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Smart mobile customer care

first_imgBest practices to engage and retain membersby: Paul R. RuppertThe financial services market is fiercely competitive and increasingly mobile-centric, with players like Lending Club and PayPal adding to the traditional competition. According to eMarketer, 93 million U.S. banking consumers already receive text alerts from financial institutions – and that number is projected to grow to 126 million by 2019. In this environment, mobile strategy and engagement are increasingly “must have” elements of long-term customer retention. Part of engaging credit union members is demonstrating customer care effectively via mobile – but so far, businesses aren’t doing as well as they think.Identifying the Care Gap in Business-to-Consumer Engagement, research published by Millward Brown Digital and Mblox, indicates nearly three-quarters of financial institutions think they express customer care effectively – but only 36 percent of consumers agree.To survive in today’s market, credit unions must employ savvy mobile strategies to bridge this gap in how consumers rate the customer experience. People desire and expect ever more sophisticated, powerful and individualized means of communication. They expect a customer experience that feels authentic and personal whether they’re standing at the counter or receiving a text reminder.By employing a few simple, mobile-centric best practices, credit unions can better express care, increase engagement and strengthen their business: continue reading » 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

OGTC Gets Positive Response to Its First ‘Call for Ideas’

first_imgThe oil and gas industry has said it may be one step closer to transforming well plug and abandonment (P&A) as 45 potential solutions were submitted for its first ‘Call for Ideas’.The OGTC received ideas and concepts that could have a material impact on this transformation, against three specific themes: modelling the probability of hydrocarbon flow to the surface; verification of permanent barriers; and new barriers – placement and materials.Applicants now have three stages to navigate if they’re to grab a slice of the c.£1 million fund:Discover: Ideas are assessed independently by a review panel.Develop: Applicants successful at the discover stage are invited to work with the Oil & Gas Technology Centre team to further develop their idea.Deliver: Ideas that are fully developed and viewed as suitable for deployment are reviewed with industry partners to enable final investment decisions and project sanction.Malcolm Banks, well construction solution centre manager for the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, said: “We’re delighted with the response to our first Call for Ideas. There is an urgency from industry to find more cost-effective and efficient methods of P&A and we hope the ideas submitted are the next step in delivering this.“We received a wide range of ideas across the three themes and we look forward to working with our expert panel to review these in the coming weeks.”The OGTC  two further Calls for Ideas ongoing, focused on using robotics to enhance pressure vessel and tank integrity, and solutions which could help unlock the 225 marginal discoveries in small pools across the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). More information can be found on our website.last_img read more

Peace: Berahino back on track

first_img “I said in the autumn the club had no interest in selling Saido and that remains the case,” he said. “Unless Tony decides otherwise, the view will surely be that he is far too important to us to consider trading. “His goals are capable of keeping us in the Premier League and would be hugely difficult to replace. “I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify the position and the club’s thinking to our supporters now that Saido can put this unhappy chapter behind him.” West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace insists Saido Berahino is “back on track” and reiterated the club wants to keep the striker. Press Association But Peace has moved to draw a line under the incident and believes striker Berahino has returned to form. “This unfortunate episode has been unsettling for the club generally and Saido specifically,” he told the club’s official site. “The club takes seriously the charges to which Saido pleaded guilty and as a result he will be subject to the club’s disciplinary procedures. “What has been pleasing for everyone around the club has been the clear sign that Saido has responded positively to the arrival of Tony Pulis and a new coaching team and is displaying clear signs of showing that where it matters most – on the pitch. “Tony has certainly been delighted with him and it is heartening for everyone to see a young man moving forward in the right direction again. “We have always looked after him and we are all genuinely pleased to see such encouraging signs that he is back on track.” Berahino has scored 14 goals this season and has been linked with Liverpool. The Baggies, who are 14th in the Barclays Premier League after Monday’s 0-0 draw at Everton, have received no bids for the 21-year-old though and Peace reinforced their determination to keep him. The England Under-21 international was banned from driving for 12-months after pleading guilty to drink driving last week. He will be disciplined by the club for the offence, which happened in October. last_img read more

