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Servicenow-CIS-EM Certified Implementation Specialist - Event Mangement

The ServiceNow Certified Implementation Specialist – Event Management Exam
Specification defines the purpose, audience, testing options, test content coverage,
test framework, and prerequisites to become Certified Implementation Specialist –
Event Management certified.



Six (6) months field experience participating in ServiceNow deployment projects
or maintaining ServiceNow instances

• Participation in at least two ServiceNow ITOM deployments specifically for Event
Management

• Intermediate or above Windows and Unix administration skills

• Intermediate or above SNMP query knowledge

• Intermediate or above JavaScript and regular expression scripting skills

• Introductory or above network administration knowledge

• General familiarity with industry terminology, acronyms, and initialisms



Learning Domain % of Exam

1 Event Management Overview

• IT Operations Management (ITOM) solution

• Define customer challenges

• Event Management key features and capabilities

• Graphical user interfaces (operator workspace, alert
intelligence, dependency maps)

• Common Service Data Model (business, application, and
technical services)

13%

2 Architecture and Discovery

• Discovery and MID server architecture

• Event Management architecture and CMDB

• The monitoring process

• Install a MID server

13%



3 Event Configuration and Use

• Event setup (event processing, event rules, event filter,
event thresholds, operator workspace)

• Event Management process flow (event table, message
key, event processing jobs, event field mapping, CI
binding, best practices)

• Connectors (preconfigured, customized)

• Scripting (Regex, JavaScript, PowerShell)

• Event Management Troubleshooting (event errors,
credentials)

34%

4 Alerts and Tasks

• Alert defined (alert record attributes, scheduled jobs

• Alerts process flow (alert management rules, CI binding,
priority scores, priority groups, incidents, best practices)

• Alert grouping (correlation rules, alert aggregation)

• Alert Intelligence

• Alert impact profile (impact tree, impact rules, cluster
example, SLAs)

30%

5 Event Sources

• Identify event sources

• Push vs. pull methods

• Use inbound actions

• Configure a monitoring connector

10%

Total 100%



Exam Structure

The test consists of approximately (30) questions. For each question on the
examination, there are multiple possible responses. The person taking the test reviews
the response options and selects the most correct answer to the question.

Multiple Choice (single answer)

For each multiple-choice question on the exam, there are at least four possible
responses. The candidate taking the test reviews the response options and selects the
one response most accurately answers the question.

Multiple Select (select all that apply)

For each multiple-select question on the exam, there are at least four possible
responses. The question will state how many responses should be selected. The
candidate taking the test reviews the response options and selects ALL responses that
accurately answer the question. Multiple-select questions have two or more correct
responses.

Exam Results

After completing and submitting the exam, a pass or fail result is immediately
calculated and displayed to the candidate. More detailed results are not provided to
the candidate.
Certified Implementation Specialist - Event Mangement
ServiceNow Implementation approach

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CIS-RCI ServiceNow Certified Implementation Specialist - Risk and Compliance (CIS-RCI)
CAS-PA ServiceNow Certified Application Specialist - Performance Analytics
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ServiceNow
Servicenow-CIS-EM
Certified Implementation Specialist - Event Mangement
http://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/Servicenow-CIS-EM
Question: 24
Which attribute is responsible for de-duplication?
A. Metric_name
B. Message_key
C. Short_description
D. Additional_info
Answer: B
Reference: https://docs.servicenow.com/bundle/orlando-it-operations-management/page/product/event-
management/reference/r_EMBestPractice.html
Question: 25
How would you interpret the following data in the Operational Intelligence Insights Explorer?
A. win-ces882ierw is one of your hottest Configuration Items (CIs) that is currently experiencing a high
probability of anomalies and should be checked immediately
B. win-ces882ierw is one of your hottest Configuration Items (CIs), but is currently experiencing a low
probability of anomalies
C. win-ces882ierw is one of your customized list of monitored Configuration Items (CIs) that is currently
experiencing a high probability of anomalies and should be checked immediately
D. win-ces882ierw is one of your customized list of monitored Configuration Items (CIs), but is currently
experiencing a low probability of anomalies
Answer: D
Question: 26
What would you use to define the monitoring sources allowed to communicate with the ServiceNow instance for
Operational Intelligence?
A. Metric Registration
B. Metric Config Rules
C. Metric Type Actions
D. Metric to CI
Answer: C
Reference: https://docs.servicenow.com/bundle/orlando-it-operations-management/page/product/event-
management/concept/operational-intelligence-overview.html
Question: 27
The value of the Alert Priority score is a composite of what?
A. The value of the alerts category and its relative weight
B. The value of the alerts category and its Priority Group
C. The value of the alerts Severity and its Priority Group
D. The value of the alerts Severity and its relative weight
Answer: A
Reference: https://docs.servicenow.com/bundle/orlando-it-operations-management/page/product/event-
management/concept/alert-priority.html
Question: 28
What type of system can a MID Server can be installed on?
A. OpenVMS System
B. Microsoft Windows Server
C. Linux System
D. Microsoft Windows Desktop
E. Any system inside the customer firewall
F. Mac OS X System
Answer: B
Reference: https://docs.servicenow.com/bundle/orlando-servicenow-platform/page/product/mid-
server/reference/r_MIDServerSystemRequirements.html
Question: 29
What would be the primary use case for creating Javascripts in Event Management?
A. To create a customized pull connector to retrieve events on behalf of an event source
B. To automatically populate the Configuration Management Database (CMDB)
C. To parse a nodename out of your raw event data in an event rule
D. To run as part of a remediation workflow for IT alerts that fail to execute
Answer: A
Reference: https://docs.servicenow.com/bundle/orlando-it-operations-management/page/product/event-
management/task/t_EMCreateCustomConnectorDefinition.html
Question: 30
When creating an alert management rule, where would you specify a workflow to resolve a given condition?
A. From the Remediation tab
B. From the Actions tab
C. From the Launcher tab
D. In the Related Links section
Answer: A
Reference: https://docs.servicenow.com/bundle/orlando-it-operations-management/page/product/event-
management/task/create-alert-management-rule.html
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ServiceNow Implementation approach - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/Servicenow-CIS-EM Search results ServiceNow Implementation approach - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/Servicenow-CIS-EM https://killexams.com/exam_list/ServiceNow Approach ServiceNow With Caution No result found, try new keyword!The charts of ServiceNow (NOW) are at an "interesting" juncture. Let's check them out. In this daily bar chart of NOW, below, I can see that prices have climbed higher the past year. NOW trades ... Thu, 07 Dec 2023 05:33:00 -0600 text/html https://realmoney.thestreet.com/investing/approach-servicenow-with-caution-16139643 ISG to Publish Reports on ServiceNow Partner Ecosystem

 ISG to Publish Reports on ServiceNow Partner Ecosystem

 Upcoming ISG Provider Lens™ reports will evaluate providers of consulting, implementation and ongoing support services for ServiceNow platform deployments

Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm, has launched a research study examining the extensive ServiceNow ecosystem of partners working with a growing number of enterprises to transform siloed business processes for improved workflows.

The study results will be published in a comprehensive series of ISG Provider Lens™ ServiceNow Ecosystem Partners reports, scheduled to be released in April 2024. The reports will cover companies offering services for consulting, implementing, integrating and providing managed solutions utilizing the ServiceNow platform.

Enterprise buyers will be able to use information from the reports to evaluate their current vendor relationships, potential new engagements and available offerings, while ISG advisors use the information to recommend providers to the firm’s buy-side clients.

ServiceNow is growing rapidly, demonstrating the platform’s ability to meet customer requirements. Enterprise customers are optimizing efficiency by embedding technology components, and service providers are crafting tailored, intelligent workflow solutions to propel businesses forward, adopting ServiceNow capabilities to develop bespoke solutions catering to the needs of vertical industries.

"Strategic partnerships driving solutions amplify ServiceNow's trajectory in workflow engineering,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Through these collaborations, the integration of GenAI and machine learning enhances predictive analytics, propelling enterprises towards more efficient and intelligent operations."

