Tag Archives: Salesforce

The wider field

There is a wider field, the field is ignored by many because it overlaps in several ways and most people (read: media) tend to stare at one element. We can argue whether it is bad or good, but it does mean that the bulk of the information is not there. To get this view we need to look at several sources. First we get the International Business Times, they give us two headlines. The first is ‘Samsung Expecting Profits Slump For Q2‘ as well as ‘Huawei Ban Helps Company Earn More‘, in one way we get an increase of revenue due to the Huawei events in the US, yet there is still a Q2 slump. There are several plays that apply, but it is not about the play as such. The firs realisation is that 5G is currently being ‘advertised as here‘ by several players and at present there is an increased question on which phone is 4G and/or 5G and most people are holding off on phones this year until that field has a better view on what is available. Most people cannot afford to buy a new phone when some new models are $1800, most people cannot afford a step like that and being tied to any provider at present is an increasingly bad step to make. Even as Huawei is 20% cheaper, it remains a lot of money, and the Google (Android) issues are still there, so people are hesitant. I might have committed myself to Huawei, but that is in part because I renewed my phone in the beginning of the year, so it has to last me 2-3 more years (I have principles towards blatantly buying new phones) and I am happy with my phone.

then there is the new stage hat is now evolving when we see CNN Business give us (at https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/04/tech/huawei-us-ban/index.html) ‘US government asks judge to dismiss Huawei lawsuit‘, they are rightfully scared because the claim: “Huawei had filed the lawsuit in March, arguing that a law preventing US federal agencies from buying its products violates the US constitution by singling out an individual or group for punishment without trial” is almost a given, the US government made sure that every media outlet on the planet took great painstaking effort in illuminating that and now it becomes the anchor attached to their legs as they have to swim across the Pacific river (or Atlantic river). If the case goes through and discrimination is proven, the impact will be monumental, especially as no evidence was ever brought forward and if we are a nation of laws, the impact will be large, moreover, at present Huawei is still growing its pool of 5G contracts and should the Case fall on the side of Huawei, the impact on Europe will be much larger, it could signal a much larger run on trying to get a quick deal with Huawei, not because they are nice people (they optionally are), but because Huawei 5G equipment is more advanced and all the telecom players know this. Ericsson and Nokia fear that side, they had a good run due to the escalations, but Huawei is still on par to have well over 50% of 5G by themselves and that is what the US fears, that large a disadvantage because its pool of CEO’s and CTO’s were increasingly stupid, flaccid and complacent in an age where pushing innovation was essential.

The issue is not out of the room yet because there is the larger issue that everyone has not been looking at. There is still the Google issue around Android. Consider that Huawei’s Oak OS is now 60 days away from release, it is the start where people who were initially ‘forced’ to dump Android, they now will be part of the Oak OS group, a data core that involves millions from adding data to the Oak servers and no more to the Google servers. The impact seems small, but it impacts the US to a much larger degree, this stance has given China a much larger boost than ever possible. For the users it will only be a temporary setback, as apps will be supported through Oak/OS, these players will continue, yet the overhaul as people push away from android is much larger than the interaction of IOS versus Android. Consider what you need. The bulk of all android apps we use will almost immediately be available, leaving us with optionally some issues regarding LinkedIn, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. Now there is a new stage where Chinese options could be considered and for the most when we can address who we need, we might not care on where we are. The idea that advertisements might initially fall away will be a massive reason to do that. I am certain that there will be a Facebook Oak and LinkedIn Oak, the rest remains open, the usage is huge but that too might be a reason to try something new, people love new things, especially if it comes with cool additions and new we see a different stage, it is not the US that matters, it is whether China has options that appeal to India and Europe, these three represent 3 billion people and there is the data crunch, they will not all go the Chinese solution, but even 10% would be massive, it would be a an intense gut punch to Google, more important over time as word of mouth make more people switch, the damage will increase for Google. Make no mistake, it will merely impact the total, it will not sink Google, it is too large, but in light of their predictions when they have 20% less data points to make predictions with, granularity becomes an issue for the professional side and there too there will be an impact, Chinese app owners will have their own digital advertisement agenda and business dictates that you cannot ignore that population, so budgets will be shortened to cover an audience as large as possible.

