1. Articles in category: Digital Services

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    1. How robotic process automation threatens workers today

      IT professionals may or may not believe that robotic process automation (RPA) is a threat to their long-term livelihoods, but they’re not crazy about it might do to their near-term workloads. Derek Toone, managing director at outsourcing consultancy Alsbridge, reports seeing push-back from IT groups based not on a fear of job loss, but rather on the belief that RPA represents an additional, burdensome project that will stretch resources, create extra work and disrupt the enterprise.

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    2. 2016 tech forecast shows that when China sneezes, the world catches a cold

      Worldwide growth of tech goods is slowing in 2016, thanks in no small part to a slowdown in China. That’s the forecast from a key research analyst in advance of the 2016 International CES. In 2016, global tech spending is expected to be at $950 billion, down 2 percent from a year ago, owing to weakness in China and other regions, as well as a strong dollar. Unfortunately, China is expected to grow only 6.5 percent in 2016, down considerably from years past, and down from its 7 percent growth in 2015. 

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    3. It’s a Brand-New Year — Why Fear the Future?

      Researchers are projecting that roles from chefs to bookkeepers to judges will soon be filled by robot laborers. By 2035, up to 35 percent of jobs could be done by machines. Professions requiring creativity and empathy might seem safe, but even those are up for grabs. Data entry and customer service roles are highly likely to disappear. Sure, it sounds scary, but is the future really so bleak? In fact, this picture is missing a crucial component: The age of automation will bring plenty of new jobs and maximize efficiency for humans in existing roles.

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    4. New research shows email service providers are in serious trouble

      We can’t say it enough. Email marketing remains the leading channel for marketer ROI and is the preferred channel for customers to hear from their favorite brands. According to recent VB Insight research, personalized messaging is the leading indicator as to why email is so successful. And that’s exactly why some of the biggest email service providers (ESPs) could be in big trouble.

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    5. Are you ready to become a digital citizen?

      Estonia, home of the international e-residency, is the current head of the D5 “group of the world’s most digitally advanced nations” and is hosting this year’s conference right now in the capital Tallinn. The dream across the world, but maybe particularly in the D5 – which also includes the UK, South Korea, New Zealand and Israel – is that eventually all citizens will prefer using digital services to paper ones.

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    6. 2016 Will Be The Year Of The Sales Stack

      There are myriad tools that promise to boost sales performance, but the mindset of the salesperson is equally, if not more, important; the two work hand in hand in determining success. Embracing technology is one thing. The biggest challenge for salespeople will be navigating all the tools available and integrating them into a unified solution. An effective sales stack can’t consist of a haphazard group of disparate tools. Salespeople must develop a sales process that leverages their stack. This process can’t be purchased from an outside supplier. To build a successful sales stack, salespeople must address the following ...

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    7. Mobile video ad spending triples in 2015, and that’s just the beginning

      Mobile video has tons of momentum. It more than doubled from 2013 ($720 million) to 2014 ($1.5 billion) and is predicted to reach $6 billion by 2018, which would put it at about half of all online video spending. Those are huge figures, and what’s amazing is that they may be way too conservative.  A new study by AppLovin and AppsFlyer, mobile marketing and mobile attribution companies, examines data from over one billion devices worldwide and found spending on mobile video ads has actually grown from 23 percent of mobile ad spending to a whopping 66 percent of ...

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    8. Righteous ROI: How do you know marketing automation is paying off?

      How do marketers know if their marketing automation investment is paying off? It’s a good question, with a quantifiable answer: you’ll be able to show them the money. At its core, marketing automation is about attracting, acquiring, and growing customers. But unlike other awareness-generating aspects of brand development, nurturing is a funnel-driven process of education with a purpose. As a framework, envision ROI as being built on a trio of pillars: 1) New revenue 2) Reactivated revenue 3) Expansion and retention revenue

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    9. Easily Measure The Profitability Of Your Consumer Subscription Business

      We are currently witnessing a shift in business models, as many consumer tech companies move from transactional models in favor of subscription-based ones. YouTube is launching an ad-free, subscription-based service. Apple recently launched a streaming music service for $10/month. Microsoft just bundled its popular consumer products into a $199/month offering as cloud services have become a critical part of the company’s turnaround strategy.

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    10. How Applebee's uses gamification to retain staff, boost sales

      Retaining staff and preventing constant turnover are two of the most significant challenges in the restaurant business. For the second largest franchisee of Applebee's restaurants, turnover was a costly problem. At one point, the franchisee experienced 120 percent annual turnover, and it cost $400 to $10,000 to replace individual employees, depending on seniority. The franchisee also didn't have any sort of modern rewards and recognition program to motivate its largely millennial employee base.

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    11. Can Entrepreneurs Succeed In Today’s On-Demand World?

