To Bolster Global Efforts in Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria KFSH&RC Scientists Discover New Bacteria Species: Riyadhensis

To Bolster Global Efforts in Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria KFSH&RC Scientists Discover New Bacteria Species: Riyadhensis
KFSH&RC-Riyadh

To Bolster Global Efforts in Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria KFSH&RC Scientists Discover New Bacteria Species: Riyadhensis

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, March 25, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In a ground-breaking development, scientists at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSH&RC) have identified a new species of bacteria, referred to as “Stenotrophomonas Riyadhensis” through the application of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) technology. This discovery signifies a major advancement in understanding how bacteria interact with existing drugs, paving the way for innovative therapeutic strategies. Such efforts are essential in the global fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, highlighting KFSH&RC’s advanced research capabilities and its leading role in fostering scientific discoveries and enhancing patient care.

The discovery of “Riyadhensis” reinforces the potential of genomic tests in innovating promising diagnostic and therapeutic methods, as well as deepening the understanding of bacterial resistance mechanisms, particularly in sensitive environments like intensive care units (ICU) and among patients with compromised immune systems. This represents substantial progress in combating antibiotic resistance, developing pharmaceuticals, and preventing the spread of diseases.

This newly identified bacteria was discovered amid an in-depth investigation into a suspected outbreak in the ICU of KFSH&RC in 2019, highlighting challenges previously unrecognized by the global scientific and medical communities in pinpointing and countering new bacterial strains. Initially thought to be a variant of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a disease-causing bacterium known for its resistance to antibiotics, subsequent WGS analysis revealed it did not share the common characteristics of the Pseudomonas genus. Instead, Riyadhensis was found to belong to the Stenotrophomonas family, with a unique genetic composition and morphological traits, unlike any other scientifically recognized members.

Dr. Ahmad Al Qahtani, Head of the Infectious Disease and Immunity Department at The research center of KFSH&RC stated: “Traditional bacterial identification methods may lead to misidentification, in contrast, WGS analysis offers a precise and targeted approach that ensures accurate identification and provides detailed insights into resistance mechanisms, proving its significance in disease outbreak investigations and patient care improvements.”

Dr. Reem Almaghrabi, Head of Transplant Infectious Diseases at the Organ Transplant Centre of Excellence at KFSH&RC highlighted the discovery’s importance in advocating for continuous monitoring and the use of advanced technologies like WGS in developing faster and more accurate diagnostic methods. Furthermore, this approach lays the groundwork for scientific collaboration at all levels, enhancing global efforts to combat antibiotic resistance.

Understanding the nuances of new bacterial species, particularly their antibiotic resistance, is crucial in modern healthcare and serves as the primary means of combating bacterial infections. As these bacteria continuously evolve their resistance, they pose a significant and ongoing threat to human health.

It is noteworthy that KFSH&RC has been ranked first in the Middle East and Africa, and 20th globally, in the list of the top 250 healthcare institutions worldwide for the second consecutive year, according to the 2024 Brand Finance rankings. Additionally in the same year, it was ranked among the world’s best hospitals by the prestigious Newsweek magazine.

King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre stands among the global leaders in providing specialized healthcare, driving innovation, and serving as an advanced hub for medical research and education. Through strategic partnerships with prominent local, regional, and international institutions, the hospital is dedicated to advancing medical technologies and elevating the standards of healthcare worldwide.

About King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre (KFSH&RC):

King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre (KFSH&RC) stands as a leading healthcare institution in the Middle East, envisioned to be the optimal choice for every patient seeking specialized healthcare. The hospital boasts a rich history in the treatment of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, organ transplantation, neurosciences, and genetics.

In 2024, “Brand Finance” ranked King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre as the top Academic Medical Centre in the Middle East and Africa, and among the top 20 globally. Additionally, in 2024, it was recognized as one of the World’s Best Hospitals by Newsweek magazine, and ranked # 1 in KSA.

As part of Saudi Vision 2030, a royal decree was issued on December 21, 2021, to transform the hospital into an independent, non-profit, government-owned entity, paving the way for a comprehensive transformation program aimed at achieving global leadership in healthcare through excellence and innovation.

CONTACT INFORMATION

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Essam Al-Zahrani, Media Affairs Acting Head, 0555254429

Mr. Abdullah Al-Awn, Senior Media Editor, 0556294232

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/c4299c01-0079-498b-8350-bd085d769150

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 9078638

Dominica reaches monumental agreement with other Caribbean Citizenship by Investment nations

Roseau, March 25, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The citizenship by investment programme (CBIP) countries within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) have agreed upon legislation to ensure the integrity of their CBIPs, supported by the government of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

The virtual signing ceremony was held on Wednesday, 20 March, the four OECS countries, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, and St Kitts and Nevis signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 20 March 2024. This landmark pact included setting a minimum CBIP price threshold to US$200,000, elucidating the commitment of Caribbean CBI countries to solidify their commitment and maintain the dialogue with international partners.

