US government files official protest against the Czech digital tax

bne IntelliNews | January 28, 2020

The US government has filed an official protest against the planned 7% digital tax in the Czech Republic, according to Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek, the Czech News Agency (CNA) reported on January 24. The Czech Republic could face counter-measures by the US if it introduces the tax, US embassy spokesperson Eda Findlay said in a response to the decision of the Czech parliament to approve the new tax proposal in the first reading on January 22. Petricek said that he understood the US position; however, “on the other hand, we are trying to explain that this step is only temporary until the international solution is found,” the minister added. “The US government has clearly formulated its position on the topic of digital taxation. Ambassador King [the US ambassador to the Czech Republic] expressed this opinion in his December commentary and the US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin also talked about this topic to the media this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos,” Findlay told CNA.

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The UK government is pushing for 2018 to be the Year of Engineering, with the aim to raise awareness regarding the UK’s engineering industry and inspire the next generation of engineers.

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The UK government is pushing for 2018 to be the Year of Engineering, with the aim to raise awareness regarding the UK’s engineering industry and inspire the next generation of engineers.

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Bright Pattern and Carahsoft Team to Bring Powerful Cloud-Based Omnichannel Contact Center Software to Public Sector Agencies

Bright Pattern | January 20, 2022

Bright Pattern, a leading provider of AI-powered cloud contact center software, and Carahsoft Technology Corp., The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider®, today announced a partnership. Under the agreement, Carahsoft will serve as Bright Patterns' Master Government Aggregator®, making the company's industry-leading omnichannel contact center software available to the Public Sector through Carahsoft's NASA Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) V, ITES-SW2, NASPO, OMNIA, The Quilt, and E&I contracts and the company's reseller partners. "We are pleased to partner with Carahsoft, the most trusted Government IT solution provider, to deliver innovative cloud-based contact center solutions to Government agencies," said Michael McCloskey, CEO of Bright Pattern. "By partnering with Carahsoft, we will enable Government agencies to leverage AI, automation, and digital channels such as text message, social messengers, and chatbots to improve client satisfaction." Government call centers and services are crucial for agencies and programs to effectively serve their constituents, making improved customer service a high priority for the Public Sector. Despite the Government's need for advanced call centers and services, however, many of them operate on a tight budget. This prevents agencies from upgrading their call center operations, subsequently widening the technology gap between the Public and Private sectors and negatively impacting customer experience. With Bright Pattern's Cloud Contact Center platform, Government agencies can modernize their mobile digital channels to support their constituents and maximize returns from their existing budget. Bright Pattern's cloud-based contact center solution provides the advanced features that agencies need at the lowest professional services costs in the industry. Bright Pattern supports features including omnichannel communication, accurate Conversational Interactive Voice Response (IVR), customizable self-service options and artificial intelligence (AI) powered quality assurance, all of which will help the Government call center close the technology gap between the agency and its constituents. Bright Pattern can integrate with agencies existing CRMs or IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions such as ServiceNow, Ivanti, and more. Bright Pattern Contact Center Software for Government Agencies: Communicate With Citizens on Any Channel – Bright Pattern's omnichannel platform allows constituents to utilize any digital channel and switch between channels with ease during a conversation with the agency. The platform supports channels SMS/text messaging, mobile apps, messaging apps, chat, etc. on top of traditional communication channels such as voice and email. Self-Service and Automation of Routine Tasks – Government agencies are often inundated with repetitive tasks, like paying bills and fines, filing complaints, reporting malfunctions or damage, and answering frequently asked questions. Implementing Bright Pattern's self-service technology allows agencies to automate routing tasks into the agency's 311 number. Bright Pattern's Conversational IVR and Standard IVR is powered by Natural Language Processing, allowing constituents to use their natural language to go through the self-service menu and select the right agency or team for their issues. Empower Public Servants – Bright Pattern's contact center solution and agent desktop is easy-to-use and intuitive. AI can assist customer service agents during conversations with constituents through suggested responses and sentiment analysis of the caller in real-time. Furthermore, supervisors can utilize Omni QM and Bright Pattern's unified reporting dashboards to gain insight into the contact center's operations. Omnichannel Quality Assurance to Observe and Evaluate Agent Interactions on All Channels – Bright Pattern's Omni QM feature allows agencies to monitor 100% of interactions on all channels. Users can observe interactions on traditional channels: like voice calls, emails and SMS /text messaging; while also monitoring interactions on emerging digital channels such as in-app messaging, messaging apps, and web chats. Leverage Your CRM to Personalize Constituent Interactions – With Bright Pattern's comprehensive CRM integrations, a contact center can utilize constituent information to match caller information (phone number, phone call ID) with data from the agency's CRM database for faster, seamless service. Integrate with any CRM--Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, or even your own record management system. Turbocharge Your Existing IT Service Management Solution – Bright Pattern also integrates seamlessly with leading ITSM and Enterprise Service Management (ESM) solutions so agencies don't need to rip-and-replace existing software but can add digital channels and powerful AI and automation to existing solutions. "With the addition of Bright Pattern to our offerings, Government agencies now have access to an all-in-one cloud-based solution that enables users to simplify and manage their multichannel call center operations to improve customer satisfaction," said Evan Slack, Director of Sales for Emerging Cloud and Virtualization Technologies at Carahsoft. "We look forward to working with Bright Pattern and our reseller partners to help agencies modernize their communication channels while optimizing their existing resources and budgets." Bright Pattern's software is available through Carahsoft's SEWP V contracts NNG15SC03B and NNG15SC27B, ITES-SW2 Contract W52P1J-20-D-0042, NASPO ValuePoint Master Agreement Contract #AR2472, OMNIA Partners Contract #R191902, The Quilt Master Service Agreement Number MSA05012019-F, E&I Contract #EI00063~2021MA, and through the company's reseller partners. About Bright Pattern Bright Pattern provides the simplest and most powerful AI-powered omnichannel contact center software and service management solutions for innovative midsize and enterprise companies. To make customer service brighter, easier, and faster than ever before, Bright Pattern offers the only true omnichannel cloud platform with embedded AI that can be deployed quickly and nimbly by business users—without costly professional services. Bright Pattern allows companies to offer an effortless and personal customer experience across channels like voice, text, chat, email, video, messengers, and bots. Bright Pattern also allows companies to measure and act on every interaction on every channel with embedded AI omnichannel quality management. The company was founded by a team of industry veterans who pioneered the leading contact center solutions and are now delivering an architecture for the future with an advanced cloud-first approach. Bright Pattern's cloud contact center solution is used globally in over 26 countries. About Carahsoft Carahsoft Technology Corp. is The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider®, supporting Public Sector organizations across Federal, State and Local Government agencies and Education and Healthcare markets. As the Master Government Aggregator® for our vendor partners, we deliver solutions for Cybersecurity, MultiCloud, DevSecOps, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Open Source, Customer Experience and Engagement, and more. Working with resellers, systems integrators and consultants, our sales and marketing teams provide industry leading IT products, services and training through hundreds of contract vehicles.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Talkdesk Transforms Government Benefits Program Delivery

