FAIRFAX, VA — Visium Technologies announced the appointment of Keith Scott as its Vice President of Sales and Client Success. Mr. Scott, brings with him more than 20 years’ experience at some of the world’s leading technology and cybersecurity enterprises, and will be responsible for all global direct sales and reseller functions. Keith’s responsibilities will encompass sales team leadership, accelerating Visium’s revenue through expanding Visium’s presence in new geographies, development of new channels, and contributing to the company’s marketing and business strategies.
“I’m pleased to have Keith coming aboard and am looking forward to seeing him make an immediate impact on sales and help us achieve significant growth,” said Mark Lucky, CEO of Visium Technologies.
“Keith has led winning sales operations teams for 20 years and he brings a strong track record of building global sales teams that are focused on delivering customer value and maximizing revenue opportunities.”
Mr. Scott brings a broad range of experience to his new position including executive sales and business development roles at both startups and large enterprise organizations, including with AppDynamics, FireEye, CA Technologies, Concord Communications, Getronics and J.G. Van Dyke & Associates. Three of these companies were acquired and two had successful IPOs. Moving quickly, Mr. Scott has already started an initiative to double Visium’s North American sales team by assembling the necessary regional and inside sales infrastructure including technical, channel and additional sales resources that will play an essential role in Visium’s revenue growth.
“I’m honored to join the Visium team and help to build on the solid foundation of our context-based TruContextTM platform ensuring the best possible customer experience and enhancing the capabilities of existing cyber tools and technologies. Visium is perfectly positioned to help its clients improve business outcomes with visualizations and analytics. Exciting times!”
Source and top photo: Visium/ACCESSWIRE Photos: bdpatoday
Historic $10.7B Initiative is Aimed at Closing the Homework Gap and Connecting Students to Opportunity – for Free
BELLEVUE, WA—With the need for equitable access to the internet more crucial than ever, T-Mobile has zeroed in on a bold goal: helping every single unconnected student in the U.S. get access to the internet connectivity they need to learn. In a recent video posted last month, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert announced that the Un-carrier’s $10.7 billion Project 10Million commitment is taking a big step toward accomplishing this vision. The program is now live and available to school districts.
But T-Mobile didn’t stop there. In response to the unique learning challenges students are experiencing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Un-carrier is expanding Project 10Million by giving school districts additional plan options with more data to best meet their students’ current needs.
T-Mobile previously committed to kick off Project 10Million once its merger with Sprint was complete, and now, as the supercharged Un-carrier, it is following through on that promise and putting its combined resources and network capacity to work. Through Project 10Million, T-Mobile is addressing the persistent homework gap experienced by more than 9 million children across the country who are unable to get online to complete at-home assignments. Project 10Million offers free wireless hotspots, up to 100GB per year of free high-speed data, and access to at-cost tablets and laptops, or the equivalent value of approximately $500 annually per student household.
Additionally, as COVID-19 forces up to 50 million students out of the physical classroom and into part- or full-time remote learning, the need for connectivity and greater bandwidth has dramatically increased. What was a homework gap has turned into an even more massive schoolwork gap, when students without internet access are completely left out of learning.
To address this urgent need, the Un-carrier has expanded Project 10Million by allowing participating school districts to apply the value of the free program to one of two new plans with MORE data. Schools can choose a 100GB per month option or a fully unlimited plan. The best part is that every district gets free wireless hotspots and access to at-cost laptops and tablets, and they have the flexibility to pick the solution that works best for their district. And it’s all still free to students. Interested school districts may sign anytime with T-Mobile at www.t-mobile.com/p10m.
