Posts

Microsoft & Eon Collaborate to Bring 400 Million Products Online by 2025

Microsoft & Eon Collaborate to Bring 400 Million Products Online by 2025

Tech giants Microsoft and Eon are starting a partnership with the goal of bringing 400 million products online by 2025. Through this ambitious collaboration, they are planning to introduce an industry-wide digital foundation for a circular and connected economy that spans retail, apparel, and fashion.

Circular business models, in particular, have been gaining popularity across industries, making this partnership a wise move. These business models focus on eliminating waste from the way we live by ensuring that they retain materials with productive use for as long as possible. The models can include peer-to-peer exchange, rental, resale, styling services, digital wardrobing, reuse, and recycling. While many industries have a focus on reusing and recycling materials, such as the steel industry which currently produces about 40% of steel around the world with recycled metal, the fashion and retail industries have latched onto the goal of reducing waste in major ways.

Microsoft & Eon Collaborate to Bring 400 Million Products Online by 2025

Microsoft and Eon hope to make that goal even easier to achieve with their collaboration. Microsoft Azure will power Eon’s CircularID™ Protocol and Eon’s Connected Products Platform. This teamwork will allow brands and retailers to launch new business models and revenue streams, create more dynamic relationships with their customers and maintain a sustainable relationship with the planet. The partnership also allows Eon to solve some of the toughest data and operational scale challenges in the industry. With Microsoft’s software, Eon’s Connected Products can operate side-by-side with existing systems, giving retailers and brands the ability to efficiently digitize their products at scale.

Microsoft & Eon Collaborate to Bring 400 Million Products Online by 2025

Digitizing products at scale has traditionally been the fashion industry’s biggest obstacle to adopting circular business models. According to Eon Founder and CEO Natasha Franck, they’ve been struggling with a digital infrastructure that is decades old. Not only does this infrastructure prevent retailers and brands from shifting to customer-centric and circular businesses, but it can put them at risk of Internet crime, which involves using the Internet to communicate fraudulent or false representations to consumers. The team at Eon has been working with Microsoft for the past few years to ensure that their shared vision of easy and accurate digital platforms is available across the industry and at scale.

Another vision that this partnership hopes to achieve with Connected Products is redefining what growth and opportunity mean for retailers and brands by disassociating them from resource consumption. For the majority of the fashion industry’s history, producing and selling new products was the sole means of generating revenue. This made sustainability nearly impossible to achieve. However, Connected Products can allow brands to generate continuous revenue from products as they manage, control, and monetize circular business models.

Microsoft & Eon Collaborate to Bring 400 Million Products Online by 2025

In the Connected Products system, every garment in the world will have a digital identity, or “digital twin.” This will essentially give each piece of clothing a unique digital fingerprint that connects the garment to the platform for its entire lifecycle. Eon is doing this with the CircularID™ Protocol, allowing different brands and retailers to access a digitized profile of the product’s entire history.

Through Microsoft and Eon’s partnership, the future of the fashion industry could change for the better. Not only can brands and retailers successfully implement a circular economy that helps the struggling environment, but they can maintain two-way communication with their customers and build deeper relationships with their consumers. Combined, these two achievements can transform what it means to have growth and get away from a culture of consumption.

Black-Owned Business Spotlight: Felicia Jackson's CPR Wrap

Black-Owned Business Spotlight: Felicia Jackson’s CPR Wrap

The best ideas for inventions are often born out of times of desperation and intense need. For mother and medical professional Felicia Jackson, that need came when her young son had a choking incident. Although Jackson was CPR-certified and had 20 years of experience in the medical field, her mind went blank with panic and she couldn’t help her son at that moment. Her husband was able to step in and save their son, but Jackson couldn’t stop thinking about the panic that sets in when you see someone choking and how that can prevent anyone, even medical professionals, from performing CPR.

That’s how Jackson literally dreamed up CPR Wrap. After the incident, she had a dream in which she saw someone using the product in an emergency situation. From the moment she woke up, she knew she had to bring that live-saving product into the world.