ISG has distributed surveys to more than 190 ServiceNow service providers. Working in collaboration with ISG’s global advisors, the research team will produce three quadrants representing the ServiceNow services the typical enterprise is buying, based on ISG’s experience working with its clients. The three quadrants are:

  • ServiceNow Consulting Services, evaluating providers that help customers design roadmaps to use ServiceNow as an integrated “platform of platforms” for major enterprise business operations, IT services, Environment, Sustainability and Governance (ESG) and integration with governance, risk and compliance (GRC) and security policies.
  • ServiceNow Implementation and Integration Services,assessing providers that can implement ServiceNow and integrate it with other applications in complex enterprises without adding to an organization’s internal complexity. These providers require expertise in system architecture, low/no-code development and thorough understanding of AI and ML.
  • ServiceNow Managed Services Providers, covering providers that maintain and support the ServiceNow platform with monitoring, remote support and centralized management functions. Key capabilities include extensive experience with ServiceNow’s Now platform, workflows, third-party applications, integrators and accelerators and continuous evolution.

Geographically focused reports from the study will cover the global ServiceNow market and examine products and services available in the U.S., Brazil, Europe and Australia. ISG analysts Ashwin Gaidhani (Europe), Phil Hassey (Australia), Sidney Nobre (Brazil) and Tapati Bandopadhyay (U.S.). will serve as authors of the reports.

A list of identified providers and vendors and further details on the study are available in this digital brochure. Companies not listed as ServiceNow services providers can contact ISG and ask to be included in the study.

All 2024 ISG Provider Lens™ evaluations feature expanded customer experience (CX) data that measures genuine enterprise experience with specific provider services and solutions, based on ISG’s continuous CX research. Enterprise customers wishing to share their experience about a specific provider or vendor are encouraged to register here to receive a personalized survey URL. Participants will receive a copy of this report in return for their feedback.

About ISG Provider Lens™ Research

The ISG Provider Lens™ Quadrant research series is the only service provider evaluation of its kind to combine empirical, data-driven research and market analysis with the real-world experience and observations of ISG's global advisory team. Enterprises will find a wealth of detailed data and market analysis to help guide their selection of appropriate sourcing partners, while ISG advisors use the reports to validate their own market knowledge and make recommendations to ISG's enterprise clients. The research currently covers providers offering their services globally, across Europe, as well as in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, the U.K., France, Benelux, Germany, Switzerland, the Nordics, Australia and Singapore/Malaysia, with additional markets to be added in the future. For more information about ISG Provider Lens research, please visit this webpage.

A companion research series, the ISG Provider Lens Archetype reports, offer a first-of-its-kind evaluation of providers from the perspective of specific buyer types.

About ISG

ISG (Information Services Group) (Nasdaq: III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 900 clients, including more than 75 of the world’s top 100 enterprises, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs more than 1,600 digital-ready professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry’s most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit www.isg-one.com.

Press Contacts:

Will Thoretz, ISG
+1 203 517 3119
will.thoretz@isg-one.com

Julianna Sheridan, Matter Communications for ISG
+1 978-518-4520
isg@matternow.com

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20231128344098/en/

Tue, 28 Nov 2023 01:04:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.morningstar.com/news/business-wire/20231128344098/isg-to-publish-reports-on-servicenow-partner-ecosystem
Examining Generative AI's Transformative Effects

By Sophia Velastegui

C200 member Sophia Velastegui is the Chief Product Officer of Aptiv, a pioneering automotive and autonomous tech company. Sophia has served as Chief Technology Officer for AI at Microsoft within the Business Applications group, where she played a role in advancing traditional AI and OpenAI/ChatGPT. She has held significant roles at tech giants Google/Alphabet & Apple. Sophia also serves as board director for Blackline (NASDAQ:BL).

As we continue to navigate the dynamic intersection of technology and business, it is essential for corporate leadership to reflect on the advancements that continue to redefine the business landscape. At the forefront of this transformation stands ChatGPT, an innovation that not only warrants acknowledgment but demands a thoughtful analysis of its ripple effects on all business models.

ChatGPT: A Brief Overview

ChatGPT, the most prominent example of cutting-edge Generative AI, has emerged as a game-changer in the AI landscape. Developed by OpenAI, it represents a remarkable leap forward, pushing the boundaries of what was once thought possible in AI language models and beyond.

This conversational model’s achievements are nothing short of groundbreaking. Within just two months of its launch in January 2023, ChatGPT attained an impressive 100 million monthly active users, securing its position as the fastest-growing consumer application in history—a testament to its widespread adoption and societal impact. To put this into perspective, TikTok took approximately nine months to reach the same user milestone after its global launch, while Instagram achieved this in a comparatively longer span of 2-1/2 years.

Generative AI: Shaping the Future of Business

ChatGPT's influence extends to the broader landscape of generative AI. No longer confined to a mere tool, it has evolved into a driving force behind the future of business—affecting a paradigm shift where generative AI is not just an aspiration, but a strategic imperative for sustainable growth and competitive advantage.

This influence is palpable in the transformation of business operations; ChatGPT's integration has led to streamlined communication, elevated customer interactions, and a redefined landscape of efficiency and productivity. Its capacity to decipher and generate human-like text not only expedites decision-making but also has opened avenues for innovation and creativity previously inaccessible by AI.

The Broader Ecosystem: Beyond a Singular Tool

ChatGPT is not an isolated phenomenon. It exists within a broader ecosystem of events and products that have collectively shaped the business landscape. Executives need to keep informed of this interconnected web of advancements, ensuring that strategies encompass the entirety of the evolving business landscape.

However, the ubiquity of ChatGPT hasn't translated uniformly across the population. As revealed by a Pew Research Center survey from May 2023, only 59% of American adults are aware of ChatGPT, and a mere 14% have engaged with this innovative platform. These statistics underscore the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as ChatGPT continues to shape the AI landscape.

The Future of Generative AI

AI typically focuses on a single type of input (e.g., text). However, the future involves accommodating multimodal signal types, meaning the AI system can process and interpret information from different sources and types—understanding not only text, but potentially images, audio, or other forms of data like your biometric signals from your Apple Watch.

This hints at a future where personalized digital assistants may redefine the very fabric of our daily lives. Imagine a world where your assistant intuitively understands you, providing a 360-degree view of your preferences, needs, and habits. This vision is already underway beyond text-based interactions, with advancements like DALL·E, designed for image generation, paving the way for a richer, more immersive and layered AI experience. By integrating advancements, future iterations of generative AI will become more intuitive—meeting you where you are instead of requiring precise language to comprehend your instructions, and incorporating elements such as biometrics and environmental signals to gain additional context.

Expanding AI Capabilities

As AI capabilities expand, there's an anticipation that generative AI will extend its applications to various data types beyond text.

By the year 2030, According to the World Economic Forum, the integration of AI into healthcare systems will allow it to access and analyze information from multiple sources, detecting complex patterns in chronic conditions to enhance treatment strategies.

The transformative impact extends to predictive analytics, where AI will empower healthcare systems to forecast an individual's risk of specific diseases. This foresight will enable proactive measures, allowing for the swift implementation of preventative interventions.

AI-powered predictive healthcare networks are also expected to aid in decreasing patient wait times, improving staff workflows, and reducing the ever-growing administrative burden by the year 2030. The collective result will be an elevated patient experience, illustrated by personalized care pathways and improved overall efficiency.

Evolving From Broad Resource to Specialized Solution

These expectations are reminiscent of the early days of the internet when companies relied heavily on comprehensive solutions like Oracle for ERP, considered the go-to solution for a wide array of business needs. Over time, however, domain-specific solutions evolved in the form of specialized SaaS products like Workday for HR and ServiceNow for IT and customer service.

In a parallel manner, ChatGPT serves as the Swiss army knife of generative AI, offering a broad-ranging solution across many applications—allowing companies to leverage its benefits without developing and maintaining their own complex systems specific for their domain.

As generative AI technology matures, and understanding continues to grow, we can anticipate further evolution and branching, likely leading to the development of specialized solutions catering to specific industries and use cases. Similar to the emergence of domain-specific SaaS products, we can expect the rise of new market leaders, each excelling in their niche and contributing to greater adoption of generative AI technologies across industries.

Complexities and Challenges of Generative AI

Generative AI, epitomized by the emergence of ChatGPT, presents exciting possibilities while maintaining a complex landscape beneath the surface. The allure of instantaneous content generation is undeniable, but concerns arise, particularly in the form of hallucinations—instances where the system produces inaccurate or fictional information that may sound entirely plausible.