All that because of the Huawei ban, which was shown to be short-sighted from the very beginning. Consider that we were given in June: “Huawei can no longer pre-install Facebook apps on its smartphones after Facebook fell into line with a US ban on exporting software“, now consider that suddenly millions are offered a pre-installed WeChat and they are willing to try it, the impact on Facebook will be seen in less than 60 days, the fact that Facebook had been playing games with its mobile users for a much longer time will also entice users to give it a try. Not all will stay, but some will and the dimension of ‘some’ will imply a drop of Facebook of several million user. In addition we see “Chinese users spend an average of over 70 minutes a day within the app. All this makes it one of the most popular choices for businesses looking to get started with social media marketing in China“, yes it was overwhelmingly Chinese, yet in the shift it will now have optional access to a large Indian and European following. In addition the shift we optionally see when we realise: “WeChat allows for one-to-one personalized interaction between brands and users. This allows brands to communicate directly with their followers through the messaging functions on their account. This also allows brands to provide customer service directly through their WeChat account. It’s due to this reason that many companies in China don’t even operate traditional websites instead of focusing their efforts on constantly improving their WeChat official accounts” direct granularity towards the user, not mass marketing, but adjusted marketing for the individual, and then consider players like Tableau, Salesforce (now one and the same), SAP, Sony and Microsoft all wanting to address the person, not the masses, do you think that they will ignore this group of users? These people invest hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a day towards addressing their growing need of users, all revenue that is soon lost to Apple and Google. It goes beyond merely Facebook; Twitter and Snapchat, all have a Chinese version that now has the option to surpass (read: close the gap) towards their competitors. Surpass is perhaps the wrong word, the fact that people will consider the alternative in the immediate is a risk for these players, it sets the dangers of schools of users to switch to another pond, so those fishing for ads, visibility and awareness, they will all have to adjust the way they operate. There now are now only two parts where I have no idea how it will play out. Youku Tudou is the Chinese version of YouTube, but YouTube is so strongly placed that I have no idea how that will go, the same for LinkedIn. these are the two we cannot predict, no one can, but if they remain absent from Oak/OS something will have to budge, the question becomes how much do you need LinkedIn to be on your smartphone when you can just catch up daily at home, or in the office. I personally do not believe that its equivalent Maimai will be embraced as strongly as Maimai would hope, but that is my speculation on the matter.

Only YouTube as it is and remains the behemoth of Google, is too strong an app to ignore, it is too strongly desired, especially on smartphones, some might give Youku Tudou a try, but the library of YouTube increases with 300 hours of material every minute, there is no real competing with that, no matter how you slice that. There is no denial that their Chinese competitor will grow, but there the impact is less than a mosquito bite for YouTube, it is perhaps the one part of Google that no one seemingly can be without.

Is there another side?

Well there is always the option that everything in Google will be accessible on Huawei phones and that is for Google the best solution, but at present that part is just not a given, and when many Huawei smartphones are between 20%-40% cheaper, they will have an advantage and only because of US stupidity that impact is now optionally becoming much larger. And now the shift is changing faster, the Observer gave us on Saturday ‘UK mobile operators ignore security fears over Huawei 5G‘, when we consider the quote “The Observer understands that Huawei is already involved in building 5G networks in six of the seven cities in the UK where Vodafone has gone live. It is also helping build hundreds of 5G sites for EE, and has won 5G contracts to build networks for Three and O2 when they go live“, we see how things are escalating away from the US. the massive part in all this is “a firm line against the company amid claims, strongly denied, that it is controlled by the Chinese government and that its equipment could be used to spy on other countries and companies” all from the point of view that clear evidence was never provided and the commercial corporations need to remain on top or drown and that was the larger flaw the US never seemingly understood (or blatantly ignored). Yet the other side also matter, as the numbers are given: “The consultancy Assembly suggests a partial to full restriction on Huawei could result in an 18-to-24-month delay to the widespread availability of 5G in the UK. The UK would then fail to become a world leader in 5G – a key government target – costing the economy between £4.5bn and £6.8bn” (source: the Guardian). People tend to get nervous at a loss of millions, so the loss of £4,000,000,000 plus is something that can start cardiac arrests all over the telecom boardrooms. More important as Huawei is still ’embraced’ in Germany, the German players will get the upper hand over other European players giving a larger technological shift. The final straw was the consideration of “They have taken note of what happened last December when the O2 4G network went down for 24 hours due to problems with technology provided by the Swedish telecoms firm Ericsson“, a danger as this was 4G technology that should have been clear and non-problematic, now consider that this happened to established technology, so what optional risks are Ericsson users exposed to when in involves 5G, a technology that Nokia and Ericsson is still trying to figure out?

