Microsoft Likely To House A Cloud Unit Within Big IT Companies In India- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Reports say that Microsoft has been pushing ahead with a strategy to create a separate business unit within large IT companies, in a drive to accelerate its India business.
The ITeS360 solution, as its called, the business unit helps IT companies to sell the entire stack of Microsoft offerings. This would range from Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions to business applications over the cloud, to their customers that are spread all across the globe. 
This business unit leader that is housed inside an IT company, would ensure that the local Microsoft office in that specific location, would help in rolling out the solution. This was said by Microsoft India President Anant Maheshwari told a national publication in an interview.
This would bring about strategic differences, under which the local Microsoft official would only be concerned with sales at the India operations.
Software companies like Tata Consultancy Services and HCL Technologies, are some of the leading players that have partnered with Microsoft.
As per a statement by Maheshwari, ‘One Microsoft’ strategy was a brainchild of chief executive Satya Nadella. He is expected to visit India later this month. 

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How technology can help companies measure their purpose and values- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Companies that know and understand their purpose do better. Study after study shows that having a strong vision, well-defined values and a varied culture leads to improved financial results and a happier workforce.
While the idea of stakeholder capitalism isn’t new, it’s rapidly taking hold. Chief executives from 180 US companies say social responsibility should come before profit, and the World Economic Forum’s new Davos Manifesto seeks to ensure corporate leaders are taking their pledges seriously.
With corporate purpose and values in the spotlight, business leaders must take responsibility for ensuring the ideas are authentic, clearly communicated and accurately benchmarked. Defining and measuring success lies at the heart of this, with artificial intelligence, machine learning and data mining offering new ways to evaluate progress.
Done right, this could underpin a shift away from traditional metrics, such as profit and the bottom line, toward a holistic and dynamic overview of what’s being achieved.
Here are three areas in which we can all use technology to better understand our impact, regardless of industry or sector.
Reducing your carbon footprintPutting climate change and the environment at the heart of policy is a good first step for any corporation. It’s not just about reducing your own environmental impact, but also helping others to reduce theirs.
Harnessing ICT products and services can help lower everyone’s carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 20%. BT Group has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2045 and has already set and reached some rigorous science-based targets.
Investing in renewable energy sources, cutting emissions from buildings, and moving toward electric vehicles are just some of the steps to hitting these targets.
Technology can not only assist in setting and measuring these goals – it can help us achieve them too. For example, in cutting business travel. Where in the past employees might have jumped on a flight, constantly improving collaboration tools, not to mention augmented and virtual reality, now reduce the need for face-to-face meetings.
In a similar way, technology such as robotics or 3D printing can also help improve product and factory efficiencies, meaning fewer materials and resources are used to get the same, or even better, results. And artificial intelligence is already being used for the predictive maintenance of equipment.
The Internet of Things offers ways to utilize data to reduce carbon footprints. For example, Auto Mate – an IoT-enabled vehicle-monitoring system – collects fuel economy and carbon data and suggests ways drivers and fleet managers can act to improve their environmental impact.
Improving access to technology for all While using technology in this way can only be positive, we must also be mindful of those at risk of being left behind.
About half the world’s population doesn’t have access to the internet, cutting them off from opportunities and limiting their potential to build the skills they need to thrive. Improving this can bring benefits like mobile banking and access to financing to remote areas, while access to social media can give a voice to communities that may otherwise feel isolated.
It’s not just an issue for developing countries. In the UK, almost 12 million people lack the digital skills they need for everyday life. BT’s Skills for Tomorrow initiative aims to reach and help reskill 10 million people by 2025. By targeting teachers, young people, older citizens, small-business owners and families, the program has a wide and ambitious scope. It’s also gone global, with a three-year partnership with the British Asian Trust in India to enable girls to access information, skills and opportunities – improving their understanding of equality, supporting their employability, and informing them about support for good health.
Programs like these are vital to ensuring the proliferation of technology doesn’t create a two-tier society.
Treading the ethical tightropeIn a similar way, making sure the spread of technology is also ethical should be central to any measure of success. While we’ve focused on the benefits these advances can bring, corporations must also guard against the potential for them to be misused, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Corporate leaders should work with their stakeholders to help people feel safe online and instill confidence that their transactions and data are secure, while also protecting privacy and freedom of expression.
For example, when we harness the power of artificial intelligence, we need to make sure we understand how it is making choices and that those decisions don’t include an inbuilt bias caused by the data.
Regulation alone is not the answer. All corporate leaders need to step up to gain trust and ensure their data is not misused.
As technology reshapes our world, corporations can take advantage of new and innovative approaches to benchmarking success. We have discussed a few ways it can enhance the power of communications while also creating a meaningful impact, as well as some alternative metrics that can underpin corporate benchmarking and help plot a course for the future.
Understanding corporate purpose and measuring its results is a task that’s constantly evolving. In 2020, business leaders must ensure all stakeholders are included and served, ensuring people remain the focus as technology marches on.
Authored by Jennifer Artley, Managing director, Technology, Life Science & Business Services, British Telecom