      Intuit recently released an eye-opening new survey reporting that there are currently 3.2 million American workers who participate in the on-demand economy. By 2020, it’s estimated that there will be almost 8 million of these on-demand workers. Many (including Intuit) praise this on-demand movement as supporting a “new class of entrepreneur,” giving workers the tools they need to build their own businesses to work when they want and how often they want.

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    12. CIO seeks to build the ‘killer app’ for logistics

      It didn't take long for Tim Kutz to shake things up at Echo Global Logistics. Within a month of joining the freight broker as CIO in May, he moved the IT managers out of their offices and into an open seating arrangement. The move was as much a mind game as it was a practical solution to foster better collaboration. Kutz, who typically arrives at the company's Chicago office at 6:30 a.m. and doesn't leave until 6:30 p.m., wanted his colleagues to see his work ethic.

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    13. Software companies booming: we ain't afraid of no cloud

      There has been some trepidation about the fate of the software industry as it makes its shift from up-front licensing fees to subscription-based cloud models.It seems those fears can be put to rest. A recent analysis of 100 software vendors shows that over the past 12 months, they have seen the largest revenue gains since the recession of 2008 -- with even greater acceleration in topline growth.

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    14. Technology And Data Are Spurring A Clash Of Travel Titans

      There’s no way to put this gently, so here it goes: The rapid advancement in digital technology is transforming the cozy world of travel retail into an all-out war for customers. And that’s a good thing for you and me as travelers, because it will ultimately mean more selection, better customization and, potentially, lower prices.

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    15. Think you're agile? You're probably wrong

      Businesses worldwide overestimate their agility and need to educate themselves on the benefits of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings, according to the Oracle Cloud Agility study released today by Oracle. "This study shows there is something of a disconnect between the respondents' perception of the business in general and the actual reality of their IT infrastructure," says Robert Shimp, group vice president, Oracle. While a majority of businesses believe they are agile, many organizations cannot flexibly manage workloads or rapidly develop, test and launch new applications, leaving them poorly prepared to deal with competitive threats.

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    16. 6 Reasons Hardware Is The New Software

      For many years, hardware has lagged behind software because of price, specialization, and the speed of innovation. Recently though, more startups are taking up the challenge thanks to the Internet of Things. The strongest startups have mitigated those risks through attentive, quick turn manufacturers, robust over-the-air update systems, and comprehensive tools used to know exactly what’s happening across data exchanges. The gap between hardware and software development is closing and the market is ripe for connected devices to take the market by storm.

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    17. Tech Founders Share Plans for Surviving the Bubble Burst

      How screwed are you if the frothy tech market turns sour? There are as many answers as people to ask. But that’s the question on everyone’s mind since last week’s China-induced market meltdown that hammered tech stocks, which continued Monday morning. Companies ranging from Twitter to Alibaba dipped below their IPO prices. Investor Bill Gurley from the venture firm Benchmark tweeted a series of warnings to startup founders, telling them to prepare for leaner periods when profits (egads!) will once again matter more than growth.

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    18. China distorts smartphone market as sales slow

      Smartphone sales have slowed, according to Gartner’s latest market share data. Gartner said Apple has been gaining on rival Samsung. Despite the launch of new S6 models, Samsung's premium phones continued to be challenged by Apple's large-screen iPhones. Samsung’s market share declined by 4.3 percentage points in the second quarter of 2015 compared with 2Q14, while Apple recorded strong iPhone replacements in both emerging and mature markets, particularly in China.

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    19. Eastern vs. Western Business Models

      We see transaction-based business models finding more success in the East than free-with-advertising models. One of the more interesting things I’ve been observing in our global research is how the success of varying business models is differing in certain regions as it relates to the consumer Internet. What has stood out to me in particular is how free services subsidized by ads do not seem to work well in markets like China and India. Jenny Lee, from GGV Capital, mentioned this point in a recent interview.

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    20. Alibaba may stoke US paranoia with cloud move

      US disdain for Huawei over cyberspying allegations hasn't been extended to fellow Chinese peer Alibaba, but will the latter stir up similar concerns as it makes aggressive moves into the cloud? Speaking in a tone that presumed Huawei's involvement in cyberspying activities, US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice noted that after China's plans to use Huawei as a Trojan Horse for espionage failed, it learnt the error of its ways and changed its approach, resulting in the success of Alibaba's global operations.

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    21. Lenovo to slash 3,200 jobs after it fails to hit first fiscal quarter targets

      Following a disappointing fiscal first quarter this year, Chinese PC and mobile device maker Lenovo said it would cut 10 percent of its non-manufacturing positions as part of a $650 million cost-cutting program — affecting 3,200 jobs in total. The company’s net income declined 51 percent year-over-year to $105 million, even though its global PC market share rose to a record high of 20.6 percent.

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