In all this, Huawei has not stopped adding pressure. Now that we see that less than 24 hours ago we were notified that Huawei has completed the contracts with Msheireb Properties. It seems small and insignificant, but it is not. With a smart experience centre in Qatar, it is my expectations that they are ready to approach and upgrade Al Jazeera to 5G, it is speculative but it will be the first time that Al Jazeera surpasses CNN technology (as well a Fox News), It might not matter to most of us, but to people like Nasser Al-Khelaifi (beIN Media Group) it matters a lot, so when we are informed that Al Jazeera getting ready to offer 5G streaming during the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and Huawei as a Chinese company is mentioned everywhere in Tokyo, you better believe that these two are on top of making this work as fast and as quickly as possible, so when I created my base station IP, I never considered this, but it fits and that is another notch that some miss out on. Half the planet goes nuts for sports on a regular day, how nuts do you think the planet goes when ‘their nation‘ is fighting its fight (against up to 205 other nations) to be the best at the Olympics? When you get to watch that live, streaming it all at 5G, do you really think that people will care who brings it as long as it is true 5G? In several nations the brand jump was huge when 4G became real and some were not up to scrap, I believe that this time around the jump will be close to 300% larger than before, and the Tokyo Olympics will be a clear driver on that part. When 206 nations fight for the laurels (gold medals) every nationally driven sports fan tends to get a little (read: abundantly) nuts, and at present that group of people is well over 3 billion people, all factors some players did not consider when they were playing the short game, Huawei never played the short game, it gives them an advantage in several ways.

That is merely my view on the situation at present.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Media, Science

When the offer is free

Try this for free! This is the commercial teaser we all see when we are offered a dozen of options. There is LinkedIn Premium, Spotify, Salesforce and the list goes on for a very long time. It is a way to get interested in a service or product. I myself tried ‘Today Calendar’ for free, than I upgraded, trials are to some extent a great solution. Try before you buy is a way to get into it. There are games that let you download their Demo, DLC’s that work for a week or two, then you decide, buy or fly!

It is an old marketing option that costs little and bring great reward for those employing the situation. There is however the detail. This we see in the article ‘Why are Amazon Prime customers angry?’ (at http://www.channel4.com/news/amazon-prime-charges-anger-customers-online). Several sources had the story, but Channel 4 read the clearest. The sub-line gives us the goods “Amazon defends a free trial of extra benefits, which ends in an automatic upgrade to paid membership costing £79 a year“. Amazon additionally responded with “Amazon says everyone who signs up to Prime gets an email telling them the duration of the free trial, how to avoid continuing to paid membership and how to cancel membership“. This seems clear enough. So when the guardian gave us ‘Giles Coren declares war on Amazon Prime over free trial‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/feb/16/giles-coren-declares-war-amazon-prime-free-trial-subscription), the impression was left with me that someone did not read their e-mail properly, now that person is crying wolf.

There is however another side to this debate. Should silent transfer be allowed, or should there be a mandatory change to an opt-in transfer? So, should the trial be auto cancelled after 30 days and in addition should we see a second confirmation after 30 days that the continuation is no longer free? This option is the one we usually see in software, when a trial is over, we see that the software no longer functions unless you start paying. On the other side we could consider that some consumers are too stupid to be allowed to have a credit card. The man considers himself an adult. He signed up for a trial, if we accept the response from Amazon that confirmation e-mails have been send, with the explanation on how to cancel it, he himself got into this scuffle by ignoring the message. The Guardian also shows another side that people seem to ignore. The two items involved is a tweet by Giles Coren “I mean, @amazon, offer a free trial in 2012, then quietly start charging £79 and never tell me. That’s what sicko porn sites do! I’ve heard“, so he has been charged for membership in 2012, 2013, 2014 and perhaps even 2015 and only now he ‘wakes up’? Now, this can happen, it has happened to many people, including me, yet 79 pounds is not a costs you easily oversee. To some it amounts to the 6 months fee from your internet provider, which should be taken into account. The second piece of information from Amazon is “Customers who sign up to a free trial of Prime receive an email informing them of the duration of the free trial and how to avoid continuing to pay Prime membership. Customers who become full Prime members can cancel their membership at any time and we will refund the full membership if the customer has not made any eligible purchases or used any Prime benefits“, which gives us the second part. So from that it would seem that Giles Coren must have used some of the services and now he is miffed on having paid for it. That conclusion I get from him not getting a refund, which means he had used the Amazon Prime services.

