J.D. Power Reaches Strategic Partnership with BitAuto on Digitization

Technology, Telecom & Internet

J.D. Power, the global leader in marketing data and analytics, today announced a strategic partnership with BitAuto, China’sleading consumer-facing automotive portal, to conduct joint research and develop big data and artificial intelligence.

The collaboration will help leverage J.D. Power research and analytics capabilities and BitAuto’s data and technology strengths across various business sectors. The partnership will strive to generate real-time data accuracy and new data analytics services, enabling Chinese automakers, dealerships and consumers to proactively and efficiently make effective decisions in an increasingly complex and dynamic market.

Under the partnership, J.D. Power will publish its independently conducted Voice of Customers-based ratings across various BitAuto platforms. The state-of-the-art ratings system will provide Chinese customers with full access to J.D. Power’s model-level ratings and scores, hence helping consumers make more informed purchasing decisions.

Additionally, J.D. Power and BitAuto will work together to digitalize new research subjects and methods. In China’s fast-evolving market environment, such joint research initiatives will help automakers navigate and understand latest market trends and disruptions.

Looking at the future in China, J.D. Power and BitAuto intend to explore an automotive, strategic data collaboration focused on developing data collection, processing, analytics and artificial intelligence. The partnership will aim to build the most efficient automotive big data center and artificial intelligence platforms serving China’sautomotive industry.

“This partnership between J.D. Power and BitAuto is of strategic significance,” said  Jacob George, Vice President and General Manager, J.D. Power Asia Pacific. “We look forward to teaming up with BitAuto to write the new chapter on digitization for automotive consumer insights and advisory services.”

“Our partnership is a win-win and impactful one,” said Zhu Lei, Chief Technology Officer of BitAuto. “J.D. Power is one of the most influential and respected market research institutions globally, known for its methodology, independence and integrity. BitAuto, after 18 years experiencing fast growth in China, possesses abundant data resources and technology capabilities. In teaming up, both parties will ensure effective and efficient data services and intelligent solutions development.”

“Established in 1968, J.D. Power has accumulated rich experience, sophisticated methodology and an international talent pool conducting market research, data analytics and consulting services within the automotive industry over the past 50 years,” said Joseph Pacini, Chief Executive Officer of XIO Group. “J.D. Power’s collaboration with leading players such as BitAuto will further enhance its digital capabilities and services. We look forward to driving the global automotive industry’s sustainable growth in China’s connected and digitalized market.”

For decades, J.D. Power has been focusing on providing in-depth consumer and industry insights though its cutting-edge research methodologies and data analytics, capturing opinions and perceptions of millions of consumers. PIN, also known as Power Information Network, is the most representative data product launched by J.D. Power in 1993, specialized in helping OEMs and dealerships better manage their businesses, increase revenues and profitability using analytics tools.

About J.D. Power
J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. Those capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, and has offices in ShanghaiBeijingTokyoSingaporeMalaysia and Bangkok serving the Asia Pacific region. J.D. Power is part of XIO Group, a global alternative investments firm headquartered in London, and led by its four founders: Athene LiJoseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer. For more information, please visit china.jdpower.com or stay connected with us on J.D. Power WeChat and Weibo.

About BitAuto
BitAuto Holdings Limited (BITA) is a leading provider of internet contents & marketing services, and transaction services for China’s fast-growing automotive industry. BitAuto’s main business segments include: advertising and subscription, transaction services, and digital marketing solutions. For more information, please visit www.BitAuto.com.

 

Cryptocurrency Finds Security Amid Underlying Mutual Distrust Common Between Trading Partners

Technology, Telecom & Internet

 

In a global marketplace where Internet-based technologies increasingly allow businesses the means and confidence to work with each other beyond political borders and with a minimum of governmental interference, cryptocurrencies have the potential to create a B2B interdependent financing system – perhaps even a single, common digital currency someday – because of the blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrency trade. With the beginning of market movement for the New Year, cryptocurrency started just shy of $613 billion in total capitalization and climbed steadily toward $750 billion on Jan. 4, showing an exponential rise just since April 2017 when it passed the $25 billion mark. ChineseInvestors.com, Inc. (OTC: CIIX) (CIIX profile) is one of the businesses committed to the development of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, recently announcing plans to spin-off two of its corporate divisions tied to hemp marketing and the burgeoning legal cannabis industry in order to focus on its cryptocurrency division (http://nnw.fm/5sf8Z). Other companies preparing to capitalize on opportunities in the blockchain sector include MGT Capital Investments, Inc. (OTC: MGTI), LongFin Corp. (NASDAQ: LFIN), Bitcoin Services, Inc. (OTC: BTSC) and Overstock.com, Inc., (NASDAQ: OSTK).

ChineseInvestors.com (OTCQB: CIIX) provides innovation in real-time market analysis and educational services in Chinese language character sets, support services for advertising and public relations, and the sale of hemp-based products and other health-related products. Despite China’s prohibitions on trading cryptocurrencies as a regulated central exchange, company CEO Warren Wang stated in an interview last month that many Chinese investors are trading them legally on unregulated “over the counter” platforms that connect individuals to each other. And ChineseInvestors.com showed its own commitment to cryptocurrency by installing a Bitcoin ATM in the lobby of its San Gabriel, California, headquarters (http://nnw.fm/VIa3n). Wang called it the first such automated teller for cryptocurrency within the Chinese community in the United States and said it has generated a lot of traffic.

