Saudi attacks threaten U.S. gasoline price hikes, particularly in California

Reuters | September 16, 2019

U.S. motorists most likely to feel the hit from rising gas prices following the attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities are on the West Coast, which accounts for nearly half of all of U.S. crude imports from the kingdom. The attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities on Saturday knocked out more than 5% of global oil supply and sent oil prices surging as much as 20%. U.S. pump prices are likely to rise in coming days as gasoline futures spiked by more than 10% on Sunday trading, analysts said. The national average price of regular gasoline was currently $2.57 per gallon, according to AAA. However, California motorists, some 8,000 miles (13,000 km) away from Saudi Arabia, could be hit the hardest. Refineries in that state rely heavily on imports for supplies due to its isolated location and lack of pipelines to connect it with oil-rich states such as Texas.

Spotlight

The 2015-2019 City of Columbus, Ohio Consolidated Plan is the result of a collaborative process to identify housing and community development needs and to establish goals, priorities, and strategies to address those needs, especially for low and moderate income households. The process serves as the framework for a community-wide dialogue to better focus funding from HUD formula block grant programs to meet local needs. The City of Columbus is an entitlement jurisdiction that receives federal funds from HUD to support local community development and affordable housing activities. The federal block grant programs that provide these resources include the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), and the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Grant (HOPWA). As a condition of receiving these funds, the City of Columbus is required to submit a 5-Year Consolidated Plan, which outlines the city’s housing and community development needs and priorities, and the First Year Annual Action Plan (budget) that identifies how the city plans to allocate its HUD funding to address those priority needs. In turn, the Consolidated Plan serves as the document that guides the priorities and expenditure of CDBG, HOME, ESG and HOPWA funds received by the city. Additional information on each of these programs is provided following the summary of the Consolidated Plan’s sections.

Spotlight

The 2015-2019 City of Columbus, Ohio Consolidated Plan is the result of a collaborative process to identify housing and community development needs and to establish goals, priorities, and strategies to address those needs, especially for low and moderate income households. The process serves as the framework for a community-wide dialogue to better focus funding from HUD formula block grant programs to meet local needs. The City of Columbus is an entitlement jurisdiction that receives federal funds from HUD to support local community development and affordable housing activities. The federal block grant programs that provide these resources include the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), and the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Grant (HOPWA). As a condition of receiving these funds, the City of Columbus is required to submit a 5-Year Consolidated Plan, which outlines the city’s housing and community development needs and priorities, and the First Year Annual Action Plan (budget) that identifies how the city plans to allocate its HUD funding to address those priority needs. In turn, the Consolidated Plan serves as the document that guides the priorities and expenditure of CDBG, HOME, ESG and HOPWA funds received by the city. Additional information on each of these programs is provided following the summary of the Consolidated Plan’s sections.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY, CYBERSECURITY

