Australian Public Service Commission’s new social media guidelines go too far

Ulrich Ruegg Ellis was a pioneering member of the Canberra Press Gallery and a government stirrer who stretched the limits of public servants’ freedom to criticise ministers and their government.

His case came to mind as I considered the latest Australian Public Service Commission guide “Making Public Comment on Social Media”.

In April 1945 Ellis, who by then was working as deputy-director of public relations in the Department of Post-war Reconstruction, wrote an acerbic letter to the Canberra Times.

It began: “Sir,—When a Minister of the Crown issues decisions with the carefree abandon of a child of three and laughs with contempt in the face of the common principles of administrative justice, it is time not only to protest but to remove him from an office which he is no longer fit to hold.”

He concluded: “As the Minister has proved himself unfit to administer his Department, the time has come for the establishment of a publicly conducted Housing Priority Committee so that the work of allocating houses can be carried out in the broad light of day.”

He signed it Ulrich Ellis, Hotel Kingston, Canberra.

Given his unusual name there was no hiding his government employment.

Housing was extremely scarce in Canberra at the time and Ellis explained that upon his transfer to the ACT in the previous year he had sought to exchange his Melbourne home with a person who had been transferred from Canberra to Melbourne.

[Source”cnbc”]

Apple extends first-generation Apple Watch service policy

Apple has reportedly extended the service policy on first-generation Apple Watches for three extra years from the original purchase date. Apple technicians will now repair your Apple Watch for free if the device’s back cover separates from the watch body, according to MacRumors. The issue has been publicized on various forums, like Reddit, although apparently Apple is keeping this service policy extension pretty quiet and only told technicians about it through an internal memo. The service policy change affects any model of the first-generation watch, including the Sport and Hermès versions.

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The company already extended the watch’s service policy for a separate issue: swollen and expanded batteries that caused the display to protrude. Again, Apple kept the extension secret and only publicized it through a memo. Basically, if your Apple

[Source”pcworld”]

Look Out Spotify, Apple Music: Tesla Considering To Launch Its Own Music Streaming Service

Spotify and Apple Music may soon find a new challenger in the music streaming service industry from an unlikely source: electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla.

According to reports, Tesla has been speaking with the music industry on the possibility of creating its own music streaming service that will be bundled with its electric vehicles.

Tesla To Enter Music Streaming Scene?

Sources in the music industry claim that Tesla has spoken with all the major music labels on licensing a music streaming service. The service will be bundled with the company’s vehicles, such as the electric sedan Model S, the electric SUV Model X, and the upcoming mass-market electric sedan Model 3.

The full scope of Tesla’s ambitions was not made clear, but sources believe that the company is looking to offer multiple tiers for the planned music streaming service. The tiers will start with a web radio service, such as the one offered by Pandora, which will be enabled by the internet connectivity already present in Tesla’s electric vehicles through their dashboards.

The whole plan is seemingly not yet fully formed, but Tesla is already doing its due diligence by asking about acquiring the rights to stream albums and songs from the top artists from all over the world.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk actually hinted that the company was exploring music products at the latest shareholder meeting of the company in June. He said that it was difficult to “find good playlists or good matching algorithms” for music that drivers want to hear while on the road, and that the company will be announcing how it will solve the problem within the year.

Why Will Tesla Challenge Spotify And Apple Music?

The big question is why Tesla is planning to go through the trouble of creating its own music streaming service, when it can instead integrate Spotify or Apple Music into its electric vehicles. Tesla already has a deal in place to include Spotify in electric vehicles sold outside the United States, so such a setup can be done if the company wants to.

The labels will not turn down Tesla’s overtures if it pushes through with creating its own music streaming service, as it will be another source of revenue. From the comment of a Tesla spokesperson, it appears that the company is indeed serious about its plans.

“We believe it’s important to have an exceptional in-car experience so our customers can listen to the music they want from whatever source they choose,” the spokesperson said, adding that Tesla’s goal is to “achieve maximum happiness” for its customers.

