35 Marketing Trends found for Human resources / Outsourcing

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US Consumer Tech Support Revenues to Top $8bn by 2017

Bottom Line: In a trend likely to spread globally American consumers are increasingly seeking professional help to ensure compatability between their increasingly complex IT devices.

“Unless device manufacturers work together to increase compatibility among devices and make the communication process seamless, the need for professional support will increase as more devices join the connected home ecosystem.” So predicts research analyst Patrice Samuels of Parks Associates, an international market research and consulting firm specializing in emerging consumer technologies. According to Ms Samuels: “Unless device manufacturers work together ... 

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2013 - Q4 2017 ]

... to increase compatibility among devices and make the communication process seamless, the need for professional support will increase as more devices join the connected home ecosystem.”

Adds Ms Samuels: “The growing ecosystem of devices in consumers’ homes has fueled the tech support, home networking opportunity for reasons which include consumers’ desire to have their devices synched to the home network and to have devices on the home network communicate with each other.”

Currently, most people have to rely mostly on their own wits when it comes to setting up new devices.

According to Parks Associates' research, 81% of US broadband households that have purchased a new device have set up a new tablet on their own.

Seventy-two percent set up their own smartphones and 60% set up their home wireless networks. This do-it-yourself ethos, however, is not particularly popular, as only a slim majority (51%) said they would prefer the method for their next setup.

What’s more, nearly three-quarters (72%) of those who expressed a desire to have some professional support wanted that service to be comprehensive in its ability to help with technology setup and workability.

The category is ripe for growth, as Parks estimates tech support revenues in the US will exceed $8 billion by 2017.

Read the original unabridged XXX article.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: MediaPost.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=6018

Will Water Shortage KO China's Economy by 2032?

Bottom Line: A hitherto undiscussed factor (until now) could topple predictions that China will soon overtake the USA as the world's largest economy.

The growing concensus among economists and other professional forecasters that China will shortly relegate the USA to silver medallist in the global 'economic olympics' could be overturned by a factor that few - other than the Chinese themselves - have taken into account. Namely that if current trends continue the world's most populous nation could run out of water by ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2012 - 2030]

... the year 2030. 

China's ambitions are high. By 2020, it aims to double its 2010 GDP and per capita income both of urban and rural residents.

The nation's economic track record has been impressive. It now has a middle class population of more than 300 million and has experienced the fastest ever economic growth over the past 30 years.

But it may not be able to maintain this momentum unless it overcomes one of its core policy challenges: water, both in terms of quantity and quality.

China's economy runs on water. Water is needed at one stage or another to generate energy. China's industry is the second largest water consumer - it consumes 139 billion cubic meters of water a year - with only the agriculture sector consuming more. And by 2030, Chinese industry's water consumption is projected to increase to 265 million cubic meters.

China is running out of water, which could soon curb its growth unless immediate countermeasures are taken.

The vast nation does not have much water to begin with. It is home to almost 20 percent of the world's population but has only 7 percent of its freshwater reserves. Water is one of its scarcest resources. And it is extremely inefficient in the use of water and a world leader in water pollution.

What exacerbates this shortage is the vicious circle of energy and water - if power-generating plants need water then water treatment and supply facilities need energy.

The Third World Centre for Water Management estimates that the water sector consumes as much as 25 percent of the electricity generated globally.

Though China's water sector is not yet among the country's most energy-intensive industries, it will gradually become so with new hubs of growth emerging in the water-scare western region and the increasing demand for wastewater treatment.

Already, about 52 percent of China's economic output comes from water-scarce regions.

Read the complete unabridged ChinaDaily article.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: ChinaDaily.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5981

EU Unveils Cloud Computing Strategy for Business Thru 2020

Bottom Line: The European Commission has unveiled a new strategy to drive European business and government productivity via cloud computing.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, has announced a new strategy aimed at "unleashing the potential of cloud computing in Europe". The document outlines actions to deliver by 2020 a net gain of 2.5 million new European jobs, and an annual boost of €160 billion in the trade bloc's GDP (around 1%). Commission vice-president Neelie Kroes explained the plan's underlying rationale ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2012 - 2020]

... "Cloud computing is a game-changer for our economy. Without EU action, we will stay stuck in national fortresses and miss out on billions in economic gains. We must achieve critical mass and a single set of rules across Europe. We must tackle the perceived risks of cloud computing head-on."

Key actions of the strategy include: 

  • Cutting through the jungle of technical standards so that cloud users get interoperability, data portability and reversibility; necessary standards should be identified by 2013.
  • Support for EU-wide certification schemes for trustworthy cloud providers.
  • Development of model 'safe and fair' contract terms for cloud computing contracts including Service Level Agreements.
  • A European Cloud Partnership with Member States and industry to harness the public sector's buying power (20% of all IT spending) to shape the European cloud market, boost the chances for European cloud providers to grow to achieve a competitive scale, and deliver cheaper and better eGovernment.

