Miles Ahead We speak to Scott McCallum the pioneer of FileCensus, a Storage Resource Management (SRM) application to help organisations to manage their storage assets more effectively, and with considerably less effort. 20-23
EDITOR’S NOTE Welcome to the newest edition of TMT Magazine. The world of international business is becoming increasingly reliant upon technology. In particular, the fast and safe, transfer of significant quantities of data is becoming a priority for businesses. This, per se, is nothing new – the volumes involved in data transfer has been steadily increasing since the turn of the millennium, the advent of the World Wide Web, and the rise and fall of the ‘dot-com bubble’. What is new is the way in which businesses are beginning to respond to new digital technologies as a tool for conducting business. Businesses are increasingly seeing the benefits of outsourcing IT work to another firm, rather than maintain their own in-house IT team. Efficient file management systems, and user interfaces to control them, are in high demand – as are the techno-wizards capable of realising these technological solutions. There is ample opportunity to push the boundaries of modern technology further than we have ever conceived – whether it is through providing technical support to the US Air Force and Navy, using social media to the benefit of the healthcare community, or introducing new, immersive audio solutions. The companies behind these innovations are but a brief selection of what the wider technological markets have evolved into: a vast, myriad complex of professionals, all devoted to pushing the boundaries of human achievement in the 21st century.
Another highly notable trend in the broad spectrum of the technology market today is apparent in the form of cryptocurrencies. The advent of decentralised currencies such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin has opened new opportunities for Scott McCallum’s Intermine Pty, Ltd. to establish themselves as a major up-and-comer, assisting the younger generation in adjusting to a transforming, online banking system. It is our pleasure, here at TMT Magazine, to provide you with the latest news and developments in the world of technology, media and telecoms. Even as technology continues to find new ways of surprising consumers and businessmen and women across the globe, almost on a daily basis, our e-pages have all you need to know to stay abreast. Please enjoy reading this issue, and if you have questions or comments, do not hesitate to get in touch. Contact the Editor at TMT Magazine: George Millar email@example.com +44 (0) 203 725 6842
MOST INNOVATIVE BUSINESS UK 2016 ROADVERT HELPS COUNCILS UNLOCK FRESH REVENUE STREAMS ESTABLISHMENT OF KOREAN OFFICE AND PARTNERSHIP WITH ADWAYS KOREA: TAPTICA EXPANDS IN ASIA-PACIFIC
2016 CTO OF THE YEAR - UK & GAMING WHAT MOBILE PAYMENTS PROVIDERS CAN LEARN FROM POKÉMON GO, AND WHY SCANDINAVIAN MOBILE WALLETS ARE CLOSEST TO GETTING IT RIGHT NEW RUBIK’S TOY LAUNCHES WITH A SPARK
2016 CTO OF THE YEAR - AUSTRALIA 2016 CTO OF THE YEAR - USA & IT SERVICES INNOVATIVE INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGY BENEFITS EDUCATORS WORLDWIDE GOINGCLEAR INTERACTIVE
BEST CORPORATE FILM COMPANY - UK FEMALE TECH ROLE-MODELS SET TO INSPIRE 1,000 YOUNG WOMEN WHY ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT FIRMS ARE TURNING TO CONTENT MARKETING
MAKING THE CONNECTING LINK BETWEEN BEHAVIOURS AND APPS SWYX INTRODUCES UPDATED APP, EXTENDING THE ‘SINGLE TELEPHONE NUMBER’ CONCEPT TO MOBILE WORKERS
READY, STEADY, THINK AND GO FOR THE ROBOTS
2016 CTO OF THE YEAR - CALIFORNIA LIQUIDWARE LABS BRINGS RELIEF TO USER LOGON TIMES
2016 CTO OF THE YEAR - WASHINGTON DC 2016 CTO OF THE YEAR - PENNSYLVANIA 2016 CTO OF THE YEAR - US & ELECTRONICS SMART SPEAKERS TO BE NEXT BATTLEGROUND FOR DIGITAL ASSISTANTS, BRINGING THE SMART AUDIO MARKET TO OVER $5 BILLION BY 2020
2016 CTO OF THE YEAR - UK TECHNOLOGY M&A: SHIFTING PARADIGMS REVENUE MANAGEMENT FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES
2016 CTO OF THE YEAR - USA & TEXTILES
HOW THE RISE OF ROBOTIC CARS WILL TRANSFORM THE AD INDUSTRY ARE DRONES REALLY THE FUTURE?
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BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME Adam Varley, Head of Office Agency at national commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), explores the property fundamentals behind Leeds’ burgeoning technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector.
Last month the Centre for Economics and Business Research published a report forecasting that the future of the UK’s digital economy lies with the Northern Powerhouse, highlighting that by 2020 one job in every eleven in the North of England will be in the creative and TMT sectors. Furthermore, the report predicts that by 2020 the total number of digital jobs in the North of England will outnumber that of London by more than 60%. Employment figures recently released by the government suggest that this isn’t simply wishful thinking – particularly across Yorkshire and Humber. The region saw employment in the TMT sectors rise 18% from 2014 to 2015 – the highest growth across the whole of the UK, including London, over this period. Moreover, from 2011 to 2015, employment in the TMT sector across Yorkshire and the Humber grew by 30%. This rapid growth has led to a marked rise in employment in the sector across region, resulting in significant occupier demand from TMT businesses. Leeds, for example, is already home to 8,500 TMT companies employing over 70,000 staff and contributing £3 billion GVA to the regional economy. Three of those firms, SkyBet, Emis Group and Callcredit, were recently quoted as having a worth in excess of $500m in a survey by technology investment bank, GP Bullhound. As a result, the city’s TMT occupier market is booming. Findings from LSH’s Northern Powerhouse Office Market Report highlighted that, across the whole of the city last year, take-up from TMT companies represented 28% of all occupier deals in the city – the highest take-up of any sector. All the fundamentals are in place for this demand for space to continue. Leeds is the only city in the UK that has declared internet independence from London, while the city region has direct access to one of Europe’s most significant higher education clusters with an annual pipeline of 41,500 graduates, 20% of whom are in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
The continuing challenge for the real estate market across Leeds and the wider Yorkshire and Humber region is to keep pace with this demand. Last week Leeds City Council tabled the idea of the creation of an innovation district within the city incorporating the University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University and the General Infirmary within the Arena Quarter of the city. The idea would be to bring together some of the city’s most creative and innovation institutions and continue to build on the success of the Leeds Innovation Centre, as well as the potential that the development of the £40m, 10,000 sq m University Innovation and Enterprise Centre (UIEC) will bring. But LSH’s Q2 2016 Leeds Office Market Pulse highlights that grade A office space accounts for only 22% of the total available stock across Leeds and, while 540,000 sq ft of new build space is set to complete in 2016, it tends to be the wrong type of space, in more established ‘traditional’ business locations. Investors and developers therefore need to adapt to the growing requirements of TMT businesses before they are lost to other major UK cities such as Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh. To do this, it is important to understand businesses in this sector. For them, the building which they occupy can’t merely be an envelope, it’s what happens inside that makes a difference. Occupiers in the TMT sector typically look for more flexible office accommodation capable of supporting creative activity, clustered around other like-minded businesses allowing for greater collaboration and sharing of ideas to undercover opportunities, which is reflected in the location, size and type of space leased. Fewer workstations give way to more informal work places. The boundaries between client space and work space are much less defined than in more traditional, corporate office environments with large floor plates of circa 20,000 sq ft. Grand reception desks that create a barrier between a business and its visitors are superseded by lounge areas that provide a more welcoming experience.
Landlords that have designed buildings to accommodate this growing sector of the market have seen the best results. A recent success storey is Allied London’s Leeds Dock, a part of the city which has been through a significant transition, having struggled to establish its identity previously. Following Allied London’s acquisition, the scheme is being reinvigorated and has already attracted global brands Sky & Google’s Digital Garage. The South Bank offers a unique proposition for Leeds in its commitment to be the best city in the UK by 2030. The creation of the Yorkshire Hub through major infrastructure projects like HS2 and HS3 (or Northern Powerhouse Rail) will play an important part, both in connecting the city to a larger more mobile workforce, but also in acting as a catalyst and focus for further development. Leeds’ vibrant cultural scene, abundance of retail and leisure, and cost-effective housing is unrivalled in the North. Companies looking to attract bright, young talent will continue to locate here as long as they have the right space. We, as a city region, need to continue to make sure that happens.
WHITE HOUSE LAUNCHES $400M 5G NETWORKS RESEARCH PROGRAM • FCC passes new rules on next-gen connectivity. • Obama Administration announces Advanced Wireless Research Initiative. In his 2015 State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama said, “21st-century businesses need 21st century infrastructure – modern ports, and stronger bridges, faster trains and the fastest Internet…I intend to protect a free and open Internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world.” Now, in the White House seems set on delivering on these words, with the Obama Administration’s launching of a new $400 million Advanced Wireless Research Initiative (AWRI) to develop new 5G networks across the USA. These efforts will be led by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
This news follows the vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to open highfrequency millimetre wave spectrum for both licensed and unlicensed use.
The new AWRI will facilitate the deployment and utilisation of four city-scale testing platforms over the next 10 years, with many high-profile associates pledging to make contributions to these platforms.
The FCC’s new guidelines aim to encourage new technology without letting unnecessary regulation hold up the process, serving as the foundation for companies and wireless carriers building devices and gear to run on the networks, and those that will provide the wireless service.
Among these contributors are the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions, and the Telecommunications Industry Association, along with a number of prominent wireless provider companies, such as AT&T and Verizon. At present, 98% of US citizens currently enjoy coverage from 4G/LTE networks. However, the last couple of years have seen a lot of excitement generated over the prospects of pushing the boundaries of wireless connectivity. The advisory body 5G Americas, in particular, has played a role in this through the publishing of their whitepaper, Global Organisations Forge New Frontier of 5G, detailing several organisations – private, academic and government – across the world that making active progress towards developing 5G networks. This latest news from the Obama Administration is bound to come as good news to 5G Americas, among others. The prospect of faster speeds, lower latency and an increase in capacity for future wireless networks, are expected to positively impact not only consumer markets, but also first responders and emergency services in addition to business professionals of all trades. In addition, the broadening scope of technology across multiple industries means that a more developed wireless network is increasingly important – the development of ‘smart’ factories, of semi- or fully-autonomous vehicles, and of virtual reality training environments and simulators, will all be able
60 YEAR MILESTONE FOR ELECTRICAL SAFETY NICEIC, the UK’s most recognised brand for registered electricians, celebrated its 60th anniversary earlier this month. Originally formed on August 10th 1956 with 3,500 electrical contractors, the company now boasts 19,000 Approved Contractors and an additional 9,000 domestic installers – making it the UK’s largest and most recognised voluntary body within the electrical industry. Emma Clancy, CEO of NICEIC commented: “The 60th anniversary marks a significant milestone in the history of NICEIC. Much has changed within the industry during the last six decades but the values of safety and competence remain at the core of everything we do. “The NICEIC brand has a rich heritage and is associated with quality. More and more contractors are turning to NICEIC to help their business and it remains the best choice for consumers looking to have electrical work carried out in their home.” Contractors registered by NICEIC are assessed on a regular basis to ensure that they are competent to carry out work to the relevant technical and safety standards. All work carried out by NICEIC contractors is backed by a platinum promise which guarantees the work for up to six years. NICEIC actively communicate with consumers to encourage a growing understanding of the importance of electrical safety in the home. Recent research revealed that 49% of homeowners in the UK have never had their home electrics checked or do not know when their electrics were last checked. In response to this, NICEIC produced its first ever TV advert. The Cage was a 30 second insight into the hidden electrical dangers that can exist in a home. Using CGI graphics it showed a homeowner oblivious to the wall of electrical currents surrounding her. With the message “If you could see what an electrician sees”, it was designed to make people aware of the electrics in their own home and encouraged watchers to use an NICEIC registered
electrician to get their electrics checked now rather than later. The commercial was viewed by more than 5 million people across the UK and can still be seen online at www.niceic.com
“We are committed to promoting the importance of electrical safety in new and innovative ways,” added Emma. “The TV commercial was the first time that anyone has been able to show how electricity flows around the home and it was an important message to promote as part of our 60th anniversary. We hope it will make people think about getting their electrics checked.” NICEIC employs a team of 70 engineers who inspect more than 50,000 electrical installations each year. Its technical helpline deals with, on average, 60,000 enquiries each year – ensuring that technical standards within the sector are maintained. “The electrical contractor of today is very different to one from 1956,” adds Emma. “They are able to carry out a range of different tasks relating to the change in consumer demands and the development of the industry over time. “NICEIC has had to respond to this change and ensure its contractors are equipped to meet those demands. We would remind all householders thinking about carrying out electrical work in their home to seek professional advice from an NICEIC registered contractor.”
SAMSUNG BEATS APPLE IN YEARLY SALES FIGURES WITH GALAXY EDGE SERIES • Samsung sales have risen 13% in the past year and overtake Apple by 3% • Samsung Edge makes up 55% of the Samsung market • Release of S7 series breaks Samsung record sales The Apple-Samsung power struggle is starting to tip in Samsung's favour. According to data released earlier this month, over the past year they have knocked Apple from a 54% share of sales down to 41%.
The main difference between the Samsung S7 and the S7 Edge is that the Edge has a curved form factor, allowing for a larger screen and added functionality with the display extending around the ‘edge’ of the phone.
This hearlds the first time that Samsung have outsold Apple in the latter half of the year despite Apple releasing their latest flagship iPhone range.
Now Samsung are ready to step it up a notch with the U.S. launch of the Galaxy Note 7 after months of speculation about the product.
The most surprising result from data released by leading phone retailer Mobile Phones Direct, reveals that their sales of both the Samsung S6 Edge and S7 Edge have beaten sales of the standard S6 and S7.
The new Galaxy Note 7 will be released in the UK on September 2nd. It very much reflects the look of the S7 Edge but has even more features to keep consumers wanting more.
Collectively the Galaxy S6 and S7 make up 26% of the sales while the Galaxy S6 Edge and S7 Edge make up 55% of sales among Samsung devices.
The Note 7 still holds the dust and water resistance that the Edge 7 does, but with a huge 64GB of internal storage. Perhaps the most interesting unveiling is its all new iris scanner; with this, Samsung have set the bar high for the iPhone 7 launch in September. For many people, following the latest mobile phone trends is a necessity and Samsung are now hoping for figures to boom from the Galaxy Note 7, showing just how much people are on board with their products following the success of their Edge series. Simon Weedon, Online Marketing Director at Mobile Phones Direct says, “The Samsung Galaxy S7 launch was initially slow, but the product eroded in price very quickly offering consumers a lot more value for money than the Apple iPhone 6s. “The introduction of the Talkmobile network to Mobile Phones Direct is driving more low to medium end smartphone sales, an area where Samsung feature more heavily than Apple.” It wasn’t until 2016 the iPhone 6s dominated sales and now makes up 50% of the brand's sales, but months after its release date. “The iPhone 6s launch in September 15 was slow from what we can see, I don’t think there was enough difference between the 6 and the 6s for consumers to break their 24 month buying cycle for. We’re excited for the launch of the Galaxy Note 7 and to see what the sales figures compare with the launch of the new iPhone 7”, Simon Weedon added. Is this a sign of things to come? Has Samsung finally broken Apple's hold on the market or will the iPhone 7 return the tech giant to their former dominant position?
MOST INNOVATIVE BUSINESS UK 2016 Brainstorm Integrated Marketing is a company operating in the global market, who have clients in the UK, USA and South Africa.
illiam Gets, the founder of Brainstorm Integrated Marketing, owns 100% of both the UK and South African company and engages in marketing and business development for the business. His key responsibilities include conceptualising, building and running the marketing, advertising, branding and implementing promotional campaigns. With a long and detailed history of marketing, advertising and graphic design, William has dealt with multiple clients from multiple industries, from local, national and international campaigns. Despite William having been in his current position for over 18 years, his career started out on a completely different path. Whilst he was a game ranger in South Africa, William built up his communication skills through his love of the environment. By travelling through the bush, building exhibitions and creating posters about the importance of the environment, it became clear that communications was his first love. After travelling the world for three years, he settled in Cape Town, South Africa. This led to William becoming involved in the marketing world. “I started out as a self-trained graphic designer and when clients received logos or brochures that I had designed, I realised that people needed strategy help and Brainstorm Advertising developed out of catering for that need,” William tells us. He added “We are trading these days because we went from providing a graphic design service, to an advertising service, to an integrated marketing service; which really means marketing, advertising, branding and promotional campaigns via various media, whatever is seen to be applicable for the campaign. Of course, digital marketing takes up most of our time.”
