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Industry Dynamics

SME Access to Finance: New RBS Allegations Highlight a Brutal Climate for SME Borrowers

While the G20, in tandem with other government or non-government institutions, are trying to prop up the SME sector by providing better access to finance, it is disturbing to note that some financial institutions have been rather heavy handed in dealing with SMEs.  It is no surprise that the SME sector is increasingly dependent on alternative finance such as factoring, ... Read More »

Forget Hackers, The Biggest Internet Security Threat Is Closer to Home

High profile, embarrassing data hacks like the Sony email breach and the Target credit card scandal receive the bulk of the media attention, but there’s a bigger threat to Internet security that’s much closer to home.  The 2015 Data Breach Investigation Report conducted by Verizon shows that the biggest threat to your private information may actually be you! Phishing campaigns, ... Read More »

FirstRain Personal Business Analytics for Sales 2.0 on Salesforce’s AppExchange

FirstRain has added new analytics-based actions to raise the efficiency and productivity of the enterprise sales workflow within the Salesforce.com CRM platform. Using these actions, sales professionals can convert customer analytics into the activities that increase team collaboration, improve alignment with customer strategies, and drive revenue. With this new release, users can now do the following:  Advance sales cycles by ... Read More »

Alibaba’s Q1 Revenue up 45% in FY2015 – Announces Changes in Leadership

Alibaba Group announced its results for the quarter and the fiscal year ended 31st March 2015.  For the quarter ended 31st March, the company recorded revenues of US$2.8 billion, up 45% over same period in 2014.  However, net income in the period was down 49% year-on-year, to US$463 million. Revenues from Alibaba’s China B2B business, primarily generated from 1688.com, grew ... Read More »

Global Sources Launches Two New Verticals

Global Sources officially announced the launch of its fashion vertical as well as a gifts & home vertical. The verticals connect buyers and suppliers across what Global Sources refers to as five media channels: an online marketplace, a magazine, alerts, a mobile app and their series of trade shows. Several co-located shows close today at AsiaWorld-Expo including Fashion Accessories, Garments ... Read More »

Baidu’s Q1 2015 Revenue Jumps 34%

Baidu Q1 revenues were US$2.1 billion, a jump of 34% over the same period last year. Net income was US$395 million, down 3.4% over the first quarter of 2014. Diluted earnings per share in the period were RMB 6.76 (US$1.09) More than 98% of Baidu’s revenues were generated from its online marketing services. The number of active online marketing customers ... Read More »

Alibaba Invokes Hiring Freeze

Alibaba Group is freezing hiring for the rest of the year because it has grown “too quickly,” Executive Chairman Jack Ma told staff. The hiring freeze came to light about a week before Alibaba is due to report March quarter earnings on May 7.   In January, Alibaba, which handles more online commerce than Amazon and eBay combined, reported slowing revenue ... Read More »

McGraw Hill Financial Appoints Robert H. Easton Chief Compliance Officer

McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI) announced the appointment of Robert H. Easton, 43, as Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer, effective May 26, 2015. Mr. Easton will report to Lucy Fato, Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Mr. Easton is to join McGraw Hill Financial from the New York State Department of Financial Services, where, as Executive Deputy Superintendent of the Insurance Division, he has overseen ... Read More »

EU to Announce ‘Digital Single Market’ Investigation

The EU will unveil its wide-ranging “digital single market” probe today, aiming to update copyright rules and ensure European online businesses can compete with their bigger U.S. rivals.  The inquiry differs from the EU’s antitrust investigation into Google, in that it is not aimed at enforcing existing law through penalties.  It will rather look at whether Internet platforms are transparent enough in ... Read More »

Baidu Invests in Keru Cloud

Baidu has invested $11 million in restaurant management SaaS startup Keru Cloud. The startup aims to become an all-in-one solution for restaurants and other businesses that are going digital. It currently has about 3,000 restaurants as clients, and plans to increase that figure to 20,000 by the end of this year. Baidu told Tech in Asia that Keru Cloud “fits ... Read More »

China’s State Council Releases Latest Directive on Exhibitions Industry

China’s State Council, headed by Premier Li Keqiang, has release an official directive which aims to boost development of the country’s exhibition industry.  According to the lengthy guidelines, a ministerial joint conference, including a dozen central government departments, will be established to coordinate the formulation and implementation of new market rules. The Chinese government has set a target to turn ... Read More »

Acxiom Appoints Rick Erwin as President and General Manager of Audience Solutions

Acxiom® announced the appointment of Rick Erwin as President and General Manager of Audience Solutions, a newly formed division comprised of the Company’s Data and Decision Sciences assets. With over two decades of marketing services experience, Erwin, a leading voice in the field of data-driven marketing, will be responsible for driving the strategy, growth and profitability of Acxiom’s industry-leading data ... Read More »

Business Intelligence Platforms and their Deployment Risk

Companies that choose Business Intelligence platforms on the basis of their ‘street-cred’ and ease of deployment risk losing money in the long-term, a major survey finds… Gartner’s annual ‘Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence’ report – based on 2,000 BI customer interviews – found businesses are increasingly choosing interactive-analysis and data-discovery platforms that are not right for them, over traditional solutions ... Read More »

Country Risk Climates: Trends to Keep an Eye On

Australia – interest rate cut; Chile – a massive Cabinet reshuffle; Egypt – feeding more dollars into the FX market; Finland – a Eurosceptic party may join the governing alliance; Syria – emergency aid from Iran. CHAD: The Republic of Chad reached a milestone of sorts by completing requirements for the IMF/World Bank Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, which will allow ... Read More »