Talkdesk | October 04, 2021

Talkdesk Inc., the global customer experience leader for customer-obsessed companies, announced the launch of Talkdesk Citizen Engagement, an end-to-end customer experience (CX) solution that provides a better way for government agencies to administer benefits, communicate with applicants and recipients, and modernize their contact center operations. While different in many ways from private sector organizations, government entities are subject to the same consumer demands of today’s digital age, where fast, frictionless, and intelligent interactions have become expected in all areas of life. Whether grocery shopping, buying insurance, visiting the doctor, or applying for government benefits, the CX stakes have never been higher. This is especially true for government agencies, as citizens rely on them during crises and for assistance with vital services. In fact, many U.S. states and municipalities reported record-breaking interaction volumes last year as their crisis services hotlines were inundated with citizen inquiries related to the pandemic. Designed with that in mind, Citizen Engagement offers a well-timed solution for helping state and local governments alleviate common pain points associated with supporting key programs like Medicaid, unemployment insurance, SNAP, housing assistance, and more. The solution streamlines and simplifies the benefits process, giving government organizations the capabilities they need to deliver the service citizens want. Solution highlights include: Improved access – Enables citizens to easily find program information, understand how to apply, fulfill eligibility requirements, and obtain application assistance on the communication channel of choice. Bots, multi-language features, and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered self-guided options further simplify the program enrollment process and accelerate access to benefits. Reduced inbound call volumes – Proactively notifies applicants throughout the enrollment and benefits disbursement journey to reduce citizen effort, status check inquiries, and inbound call volumes. Complex inquiries can be seamlessly transitioned to the right live agent without long hold times. Systems of record and identification tools can also be effortlessly integrated for fast verification. Modernized contact center operations – Allows operations to adapt to evolving program requirements and scale as necessary to meet fluctuating demands without the need for complicated coding or overloading IT resources. The solution’s AI-infused capabilities also make agent onboarding and ongoing training more efficient, empowering agents with suggested next best actions in real-time. “The pandemic and recent disaster relief efforts placed added pressure on state and local government agencies, which were already burdened by disparate, legacy systems. Recognizing yesterday’s technology can’t meet the demands of today, these organizations are now reenvisioning the contact center and prioritizing CX. Talkdesk Citizen Engagement helps put them on the path to modernization, giving them a better way to support social service delivery and foster greater trust and transparency.” John Bastin, vice president, industry strategy - public sector, Talkdesk The Citizen Engagement solution is compliant with Section 508, which requires federal, state, and local agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Citizen Engagement is part of a portfolio of Talkdesk products and solutions tailored to meet industry-specific needs, enabling enterprises and government organizations to unlock the promise and potential of great customer experiences. In addition to the introduction of Citizen Engagement, the company also just announced Talkdesk Insurance Smart Service. Learn more about the full range of Talkdesk contact center solutions. About Talkdesk Talkdesk® is a global customer experience leader for customer-obsessed companies. Our contact center solution provides a better way for businesses and customers to engage with one another. Our speed of innovation and global footprint reflect our commitment to ensure businesses everywhere can deliver better customer experiences through any channel, resulting in higher customer satisfaction, cost savings and profitability. Talkdesk CX Cloud™ is an end-to-end customer experience solution that combines enterprise scale with consumer simplicity. Over 1,800 innovative companies around the world, including IBM, Acxiom, Trivago, and Fujitsu partner with Talkdesk to deliver a better way to great customer experience.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