While Tesla is considered as the market leader in the burgeoning electric car industry, it will be jumping into a music streaming space that is currently dominated by Spotify, with 50 million premium subscribers, followed by Apple Music, with 27 million paid users and looking to pose a bigger challenge to Spotify by launching a $99 annual subscription option.

How Tesla’s music streaming service will stand up against these two remains to be seen, but it will have to offer something beyond the usual features if it wants to make a significant impression in the industry.

[Source”pcworld”]

Windows 10 enterprise updating explained – branches, rings, and the OS as a service

win10 6

Are you an admin or power user who feels slightly confused by the detail underpinning Microsoft’s Windows 10 updating and patching plans? If so, that’s not surprising. Microsoft has at times been less than clear about the ins and outs of the new Windows 10 updating branches and ‘rings’ which is some respects are similar to the regime pre-dating Windows 10 but dressed up in a new and confusing terminology.

Here we try to piece together what’s what with updating and Windows 10. There are certainly some things to watch out for. What is clear is that this new world is more complex, necessarily so. Today, Windows 10 is still an operating system but at some point it will resemble more of a service. This is the fate for all ‘big’ operating systems.

The mental map to understanding what’s going in are the different updating ‘branches’ and, within each of those, the deployment ‘rings’. A second important issue is to understand the difference between ‘updates’ (additional feature and services) and patches/fixes (security updates). The first of these is described in detail below while the second will happen as and when they deigned necessary by Microsoft.

For a specific primer on Windows 10’s main Security features see Windows 10 – the top 7 enterprise security features

Windows 10 updating: Current Branch (CB) – Windows 10 Home

This is plainly just the old Windows Update (WU) that home users have grown used to since its appearance in 2003 with Patch Tuesday but there are some important subtleties. Instead of the current monthly patching cycle, some updates will be applied on an ongoing basis, including Defender updates and what would once have been called ‘out of band’ security patches. Bigger updates covering new features will happen every four months, nudging Windows evolution along more rapidly than in the past.

In short, security fixes might coincide with CB updates but are, at a deeper level, independent of them and can happen on any timescale Microsoft chooses.

[Source:- Techworld]

How Social Media Has Changed the Game for Customer Service

To understand how some people just have an innate sense for great customer service, you need only look back at Shep Hyken’s job during college. Before Shep became a world-renown customer service expert and best-selling author, he worked at a gas station.

“One very, very cold day…a woman got out of the car to pump gas, an elderly woman,” Hyken explains. “I went out and pumped her for gas for her. My manager got upset with me for pumping this lady’s gas. He says, ‘we’re a self-serve station’ and I thought, well you know, ‘but she could have died, slipped piece of ice, I mean she looked frail’. So I helped her and he says, ‘What is she going to do the next time? She’s going expect the same thing.’ And I said, ‘well that’s fine because there’s three other stations, one on each of the corners [of] the intersection, and I think that I’d love her to come back and always do business with us.’”

Today, Hyken consults with many companies and teaches them how to employ this same mindset to what is becoming the ultimate competitive advantage.

“You’re going to compete on really one of two things: You’re either going to compete on price or something else,” he says. “If you’re not competing on price alone you’re competing on something else and that something else is always going to be part of the customer experience.”

So how has social media changed the game for customer service?

“Customers have a bigger voice than ever before and therefore I believe it raises the bar for every company to do an effective job,” Hyken says, adding that it’s critical that companies respond to every post, whether positive or negative. “That’s why they call it social,” he says. “Because it is. It’s a conversation.”

The other thing social media has done is raise customer expectations. The airline industry especially has set a really high bar for any brand in social media, with response times often in just a few minutes. (See Southwest Airlines, for example.)

“What’s happened is that customer expectations are higher than they’ve ever been, and that is outpacing the strides that some companies are making,” Hyken explains. “When I have a great experience on Delta Airlines and then I go to any other business, I say, ‘Why can’t they be as friendly as the people that took care of me on Delta Airlines?’ If I go to a restaurant and I’m treated well and then I go to a bookstore I’m going to compare the person who’s apathetic, introverted, not outgoing, barely talks to me, barely looks at me, to the friendly server that I had the night before.”