“Education is the great leveler, but without internet access, kids will be left behind. T-Mobile has a big goal – to deliver connectivity to every child who needs it across the U.S. Starting now with our historic Project 10Million commitment, we’re going to help open A LOT of doors to opportunity that might have previously been closed,” said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert. “This issue is even more critical as the COVID-19 pandemic has completely shifted learning for many from the classroom to online. Big issues need big solutions, and that’s exactly why we’re not just launching but significantly enhancing Project 10Million and giving flexibility to educators so they can best address the unique needs of their students with plans that offer more data. As the supercharged Un-carrier, we now have the resources and network capacity to deliver reliable connectivity to students across the U.S. — and to tackle the critical homework gap and the schoolwork gap head-on!”
As classroom learning continues to shift to online learning, the need for internet connectivity is growing. It’s a problem T-Mobile has been working on closely with schools, state governments and technology partners since the pandemic started.
The expanded reach and capacity of T-Mobile’s network plays a crucial role in the Un-carrier’s ability to make reliable connectivity truly accessible to students across the U.S. This includes those in urban centers as well as underserved areas like rural America, where 1.7 million households do not have high-speed home internet service. Future Project 10Million recipients will also benefit from T-Mobile’s expanded 5G over time with faster speeds and even broader coverage.
Project 10Million builds on T-Mobile’s — and Sprint’s — longstanding focus on education and connecting students. Prior to merging in April 2020 and before the COVID-19 pandemic, T-Mobile and Sprint had already connected nearly half a million students, and as COVID-19 started to impact schools, the combined company stepped up its efforts. Since March 2020, T-Mobile has connected over 1.6 million students in more than 3,100 school districts across the country. This includes the company’s part in New York City’s plan to connect more than 350,000 students with iPads and data when classes resume virtually. And the Un-carrier has partnered with the California Department of Education and Apple to connect up to another 1 million students as schools across the state prepare to start the next school year virtually.
“Since the start of the pandemic, T-Mobile and Sprint have worked hand-in-hand with school districts, state governments and technology partners to bring connectivity solutions to those who need it most, connecting more than 1.6 million students in less than six months,” said Mike Katz, executive vice president of T-Mobile for Business. “During the pandemic, we’ve had countless conversations with school districts and educators. We’ve consistently heard that they need more options that fit the unique needs of their students. We have expanded Project 10Million to tap into T-Mobile’s network resources and capacity, and take our support of educators and students to a whole new level. We’re going to make a HUGE difference for millions of students!”
Project 10Million is the third and final component of the Un-carrier 1.0 5G for Good commitments that the company announced before its merger with Sprint was approved. Since the completion of the merger, the company has now launched all three commitments, which also include Connecting Heroes and T-Mobile Connect.
ARLINGTON, VA — The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® today announced CES 2021® — January 6-9, 2021 — will be an all-digital experience connecting exhibitors, customers, thought leaders and media from around the world. The new format will allow participants to hear from technology innovators, see cutting-edge technologies and the latest product launches, and engage with global brands and startups from around the world.
“Amid the pandemic and growing global health concerns about the spread of COVID-19, it’s just not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021 to meet and do business in person,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Technology helps us all work, learn and connect during the pandemic — and that innovation will also help us reimagine CES 2021 and bring together the tech community in a meaningful way. By shifting to an all-digital platform for 2021, we can deliver a unique experience that helps our exhibitors connect with existing and new audiences.”
CES 2021 will be a new immersive experience, where attendees will have a front row seat to discover and see the latest technology. This highly personalized experience will bring a global event to the comfort and safety of your home or office.
For over 50 years, CES has been the global stage for innovation. CTA’s goal for CES 2021 is to provide an engaging platform for companies large and small to launch products, build brands and form partnerships, while prioritizing health and safety. Members of the tech community thrive by coming together, sharing ideas and introducing products that will shape our future.
Mark your calendars for the first week in January and be on the lookout for more exciting news about CES 2021. CES plans to return to Las Vegas for CES 2022, combining the best elements of a physical and digital show.
ARLINGTON, VA — Building upon 2019’s inaugural year, this year’s convening of Blacks in Cybersecurity (BIC) Winter Summit 2020 at Marymount University provided an excellent venue with workshops for very diverse audiences and small business owners exploring DevSecOps, information security, and new cybersecurity challenges.