The article is not just an Amazon or an e-Commerce article. It is also an article that shows the unjustified demand of continued free services after the free trial ends. The two sides pulling on this are Amazon as well as pragmatic realism, as one Tweeter replied to Giles with “Shocking indictment of Oxford and private education as former student doesn’t understand the words ‘free trial’“, which pretty much sums up the ignorance people are showing when they accept free trial whilst not looking at the conditions. The one part I will also illuminate is the complaint we saw from a man called Richard Brown: “Regardless of the legality of the transaction and the stance that Amazon will take that it involves selection and a follow up email each year, the structure of this service is clearly designed to benefit from the customer’s lack of attention“. That too can be seen in two ways. I do agree with Richard on that Amazon should send a follow up e-mail on the subscription every year. These places can send you marketing mails until your hard drive has zero space left, but then shows a lack of ‘tenacity’ to inform their ‘customers’ via e-mail on the payment made, which I see should be a mandatory act in the first place (perhaps that happened, but no one mentioned it in any of the articles I saw).

It is the second statement from Richard Brown that bothers me “this service is clearly designed to benefit from the customer’s lack of attention”, not whether that is the case or not, but in regards to the consideration. This reminds me of the initial marketing when we saw the presentation from Microsoft on the launch of Windows 95. The slogan was ‘without even thinking‘, it was brilliant to some extent. Windows 95 was the first step towards people and true intuitive use of computers. Now, many (pretty much most users) are using their devices intuitive, but there is the added part we see that is at the core, marketing is all about getting a foothold, now we see part that implies (emphasize implies), is that consumers are either getting dim (not that unheard an idea), or that we are faced with two new elements, the first is ‘intuitive buying‘ and ‘intuitive marketing‘, the second one is the holy grail of achieving revenue. When used correctly it is seen as ‘Achieving influence without persuasion‘, there is an interesting article (at http://intuitiveconsumer.com/blog/intuitive-marketing-achieving-influence-without-persuasion/ ). It talks about the six mechanisms of influence used by intuitive marketing. They are ‘Trust: Intuitive marketing builds trust and relies on trust‘, ‘Consistency: Intuitive marketing is consistent and therefore communicates reliability‘, ‘Fluency: Intuitive marketing is easy on the mind‘, ‘Emotional reward: At the opposite end of the spectrum from high aspiration is the realm of small emotional rewards‘ and there are the final two ‘Aspiration‘ and ‘Aligned intent‘. As you see (especially after you read the linked article), the Amazon Prime situation seems to address 4 of the 6 elements of intuitive marketing, so when we see the Amazon Prime issue, is there deception? I personally say no! Amazon offered an agreement, one that gives you a cool down period of 30 days. The definition can be seen as “offer, acceptance, and consideration (payment or performance), based on specific terms“, this is what is at the heart of it all. The emotional response of Giles Coren with the reference to ‘that’s what sicko porn sites do!‘ which in my view holds no value, yet ‘the structure of this service is clearly designed to benefit from the customer’s lack of attention‘, the mention by Richard Brown is much better and decently more apt, but is it valid? ‘Lack of attention’ sounds nice for sure, but does that make the consumer less responsible? Especially when Amazon offers, “Customers who become full Prime members can cancel their membership at any time and we will refund the full membership if the customer has not made any eligible purchases or used any Prime benefits“, which is a decent counter offer, which was part of their offer as I see it. So first, the person gets a 30 day cool down and if the person has not used the service at all, they could get a refund. It seems to me that Amazon offers a decent service, so why do these events cause such a strong reaction?

The part I have not touched upon is ‘intuitive buying’. One vendor had this little slogan with their product ‘intuitive buying just like in an internet shop’. Now we get back to the initial Windows 95 slogan, this gives us in the end ‘buying without even thinking’. So we have a complete picture, but what neither article skates on is when will we see the accountability of the consumer. The person who was given a credit card, an adult who was supposed to be of sound state of mind. The person buying, was notified and then did not react. Intuitive buying does not make a person unaccountable, is that what the articles are steering to? No matter how many complaints we see, the clear indication is given that Amazon gave up front and it allows for correction in hindsight.

Hidden under this is the issue, not on the side of Amazon, but on our side, we consumers need to consider the clear truth that nothing is free! Should any internet offer be treated the same way trial software is? That remains valid, but if so, is that because consumers are no longer to be considered ‘adult’ or accountable, or is it because of another path of reasoning?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Law