So in other words, that innate sense of great customer service is more important today than ever before. While social media has had a huge impact on overall customer experience, getting the basics right – online and offline – is still critical.

As Hyken looks to the future, he is excited about cognitive computing and how it will ultimately lead to a truly personalized experience.

“What [IBM’s] Watson is doing and some other artificial intelligence systems are doing is they’re not just retrieving information, knowing where to get it, how to assimilate it, and to make it sound good to a human,” he says. “They are actually thinking. They’re truly going to learn about their customers. And every time they interact with us they’re going to get even better and better.”

Hyken graciously talked with me for Episode 45 of the Focus on Customer Service Podcast.

 

Here are some of the key moments of the interview and where to find them:

1:17 How Shep’s childhood shaped his customer service expertise today

6:38 The cost of doing business and the cost of not doing customer service well

7:45 Managing customer expectations

12:06 Are all companies in the customer service and customer experience business?

14:57 Examples of great experiences that don’t cost a lot of money

18:30 How has social media impacted customer service overall?

20:41 Customer surveys and what it means to deliver “10” service

24:46 Why companies should respond to every single comment on social media

29:05 How companies can build relationships with customers in digital channels and raise expectations for everyone else

 

 
[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

HPE scoops two telco client wins for cloud service projects

HPE office logo

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has announced partnerships with telcos Swisscom and Telecom Italia subsidiary Telecom Personal to share its cloud service expertise and boost its presence in the comms industry.

In the Swisscom project HPE’s brief is to impose a network function virtualization (NFV) discipline on the IT and telecoms infrastructure, using its OpenNFV systems. Swisscom claims it is one of the world’s first communication service providers (CSPs) to pioneer the use of NFV to offer virtual customer premise equipment (vCPE) to its business customers.

In January BCN reported that HPE has launched an initiative to simplify hybrid cloud management for telcos using a new Service Director offering. Among the productivity benefits mooted for HPE Service Director 1.0 was options for pre-configured systems to address specific use cases as extensions to the base product, starting with HPE Service Director for vCPE 1.0.

In the Swisscom project HPE will use its HPE Virtual Services Router and HPE Technology Services in tandem with Service Director to create Swisscom’s new vCPE model. The objective is to allow Swisscom to manage its customers’ network infrastructure from a centralised location and provide networking services on-demand. This will cut costs for the telco, speed up service provision and boost the availability of services. It could also, claims CPE, make it easier to create new services in future.

Argentina based Telecom Personal has asked HPE to modernise its network in order to use 4G/LTE technologies to cater for an increasing appetite for data services among subscribers. HPE has been appointed to re-engineer the infrastructure and expand and upgrade part its network core. The success of the project will be judged on whether HPE can give a measurable improvement in service experience, network speeds and capacity, according to Paolo Perfetti, Telecom Personal’s CTO.

Yesterday BCN reported that HPE has launched AppPulse Trace, a service that developer clients can use to monitor their cloud app performances.

 

[Source:- BCN]

Flickr’s Uploadr becomes paid service

Google Photos

Will Google Photos become the image hosting service of choice?Google Blog

In 2012 when Marissa Mayer took over as the CEO of Yahoo, she made sure their photo storage platform Flickr came up to speed. Along with a generous 1TB free storage, Flickr redesigned its apps for Android and iOS and also launched a desktop tool, Uploadr, which would automatically upload pictures from the desktop to the user’s Flickr account and arrange them in reverse chronological order.

While Uploadr was available for free all this while, users are now required to sign up for Flickr’s Pro package, which costs $5.99 a month. Uploadr, along with the 1TB free storage, was something that set Flickr apart from its many competitors. But, this move may prove to be in Google’s advantage.

Google Photos offers free unlimited storage as long as you’re OK with Google compressing them and resizing them down to 16 MP (images smaller than 16 MP will be unharmed). Google Photos also gives you the option to upload the original image, but those images will start clogging up your Google Drive.

Google Photos has its own uploader for desktops and also offers a few interesting features like Assistant that sifts through your photos and looks for commonalities and compiles them into one album. Google Photos also lets you make GIFs and turn images into a slide show and set it to music.

 
[Source:- IBtimes]