China serves as an example of the mutual distrust that drives cryptocurrencies’ prospects while relying on so-called “miners” to establish a level of trust in the legitimacy of the exchanges.

Despite the lack of a regulated Chinese exchange to trade cryptocurrencies and what Wang referred to as the Chinese government’s “badmouthing” of bitcoin though its official TV media outlet, the CEO said Chinese-speaking people within China and North America are very interested in buying, selling and trading bitcoin among themselves and he urged entrepreneurs to be patient as the community learns the ropes.

“I believe Chinese investors will be the richest group in the world in (the) next 20 years, because Chinese middle class are emerging since 2000 when the country opened the door to worldwide people,” he said in an interview with NetworkNewsWire (http://nnw.fm/U2Uct). “Real estate is very expensive and so are labor and rents in China. Investors have a high savings rate. They now would like to make bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies part of their assets.”

Blockchain technology was established on the principle that an unalterable digital ledger of transactions (arranged in blocks) requiring transparency among multiple parties would reduce the risk of fraud and prevent duplication in the transactions. It was proposed as the foundation of an alternative, people’s-run economic system that would not require the security of an established storefront middleman like a bank to uphold the transactions. Critics have questioned it on a commodities basis, searching for an undeniable stability that investors can rely on.

ChineseInvestors.com’s ATM is one example of the company’s commitment to providing cryptocurrency education. The company recently attended a Toronto cryptocurrency roadshow and educational seminar on how to buy, sell and manage the coins, and it produces a daily video from the New York Stock Exchange called ‘Bitcoin Multimillionaire’ that is focused on news about the currency (http://nnw.fm/Lfrx8).

“In an effort to expand its media products, as the first quarter of fiscal year 2018 came to a close, the Company announced that it would be working with Wall Street Multimedia (WSM), an independent news agency located in the NYSE, to produce a daily cryptocurrency video newscast in Chinese, providing timely information and exclusive analysis regarding all aspects of the emerging digital currency world, including specific cryptocurrencies, such as ‘Bitcoin’ and ‘Ethereum,’ industry trends, price movement, blockchain technology, sector-related stocks and ETFs, etc.,” ChineseInvestors.com stated in its most recent 10Q filing in October.

The company has offices in ShanghaiNew York and California, and has plans to expand to Canada.

“There’s so many cryptocurrencies from China emerging, or at least on the exchange right now,” Wang said, referring to a sort of anti-governmental sentiment and a “huge demand from (the) Chinese community trying to learn these assets and what (they) are about” that “gives us tremendous opportunity to bring the revenue and profitability to our shareholders.”

Other companies focused on the potential of blockchain’s financial applications include:

MGT Capital Investments (OTCQB: MGTI), which is a Northwestern United States company deeply invested in cybersecurity technologies for mobile and corporate applications. The company is also one of the largest worldwide working in Bitcoin mining and announced agreements in December to secure “reliable and adequate” electrical power in Sweden to begin bit mining operations there by the end of January. (http://nnw.fm/noP3K).

LongFin (NASDAQ: LFIN) specializes in structured commodity trade finance worldwide and works to establish markets and ensure liquidity through technological advances. The company stated in the fall of 2017 that it aims to connect 70 FX and spot exchanges with 300 banks through its electronic market platform, and in December made headlines when the acquisition of Ziddu.com sparked a huge cryptocurrency fever-inspired bounce in trading (http://nnw.fm/jRr8I).

Bitcoin Services (OTC: BTSC) is another company that performs bitcoin mining services, and began mining its own cryptocurrency known as Dash in early 2017. The company develops and markets blockchain-related software, and created subsidiary CryptoCapital Corp. in the fall of 2017 as a cryptocurrency holding firm, or a digital wallet, that would let users store multiple digital currencies in one place.

Application of Blockchain Technology Continues to Rage for Future Transaction Management

Technology, Telecom & Internet

 

Blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt many industries in the future by changing the way companies process business transactions. Originally developed to facilitate the exchange of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, blockchain will provide access to financial services for people all over the globe, especially those who don’t have access to traditional banking. Future Thinkers outlines several industries that are likely to benefit from blockchain technology for their business transactions (http://nnw.fm/MjaO8), including supply chain management, forecasting, the Internet of Things (IoT), insurance, ride sharing, cloud storage, voting, government services, energy management, online retail, real estate and healthcare. Businesses in these industries will adapt their processes to accommodate the number of people concluding transactions online, which is growing exponentially. Victory Square Technologies, Inc. (CSE: VST) (OTC: VSQTF) (FWB: 6F6) (VSQTF Profile) is one of the leading companies taking advantage of the growth potential of blockchain technology by investing in and incubating entrepreneurial ventures in this sector. Other companies investing in business opportunities in online payment and blockchain technologies include Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) (NETE Profile)Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT), Longfin Corp. (NASDAQ: LFIN) and Overstock.com, Inc.(NASDAQ: OSTK).

