McKinsey Insights app for iPad

 

 

We want to share some exciting news: we have just released the McKinsey Insights app for iPad, which provides mobile access to the latest perspectives from across our industry and functional practices, the McKinsey Global Institute, and McKinsey Quarterly.

You can install the app directly from the Apple App Store. The app allows you to browse and search articles, videos, and podcasts by theme, industry, function, region, and source; to create personalized reading lists that are accessible offline; to be notified when new content is published; and to share articles instantly via e-mail and social networks.

We are delighted to be able to share the very best of our thinking in this way. The app will continue to evolve with new features, and an Android-based version will be available in early 2014.


   

Los Angeles: Pop star Lady Gaga is releasing a limited edition stationery line to raise money for her Born This Way Foundation.


She launched the charity earlier this year to empower youngsters and stop bullying.


She is now raising money in the back-to-school season by teaming up with U.S. store Office Depot to supply pens and other desk supplies, reports dailystar.co.uk.

The stationery line, which also includes gift cards and wristbands, features empowering slogans such as `Be Accepting` and `Be Yourself` and 25 percent of the profits will go to Gaga`s foundation.

Office Depot have committed to a guaranteed 625,000 pounds donation by the end of this year.

Source: zeenews.india.com

SAN BRUNO, Calif. — A plucky Silicon Valley company, forced to compete for talented engineers, is trying it all — recruiting billboards on Highway 101; workplace perks like treadmill workstations and foosball tables; and conference rooms named after celebrities like Rihanna and Justin Bieber.

The name of that arriviste company?

Walmart.

The country’s largest retailer, which for years didn’t blink at would-be competitors, is now under such a threat from Amazon that it is frantically playing catch-up by learning the technology business, including starting @WalmartLabs, its dot-com headquarters.

The two retail behemoths, one the king of the physical store and the other the conqueror of the online world, are battling over e-commerce — competing for the most talented engineers, trying to gain the upper hand in the new frontier of same-day delivery and warring over online pricing.

They want to control not just Internet shopping but all shopping. Even as Walmart pours money into technology, Amazon is building a physical presence across the nation, adding warehouses and pickup locations. Both companies’ moves indicate that they believe the future of commerce is not just stores and not just online but a combination of the two.

For the first time in decades, Walmart, which drove company after company out of business, has a competitor it sounds a little scared of.

“Don’t think for a second that Jeff Bezos is not a capitalist,” Neil M. Ashe, chief executive of Walmart Global E-Commerce, said of the belief of Mr. Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon, in low prices and paper-thin margins. “They’re just playing a game, which is, ‘We’re just going to wait out the world.’ ”

Amazon declined to comment.

Although the fierce competition between Walmart and Amazon is occurring in all areas, to get the technological edge Walmart has to succeed in San Bruno.

The company has had a small presence near Silicon Valley for more than a decade, but until recently, engineers in the area barely knew it existed. It signed a lease three years ago for the San Bruno office, north of the valley — and across the street from YouTube — and is opening another this fall in Sunnyvale, home of Yahoo, in the heart of the valley. It is trying hard to prove it is one of the cool kids.

For example, at press events in Bentonville, Ark., Walmart’s headquarters, the menu tends to be ham sandwiches, chips and iced tea. At a recent event in San Bruno, it was white asparagus panna cotta with house-smoked salmon tartar, morel mushroom macaroons and charcuterie from a whole pig. Borrowing a page from Google and Twitter, the company offers hack days when engineers can work on whatever they want.

The changes are more than cosmetic, though. This year, @WalmartLabs has gone on a start-up shopping spree, buying four companies — Torbit, OneOps, Tasty Labs and Inkiru — that build things like tools to crunch data and speed up Web sites. The acquisitions included some of the start-ups’ founders and engineers, the time-honored way for Silicon Valley companies to hire the talented employees they need to build better Web and mobile tools.

Walmart has hundreds of open jobs at its office here. This summer, the company hired 150 people from companies like Yahoo and eBay.

The company’s pitch to engineers is that Walmart moves quickly and has huge problems to solve, even if it is not a nimble newcomer or a buzzworthy start-up.

