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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gartner posted a job you might be interested in



Gartner



Senior Account Executive

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Area, US - Information Technology and Services

Are you looking for a fast-paced career with outstanding advancement potential at a global market leader? If so, think about Gartner. The world's leading research and advisory company, Gartner (NYSE:IT) delivers the technology-related insight necessary for our clients to make the right business decisions, every day. We are seeking highly motivated, achievement-driven sales associates to contribute to our double-digit growth, backed by the solid infrastructure of a world-class sales organization. In addition to a competitive base salary, uncapped commissions and exceptional benefits, Gartner sales associates can enjoy generous performance-based rewards, including all-expense-paid trips to exotic locations around the world. Come be a part of our incredible growth organization!



This Senior Account Executive role is responsible for both direct client contract value retention as well as growth through contract expansion and the introduction of new products and services. This position is focused on a single strategic federal agency account and is responsible for driving new business within that account, carrying a sales quota aligned with the specific account.



This role is responsible for:



  • Consult with C-level executives to develop and implement an effective, enterprise-wide strategy that maximizes the value delivered by Gartner's products and services

  • Account management with outcome of increased customer satisfaction and increase in retention & account growth

  • Quota responsibility aligned with specific accounts

  • Mastery and consistent execution of Gartner's internal sales

  • Proficient in account planning and understanding of territory management

  • Manage forecast accuracy on a monthly/quarterly/annual basis

  • Maintain competitive knowledge & focus

  • Fiscal responsibility with regards to expense management

  • In-depth knowledge of Gartner's products and services






No salary provided



Posted January 28, 2015 at 04:05PM from LinkedIn http://ift.tt/1yx9DUs

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What Do Farmers Think about Climate Change?

Most farmers believe climate change is occurring but do not trust those who clamor for action



-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com





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Warning: CEO Of Elite Dating Site Can Ban You Douchebags For Life

Amanda Bradford just launched a dating app called The League, which is designed to be used by beautiful, ambitious, intelligent people — you know who you are! — while keeping out the riffraff. Are you in our league? No surprise that some people find this app silly. Or sad. Or offensive. But don't you dare point that out, because Amanda Bradford does not tolerate haters and will use her algorithm to ban you from The League, forever.


Read more...






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HP posted a job you might be interested in



HP



Customer Delivery Specialist

Greater New York City Area, US - Computer Hardware, Computer Software

• Monitor and meet KPI metrics within target (Intercompany AR, Volume targets, Supplier Payments TAT( (int & ext), SAL management, Welcome Package TAT, Project Balance)


• In conjunction with sales proactively manage execution of monthly and quarterly forecast


• Manages Run Rate Business in accordance with Sales team and Customer Face Time Initiative deliverables


• Assist FAM in evaluating our ability to fulfill customer requirements and reach out to EM/SM as required.


• Manage the service requests of customers, HP business units, order management and resellers through different access channels.


• Collaborate with FAM in managing relations with the customer, HP and Resellers.


• Work with DSS counterpart to generate and collect documents and enter customer and transaction information required for lase administration activities (booking, funding) in systems. Ensure accuracy of all documents and administration.


• Prepare booking and funding package for compliance.


• Compliance with processes and policies requirements and audit ready


• Ensure documents are properly managed as part Document Retention Policy.


• Share accountability with Colleagues in customer delivery team to optimize customer experience and achieve team goals.


• Manages multiple tasks or cases simultaneously with general supervision.


• Evidenced proactive and consistent accurate forecasting of monthly targets.


• Assist BPMs with identifying training needs and developing training material and job aides.


• Standard SOA for business segment (Channel, Enterprise or Global).


• Evidenced track record of efficiencies in managing run rate business using available supporting resources and freeing up time to Sales Team. Active leadership in engaging the DSS model and identifying additional tasks to transition to DSS.


• Successful management execution of Global and Multiregional Accounts.


• Successfully manage reseller relationship ensuring proactive and fastest TAT of payment of invoices in line with internal compliance.


• Able to apply subject matter knowledge to resolve moderately complex customer requirement with minimal supervision required.


• Able to manage moderately complex asset management lifecycle restructuring cases and customized solution with minimal supervision required and meeting customer committed deadlines.


• Implements process refinement and improvement by applying a developing understanding of internal business processes and policies.


• As subject matter expert in the role, participates in HPFS projects or act as project leader on small projects.




