Trump says U.S. Energy Secretary Perry to step down at end of the year

Reuters | October 18, 2019

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry will step down by the end of the year, President Donald Trump said on Thursday, a day before a deadline set by congressional Democrats for Perry to turn over documents in the impeachment probe. Trump told an event in Texas that he had known for months that Perry would resign. “Rick and I have been talking for six months. In fact, I thought he might go a bit sooner,” Trump said. “But he’s got some very big plans. He’s going to be very successful. We have his successor. We’ll announce it pretty soon.” Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette, who has attended several international energy meetings in recent months, is widely expected to replace Perry.

Spotlight

2008 was a big year for talking about reducing wasteful government spending, especially with the mounting financial crisis and the U.S. presidential election. This infographic shows off what the federal government didn’t want to show off when it comes to misuse of tax dollars.

Spotlight

2008 was a big year for talking about reducing wasteful government spending, especially with the mounting financial crisis and the U.S. presidential election. This infographic shows off what the federal government didn’t want to show off when it comes to misuse of tax dollars.

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CYBERSECURITY

U.S. Department of Defense Awards Accrete Multi-Million Dollar AI Production OT Software Licensing Contract

Accrete | November 18, 2022

Accrete has secured a five-year multi-million dollar Production Operational Technology (OT) software licensing contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for Argus™, Accrete's highly configurable, dual-use open-source threat detection AI software solution, worth tens of millions of dollars. The exact contract value and deal terms cannot be disclosed per government guidelines. Argus continuously analyzes the open-source web to predict anomalous and nefarious behavior hidden in plain sight. Argus performs work that would otherwise require thousands of intelligence analysts at an estimated cost of hundreds of millions of dollars a year in areas critical to national security such as supply chain risk management, vulnerability research, intellectual property theft, social media intelligence, insider threat detection, and anti-money laundering. Argus reads, understands, and learns from an exploding universe of dynamic, unstructured data, including news, blogs, think tank publications, strategy papers, social media chatter, financial filings, microprocessor manuals, and binaries in multiple languages. The AI software automatically extracts, normalizes, and maps relationships between entities, models influence, and surfaces behavioral anomalies indicative of potentially illicit activity that are too complex for humans to identify. "We are at the dawn of an entirely new type of conflict, driven by rapid advances in artificial intelligence. Whereas nuclear proliferation threatened entire populations, AI proliferation individualizes warfare by manipulating targeted groups through digital means. Using AI, bad actors can propagate disinformation to exploit ignorance and weaken civil society causing billions of dollars of damage to the U.S. economy, As a prime defense contractor licensing configurable dual-use AI software directly to the DoD, Accrete is in a unique position to scale its business with the Defense, Intelligence, and Special Operations communities, as well as other government and enterprise customers, and bolster national security as well as intelligence competitiveness in previously unimaginable ways." -Prashant Bhuyan, Founder, CEO, and Chairman of Accrete, Inc. In 2020, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), which former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter established in collaboration with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to strengthen U.S. national security by accelerating DoD adoption of commercial technology, awarded Accrete with an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) Prototype contract after Accrete outperformed 65 other companies in a competitive review. The DoD accepted the Argus prototype within 15 months, and Accrete worked closely with the DIU and the DoD to transition the OTA Prototype contract into a first-of-its-kind multi-year Production OT AI software licensing deal. William Wall, who leads Accrete’s federal sales subsidiary, Accrete AI Government, and formerly served as a U.S. Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel and with the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), said, "We are extremely excited to announce this award, especially as this is the first production OTA that our DoD customer has ever awarded. There are very few start-up technology companies that successfully navigate the extremely challenging OTA process through prototype acceptance and transition into a multi-year production OT software licensing agreement. Our success is a testament to the efficacy, scalability, and configurability of our AI technology and, more importantly, to our employees' relentless focus on providing solutions that are tightly aligned with end-user requirements. As we continue to scale, Accrete looks forward to providing its growing customer base with powerful dual-use AI solutions that not only drive efficiency through the automation of analytical work but also produce mission-critical insights beyond human capacity.” Zachary Smith, Accrete AI Government’s Program Manager and retired special agent who spent most of his 23-year Air Force career focused on countering human, technical, and cyber-based threats, observed, "Based on Argus' blazing speed and scale, in seconds, analysts will be able to research and visualize complex relationships that would have taken at least a month of steady research and annotation. Within the framework of the DoD's acquisition risk review process, Argus will enable supply chain risk analysis to be more efficient and effective while delivering enhanced value at a lower cost per insight." Accrete's continuously learning AI technology enables the templatization of analytical workflows. Templates such as Argus for Threat Detection learn from sparse data and are configurable for use cases including supply chain influence, social media intelligence, reverse engineering, and logistics disruption for both government and commercial customers. In addition to helping the DoD predict bad actors that may be intentionally obscuring identities to influence the supply chain, Argus has also been enabling the U.S. Air Force to reverse engineer binaries from microprocessor manuals to detect vulnerabilities in firmware. Accrete’s dual-use AI solutions have also been proven in industry, including media and entertainment companies automating talent scouting to predict emerging talent from social chatter; insurance brokers automating lead generation to find the shortest path to the hottest lead; private equity and venture firms automating pitch deck review through smart table extraction; and automobile dealerships automating the writing of marketing content. About Accrete: Accrete's mission is to create AI so powerful that it amplifies human reasoning and enables government entities and commercial enterprises to grow in previously unimaginable ways. Accrete, founded in 2017, delivers configurable dual-use AI solutions that automate complex analytical work for both government and enterprise customers with a focus on defense, intelligence, and cybersecurity. Accrete has 128 employees globally and is headquartered in Lower Manhattan with offices in Alexandria, Va. and Wellesley, Mass.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Esker and Quadient to Develop Electronic Invoicing Platform, to Partner with French Government

