Tallan Blog

Tallan’s Experts Share Their Knowledge on Technology, Trends and Solutions to Business Challenges

Western & Southern Financial Group Innovation Jam: Building Innovative Solutions for the Insurance Industry

Recently, Tallan had the pleasure of planning and delivering an Innovation Jam for Western & Southern Financial Group, Inc.  Our journey with Western & Southern began this September when we first connected thanks to an Azure AppDev Hackfest opportunity that turned into their Innovation Jam. First things first, we started with identifying what they were looking to accomplish for their business.
From the first conversation with Craig Spencer, Assistant Vice President of Application Development, and Bonnie Wathen, Talent Acquisition Manager, IT, it was clear that their organization was very excited about this opportunity and their future transition to a cloud-based infrastructure.  Over the two months of planning leading up to the event, we worked closely with Craig, Bonnie, and the rest of the planning committee to:

Define the groups that would be participating,
Assemble groups and collect ideas and solutions each group wanted…

CBIA Employment Law Conference: AI for HR Panel Recap

Last week, the Connecticut Business & Industry Association held its annual Employment Law Conference. Tallan’s SVP of Client Delivery, Doug Smith, spoke on a panel with Dan Schwartz, a Partner at Shipman & Goodwin and author of the CT Employment Law Blog. 
Rather than pose questions to the panelists, Moderator Mark Soycher opted to poll the audience, and allow Doug and Dan to provide color commentary on Artificial Intelligence & Analytics for HR: Recruiting, Retention & Engagement. 
This style panel allowed for continued audience engagement for a topic many seem to shy away from. I was pleasantly surprised by some of the answers I saw, and not all that surprised by others. The first two questions created a Word Cloud, so the audience was able to visualize what their peers were thinking. The very first question asked was, “What loathed HR task or responsibility would you love…

Power BI Embedded: Take your Power BI Content to the Next Level

Power BI is a self-service business analytics solution that continues to progress the data and analytics space. Allowing different user types the ability to create and collaborate on reports through visualizations, Power BI offers a quality enterprise reporting solution for your organization.
Power BI Embedded allows you to add Power BI visualizations and reports to custom applications and websites. In doing so, customers can access the data they need through fully interactive reports. With the Power BI Embedded API, embedding analytics is a breeze and can be done within an existing application. Once your application contains embedded visualizations, the API also includes endpoints allowing communication between Power BI content, and the data within your custom application. This opens an exciting approach to business intelligence in the form of actionable insights. Imagine being able to view reports and act on them all…

How to Avoid ADA Litigation: 5 Ways to Improve Your Website Accessibility

Introduction
Lawsuits filed under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) related to web accessibility increased 177% from 2017 to 2018. Court decisions as recent as October 7, 2019 have left businesses open to more accessibility lawsuits. While public entities have had to comply with web accessibility for decades, the topic has quickly become more of a concern for private businesses than it has ever been. Unfortunately, not every private business has the resources to address these concerns. Luckily, there are some general principles and low-hanging fruit that you can address to make an effort to improve the accessibility of your website. Here are five of them:
Every business should strive to deliver a web experience that translates to any user. This includes users with visual impairment, deafness and hard-of-hearing, motor impairment, cognitive disabilities, and any other users of assistive technology (AT)….

Integrating Cloud Services: Azure Cache for Redis

Introduction
Cloud services do a great job relieving the burden of managing and maintaining various IT infrastructure elements. However, the responsibility still belongs to the developer to determine how to integrate these cloud services into an application. This blog series will focus on Microsoft Azure Services, providing guidance and examples on how to integrate services into your application, starting with Azure Cache for Redis.
What is Azure Cache for Redis?
Azure Cache for Redis is Microsoft’s cloud caching solution based on the software Redis. You are provided with an instance of a Redis cache that is hosted within Azure and can use it to improve the performance and scalability of your application. A common circumstance where a Redis cache improves performance is when the same data is accessed frequently. The cache provides a temporary location close to the application for data to be…