Felicia Jackson's CPR Wrap

CPR wrap is a simple product that makes performing CPR less intimidating and more accessible to everyone. A tool that allows anyone to effectively perform CPR at a moment’s notice, CPR Wrap is a translucent overlay that guides you through the four steps to perform CPR that the American Heart Association recommends. In addition to the simple, step-by-step instructions, it includes a one-way mouth valve and a visual hand placement map to guide chest compressions. If someone’s airway is obstructed, all you have to do is get them flat on their back, lay CPR wrap over them so that the mouthpiece aligns with their mouth and the lower half of the map covers their chest, and follow the instructions on the guide.

Felicia Jackson's CPR Wrap

As the need for CPR can arise anywhere at any time, CPR Wrap is packaged for convenience. It comes in a palm-sized package, allowing you to easily store it almost anywhere in your home or workplace. As 3 million people are injured in car accidents in the U.S. every year, the ability to keep CPR Wrap in your glove compartment or purse is a great perk of the product. It also comes in different sizes for adults, children, and infants, allowing you to administer CPR to whoever may need it.

This versatility is important, as CPR can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival. When someone starts choking or having trouble breathing, you likely won’t have time to get them to one of the 6,200 hospitals in the U.S. or even have time to wait for an ambulance to get to you. You can, however, quickly open up CPR Wrap, lay it on the person in trouble, and follow the easy instructions to give them CPR.

CPR Wrap by Felicia Jackson CPR Wrap by Felicia Jackson

Although Jackson had no formal business experience and an aversion to marketing when she first thought of this life-saving product, she knew that she had to conquer the tough road ahead and get her idea on the market. Jackson started with business programs in her town of Chattanooga, TN, including an immersive accelerator program run by CO.LAB, a local startup incubator.

In that program, Jackson quickly learned the ropes of pitching a business. She found that she was a natural at marketing, a part of running a business that includes tasks big and small, such as branding a product and ensuring that branding is consistently presented across all platforms, which can increase revenue by up to 23%. The hard work paid off and Jackson was able to sell 3,000 units of CPR Wrap before she even had a tangible product.

Today, Jackson works on CPR Wrap full time and business is booming. The company has even gone international, with audiences in South Africa, Dubai, and Germany showing interest in having CPR Wrap on hand.

“Internationally, when it comes to safety and protocol, they prepare—they’re not reactive. For many of us here in America, it’s only when something happens to us that we think we need something like CPR Wrap,” said Jackson.

Thankfully, when a near-tragedy did happen to Jackson’s son he made it out alive and Jackson did think of something like CPR Wrap. Now, families around the world can take a preventative step by bringing CPR Wrap wherever they go and always being ready to face an emergency situation with ease and confidence.

‘Check, Please!’ Restaurants Including Fee In Bills To Cover Employee Healthcare

Healthcare has been a part of the national conversation in the United States for some time. Different solutions have been a part of trying to figure things out, but one thing remains certain: not everyone has access to the healthcare they need.

It’s common for people to think of their own healthcare without much considering what others are going through. Many Americans receive health insurance through their employers, but this isn’t the case for all American workers. This is especially true of the service industry. Your servers, bussers, bartenders, barbacks, cooks, etc. don’t often receive healthcare benefits through their jobs. Obviously, this doesn’t make them need it any less, yet they remain in a difficult situation when it comes to accessing affordable healthcare. This can be particularly taxing when workers in these industries work peculiar hours or multiple different service jobs.

Group of Happy friends having breakfast in the restaurant

A little perspective: people can bill a 45 to 60 minute acupuncture session to their insurance company in the name of wellness, but large groups of service industry workers lack any insurance to cover even the cost of an annual checkup. Some restaurants are attempting to rectify this issue by passing a percentage of the cost onto the customers. As you can imagine, restaurants that have decided to do this receive all manner of mixed feelings, opinions, and comments. Let’s explore.

To explain how it works in the most basic sense, let’s say you’re out to eat with friends. The four of you have dinner, a couple of bottles of wine, and dessert. When it comes time to pay the bill and leave, your receipt breaks down the cost and you’ll see the typical things, but among them is one you haven’t seen before: healthcare tax, for instance. It’s not much, maybe even a few dollars compared to the rest of your bill. This extra tax is being added to your bill to help the restaurant pay for health insurance for their service staff. Some like the idea, others don’t.

