What to Expect at IdeaFestival 2017

ideafestival 2017Technology conferences occur all over the world every year from Mobile World Congress – the largest mobile industry gathering in the world – in Barcelona, Spain to Amazon re:Invent – a conference hosted by Amazon that educates the global cloud computing community. With so many technology conferences, it is easy for someone in tech to find a conference that piques their interests. IdeaFestival 2017, located in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, is the next technology conference on the calendar.

The technology conference/festival pitches itself as “a celebration of the curious, with the goal of inspiring all people to embrace the excitement and danger of new ideas” and promotes thinking in different and innovative ways.  IdeaFestival will run from Tuesday, September 26th thru September 28th, 2017 starting with a full day event on the 26th – Thrivals 10.0. This year’s conference is hosting plenty of events and attendees will see a plethora of presenters. Read in detail what to expect at IdeaFestival in Louisville, KY this year and how to get involved.

4 Things to Expect at IdeaFestival 2017

1. Opportunity to Expand Your Festival Experience

IdeaFestival itself is a two-day festival that runs the 27th and the 28th of September; however, there is an opportunity to add another day onto your festival experience with Thrivals 10.0. For an extra $49 become a part of the full-day conference on “finding your algorithm for the future”. This fall, the conversation is focused on living in a digital age that is constantly changing. It will also cover the combination of GRIt, humanity, and artificial intelligence. Thrivals 10.0 will feature 10 presenters including Janelle Monae – an American musician and one of the leading ladies in “Hidden Figures”.

2. A Packed, Fun-Filled Day-to-Day Schedule

IdeaFestival released the day-to-day agenda for the 2017 conference and each day is full of presentations and classes. The two-day festival starts at 8:00 a.m. each day and includes different presentations as well as several 10-minute classes. Class topics have not be announced yet, but you can stay tuned on the Agenda portion of the IdeaFestival website.

The first day of the festival, after Thrivals 10.0, kicks off at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. depending on your festival access. If you have a festival pass, you’re invited to join sponsors and presenters for Taste: The Culinary Artists of the Region – a networking experience with food sponsored by Copper & Kings. The Thursday of the festival runs from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with no additional presentations available afterwards.

3. Inspirational Speakers and Presenters

On top of the 10 presenters that will be at Thrivals 10.0, there will also be 25 presenters at IdeaFestival. 2017 presenters include: Ann Carlson – a performance artist and performance curator; Hannah Drake – lead artist for Louisville’s local Project HEAL; Tom Eblen – a Western Kentucky University alumni and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader; Peter Gray – an American psychologist and research professor at Boston College; John King – CNN’s chief national correspondent and anchor of Inside Politics; and more.

4. Coverage Over a Variety of Topics

The presentations at IdeaFestival 2017 cover a wide variety of topics and, as a result, guarantee something for everyone. The first day of the festival opens with a presentation by Joe Geoghegan titled “Field Notes: The Untapped Power of Diversity in a Fractured World”.  His presentation will cover his experience traveling to over a dozen countries using only his wits and he’ll be sharing his notes on and impressions of his travels while taking a break from his adventuring. Throughout the first day, festival-goers will be able to listen to presentations on the future of our economy, the prevalence of cyberpunk, the relationship between humans and the planet, the science behind whiskey, and much more.

The second day of IdeaFestival will get kicked off with a presentation by Emily Dreyfuss – senior writer at Wired – during which she will discuss some of the biggest pieces of technology emerging and disrupting business, design, science, and culture. Festival attendees can participate in presentation on polarization, the art of food as medicine, and the mind and music of Chopin before IdeaFestival concludes.

IdeaFestival is going to be an informative and inspirational technology conference this year as it has in the past.

Be sure to buy a ticket to the two or three-day event depending on your interest in Thrivals 10.0! The festival will be held at the Kentucky Center  at 501 W. Main Street, Louisville, Kentucky. IdeaFestival is an opportunity to collaborate with others interested in technology and get inspired to think outside the box.