Since 2008, the staff at Brainstorm have worked from home and do not have a physical base of operation. The vast majority of staff are located in South Africa (one in India) whilst William expands the business globally from London. For some, working independently from home can be a challenge therefore when employing staff, the first key principle is that all staff have the proper psychological mindset for self-management. William tells us that whilst it is initially important to ensure staff are well paid, a business leader should focus on a person’s life purpose. “You need to nurture their sense of purpose so that work is not work for staff; it’s their life! Happily, in the world of creativity and marketing, the days are rich and exciting.” In addition, having a stable internet connection is important for a global business. All work files and their task management software are synched with the cloud so being online is vital to the company. Nowadays, it is very important for all industries and companies to keep up to date with the latest technology trends but as William explains, it is especially vital in digital marketing. “It is critical to keep up to date with technology because things change so quickly and all the time. There are many trends which have changed the digital world, including Google algorithms, the latest changers in all the social media platforms, the current status of front end development software, market behaviour and automated marketing. Even emails, the old stalwart of digital marketing, requires constant re-study to keep your thumb on the pulse of how people react to email marketing as they grow with digital marketing.” The company has an insatiable drive to remain in touch with the changers in the market so that they stay in tune with latest technological opportunities and stay one step ahead of market behaviour.
Naturally, there have been challenging times but as a selfconfessed workaholic, success after many years of hard work is very rewarding. William talks us through how digital marketing has changed and what Brainstorm Integrated Marketing has done to help to dispel the myths surrounding the scepticism of digital marketing in the world today.
“That level playing field that we saw from digital marketing is no more. It is back to who has the budget for the best reach, frequency and creative impact. That’s why we do not charge massive upfront fees, but rather work on a goals and gains system. We don’t sell ourselves to companies to satisfy their high but misunderstood expectations. We deal in reality and deliverables which is more sustainable for us and our clients.” Brainstorm Integrated Marketing is billed on a successful basic and reward system and goals are set accordingly. The income of the business increases via a percentage commission agreement. The main aim for the future of the company is to grow by helping other businesses to expand, and if those goals are reached, then Brainstorm can continue to thrive for many years to come. With over 18 years in the role, William says that the most important thing in business is to find your love and then never give up. It is this passion, along with having a holistic knowledge of his industry that makes William a successful business leader.
Company: Brainstorm Integrated Marketing Name: William Gets Email: william@ brainstormMarketing.agency Web Address: brainstormMarketing.agency Address: The internet Telephone: 0750 237 2844
ROADVERT HELPS COUNCILS UNLOCK FRESH REVENUE STREAMS Delivers highly targeted on-vehicle advertising campaigns for a fraction of the cost of mailshots
oadvert Limited has launched a revolutionary new tool to help local authorities judge how much revenue they can unlock by carrying third-party advertisements on their vehicle fleets. The company behind Spedian™, a unique system of reusable vehicle graphics, has spent five years and hundreds of thousands of pounds developing the system, which is an industry first. Using data collected from the most reputable sources in the UK, the online calculator enables councils to predict the audience profile for vehicles operating in a specified geographic area. If, for instance, a potential advertiser wanted to reach 30-40 year olds, the council can demonstrate how long an onvehicle campaign should run in a particular area in order to maximise reach. For the first time ever it gives councils a way of measuring the worth of the advertising space on their vehicles – making it a tool that is set to transform the marketplace by enticing more councils to take part. The predictive tool is the brainchild of Roadvert’s CEO Lawrence Craig, said: “Many councils are sitting on a valuable asset – in terms of the advertising potential of their vehicle fleet – which may not have been fully realised in the past. Our system will help them unlock that value. “It’s a very exciting development which Roadvert has worked towards for a long time. This breakthrough enables councils to show potential customers just how cost-effective on-vehicle advertising is when compared to the more traditional direct mail campaigns. “A direct mail shot to 342,000 households, for example, will cost more than £31,000 if delivered on its own, but will be
read properly by only 23 per cent of the people who receive it. Most leaflets are thrown away within days. “For a fraction of that cost advertisers can get their message across on vehicles that are seen by a wide cross-section of the public, however up until now it has been difficult to demonstrate the full potential. No longer! “I believe our online ‘value your vehicle’ system will be particularly attractive to local authorities who are looking to cut costs and generate revenue in these times of austerity.
“It will allow them to demonstrate to potential customers just how many people their advertisement will reach – segmented by location nationally, regionally or by local authority in the UK, and by age profile.” The online calculator uses an interactive map which is linked to banks of data about the age profile of the people who are likely to be using the roads in that particular location at different times of the day.
Roadvert can now offer both the predictive audience software – which it will license to customers – coupled with the Spedian™ ultra-fast application of reusable vehicle graphics that cause no damage to a vehicle’s body paintwork when removed. Together it is an unparalleled package that allows councils to maximise the earning potential of their fleets. The predictive software enables councils to offer carefully targeted advertising programmes while the Spedian™ system enables advertisers to change their key messages frequently to maximise impact. The result is highly focused, highly flexible, access to an underused advertising channel. Mr Craig, who has a career spanning over 35 years in heading up and owning advertising and marketing organisations, has a pedigree in delivering solutions for multinational companies, and masterminded the online tool because he spotted a gap in the market. He said: “I have built campaigns and made clients a lot of money and I know that to value something you have to be able to measure it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a house, a yacht or an advertising medium – it needs to be measured. “So I built this predictive tool to enable buyers of advertising in this market to quantify what they were buying, and thus for the first time give it a value.”
Potential advertisers can be shown a variety of scenarios. For example, if they want to reach over 50s living in Hertfordshire, and have the budget to hire advertising space on six vans, it will tell them how long the campaign has to be before they reach a set percentage of that target audience, say 95%.
Roadvert is renowned for leading the industry. Spedian™ has been hailed as the world’s most advanced vehicle graphics system and the company recently launched the world’s lightest truck frame system which is more than 20 times lighter than other systems on the market.
Equally, it can show how many vehicles will be needed if the campaign is time-limited. Alternatively, for a fixed number of vehicles and length of campaign, it will reveal what percentage of the target audience is likely to be reached. All of that is vital information for advertisers.
Spedian SuperLite System weighs only 340g for a 3.5m box van, compared to the 19kg that other systems come in at. It is the only patented and tested ‘invisible’ vehicle graphics frame system available with no bolts, rivets, screws or aluminium or plastic frame required to fix the advertising panel to the vehicle.
Like the original Spedianâ„˘ system, it can be applied swiftly to a vehicle and leaves no damage to the vehicle substrate when removed. Campaigns can be regularly changed and panels can be stored to be used again. Spedian provides signage across the UK, Europe and USA and counts Coca Cola and McDonalds among its customers. For further information, contact Celeste Clarke at Century PR on 024 7622 8881 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ESTABLISHMENT OF KOREAN OFFICE AND PARTNERSHIP WITH ADWAYS KOREA: TAPTICA EXPANDS IN ASIA-PACIFIC Taptica (AIM: TAP), a global end-to-end mobile advertising platform for advertising agencies and brands, announced in June that it had expanded its presence in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) with the opening of an office in Seoul, South Korea, following on from the recent establishment of an office in Beijing, China.
aptica (AIM: TAP), a global end-to-end mobile advertising platform for advertising agencies and brands, announced in June that it had expanded its presence in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) with the opening of an office in Seoul, South Korea, following on from the recent establishment of an office in Beijing, China. The new office is located in the Gangnam District of Seoul, which is a key business area and a hub for internet-related companies such as eBay, Google, Alibaba, Facebook and inmobi. Hoon Lee, recently appointed as General Manager of this new office, brings over 16 years of experience in the digital advertising industry, including 10 years at Yahoo – latterly as Head of APAC Search Sales Operations. Hagai Tal, Chief Executive Officer of Taptica, said, “this new office in South Korea advances our strategy of increasing our presence in the Asia-Pacific region and I am delighted that we are already gaining traction. We welcome Hoon Lee to Taptica and look forward to benefiting from his significant expertise. Alongside our office in Beijing, we believe we are well positioned to become a leading player in this key growth market.” The Company already works with the largest advertising agencies in Korea, and is now able to target companies directly. In fact, they have not wasted any time in capitalizing on their closer proximity; in July, Taptica announced that they had entered into a partnership with
Adways Korea, a leader in mobile marketing, leveraging its strong Asia network and part of the TSE-listed Adways Inc. group. Under the terms of the agreement, Taptica and Adways will target the mobile games industry, which is a key area of focus for Adways. This strategic partnership was formed to facilitate global mobile app developers and other clients of Taptica to run effective and efficient mobile marketing campaigns in Asia through access to Adways’ extensive network and coverage, combined with the Company’s evergrowing database. Soonam Jeon, Vice president of Adways Korea, said,
“Adways has consistently supported global marketing campaigns for mobile developers to gain an entry into the domestic Asian markets. Through the two companies’ global marketing knowhow, we hope to achieve a very fruitful partnership.” Hoon Lee, in his first major business deal since taking the reins over Taptica’s new office, added, “we are delighted to have entered into this partnership with Adways, the undisputed leader in the Asian mobile marketing space.
Together, we aim to serve the rapidly-growing Korean mobile app business and lead the market expansion. We believe that the Asia-Pacific region, facilitated by this partnership, will be a significant contributor to Taptica’s 2017 revenues.” The Asia-Pacific region digital retail market is not only the largest in the world, but also the fastest growing. South Korea alone is the third largest digital retail market within the region, after China and Japan. eMarketer now expects spending on mobile internet ads to rise by 30.0% this year, to a total market value of $2.08 billion. Opening an office in South Korea, therefore, has already proven to be an important step in enabling Taptica to better serve its existing client base in APAC, as well as targeting new customers and further expanding its addressable market.
2016 CTO OF THE YEAR - UK & GAMING Rebellion® is one of the top independent video game developer-publishers in Europe. Based in Oxford in the UK, the studio was founded in 1992 by Chris Kingsley, with his brother Jason as CEO and Creative Director. Over the subsequent 24 years, the duo has led the way in developing and publishing a string of worldwide Number One hits. Their runaway gaming successes is littered with notable titles, including Aliens Vs Predator, Rainbow Six, The Simpsons Game, and Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron.
s Chris relates his career milestones before Rebellion, it is clear that he entered the videogame industry at a major benchmark in its history. By 1992, arcade fighting games were very much the forte; Street Fighter II had enjoyed success at the Golden Joystick Awards, as well as the Electronic Gaming Awards, and the Mortal Kombat arcade game hit the North American market. With Sega’s release of the Model 1 came a new era of popular 3d polygon graphics. “I studied Chemistry at Oxford,” he regales, “but I was entirely self-taught in computers and programming. After doing some post-graduate research I started to freelance programming video games with my brother Jason. “Rebellion was our first ‘proper’ job, and as soon as we got our first contract to make a game we had to begin to take more of a management role, recruiting the best people
we could, and steering games to be both critically and commercially successful.” Today, as co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Rebellion, Chris is responsible for guiding the company’s current and future technology. This involves setting and driving the current technology the company develops internally, exploring new technology trends, and experimenting with all kinds of new business opportunities. Having been in this position since Day 1, and having observed the way that Rebellion has grown within the ever-changing gaming industry, he remarks upon the ways in which his company has responded. To begin with, an increasingly competitive market, with numerous new studios throwing their names into the ring, required an adjustment in Chris’ approach to publishing games.
“We were originally known for working with big-name licenses for multi-national publishers,” Chris says. This was especially the case when working on games with movie tie-ins; their seminal Alien vs Predator, for instance, was published in 1997 by Fox Interactive, while 2007’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was published by Electronic Arts and distributed by Warner Bros.
“Since then, though, we have successfully transitioned to a self-publishing model, where we only develop our own games and IP. While we still make games that sell on store shelves, digital distribution has allowed us to reach tens of millions of gamers throughout the globe.”
This is especially the case for the Sniper Elite series. 2015, a year after the release of Sniper Elite III, marked the tenth anniversary of the series, as well as its 10-millionth sale. Sniper Elite 4, which will be released on Valentine’s Day 2017, is expected to further enhance the franchise’s reputation for emergent, open-ended gameplay, with myriad opportunities for unique experiences and, crucially, a huge ‘replay’ factor. This can only be good news for the future of Rebellion. “There are disruptions and disruptors everywhere,” Chris acknowledges. “Relationships with other industry leaders to share knowledge are obviously hugely important for us, and we’re lucky in video games that most developers see each other as colleagues, not rivals. However, it’s good to look outside your own industry as well.” To underpin this philosophy, Chris will soon be attending a conference on Artificial Intelligence in the workplace. To get an edge in this fluctuating industry, Chris has seen fit to diversify his studio’s reach, spreading their base to touch other audiences and guarantee their independence. While primarily known for their game publications, he and his brother own and publish the famed British sci-fi comic 2000 AD, along with a slew of genre book imprints. As a further feather in their cap, the two brothers were Executive Producers on the revived Dredd film. Chris has also gone above and beyond his work within Rebellion, to work alongside his brother in representing the gaming industry on a national level in an effort to remove the stigma around gaming and help others to realise its true value. “Even now, computer games are still considered by some as just being for kids, despite the games industry being worth more than film and music combined. We’ve worked hard to dispel this myth by developing all kinds of games for different people.
“At one point, Jason and I realised that nobody was really speaking on behalf of the games industry in the UK, despite the contribution it made to the economy. That is why we co-founded The Independent Games Developers Association (TIGA), the industry body that represents UK games development.” TIGA has a very effective track record of successful campaigning on issues that have a real effect on UK games developers – they recently secured games tax credits to help UK games to thrive on a global level, just as film and other art forms have received funding. “That was a huge step, having the Government recognise games as a pillar of the Creative Arts,” and one that Chris hopes will see British gaming companies able to flourish further.
“It is crucial to keep up with the latest technology trends – the games business is truly global, digital and hugely competitive. The keys are constant vigilance, always pushing creativity and technology as far as we can, and using our own technology base for agile and rapid development. I think Rebellion has thrived because we try to avoid using third-party tech wherever possible. It might need more investment in the short term, but it reduces your risk in the long run and allows you to react much more quickly to new opportunities, and your technology can be made to fit exactly what you want to do.” Later this year, Rebellion will release Battlezone on PlayStation VR. This represents their first foray into the burgeoning world of Virtual Reality gaming. Chris sees this bold new frontier as a great example of an embodiment of his business philosophy. “My philosophy is fairly simple - I help set the direction of our teams, but we empower staff to be creative and run their own projects autonomously.
Only recently, the UK gaming industry’s hugely competitive and mutable nature has claimed great studios like Lionhead, Evolution and Blitz, because of ever-shifting markets and business models. These were companies that made great, commercially successful hits in the past, but had found it difficult to adjust in a fluctuating environment.
“I think Battlezone – our launch title for PlayStation VR game coming out in October – is a great example of this. I was hugely influenced by the original Battlezone arcade game released in 1980, and wanted to see the IP rebooted. VR was just taking off so there was an opportunity for our engine team to cut their teeth on a new challenge, making virtual reality work!
In Chris’ view, however, the challenges associated with surviving as a UK-based gaming company appealing to a global audience are not worth over-thinking. “We try hard to stay just ahead of the curve – riding the technological shockwave, if you like.
“And so a new Battlezone project was born! It’s now very much in the hands of our staff - many of whom have their own interpretation of what a Battlezone reboot should look like in 2016.
“I think I add most value to Rebellion by helping the teams decide not necessarily just what should be done, but also what should not be done, and then helping them work out the very best way to do it all with our technology. Sometimes a brand new technological development – such as VR – can drive creativity as well.”
Chris certainly doesn’t find it difficult to be excited about video games – he is just as passionate about the industry now as he was when he was a teenager. The only difference he really notes now is that he gets to make them as well as play them. “The great thing is that as technology progresses, we can become ever more ambitious in the scale and realism of the games we can make, and to be successful you can’t stand still. “The fact we’re completely independent, and only work for ourselves on our own IP, means we’ve reached a crucial milestone already – like reaching Everest basecamp, if you will.
“From here, it’s about developing the best multi-platform technology, so that in five years’ time we can safely say that we are making the most ambitious games and creative projects of our career, and making them available to as many people on as many devices as possible.”
Company: Rebellion Developments Email: email@example.com Phone: 01865 792201 Web: www.rebellion.com Address: Riverside House, Osney Mead, Oxford, OX2 0ES
WHAT MOBILE PAYMENTS PROVIDERS CAN LEARN FROM POKÉMON GO, AND WHY SCANDINAVIAN MOBILE WALLETS ARE CLOSEST TO GETTING IT RIGHT London, 3 August 2016: The latest craze of Pokémon Go demonstrates how something non-existent one day can take the world by storm the next, bringing gamification to the streets and enabling businesses to advertise in new ways, by sponsoring locations, for example.
n the future, the game will enable the ability to drive user traffic to street vendors, retail stores, restaurants and so on by encouraging them to buy virtual “loots”. Now the question is: how will businesses and merchants be able to jump on this craze and attract users to buy their own products and further, what is the future in-store mobile payments solutions for ‘Pokémon Go-ers’? Daniel Döderlein is the CEO and founder of Auka, a pioneering mobile payments company who has so far helped over 17 banks implement a mobile pay strategy and in the process, get ready for all the myriad of changes PSD2 regulation will require of retail banks. In 2006, Daniel had the idea that people should be able to pay for things using their mobile phones, as easily as they could send a text message to a friend. He then spent the next three and a half years studying everything there was to know about payments. By 2014, Daniel had set up Auka - a full stack, PSD2 ready mobile payments solution that can be implemented by any bank. He has more than a few things to say about the advent of the new mobile craze, Pokémon Go.
