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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

SFSF & Gartner Joint Seminar - Talent Trends and Workplace 2020 (3)

SFSF & Gartner Joint Seminar - Talent Trends and Workplace 2020 (2)

SFSF & Gartner Joint Seminar - Talent Trends and Workplace 2020 (1)

Why aren’t more business leaders online?

Why aren't more business leaders online?

Anyone who thinks new technology isn't going to keep changing the world has got their head in the sand. We are seeing progress every day online, and businesses are doing their level best to keep up and get ahead.

However, when you get to the very top of companies, there is a surprising lethargy about using the online tools already available: social media. Embracing social media isn't just a bit of fun, it is a vital way to communicate, keep your ear to the ground and improve your business.

So why are only 16% of CEOs currently participating in social media? IBM's 2012 Global CEO Study found that most CEOs are clearly not taking social media seriously. Only one of more than 1,700 respondents had their own blog! Some are on LinkedIn, fewer on Twitter and even less on Facebook, Google+ and elsewhere on the web.

The study indicated that within five years social media will be the number two way to engage with customers (after face-to-face personal interaction). That's a step in the right direction, but why wait five years? The internet will have changed all over again by then, and business is in danger of being left behind.

It isn't just CEOs that can make the most of social media. Where possible, everyone within a company should be engaged in what is happening elsewhere within their business, and in the wider world. Social media is a great way to do this. Also, it can furnish a spirit of community, not least amongst global, widespread companies.

Nevertheless, like all other areas of business, CEOs have the opportunity to set the bar. By ignoring social networks, they are potentially missing a trick.

There are lots of business leaders utilising social media, and yours truly is only too happy to be counted among them. But the beauty of the web is that there is plenty of room for everyone. Does anybody else want to join the party? There's only one rule for entry - no ties allowed!

Federal agency to switch to iPhone, drop BlackBerry

Federal agency to switch to iPhone, drop BlackBerry

A Research in Motion (RIM) BlackBerry smartphone handset is reflected in the logo of an Apple iPhone in this illustration picture taken in Lavigny, in this July 21, 2012 file photo. REUTERS-Valentin Flauraud-Files
A Research in Motion (RIM) BlackBerry smartphone handset is reflected in the logo of an Apple iPhone in this illustration picture taken in Lavigny, in this July 21, 2012 file photo. REUTERS-Valentin Flauraud-Files
Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:32pm EDT
(Reuters) - The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) said it will end its contract with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd in favor of Apple Inc's iPhone, dealing a new blow to RIM just months before it launches a vital new device.
The agency said in a solicitation document posted last week that it intends to buy iPhones for more than 17,600 employees - a purchase worth $2.1 million.
The agency said it has relied on RIM for eight years, but the company "can no longer meet the mobile technology needs of the agency."
It also said it analyzed Apple's iOS-based devices and Google Inc's Android operating system and concluded that, for the near term, Apple's iPhone services offer the best technology for the agency because of Apple's tight controls of the hardware platform and operating system.
The agency said the iPhone will be used by a "variety of agency personnel, including, but not limited to, Homeland Security Investigations, Enforcement and Removal Operations and Office of the Principal Legal Advisor employees.
"The iPhone services will allow these individuals to leverage reliable, mobile technology on a secure and manageable platform in furtherance of the agency's mission."
Last week, consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton said it was dropping BlackBerry and switching to iPhone and Android smartphones for its staff of around 25,000.
Analysts said that other businesses and agencies are likely to follow suit especially in light of demand for other smartphones.
"You're going to see this happen more and more," said Ed Snyder, an analyst at Charter Equity Research.
"They still have excellent security ... but if your handsets are a brick that no one wants to use it's going to drag down your business."
RIM has high hopes that its new BB10 smartphone, expected to in early 2013, will compete with iPhones and Android phones. The BB10 will come equipped with a revamped operating system and is aimed at putting an end to a precipitous decline in RIM's market share over the past year and longer.
"Of course, we are disappointed by this decision," RIM vice president of government solutions Paul Lucier said in an emailed statement. "We are working hard to make our new mobile computing platform, BlackBerry 10, meets the future needs of government customers."
RIM said that, after accounting for the ICE move, it had one million government customers in North America.
RIM's advantage has been what industry experts widely describe as superior security and device-management features that have made the BlackBerry appealing to corporate IT managers and a crucial tool for police, government and military use.
But that advantage is waning with the growing number of providers that help companies beef up security on iPhones and Androids and with Apple working on better security on its devices.
"Apple is really addressing security," Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu said, adding that it had improved security with the acquisition of AuthenTec and that it now supports Cisco's VPN.
Wu said RIM's problems were compounded by questions over the company's economic viability.
"Is the company going to be around in the next couple of years?" Wu said.
In addition, he added that "a lot of these enterprises have moved beyond email and voice, on to apps and, with RIM, it's pretty clear that their app ecosystem is very weak."
(Reporting By Nicola Leske in New York. Additional reporting by Sinead Carew; Editing by Peter Galloway and Andre Grenon)

US immigration agency buying $2.1M worth of iPhones in switch from BlackBerry

Monday, October 22, 2012, 03:32 pm

US immigration agency buying $2.1M worth of iPhones in switch from BlackBerry

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency will leave Research in Motion's BlackBerry and buy $2.1 million worth of iPhones.

ICE revealed in a solicitation document last week that it will buy iPhones for more than 17,600 employees, according to Reuters. The memo said that RIM's BlackBerry platform could "no longer meet the mobile technology needs of the agency."

The agency looked into both the iPhone and devices running Google's Android platform. Officials at ICE determined that Apple's ecosystem best suited their needs because of tight controls over the hardware platform and its operating system.

While the switch is yet another feather in the cap for Apple's iOS platform, it's also a major blow for RIM, which was once the de facto choice for government employees. That's changed as RIM has seen its share of the smartphone market slip away to Apple and Android.

iOS Enterprise

RIM's losses in government have continued for some time, as one report last year dubbed the trend of switching from BlackBerry to iPhone as "federal government 2.0." One study published by the Government Business Council earlier this year revealed that managers using BlackBerry devices had dropped from 77 percent in August of 2009 to less than 50 percent in September of 2011.

For now, RIM is attempting to hold on until the release of its new BlackBerry 10 platform, currently scheduled to launch in early 2013. The company has seen a shakeup at its executive level, and announced in May that it would cut 40 percent of its workforce.

Corporate Culture - People unwilling to change

LSH quoted:

The people must first be willing to change before the organization can. People, by nature fear change like nature abhors a vacuum. They fear the uncertainty that accompany change. They are unwilling to get out of their comfort zone. Here too, we have many of similar ilk. Sad but true and it's something that is very discouraging. Just do what you can. As the chinese saying goes, you can't force the head of a cow down if it doesn't want to drink water. There must be a will to change before anything can happen. Accepting ones short-comings is the first step. Easier said than done.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mobino, a new mobile payments system demonstrated at Lift11 Geneva is a new way to pay for things through the mobile phone, through any cheap voice-only mobile phone as well, using voice prompts when dialing the payment system, and using a pin code to authorize the payment.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

David Liu: Mobile Gaming in China

David Liu, Founder and CEO of mobile gaming company RedAtoms, discussed industry trends in China at the 3rd annual China 2.0 conference. The event was hosted by the Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE) at the Stanford Graduate School of Business on September 28, 2012.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how "power posing" -- standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don't feel confident -- can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why group buying sites are bad for your business

Group buying sites presents more bad than good for consumers, especially entrepreneurs.


The very fundamental idea behind ChopChop is helping consumers to digitalise their loyalty cards onto their smartphones. No more missing cards, no more losing out on loyalty promotions. They are reminded of cards that are about to expire, or rewards that they are yet to claim. Our users love our product.
ChopChop wouldn't have any users if there weren't any merchants that are willing to adopt our product. When we started, it was quite a tough sell for us. Merchants did not see the value of customer loyalty in increasing sales. Merchants asked why weren't we more like group-buying sites, why couldn't we reach out to new customers which could boost their sales almost immediately.
If you are a business owner, probably you should read this to understand why customer loyalty is so much more important than customer acquisition. Fast forward to today, ChopChop's acceptance by businesses is growing. Businesses are beginning to feel the group buying fatigue and starting to realise the long-term, sustainable value of cultivating customer loyalty. Many of our partner merchants have offered group buying deals and most, if not all, of their experiences weren't positive.
The logic behind using group-buying is that we discount our prices heavily to attract a mass of consumers to give our brand a try, hope that you will be able to up-sell and cross-sell to them when they visit your outlet to cover for the deeply discounted prices and revenue-sharing with group-buying companies and then also hope that some of the customers will be converted to regulars, bringing in more sales in the future.
Unfortunately, a large part of this logic has proven to be untrue. It is easy to understand how attractive and tempting it is to do group buying deal for your business as it gives nearly an immediate boost to your sales and how it helps your brand to reach out to massive number of consumers.
The customers that are attracted to group buying deals are usually low value bargain hunters. They go where the best (cheapest) deals are.  Value to them is perceived in price, not product. They only consume what the group buying deal has to offer. Many merchants told me that it is hard to cross-sell other products, and usually the only thing these customers bought were plain water! No more group buying by your brand, and you don't see them anymore. Tough chance in converting them to regulars. Not saying you can't, but probably the wrong customers to aim at and convert.