At Number 8, we embrace innovation and, furthermore, we pride ourselves on exercising formative thinking in every endeavor we chase. IdeaFestival 2017 has the same values, so we encourage any and everyone to attend the 2017 technology conference if possible. Interested in learning more about Number 8 and how we employ innovative technologies and schools of thought while living our day-to-day lives? Contact us today. Call us at 502-890-7665 today or visit us online.


Working Remotely: Five Tips to Make it Easier

Home Office for Working RemotelyAccording to a recent study conducted by Gallup, more employees are working remotely now than ever before. Out of 15,000 adults surveyed, over 40% said they spent time working from home. We also published a blog post last month that details the various changes occurring in our current work force. The traditional work-week schedule is adapting to better suit employees’ lifestyles.

To help usher in this new style of employment, we have gathered nine tips that we believe can aid in adapting to working remotely.

Find the right job

First, and maybe most importantly, you should be at a company that understands and supports employees who work remotely. If you are already in a position and you’d like to transition into working out of the office, strike up a conversation with your superiors as soon as possible. If they won’t budge, then perhaps it’s a sign you should begin looking elsewhere.

Establish and maintain a private work area

Having your own space to work is extremely helpful when it comes to productivity and focus. You should have an area that is solely dedicated to work, with an actual desk and no distractions. If possible, a home office is ideal when it comes to working remotely.

Connect with your team

Physical distance should not inhibit your relationship with coworkers, or your managers. It is vital to maintain constant communication from all sides to ensure you are staying on track, and that your fellow employees are all up to speed with your projects.

Work around your energy, not the clock

One of the major benefits of working remotely is that you don’t have to follow the typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. timeline. While you shouldn’t use this as an excuse to sleep the morning away, it can be incredibly useful for when you’re feeling particularly motivated. Our most creative moments don’t necessarily come within that 8-hour window, so take advantage of the flexibility.

Dress for success

You wouldn’t wear pajamas into the office, so don’t do it when working remotely either. It is certainly tempting, however maintaining a well kept appearance even when working from home will make you feel more successful and productive. Suit and tie not required, but stay away from the sweatpants at least.  

Because our employees are located both in Louisville, KY and Costa Rica, many of them work on Number8 projects remotely. We support this method of work, because we know our employees are able to produce the highest quality products no matter where they are. If you’re interested in learning more about us and what we do, visit our information page here. And if you’re looking for IT services, or software development assistance, give us a call today at (502) 890-7665!

Current Tech Trends to Know About Outsourcing

The tech industry is always evolving. It is vital to constantly keep up with emerging trends in order to stay relevant. Outsourcing as a widespread tech resource has had its challenges, but is becoming more and more accepted. Below we have sourced some recent commentary on tech trends that are currently and will continue to affect outsourcing.

Read on for information from current heads in the tech industry and their thoughts on recent tech trends.

Anirban Dutta, director of Global Strategic Business Development at CSC

Anirban Dutta told Ann All of IT Business Edge that because of cloud technology, Current Tech Trends in Outsourcingservice providers will be focusing on pricing directly based on outcomes instead of using FTEs (full-time equivalents). Dutta says that customers are more invested in fully managed services that are using outcome-based service level agreements (SLAs).

Keshav R. Murugesh, group chief executive of outsourcing WNS Global Services

In a recent article appearing on Raconteur, Keshav Murugesh said, “gone are the days when outsourcing or the acronym BPO was synonymous with cost-cutting or labor arbitrage.” Murugesh believes instead that business process outsourcing is now business process management. Outsourcing is thought of less as a business transaction, and more as a cohesive system of employees. “…it is about partnering to drive better business outcomes leveraging the domain expertise of the partner, high-end technology and analytics. It is about partnering to ride disruptive business trends, which is a complete change from the humble beginnings of outsourcing for cost efficiency alone. Thus, the change in terminology as well – it is business process management now: managing processes efficiently and smartly to drive sustainable and profitable business growth.”