BIC understands these programs are vital for emerging information and communications technology (ICT) industries to promote and support broader engagements across underserved and under-represented communities. This year’s highlights included distinguished professionals from industry and academia complimenting BIC’s Blue Team and Capture The Flag (CTF) workshops (shown below).
Blacks In Cybersecurity, is a Cybersecurity Conference Series all encompassing professional networking and development for minorities in cybersecurity fields. BIC promotes the advancement, knowledge, and cybersecurity education across STEM communities.
According to their leadership team, Blacks In Cybersecurity is attending or participating in Black Hat USA, DEF CON 28, BDPACon20, and hosting their BIC Fall Summit 2020 later this year.
LAS VEGAS, NV — Commerce, our cultural and geopolitical interchange of relationships, solutions, and services, soon will embrace fifth generation (5G) wireless technologies. With 5G, data, processing, storage, and new sensory techniqueswill leverage information technology (IT) across new frameworks and unprecedented infrastructures..
Now in its 45th year, National BDPA (BDPA), its members, and its mission-partners remain keenly interested in providing innovative solutions with new services, while supporting viable workforce pipelines for the following projected growth areas:
Robotics and Machine Intelligence
5G, Ai, and the Internet (or “Intelligence”) of Things (IoT)
Edge Computing and Quantum Computing
Gamification and Immersive Infotainment
Infrastructure and SMART City Initiatives
Tech-Inclusion and Cyber Workforce Development
This year during CES® – the world’s largest and most influential tech event – entrepreneurs, software engineers, startups, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) met during CES 2020 to discuss emerging requirements or demonstrate their latest products and services. Within tech’s multi-trillion dollar ecosystem, IT continues to transcend every vertical market from agriculture to transportation while providing faster interactions with the greatest consumer engagements and user experience (UX.) BDPA Members and mission-partners are the professionals that help make “IT” happen.
Meet Rodney Williams
In 2012, Rodney Williams co-founded LISNR® with Chris Ostoich and Josh Glick around the core premise that sound can do more. The single insight that sound can be leveraged as a conduit for wide-scale connections everywhere. More specifically, using sound to connect more people and devices in ways that had never existed before.
Since arriving at that insight, LISNR has grown into the world’s most advanced ultrasonic technology. To fill the need, LISNR developed the idea of a software solution for encoding data into inaudible tones. LISNR is ultrasonic inaudible technology; a communication protocol that sends data over audio. They use ultrasonic audio called Smart Tones™ to transmit information and has grown their list of partners, clients and investors to include some of the best in the world.
Mr. Williams earned his BBA in Finance from West Virginia University and his MBA from Howard University. He is a Techstars Mentor and Member of National BDPA’s Cincinnati Chapter. BDPA Members with Python, Java, or Objective-C experiences may review LISNR’s current openings for Implementation Engineers, by visiting LISNR.com.
BDPA and bdpatoday received invitations from LISNR’s team to join them during CES 2020 at a reception hosted by the GENIVI Alliance. The alliance develops standard approaches for integrating operating systems and middleware present in the centralized and connected vehicle cockpit. The alliance also links adopters of Android™ Automotive, AUTOSAR, Linux, and other in-vehicle software with solution suppliers resulting in a productive and collaborative community of over 100 corporate members worldwide.
Meet Brenna Brown
At Igalia, Ms. Brown works in the most exciting areas in open source software, including Browsers, Graphics and Multimedia. Igalia applies their knowledge to a wide variety of platforms and technologies in the consumer electronics market and can provide our companies and agencies with innovative user-interface (UI) solutions for Smart TVs, set-top boxes, tablets, mobile phones, in-vehicle infotainment, and smart-home automation.
Ms. Brown earned her BSEE from Howard University and an MBA from Pepperdine University. Igalia is hiring, BDPA Members and BDPA Student Members are asked to reach out to Ms. Brown for entry-level or internship opportunities. She wants to hear from BDPA’s Jr. Devs, High School Computer Competition (HSCC) alumni, and professionals who understand Linux and OpenGL with WebKit or WebRTC on their latest resume.
