at the margin guide for '23, Brian, and just trying to reconcile kind of where we were previously to maybe some of the moving parts. I know you just mentioned the R&D coming in higher on the expense level than capitalized. I wonder if you could sort of quantify how much of that sort of changed versus what you were previously expecting? It looked like around maybe $6 million flip from capitalized to expense in the fourth quarter. Curious if you have a general sense of what that level will be in '23? And then secondarily, just how much of the compression on the EBIT -- on the operating margin side is from the declining license mix versus the bubble costs versus those R&D expenses? .
Brian K. Miller
Yes. So yes, for the full year, the difference in the capitalized versus expensed R&D versus our expectation was close to $9 million. We gave guidance for R&D for next year in the range of $108 million to $110 million that's expensed and our capitalized R&D in 2023 is expected to be in the high 30s, say, around $37 million. So capitalization is a little bit higher, but R&D expense is higher in 2023. If you look at the sort of the midpoint of our guidance, it implies, I'd say somewhere between 60 and 100 basis points of operating margin compression in total. And we mentioned that the bubble costs are estimated to be about 130 basis points of impact on the 2023 margins.
H. Lynn Moore
So new bubble costs.
Brian K. Miller
So new bubble costs. And that's higher than the impact was in 2022. We talked about those as being a little less than 100 basis points of impact. And that's to be expected because we continue to move more customers into the public cloud and while we're still operating our two data centers. And so the duplicate costs expand this year, and we've talked about an expectation in, I guess, the first half of 2024 that will be out of the first data centers, and that will start to mitigate.
Matthew David VanVliet
Okay. Very helpful. And then looking at -- just trying to square together some of the numbers with the commentary, it sounds like the subscription side and certainly SaaS embedded within that continues to perform quite well. And you're seeing not only new customers, but the flips sort of at elevated rates.
Brian K. Miller
Yes. I think one of the bigger factors around backlog, I think backlog is probably -- becomes maybe a little less meaningful or a little less of a full picture when you look at it is really around how the accounting drives what goes into backlog and what doesn't. So transaction revenues don't sit in backlog. So as we add new payments or new portal revenues typically are under a fixed arrangement. So even though they may be highly predictable and recurring. So there typically wouldn't be an addition to backlog for those. And then we've talked in the past as well about sometimes the terms of a contract agreement dictates how much goes into backlog. So for example, a termination for convenience provision, can significantly limit that, and we saw that with a really large contract last quarter. That was a $50-plus million contract, but only $8 million went into backlog because the termination for convenience provision. So I think there are a lot of factors that start to make the backlog number maybe less of an important metric to look at how we expect to perform going forward.
Your next question comes from the line of Pete Heckmann with D.A. Davidson.
Peter James Heckmann
A few just clarifications there, and I may have missed some details. So forgive me if I'm repeating myself, but the -- when we look at bookings, we typically see this quarter as a big public safety bookings quarter. Can you talk about how they are receiving the idea of converting to subscription? And then just clarifying, were there any deals, any -- was it contained within bookings in the quarter that were greater than $5 million of TCV?
H. Lynn Moore
Yes. Sure, Pete. On the public safety side, it is typically a little bit larger quarter. We don't typically talk about deals that we've awarded but not signed. I will say that we had a couple of deals that were of significance that pushed for the quarter. We are continuing to see more and more acceptance on the public safety side to the SaaS model and to subscriptions. And I think we're going to continue to see that going forward.
Brian K. Miller
Yes. In this quarter, we did not have any individual contracts that were more than $5 million in total contract base. We had a couple in the $4 million range on the software side. We did have a competitive rebid win with our state enterprise agreement in Colorado, which is one of our bigger states. And certainly, the total value of that contract over the 5-year term is well above $5 million. But on the software side, no individual deals more than $5 million. So it was more of a high volume sort of more mid-range deals this quarter.
Peter James Heckmann
Got it. And so to your point, that bookings might become a slightly less useful metric given how you gross up the TCV related to variable revenue streams and contracts. I missed what you said when you -- on the 500 and some payments deals, what was the TCV related to that? And then can you kind of provide an approximation of how much of that was included in full year bookings? Would it have just been your estimate in the first year?