If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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How technology can help companies measure their purpose and values- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Read Article

Companies that know and understand their purpose do better. Study after study shows that having a strong vision, well-defined values and a varied culture leads to improved financial results and a happier workforce.
While the idea of stakeholder capitalism isn’t new, it’s rapidly taking hold. Chief executives from 180 US companies say social responsibility should come before profit, and the World Economic Forum’s new Davos Manifesto seeks to ensure corporate leaders are taking their pledges seriously.
With corporate purpose and values in the spotlight, business leaders must take responsibility for ensuring the ideas are authentic, clearly communicated and accurately benchmarked. Defining and measuring success lies at the heart of this, with artificial intelligence, machine learning and data mining offering new ways to evaluate progress.
Done right, this could underpin a shift away from traditional metrics, such as profit and the bottom line, toward a holistic and dynamic overview of what’s being achieved.
Here are three areas in which we can all use technology to better understand our impact, regardless of industry or sector.
Reducing your carbon footprintPutting climate change and the environment at the heart of policy is a good first step for any corporation. It’s not just about reducing your own environmental impact, but also helping others to reduce theirs.
Harnessing ICT products and services can help lower everyone’s carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 20%. BT Group has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2045 and has already set and reached some rigorous science-based targets.
Investing in renewable energy sources, cutting emissions from buildings, and moving toward electric vehicles are just some of the steps to hitting these targets.
Technology can not only assist in setting and measuring these goals – it can help us achieve them too. For example, in cutting business travel. Where in the past employees might have jumped on a flight, constantly improving collaboration tools, not to mention augmented and virtual reality, now reduce the need for face-to-face meetings.
In a similar way, technology such as robotics or 3D printing can also help improve product and factory efficiencies, meaning fewer materials and resources are used to get the same, or even better, results. And artificial intelligence is already being used for the predictive maintenance of equipment.
The Internet of Things offers ways to utilize data to reduce carbon footprints. For example, Auto Mate – an IoT-enabled vehicle-monitoring system – collects fuel economy and carbon data and suggests ways drivers and fleet managers can act to improve their environmental impact.
Improving access to technology for all While using technology in this way can only be positive, we must also be mindful of those at risk of being left behind.
About half the world’s population doesn’t have access to the internet, cutting them off from opportunities and limiting their potential to build the skills they need to thrive. Improving this can bring benefits like mobile banking and access to financing to remote areas, while access to social media can give a voice to communities that may otherwise feel isolated.
It’s not just an issue for developing countries. In the UK, almost 12 million people lack the digital skills they need for everyday life. BT’s Skills for Tomorrow initiative aims to reach and help reskill 10 million people by 2025. By targeting teachers, young people, older citizens, small-business owners and families, the program has a wide and ambitious scope. It’s also gone global, with a three-year partnership with the British Asian Trust in India to enable girls to access information, skills and opportunities – improving their understanding of equality, supporting their employability, and informing them about support for good health.
Programs like these are vital to ensuring the proliferation of technology doesn’t create a two-tier society.
Treading the ethical tightropeIn a similar way, making sure the spread of technology is also ethical should be central to any measure of success. While we’ve focused on the benefits these advances can bring, corporations must also guard against the potential for them to be misused, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Corporate leaders should work with their stakeholders to help people feel safe online and instill confidence that their transactions and data are secure, while also protecting privacy and freedom of expression.
For example, when we harness the power of artificial intelligence, we need to make sure we understand how it is making choices and that those decisions don’t include an inbuilt bias caused by the data.
Regulation alone is not the answer. All corporate leaders need to step up to gain trust and ensure their data is not misused.
As technology reshapes our world, corporations can take advantage of new and innovative approaches to benchmarking success. We have discussed a few ways it can enhance the power of communications while also creating a meaningful impact, as well as some alternative metrics that can underpin corporate benchmarking and help plot a course for the future.
Understanding corporate purpose and measuring its results is a task that’s constantly evolving. In 2020, business leaders must ensure all stakeholders are included and served, ensuring people remain the focus as technology marches on.
Authored by Jennifer Artley, Managing director, Technology, Life Science & Business Services, British Telecom

