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Due to voice assistants that are used in customer service, such as Siri or Alexa and “talking robots”, the topic of speech recognition is currently highly topical. Voice assistants learn to decipher the core of a customer’s message, so that the customer does not have to learn which commands to use to get to the goal, which sounds easier than it is, considering that dialects, synonyms or paraphrases have to be learned by the bot first.
Our value system is changing in times of corona. Issues such as responsibility, sustainability, and fairness are in the public eye and rapidly increasing in importance: big problems of the world have reached our society as a whole, as the ‘Fridays for Future” or “Black Lives Matter” movements prove.
According to the software company SynergyTop, 2020 is a decisive year for voice commerce as it offers a new sales channel for merchants and brands who want to sell their services and goods.
Procter & Gamble (P&G) announced their goal of having “50% externally initiated product / process innovations” as early as 2006 and declared at the same time war on the “not invented here” syndrome. P&G is aware of the fact that in an experience economy, which permanently gives customers the opportunity to evaluate products and services in detail, the speed of innovation will inevitably increase.
Adrian Jones has been named Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Asia Pacific and Japan.
Adrian will join Cognizant, effective November 2, based in Singapore. He will responsible for advancing Cognizant’s Asia-Pacific growth strategy.
Adrian brings more than 30 years of experience to his new role, most recently serving as Executive Vice President for Asia Pacific and Japan at Automation Anywhere, a global leader in Intelligent Automation. Having joined Automation Anywhere in 2018, Adrian has built the company’s regional presence and helped to grow the business to a market-leading position.
Prior to Automation Anywhere, Adrian held senior leadership positions at some of the world’s largest technology companies across geographies, including Symantec, Oracle, and Hewlett Packard.
The seventh edition of the Singapore Media Festival (SMF) returns in a hybrid format this year, presenting a refreshed line-up that will propel Asian stories to a global audience. The 11-day Festival will bring together the region’s best talents through a mix of physical and virtual programmes that showcase the sector’s ingenuity, creativity and resilience and presents diverse experiences that reimagine Asian storytelling.
Hosted by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), SMF takes place from 26 November to 6 December 2020. It consists of the Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA), the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore (SS), the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), and this year’s new addition, the inaugural SuperGamerFest (SGF) 2020. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and restrictions on large-scale consumer events, Singapore Comic Con (SGCC) will be taking a hiatus this year.
Qlik announced the acquisition of Blendr.io, an easy-to-use, scalable and secure embedded integration and automation platform (iPaaS), that seamlessly automates data integration and orchestration of processes across 500+ SaaS applications and cloud data sources.
Purpose built for embedded SaaS use cases and enterprise integration workflows, Blendr.io expands Qlik’s ability to deliver Active Intelligence through its end-to-end data integration and cloud analytics platform, where real-time, up-to-date data triggers immediate action to accelerate business value across the entire data and analytics supply chain.
With the acceleration to cloud-based SaaS applications, modern data and analytics platforms must enable real-time data access, ingestion, transformation and insight discovery to trigger action at the point of decision. Through Blendr.io’s best-in-class application connectivity, integration and process automation solutions, Qlik reinforces the importance of automation and action as key attributes of its cloud-first end-to-end data and analytics platform.
Blendr.io’s technology enables Qlik to expand the existing breadth of its data integration and data analytics offerings to also include automation to trigger actions and enhance augmented analytics capabilities. Qlik will expand existing Blendr.io standalone iPaaS use cases to include the ability for customers to explore new analytics use cases through timely access to even more analytics-ready relevant data from over 500 SaaS applications.
Blendr.io will also help expand the Qlik ecosystem use cases across ISVs, SaaS providers and enterprises. For ISVs and SaaS providers, Blendr.io helps integrate data from existing SaaS solutions with a variety of customer solutions, including accounting software, ERPs, CRMs, e-commerce platforms, sales cloud tools, messaging apps and more. Blendr.io also helps ISVs and SaaS providers enable customer self-service activation through native integrations to cloud data sources. For IT teams managing enterprise application and integration, Blendr.io easily integrates into almost any platform, from application tracking systems and human resource management systems to e-learning and expense management. And through Blendr.io, organizations can more easily feed AI engines and platforms by automating the data capture from hundreds of cloud application data sources to further data science and predictive analytics efforts.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Blendr.io team and leadership have joined Qlik as part of the Global Products and Product Technology organizations. Qlik is fully committed to supporting all existing Blendr.io customers and the platform will continue to be made available to new SaaS solution partners. Qlik will be integrating Blendr.io technologies into its current go-to-market models, with plans to integrate the technologies into its cloud-first data and analytics platforms starting in 2021.