Death Valley Comes Alive

first_img(Visited 96 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 As if resurrected from the dead, forgotten seeds burst forth in a celebration of life in the hottest place on earth.Death Valley, California, holds the record for the hottest place on Earth. Summertime temperatures up to 134° F have been recorded. It is also the lowest place in North America, reaching 282 feet below sea level. Most visitors will find an abundance of rocks, dirt and sand, with only the hardiest of desert plants scattered about. But when conditions are right, a living “miracle” happens: delicate plants spring up, carpeting the landscape with color. After ten years since the last “superbloom” as it is called, those conditions arrived subsequent to heavy rains in January.Rare “superbloom” in Death Valley, Feb. 17, 2016, by David CoppedgeSeeds of flowering plants will sometimes lie dormant for many years, decades sometimes, just millimeters or inches below the sun-baked soil. Scientists are not completely sure how they “know” when conditions are good, but they all spring up together as if on cue. Sufficient rains may act to leach away inhibiting molecules from within the seeds, but there are undoubtedly several factors in play. Death Valley only gets 2″ of rain a year on average. Sometimes it doesn’t rain at all, PhysOrg says. A few flowers bloom in off years, but glory breaks loose in a superbloom year, which occurs once a decade or so. The last one was in 2005; before that, in 1998. In those years, there was enough rain to fill much of the playa with water, resurrecting Lake Manly a little bit (a prehistoric lake that got up to 600 feet deep after the Ice Age).The predominant species near Badwater (lowest point in the Western Hemisphere) is the desert gold sunflower, a large, showy yellow flower on a flimsy-looking stem. How this delicate flower bursts through hardpacked rocky soil is amazing.Desert gold sunflowers (Garaea canascens) proliferating in Death Valley, Feb 17, 2016About 20 species of wildflowers are participating in this year’s celebration, mostly white and yellow but others with purple, pink and red tones. Surprisingly, it was a good superbloom year in the southern hemisphere, too, as we reported a few months ago (11/02/15). Chile’s Atacama Desert, known as one of the driest environments on earth with only 0.6 inches of average rainfall, became a riot of colors, mostly reds, pinks and purples, after unusually heavy rains.Desert five-spot (Eremalche rotundifolia) in Death Valley, Feb 17, 2016In Death Valley, the bloom moves to higher elevations as the season progresses. There are actually two celebrations of life going on. The flowers are dependent on pollinators. It takes a large army of insects to pollinate all the blossoms that cover many acres. Somehow, they also show up on time in sufficient numbers so that the plants can set seed which will wait patiently, once again, for just the right conditions, maybe ten years or longer.More rain is forecast this week in California; it if hits Death Valley, the bloom may last longer. For news on the superbloom, see the Death Valley National Park wildflower update. The Desert USA website contains information on additional locations in southern California where wildflowers are beginning to show up.The world doesn’t have to be beautiful, but it is. It doesn’t have to be intricate, but it is. Everything could be gray and slimy, just enough to get by. Instead, we have a world of “useless beauty” that rightly inspires our imagination and draws us to its Creator. There’s hardly a better example than wildflowers.We hope you enjoy this mini-report on a true wonder of nature. The Editor had a chance to see this superbloom and also the ones in 2005 and 1998. Now he hopes to capture other wildflower displays around southern California. You can see some of his bounty on his Flickr page.last_img read more

Media Club South Africa

first_imgThe Brand South Africa media service, Media Club South Africa is an invaluable news and content resource, providing original feature articles and high-quality Creative Commons photos for use online and in print.The project was born out of recognition of the important role the media plays in shaping perceptions about South Africa.Aimed specifically at journalists, communicators, bloggers and other media practitioners with an interest in South Africa, Media Club South Africa offers relevant, mind-opening, up-to-date and verifiable information on the country and its achievements – all free of charge.Content includes news, features, stunning infographics and photography.Information on the website is clustered around a number of categories for easy reference and access, covering a wide range of subjects such the economy, the people, arts and culture, history and heritage, and social development.Registration is offered as an option to users who wish to access the comprehensive image library, also available free of charge.All material on Media Club South Africa can be republished as is, or it can serve as thought-starters for story ideas.Feedback and comments are welcome to ensure that the service consistently meets expectations.last_img read more