Brian K. Miller
Yes. And actually, on the payment deals that there really wouldn't be anything that's in the bookings number, only the genuine revenues as they come through in a given quarter, basically run through bookings and revenue at the same time. So for payments, we don't include -- again, because they're not a fixed amount, we don't include those in bookings or in backlog. But those payments deals for the full year, we estimate that they'll add more than $13 million in annual recurring revenues. And there's a mixture of contracts there that are either gross or net processing through our platform and still some deals that are through our reseller arrangements where we have a revenue-sharing arrangement. So the revenues are lower, but the margins are higher on those.
Your next question comes from the line of Alex Zukin with Wolfe Research.
Aleksandr J. Zukin
So maybe just two for me. I guess the first one kind of similar to one of the questions I think that's been asked but maybe on a slightly different metric. Again, the subscription ARR added in the quarter. This quarter seemed to be lower sequentially than the last two. So just maybe clarifying what drove that from a bookings perspective. And then more broadly, as we are much more geared towards subscription and SaaS, how should we think about -- at least how are you guys thinking about kind of net new SaaS ARR, net new kind of subscription bookings growth for '23? And then I've got a quick follow-up on cash flow.
Brian K. Miller
Well, we expect -- clearly, we expect that subscription booking and subscription ARR will accelerate from 2022 and 2023, both on the transaction side and the SaaS software side. Part of that, again, the change in the mix accelerating and a more significant decline in licenses this year with that being replaced by new subscription arrangements. I think the question about just the new subscription ARR. Again, that number really just relates to new software deals. And as we said, there weren't any mega deals in this quarter, but a good volume of sort of midsized deals. I think more of that's just around the timing. We've said that the pipeline continues to be very strong. The RFP activity remains generally stable at pretty elevated levels. So the market activity supports that expectation that we'll continue to see an accelerating rate of new software ARR.
Aleksandr J. Zukin
Okay. Perfect. And then I guess, Brian, from a free cash flow perspective, when you think about the lag or the delta between operating margins and free cash flow for this year, it's obviously a little bit higher than in previous years given some of the items you mentioned around tax and expense or capitalization versus some R&D expenses. As we think about it for '23 and more -- and even more so for '24, what's the right expectation for free cash flow margins versus operating margins as that delta specifically in these 2 years as we kind of trough margins and transition to SaaS?
Brian K. Miller
Yes. I think generally, we would expect that -- and we talked about what our capitalization, our CapEx, both software and non-software CapEx is for 2023. That's a bit higher and some of that's related to software CapEx and some of that's related to facilities investments that we're making in a couple of particular locations. I'd expect that in '24 that, that CapEx would decline. In general, I think our cash flow margin would grow in line with or faster than our operating margin once that CapEx starts to normalize. The impact of the Section 174, which is still a bit unclear, will be significant on cash flow in 2023. Because if it stands, if it's not repealed or -- and we're not the first company or the first software company to talk about this, you're starting to see more of it. I know Microsoft talked about more than $1 billion impact on their taxes.
Aleksandr J. Zukin
Understood. So I guess, is it fair -- once we get through '23 and CapEx starts to trend down, would you expect it to kind of go back to that historical 200 to 300-point delta between margins and free cash flow margins -- operating margins?
Brian K. Miller
I think that's fair.
Your next question comes from the line of Gabriela Borges with Goldman Sachs.
Lynn, I want to follow up on some of your comments on the demand environment. I think last quarter, you talked about procurement cycle stretching out a little bit. Maybe just provide us an update there? And are you seeing any issue, positive or negative with (inaudible) negative being bottlenecking on procurement and positive being, hey, we don't have (inaudible) we need to accelerate our adoption of technology (inaudible)?
H. Lynn Moore
I don't -- right now, procurement cycles are pretty normal. They're going in line with our clients, budgets are healthy and we're not really seeing delayed procurement cycles right now. Again, from our perspective, the market is relatively healthy. Their budgets are healthy and our competitive position remains strong. So we're seeing a pretty normal -- really above normal market.
