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Knowledge Update

Introduction & Purpose
Knowledge update and Industry update at Skyline University College (SUC) is an online platform for communicating knowledge with SUC stakeholders, industry, and the outside world about the current trends of business development, technology, and social changes. The platform helps in branding SUC as a leading institution of updated knowledge base and in encouraging faculties, students, and others to create and contribute under different streams of domain and application. The platform also acts as a catalyst for learning and sharing knowledge in various areas.

Marketing Innovation Value Chain Model - A Strategic Marketing Tool to Steer through the Troubled Times

The present times made the global business world highly vulnerable and made the companies to face uncertain future. Most of the companies are struggling to survive, and the leading companies are relooking at their strategies and realigning the same to stay alive.

COVID-19 and its impact on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

The novel coronavirus outbreak that began in Wuhan, China in December has expanded to touch nearly every corner of the globe—bringing with it widespread quarantine requirements and economic distress.

COVID-19-A Review on the Entanglements of Technology

The world has been witnessing the ill effects of the pandemic as seen all over the news. The continuous health crisis has made society look into solutions from various perspectives. Starting from the newsroom to social media, everyone is bounded in some way or another to know the cause, symptoms, remedy, statistics, and major precautions. The technology is not far behind in establishing their positioning in this situation. Whether these entanglements of technology are for business improvement or a solution is difficult to answer – but we are in the 21st century where Technology for Everything rules. Some of the technological advances highlighted below have been used for different purposes during the coronavirus pandemic times.

Bluetooth Contact Tracing:

Bluetooth is used for finding the proximity of patients. The contact tracing applications calculate the distance between two mobile devices. The tracing app uses the Bluetooth features of devices to trace all the people affected in nearby areas. This helps one take precautionary measures as well as help the Government take remedial actions.

Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Devices:

The wearable devices with sensor capabilities are able to extract real-time data of body temperature, respiratory rate of the patient, and other physiological functions. Devices like smart thermometers, smartwatches, fitness trackers, smart headbands, and biosensors patches have been proven to be beneficial.

Telemedicine:

Telemedicine has helped in lessening the pressure on healthcare professionals and the risk of spreading the virus. The technology that make video consultations, Facebook webinars, and virtual screenings possible have eliminated the need to visit hospitals unless it is an emergency. Many telemedicine platforms like telemedicine carts and consultation software have proven to be useful to a great extent.

Drone Technology and Robots:

Several countries around the world have used drones to stop virus spread. They are using drones to survey crowded areas, delivering public announcements, screening individuals by a thermal camera, carrying essential medical supplies, and sterilization. Drone robots are being deployed to assist in the treatment of patients, surface disinfection, serving food, giving medication, and delivering medical supplies.

Blockchain:

Blockchain-based applications are used by the government and organizations to monitor and manage the pandemic by validating changing data associated with citizen/national IDs. The features of blockchain applications such as movement records, hospitalization, travel history, and medications given at different times are provided by collecting the information provided by various medical organizations, public health officials, and other individuals.

GIS and GPS:

GIS and GPS systems use spatial analytics, mapping, and location intelligence to map the transmission behavior of the virus by taking parameters of demographics, environment, and past occurrences. The technology makes it easy to identify high-risk areas as well as connecting and getting information from other regions.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML):

AI, along with ML, has proved to be a landmark technological advancement implemented to predict the risk, medical diagnosis, screening, modeling, and analysis. Machine learning (ML) techniques of supervised and unsupervised learning with statistical data modeling come out with many analytical results to restrict the spread of diseases, predict the fatality rate, and provide information on the availability of treatment.  AI, along with ML, determines the probability of survival and the need for ICU treatment for COVID-19 patients. It is used to correlate the patient’s data and predict the effect of the drug on a specific group of patients. AI is used in chemo-informatics to speed up the process of drug development. 

Several technological solutions have been proposed for handling the impact of COVID-2019 but still, the operation challenges and data integrity need to be looked into.

 

What have we learned from Emergency Remote Teaching during the Covid-19 pandemic?

In March 2020 students all over the world, including in the UAE, found themselves at home, in lockdown and thrown into online video classes.  Stephen Gange of Johns Hopkins University reflects the feelings of many teachers and students about this sudden shift to on-line video lecturing, "we know it's of a different nature from teaching in the classroom” (Murphy, 2019). Gange’s “different nature” clearly reflects the unplanned-for video delivery mode in this new teaching and learning environment.  Untrained in video teaching and unfamiliar with online conferencing software, many educators and students found themselves struggling at first in classes taught via on-line conferencing platforms such as Microsoft TEAM, Zoom, Wiz IQ, Blackboard and others; software not specifically designed for online study. 