Resecurity Broadens Alliance with Cloud Seguro in Colombia

Resecurity | September 12, 2022

Resecurity, Inc., a U.S. cybersecurity and intelligence company, announced its deepened partnership with Cloud Seguro to expand Resecurity's AI-driven cybersecurity solutions and services to Colombia. Based in Bogotá, Cloud Seguro is a leading Colombian Information Security, Ethical Hacking and Cloud Security company. As Colombia's digital economy expands, cyber threats are increasingly prominent; the first half of 2020 saw a 59% increase in reports of computer crimes compared to the same period of the previous year. In 2019, Colombia was among the countries in Latin America most targeted by cyber criminals. Cybersecurity has become a frequent topic of policy concern for Colombia. The government proposed a Consolidated Guiding Vision in document CONPES 3701, which seeks to generate national cybersecurity policy guidelines. The aim is to develop a national strategy that counteracts the increase in computer threats to Colombia's digitization process. [1] To accelerate the implementation of AI-powered cybersecurity and threat intelligence in Colombia, Resecurity has further partnered with Cloud Seguro to provide Colombian customers best-in-breed risk management. "The relationship between Colombia and the United States has continuously strengthened over the last 300 years to a full partnership that links the governments of both nations around several key issues, including, most recently, terrorism and cybercrime; our deepened partnership with our existing reseller in Colombia, Cloud Seguro, is a natural expansion as Colombia invests in cybersecurity to secure private and public organizations, leveraging AI Resecurity is excited to build a deep relationship with Cloud Seguro to drive cybersecurity market development in Colombia, including participating together in co-organized events and cybersecurity contests." -Gene Yoo, CEO of Resecurity. The synergy between Cloud Seguro and Resecurity will accelerate proactive managed threat detection, vulnerability assessment and penetration testing (VAPT) services for Colombian market. The offering will enable local business leaders to mitigate possible cybesecurity risks and minimize damage from the consequences of data breaches and ransomware activity targeting companies in critical sectors of economy in Latin America. Resecurity's innovative cybersecurity solutions allow organizations to automate the identification, assessment, and triage of incoming cyber threats while staying ahead of cybercriminals using advanced tactics to attack organizations at scale. The AI-driven platform allows administrators to reduce potential blind spots and security gaps by quickly seeing in-depth analysis and specific artifacts obtained through the dark web, botnets activity, network intelligence, and high-quality threat intelligence. "Risk must be identified in each of the processes of companies, not only in technology management; each process has a risk and needs special management in information security. Our alliance with Resecurity allows us to use their bleeding-edge tools and highly innovative team to augment our own team on the ground in Colombia to provide our Colombian customers with unparalleled services, across on-premise, private cloud and public cloud." -German Realpe, CEO and co-founder of Cloud Seguro. About Resecurity: Resecurity is a cybersecurity company providing managed threat detection and response. The company delivers a unified platform for endpoint protection, risk management, and cyber threat intelligence. Known for providing best-of-breed data-driven intelligence solutions, Resecurity's services and platforms focus on early-warning identification of data breaches and comprehensive protection against cybersecurity risks. Founded in 2016, it has been globally recognized as one of the world's most innovative cybersecurity companies with the sole mission of enabling organizations to combat cyber threats regardless of how sophisticated they are. Most recently, Resecurity was named as one of the Top 10 fastest-growing private cybersecurity companies in Los Angeles, California by Inc. Magazine. An official member of AFCEA, NDIA, SIA, Infragard, the American Chamber of Commerce in Saudi Arabia (AmChamKSA) and the American Chamber of Commerce in Mexico (AmChamMexico). About Cloud Seguro: Founded in 2011, Cloud Seguro's information security consulting is based on managing risk, which is different for each company. Identifying the risks is the best way to understand how to create an information security management system. When the risk of a company's processes and assets is understood, security controls can be implemented, including encryption, technological tools, digital signatures, electronic signatures, VPNs, software, and others. Cloud Seguro has created a simple methodology that is based on processes, procedures and technical controls. With this methodology, it is easy to certify a process over time under the framework of the ISO 27001 standard. Cloud Seguro's clients are from myriad verticals, including health, services, and Fintech.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY, GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

New York tolling authorities select TTEC Government Solutions to provide enhanced customer contact solutions across tri-state area

