Tag: mobile

EMEA companies put IT budgets to good use

poundsResearch from CA Technologies has revealed that companies in EMEA are increasingly switching their IT budgets from dull, routine maintenance towards designing projects that enable revenue-generating services. The CA Technologies Channel Index 2013 found that EMEA partners spend 34 percent of their time helping consumers with such projects rather than maintenance. However, only 18 percent of the IT spend in Britain was devoted to new revenue-generating services.

“IT projects are being driven by the need for businesses to innovate for growth, while creating new ways to serve customers. And today’s IT director is expected to be the driver of these efforts,” said Sean McCarry, Senior Director, CA Technologies. “Our solutions and partner programmes equip partners with the tools they need to help their customers fuel innovation and drive growth. The Channel Index 2013 shows just how far IT departments and channel partners have come on this journey.”

Chris Gabriel, VP of Solutions Management at Logicalis Group, pointed out that the shift results in less operational waste, allowing IT departments to increase their participation in productive, revenue-generating fields.

“CIOs now see their role as Chief Innovation Officer, and they have recognised that their business value isn’t in managing IT infrastructure, but delivering new IT enabled business experiences,” he said.

The index revealed that 83 percent of surveyed partners in EMEA expect to see increased spending on enterprise mobility over the next year and almost all recognise that the rapid adoption of mobility creates opportunities to help grow their business. Among UK partners, this figure rose to 95 percent.

Cloud computing was identified by CA Technologies partners as the second priority for their customers’ IT investments. Nearly two thirds of the partners surveyed predicted an increase in cloud computing spending over the next year. In the UK, a significant 81 percent of partners expected increases.

PrePay pops up EE NFC payments

oldmastercardTelco Everything Everywhere (EE) has announced its Cash on Tap service, or NFC payments through a mobile app, and it is largely built by European company PrePay Solutions.

PrePay will be offering e-Money issuing, BIN sponsorship, and transaction processing for Cash on Tap, supported through a proprietary app service that lets the app and NFC phone act as a digital wallet.

Payment options include NFC payments through MasterCard PayPass, online payments with a virtual MasterCard, storing credit and debit card details, loading funds from bank transfer, debit and credit cards, as well as customer balance enquiry and transaction history.

Users will be able to use their mobiles for contactless payments as well.

EE customers will be able to get the app through Google Play, though it only works on a select number of 4G handsets.

PrePay MD Ray Brash said there’s been a lot of anticipation for proper digital mobile payments, and this development makes it a reality for the first time in the UK.

Brits don’t care about 4G

PhoneCompanies hoping to make big bucks on the back of 4G might be a bit upset to discover that brits don’t really care about the technology.

YouGov SixthSense conducted a survey which found consumers wanted the ease and speed provided by a 4G connection, but most did not know enough about it to get excited.

Of the 1,456 British adults surveyed, more than half said they were looking to surf the web at speeds nearer to those at home, and over a third wanted their maps applications to load more quickly.

While 80 percent said that they were aware of 4G, only 21 percent said they were confident in knowing the benefits it actually holds for them.

Almost half  said they had a ‘vague understanding’ of what it was, with one in three admitting they had ‘no idea’.

The cross sample was also concerned about the extra cost of 4G, with the average increase in costs currently standing at £14.70 per month.

Russell Feldman, Technology & Telecoms Director at YouGov said the survey highlighted the challenges faced by network providers in making customers interested in 4G access.

Only 23 percent claimed to be actually excited by the prospect of using it, and one in three say none of 4G’s features held any interest for them, he said.

This means that consumers will be wary at the thought of the cost of upgrading their contracts so their phones and tablets qualify to connect to the improved service, and 66 pe cent said they were reluctant to shell out money on new devices.

It will make it harder for O2, for example, to have 98 percent of the population on 4G up to two years before Ofcom’s 2017 deadline.

Fieldman said that networks need to be savvy when selling it to consumers showing not just that it exists but also what it does. Take-up is likely to be a slow burn as consumers hold off making decisions until they see it in action, he added.

4G was officially launched in the UK during August last year after Ofcom gave EE, owner of Orange and T-Mobile, the go ahead to create fourth-generation mobile services.

Last week it was announced that the speed of 4G connections through EE would rise to 30Mbps, compared to the average speed of 12Mbps.

Mobile ad spending on the up

SmartphonesIn the UK alone, it’s predicted the amount spent on mobile advertising will increase by 90 percent in 2013 to reach £1.6 billion according to a report from eMarketer.