The MoU includes outlined agreements among the four CBI countries to accomplish the following:

  • Exchange of best practices and due diligence processes
  • Set a minimum threshold of USD200,000 and this threshold must represent the actual amount of funds received
  • Sharing information on applicants;
  • Enhance transparency by disclosing funds;
  • Conduct independent financial and operational audits;
  • Establish regional authority to set regional  standards;
  • Set common standards for communication and promotion;
  • Regulate agents; and
  • Conduct joint training programmes and capacity-building initiatives for CBI administrations.

Dominica leads on CBIP integrity 

The Commonwealth of Dominica was at the forefront of these changes, with the Prime Minister of Dominica, Honourable Dr Roosevelt Skerrit, announcing that he signed the agreed-upon changes ahead of his Tuesday press conference. Dominica continues to demonstrate receptiveness towards enhancing and maintaining the integrity of the CBIP.

As announced in the press conference, Honourable Dr Skerrit explained that the Caribbean CBI countries will work together to address the European Union’s (EU) questions about CBI and visa-free travel to the Schengen area. Honourable Dr Skerrit explained that CBI countries are continuing the push to strengthen the integrity of the CBIPs.

“As you know there are countries within the OECS who have these programmes, Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, and St Kitts and Nevis…and the concerns have been raised by these [European] countries…and the need for all of us to take certain actions to set aside the concerns which the EU in particular would have had with these programme,” Honourable Dr Skerrit said.

Changes made in line with EU dialogue  

Honourable Dr Skerrit reiterated Dominica’s consistent dialogue with the EU, emphasising the meeting held between the five CBI Caribbean countries and the EU Directorate General of Migration and Home Affairs. This is evident in the EU officials visit to Dominica on 24 January 2024 with the OECS countries to discuss the Caribbean CBIPs.

Honourable Dr Skerrit stated that “Dominica has taken some very comprehensive measures to allay and to set aside the concerns of the European Union and other parties who we engage in on this matter.”

“Further to that, the countries within the OECS who have these programmes, we have met jointly, and we have agreed to take some joint actions, some of which, not limited to but include having the same legislation to deal with the whole (CBI) programmes”.

Standardising CBIPs 

The legislation standardises due diligence, information between CBIPs, and sets minimum price structures to ensure no applicants could apply for citizenship ‘below a particular fixed rate’.

These things, Honourable Dr Skerrit maintained, “will place all of us in a much stronger position in terms of our response to the concerns the EU would have raised.”

Attachment

Secretary of Dominica Citizenship by Investment
Commonwealth of Dominica
001 (767) 266 3919
info@cbiu.gov.dm

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 9078632

Zoom launches Zoom Workplace in AWS Marketplace

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 25, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, Zoom announced that Zoom Workplace, Zoom’s AI-powered collaboration platform, is now available in AWS Marketplace, a digital catalog with thousands of software listings from independent software vendors that make it easy to find, test, buy, and deploy software that runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Now customers can seamlessly purchase Zoom Workplace products –- such as Meetings, Team Chat, Phone, Whiteboard, Spaces — as well as Zoom Contact Center and Revenue Accelerator in AWS Marketplace.

Building on Zoom’s more than two years of success serving the Public Sector as an AWS independent software vendor (ISV), Zoom recognizes that it is crucial to equip customers with the right resources and opportunities to enhance their collaboration and communications in today’s digital-first world. This streamlined purchasing option of Zoom Workplace can help AWS customers consolidate their technology purchasing and billing of Zoom solutions, discover partners that can facilitate deployment, and maximize their usage of AWS committed resources.

“By making Zoom available through a private offer in AWS Marketplace, we are able to reach more customers and are better equipped to enable IT teams to consolidate their technology,” said Graeme Geddes, chief growth officer at Zoom. “At Zoom, we are excited to build upon our already strong relationship with AWS and work together further to help meet the business and technology needs of our customers.”

Zoom incorporates over 40 different AWS services, including compute, storage, and encryption capabilities. Zoom’s Customer Managed Key offering allows customers to bring their own encryption keys using AWS Key Management Service to help protect certain data. Additionally, AWS AppFabric integrates with the Zoom Developer Platform to help businesses break down data silos, improve cross-application workflows, enhance security observability, and support employee productivity. In 2023, AWS named Zoom as a NAMER finalist for its 2023 Geo and Global AWS Partner Award within the Education Partners of the Year category.

For Zoom channel partners that already participate in the Channel Partner Private Offer (CPPO) feature in AWS Marketplace, please reach out to your Zoom point of contact to express interest in working with Zoom on this in the future.