In comparing Pokémon Go with the success of Scandinavian mobile payments, Daniel comments, “the fast adoption mobile payments providers enjoyed was due largely to making mobile payments available ‘anytime’ and ‘anywhere’.
“This is what they both have in common: Pokémon Go takes users anywhere at any time whilst Scandinavian mobile payments companies provide payment solutions in the cloud that enable businesses and merchants with the same possibilities. The tipping point will come when merchants implement payment solutions that cater to Pokémon go users.”
Daniel says that businesses must ensure that they are ready for mobile in-store payments or they may see themselves losing out in reaching this new game-driven audience. “Pokémon Go is available to anyone in the market. The game has an easy enrolment process where the player chooses a username and password and gets going. Merchants will also need to develop mobile payment solutions that are quick and efficient and adapted to this ‘on-the-go’ audience. “Pokémon Go also encourages the user to interact with points of interest based on their location. Merchants and businesses should also replicate this, by providing access to nearby merchants and offerings from them based on a location and preferences, with quick mobile payment solutions. “Further, Pokémon Go has vital interaction functionality - allowing you to compete with your friends and soon challenge them in trainer battles. Merchants with apps need to consider including socialisation elements - allowing in app engagement with friends and contacts.”
Matthew Corley / Shutterstock.com
NEW RUBIK’S TOY LAUNCHES WITH A SPARK Rubik’s Brand, Ltd. has launched its latest addition to its product range with the Rubik’s Spark. The world’s most popular toy and design icon from Rubik’s Cube has puzzled children and adults for over 40 years. Hundreds of millions of people across the world became mesmerised with the toy which quickly became the symbol of the generation.
he new Rubik’s Spark is an electronic Cube which aims to complement the existing Rubik’s range and to appeal to a wider audience. The original Rubik’s Cube is currently experiencing a global resurgence, and the Rubik’s Spark – a new twist from the creators of the Rubik’s Cube- is a multiplayer game that will be popular with groups of friends and families. Its intelligent design makes the player think threedimensionally, like the original cube, but without twisting. Chrisi Trussell of Rubik’s Brand Ltd explains, “The Rubik’s Spark is a fun, electronic cube which includes lights and unique technology that allows the game to be controlled by tilting, turning and quick movements – we call this bubble control.” Whilst the original Rubik’s Cube was infamous for its difficulty, the Spark has five different games with 26 levels each, so everyone can be faced with a challenge – from the beginners to the more experienced gamers. The Spark also has a multiplayer mode which has more of a social aspect to the game and is ideally suited to parties, whether they be with family or a group of friends. A new fun function that has been introduced by Rubik’s Spark is the ability for players to create their own music using ‘Rubik’s DJ’ party game. “The nature of the play makes the Rubik’s Spark perfect for both solo and multiplayer use, and our play testing indicates that it’s going to be a great family favourite.
“In leisure time, it appears that people are beginning to move away from looking at screens and moving towards spending more time playing with analogue games and toys in a social 20
context. The Rubik’s Spark fits this trend perfectly, while retaining an electronic, modern and fun feel which appeals to the kid in everyone. “So, who will you challenge with the Rubik’s Spark?” The Rubik’s Spark is available instore, or direct from www. rubiks.com. It will retail at around £20. Its launch will be supported by a new 60, 30 and 20 second television advertising campaign created by Mark Communications. The sole UK distributor of the Rubik’s Spark is John Adams Toys. Since its invention in 1974 by Ernő Rubik, the classic Cube has undergone a number of updates and changes. Ernő Rubik created the first prototype of the cube as a young professor of architecture in Budapest, in order to help explain spatial relationships to his pupils. Originally named the ‘Magic Cube’, it was renamed ‘Rubik’s Cube’ when it was launched internationally in 1980. After a period of incredible global popularity, the Rubik’s Cube has become the world’s bestselling toy, with over 400 million cubes sold so far. Last year, the Rubik’s Cube experienced a huge rise in popularity in the US and that trend is spreading across the globe. Justin Bieber, Will Smith, and rapper Logic are all celebrity Rubik’s enthusiasts, and the iconic puzzle is also popular with sportspeople such as cyclist Mark Cavendish and footballer David Silva.
2016 CTO OF THE YEAR - AUSTRALIA Modern operation systems were designed to allow for the unprecedented, ever-growing volume of data traffic that is being generated by organisations across the globe. They were not, however, designed to provide valuable insight into how the storage of that data was being used. In 1997, Scott McCallum pioneered FileCensus, a Storage Resource Management (SRM) application to help organisations to manage their storage assets more effectively, and with considerably less effort.
o Scott, his innovative product fills a crucial gap in the market that facilitates safe and affordable transactions in a world increasingly populated by data transfers. “The volume of business data is growing quickly, and the costs are mounting just as fast,” he says. “You confront enormous amounts of information that are frustrating to manage, expensive to maintain and hard to control. You need a new tool to help you take charge. That tool is FileCensus.” FileCensus in fact represents the first SRM product that routinely collects information about all files stored in a given storage environment. Its advanced compression technology allows for efficient collection and secure storage, putting it miles ahead of the curve for its scalable, cross-platform features. Scott has seen a steady stream of business from clients concerned about their data, whether it is from quality degradation to inefficient creation, replication and retention, or illegitimate orphanage. Founding Intermine Pty Ltd. in 1999 provided Scott with the ideal platform from which to commercialise FileCensus. Scott finds great pleasure in discussing this transformative period surrounding the company’s founding. This takes him back to the speculative historic period that is referred to today as the ‘Dot-com bubble’, when new, explosive growth on the Internet in the advent of the World Wide Web stock markets across the world saw a huge rise in equity value, owing to the forming of numerous new companies. These ‘dot-com’ companies caused a sensation known as ‘prefix investing’, when the simple addition of the prefix ‘e-‘ to the name of a company could cause their stock prices to rise. With the resultant rise in data traffic, it also inspired a trend by storage providers to gain credibility as storage
network managers. “During this period,” Scott elaborates, “Highground was bought by Sun in an all-stock $400 million deal. As you can imagine, dozens of companies suddenly appeared to fill the space almost overnight.” Scott’s passion for his work is deeply embedded in his upbringing, and the source of his inspiration is clearly drawn from having grown up during this transformative period. “Electronics has always fascinated me. I grew up on a farm in rural Australia in the late 70’s, so radio was really the only thing I could get my hands on. The Tandy 200 in 1 electronics kit was my play toy of choice – at least, that was before the ZX81 was released. After the ZX81, the 48KB ZX Spectrum was before graduating to the Apple II clones, the real thing was well out of the price range of a country kid. 2-3 clones later and the first PC, an Epson 8088 soon to be upgraded with a NEC V20 and a 20MB MFM hard drive for $800. “I completed Year 12 at Lake Cargelligo High School, driving 30 kilometres on dirt roads each day to get to school. It’s my understanding it was among the last manual exchanges with wind-up phones on a party line in the country, so I had no access to the online world until I started attending university. Even then, this was the world of gopher and ftp, the ‘www’ was just being invented. “Having a borderline obsessive interest in technology helps rather a lot in this line of work. It means that I not only have the motivation to keep working and expanding my product, but to also do what others in my industry might take years to master: that is doing or more things in code orders of magnitude better than everyone else.
“Working for myself had always been the aspiration. Turns out that what you want and what you get are two very different things.” Building Intermine’s success from such humble origins has not been a task that Scott has had to suffer alone. Keeping tight reins over his business, however, he has chosen to outsource everything except core development. His experience has brought him to conclusions about the role that staff plays in his organisation, which might reflect upon the challenges faced by the wider industry. “Try and have as few as possible. Find smart people and pay them better than well. I only try and work with people that are smarter than me in their area of expertise, to guarantee that I am bringing on the right sort of people that can improve the business. “Sales people and the hoops that they need to go big game-hunting introduces the frankly terrifying prospect of a foreign world, full of bad actors. Hence the move to SaaS.” The software development people behind this, Scott explains, are “pushing back against the procurement departments and 90-day post-quarter-end payment cycles.” Maintaining such a compact in-house team means that Scott’s responsibilities extend across the company; “everything from Janitor through to CEO. Intermine at its peak had 16 staff, with development based out of Canberra and Business Development and Sales in San Francisco. Unfortunately, for various reasons, things did not turn out as planned so a decline to the current state.” Building on this, Scott discusses the challenges that Intermine has faced since its inception. He cites that his
"I had no access to the online world until I started attending university"
geographical location itself has proven to be a factor in this. Perhaps it is just his childhood talking, but he views Australia’s economy as one that remains more geared towards agriculture and mining. “It has led to the new reality that SaaS is the future for Intermine products, and will be payable in cryptocurrencies, such as Dogecoin or bitcoin.” This has not deterred Scott from striving to achieve his mission. Speaking plainly, he describes the goal of Intermine as one of providing a consistent level of service. “Providing technical support to existing customers is the highest priority task. The software itself is very stable with the agent being unchanged for over 10 years. Moving to an on-demand model for services the company needed in accounting, sales and marketing really changes the game.” Taking immense pride in his work, Scott has very simple ambitions for the future of Intermine. With FileCensus having taken firm root in Australia, and continuing to carve a remarkable presence across global markets, Scott has the freedom to turn his attention towards new, upcoming projects, specifically targeted at younger generations, who are not necessarily looking to establish themselves as business leaders, but who frequently engage in transactions over the Internet through social media channels. According to Scott, any new product that enters a growingly competitive market “has got to have that certain spark – something that will make people look at it and go, ‘wow, imagine that.’ I have that spark for my new product, DOGEbANK. DOGEbANK is indeed a bold step for Scott and Intermine, as it enters the realm of cryptocurrencies. Ever since Bitcoin introduced the wider world to the concept of a decentralised digital currency in 2009, numerous competitors have been created, taking an opposition role to more conventional centralised electronic transfers, which have been the staple mode of transactions for decades now. “Cryptocurrencies are a really interesting space,” Scott explains. His love of technology, more than anything else, appears to be his guiding reason for bringing Intermine into this relatively new market. Dogecoin, created in December 2013, began initially as a ‘joke currency’, playing off the popular Internet meme and the Internet community surrounding this meme. However, this same Internet community provided Dogecoin with the right kind of audience to achieve a dramatic level of growth, achieving a capitalisation of $60 million in January 2014, a mere month after its launch. As of March 2016, its value stands at $22.2 million, with its 100 billionth coin being ‘mined’ in June 2015.
Rather than being applied to mainstream commercial applications where it might still be regarded jokingly, the main commercial appeal of Dogecoin rests in ‘tipping’, in which social media users reward other users with Dogecoins for providing interesting, noteworthy content. This places the cryptocurrency on a par with some of its competitors, and highlights the potential for its further growth. Steem, for instance, is one such currency that forms a backbone in the decentralised social media platform Steemit, in which users are rewarded of paid based on the positive feedback of their work. In July this year, its value was reported to have jumped by more than 1250 per cent since its first pay-out – this equates to a bounding $150 million, overtaking Ripple and Litecoin to become the world’s third most valuable cryptocurrency. Considering the explosive growth that is being felt across this industry, Scott seems reluctant to sit back on his haunches and not tap into the market’s as-yet still raw potential. Entering the race now has enabled him to tailor his new foundation in such a way that will set the DOGEbANK apart from its competitors. “My read is that my Dogecoin will be the winner-takes-all currency, because it has adaptive hash-rate adjustments and blocks that scale as required.” The explicit aim behind Billy Markus’ initial creation of Dogecoin was to appeal to a broader demographic than Bitcoin. Targeting a younger generation of users, its rise has certainly heralded the need for a system that allows its users, predominantly of a younger generation, to effectively manage their digital currency and engage in safe transactions. Intermine has spent 19 years tackling the issue of file system management and the user interfaces and controls needed for enterprise use. DOGEbANK removes the file system management parts to produce a new layer that sits atop a local doge wallet or remote account on block.io to bring professional UI and reliability to the Dogecoin world. This new layer contains modern UI such as swagger and simpler API mapping than the XML-RPC layer used natively by bitcoin derived currencies. Internally the software is SOA based and has around 2,000 APIs. Code written in LUA can be attached to the APIs to limit things such as daily transfer limits etc. The software will be open sourced with a license that allows only its use on Dogecoin, and the new programmable Dogecoin under development.
Company: Intermine Pty Ltd. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +61 2 6262 6265 Web Address: http://intermine.com.au/ Address: Governor Phillip Tower, 23/1 Farrer Pl, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
"Providing technical support to existing customers is the highest priority task"
VISIONARIES IN TECHNOLOGY 2016 An engineer by background, Deepak Khare, has been a trusted, strategic adviser and key contributor to Fortune 500 companies for over 25 years. As the founder of Caresoft, Deepak now oversees a steadily growing company specializing in implementing Business Intelligence solutions.
laborating on his achievements in Caresoft, Deepak explores the niches of the industry in which his company operates.
“We build the Business Intelligence framework for our clients. C-level executives need us to be their go to expert in Business Intelligence. They know they are not subject matters on everything, and they know they need an experienced partner to help them run their businesses better and help align the company with their strategic initiatives. That’s where we make a difference by filling in the gap. “C-level executives are responsible for achieving results for their company, their clients, their stakeholders, and their shareholders. They build teams to achieve those results. Because we can solve problems, create a competitive advantage, and live up to our promise, they love to have us as part of their team. We have the necessary skills, the experience and the track record that makes us the go-to experts in this field.” These outstanding achievements herald Caresoft’s wellearned place in the Business Intelligence industry, a journey that has taken Deepak several decades to realise. From the beginning of his career at the age of 18, he was exposed to an evolving world of computing and code. “One of my first roles,” he regales, “was as an intern for a heavy electrical manufacturer in India. One of the responsibilities I had was, to computerise the design process for hydraulic turbines; I learnt how to use Fortran 77, which was the programming language of the time – that was my initial introduction to programming. Subsequently, I worked as a software developer for diverse companies, and this led me to work for a variety of industries, including telecom, financial services, insurance and pharmaceutical. Following
on from this, I gained additional responsibilities as a project manager in a number of new areas.” After managing multiple multi-million-dollar transformation projects, with a strong focus on innovation, value generation and teamwork, as well as presenting highly acclaimed white papers on best practices for implementing Enterprise Performance Management Systems, Global Project Management and Big Data, Deepak noticed a gap in the market that only his proactive, innovative strategies could fill. “I felt that the array of technologies that we see in today’s markets is so vast that there is an ever-growing need for top notch people to take a specific area and to be able to specialize in it. There is a great need in the industry for people with the technological background to be able to bring in a specific strength in their chosen field” Thus, in founding Caresoft, Deepak set out with a singular vision of providing top notch consulting services in emerging technologies to Fortune 500 Companies, and empowering their use of technology as the digital age gathered increasing momentum. Since its inception, the company has grown steadily, even as the wider software Industry went through the disruption of repetitive bubble-and-bust cycles. In fact, Deepak notes that Caresoft’s major growth started when most other companies in the industry were shrinking. Deepak attributes this to the unrelenting dedication to be on the leading edge in the field of Business Intelligence. Company’s track record has not gone unnoticed; Caresoft has won many awards along the way. It has been recognized among the fastest growing 50 Technology Companies in the highly competitive market of North East US for 5 Consecutive Years. Today, Caresoft is a well-respected name in the industry known for one of the finest consulting and specialty services integrating state-of-the-art systems.
The growth has come with its own trials and tribulations, but these do not seem to have fazed Deepak or his vision. In fact, he draws inspiration from his own early career to apply the challenges he faced to those faced by his company today. “Some of the challenges that I initially faced were associated with the transition into new technologies. This is one of the areas that we focus heavily on here at Caresoft. We make sure that everybody has access to all the latest technology in the market. Our goal is to find the right people for the right field, and to empower them with the resources so that they can stay at the top of their game in their chosen field.” Drawing further inspiration from his early career, Deepak continues to shape his company through close support for and inordinate pride in his workforce; he invests a great amount of time towards improving their abilities, so that they might be greater assets in delivering first-class service to discerning clients. “I focus on bringing out the best in each and every person on our team. My goal is to catch them doing their best, and encourage them to beat that. I believe that people are strong and they are self-motivated to excel in the field of their interest. I work on finding the right people for each field, and then empower them with the right tools, training and support to go on and reach new heights in their careers.” As technology continues to diversify, and the demand for a wider variety of technological service mounts from his clients, Deepak elaborates on Caresoft’s overall mission, and the intrinsic part that his employees play in realising this. “Our goal is to make sure that we deploy the right technology to solve problems for our clients. Any new technology we adopt means adding a new dimension to the
"I focus on bringing out the best in each and every person on our team"
workforce. Our focus is to solve business problems. Towards that, in our company, we make sure that we bring in the right key people that can develop a Center of Excellence quickly – this allows us to have a workforce that is able to build just the right solution for our clients’ complex problems. “The focus is upon our niche, and that is in business intelligence. We do not try to jump upon new technologies as soon as they come out and hit the market – instead, we wait, and we make sure that the technology is viable. For this, it has to fulfil a key criterion – it has to be able to solve an actual problem, and should not just be another cool little piece of technology with no real functionality. So once we feel that this is technology that will actually contribute towards what we are trying to do, that is when we will allow ourselves to jump onto the bandwagon and start developing an expertise on it. “When it comes to investing in new ideas, our main goal is to make sure that those ideas are able to solve significant problems. Once we know that the solution is actually working, and is solving problems, that is when we will start investing in it. Therefore, we have a couple of key attributes that we look for in any new piece of technology: what problem it is designed to solve, and whether it is performing that task better than any other in the market.” To facilitate Caresoft in its mission to streamline data for its customers, Deepak also prides himself in a broad range of software designed to enable clients to adopt Business Intelligence strategies of their own. In this vein, just as in all other areas of his enterprise, he places value to the customer above all else, carrying across his pledge to provide only the most useful technologies. “Our focus is not necessarily for our products to become the best sellers in the market – we merely want to make sure that our products solve a problem for our clientele. That is how all of our products have started, and that is how they have evolved. We work closely with our clients to help understand the problem that they are facing. If one client comes back to us with a problem, that means that there is a very good chance that many of our clients will have a similar problem – and many other companies in the industry would face similar situations. However, if we are able to solve that problem with our solution, then that can lead us to develop new products further down the road. One such product, for instance, gives Deepak’s clients the ability to connect to various sources of data; from here, the software assists in extracting valuable data, cleaning it, making it ready for use in developing a business solution and combining it in a way that is meaningful and useful to them.