Victory Square Technologies, Inc. (CSE: VST) (OTC: VSQTF) (FWB: 6F6) incubates and invests in entrepreneurs to create partnerships and joint ventures in various fields, including blockchain technology, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, personalized health, gaming and film. The company’s business model enables these entrepreneurs to access its creative workspaces, education programs, distribution partners and global mentorship networks. It also offers operational support to help these emerging companies scale their operations internationally.

Though most people are now familiar with blockchain, Victory Square’s involvement in the technology started before it went ‘mainstream’. Over three years ago, the company invested in the BTL Group, using its business model to grow the company to a $215 million organization recognized as the first public blockchain technology company. BTL’s core product is called Interbit, a blockchain platform used by some of the world’s largest companies and institutions to explore new business opportunities using private blockchains. BTL has developed blockchain solutions for companies in the energy, finance and gaming sectors.

As it continues to gain traction and pace alongside broader market growth, Victory Square is enhancing its networking efforts and exposure within the blockchain realm. The company recently partnered with the North American Bitcoin Conference, a part of the World Blockchain Forum, which will allow the company to be among the presenters at a major conference in Miami on January 18-19 (http://nnw.fm/0at7R). Organized by Keynote Events, the conference will be attended by more than 1,500 leading shareholders in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors and will cover a wide range of related topics such as blockchain, bitcoin and Ethereum, regulations in the field, initial coin offerings and more. The partnership will allow Victory Square the opportunity “to engage with some of the most promising startups and respected blockchain thought-leaders in the world,” according to CEO Shafin Diamond Tejani. A focal point for the company will be participation in the “Pitch Your ICO” sessions, where over 30 leading blockchain companies will present to some of the most notable investors in the industry.

On the topic of ICOs (initial coin offerings), Victory Square has its hand in the game with plans to purchase $500,000 of cryptocurrency tokens in Bluzelle Platform Pte. Ltd.’s token sale (http://nnw.fm/8lSb8) coming up later this month.  Bluzelle is a leading decentralized database service recognized as a “technology pioneer” by the World Economic Forum. Backed by experience building enterprise-grade blockchain technology for reputable businesses such as KPMG, Microsoft, HSBC and others, Bluzelle is poised to gain considerable traction at its ICO. As an early contributor to the ICO, Victory Square is privy to an additional 25 percent of bonus Bluzelle tokens.

Another recent endeavor is Victory Square’s interest in the game-changing role of blockchain technology in the creation of a global decentralized Internet via software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN). The company has signed a letter of intent to acquire a 20 percent stake in SD-WAN company Multapplied Networks Inc. (http://nnw.fm/Rq3a2) – an organization focused on supporting service providers to incorporate SD-WAN technology into their existing services to develop a decentralized Internet. Multapplied Networks is already serving a considerable portfolio of global partners across North AmericaEuropeAfricaAsia and Australia.

A promising industry with regard to blockchain implementation for secure transactions is the fast-growing sports betting industry – another sector Victory Square is already exploring. The global online gambling market is expected to reach $59.79 billion in 2020 from $37.91 billion in 2017, according to Statista. Of this, the esports segment is responsible for over $696 million in revenue for 2017, a figure expected to increase to $1.5 billion by 2020, according to a Newzoo report (http://nnw.fm/X1llW). While traditional payment services such as digital wallets and banks have been typically wary of supporting the online gambling sector, blockchain technology has the potential to significantly transform the industry by enabling easier payments, a more transparent betting process and overall more positive experiences for the users.

Recognizing the market opportunity within this burgeoning sector, Victory Square’s FansUnite Media Inc. subsidiary has already integrated blockchain technology into its development of a social sports betting platform that enables community members to collaborate, discuss and predict the winners of sporting events using free virtual currency. FansUnite recently introduced FAN tokens for gaming, purchased with cryptocurrency to enable consumers to place bets and earn more tokens by participating in the company’s Bounty program. FansUnite co-founder and CEO Darius Eghdami has expressed confidence that its dynamic and responsive betting platform will enable the company to develop into the gold standard for sports betting sites worldwide.

The success of this blockchain application has encouraged Victory Square to incorporate this technology in its other subsidiaries and divisions. On December 11, 2017, Victory Square announced that its subsidiary, VS Blockchain Assembly Inc., has been developed to provide blockchain and cryptographic services to the other enterprises within its portfolio (http://nnw.fm/7lvQv). It will provide guidance on blockchain technology architecture and development, and facilitate banking, legal and commercialization services. Blockchain Assembly will also assist these companies to raise capital, either through private funding, public markets or token generation events.

Victory Square’s investment strategy also includes a range of endeavors that demonstrate its expertise outside blockchain technology.  Victory Square Health Inc., which focuses on developing solutions in personalized health technologies. Victory Square Health has in turn invested in Personalized Biomarkers Inc. (“PBI”), a company that develops test kits to predict the response to therapies prior to prescription. PBI is initially focusing on diabetes, identifying five potential biomarkers and enabling the company to enter a $4 billion market opportunity. In partnership with Insight Diagnostics Inc., Victory Square Health is developing a personalized diagnostic solution for the prevention and management of Type II diabetes.