AI systems consist of three key components: computational resources, data, and AI models; their effectiveness depends on synergy among these elements. In generative AI, training data quality is critical, requiring diligent curation to rectify biases and inaccuracies. Additionally, limitations in planning and backtracking reveal deficiencies in contextual and strategic thinking within these systems.

Factual accuracy is another issue. The absence of a predetermined truth framework in generative AI responses emphasizes the need for meticulous fact-checking. Despite lacking a concept of truth and accuracy, ChatGPT intentionally conveys responses with unwavering confidence, creating a blurred distinction between fiction and reality. This inherent design limitation raises concerns as the model processes all information as truth.

Another challenge arises in the significant demand for computational resources these systems require, frequently leaning heavily on costly highly performant GPUs (graphic processing units) rather than the more cost-effective CPUs (compute processing units) especially designed for generative AI workload. This limitation is further intensified by a shortage of GPUs to keep pace with the increasing demand.

Governance and Regulation in the Era of Generative AI

In June 2023, the European Parliament approved the EU Artificial Intelligence Act (EU AI Act), establishing accountability for AI developers, providers, and users to ensure safe implementation. Aligned with the European Commission's risk-based regulatory framework, the EU AI Act categorizes AI applications into four risk levels: unacceptable, high, limited, and minimal. Unacceptable risks, posing clear threats to safety, livelihoods, and rights, will be banned.

While there currently are no comprehensive AI regulations in the US, the exact AI executive order on testing indicates a step towards ensuring the safety and reliability of its use, with numerous legislative and regulatory initiatives also being considered at both federal and state levels.

Effective governance requires collaborative efforts with regulatory bodies, industry stakeholders, and policymakers to formulate standardized guidelines that balance innovation with societal well-being. Our responsibility as company leadership lies in understanding these regulations, actively contributing to discussions, promoting ethical AI practices, and championing the establishment of regulatory frameworks that foster innovation while safeguarding societal interests.

Additional Concerns With Using Generative AI

As the capabilities of generative AI continue to advance, additional concerns related to potential misuse and vulnerabilities have surfaced:

  1. Jailbreaking: Generative AI models may face the risk of jailbreaking attempts, where malicious actors seek unauthorized access to the underlying system or exploit vulnerabilities.
  2. Prompt Injection: Unwanted or harmful instructions injected into the AI system through manipulated prompts can lead to the generation of undesirable or inappropriate content.
  3. Poisoning: Poisoning attacks involve manipulating the training data to introduce biases or distort the behavior of the generative AI model, leading to biased or unreliable outputs.

Addressing these concerns requires a multi-faceted approach involving rigorous security measures, continuous monitoring, and ongoing research to stay ahead of emerging threats. This proactive stance will contribute to the responsible and secure deployment of generative AI technologies in diverse domains.

ChatGPT: a Catalyst for Generative AI Adoption

ChatGPT is more than a standalone innovation; it is a catalyst for the broader adoption of generative AI. Its success has paved the way for similar technologies, creating an environment where businesses are increasingly open to explore and integrate generative AI into their business.

The profound advancements in generative AI are propelling us into a future laden with unprecedented possibilities. Yet, this progress prompts an examination of the ethical challenges that accompany it. The potential pitfalls, ranging from unintentional biases to privacy concerns, underscore the critical importance of implementing safeguards throughout the development process.

Tue, 19 Dec 2023 00:59:00 -0600 Committee of 200 en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/committeeof200/2023/12/19/examining-generative-ais-transformative-effects/
Cybersecurity predictions for 2024 reflect more advanced threats

Varun Badhwar, the CEO and co-founder of Endor Labs contends that as most organizations stand at the intersection of AI and enterprise control, malicious actors will continue to explore using AI and associated tools to accelerate exploitation and intrusions. They will also look to target the large GenAI platform providers and widely used AI OSS projects/components as part of broader software supply chain attacks.

“In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, the parallels between the adoption of cloud services and the current surge in artificial intelligence (AI) implementation are both striking and cautionary. Just as organizations eagerly embraced cloud solutions for their transformative potential in innovation, the haste of adoption outpaced the development of robust security controls and compliance tools. Consequently, this created vulnerabilities that malicious actors were quick to exploit, leaving enterprises grappling with unforeseen challenges,” warns Badhwar. “As we witness a similar trajectory in the adoption of AI technologies, it becomes imperative to draw lessons from the past and proactively address the looming concerns. The rapid integration of AI into various facets of business operations is undeniably transformative, but the lack of comprehensive visibility and enterprise control raises red flags.”

Badhwar adds: “In an era where data is a prized asset and AI is a powerful catalyst for business growth, the responsibility lies with industry leaders, policymakers, and technology providers to collaboratively build a foundation for responsible AI adoption. By establishing comprehensive controls and fostering transparency, we can unlock the full potential of AI while safeguarding the interests of organizations and their stakeholders.”

There will be an increase in new founders using AI to solve society’s challenges, predicts Kaarel Kotkas, the CEO and founder of Veriff, saying the responsibility for AI’s positive influence on society resides with security leaders.

“New founders are in a prime position to solve complex problems and societal issues with AI solutions. As digital natives, this generation of entrepreneurs has the innate ability to understand AI, its applications, and how it can influence the digital age - for better or worse,” says Kotkas. “For example, in 2023, fake identities and deepfakes became a significant challenge to identity verification - 85% of all fraud in 2023 was impersonation fraud. But, despite the threats it can pose, AI is also applied to provide fast and accurate verification and authentication of real users. While the AI threat landscape constantly evolves, we should look to these new leaders to ensure their companies are equipped to easily implement new techniques to solve major challenges ranging from security to predictive analytics to user authentication.”

The syllabu on everyone’s minds this year was generative AI — moreover what the potential security threats and risks are from its existence and usage. The discussions will only intensify according to Kev Breen, who is the Director of Cyber Threat Research at Immersive Labs where he researches new and emerging cyber threats.

“Fear-mongering headlines flashed AI's security risks instead of providing tactful ways to incorporate the technology into their organizations. Security leaders and practitioners alike always strive to anticipate the next big technology or threat to ensure they are prepared to handle whatever may come their way,” chides Breen.

Breen argues that GenAI hit the technology scene this past year with a bang and is already heavily being embraced — or companies are racing to get involved so they don’t fall behind. But among all its popularity, early adopters) are simultaneously seeing a significant amount of FUD - fear, uncertainty, and doubt - and misunderstanding.

“People still don’t fully understand the risks and vision of AI, which lends itself to paranoia or unfounded fears of massive AI security risks. In the year ahead we’ll hopefully see the hype around AI die down and become more of the norm so that we can focus on the many benefits of using these tools to do work more efficiently and effectively. A handful of organizations are dedicating ample time and resources to the genuine use cases of this technology, and we can expect more businesses to follow suit,” Breen continues.

We already began to see this towards the end of 2023, but in 2024, we can expect governments and AI service providers to continue to implement policies regulating the development of AI. The key differentiator will be if these entities have moved beyond the shock and awe of AI to focus on the benefits. Risk assessment will continue to be a part of the equation as it should with any advancement in technology, but prioritizing innovation in these policies rather than fear will set countries apart. In 2023, we focused on the potential risks of AI. In 2024, it will be essential to focus on the potential opportunities,” concludes Breen.

Ransomware Remains in the Headlines

According to Daniel Howley, the technology editor at Yahoo Finance, after a slight downturn in 2022, cyber-attacks became more frequent last year. A new report by MIT professor Stuart Madnick says there were more ransomware attacks reported in the first nine months of 2023 than all of 2022. The Apple-funded report, but written independently by Madnick, highlights an alarming increase in cyberattacks that impacted as many as 360 million people through August. Madnick claims that ransomware groups are becoming more organized, operating as gangs, and targeting organizations with critical user data such as government and healthcare facilities.

These findings are no surprise to Dr. Darren Williams, the CEO and Founder at BlackFog, who says that after a record-breaking 2023, ransomware will not ease anytime soon and that ransomware is becoming the main threat to all organizations, and insurance is no longer a viable option. He warns that action needs to be taken now and predicts several new trends to take hold.