Last year the amount spent on mobile advertising was a comparatively tiny £526 million.Because mobile and tablet adoption rates are so high in the UK, advertisers have woken up to the necessity of spending big on the platform.

Digital ad spending – including traditional online and mobile platforms – will also be up from the same time last year, reaching £6.1 billion in 2013, or a 12 percent increase. Spending on digital ads could be as high as £8 billion by 2017, the firm predicts.

Right now advertisers who investing in search, while eMarketer expects display ad spending will make up a quarter of expenditure in 2013, although increased adoption of video advertising should contribute to further growth. Mobile users can expect to be thoroughly annoyed by video advertising more and more in the coming years – considering

All media advertising should reach £13.98 billion this year, eMarketer forecasts, or an increase of 3.7 percent from the previous year. Although the company notes the poor economic backdrop has slowed growth, the strength of the industry –  backed by online and mobile ad investments – kept it healthy. Digital advertising counted for the biggest chunk of all media spending. Major sporting events such as last year’s Olympics also put the advertising industry onto a solid course for 2013 and are expected to help again in 2014 with the World Cup and Winter Olympics.

Demand for mobile gear outpaces support

SmartphonesSkyrocketing demand for mobile devices in the workplace seems to be putting too much pressure on IT professionals and support staff. According to a LANDesk Software survey, 83 percent of end-users want to create service desk incidents or requests using their mobile device. However, only 24 percent are able to access self-service systems using mobile gear because their companies don’t have the technology to support it.

BYOD and the consumerization of IT are clearly causing a plethora of issues. The survey found that many employers are simply failing to keep up with demand for effective support for mobile gear. If they fail to do so, the potential benefits of BYOD and mobile tech in general could be limited. Although access by mobile devices remains limited, 86 percent of respondents said they have access to self-service IT support via their PCs.

‘‘Mobile devices have become so integral to how employees work that it’s worrying to see so few businesses enable employees to report IT problems via mobile devices. Businesses will find their employees more willing to embrace services if the way they are requested goes hand in hand with the way they work, ’’ said Ian Aitchison, Director of Product Management, LANDesk. “As employees evolve and adopt new technologies to support them in their work, businesses are well advised to support these technologies to maintain productivity levels and streamline interactions between the employee and the service desk.’’

The research also covered 10,000 IT professionals, who said they have seen some positive results from desktop PC self-service, despite limited availability of mobile support. The majority said self-service helped reduce call volumes and improve user experience. Of those who worked in organizations without a self-service programme, 83 percent said they plan to implement it and 47 percent already have a rollout plan.

‘BadNews’ malware family infiltrates Google Play Store

dandroidLookout has unearthed a new family of malware it is dubbing BadNews – which has emerged in the Google Play Store for Android devices.

According to Lookout’s research, BadNews poses as an aggressive ad network – however, it floods the user with application install prompts and brings up fake news, all with the agenda of pushing more malware and affiliated apps.

In its early days, Android in particular was dismissed by critics as being unreliable on the security front thanks to the open access nature of the OS. The Play Store, or Android Market as it was known, did occasionally sport dodgy applications that would mimic other popular apps but were anything but.

BadNews, Lookout says, is significant because it has managed to distribute itself so far and wide – using a server to delay malicious behaviour. The security company has let Google know about the malware, and all developer accounts associated with BadNews have been suspended and are being investigated.

BadNews and its affiliated could have been downloaded as many as 9 million times. Not all apps that have been compromised had malicious code in them, but BadNews, LookOut says, puts a “significant number” of users at risk.

The malware also threatens to leak sensitive information such as phone numbers and IMEI codes.

It is a reminder that as smart device use becomes more widespread, so will malicious coders targeting these devices. While at one time mobile security features were panned by some corners, it can’t hurt to have a legitimate piece of antivirus software installed on your phone and to only download trusted applications, as malicious coders will increasingly target the etailing and digital services space.

Telcos reap rewards in Latin America

nationalcongressWhile us Brits may shake our fists cursing at the telecom industry at large – swearing one day we’ll move to GiffGaff – in Latin America, telecoms is doing a world of good economically and socially, at least according to a report from industry analyst Ovum.

Ovum which has joined AHCIET to publish the AHCIET-Ovum Observatory of Telecoms Indicators in Latin America – or AOOTILA for short. As much of the world sank into economic doldrums in 2008, from then up to 2011 there has been overall growth in fixed and mobile internet connections by 72 and 41 percent respectively, according to the report.

Jobs, too, have enjoyed significant growth throughout the region. Workers employed by operators have increased by almost 60 percent – marking almost a quarter of a million jobs. Brazil and Nicaragua saw their telco workforce double, and Guetamala almost managed the same.

Telecom companies are increasing their capital investment – at roughly 28 percent overall- because they’re focusing on deploying access infrastructure. Without the correct infrastructure they are missing a trick on selling digital services, so it’s in their best interest.

In 2009, a year on from the onset of the global recession, Ovum noted that growing demand for fixed and mobile broadband has meant continuously strong investment – while capex grew by 28 percent on average to pass $22 trillion in 2011. Falling prices of entry level tariffs are helping to boost connectivity, too.

AHCIET secretary general Pablo Bello said that telcos are emerging in their influence and they do have a role to play in tackling poverty.

“It is time for countries to seriously consider how much faster we could close the digital divide and remove the regulatory moorings that are still hindering telecoms growth and equitable access to advanced services,” Bello said. “Our hard data shows that countries which have made the most progress are those where key players recognise the need for public-private cooperation with convergent public policies, regulations and taxation that encourage investment”.

“There are no magic spells to close the digital divide,” Bello said. “The key is to invest intensively in next-generation access networks and to educate on the sophisticated uses of digital connectivity, a challenge facing all participants”.

Sophos axes jobs

axeSophos is rumoured to be grinding the axe for another round of job cuts.

According to The Next Web around 150 people will be handed their pink slips as the company moves to restructure and focus on its highest growing and strategic business arms.

Although Sophos would not confirm the number, it hinted that the rumours were more than a whisper with a spokesman telling the Next Web that it was in discussion with those affected employees. It said some could also be given a lifeline and shifted into other roles.

“While it is difficult to make any reductions in our team, we are confident these actions will help to drive our long-term success, and allow us to drive greater value for our customers and partners,” Sophos said in an earlier statement.

It follows a similar round of job cuts in September last year, when 35 employees were expected to lose their jobs.

The axe grinding comes as Sophos announced job cuts earlier this year.

Brits fail to secure their mobile devices

ipad3Despite many of us treasuring our mobile devices, we’re not taking precautions to keep them, and their content safe, a study has found.

In its latest report Norton by Symantec Brits are now living various aspects of their work, social and online lives through their mobile devices, surfing online, downloading apps and making payments through them.

In fact we’re so attached to our mobiles that 40 percent of those queried admitted that they could never give up their mobile device, and close to a quarter of adults even indicated that it would be one of the top two personal items they would save if their house was on fire.

A large majority – 63 percent – of mobile users indicated they also stored and access sensitive information on their mobile devices. However, they don’t seem to be guarding this with their lives with almost a half admitting to not using a password to help protect their personal data.

Norton said that this could prove detrimental in the event of theft or loss, giving thieves “a treasure trove of personal information” stored on the device, which can potentially be accessed. This includes personal emails, which could pave a potential gateway to other sensitive information such as work correspondence and documents, passwords for other online accounts, and bank statements.

The study also reveals that losing a mobile device is common, costly and stressful for consumers.

Around one in four adults have had a mobile device lost or stolen, costing individuals an average of £73 for the replacement or temporary use of a mobile phone, and double the money to replace a tablet.

However, it’s not security that comes to their minds when they lose a mobile phone with 39 percent of those asked claiming they were most worried about incurring costly bills due to telephone calls.

And it seems our keenness to get online is also letting us down with over a third
admitting to not always downloading applications from trustworthy sources, and 28 percent claiming that they do not use secure payment methods when making purchases from their mobile device, leaving their sensitive information such as credit card details vulnerable.

According to the survey, seven percent of UK mobile users have already fallen victim to mobile cybercrime.

Most adults also admitted to using free or unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots, and half of them were concerned about the potential risks of using free or unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots, but yet still go ahead.

Just over a third said they used free public Wi-Fi spots to check their personal emails and 16 percent of respondents said they accessed their bank details online through free, unsecured Wi-Fi connections, exposing their sensitive financial details to mobile sniffers.

CPU scammer jailed for 10 more years

JasbinderA criminal who was running a multi million pound scam on the back of mobile phone and CPU sales has received a further 10 years in prison for failing to pay a £14 million confiscation order, HMRC has said.

In a statement, HMRC reported Jasbinder Bedesha was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison in 2008 for his role in a missing trader VAT fraud. Mobile phones and CPUs would be imported mostly from Dubai, via Europe, into the UK, and then be sold on through other companies – but with VAT added. Once they were sold on several times they would be exported back to Europe, so the conspiracy could then claim back VAT credit on the purchase of goods. This, of course, was never paid to begin with.