If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

Tempemail , Tempmail Temp email addressess (10 minutes emails)– When you want to create account on some forum or social media, like Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, TikTok you have to enter information about your e-mail box to get an activation link. Unfortunately, after registration, this social media sends you dozens of messages with useless information, which you are not interested in. To avoid that, visit this Temp mail generator: tempemail.co and you will have a Temp mail disposable address and end up on a bunch of spam lists. This email will expire after 10 minute so you can call this Temp mail 10 minute email. Our service is free! Let’s enjoy!

Main Causes of Workplace Stress in African Companies | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Workplace stress takes a huge toll on African companies annually due to lowered productivity and higher absent days. In fact, in South Africa, the stress in workplaces costs South African companies a staggering R40 billion annually. This is 2.2% of the country’s entire GDP. 
Stress and depression are nationwide issues in many African countries such as South Africa. The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG)  reported that 1 in 4 South Africans struggle with depression. However, only 1 in 6 workers are likely to do something about it. Workplace stress is detrimental because not only does it lead to mental health issues, but also serious cardiovascular health issues like heart attacks. 
It is imperative to understand the root causes of workplace stress in African countries and quickly implement strategies to reduce stress. Some of the major reasons for workplace stress include:
Poor Work-Life Balance
Work-life balances seem to be a growing problem across the world, as we’re becoming more obsessed with profits and achievements. According to labour statistics, nearly 12% of South Africans averaged over 60 hours of work per week. It was reported as one of the hardest working countries in the world. But, this places a huge amount of stress for employees to find a good work-life balance.
This means that there’s less time for family, home and social responsibilities such as spending time with the children. People have the added stress of trying to find people to take care of children and less time to do household chores when they come home.
According to George Chiang at Ergonomic Trends, an ergonomist and office health specialist, work-life imbalance is one of the biggest contributors to depression in adults:
“When work starts to become the main focus of our lives, any stress or hardship experienced at work is amplified, because we start to define our happiness solely through our triumphs at work, instead of realizing our life is much more than just work.”
Poor financial situation
A poor financial background is a cause for stress in any place in the world. However, financial stress seems to be a looming problem for African countries. One source of financial stress is the proper management of debt. With default rates on loans increasing in some African countries, this puts more stress on financially challenged workers to cope.
The most affected are often young people, those living on rent or those that have limited high school education. This presents a vicious cycle because groups with poorer education tend to have less knowledge about how to manage their debt or what financial risks to avoid. But, these groups are also more likely to take out loans, so the problem is worsened.
Poor work environment
Harsh working environments are also unsurprisingly linked to higher workplace stress. The issue is that while African countries are experiencing higher levels of paid employment, there hasn’t been much reduction in poverty. Harsh conditions in the workplace, like polluted air or poor safety precautions, can also increase stress. So, a stable and safe working is important for lowering stress.
Having a mental illness
The worst part of having mental health issues is that it builds up a vicious cycle. The stress from having a mental health issue like depression can put even more stress on employees and exacerbate their condition. 
This is because a lot of African workplaces tend to be less understanding about mental health conditions, and therefore employees are less likely to report it. As we mentioned earlier, only 1 in 6 South Africans is likely to report depression to their employers.
The reluctance of African workplaces to acknowledge mental health problems was highlighted by the Jansen vs Legal Aid South Africa case in 2018. A longtime employee was unfairly dismissed because he failed to report to work due to depression. This was despite the fact that the employer had been aware of the worker’s condition for a few years and did nothing to address his mental health.
So, as we can see, a lot of African workers are reluctant to disclose their mental health issues because of the fear of being dismissed or not being taken seriously. This puts more stress on the employee in having to bottle up their condition while being expected to work normally.
Workplace politics
Of course, this is an issue that transcends geography and affects employees around the world. The issue is made worse in places like Asia and Africa because there are fewer channels to report workplace problems like harassment and bullying.
Even outside Africa, toxic workplace environments are, in fact, one of the biggest causes of workplace stress. In the UK, a 2018 poll of office workers showed that 9% of workplace stress stems from office politics.
Poor Job Satisfaction
Finally, poor job satisfaction is also a big reason for stress in African companies. At one company in South Africa, almost 50% of their employees were unsatisfied with their current jobs. The constant need to look for new jobs brings added stress. So, companies need to invest in listening to their workers’ expectations about jobs.
The TakeAway
The main takeaway is that workplace stress is becoming a serious issue all over the world. Some countries like Finland are looking at reducing the number of working hours. In African workplaces, employers should take note of some of these issues affecting employees. Strategies need to be put in place to combat workplace stress before it starts to seriously affect employee health and productivity.
Staff writer