To access Zoom Workplace in AWS Marketplace, please visit this link.

Some features and products may not be available for all regions and industry verticals at launch.

About Zoom
Zoom’s mission is to provide one platform that delivers limitless human connection. Zoom Workplace — the company’s AI-powered, open collaboration platform built for modern work — will streamline communications, increase employee engagement, optimize in-person time, improve productivity, and offer customer choice with third-party apps and integrations. Zoom Workplace, powered by Zoom AI Companion, will include collaboration solutions like meetings, team chat, phone, scheduler, whiteboard, spaces, Workvivo, and more. Together with Zoom Workplace, Zoom’s Business Services for sales, marketing, and customer care teams, including Zoom Contact Center, strengthen customer relationships throughout the customer lifecycle. Founded in 2011, Zoom is publicly traded (NASDAQ:ZM) and headquartered in San Jose, California. Get more info at zoom.com.

Zoom Public Relations
Bridget Moriarty
press@zoom.us

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 9078508

Zoom and Avaya announce new strategic partnership to deliver enhanced collaboration experiences

Avaya selects Zoom‘s AI-powered collaboration platform, Zoom Workplace, to integrate with Avaya’s Communication and Collaboration Suite to help enterprises reimagine teamwork

SAN JOSE, Calif. and MORRISTOWN, N.J., March 25, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, Zoom and Avaya announced a strategic partnership designed to deliver enhanced collaboration experiences to global enterprises. As part of the partnership, Avaya selected Zoom Workplace — Zoom’s AI-powered collaboration platform that will include meetings, team chat, scheduler, whiteboard, spaces, and more — to integrate with Avaya’s Communication & Collaboration Suite, providing customers with a new, streamlined way to manage their communications environments and workflows.

Additionally, Avaya will offer the integrated Zoom Workplace solution and will deliver an enhanced collaboration experience to its base, which boasts some of the industry’s largest enterprise customers.

Adding innovation value without disruption
Avaya customers can gain additional value from their existing investments in Avaya private cloud and premise-based solutions while also leveraging Zoom’s user experience and interface to power their collaboration needs.

“Today’s enterprises are seeking to benefit from the latest AI-powered innovations to help differentiate, accelerate, and grow, all while integrating new levels of performance with minimal disruption to existing core systems,” said Alan Masarek, Avaya CEO. “By partnering with Zoom, we can deliver on the promise of ‘innovation without disruption’ for Avaya customers, providing added value to enterprises through world-class collaboration experiences within the Avaya platform.”

“Zoom was built to offer a sophisticated yet easy-to-use product, and as Zoom has expanded to include hundreds more products and features, as well as generative AI integrated throughout, delivering an exceptional user experience is still core to who we are and something we continue to invest heavily in,” Eric S. Yuan, Zoom founder and CEO. “Customers and partners like Avaya continue to look to Zoom to power their collaboration needs because of its speed of innovation and because it just works. We are excited to deliver that same experience to the thousands of Avaya customers who will benefit from a simple yet powerful way to collaborate.”

Enhanced collaboration with Zoom and Avaya
Existing Avaya customers will retain their investments in Avaya’s solutions and devices while benefiting from Zoom’s AI-powered collaboration platform, Zoom Workplace.

Working together, Zoom and Avaya’s partnership is designed to deliver a joint solution that will provide an enhanced collaboration user experience for Avaya customers, including:

  • Interoperability between platforms and devices, enabling users to work in Zoom Workplace while also leveraging their existing investments in Avaya’s Communication & Collaboration Suite solutions — Avaya Aura and Avaya Enterprise Cloud — without disrupting investments in existing customizations, workflows, or infrastructure.
  • Access to Zoom AI Companion, Zoom’s generative AI digital assistant.
  • Collaboration solutions such as Zoom Team Chat, Zoom Scheduler, Zoom Whiteboard, flexible spaces, and more.

The new Avaya and integrated Zoom Workplace experience and device interoperability will be available to Avaya customers globally in the coming months. More details around the joint solution will be shared later this spring.

About Zoom

Zoom’s mission is to provide one platform that delivers limitless human connection. Zoom Workplace — the company’s AI-powered, open collaboration platform built for modern work — will streamline communications, increase employee engagement, optimize in-person time, improve productivity, and offer customer choice with third-party apps and integrations. Zoom Workplace, powered by Zoom AI Companion, will include collaboration solutions like meetings, team chat, phone, scheduler, whiteboard, spaces, Workvivo, and more. Together with Zoom Workplace, Zoom’s Business Services for sales, marketing, and customer care teams, including Zoom Contact Center, strengthen customer relationships across all stages of the customer lifecycle. Founded in 2011, Zoom is publicly traded (NASDAQ:ZM) and headquartered in San Jose, California. Get more info at zoom.com.

About Avaya
Businesses are built by the experiences they provide, and every day, millions of those experiences are delivered by Avaya. Organizations trust Avaya to provide innovative solutions for some of their most important ​ambitions and ​challenges,​ ​giving them the freedom to engage their customers and employees in ways that deliver the greatest business benefits. Avaya contact center and communications solutions power immersive, personalized, and unforgettable customer experiences that drive business momentum. With the freedom to choose their journey, there’s no limit to the experiences Avaya customers can create. Learn more at https://www.avaya.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains express and implied “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the expected benefits of Avaya using Zoom as its exclusive collaboration platform and product features and investments. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “project,” “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” “can,” “predict,” “potential,” “target,” “explore,” “continue,” or the negative of these terms, and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. By their nature, these statements are subject to numerous uncertainties and risks, including factors beyond Zoom’s control, that could cause actual results, performance or achievement to differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied in the statements, including those described under the caption “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in Zoom’s most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended July 31, 2023. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date the statements are made and are based on information available to Zoom at the time those statements are made and/or management’s good faith belief as of that time with respect to future events. Zoom assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date they were made, except as required by law.

Zoom Public Relations
Candace Dean
press@zoom.us

Avaya Public Relations
Alex Alias
alalias@avaya.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 9078503

Zoom unveils AI-powered collaboration platform, Zoom Workplace, to reimagine teamwork

  • Zoom Workplace, the new AI-powered collaboration platform, helps reimagine teamwork, facilitate connections, and improve productivity — all within the Zoom experience users trust and love
  • Zoom announces 40 new innovations, including new Zoom AI Companion features for Zoom Phone, Team Chat, Events, and Contact Center, and its expansion to include Ask AI Companion, which works across the platform to help employees make the most of their time
  • New Zoom Contact Center innovations include additional digital channels, enhanced AI features, insights, and additional integrations to help businesses strengthen customer relationships and empower agents

ORLANDO, Fla., March 25, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) announced Zoom Workplace, its AI-powered, open collaboration platform, and introduced new AI Companion expansions to help reimagine teamwork. Zoom’s latest products and features, including new AI Companion features for Zoom Phone and extended capabilities with Ask AI Companion, a refreshed look within the Zoom app, and more, will provide its customers with the all-in-one AI-powered platform they need to power modern work. Zoom also announced customer experience enhancements to Zoom Contact Center, so businesses can strengthen customer relationships and leverage real-time AI-powered insights to improve live agent engagements.

“We have seen the positive impact that Zoom AI Companion has had on our business and our customers, transforming how we work by freeing up precious time for collaborative teamwork,” said Smita Hashim, chief product officer at Zoom. “Zoom Workplace with AI Companion will help solve real customer problems by bringing the core collaboration solutions into a single AI-powered platform to help improve productivity, efficiency, and the overall workday, all within the Zoom experience users trust and love.”

Drive Impact with AI Companion

Zoom continues to elevate AI within its platform, helping users harness their productivity directly within their existing workflows, enhancing employees’ skills, and empowering teams to focus their time where it matters. Zoom’s latest AI Companion innovations will include Ask AI Companion, an enhancement of the digital assistant that will help users prepare for their workday across Zoom Workplace, plus AI Companion for Zoom Phone and additional capabilities for Team Chat and Whiteboard. All AI Companion features will continue to be included at no additional cost with the paid services in eligible Zoom user accounts.

Ask AI Companion will provide a new way to interact with AI Companion across the Zoom platform. Users can enhance their productivity and be better prepared for their workday with Ask AI Companion, which will gather, synthesize, and share information from Zoom Meetings, Mail, Team Chat, Notes, Docs, and more. Ask AI Companion will also help prepare users for and recap meetings, show relevant action items, draft agendas, and summarize chat and email threads, as well as documents. In a later release after the initial launch, Ask AI Companion will be able to pull relevant content from select third-party applications (if the customer chooses to enable them) to be even more helpful.

Zoom Phone is now boosted with AI Companion capabilities to help make calls and follow-up more productive. With AI Companion in Zoom Phone, users can request a post-call summary and next steps, so they can focus on the conversation instead of taking notes. If they miss an important call, voicemail prioritization helps elevate urgent messages, moving them to the top of the queue, and voicemail task extraction delivers tasks from voicemails to help users understand the next steps without listening to every voicemail. Team SMS thread summary also provides a concise overview of Team SMS threads in PowerPack, so users can quickly catch up after stepping away.

Other AI Companion innovations across the platform will include new Team Chat and Whiteboard capabilities. In Team Chat, AI Companion now helps users save time with smart scheduling that automatically detects the intent for a meeting in chat and suggests a meeting time, and in the future will provide sentence completion and will expand to support 38 languages (in preview) for the chat compose and thread summary features. Zoom Whiteboard users are now able to generate and refine whiteboard flowcharts and mind maps using a simple prompt to kick-start ideation and creativity. For more information about AI Companion innovations, visit the Zoom blog.

Reimagine Teamwork with Zoom Workplace

Zoom Workplace, the company’s AI-powered collaboration platform, will deliver new innovations to help businesses reimagine teamwork, facilitate connections, improve productivity, and optimize flexible work experiences. Zoom Workplace will elevate the Zoom experience with Zoom AI Companion so that all employees within a company can be more productive, collaborate better, and enhance their skills.

Zoom Workplace will continue to be an open platform that enables customer choice. Zoom’s APIs, SDKs, and over 2,500 integrations in the Zoom App Marketplace make it easy for customers to integrate Zoom into existing tech or integrate users’ favorite apps into Zoom.

With the introduction of Zoom Workplace, Zoom is unveiling a refreshed user experience with more choices, including the ability to choose from four color themes within the Zoom app, so users can make the app their own. Hosts will also have the opportunity to add customized virtual meeting backgrounds to tailor the feel or focus of the meeting.

“With Zoom, there aren’t any challenges with implementing complex tools, so we can focus on engaging our employees and collaborating on the work that matters,” said Diofanto Rosales, vice president of digital workplace and IT infrastructure at Flex. “Zoom Workplace will bring all our essential work tools together in a single app, making it easier than ever to get work done.”

For Zoom Meetings, users will see a new Meetings tab within the Zoom app that will allow users to collaborate before, during, and after meetings. It will support traditional calendar views and will serve as the central place for agendas, recordings, and other shared assets such as documents, plus AI Companion smart recordings and meeting summaries. Last year Zoom introduced continuous meeting chat, which helps users continue chat conversations so collaboration can continue outside of meetings asynchronously and throughout the life of a project. With the new Meetings tab, users will be able to access continuous meeting chats from the Meeting card before and after the meeting.

During meetings, the new multi-speaker view will automatically adapt the video layout to highlight active speakers to help attendees follow the discussion more easily. AI-powered portrait lighting will help illuminate users’ faces in poor lighting, and generative AI virtual backgrounds will allow users to create custom backgrounds.

Additional new features for Meetings will include a customizable toolbar that will allow users to pin their most-used features, multi-share, which will allow multiple participants to share their screens and documents, whiteboards, and notes simultaneously, and document collaboration that will provide the ability to select documents, streamline document access permissions, and co-edit right from meetings with documents from third-party apps.

In Zoom Team Chat, asynchronous communication will be boosted by Team Chat tabs that will help users stay organized by keeping channel-related assets like links, whiteboards, and resources in a single view, shared spaces that provide a shared grouping of channels to help users better organize conversations and improve discoverability of relevant project or team-based topics, and workflow automation, a powerful, no-code workflow engine, will be easily configurable to automate business tasks in Team Chat.

For hybrid and onsite organizations, navigating the office will be easier than ever with the introduction of a Workspaces tab, providing access to Workspace Reservation with wayfinding and Visitor Management directly from the Zoom Workplace app. To help make meetings more inclusive, Zoom Rooms will include the option to enable new smart name tags, which will be able to automatically apply name tags to people in a Zoom Room during a meeting.

When one screen isn’t enough, users will be able to expand Zoom Rooms with a companion device for an additional screen to collaborate with audio and video. For Workvivo customers, a new integration with Zoom Rooms will provide the ability to instantly broadcast important updates, news, and events to employees using Workvivo TV with certified devices for Zoom Rooms.

“Businesses are looking for AI-powered solutions that will help them move the dial by boosting employee productivity and team collaboration,” said Zeus Kerravala, Principal Analyst at ZK Research. “Zoom’s newest innovations, including its release of Zoom Workplace and Ask AI Companion, demonstrate its commitment to deploying AI that is intuitive and effective across one platform to improve productivity and collaboration.”

At launch, Zoom One bundles will be rebranded as Zoom Workplace bundles, giving new and existing customers simple pricing for Zoom’s different offerings. For more information about Zoom Workplace, visit the Zoom blog.

Strengthen Customer Relationships with Zoom Business Services

Zoom’s business services include AI-powered solutions for marketing, customer care, and sales. Tightly integrated with Zoom Workplace, Zoom Business Services empower customer-facing employees to provide exceptional experiences throughout the customer lifecycle.

Zoom Contact Center already includes AI Companion for Contact Center at no additional cost. Further real-time capabilities available with AI Expert Assist include intelligently retrieving and suggesting the best responses from a curated set of knowledge bases, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and other systems of record. Now supervisors are getting even more AI Companion for Contact Center capabilities. Supervisors now have visibility into their agents’ live engagements with real-time customer sentiment, live transcriptions, and conversation summaries from a single dashboard to help them better manage agents and easily identify when they need to provide assistance.

In Zoom Contact Center, businesses can now expand their digital communication channels to include WhatsApp and inbound email, giving customers more flexibility and choice, and making it easier for agents to engage and respond to customers.

Agents will benefit from custom app integration with Zoom’s open and flexible framework that allows teams to build apps from proprietary or third-party data sources that surface relevant customer information directly within the agent desktop, which reduces toggling between apps and allows for personalization and faster resolutions. Agents will also benefit from deep integration with Zoom Workplace, which will allow them to seamlessly direct transfer customers with AI-generated engagement summaries to back-office experts using Zoom Phone Power Pack, enabling seamless escalations and helping reduce handling time.

Zoom Contact Center and Zoom Phone will also offer an integration with PCI Pal to enable secure capture of payment data, including PCI attestation of compliance (AOC). Also, Zoom Contact Center customers now have the ability to store certain data locally in Zoom’s EU data center, designed to meet the data storage needs of EU-based customers.

Revenue organizations who use Zoom Revenue Accelerator can now enhance their customer conversations with deal memos, which will provide a brief summary of a conversation and an analysis of its impact on the possibility of winning a deal. Coming soon, a built-in automated scorecard will help improve sales outcomes by creating scorecards that rate customer interactions and provide actionable feedback.

For marketing professionals, Zoom Events enhancements amplify their hybrid events to help make them more engaging. With new AI Companion image generation, hosts can now create custom images based on a simple text prompt for event registration pages, virtual backgrounds, and marketing emails. To help bridge the gap between hybrid events and in-person events, the Swoogo integration for Zoom Events allows event professionals to reach broader audiences. For more information about Zoom’s business services innovations, visit the Zoom blog.

Newly announced products and features are expected to roll out over April and May. Some features and products may not be available for all regions and industry verticals at launch.

About Zoom

Zoom’s mission is to provide one platform that delivers limitless human connection. Zoom Workplace — the company’s AI-powered, open collaboration platform built for modern work — will streamline communications, increase employee engagement, optimize in-person time, improve productivity, and offer customer choice with third-party apps and integrations. Zoom Workplace, powered by Zoom AI Companion, will include collaboration solutions like meetings, team chat, phone, scheduler, whiteboard, spaces, Workvivo, and more. Together with Zoom Workplace, Zoom’s Business Services for sales, marketing, and customer care teams, including Zoom Contact Center, strengthen customer relationships throughout the customer lifecycle. Founded in 2011, Zoom is publicly traded (NASDAQ:ZM) and headquartered in San Jose, California. Get more info at zoom.com.

Zoom Public Relations
Lacretia Nichols
press@zoom.us

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 9078519

Four Villages In Teso South In Jubilation After Being Connected To Power For The First Time Since Independence

Four villages in Teso South constituency, Busia county are in jubilation after they received electricity for the first time since independence.

Kacherere Trading Centre, Kalachamong, Kakoldong, and Kocheck Villages have all reasons to celebrate after they were connected to electricity through the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC) which targets to connect over 14,000 to the national grid within the coming four months.

Speaking at Kalachamong village, REREC’s CEO, Dr. Rose Mkalama, said the Sh1.29 billion project covering Bungoma, Busia, Kakamega, Kisumu, Siaya, and Vihiga counties will be complete by 30th June.

‘We target to connect over 14000 new customers to electricity before 30th June in support to the government manifesto of affordable clean energy by 2027,’ said Mkalama.

‘Clean energy is a fast growing sector that has made electric grids more resilient, expanded energy access and helped lower energy bills and play a big role as far as climate change is concerned,’ she add
ed.

According to Mkalama, the 56 electrification projects initiated in Busia in the 2022-23 financial year for Sh311 million will benefit 3,517 customers across the eight sub-counties in the county.

Teso south will see about 370 customers connected to a tune of Sh.64.7 million. ‘This project targets to bridge the energy gap in the rural setup by ensuring more households have affordable clean energy at their disposal,’ the CEO noted.

REREC’s board director, Mr. Milton Lucheri, said they have embraced an innovative participatory approach to financing projects which entails collaboration between REREC with county governments and constituencies through the National Constituency Development Fund (NCDF) to ensure more households are connected.

Source: Kenya News Agency

PM Abiy Says Seedlings Preparation Underway for This Year’s Planting Season

Addis Ababa: Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed disclosed that seedlings are under preparation across Ethiopia for this year’s planting season as part of the Green Legacy Initiative.

Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative is more than just planting; it is an integrated management of existing forests and biodiversity, the premier shared on X page.

Prime Minister Abiy added that the Green Legacy Initiative is also crucial to restoring mass degraded landscapes and improving the ecosystem.

‘As we prepare for this year’s planting season ahead of us, seedlings are under preparation throughout the country,’ Abiy stated.

As part of the ambitious Green Legacy Initiative to plant 50 billion trees in two phases, Ethiopia successfully planted 32.5 billion seedlings to date.

The initiative is a demonstration of Ethiopia’s long-term commitment to a multifaceted response to the impacts of climate change and environmental challenges, it was learned.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Narok Deputy Traffic Commander Dies In A Road Accident

Police in Narok County are mourning the deputy traffic commander Calvin Ochieng who passed on this morning after the vehicle he was driving was involved in a road accident along the Narok- Bomet highway at Ratili area, Narok South Sub County.

Ochieng was driving his personal vehicle KBU 730E from the Bomet side, when he collided head on with the lorry, belonging to Crown parcel which was traveling in the opposite direction.

It happened that the police officer was in the process of overtaking an unknown lorry when he collided head on with the lorry.

As a result of the impact, the police officer sustained serious injuries on both legs and chest and succumbed to the injuries on the spot.

Narok County police commander Riko Ngare confirmed the accident saying the officer was driving from his rural home to the office when he met the accident.

He described the officer as a dedicated officer who conducted his assignments with minimal supervision.

‘He was very active on the roads to ensure a smooth traffic flow
along various roads in Narok town. I wish to convey my sincere condolences to the family, friends and the entire police force,’ he said.

Ngare called on motorists to be vigilant while driving along the smooth highway to avert accidents that have been on the rise in the country in the recent past.

The body of the deceased was taken to Longisa hospital mortuary for preservation awaiting postmortem.

As a result of the accident, members of the public have taken to social media to mourn the officer whom they described as friendly and hardworking.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Government Secures Sh.39.3 Billion To Roll Out Locally Led Climate Financing

The government in collaboration with development partners has secured Sh39.3 billion to roll out a locally-led climate action financing programme.

Through the initiative dubbed Financing Locally Led Climate Action (FLLoCA), the government targets to ensure climate finance reaches the most vulnerable communities who continue to bear the brunt of the devastating effects of climate change.

National Treasury and Economic Planning Cabinet Secretary (CS) Prof Njuguna Ndung’u said the programme to be implemented in 45 rural counties comes after a successful piloting of county level climate change funds which proved to be effective in fostering deeper understanding of climate change and identifying tailored solutions to mitigate the effects.

With support from the World Bank, Germany (KFW), Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, the government, he added, has set in motion the process of releasing the funds to the counties to roll out the programmes.

‘Our focus is on enhancing our national systems to ensure funds rea
ch the most vulnerable individuals leveraging existing capacities to respond to shocks and evolving trends. Equally important is the flow of information and learning back to the national level enabling us to assess effective strategies and monitor our progress in bolstering resilience,’ he said.

The FLLoCA programme, he said, aims to promote cross agency collaboration and linkages spanning from the community level, national level and the international development agencies to effectively address climate change.

Speaking in Kisumu during the launch of the initiative for 16 Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) counties, the CS said lack of funds was the biggest hindrance to inclusive community development and adaptation to climate change pushing tens of millions at the grassroots into extreme poverty.

The LREB component of the FLLoCA programme funded by KfW Development Bank (Germany), he said aims to enhance the capacity of the 16 agro-ecological counties of Trans Nzoia, Elgeyo Marakwet, Bungoma, Uasin Gishu, Bus
ia, Kakamega, Nandi, Siaya, Vihiga, Kisumu, Kericho, Homa Bay, Nyamira, Migori, Kisii to decentralise climate finance and foster local resilience at the ward level to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change effectively.

Speaking during the same occasion, Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary (CS) Soipan Tuya lauded the support from development partners saying it would go a long way in addressing gaps in climate change adaptation and mitigation in the country.

Lack of resources, she said, was a big challenge adding that the country required Sh. 62 billion annually to roll out climate mitigation programmes and up to Sh170 billion to implement the long term strategy.

The CS said each county was expected to select one ecosystem to focus on and showcase the design of FLLoCA as the program rolls out.

He challenged governors to build on the existing structures while rolling out the programme to ensure it is successful.

‘We must build on the existing structure and make use of the County
Environment Committees, County Climate Change Committees and Ward Climate Change Committees to roll out the program to enhance efficiency and reduce duplication,’ she said.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Alternative Justice System Is Solution To Case Backlog, Says Deputy Governor

Embracing the Alternative Justice System (AJS) will reduce the backlog of cases in Kenyan courts and unlock billions of shillings held by financial institutions due to protracted litigation tussles between various parties.

Nakuru Deputy Governor David Kones has said that with prison congestion, family wrangles, and business disputes escalating, Kenyans should resort to AJS whose positives included resolution in one or two sittings.

Mr Kones noted that disputes that had been dragging before judges for decades revolved around assets and finances, which do not help families but only escalate wrangles in the family.

The Deputy Governor was speaking at his office when he hosted the National Steering Committee on Implementation of Alternative Justice Systems Policy (NaSCI-AJS) of the Judiciary.

The committee, led by Court of Appeal Judge Professor Justice Joel Ngugi who chairs the NaSCI-AJS also discussed preparations for the forthcoming the 3rd Annual National Conference on Alternative Justice Systems in Kenya
, which will be co-hosted by the Judiciary and the County Government.

Chief Justice Martha Koome is scheduled to open the Conference which will be held at Nyayo Garden and will run from June 11, 2024 to June 14, 2024.

The conference will bring together justice actors, practitioners, judicial officers, academics, policymakers, civil society actors, development partners, and all stakeholders in the access to justice ecosystem.

The AJS is a system that allows litigants in criminal and civil cases to resolve disputes outside the jurisdiction of the courts through healthy negotiations. The system is not only supposed to resolve cases but mend broken relationships, as parties in the cases are given chances to express themselves without restrictions.

Mr Kones said, unlike the court system, the AJS ensures all parties win and get what they want.

The AJS is an umbrella which comprises arbitration, mediation, consent agreements and blood money compensation, to resolve disputes.

The Deputy Governor noted that the
AJS has eased the burden of dispute resolutions, adding that it gives chances to people who had claimed but were scared to go to court and resolve the issues.

Also present were County Legal Advisor Samuel Mungai, and Ms Jemimah Aluda, head of the NaSCI-AJS Secretariat among others.

Mr Kones noted that only 21 per cent of Kenyans have access to the formal justice system, and the AJS was beneficial to the remaining 79 per cent.

The Deputy Governor was disheartened at how succession cases and family disputes had dragged on in courts for decades while kin suffered.

‘I hope those cases are resolved through AJS and are removed from courts immediately,’ he said.

According to Justice Ngugi the conference will be fulfilling one of the major objectives of the committee to rally all sectors of Kenyan social, religious, judiciary, and cultural life to continuously and emphatically support the AJS mechanism and expand the pool of individuals and groups accessing justice in Kenya.

The AJS module he pointed out has a
panel of at least three arbitrators who sit with opposing parties.

‘The panelists include elders, prisons in charge, lawyers, religious leaders, and court officials among others. As of now, the panelists sit in the court’s jurisdiction,’ noted Ngugi.

Those in the panel get the root cause of disputes by hearing opposing parties vent, disagree, and offer solutions themselves. The panel gives advice and recommendations only.

Professor Ngugi said the aim of the panel is not to decide on behalf of the parties but help them come up with their own solutions. He took note that in Nakuru alone, over 150 cases had been taken from courts and referred to the AJS since it was launched in 2021, with almost half of them resolved.

‘A succession case that had been in court since 2006 was resolved in one sitting. Also, over 250 cases for sex workers and 400 disputes in the bodaboda sectors have been resolved,’ said Ngugi at a previous event.

Unlike the court procedure that is strict, technical, complicated and rigid, Just
ice Ngugi said AJS has a vast way of resolving disputes. The AJS, he noted, ensures all parties win and reconcile after resolving disputes. The process is usually supposed to take six months.

In another case after 19 years in court, a Nakuru widow finally obtained the right to inherit part of her deceased father’s property. Ann Wanjiku had been fighting her eight siblings in court since 2003 until June 14, 2022, when Professor Ngugi, then High Court judge, referred the matter to the AJS.

After only one AJS session, the eight children of the late David Ndung’u agreed that Wanjiku, their sister, should inherit a significant share of their father’s property.

Furthermore, through the AJS, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) recovered a government housing property in Kericho worth Sh5 million through the Alternative Justice System (AJS).

According to South Rift Manager Ignatius Wekesa, the developers who realized they had fake title documents for the land agreed to surrender them to EACC. ‘We are
in the process of rectifying the title deeds for the repossession of the land,’ said Wekesa.

Professor Ngugi underscored the important role played by AJS saying it brings reconciliation, restoration and transformation into the society.

He said those fighting succession battles in court cannot develop their land and buildings worth billions of shillings.

Professor Ngugi noted that many victims of injustice had no recourse and that was dangerous and unfair.

‘Anyone who has a grievance must have a recourse. We want to encourage people to use the AJS mechanism to resolve cases,’ he said.

Professor Ngugi said it will help resolve 21 percent of cases before courts of law.

Source: Kenya News Agency