Adzymic, a Singapore-based ad-tech company, has expanded to Thailand, Hong Kong, and Japan with official local partnerships, bringing its full suite of dynamic creative solutions to advertisers in these markets. Adzymic has named Spikebrand its partner for Thailand, Maadtech Global for both Thailand and Hong Kong, while Atlas Associates is the Japan partner.
Digital advertising spend in the three countries is expected to reach US$17.5 billion this year - US$637 million in Thailand, US$1.2 billion in Hong Kong and US$15.7 billion in Japan.
Adzymic’s award-winning next generation Dynamic Creative Management Platform helps agencies and publishers easily transform display advertising into high performing personalized content ads such as digital banners, carousel ads, dynamic product ads, minisite ads, social display ads and vertical videos. Advertisers can easily create ads by providing the image, headline, and a destination URL. No coding knowledge is required to setup a HTML 5 display ad; the platform generates creative tags and places them on compatible ad servers.
Adzymic’s Smart Tag technology automatically generates personalized ads based on site interaction and provides end-to-end tracking of user behavior and conversions, without the need of product feed. Ads are optimized in real-time using machine learning algorithms and on-demand ad updates. Clients can scale their ad production with a single tag, foregoing high setup, maintenance, and design costs. The technology is also built to work with industry leading ad servers and demand side platforms.
Co-founded in 2017 by Kenniess Wong and Travis Teo, Adzymic has since worked with various brands including DBS, Harvey Norman, Daimler, Pan Pacific, Sony Pictures, Toyota and Esplanade Singapore, and agencies such as Havas Media, Dentsu and IPG Mediabrand. With the expansion into Thailand, Hong Kong, and Japan, Adzymic will continue to offer their solutions via agency networks.
COVID-19 has led to a change in consumer behavior and advertisers too have changed priorities, placing greater emphasis on digital advertising with campaigns that encourage quick purchase from consumers. Digital formats are expected to drive APAC ad revenue growth this year, with social media and video being the strongest performers, growing at 10 percent and 4 percent, respectively.
Wachsman, a global communications-based strategy consultancy, announced the appointment of Danny Phan as Chief Strategy Officer.
For the past 18 months, Phan has served as Wachsman’s Managing Director for Asia Pacific, leading the regional headquarters in Singapore in order to bolster its presence across ASEAN. Phan’s new role marks the first C-suite appointment since Wachsman, an Inc. 500 recipient this year, was founded in 2015.
An award-winning communications veteran, Phan is equipped with more than 20 years of experience across emerging markets in Asia Pacific and the United States. To date, Phan has advised some of the world’s leading tech companies, including Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab, American online platform marketplace Airbnb, and the Asia Internet Coalition on policy and regulatory communications. In this new global role, Phan will have extended management responsibilities across all regional headquarters and will be responsible for spearheading Wachsman’s global growth strategy, including the expansion of the firm’s intellectual property, service offerings, talent strategy, as well as cross-border client mandates.
Prior to joining Wachsman, Phan was the Regional Managing Director for Teneo Singapore and Southeast Asia and previously held senior leadership roles at Burson-Marsteller and Ogilvy. Throughout his over two decade tenure in the communications industry, Phan has received multiple accolades, recognized as “Young PR Professional of the Year” at the Asia Pacific PR Awards and included in Campaign Asia's "40 under 40."
Since its inception as a public relations firm, Wachsman has since evolved as a consultancy, broadening its service offerings to include policy and regulatory affairs, organizational and change management, as well as risk issues and crisis mitigation. With Phan at the helm of the Singapore office’s operations, Wachsman has taken on mandates from organizations distinguished by aggressive transformation agendas, such as KBZ Bank, Myanmar’s largest private commercial bank; Singlife, a digital insurer creating an interconnected financial service for Singaporeans; and R3, a leading enterprise blockchain platform.