Victory Square has also been instrumental in the incubation of V2 Games, a studio for the development and publishing of high-quality mobile games. V2 Games is best known for its launch of PAC-MAN Bounce and Beast Brawlers, which has resulted in millions of downloads globally.

Victory Square CEO Tejani has stated his confidence that all these companies within its portfolio will have an influential role to play in the evolution and growth of the company to maximize returns for its investors.

A player new to blockchain but well-versed in payment innovations is Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE), a technology-driven company that specializes in mobile payments and value-added transactional services. It owns Unified Payments, a provider of bankcard payment processing services and value-added solutions in the U.S., as well as owns Aptito, a next generation cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) payments platform, and Restoactive, a digital add-on for POS legacy systems. The company’s stable also includes Payonline, a fully integrated, processor agnostic ecommerce platform. On December 20, 2017, Net Element recently announced that it is launching a blockchain-focused business unit to develop a cryptocurrency-based ecosystem to enable merchants to connect with consumers (http://nnw.fm/0lB6b). This announcement resulted in its shares rocketing more than four-fold to a 16-month high.

Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ: RIOT) targets investments in blockchain technology by identifying unique projects in decentralized markets, with its primary focus on the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains. The company’s portfolio includes Verady, which provides cryptocurrency accounting and audit technology services through VeraNet. This application enables companies and individuals to account, audit and report on blockchain assets, while providing a bridge between cryptocurrencies and traditional financial accounting. Riot Blockchain also owns Coinsquare, a leading Canadian digital currency exchange, which provides a user-friendly, secure, cost-efficient and trustworthy way to purchase digital assets. Tesspay also falls within Riot Blockchain’s portfolio, and plans to develop a blockchain-based escrow service for wholesale telecom carriers. The company has also launched a Bitcoin mining operation.

A U.S.-based financial technology company, Longfin (NASDAQ: LFIN), provides finance and foreign exchange hedging solutions for importers, exporters and SMEs worldwide. The company uses blockchain technology to enable trade finance solutions globally for SMEs, manufacturers, processors, importers and exporters using cryptocurrencies. It also provides financing for companies and lower credit rated banks using insurance wrap. Longfin’s vision is to securitize and finance carry trade and asset backed solutions for companies, while aiming to connect with 70 forex and spot exchanges, and over 300 banks across the world. On December 18, 2017, Longfin stock rose almost five-fold on the news that it had bought Ziddu, a blockchain technology provider for micro lending, warehouse finance, trade finance, bullion trading and real-time derivative settlements.

Another company long in support of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is Overstock.com(NASDAQ: OSTK). Overstock founder Patrick Byrne recently announced the company’s Medici Ventures has signed a memorandum of understanding to create DeSoto, a company built to work on blockchain. According to a December 27, 2017, the goal of the new company is to develop a blockchain-based system to develop a global property registry system focused on the property rights of people in the developing world. Overstock’s portfolio company “Bitt” also recently launched its new mMoney digital payment product in Barbados. Under the mMoney brand, Bitt is bringing a blockchain-based mobile wallet that allows users to participate in digital transactions on their smart phones from a secure account, a company press release states (http://nnw.fm/3nnAW).

Blockchain technology has generated a large amount of interest and excitement in many industrial sectors for its potential to facilitate faster and more secure business transactions. These companies are some of the leading enterprises well-positioned to capitalize on the future development and adoption of this technology.

For more information on Victory Square, visit Victory Square Technologies, Inc. (CSE: VST) (OTC: VSQTF) (FWB: 6F6).

For a more in-depth look into Victory Square (CSE: VST) (OTC: VSQTF) (FWB: 6F6), view the full report on Microsmallcap.com.

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Seven Strategies to Protect Your New Smartphone from Phony Apps

Telecom & Internet

While many Pennsylvanians found a new smartphone under the tree last month, Secretary of Banking and Securities Robin L. Wiessmann urges consumers to consider several strategies to protect their new smartphones from phony apps that can steal information, take over that new device, and wreak havoc on personal networks.

Wiessmann explains that these phony mobile apps are promoted on websites or through marketing emails, which appear to be legitimate offers from famous companies. However, phony apps are designed to fool users into sharing credit card, banking, or other personal information. Some phony apps also contain viruses, malware, or ransomware, which can take over the phone and steal personal information of people stored in email address books and contact lists.

According to research firm RiskIQ, criminals using phony smartphone apps focus their efforts on imitating the leading brands in e-commerce. These brands have thousands of blacklisted apps that contain branded terms in the title or description.

“The benefits of using e-commerce to buy and sell on computers and smartphones are enormous both for consumers and our economy,” said Wiessmann. “However, in this age where technology makes tasks easier, it is more important than ever for consumers to take the time to investigate the tools they use and take control before handing over money, sharing personal information, and downloading apps to their personal devices.”