According to Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship: "Europe needs to think big. The cloud strategy will enhance trust in innovative computing solutions and boost a competitive digital single market where Europeans feel safe.

"That means a swift adoption of the new data protection framework which the Commission proposed earlier this year and the development of safe and fair contract terms and conditions."

Read the full unabridged article.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Europa.eu
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5935

Is China's Manufacturing Bubble Due to Burst?

Bottom Line: Rising labour costs, concerns over government-sponsored IP theft, and production timelags are causing companies such as Dow Chemicals, Caterpillar, General Electric, and Ford to start moving some manufacturing out of China and back to the USA.

The omens are inpropitious for China's real-estate and infrastructure bubbles in the long term, predicts a report just published by Singularity University - a nonprofit learning institution in Silicon Valley. But the menace to China’s currently rumbustious economy is not the I Ching. The threat is bigger and longer term: its manufacturing bubble. Subsidies, cheap labour, lax regulations and currency manipulation has enabled China to lure ... 

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2012 onward]

... American and European companies into relocating their manufacturing operations.

This combination of multinationals' corporate greed and Chinese guile caused millions of US and European jobs to move to China, and manufacturing became the underpinning of China’s growth and prosperity.

But rising labor costs, concerns over government-sponsored intellectual property theft ... and production time-lags are already causing companies such as Dow Chemicals, Caterpillar, General Electric, and Ford to start moving some manufacturing processes back to the US.

Google recently announced that its Nexus Q streaming media player would be made in the US, thereby putting pressure on Apple to start following suit.

But political pressure and rising costs aren’t what’s going to rapidly change the equation. The disruption will come from a set of technologies that are advancing at exponential rates and converging.

These technologies include robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and nanotechnology. These have been moving slowly so far, but are now beginning to advance exponentially, reflecting the growth trajectory of computing overall.

Computing has advanced to the point at which the smartphones we carry in our pockets have more processing power than the super computers of the ’60s — and how the internet, which also has its origins in the ’60s, went on an exponential growth path some fifteen years ago and rapidly changed the way we work, shop, and communicate.

That’s what lies ahead for these new technologies.

Read the original unabridged article here.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Forbes.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5883

Cloud Has Silver Lining: Up to 14M New Jobs by 2015

Bottom Line: A study by International Data Corporation [IDC] predicts that cloud computing and storage will generate around $1.1 trillion a year in revenues and 14 million new jobs by by 2015.

While the US unemployment rate currently hovers at around 8.2% and sectors like manufacturing and construction continue to struggle, the information technology industry in the main continues to prosper. Among the fastest growing segments is cloud computing and storage which, over the next three years, is expected to generate ... 

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2012 - 2015]

... around $1.1 trillion annually in worldwide revenues.

"Compared with last year's cloud professional services forecast, IDC predicts higher spending during 2011 and 2012 but lower spending over the remaining forecast period," says Gard Little, IDC's research director, IT Consulting and System Integration Research.

"IDC believes increased spending is due not only to acceleration in the adoption of cloud services but also to the buildout of cloud application platforms and infrastructure." 

Three trends are behind the job boom:

  • Mobility:
    Apps have found a home in the cloud. With tablet sales going strong and speculation that TV apps will become available in the not-so distant future, the need for cloud services will only increase.
  • Social Networking:
    Social networks, too, are proud cloud residents. Now that social networking has gone mainstream, look for more companies to connect employees and customers on popular sites or on social networks of their own.
  • Big Data:
    Currently users worldwide store about 329 exabytes of personal data – photos, videos and yes, even old-fashioned text. That number will balloon to 4.1 zettabytes in less than five years and a third of it will be stored in the cloud. Big Data, the business of storing, securing and making sense of digital information in its myriad forms is expected to balloon in size and become a $40 billion business in just three years.

Among the more promising careers will be in data analysis, which can include trawling through the mountain of consumer information that companies collect and store in the cloud. Data analysts look for patterns in customer data that can boost sales or generate customer loyalty.

Online travel agent, Orbitz.com is only one of hundreds of companies using data to increase sales. For example, Orbitz recently discovered that Mac users spend as much as 30% more on hotels than those accessing the site on PCs. With that in mind, Orbitz started to capitalize on this information and recommend more luxurious hotels to Mac users.

To read the unabridged Forbes.com article click here.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Forbes.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5875

Hologram 'Avatars' to Greet New York Airport Arrivals

Bottom Line: Arrivals at New York Port Authority's three airports will soon be greeted and informed by lifesize holographic female avatars. If successful, expect the dioramatic experiment to spread like wildfire across the marketing and advertising universe.

