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Friday, October 24, 2014

From a Rwandan Dump to the Halls of Harvard -

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Is Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint Worth S$4 Million? - Yahoo Singapore Finance

Is Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint Worth S$4 Million?
By Yeap Ming Feng
Wed, Oct 22, 2014 3:42 PM SGT

Some call them the best char siew and roast meat store in Singapore, or the meat that simply melts in your mouth. Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint, located at Upper Paya Lebar, was finally sold for SGD$4 million, two and a half years after it was put on sale. An amount which is half a million dollars more than their initial asking price.

In this article, DollarsandSense will take a look at why Aztech Group was willing to pay such a hefty sum of money to purchase the business.

Every business model consists of tangible and non-tangible assets.

Tangible assets of Kay Lee Roast Meat

Tangible asset is defined as assets that have physical form, which, simplistically, means anything that you can see. Tangible assets of Kay Lee, are the shop space along with all the machines and equipment present in the shop.

In this case, the tangible assets of Kay Lee Roast Meat only amounts to$SGD1.5 million.

So why is it that Aztech Group was willing to folk out an extra $SGD2.5 million to purchase only $SGD1.5million worth of business? The answer is logically that a business extends beyond just its tangible assets.

Intangible Assets of Kay Lee Roast Meat

Intangible assets are non-physical assets of a business. Examples of intangible assets are patents, trademarks, copyrights, goodwill, brand recognition and business methodologies (think recipe in this case).

Most business owners have little understanding of how much intangible assets such as customer base and recognition of their brand can have a huge impact on the value of their businesses.

With this, we take a look at the value of Kay Lee Roast Meat using the three traditional valuation approaches.

1) Cost approach

For the cost approach, we try to calculate how much it will cost us to recreate a brand which has the same impact as that of Kay Lee Roast Meat.

This is done by adding up the present value of all the past expenses Kay Lee Roast Meat spent, in order to obtain the brand recognition it has today.

Kay Lee Roast Meat has spenthundreds of thousands of dollars since 38 years ago to arrive at the reputation it has today.

The actual amount which Kay Lee spent on marketing is unknown. Assuming

Kay Lee only spends $5000 on marketing starting 38 years ago on a yearly basisThe inflation rate 

The present values of $5000 from 38 years ago is about $16,069.

The present value of $5000 from 37 years ago is about $15,583.

Continue this for 38 years and we will get a sum of about $369,382 on advertising.

However, cost approach does not allow us to factor cost such as time spent on the running of this business and creation of the recipe.

2) Market approach

Market approach identifies a brand comparable to that of another and using it as a proxy.

Hence, competitors who possessed the same qualities to that of Kay Lee like my favourite Foong Kee Coffee shop can look at this case as a rough gauge of the value of their business if Foong Kee Coffee shop were to be put on sale.

3) Income approach

The income approach measures the benefits that the intangible asset of Kay Lee Roast Meat can bring to the business.

Intangible assets such as loyal customers are usually the most important value-generating factor in a business. When customers frequent Kay Lee Roast Meal regularly, predictable revenue is generated.

Currently, the shop generates a revenue of around $2000 daily. Given that it is a freehold, there cost incurred comes mainly from the ingredients and the wage of the workers.

Given that they are open 6 days a week, in one year, the revenue generated will be $624,000 from the joint alone.

Aztech Group plans to open at least 10 casual restaurants under Kay Lee name in the next two years. The brand recognition that Kay Lee Roast Meat is a name which produces one of the best roast meat in Singapore. Coupled with the well guarded recipe, it makes similar tasting roast meat to that of Kay Lee difficult to imitate.

Opening the restaurants under a name, new to the public, will expose the group to higher risk.

The fact that the sales of Kay Lee made it to Straits Times, DollarsAndSense and many other websites and newspapers will probably keep the public wanting to have taste of Kay Lee Roast Meat or anticipating the arrival of the new restaurants. That, itself, is an intangible asset.


In conclusion, brand recognition and customer loyalty, may be worth more than tangible assets. They allow earnings steadily over time, and the understanding of this value while managing your business may allow you to bargain for higher premium to potential buyers one day.

Why your future is in the public cloud

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Another executive fired over social media remarks

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When HRMS Is a Mess | HRO Today

By Christian Baader, Gianni Giacomelli, and David Ludlow
We all have heard about the phenomenon. Patchy, inconsistent deployments, siloed across organizations, resulting in painful, sometimes embarrassingly situations such as: poor visibility of even basic HR data across countries and lines of business; erratic and inconsistent management of HR processes; ineffective talent management; inability to properly run processes in a shared services environment, resulting in high costs and poor quality; and more recently, the inability to address economic, environmental, and social sustainability challenges such as generational shifts, diversity, employee health, and safety.
Do you remember where the problem started? In many cases, these now patchy solutions were implemented, sometimes quickly, around the time of the "Y2K" change when the need for a new system to handle four-digit years was mandatory. The implementations were often done quickly, without any reengineering of business processes and with heavy modifications to support the old processes. While those systems might have been technically upgraded, the processes still go back 10 years or more and don't—or can't—take advantage of technology that more modern systems offer. Another situation: Implementations that got core HR like payroll and benefits up and running, but then fell victim to other IT budget priorities. The consequence is limited ability to leverage the HRMS for more strategic HR initiatives like compensation management or succession management. Adding to this problem are environments that grew from global expansion, resulting in multiple systems from multiple vendors across multiple geographic regions.This is simply a loss of business potential.
Single Vendor Value
Leveraging the standardization of a single platform that embeds best practices can bring value to organizations in many ways. Consolidating multiple systems can lead to "one version of the truth." No longer are complex data downloads and manipulation of spreadsheets required. A single system can produce the elusive "global headcount report" every CHRO, CFO, and even CEO is looking for. A consolidated platform can also provide the basis to reengineer outdated and inefficient processes, resulting in higher data quality and reduced cycle costs. Data quality is the "human capital" of the organization and accurate, consolidated, global data supports better business and workforce planning.
And once the data is consolidated and accurate, it can be used as a hub of master data to support strategic HR processes like talent management, as well as non-HR related processes like shift scheduling optimization, project costing, and compliance activities. 
Many HR directors have to cope with at least some of this every day. And while many know what they could do about it, in the absence of hard ROI (or at least as hard as the data from invoice or sales force automation tools, for example), they are forced to take a backseat in the CIO's pecking order.
There are solutions, but they require HR strategy and technology—together. And even more importantly, they will require the HR director, the CIO, the HR service provider (be it a BPO or on-Demand), and the related software vendor to work together. Each of them has a part in "dividing and conquering" such a seemingly intractable conundrum.
But there are two prerequisites. First, a portfolio approach of on-premise solutions (e.g., for the core HR system of records), on-demand software services (e.g., for specific tasks in recruiting or performance management), and outsourced business process services like payroll and benefits administration is needed. That can be boosted by appropriate technology usage—as long as you plan with technology in mind. Each solution part must cover its purpose, and together they also must combine into a meaningful whole, delivering comprehensive end-to-end business process and data. For example, data structures and operational processes must be consistent, otherwise the end-to-end integrity of process and data is jeopardized—or becomes exceedingly costly to maintain.
And secondly, there is simply no way to have "all things for all people." Just like cars are made out of standard components, the HR service puzzle is made out of many pieces, a large part of which should be standardized to some extent. This means ensuring a proper two-way matching between what is possible and what is really needed. How to find the proper trusted advisor for this task? Start with someone who will not say 'just tell me how you want it to be done.' Because that is how the mess got started in the first place so don't make the same mistake twice. Errare humanum est, sed perseverare diabolicum— making mistakes is human, persisting on them is devil's work.  

"Errare (Errasse) humanum est, sed in errare (errore) perseverare diabolicum.", attributed to Seneca; which translates to: "To err is human, but to persist in error (out of pride, stupidity, ignorance or all 3 or more) is diabolical."

Christian Baader,, is vice president BPO for SAP Americas.
Gianni Giacomelli,, is head of strategy and marketing, BPO for SAP AG. 
David Ludlow,, is vice president, HCM solution management for SAP Americas.

Hong Kong tech's "Iron Lady" | Computerworld Hong Kong

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

IBM Watson: 29 Signs Of Progress - InformationWeek

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Low quality Malaysian education more alarming than household debt, says World Bank economist - The Malaysian Insider

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What to do in the aftermath of the JPMorgan breach

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Russian hackers reportedly behind JP Morgan data breach this summer

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Three scary, but true, security tales

Three scary, but true, security tales

Eric Cole | Oct. 7, 2014 

While Halloween only comes around once a year, there are some truly frightful security mishaps occurring on a daily basis. Some of these mishaps have made headline news, while others were too terrifying to share... until now.

Just in time for Halloween, renowned cyber security expert and SANS Faculty Fellow, Dr. Eric Cole, shares three horrific tales of hideous human behavior which he has personally witnessed and lived to tell! Warning: What you are about to read is real.

Ghosts of Employees Past
Consider this frightening tale. When performing a routine security assessment for an organization, it was discovered that more than 145 accounts of employees who no longer worked for the organization were still active. GASP! Even scarier, when looking for possible activity on these accounts it was discovered that 17 of them were still actively being used. You can imagine the horror, but it gets worse.

After approaching HR to find out if there was anything special about these accounts it was revealed that seven of the 17 people who were actively using their old accounts were fired five months earlier for stealing information about the company and giving it to a competitor. Talk about a nightmare! Fire an employee for stealing, take away their badge but forget to cut off account access, only to learn they continue stealing from the organization even after termination. Now, that is terrifying!

Global Terror
If you don't have goose bumps yet, this global tale will likely raise a hair or two. A large US manufacturing organization with state-of-the-art industrial technology was under constant attack by the Chinese. Every four to six weeks for several years this grotesque scene continued to play out. These compromises wreaked havoc within the manufacturing organization's security environment. Yet despite the disturbing efforts of the Chinese hackers, the company was able to keep its technology a secret. However, for some mysterious reason (OK, because of costs), the executive team decided to move all of its US manufacturing and production to... China. GASP! The security team was left screaming in horror as their worst nightmare came true. Despite being able to successfully fend off the attacks over a three-year period while located in the US, within just two years after moving overseas the Chinese hackers were able to successfully infiltrate. As if this story couldn't get any more horrific, it didn't take long for them to develop a competing product which outsold the US company's product. The US company was forced to close its Chinese operations, as it was unable to compete. While the US manufacturing company is still in business today, its product line went from a billion-dollar product line to a mere million-dollar product line. How's that for a gruesome tale?

A hideous discovery
Still not scared? Here's a wicked story that is sure to give you nightmares. A typical full security assessment of an organization includes the facility as well as the data center; this means checking all policies, personnel, cyber security, and physical security. It was 11 p.m., haunting hours, the ideal time to test out the physical security of a building. Creeping through the dark to make sure the doors were locked, a horrific discovery was made. A door in the back by the loading docks (which just happens to be next to the data center) was unlocked. As if that wasn't frightening enough, right next to the door, along the edge of the wall and out of reach of the motion detector, was all of the company's taped storage! PII and PHI were easily available for any ghoul to take. Because this was a major exposure, someone within the organization had to be alerted immediately, otherwise, walking away knowing there was exposure could result in liability. Thinking this nightmare could not get any worse, the closest person within the organization to the office was the company's CFO who arrived to re-secure and lock the building in flannel, footy pajamas (how about that for a creepy image?).

So what can we learn from these terrifying tales? First, don't assume that processes, procedures and policies are being followed. Verify and check to make sure they are. Second, common sense doesn't prevail in most environments, so don't assume people will make the right decisions. Ensure that employees have the data to support all decisions, so that they are making them in a proper and correct manner.

From Big Data to Botched Data: 5 Steps to Total Big Data Failure

Sri Narayanan | Oct. 7, 2014 

Just because something is shiny and new, or is now the 'in' thing, doesn't mean it will work for everyone.

Sounds familiar?

If you're a CIO, the temptation of shiny new technology is almost too hard to resist. Nowhere is this more evident than in the dozens of failed Big Data projects deployed across enterprises. The problem is that there is a right way and a wrong way to do Big Data, and judging from recent corporate history, most IT departments and CIOs don't know the difference.

Take JC Penny. Once a darling of the retail consumer experience, the company is a cautionary tale on how not to deploy Big Data. From a leading light in the retail consumer space in 2012, JC Penney witnessed a mass exodus of customers in under a year, prompted by ill-advised and drastic store changes. The culprit? Poor deployment of a large scale, merchandising retail analytics solution.

A few months into a complete store revamp, CEO Ron Johnson implemented what he called a "complete, open and integrated suite" of retail analytics solutions. The hope was that JC Penney would have new customer shopping insights to respond faster to customer preferences.

Johnson began a process of modernising the existing business intelligence (BI) software by deploying a retail merchandising analytics program that provided real-time, mobile insight into item and category performance, including key metrics such as inventory position, sales, stock ledger, cost, forecast, and promotions. On paper, this would simplify processes and capture structured and unstructured data (customers sentiment, etc) so it could deliver the best possible customer experience.

But neither Johnson nor his team gained any meaningful insight from all that analytics solutions. Instead, sales levelled off sharply from US$17 billion in 2011 to US$12.9 billion in 2013. After 17 months on the job, Johnson was fired.

So what went wrong?

Focus on the Data, Not Its Application
The surest way to scupper your Big Data project before achieving any meaningful outcome is to fail to ask one basic question: What do you want to do with the information? Too often, companies don't know what they are looking to achieve with Big Data but they think it will solve their problems. They process large volumes of data without any idea what problem they are actually trying to solve.  Or expect more than it can deliver.

Assume You Have the Right Skills

JC Penney deployed a sophisticated predictive analytics solution and failed to draw meaningful insight from the data. Why? Because they had IT personnel and data scientists asking questions to problems their marketing, sales and merchandising experts should have been asking in the first place.

There is an acute shortage of skilled data analysis employees in the labour market and the situation is likely to worsen. But more than data crunching and creating fancy algorithms, a failure to deploy the real 'experts' in your industry to a Big Data project will certainly doom the effort.

Process Any And All Data Indiscriminately

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. There's just too much unsorted data to process in most Big Data projects. Failing to run a data audit so you know what bits you actually want to process will most certainly cost money, loss of time and resources that will detract from the project's primary goal. JC Penney transitioned from a traditional BI environment managing structured data to a huge Big Data effort involving large datasets of unstructured information, processed through fancy predictive analytics and algorithms. The results lacked context and relevance, and the project failed.

Selecting wrong use cases

Seduced by the potential of Big Data solutions, many companies aim too high for their initial efforts. They study successful deployments from other organisations and attempt to apply the same use case scenarios to their companies without the relevant skill sets or experience. Others use the same cases from their previously installed traditional BI programmes, and wonder why they don't see any benefit when migrating to a Big Data initiative.


Go For Broke
JC Penney's first foray into predictive analytics was a massive undertaking that was just too ambitious, too soon. It was expensive and high-risk. No one knew how to make meaningful decisions with the information gathered.   Often a narrow focus and a smaller project will reap far more significant results.  

Modernising BI: Doing Big Data The Right Way
If you haven't already noticed, a huge shift is taking place in the corporate world. Companies are moving from traditional BI to predictive analytics with high volume, unstructured data to help their businesses extract insights and drive them forward.

Modernising BI to a more open Big Data effort is a journey you really can't take alone. It's fraught with landmines and requires careful consideration. As the JC Penney example illustrates, any company can and will get this wrong.  HP Business Intelligence Modernization Services identifies three major service needs your company will require to get your Big Data projects on the right track:

- Discovery environments: "Data lakes," data visualization tools and services enabling rapid, enterprise-wide data sharing and discovery collaboration.

- Analytics solutions: Addressing specific analytics needs to run the business better.

- Hybrid data management: Enabling enterprises to deliver production-grade analytics integrated into business processes and systems that leverage relevant data.