Wiessmann points to several strategies that can help consumers protect their smartphones:

  1. Use official app stores. Download apps only from official app stores such as Google or Apple. Though keep in mind the screening processes offered by these official stores are not foolproof and you should still investigate any potential downloads before proceeding.
  2. Stay up to date. Keep your phone’s operating system up to date, especially with system patches tagged as “critical security update,” which should be applied as soon as possible.
  3. Protect personal information. Be careful of apps that ask for permission to access information unrelated to the performance of the app, like access to contacts, text messages, administrative features, stored passwords, or banking and credit card info.
  4. Don’t be fooled by reviews. Rave reviews can be forged, and a high number of downloads can simply indicate a threat actor was successful in fooling a lot of victims. Before downloading an app, be sure to look at the developer—if it’s not a brand you recognize or has a strange appearance or spelling, think twice. You can even do a Google search on the developer for more clues about its reputation.
  5. Make sure to research each app. For instance, poor grammar in the description can be evidence of quick and careless development and the lack of marketing professionalism that are the hallmarks of malware campaigns.
  6. Delete what you’re not using. If you are no longer using an app on your phone, delete or uninstall it.
  7. Use parental controls. Consider implementing parental controls on your child’s phone so you can review any downloads.

Some phony apps make themselves “invisible” or appear as though you have deleted them. If you believe you have downloaded a phony app, delete the app immediately if you can, restore your phone to its factory settings, and change all passwords.

Anyone can contact the Department of Banking and Securities at 1-800-PA-BANKS or 1-800-600-0007 to ask questions or file complaints about financial transactions, companies, or products. Members of the public are also invited to connect to the department through Facebook and Twitter, or subscribing to the department’s newsletter.

Online Job Ads Increased 229,700 in December

Telecom & Internet

– Gains widespread across all regions and most States and MSAs

– Most occupations showed gains over the month

Online advertised vacancies increased 229,700 to 4,930,700 in December, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series, released today. The November Supply/Demand rate stands at 1.41 unemployed for each advertised vacancy, with a total of 1.9 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies. The number of unemployed was approximately 6.6 million in November.

The Professional occupational category saw gains in Education, Training, and Library (56.0), Art, Design, Entertainment (13.3) and Management (12.5). The Services/Production occupational category saw gains in Transportation (49.2), Office and Admin (21.6), and Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance (14.0).

For more information, including press release and technical notes: http://www.conference-board.org/data/helpwantedonline.cfm

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org

KPMG To Acquire Global Identity And Access Management Business Of Cyberinc

Business, Technology, Telecom & Internet

Acquisition Expands KPMG’s Enterprise Security Capabilities and Helps Firm to Meet Emerging Digital Consumer Identity Demand

KPMG LLP has agreed to acquire the Identity and Access Management business of Silicon Valley-based Cyberinc, which provides cyber security solutions globally.  Cyberinc, the largest independent identity and access management (IAM) technology provider in the world, will enhance KPMG’s existing capabilities as a leader in information security consulting services* and expand the firm’s ability to provide clients with emerging and more agile IAM solutions. The transaction also bolsters KPMG’s talent and resources in the rapidly growing area of digital consumer identity and privileged user management, which are evolving security-focused capabilities to enhance important elements of customer-engagement.

“Cyber security remains a top risk to organizations as threats grow in scale and cyber criminals develop new ways to access protected information,” said Lynne Doughtie, U.S. Chairman and CEO of KPMG LLP. “KPMG’s identity and access management solutions team can assist clients, across all industries, protect their information and enable their digital strategies and growth plans.”

Cyberinc’s IAM business is a 190-person global team with significant presence in the U.S., IndiaAustralia, and the U.K., and extensive experience providing advisory, strategy, implementation services, and managed services for organizations that need to transform their enterprise or consumer identity capabilities.

“Over the last decade, Cyberinc’s IAM business has risen to industry leadership position on the strength of some of the largest IAM deployments globally, investments in IP and an array of premium partnerships. I am very pleased that Cyberinc’s truly world class team will continue this journey with KPMG,” said Samir Shah, CEO, Cyberinc. “Cyber threats continue to accelerate and remain a top business risk. This transaction will allow us to sharply focus on
Isla – our industry leading Malware Isolation Platform.”

KPMG’s strong position with existing information security alliance partners Oracle and Sailpoint, along with KPMG’s recently announced alliance with Ping Identity, will be further enhanced by the transaction with Cyberinc to better enable information protection for large enterprises while pursuing new digital interactions and business transformations.

“As organizations innovate and transform their back, middle and front offices, identity and access management solutions that effectively bridge the gap between risk mitigation and customer experience are key to driving sustainable growth,” said Tony Buffomante, U.S. Leader of KPMG’s Cyber Security Services practice. “The addition of the Cyberinc team and capabilities is yet another example of how KPMG is investing in cyber security and helping clients succeed on their digital journey.”

Cyberinc is a subsidiary of Aurionpro Solutions Limited – a global technology product and solution provider, headquartered in Mumbai, India and San Ramon, California. The Cyberinc transaction is KPMG’s second acquisition in this area, following the October 2014 acquisition of certain assets of Qubera Solutions, a privately-held Redwood City, C.A. – based cyber security firm that provides IAM services.