From July 2012 arrivals at New York's three main airports - John F Kennedy, Newark Liberty and LaGuardia - will encounter 'Ava', a computer-generated customer service representative able to respond verbally to questions on everything from the location of the nearest restroom to directions for a connecting flight. Better yet, the humanoid hologram is infinitely more cost-effective than her real-life equivalents given that ... 

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2012 onward]

... Ava, as the digital Delilah is named, has no need of lunch or bathroom breaks, eschews overtime pay and never needs a vacation!  

The body responsible for the three airports - the New York Port Authority [NYPA] has been running a customer care program for over twenty years, but now plans to increase the number of red-jacketed Customer Care Representatives by twenty percent during peak hours.

To expand on its current program, the NYPA has created an innovative pilot plan featuring virtual customer care representatives - the first time such  technology has been used at a US domestic airport.

Currently, 350 human customer care agents provide information to help travellers navigate the airport and public transportation options. Easily identifiable by their red jackets, they staff the airport’s welcome centers and other high-volume terminal areas like checkpoint entry and exit points. Between them they speak a total of 27 different languages, with English and Spanish most prevalent.

The computerized, hologram avatars will provide automated, basic information to travelers in LaGuardia’s Central Terminal Building, Newark Liberty’s Terminal B and JFK’s Terminal 5 when they are installed in early July. The pilot will run for a six months trial period at a cost of around $180,000.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: NYPost.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5844

Cloud to Create Fourteen Million New Jobs by 2015

Bottom Line: Cloud computing will potentially generate at least 14 million new jobs across the globe over the next three years. Many of which will likely be in non-IT industries.

According to recent research sponsored by Microsoft and conducted by IDC [International Data Corporation], the seemingly inevitable trend toward cloud computing will create around fourteen million new jobs over the next four years -- many of which will be outside the IT industry. And in a separate study by the London School of Economics earlier this year, cloud-spawned employment will particularly benefit ... 

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2012 - 2015]

...the smartphone and aerospace industries. 

But as Forbes.com points out, although fourteen million new jobs is a significant number, "when compared against the size of the global workforce (more than 3 billion), it’s in the neighborhood of half a percent, a small drop in the bucket".

Moreover, only 1.17 million of these jobs will be in North America. A majority will be in emerging markets — with China, India and the Asia-Pacific region accounting for ten million such posts.

Forbes.com attributes this regional bias to the "immense size of these country’s workforces — 1.2 billion workers in China and India alone" — although it omits to factor-in the commercial appeal of sweatshop pay levels.

But as the study’s author, John Gantz, observes: “A common misperception is [that] cloud computing is a job eliminator, but in truth it will be a job creator — a major one. And job growth will occur across continents and throughout organizations of all sizes because emerging markets, small cities and small businesses have the same access to cloud benefits as large enterprises or developed nations.”

IDC points out that since jobs are being created as a result of increased business revenue from cloud, the jobs will be across the breadth of enterprises, in areas such as marketing, sales, finance and administration, production, and service.

As John Gantz opines: "We may not have even imagined yet what job titles may emerge. And many non-IT people may have the cloud to thank, at least indirectly, for their opportunities. I’ll bet it will be more than 14 million that have career opportunities tied to the cloud."

IDC also predicts revenues from cloud innovation could reach $1.1 trillion annually over the next three years. The analytics firm estimates that last year alone, IT cloud services helped organizations of all sizes and all vertical sectors around the world generate more than $400 billion in revenue and 1.5 million new jobs.

In the next four years, it predicts, the number of new jobs will surpass 8.8 million.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Forbes.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5816

UK Start-Up Claims World's First Security-Controllable Corporate Cloud System

Bottom Line: Although 'cloud computing' is rapidly becoming the norm, corporate security remains a major concern. Now a small UK high-tech company claims it can allay that concern with a system that provides a secure, controllable environment for collaboration by multiple users wherever they are located.

London-headquartered Huddle, a relatively recent start-up has launched Huddle Sync, claiming it as the first intelligent synchronization tool aimed at data-sharing for corporate entities as opposed to individuals. Wall Street Journal blogger Ben Rooney hails it as "a good contender to solve the problem of allowing company documents to be worked on by multiple users in a controlled environment, allowing executives to work on their own desktop and more likely, mobile devices". Although there's nothing new about personal synching tools ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2012 onward]

... Rooney acknowledges that providing those tools across an entire enterprise is much more complex.

Explains Huddle ceo Alastair Mitchell: “Enterprises have to sync not just an individual’s data, but that of everyone across the organization and make it securely available offline on multiple devices.

“Consumer sync tools lack the security, scalability and intelligence required for the enterprise. They’re a time bomb of costly data loss waiting to happen. What Huddle has done is to take a simple computing technique, a shared drive, and brought it up to date. 