Esker | November 22, 2022

Esker, a global cloud platform and leader in AI-driven process automation solutions for finance and customer service functions, and Quadient, a leader in helping businesses create meaningful customer connections through digital and physical channels, today announced that their years-long collaboration will take on a new dimension by partnering with the French government’s upcoming Partner Dematerialization Platform (PDP). Quadient and Esker have been working together for more than seven years through their joint subsidiary NCS, a strategic partnership that allows Quadient to leverage Esker's technology expertise for automating and digitizing customer and supplier invoices. The new direction NCS is taking strengthens this collaboration and ensures that businesses of all sizes experience a smooth and secure transition to compliance with upcoming French tax regulations according to the defined timetable, whether invoices are received or transmitted by mail, email in PDF format, portal, EDI or another channel. The finance law requires that invoices exchanged between VAT taxpayers must be transmitted in a structured data format (UBL, UNCEFACT CII) or hybrid format (Factur-X): As of July 1, 2024 for all VAT taxable entities receiving invoices As of July 1, 2024 for large companies issuing invoices As of January 1, 2025 this applies to medium-sized businesses issuing invoices As of January 1, 2026 this applies to all micro and small businesses issuing invoices The PDP, which will be approved by the government, will send and receive electronic invoices between entities while simultaneously transmitting the required invoicing data to the Public Portal (PPF), and electronically reports all necessary transaction data. “The widespread implementation of electronic invoicing over the next three years is a major challenge for the four million companies in France. As a major player in the electronic document management market for small and medium-sized businesses, we look forward to our continued partnership with Esker, in which we join forces and expertise to offer businesses straightforward and efficient invoicing process automation, The government’s timetable calls for a long and gradual transition, and we know that for many companies, compliance can be a source of anxiety because it brings about profound changes. By offering flexible and adapted solutions, we want to help them anticipate the implementation of new management methods that are connected and automated, so that they are able to meet regulatory deadlines with confidence.” -Nicolas de Beco, Chief Strategy and Product Officer for Intelligent Document Automation at Quadient. As members of the National e-Invoice Forum and active participants in workshops organized by the General Administration of Public Finances (DGFiP) and the Agency for Financial Information Technology of the State (AIFE), Esker and Quadient are currently in the process of preparing for the registration process beginning in September 2023, with governmental accreditation expected in accordance to the officially defined timeframes. In addition to being in compliance with regulatory guidelines, businesses will also be able to take advantage of complementary services, such as centralized management of all workflows, business process automation, complete visibility over and tracking of communications, invoice archiving, processing of associated documents, payment reconciliation and reporting capabilities. These services are facilitated by easy interconnectability with other business solutions and interoperability with other platforms, which enables them to simplify and optimize management processes, accelerate their digital transformation and improve their cash management. “Esker is proud to support Quadient in this project. As long-standing partners, our two companies have demonstrated their ability to work together to deliver innovative solutions that benefit thousands of businesses in France today, We are committed to helping our customers today and in the future in turning these regulatory developments into opportunity for growth and acceleration of the digital transformation.” -Emmanuel Olivier, COO at Esker. About Esker: Esker is a global cloud platform built to unlock strategic value for finance and customer service professionals, and strengthen collaboration between companies by automating the cash conversion cycle. Esker’s solutions incorporate technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) to drive increased productivity, enhanced visibility, reduced fraud risk, and improved collaboration with customers, suppliers and internally. Esker operates in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific with global headquarters in Lyon, France, and U.S. headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin. About Quadient: Quadient is the driving force behind the world’s most meaningful customer experiences. By focusing on three key solution areas, Intelligent Communication Automation, Parcel Locker Solutions and Mail-Related Solutions, Quadient helps simplify the connection between people and what matters. Quadient supports hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide in their quest to create relevant, personalized connections and achieve customer experience excellence. Quadient is listed in compartment B of Euronext Paris (QDT) and is part of the SBF 120®, CAC® Mid 60 and EnterNext® Tech 40 indices.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Nok Nok and UberEther Partner to Deliver Phishing-Resistant MFA Fedramp-Certified IAM Solutions to Protect the US Federal Government and its Supplier

