Rapid Pace of Change

Looking over the lineup of articles for this issue, there’s one thing that jumps out: The rapid pace of innovation and change reflected in most of the stories.

One of the more extreme examples is the roundtable discussion about artificial intelligence that SFBW presented with Levatas, a cutting-edge company in Palm Beach Gardens. The panelists indicated there is a lot of misconception about what AI is. A simple definition was given by panelist Alan Machuga, vice president of information technology at United Technologies’ Building & Industrial Systems: AI is about improving how data is interpreted. Machuga also explained how it fits in with a couple of other hot trends: Augmented reality and virtual reality allow data to be stated in a different way. Blockchain is about securing data.

Another way of looking at it was expressed by Sol Rashid, chief data and cognitive officer at cruise ship giant Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines: “What everyone is looking for is the needle in the haystack that couldn’t be found using Excel.”

Another article explains how Gravity IT Resources is bringing innovation to the field of IT recruitment. One aspect of its innovation is a database of 240 million working Americans and doses of algorithms and AI. Another aspect is rewarding people who know the best candidates and actually recommend them to a recruiter. No wonder Gravity IT is growing at triple-digit rates amid our tight job market.

In our human resources roundtable, Brian Altschuler, vice president of ancillary operations at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, talked about the importance of using technology to make it easier to apply. “We’ve seen a spike in résumés and applications coming through whenever people can just link and click and apply any time of the day on their smartphones,” he said.

Al Linares, director of human resources at Trump Doral Miami, said he’s finding success with text messages since few people pick up their phones. Vonage has helped out as a tech partner.

Jennifer Foreman, vice president of human resources at Mount Sinai Medical Center Miami Beach, shared how a mobile fueling service is being used to make life easier for employees.

Developer Joel Altman, featured on this issue’s cover, is actively seeking the latest amenity tweaks for the multifamily projects he’s developing—never mind that he started his company in 1968.

Worried about missing a package delivery? His Altis Boca Raton project has a high-tech system to receive packages securely, including refrigerated lockers for food deliveries. “Right now, there’s an amenity war going on—to one-up the last developer with the next development. This property, even as new as it is and as well as ‘amenitized’ as it is, I already have ideas for the next one,” he says.

That is the right spirit to succeed these days. The choice is to innovate or stagnate.

Kevin Gale
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