Wed, 03 Jan 2024 07:55:00 -0600 text/html https://www.securityinfowatch.com/cybersecurity/article/53081676/cybersecurity-predictions-for-2024-reflect-more-advanced-threats
Three Main Pathways To Successful Mathematical Optimization Implementations

Edward Rothberg is CEO and Co-Founder of Gurobi Optimization, which produces the world’s fastest mathematical optimization solver.

Enterprises across the business spectrum are accelerating their adoption of AI technologies, with 83% of companies reporting that they boosted their budgets for AI over the past year and 75% stating that they plan to embark on new AI projects in the next six months.

As the CEO of a mathematical optimization software firm, I’ve witnessed this exact surge in interest and investment in AI firsthand as an ever-increasing number of businesses are looking to launch mathematical optimization implementation projects.

The question is: How can these companies successfully steer their implementation projects from concept to completion?

Every mathematical optimization project starts with a vision of how this AI software technology could be used in an organization to address a complex business problem (such as supply chain planning or workforce management) and enable better decision-making and business outcomes.

But many companies aren’t sure exactly how to transform this vision into a reality. To do this, they must be able to figure out how to integrate mathematical optimization technologies with their existing IT systems, as well as their processes and people, and how to implement a mathematical optimization application in their organization.

Although every company’s journey to a mathematical optimization deployment is unique, there are certain well-trodden pathways (or, in other words, best practices) that you can follow to help you navigate the implementation landscape.

In this article, I will highlight the three main pathways to successful mathematical optimization implementations and discuss how you can determine which approach is right for you.

Understanding The Three Main Implementation Approaches

When you begin to think about investing in mathematical optimization (or any AI technology for that matter), a fundamental question you must ask yourself is, "Does my company want to custom-build an application from scratch or buy a packaged software product?"

Your answer to this critical “build or buy” question will help guide you in selecting the right pathway as you progress on your implementation journey. Generally speaking, there are three main implementation pathways that companies take:

1. An Off-The-Shelf Software Product

This implementation approach involves investing in a ready-to-use software product that has been developed for the mass market with mathematical optimization capabilities (and a commercial mathematical optimization solver like my company’s solution) embedded in it.

A wide range of vendors offer off-the-shelf products with built-in mathematical optimization functionality, from software giants like SAP (which incorporates mathematical optimization as a key component in many of its solutions) to smaller players like River Logic (which produces supply chain planning solutions powered by mathematical optimization).

If you want to use mathematical optimization to tackle a fairly standard business problem that can be commonly found in certain industries (such as financial services, aviation and manufacturing), then this off-the-shelf product approach may be right for you.

Off-the-shelf solutions are also suitable for companies with smaller budgets and shorter project timelines because they’re often less expensive than their custom-built counterparts and are easier and faster to integrate, install and use.

The chief drawback of off-the-shelf solutions is their lack of flexibility and limited customizability. If you’re looking for a bespoke mathematical optimization solution that can provide a perfect fit for your company’s business needs, you may want to opt for a different implementation approach.

2. A Consulting Partner

The second main implementation approach is to engage a consulting partner that has a track record of successfully developing and deploying mathematical optimization applications for companies across various industries.

These partners, who may be global consulting companies like Accenture, Boston Consulting Group or McKinsey or boutique firms like End-to-End Analytics or Princeton Consultants, will help you identify the key levers of costs and growth within your organization and will work with you to create a customized, scalable mathematical optimization application (with a commercial solver inserted into it) that meets your business requirements and enables you to capitalize on your business opportunities. 

This implementation approach is usually more time-consuming and costly than simply buying an off-the-shelf product, but leveraging a partner’s know-how to build a solution tailored for you may be worth it in the long run because it can deliver immense, lasting ROI.

3. An In-House Team

A growing number of businesses today are assembling in-house teams of experts in analytics, operations research, data science and related fields who have the capability to build and deploy bespoke applications powered by mathematical optimization solver technologies.

If your company possesses (or is willing to invest in hiring) such a team, then you would be wise to entrust them with the task of developing your mathematical optimization applications because:

• They have a deep and unique understanding of your business problems and objectives and can design applications that fulfill all your requirements and fuel ongoing, optimal decision making and bottom-line growth.

• They can continually look for new opportunities to expand and enhance the use of mathematical optimization across the enterprise and thereby ingrain a culture of optimization in your organization.

Although the costs associated with hiring in-house resources can be substantial (especially for smaller firms with limited IT budgets), the potential benefits of having these experts within your organization are immeasurable.

Deciding Which Implementation Approach Is Right For You

There’s no right or wrong mathematical optimization implementation approach. It all depends on what’s best for your business. The decision of whether to build or buy and which implementation pathway to take should be based on many different factors, including the nature of your business problem, your project budget and timelines, and your level of in-house technical expertise.

It should be noted that many companies adopt a hybrid approach — for example, working with a consulting partner to implement an off-the-shelf solution or engaging external experts to collaborate with an in-house team.

Additionally, many companies find that their implementation approach evolves as they may start with an off-the-shelf solution and ultimately end up with their own in-house team designing custom-built applications.

It’s important to remember that whichever pathway you choose, there’s a whole community of mathematical optimization users out there that can help advise and guide you as you move forward on your implementation journey. 


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Mon, 08 Mar 2021 23:30:00 -0600 Edward Rothberg en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/03/09/three-main-pathways-to-successful-mathematical-optimization-implementations/
Q2 2024 Resources Connection Inc Earnings Call

Presentation

Operator

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Resources Connection Inc. conference call. Currently, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question and answer session and instructions will follow at that time. As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded. At this time, I would like to remind everyone that management will be commenting on results for the second quarter ended November 25, 2023. They will also refer to certain non-GAAP financial measures. An explanation and reconciliation of these measures to the most comparable GAAP financial measures are included in the press release issued today, and today's press release can be viewed in the Investor Relations section of our GP's website and filed today with the SEC. Also during this call, management may make forward-looking statements regarding plans, initiatives and strategies and the anticipated financial performance of the Company. Such statements are predictions and genuine events or results may differ materially. Please see risk factors section in our GP's report on Form 10-K for the year ended May 27, 2023. For a discussion of risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the company's business. Results of operation and financial conditions differ materially from what is expressed or implied by forward-looking statements made during this call.
I'll now turn the call over to our RGP's CEO, Kate Duchene.