“Most tools similar to this one in the market are extremely heavy-duty and cost a lot of money,” Deepak explains, “which makes them unsuitable for the majority of clients looking for something to massage their data. Instead, they require something that is easy to use, easy to implement, easy to manage, and does not cost very much – that is what we at Caresoft can provide. “Software projects tend to miss deadlines, become overcomplicated and often exceed budget. I am passionate about running a tight ship. We are constantly looking for news ways to build our clients’ business intelligence frameworks, that will put the right tools in their hands to execute their strategic initiatives. It allows them to access the right information at the right time. Above all, they must be in a position to trust those numbers.” Whenever Deepak is asked about the importance of staying up-to-date with the latest technological trends, he always turns to his clients, and to their specific needs as a source of inspiration.” “My focus is on our clients, because ultimately I am responsible to them as a go-to expert. I know that our clients rely upon my expertise and my company’s expertise to provide them with the ability to compete in their fields. That is a responsibility that keeps me motivated to succeed, and to remain on the cutting edge of technology. Every day that I work this job I am reminded to stay ahead of the curve, to make sure that I am adding value to my clients, because they trust me with that.” Deepak and his motivation spearhead Caresoft’s push into the future as the company moves towards its target of doubling its inland revenue in next 5 years. He is assured that the company and its valued employees will be able to add enough value for our clients that they will be able to achieve this goal with ease. Looking beyond this, Deepak’s vision remains optimistic – as the pace of technology quickens, so too will the demand for experts in that technology, which is good news for him. “In the next five years, we see ourselves as fulfilling a major role in the industry of business intelligence, with the capacity to build a robust framework for our clients. We will carry forward the same goals and ethics as we continue to grow, so that we can build an infrastructure and compile useful data, both of which should prove reliable to our clients. We look forward to being able to play significant role in that specific field.”
Company: Caresoft Inc. Phone: 001 732 764 9500 Web Address: www.caresoftinc.com Address: 220 Lincoln Blvd, Suite 300 Middlesex, New Jersey 08846
2016 CTO OF THE YEAR - USA & IT SERVICES Founded in 1975, AMERICAN SYSTEMS is a government IT solutions provider, and is proud to be among the top 100 employee-owned companies in the United States. Based in the Washington, D.C. area, with approximately 1,400 employees globally, the company provides engineering, enterprise IT, analytics, and tactical & cyber security services to the Department of Defence (DoD), Intel, and civilian government customers.
s CIO and CTO for AMERICAN SYSTEMS, Mr. Brian Neely leads the overall vision, planning, and management of all technology, information and cybersecurity-related resources throughout the enterprise. As he shares his background, it becomes abundantly clear how his career story epitomises how a genuine love of technology can take a budding entrepreneur from strength to strength, if they manage to locate the proper channel for their skills. This can be difficult at the best of times in the increasingly dynamic technology market, and becomes particularly difficult when the pace of technology accelerates into such an unbridled gallop.
successful CTO is having a solid understanding of the business side of the house… the challenges they face, the pain points they have, and how you can augment that with technologybased solutions, in a fiscally responsible manner.”
11, 2001, attack on America. “Playing a part in protecting the Homeland certainly adds tremendously to the fulfilment. When you love what you do, when you can take pride in what you do, that’s all the motivation you need.”
“Playing a part in protecting the Homeland certainly adds tremendously to the fulfilment. When you love what you do, when you can take pride in what you do, that’s all the motivation you need.”
Indeed, technology is evolving so rapidly that, to get ahead, aspiring tech innovators have to be looking from an early stage at the most leading-edge schools in America. This is as true today as it was for Brian 20 years ago. Having said that, Brian’s graduate program at Carnegie Mellon University was well chosen, as it was the number one graduate program for MSIT (Masters in Information Technology) and Computer Engineering at the time. During his time here he benefitted greatly from the institution’s strong heritage in software life cycle development and in cyber security, due to collaborative programs with the federal government, as well as his access to CyLab, one of the largest university-based cybersecurity research and education centres in the world.
As such, when Brian began his career at AMERICAN SYSTEMS in 1996, he found himself thrust into the heart of the business. “I joined the company as an Engineer, working on strategic command & control and weapons platforms for several different Army, Navy, and DHS programs, eventually ending up supporting the Intelligence Community.
The passion that AMERICAN SYSTEMS pours into its work has not gone unnoticed. In fact, the company has recorded a new spate of defence contracts in just the past 45 days, totaling more than $240 million, signifying their increased role as a trusted partner in providing critical IT solutions to the DoD. The US Air Force, long-time clients of the Company, awarded contracts to AMERICAN SYSTEMS to continue providing technical and analytical operational test services on the Air Force’s next generation F-22A and F-35 Lightning II fighters at the Operational Test and Evaluation Centre.
To this day, he is very proud of his accomplishments during this formative time, as it bestowed upon him a deep insight into the enterprise’s real-world business operations. After a decade of direct customer support, he moved over to the corporate office to support several of their strategic acquisitions, eventually taking on the role of corporate CTO.
In addition, and perhaps most notably, AMERICAN SYSTEMS’ IT expertise has come to the forefront, having been recently awarded a task order of $42.5 million by the US Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). On this five-year task, AMERICAN SYSTEMS will continue its support and operation of the US Navy’s 311 Support Centre, thereby providing a lynchpin to the Navy Distance Support strategy, and bolstering the ‘single face to the fleet.’ Contracts such as these reflect well upon the company’s Chief Technology Officer, and speaks of bigger, bolder things yet to come.
Carnegie Mellon also gave Brian an opportunity to broaden his horizons, and develop a robust understanding of the applications of advanced technology in the world of business. However, “effectively fusing the technology and business worlds can be the difference between success and failure. Business school helped, a lot.” Choosing the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania gave Brian this much needed perspective, and was one of the driving factors behind his success at AMERICAN SYSTEMS. “A real key to being a
AMERICAN SYSTEMS has enjoyed a sustained period of growth and advancement within the United States Armed Forces and the Department of Homeland Security. By focusing on areas of national priority, and bringing practical, innovative solutions to the table, the company prides itself on helping keep the Nation and its citizens safe. To Brian, this adds enormous value to his job. Exemplifying this, Brian was awarded a Presidential Commendation for his role in the quick reaction and recovery efforts after the September
Ultimately, as the pace of technology continues to open up new, uncharted realms in the defence and IT solutions markets, AMERICAN SYSTEMS maintains a fluid, open-minded approach to the future of their company and their industry. As Brian Neely poses, “what better industry is there to work in than one that is constantly changing?” What’s not changing however, is their mission, to embrace innovation, to utilise technology creatively to solve problems, and to honourably support the defence of their Country.
CTO of the year
Company: AMERICAN SYSTEMS Email: CustomerService@ AmericanSystems.com Phone: 703-968-6300 Web Address: www.americansystems.com Address: AMERICAN SYSTEMS, 14151 Park Meadow Drive, Suite 500, Chantilly, VA 20151
INNOVATIVE INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGY BENEFITS EDUCATORS WORLDWIDE Turning Technologies is an e-learning company that believes in the academic benefits of interactive response technology. We manufacture industry leading hardware and software solutions developed to enhance learning at all levels, and we are committed to innovation, product reliability and developing relevant solutions that will improve instruction.
n 2002, Turning Technologies began as a small start-up based in Youngstown, OH. We have since expanded our reach with our International headquarters based in the United Kingdom, Belfast, and additional offices in Amsterdam and Hong Kong. Our global scale has helped us to shape the landscape for engagement and assessment tools with the release of TurningPoint interactive polling software. To date, we’ve delivered over 20 million ResponseCard keypads to more than 100 countries. Since 2002, Turning Technologies expanded its reach from Ohio, USA to an international market. Working mainly in the university sector, the e-learning company provides our clients with hardware and software solutions to enhance learning at all levels. Turning Technologies is the number one provider of assessment delivery and data collection solutions. We have accomplished this with seamless integrations, innovative mobile apps, useful reporting capabilities and helpful implementation programmes – designed to meet the needs of educators and presenters worldwide. The Vice President of the International Division, Gary Morrison started his career as a commissioned officer in the South African navy. From there, he moved back to the UK where he worked as a Sales Manager for Texthelp Systems, Sales and Marketing Director for Qwizdom UK, before settling into his current position of Vice President, International Division for Turning Technologies. Gary tells us how he has managed his staff in such a successful business, in order to achieve a strong and cohesive team.
“Honesty and integrity, with total transparency. I set goals for myself and my team that I adhere to and that are flexible. It is vital for a sales team to have goals. I know my team very well, their individual strengths and strengths as a team, as well as their weaknesses, and I match tasks with the right staff. I deal with any conflict directly and even-handedly, and try to see things through the other person’s eyes.”
and interact in the learning process. ResponseWare allows educators to utilise existing devices with ResponseWare. This mobile solution can be used with any web-enabled device and allows participants to view and respond to interactive questions. Whether using a smart phone, tablet or computer, ResponseWare offers the same experience for all users.
Gary ensures his company stays up-to-date with the latest technology to stay ahead of the competition in a fierce market.
Turning Technologies’ assortment of dependable, easy-touse response clicker’s offer varying features. The clickers allow the responder to choose the response device that best meets the classroom needs and the needs of learners. Whether what is required is something simple, full-featured or a device to support the visually impaired, Turning Technologies have what everyone is looking for.
“It is vital to keep up with the latest technology trends, and stay on top of the market. There are products being released every day, and as such, we need to continue to keep making the products our users love and make them better according to their feedback.” Turning Technologies has software innovations that have been essential for presenters and educators. Some of these include TurningPoint, ResponseWare the clicker offerings.
Gary’s motivation to stay successful comes from a love of books. He reads many books by authors which inspire him, such as the works of Malcolm Gladwell, “His books deal with the unexpected implications of research in the social sciences and I find him fascinating.”
TurningPoint is an easy-to-use, powerful polling solution with advanced capabilities that offer the same user experience on PC and Mac. The TurningPoint dashboard offers one, simple interface for instant management of polling, content, participants, sessions and reports. Available in install and no-install versions, TurningPoint creates a versatile solution for assessment delivery and data collection in any environment.
Gary has been in his current position for the last five years, and manages international sales teams based in France, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States. A continuing and future aim is to further develop international markets outside of the U.S. by providing sales and marketing support to channel partners and developing strategic relationships with key partners.
ResponseWare allows participants to respond to questions with their smartphone, tablet or computer through an app or web browser. All subscriptions include mobile responding capabilities which provide immediate, full access to engage
“I want the International Division to continue to grow – 5 years ago when I started there was 3 people. Now we have nearly 30 working over several continents, bringing in millions of pounds’ worth of revenue.”
Visionaries in Technology 2016
Company: Turning Technologies Contact: Gary Morrison Website: www. TurningTechnologies.co.uk
â€œIt is vital to keep up with the latest technology trends, and stay on top of the market.
GOINGCLEAR INTERACTIVE Best International Web Development & Internet Marketing Company – Boston GoingClear Interactive was founded in 2001, with the goal of providing businesses the clearest way to the web. Based in the thriving city of Boston, their focus is upon providing user-friendly, clear and creative web design, drawing upon more than 50 years’ worth of collective experience.
his comes with well-coded web development, effective web planning strategy, Content Management Systems (CMS) integration, eCommerce programming, custom web applications, Responsive Web Design (RWD), website management, and Internet marketing. Covering such a wide array of services, GoingClear are spreading their influence across the market, appealing to any client with a need for clear web-based solutions. With so many opportunities available for a customised service, being built around the needs of the client, this hand-picked team of web professionals guarantees the assurance of easily accessible solutions. Paul J. Scott provides an insight into the mission at the heart of GoingClear, by addressing his clientele directly.
“Your web property needs a proven finely tuned approach to reach its full potential. To defend against this potential confusion, our process is transparent and efficient, giving our clients assurance every step of the way. One way GoingClear Interactive ensures your satisfaction with the end result is our clear and proven six-step approach to website property development. This six-step process underpins a fundamentally simple format, designed to maximise customer satisfaction and create a streamlined process, from discovery to launch and support. “From a clear discovery phase, sitemap planning and architecture to web user design – then to web development coding and finally to quality assurance and testing. Once all is approved, then we schedule a launch of your new website.” Paul uncovers more about the nature of GoingClear’s work, exploring the varied industries across which his client base is spread. “We work with small businesses, start-up webbased projects, corporate website projects, government web and digital projects, custom web development projects, and web management as well. Our clients might range anywhere from a small pizza shop like The Upper Crust Pizzeria, all the way to SAP, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Harvard University, as well as EMD Serono and many more.” With clear project management, a strong focus on understanding as a first step, and aligning their success with their strategy, GoingClear are brimming with a fascination for technology and advances in usability and productivity. “Between attending events, reading, research time and always wanting the best for our clients, we are always open
and progressing with any stable innovations that can be leveraged.” One particular specialty that Paul highlights among his staff is project management. “Using proven web project management online tools that can interface with our clients, this is one of the main ways in which we can provide clear project management from start to launch. Always delivering the best is our goal.” This buoyant entrepreneurship among GoingClear’s staff finds an ideal platform in Boston, a city that Paul describes as being hot for innovation. “We are excited to be located in the city of Boston itself, as opposed to other companies that tend to be too far away from the pulse to really make the most of it.” In spite of the competition from the myriad other web design and development companies in the locale, then, Paul demonstrates a certain competitive streak in likening the market to that favourite Boston pastime, baseball.
“Some make it to the pros and some just play on the weekend with their friends. They can both play baseball and catch a ball – but we like to consider ourselves to be in the major league; we have key strong players on our team that businesses are excited to leverage when working with us
regardless of the project – from design and strategy to project management and web development.” GoingClear’s clients are not the only ones to benefit from the team’s enthusiasm for creating new web-based solutions. The company itself has benefitted greatly from the recent creation of a web channel, clearingly.com. Paul describes the background of this particular innovation, and the effect that it has had upon creating a new and exciting opportunity, begging future exploration.
“In reaction to businesses working with us and always wanting to do more with us, we created Clearingly. From books and blog posts to taking online courses, which focus on helping businesses grow online, Clearingly is one of our favourite new projects that will be able to help more and more businesses. We might not have had the chance to work with these companies directly through their website project, but we find ourselves more able to help them through Clearingly with courses, books and resources.” With Clearingly adding an important new facet to the business’ ongoing evolution, Paul is determined to see GoingClear continue to stay on top of current trends, evaluating and leveraging them if he believes that it will help his clients.
Company: GoingClear Interactive Email: email@example.com Phone: 617-649-7200 Web Address: www.goingclear.com Address: Suite 1, 175 William F. McClellan Highway, Boston, MA 02128, USA
Marcio Jose Bastos Silva / Shutterstock.com
BEST CORPORATE FILM COMPANY - UK Rainbow Trout Films is a video production company, founded in 2010 by filmmaker James Mellor. In this interview, James gives us a fascinating insight into the film industry and the challenges he thrives on to make his projects a success.
ased in Ripponden, near Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK, Rainbow Trout Films have worked on corporate films event filming, documentaries, feature films, TV drama, promo spots and trailers. The company works with all sizes of business, no matter how big or small, and can work anywhere in the world. James Mellor has been part of the film industry for 16 years. He has worked on many film and television productions including Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, Last of The Summer Wine, London’s Burning and Doctors. Since he was a child, James has always been passionate about film. He talks us through how he began his career. “I’ve worked from the ground up working freelance for many years, as a producer at Sky, then working in editing and learning camera work. After this, I started moving into more corporate productions with work for Yahoo doing events. I’ve got a lot of production experience and I’ve used that knowledge on many, different productions. I went on my first TV film set when I was 10 years old, and fell in love with the whole process from that point onwards. It’s always been an ongoing passion. The biggest challenge for Rainbow Trout Films is keeping up with the latest technology. James describes the way he keeps on top of the all the latest technological trends. “A few years back, there was a big shift from standard definition to high definition, and now there’s another shift now from HD to 4K, so that requires new investment. There are other challenges with working with 4K resolution which include storage space and data wrangling, which wasn’t the same issue as it was a few years ago with high definition, and certainly not with standard definition. “I visit the Broadcast Video Expo (BVE) every year so I’m up to date with what’s going on. Companies do technological
days where you can go along and test out camera and editing equipment or have a look at what technology is on offer. It’s always a challenge as it’s a fast moving environment. If you don’t keep up to date, then you find out ten things that your competitors are doing that you are not! If I don’t understand part of the industry, then it will make me determined to find out about it so we can create better products all round.” The latest project that James has been working on is a documentary on airline foods with Scandinavian airlines & Air Baltic. James spent time filming in flight from Copenhagen to Tokyo plus the return leg, as well as spending a few days in Japan’s capital. There were challenges with this project but this didn’t phase James as he explains.