Raj Samani, chief technology officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Intel Security

Cyber security has always been a high-level concern in the tech industry. Even with so many security advancements, there will always be risks. Samani believes that cyber security will continue to be a priority for many companies which could lead to outsourcing opportunities. “With many companies unable to fill key cyber-security roles, we will see an increase in businesses outsourcing security. Our research found that the most desirable skills are intrusion detection, secure software development and attack mitigation.”

Rebecca Eisner, partner in the Chicago office of law firm Mayer Brown

In a CIO article, Rebecca Eisner explains that integration continues to be a problem as technology advances. “Customers adopting an ever larger number of emerging digital technologies will face an ever-larger integration challenge. Many of the most powerful cloud technologies will require integration efforts comparable to those required to install ERP systems.” To succeed, many companies must look to outsourcing for service integration, incident management, and change management.

At Number8 we strive to stay active and up to date tech trends around the world. We’ve always known the advantages of outsourcing, and hope to continue promoting a dialogue about how beneficial it is. If you’re looking to learn more about outsourcing, or what we do, give us a call today at (502) 893-7665!

What is a “Gazelle” Company?

 Gazelle companyLikening companies to animals is not uncommon. Big businesses, like Wal-Mart, are often referred to as “elephants,” whereas small businesses are called “mice.” The “gazelle” company is less associated with a company’s physical size, and rather its capacity for rapid growth. Author David Birch first coined the term in his 1987 book: Job Creation in America: How Our Smallest Companies Put the Most People to Work. He defined a gazelle company as one that doubles its sales every four years. This growth rate is immense, but it is not limited to companies that are sizable themselves. Anyone can earn the title of a gazelle company.

A percentage of companies that gain the gazelle title are involved in retail sale, but a large number of the titleholders are tech-focused. For example, four out of the top twenty fastest growing companies in 2016 were all tech-based. Facebook, Ambarella, Skyworks, and Super Micro Computer were among the top-rated.

Gazelle companies are also known for their ability to generate new job opportunities. David Birch estimated that the gazelles, approximately 4% of U.S. companies, were responsible for 70% of all new jobs. In 2008, the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Public Policy at George Mason University, found that only 2% of the companies were high-impact firms. Big companies were raising unemployment rates, and doing nothing to create jobs.  

Number8 and the Gazelle Company Theory

At Number8, we work to adopt the mindset of a gazelle company. Our employees are the best in the business. We ensure that all of our software developers are highly-skilled, and trained thoroughly. By employing people not just at our home base in Louisville, Kentucky, but also in Costa Rica, we are able to take advantage of the talent available all over the world. We also strive to create a community environment among our employees. This helps to develop a strong, and productive workplace, which in turn allows for creativity and top-notch products.

We are ranked as one of the fastest growing companies by Greater Louisville Inc. and since then we have ranked on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing privately held companies in the U.S. We are recognized as a leader in IT consulting, technical staffing solutions, and agile software development outsourcing.

One of the greatest values we bring to our customers is that our nearshore location enables us to augment scrum teams without the added burden of increased specifications, communication difficulties and rework. Our most successful clients integrate our agile software developers into their onsite teams. This helps to better leverage their subject experts and increase team velocity.

To learn more about Number8 and the services we provide, visit our page here. You can also give us a call at (502) 890-7665 today!


5 Tech Insights from 2017 Mobile World Congress

tech insightsIf you’re familiar with the world of technology then chances are you’ve heard of Mobile World Congress. Every year, the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) gathers operators, companies, and innovators to represent mobile operations across the world. This year, the 2017 Mobile World Congress was in Barcelona, Spain. The Congress focused on “how mobile is the force behind every emerging innovation” with the theme of “The Next Element”. Representatives from over 200 countries attended and well over 2,000 companies participated in the exhibition. These companies brought their best tech insights with them. In this blog, we’ve covered 5 impressive tech insights that came out of the 2017 Mobile World Congress; however keep in mind that there were hundreds more that also deserve recognition.