Mr. Lane is an Accessibility Consultant working with game developers and consumer technology companies help meet the needs ofthe disabled user. Mr. Lane also is a Bureau Chief and Multimedia Host in the Greater Los Angeles area covering tech, gaming and entertainment for ABC News Radio, KMET 1490 AM. Being a person with a disability, he uses his personal experiences to try to make sure he speaks to everyone with topics that he covers.
Each year during CES, Mr. Lane looks forward to his live broadcasts. At CES 2020 this week, he was able to join his pal Dr. Stephen Ewell (photo) from the Consumer Technology Association Foundation to discuss their amazing initiatives and accomplishments.
Above (L-R) ABC News Radio, KMET 1490 AM, Bureau Chief Paul Amadeus Lane with CTA Foundation’s Dr. Stephen Ewell in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall media center during CES 2020.
Meet Dr. Karl Reid
Dr. Karl Reid is the Executive Director of our National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), one of the world’s largest student-governed engineering organizations. He also is the author of “Working Smarter, Not Just Harder: Three Sensible Strategies for Succeeding in College…and Life.” Prior to joining NSBE, Dr. Reid was Senior Vice President of Research, Innovation and Member College Engagement at UNCF where he developed and implemented educational, research and capacity-building programs for UNCF’s 37 member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Dr. Reid arrived at UNCF from MIT after serving as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education, Assistant to the Chancellor for Diversity and Director of the Office of Minority Education.
Dr. Reid attended several workshops with Industry leaders and BDPA Mission Partners from around the world during CES 2020. BDPA Student Members interested in supporting NSBE Jr. activities or joining a NSBE Chapter are invited to visit NSBE.org. BDPA, NSBE, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) will continue to support the establishment of new BDPA Chapters collocated with HBCU/MIs and Community Colleges.
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® convenes companies of every size and specialty in the technology industry to move us all forward. Located outside of Washington, D.C. in Arlington, VA, CTA is the trade association representing the $398 billion U.S. consumer technology industry, which supports more than 15 million U.S. jobs.
Powered by CTA, CES formally known as the Consumer Electronics Show, is the world’s gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. BDPA Chapters, BDPA Members, and BDPA Student Members attending next year’s “trade mission” to CES 2021 may contact National BDPA or National BDPA’s Washington, D.C. Chapter to arrange meet-ups or attend special Industry Partner events.
BDPA is a community oriented tech and media “trade” association. Join, renew, or launch a new BDPA Chapter on campus today by visiting BDPA.org and bdpatoday.com.
— Sources and photos: ABC News Radio/KMET, BDPA, CTA, Igalia, LISNR, and NSBE
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Cisco today unveiled further details behind its technology strategy for building a new internet — one designed to push digital innovation beyond the performance, economic and power consumption limitations of current infrastructure. A multi-year approach that is defining the Internet for decades to come, Cisco’s strategy is already delivering technology breakthroughs to pave the way for the world’s developers to create applications and services they have only begun to imagine.
Cisco introduced its latest innovation including Cisco Silicon OneTM, the industry’s only networking silicon architecture of its kind; released the new Cisco 8000 Series, the world’s most powerful carrier class routers built on the new silicon; and announced new purchasing options that enable customers to consume the company’s technology through disaggregated business models.
“Innovation requires focused investment, the right team and a culture that values imagination,” said Chuck Robbins, chairman and CEO of Cisco. “We are dedicated to transforming the industry to build a new internet for the 5G era. Our latest solutions in silicon, optics and software represent the continued innovation we’re driving that helps our customers stay ahead of the curve and create new, ground-breaking experiences for their customers and end users for decades to come.”