Firstly, getting permission to film in flight and to film in airports can be tough as well as being allowed to film in typically, restricted areas. Also, ensuring we had the right equipment because shoots of this nature are very much run and gun so you can’t have all the massive lighting kits and big cameras like I would do on other productions. I really had to think creatively!” A location trip was completed before hand to assess the location and determine the practicality of filming there. Planning is a vital aspect of any project as James tells us “it’s all about how you can make things work in the different environments you’re faced with.”
James is currently developing some feature film work with writers which will add another string to his bow. He talks us through what makes Rainbow Trout Films stand out from their competitors. “I think the important thing for me is telling the story. Anybody can film something on their iPhone and put it up on YouTube but it’s about the quality. You can have the most expensive cameras and the most expensive equipment but if you haven’t got the story then you’ve failed. Whether it’s a product or a service that you’re trying to portray for the client, if there’s not an evident story, then it’s up to us to create a story.” “We are a smaller outfit than other companies so we are much more mobile, can make decisions much quicker and get a much closer relationship with the client. With bigger agencies, sometimes the message of the client can get lost. We have a much more direct approach and because of that we get a clearer message from the client. “High standards is something I’ve always worked towards and aspired to, so whatever I do I do it with a duty of care. If I learn to do something, I’ll learn to do it really well so then I can incorporate it within filming so it’s looking at the best way to achieve what’s best for the client in a cost effective way.” Over the next few years, James tells us of his plans to keep growing the business by continuing to work in challenging times. “I’ve got a lot of colleagues who’ve had projects put on hold because of Brexit. So for us, it’s all about keeping steady work coming in with new and interesting projects, its and becoming more well known to future, potential clients, as well as the clients we already have.”
Company: Rainbow Trout Films Name: James A. Mellor Email: info@ rainbowtroutfilms.com Web Address: www.rainbowtroutfilms.com Address: 35 Westgate Huddersfield, HD1 1PA Phone: (+44) 0330 088 1725
FEMALE TECH ROLE-MODELS SET TO INSPIRE 1,000 YOUNG WOMEN WOW Talks, the social impact organisation that delivers engaging live events and digital content to inspire people to discover and pursue career paths in areas they are passionate about, is launching its first flagship event to inspire girls about the world of technology, with the support of Accentureand in partnership with Next Tech Girls.
OW Talks // Women in Tech will take place on the 20th September at the Royal Geographical Society, bringing together some of the most inspiring female tech entrepreneurs and trailblazers to share their very personal stories of what inspired them to do what they do, how they got to where they are, the challenges they faced on the way and their Words of Wisdom (WOW) – using the unique WOW Talks event format.
“It’s critical that girls and young women are encouraged and inspired about the vast array of exciting opportunities available to them through a career in technology. By addressing the gender imbalance in the tech industry, we can help to ensure that the UK has the right skills in place to drive economic success,” said Arabel Bailey, managing director for Accenture Digital in the UK & Ireland.
The audience will be made up of up to 1,000 young women in total, with an afternoon session tailored specifically for secondary school students (14-16) and the evening for university-aged students and young women already in the workforce (18-25).
Steve Brown, Director of Empiric and founder of Next Tech Girls, comments: “1.46 million people are employed within the technology sector in the UK, but only 17% of them are women. If we, as a profession, are to tackle current and future skills gaps created by the meteoritic rise of automation and digital communications, it is crucial that organisations work together to tap into female talent pools before they are tainted by negative and narrow connotations surrounding what a career in technology looks like.”
In addition to the inspiring talks on the main stage, the event will also offer interactive workshops, the opportunity to demo exciting, new technologies and to network with some of the leading female tech entrepreneurs and execs in the UK. “We are excited to be hosting our very first Women in Tech event, which aims to change girls' perceptions about science and technology being a male-dominated field, and demonstrate how tech can be used as a game-changing tool across all industries. We want them to see that there is a place for all kinds of interests, talents and skills in the world of technology”, commented Kim Arazi, CEO of WOW Talks. “We specifically chose this topic for our first flagship event as we feel very strongly about closing the gender gap in tech and think that one of the most effective ways to do this is by having inspiring women (in tech) share their personal stories...their WHY. We are also delighted to have Accenture on board as a Gold Sponsor, showing their commitment to diversity and women in tech.”
“Whether a student’s passion is law, art or fashion, digital will be integral to a career in their chosen discipline. Next Tech Girls is incredibly proud to be lead partner on this ground-breaking event. I have no doubt that the 1,000 young women who will attend on the day will leave inspired by the stories of the incredible role models who will be joining us.”
Other organisations supporting this event include Apps for Good, Acorn Aspirations, TechUK, Tech London Advocates – Women in Tech, developHER, Stemettes and GrowthEnabler, as well as the Mayor of London. WOW Talks is a social impact organization that delivers engaging live events and digital content to inspire people to connect with their ‘WHY’- their purpose- and discover and pursue career paths in areas they are passionate about and feel connected to. Their inspiring events have been featured in Apple stores, Google Campuses, art galleries, cinemas, coworking spaces, universities and schools around the globe. Using a unique format of multiple short talks, WOW Talks events create an insightful, entertaining and inspiring experience. The industry-specific events feature people from a variety of roles, levels of experience and backgrounds who all have one thing in common: they are committed to creating a life doing what they love. In their 7-minute talks, these passionate people share their very personal stories and Words of Wisdom (WOW).
WHY ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT FIRMS ARE TURNING TO CONTENT MARKETING Having started my media career over twenty years’ ago, I’ve seen the industry come a long way and go through a lot of changes. In my first big overseas assignment with Reuters after graduating, I covered the launch of the first unmanned Ariane 5 rocket on behalf of the European Space Agency. 40 seconds after launch, the rocket exploded into millions of fragments. We had exclusive pictures, which broadcasters all over the world were desperate to access and the only means of sharing the footage was by satellite.
e spent the next 48 sleepless hours beaming press conferences, interviews and video pictures around the world via international satellites.
These days, anyone can do a search on YouTube and see those scenes, which is a clear indication of how much society, technology and the media has moved on. Not only is video now instantly available, it has become an intrinsic part of the way that we talk to each other and do business – how people engage with their customers, clients and stakeholders. Whether at Reuters, ITN, Bladonmore or now Videojug, I’ve been lucky to have an amazing window into the emerging trends in the way that media impacts, interacts with and fundamentally changes the way people consume information. Over the years, Videojug has worked with brands and businesses ranging from M&S, John Lewis, Rimmel and Phillips to some of the world’s largest investment banks and Private Equity institutions. We’ve seen first-hand the way in which video and digital have become an indispensible part of a solid communications toolkit. What is truly compelling is that even those companies who have ‘shied’ away from being proactive in communicating externally are getting in touch to find out how they can incorporate digital and particularly video into the way that they have conversations with their stakeholder audiences.
We have noticed a sharp upturn in the number of clients we have taken on from the world of alternative investment: hedge funds, private equity firms and venture capital shops. Private equity firms and hedge funds in particular are well known for being extremely cautious when it comes to their communications and visibility, and venture capital funds come with their own approach. So why are more of these players entering the digital and video marketing space? Being largely data-driven industries, it’s likely that many firms have noticed that video and social media’s impact is backed up by some pretty impressive numbers. One study found that a private equity firm could gain a 119% increase in referrals from other websites and a 240% increase in time spent on their website from a simple social media strategy, leading to greatly increased client engagement. The fact is that video is one of the most important tools in any marketer’s armoury, with the ability to convey information to the brain 60,000 times faster than print material and have a dramatic increase in new customer conversion. Most importantly of all, video speaks to the way their key audiences are consuming information, with three quarters of senior business executives regularly watching business related videos. Beyond the general potency of video, another key driver of the take-up of video by the alternative investment world is a greater desire for transparency. In the wake of the
2009 financial crisis, investors and other stakeholders are demanding much greater transparency from the firms to whom they used to give an almost free reign. Investors are warier post-crash, and they are right to be when easy gains are no longer so easy to come by. But it’s not just a reactive process. Many PE firms are finding that social media and video can be a valuable proactive tool. Because of the importance of networking and leveraging ‘weak ties’ in the origination of new deals, private equity firms have begun to adopt new approaches to make their social engagement more powerful. Post-2009, private equity firms have sought new ways of originating deals and social media has been one way to raise their profiles and even to spot those companies flashing subtle ‘deal signals’. Of course, part of the attraction of incorporating video into your communications strategy is its unrivalled ability to reach new audiences. But the importance of the changing habits of old audiences should not be underestimated. Remember that over half of all senior executives share work-related videos with their colleagues on a weekly basis. At Videojug we’ve seen alternative investment firms becoming our fastest growing client segment over the last two years, corresponding with a dramatically increased appetite for video marketing. It’s an exciting trend, and we hope the industry becomes even more open and transparent.
The first rule is that, whatever communication tool you are using, you must never forget who your audience is, or lose sight of the story you are trying to tell. Know what your goal is and then build your digital strategy around that. If there is one core fundamental truth about communicating in the digital age, itâ€™s that you must know your audience, your story and what you hope to achieve from the conversation. The next twenty years will doubtless bring many more changes in the media and communications industry â€“ pushing the boundaries of its own world through data, virtual reality and audience interaction even further.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Name: Nina Harrison-Bell Company: Videojug
MAKING THE CONNECTING LINK BETWEEN BEHAVIOURS AND APPS The fast growth of smartphone usage by consumers has lead banks to realise they can no longer ignore the volume and value of transactions being conducted only via mobile. Mobile is becoming the preferred way for banks to engage with their customers and represents the fastest growing sales channel. With mobile becoming an important part of the revenue mix, banks need to develop a solid mobile strategy if they wish to retain their customers and continue to grow this revenue stream.
survey conducted by Backbase and Efma which was completed by more than a hundred C-level bankers from across the globe which reveals a unified view for the future: mobile will be, by far, the biggest revenue generator by 2020. Of course, mobile adoption and mobile banking adoption has grown over the years, mostly driven by mobile self-service. Now, the future will also provide mobile with an important part of the revenue mix. A solid mobile strategy is becoming essential for all banks and credit unions. Google already predicted this in 2013 when it showed that, usually, product research that starts on a smartphone leads to purchases via other channels.
on creating identical apps and websites for different devices, which is the same inside-out mistake they make when building for the web. If you take the outside-in approach- the endcustomer’s perspective on omni-channel- it will become clear that it’s not about the different devices per se, but about the different behaviours on those different devices.
The survey indicates that research which starts on smartphones leads to purchases across other channels: 37 per cent then purchasing on computer and 32 per cent purchasing offline.
Step one in a successful omni-channel banking experience is to make sure that different apps and websites are optimized for different attitudes: the quick, the casual, the focused, and the physical. These behaviours can then be related to specific devices: quick to smartphones, casual to tablets, focused to laptops and desktops, and physical to branches.
Therefore, the need for a user-friendly mobile platform, as well as an omni-channel offering, is extremely pertinent to the modern consumer. Though despite this, one of the biggest mistakes most banks make with regards to their omni-channel strategy is ‘faking’ the experience. They do this by focusing
Banks need to stop thinking about their apps as the smartphone-optimised version of their regular internet banking platform. Instead, banks should build an app that helps people perform simple transactions quickly and easily, and in situations where they are most likely in a hurry or on the move.
The second step is to link the different apps together, making a seamless cross-channel journey. Usually, the customer uses different channels at different times: it’s likely they will start
one task on one device, for example check out mortgage rates on their smartphone, then take the process further on a different device, like applying for the mortgage on their laptop or even asking for further information via the call centre. It’s not enough to have different apps for different channels. Apps have to be linked and integrated in one platform to deliver one seamless, cross-channel journey. In a recent presentation, ABN AMRO revealed that mobile users contact their bank eleven times more than other customers. It is clear that customers are on mobile, and accordingly banks should ensure their marketing is also active on mobile. The most successful campaigns are those seen by the right customer at the right time. Mobile presents huge marketing opportunities, with the right technology capabilities to be able to provide the right context to the marketing campaigns.
SWYX INTRODUCES UPDATED APP, EXTENDING THE ‘SINGLE TELEPHONE NUMBER’ CONCEPT TO MOBILE WORKERS At the start of August, unified communications vendor Swyx launched its latest SwyxMobile app, which extends corporate communications beyond the office with its full integration with iOS or Android devices. Achieving full integration means more effective communications regardless of location.
wyx operates as a pan-European market leader via two-tier distribution and over 1,000 authorised resellers: the Dortmund based company with dedicated offices in the UK and France sells not only software solutions in six languages, but also has a range of suitable phones and other hardware devices in its product portfolio. Swyx’s award-winning unified communications provides not only in-house (CPE) solutions, but also cloud-based variants with well-known partners: Europe already has 500,000 users that rely on Swyx, of which around 10 percent have chosen to use a cloud-based solution. The company currently employs more than 150 staff, who are responsible for continually improving the SwyxWare solution for the communication requirements of today and in the future. With the SwyxMobile app, the firm has now extended further freedoms to their clients, offering greater freedom of movement whilst using their phones for corporate communications. Any use, whilst on the move, has full access
to all company contacts as well as presence and availability of colleagues, making it easier to maintain communications and reduce the frustrations of telephone tag. A key advantage of SwyxMobile is the ability for employees to offer a single telephone number that they can be reached on, whether in or out of the office. Users can select the same number to be presented when making outgoing calls as well as flexibly define rules and preferences for call forwarding and their availability for incoming calls. Key benefits of SwyxMobile include: - Excellent audio quality with voice calls in HD (high definition) - Notification of incoming calls on the Apple Watch (in conjunction with a compatible iPhone) - Modern and easy to use interface - Can provide office rather than mobile number to colleagues/customers - Full presence/availability of colleagues on smartphone
For further information, see www.swyx.com
READY, STEADY, THINK AND GO FOR THE ROBOTS By Richard Lightbound - CEO for ROBO Global Europe July 29th, 2015
n a few short years Kodak went from being a household name, employing over 150,000 people worldwide and controlling the world’s photo paper industry to total bankruptcy. What happened? Technology developed and gave us Digital Cameras. For investors, megatrends and disruptive technologies can be challenging to understand, time and access. Well, consumers and investors, take note: Robotics and Automation is showing all the signs of a mega-megatrend, with speed and scale way beyond that of the Industrial Revolution. Welcome to the Fourth Industrial Revolution – the Internet of Things, ‘Smart Home’ and robots that can sense, process and act. For investors, Robotics and Automation has started the journey to be as transformational as the Internet, and more impactful than computers and smartphones. This megatrend is global, transformational and sustainable. It will make our lives better, safer, easier and cheaper. Clearly as individuals and investors we are living through an amazing period of technological advancement and investment opportunity. Technologies such as machine vision, motion sensors, navigation algorithms and AI are enabling robots to perform increasingly sophisticated and delicate knowledge-based work. This widens their use to an incredible array of products and services across business, service and consumer sectors globally. In 1975, the fastest supercomputer cost USD five million and occupied an entire office floor. Today a smartphone with equal performance costs USD 400, and they have added cameras, eight sensors and a virtual assistant. Robotics and Automation companies continue to benefit from and capture these technological advances to make new and better products. But it all evolves so quickly – AI, Machine Learning and Open Source Coding are suddenly the big game changers. We recently saw a machine beat the world’s best Go player ten years ahead of schedule. IBM’s Watson is already an effective lawyer and can diagnosis cancer with greater accuracy than medical professionals. Facebook has a pattern recognition software for human faces that is better and quicker than we are.
FANUC, the world’s largest maker of industrial robots, plans to start connecting 400,000 of their installed systems by the end of this year. The goal is to collect data about their operations and, through the use of deep learning, improve performance. Similarly, Kuka is building a deep-learning AI network for their industrial robots.
The 40 per cent growth rates associated with e-commerce is driving investment towards advanced Robotics and Automation within distribution centers and warehouses to ensure they can cater to consumer demand for ‘next day delivery’. As a subsector, the growth rates and opportunity here are significant. It is estimated Amazon can improve operational efficiency by 20 per cent in their distribution centers that use KIVA robots, and they already have 30,000 in action. Examples are all around us: robot-assisted surgery, cheap and custom-fitted 3D-printed prosthetic arms for children, robot hotel porters and shop assistants, companion robots for the elderly, exoskeletons assisting mobility, warehouse automation allowing next day delivery of ecommerce goods, drones assisting farmers to drive land productivity up, partial AV applications improving road safety in cars, mobile robots assisting in search, rescue or forest fire prevention, and collaborative robots working alongside humans to perform repetitive and injury-prone tasks. The runaway for further adoption of automation across society is a multi-decade investment opportunity.