CyberSheath Announce The Launch of Managed IT Services for Defense Contractors

CyberSheath Services International, LLC | February 03, 2021

CyberSheath Services International today launched its Managed IT Services for Defense Contractors to ensure compliance with the new cybersecurity standards for commercial contractors of the United States government. The managed services include a Shared Security Compliance Framework to ensure compliance for both DFARS Clause 252.204-7012 / NIST SP 800-171 and the new DFARS 252.204-7019-7021 CMMC requirements. When combined with CyberSheath’s existing Managed Compliance and Security Services, the new Managed IT Services cover the full spectrum of managed services needs for most U.S. Defense Industrial Base (DIB) contractors. CyberSheath has long recognized that a large part of IT delivery, tasks such as patching and asset management, are foundational to NIST 800-171 and CMMC compliance, and customers need a force multiplying solution for Managed IT services. This offering is only available to defense contractors and uniquely built to make CMMC and NIST 800-171 compliance a natural outcome of day-to-day operations. This new consolidated solution is anchored on Microsoft technology or Microsoft Solution Partner technology, but flexible enough to “meet you where you are.” It has the distinct ability to add compliance or security-as-a-service either upon initial onboarding, or at any time during the subscription period. As a “Hosted Compliance,” it combines elements of MSSP and Managed IT and uses a Microsoft-focused technology stack, including Azure Government Blueprints, Microsoft 365 Government (GCC High), and the full strength of the vast Department of Defense (DoD)-approved Microsoft security portfolio. CyberSheath’s CMMC Managed Services future-proof clients against CMMC policy changes and new implementation requirements. “Any defense contractor that fails to comply with the CMMC will not be doing business with the DoD moving forward as the DoD now prevents non-compliant contractors from participating in DoD contract awards,” said Andy Shooman, COO at CyberSheath Services International. “Our IT managed services are built for the many defense contractors, both Primes and Subs, that still don’t fully understand the DFARS requirements and believe that their weakest link to compliance may be their existing IT services. Simply put, the new DFARS rules raise the stakes and companies that don’t quickly become compliant will be left out of DoD contracts. Our IT managed services ensure that doesn’t happen.” The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) established the CMMC as a new security measure to protect Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), Federal Contract Information (FCI), and other sensitive data residing on systems and networks owned by defense contractors. The DoD requires all of its contractors and suppliers to comply with the new CMMC standards at a given level and undergo a certification process based on review by an accredited third-party assessment organization prior to contract award. CyberSheath uses a proven AIM™ (Assess – Implement – Manage) methodology to meet defense contractors where they are and bring them up to standard both for existing regulatory requirements and CMMC. CyberSheath offers five CMMC levels of assured compliance, ranging from premise-based technology companies to cloud-driven FedRAMP High environments. Leveraging AIM™ to identify gaps against CMMC requirements, CyberSheath quickly implements any needed changes and revises architectures to maintain desired levels of CMMC compliance. CyberSheath takes ownership of CMMC compliance, leveraging a Shared Responsibility Model, a concept uniquely adapted from cloud providers and applied to CMMC Managed Services. This management framework dictates the security obligations of a CMMC compliance environment and its users to ensure accountability and define where and how security measures should be applied, with a special focus on CUI and other sensitive government data. The result is a self-reinforcing model that reduces the burden on government contractors and ensures compliance. “Frankly, defense contractors have seen a lot of changes in cybersecurity compliance over the past year, but we have been delivering audit-ready, U.S. DoD compliance-focused managed services for more than five years in response to the original NIST 800-171 requirements and know we can assist contractors expeditiously with their needs,” said Mr. Shooman. About CyberSheath Services International, LLC Established in 2008, CyberSheath is one of the most experienced and trusted IT security services partners for the U.S. defense industrial base. From CMMC compliance to strategic security planning to managed security services, CyberSheath offers a comprehensive suite of offerings tailored to clients’ information security and regulatory compliance needs.

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