|By Business Wire||
|May 21, 2014 09:15 AM EDT||
Location Based Technologies®, Inc. (OTCBB:LBAS) CEO Dave Morse has released a letter to shareholders.
I have recently received many calls and emails from shareholders expressing disappointment and concern about LBT’s financial performance. Without exception, we all share your same sentiment. While knowing that success is a journey filled with ups and downs, it is nevertheless not as important to know the reasons why we didn't achieve our performance targets as much as is the fact that we didn’t achieve them. As difficult as that is, it has given us all, here at LBT, a stronger resolve to become even more focused on those things that we can do to create momentum and achieve positive results. Thankfully, in our case, as long as we continue to increase our customer base, persistence is the most sure predictor of success.
Like many other companies both large and small, LBT was hampered by tremendous economic challenges through 2013. However, we are certainly not out of the game, and based on lessons learned, we have a plan to play differently. I want to share with you some insight into a few initiatives that will have an impact on our approach this year – both in the commercial and consumer markets.
After a year of discussion, planning, and negotiating with UT Battelle, the managing company of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for the Department of Energy (DOE), LBT was awarded a 15-month exclusive contract to integrate DOE’s VERDE (Visualizing Energy Resources Dynamically on the Earth) platform with LBT’s proprietary geo-location platform to be offered commercially through LBT to utility companies in both the public and private sectors. This VERDE system is what the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other agencies rely upon during emergency events to display the damage to the energy sector within each state, when restoration is expected to occur, what response measures are being taken, and what is needed in terms of restoring electric power. Bill Irwin, disaster program manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said, “It was difficult to get a clear picture of what was going on. Now we rely on the DOE as the authoritative source.” Those responsible for implementation of the DOE VERDE system have been named as “Service to America” 2014 Finalists for the Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Medal. The VERDE solution provides:
|a)||a set of unique/powerful tools to enhance situational awareness for utilities’ operation centers;|
|b)||new capability for field supervisors to more effectively manage power restoration;|
|c)||visibility to power outages along with up-to-the minute severe weather info from VERDE data feeds;|
|d)||and real-time tracking of response crews and equipment with LBT’s GPS data – all on a single map.|
Initial commercial prospects wanting VERDE shared what they see are the immediate benefits:
|1)||more effective emergency preparation planning,|
|2)||better assessment of critical needs for mobilized equipment,|
|3)||faster response time in the field for communities with urgent needs,|
|4)||enhanced evaluative tools to assess real-time dangers for work crews,|
|5)||reduced operations costs by knowing what equipment is needed and where/when to send it.|
Based on early feedback, we think this could be a major game changer for LBT, and for the market.
The LBT and ORNL VERDE platform integration is underway. This is a collaborative development effort that will complete within 30-days followed by controlled demonstrations to key accounts happening as early as in June. This timeline is critical due to the fact that the sales cycle is longer, but we are not waiting for finished product to get things rolling with sales. The second reason it is critical is due to the fact that weather predictions for 2014 indicate it may be one of the worse severe weather seasons we’ve experienced in a long time in North America. We’d like to have this in place for Utilities to take advantage of its benefits for reasons of both safety and security.
Our go-to-market approach will include working with channel partners who currently service major accounts in the Utility market – the first of which is a strategic partner who has participated in the discussions with ORNL from inception. Our excitement for successful execution of this commercial business initiative is rooted in the opportunity to balance out our reliance on AT&T by signing up other national as well as large regional clients. In parallel with our Utility market approach we will be seeking GPS technology partners that may want to provide the VERDE integration into solutions for the Telematics market servicing large trucking and equipment fleets. Our pursuit of software only business opportunities may include development of weather and power-outage mobile app overlay that is marketed to consumers.
There are three primary shifts in our consumer market strategy launching in 2014:
|1)||shift away from focusing only on small online resellers;|
|2)||partner with large distributors that have a strong channel presence with medium to large retail chains;|
|3)||selling pre-paid Service Plans like we do for our commercial accounts.|
The approach to offer prepaid plans provides our customers with more convenience, no service interruptions because of lapse in billing, and helps with LBT internal operations by receiving payment up-front. Additionally, this may also create a way for retailers to be able to resell our Service Plans bundled with PocketFinder in the near future.
In the US and Canada we are working with Synnex to develop key account plans to offer PocketFinder consumer products online and then transition into retail brick-and-mortar. This approach is necessary in preparation for launch of our 3G based PocketFinder products later this year. We have engaged with Ingram Micro, the world’s largest IT and consumer electronics products distributor, and hope to bring them on board soon. Ingram Micro would serve as a strategic partner in further development of our retail business in parallel with development of our commercial business as they have over 20,000 value-added resellers who sell into every commercial industry in North America.
We are also in pursuit of specialty channels; namely Auto Dealer channel, Pet channel, Sporting Goods channel, as well as Senior Independent and Assisted Living channel. LBT has previously sold products for use in these ‘markets’ but we have not yet pursued business through a dedicated channel. Each of these channels represents significant pockets of consumers who have varying needs for locating and monitoring loved ones – both two-legged and 4-legged – as well as valuables worth recovering. The first two channels will be Auto Dealers and Senior Living markets in US, with programs expected to launch as early as this summer.
Though this past 2013 year-end holiday sales season was brutal for all retailers worldwide, we managed to have a 150% sales increase over our previous year. Currently, the average street price for our PocketFinder product has come up by about 25% since February with the adoption of a Minimum Advertised Price policy to discourage a handful of resellers from selling our products at single-digit margins, which has now resulted in larger resellers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart increasing orders because they can maintain better margins. We expect to see a positive impact to consumer sales this quarter.
We support our earlier projection based on our current order pipeline along with conservative estimates of what we may be able to achieve with our market expansion to generate $4,000,000 to $5,000,000 of revenue in calendar year 2014. This estimate does not include sales to the US military, which would only add to those figures.
Our singular focus in 2014 – profitability. Now that baseball season is in swing, let me say we will continue to work hard for ‘base hits’, because we know base hits are how ball games are won. Home runs are just an added bonus. Each hit gets us closer to building the momentum needed to reaching and sustaining profitability. We appreciate your patience and your feedback. We wouldn’t be able to make this a successful endeavor without your support. Thank you!
David M. Morse, PhD
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
Mar. 25, 2017 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,547
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
Mar. 25, 2017 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,912
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), will provide an overview of various initiatives to certifiy the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldw...
Mar. 25, 2017 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 480
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle.
Mar. 25, 2017 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,819
Providing the needed data for application development and testing is a huge headache for most organizations. The problems are often the same across companies - speed, quality, cost, and control. Provisioning data can take days or weeks, every time a refresh is required. Using dummy data leads to quality problems. Creating physical copies of large data sets and sending them to distributed teams of developers eats up expensive storage and bandwidth resources. And, all of these copies proliferating...
Mar. 25, 2017 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 6,421
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
Mar. 25, 2017 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,712
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
Mar. 25, 2017 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,276
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Mar. 25, 2017 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,689
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, will posit that disruption is inevitable for c...
Mar. 25, 2017 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,033
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,868
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,667
Deep learning has been very successful in social sciences and specially areas where there is a lot of data. Trading is another field that can be viewed as social science with a lot of data. With the advent of Deep Learning and Big Data technologies for efficient computation, we are finally able to use the same methods in investment management as we would in face recognition or in making chat-bots. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Gaurav Chakravorty, co-founder and Head of Strategy Development ...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,473
What if you could build a web application that could support true web-scale traffic without having to ever provision or manage a single server? Sounds magical, and it is! In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Munns, Senior Developer Advocate for Serverless Applications at Amazon Web Services, will show how to build a serverless website that scales automatically using services like AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon S3. We will review several frameworks that can help you build serverle...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,794
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,162
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 5,053