Cash from the scam was laundered through companies in Dubai and Spain before dividing the profits.

Assistant director of criminal investigation for HMRC, Dave Cowie, said in a statement the further ten years shows revenue and customs’ muscle, that it will “pursue every avenue to return the proceeds of crime to the nation or defendants will face severe consequences”.

He said HMRC will continue its investigations to find the missing cash.

This was a planned and “ruthless” attack, Cowie said, to steal “vast amounts of public money”.

“They enjoyed extravagant lifestyles, exclusive homes, performance cars and designer jewellery,” Cowie said, “ultimately at the expense of law abiding tax payers”.

 

Logitech axes staff

axeLogitech’s newly appointed CEO is making his position known, grinding the axe and getting the pink slips ready.

In an announcement today the peripheral company has said that it will be cutting approximately 140 positions, around five percent of its worldwide non-direct-labour workforce.

Bracken P. Darrell, who look over the head honcho job at Logitech last month said the chops were as a result of the company taking on an “organisational alignment” and making “strategic priorities” in a bid to make cost savings of approximately $16 to $18 million in operating costs in Fiscal Year 2014.

These include increasing focus on mobility products, improving profitability in PC-related products and enhancing global operational efficiencies.

The axe wielder said the job cuts would help with the new plan by “delivering additional cost savings that will contribute to improved profitability”.

Logitech is trying to turn around its flagging business which has faced increasing competition from the smartphone and tablet market.

Last month the company also announced that it would be flogging its Harmony remote business unit following a “disappointing quarter”.

IBM expands its mobile plans

next-years-mainframe-model-comes-in-nearly-half-the-spaceBiggish Blue has revamped its mobile products for businesses by merging all its mobile tools into a portfolio dubbed MobileFirst.

The idea is to provide a package for corporations looking to turn mobile screens into revenue drivers.

IBM’s mobile strategy has been becoming more elaborate after realising that mobile enterprise could become the equivalent of its e-business, analytics and smarter planet efforts. The company has started mixing software and services together to pitch its mobile wares.

In a statement, IBM said that enterprises are leaving billions of dollars on the table by not transforming fast enough to take advantage of mobility. It plans to double its investment in mobile in 2013 compared to 2012.

IBM’s MobileFirst Platform includes its Worklight product, which is development tool, single sign-on and Rational testing tools for apps. To reassure companies about BYOD policies, MobileFirst includes a Security product which scans vulnerabilities at the app level on mobile operating systems. The security tools are designed to scan and enforce policies for internal and third party mobile apps.

There is also MobileFirst Management which is an update to EndPoint Manager to support bring your own device programs with additional security tools. This targets all screens from the desktop to the smartphone with policies by device.

Finally there is MobileFirst Analytics which is an expansion of its Tealeaf CX Mobile tools to model customer behaviour on multiple screens.

On the services side, Biggish Blue is rebranding a design unit under the MobileFirst moniker. The design and strategy services consist of workshops as well as IBM Interactive user interface expertise. IBM will offer development, network and integration services.

According to the company, its cunning plan is to target its key verticals such as retail with point-of-sale applications, healthcare and transportation.

Undercover report shows shops shift Samsung, Samsung, Samsung

wifepresRetailers and salespeople in the UK prefer to recommend Samsung devices over other brands because they get a better commission off the sale, an analyst outfit claims.

Researchers from Informa Telecoms and Media went undercover to a variety of large British retailers and found that salespeople were recommending Samsung’s Galaxy S3 and Note 2 more than other devices.

Informa’s Julian Jest said that, despite the fact that Apple, Nokia and HTC had released newer handsets, the sales people were not even mentioning them to customers.

One store showed off the Galaxy SIII and the Galaxy Note II, despite having been on the market longer than the latest handsets from Apple, Nokia and HTC.

Apple would be gutted as it had spent a fortune on an in-store campaign at some of these stores and it still could not get sales people to recommend its iPhone 5.

The researchers visited John Lewis, Everything Everywhere, O2, 3, Maplins, PC World, Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4U. The mystery shoppers scored manufacturers based on whether they were advertised in the store window or in-store. They then asked a sales assistant to recommend three smartphones or tablets.

While Apple and Samsung were just as likely to be promoted by advertising in the store or the shop window, sales assistants were far more likely to recommend Samsung.

Informa said in a statement it was “likely that sales assistants see the Samsung devices as a safe bet to earn greater commissions”.

Speaking to Channel EYE  Jest said  Samsung devices have been extremely well received by the consumer market, so sales assistants naturally assumed that the Mystery Shopper would likewise be satisfied with a Samsung product.