April 2018

fivestar* wants to know – are your 2018 plans on track? According to a recent report from Kensho, a market data analytics system that can respond to more than 65 million question combinations by scanning over 90,000 customizable actions, the second quarter is the perfect time to plant seeds for growth. In this edition of Luminary, we’ll provide insights into how to cultivate technology to make 2018 a success. We’ll also cover what we’re working on, and things we’ve learned along the way that are share-worthy. Have a topic for us? Reach out!

As always, this installment of Luminary also gives you a glimpse into articles we love, projects we’ve been working on, knowledge we’ve shared, and how we are continuing to give back to our community.

Too Good Not to Share

Keys to Getting ROI on Your IoT Investments in the First Year

Keys to Getting ROI on Your IoT Investments in the First Year

Don’t confuse the Internet of Things (IoT) with the state of things. IoT is anything but status quo. This global network of billions of physical devices are collecting and sharing data 24/7/365. Clearly, IoT has the power to transform your business. Network World, an IDG publication, discusses how to get ROI from IoT initiatives within the first 12 months. Spoiler alert – take these steps before the project kicks off. Find out more.

Non-Tech Businesses are Beginning to Use AI at Scale

Non-Tech Businesses are Beginning to Use AI at Scale

Get a gaggle of techies together in the breakroom and throw out this question: “What Makes It “Real” AI?” and you may find yourself in a lively debate, per Hacker Noon. Is it proactive, does it learn, can it reason, can it ideate, can it connect? The answer is yes, and it’s not just for “techfest” anymore. As Artificial Intelligence (AI) use cases spread, it’s poised to change the way you work, transforming how you do business and interact with your customers and employees. The Economist outlines realities and consequences in a special report. Read on.

What We’re Working On

What We’re Working On

Big project, tight timeline? No problem! In a few short weeks, our team launched a customized Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) system for South Central College (SCC) in Minnesota. Leveraging our extensive experience in developing CPL platforms, we quickly and expertly introduced a system that streamlines SCC’s unique process of assessing prior learning, coordinating student profiles, and promoting their mission. With an on-time, on-budget launch, SCC is well positioned to meet their 2018 goals.

Where We’ve Been

Where We've Been

2,000+ nonprofit professionals came together for 100+ sessions exploring technologies, strategies, and trends for Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) signature annual conference. Along with Christine Kirby of Neighborhood Legal Services Association, fivestar* was selected to present a session “Online Engagement for Offline Action: Man vs. Machine? Envisioning “IT” Better Together.” The event is designed to help organizations learn how technology helps them meet their missions. See where else we’ve been.

Employee Highlight: Olenka Uzarski

Employee Highlight: Olenka Uzarski

Olenka Uzarski, QA Engineer, is accustomed to working in complex, project-based environments. With multifaceted experience in QA software testing, software development, and user-acceptance analysis, she is involved in fivestar* projects throughout the development life cycle. An outside-the-box thinker, Olenka leads exploratory testing and ensures compliance with QA standards, federal regulations, and customer specifications.

“fivestar* is a highly collaborative environment. Everyone’s ideas are welcomed and truly heard.”

Olenka Uzarski, QA Engineer

fivestar* Cares: Beverly's Birthdays

fivestar* Cares: Beverly’s Birthdays

The fivestar* team came together to throw a birthday bash as part of the Beverly’s Birthdays mission to celebrate each and every kid. Beverly’s Birthdays provides birthday celebrations for homeless children in the Pittsburgh region. To date, they’ve created over 25,000 birthday experiences, and fivestar* was happy to help spread the cheer.

Cultivating Digital Transformation

When it comes to business results, per the data, second quarter performance isn’t as strong as the first and fourth quarters, but still ahead of the summer forecast. The take-away? Tend to your garden – now is the time to start planting for growth.

fivestar* has sound advice on how to ensure that businesses reap substantial benefits through effective use of technology. Our recent workshop on the topic focused on best practices within the discovery phase, and how to apply outcome-focused and technology-agnostic perspectives to put tech projects on the right path to success.

As you ready for growth, remember that fivestar* experts can help you:

  • Define and agree upon project needs and outline business requirements
  • Create a solution blueprint and supporting technical documentation
  • Build and/or rollout the applications in single or multi-phases

From discovery, to design and implementation – let’s talk and make sure you’re on track for a transformational year!

David Colaizzi
Lou Camerlengo


Tech Insiders

Infographic: Creating Effective Tech Project Steering Committees


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