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Will MWC be canceled? Organizers meet on Friday as more companies drop out – Blog – 10 minute

In a nutshell: With every day bringing news of another big company dropping out of Mobile World Congress over coronavirus fears, it’s starting to look as if the event might be canceled. According to new reports, organizer GSMA is holding a meeting this Friday to decide the fate of the upcoming show.
The list of tech firms dropping out of MWC is growing by the day. It started with LG and Ericsson before Nvidia, Sony, Amazon, Intel, Vivo, and many other companies followed suit.
In a statement earlier this week, GSMA assured the 2,800 exhibitors that the show would go ahead as planned, but we’ve since had confirmation that other big names won’t be attending. Facebook, Nokia, Royole, Cisco, McAfee, AT&T, and Sprint won’t be participating, and more will doubtlessly drop out before the February 24 start date in Barcelona.
Canceling an appearance is proving costly for smaller firms. Israel/New York-based software startup Lightico told the BBC it expected to lose the $15,000 it had invested in its place at the event by not attending, though it will have a “virtual booth.”
Spanish publication El Pais writes that GSMA will meet this Friday to decide its next steps, which could include suspending the event. It adds that Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom are also considering skipping the show.
Canceling MWC would be a massive decision, leaving the 100,000+ attendees dealing with potentially non-refundable flights and hotel bookings.
GSMA has announced new precautions to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. These include banning all travelers from the Hubei province and temperature screening.