Ashish Soni Celebrates 25 Years in the Fashion Industry With Honor 7X

Business, Telecom & Internet

Held a celebration themed ‘Welcome to my World’

Famous designer Ashish N Soni ringed in his 25 years in the fashion industry in an evening titled ‘Welcome to my World’ in a stylish retrospective amalgamated with technology in association with Honor 7X. Honor, Huawei’s e-brand for digital natives, associated with Ashish N Soni to celebrate his 25 glorious year and its own anniversary.

Bringing together the two global bestsellers at one platform, the evening saw a display of Honor 7X’s camera capability by powering the first of its kind 360 degree red carpet. The evening saw a compilation of the designer’s popular runway shows which helped in popularising the brand to its name today, there were also three focused exhibits revolving around Ashish’s personal favourites from his creations over the years.

Ashish’s friends and family from the industry were present to mark this huge milestone with him and were seen celebrating with him. Some of the guests were JJ Valaya, Rohit BalSuneet VarmaNikhil MehraRajesh PratapPayal PratapVikram ChandraYuvraj SinghRenuka Chowdhury, Robert Vadra, Bindu Vadera to name a few and they were seen clicking at the 360 degree red carpet created using 32 Honor 7X smartphones.

Taking inspiration from the technologically driven dynamic world that one lives in, the evening was created to represent Ashihs’s presentation of his world as futuristic as possible yet at the same time maintaining strong key sensibilities of his label. The venue looked spectacular with the massive domes that were mounted and each of them had an installations and story intertwined for the guests to witness. For the evening each domes were specifically assigned to cater to different segments. One of the domes which showcased artificial intelligence was curated by Rajiv Makhni.

Speaking about the association, Peter Zhai, President, Huawei India Consumer Business Group, said, “We would like to congratulate Ashish N Soni for his 25 years in the fashion industry and wish him many more such glorious years. This association has brought together two world best sellers, Ashish N Soni and Honor 7X at one platform. Our Honor 7X, the best dual camera big screen smartphone helps capture memories on-the-go coupled with impressive premium looks, ergonomic design, and stutter-free performance. The polished and premium metal body of Honor 7X with its rounded edges and thin bezel design makes it your lifestyle companion.”

Honor recently launched the Honor 7X, the max-ed bezel-less screen smartphone, equipped with a dual-lens 16MP + 2MP rear camera. The Honor 7X is focused on enhancing the power and style quotient of its consumers. The Honor 7X, touted as the best dual camera, full view display smartphone, helps capture memories on-the-go, coupled with impressive premium looks, ergonomic design, and stutter-free performance. The polished and premium metal body of Honor 7X with its rounded edges and thin bezel design making it a lifestyle companion. The smartphone will be available in a flash sale at Amazon.in on 21 December, 2017 starting 12PM.

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.in/honor-7x/b?ie=UTF8&node=14314977031

About Honor:

Honor is Huawei’s Smartphone e-brand which is also Worlds leading smartphone e-brand. The target consumers of Honor are digital native generation, a group that live in the internet, spending more than one-third of their time online for social and entertainment, shopping, studying or simply staying connected. Honor customers are young, vibrant and driven by passion. Honor brand has clocked sales of over 20 million Honor phones in 2014, accounting for a global revenue of about 2.4 billion USD with a 24 times increase and closed 2015 with 6Bn global sales. Honor has been expanding aggressively in global markets and has successfully launched in 74 global markets, entering the bestselling charts in most of the European countries Honor launched. Accordingly, Honor obtains a huge user base which has yielded powerful mouth-spreading asset. Honor products also enjoy global aesthetics, super processing technology and massive patent support. The three basic characteristics of Honor products: best signals, long battery life and remarkable quality. Honor is born for ultimate tech innovation.

Cyber harassment touches too many teens

Safety, Society, Telecom & Internet

In December 2016, Statistics Canada published the results of a new study indicating that 17 percent of Internet users aged 15 to 29 had experienced cyberbullying or cyber harassment in the previous five years, which represents about 1.1 million young Canadians.

Cyber harassment touches too many teens (CNW Group/Fondation Jasmin Roy)

To raise awareness about cyber harassment among young people and parents, Fondation Jasmin Roy partnered with Ogilvy Montréal, an agency that develops integrated ad campaigns and communication tools for Quebec and Canadian brands. Ogilvy Montreal’s creative team developed an advertising campaign for Fondation Jasmin Roy free of charge in support of the Foundation’s mission and to encourage parents to talk to their kids this holiday season about the growing problem of cyber harassment.

The ads feature two teenage victims of cyber harassment who are worried about the nature of the messages they’ve received on their smartphones. The shadow of the hand in which they hold their phone represents cyber harassment’s looming shadow and become a symbol that appears somewhere on their body.

It should be noted that 95.7% of high school students indicate that they have unattended access to the Internet at home and 52.7% have unrestricted access to it at school (SEVEQ 2015).

“These figures are worrisome and are proof that much more effort is needed to properly regulate young people’s Internet use and educate them about savvy social media practices,” says Jasmin Roy.

We invite the public to share these social media ads so that they can reach the largest possible number of young people, parents and teachers. The holiday season is a great time to discuss these important issues with teenagers and is the perfect time to review Internet use practices as a family.