With the average age of retirement at age 63, health insurance becomes an increasingly important consideration for everyone. By 2030, more than 20% of the population will be above age 65, and as age and time increase, so does the need for proper and affordable healthcare options. As such, closer attention is being paid to the healthcare access of the historically underserved restaurant industry. We mentioned the people who were adverse toward spending an extra percentage on an added health insurance tax at a restaurant, but there are many who support and champion the idea.

This isn’t a new thing, with restaurants across the country adding these provisions to their guest checks. Some help cover health insurance costs, others supply service industry workers with higher wages, paid time off, and the like. While some restaurants make this fee optional and give guests the freedom to remove such fees from their bill, others announce them as non-optional. A simple, small cost for the service provided and an investment into the community that serves. The move has been largely accepted by diners who, for the most part, aren’t going to cease frequenting a favorite restaurant for reason of paying a small percentage toward the waitstaff. Still, others aren’t so keen, saying that such fees rob guests while negatively impacting the tips that make a bulk of service worker wages.

Millions of Americans donate to charities every year, which are contributions that receive tax kickbacks. Nobody bats an eye at such things, but the same isn’t true for adding a small percentage to a restaurant guest check to help pay for an establishment’s waitstaff health insurance. There seems to be a disconnect there, thus the issue remains split. One thing, however, remains the same: people aren’t going to stop going out to eat and the service industry isn’t going anywhere. Where this brings us down the road remains to be seen.

As always, tip your servers and bartenders.

Nail Salon

Ohio Spa Owner Under Fire For Naming Nail Salon ‘Inappropriately’

Jobs. A necessary evil. That is, of course, unless your job doesn’t feel like day-to-day toil. A poll taken in 2016 referred to Millennials as the job hopping generation, with six in 10 open to a new job at any given time. This is a greater number than any previous generation.

While that fact has drawn criticism from older generations, younger people are much more likely not to suffer through doing a job they hate. A concept that doesn’t compute to certain mindsets. A way to avoid disliking your job is to start your own business. Sure, it’s tough at first, but you’re ultimately in charge of what happens, for good or for ill. Plus, you get to name your own business.

Ohio resident Dawn Moon is a new business owner. The licensed cosmetologist recently opened her nail salon and spa that has since caused quite the scene. The value of on-site signage is equal to 24 full-page newspaper ads each year. For Moon, this wasn’t enough, so she took her marketing acumen and opened Pandora’s Box by officially naming her nail salon Hand Jobs Nails & Spa.

So many reactions. Outrage. Offense. Laughs. Viral marketing. Her spa, in just a few days, is on the map internationally.

“You don’t want something that they can’t remember or that they can’t pronounce or say. In less than a week, I think the whole country knows about us. You can’t pay for that kind of advertising,” she explained.

Phenomenally clever. She goes on to defend the name because it’s literally the establishment’s job to work on hands. Still, some residents of the town are outraged over the name and have appealed to the zoning board to force Moon to change the name of her spa. She’s prepared to fight it tooth-and-nail.

“If you go in and get your nose done, it’s called a nose job right? Well you come in and get your hands done it’s a hand job!” she argues.

She’s certainly not wrong and whichever way the verdict turns out, she already got enough free marketing out of it for the whole ordeal to be worth it. The spa has reportedly received more compliments and jokes about it than ire, but it only takes one “I want to talk to a manager!” type to get the authorities involved.

The decision of whether Hand Jobs Nails & Spa remains named thusly is forthcoming and if they’re told to change the name, appeals will be filed and it’ll be taken to court, reports say.

Some 99% of marketers swear by the unique value of trade show exhibits that aren’t found in traditional marketing mediums. We might suggest they take a lesson from Dawn Moon and harness the unique advantage of knowing the viral content market and thoroughly exploiting the attention span of the internet and the collective reach of a little PG-13 humor.

Now, who’s ready for a manicure?