5 Tech Insights from 2017 Mobile World Congress

1. Apptimize

Apptimize is a company that’s doing exactly what their name says they are – optimizing applications. This approach assists apps on both Android and iOS in a rapid fashion to make sure that each user is having the best experience possible. The team at Apptimize achieves this through a/b testing, feature flagging, and instant updating. The overall goal of Apptimize is to give companies the option to not be prevented from improving their mobile applications by customer’s data plans or approvals through third-party providers. Apptimize has the ability to improve application usability for major companies and small business alike. In a world getting busier and busier while data becomes more and more limited, that’s a big deal!

2. Teamleader

Teamleader is another innovation that is focusing on small and medium enterprises along with big businesses, but in a completely different way than Apptimize. The platform is an overall small business management solution and includes: an online CRM, meeting calendar, automatic invoicing solutions, the ability to plan and time track project, plus much more. They also offer a mobile app that gives business owners access to everything that is available on the desktop version. In the world we live in, the all-in-one solution Teamleader offers is exactly what the world of technology-based business needs.

3. Airobotics

Drones have become a popular topic of conversation at technology conventions around the globe recently. Airobotics is offering a solution to the needs of this complex industry by offering industrial drones with full automation.  Through Airobotics, drones could be pilotless with the capability to self-deploy and land themselves. Airobotics makes their drones out of industrial grade material for excessive durability. The ability to schedule the drone’s operations and the 1 cm accuracy that Airobotics is advertising makes this feat impressive. Currently Airobotics is pitching their solutions to specific industries including: mining, seaports, oil & gas companies, as well as industrial facilities. Through automation, certain tasks in these fields could become much safer and more streamlined which leaves people to work on growing the industries instead of running them.

4. Amplitude

The mission at Amplitude is to “enable everyone to improve their business using data”. Founded in 2012, Amplitude came to exist because another application the inventors were working on didn’t give enough analytics for them to find exactly what they were looking for in regards to data. With Amplitude, businesses are able to analyze certain metrics and target problem areas, plus much more including focusing on user behavior to see what drives people towards business and how to keep them coming back. Amplitude offers a data-rich user-retention plan in one package. On top of that insight, Amplitude offers a unique sharing platform, so an entire team can stay on top of insights in one location that supports integrated communication. There are many other benefits that come with Amplitude and it’s available to try for free on their website.

5. pureLiFi

Can you imagine a world where data is transmitted through light instead of routers? The innovators at pureLiFi are working on making that concept a reality that will be available to the public. LiFi comes from two words: Light and Fidelity and is networked, bidirectional wireless communication using the light spectrum to provide users with connectivity. The LiFi team wants to bring network accessibility into offices, homes, cars, streets, and public spaces through lighting fixtures instead of traditional radio frequencies. Opening up the availability of Internet access and making the connection stronger through multiple access points is the kind of innovation that will only further the world’s technological uses. At pureLiFi, they are hoping to do just that by offering a multitude of more pathways over which data can travel.

The theme of “The Next Element” at this year’s Mobile World Congress brought some impressive tech insights onto the scene. The five that we’ve highlighted give the technological world different planes on which to grow. Each of these tech insights will benefit businesses, companies, industries, and the public also. Follow this link to see a full list of the products and approaches discussed at the ‘17 Mobile World Congress.

We get excited about new technological advancements at Number8. Our Scrum approach to software development is a newer concept, too and the approach benefits our productivity and turnaround time. Some of the insights mentioned in our blog could help your business or company’s productivity. So could hiring an offshore development team to take care of your software needs behind the scenes. Interested in learning more about Number8 and what we can do to help your company? Contact us today by clicking here or calling 502-890-7665.