Thank you, operator. Good afternoon and Happy New Year, and thank you all for joining us today. In Q2, we delivered solid performance across the enterprise. Despite a macro environment that continues to be sluggish and uncertain this quarter can be characterized by green shoots and continued tenacity. Again, we have shown well with respect to engagement, extensions and client retention and our pipeline finished the quarter strong. As we shared last quarter, new project initiation has been slower to materialize and opportunities have pushed to the new calendar year on revenue, we performed in the stronger half of our guidance range while also continuing to deliver strong cash flow this fiscal year on SG&A and therefore, adjusted EBITDA, we've well exceeded our expectations as we continue to remain disciplined on cost in this environment.
Our balance sheet remained pristine. During Q2, veracity delivered sequential revenue growth, earning new business from the sustained appetite for digital transformation services and capabilities. We also expanded breadth. These digital presence across the U.S. Asia Pac region through the acquisition of cloud, go a digital transformation firm, an elite ServiceNow partner. We're excited about this acquisition, the exceptional talent This adds to our company, and we are already beginning to see synergies between veracity and cloud go. The Northern California market, which I mentioned last quarter also grew sequentially, again, showing positive movement in the tech sector after more than a year of decline. Regional performance in the rest of North America reflected the overall choppy operating environment with clients remaining cautious about new spend until there's greater clarity around interest rates and the economic direction.
Our Mexico, India, Philippines, and Switzerland practices all grew both sequentially and year over year as we delivered major projects for large strategic clients. Our pricing initiative in the US is progressing well with a 1.3% increase in bill rate year over year. As you'll hear more from John in a moment, Europe showed even stronger improvement in pricing.
Turning to our operational metrics, we're pleased that the pipeline remained steady through the quarter and post quarter December. More extension opportunities in the pipe were converted into closed. Won engagements in Europe. Pipeline grew throughout Q2 as clients engaged in planning discussions for 2024 and pent-up demand around technology transformation and transaction support move to the forefront. Our Asia Pacific business, particularly in India and the Philippines continued to show demand strength from our large global clients as they increasingly move more activity to offshore global business service centers across all geographies. We're experiencing an uptick in in-person client meetings, which is a positive indicator that clients are engaging in planning for projects to get underway in the new calendar year, given the areas in which we're seeing consistent and rising demand for professional services, especially digital transformation, and cloud technology support. We believe we are well positioned to capture market share in 2024 and beyond.
As mentioned last quarter, we close more business related to cloud ERP implementations and optimizations. Our pipeline is heavy with opportunity at large and middle market companies to implement and unlock the value of technology and prepare for the implementation of AI with improved data governance and business process standardization. This is exactly the type of work for which our GP. shines and can deliver significant value in our financial services practice, we see rising demand for regulatory remediation, another area of strength for RGP. In healthcare, we've built an offering to support revenue cycle optimization and claims reimbursement capture in our large provider client base. These opportunities are significant longer term and allow us to get deeper into our A. plus client set, which creates cautious optimism that revenue conversion will Strengthen in 2024. During Q2, we completed additional research around client decision making to help us prepare for what's next. We pulled 1,000 plus leaders from companies with at least $1 billion in revenue to understand what's on the agenda and how our capabilities line up to that need. We found that transformation initiatives are a priority as large organizations are taking on an average of $21 million plus transformation initiatives this year alone. They also report finding the right skill sets for critical transformation initiatives has become more complicated in an ever more disrupted world. Our research further uncovered that a hybrid workforce strategy that blends internal talent with skilled outsiders enables companies to realize competitive advantages by building constant transformation into their core DNA. We refer to this approach as the dynamic workforce model, and we believe it is becoming increasingly more prevalent in business today.
Adoption of the dynamic workforce model is being accelerated by transformation overload. As our research uncovered that only four and 10 organizations reported, they had enough internal talent to staff all of their planned initiatives. This research matches with the ManpowerGroup employment outlook survey reported in December in that survey, which included an even bigger pool of 40,000 plus employers across 41 countries, 75% of respondents reported, they're struggling to find the skill sets they need. These skills shortages have wide-ranging impacts on transformation initiatives, ranging from project delays, missed critical goals and more difficulty in achieving operational change that's based on our research. The proportion of outside talent on transformation teams grew to 45% in 2022 and is expected to reach 48%. This calendar year. Connecting this research to our business model, we are highly encouraged that global pandemic proved once and for all that highly skilled talent can collaborate effectively regardless of location or FTE. status. C-suite leaders recognize the power of hybrid talent models, and we're seeing more CEOs and CFOs work with HR leaders to adjust talent strategy accordingly, the talent side of the equation is equally embracing the shift expert talent is actively choosing to pursue their professional passions in a more independent way. In fact, we've consistently seen our retention rates increase in exact years. Now even exceeding those reported by the traditional partnership model, the choice, transparency and control and client engagement we offer our consultants is a key differentiator. These attributes also serve to create a client experience that is differentiated for the good experts who choose their projects, feel more empowered, engaged, and committed to the client's success. In short, we may have been ahead of our time when we launched the first agile professional services business model 20 plus years ago when we spun off from Deloitte, we are now involved in to see that today's clients and talent alike are eager to embrace what we have built and perfected. Our focus for the rest of the fiscal year is on the execution of three strategies first, we will continue our diversification path, expanding consulting services, especially in digital and technology transformation. As we have earned trust with our clients, they've asked us to deliver more strategic advice including assessments, tools, methodologies, and expert talent. We acquired veracity in 2019 at the start of this strategy, and it has been a successful combination. We most recently added cloud go to continue the expansion of this strategy globally. We will also continue to scale such targeted consulting services with our agile expert business.
Second, we will execute our talent strategies to build in-demand pools of talent around the world that can be used to quickly assemble blended delivery teams. These teams can be built to grow our consulting assets faster and will Strengthen our win rates by offering clients, blended rate, and intellectual arbitrage. We've established two centers of excellence this year in Manila and India and have made good progress in growing these talent hubs Finally, we will continue to push forward our technology transformation initiative to drive even greater operational efficiency and financial performance as one global enterprise, we'll soon launch the first wave of the technology transformation initiative, benefiting our global talent function. We're excited that this enhanced software will Strengthen our supply and demand match and enhance our global service to our clients. Jen will share more detail in her remarks in some we're working hard throughout our organization to close every business opportunity with creativity and grit. At the same time, we are retaining the best consultants and improving operations with streamline process, Strengthen technology and global connectivity. The macro environment is not easy and far from standing.
We are aggressively optimizing our business to quickly capitalize when conditions Strengthen and to deliver long-term value we have with business needs today.
I'll now turn the call over to Jen.

Thank you, Kate, and good afternoon, everyone. This quarter we achieved $163.1 million of revenue, which was in the upper half of our outlook range provided in October. Our run rate SG&A of $47.4 million was significantly better than the favorable end of our run rate SG&A outlook of $53 million to $55 million. Notwithstanding an uncertain macro environment, we produced solid adjusted EBITDA of $16.1 million or 9.8% adjusted EBITDA margin and have delivered $54 million of free cash flow in the last 12 months.
On a same-day constant currency basis, revenue declined by 19% year over year as our clients continue to be cautious with the pace of spending in the face of the uncertain macro conditions regional performance was reflective of the overall environment in North America, although certain pockets such as Northern California, Atlanta and veracity have started to show signs of recovery compared to the beginning of the fiscal year, many major markets were still affected by the broader economic environment. Our Europe and Asia Pacific regions performed relatively better, with more modest declines of 9% and 10% year over year on a same-day constant currency basis. Markets such as Switzerland, India and the Philippines grew over the prior year quarter, as well as sequentially primarily attributable to project opportunities with our large strategic clients. Operationally, our gross pipeline remained resilient during the quarter, while the velocity of converting new opportunities in the pipeline to genuine engagements remain slow extensions on existing engagements have been healthy. Our solid pipeline suggests that demand, in fact exists, and it's a matter of when not if clients will move forward with the execution of their initiatives. These opportunities represent real upside for our business as macro conditions improve.
Gross margin in the quarter was 38.9%, reflecting a heavier mix of business in Europe. And Asia Pacific, which typically carry higher pay bill ratio compared to North America. Gross margin in the second quarter also reflected a 90-basis point adverse impact from a spike in health care costs as a sponsor of a self-insured medical program. We know the number of medical claims can spike from time to time, but in general, we do not believe the trend this quarter is indicative of our health care costs in the foreseeable future.
Next, I want to provide an update on our pricing initiatives. We're seeing more competitive pricing pressure in the current environment. Even against this backdrop, our U.S. average bill rate rose 1.1% compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2023 A. Europe was up 5% on a constant currency basis. Average bill rate in both regions also improved on a sequential basis from Q1. However, due to the shift in revenue mix to regions with lower bill and pay rates. Enterprise average bill rate for the quarter was $121 constant currency, down from one 28 a year ago. While the average pay rate was $58, down from $60 a year ago. Strategic pricing will be a continued point of emphasis and expansion for the rest of fiscal'24 and beyond. Turning to SG&A, our run rate SG&A expense for the quarter was $47.4 million, which as I noted, was significantly better than our outlook range. Variable compensation expense was favorable in the second quarter, aligning with the Company's overall financial performance this fiscal year. In addition, the reduction in force we executed at the start of the second quarter contributed approximately $2 million of SG&A savings in the quarter. Restructuring costs associated with this effort was $2.3 million and we expect $10 million to $12 million of annual savings on a go-forward basis. The effective tax rate this quarter was 43%, largely attributable to an outsized amount of stock option expirations and the capitalization of acquisition costs for tax purposes.
Turning to liquidity. We're proud of our ability to continue to generate robust free cash flow. Despite the macro environment, we distributed $4.7 million of dividends during the quarter and repurchased $5 million worth of common stock at a weighted average price of $14.13 per share, leaving $45 million available in our share repurchase program at quarter end. Pursuant to our stated strategy to expand our digital consulting business, both organically and inorganically. On November 15, we closed the acquisition of Cogo, a digital transformation firm and an elite ServiceNow partner in the Asia Pacific region. Cogo's strategic capabilities and regional positioning will play a key role in our growth plans. Together with veracity. This combination will position us better to support our clients globally. Initial cash consideration of $7.7 million was paid during the quarter, while remaining consideration of up to $12 million will be determined by Cogo's performance against a set of target performance metrics over a two year earn-out period. Cargo did not contribute significant revenue or EBITDA to our second quarter results. We ended the fiscal quarter with $95.8 million of cash and cash equivalents and zero outstanding debt with total available financial liquidity of $269 million at the end of the second quarter. Our capital allocation will be focused on investing in the most impactful areas of the business, including completing our technology transformation projects and continuing to pursue a disciplined M&A strategy to accelerate long-term growth and profitability while continuing to return cash to shareholders through dividends and by opportunistically repurchasing shares.
Now let me provide an update on our technology transformation project. We have made tremendous progress and plan to go live with a set of new talent management and contract management systems in North America during the third fiscal quarter, followed by our financial systems go-live planned for later in the calendar year. The new platform will not only Strengthen the efficiency of our business processes and enhanced data visibility for better decision-making. They will also provide a much more favorable experience for our clients, consultants, and employees. We incurred $4.4 million of implementation costs in the quarter, of which $2.8 million was capitalized with the remaining $1.6 million included as non-run rate operating expense.
I'll now close with our third quarter outlook. While it has certainly been a challenging year, we are encouraged that our weekly revenue has been stable over the last 13 weeks. We expect the pace of revenue conversion from opportunity to close to remain sluggish in the third quarter after giving effect to the holiday impact in Q3 and including cargo, we project revenue to be in the range of $150 million to $155 million gross margin in Q3 will be compressed by the typical seasonality during the holidays, including the reset of employer payroll taxes at the start of the new calendar year as well as the current global revenue mix with a higher proportion of revenue coming from Europe and Asia Pacific. We estimate gross margin in Q3 to be in the range of 35.5% to 36%. We expect our run rate SG&A expense to be in the range of $51 million to $53 million, which includes Cogo's SG&A expense and again, reflects the increase in employer payroll taxes at the beginning of the calendar year. Non-run-rate and noncash expenses for the third quarter will consist of approximately $2 million of technology transformation costs and $3 million of stock compensation expense.
In closing, while we acknowledge the headwinds presented by the prolonged market uncertainty, we also see compelling opportunities ahead as macro conditions start to recover, and we're ready to execute and excited about our business model and long-term outlook with a durable variable cost model, a pristine balance sheet and ample liquidity. We believe we are well positioned to continue driving long-term value creation for our shareholders.
This concludes our prepared remarks, and we now will open the call for Q&A.