“There’s big data and there’s Walmart big data,” said Ravi Raj, vice president for mobile and social products at @WalmartLabs. “Every week we release half a dozen features.”

Rick Devine, chief executive of TalentSky, a Silicon Valley recruiting firm that has recruited for the company before, said Walmart’s scale was attractive to young engineers. Still, he said, the competition is fierce.

“The kind of people they’re going to be looking for — big data and e-commerce type of people — those are the same kinds of people Silicon Valley cares about,” he said.

Amazon, which is based in Seattle, also has a Silicon Valley presence; its Lab126 research company, located a few miles from Apple’s headquarters, developed the Kindle and is working on other mobile devices. Amazon is a much bigger player online, with $74.4 billion in revenue expected for 2013. While Walmart’s total revenue is close to $500 billion, it has said it expects just a fraction of that, $10 billion, in e-commerce revenue for the year ending January 2014.

Walmart.com had 62.5 million unique visitors in August, compared with Amazon’s 133 million, according to Compete, which tracks Web use.

“Amazon is the Walmart of the post-2000 period,” said Matt Nemer, an analyst at Wells Fargo.

By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER and STEPHANIE CLIFFORD

Claire Cain Miller reported from San Bruno, Calif., and Stephanie Clifford from New York.

A version of this article appears in print on October 20, 2013, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: To Catch Up, Walmart Moves To Amazon Turf.

The company has started a campaign to get free wide-format inkjet cartridges out in the UK, which they have done before in the USA. 

My Print Resource reports that specialist ink manufacturer Nazdar has now started a free ink cartridge campaign across the UK. The offer only applies to OEM customers that are currently using Roland and Mimaki wide-format printer cartridge inks.

Nazdar has “full confidence” in its ink solutions and “fully backs” it assertions regarding the performance of the ink. With “many happy customers” worldwide, the company has repeatedly demonstrated how its inks can “benefit” print houses and “increase their profits” without compromising “quality of output”.

As well as the USA, Nazdar inks are also manufactured in the UK, so logistically the campaign can have an “efficient” start.

On the launch of the campaign in the UK, Martin Burns, Digital Market Segment Manager at Nazdar, commented: “As a manufacturer of quality, premium ink jet inks, it’s not often we offer them for free!

“However, we recognize that the switch from OEM to alternative inks can be daunting for some and we wanted to encourage those potential users to take the first step.  Simply put, we want to offer current OEM ink users the chance to trial our inks and substantiate our claims without incurring any cost whatsoever.”

He added: “We are confident that Nazdar inks will exceed user expectations.  Being an established manufacturer of inks for both end users and printer manufacturers, we are able to offer proven ink solutions, backed up by professional service and support delivered via our comprehensive dealer network.”

Full details of the offer can be found at: http://www.nazdar.com/freecartridge.asp.

The letters are coming home from schools that weigh students as classes begin and then calculate their body mass index.

If the index is above the recommended level, a note goes home to the parents warning them that their children are considered at risk for obesity issues.

Hope Green has two children in school, she told ABC News “the last thing they need is the school to now step in. You’re too skinny, you’re too fat,” she said.

Currently 20 states from Arkansas to California to Illinois take part in the program by sending sealed letters home to parents.

Doctors argue that BMI is the best indicator of a child’s current health based on his/her height, weight and overall body structure.

But parents are afraid the letters will put more pressure on kids, many of which are already preoccupied with their body image.

Statistics say 40% of nine to ten year old girls have already been on a diet, something medical professionals say is unhealthy.

Reports say the children began calling the notes “fat letters” themselves and they have gone out to kids as young as six.

Doctors admit boys have eating disorders but the biggest concern comes from the parents of girls.

Shannon Park has two daughters and she is dead set against the measurements.

 “Their bodies are changing and then they get this number that says, ‘Oh, you know, you’re not the right number.” She finished by saying It’s just a horrible way to start womanhood.”

What do you think? Should schools do BMI measurements on the kids and send them home? 