 

Cyber harassment touches too many teens (CNW Group/Fondation Jasmin Roy)

Logo: Fondation Jasmin Roy (CNW Group/Fondation Jasmin Roy)

The Hottest Tech Sector in 2018

Business, Technology, Telecom & Internet
Big data is transforming the world in ways that humans never believed was possible, with the latest breakthroughs aimed at saving billions of dollars and thousands of lives. It’s the difference between knowing or not knowing when a portion of 2.6 million miles of pipeline might burst, one or more of 15,500 high-risk dams might fail, a refinery might explode, or which portion of 7.2 million miles of electric power lines might black out. Included in today’s commentary Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON), NVIDIA Corp. (NYSE: NVDA), Verint Systems (NASDAQ: VRNT), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), FireEye, Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE).

Protecting the critical infrastructure of the United States is set to be a $153 billion market by 2022, and the remote sensor industry that will make this protection possible is expected to more than double from $10.68 billion this year to $21.62 billion in just three years’ time.

The pipeline protection industry alone is set to see its value double from US$4.13 billion in 2015 to US$8.72 billion in 2026. And this is just one market segment that this breakthrough tech is set to address.

The infrastructure monitoring industry is at a major turning point, and with Trump set to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure in the coming years, smart investors are turning their heads.

Here are 5 companies that should be on your big data radar as critical infrastructure becomes a matter of life and death:

#1 Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON)

Honeywell is a major player in critical infrastructure monitoring. It’s also got its hands in critical infrastructure security and cyber security, recently acquiring cyber security company Nextnine Ltd.

Honeywell, a Fortune 100 software-industrial set-up, positioned itself solidly in this market-and early on-gaining prowess as a key warrior against cyber threats to critical infrastructure.

The company says the cyber security market in the Middle East alone is expected to double from $11.38 billion in 2017 to $22.14 billion by 2022.

Honeywell announced last week that it was idling its Metropolis plat in Illinois-a plant that manufactures uranium hexafluoride (UF6)-the building block of enriched uranium for use in nuclear reactors. The shutdown was announced on November 20, citing “significant challenges facing the nuclear industry,” which amounts to decreased demand after the notorious Fukushima disaster.

Despite the closure, Honeywell has other fish to fry, and is a key player in the pipeline monitoring business. It reported impressive Q3 financials that outperformed the broader market, with Q3 revenue of $10.1 billion, exceeding analyst expectations and securing revenues of $9.8 billion in Q3 2016. But it’s not just revenues that Honeywell boasted in its Q3 report-it was good across the board, with earnings per share at $1.75 vs $1.60 a year ago, and free cash flow up 18 percent year-to-date.

The stock is up almost 33 percent in the last 52 weeks, jumping from $112.15 per share in November 2016 to $149.35 on November 21, 2016.

Past sales growth has sauntered slowly behind its peers in recent years, and Honeywell has in the past failed to return profits to its shareholders at a level that would cause excitement. But the tide is turning, and with Honeywell’s new CEO, Darius Adamczyk, manning the ship, Honeywell may soon outshine its larger peers. Adamczyk has a plan to spin off two business units by the end of 2018-part of HON’s aggressive plan to increase sales. The units Honeywell is dumping-its turbocharger business and the unit that manufactures air purifiers and smoke alarms-may cut into sales, but it also means Honeywell will be leaner and meaner, left with its divisions that are growing sales at a faster pace.

“All the remaining businesses offer options for investment and growth,’’ Adamczyk said on a conference call with analysts, according to Bloomberg Markets.  “The punch line for me is, we’re going to be very active in the M&A arena.”

Honeywell is expected to release its 2018 outlook on December 13 before the market opens.

#2 Carl Data Solutions (CRL; CDTAF)

This is where Small-Cap plus Big Data can be a smart play for early-in investors.

Carl Data’s tech is designed to monitor, predict and therefore allow operators to save us from any type of infrastructure failure – oil spills and dam failures, toxic explosions and mine collapses – and it takes advantage of the massive data from a remote monitoring market that will be worth over $27 billion by 2023 .

While everyone’s been focusing on the billions of sensors that collect data remotely, Carl Data has been focusing on the data itself. Industries from critical infrastructure to manufacturing and everything in between are receiving way too much data that disappears into a black hole. Carl Data intercepts it and makes it actionable-and profitable.

It could be one of the most disruptive tech systems we’ve seen for the infrastructure industry.

From Toronto and Dallas to LA, major cities are lining up for Carl Data solutions to protect budgets and populations from the devastating disasters caused by aging infrastructure. The mining vertical is already being successfully tapped, and Carl Data anticipates other major verticals to follow suit.

There are few systems out there that can handle the type or sheer volume of data swarming in the cloud.

Carl Data’s AI system can be programmed to predict events that may lead to critical infrastructure failures up to seven days into the future.