Qualifications

Qualifications:


Organization, communication and written skills, time management, basic sales skills, ability to work on own and within team, interpersonal skills, phone skills, understanding of lease processes and impacts including the elements of the deal structure, problems solving skills, basic awareness of business risks, flexibility, data entry skills, ability to track and complete lease administration activities, prioritization skills, basic pricing and financial calculation skills, English and local language and country knowledge, PC and core system skills, good business judgment, ability to multi task, knowledge of workflow and organizational roles and responsibilities in HPFS, good business and escalation judgment, relationship management skills, basic knowledge of legal recovery processes. Fluent in French is strongly preferred.


Education and Experience:


Typically requires a degree in a related field (Business, Finance) or equivalent experience.


Working knowledge of leasing/banking contracts preferred. Customer support experience preferred






No salary provided



Posted January 28, 2015 at 03:50PM from LinkedIn http://ift.tt/1uAOZlO

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Hays Specialist Recruitment Ltd posted a job you might be interested in



Hays Specialist Recruitment Ltd



Payroll Administrator

Stockport, United Kingdom, GB - Accounting



Payroll Administrator Job



A well-established Accountancy Firm in Stockport are seeking an experienced Payroll Administrator to join their friendly team on a permanent basis. Working in their payroll bureau, you would be responsible for the administration and processing of multiple client payrolls.



Key skills include:



* Previous payroll bureau experience, managing multiple payrolls against multiple deadlines,

* Knowledge of manual calculation of tax and NIC,

* Sound knowledge of RTI,

* Working knowledge of Excel (setting up and using basic calculations).



This is a fantastic opportunity for the right individual to join a successful and continuously growing firm, who offer excellent benefits. This role offers a competitive salary, a friendly office environment and would be a great move. If you feel you have the relevant skills and experience or would like a confidential discussion in relation to this role or more generally then please contact Amelia Jones on 0161 237 3388.




Hays Specialist Recruitment Limited acts as an employment agency for permanent recruitment and employment business for the supply of temporary workers. By applying for this job you accept the T&C's, Privacy Policy and Disclaimers which can be found at hays.co.uk






£17000.00 - £22000.00 per annum



Posted January 28, 2015 at 03:50PM from LinkedIn http://ift.tt/18uhzRg

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CGI IT UK posted a job you might be interested in



CGI IT UK



Senior Contracts and Commercial Manager

London, United Kingdom, GB - Financial Services, Information Technology and Services



Senior Contracts and Commercial Manager



CGI is looking for a Senior Contracts and Commercial Manager to join their busy team working on a key major programme.



General Role



Commercial Management roles have agreed Terms of Reference which afford the individual the appropriate level of autonomy and responsibility and support pre-contract bidding phases of the business or post signature delivery area or a combination of both.



Pre-contract the Senior Commercial Manager (SCM) works with Client facing teams to shape, construct and negotiate the commercial elements of the 'deal' ensuring we have a clear understanding of the risks, and how they are managed within the contract, thereby assuring overall deal quality. In the post signature role, the SCM works with delivery teams and other support functions to ensure contract compliance, and proper management of change with the Client and supply chain.



In particular he/she is responsible for:



* Safeguarding the quality and commercial validity of all major tender/bids and contracts with the client and the supply chain



* Reviewing the contract performance, assessing commercial risks and ensuring appropriate steps are taken to manage the risk



* Preventing and resolving contractual disputes



* assuring adherence to CGI's Management Frameworks (CGI' policy and procedures); in line with the UK and corporate standards for all contracting activity



This role is specific to a major programme within CGI - CGI are currently now deep into a complex transition and transformation phase. This phase is complex because of the scale of transition and transformation with many of areas of the progamme undergoing this phase in parallel.



This SCM role in this Programme covers:



* Post signature contract management of CGI's relationship

* Pre-contract support for significant change controls (values range between £1M and £10M)

* Change Management - continuous volume of smaller value change

* Attending the Commercial / Financial Meetings with the client, and others including Service Providers.

* Other tasks and activities as agreed with Commercial Director



Qualifications Required



Degree Level Education (Preferably in Legal/Business/Finance related discipline)



Key skills required



* Strong Contract Management Skills

* Strong Contract Drafting Skills

* Strong Negotiation Skills

* Good Client Facing Skills - Face off to Client Commercial and Senior Management

* Good Financial Awareness

* Good Supply Chain Management Awareness - Face off to Subcontract Management and Spend Management

* Team working with good interaction at all levels of the organisation

* Sound knowledge of IPR, licensing, and data protection required



Experience Required



Demonstrable and strongly evidenced commercial experience in IT managed services or related technology services



Other key Qualities\Skills



* Confident and comfortable in stressful\challenging situations with Clients and Suppliers

* Diplomatic - capable of saying no without offence

* Calm under pressure

* Team player with good negotiation and influencing skills

* Cultural awareness\intelligence



Contracts and Commercial Function



CGI has a strong professional Contracts and Commercial function within the UK business reporting to the Vice President Commercial UK (a UK Management Team Member reporting to the CGI UK President). The function is a central function to the UK business and supports all the go-to market businesses. At CGI, we're a team of builders. We call our employees members because all who join CGI are building their own company - one that has grown to 68,000 professionals located in 40 countries. Founded in 1976, CGI is a leading IT and business process services firm committed to helping clients succeed. We have the global resources, expertise, stability and dedicated professionals needed to achieve results for our clients - and for our members. Come grow with us. Learn more at www.cgi-group.co.uk



This is a great opportunity to join a winning team. CGI offers a competitive compensation package with opportunities for growth and professional development. Benefits for full-time, permanent members start on the first day of employment and include a paid time-off program and profit participation and stock purchase plans.











£70000 - £85000 per annum + benefits



Posted January 28, 2015 at 03:50PM from LinkedIn http://ift.tt/1CMolNV

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Bits Blog: Chinese Government Takes Aim at E-Commerce Giant Alibaba Over Fake Goods

The Chinese government regulator complained about what it said were unlicensed merchants, fake goods and other illegal practices on the company’s hugely popular shopping websites.





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Lynch to Cast Herself as Departure From Holder in Bid to Be Attorney General

Loretta E. Lynch is expected to present herself as an apolitical career prosecutor when the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee opens hearings on her nomination.





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Philippine President Says He Didn’t Give Go-Ahead for Police Raid

President Benigno S. Aquino III said he did not specifically authorize the operation to capture a leading terrorism suspect, which killed 44 elite officers and may jeopardize a peace deal with rebels.





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ArtsBeat: ‘Justified’ Recap: A Big Gun and a Land Grab

The Western tilt of “Justified” just became more pronounced.





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Writers' doodles for Epilepsy Action

In advance of National Doodle Day on Friday February 6, authors including John le Carré and Margaret Atwood have contributed doodles to an online auction to raise money for Epilepsy Action


Continue reading...





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Michelle Obama opts to forgo headscarf during Saudi Arabia visit

US first lady’s decision to not cover her head as she and President Obama met King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has caused a stir on social media

Michelle Obama has drawn attention to the severe restrictions placed on women in Saudi Arabia by not wearing a headscarf during a visit to the country after the death of King Abdullah.


The US first lady’s decision to not cover her hair when she and President Obama met Abdullah’s successor, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, on Tuesday caused a stir on social media, prompting the hashtag #michelle_obama_notveiled.


THANK YOU @MichelleObama for standing up for women. Now can we also tell them that lashes & beheadings are not ok. #Michelle_Obama_NotVeiled


A woman's open & direct msg to Saudi authorities worth much more than her husband's words. #Michelle_Obama_NotVeiled http://ift.tt/15OJbyx


I actually do not appreciate her disrespect. Regardless of personal feelings and beliefs, 1 #Michelle_Obama_NotVeiled


she was a guest in another country &culture.She should make no judgements, but show proper respect at a funeral.2 #Michelle_Obama_NotVeiled


Michelle Obama shouldve stayed in Airforce One as a sign of boycott rather than flouting rules of another country #Michelle_Obama_NotVeiled


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Tesco names the 43 stores to close

Embattled grocer reveals locations of unprofitable stores 30 convenience stores, seven superstores and six Homeplus sites

Tesco has revealed the 43 unprofitable stores it will close as part of the new chief executive Dave Lewis’s efforts to revive the embattled grocer, affecting around 2,000 jobs.


The retailer said it would be closing 30 convenience stores – including 18 Express outlets and 12 inner-city Metro shops – along with seven superstores and six non-food ventures called Homeplus. The closures are spread across the UK.


Related: The Tesco store closures - the list in full


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Photo highlights of the day

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of the best photographs from around the world, including fracking protests in the UK, the recapture of Kobani and the stray dogs of Athens


Continue reading...





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Alexis Tsipras begins rolling back Greek austerity policies

New prime minister says there is no time to waste, as privatisation programme demanded by EU and IMF is put on hold

In a dramatic start to his tenure in office, Greece’s new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, has begun unpicking the deeply unpopular austerity policies underpinning the debt-stricken country’s bailout programme.


After storming to power on Sunday, the leftwinger said there was no time to waste. “We will continue with our plan,” he told his first cabinet meeting on Wednesday. “We don’t have the right to disappoint our voters.”


Continue reading...





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Hays posted a job you might be interested in



Hays



Integration Specialist

Amsterdam Area, Netherlands, NL - Information Technology and Services

Do you have experience in translating business requirements into functional design and good knowledge of OCI and Punch Out Catalogs? This could be a very interesting opportunity for you!



Our client is active in 27 countries and organised into four regions: North America, Continental Europe, UK & Ireland and Rest of the World. They are a focused and successful international distribution and outsourcing group with operations across the Americas, Europe and Australasia.

Our client supports their customers all over the world with a variety of products that are essential for the successful operation of their businesses. By outsourcing the purchasing, consolidation and delivery of a broad range of everyday items, their customers are able to focus on their core businesses, achieve purchasing efficiencies and savings, free up working capital, improve distribution capabilities, reduce carbon emissions and simplify their internal administration.

The organization is at the beginning of the development of a new eCommerce platform (B2B) for Continental Europe. The newly formed team will initially exist of an eCommerce Coordinator, Integration Specialist and Business Analyst/UX Analyst. This new team will see the platform through go live and will continuously optimize the new platform. We expect that the team will double in size quickly, so this is a unique chance to be part of this challenge!



As an Integration Specialist eCommerce you will have close contact with key-users in Continental Europe and will translate their business requirements into a functional design. You will work collaboratively within the eCommerce team and close together with Web Designers and Developers to make sure you meet the business expectations. You will take responsibility to integrate external purchase systems with the eCommerce platform. You will acquire good understanding of ‘Open Catalogs Interface (OCI) and ‘Punch Out Catalogs’. You will translate business requirements into technical solutions and coordinate processes to meet business expectations and deadlines. As an Integration Specialist you oversee technical development to add new features and release new software after a thorough testing phase. You also take responsibility for Web Analytics and Google Analytics. You utilise qualitative and quantitative data to drive demonstrable improvements to design solutions and web shop optimisation.



Furthermore you will be a member of the online support team. You will give support by answering questions from key-users within operating companies throughout Continental Europe.






No salary provided



Posted January 28, 2015 at 03:34PM from LinkedIn http://ift.tt/1y57ZKD

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Dell posted a job you might be interested in



Dell



Account Executive, Large Commercial Accounts: Remote, Houston TX

Houston, Texas Area, US - Computer Hardware, Computer Software, Information Technology and Services

Dell, Inc. is a worldwide provider of information technology services and business solutions to a broad range of clients. We seek men and women who share our values, thrive in a team environment, and recognize the importance of accountability; people who strive to exceed expectations to ensure our Clients' success.



We are currently looking for an Account Executive to join our sales team. The Dell Account Executive ("AE") is a field sales role that will be responsible for growing business with targeted Corporate Large Institution customers. The Account Executive is responsible for developing a territory plan, sales call strategy, and growing new lines of business. The successful candidate will effectively communicate Dell's value proposition, strategies, services, and products to customers while selling Dell’s full portfolio of offerings. The Account Executive will lead a virtual sales team, as well as work with multiple cross-functional organizations to meet the needs of the customer. For Dell, customer satisfaction is paramount, and the Account Executive will need to lead resolution of issues when necessary.



Role Responsibilties



- Self-starter with experience calling on Fortune 1000 executives



- Responsible for growing business with existing Dell customers



- Demonstrate leadership building and managing teams in support of customer opportunities



- Proactively positions a positive business outcome to the customer’s current business problem



- Drive and execute market and account management activities, qualifying and developing sales opportunities, leading an account team and leveraging specialty resources and partners



- Drives vertical expertise within the segment and facilitates feedback to the product group and business operations on customer requirements



- Penetrate addressable whitespace in existing accounts



- Engage strategic channel partners for resources, fulfillment, and account management



Qualifications



Qualifications



- 10+ years in IT sector selling enterprise based technology solutions



- Proven track record of meeting/exceeding sales quota; experience selling into Fortune 1000 size customers



- Demonstrated ability to deliver practical business solutions based on enterprise understanding of the customer’s operational capability and total asset/value portfolio



- Extensive experience of senior commercial relationships in major accounts



- Strong business acumen with network of existing customers, partners and business contacts



- Focuses on the “vital few” priorities that will have the greatest impact to the customer and business



- Providing end-to end account management



Company Description



With more than 100,000 team members globally, we promote an environment that is rooted in the entrepreneurial spirit in which the company was founded. Dell’s team members are committed to serving our communities, regularly volunteering for over 1,500 non-profit organizations. The company has also received many accolades from employer of choice to energy conservation. Our team members follow an open approach to technology innovation and believe that technology is essential for human success.



Why work with us?



- Life at Dell means collaborating with dedicated professionals with a passion for technology.



- When we see something that could be improved, we get to work inventing the solution.



- Our people demonstrate our winning culture through positive and meaningful relationships.



- We invest in our people and offer a series of programs that enables them to pursue a career that fulfills their potential.



- Our team members’ health and wellness is our priority as well as rewarding them for their hard work.



Dell is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Prohibits Discrimination and Harassment of Any Kind: Dell is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all employees and to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All employment decisions at Dell are based on business needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion or belief, national, social or ethnic origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, physical, mental or sensory disability, HIV Status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital, civil union or domestic partnership status, past or present military service, family medical history or genetic information, family or parental status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate. Dell will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics.



Dell is an Equal Opportunity Employer To learn more about our commitment to Diversity & Inclusion, visit: Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Statement



No salary provided



Posted January 28, 2015 at 03:26PM from LinkedIn http://ift.tt/18uczw9

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MIT Wearables Workshop for Girls #WearableWednesday

MIT News: Lincoln Laboratory hosts first “Make Your Own Wearables” workshop for high-school girls: During the second half of the day, Gavin Lund, an electrical engineer in the laboratory’s Optical Communications Technology Group, introduced the girls to computer programming and circuits. As part of an interactive demonstration, the girls created simple instructions to program a […]



from Adafruit Industries - Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! http://ift.tt/1BxmvOTRead More


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Don’t drink and drone #drones

White House Drone Crash Described as a U.S. Worker’s Drunken Lark – NYTimes.com. It was 42 degrees and raining lightly around 3 a.m. on Monday when an inebriated off-duty employee for a government intelligence agency decided it was a good time to fly his friend’s drone, a 2-foot-by-2-foot “quadcopter” that sells for hundreds of dollars […]



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The Hunker Mindset, Ctd

A lot of readers can relate to this state of mind: ​My daughter, who is a graduate student in England, says that the rush to buy bread, milk, and eggs before a storm is referred to there as “the French toast panic”. Another suggests a different meal: On one level, I can see this as […]



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Molecular Clocks Scattered throughout Your Body (Not Just in the Brain) Keep Your Tissues Humming

Genes in the liver, pancreas and other tissues (not just the brain) keep the various parts of the body in sync. Timing miscues may lead to diabetes, depression and other illnesses



-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com





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Dell posted a job you might be interested in



Dell



Client Technical Support Associate

Guadalajara Area, Mexico, MX - Computer Hardware, Computer Software, Information Technology and Services

Technical Support for Service Desk



Dell, Inc. is a global provider of technology solutions. We are looking for a Technical Support team member to join our team in Guadalajara Mexico. The candidate must have proven skills working on customer service.



The position is in the service desk area, which is specialized technical support to other companies and users. There is limited experienced required (at least 6 months) on client tech support.



Job Responsibilities:




  • Answer technical support calls providing and escalating to other support groups.

  • Provide Support based on email generated requests or reports.

  • Document troubleshooting steps and detailed description of the customers` incidents and requests.

  • Applies diagnostic techniques to identify problems, investigate causes and recommend solutions to correct failures.

  • Responds to customer technical problems/issues related to hardware, software and networking via e-mail/chat, online, social media and phone.






QualificationsRequired Skills:




  • 100% Bilingual English-Spanish.

  • Strong written communication skills.

  • Previous technical support experience + 1 year in a call center environment for Windows OS, MS Office, MS Outlook, Internet Explorer, Antivirus and Peripherals (Installation, operation, configuration, customization, and usage).

  • Shift availability 24/7.

  • Customer Service experience.






No salary provided



Posted January 28, 2015 at 03:23PM from LinkedIn http://ift.tt/1BxoBhI

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Kelly Services posted a job you might be interested in



Kelly Services



Compensation Analyst

Greater Philadelphia Area, US - Financial Services

Today, we are proud to offer an exciting temporary contract opportunity for a Compensation Analyst. This position is located in Hammonton, New Jersey.



Job Description:

Support the planning and implementation of migrating a traditional compensation structure to broad salary bands, including:

- Writing job descriptions

- Defining management titles and role definitions

- Market pricing jobs

- Implementing new structures

- Work on salary surveys, market pricings, pay line development processes and support the implementation of a new market pricing system (Pay Factors)

- Function as ambassador and advocate of the compensation program. May participate in manager training and communications.

- Participate in the review and design of compensation policies and procedures.

- May support executive and incentive compensation (including annual and long term incentive and sales incentive programs).





$60-$65/hour



Posted January 28, 2015 at 03:13PM from LinkedIn http://ift.tt/1ywU6nB

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Oracle posted a job you might be interested in



Oracle



Spanish HCM Applications Inside Sales Account Manager - Based in Dublin

Ireland, IE - Computer Software, Computer Software

Oracle will expand its SaaS/ On-Demand sales team, which will work closely with the EMEA field sales force to sell the Oracle Cloud Applications / Service products to new and existing Oracle customers across the EMEA market. Oracle Direct now offers a number of exciting career opportunities for experienced business applications sales professionals to join this fast growing sales team. Oracle Direct are seeking experienced sales professionals who can sell the business benefits of Oracle’s HCM Cloud application to business and technology executives. The Oracle HCM SaaS Account Manager will be responsible for new business across the target markets’ Enterprise and SME sector.


RESPONSIBILITIES:



  • Articulate business benefits of a SaaS solution for a Sales, Marketing or Service department.

  • Deliver online demonstration of the solution with the ability to show what is asked by prospects.

  • Develop the business by uncovering new opportunities.

  • Manage a volume business i.e many deals in a given period. CRM internal tool is used to follow up opportunities.

  • Win deals in a competitive environment to achieve and overachieve targets.






No salary provided



Posted January 28, 2015 at 03:12PM from LinkedIn http://ift.tt/1z2G56o

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Three cops, a 17-year-old and 'a cry for help': why did Kristiana Coignard die?

A mysterious encounter at a Texas police department has mental health advocates wondering a question resounding from Ferguson to Washington and beyond: can’t the US keep better track of police killings?


Just after sunset last Thursday, 17-year-old Kristiana Coignard entered a police station in Longview, Texas, a small city two hours east of Dallas with a history of police violence not all that different from the rest of the United States – but no less mysterious.


Coignard picked up a red, wall-mounted phone in the police department lobby and asked to speak with an officer – for reasons that also remain unclear.


Continue reading...





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It rained on my wedding day – and I wouldn’t have spent £100,000 to stop it

A company claims it can prevent rain ruining your big day, but marriage isn’t perfect so your wedding day shouldn’t be either

Phew. Everything’s sorted. All lists ticked off. Done. So you follow the advice and you have an early night and just before you go to bed you check the weather forecast, and you sigh and then you scream as you realise all the planning has been for nought. Because it’s going to rain. Of course it’s going to rain. And the rain will ruin everything. But then your parents call with good news: they have remortgaged their house and spent £100,000 to stop it raining. Everything’s fine. Better than that: everything’s perfect.


There’s no doubt that Oliver’s Travels, the company boasting of an Ariel-like ability to control the weather, is offering a product that some will want. The problem is it’s also reinforcing the idea of the “perfect wedding”. And I of all people should know such an idea is nonsense: my wedding was great, even though my bride’s wedding dress caught fire (didn’t think of that, did you, Alanis?).


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Campaign against Chelsea? More like a Chelsea campaign against everyone

José Mourinho had grounds for complaint in the Capital One Cup semi-final against Liverpool but if the Chelsea manager is not prepared to look at the other side of the coin he has no real interest in fair play

• Diego Costa tries to light up Chelsea with his dark arts

“Let Diego Costa play his football,” José Mourinho said in the heated aftermath of the narrow Capital One Cup victory over Liverpool, thereby surrendering the moral high ground and as good as admitting that the alleged refereeing and media campaign against Chelsea is in fact more of a Chelsea campaign against referees and the media.


Mourinho certainly had grounds for complaint in the second leg against Liverpool with Lucas Leiva and Jordan Henderson lucky to stay on the pitch after miraculously escaping second bookings and Costa clearly denied a penalty in the first half, but if the manager is not prepared to look at the other side of the coin – to consider that Costa was fortunate still to be on the pitch after his stamp on Emre Can – he has no real interest in fair play and talk of referees ganging up on Chelsea is just so much diversionary waffle.


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Canary Wharf: building that defined London in Thatcher years – timeline

Docklands estate, now home to financial heavyweights, is the creation of Canadian tycoon Paul Reichmann


Canary Wharf is to be bought by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and Canadian investor Brookfield Properties for £2.6bn after Songbird, the owner of the Docklands estate, admitted defeat.


Canary Wharf takes its name from the quay where fruit and veg from the Mediterranean and Canary islands was once unloaded. The disused Docklands site, formed by a loop in the Thames, was turned into a second financial district to rival the City of London after 1987.


I had 29 meetings with business leaders in London to see if such a project made sense. I did not ask them if they would move to Canary Wharf. The answer would have been no. My main question was: are you happy with your operating premises or do you see the need to do something dramatic? What I detected was the great majority were very unhappy with their premises, but their attitude was that they had no choice.


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Why I hate the Little Miss books

The forthcoming film may be lovely, but Roger Hargreaves’ Little Misses are even harder work than the Mr Men, as I found to my cost when I read them to my toddler


The news that film rights in the Mr Men and Little Miss books have been sold to Fox Animation has thrown me back to a much-regretted decision made shortly before the birth of my second daughter in 2013. Full of plans to occupy the big daughter, I stumbled across a box set of all the Little Miss books, and decided it would be perfect. I had vaguely positive memories of the Mr Men books from my own childhood; the illustrations are brilliant; and they all came in a box with a sliding drawer that I thought would keep her busy for hours.


It turns out that my well-intentioned choice of Little Misses over Mr Men was a poor one. Settled on the sofa for the first of many, many, many feeding sessions, I promised that every time I was thus occupied, I’d read a story. We started with Little Miss Lucky. This is a summary: Little Miss Lucky, clad in a blue-checked hat, lives in Horseshoe Cottage. One windy night, she is locked out of her house, blown away and chased by a walking tree. But it’s OK – it was all a dream! Isn’t she lucky? NO! This makes no sense; it is not an example of luck.


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Helen Macdonald: the six books that made me

H Is for Hawk, which has won the Costa book of the year, portrays a writer in urgent dialogue with the natural world. Which were the books that opened her eyes to nature?

Three months ago the fieldfares arrived in rattling flocks through gusts of hail, their chak‑chak-chak calls like handfuls of pebbles flung on a frozen pond. I love these migrant thrushes because they’re scraps of the arctic flown to my fenland home, and because they bring history with them too, a bewitching mess of it. They’re built of all the fieldfares I’ve ever known: birds in paintings, photographs, field guides, migration maps, books, conversations, articles in magazines. And they’re made, too, of all the times I’ve seen them before, and for an flickering instant as the fieldfares blow in, I’m a child standing on tiptoe on the edge of a playing field, squinting to work out what these bold, patterned birds in the frosted trees might be. I’m 10 years old again. It took me half a lifetime to understand that each encounter with the natural world pleats together all the things you’ve read and heard, and adds to them, making something more of the bird or leaf or landscape in front of you, so that the older you get the more meaningful these things become. A few of these nature books inspire me because they were there at the beginning; childhood favourites that taught me what things were. Others are here because they tussle with the questions at the heart of it all: who has the right to interact with nature, to define what it is, explain it, speak for it – all questions, ultimately, about who we are.


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Gary Glitter: career pressure led me to download child sex abuse images

Tearful singer, who denies abusing three girls, says he was ‘in a very bad place’ regarding 1999 conviction

Gary Glitter wept in the dock as he blamed a collapsing career, financial troubles and being in a “bad place” for his decision to download images of men sexually abusing young children on to his computer.


Sobbing uncontrollably in the witness box, the singer, 70, told jurors that his conviction for possessing 4,000 images of child abuse “changed my life forever”.


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