 

By Rick Couri

Source: www.ajc.com 

– See more at: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/schools-sending-fat-letters-home-parents-bigger-ki/nZqC5/#sthash.BFP0S5yk.dpuf

Cisco To Cut 5% of Workforce

New York – United States technology giant Cisco said on Wednesday that it would be forced to cut around 4 000 jobs. The company, which has a huge global presence, said the cuts need to be made because of the slower than expected economic recovery and disappointing conditions in emerging markets.

Chief executive John Chambers (featured in image) reportedly told analysts that while the market in the US is getting better, this is offset by the situation in the emerging markets. He said the company has to respond quickly to rebalance its staff to match growth.

He did however add that some of the retrenched workers will be rehired in other posts.

“I have learned in this industry you lead with your mind, not with your heart,” Chambers was quoted as saying.

Wednesday’s announcement makes this year the 3rd consecutive year that the company has downsized.

Source: www.sabreakingnews.co.za
Image Source: Wikimedia COmmons

Posted by: Natalie Simon   August 15, 2013 

Johannesburg – Nigeria is fast catching up to South Africa as the most attractive investment destination in Africa, according to a report by Rand Merchant Bank’s “Where to Invest In Africa” guide. According to report South Africa remains number one on the continent, but is 33rd in the overall world rankings and ranked second last, before Russia, among the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) nations.

Nigeria climbed up from third place in Africa, overtaking Egypt and ranks at number 38 globally. The west African state has climbed 35 places in the past decade on global rankings.

According to the report Nigeria could possibly replace South Africa as top of the investment list in Africa within the next 5 years if the South African economy continues to stagnate. Nigeria’s growth rate forecast stands at 6% to 7% a year for the next 5 years, while South Africa’s is a measly 2% to 3%. Nigeria is also helped by its 162.5 million population, which is triple that of South Africa’s.

This comes after South Africa fell one place from 52nd to 53rd out of 148 on the WEF global competitiveness list, as Mauritius jumped ahead by one.

Labour discord, a failing education system and poor healthcare were all cited for South Africa’s lower ranking.

Source: www.sabreakingnews.co.za Posted by: Staff Reporter    Posted date:  September 10, 2013 

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons, Lagos Island

Acer in major commercial drive

Acer, possibly better known as a vendor of consumer notebooks, tablets and smartphones, is making a major investment in the commercial market.
Speaking at a media and partner event in Amsterdam yesterday, senior corporate vice-president Walter Deppeler pointed out that the PC industry is currently undergoing the biggest transformation in its history.

This change embraces the new devices that are available on the market: from ultrabooks to tablets; coupled with the longer replacement cycles being experienced for commercial desktop and laptop PCs.

“And this increased desktop lifecycle is largely being driven by the new content devices that are on end-users’ buying list,” he says.

Windows 8, which was expected to breathe new life into the PC industry, has also seen a slow start, Deppeler says, and the full benefit of the technology has not yet been seen by the end-user.
“But with the current challenges, there are also opportunities, and the new device iterations give us the possibility to grow our business in the future.”

Deppeler also points to the emerging markets as offering new opportunities for vendors. Moving forward, in a strategy aimed at increasing its penetration into the commercial market, Acer has made investments in a number of areas.

“The most important is the organisation,” Deppeler says. “We have a strong new team in EMEA, with strong leadership on the commercial side. We are establishing strong value creation on a regional basis, and are also looking to ensure brand relevance.”

He tells IT-Online that a key element of the organisational change has been to separate the commercial product development and sales teams from the consumer side of the business. This move, which has taken place over the last few months, has allowed products and go-to-market strategies specifically designed for the commercial market to flourish.

Acer starts with an advantage in terms of brand relevance, since it is a market leader in the consumer mobile market. It also has a broad channel presence, with more than 60 000 outlets in EMEA currently selling Acer products.

“We are planning to improve our point of sales,” Deppeler says. “We are currently shipping massive volumes and we are planning to ship millions more products.”

When it comes to value creation, he says it’s important to strike the right balance between risk and opportunity. To do this, Acer has appointed different types of business managers within its country offices to interact with different market. In addition, the company has been able to increase its average selling price based on the better value that it offers.