3D printing is a disruptive technology within the Robotics and Automation ecosystem. Prices are falling from the thousands to hundreds of dollars, and speeds grow exponentially. Manufacturers, airlines, the International Space Station and the medical industry all use 3D printers today. Major shoe companies want us to scan our feet at home and print our own shoes. Amazon wants to 3D-print our products in delivery trucks. Aging populations, safety concerns and the global need for greater productivity are creating a deeper and growing market for Robotics and Automation. Governments, big industry and the large smart corporate money have all reacted and continue to drive the industry. The headline topic at DAVOS was automation: FIAT in Italy and Google have established an AV program, China’s Midea is buying Germany’s KUKA and overall M&A activity is at an all-time high. Clearly, the investment for the future of Robotics and Automation is happening today and investors need to take note. The continued adoption of robotics and automation across the broader and global economy creates an exciting era for consumers and a significant opportunity for investors. Some subsectors and companies will develop faster than others, driven by factors such as technology advancement, processing costs, regulations and social acceptance. While stock picking the winners may be a challenge, what is certain is that the Robotics and Automation industry, when viewed across the entire ecosystem, offers an exciting and sustainable growth story. ROBO Global created and operates the world’s first and most comprehensive Robotics and Automation Index. With a unique coverage team comprised of industry leaders from both the academic and research world, they benchmark the entire value chain of robotics, automation, and enabling technologies across 13 subsectors and 15 geographies.
2016 CTO OF THE YEAR Davra Networks is an award winning Global IOT Software AEP Platform with Offices in USA, Europe, and the Middle East. They provide a complete SAAS based IoT Software platform that allows their customers to define, build and bring to market IoT applications in verticals such as Transportation, Connected Vehicle, Manufacturing, Utilities, Healthcare and Precision Farming.
s the technical founder, Joe Quinn took on the role of CTO in 2009, and he has provided reflection on how both he and his role has naturally evolved in line with the company’s growth. This takes him back to before Davra’s inception in 2010. “After getting my Computer Engineering degree at the University of Limerick, I joined Crannog Software as a software engineer, a start-up in the Network Management space that were really flying; I learned a lot about the industry with them. “I then got a taste for the multi-national company culture when Fluke networks came in and acquired Crannog. “ I started researching an emerging technology trend of fog computing in the summer of 2008 with my then colleague, now co-founder Brian McGlynn. It was a technology area that looked like it had untapped potential.” “I was accepted into a start-up incubator programme in 2009 with a proposal to build a product leveraging fog computing. Davra Networks was officially founded a year later. We got our seed funding in January 2011, and since then the core objective has been about growing the business steadily. We now have Offices in three continents, and are market leaders in the ‘Internet of Things’. “Today, I am responsible for managing the innovation process, project delivery and aligning technical and commercial strategy.” In the time that Joe has been CTO of Davra, he has faced a number of challenges, but having overcome them, has emerged with a clear understanding of his place within a very precisely-targeted industry. “The hardest lesson I learnt with Davra was to move away from just focussing on the technology. In the early days of Davra, before we even started talking to customers, I
wanted to have the perfect product. I put about 2 years work into it and it was perfect at what it was built for but what I found when we started talking to customers is that it didn’t quite fit. “To me, innovation was all about technology, whereas now I see business model innovation as being a crucial part. You can have the best technology in the world, but without a valid business model, it will invariably fail.
“Because of that, a big part of my job now is finding ways to conduct experiments that will validate a business model before we go through the effort of building something. It can be an interesting challenge in an emerging marketplace as there may not be as much market data to analyse so we need to look to enact the market, to perform experiments that create useful data which can then be analysed. That is probably the greatest shift in how I approach things.” This does not diminish the fact that it is very important to stay abreast with technological advancements, as Joe readily admits. “In IoT, there are so many adjacent markets converging with Cloud, Business Intelligence, Big Data, Analytics, sensor protocols, IAAS, et cetera. You have to spot emerging trends to help guide the medium to long term roadmap of your product.
“You can’t get too distracted by technology trends however, it can be like running after the next shiny thing that comes by. It’s important to understand what’s real and what’s not. Understanding what’s going on with technology trends can also help you understand where is ripe for disruption but also where your disruptors could be coming from and how to protect against that.” One of the greatest assets that Joe has at his disposal is his staff. He prides himself on having a world-class engineering team to help understand the trends in technology and how best to apply them to conducting business. “First and foremost, I trust them – I trust that for any given task they will do the best they can with the information that they have. “Another thing that makes it easier is that in the emerging industry of IoT, Davra are selling real solutions across many verticals utilising cutting edge technology in a company that is rapidly expanding. For example in healthcare we have a solution that genuinely saves lives, In manufacturing we can monitor the safety of the workers while also maximising the productivity and quality of the parts produced, plus many more solutions like this that our team can really relate to. The work here is extremely interesting for an engineer. “I don’t really have to do much to light a fire in the engineers, rather it’s a case of guiding things and in some cases trying to hold them back! The culture for innovation needs to be nurtured; employees should not only feel that it is acceptable to innovate, but that it is expected of them. I try to encourage innovation in the Company to the point where people are expected to try new things. Experiments, even failed ones are all seen as something we can learn from. Of course at the end of the day, what we do deliver must be delivered with quality and be valuable, so keeping everybody focused on the Customer is key. It’s a fine balance between exploitative and explorative innovation.”
While Joe maintains his present focus on ensuring that customer service takes pride of place over unbridled innovation, his future ambitions demonstrate the potential for transcendence into the ever-digital frontier.
“Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Davra, the world’s largest provider of sensor data will own no sensors. I believe Davra will become the de facto customer interface for IoT data. I would love to be right where I am when that happens.”
Company: Davra Networks Ltd Email: email@example.com LinkedIn: https://ie.linkedin. com/in/davrajoequinn Twitter: @Joe_Quinn_Davra Web Address: www.davranetworks.com
LIQUIDWARE LABS BRINGS RELIEF TO USER LOGON TIMES Exclusive Features in ProfileUnity v6.5.5 with advanced FlexApp shortens login times by 90%, speeds delivery of applications by 60% as well as supports multipart high availability architectures
iquidware Labs, a leader in desktop transformation solutions based in London, announced on Wednesday 3rd the general availability of ProfileUnity 6.5.5 with FlexApp. Significant speed and feature enhancements include a reduction of Microsoft Windows logon times by up to 90 per cent, as well as 60 per cent faster FlexApp Application Layering performance, further integration with Microsoft Active Directory via template imports, and VMDK multi vCenter support with one master console and mirroring options.
“When speaking with enterprises about their desktop strategy, we are finding an increase in the importance being placed on the availability, performance, and user experience of applications. Delivering and managing applications ‘on demand’ provides for a higher level of productivity for both IT and business users alike,” said Robert Young, Research Director of IT Service Management and Client Virtualization Software at IDC. “Most enterprises’ desktop estate consists of a hybrid environment. Therefore, solutions that enable cohesion across platforms and environments can be critical to IT success.”
The new features in the latest release significantly enhance the desktop user experience delivering high-speed logons and application response. The new features also support higher levels of desktop security and availability for largescale enterprises running multiple vCenter deployments and “Active Active” redundant infrastructures, such as government agencies or multi-national organisations.
Logons Reduced by Up to 90% Windows logon times for Citrix XenDesktop, XenApp, VMware Horizon View, and physical desktop environments can be drastically reduced with ProfileUnity 6.5.5. Select profile data managed with ProfileUnity’s “Portability” feature module can now be set to load silently after login instead of during login, avoiding common Microsoft Profile data bottlenecks that occur early in Windows sessions. This advancement accompanies ProfileUnity’s exclusive ProfileDisk technology that is designed to easily handle large profiles such as those containing Microsoft Office 365 Offline Cached mode data. Together, these technologies deliver user profile performance that is the fastest in the industry.
“With the launch of v6.5.5, we’re delivering the features demanded by today’s enterprise organisations who require high performance from their desktops but not at the expense of security and availability,” said Jason Mattox, CTO, Liquidware Labs. “Liquidware Labs continues to lead the industry with the only integrated UEM and application layering solution that is driving new levels of efficiency and performance across all desktop environments – physical, virtual, RDSH or cloud.” 50
Application Delivery 60% More Responsive FlexApp layering technology has also been updated in the latest version to make layered applications available up to 60% faster than previous versions of the product. Regardless of whether applications are entitled at user login or during the user session as a “hot-add” application, applications load faster than ever to enhance user experience and maintaining user productivity. ADMX Templates Refine MS AD Integration ProfileUnity 6.5.5 makes integration with Microsoft Active Directory (AD) Templates easier than ever in order to
more efficiently execute Group Policies. The latest version now enables administrators to simply import existing ADMX templates into a ProfileUnity configuration to easily consolidate user management via ProfileUnity’s central Management Console. ADMX templates can be applied to any user, group, department, or to any combination of hundreds of available context-aware filter settings in ProfileUnity. This new feature assists in helping to significantly reduce overall Windows logon times with AD group lookups that are more efficient than Microsoft Active Directory alone. VMDK Support Enhanced ProfileUnity’s advanced ProfileDisk and FlexApp features leverage virtual disks to optionally mount user profiles and layered applications. While Microsoft’s VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) format is straightforward and scalable for most organisations, customers with VMware infrastructure can leverage VMware’s VMDK format as an option. ProfileUnity can automatically manage VMware vCenter to mount ProfileDisks and/or FlexApp applications, therefore organisations can run either or both VHD and VMDK formats to support their desktops, a significant advantage in hybrid, multi-platform environments. New Multi VMware vCenter Support and Mirroring ProfileUnity with FlexApp v6.5.5 includes support for organisations with multiple VMware vCenter instances which are common in larger virtual desktop deployments. In these large deployments, where users typically float between multiple vCenter Servers, ProfileUnity’s FlexDisk technology coordinates communication and executes administrative tasks based on each user’s requirements and the server to which they are currently attached. With the addition of multiple vCenter support, the solution also now includes the option to have one Master ProfileUnity Management Console to control the consoles across multiple sites. In addition, FlexApp application datastores
now have mirrored capabilities between Virtual Desktop pools and datacentres. FlexDisk delivers these VMDK-based FlexApp Layers across multiple vCenters without requiring additional layer management to be present on each vCenter Server. Additional new features and user interface enhancements also included are: • New File Association module – letting Administrators standardise on preferred apps for file extensions • ProfileUnity Configuration Automated Deploy and Archive features – enabling changes to go live more quickly or be rolled back for any reason • Export Feature Module options – enabling Consultants and Administrators to more easily replicate individual configuration changes
"Liquidware Labs has become an indispensable vendor for managing the endpoint nightmare. When you're a sysadmin whose hair is on fire and you're being pulled in 50 different directions simultaneously, Liquidware Lab’s software suite feels like a godsend. It can solve a whole lot of really niggly problems with VDI, physical desktops and remote access to files. It can also help diagnose where things have gone wrong, as they inevitably will,” commented Trevor Pott, founder, eGeek Consulting Ltd. “Running a Windowsbased end user environment without Liquidware Labs is like choosing to grow, clean, prepare and cook all the food for your family yourself. You can do that if you want, but it's going to take so much of your time that you don't accomplish much of anything else. At the end of the day, there are just better uses for trained IT personnel than constantly turning Windows desktops to face the sun."
Availability ProfileUnity v6.5.5 with FlexApp is available now. For a fully functional trial version download today at: www. LiquidwareLabs.com/download. About Liquidware Labs Liquidware Labs™ provides industry leading platformagnostic desktop solutions for hybrid Windows desktop environments including Citrix® XenApp/XenDesktop, VMware Horizon View®, and physical Microsoft® Windows PCs. Stratusphere™ FIT and Stratusphere™ UX products deliver visibility into desktop environments and support assessment, design, monitoring and diagnostics (Health Checks). ProfileUnity provides just in time delivery of User Profiles, application and user rights management and context-aware policies. ProfileUnity’s FlexApp feature delivers advanced Application Layering. Flex-IO supports IOPS acceleration in virtual desktop environments. The solutions are available in an extremely cost-effectively priced bundle called Liquidware Labs Essentials. Liquidware Labs products are Citrix Ready, VMware-certified, and are available through a global network of partners. Visit www.liquidwarelabs.com for further information.
2016 CTO OF THE YEAR - WASHINGTON DC M3 USA Corporation is the US subsidiary of M3 Inc., a leader in the digital transformation of healthcare, and owner of the largest combined physician community in the world. This Pennsylvania-based subsidiary is headed by CTO Craig Overpeck, who details the achievements and breakthroughs that M3’s dedicated staff have enjoyed.
escribing his own role in the company, Craig covers the changing environment in which M3 conducts its business. “For the past 16 years I have been the US Chief Technology Officer creating connected platforms, communities, and services to deliver award winning experiences like MDLinx.com, TheSmartestDoc. com, BoardExamPrep.com, and most recently ClinicalTrialsLocator.com. “Under my leadership M3 recently became one of the few ISO27001-certified companies in the USA. I was awarded a patent on the M3 Global Research technology, which was built to handle cross-country collaboration and large volumes of ISO26362-compliant survey data collection. In a dual role, I lead the global market research group as COO. I am also on the Board of Directors for M3 USA, along with several other subsidiaries and industry associations. “Helping patients has been a lifelong goal of mine but the scale to which I now help physicians treat patients was unimaginable. I have been in the CTO role for 16 years with expanding roles and responsibilities in other global business units.” “Here in the US we own MDLinx.com a physician community supported by digital media; M3 Global Research a healthcare market research fieldwork specialist utilizing all of M3’s local physician communities in the US, Europe, and Asia; and several recruitment platforms and companies that serve hospitals and practices to place physicians in open positions. When it comes to managing staff, Craig cites the Chaordic organisation model – the same used by Visa creator Dee Hock in the 1960s – as a highly beneficial tool. He elaborates on the boons it has provided to organising his team. “Assigning people clear roles and responsibilities
flattens the organizational chart and removes barriers to people collaborating in order to achieve a mission.” “Millennials gravitate toward this model today and the agile processes we use allows us to constitute and modify team and project assignments. It does create a constant environment of change but progress requires change so it is built into the management philosophy. Key processes and performance indicators, however, do need to be continuously documented and managed so we can measure our performance and set appropriate metrics to keep us on course.” These sorts of technical challenges are no strange occurrence to Craig, who readily opens up to the challenges he has previously faced, and how innovation played an instrumental role in overcoming them. When I worked at the association, the IT Department was thought of as a cost centre and not the innovation centre. Working with senior executives I found that to overcome this perception we had to listen carefully to the businesses and deliver product in short order so they can see the investment they made have an immediate impact on the business’ performance. In my final year at the Association I won the Spirit of Excellence award with a few other executives, who were forward-thinking enough to see technology as a positive business driver, and not just a cost centre. Indeed, being at the forefront of medicinal care means that Craig, and M3 more generally, must ensure that they maintain a tech-savvy and innovative attitude. Alongside this, Craig considers the impact that digitised media can have in his line of work. “In media, the technology and standards are constantly changing. 2015 saw an incredible amount of change
with ‘viewability’ standards coming into play, EU Safe Harbor coming down, Privacy Shield going up, and new international regulations about PII and its transfer between markets and services. The technology itself is the easiest part to learn, but selecting the right application of the technology and which technologies actually have a shelf life always remains the biggest challenge for business minded technologists.
“Innovation is about taking two things that are different and creating something new. Not everything new is a bestseller at the start and adoption can be slow but patience and persistence with constant execution make great products. On occasions, where the progress does not show up, it is important to be open to change and pivot to the market.” This leads Craig to reflect upon his role as a CTO, and the key attributes that can lead fellow companies to succeed in the way that M3 has done. “CTOs are, quite simply, leaders that are well rounded with a liberal arts background, and can balance the coolness of technology and the business needs of the world. You need to be able to operate in the server room and in the boardroom with well thought out plans, a clear vision, and the patience to get things right and see them through to their conclusion Working in concert with my supportive CEO allows M3 and its dedicated employees to shine bright.”
When discussing the future of the company, Craig mentions a vision of a grand ‘100-Year Plan’ for M3. “Our global CEO has a plan for us to roll out 20 services in over 100 countries.” This sense of optimistic wonder is not lost when discussing shorter-term goals. “In 5 years, we will still be on the journey of a lifetime, educating more physicians, who in turn will treat and save more patients with ever-improving treatments and cures. We also hope to accelerate this process through advances in clinical trial optimization.”
Company: M3 USA Corporation Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 202-293-2288 Web Address: http://usa.m3.com Address: 1215 17th St NW Suite 100, Washington DC 20036
2016 CTO OF THE YEAR - PENNSYLVANIA Recent advancements in technology at Waynesburg University, a private Christian university in southwestern Pennsylvania, have both changed the way educators interact with students and, likewise, the expectations that students have related to their academic pursuits.
rom the introduction of a stable, responsive, secure wireless internet connection that will seamlessly follow students from their dormitories to academic and other University-related spaces to a learning management system that can provide students with real-time feedback on their academic work, Waynesburg University continues to make investments in technology to further enrich student experiences. Since its founding in 1849, Waynesburg has remained committed to its mission of educating students to make connections between faith, learning and serving so they might faithfully transform their communities and the world. To that end, the University continues to identify and employ faculty and staff who embody the values and perspectives of the Christian faith. Such an example is William (Bill) G. Dumire, TMT’s 2016 CTO of the Year - Pennsylvania, USA. Working to ensure the mission of the University is achieved through the identification, research, acquisition and adoption of appropriate, state-of-the-art technology, Bill serves as the University’s Vice President for Information Technology Services and Chief Information Officer.