Okay. And my follow-up is on competitive position. So as you think about the progress you've made with your cloud transition and really leaning into that, is there a scenario where you see a pace of share gain or you have pace of displacement (inaudible) potentially already seeing? Is that something that could be on the come a little bit on how it advantages you competitively?
Brian K. Miller
I'll take -- I'll start on that and Lynn can add to that. We do think that in our space that the shift to the cloud and our cloud strategy gives us a competitive advantage. As you know, we compete across products with different competitors and generally in each of our product suites and those range from some very large companies to a lot of smaller, more niche companies. And we think that where we are in the cloud transition is well in advance of where a lot of our competitors are and that desire on our client base to move to the cloud accelerates, that gives us an advantage and an ability to increase our share because of where we are in our cloud transition.
Your next question comes from the line of Saket Kalia with Barclays.
Lynn, maybe to start with you. That was helpful detail in your prepared remarks just on the composition of NIC or digital payments when it comes to gross versus net. Maybe the question is, could you put a finer point just on how much of that digital payments business or the transaction revenue one is gross versus net? And then relatedly, how you maybe think about that mix going forward?
H. Lynn Moore
Yes, I'll start, and Brian has probably got better numbers. NIC, which in our Digital Solutions division, I would say the overwhelming majority of their payments business was on a gross basis. I would say, on the Tyler side beforehand, more of it has been on the net basis. It's actually not a lever that we fully control. It's generally controlled by the customer and whether or not the customer wants to take the risk and on the interchange fees or if not, there's a number of factors that go into there. But as of right now, a substantial part of Tyler's overall business is on the gross model because of NIC and where NIC was and how mature and vast that business was. We've got the number for merchant fees that we pass through last year was about -- I think on the NIC side, it was about $142 million and maybe just a handful of $3 million, $4 million, $5 million on the Tyler side. And looking into next year, I think NIC side is probably more around $145-ish million, again, with the same few million more on top from Tyler.
Brian K. Miller
Yes. I don't know that I have a lot to add to that. It clearly is the vast majority. We did mention that a couple of our state enterprise agreements that digital solutions are shifting in 2023 to net from gross and that's got about a $10.5 million impact. But as Lynn said, we don't really fully control that. So I would expect that still going forward, that the majority of the business comes to us through the gross model where we're paying the merchant fees, which is why we want to sort of provide you the apples-to-apples comparison of the margin impact of a couple of hundred basis points, if all of those net ones were on the gross model and you took the merchant fees out of the revenue side.
Got it. That's very helpful. Brian, maybe for my follow-up. And apologies, I think this question has been asked a couple of different ways. I just -- I want to try one other way. The question is, maybe how SaaS ARR did versus your own expectations this quarter? I think you said that maybe it was timing. We expect SaaS ARR to accelerate next year. I think it grew about 19% this quarter. I know last quarter had some big deal activity that maybe makes it a tough sequential compare, but I'm just kind of curious how you think about sort of that SaaS ARR growth trajectory this year? And if there's anything that we should keep in mind for how that -- for how that performed this quarter versus your expectations?
Brian K. Miller
Yes, I think it was generally in line with our expectation. I don't know that it was significantly varied from plan. I guess one other factor that plays into that is the lag between when we sign a SaaS deal and when we start to recognize revenues and that can vary, but it can be -- typically, the implementations are quicker or the time from signing to starting to recognize revenues is quicker on a SaaS deal than on an on-prem deal. But that can vary and that can typically be, say, 6 months but can be longer. And -- so I think when I talk about timing, it's more around the difference between when we sign something and when we're starting to recognize revenues.
H. Lynn Moore
I'd say there's two things around timing. One is, just as Brian mentioned, Yes, in the old days, when you sign an on-prem license, you recognize the entire license upfront. On a SaaS deal, particularly when we're doing multi-suite, multi-module deals, they're generally going to start paying those when those particular modules or pieces go live. So you've got a delay from the time you sign to where you get first parts of the customer up live, but as you continue that implementation and other pieces go live, then you'll get that build up. I'd say the other side is when you look at flips, there's things around flips that while long-term, obviously, provide really great long-term value.