Building Blocks for the Internet for the Future
Over the next decade, digital experiences will be created with advanced technologies — virtual and augmented reality, 16K streaming, AI, 5G, 10G, quantum computing, adaptive and predictive cybersecurity, intelligent IOT, and others not yet invented. These future generations of applications will drive complexity beyond the capabilities current internet infrastructure can viably support.
For the past five years, Cisco has driven a technology strategy that is building the internet our customers will need for the future success of their business in an advanced digital world. Aimed at solving the toughest problems that will emerge as digital transformation taxes current infrastructure to its breaking point, this strategy will lead to the next-generation of internet infrastructure that combines Cisco’s new silicon architecture with its next-generation of optics. Cisco’s strategy will change the economics behind how the internet will be built to support the demands of future, digital applications and will enable customers to operate their businesses with simpler, more cost-effective networks.
Cisco’s strategy is based on development and investments in three key technology areas: silicon, optics and software.
“Pushing the boundaries of innovation to the next level — far beyond what we experience today — is critical for the future and we believe silicon, optics and software are the technology levers that will deliver this outcome,” said David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager of the Networking and Security Business at Cisco. “Cisco’s technology strategy is not about the next-generation of a single product area. We have spent the past several years investing in whole categories of independent technologies that we believe will converge in the future — and ultimately will allow us to solve the hardest problems on the verge of eroding the advancement of digital innovation. This strategy is delivering the most ambitious development project the company has ever achieved.”
Introducing Cisco Silicon One – Breakthrough Unified, Programmable Silicon Architecture
The new Cisco Silicon One will be the foundation of Cisco’s routing portfolio going forward, with expected near-term performance availability up to 25 Terabits per second (Tbps). This is the industry’s first networking chip designed to be universally adaptable across service provider and web-scale markets. Designed for both fixed and modular platforms, it can manage the most challenging requirements in a way that’s never been done before. The first Cisco Silicon One ‘Q100’ model surpasses the 10 Tbps routing milestone for network bandwidth without sacrificing programmability, buffering, power efficiency, scale or feature flexibility.
Traditionally, multiple types of silicon with different capabilities are used across a network and even within a single device. Developing new features and testing can be lengthy and expensive. Unified and programmable silicon will allow for network operators to greatly reduce costs of operations and reduce time-to-value for new services.
“We look forward to working with Cisco as it enters the high-end routing silicon space, collaborating to help meet the next generation of network demands for higher speeds and greater capacity,” said Amin Vahdat, fellow and vice president of Systems Infrastructure, Google Cloud.
“Facebook has been a strong advocate for network disaggregation and open ecosystems, launching key industry initiatives such as the Open Compute Project and the Telecom Infrastructure Project to transform the networking industry,” said Najam Ahmad, vice president, Network Engineering at Facebook. “Cisco’s new Silicon One architecture is aligned with this vision, and we believe this model offers network operators diverse and flexible options through a disaggregated approach.”
“Cisco is changing the economics of powering the Internet, innovating across hardware, software, optics and silicon to help its customers better manage the operational costs to function on a larger scale for the next phase of the Internet,” said Ray Mota, CEO and principal analyst at ACG Research. “As we move to 2020, the timing of delivering operational efficiency will be vital.”
Introducing: Cisco 8000 Series Platform Powered by Cisco Silicon One– Industry Leading Performance
The new Cisco 8000 series is the first platform built with Cisco Silicon One Q100. It is engineered to help service providers and web-scale companies reduce the costs of building and operating mass-scale networks for the 5G, AI and IOT era. Standout features include:
Optimized for 400 Gbps and beyond, starting at 10.8 Tbps in just a single rack unit
Powered by the new, cloud-enhanced Cisco IOS XR7 networking operating system software, designed to simplify operations and lower operational costs
Offers enhanced cybersecurity with integrated trust technology for real-time insights into the trustworthiness of your critical infrastructure
Service providers gain more bandwidth scale and programmability to deliver Tbps in even the most power and space constrained network locations
Global Customer Deployments and Trials
Cisco is working with a group of pioneering customers on deployments and trials of the Cisco 8000 Series. STC, the leading telecom services provider in the Middle East, Northern Africa region, marks the first customer deploying the new technology. Ongoing trials include Comcast and NTT Communications among others.