During the past year, Ogilvy Thailand has enjoyed remarkable recognitions on several international stages, and has recently been ranked as Asia’s Top 3 Creative Agency of the Decade in 2020 Cannes Lions Creativity Report. This is all thanks to the dedication of the people and the strategic approach of data x creativity x technology that have continuously powered the company’s business success. Ogilvy Thailand therefore takes this opportunity to recognize its talents who will continue to lead the mission of transforming clients’ businesses towards Modern Marketing.
The new ‘power team’ consists of two newly promoted Executive Creative Directors – Gumpon Laksanajinda and Prasert Vijitpawan - who will join the other two ECDs namely Torpun Lersin and Andrew Chu in ensuring that creativity is integrated into the end-to-end of clients’ businesses to generate real growth.
Gumpon, Prasert, Torpun, and Andrew have rich experiences and knowledge in various industries - from FMCG, Food, Retail, Automobile, Banking, Telecom, to Property and Energy. Throughout their careers with Ogilvy Thailand, they have earned the company numerous local and international awards and accolades, notably Cannes Lions, D&AD, One Show, London International Awards, Spikes Asia, and ADFEST. Together, they have set the new standards for the creative industry, not just in Thailand but globally, with their skillful integration of creativity into every touch point of the customer journey to drive business results. Each a highly regarded creative veteran in their own right, the four Executive Creative Directors will use their combined strengths across industries and platforms to create groundbreaking innovations and solutions that will transform clients’ businesses towards the future.
AnyMind Group announced a partnership with the ITC company Dai Viet Group (DVG) for limitless automotive media solutions.
Through its AutoPortal Global (AP Global) group, Dai Viet Group (DVG), hosts a massive automotive portal network across the globe, focusing on a comprehensive Automotive Listing Platform, ushering in an up-to-date Automotive News Hub, and building an interactive Automotive Community Network.
The partnership between DVG and AnyMind Group ushers in the mutual use of technology from both companies. Through this alliance, both companies aim to optimize both their ecosystems and marketing tech solutions, allowing brands and businesses to approach buyers seamlessly and effectively throughout their online car shopping experience.
AP Global’s group of online automotive portals will use AnyMind Group’s AdAsia360 platform – a monetization platform that enables online publishers to consolidate, manage, and track their revenue streams across multiple supply-side platforms and ad networks. It also provides publishers with features such as AdAsia Tag Service, header bidding, integration with Google Analytics, automated pricing optimization, third-party ad verification, visibility, and brand safety tools.
AnyMind Group will also provide resources from its CastingAsia Creators Network to optimize AP Global’s owned social media channels. This includes incubating and grooming AP Global’s in-house talents, including those featured on its YouTube channels, further growing its social media presence through training, content production support, collaboration opportunities, and social media monetization.
ConnecTechAsia concluded last week after three days of insightful conference sessions and exhibitions on the latest solutions and trends empowering the digital economy. According to the organizer, more than 6800 attendees participated in the first fully virtual iteration of the event that featured some 200 conference sessions, 280+ speakers and 323 exhibitors.
One of the highlights of the event, the inaugural CommunicAsia Awards, recognised innovation and achievement across global service providers.
The virtual award ceremony was held on 30 September and featured winners in the categories of:
- Best RAN Technology, won by Huawei Technologies with their Massive MIMO Enabling Superior 5G Experience.
- Most Innovative 5G Trial in APAC, taken by the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital of Thailand for their implementation of 5G to build a secure, reliable and smart 5G Hospital in Thailand.
- Telecom Service Innovation in Response to COVID-19, awarded to Robi Axiata for their Crisis Igniting Innovation Project.
- Most Significant Contribution to Edge Computing, saw SK Telecom taking it with their multi-cloud supported 5G edge platform and services.
36 start-ups also took part in the first edition of Elevating Founders Asia, the flagship start-up event of ConnecTechAsia.
After two days of pitch-offs, the winners for the various verticals were:
- Overall Winner/Smart Cities - Dot Incorporation was crowned overall winner as they reinvent accessibility with their Dot Watch, an accumulation of their work in the field of assistive technology.