“Then, of course, we are also planning effective execution – we need to walk the talk in order to expand the commercial business.”

Deppeler adds that the consumerisation of IT is changing how users want to use technology and, as a result, it’s changing how IT departments need to deploy systems.

While the end-user want attractive products, with great design and new technology – particularly when it comes to mobile devices – IT still needs to consider TCO (total cost of ownership), standards, security and performance.

Acer is coming to the party with products that give the user what he wants while helping IT to address the properly manage enterprise systems.

The company has a full range of end-user products that meet the needs of management users, mobile workers, back office users and specialists; running the gamut from handheld devices right up to desktop PCs and workstations.

“Our strategy for the commercial business is to create value for all of our stakeholder: end-users, channel and key strategic alliance partners,” Deppeler says.

Importantly, he says, Acer is very clear on its go-to-market strategy and has a 100% indirect business model. The new team based across EMEA is tasked with growing the commercial side of the business, he adds, while service remains a core focus.

The initial focus of the commercial business will be in the SMB space and the education market, says Deppeler. He stresses that these two vertical markets are a starting point only, and the company will expand into new verticals in a phased and disciplined way.

Jakob Olsen, vice-president: commercial division at Acer EMEA, explains that Acer has made massive investment into the commercial market, including into products, services and partner networks.

He points out that the company has a strong history in EMEA and is currently the top consumer vendor in the region.

“Importantly, we are strong in execution,” he says. “We have made the investment, and we have the information, so we are well positioned to make a difference in the market.”

Consumerisation, which has been a buzzword for some years now, is already entrenched in some areas of the market and is becoming an issue now in the SMB and consumer space.

BYOD (bring your own device) has also made its way into most organisations, and enterprise IT departments are finding that they have to deal with myriad devices whether they are prepared for them or not.

“Cloud is another buzzword – but it’s real,” he says. “Users are now able to access information wherever they are.”

These are the trends that Acer has to address in order to make a difference in the commercial market, Olsen says. “We come from a position of strength in the consumer market, so this is our time; our chance to take consumerisation into the B2B market. Few companies are better positioned to be able to do this.”

Acer not only offers a full product line-up for the commercial market, it is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to guaranteeing the quality and reliability that business users demand.

“Customers want to know if our TravelMate devices are reliable, and if they can trust Acer,” Olsen says. “The answer is, yes you can – and if we let you down we will pay you. If your TravelMate breaks down within the first year, we will fix it and we will give you half of your money back.

“That’s a strong message that we are sending to the market.”

The fact that the B2B product portfolio covers a range of areas – servers and storage; desktops; workstations; notebooks; tablets; smartphones; monitors; projectors; and thin clients – means there are few companies that can match Acer’s solution line-up, he adds.

By Kathy Gibson
Article reprinted courtesy of IT-Online. Visit www.it-online.co.za for more.

UK dealer group Superstat has launched an initiative aimed at promoting the growth of independent dealers.

Called Cadabra, the concept sees Superstat handling dealers’ back-office functions, including order processing, invoicing, sales and purchase ledgers, marketing, lead generation, online ordering and customer service.

The initiative has been set up in partnership with Spicers as part of a five-year supply agreement in what Superstat is calling “an unprecedented collaboration” between a wholesaler and a dealer group.

OPI spoke to Superstat Managing Director Chris Collinson, who declined to reveal commercial details of the agreement with Spicers, although he did confirm that the wholesaler does not have a shareholding in Cadabra.

The word ‘nectere’ springs to mind with this type of initiative aimed at taking administrative costs out of a dealer’s business, allowing the dealer to focus on the selling process, although Collinson suggested – and Spicers’ CEO Alan Ball alluded to in a press release – that the main difference was that Cadabra was not aimed at ‘failing dealers’. Speaking to OPI, nectere Managing Director Paul Musgrove laughed off this suggestion and pointed to new nectere partners that have joined the group in order to drive acquisitions.

By Andy Braithwaite

Read more on this initiative in the October issue of OPI magazine.

 

– See more at: http://www.opi.net/file/118790/superstat-launches-new-dealer-model.html#sthash.bP0UInqY.dpuf

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