Your next question comes from the line of Jonathan Ho with William Blair.
Jonathan Frank Ho
Just wanted to, I guess, touch a little bit about cross-sell activity, which you spoke about quite a bit. Is there anything that we could expect to see either inflect or grow even more for 2023 as the NIC relationship has had a little bit more time to mature and with some of the new acquisitions?
H. Lynn Moore
Yes, Jonathan, I mean, cross-selling is one of our major mid- to long-term growth drivers. It's something we're talking about internally as you look out over the next 7, 8 years, talk about Tyler 2030 and things that can really move the needle. It's these things like flips, it's payments, it's cross-selling. It's also a lot of other things that we do really well, and we've talked about areas of our business like supervision, where the market is good or the TAM is good and where we're making really big gains there. But cross-selling is something that we're prioritizing across all of Tyler, where we've actually started some new sort of strategic account management approach within NIC and bringing other resources getting even further exposure to our sales channels, our sales leads. There's things that we will be working on in terms of internally around how we recognize revenues from cross-sells and how we incentivize things. And structurally internally, things that we need to sort of clear out some of those barriers to sort of unleash that power even more. We're pretty excited about it.
Your next question comes from the line of Kirk Materne with Evercore.
This is actually (inaudible) on for Kirk. So maybe, Brian, just one for you. Curious, are we at the point where there should sort of be more stability in terms of the impact of the subscription transition on revenue versus your guidance? I mean I think we all get at the moving target, but just curious if the level of dispersion is likely to go down from here on that -- in that sense?
Brian K. Miller
Yes, I think so. There's -- we certainly expect a bigger decline in license revenues this year. Licenses are always the most -- or the least predictable of our revenue streams at least in the short term. And so now with well into the 80s as a percentage of our revenues that are recurring, there's much less -- a much higher level of predictability. So I think we're definitely kind of around that corner and that there should be an increasingly higher level of confidence around our outlook versus what we actually -- where results come in.
Your next question comes from the line of Terry Tillman with Truist Securities.
Terrell Frederick Tillman
Unfortunately for you, I still have some of my questions, even though a bunch have been answered. Maybe, Lynn, the first question for you. It's kind of a twofold first question. And then Brian, I'm going to ask you about payment. Lynn, in terms of those couple of larger public safety deals that slid into the first half, do you expect those to close in the first quarter? And then the second part of the first question for you is, you had a great deal last quarter with the Department of State. And I know it's still small in terms of the federal sector for you all, but just anything you can share about optimism and more we could hear this year on that side? And then I wanted to ask you about payments, Brian.
H. Lynn Moore
Yes. My expectation is that at least one of those larger deals is on track to close in Q1. As it relates to Tyler Federal, I think you're right. I mean things that I'm seeing that's coming out of that division in terms of sales indicators, the pipeline, the volume of deals is up significantly since year-over-year. We're also seeing interestingly enough more and more movement in the federal side to SaaS, which is good to see. It's something that we put an internal focus on in the last 2 years, and we're starting to see more of that receptiveness there. So I think there's positive things coming out of the federal space, and I like our position there right now.
Terrell Frederick Tillman
That's great to hear. And then, Brian, we've gotten a lot of data points on payments, and there's lots of puts and takes, though, particularly the gross to net or when there's a rev share. But could you just like really try to help boil it down in terms of '23, the payments revenue business, I mean, would that grow at about a similar rate in '22? Or just anything you can share about the growth rate on the recognized revenue for payments?
Brian K. Miller
Yes. I think the growth rate on payments is going to be above Tyler's overall growth rate and it's going to be a positive contributor. And I expect that, in general, that will be accelerating from 2022, both from adding new customers through the cross-sell motion, which we talked about. We've integrated our payments teams.
H. Lynn Moore
Yes. As we have our inside sales focusing on that existing customer base, when you look at areas like our enterprise side, whether it's enterprise ERP. We're including payments in all new response -- all new deal responses. That doesn't mean they're getting in every new deal, but we are pushing payments in all of our new deals.
Your next question comes from the line of Joshua Reilly with Needham.