“A shared drive is a shared space on the network where everyone can post their files. Most companies have them. But if you are outside the [corporate] firewall you can’t access it. What people then do is to use their personal email, or perhaps other tools which are designed for individuals, not enterprises.”

Effectively what Huddle has done is to put a shared drive in the cloud. Users can see all of the data on the drive, but the system only downloads onto a user’s laptop or tablet the files that he or she needs to work on.

Asks blogger Rooney rhetorically: "How does it do that?" In reply, he quotes ceo Mitchel verbatim.

“We figure out what is the most important information to you. We use learning algorithms to determine what you need. It uses the same concepts as Autonomy. It learns who you are, who you are working with, what workspaces you have access to, which folders you use, and who you work with.

“It works out those documents you need based on that. In the background it pushes it to your device encrypted, so that when you get on your plane and you need to work on, say, a spreadsheet, it is already on your iPad.”

All data is encrypted and the system has a remote wipe capability so that should a device be lost, data can be deleted and access denied.

The system, which recently received clearance from the UK government to handle official classified data, launched this week (21-Feb-12) in public beta.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Blogs.WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5777

WPP Exports US Back-Office Agency Jobs to India ... Who's Next?

Bottom Line: Over one hundred finance-related jobs will be outsourced from WPP Group's US agencies to a specialist Indian offshore center before the year end. Some ask if this is the trickle that precedes the flood?

Despite posting its highest ever pre-tax profit in 2010 -- a 27% year-on-year increase to over £1 billion -- the world's largest marketing services conglomerate plans to slash its back-office costs stateside by exporting "more than one hundred" non-client facing jobs from its US agencies to India. WPP Group claims the decision to oursource US jobs was not mandated from the top, although WPP-watchers think it unlikely the move lacks the blessing of global ceo Sir Martin Sorrell.  Among the shops immediately affected are ...   

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2011 onward]

... Ogilvy & Mather, JWT, Grey, Y&R and Wunderman.

The partyline, according to a WPP spokesman is that the agencies "have decided to seek greater efficiencies in their companies and presently plan to have 'non-client' facing services delivered from an offshore specialist center in India.

In most cases, the positions affected are in New York, but finance department staff in other North American offices may also be impacted. WPP's partyline: "The total number of jobs under consideration represent less than one percent of overall staff (including associates) and the job transfer will happen over the coming months."

Toeing that line at Ogilvy & Mather -- which will bear the brunt of the cuts -- was O&M Worldwide chief marketing officer Eleanor Mascheroni who claims: "This action will reduce overhead costs while maintaining the quality and level of support we provide to our clients and partners.

"We have entered into an agreement with a top-tier business-process outsourcing services provider specializing in this kind of service delivery at lower costs to handle the processes. Many of our clients have been working with this model for many years."

Ms Mascheroni, however, curiously failed to mention that the jobs will go to outsourcing giant Genpact which -- by one of those odd coincidences -- also happens to be a major client of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.

Genpact is an offshoot of GE Capital and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It operates in seventeen countries and supports over twenty-five languages.

Which begs the question as to when the New York cull will be extended to other WPP locations?

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: AdAge.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5640

US Jobless Figures Won't Drop to Pre-Recession Level Until 2021

Bottom Line: Marketers can anticipate a stagnant US consumer market over the next decade if projections made by the US Labor Department are accurate.

Despite recent data indicating that US employers added 757,000 staff to their payrolls in the first half of 2011, a return to the pre-recession unemployment level of 5% is unlkely before 2021 according to a Labor Department survey of US households. Underlying the apparently healthy number of new jobs created in H1 is the grim reality of 14.1 million unemployed people as at June 2011. But according to Wall Street Journal blogger Justin Lahart ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2011 - 2021]

... a "back of the envelope" calculation suggests it will take one hundred and sixty-two months -- over a decade -- to reduce unemployment to the 5% level extant before the recession hit in December 2007.

The unemployment rate, based on a Labor Department survey of households, is the share of the work force (people with jobs plus people seeking jobs) who are unemployed. Out of a workforce of 153.4 million people, there were 14.1 million unemployed in June.

The Labor Department’s payroll figures are based on a separate “establishment” survey of employers that doesn’t include some workers, like farmhands, included in the household tally.

To get around this, assume employment in the household survey increases at the same rate as employment in the employer survey did in the first half of 2011. That implies a gain of 1.2%, or about 1.6 million employed, over the next year.

Mr Lahart's estimate also factors-in labor force growth. He explains: "If we assume that it grows at the same pace as the Census projects for the working age population – people aged 16 and over – it will increase by about 1.4 million people next year.

"With employment growing just a smidge faster than the labor force, then, the unemployment rate would still be a disappointingly high 8.9% in June 2012. The October 2012 unemployment rate — the last one we’ll see before Election Day — would edge down to 8.8%. And it wouldn’t reach 5% until December 2024."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5628

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