“It’s my deepest honor and privilege to work with such a highly motivated, extremely dedicated team of individuals who care deeply for Waynesburg University and its mission,” Bill said. “I’m very fortunate to be able to help make a difference in the lives of our students, faculty, staff, local community members and beyond.” 54
Bill directs the overall management and operation of campus-wide information technology resources, serves as a liaison with University offices in the procurement and support for technological resources, helps lead technological strategic planning initiatives and provides leadership to the Information Technology staff and students. “Bill’s leadership style encourages teamwork,” said Joshua Starsick, Director of Information Technology Services at Waynesburg University. “He has unified the ITS Department. He is a huge proponent of the institutional mission and takes that into account with every decision that he makes.” Since arriving on campus in June 2013, Bill, along with his team of skilled information technologists, has made significant contributions to the University. These contributions include: • Leading a comprehensive review of all ITS operations to maximize resources, pinpoint and correct deficiencies, realign priorities to match University goals/objectives, and to identify, research and implement new services and technologies; • Spearheading a multimillion dollar project to replace the entire network infrastructure, at all campus locations, to provide enhanced operational stability/ security, improved outcomes and greatly reduce costs associated with outdated equipment/services; • Creating a new, highly scalable data center to better meet the current/future needs of the University; and • Enhancing help desk operations, with expanded hours, staff and service offerings to better meet the needs of faculty, staff and students. Together, Bill and his staff work toward a common vision and shared sense of purpose to ensure the needs of Waynesburg University students, faculty and staff are met.
“We all bring unique skillsets, talents and strengths to the table, and I work to make certain we strategically capitalize on these attributes to fulfill the mission of the University,” Bill said. “Never have I worked with such a bright, talented, dedicated and committed group of professionals.” When asked about challenges, Bill noted the substantial capital investment costs related with technology acquisition, implementation and maintenance. “We are always looking for partners who would like to invest in the mission of Waynesburg University, and, by extension, our future leaders, by providing funding to further enhance educational experiences and outcomes.” Bill, who describes himself as an honest, trustworthy servant leader with a commitment to faith that guides all aspects of his professional and personal life, cites his strong sense of mission-driven purpose, unwavering commitment to those he serves, unyielding loyalty and the ability to see the “big picture” as key attributes that have led to his receiving TMT’s award. “Bill is a real visionary whose love and commitment for the University has resulted in the transformation of a significant aspect of our overall operations,” said Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee. Before joining Waynesburg University, Bill served as the Director of Information Technology Services for the School of Dentistry and the Director of Information Technology Quality Assurance for the Health Sciences Center at West Virginia University. Prior to his higher education career, Bill worked in the private sector. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems and a Master of Information Systems.
As the 2016 CTO of the Year – Pennsylvania, Bill’s primary goal is to ensure more people know the inspiring story of Waynesburg University. “I want to spend the rest of my professional career helping Waynesburg University achieve its mission,” Bill said. “This is my dream job. I love what I do, the people I work with, and the impact Waynesburg University is having across the globe.” Waynesburg University invests in its students’ growth by providing them with hands-on opportunities beginning freshman year, and by offering opportunities for them to learn through service, both domestically and abroad – all at a great value. Nationally ranked as a top school for educational value by The Economist, the Brookings Institution, CollegeNet, MONEY Magazine and Christian Universities Online, the University offers an outcome-driven education in more than 70 undergraduate major concentrations and several graduate programs. “To play a part in this process is both humbling and incredibly rewarding, and the CTO award belongs to all those who serve Waynesburg University as true servant leaders.”
Company: Waynesburg University Phone: +1 724-627-8191 Email: email@example.com Web Address: www.waynesburg.edu Address: 51 West College Street, Waynesburg, PA, 15370
2016 CTO OF THE YEAR - US & ELECTRONICS Since 1993, DTS, Inc. has been dedicated to making the world sound better. Through its pioneering audio solutions for mobile devices, home theatre systems, cinema, automotive and beyond, DTS provides incredibly high-quality, immersive, and engaging audio experiences to listeners everywhere. DTS technology is integrated into more than two billion devices globally, and the world's leading video and music streaming services are increasingly choosing DTS to deliver premium sound to their listeners' devices.
rederick Kitson has been with DTS for six years, in his current position as CTO. In addition, he is the company’s Executive Vice President, and leads their “Technology Organization”; this encompasses all research and development, and engineering functions across five markets, including certification and field/applications engineering. Additionally, he manages business and information technologies including basic functions such as Internet access, cloud applications hosting, salesforce.com, software security and cyber-security. His career before 2012, meanwhile, attests to a lifetime spent engaging directly in some of the most prominent technological endeavours of the time. From working on audio test analysers at Hewlett-Packard, to leading Motorola’s Applications Research Centre, Frederick has stamped an authoritative presence upon the industry – such highlights include his first product, which replaced the oscillator that had been used in Disney’s ‘Fantasia’, and his leading role in launching the ‘imode’ mobile phone application phenomenon with DoCoMo in Japan. Over the course of Frederick’s career, ground-breaking developments in audio technology have not only dramatically changed the way that consumers can appreciate sound and music, but have also transformed the industry’s competing businesses as they strive for innovation. As Frederick explains, “the innovation of the Apple device family led to the largest capitalization in the history of the world in consumer electronics. They sold a clear vision of a compelling experience and a type of lifestyle. Testing in the marketplace and “dog-fooding” products internally, plus being able to engender the excitement around the intuitive appliance, help us solve old problems in new ways.
“In my case, I use ethnographic specialists and user-centred design principles to help guide the “minimum viable product” – such as the iPod was in a sea of MP3 players at the time with its single focus of playing music on the go without the clutter of FM receivers, recording functions or hard to read displays.” This approach is business draws upon three key principles that define Frederick’s and DTS’ approach to creating sound solutions. In the first instance, the ability to tell what ‘good’ looks like “allows one to recognize genius, promote the best ideas, delegate the right problem to the right person, and commercialize those products that really matter and create economic impact.” The second principle, Frederick states unequivocally, is closely related to this. In as much as figuring out what would be a fantastic product is important in this line of work, having the right person to make it a reality is just as important a consideration.
“As simple as it sounds, the effect is profound in that the best do the best work, are independent and require less guidance, have great initiative, and work well with others. The HR component of the management job can be a huge time investment.” Thirdly, knowing how and when to reward the right behaviours is powerful, “in that one must encourage positive
outcomes and make that behaviour feel good and natural; this will direct employees to fire on all cylinders.” In spite of this determination for progress, there are limiting factors that Frederick admits to. The axiom, he says, that ‘It is necessary but not sufficient to be right’ continually plagues engineers and scientists. In response, Frederick strives to perform ‘situational analysis’, to understand what his audience is interested in, what he can help them with, and what will motivate them when communicating to an individual or a group. “Additionally, remembering that every presentation or conversation is a story with the potential to move people in a positive direction or to seek positive support is good. It is a form of selling when one asks for more resources or seeks to advance an opinion or a call to action.” Building on this, Frederick speaks about the importance of not falling behind the curve in this competitive, ever-changing industry. “For me, keeping up with technology trends and the current instantiations of those is a passion—I have rationalized that it is important at least! I subscribe to various technical journals, attend conferences, and sit on several academic boards. As an additional perk, making a living out of staying abreast of technological trends and new developments has bled over into his personal life. Frederick has enjoyed an exuberant display of modern technology, which showcases his tremendous adaptability. Rather than letting the progress of technology wash over him, he readily embraces it. “I enjoy being on the ‘bleeding edge’ – whether it’s the multimedia wireless watch I worked on with Swatch,
the heads-up display in my BMW, or my various home automation systems: my wireless hot tub, 7.1 surround sound, wireless HDMI TV, backyard fire pit, LED lighting throughout, and wireless lighting NEST thermostats.” Reflecting on these highlights, Frederick states conclusively, “The key to life is being paid to do something you truly enjoy. Not only that, but having the opportunity to work with some of the best and most interesting professionals on the planet – including musicians, moviemakers and audio researchers – is a true pleasure.” After making a career of pushing the boundaries of technology further, and helping to create truly advanced audio solutions that have since made a dramatic impression upon wider consumer markets, Frederick chooses not to cast his aspirations for the future in one specific direction. Rather, he has multiple, equally ambitious possibilities that he could pursue. “I could develop into COO or CEO. However, given my passion for being a CTO, I will probably retire first and, as a next change, be on a Board of Directors of a high tech company.”
Company: DTS Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 818-436-1030 Web Address: www.dts.com Address: 5220 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, California, USA 91302
SMART SPEAKERS TO BE NEXT BATTLEGROUND FOR DIGITAL ASSISTANTS, BRINGING THE SMART AUDIO MARKET TO OVER $5 BILLION BY 2020 A new study by Juniper Research, published in late August, has found that revenue from smart audio hardware will more than triple over the next four years, rising from an estimated $1.4 billion this year to over $5.5 billion by 2020.
hile Juniper expects part of this to be driven by ear-based wearables like the Bragi Dash and HERE Active Listening, the category will be most successful in the smart home space, with Amazon Echo, Google Home and other unit-based smart audio devices vying for popularity as the next platform for smart devices. Smart Audio Needs a Home The new research, Future Hearables & Smart Audio: Roadmap, Opportunities & Forecasts 2016-2021, found that the reason for the dominance of home-based smart audio is two-fold: consumers are not yet willing to talk to machines in public, and also that smartphones can provide similar functions through simple earphones with a mic. These factors combine to limit the market for people who want a digital assistant device with them on-the-go. Home-based smart audio devices, however, operate in a private environment, overcoming the social reluctance, and do not have to challenge the smartphone to the same degree. For this reason we expect more success from unit-based smart audio devices than hearables. Niche is Nice for Hearables There will however be a smaller market for hearables that offer
various audio features, like active noise cancellation and call handling as well as providing audio, but the biggest market for these will be fitness devices. These can provide accurate biometrics as well as voice feedback from a piece of coaching software, but only a certain kind of consumer will buy that sort of device. “Smart speakers win out because while they also need a context, their form factor gives them an almost universal one, while hearables fill specific audio niches,” remarked research author James Moar. “As a result, smart speakers and hearables will fill very different roles, despite relying on similar software capabilities in many cases.” The whitepaper, ‘Sensing the Hearables Opportunity’, is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full research. Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary. For further details please contact Sam Smith, Press Relations. T: +44(0)1256 830001 E: email@example.com
2016 CTO OF THE YEAR - UK MYCOM OSI is a leading telecom software vendor providing some of the world’s largest Communication Service Providers such as Vodafone, Verizon, Telefonica O2 and T-Mobile with network management software for Service Assurance, Automation and Analytics. These maintain their networks at peak performance, optimize their customers’ experience and help them deliver new digital services in the Cloud.
elebrating the company’s 15th year, Mounir Ladki speaks of his own background, exploring the route he took to arrive at MYCOM OSI. Having attained a Distinction in his Masters in Electrical and Communications Engineering from Supélec, the leading French Engineering school, and a Business Administration degree from Sorbonne University, his prospects were promising from the get-go. “I started in defence communication systems at Matra, before joining Nortel’s new mobile division in R&D, network design and optimization. I established and led its Advanced Engineering Services group launching major innovations. For instance, I worked closely on realising the first microcellular network in Hong Kong, as well as the first mobile data network in Australia. I then joined MYCOM in 2002 to launch their software business. “I have led the company’s technology mission since we founded the business in 2002. As President and CTO, I am responsible for setting the vision, strategy and roadmap for our technology, products and solutions, and realize these through leadership of Product Management, R&D, Technology Partnerships, Systems Integration, Industry Standards and Customer Solutions. “The most important challenge I had to face was to start a business. We were initially 4 developers and myself but we had to turn bright ideas into concept then commercial product and then acquire our first customers. It was a challenge to grow a small, tight-knit team into a larger organization while maintaining efficiency and motivation. Finally, we always had to operate with minimal investment. But despite these challenges we achieved enormous success that experience has taught me depends on a passionate, motivated and empowered team that believes in my company vision.”
Brushing these challenges aside to forge on in a bold, confident direction, Mounir and MYCOM OSI have received some prestigious recognition in the form of coveted industry awards in recent months. These include winning Product Leadership in Service Assurance Award from Stratecast/ Frost & Sullivan, winning Mobile Infrastructure Innovation Award from Global Telecoms Business, runner-up for Big Data & Analytics Innovation Award by Pipeline, and finalist for Outstanding Contribution to Enabling Improved Customer-Centricity by TM Forum.
of talented and highly dedicated people as exerting a large inspiring influence on his role.
Such success has been hard-won, and Mounir opens up about the ethos that MYCOM OSI holds dear, and how this reflects on their attitude to technology and innovative development.
“I think that the success we are enjoying is a collective one, and is essentially down to our outstanding team. I think that what sets me apart is a passion for innovation and technology, a deep understanding and clear vision of both the telecoms and software industries that I have been working in for over 20 years, and a very strong motivation to create value for customers, shareholders and employees.”
“It is essential to differentiate through cutting-edge products and sustained innovation that address the latest technology trends but many trends are short-lived fads with no obvious benefits, so we always carefully evaluate new technologies and only select those with proven benefits. Recently we have advanced our cloud micro-service patterns with REST APIs, big data storage and docker technology as an example. “Critically, all our new products are developed in close collaboration with our customers targeting specific highvalue business problems. For example, we collaborated on the design of our Network Analytics product, ProInsight™, with Telefonica Germany and our Digital Service Quality Management product, ProAssure™, with Deutsche Telekom. To enable this collaboration, we have adopted continuous integration and agile methodology that allows new software versions to be shared with our customers every two weeks. So we learn fast, fail fast and succeed in being very closely aligned to customer needs.” Mounir finds it hard to overstate the value of his employees – he cites the honour of working with an exceptional team
“I see my role as inspiring, empowering and helping them to achieve their personal and the overall company objectives,” he says. “I like to give autonomy and foster a culture of innovation and initiative. Maintaining the mind-set of startup is very important for our success in a highly dynamic and competitive environment. I am also always encouraging the teams to adopt disruptive approaches and thinking.
Mounir has great ambitions for MYCOM OSI, having set it the challenge of maintaining its technology leadership, whilst also increasing its leadership in the Service Assurance space in the next five years. “The required growth may come from organic growth or further acquisitions like MYCOM’s successful acquisition of OSI in 2014. We are well prepared to grab the 20%+ growth rate of the Next Generation of Service Assurance and Analytics targeted at the digital era, and establish clear leadership in areas such as cloud, NFV and IoT.
â€œI am privileged to work in a highly dynamic industry that evolves rapidly. Today we are at the dawn of a major revolution where our customers are evolving from Communication Service Providers into Digital Service Providers. I still have such passion for MYCOM OSI and our industry that I see myself continuing the leadership of this innovative company as it further grows and develops to be the global market leader.â€?