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Deutsche Bank taps US tech companies for makeover – Finance – Cloud – Networking – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Deutsche Bank has invited bids from Microsoft, Google and Amazon to overhaul the German bank’s outdated and fragmented technology networks, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The bank’s approach to the U.S. tech companies, which has not been previously reported, is part of a €13 billion (US$14.20 billion) technology investment Deutsche has planned up to 2022 as it restructures to recover from years of losses.
Bernd Leukert, who recently joined Deutsche’s board as chief technology officer from software group SAP, is overseeing the initiative.
Deutsche Bank said in a statement: “To help us evaluate our options, we have started a tender process with several cloud providers … we expect to be able to complete the process in the coming months.”
Microsoft and Google declined to comment. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.
Technology is a challenge for all global banks, but Deutsche Bank has particularly struggled to harmonize its networks in the decades after a rapid global expansion that included the acquisition of Morgan Grenfell in London and Bankers Trust in the United States.
Even some of the bank’s most basic processes are outdated. Some retail customers still get their balances entered into savings books by printers for which spare parts are no longer manufactured.
The three U.S. tech groups set up shop on site at Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt last week to come up with proposals to fix technology and partner on projects across the bank, two of the people said.
That will start a three-month pitch and bidding process following talks earlier this year between Leukert and tech executives in the United States and in Davos.
The bank’s supervisory board recently signed off on plans for a broad tech overhaul.
In an October memo to employees, four executives, including Leukert and Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Christian Sewing, highlighted the priority.
“To succeed, we need to fundamentally shift how we build technology and move to a new way of working,” they wrote.
In addition to helping to streamline and update technology, one idea under consideration is to set up a corporate credit marketplace that Deutsche and the technology company would own, one of the people said. It would be open to companies and other banks as a brokerage for loans.
In the revamp, Deutsche is looking for a partnership that would be bigger in scope than work the tech companies have done for other banks in the past, one of the people with knowledge of the matter said.
But Deutsche is not interested in a joint venture because it would result in overheads, boards and bureaucracy, the person said.
(US$1 = 0.9152 euros)

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‘The future of business has feelings’: SAP’s global CMO on championing purpose-driven companies- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

SAP is the largest enterprise tech software company on the globe, operating across 180 countries and serving 480,000 customers with technologies ranging from logistics to marketing resources, automation, finance and much more, which makes it difficult to market the entire company based on the specifics of what it does.
Instead, SAP would rather champion the companies it creates software for – those that are doing good for the world – and let them guide the next innovation for the future, according to the company’s global chief marketing officer, Alicia Tillman.
“The companies that prioritize listening to the needs of their customers are those companies that will win because the future of business has feelings. What we mean by that is, the more empathy you have the more you understand what a customer wants, what they desire, what challenges they’re trying to solve, what opportunities are ahead of them. The more you listen, the more you take that on board, the more you shape a strategy, products and services that respond to that, those are the companies that will win,” she said to Tempemail at CES in January.
Tillman said that SAP was founded in 1972 with a purpose – to use technology to help the world become a better place. “That is how we go to market, it is how we innovate. Beyond everything else, yes our customers want exceptional experiences, they want tremendous value, but they want to buy and partner (with) companies that stand for something and have a purpose,” she said.
SAP, she continues, sees technology as an enabler for the companies out there that have a purpose and a mission, that is driven by values and wants to help the world run better.
So, instead of the company tooting its own horn, it highlights those businesses it sees as helping improve the world in myriad ways. To wit, a recent campaign highlighted companies like Vestas Wind Systems, which is harnessing wind energy to make energy more sustainable, and Elephants, Rhinos & People, a non-profit protection agency for the world’s largest creatures.

SAP Elephants, Rhinos & People

They, and other purpose-driven companies, were prominent in print, digital and video ads that drove a message that they used various SAP technologies to help them achieve their goals.

SAP Vestas ad

“We focused on companies that are focused on solving challenges across the environment, the economy and society. We profiled a company that’s focused on solving the clean water challenge that we have in India, and we showed how SAP technology is helping to support that mission. Similarly, we have a poaching challenge in South Africa with elephants and rhinos and we showed how SAP technology is being deployed to help that company support its mission.