I am not writing off group-buying completely. As a one-off marketing tool, it could be an effective channel. If you are a new brand and have just started out your business, group-buying deals could give you greater brand exposure in the shortest period of time by reaching out to a large pool of consumers.
Beyond that, by thinking that group-buying could enhance your brand and boost sales is detrimental to your business. Yes, group-buying does boost sales. It boosts poor quality sales, it brings in sales that aren't profitable but also potentially creating losses which could have been avoided, it is sales that aren't sustainable, attracting the wrong customers, and could potentially damage your brand as these bargain hunters could easily amplify their less than pleasant experience at your premise.
A recent writeup by New York Times clearly captures the essence of what I described above. It isn't just the merchants that are having a hard time when doing a group buying deal, but also customers themselves are undercut in terms of service and product quality. I have heard of similar experiences in Malaysia, but yet to see any merchants or consumers that are vocal enough about it to gain the attention of mainstream media.
By doing it too frequently, deep discounts will dilute and degrade your brand. Consumers perceive the value in your brand as a discounted brand. I have merchants that have done  group buying too frequently that they had customers telling them that they will be back only during the next group buying deal. And by doing more group buying to 'revive' your brand is simply exacerbating the declining value of the brand.
How would your loyal customers feel when the customers (chances are they are new, bargain hunting customers and might not return) beside them are paying way less than what they are paying for, despite always being a regular? This will have some impact on your customer goodwill. Worse still, when a regular who is willing to pay RM10 a product, now comes in with a group buying deal and paying you half the price for the similar product. You are cannibalising your sales, losing out on quality sales that you could get without the group buying deal.
To think about it, for businesses, if they really need to offer deep discount, why not offer it directly to their regulars for their next visit use rather than going through a third party (ie. group buying sites)? You might not reach out to the number of consumers as these group buying sites can offer, but at least you are ensured of bringing in profitable sales, and making your regulars happy.
Even better, you don't have to share a cut of the sales with the group buying sites. In fact, loyal customers can be a great marketing agent for your brand. As we all know, word-of-mouth marketing is the best marketing channel. Make your customers happy, and they will be more than willing to spread the good word about your brand – for free, effectively.

This content is provided by FMT content partner, one of Asia's leading entrepreneur resource and community. Click here to get access to some of the top entrepreneurial minds in Asia.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Talent Acquisition and the Total Workforce | Candy Lewandowski | Kelly S...

Talent acquisition is no longer about workers coming to you—you have to go to them. In this clip, Candy Lewandowski, VP Centers of Excellence at Kelly Services tells us how she helps clients to see and understand their total workforce, and how to get the most out of them.

The Emergence Of The Online Global Market

It has been estimated that there are 18.9 million internet users in Malaysia. 10.5 million from which have, in some way or another, purchased online.

Malaysians have chosen to make online retail purchases on local websites to the tune of RM825 million (45 per cent) compared with RM627 million on overseas websites (35 per cent). The remaining RM371 million were made on websites of unknown countries of origin.

Is e-commerce booming in Malaysia? Where are the trends going and what innovations are changing the landscape of the sector?

This week find out how two young Malaysians are leveraging off the global online market and are leading the way in online marketing strategies.

We talk to Chan Peng Joon the founder and CEO of Smobble which currently has over 573 websites in various niches ranging from gaming to forex, fitness, dog training and dating. Coming from a background of computer gaming, Peng Joon currently trains others to capitalise on their hobbies and passions and educates them on how to transfer that passion into passive income online. Smobble Sdn Bhd was birthed in 2008. Peng Joon has recently organized his many years of marketing experience into a comprehensible training course called the Internet Income Intensive.

Mindvalley Co-founder and CEO Vishen Lakhiani shares with us his insights into the future of the global online market. Founded in 2003, Vishen's vision for Mindvalley was to build a company whose mission was to bring enlightenment and personal growth to the world in a scalable way using a hybrid of marketing and technology.

Mindvalley Technology, formed in 2011 has fast become one of the hottest tech incubators in Asia. In 2011, it spun off, which now jousts with Groupon as the #1 or #2 social commerce site in Malaysia. In 2010 Intel Capital Ventures invested $2 million for a minority stake in Dealmates.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Computerworld Malaysia - Facing tough times, Malaysian retailers to form new body

PHOTO - Unanimous support by the country's IT retailers for the formation of an independent IT retail association

Facing tough times, Malaysian retailers to form new body
AvantiKumar | Oct. 1, 2012

Despite an increasing demand for ICT products, more than 140 independent ICT retailers from all over Malaysia said they face the challenge of surviving in a highly competitive and changing local market.

The forum held on 27 September 2012,  which was themed 'Survival of IT Retailers', was chaired by 1 Utopia Berhad managing director Chin Book Long in Kuala Lumpur, who said he had called for the discussion in response to the current challenges faced by Malaysian IT retailers over the years. Other attendees included Irene Sau, chairman of Penang ICT Association (PICTA), Kevin Chan, chairman of Ipoh IT Association and Simon Kong, vice president of Kuching Computer Business Association.

Chin said serious issues plague IT retailers, include the steady decrease of retail prices and profit margins as well as increasing operating expenses and rental costs.

A statement released after the meeting added that many IT retailers could go out of business as competition increased while they needed to reduce 'unrealistic stock commitments set by vendors'.

National ICT Association, Pikom executive director Ong Kian Yew said Pikom was committed to take on the issues raised during the discussion and to table them at the coming council meeting in two weeks' time.

However, more than 100 IT retailers supported the decision to form an independent association to champion and safeguard the survival of IT retailers in Malaysia, said 1 Utopia's Chin.

The IT retailers also signed a petition to show their support on the solutions proposed during the forum. The petition has garnered the support of most attendees, and is still going nationwide to reach out to those who were not able to attend the forum.

So far, 13 IT retailers from all over the country volunteered themselves to be part of the working committee for the new association.