Under such circumstances another quotation, this time from Feilim MacGabhann also of John Hopkins, is perhaps even more appropriate:  "Perfection is impossible, so don't strive for that - we're not professional video editors or animators, so if your hand-drawn, squiggly diagrams are OK for the whiteboard, they're OK for an online lecture or discussion" (Murphy, 2019).  To date little research had been done on such Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT).  However, learning by video has been around long before live video broadcast was considered. It started in the 1940’s in military applications where movie footage was used as a teaching tool.   Later, in the 1990’s, the importance and prevalence of video in education changed dramatically once video could be embedded in webpages.  Following this, learning management systems (LMS), developed and became distribution platforms facilitating the use of video as a wide-spread educational medium.

These developments mean today’s students have been watching video lectures for years on a wide range of devices including: laptops, tablets, desktops and increasingly smartphones (Villano, 2016); they are the YouTube generation.  The advancements in video-conferencing technology along with student experience and familiarity with social media had unintentionally prepared them for the sudden switch to ERT.  Such a dramatic change would not have been possible with previous generations or with earlier virtual meeting software.  However, further study is needed in a number of areas including: the impact of isolation on students, the effect of the viewing device on student satisfaction with classes, and, in particular, what features a video-lecturing platform should have as opposed to a video-conferencing software. 

Hopefully the COVID-19 crisis will be behind us soon. When it is, we should not just return to our old familiar campus ways and forget about what we learned from our (ERT) experience.  Instead, we should incorporate this upgraded technology and software experience into our teaching and learning practices. Two key areas we can start with are; first, that video lecturing must become part of educators’ professional development and second, that the education sector needs to define criteria for a dedicated on-line video- teaching platform that is purpose-built with the lessons learned from the COVID-19 experience.

Which Organizations Can Survive the Impact of Covid-19 on Their Supply Chains?

One of the highly-affected functions of a business organization due to Covid-19 is the Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) function worldwide. Many organizations are struggling to manage their supply chains to see that there is no interruption in the availability of products and services to their customers. The impact of Covid-19 has been highly evident in logistics on one side due to the prolonged lockdowns in many regions and supply chains on the other side due to the imbalance in supply and demand levels, right from the raw materials to the finished goods.  

While some organizations can manage their supply chains considerably despite the Covid-19 situation, others will suffer huge losses. So, the question is, which type of organizations can manage their supply chains well, and what strategies can enable them to sail through this pandemic situation? Here are some strategies for the management of LSCM fairly well during Covid-19. 

Supply Chain Resilience (SCR) – Organizations that have developed a systematic approach towards achieving SCR can mitigate the negative impact of Covid-19 on their supply chain activities. Identification of risks, assessment of risks, plan for managing risks through collaboration, and coordination with suppliers are some aspects of achieving SCR. So, the organizations which developed and implemented these strategies well in advance and set up a proper infrastructure and supply chain network will witness the least impact due to Covid-19. 

The diversified geographic network of suppliers – Often due to many obvious advantages, many organizations end up depending on a limited number of geographical regions for the majority of their supply. For example, China, which was the epicenter of the pandemic is a major supplier for many organizations across the globe. Therefore, organizations that developed their supplier network from diversified geographical areas (probably less affected by Covid-19) by reducing their dependency on a particular region will be able to achieve an uninterrupted flow of supply. This kind of multi-sourcing of essential and other strategic components minimizes the supply chain disruption by providing safety stock of inventory. 

Digital Supply Chains – In general, linear supply chains operate through communications gaps due to the development of several functional silos. Whereas, digital supply chains are more agile, responsive, and also more visible due to their nature of working across the functions through collaboration. Digital supply chains enable organizations to build capabilities to achieve SC resilience and manage the disruptions well. These organizations provide a cushion in their supplier network, alternative sourcing, inventory management, and distribution of goods by anticipating disruptions fairly well by redesigning their supply chains to minimize the impacts. 

Organizational Culture – While technical management is one aspect, socio-cultural management is the other important aspect of managing supply chains. Top management support, innovative work culture, employee empowerment, flexible work hours, employee-friendly HR policies, and emotional support during the exigencies develop a motivating socio-cultural system among all stakeholders in the supply chain network of an organization. These inspire the employees to reach the so-called ‘last mile’ easily in effectively managing their supply chains by putting that ‘extra’ effort’ during crises. Therefore, organizations that focus on developing this ‘enabling’ socio-cultural system in their supply chains will find less difficulty in achieving positive outcomes during this Covid-19. 

Finally, what will separate the winners from the losers in this crisis will be how well the companies have been able to manage their supply chains by adopting the above strategies.