Joshua Christopher Reilly
I'll just ask one question here since we're running over time. The software development costs were only $2 million in the quarter, which is, obviously, below what we were expecting. Can you just discuss the impact of the accounting changes to this figure? And how guidance of $37 million for 2023 is the proper amount implying an increase given the accounting changes that we have here?
Brian K. Miller
Yes. The guidance for 2023 of $37 million in capitalized software development encompasses how we expect those projects to be accounted for. So that's reflected -- that -- the impact of that change is reflected there as well as other capitalized development projects that are either starting or ramping up during the year. So that's fully encompassed there, but the change in expensing versus capitalizing for the full year of 2022 had about a $9 million impact versus what our initial guidance for capitalized software and R&D was.
Joshua Christopher Reilly
And was that just reflected in that Q4 number (inaudible) the full $9 million impact? Or how -- why was that only $2 million, I guess, in the quarter?
Brian K. Miller
Well, it impacted the full year, but most of that impact was seen in the Q4 results. So that resulted in a much lower number in Q4 versus the rest of the year.
Your next question comes from the line of David Unger with Wells Fargo.
David B. Unger
Just one for me, Brian. I heard your comments in your prepared remarks, you're touching on growing the implementation team in 2023 to meet backlog. Can you just talk about the labor market trends you're seeing and where you stand currently in terms of hires, what we're seeing in terms of wage inflation, et cetera?
Brian K. Miller
Yes, there continues to be challenges in the labor market, but it's definitely mitigating from what we saw last year. Obviously, it's been very common across multiple industries, but certainly in technology where you're seeing layoffs, hiring freezes and -- so there's less pressure, I think, on us in terms of turnover, which is moderating and there's less pressure than we saw last year on wage increases. So each of those are working in a positive manner for us.
H. Lynn Moore
Yes, I'd say, David, if you go back 12 months ago, we were still experiencing really pretty high elevated turnover, still lower than industry, but higher than our norms, which, as you know, as all companies were dealing with it. As we progress throughout the year, things started -- I think I talked a lot about the pendulum and the labor market pendulum is another one that I talk about, and it's definitely started to swing back as we fell back into sort of November, December, I would say our turnover has actually come back down to sort of pre-COVID levels.
Brian K. Miller
Most of the growth in our headcount this year will be in revenue-generating positions.
Your last question comes from the line of Keith Housum with Northcoast Research.
Keith Michael Housum
Just unpacking the payments just a little bit further, the 571 wins is, obviously, a phenomenal number for the year. Are these mostly agencies that are going to be taking on payments for the first time? Are these actually competitive wins? And what do you see the trajectory, I guess, in 2023 for that same question?
Brian K. Miller
I'd say the majority of that number, although not the majority of the dollars, but the majority of the number would be certainly new payments for most of those customers. So a lot of those are existing Tyler customers where we're adding payments to a utility billing system or a licensing and permitting system. So we may be adding capabilities. They may have only taken checks before and now we're providing online payment capabilities or credit card payments. And a number of those are still under rev share agreements. So the revenue generated is on an individual payment opportunity, maybe relatively small, but at good margins.
This concludes our question-and-answer session for today. I turn the call back over to you, Lynn Moore.
H. Lynn Moore
Great. Thanks, everybody, for joining us today. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Brian Miller or myself. Have a great day, everybody.
This concludes today's conference. Thank you for attending. You may now disconnect.
Thu, 16 Feb 2023 20:30:00 -0600en-CAtext/htmlhttps://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/q4-2022-tyler-technologies-inc-102000504.htmlKillexams : Capitol digest
Pocatello, ID (83201)
Cloudy with snow showers developing after midnight. Low 29F. Winds SW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 50%. Snow accumulations less than one inch. Higher wind gusts possible..
Cloudy with snow showers developing after midnight. Low 29F. Winds SW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 50%. Snow accumulations less than one inch. Higher wind gusts possible.
