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Tesco launches Clubcard TV – will you be watching? February 12, 2013

Posted by Mark Hillary in Current Affairs, Internet, IT Services.
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News has emerged that Tesco is trialling their own TV service on employees, with a view to rolling out a national ‘Clubcard TV’ service later in 2013.

There is not much information yet on the service, but it is clear that they intend it to be a free on-demand TV and movie service limited to Clubcard holders – as a way of rewarding their loyalty to Tesco. With over 15 million Clubcards, Tesco has an enormous customer community so this is an interesting idea.

Of course any on-demand TV service will live or die on the content provided so Tesco is likely to be working hard at present to ensure there is going to be an interesting choice on the service, but it is unlikely that they can offer new shows or movies that are not already available elsewhere.

So what is the point of a service like this? It may just be a reward, a free service that is useful, but not essential, and limited to Clubcard holders. But it could be that Tesco and other big brands have identified a new area of the media where they can step in.

Think of how commercial TV and radio works at present. Shows interspersed by adverts that people no longer want to see or hear. With on-demand services the traditional broadcast model becomes irrelevant and it is increasingly difficult to interrupt content with adverts. However, if your brand is providing the vehicle that allows you to access the movies or shows in the first place then there are many opportunities to promote your brand without needing to place ads.

Media is changing fast – why shouldn’t a supermarket chain create a media empire? Stranger things have happened in business – Nokia used to make rubber boots before phones. Clubcard TV is certainly worth watching out for later this year.

Tesco Value

 

Photo by Chez Eskay licensed under Creative Commons

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EU Cuts Affect Broadband in Europe February 11, 2013

Posted by Mark Hillary in Current Affairs, Government, Internet.
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In recent news, politicians in Europe were seen hammering out a deal for the European Union budget. Though some in Europe were keen to see the budget increased, the leaders of countries including the UK and Germany placed enormous pressure on the decision-makers to cut back – reflecting the general health of the European economy.

And cuts were made. But one area that was hit particularly hard was the funding for rural broadband. The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) had a target of ensuring that half of Europe’s population could use Internet with a speed of at least 100 megabits per second (Mbps) by 2020, with the rest of the population on at least 30 Mbps.

With people fearing for their jobs and food banks on the rise, broadband access may seem like a first-world problem, but broadband is the basic infrastructure that underpins the entire digital economy and it is not good enough for it to only be available in major cities alone.

We are moving away from the traditional industrial model of the large cities with suburbs and armies of commuters travelling to the office at 9am each morning. Entire business models can be formulated and delivered online alone – and therefore based anywhere, even remote rural areas.

Considering the entire programme that is being cut was really only a few billion euros – contrasted with the banking system bailouts and quantitative easing that are costing hundreds of billions, it would seem to be a good investment in the future. Why cut back on infrastructure that can drive the future of the digital economy?

96 Maison de Fée

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Forrester outlines top tech trends – from now till 2018 February 7, 2013

Posted by Mark Hillary in Current Affairs, Internet, IT Services, Outsourcing.
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As decision-makers get blindsided about how and when to use emerging technologies, Forrester analyst Bryan Hopkins recently provided some helpful insight into what’s next in his blog.

Grouped in four major blocks, he outlined the top 15 major trends in tech that will be shaking up business models over the next five years.

It is easy to fall into the crystal ball-gazing trap, especially when you are talking about what will happen in technology between now until 2018. But a clear thread can be identified across Hopkins’s predictions.

In the end user computing group, advanced collaboration and computing tools will continue to be of major importance to companies worldwide. This is crucial because of the increasingly dispersed nature of businesses and the war for skilled personnel – you need to get the right people to work effectively together and also retain as much as possible of their knowledge when they move on.

The sensors and remote computing technologies theme refers to the external, customer-facing side of technology. Here, the Promised Land is that of smart machines performing the collection and processing of data, then contextualising it to generate the nuggets of gold that can inform brands on what to offer to consumers, where and how.

But that information doesn’t just appear by magic. So tools that provide advanced analytics capability as outlined in the process data management topic outlined by Hopkins  – that is, digesting and making sense of structured and unstructured information quickly and cheaply – will be very useful to companies focusing on understanding their audience.

Finally, there needs to be a robust platform holding that glue of knowledge together. So, as described in the analyst’s infrastructure and application platforms topic, big data platforms to handle large volumes of data, elastic storage capability and everything-as-a-service will continue to be the talk of the town for the years to come. Are you ready?

Read Bryan Hopkins’s blog entry on emerging trends here.

Crystal Ball

 

Photo by Justin Glass licensed under Creative Commons