Question and Answer Session

Operator

Thank you. To ask a question please press star one on your telephone and wait for your name to be announced. To withdraw your question, please press star one again, One moment for questions. All right, no.
Our first question comes from Stephanie with JP Morgan. You may proceed.

Hi, good afternoon.
And can I ask for the revenue guide that you gave for the third quarter and what it was the implied revenue decline on a constant currency same-day basis.

I have Stephanie and the full year guidance at the top of the range at $155 million is approximately 17% year-over-year decline on a same-day constant currency basis.

Okay, great. And then could you help us understand how much of cloud go was included in the third quarter outlook? And I guess how much on an annual basis Cotco is expected to contribute to our tubular?

Yes, we don't expect very material immediate impact on our financials. From this acquisition. This acquisition is more strategic in nature. We believe that this is going to enhanced our capabilities to serve more clients. And there's a lot of tremendous amount of synergy to drive future value. So given the size of the acquisition, we're not disclosing their financials.

Okay. Sounds good. Thank you.

Operator

Yes, thank you. One moment for questions. So our next question comes from Mark Marcon with Baird. You may proceed.

Hey, this is Andre Childress on for Mark. I appreciate you taking the questions and happy new year, everyone. So Kate and last quarter, you talked about some green shoots, and you talked about the same green shoots as well this quarter with regards to the pipeline as we get to the end of the year we ended the year. What are you seeing and hearing from your clients with regards to their expectations for calendar 2024 now that budgets are set?

Yes, I still think that we're seeing more opportunity around digital transformation, as I said in our prepared remarks and you know, continued optimization of our cloud ERP opportunity. In fact, today, Andrew and I got another request from a client to introduce our services around cloud ERP, build system selection and implementation services. And there's a lot of wraparound work tied to that which is around data governance, data cleanup and process improvement. So that's really where we're still seeing opportunity. And in our conversations with clients, I do expect in Europe that we might see some uptick around transaction work, especially around decision decisions to divest business. And we're in conversation with a couple of large clients about how we could support some divestiture strategy that makes sense.

And last quarter, you also laid out expectations in terms of a softer first half for the calendar 2020 for year and in the back half stronger, you know, as things have progressed over the past three months, how have those expectations changed or how should we think about that?

I think unfortunately and you know, the close of 2023 calendar 2023 has still been sluggish. And, you know, it's a crystal ball to say exactly when we'll see the shift occur.
Yes, I think every client is looking for a little more macro uncertainty and getting more clarity around economic conditions, especially around interest rate decision making it. So that continues to be a little sluggish.
As Jim said, in her prepared remarks. We believe it's a matter of when not if. And so we stay very ready to support these initiatives that our clients are talking to us about. It's just getting them to pull the trigger. And that is all business decision makers getting a little more comfort and a little more optimism about where the economy is headed.

That makes a lot of sense. And then one more for me and then I'll hop back in the queue. John, you had some commentary about competitive pricing dynamics. Could you just explain a little bit more about what you're seeing in the market from a pricing perspective, particularly in the US. Thank you.

Yes, sure. I mean, the pricing environment has gotten tougher and like all of the professional services firms are competing for, in general, a smaller pool of work. When we compete against the big four, they'll often have offshore operations and blended teams and that averages down the rate and making it tougher to win the work. And this is another reason I think Chase on top Nino alluded to or talked about in her on her remarks is it's another reason why we're building our offshore talent pool to stay competitive. And on the other side, you know, when we're competing against staffing firms and they be racing to the bottom on pricing to win work. So that's where you know, kind of competitive pressures coming from what I said, I think New York is getting more challenging on pricing, but we are still working through on to catch up on pricing on our existing MSAs. And so far, we haven't really had much pushback from our clients with this regard and so yes, I think I think we've done a really great job over the last multiple quarter, six to eight quarters to raise our pricing. And I think there's still probably some room to go there.

Sorry, just one more follow-up. Just given you've touched on it. So the center of the centers of excellence that you're building out internationally, could you just talk a little bit more about that strategy and how you think about that building out over the next few quarters and integrating that and blending that with your other talent pools as we think about that going forward.

Thank you, Andre. I'll jump in here and I talked about it a little bit in my prepared remarks. We, for example, just won a big piece of work with veracity for a financial services client that's continuing their digital transformation. And the reason we won the work is because we are blending not only rate, but we have tapped into a very strong talent pool in India around ServiceNow capability. So it's not just being able to bring labor arbitrage and the cost of labor down. It's also finding the talent that the world needs today. I mean, as I mentioned, our own research and the manpower outlook from December still highlights that finding the right skill sets as one of the biggest challenges as every company has continually continuing to digitize and introduce more and more technology and AI into what we do. And so it's not just about cost anymore. It's about finding the right talent pools that can offer our clients and especially in these consulting engagements what they need. So we're very excited about what we're building and in India. And we're doing the same thing around finance, talent, finance, and accounting talent in the Philippines. I mean, we're all memorizing and the stories about finance and accounting talent exiting the profession in North America for a variety of reasons. And so needing to find these talent pools that exist in other parts of the world, I think will be increasingly important to remain not only competitive financially, but also competitive in terms of winning work.

Great. Thank you so much for that color.

You're welcome. Thank you and happy new year.

Operator

Thank you One moment for questions. So our next question comes from Marc Riddick, Sidoti. You may proceed.

Hey, good evening, Highmark Velac. So I wanted to start with Thanks for all the color that you've already provided. I wanted to start with if you could give some resume on some thoughts and commentary around sort of where you finished the quarter on headcount and kind of where you are comfort level as to maybe what you're seeing maybe for the next couple of quarters, if you're kind of where you want to be or if you feel as though there are other adjustments that need to be made or some areas that you would need to shore up? Or how should we think about sort of where we where we ended the quarter versus where you might want to be six to 12 months from now?

