Sonian CTO to Speak at ITEXPO 2017

WALTHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sonian, a pioneer in cloud-based archiving and analytics, today announced that the company’s CTO and founder, Greg Arnette, will speak at the upcoming ITEXPO conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. At the event, happening February 8-10 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, Arnette will lead a discussion on the evolving role of chief information officers (CIOs), and how they can reclaim value at each level of their organizations by providing data insights.

With the rise of SaaS solutions, employees from various business departments are making IT decisions without involving CIOs and their IT teams. As a result, the role of the CIO has been marginalized and many CIOs have found themselves more focused on overseeing maintenance-related tasks than spearheading innovation-fueled initiatives. CIOs can ensure their role doesn’t become obsolete by analyzing the data on which their companies already sit. Through this analysis, they can offer valuable insights to help guide important business decisions.

“There’s no question that the CIO role is evolving. To regain relevance and meet the needs of today’s businesses, CIOs can apply their unique skill set to the data they already have,” said Arnette. “ITEXPO attracts the best of the best in communications and technology, and I look forward to leading the discussion on the opportunity for them to steer decision-making processes through data analytics.”

ITEXPO brings together the global communications and technology communities – including enterprise, government and SMB end users, developers, media, analysts and more – for networking events, panels and thought leadership discussions on today’s most powerful communications solutions.

Arnette’s session, “From CIO to CDO: How to Drive Innovation and Value with Data,” will be held on Wednesday, February 8 at 9 a.m EST as part of the “Hot Topics in Tech and Communications” track. For more information and to register for ITEXPO 2017, please visit the ITEXPO website.

About Sonian
An early innovator in cloud-based archiving, Sonian preserves, protects and presents the world’s information. More than 27,000 customers in 43 countries trust Sonian’s secure platform and fast and accurate search to retain and retrieve valuable data and to protect the intellectual property in business communication.

Founded in 2007, Sonian is the only pure public cloud information archiving company, providing services that are easy, flexible, actionable and reliable for OEM partners and their end customers. Sonian allows companies to preserve, analyze and access their electronic communications for legal, regulatory and continuity purposes while gaining organizational insights.

Sonian is building the future and solving big data problems for companies, all while managing more than 20 billion objects in the cloud. For more information, please visit www.sonian.com.

Cisco Introduces New Innovations for Digital Buildings

Sinclair Sets the Bar by Using Cisco Digital Building Series Switch in Marriott Hotel

SAN JOSE, CA–(Marketwired – Feb 1, 2017) – Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) – What if the next time you walk into a store to buy your favorite brand of shampoo, the floor literally lights up and shows you the way? Or you enter a shared office space, and the room simply ‘knows’ who you are and adjusts the lights and temperature to your liking? Businesses want to set the bar with innovation. They want to outsmart the competition. And they want to inspire their customers and employees. They also want to get it done fast and without breaking the bank. Digital transformation not only creates better experiences for workers and guests, but saves money and energy. To make it happen, a multitude of systems that control everything from badge swipes to lighting and air conditioning must work together as if they were one. And it must be secure.

Today, the industry takes a huge leap forward as Cisco announces the Catalyst Digital Building Series Switch. It is the first switch built specifically for the needs of digital buildings by powering and connecting building systems onto a single, low-voltage IP network. This milestone is at the heart of the smart building vision Cisco is defining with our growing list of 23+ ecosystem partners.

The new digital building switch ties into Cisco’s ambitions to change how enterprise networks are built and managed. Cisco is using a new digital network architecture — Cisco DNA — to build more automated, responsive, self-driving networks. A new network that can dynamically respond to the ever-changing needs of the digital business. 

What’s new?

1. Supports convergence: For the first time, disparate systems like lighting, HVAC, and badging can be managed on the same switch. This is due to the switch’s support of a key IoT protocol called the Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP) — an industry first.
2. Delivers twice the power: The switch supports bigger, brighter lighting fixtures — and can get the power back on within 5 seconds of a power outage. The 60W per-port Cisco UPOE technology delivers twice the power of current PoE+.
3. Simplifies installation: We designed the switch with ease of installation in mind. Technicians use Bluetooth and a mobile app to install and deploy it.
4. Runs noise-free: Its fanless design makes it ideal for anywhere that requires quiet — like hospitals, retail shops, hotels, and the workplace.

Who’s using it?
A Texas-based property development firm knew it had a huge opportunity as it transformed an iconic downtown Fort Worth office space into an upscale hotel that would be managed by Marriott. Sinclair Holdings wanted to include all the digital bells and whistles for guests. They also wanted to shrink energy bills and make installation a breeze. Cisco got it done. The hotel is already experiencing a 50% reduction in energy costs! Powered by Cisco’s new switch, the property is scheduled for completion next summer. It will feature motorized blinds, as well as temperature and lighting control.

Farukh Aslam, President at Sinclair Holdings, LLC: “The Catalyst Digital Building Series Switch allows us to converge disparate building systems onto a single IP platform. We can now establish digital competencies for tomorrow’s hospitality industry. As one of the world’s largest hospitality brands, this allows Sinclair Marriott Autograph Hotel to enjoy real-time analytics and reduce energy costs. It also offers our business travelers and unique destination vacationers an authentic, enhanced boutique experience.”

Sachin Gupta, VP Enterprise Switching at Cisco: “As far as convergence of IoT networks in a building, this product leap-frogs a generation of innovation. It brings new IoT protocol integration, automation and enterprise security by extending the Digital Network Architecture to digital buildings. Cisco is proud to continue providing industry-leading innovation to customers like Sinclair Holdings.”

The Catalyst Digital Building Series switch is available April 2017. Starting price is $895.

Additional Quotes
Lisa Issacson, Co-founder, and Chief Business Development Officer at NuLEDs: “The Cisco fanless Catalyst Digital Building Series Switch 8-port switch is ideal for modular installations like the Marriott Hotel. It offers a quiet, compact, unique design. The suspended mounting system creates a code compliant hot-swappable Ethernet switch that fits nicely in tight spaces. This approach is innovative in the market place and shows Cisco’s leadership and dedication to the Digital Building Series.”

Stefan Tschanz, Managing Director, Alpiq InTec  Switzerland Ltd: “Alpiq InTec successfully integrated Cisco’s Digital Building switch converging siloed building systems into the Digital Building IP platform. As Switzerland’s market leader in the fields of building technology, this allows us to offer our customers new digital products and services, delivering real-time analytics, reducing costs and responding to demand of agile services in today and future digital marketplace.”

Derek Wright, Global Segment Manager – Office, at Philips Lighting: “Lighting is a logical first-step in bringing IoT to enterprises worldwide; secure IT networks are a vital part of our Power-over-Ethernet connected lighting system. Our global alliance with Cisco, the leader in networks, was a logical choice to help enable customers to receive the best that the lighting and IT industries have to offer. By connecting the lighting system to a highly secure, reliable IT infrastructure — and the new Cisco Digital Building switch — we are able to provide information that helps optimize workspaces, improve productivity and enable cost and energy savings. With this joint innovative approach, Philips Lighting and Cisco aim to accelerate the adoption of this technology in the marketplace.”

Gary Trott, Vice President Intelligent Lighting at Cree: “It’s exciting to see accelerated innovation within connected buildings. Cisco’s release of the Digital Building Switch Series will make it even easier to implement enterprise-class, intelligent building solutions. Our ongoing, innovative partnership continues to make it easier for owners and operators to experience better light and enjoy increased business value.”

Chris Andrews, Product Manager at Eaton: “The new ceiling mountable Cisco Digital Building Series switch addresses several sticking points our customers have highlighted with PoE deployments. Rooms and racks are no longer required for network switches. The distance from PSE to PD may also be reduced — which improves electrical efficiency.”

David Amos, Director of Product Management at Delta Controls, Inc. “The new Digital Building Series switch is the right thing at the right time. It helps facilitate plenum installations, and it incorporates features that promote the convergence of energy efficient technologies that are needed to accelerate the digitalization of building spaces.”

RESOURCES

Website: Digital Building Home
Whitepaper: Cisco Digital Building Solution
Launch Video: How Smart is Your Building?
Customer Video: Sinclair Holdings (Marriott Autograph)
Customer case study: Sinclair Holdings (Marriott Autograph)
Customer case study: Alpiq InTec
Blog

About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide technology leader that has been making the Internet work since 1984. Our people, products, and partners help society securely connect and seize tomorrow’s digital opportunity today. Discover more at newsroom.cisco.com and follow us on Twitter at @Cisco.

Cisco, the Cisco logo, Cisco Systems and Cisco IOS are registered trademarks or trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. This document is Cisco Public Information.

RSS Feed for Cisco: http://newsroom.cisco.com/rss-feeds

Trending Upward: A New Way to Buy Office Furniture 90 Degree Office Concepts Customers are Benefiting from In-Depth Assistance in Pricing, Office Design, and more

PRWeb

While it’s true that mass-produced office furniture has been available for decades, and custom office furniture has been around for centuries, 90 Degree Office Concepts is changing the way companies buy furniture for their workplace. The CEO of Palantir, a multi-billion-dollar Palo Alto company, says he “loves it.” This is just one of many positive comments describing the way 90 Degree Office Concepts has combined furniture production and customized design, making it possible for small and large companies alike to outfit their offices in the size, color, and material of their choice–on a time schedule surpassing even the fastest industry-standard production and delivery times.

In the office furniture arena, it can be challenging to find ways to maintain flexibility while offering customers a wider range of choice. At the same time, custom producers are now pressed to become more design-oriented, with faster delivery times. New design processes and delivery expectations are in place for clients nationwide. Smart Communications of Florida, which needed an impressive 22-foot boardroom table and matching reception area furniture in just two and a half weeks to impress a really big client flying in, had this to say: “First off, thank you for getting our tables done in the small window we had. The receptionist’s desk is awesome, and we get compliments on it from everyone who walks by.”

While production office furniture is available out of the box in about a week or two, color and size options are normally limited to one, two, or three depending upon the size of the supplier’s facility and their ability to carry stock. On the other hand, customers tend to struggle to convey their design ideas to furniture producers, while the producers themselves may or may not be familiar with office design, space planning, and commercial-grade construction. In addition, custom office furniture can take three to four months to arrive.

90 Degree Office Concepts has found a way to marry these two two systems, by providing clients with an exclusive set of designs that can be modified to the buyer’s preference while including free, personalized design consultation. This process takes the pain, unfamiliarity, and budgetary stress out of designing an office without a designer. For the consumer, the best part is the ability to receive their new furniture in just two to four weeks. Mindy, an interior designer in Fort Lauderdale, added her comments about 90 Degree’s revolutionary process: “In addition to taking on my custom request, Bernie collaborated with me, and came up with the perfect solution to meet the needs of my client.”

90 Degree Office Concepts is a privately-held office furniture design/production company located in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Its mission is to provide companies with modern, innovative office furniture featuring multi-level design solutions to help them elevate the look and feel of their workplace–while following their own budget, not the supplier’s.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/90Degreeofficeconcepts/modernofficefurniture/prweb14033108.htm

PRWeb.com

Emotions Run Deep Whenever Larry Kramer Comes To Town

The World AIDS Museum and Educational Center - The First AIDS Museum in the World

Mr. Kramer, known to be outspoken and controversial, is considered to have been a creator of political strategies that brought HIV therapies to market early and encouraged large increases in federal spending on research.

The World AIDS Museum and Educational Center (WAM) today announced the opening on March 8 of a major new exhibit, AIDS Crisis in America: 30 Years of ACT UP – A Convergence of Disease, Art and Human Resilience. The exhibit will run for eight weeks at WAM and several other venues throughout Fort Lauderdale. Controversial artwork, film and photography will be featured which document the 30-year history of ACT UP, the primary organization behind political and social responses to the AIDS pandemic. More information about the exhibit is available here.

The opening will kick-off a three-day series of events from March 9-11.

Academy Award Nominee, Larry Kramer, author of the frequently-produced play and TV drama The Normal Heart, numerous books and other plays, and an influential AIDS activist, will play a key role in two of three events on March 9th and 10th. The kickoff for the three-day event will include a book-signing party with Mr. Kramer and Kevin Sessums, one time executive editor of Interview and a contributing editor of Vanity Fair. This will take place at WAM from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on March 9.

Mr. Kramer will be available to sign his thought-provoking books: The Tragedy of Today’s Gays; Women in Love and Other Dramatic Writings; Reports From the Holocaust: The Making of an AIDS Activist, and Faggots.

New York Times Bestseller, Kevin Sessums, will be available for signing his books: I Left it on the Mountain and Mississippi Sissy.

During An Evening With Larry Kramer, the centerpiece of the three-day event, Mr. Sessums will interview Mr. Kramer about the history of the HIV/AIDS crisis and corresponding evolution of the LGBTQ movement at 7:30 p.m. on March 10. This major event will be held at the Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale. Robert Boo, chief executive officer of the Pride Center at Equality Park and David Jobin, chief executive officer of Our Fund Foundation of South Florida will be participating in the event.

Through his writing and as co-founder of Gay Men’s Health Crisis in 1982 and of ACT UP in 1987, Mr. Kramer, known to be outspoken and controversial, is considered to have been a creator of political strategies that brought HIV therapies to market early and encouraged large increases in federal spending on research.

On March 11, from Noon-5:00 p.m., WAM and The Stonewall Museum will co-sponsor an all-day Poz Millennials Symposium featuring a panel of influential people involved in AIDS crisis activism during the past 30 years. The Museum is under its second annual contract to provide educational programming on HIV and sexually transmitted diseases to the Broward County School District.

The schedule of events and costs:

  • Exhibit opens March 8 at Noon at the Museum. For more information on this exhibit, please visit the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center website.
  • Book Signing Party, March 9, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Museum.
  • An Evening with Larry Kramer, March 10, 7:30 p.m., at the Museum. $25 admission.
  • Youth Symposium, March 11, Noon-5 p.m. at ArtServe, cosponsored by WAM and Stonewall Museum and Archives.

For more information or to schedule interviews, please contact:

Hugh G. Beswick, CEO
World AIDS Museum and Educational Center • 1201 NE 26th Avenue, Wilton Manors, FL 33305
954-390-0550 (museum) • 412-523-5245 (mobile) • hughbeswick(at)comcast(dot)net

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Meritage Homes completes 2016 with a 16% increase in full year net earnings, ending with fourth quarter diluted EPS of $1.22 on 15% growth in home closing revenue

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Feb. 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Meritage Homes Corporation (NYSE:MTH), a leading U.S. homebuilder, reported fourth quarter and full year results for the year ended December 31, 2016.

Summary Operating Results (unaudited)
(Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)
 
    Three Months Ended December 31,   Twelve Months Ended December 31,
    2016   2015   % Chg   2016   2015   % Chg
Homes closed (units)   2,117     1,919     10 %   7,355     6,522     13 %
Home closing revenue   $ 876,094     $ 761,372     15 %   $ 3,003,426     $ 2,531,556     19 %
Average sales price – closings   $ 414     $ 397     4 %   $ 408     $ 388     5 %
Home orders (units)   1,493     1,568     (5 )%   7,290     7,100     3 %
Home order value   $ 635,995     $ 634,181     %   $ 3,001,503     $ 2,822,785     6 %
Average sales price – orders   $ 426     $ 404     5 %   $ 412     $ 398     4 %
Ending backlog (units)               2,627     2,692     (2 )%
Ending backlog value               $ 1,135,758     $ 1,137,681     %
Average sales price – backlog               $ 432     $ 423     2 %
Net earnings   $ 51,807     $ 52,897     (2 )%   $ 149,541     $ 128,738     16 %
Diluted EPS   $ 1.22     $ 1.26     (3 )%   $ 3.55     $ 3.09     15 %
                                             

MANAGEMENT COMMENTS

“We delivered solid closings, revenue and earnings growth in 2016, maintained a strong balance sheet and executed our strategy for future growth,” said Steven J. Hilton, chairman and chief executive officer of Meritage Homes.

“We generated a 16% increase in net earnings with 19% growth in home closing revenue, and controlled our overhead costs to help offset the negative impact from higher land, development and construction labor costs. We delivered 7,355 homes during the year — a 13% increase over 2015 — and surpassed the historic milestone of 100,000 home closings, a proud achievement for Meritage.

“Our fourth quarter results contributed significantly to the gains we achieved for the full year. We grew home closing revenue by 15%, delivering nearly the same level of earnings as we did in the fourth quarter of 2015 despite lower home closing margin in the fourth quarter of 2016.”

Mr. Hilton continued, “Our ending community count was down year over year as some community openings were delayed, which impacted our order volumes for the fourth quarter and full year 2016. We expect that to translate to slightly lower year-over-year order volume for the first quarter of 2017. However, we expect to open these communities in the first half of the year and are projecting significant year-over-year growth in the second half of 2017, resulting in new home deliveries of approximately 7,500-7,900 for the full year and total closing revenue of $3.1-3.3 billion.

“We anticipate gross margins will be in line with 2016 due to continued cost pressures. However, we are projecting a 6-12% increase in pre-tax earnings through a combination of cost management and additional operating leverage from our anticipated top-line growth.

“We are successfully shifting our community offerings to fully embrace the growing number of first-time home buyers and are well on our way to achieving our target of 35-40% of our communities being aimed at this market segment by the end of 2018,” stated Mr. Hilton. “We believe this strategy will provide value to both our customers and shareholders over the long term.”

FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS

  • Net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2016 were $51.8 million or $1.22 per diluted share, compared to $52.9 million or $1.26 per diluted share reported for the fourth quarter of 2015. A 15% increase in home closing revenue was partially offset by higher construction labor, land and development costs, as well as lower land closing profit, resulting in a 4% increase in total closing gross profit. A higher effective tax rate reduced net earnings in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to 2015.
     
  • Home closing revenue increased to $876.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to $761.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2015, reflecting a 10% increase in home closings and a 4% increase in the average price of homes closed during the quarter. The regions that posted the best year-over-year increases in home closing revenue were the East region (notably Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas), delivering a 22% revenue increase on 20% greater closings, and the West region (notably Arizona and Colorado), where home closing revenue was up 14% over the fourth quarter of 2015. Texas home closing revenue rose 9% primarily due to an 8% increase in average closing price.
     
  • Home closing gross margin of 17.9% in the fourth quarter of 2016 was the highest quarterly margin in 2016, benefiting from cost efficiencies related to higher closings and revenue. It was lower than last year’s fourth quarter margin of 19.3%, primarily due to the impact of cost inflation in land and construction.
     
  • Selling, general and administrative expenses of 10.5% were flat with the prior year’s fourth quarter, and improved sequentially from the third quarter’s 11.7% due to the leverage from higher closing revenue, as well as management cost controls.
     
  • Nearly 100% of interest incurred was capitalized to additional assets under development, resulting in a negligible amount of interest expense in the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to $4.0 million in the prior year.
     
  • The fourth quarter effective tax rate was 32.1% in 2016, compared to 30.5% in the fourth quarter of 2015, due to the timing of recognition of federal energy tax credits on Meritage’s highly energy efficient homes. The benefit was recognized throughout 2016 instead of being fully recognized in the fourth quarter, as it was in 2015 following the legislative extension of tax credits.
     
  • Total order value for the quarter was consistent with the fourth quarter of 2015, as a 5% increase in average sales price offset a 5% decline in orders, while absorptions per community were consistent with the prior year’s fourth quarter.
     
  • Orders and order value increased in the West region, primarily due to strong demand in Arizona and Colorado, as well as in the Central region, primarily due to growth in community count to meet demand. Order volumes in the East region were 27% lower than the prior year’s fourth quarter, primarily due to a 16% decline in average community count, from 100 in 2015 to 84 in 2016.
     
  • Ending community count at December 31, 2016 was 243, compared to 254 at December 31, 2015, but up sequentially from 237 at September 30, 2016. Various delays pushed the opening dates for a number of communities into 2017, which are expected to occur in the first half of the year.

FULL YEAR RESULTS

  • Net earnings were up 16% year over year to $149.5 million ($3.55 per fully diluted share) for the full year of 2016, compared to $128.7 million ($3.09 per fully diluted share) for 2015. The earnings increase was primarily due to 19% growth in home closing revenue, combined with a 14% increase in financial services profit, improved overhead leverage, reduced interest expense and increased other income, partially offset by lower home closing gross margin and land closing profit compared to 2015.
  • Meritage closed 13% more homes in 2016 than in 2015, at an average sales price of $408,000 compared to $388,000 in 2015. The combination of higher closing volume and prices drove the increase in annual home closing revenue.
  • Overhead leverage improved by 60 bps as total selling, general and administrative expenses declined to 11.3% in 2016 from 11.9% in 2015. The improvement reflects a revised commission structure and cost controls implemented by management during 2016.
  • Interest expense for the full year decreased to $5.2 million in 2016 compared to $16.0 million in 2015, as most interest incurred was capitalized to higher real estate assets under development.
  • Home closing gross margin in 2016 was 17.6%, compared to 19.0% for 2015, reflecting higher costs with limited pricing power to offset them, as well as the close-out of several high-margin communities.

BALANCE SHEET

  • The company ended the fourth quarter of 2016 with $131.7 million in cash and cash equivalents, compared to $262.2 million at December 31, 2015. The decrease in cash was primarily due to investments in real estate inventory as a result of organic growth. $15.0 million was drawn on the revolving credit facility at year-end 2016 with no comparable balance outstanding at December 31, 2015.
  • Real estate assets increased to $2.42 billion at December 31, 2016, compared to $2.10 billion at December 31, 2015, primarily due to increases in the balances of finished home sites and home sites under development, as well as unsold homes.
  • Net debt-to-capital ratio at December 31, 2016 was 41.2%, compared to 40.4% at December 31, 2015, reflecting the investment of cash into inventory of homes and land under development.
  • Total lot supply at the end of the quarter was approximately 29,800, a 7% increase over approximately 27,800 lots at December 31, 2015, representing approximately four years’ supply of lots based on trailing twelve months closings on both dates.

CONFERENCE CALL

Management will host a conference call today to discuss the Company’s results at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time (8:00 a.m. Arizona Time). The call will be webcast with an accompanying slideshow available on the “Investor Relations” page of the Company’s web site at http://investors.meritagehomes.com. Telephone participants may avoid any delays by pre-registering for the call using the following link to receive a special dial-in number and PIN.

Conference call registration link: http://dpregister.com/10097854

Telephone participants who are unable to pre-register may dial in to 866-226-4948 on the day of the call. International dial-in number is 1-412-902-4125 or 1-855-669-9657 in Canada.

A replay of the call will be available through February 15, 2017, beginning at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time on February 1, 2017 on the website noted above, or by dialing 877-344-7529, and referencing conference number 10092994. For more information, visit www.meritagehomes.com

   
  Meritage Homes Corporation and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Income Statements
(In thousands, except per share data)
(Unaudited)
   
    Three Months Ended
December 31,
  Twelve Months Ended
December 31,
    2016   2015   2016   2015
Homebuilding:              
  Home closing revenue $ 876,094     $ 761,372     $ 3,003,426     $ 2,531,556  
  Land closing revenue 4,614     20,241     25,801     36,526  
  Total closing revenue 880,708     781,613     3,029,227     2,568,082  
  Cost of home closings (719,324 )   (614,794 )   (2,474,584 )   (2,049,637 )
  Cost of land closings (3,946 )   (14,744 )   (23,431 )   (29,736 )
  Total cost of closings (723,270 )   (629,538 )   (2,498,015 )   (2,079,373 )
  Home closing gross profit 156,770     146,578     528,842     481,919  
  Land closing gross profit 668     5,497     2,370     6,790  
  Total closing gross profit 157,438     152,075     531,212     488,709  
Financial Services:              
  Revenue 3,392     3,101     12,507     11,377  
  Expense (1,435 )   (1,289 )   (5,587 )   (5,203 )
  Earnings from financial services unconsolidated entities and other, net 4,180     3,942     14,982     13,097  
  Financial services profit 6,137     5,754     21,902     19,271  
Commissions and other sales costs (60,058 )   (53,542 )   (215,092 )   (188,418 )
General and administrative expenses (32,029 )   (26,775 )   (123,803 )   (112,849 )
Earnings/(loss) from other unconsolidated entities, net 3,204     77     4,060     (338 )
Interest expense (45 )   (4,003 )   (5,172 )   (15,965 )
Other income/(expense), net 1,690     2,499     4,953     (946 )
Earnings before income taxes 76,337     76,085     218,060     189,464  
Provision for income taxes (24,530 )   (23,188 )   (68,519 )   (60,726 )
Net earnings $ 51,807     $ 52,897     $ 149,541     $ 128,738  
               
Earnings per share:              
  Basic              
  Earnings per share $ 1.29     $ 1.33     $ 3.74     $ 3.25  
  Weighted average shares outstanding 40,028     39,667     39,976     39,593  
  Diluted              
  Earnings per share $ 1.22     $ 1.26     $ 3.55     $ 3.09  
  Weighted average shares outstanding 42,667     42,214     42,585     42,164  
Meritage Homes Corporation and Subsidiaries
 Consolidated Balance Sheets
(In thousands)
(Unaudited)
 
    December 31, 2016   December 31, 2015
Assets:        
Cash and cash equivalents   $ 131,702     $ 262,208  
Other receivables   70,355     57,296  
Real estate (1)   2,422,063     2,098,302  
Deposits on real estate under option or contract   85,556     87,839  
Investments in unconsolidated entities   17,097     11,370  
Property and equipment, net   33,202     33,970  
Deferred tax asset   53,320     59,147  
Prepaids, other assets and goodwill   75,396     69,645  
Total assets   $ 2,888,691     $ 2,679,777  
Liabilities:        
Accounts payable   $ 140,682     $ 106,440  
Accrued liabilities   170,852     161,163  
Home sale deposits   28,348     36,197  
Loans payable and other borrowings   32,195     23,867  
Senior and convertible senior notes, net   1,095,119     1,093,173  
Total liabilities   1,467,196     1,420,840  
Stockholders’ Equity:        
Preferred stock        
Common stock   400     397  
Additional paid-in capital   572,506     559,492  
Retained earnings   848,589     699,048  
Total stockholders’ equity   1,421,495     1,258,937  
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity   $ 2,888,691     $ 2,679,777  
         
(1) Real estate – Allocated costs:        
Homes under contract under construction   $ 508,927     $ 456,138  
Unsold homes, completed and under construction   431,725     307,425  
Model homes   147,406     138,546  
Finished home sites and home sites under development   1,334,005     1,196,193  
Total real estate   $ 2,422,063     $ 2,098,302  
Supplemental Information and Non-GAAP Financial Disclosures (Dollars in thousands – unaudited):
 
  Three Months Ended
December 31,
  Twelve Months Ended
December 31,
  2016   2015   2016   2015
Depreciation and amortization $ 4,508     $ 3,947     $ 15,978     $ 14,241  
               
Summary of Capitalized Interest:              
Capitalized interest, beginning of period $ 67,631     $ 61,396     $ 61,202     $ 54,060  
Interest incurred 17,704     17,877     70,348     67,542  
Interest expensed (45 )   (4,003 )   (5,172 )   (15,965 )
Interest amortized to cost of home and land closings (17,094 )   (14,068 )   (58,182 )   (44,435 )
Capitalized interest, end of period $ 68,196     $ 61,202     $ 68,196     $ 61,202  
               
  December 31,
2016
  December 31,
2015
       
Notes payable and other borrowings $ 1,127,314     $ 1,117,040          
Stockholders’ equity 1,421,495     1,258,937          
Total capital 2,548,809     2,375,977          
Debt-to-capital 44.2 %   47.0 %        
Notes payable and other borrowings $ 1,127,314     $ 1,117,040          
Less: cash and cash equivalents $ (131,702 )   $ (262,208 )        
Net debt 995,612     854,832          
Stockholders’ equity 1,421,495     1,258,937          
Total net capital $ 2,417,107     $ 2,113,769          
Net debt-to-capital 41.2 %   40.4 %        
Meritage Homes Corporation and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
(In thousands)
(Unaudited)
 
    Twelve Months Ended December 31,
    2016   2015
Cash flows from operating activities:        
Net earnings   $ 149,541     $ 128,738  
Adjustments to reconcile net earnings to net cash used in operating activities:        
Depreciation and amortization   15,978     14,241  
Stock-based compensation   13,741     15,781  
Excess income tax provision/(benefit) from stock-based awards   956     (2,043 )
Equity in earnings from unconsolidated entities   (19,042 )   (12,759 )
Distribution of earnings from unconsolidated entities   16,959     12,650  
Other   9,539     11,530  
Changes in assets and liabilities:        
Increase in real estate   (311,426 )   (209,407 )
Decrease in deposits on real estate under option or contract   2,337     6,316  
Increase in other receivables, prepaids and other assets   (17,513 )   (7,083 )
Increase in accounts payable and accrued liabilities   43,377     31,883  
(Decrease)/increase in home sale deposits   (7,849 )   6,818  
Net cash used in operating activities   (103,402 )   (3,335 )
Cash flows from investing activities:        
Investments in unconsolidated entities   (7,244 )   (481 )
Distributions of capital from unconsolidated entities   3,600      
Purchases of property and equipment   (16,662 )   (16,092 )
Proceeds from sales of property and equipment   200     86  
Maturities/sales of investments and securities   746     1,555  
Payments to purchase investments and securities   (746 )   (1,555 )
Net cash used in investing activities   (20,106 )   (16,487 )
Cash flows from financing activities:        
Proceeds from Credit Facility, net   15,000      
Repayment of loans payable and other borrowings   (21,274 )   (23,226 )
Proceeds from issuance of senior notes       200,000  
Debt issuance costs       (3,006 )
Excess income tax (provision)/benefit from stock-based awards   (956 )   2,043  
Proceeds from stock option exercises   232     2,886  
Net cash (used in)/provided by financing activities   (6,998 )   178,697  
Net (decrease)/increase in cash and cash equivalents   (130,506 )   158,875  
Beginning cash and cash equivalents   262,208     103,333  
Ending cash and cash equivalents   $ 131,702     $ 262,208  
Meritage Homes Corporation and Subsidiaries
Operating Data
(Dollars in thousands)
(Unaudited)
 
    Three Months Ended December 31,
    2016   2015
    Homes   Value   Homes   Value
Homes Closed:                
Arizona   373     $ 126,628     291     $ 98,004  
California   282     171,506     323     175,601  
Colorado   160     78,278     131     57,211  
West Region   815     376,412     745     330,816  
Texas   567     212,587     559     194,879  
Central Region   567     212,587     559     194,879  
Florida   276     116,253     254     106,520  
Georgia   108     37,263     72     23,735  
North Carolina   198     80,222     162     66,921  
South Carolina   97     32,274     83     24,217  
Tennessee   56     21,083     44     14,284  
East Region   735     287,095     615     235,677  
Total   2,117     $ 876,094     1,919     $ 761,372  
Homes Ordered:                
Arizona   314     $ 105,397     253     $ 86,887  
California   187     116,969     215     118,370  
Colorado   116     64,887     105     51,033  
West Region   617     287,253     573     256,290  
Texas   490     185,557     465     171,938  
Central Region   490     185,557     465     171,938  
Florida   159     71,559     200     80,929  
Georgia   28     11,682     73     25,704  
North Carolina   108     48,959     159     67,492  
South Carolina   60     19,253     65     20,071  
Tennessee   31     11,732     33     11,757  
East Region   386     163,185     530     205,953  
Total   1,493     $ 635,995     1,568     $ 634,181  
                 
    Twelve Months Ended December 31,
    2016   2015
    Homes   Value   Homes   Value
Homes Closed:                
Arizona   1,122     $ 384,767     1,008     $ 325,371  
California   1,020     590,340     888     478,174  
Colorado   634     310,191     495     224,125  
West Region   2,776     1,285,298     2,391     1,027,670  
Texas   2,130     778,964     2,025     705,318  
Central Region   2,130     778,964     2,025     705,318  
Florida   895     368,564     843     361,127  
Georgia   337     114,137     228     72,913  
North Carolina   672     278,747     551     215,642  
South Carolina   328     103,851     330     101,847  
Tennessee   217     73,865     154     47,039  
East Region   2,449     939,164     2,106     798,568  
Total   7,355     $ 3,003,426     6,522     $ 2,531,556  
Homes Ordered:                
Arizona   1,249     $ 428,204     1,133     $ 377,059  
California   962     559,832     965     538,357  
Colorado   575     302,124     559     264,643  
West Region   2,786     1,290,160     2,657     1,180,059  
Texas   2,119     783,504     2,109     746,471  
Central Region   2,119     783,504     2,109     746,471  
Florida   861     367,012     893     376,563  
Georgia   333     114,074     270     89,755  
North Carolina   605     254,521     626     258,952  
South Carolina   356     114,376     348     105,838  
Tennessee   230     77,856     197     65,147  
East Region   2,385     927,839     2,334     896,255  
Total   7,290     $ 3,001,503     7,100     $ 2,822,785  
Order Backlog:                
Arizona   444     $ 161,343     317     $ 117,906  
California   231     153,638     289     184,146  
Colorado   273     154,084     332     162,151  
West Region   948     469,065     938     464,203  
Texas   931     354,734     942     350,194  
Central Region   931     354,734     942     350,194  
Florida   253     116,454     287     118,006  
Georgia   91     33,363     95     33,426  
North Carolina   193     87,252     260     111,478  
South Carolina   116     40,636     88     30,111  
Tennessee   95     34,254     82     30,263  
East Region   748     311,959     812     323,284  
Total   2,627     $ 1,135,758     2,692     $ 1,137,681  
Meritage Homes Corporation and Subsidiaries
Operating Data
(Unaudited)
 
    Three Months Ended December 31,
    2016   2015
    Ending   Average   Ending   Average
Active Communities:                
Arizona   42     41.0     41     41.0  
California   28     28.5     24     25.0  
Colorado   10     10.0     16     15.5  
West Region   80     79.5     81     81.5  
Texas   80     77.0     72     71.0  
Central Region   80     77.0     72     71.0  
Florida   27     26.5     31     31.0  
Georgia   17     17.0     17     17.0  
North Carolina   17     18.0     26     25.5  
South Carolina   15     15.0     18     17.5  
Tennessee   7     7.0     9     8.5  
East Region   83     83.5     101     99.5  
Total   243     240.0     254     252.0  
    Twelve Months Ended December 31,
    2016   2015
    Ending   Average   Ending   Average
Active Communities:                
Arizona   42     41.5     41     41.0  
California   28     26.0     24     24.0  
Colorado   10     13.0     16     16.5  
West Region   80     80.5     81     81.5  
Texas   80     76.0     72     65.5  
Central Region   80     76.0     72     65.5  
Florida   27     29.0     31     30.0  
Georgia   17     17.0     17     15.0  
North Carolina   17     21.5     26     23.5  
South Carolina   15     16.5     18     19.0  
Tennessee   7     8.0     9     7.0  
East Region   83     92.0     101     94.5  
Total   243     248.5     254     241.5  
                         

About Meritage Homes Corporation

Meritage Homes is the seventh-largest public homebuilder in the United States, based on homes closed in 2015. Meritage Homes builds and sells single-family homes for first-time, move-up, luxury and active adult buyers across the Western, Southern and Southeastern United States. Meritage Homes builds in markets including Sacramento, San Francisco Bay area, southern coastal and Inland Empire markets in California; Houston, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Austin and San Antonio, Texas; Phoenix/Scottsdale, Green Valley and Tucson, Arizona; Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado; Orlando, Tampa and south Florida; Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina; Greenville-Spartanburg and York County, South Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; and Atlanta, Georgia.

Meritage Homes has designed and built over 100,000 homes in its 31-year history, and has a reputation for its distinctive style, quality construction, and positive customer experience. Meritage Homes is the industry leader in energy-efficient homebuilding and has received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for Sustained Excellence Award every year since 2013 for its innovation and industry leadership in energy efficient homebuilding. For more information, visit meritagehomes.com.

This press release and the accompanying comments during our analyst call contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include management’s expectations with respect to future growth, our strategy and projections with respect to the entry-level and first-time home buyer market, the timing of community openings in 2017, quarterly order trends during 2017, projected home closings and home closing revenue, home closing gross margins, operating leverage and pre-tax earnings for the full year 2017.

Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Company management, and current market conditions, which are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. The Company makes no commitment, and disclaims any duty, to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect future events or changes in these expectations. Meritage’s business is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. As a result of those risks and uncertainties, the Company’s stock and note prices may fluctuate dramatically. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: the availability and cost of finished lots and undeveloped land; interest rates and changes in the availability and pricing of residential mortgages; fluctuations in the availability and cost of labor; changes in tax laws that adversely impact us or our homebuyers; reversal of the current economic recovery; the ability of our potential buyers to sell their existing homes; cancellation rates; inflation in the cost of materials used to develop communities and construct homes; the adverse effect of slower order absorption rates; impairments of our real estate inventory; a change to the feasibility of projects under option or contract that could result in the write-down or write-off of option deposits; our potential exposure to natural disasters or severe weather conditions; competition; construction defect and home warranty claims; failures in health and safety performance; our success in prevailing on contested tax positions; our ability to obtain performance bonds in connection with our development work; the loss of key personnel; enactment of new laws or regulations or our failure to comply with laws and regulations; our limited geographic diversification; fluctuations in quarterly operating results; our level of indebtedness; our ability to obtain financing due to a downgrade of our credit ratings; our ability to successfully integrate acquired companies and achieve anticipated benefits from these acquisitions; our compliance with government regulations and the effect of legislative or other initiatives that seek to restrain growth of new housing construction or similar measures; legislation relating to energy and climate change; the replication of our energy-efficient technologies by our competitors; our exposure to information technology failures and security breaches; and other factors identified in documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those set forth in our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015 and subsequent quarterly reports on Forms 10-Q under the caption “Risk Factors,” which can be found on our website.

Contacts: 
Brent Anderson, VP Investor Relations
(972) 580-6360 (office)
investors@meritagehomes.com

OmniComm Systems and MediStat Expand Life Sciences Market Presence in Israel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In the past year, the Israeli life sciences sector has undergone notable changes, including a new partnership between OmniComm Systems, Inc. (OTCQX:OMCM), a global leading provider of clinical data management technology, and MediStat Ltd., a leading data management and biostatistics organization, headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel. Under an agreement between the two companies, OmniComm’s TrialMaster® electronic data capture (EDC) suite will be used to fulfill the clinical trials needs of the growing Israeli life sciences sector, which includes more than 1,300 organizations.

“We are truly excited to be part of the growing EDC market in Israel and worldwide. Being a partner with OmniComm is the main reason we are able to deliver successful intelligent EDC solutions to our customers,” said Dr. Gil Harari, president and CEO of MediStat.

The pact between the two companies has already produced results, with several leading life sciences companies in Israel selecting TrialMaster EDC for their clinical research. Additionally, representatives from OmniComm will deliver presentations at MediStat’s Intelligent EDC Solutions Forum on February 6, 2017 in Tel Aviv.

The event will feature presentations from industry thought leaders on a variety of topics:

  • Managing randomization and drug supply with EDC.
  • Risk-based monitoring.
  • Modern issues and methods in biostatistics.
  • Integration of ad-hoc reporting with EDC.
  • Implementing a successful EDC solution.

Executives at MediStat selected TrialMaster EDC, because they needed a versatile and easy-to-use, design and build toolset that enables faster study build times. Moreover, the selection of TrialMaster was based on several additional factors, including TrialMaster’s reputation for flexibility, scalability, data quality and broad capabilities. Those criteria were especially important to MediStat, which supports the needs of the burgeoning pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry in Israel. 

“MediStat is seeing strong demand for OmniComm’s TrialMaster EDC in Israel and is able to expand the capabilities offered to its customers,” said Kuno van der Post, senior vice president of business development, OmniComm Systems. “The timing is perfect to establish a presence in the region, with increasing demand from our existing multinational clients, who are seeking to uncover market opportunities in high-growth economies. Finding a partner like MediStat, with its experience and deep knowledge of clinical studies, coupled with its familiarity with the local culture, language and perspective, will be vital to our regional growth. Over the next year, we expect MediStat to expand its regional presence and capture a significant share of the growing clinical trials market in Israel.”

Supporting References
OmniComm Systems Penetrates Growing Israeli Life Sciences Market

TrialMaster® EDC Rated #1 by Clinical Research Sites Surveyed

About MediStat
MediStat Ltd. specializes in biostatistics and data management, operating since 1995. It provides a wide range of related services to clients that conduct and manage biomedical research. The core services of MediStat are clinical trials data management and biostatistical analysis. MediStat is committed to providing all its clients with comprehensive solutions for planning, managing, and analyzing their clinical trials. For more information, visit http://www.medistat.co.il.

About OmniComm Systems, Inc.
OmniComm Systems, Inc. is a leading strategic software solutions provider to the life sciences industry. OmniComm is dedicated to helping the world’s pharmaceutical, biotechnology, contract research organizations, diagnostic and device firms, and academic medical centers maximize the value of their clinical research investments. Through the use of innovative and progressive technologies, these organizations drive efficiency in clinical development, better manage their risks, ensure regulatory compliance and manage their clinical operations performance. OmniComm provides comprehensive solutions for clinical research with an extensive global experience from more than 5,000 clinical trials. For more information, visit www.omnicomm.com.

Trademarks
OmniComm, TrialMaster, TrialOne, and Promasys are registered trademarks of OmniComm Systems, Inc. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Contact Info

Dennis Constantinou 
OmniComm Systems, Inc. 
+1.954.473.1254
dconstantinou@omnicomm.com

Cisco Introduces New Innovations for Digital Buildings

SAN JOSE, CA — (Marketwired) — 02/01/17 — Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) – What if the next time you walk into a store to buy your favorite brand of shampoo, the floor literally lights up and shows you the way? Or you enter a shared office space, and the room simply ‘knows’ who you are and adjusts the lights and temperature to your liking? Businesses want to set the bar with innovation. They want to outsmart the competition. And they want to inspire their customers and employees. They also want to get it done fast and without breaking the bank. Digital transformation not only creates better experiences for workers and guests, but saves money and energy. To make it happen, a multitude of systems that control everything from badge swipes to lighting and air conditioning must work together as if they were one. And it must be secure.

Today, the industry takes a huge leap forward as Cisco announces the Catalyst Digital Building Series Switch. It is the first switch built specifically for the needs of digital buildings by powering and connecting building systems onto a single, low-voltage IP network. This milestone is at the heart of the smart building vision Cisco is defining with our growing list of 23+ ecosystem partners.

The new digital building switch ties into Cisco’s ambitions to change how enterprise networks are built and managed. Cisco is using a new digital network architecture — Cisco DNA — to build more automated, responsive, self-driving networks. A new network that can dynamically respond to the ever-changing needs of the digital business.

What’s new?

1. Supports convergence: For the first time, disparate systems like lighting, HVAC, and badging can be managed on the same switch. This is due to the switch’s support of a key IoT protocol called the Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP) — an industry first.
2. Delivers twice the power: The switch supports bigger, brighter lighting fixtures — and can get the power back on within 5 seconds of a power outage. The 60W per-port Cisco UPOE technology delivers twice the power of current PoE+.
3. Simplifies installation: We designed the switch with ease of installation in mind. Technicians use Bluetooth and a mobile app to install and deploy it.
4. Runs noise-free: Its fanless design makes it ideal for anywhere that requires quiet — like hospitals, retail shops, hotels, and the workplace.

Who’s using it?
A Texas-based property development firm knew it had a huge opportunity as it transformed an iconic downtown Fort Worth office space into an upscale hotel that would be managed by Marriott. Sinclair Holdings wanted to include all the digital bells and whistles for guests. They also wanted to shrink energy bills and make installation a breeze. Cisco got it done. The hotel is already experiencing a 50% reduction in energy costs! Powered by Cisco’s new switch, the property is scheduled for completion next summer. It will feature motorized blinds, as well as temperature and lighting control.

Farukh Aslam, President at Sinclair Holdings, LLC: “The Catalyst Digital Building Series Switch allows us to converge disparate building systems onto a single IP platform. We can now establish digital competencies for tomorrow’s hospitality industry. As one of the world’s largest hospitality brands, this allows Sinclair Marriott Autograph Hotel to enjoy real-time analytics and reduce energy costs. It also offers our business travelers and unique destination vacationers an authentic, enhanced boutique experience.”

Sachin Gupta, VP Enterprise Switching at Cisco: “As far as convergence of IoT networks in a building, this product leap-frogs a generation of innovation. It brings new IoT protocol integration, automation and enterprise security by extending the Digital Network Architecture to digital buildings. Cisco is proud to continue providing industry-leading innovation to customers like Sinclair Holdings.”

The Catalyst Digital Building Series switch is available April 2017. Starting price is $895.

Additional Quotes
Lisa Issacson, Co-founder, and Chief Business Development Officer at NuLEDs: “The Cisco fanless Catalyst Digital Building Series Switch 8-port switch is ideal for modular installations like the Marriott Hotel. It offers a quiet, compact, unique design. The suspended mounting system creates a code compliant hot-swappable Ethernet switch that fits nicely in tight spaces. This approach is innovative in the market place and shows Cisco’s leadership and dedication to the Digital Building Series.”

Stefan Tschanz, Managing Director, Alpiq InTec Switzerland Ltd: “Alpiq InTec successfully integrated Cisco’s Digital Building switch converging siloed building systems into the Digital Building IP platform. As Switzerland’s market leader in the fields of building technology, this allows us to offer our customers new digital products and services, delivering real-time analytics, reducing costs and responding to demand of agile services in today and future digital marketplace.”

Derek Wright, Global Segment Manager – Office, at Philips Lighting: “Lighting is a logical first-step in bringing IoT to enterprises worldwide; secure IT networks are a vital part of our Power-over-Ethernet connected lighting system. Our global alliance with Cisco, the leader in networks, was a logical choice to help enable customers to receive the best that the lighting and IT industries have to offer. By connecting the lighting system to a highly secure, reliable IT infrastructure — and the new Cisco Digital Building switch — we are able to provide information that helps optimize workspaces, improve productivity and enable cost and energy savings. With this joint innovative approach, Philips Lighting and Cisco aim to accelerate the adoption of this technology in the marketplace.”

Gary Trott, Vice President Intelligent Lighting at Cree: “It’s exciting to see accelerated innovation within connected buildings. Cisco’s release of the Digital Building Switch Series will make it even easier to implement enterprise-class, intelligent building solutions. Our ongoing, innovative partnership continues to make it easier for owners and operators to experience better light and enjoy increased business value.”

Chris Andrews, Product Manager at Eaton: “The new ceiling mountable Cisco Digital Building Series switch addresses several sticking points our customers have highlighted with PoE deployments. Rooms and racks are no longer required for network switches. The distance from PSE to PD may also be reduced — which improves electrical efficiency.”

David Amos, Director of Product Management at Delta Controls, Inc. “The new Digital Building Series switch is the right thing at the right time. It helps facilitate plenum installations, and it incorporates features that promote the convergence of energy efficient technologies that are needed to accelerate the digitalization of building spaces.”

RESOURCES

Website: Digital Building Home
Whitepaper: Cisco Digital Building Solution
Launch Video: How Smart is Your Building?
Customer Video: Sinclair Holdings (Marriott Autograph)
Customer case study: Sinclair Holdings (Marriott Autograph)
Customer case study: Alpiq InTec
Blog

About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide technology leader that has been making the Internet work since 1984. Our people, products, and partners help society securely connect and seize tomorrow’s digital opportunity today. Discover more at newsroom.cisco.com and follow us on Twitter at @Cisco.

Cisco, the Cisco logo, Cisco Systems and Cisco IOS are registered trademarks or trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. This document is Cisco Public Information.

RSS Feed for Cisco: http://newsroom.cisco.com/rss-feeds

Trending Upward: A New Way to Buy Office Furniture 90 Degree Office Concepts Customers are Benefiting from In-Depth Assistance in Pricing, Office Design, and more

The Athens contemporary reception desk

The Athens contemporary reception desk, as seen at Smooth Generation, is one of our most popular designs.

“In addition to taking on my custom request, Bernie collaborated with me, and came up with the perfect solution to meet the needs of my client.”

While it’s true that mass-produced office furniture has been available for decades, and custom office furniture has been around for centuries, 90 Degree Office Concepts is changing the way companies buy furniture for their workplace. The CEO of Palantir, a multi-billion-dollar Palo Alto company, says he “loves it.” This is just one of many positive comments describing the way 90 Degree Office Concepts has combined furniture production and customized design, making it possible for small and large companies alike to outfit their offices in the size, color, and material of their choice—on a time schedule surpassing even the fastest industry-standard production and delivery times.

In the office furniture arena, it can be challenging to find ways to maintain flexibility while offering customers a wider range of choice. At the same time, custom producers are now pressed to become more design-oriented, with faster delivery times. New design processes and delivery expectations are in place for clients nationwide. Smart Communications of Florida, which needed an impressive 22-foot boardroom table and matching reception area furniture in just two and a half weeks to impress a really big client flying in, had this to say: “First off, thank you for getting our tables done in the small window we had. The receptionist’s desk is awesome, and we get compliments on it from everyone who walks by.”

While production office furniture is available out of the box in about a week or two, color and size options are normally limited to one, two, or three depending upon the size of the supplier’s facility and their ability to carry stock. On the other hand, customers tend to struggle to convey their design ideas to furniture producers, while the producers themselves may or may not be familiar with office design, space planning, and commercial-grade construction. In addition, custom office furniture can take three to four months to arrive.

90 Degree Office Concepts has found a way to marry these two two systems, by providing clients with an exclusive set of designs that can be modified to the buyer’s preference while including free, personalized design consultation. This process takes the pain, unfamiliarity, and budgetary stress out of designing an office without a designer. For the consumer, the best part is the ability to receive their new furniture in just two to four weeks. Mindy, an interior designer in Fort Lauderdale, added her comments about 90 Degree’s revolutionary process: “In addition to taking on my custom request, Bernie collaborated with me, and came up with the perfect solution to meet the needs of my client.”

90 Degree Office Concepts is a privately-held office furniture design/production company located in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Its mission is to provide companies with modern, innovative office furniture featuring multi-level design solutions to help them elevate the look and feel of their workplace—while following their own budget, not the supplier’s.

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Xpressdocs Achieves Idealliance G7® Master Qualification

FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Xpressdocs Holdings, Inc., a leading-provider of on-demand marketing solutions and renowned print service provider, recently achieved the G7® Master Qualification through Idealliance®, a not-for-profit industry group dedicated to guiding print production best practices, specifications and standards worldwide.

Xpressdocs now joins a select group who have successfully completed the training, examination and qualification process of their print production procedures to validate their capabilities at the highest level of global industry standards and specifications.

G7 is Idealliance’s industry-leading set of best practices for achieving gray balance and is the driving force for achieving a visual likeness across all print processes. The application of this method enables printers to reproduce the same visual appearance across various printing types and substrates.

Already pioneering innovative print production and capabilities, Xpressdocs looked to the Idealliance G7 Master Program to achieve further productivity gains and better serve its clients’ brands color quality and control.

„Providing the highest quality of print production to our clients is of the utmost importance to Xpressdocs,” said Edwin Adcock, EVP of Operations. „Our achievement of the G7 Master Qualification is yet another example of our commitment to this endeavor. We look forward to the benefits that this standardization will deliver to both our clients and organization.”

„We applaud Xpressdocs for utilizing the G7 Master Program to assure consistency and quality in their proofing, brand color management and print processes,” commented Steve Bonoff for Idealliance. „G7 Master Qualification demonstrates Xpressdocs’ level of control and expertise, placing them at the top of their field. We commend their leadership, commitment and support of the G7 Master Qualification Program.”

About Xpressdocs
Xpressdocs is a leading provider of digital and direct marketing solutions for enterprises and franchises across a variety of industries — including real estate, healthcare, financial services, education and more. Xpressdocs’ self-service, on-demand marketing platform is designed to be highly configurable, enabling a distributed user base to efficiently customize and order a variety of products and services from print materials and email marketing, to social media and mobile ads. With a focus on high-quality products, rapid turnaround time and exceptional customer service, Xpressdocs is proud to power marketing efforts for hundreds of national brands.

About Idealliance 
Idealliance® – Where media creators and technology communities collaborate to craft best practices, advance standards, and certify people, processes, and systems to achieve the highest performance in creation, production and delivery of graphic communications.

 

SOURCE Xpressdocs

Differin® Gel Acne Treatment Partners with Actress Ashley Benson to End Adult Acne Frustrations for Millions of Sufferers

FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Galderma, a global leader focused on medical solutions in skin health, announced today that they have partnered with actress Ashley Benson to celebrate the national launch of Differin Gel. The product is the first and only FDA-approved, prescription-strength, retinoid acne treatment available OTC and the newest advancement in the OTC acne category in over 30 years.

Ashley will host a media event at the Nestlé Skin Health Investigation, Education, Longevity Development (SHIELD) Center in New York City on February 1, 2017 to officially launch the Differin collection.

„We are proud and honored to have Ashley supporting the launch of Differin Gel,” said Miles Harrison, President and General Manager of Galderma Laboratories, L.P. „As someone who is constantly in the spotlight and has dealt with acne as an adult, she knows firsthand how difficult it can be. She represents millions of adult acne sufferers who have tried every treatment on the market with no long-term results. That’s why we’re incredibly happy she is helping us celebrate Differin Gel, a product that will help break the cycle of adult acne frustrations.” 

Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson has been open about her personal struggle with acne on social media, posting „zit” selfies that have gone viral across the internet. Having suffered from periodic breakouts throughout her adult life, Ashley is passionate about sharing her journey and the positive results she has had since using Differin Gel.

„Hectic travel schedules and long shoot days have taken a serious toll on my skin,” said Ashley. „That’s why I am so proud to be a part of the national launch of Differin. The retinoid gel is such a game-changer for acne sufferers like me.”

Acne affects more than 50 million people annually1 and only one-third (36%) seek the help of a healthcare provider2. However, 81% of adult sufferers agree they have never found a completely effective treatment3. As of January, Differin Gel will be available over the counter to help consumers effectively clear breakouts where they start, prevent lesions before they begin, and as a result, restore their skin’s texture and tone.

In addition to the Gel, Differin will be introducing a non-foaming, fragrance-free Balancing Cleanser and a gentle Balancing Moisturizer.

About Differin® Gel
Differin® Gel containing 0.1% adapalene is the first and only FDA-approved, prescription-strength, retinoid acne treatment available over the counter and the newest advancement in the OTC acne category in over 30 years. Differin® Gel is specially formulated for efficacy and tolerability. It is a full prescription-strength, once-a-day topical containing a retinoid, which is clinically proven to treat current and future breakouts. An innovation from Galderma R&D, the dermatologist-developed and tested Differin® Gel contains adapalene, a safe and effective retinoid, which doctors have prescribed to over 40 million people globally for more than 20 years4.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology’s therapeutic treatment guidelines, topical retinoids are recommended as first-line therapy for all acne cases5

Differin® Gel is clear, fragrance-free, oil-free and alcohol-free. Differin® Gel is applied once daily, directly to the full-face or other affected areas. It is approved for use by people 12 years and older with acne. For more information, please visit www.differin.com

About Galderma

Galderma, Nestlé Skin Health’s medical solutions business, was created in 1981 and is now present in over 100 countries with an extensive product portfolio to treat a range of dermatological conditions. The company partners with health care practitioners around the world to meet the skin health needs of people throughout their lifetime. Galderma is a leader in research and development of scientifically-defined and medically-proven solutions for the skin, hair and nails.

Strategic brands in the U.S. include Epiduo® Gel, Epiduo® Forte Gel, Oracea® Capsules, Clobex® Spray, Mirvaso® Gel, MetroGel® Gel, Soolantra® Cream, Vectical® Cream, Tri-Luma® Cream, Cetaphil®, Differin® Gel OTC, Restylane®, Restylane® Silk, Restylane® Lyft, Restylane® Refyne, Restylane® Defyne, Dysport® and Sculptra® Aesthetic.

For more information, please visit www.galdermausa.com and www.galderma.com.

About Nestlé Skin Health SHIELD
Nestlé Skin Health’s mission is to enhance quality of life by delivering science-based solutions for the health of skin, hair and nails. Nestlé Skin Health SHIELD (Skin Health Investigation, Education, Longevity Development) is a global network for innovation and education that gathers today’s most creative and visionary thinkers from diverse disciplines to generate, develop and incubate ideas to advance skin health and wellbeing. Ideas generated from SHIELD may result in new technologies, treatments, publications, white papers or educational approaches. For more information, please visit www.nestleskinhealth.com/shield.

Contact

Shannon Iwaniuk, Corporate Communications
Galderma Laboratories, L.P.
14501 N. Freeway, Fort Worth, TX 76177
Shannon.Iwaniuk@galderma.com

Alissa Katz, Account Supervisor
Lippe Taylor
215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003
AKatz@LippeTaylor.com

References
1 Bickers DR, Lim HW Margolis D, Weinstock MA, Goodman C, Faulkner E Et Al. The Burden Of Skin Diseases: 2004 a joint project of the American Academy of Dermatology Association and The Society For Investigative Dermatology Journal of The American Academy of Dermatology 2006; 55:490-500.
2 Nielsen Research Survey of Acne Sufferers. 2015
3 The 2016 Gallup Study of the Market for Acne Products Among Young Adults, 18-40 Years of Age; Multi-sponsor Surveys, Inc. Q26/Q62; n=503
4 Data on file, Galderma Laboratories, L.P.
5 Treatment and management of acne.” American Academy of Dermatology. AAD.org, 6 May 2016. Web. 26 June 2016.

SOURCE Galderma