Testing Suspicious emails using Windows Sandbox

Co-workers often forward me emails when they are unsure if it is a valid email or something malicious. As one of the IT managers, I need to evaluate these emails in a safe environment. The tool I use for this is Windows Sandbox.
Windows Sandbox was added as a feature to Windows 10 with the May 2019 Update (version 1903). Every time you start Sandbox, it creates a Virtual Machine with a clean install of Windows 10. When you shut it down, the image is erased. This makes it an ideal environment for testing untrusted applications, links, and emails.
To enable Windows Sandbox, first make sure you have the minimum requirements:

Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, version 1903.
Hardware virtualization enabled in your BIOS
At least 2 CPU cores
4 GB of memory
1 GB of available disk space

Once the minimum requirements are met, click Start, then…

Demystifying a Common “Bug” Encountered by Developers new to Angular

I often work with clients that are transitioning their legacy MVC or WebForms web applications over to using Angular and Web API instead. After the initial ramp-up period with the framework, I’ve often had developers on these teams tell me how much easier it is to debug logic in Angular versus “how it used to be.” Writing logic with Angular and TypeScript provides these developers with a level of code organization on the front-end that they’ve previously only seen in their back-end .NET code. As a result, I think the framework especially appeals to developers who have previously shied away from front-end development.
With that said, there is an “Angular bug” I’m often asked to help remedy that I’d like to share in this article. The “bug” often comes up when new Angular developers begin sharing data between components. As you…

Compiling and Running a DLL in .NET Core 2 Using Roslyn and Reflection

During a recent client engagement, my team and I were given an unusual task: give the user the ability to write, compile, and run Visual Basic .NET code in a web app environment. This presented us with a great learning opportunity since no one on the team had experienced anything like this before. Our first choice was to use the System.CodeDom namespace to compile the source code and generate a dll to be run on-demand in other components of our web app. However, we quickly discovered that while CodeDom is available for .NET Core 2 (after installing it via NuGet), calls to the CompileAssembly methods would throw a System.PlatformNotSupportedException. We knew that we would need to change our approach. This led us on a path to Roslyn. Roslyn is a .NET compiler framework written in .NET. It contains code analysis…

Poll Results Part II: Microsoft Healthcare Bot Webinar: Enabling and Enhancing Patient Engagement

You might have seen our post last week, Poll Results Part I: Microsoft Healthcare Bot Webinar: Enabling and Enhancing Patient Engagement.
If you have, I’m sure you’re absolutely chomping at the bit to find out how people answered the question at the end of the event.  Well, the answer options differ a bit based on the use-cases from Quest Diagnostics and Aurora Health Care.
This poll occurred after the presentation from Microsoft Health Care’s Adam Walker, and Tallan’s own Matt Kruczek. Adam spent time on the details the team focused on to ensure the Bot would be compliant and useful for the healthcare community (to include a built-in understanding of medical language). While Matt elaborated on 3 of the pilot programs.  One assists with triaging and symptom checking patients, one focuses on follow-up and discharge plan adherence, and the other centers on…

Poll Results Part I: Microsoft Healthcare Bot Webinar: Enabling and Enhancing Patient Engagement

Earlier this month, we partnered with Microsoft and hosted a live webinar focused on the new Healthcare Bot platform. The Product Lead from Microsoft Healthcare lent his time to Tallan to speak to the production of the framework for this Chatbot, while Tallan’s AI team discussed 3 cases where this Bot is already being used to benefit patient engagement.
In short, this Healthcare Bot Framework, as opposed to Microsoft’s traditional Bot Framework, was specifically created with Healthcare compliance laws in mind, and an understanding of “healthcare intents by leveraging built-in language models tuned to medical terminology.”
Because Conversational AI is still very much making a name for itself as a mainstream tool, we polled our audience at the beginning of the webinar, and the end.
The first question was focused on patient engagement challenges, specifically what they face at their organizations.  Our audience…

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