Foursquare partners with American Express
Foursquare is one of those social media networking sites that you either love or hate. It’s great for those junkies who want to show off to friends where they’re at, gain invisible badges to store in your phone, or look for discounts and freebies to neighboring restaurants, cafes and so on and so forth. Foursquare is the “OG” when it comes to checking in social sites and Facebook and Google have both borrowed the idea to create their own network of places to check into and share with friends and followers.
After all of the copycats, Foursquare has still held its ground and the company has announced this week that it has hit 10 million registered users. Today, the company says that it has plans to introduce its largest partnership to date with American Express to offer discounts to cardholders when they check in using their smartphones at participating restaurants and shops.
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Foursquare’s partnership with American Express will offer more hearty deals to users and executives are hoping that the social media app will bring it further into the mainstream. However, the New York Times reports that Foursquare will not be receiving any revenue from the American Express deal, but will leverage the promotion to legitimize the company’s approach and to attract future, lucrative partnerships.
If you’re eager to start checking in to get deals with your American Express card, the first companies on the plate will be Sports Authority and clothing chain H&M, along with a few restaurants in New York. Shoppers who spend $75 at H&M will get a $10 credit to their credit card account and those who spend $50 at Sports Authority will get a $20 reward.
Dark Wolf: accelerating security for USAF
As a small company whose biggest customers are the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community, Dark Wolf Solutions (Dark Wolf) is a triple-threat, specializing in Cybersecurity, Software and DevOps, and Management Solutions. Dark Wolf secures and tests cloud platforms, develops and deploys applications, and offers consultancy services performing system engineering, system integration, and mission support.
The break for Dark Wolf came when the Department of Defense decided to explore software factories. Rick Tossavainen, Dark Wolf’s CEO, thinks it was an inspired path for the DoD to take. “It was a really great decision,” he says, “Let’s pull our people together as part of this digital transformation and recreate what Silicon Valley startup firms typically have. Let’s get into commercial facilities where we have open windows and big whiteboards and just promote ideation and collaboration. And it creates this collaborative environment where people start creating things much more rapidly than before.”
It has been, Tossavainen says, “amazing to watch” and has energized the Federal Contracting Sector with an influx of new talent and improved working environments that foster creativity and innovative ways of approaching traditional problems.
“We originally started working with the US Air Force about three years ago. The problem was at the time you could develop all the software you wanted but you couldn’t get it into production – you had to go through the traditional assessment and authorization process. I talked to Lauren Knausenberger and she told me about Kessel Run and what eventually came out of this was the DoD’s first continuous ATO [Authority To Operate].”
The secret to Dark Wolf’s success – and its partnerships with USAF and Space Force – lies in a client-first attitude. “We’re not looking to maximise revenue,” Tossavainen explains. “We tell all of our employees, if you’re ever faced with an issue and you don’t know how to resolve it, and one solution is better for the customer and the second is better for Dark Wolf, you always do number one. We’ve just got to take care of our customers, and I look for other partners that want to do that. And let’s work together so that we can bring them the best answer we can.”
Rapid releases and constant evolution of software are common themes among USAF’s partners. Like many firms operating in the commercial and public sector spaces, Dark Wolf leads with a DevSecOps approach.
“Failure is tolerated,” says Tossavainen. “If it’s not going the right way in three months, let’s adjust. Let’s rapidly change course. And you can tell really quickly if something’s going to be successful or not, because they’re doing deployments multiple times a day – to the customer.”