Updated: February 19, 2023 @ 4:28 pm
Sat, 04 Feb 2023 14:00:00 -0600entext/htmlhttps://www.kpvi.com/news/national_news/capitol-digest/article_a4c96dc5-4a0b-5613-9fe3-29ca480b905f.htmlKillexams : I settled the gas stove debate with a $69.99 induction cooktop from Ikea
I made my stand in the gas-stove culture war at Ikea. Well, not at Ikea per se, but on the Ikea website — where I purchased the Tillreda, a single-burner induction cooktop, for $69.99. It's a hot plate, basically, the size of two laptops stacked on top of each other, with the glossy black aesthetic of a control panel on the USS Enterprise. Its sleek glass top, I hoped, would offer me a glimpse of our electric-stove future.
As you've no doubt heard, politically speaking, gas stoves are hot right now. Democrats want to ban them to limit carbon emissions and childhood asthma; Republicans are defending them on behalf of the Founding Fathers, whose wives and chattel slaves all cooked with fire. Never mind that most Americans already cook with electricity. New York is considering a ban on gas stoves; the town where I live has already banned gas lines in new construction. Like it or not, induction is coming to a stovetop near you.
But the key to winning any war is logistics. In this case, that means answering one simple question: How well does induction actually cook? Is it better than gas? Or is this going to be like when everyone had to buy low-flow showerheads, and then secretly swapped them out because they sucked? I bought the Tillreda to find out. But I'm a competent cook at best. So I also called a couple of experts in the science of getting dinner on the table.
Now you're not cooking with gas!
There are plenty of ways to heat food. You can burn wood or charcoal, as humans have for most of our history. You can ignite a flammable, oil-derived gas like propane or methane. You can push electrons through a metal coil, where resistance to the passage of electricity gets converted into heat. Or — and this is the new thing — you can push electrons through a tightly wrapped spiral of copper wire to create an oscillating magnetic field, which then heats up the metal atop it. That's induction.
In the interests of cost and speed, you want as much energy as possible to get into the food instead of the air around it. The efficiency of a gas stove is about 28% — meaning less than a third of the energy in the burning methane actually heats the food. Classic electric stoves, the much-derided ones with the glowing superhot coil, come in at 39%. But on an induction cooktop, it's a blazing 70%, which is part of what's driving the push to switch from gas to electric. But once that heat is in there? From a cooking perspective, it doesn't really matter where it came from.
"Heat is heat," says Harold McGee, the author of the invaluable book "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen." "We have various ways of heating up a cooking vessel in order to heat the contents of that vessel. But once the vessel itself is hot, everything else is pretty much the same."
After unboxing my induction plate I went to check my pots and pans. I got a magnet; if it doesn't stick to a pot, the pot won't work on an induction plate. This went badly for me. The only winners in my kitchen were the 50-year-old cast-iron pans and two nonstick skillets. That meant I couldn't do stuff on the Tillreda like boiling soup and pasta, things that require a long time on an inefficient gas flame. "In cases like that, the heat losses for a gas flame really add up," McGee says. "If you're sautéing something really quickly, that's not a big deal. If you're simmering something for hours, you're losing a lot of energy."
I started cooking stuff with what I had. My first impressions were mixed. Just finding a place to store the cooktop when I wasn't using it turned into an unplanned, multiday epic reorganization of our tiny kitchen, which had negative consequences on household harmony. Balancing pans on the little glass plate was tricky. Controlling the heat level with a bleep-bloop digital interface felt distant and unintuitive compared with mechanically turning a flame up or down. Also, the Tillreda whines a little bit, and it runs a fan to keep its circuits from overheating. It was loud — like, "Is your laptop broken?" loud.
The genuinely strange part was the difference in where my pans got hot. Induction tends to heat the bottom of pans evenly but not heat the sides as much as gas stoves do. You can see it in thermal imaging. And every cookware maker layers aluminum, steel, and even copper alloys differently in their products, so the individual pot or pan makes a big difference. In 2016, a couple of food scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Stout tested a bunch of pans on gas, electric coil, and induction cooktops. On the whole, induction was faster and more uniform. But the variations in where and how they heated up were wild. Some of the pots took two minutes to reach their maximum temperatures on induction; others took six. Without nerding out on your cookware you have, you can't know how they're going to behave until you mess with them.
My limited selection of pans, and the different distribution of heat, made my attempts at induction cooking a bit hard to gauge, but I got used to it. The bacon I panfried for breakfast browned faster than over gas, but the eggs seemed to cook a bit slower. Smashed-style burgers didn't get that nice sear they do over gas, but maybe I should have squashed 'em harder, or clicked the induction plate to a higher setting. Korean-seasoned beef heated up and cooled off with lightning speed. Sausages browned faster; a big pile of veggies sautéed evenly and easily. I even bought an induction-ready stock pot. If induction is the future, then after a week of basic, household cooking, I'm all fired up.
On my signal, open fire
Cooking pros, of course, aren't using a tiny burner from Ikea like the one I got. "Most cheap induction units are huge liars," says Dave Arnold, a famed food-tech nerd who hosts the "Cooking Issues" podcast. "They provide you that wattage for a little bit of time, and then the internal circuitry gets too hot and they throttle the power down. Ask any caterer. For some reason, they crap out on you."
Arnold uses an induction cookplate called a Breville Control Freak. It's twice as big as my Ikea, and it runs about $1,500. He calls it the "gold standard" for induction cooktops: "It'll pull 1,700 watts out of the wall with an efficiency that all but the most screaming home gas burners can't compete with." But it doesn't take a Control Freak to make induction work. In general, he says, induction is way better than hard-to-control old-style electric, and it beats gas, too. "Nine times out of 10, induction is a dream. The fact I can go from full power and then throttle all the way down and not have to worry about it? With gas, when you throttle really low, you have to worry the flame is going to blow out."
And that other one time out of 10? Those are cases that require an open flame. That's where induction just can't provide you the results that gas does.
Take wok hei, the charred-smoke flavor you get from a superhot stir-fry. It comes, in part, from aerosolized droplets of oil getting ignited by the open flame and then mixing back into the food, which is hard to do if you don't have a blisteringly hot fire. "The people who do a lot of stir-fry, either with jumping-pan motion or woks — those are the people I feel the worst for," Arnold says. There's a solution to stir-frying with induction, though. Use a blowtorch over the top of the food — an auxiliary fire, in other words.
And then there are tortillas. They're a significant part of meals in my house, and we heat them by putting them directly atop a gas flame until they puff and char a bit. I tried one in a cast-iron pan on the induction plate. I got only a little char, localized to one poker-chip-size spot, and no real puff or crisping.
Arnold offers a kludgy fix: Cook one side of the tortilla over an induction burner, flip it, cook the other side, and then flip it again — this time pressing down with a towel "to get better thermal contact." It gets you the puff.
McGee, the author of "On Food and Cooking," is Studying to move to an induction cooktop at home, except for two things. "One is tortillas," he says, "and the other is blistering peppers and tomatoes." For dishes that require a flame, he plans to supplement his induction stovetop with a propane- or butane-fueled picnic burner. He'll be all-electric in the kitchen, with a little gas burner on the side.
But for most of us, that's not really an option in the short term. Like most American homes, mine doesn't have an electrical panel equipped to deliver the 220 volts that induction requires. That's the same reason I don't have an electric clothes dryer or a heat pump, or any of the other electrified technologies that might make a real difference in my home's carbon-emission footprint. And even though the Biden administration is trying to incentivize all those things via the Inflation Reduction Act, I'm unlikely to get a panel upgrade anytime soon.
Still, it's only a matter of time before we're all cooking with induction. Arnold says he figures high-heat, open-flame techniques will just become part of outside cooking, the way most folks think about grilling. And my brief time with my Ikea cooktop has helped me make my peace with that. People tend to meet any change to the technology of our homes with suspicion — until the next change, when the old one becomes a beloved tradition that we mourn the loss of, whether it's wood-burning stoves or gas lamps. Technology moves on. It's what technology does.
Arnold, for his part, is ready — or maybe just resigned — to home cooking's postwar era. "There will be 1,000 TikToks and a subreddit, and people will figure out new cooking techniques, and older folks like me will grouse about it until the day we die," he says. "But we will die — and so will gas."
Sat, 04 Feb 2023 21:00:00 -0600en-CAtext/htmlhttps://ca.news.yahoo.com/settled-gas-stove-debate-69-110000713.htmlKillexams : Kaspersky finds growing number of parents experiencing ransomware attacks on children's schools
Schools paying higher ransoms and seeing longer closures, according to survey of parents
WOBURN, Mass., Feb. 9, 2023 /CNW/ -- Today Kaspersky released new survey data, revealing that 14% of American parents have experienced ransomware attacks on their children's K-12 schools while there child was a student, an increase from 9% last year. Among schools that paid a ransom to their attackers, parents reported that the average ransom was $887,360. In 2021, the average was just $375,311. The Ransomware Attacks on K-12 Schools report revealed a number of other findings related to parents' experiences with these incidents.
In October 2022, Kaspersky surveyed 2,000 parents of school-age children in the United States to find out about their experiences with ransomware attacks on schools. The results are compared to a previous report that posed the same questions to a similar group of parents in October 2021, as well as to an earlier report in June 2021 asking parents more generally about cyberattacks on schools.
According to the survey results, a growing number of schools are opting to pay a ransom to their attackers, in order to restore their systems. In October 2021, 71% of parents who had experienced an attack said their school paid a ransom. This time, that figure rose to 76%, although 14% said their school didn't pay, which was about the same as last time, while a shrinking percentage didn't know. Ten percent of parents reporting an attack said the district paid a ransom of more than $1 million; up from 3.7% in 2021.
The rate of attacks on schools may still be rising. Forty-four percent of parents who have experienced an attack said it happened either last summer (2022) or during this school year – which is only partway over – compared to 42% who said it happened last school year (2021-2022) or the previous summer (2021). Fifteen percent said it happened during the 2020-2021 school year or earlier.
In better news, 32% of parents who experienced an attack said their child's data was not compromised. This was up from 25% in October 2021. A slightly smaller percentage of parents reporting an attack said their child's data was compromised (60% in 2022; down from 61% in 2021), while a lower percentage of parents said they didn't know whether it was compromised or not (8%, down from 14%).
82% of parents who experienced attacks said their school was forced to close for at least 1 day as a result, up from 75% in October 2021. The average closure was 2.5 days, up slightly from 2.3 days reported last year. Thirty-two percent of affected parents said they were notified by the school immediately, which was a slight drop from 34% in the June 2021 survey.
"This fall, cybercriminals continued to attack vulnerable schools in an effort not only to get ransom money, but also to steal students' and teachers' Social Security numbers, banking information, and even medical histories," said Kurt Baumgartner, principal security researcher at Kaspersky. "It is, however, encouraging to see that a shrinking number of students appear to be getting their data stolen. We urge school administrators to build on this success by employing some basic security mechanisms, such as multi-factor authentication, regular software updates and to train staff and students to spot phishing attacks. No one should ever pay a ransom, which continues to perpetuate the problem."
Among parents who experienced an attack, 82% said they were satisfied with their school's response to the attack, up from 80% in October 2021, while 81% of all parents said they are confident in their school's ability to successfully handle cybersecurity incidents in the future. In June 2021, only 68% said they think their school was somewhat or very prepared for an attack.
For their part, 69% of all responding parents said they talk at least regularly with their child about practicing good security hygiene, such as using strong passwords, down from 75% in June 2021.
The full report, Ransomware attacks on K-12 schools is available here.
In order to protect against ransomware attacks, Kaspersky recommends:
Keep software updated on all the devices you use. This prevents attackers from exploiting vulnerabilities and infiltrating your network in the first place.
Set up offline backups and make sure you can access them quickly when needed or in an emergency.
School IT administrators should focus their defense strategy on detecting lateral movements and data exfiltration to the internet, and pay special attention to outgoing traffic to detect cybercriminals' connections to your network.
Parents, students and teachers should protect their personal devices with a cybersecurity product, such as Kaspersky, which offers real-time malware protection that stops ransomware and other attacks.
Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity and digital privacy company founded in 1997. Kaspersky's deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company's comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 240,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at usa.kaspersky.com.