nok nok | November 30, 2022

Nok Nok, a leader in FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) authentication solutions and a founder of the FIDO Alliance, today announced it is partnering with UberEther, a leading provider of identity and access management solutions to the federal government. Together they will extend FedRAMP certification of UberEther's IAM Advantage platform with innovative cybersecurity capabilities requested by some of the world’s highest-profile agencies and organizations. FedRAMP’s standards-based approach to security assessment and authorization enables federal agencies, customers, and their suppliers to transition from insecure legacy IT infrastructure to mission-enabling, secure, and continuously-monitored cloud solutions with an increased focus on securing and protecting federal information. UberEther’s IAM Advantage model is FedRAMP High and DoD Impact Level 5 ready, which means that even the most closely monitored companies can run their identity in the cloud more securely, efficiently, and effectively. Once UberEther is fully FedRAMP authorized, it will have one of the only private-tenant, cloud identity solutions available in the federal marketplace that government agencies use to find compliant, FedRAMP-approved cloud services. This designation builds on UberEther’s highest commitment to security standards. “Nok Nok is very honored to partner with UberEther to deliver trusted IAM solutions to the largest government agencies with built-in next-level MFA that meets the highest levels of security, Nok Nok’s FIDO authentication solutions add key features and benefits per the federal mandate in the White House’s 2021 Cybersecurity Executive Order that defines how the government will lead by example in adopting best of breed cybersecurity capabilities. Nok Nok and UberEther’s partnership adds new innovation to mandated FedRAMP solutions that enables government agencies and their supplier networks to become phishing-resistant and therefore more secure, while also becoming easier to use.” -Phillip Dunkelberger CEO Nok Nok. At UberEther, we're extremely excited to be working with Nok Nok on this opportunity to bring phishing-resistant credentials to the federal government, said Matt Topper, President and CEO, UberEther. We're not only focused on enabling citizens and partners of the federal government to connect to services more securely, but we're also enabling service members, civilians, government employees, and contractors to work with mission-critical systems more easily. We all know that zero trust is the future of security within the federal government and worldwide, and identity is the first pillar of zero trust that we need to protect the nation. With Nok Nok inside, government agencies and their suppliers will be able to offer more secure sign-in and a great user experience that's better than anything we've been able to provide before, continued Topper. “I am excited about the future that Nok Nok and UberEther are creating. With FIDO passkeys built into device hardware and software applications, and now FedRAMP standards incorporating phishing-resistant MFA, we are keeping our nation’s networks safe along with the agencies, partners, civilians, and government employees who use these networks”. -Robert Lentz, a member of Nok Nok’s Board of Advisors and who served our nation as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and the first Chief Information Security Officer for the Department of Defense. About UberEther: UberEther effectively builds and efficiently runs the security, identity, and access management services that protect many of our nation’s most critical assets. Identity is the core foundation for secure services in every organization, and we pride ourselves on protecting it. Our established and dependable UberEther team delivers identity solutions for some of the most trusted government agencies and supplier networks. Since 2009, the UberEther team has been building simple, secure, sustainable customer solutions for local and Federal Government agencies and within the Intelligence Community. We are passionate about using technology to solve problems, and we use this passion to prove innovative solutions on our own time before bringing these innovations to our customers. Our diverse background of development, integration, and operations skills allows our team to take into account all aspects of a solution and ensure that what works great in the lab will excel in production. About Nok Nok: Nok Nok is a global leader in passwordless customer authentication. Delivering the most innovative FIDO solutions for the authentication market today, Nok Nok empowers global organizations to dramatically improve their user experience and security, and reduce operating expenses while meeting the most advanced privacy and regulatory requirements. The Nok Nok™ S3 Authentication Suite integrates into existing security environments to deliver proven, FIDO-enabled passwordless customer authentication. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, the company has delivered unique inventions and innovations protected by a robust global patent portfolio. As a founder of the FIDO Alliance and an innovator of FIDO standards, Nok Nok is an expert in next-level, multi factor authentication. Global customers trust their customer authentications with Nok Nok’s S3 Suite for their user registrations, sign-ins, and payment confirmations. Nok Nok’s customers and partners include Verizon, Intuit, T-Mobile, BBVA, NTT DOCOMO, NTT DATA, MUFG Bank, AFLAC Japan, Standard Bank, Fujitsu Limited, and Hitachi.

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