HP believes the hybrid approach retains the best of traditional BI and Big Data even though both use different technologies and methods. By extending and applying BI methods in the context of Big Data, the hybrid approach can deliver more precise and granular insights across all types of large, complex data.

Traditional BI and data warehousing methods will always be important but to make better decisions, and gain insights from new kinds and higher volumes of data, your company can't afford to do Big Data wrong. To learn more about the hybrid management approach to modernising BI and implementing Big Data,

This byline has been sponsored by HP Enterprise Services Asia Pacific & Japan. 

Imagine. Change.

Rock your boat instead, have a go, you only live once. "Imagine. Change." - that's Ricoh's company motto. Absence of imagination results in fear of change. To evolve, change  must take effect. No change, no evolution. Fear not change and imagine.

How to Know When People Are Likely to Go -- and Act to Keep Star Performers

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Stupid Interview Questions That No One Should Ask You, But if They Do . .

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Stop looking for the silver bullet. Start thinking like a bad guy.

In 2013, organizations worldwide spent approximately $46 billion USD on
cyber security. Even so, successful breaches increased by 20 percent,
and the cost of an individual breach increased by 30 percent. While the
security industry looks for silver bullets, criminals are investing
more, sharing more, and working harder to access corporate information.

Mohammad Al Issa - Discover The Power of Ignorance - English subtitles.avi

Apollo Robbins, The Master Pickpocket: Tricks of the Trade

Professional pickpocket Apollo Robbins demonstrates some of his theft techniques on writer Adam Green.

Apollo Robbins: The art of misdirection

Hailed as the greatest pickpocket in the world, Apollo Robbins studies
the quirks of human behavior as he steals your watch. In a hilarious
demonstration, Robbins samples the buffet of the TEDGlobal 2013
audience, showing how the flaws in our perception make it possible to
swipe a wallet and leave it on its owner's shoulder while they remain

Body language, the power is in the palm of your hands: Allan Pease at TE...

Allan Pease is an Honorary Professor of Psychology at ULIM International
University, who researches and studies selling relationships and human
communication. He teaches simple, field-tested skills and techniques
that get results. And he delivers his message in a humorous way, which
motivates people to want to use. Allan's own experience and record in
the field of selling, motivating and training is equalled by few others.
He is a born achiever, starting his career at the age of 10. Globally
known as "Mr Body Language", his programs are used by businesses and
governments to teach powerful relationship skills. His messages are
relevant to any area of life that involves winning people over and
getting them to like you, co-operate, follow you or say 'yes'.

The six degrees: Kevin Bacon at TEDxMidwest

Kevin Bacon has starred in some of the most influential films in cinema
history. Ingrained into our popular culture forever, Bacon's films span
every genre of the human condition. In true Bacon style, he embraced the
"Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" trivia phenomenon and founded, a charitable initiative that links people to charities
and each other for the purpose of making a difference.

Top hacker shows us how it's done: Pablos Holman at TEDxMidwest

You think your wireless and other technology is safe? From Blue Tooth
to automobile remotes, PCs, and "secure" credit cards, Hacker
extraordinaire shows how nearly every secure system is vulnerable.

Banned TED Talk: Nick Hanauer "Rich people don't create jobs"

Via Business Insider: "As the war over income inequality wages on,
super-rich Seattle entrepreneur Nick Hanauer has been raising the
hackles of his fellow 1-percenters, espousing the contrarian argument
that rich people don't actually create jobs. The position is
controversial — so much so that TED is refusing to post a talk that
Hanauer gave on the subject. National Journal reports today that TED
officials decided not to put Hanauer's March 1 speech up online after
deeming his remarks "too politically controversial" for the site...".

The greatest TED Talk ever sold - Morgan Spurlock

With humor and persistence, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock dives into the
hidden but influential world of brand marketing on his quest to make a
completely sponsored film about sponsorship. (And yes, onstage naming
rights for this talk were sponsored too. By whom and for how much? He'll
tell you.)

Julian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen

Teaching and Learning #2

Teaching and Learning #1