Optics for 400G and Beyond
Building a new internet that can support future digital innovation will depend on continued breakthroughs in silicon and optics technologies. Cisco is unique in the industry with advanced intellectual property in both areas.
As port rates increase from 100G to 400G and beyond, optics become an increasingly larger portion of the cost to build and operate internet infrastructure. Cisco is investing organically to assure our customers that as router and switch port rates continue to increase, optics will be designed to meet the industry’s stringent reliability and quality standards.
Through the company’s qualification program, Cisco will test its optics to comply with industry standards and operate in Cisco – and non-Cisco hosts. With this program, customers can utilize Cisco optics in applications where non-Cisco hosts have been deployed and have confidence that the optics will meet the reliability and quality standards that they have come to expect from Cisco.
In addition, as silicon and silicon photonics advance, functions that were traditionally delivered in separate chassis-based solutions will soon be available in pluggable form factors. This transition has significant potential benefits for network operators in terms of operational simplicity. Cisco is investing in silicon photonics technologies to effect architectural transitions in datacenter networks and service provider networks that will drive down cost, reduce power and space, and simplify network operations.
Changing the Economics of the Internet with Flexible Business Models
Cisco also announced plansto offer flexible consumption models first established with Cisco’s Optics portfolio, followed by the disaggregation of the Cisco IOS XR7 software, and now including Cisco Silicon One. This new model is highly adaptable and offers customers choice of components, white box, or integrated systems to build their networks. This approach matches the evolving nature of operators selecting discrete or aggregated technology elements for their buildout and creates new economics of the Internet to provide significant business value.
WASHINGTON — The North American Electric Reliability (NERC) hosted GridEx V this week. The annual Grid Security Exercise (GridEx) is an opportunity for utilities to demonstrate how they would respond to and recover from simulated coordinated cyber and physical security threats and incidents, strengthen their crisis communications relationships, and provide input for lessons learned. This exercise is conducted every two years.
According to NERC, over 6,500 participants representing more than 425 government and energy sector organizations in the United States, Canada and Mexico took part in the two-day exercise.
GridEx V was designed for distributed play, coordinated locally by a designated asset owner and operator lead planner. An executive tabletop exercise (TTX) occurred concurrently with senior industry and government leaders. Due to the sensitive nature of scenario discussions, this exercise program was not open to the general public nor the media.
These geographically-distributed exercises are designed to execute the electricity industry’s crisis response to simulated coordinated cyber and physical security threats and incidents, to strengthen utilities’ crisis response functions, and to provide input for lessons learned.
— Sources: NERC and Security Week
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Exhibitors. Panelists. Speakers. Sponsors. Mission Partners. To engage, email: email@example.com
HUNTSVILLE, AL — National BDPA’s Huntsville Chapter was given the opportunity to train students about STEM at Mae Jemison High School. BDPA Members Bernard Nealy, Brandon Fields, Pat King and Jason Bradshaw were the instructors for this training session.
The training session included high school seniors from Mae Jemison, one high school senior and two elementary students from Birmingham who were guests of the instructors. During the session the students had the opportunity experience electrical engineering by connecting a Raspberry Pi microcomputer to a CAMJam Kit breadboard by wiring the two devices together. While also installing resistors, and red, green, & yellow lights to the breadboard.
Once the students completed wiring the two devices together they connected the Raspberry Pi to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. After it was safely connected the students then were able to connect power to the Pi and proceed to use Python programming to complete the project. Once they completed the code which dictates how the Pi provides power to the breadboard, to each light, and when to halt from sending electrical current, then their results would either be red, yellow, or the green lights to power on.
Participating students really enjoyed the training and asked when the next training sessions would be held. These students are our inspiration to do what we do.