- HealthTech - Ostique, a female, mission-led team, developing innovative ostomy devices combining advanced functionality with customisable aesthetics to improve patients' quality of life.
- FinTech - Merkle Science with their blockchain transaction monitoring and intelligence solutions to detect, investigate and prevent the illicit use of cryptocurrencies.
- EdTech - Akadasia, a Singapore-based mission-driven EdTech business that aims to democratise education for all by empowering educators with the skills and the technology to teach.
- Tech for Good - Uniphage topped this category as a biotechnology company aiming to solve the problem of bacterial and fungal diseases worldwide starting with the agricultural sector.
- RetailTech - DamoGO, an all-in-one mobile app offering a platform that connects restaurant, bakery and other store owners selling surplus food to consumers seeking convenient quality meals at discounted prices.
Spread across four main virtual exhibition halls and 12 international group pavilions, 323 companies showcased their latest innovations and solutions and connected with attendees through videos, online chat and live presentations. Content from the virtual ConnecTechAsia2020 will be available here till 1 June 2021, more details on next year's event will be announced in due course.
Shopee and Visa sign five-year strategic partnership to unlock new growth opportunities for Southeast Asia's digital economy.
Shopee users will benefit by being able to pay with an ease of mind using Visa and enjoy additional promotions and rewards.
This partnership is part of Shopee’s mission to better the lives of individuals and businesses through technology, which increasingly includes digital payments.
As part of the regional agreement, Shopee and Visa will partner to
- Incentivize MSMEs to digitalize their business on Shopee and adopt digital payments through Visa
- Provide MSMEs with marketing and campaign support to drive awareness, traffic, and sales to online stores
- Launch co-branded credit cards in collaboration with local banks
- Offer fast, easy, and secure Visa payments to all Shopee users
- Create unique experiences for Shopee users through Visa’s exclusive sponsorship platforms
Shopee will be able to provide shoppers and merchants with greater value, convenience, and security through Visa, making it easier to do business and increase sales.
Visa will tap on Shopee’s extensive user base to expand its presence with Southeast Asia MSMEs and online shoppers.
Over the next few months, Shopee and Visa will also launch co-branded credit cards across selected markets in partnership with local banks. It will offer shoppers integrated and seamless rewards and allow Visa to reach more local consumers. In Malaysia, the Maybank Shopee Credit Card was launched in June 2020 and was well received by Malaysians with overwhelming response in the first few days of launch.
The partnership will also see Shopee deepen its relationship with CyberSource, Visa’s full-service payment management platform, to support transaction processing and fraud detection and ensure a smooth and frictionless online shopping experience.
Bridgestone Asia Pacific has won two awards at the 12th Annual Global CSR Awards 2020, in line with its global CSR commitment ‘Our Way to Serve’, where the company continually works towards a securing a sustainable society and helping ensure a healthy environment for current and future generations.
- Bridgestone Asia Pacific clinched Platinum – the highest honor for CSR Leadership – for its various ongoing initiatives to raise awareness and support the research and prevention of cancer across China and Asia Pacific region.
- Bridgestone Vietnam, a group company of Bridgestone Asia Pacific, also won Gold Award for Best Community Program for its “Bridgestone Squad – Complete Safety for Children in 2019” campaign which focuses on improving access to education, increasing employment opportunities as well as promoting traffic safety through education.
This is the third consecutive year that Bridgestone Asia Pacific and its group companies are being recognized for its CSR initiatives at the Global CSR Awards organized by The Pinnacle Group International. The Global CSR Awards is one of Asia’s most prominent CSR Awards that recognizes innovative and outstanding CSR programs that demonstrate the company’s leadership and commitment towards being ethical and respectful towards individuals, communities and environment in the way they do business. The entries are considered by a panel of judges made up of internationally recognized professionals from various industries and disciplines that were selected to ensure a fair and objective review process.
Southeast Asia is on track to becoming the fourth-largest economy by 2030, with an increasing percentage of GDP driven by the digital economy. The Southeast Asia internet economy is expected to reach $300 billion by 2025 with e-commerce being the biggest sector and driver of growth. The Southeast Asian e- commerce market is estimated to be worth $150 billion by 2025, up from $38 billion in 2018. An increasingly tech-savvy population, rising middle class and the accelerated shift towards online services will further fuel the e-commerce industry. In 2015, 49 million people bought or sold items online, and by 2019, that number tripled to 150 million. With more than 70% of the region’s adult population being unbanked or underbanked2, adopting digital payments will enable them to participate in the digital economy.