  • It can use AI to forecast whether a future storm might cause a major incident at one of America’s many aging and high-hazard potential dams-before they fail.
  • Think major pipeline operators like Enbridge, Kinder Morgan, Husky, TransCanada and all their oil and gas stream crossings: Carl Data can alert engineers via cell phone immediately if thresholds are threatening breach.
  • For companies like Teck, Gold Corp., Imperial Metals and BC Hydro and thousands of hydro-electric dams and toxic tailing ponds around the world, Carl Data could be the difference between safety and a billion-dollar clean-up. It’s already working with Teck Resources and has developed and deployed an application for monitoring tailing ponds. The tech system will help Teck manage risk and is expected to result in significant operational savings.
  • When snow melts in the streams feeding into a toxic tailing pond, sensor data from points where the streams enter the ponds, combined with AI, can predict the likelihood of an incident.

This is a massive data platform that can service absolutely any and every industry vertical. And it’s already earning revenues, so it’s not your typical small-cap.

Clients pay a fee based on the number of data sources coming into their account, along with set-up fees and customization services , which include new algorithms and unique reporting.

And the entire system just got a lot easier and even more cost-effective with Carl Data’s AB Embedded Systems Ltd acquisition. Now, new solutions are in place to set up networked data-loggers to get all the data into the system automatically.

For investors looking for a backdoor into one of the biggest data coups since the Internet itself, this might just be it.

#3 NVIDIA (NYSE: NVDA)

Nvidia keeps popping up in nearly every vertical that has even the slightest thing to do with technology. That’s because it makes some of the most popular semi-conductor chips on the market, and the market absolutely loves this stock.

For every remote monitoring device, there is a chip. So, it’s not a stretch for a chipmaker to make it in the top five. While Nvidia’s GPU first revolutionized PC gaming, Nvidia’s hotter than hot chips are primed and ready to benefit from the explosion that is big data. Nvidia’s chips are the fastest on the market today, topping charts in the fields of artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles and even Amazon’s Echo.

And if their chips are hot enough for you, we suspect their stock is, more than doubling since May.

There are so many tech verticals that will benefit Nvidia that it’s hard to keep track of them all, but critical infrastructure monitoring is definitely one of them.

#4 Verint Systems (NASDAQ: VRNT)

Verint Systems is another major player in the big data as a service arena, poised and ready to benefit from a market that is rife with security concerns. What Verint Systems offers is the ability to capture large amounts and types of data from numerous sources, analyzing that data through analytics, and then using those insights to help optimize customer engagement.

Its most recent addition to its cyber security solution lineup is machine learning .

On the financial side, Verint has jumped up from just over $38 a year ago to over $43 today-an increase of 13 percent. Its fiscal Q2 2018 non-GAAP earnings beat estimates of 47 cents per share, coming in at 61 cents per share. Non-GAAP revenues of $278.2 million for that quarter were 5.3 percent up year on year.

And as of September, Verint was significantly overperforming its sector-the computer software market.

Its cyber intelligence segment generated non-GAAP revenues of $95 million in fiscal Q2 2018.

#5 International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

One might argue that the cloud itself is part of our critical infrastructure, and IBM is a key player in protecting this ethereal space.

Not only is IBM a cloud-computing behemoth, but it’s also got some other interesting catalysts and it’s moving aggressively. Most notably, it’s been promoting Blockchain hard and fast recently, releasing IBM Blockchain in the spring as the first enterprise-ready Blockchain service. It’s hoping the Canadians will adopt it for selling recreational marijuana once it becomes legalized next summer. In doing so, it’s all about protecting ‘critical infrastructure’ and securing transactions from fraud.

The stock has dipped 8 percent this year, but next year is looking good and we don’t see a lot of downside here. The declining revenue that’s been going on for 22 quarters may be over, so this could be a good time to get in on a giant in this space. And we would look to Blockchain efforts to get it back on track. In the meantime, it’s a cheap stock to buy.

Honorable Mentions:

FireEye, Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE): This is one of the most impressive cyber-security barn-stormers out there, including in the critical infrastructure space. It first went public in September 2013, and by December 2013 it had already spent $1 billion on a major acquisition, Mandiant, which was one of the top data breach and response companies in the space.

By. Joao Piexe

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Orange CEO Interview – Investor Day 2017 (Video)

Telecom & Internet

Orange, France’s largest telecoms operator and one of the leaders in Europe, held its Investor Day. Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange, comments on the group’s performance and investment objectives.

Watch video interview and read transcript:

https://www.eurobusinessmedia.com/video/orange-investor-day-2017/?utm_source=ceo-direct&utm_medium=wire

Topics covered in the interview include:
– Group’s performance
– Competition
– CAPEX
– Outlook
– Value creation

About Orange

Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 40,9 billion euros in 2016 and 152,000 employees worldwide at 30 September 2017, including 93,000 employees in France. Present in 29 countries, the Group has a total customer base of 269 million customers worldwide at 30 September 2017, including 208 million mobile customers and 19 million fixed broadband customers. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services. In March 2015, the Group presented its new strategic plan “Essentials2020” which places customer experience at the heart of its strategy with the aim of allowing them to benefit fully from the digital universe and the power of its new generation networks.

Orange is listed on Euronext Paris (symbol ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ORAN).

For more information on the internet and on your mobile: http://www.orange.comhttp://www.orange-business.com or to follow us on Twitter: @orangegrouppr.

Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trademarks of Orange or Orange Brand Services Limited.