So Mark, are you referring to consultant headcount? I would just want to make sure that you as an answer.

Yes.

So our consulting headcount at the end of the quarter, it didn't really decrease all that much from the end of last year around the same time rod movement is because we added we added a pool of consultants or talent from Claudio from this acquisition. And then the electricity, remember the consulting consultant count that you're looking at the end of the period is at one point in time.
And so it depends on, you know, the talent that we're adding to serve, our for example, in our large clients in the Philippines that we had some kind of a one-time add there, a group of independent consultants working on that. So overall, if you look at the average consultant count, I would say, decreased about anywhere between 3 to 400 if you look at the average year-over-year, yes.

Okay. And then I was wondering if you could shifting gears, I appreciate the commentary on the cloud goes. What if you could talk a little bit about you did briefly touch on uses of cash and certainly there's another $5 million or so on share repurchase during the quarter. I wonder if you'd talk a little bit about the acquisition pipeline that you're currently seeing whether that that look has changed valuation has changed or maybe how your how you're looking at the current pipeline today versus maybe three to six months ago?

So let me just comment on M&A and pipeline activity. And then I'll hand it to John to talk about our uses of cash in capital structure. But we continue, as I've talked about, we are building more diversification in our business to follow higher margin and higher growth businesses. We see consulting as an opportunity for us to also scale with our agile business. And you know that the veracity and cloud go businesses exactly a testament to that strategy. And so as we continue to do that, we're going to look at additional consulting assets that can drive that strategy forward.
We're also in the process of analyzing and mapping what our consulting capabilities have been in our PCS business and bringing them closer together with what veracity does in their strategy practice, especially around user experience so we bring both user experience and functional expertise closer together. Again, that is a part of strengthening the consulting part of our business and then being able to scale those practices with our agile talent and M&A will play a role in that. Jenn, I'll hand it to you.

Yes. So from a capital allocation standpoint, Mark, we have a number of areas in the business as we want to continue to invest in to drive long-term growth.
And so one area, as I said in my remarks, is to complete our digital transformation project and for the remainder of the year, we're still looking at about anywhere between $8 million to $10 million of spend in that area. And as I also said, we're going to as you know, we're looking at our acquisition pipeline and continue to assess and the deals in the pipeline, and that's an area we would could deploy some cash and just as a reminder, right, on a year-to-date basis, we have spent around $15 million of shareholder return via dividends and share buyback. So far, I think given the uncertain environment and just overall lower expected earnings this in this fiscal year, we are going to remain prudent on our capital allocation strategy.

Great. And then the last one for me. In your prepared remarks, you made mention around a couple of client verticals. Financial services was mentioned, I believe you mentioned some of the geographic footprints around Northern Cal and versus the rest of North America and that kind of thing. So I could talk a little bit. Were there any other sort of areas that might be eventually things like pharma and health care and anything that kind of stood out any particular either positive or negative as far as leasing activity?

Yes, I'd say and this isn't new, but I'd say, as we've talked about before, you know, the health care industry overall is behind in terms of their digital transformation. And so we continue to see opportunity there. And as and there have been some big transactions in our client base that we're hoping to get work from in the pharma space. I see that as some green shoots coming up, financial services still around some regulatory remediation as there are a focus on consent orders and cleaning up, I think both compliance reporting, but also a lot of data issues in financial services, especially as you connect the front of the house to the back of the house. And there's still a lot of work to do because it's these huge financial banking environments. The systems are often very disparate, and there's still a lot of work ahead for these organizations and to address some of the problems. So we're staying very close to this client set and our financial services practice. I've been very pleased with their performance. And I see that that's continuing to strengthen a bit as we move through the rest of the fiscal year.

Thanks, and thank you very much.

Thank you. Mark.

Operator

Thank you. I would now like to turn the call back over to Kate Duchene for any closing remarks.

We'll again, I want to thank everyone for continuing your interest in RGP. We're working hard and we'll look forward to talking with you after the end of our third quarter. Thank you again, and happy new year.

Operator

Thank you for your participation and you may now disconnect.

Wed, 03 Jan 2024 22:13:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://finance.yahoo.com/news/q2-2024-resources-connection-inc-121308808.html
Project Portfolio Management Market Poised for Remarkable Growth, Forecasting a 5.2% CAGR and US$ 7.8 Billion Revenue by 2032

The global project portfolio management market had a value of US$ 4.4 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.2% from 2022 to 2032 to reach US$ 7.8 billion.

The project portfolio management market is primarily driven by the urgent requirement to manage projects effectively and on schedule, and this situation is anticipated to hold true throughout the forecast period. Additionally, the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend is expanding, and a greater focus is being placed on achieving a speedier ROI.

Project portfolio management proves to be useful as it enhances the adaptability of the organization toward change, thereby making it simple to get through new projects. It also helps in tracking projects for anomalies as well as delays and calls upon essential steps for streamlining them and achieving better returns.

Future Market Insights has entailed these facts with future prospects in its latest market study entitled ‘Project Portfolio Management Market’. It has its team of analysts and consultants to look through the bottom-up approach in its primary, secondary, and tertiary modes of research.

Get Instant Access to Your Visuals-Packed Report, request a trial at
https://www.futuremarketinsights.com/reports/sample/rep-gb-15235

Key Takeaways from the Project Portfolio Management Market Report:

  • North America holds the largest market share with the US being subject to PPM getting popular. As of now, it’s being used for improving governance in various industries inclusive of capital projects, and various other modes of inorganic expansion. On these grounds, ServiceNow and KPMG have expanded their collaborative agreement for offering ESG (environmental, social, and governance) solutions and services complementing KPMG products and helping organizations in refurbishing resilience procedures, risk management, and likewise.
  • Europe holds the second-largest market share with France leading from the front. This is evident from the fact that Capgemini, in May 2021, entered into collaboration with Orange to form Bleu, a new company for providing cloud services all across France. Bubble Ltd., in September 2020, mentioned that the UK government’s Commercial Service Digital Marketplace conferred upon it the title of ‘G-Cloud 12 provider for PPM solutions and services to the public sector’.
  • The Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at the maximum rate in the project portfolio management market on the grounds of growing demand for cloud services in the wake of remote working.

Competitive Management:

  • Whoz, in April 2022, did announce that PSG Equity had led funding worth US$ 26.4 Million for helping speed up the growth across the US and Europe.
  • Planview, in January 2021, announced the strategic acquisition of Changepoint and Clarizen to Accelerate Enterprise Strategy to Delivery.
  • Symphony Technology Group (STG), in March 2021, announced the acquisition of Sciforma (a provider of PPM (project and portfolio management) software. The concept of STG is that of generating value by combining software, data, and analytics.
  • SAP, in March 2020, did add novel templates to Ruum – its project management tool, to help individuals as well as businesses respond to COVID-19.
  • Broadcom, in November 2019, strengthened its partnership with Broadcom, thereby delivering the very first solutions for SAP S/4 HANA customers in testing, AIOPS, and business process automation.
  • Codleo Consulting, in November 2020, did launch a proprietary cloud-based project management app called ProjecLeo for SMEs. It is abreast with proper project planning as well as scheduling features with the collaboration tools for teams.
  • One Point Projects GmbH, in May 2022, came up with a novel version of its projects known as ‘ONE POINT Projects’ that comes across as a web-based PPM (project and portfolio management) solution.

Leading Key Players:

  • Broadcom Inc.
  • Micro Focus
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • SAP
  • Oracle Corporation
  • Planisware
  • Planview, Inc.
  • Changepoint Corporation.
  • Wrike.
  • Hexagon AB.
  • Sciforma
  • Servicenow, Inc.
  • Upland Software, Inc.
  • Workfront, Inc.

Immediate Access: Buy Today for a Comprehensive Report
https://www.futuremarketinsights.com/checkout/15235

What Does the Report Cover?

  • The research study is based on component (project portfolio management solution and project portfolio management services (consulting and implementation services and training, support, and maintenance services), deployment mode (cloud and on-premises), by organization size (large enterprises and SMEs), and by vertical (BFSI, IT & telecom, consumer goods and retail, healthcare and life sciences, manufacturing, government and defense, energy and utilities, and likewise).
  • The fact that project portfolio management solutions help businesses gain an appropriate understanding of project operations and resource management, the global project portfolio management market is expected to grow on a grand note shortly.