LAS VEGAS, NV — We have taken the fast lanes into the future at CES Smart Cities. Check out this show floor video from CESTV to discover more about some of the consumer technology innovations across emerging career and infrastructure areas of opportunity.
This year’s brand new Smart Cities Marketplace delivered multiple conference sessions that featured policymakers, city officials, industry innovators and more. Additionally, CES 2018 saw several hundred government leaders attend the show including one cabinet official, 10 members of congress and six international ministers.
“CES 2018 will be remembered as the year where the wattage of innovation was so huge that it caused a blackout!” said Bridget Karlin, IBM’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Vice President. “CES 2018 once again demonstrated that this is the world’s premiere showcase for technology innovation with unparalleled diversity from international public officials to industry leaders to entrepreneurs.”
— Sources and cover photo credit: CTA, CESTV, and CES2018
BENTONVILLE, AR — Shopping for groceries can be a hassle for my busy family. We need to make the time to go to the store, make sure we find everything on our list (and a few things that likely weren’t), lug them home and then put them away. Sometimes this can be a fun trip, but more often, we’re either pressed for time or, worst of all, can’t make the trip, leaving us with an empty fridge that has us munching on unhealthy snacks, instead of our typical fresh fruit, vegetables and yogurt.
So we asked the question: what if Walmart could help busy families like mine ensure my fridge was always well-stocked? What if we created a service that not only did my grocery shopping and brought everything to my home, but even went so far as to put it directly into my fridge? And, what if it was even more convenient because this “in-fridge delivery” happened while I was at work or off doing other things?
In setting out to solve this challenge, we’re excited to be testing new delivery ideas with companies like August Home. As one of the leading providers of smart locks and smart home accessories, they’re a great partner to test these new concepts, like delivering packages inside customers’ homes and putting groceries away in their refrigerators.
Here’s how the test will work: I place an order on Walmart.com for several items, even groceries. When my order is ready, a Deliv driver will retrieve my items and bring them to my home. If no one answers the doorbell, he or she will have a one-time passcode that I’ve pre-authorized which will open my home’s smart lock. As the homeowner, I’m in control of the experience the entire time – the moment the Deliv driver rings my doorbell, I receive a smartphone notification that the delivery is occurring and, if I choose, I can watch the delivery take place in real-time. The Deliv associate will drop off my packages in my foyer and then carry my groceries to the kitchen, unload them in my fridge and leave. I’m watching the entire process from start to finish from my home security cameras through the August app. As I watch the Deliv associate exit my front door, I even receive confirmation that my door has automatically been locked.
When I enter my house later that day, it’s like magic– the items I purchased from Walmart.com are waiting for me, and my groceries are nice and cool in the fridge, as if they never left their display in the store. And the best part is that I didn’t even have to unpack anything. Think about that – someone else does the shopping for you AND puts it all away. Clearly this adds more convenience to the day-to-day, but it makes the unexpected easier, too. Imagine planning a last-minute get-together and having everything you need to entertain already waiting for you inside your fridge. Or maybe you think during lunch at work that you’d like to surprise your spouse by making dinner, but don’t have time to run to the store. In the future, you could order on Walmart.com and start cooking minutes after you walk through the door.
We’re excited to be running this test in Silicon Valley with a small group of August Home customers, all of whom have opted-in to participate in testing this new concept. And we want to do more in the future by delivering groceries and other orders in whatever location works best for our customers – inside the house for some and in the fridge/freezer in the garage for others. The possibilities are endless, and we look forward to exploring how we can further serve our customers’ needs.
These tests are a natural evolution of what Walmart is all about – an obsession in saving our customers not just money but also time, making our customers’ lives easier in the process. What might seem novel today could be the standard tomorrow. This may not be for everyone – and certainly not right away – but we want to offer customers the opportunity to participate in tests today and help us shape what commerce will look like in the future.
Sloan Eddleston is Vice President, Walmart eCommerce Strategy & Business Operations