Ruud Wanck is Candid’s new CEO, one of the largest independent marketing and advertising platforms in the Netherlands.
Ruud held several global leadership positions at GroupM over the past years, working from Amsterdam, London, and New York. His career involved a number of roles, from Chairman in the Benelux, Chief Digital Officer for EMEA, Global Digital COO to Global CEO at GroupM Connect, where he headed thousands of digital experts working across 60 countries in the field of marketing, data and technology. Three years ago, he co-founded an investment company participating in various start-ups and scale-ups. He will stay on as a co-founder in addition to his role as CEO at Candid where he has also joined as a partner.
CEO and founder Gérard Ghazarian will be leading the new board of directors and focus on Candid’s merger and acquisition strategy (M&A).
Due to several acquisitions - such as media agencies Stroom, M2Media, the Digital Agency Group, including digital media, data and advertising agencies like Online Company, Havana Harbour and 6Circles, daily dialogues and XXS, Candid grew rapidly.
The corona pandemic radically changed the world as we knew it within a few weeks and the consequences of the crisis are so far still unpredictable. But gradually we are moving into a new normal, in which a lot is different than before, and even a few positive things happened.
Singapore has a long-standing love affair with shopping. Many of the country’s malls built in the 1970s and 80s were pioneering in their day, and today the island state has more malls per square mile than any other country in the world. Recent years have seen a dramatic shift from in-person shopping to online retail with giants such as Shopee and Lazada becoming household names and COVID-19 lockdowns sending more people to the Internet for their purchases. However, a new report notes that while shoppers are moving increasingly online, many remain unhappy with the level of customer service they receive there.
According to WARC, the international marketing intelligence service, e-sports penetration is approaching one billion viewers worldwide, though Western markets are lagging. More than one in four (27%) males have watched an e-sports tournament in the last month, equivalent to 554m people. The rate among females is far lower at 17% (349m), placing the total audience at just over 900m viewers worldwide.
Voice assistants have experienced a real boom in recent years and are being used on more and more devices. Companies such as Amazon, Google or Apple use their voice assistants among others in devices such as televisions, smartphones, or smart speakers and try to establish them permanently in the consumer's homes so that they can perform a variety of tasks for the users.
In marketing, data is divided into first, second, and third-party data, based on their origin. Third party data, which currently still is the basis for dominant forms of advertising, such as programmatic advertising and thus for a large part of personalization in marketing, in particular in the form of cookies, loses in many cases applicability due to changing legal and technical framework conditions.
Emotions and the subconscious play an important role in purchasing decisions and the use of online services respectively. In the world of advertising, paid social media are those who should manage to keep the user on their platform for as long as possible to maximize profit. Longer usage time leads to more ads seen and that’s the whole logic behind it. Hence, the use of a website or app must create a good feeling and make users want more to spend time there.
Generally, the quality of the content is making users stay longer, the other is easy access, which means corresponding apps must be intuitive to use, too. Since prices are usually so tightly calculated that it is difficult to differentiate based on this factor alone, and the location is irrelevant when being online, the customer experience has become the more important.
More and more companies are relying on Artificial Intelligence (AI) when it comes to their offers, since the algorithms suggest products and services, breathe life into chatbots and translate texts.
ESET researchers have discovered a previously unknown Linux malware that targets Voice over IP (VoIP) soft switches. The malicious program was named by the analysts of the European IT security manufacturer CDRThief. It is designed to target a very specific VoIP platform, used by two China-produced softswitches (software switches): Linknat VOS2009 and VOS3000. A softswitch is a core element of a VoIP network that provides call control, billing, and management and these softswitches are software-based solutions that run on standard Linux servers.
In times of increasing digitization and a steadily growing threat from cyberattacks, stable IT security is an important prerequisite for a functioning and growing business. Unfortunately, studies show that this insight has not yet reached all managing directors and board members, instead their concern is: