February 2024 Tech Upload

The NEW Digital Alliance would like to thank Werner Electric and Wipfli for their support as an Strategic Level investor!

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NEW Digital News

Welcome to our newest investors!

Please help us welcome our newest Alliance investors, Microsoft and Kimberly-Clark.


Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington. Microsoft’s best-known software products are the Windows line of operating systems, the Microsoft 365 suite of productivity applications, and the Edge web browser. Microsoft is building a datacenter campus in Racine County, Wisconsin.  Their community development work supports sustainability, inclusive economic opportunities, and digital skill building for all ages, including Techspark investments in Northeast Wisconsin and TEALS programs throughout Wisconsin.


Kimberly-Clark Corporation is an American multinational personal care corporation that produces mostly paper-based consumer products. The company manufactures sanitary paper products and surgical & medical instruments. Kimberly-Clark’s well-known portfolio of brands, includes Andrex®, Cottonelle®, Depend®, Huggies®, Kleenex®, Poise®, Scott®, U by Kotex® and Wypall®, which are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries and holds the No. 1 or No. 2 share position in 80 countries. For more than 150 years, they’ve had the foresight to find new ways to make lives better. From creating new categories to starting new conversations, they are constantly innovating their products and their practices to serve and care for the ever-changing needs of the people they touch at all stages.

StellarBlue.Ai’s Managing Director Jim Dobinski Shares Insights on Their Transition into AI

Stellar Blue Technologies, a leading digital marketing agency in Northeast Wisconsin, has announced a bold rebrand, transforming into StellarBlue.ai. This evolution signifies the agency’s unwavering commitment to harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and providing cutting-edge solutions to its clients.

“At Stellar Blue, we believe the future belongs to those who embrace innovation,” says Jim Dobinski, Founder and Managing Director of StellarBlue.ai. “That’s why we dove head-first into utilizing AI and analyzing its impact on organizations and businesses.”

Dobinski underscores AI’s potential as the most “usable and needed” technology for clients. He sees it as the key to unlocking a new era of human-centric technology, simplifying complex processes, and personalizing customer experiences like never before.

“AI has given us the opportunity to look at technology in a humanistic way,” says Dobinski. “It’s about focusing on creating humanistic approaches and interactions, making technology more accessible and intuitive for everyone.”

Recognizing the inherent fear and confusion surrounding AI, StellarBlue.ai is dedicated to educating and empowering its clients.

“We understand the challenges with adopting new technologies,” says Dobinski. “Our goal is to demystify AI, showcase its real-world applications, and help businesses leverage it to gain a competitive edge.”

StellarBlue.ai draws on its rich history of adapting to the ever-changing digital landscape. From its humble beginnings as a website design firm in 2004, to navigating the complexities of web 2.0 and e-commerce, the agency has consistently embraced innovation.

“Just like websites and the Internet 20 years ago, AI is about to change everything,” says Dobinski. “And we’re here to guide our clients through this exciting transformation.”

Read full article here

Product Roadmaps: Playing Golf in a Hurricane

Imagine stepping onto the first tee, setting your sights on a blistering 45 for 9 holes, and meticulously plotting your shot for every blade of grass and gust of wind. That’s how many software development roadmaps feel: rigid, detailed, and ultimately blind to the whirlwind of unknowns waiting just beyond the first swing. Yet, in today’s breakneck market, clinging to static plans is like swinging with a metal driver in a lightning storm – dangerous and likely to end in disaster.

Here’s the inconvenient truth: we rarely know everything we need to know at the project’s outset. Architecture emerges as we code, dependencies reveal themselves in intricate dances, and user feedback transforms initial concepts into something entirely new. So, clinging to an inflexible roadmap is not just futile, it’s counterproductive. We need a development philosophy that embraces the inevitable: iterative roadmaps, as fluid as the fairway after a downpour.

This isn’t some radical notion. It’s woven into the very fabric of the Agile Manifesto, those four guiding principles that whisper the secrets of market agility:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools – Because brilliant ideas can spark anywhere, anytime, not just within the confines of a pre-defined process.

Working software over comprehensive documentation – Because delivering something imperfect, but usable, is infinitely better than chasing theoretical perfection in a vacuum.

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation – Because true value lies in understanding evolving needs, not rigidly adhering to outdated agreements.

Responding to change over following a plan – Because the market doesn’t wait for our meticulously crafted Gantt charts. It evolves, and so must we.

So, instead of a grandiose 9-hole plan, let’s play hole by hole. Embrace iterative development, delivering value in small, incremental bursts. Imagine each sprint as a swing on the course, learning from the previous shot, adjusting your grip, and adapting to the ever-changing landscape. The weather might force you to lay up instead of driving, but that doesn’t mean you abandon your goal – you simply adjust your approach. 

Read full article here

Brett Lindsey Appointed as CEO to Drive Involta’s Growth

Involta is thrilled to share exciting news marking a significant milestone in our journey to provide superior data center, cloud and connectivity infrastructure services.

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Brett Lindsey, a seasoned digital infrastructure leader with three decades of telecommunications expertise, as Involta’s Chief Executive Officer. Formerly the CEO of Everstream, Brett played a pivotal role in propelling the company from a Cleveland-only fiber network to a leading provider with a 10-state presence serving large enterprise and hyperscale clients.

Involta believes Brett’s leadership will elevate our position in the industry and bring added value to our strategic partnerships in the digital infrastructure landscape.

We are excited about the journey ahead and look forward to continuing to provide Superior Infrastructure and Services and Operational Excellence by People Who Deliver. Please join us in welcoming Brett.

Secure Green Bay Data Center

Microsoft Upskilling Programs

Microsoft offers several free digital upskilling opportunities. Check out below some of the new and updated programs available. 

Green Skilling Program: INCO Academy | Green Digital Skills Certificate Program (inco-group.co)

This free 5 week program will boost your digital career for a greener future. INCO Academy Green Digital Skills is a free, online certificate program that equips you with the knowledge and skills to build sustainable digital solutions. Free Learning Paths for Top Jobs (linkedin.com) Microsoft Added Generative AI, Sustainability, and Cybersecurity certifications to the list. 

Free Learning Paths for Top Jobs: Free Learning Paths for Top Jobs (linkedin.com)

Build the skills you need for the digital economy. LinkedIn and Microsoft have teamed up to provide free courses to help you keep your skills relevant.  Now, as more people transition to technical roles, we’re unlocking new courses and 8 Professional Certificates to help people learn the foundational skills and relevant hard and soft skills needed for in-demand tech and tech-enabled jobs. Microsoft has added Generative AI, Sustainability, and Cybersecurity certifications to the list.

Regional News

Gen AI: A Guide for CFOs

November 15, 2023
McKinsey & Company

How should CFOs approach generative AI—enterprise-wide and in the finance function—and what can they do right now to rapidly climb the learning curve?

Technology changes every business, often radically, and the pace of change is getting faster. Now, generative AI (gen AI) is beginning to show its disruptive potential. The technology won’t affect all businesses equally, and certainly not at the same time. Yet across industries and geographies, gen AI could present substantial opportunities for significant value creation.

But value doesn’t create itself. Instead, it’s the CFO’s role to allocate resources at the enterprise level—rapidly, boldly, and disproportionately—to the projects that create the most value, regardless of whether they are driven by gen AI. Similarly, in leading the finance function, the CFO can’t implement gen AI for everyone, everywhere, all at once. CFOs should select a very small number of use cases that could have the most meaningful impact for the function. In this article, we’ll discuss how CFOs can most effectively approach gen AI company-wide, prioritize specific use cases within the finance function, and rapidly climb the gen AI learning curve.

Read full article here

'Nobody Knows Anything at All' and Other Things that May Surprise You About AI

December 14, 2023
By Laura Hilgers

If you’re feeling confused by generative AI — what it does, how it works, and what it means for jobs — relax. Many of the finest minds in the world are right there with you. 

“Nobody knows anything at all,” said Ethan Mollick, an associate professor at The Wharton School, during his Talent Connect talk in October. “It’s really important to recognize that, and it’s a really hard thing to absorb. People keep asking me, ‘What companies are the leaders in this? And I’m like, ‘There are no companies that are leaders.’ This came out 10 months ago, right?” 

Before the crowd could sigh in relief, Ethan urged them to play with the technology now rather than waiting for a careful roll-out. “The way you find out what to do with this,” he said, “is you use it and you have your people use it and you have a way of your people telling you how they’re using it so you can figure out what it’s good for and what it’s not.” 

In a talk that was more intellectual whirlwind than podium lecture, Ethan shared his insights on what gen AI’s good for, what it’s not, and how it’s changing the world — in ways both expected and unexpected. 

Read full article here

Women in Tech are Being Forced Out of Work by the ‘Motherhood Penalty’

January 22, 2024
By Ross Kelly

40% of women in tech leave the industry over care responsibilities, harming retention rates and businesses.

Nearly half of women in the UK tech sector have left the industry due to conflicts with caring commitments, according to research from Tech Talent Charter.  Analysis from the industry body found 40% said care responsibilities were a “decisive factor” in their decision to leave the industry, highlighting one of the additional hurdles faced by women in the sector versus their male counterparts. Many women in tech are forced to juggle careers and care responsibilities, the study found, and work-life balance for workers now ranks among the most important considerations at present. The research from Tech Talent Charter has prompted the group to join forces with MotherBoard Charter to address what they term ‘maternity retention’ in the tech sector.

Around 50% of women leave tech by age 35, according to previous research.

The organizations have called for businesses to take action to address retention rates for women in tech, including the introduction of flexible working arrangements and a heightened focus on supporting career development.

Read full article here

IT/Digital Industry Employment Needs

Are you or your company in the northeast Wisconsin regional IT/Digital Industry? If so, we need your help. 

Every four years, every local workforce development board must complete a local plan, and several WDB’s are required to also complete a regional plan (of which Bay Area WDB and Fox Valley WDB are one of the Regions here in New North). DWD issued guidance on this year’s process right before the holidays and both plans must be completed and posted for a 30-day public comment period before April 6, 2024 (at the latest).

What do they need from you?

First, the WDB’s are supposed to do this in partnership with industry, employer, education & training providers, etc. As well, some of the analysis and information required is specific to industry sectors within our workforce development area. Some of this data/information they will receive from their DWD Regional Economist, but other information is needed to supplement and is where they can use your help.  

Therefore, we have created a short, three (3) question survey for you to provide your IT/Digital industry employment needs input on behalf of your company. Please complete the survey by Monday, February 5.

As a NEW Digital Alliance investor or regional IT talent, your input is invaluable to the future success of the industry and the IT/Digital talent.

Fill out the IT/Digital Industry Employment Need Survey Here