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Sage to ‘revolutionise accounting’

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The UK holding company of South Africa’s accounting software leaders has announced a range of apps and partnerships that it says will revolutionise the way accountants operate around the world.

At the Sage Summit in New Orleans this week, Sage continued its quest to use technology to reinvent accounting. Sage is the UK-headquartered enterprise software company that acquired South African market leader Softline and its Pastel Accounting system in 2003.

Among its announcements, it unveiled a major new mobile app for customers of its Sage View business intelligence dashboard in the United States. The launch represents the first in a rolling programme of innovations and partnerships announced by Sage as, it says, “it works with accountants to revolutionise the way they operate around the world”.

The Sage View mobile app enables accountants to harness mobility to serve their customers anytime, anywhere by providing access to predefined alerts and an easy-to-view recap of client key performance indicators (KPIs). This empowers accountants to deepen client relationships, regardless of their location, by providing actionable business advice based on real-time financial data. It is available now to U.S. customers of Sage View in the Google Play and the Apple App Stores.

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Sage announced the launch of the app at its global Sage Summit in New Orleans today along with two significant new technology partnerships with eFileCabinet and ICB Global. These are a few of the many installments included in the Sage roadmap of forthcoming technology innovations, driven by customer demand and rapidly cocreated with accountants. Additional launches slated for this summer include two new apps on Sage Impact, a fully customizable online hub that brings together everything accountants need to run their business.

Speaking from the Sage Summit stage, Jennifer Warawa, global vice president of product marketing for accountants at Sage, explained: “When we launched Sage Impact in May, we set out to review and rethink the changing role of accounting professionals, and we haven’t rested for a moment since.”

“We’re absolutely committed to putting customers first and helping our accountants put their customers first as well. This summer’s partnership and product announcements show that we’re constantly working with our customers to find the best products that suit their needs,” added Warawa. “We know every customer is different, and if a product doesn’t exist that best suits them, we’ll either cocreate one with them or partner with the best in the business to provide a solution. It’s that simple.”

Sage highlighted three major new innovations for accountants to watch out for:

* Sage Match will be a new app on Sage Impact that allows accountants to market their practice online, be matched with new clients and expand their business in a streamlined, easy-to-use format. Sage Match will help accountants improve their market reach and connect with new clients in a targeted way, matching them with small businesses looking for accountants with their specific skills and expertise.

* Sage Value, another new app on Sage Impact, will help accountants to combat the commoditization of their services. It includes a powerful pricing tool to support value-based billing, more productive cost discussions with clients and the ability to measure the profitability of clients to optimize practice performance and revenue.

* Sage Small Firm Payroll is a solution for accountants and bookkeepers in the United States to provide payroll services to their clients using a single, scalable platform, allowing them to grow their practices and be more efficient. Accounting professionals will be able to configure in the solution what parts of the payroll process their clients can access based on the services they provide.

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Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults

An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.

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Buy 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.

These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.

Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:

  • The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
  • The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
  • The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
  • The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
  • The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
  • The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.

The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been. 

“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured.  The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.

“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’. 

“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves.  Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).  

“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”

For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.

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Pizoelectrics: Healthcare’s new gymnasts of gadgetry

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Healthcare electronics is rapidly deploying for wellness, electroceuticals, and intrusive medical procedures, among other, powered by new technologies. Much of it is trending to diagnostics and treatment on the move, and removing the need for the patient to perform procedures on time. 

Instruments become wearables, including electronic skin patches and implants. The IDTechEx Research report, “Piezoelectric Harvesting and Sensing for Healthcare 2019-2029”, notes that sensors should preferably be self-powered, non-poisonous even on disposal, and many need to be biocompatible and even biodegradable. 

We need to detect biology, vibration, force, acceleration, stress and linear movement and do imaging. Devices must reject bacteria and be useful in wearables and Internet of Things nodes. Preferably we must move to one device performing multiple tasks. 

So is there a gymnast material category that has that awesome versatility? 

Piezoelectrics has a good claim. It measures all those parameters. That even includes biosensors where the piezo senses the swelling of a biomolecule recognizing a target analyte. The most important form of self-powered (one material, two functions) piezo sensing is ultrasound imaging, a market growing at 5.1% yearly. 

The IDTechEx Research report looks at what comes next, based on global travel and interviewing by its PhD level analysts in 2018 with continuous updates.  

Click here to read how Piezo has been reinvented.

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