South African sporting highlights of 2013

first_img20 December 2013South African sportsmen and women excelled on the world stage in 2013. The country’s national rugby and football teams both boosted their world rankings over the course of the year, while the Proteas remained the undisputed number one team in test cricket.Perhaps the biggest upset in football in 2014 occurred at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on 19 November when Bafana Bafana, ranked 61st in the world with Libya, defeated world and European champion, Spain, ranked number one in the world since 2008, by a goal to nil. Bernard Parker scored the winner and a few gilt- edged chances were missed as Bafana recorded their first ever victory over a team ranked number one in the world.It was a welcome boost for a team that had missed out on qualifying for the 2014 Fifa World Cup, although coach Gordon Igesund had started on the back foot when he took over a side that had drawn two qualifying games under former coach Pitso Mosimane.Orlando PiratesOrlando Pirates captured the headlines when they made it through to the final of the African Champions League. On the way to the final, they defeated 2009 and 2010 champions TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the second round and 2011 champions Esperance de Tunis in the semi-finals. However, defending champions Al Ahly, whom they had beaten 3-0 in Cairo in group play, stopped the Buccaneers in the final, winning 3-1 on aggregate.Pirates’ great rivals, Kaizer Chiefs, the most popular team in South Africa, won the Premier Soccer League title for the first time since 2004/05, while Chiefs and Bafana Bafana captain Itumeleng Khune won five awards at the South African Football Awards gala and was also named the South African Sports Star of the Year after a public vote.Cricket’s number oneThere was little hope of upsetting the Proteas, cricket’s number one test team, in 2014. New Zealand found that out in a New Year’s clash at Newlands in January. They went down by an innings and 27 runs after being bowled out for only 45 in their first innings. The margin was even greater in the second test, which the Proteas won by an innings and 193 runs.Pakistan were brushed aside in a three-test series, which included scoring only 49 in the first innings of the first test in Johannesburg. After a six-month break, the teams met in the UAE and Pakistan surprised South Africa by winning the first test, but with the rust out of their system the Proteas romped to an innings victory in the second test to tie the series. The win was South Africa’s 100th since the country’s readmission to world cricket in 1992.Three of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year were South Africans, with Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn and Jacques Kallis being recognised by the “Cricketer’s Bible”.The SpringboksFor the Springboks, 2013 was a very positive year, which saw the men in green and gold make strong progress and enjoy an excellent season that included an unbeaten tour of the northern hemisphere, with wins over Six Nations’ champions Wales, Scotland and France, and only one try conceded in those three tests.The Springboks lost only two matches out of 12, both of them to New Zealand, but highlights included a Castle Rugby Championship record-setting victory of 73-13 over Argentina in Soweto, a first ever win over Australia in Brisbane, and a first clean sheet against Scotland (28-0) since the famous 44-0 win (which would have been 62-0 today) at Murrayfield in 1951.Bryan Habana became the first Springbok to score 50 test tries in a 56-23 win over Samoa in June. Only five players before him had achieved the milestone, three of them from first tier test rugby nations.SevensThe South African Sevens team finished second in the HSBC Sevens World Series, won titles in in Las Vegas, Tokyo and Edinburgh, defeating New Zealand on all three occasions for the title, and also captured World Games gold in Colombia in August.Former Springbok coach Ian McIntosh received the International Rugby Board’s Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service at the IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition in Dublin, Ireland, in November.Chad le Clos continued to shine in the swimming pool, winning World Championship gold medals in the 100 and 200 metres butterfly in Barcelona. Cameron van der Burgh also won gold in the 50 metres breaststroke.Swimming starsIn addition, Le Clos claimed the Fina World Cup overall title for a second time, while Roland Schoeman finished fourth and Myles Brown ninth. The evergreen Schoeman, who is aiming to become the first South African to appear in five Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, went unbeaten throughout the season in the 50 metres breaststroke and was seldom challenged.Paralympic legend Natalie du Toit received recognition for her wonderful career, which ended after the 2012 London Paralympics, when she was awarded an honorary MBE.Triple world championGreg Minnaar was crowned UCI MTB downhill world champion for a third time, delighting South African fans by winning the title in his home town of Pietermaritzburg in September. One of the all-time greats of downhill racing, Minnaar has also finished runner-up in the World Championships three times, has won the UCI MTB World Cup overall title three times and finished as runner-up on four occasions. He has more World Cup podium finishes than anyone else in history.There was also plenty to celebrate on the road. Daryl Impey became the first South African to wear the Tour de France’s famous yellow jersey in the 100th edition of the event, while Chris Froome, schooled in South Africa, where he first competed as a professional, won the race.Louis Meintjies showed there is more talent waiting in the wings when he won a silver medal in the under-23 category at the UCI Road Race World Championships in Florence, Italy, while his professional team, MTN-Qhubeka, made a significant mark after becoming the country’s first ever Professional Continental cycling team. Their most significant result was achieved in March when Gerald Ciolek claimed victory in the Milan-San Remo Classic and the team went on to record 16 victories during the season, second among Pro Continental teams.Wheelchair tennis starWheelchair tennis player Lucas Sithole shone during 2013. He won the British Open title and then went one better by lifting a major trophy at the US Open. Ranked second in the world, he twice beat world number one David Wagner on his way to the title. Kevin Anderson, meanwhile, became the sixth South African to be ranked in the ATP Tour’s top 20.Canoeing greatOn the water, Hank McGregor was crowned canoe marathon world champion for a third time, while Andy Birkett edged out fellow South African Brandon van der Walt to claim the under-23 men’s title.Sean Rice won the first Ocean Racing World Championships title in Portugal as South African paddle skiers occupied six of the top 10 places. Michele Eray claimed the women’s title, just ahead of Michelle Burn, with Nikki Mocke, in third, making it a South African 1-2-3.African championsThe national men’s and women’s hockey teams were both crowned African champions, which secured them places at the 2014 Hockey World Cup in The Netherlands.Motorsport aceGiniel de Villiers finished second in the Dakar Rally in a South African-built Toyota Hilux 4×4 and was named the South African Motor Sportsman of the Year.Kelvin van der Linde won the Scirocco R-Cup Championship in Germany and Austria. His talent and rising star was confirmed in October when he won a place at the FIA Institute’s 2013/14 Young Driver Excellence Academy.last_img read more