Project Portfolio Management Market Segmentation:

By Component:

  • Project Portfolio Management Solution
  • Project Portfolio Management Services
    • Consulting and Implementation Services
    • Training, Support, and Maintenance Services

By Deployment Mode:

By Organization Size:

By Vertical:

  • BFSI
  • IT and Telecom
  • Consumer Goods and Retail
  • Healthcare and Life Sciences
  • Manufacturing
  • Government and Defence
  • Energy and Utilities
  • Others

By Region:

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East and Africa
  • Latin America

About Future Market Insights (FMI):

Future Market Insights, Inc. (ESOMAR certified, recipient of the Stevie Award, and a member of the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce) offers profound insights into the driving factors that are boosting demand in the market. FMI stands as the leading global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, consulting, and events for the Packaging, Food and Beverage, Consumer Technology, Healthcare, Industrial, and Chemicals markets. With a vast team of over 5000 analysts worldwide, FMI provides global, regional, and local expertise on diverse domains and industry trends across more than 110 countries.

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Mon, 01 Jan 2024 17:12:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.fmiblog.com/2024/01/02/project-portfolio-management-market-poised-for-remarkable-growth-forecasting-a-5-2-cagr-and-us-7-8-billion-revenue-by-2032/
The Effects of City-Wide Implementation of "Second Step" on Elementary School Students' Prosocial and Aggressive Behaviors

Abstract and Introduction

This study examined the impact of implementing Second Step, a violence prevention program, using a comprehensive, city-wide approach. The evaluation included 741 3rd-5th graders in six schools. Student surveys, behavioral observations, and discipline referrals were used to assess aggressive-antisocial and prosocial behaviors. We found significant improvements in positive approach-coping, caring-cooperative behavior, suppression of aggression, and consideration of others, but no changes in aggressive-antisocial behaviors. Behavioral observations and disciplinary referrals showed no significant changes. The program was implemented with high fidelity and engaged a wide range of participants from the community.
Editors' Strategic Implications: Key implementation issues are presented for a cross-site, city-wide evaluation on "Second Step." School and community officials will benefit from these lessons, as well as the authors' recommendations for further longitudinal study with appropriate comparison groups.

Youth violence is widely recognized as a serious and complex public health problem (Mercy & O'Carroll, 1988; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001). Several longitudinal studies have demonstrated a link between early aggressive and antisocial behavior in youth and later violence in adolescence and young adulthood (Farrington, 1991; Huesmann, Eron, Lefkowitz, & Walder, 1984; Olweus, 1979; Tremblay et al., 1992). These studies show the presence of a predictable and stable developmental pathway to violence that begins in early childhood (Reid & Eddy, 1997). Therefore, prevention programs must begin early, ideally at the elementary school level or even earlier, in order to break this continuum of violence (Rivara & Farrington, 1995). Schools have been identified as ideal environments for implementing prevention programs (Mayer, 1995; Walker et al., 1996), and a multitude of programs are available to address violence prevention in this setting.

One such program, Second Step addresses the socioemotional skills of children and youth in grades pre-kindergarten through middle school and seeks to enhance their social environment by providing students with social cognitive skills (Bandura, 1986) that enable them to negotiate situations of interpersonal conflict in a non-violent manner (Thornton, Craft, Dahlberg, Lynch, & Baer, 2000). Second Step is already widely used in the United States and Canada, has been adapted for use in other countries (Frey, Hirschstein, & Guzzo, 2000), and offers developmentally-appropriate curricula for children in grades pre-Kindergarten through middle school. The program is recommended as a best practice or "model" program by several organizations-Safe, Disciplined, and Drug-Free Schools Expert Panel (U.S. Department of Education, 2001); Hamilton Fish Institute (1999); U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2001); Communities that Care (Developmental Research and Programs, Inc., 2000)-because of its modest proven effectiveness combined with its ease of implementation and accessible cost.

Second Step's effectiveness has been tested in several open trial evaluations and one randomized controlled trial, with promising, but somewhat inconsistent, results. A randomized, controlled study of Second Step with 790 second and third grade students in Washington State revealed that the curriculum reduced physically violent behavior in participants and increased the use of prosocial behavior, with effects on physical aggression in the classroom lasting up to six months (Grossman et al., 1997). During the same period, students in the study who did not receive the Second Step curriculum showed increases in physical and verbal aggression at school and no appreciable changes in neutral or prosocial behavior. However, a separate evaluation of Second Step with sixth graders showed less promising effects, which were attributed to a low level of teacher's commitment to the program at some sites, as well as other problems related to program implementation (Orpinas, Parcel, McAlister, & Frankowski, 1995). Other studies of Second Step have reported no change in violent behavior (Botzer, 2003) or in antisocial behavior (McCabe, 2000; Taub, 2002), except with initially highly aggressive children.

Although studies have been inconsistent in their abilities to demonstrate positive effects on violent and aggressive behaviors, they have been consistent in the demonstration of significant improvements in prosocial behaviors that have been shown to precede and predict reductions in student aggression in other studies (Frey et al., 2000; McMahon & Washburn, 2003), including: empathy (McMahon & Washburn, 2003; Ryan, Aten, Auinger, & Miller, 2004; Washburn, 2002), problem solving and understanding of anger management skills (Ryan et al., 2004), social competence and peer engagement (Grossman et al., 1997; Taub, 2002), and awareness of others, classroom climate, and self control (Lillenstein, 2002). Researchers have offered several possible reasons for Second Step's inability to demonstrate a consistent impact on violent and aggressive behaviors, including failures to achieve high and consistent implementation fidelity in the research setting (McMahon & Washburn, 2003; Orpinas et al., 1995), strong teacher buy-in (Orpinas et al., 1995), community involvement (McMahon & Washburn, 2003), and adequate follow-up (Taub, 2002) -- all characteristics linked to prevention program effectiveness. Other characteristics associated with program effectiveness include addressing multiple risk and protective factors (Nation et al., 2003); intensive training and technical support (Domitrovich & Greenberg, 2000; Durlak & Ferrari, 1998; Nation et al., 2003); strong staff and administrative support (August, Lee, Bloomquist, Realmuto, & Hektner, 2003; Kam, Greenbert, & Walls, 2003; Mihalic, Irwin, Elliott, Fagan, & Hansen, 2001). We sought to determine if the effectiveness of Second Step could be enhanced by incorporating these characteristics into its design and implementation. Improving the effectiveness of such a widely-used and accessible curriculum could have broad and important implications for the prevention of school violence.

For the current study, we specifically focused on achieving the following four goals: (1) high implementation fidelity; (2) strong teacher and administrator buy-in and support; (3) high levels of community involvement and support; and (4) the provision of intensive, ongoing training and technical support. This is the first reported implementation of Second Step as a school-community, city-wide intervention. Using a multi-component evaluation methodology, we examined the effectiveness of Second Step in this setting, with the hypothesis that this implementation approach would enhance the effectiveness of Second Step by broadening the scope of the program and addressing some of the potential reasons for lack of success in the past. Our evaluation included three major components: student self-report questionnaires, independent behavioral observations and review of disciplinary referrals. For the current study, we report the effects of Second Step on 3rd and 4th grade students' outcomes in terms of changes in risk and protective factors.

Fri, 01 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/557265
ISG to Publish Reports on ServiceNow Partner Ecosystem No result found, try new keyword!ServiceNow Implementation and Integration Services, assessing providers that can implement ServiceNow and integrate it with other applications in complex enterprises without adding to an ... Tue, 28 Nov 2023 01:04:00 -0600 https://www.nasdaq.com/press-release/isg-to-publish-reports-on-servicenow-partner-ecosystem-2023-11-28 Resources Connection, Inc. (NASDAQ:RGP) Q2 2024 Earnings Call Transcript No result found, try new keyword!Q2 2024 Earnings Call Transcript January 3, 2024 Resources Connection, Inc. beats earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $0.1444, expectations were $0.11. RGP isn’t one of the 30 most popular stocks ... Thu, 04 Jan 2024 00:07:13 -0600 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/




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