Company: MYCOM OSI Phone: +44 1753 213 740 Web Address: www.mycom-osi.com Address: 4th Floor Thames Central, 90 Hatfield Road, Slough, SL1 1QE
TECHNOLOGY M&A: SHIFTING PARADIGMS By Michael Young, Partner, Reed Smith LLP
&A in the technology, media and entertainment (TME) space has boomed over the last 24 months and while Brexit may dent confidence and activity, arguably this sector is better placed than most to remain buoyant. Companies in the sector have already faced disruption from every side and been forced not only to consolidate but to explore new ways of competing in the digital economy. In particular, many companies traditionally regarded as technology firms have expanded well beyond their remit to become genuine TME businesses, with the provision of content becoming a fundamental part of their offerings. Quad play paying off Underlying a drive towards in-market consolidation is a shift to ‘quad play’ offerings – where telecom providers seek to become a one-stop shop for TV, broadband, fixed and mobile telephony. In a capital-intensive industry where returns on capital are declining, M&A activity is a sign of a move towards a more rational market structure. BT’s £12.5bn takeover of EE, which was approved by the Competition and Markets Authority, is one case in point. However, the march towards convergence has been recently halted by the EU Commission. Earlier on this year, Brussels shut the door on the Three-O2 telecoms merger. In France, the Orange and Bouygues $11.4 billion deal also collapsed due to the attitude of the French government. Companies are now under pressure to provide customers with new facilities and technical resources. One doesn’t need to look far to see that “internet of things” (IoT) devices (which are projected to contribute to approximately 50% of global connected devices by 2020) and OTT services (such as access to latest release movies and premium TV programming) are increasingly important. In fact, a number of telecom companies have already pursued acquisitions of TV businesses in markets such as Brazil, Germany, Spain and the United States. Mobile technology is also bound to have a continued impact on M&A
activity. Last year, mobile bypassed desktop as the primary focus for content, app, and web development strategy. By the end of 2016, wireless devices will account for over 50% of all Internet traffic. Acqui-hiring: a key growth driver (when done well) Tech-incumbents need to stay alert and agile as customers’ demands evolve. Although, coined in the early 2000s, ‘acquihiring’ strategies are now firmly in the frame. Industry giants like Facebook, Apple, Twitter, Alibaba and Google rank amongst the most active acqui-hirers. Other companies have also paid attention and now realise that this can be an efficient way of acquiring talent, products or intellectual property, boosting organisation agility, shortening time-to-market and implementing data analytics. Despite obvious gains, some businesses remain reluctant to acqui-hire as retaining staff and achieving strong cultural alignment can be difficult. Nevertheless, looking for talent is vital for companies wanting to help shape the digital landscape. It took about 75 years for the telephone to reach 50 million people, Facebook needed 3.5 years, “Angry Birds” app hit this milestone within just 35 days. Technological acceleration means that some of the biggest companies of the next 10 years may not have been founded yet and the talent that will create them may be just around the corner. Monetising Digital Offerings If they are to prosper, TME businesses must stay on the cutting edge of the ever-broadening digital ecosystems. They need to seek new points of differentiation if they want to maximise customer spend. With customer consumption trends changing, data analytic capabilities are a commodity coveted by tech firms. They translate into better understanding of the marketplace, customers and competitors. Digital ad tech companies are
expected to gain ground as they exploit big data analytics opportunities. Effective and personalised targeting combined with real-time social data will enable brands to extract more value from their customer relationship management systems and better engage with their audiences. Fresh wells of data, such as smart homes, will emerge as we embrace the IoT, as more and more sensors and internet capabilities are added to everyday objects. As more enterprises commit to cloud architecture, one cannot overlook cloud computing as a compelling digital offering. Apart from being an obvious way of cutting IT costs, the cloud gives leverage to create new levels of connectivity across all stakeholder groups, customers, suppliers, partners and employees. Over the past couple of years we’ve witnessed some spectacular cyber security breaches. Investigators are still trying to piece together how (in February 2016) hackers had extracted $81 million from Bangladesh’s Central Bank – one of the largest cyber heists’ in history. Increased activity in the fintech sector is likely to breed fresh risks which will increase the demand for security offerings. In fact, 46% of British finance executives identify cyber-attacks as one of the biggest threats to the financial system. Security firms such as AVG Technologies, Baidu and Check Point Software Technologies have already enhanced their cyber-security portfolios by acquiring businesses outside their core competencies. The foreseeable future will see this trend continue as firms seek to strengthen their product lines. Finally, could Brexit upset the sector’s M&A activity? The tech community so used to disrupting others may now itself have been disrupted by the UK’s vote. However, the digital economy is largely driven by global rather than local trends so any hardships should be temporary and not as significant as in other more traditional industries. After all, the TME sector, being the most agile and forward-looking of all, is bestpositioned to adapt to change.
REVENUE MANAGEMENT FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES According to the Communications Fraud Control Association (CFCA), network operators around the world lose around $38 billion annually to fraud and uncollected revenues. Currently the biggest threat to telecommunications service providers comes from loss of termination revenues.
ermination revenues come from when a network handles someone else’s call – for example when someone on one network in the UK contacts someone on another – or when you dial abroad. Telecommunications service providers naturally want to have a reward for handing on the call to the final recipient. Annual declines in revenue from termination in many countries are 10% or more. Reduction in termination revenues is due to two issues: 1. Regulation, such as that in the EU around roaming costs, which operators can do little about other than lobby 2. Revenue loss due to fraud or unfair competition from other (particularly OTT) service providers, which operators can do something about. A bit of background Operators buy and sell international minutes between themselves called swaps which they try to equate to an agreed value but often these will either be too big or too small for a particular country requiring a top up to make the swap balance (imagine the increase in voice calling to Turkey after the recent failed military coup). When operators need to top up their swaps, they buy or sell in online exchanges to make good on their commitments. However when they buy additional bundles of minutes these can include bundles of minutes that are not entirely legitimate. The traditional issue would be something called SIM box fraud: SIM box fraud involves buying thousands of SIM cards, setting them up in a piece of equipment that is then connected to the internet and then selling the capability to terminate (ie connect) calls into a certain country. If the wholesale rate for connecting a call is 10p and assuming the the SIM cards
in the SIM boxes are able to connect local calls for, say 5p, the owner of the SIM box can make a margin of 5p for every call he connects. This often happens because SIM cards for consumers will include bundles of free minutes or discounted rates. However a condition of buying a consumer SIM card is not to use it to terminate calls. Hence why this is fraud. Just one SIM in a SIM box can lead to losses of $3000 in revenues per month and a SIM box can hold thousands of SIMs – do the maths. This is where operators traditionally lost revenues to criminal gangs that found it ridiculously easy to get hold of SIM cards, connect them and sell the capacity on the open market. OTT Recently a new threat has occurred. OTT apps, such as Viber and WhatsApp have struggled to monetise the often free calling they promote between users. Some have now recognised the opportunity to route telephone calls to handsets via their app, enabling the OTT players to terminate the call in an app and keep the termination fees. OTT apps have been proactively touting the capability to terminate calls to second and third tier telecommunications operators. The caller calls someone’s normal mobile number and the recipient of the call ends up receiving the call within an OTT account. That is all well and good but the caller legitimately called someone else’s mobile. The caller has the right to expect the call to be connected to the other person’s phone, not through their app. Furthermore call quality can be affected, as might other voice services such as voicemail or caller ID. If you are
abroad, you might also be using data to receive the call, which can add up to a large roaming bill that you are not aware of. So what about OTT to OTT calls? This is legitimate competition and most carriers will have to live with the consumer choosing to call relatives and friends on an OTT app. What is clear, is that highjacking a call from where the consumer choice was normal telephony, and terminating the call within an app is not transparent. What this means for operators Some operators are seeing their revenues from call termination drop by 50% due to this activity. This matters because the operators are responsible for creating and maintaining a decent network for the OTT players to use. Part of that “deal” with regulators and Governments around the world is that they receive revenue from termination charges in exchange for maintaining the networks and keeping costs low for business and customers to thrive. With more and more data being used, networks are creaking. And if they continue to lose revenue to OTT companies that use their networks but do not contribute to the cost, it is a grim future for all of us. Rarely does anything come for free and the severe reduction in termination charges can only negatively impact the industry as a whole.
The author is Andy Gent (right), Founder and CEO of Revector.
2016 CTO OF THE YEAR - USA & TEXTILES Albany International Corp. is a global company that fulfils a key role in advanced textiles and materials processing. Founded in 1895, its products and technologies have helped to make paper smoother, tissue softer, and aircraft engines lighter. In addition, Albany International trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AIN and is a component of the Standard & Poor’s SmallCap 600 and Russell 2000 Indices.
rom its headquarters in Rochester, New Hampshire, Albany International operates 22 plants across ten countries, and employs approximately 4,400 people worldwide. Robert Hansen, the Senior Vice President of Corporate R&D and Chief Technology Officer, describes the different facets of the corporation. “Albany International has two core businesses: the Machine Clothing segment is the world’s leading producer of custom-designed fabrics and belts essential to production in the paper, nonwovens, and other process industries. Meanwhile, Albany Engineered Composites (AEC) is a rapidly growing supplier of well-engineered composite parts for the aerospace industry.” With such a wide-ranging and multi-faceted business plan, Robert Hansen’s own responsibilities are equally broad. “[These] have included the management of Intellectual Property, from 2006 until 2015, the management of all of our Research and Development activities within the Machine Clothing segment, and management of all of our global product management. I am the holder of numerous patents, and am also a member of a number of global R&D organizations. “We began our new journey by qualifying and quantifying the key engineering factors of our best products to ensure that we can effectively target and confirm the necessary engineering factors in order to develop truly world-class products. This benchmarking gives us a firm foundation in order to develop key new technologies, and saves us time in re-working new concepts in order to fulfil our customer’s key requirements. “We also continually ask our customers what would bring them increased value, and match that with the
requirements necessary for our new products. Only then, by providing value both to our customers and our shareholders, will we be successful.
“The key to this success is to not waver from truly new and exciting concepts, and have the ability and foresight to kill those projects that do not fulfil our goals. The final execution of the project, and delivery of new successful products to our customers, never fails to leave us all fulfilled and motivated.” The development of new technologies represents an important keystone within Albany International’s product development strategy, but Robert Hansen takes this in his stride. “Careful management and a constant review of which technologies can really bring value to both our customers as well as ourselves is a must, as the temptation to delve into ‘sexy’ and interesting new technologies can overwhelm an R&D organization, and stifle the focus on making things and moving forward to produce value added products. The danger can be that our R&D becomes more of a ‘university’, and less of a focused organization of product development.” The decision to move to a more de-centralized R&D certainly aided in this. It had been product line focused since its inception, and had served Albany well in allowing them to remain product leaders within the market. However, to counter the possibility of having evolutionary product developments within their various markets and to avoid missing opportunities to provide common product platforms shared within all of our various market segments, change was needed.
As such, Robert helped to create a global organization consisting of global product management leaders, as well as independent technology leaders, who were experts within their respective technology. “This allowed synergy between the two organizations and has resulted in providing new, state-of-the-art products that are shared within all of our product portfolio. Utilization of Stage Gate principles, along with empowerment and the focus on ‘making things’ that allows fast failure and fast learning has driven our progress.” Being the product leader within their markets certainly comes with its fair share of challenges, which Robert is more than willing to address. “We are always committed to retaining our status as the product leader in our markets. Continuous investment in new technologies that bring value to customers is what keeps us from falling into the ‘commodity trap’. Product focus and avoidance of fear has been my charter – the best in the business will always have loyal customers.” Albany’s drive to keep ahead of the curve has enabled them to develop new ways of participating with key suppliers, universities, and global R&D organizations in order to keep up with the newest developments. “By assigning technology leaders to represent us within our key platform technologies, we reduce confusion and increase focus by keeping the number of people to a minimum, increasing the ease of communication within our organization. And, by having very qualified and specialized technology leaders, we can quickly identify and focus on truly value added technologies.” The challenge of maintaining such a leading presence in so many different industries might seem daunting enough, but they are by no means lost on Robert, who places great faith in his team and their joint ability to provide the leading service that their clients expect.
“Very effective teams are necessary in order to achieve our goals, and I have been able to recognize talent and build a team with effective leaders and experts, who all work together synergistically. “I also have been able to minimize wasted time and nonvalue added activities, keeping the teams focused on the projects. My global experience, language skills, and vision for the product have been a great help to my colleagues, who are the real engine for novelty and execution. Empowerment and the avoidance of micro-management are the keys to keep the teams motivated. “As our market matures, I am maturing with it. I hope to continue to provide leadership to all of our teams and continue to grow in our company’s success. We plan to keep our position as the product leader in all markets we serve, as well as continue our expansion into aerospace, engineered fabrics, and other new markets that fit our new core technologies.”
Company: Albany International Corp. Email: Rob.firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +1 (503) 799-7786 Web Address: www.albint.com Address: 216 Airport Drive* Rochester, NH 03867 USA
HOW THE RISE OF ROBOTIC CARS WILL TRANSFORM THE AD INDUSTRY By Johannes Heinze, managing director EMEA at AppLovin
ord forecasts that in just five years we’ll be seeing selfdriving cars on roads across the UK and USA. Business Insider UK goes for a more punchy prediction, saying that by 2020 there will be ten million self-driving cars on roads. Global auto and tech giants such as Google, Uber, Ford and Volkswagen are gearing up for a battle for drivers, passenger attention and marketing revenue. This article explores how the rise of autonomous vehicles will permanently change the global ad industry by heralding the demise of outdoor display ads and generating substantial new revenue streams for mobile app brands. Google is arguably in pole position in the race to dominate the world of self-driving car technology. The company's tech experience gained from projects in robotics, drones and software helps to drive its ambitious autonomous vehicle program. But why are they even tackling this project? At heart, Google is still an advertising company- and it is on a focused mission
to reach as many consumer eyeballs as is technologically possible. With millions of eyes off the road, this creates a world of opportunity for passengers, where much more mobile app content like games, movies and news will be consumed on mobile devices. Connected cars to kill the radio star So you think that video killed the radio star in the 80s? Not quite. Fast forward a few decades and mighty streaming mobile apps like Apple Music and Spotify have decimated the bottom lines of many a commercial network. It’s been forecast that about 380 million connected cars will be on roads by 2021, which will likely knock the last nail in the coffin for traditional radio. If music streaming apps were successful at luring millions of radio listeners, self-driving cars and the accompanying new scores of passengers will not just listen to music, but they’ll also have the opportunity to binge watch video content and play video games whilst on route to their destinations. Brands and media agencies will have a huge opportunity to attract, retain and engage with consumers thanks to the increased free time self-driving cars will give them. Outdoor display ads will evolve or die out When self-driving vehicles are on the road drivers won’t be paying as much attention to billboards as they do now. Outdoor display ads will have to change radically to ensure they're not just communicating a single marketing message; they’ll need to be much smarter, interactive and targeted. One company which is ahead of the curve in outdoor advertising is Clear Channel America, which recently partnered with major US telcos such as AT&T to monitor consumer travel behavior and habits via smart phones. It has been trialing a data and analytics-driven platform called Radar, which is a new way for billboards to see who’s driving and to deliver data to advertisers. Radar outdoor ads track smartphones as they pass
and capture information about traffic patterns, which in turn inform profile demographics. Although Radar can’t identify typical data like age or sex, it can determine certain patterns. For example, Radar can spot travel patterns such as routes taken by, say, football mums, and deliver bespoke outdoor advertisements to these audiences. Media agencies need to start increasing investment in smart outdoor advertising otherwise the current, traditional, one-directional billboards will go the way of the dodo. Mobile apps to rule the roost for in-car entertainment The clear winners of the extra consumer attention afforded by autonomous vehicles will be mobile apps. Venture Beat reports the app economy is in rude health and it is the fastest growing global economy in the world, with consumers spending 90 percent of their time on mobile apps versus the web. More time spent on apps means more eyeballs for advertisers, publishers and developers. In addition to this, mobile revenues peak during rush hours as connected vehicles and on-demand apps like Hailo and Uber create a treasure trove of opportunity for brands. What’s more, connected self-driving cars will deliver captive audiences for marketers because you can’t get more captive than being in a self-piloting vehicle. Conclusion Autonomous vehicles will lead to more convenience and increased safety for passengers, and their prevalence will send shock waves across countless industries, opening up entirely new opportunities for advertisers. The global ad industry itself will undoubtedly go through a transitional period where it will snap up consumer attention from older ad formats to further increase investment in mobile marketing. In a few decades’ time we could all be reminiscing about how autonomous cars were the beginning of the end for display ads, how it killed radio, and how it was responsible for a massive explosion of investment in mobile app marketing.
Google self-driving car prototype
ARE DRONES REALLY THE FUTURE? More than two thirds of construction businesses either already use or predict potential use of drones in their industry, new research shows.
The firm has also today launched a new report to help businesses understand the legal issues they should be aware of when using drones.
New online research, published in July, reveals the extent to which drones are taking off in the construction industry, despite poor knowledge of some of the rules surrounding their use.
David Savage, Partner at Charles Russell Speechlys, said, “construction companies are increasingly using drones to conduct aerial surveys of large and hard-to-reach sites. They are also being used to monitor the activities of staff and sub-contractors on sites to ensure compliance with health and safety laws. This can help save construction companies a significant amount of time and money.
et the rise of drones could leave many construction businesses exposed as two in five say they don’t know the rules and regulations surrounding their use. Law firm Charles Russell Speechlys calls for greater clarity in drone law to help businesses realise the benefits, while managing risk.
Over two in three decision makers at construction businesses (70%) say the technology is either already in use in their industry, or will be in the future, according to the research, carried out by YouGov on behalf of law firm Charles Russell Speechlys. Worryingly, despite their growing prevalence, two in five (40%) of those with an opinion on future use of drones in the construction industry say they lack knowledge about the rules and regulations surrounding their use, such as in relation to security, privacy, aerial trespassing and personal responsibility. For example, 42% said they do not understand the damage that drones can inflict, for example on buildings. The use and understanding of drones within the construction industry is in line with the wider views of businesses across a variety of sectors, according to Charles Russell Speechlys’ research. In total, 34% of senior decision makers across businesses in Great Britain said drones are either already in use in their industry, or will be in the future, and on average, 18% of those with an opinion on future drone use in their industry said that they lack knowledge around some of the rules and regulations surrounding the technology. In response to the findings, Charles Russell Speechlys is calling for greater clarity and education surrounding drone law, to help businesses realise the benefits of the technology, without exposing themselves to risk.
“However, many companies using drones in this clearly do not know that they are in danger of violating the privacy rights of individuals whose images are being captured by the technology. Under current data protection law, it would be illegal to use drones to monitor employees or subcontractors without informing them of how the data would be used and stored. “But it’s no surprise that businesses do not understand the rules and regulations around drones, as there is currently no clear legal framework to help them. This report highlights the need for government to act to clarify the law on drones as their use becomes more ubiquitous by both consumers and businesses, including those in the construction sector.”
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Published on Aug 25, 2016