TTEC | September 23, 2022

TTEC Government Solutions LLC, a subsidiary of TTEC Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:TTEC), a leading global customer experience (CX) technology and services innovator for end-to-end digital CX solutions, has been awarded a broad contract to manage operations for the Customer Contact Center (CCC) of some of the largest tolling authorities in the New York-New Jersey area. Agencies that comprise the contracting authorities include New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ). Under the terms of the contract, TTEC will also provide services for the New York State Bridge Authority (NYSBA), the Buffalo Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority (operator of the Peace Bridge), and the Thousand Island Bridge Authority (TIBA). TTEC began work with the CCC this summer on the implementation phase. Design, development, testing, and commissioning is expected to be completed in 2023 with an anticipated go-live date of January 2024. The contracting authorities oversee the largest tolling operation in the United States. "TTEC appreciates the faith that the tolling authorities have placed in us to deliver exceptional service to all the New York agencies and motorists who depend on the E-ZPass transportation network, We look forward to working with the agencies and their technology partners to apply our many years of experience in electronic tolling environments to enhance customer care operations for the authorities." -Anna Van Buren, senior vice president, TTEC. With decades of public sector expertise augmented by the recent acquisition of the public sector assets of Faneuil Inc., TTEC will offer a wide range of business processing services, including provisioning of the New York Customer Service Center's (NYCSC) primary and alternate customer contact facilities, integrating and deploying the telephony and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technical solution, account management, customer contact and case management services, customer satisfaction surveying, interfacing with collections agencies, support for courts and tribunals, and financial management. The NYCSC was established on behalf of the public authorities that collect tolls from customers through multiple methods, including a transponder-based electronic toll collection (ETC) system known as E-ZPass, and cashless, image-based license plate tolling known as Tolls by Mail. "Customer service is a top priority for the Thruway Authority. We believe this new contract will offer new technology-based solutions and an improved focus on providing a streamlined and easy-to-use payment system for our customers. We look forward to working with them through the transition and ultimately go-live operations phases to provide our customers with the service and support they deserve." -Michael Perrotto, acting E-ZPass program manager, NYSTA. About TTEC: TTEC Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTEC) is one of the largest global CX (customer experience) technology and services innovators for end-to-end, digital CX solutions. The Company delivers leading CX technology and operational CX orchestration at scale through its proprietary cloud-based CXaaS (Customer Experience as a Service) platform. Serving iconic and disruptive brands, TTEC's outcome-based solutions span the entire enterprise, touch every virtual interaction channel, and improve each step the customer journey. Leveraging next-gen digital and cognitive technology, the Company's Digital business designs, builds, and operates omnichannel contact center technology, conversational messaging, CRM, automation (AI / ML and RPA), and analytics solutions. The Company's Engage business delivers digital customer engagement, customer acquisition & growth, content moderation, fraud prevention, and data annotation solutions. Founded in 1982, the Company's singular obsession with CX excellence has earned it leading client NPS scores across the globe. The Company's nearly 60,000 employees operate on six continents and bring technology and humanity together to deliver happy customers and differentiated business results.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Sapia.ai now a supplier to the UK government G-Cloud 13 Framework

Sapia.ai | December 02, 2022

Sapia.ai, creator of the world's first smart interviewer, are proud to announce that they have been accepted onto the UK government's Crown Commercial Service (CCS) procurement framework G-Cloud 13.Organisations can now find and purchase Sapia.ai's tools, including its AI-empowered smart chat which has shown to help companies deliver on their Diversity KPI's when hiring, from the government's digital marketplace. The G-cloud framework launched in 2012, with the aim of easing the procurement process for the UK government and other public sector bodies. Sapia.ai has joined over 5000 suppliers to offer its solutions within the framework. Public sector organisations are now able to access, review, and purchase Sapia.ai's automated and bias-free hiring solution easily through the marketplace, knowing that it has been vetted by the G-cloud framework. Sapia.ai is truly unique in that it allows candidates to apply for a job through a simple text chat - negating the need for CVs which have been shown to be full of bias - even when anonymised. Instead, using Sapia.ai's AI-driven technology and its bias-free database of interview responses, Sapia.ai can create an accurate and independent profile of a candidate matching their skills with their ability to do the job within seconds. Every candidate also receives personalized feedback that they can use to improve in areas for future job searches, as well as helping them understand where their strengths lie. "We are delighted to have been included in the G-Cloud 13 framework. When our technology can simultaneously lead to customers seeing accelerated diversity after just 3 months of use, as in the case of our customer Woodies, you know you have built game changing technology,We cannot wait for it to do the same in the public sector that we have for so many companies. " -Barb Hyman,CEO Sapia.ai. By using Sapia.ai public sector customers can now deliver: An interview for every candidate that applies without any need for CVs. A fast and human-focussed automated hiring system that fits into current HR processes. A time-efficient shortlisting process, while every candidate receives personalized feedback. More diverse hires with highly accurate job matching. An immediate impact on D&I KPIs. Huge cost and time savings on recruitment. About Sapia: Sapia's mission is to help companies unlock and engage talent at scale. With its blind, automated chat interview and comprehensive DEI analytics platform, Sapia's technology is the first solution of its kind to disrupt biases that affects traditional recruitment processes – resulting in fair outcomes for candidates and companies.

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