SAP Vectas ad

“We’re there in support of our customers and what their vision is to help the world become a better place. We think that technology, and the technology that SAP builds, can help enable that,” said Tillman.
A major challenge for many companies, and especially one as large as SAP, is keeping up with data and utilizing it properly. That’s one of the reasons it acquired a company last year called Qualtrics, which helps companies realize what their customers want through an integrated platform that gathers data from a variety of sources – surveying technology, social sentiment technology, word-of-mouth, focus groups and other forms of information.
“The more that we can take and harness that information, the more then we have an ability to shape this unbelievable customer experience, and as a result shape products and services that can work in support of that. That acquisition has enabled us to open up this new door of experience and how you can get ahead of that and how you can shape it,” she said.
Tillman thinks that innovation in both tech and marketing happens when companies listen and respond to the needs of their clients.
“A lot of times businesses are often blamed for the challenges that we have in the world – not seen as being empathetic, not seen as being responsive to what consumers want,” she said.
“I think consumers are calling for a change, and I think the customers who really focus on listening and reacting and building and responding, those are the companies that are going to win. It all comes down to empathy, listening, reacting, responding and building that value that customers want.”
Tillman previously spoke to Tempemail about marketers’ evolving role, brand safety and implementing innovative thinking.

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Facebook adds itself to the list of companies demanding Clearview cease scraping its websites – Blog – 10 minute

A hot potato: Clearview AI has found itself in a sticky legal situation by allowing law enforcement access to a facial recognition database full of images it has scraped from the internet. Tech companies are distancing themselves from the service by demanding the company stop collecting data from their websites.
Facebook has become the latest company to “demand” that Clearview AI stop scraping its platforms for its facial recognition database. The social media giant has sent the company several letters asking it to stop using user data from Facebook and Instagram but has not yet issued a formal cease and desist letter.
“Scraping people’s information violates our policies,” a spokesperson for Facebook told CBSNews on Thursday. “Which is why we’ve demanded that Clearview stop accessing or using information from Facebook or Instagram.”
Facebook has not decided whether to take its demand to the next level yet, but other companies already have. Twitter sent Clearview a C&D letter in January. YouTube and Google have also issued legal warnings to the startup earlier this week.
Clearview’s database contains more than three billion images obtained from the internet. Its intended purpose is to aid law enforcement in identifying suspects in crimes or other “persons of interest.”
The company maintains that it is above-board on the data that it collects. Clearview AI CEO Hoan Tan-That said in an interview, “If it’s public, you know, and it’s out there, it could be inside Google search engine, it can be inside ours as well.”

As Google pointed out, there is a big difference between indexing websites, which it does with the website owner’s permission, and scraping images and information on private individuals without their consent.

“Comparisons to Google Search are inaccurate. Most websites want to be included in Google Search, and we give webmasters control over what information from their site is included in our search results, including the option to opt-out entirely. Clearview secretly collected image data of individuals without their consent and in violation of rules explicitly forbidding them from doing so.”

Tan-That also claims his company’s practices are protected by the First Amendment, a claim that he will likely have to prove in court if the situation escalates.
It is easy to forget that the Bill of Rights is a set of restrictions placed on the government to protect the people. The First Amendment restricts the government from enacting laws or taking action that infringes on the individual’s freedom of speech. It does not mention any other types of impediments, such as a company adding restrictions to the language used on its premises or platform.
In this case, Clearview collects data without the individual’s knowledge or permission, and it ultimately ends up in the hands of the government (law enforcement). One could easily argue the company’s data collection is a violation of a person’s Fourth Amendment right to privacy and protection from illegal search and seizure.
If Clearview AI persists, it will very likely end up in court with a very shaky Constitutional defense. ZDNet notes, the startup is already facing a class-action lawsuit in Illinois for violating the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act. We’ll have to wait and see just how many legal challenges the company is willing or able to withstand.
Editorial credit: Frederic Legrand – COMEO via Shutterstock

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Swiping their way higher: Visa, Mastercard could be the next $1 trillion companies – Finance – Networking – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Tech and internet titans were the first to reach US$1 trillion in stock market value, but the next US companies that could do so are better known for their plastic.
Soaring stock prices are propelling credit and debit card companies Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc up the market value charts, where they currently rank 7th and 11th among companies in the benchmark S&P 500 index.
The stock prices of both Visa and Mastercard have gained roughly 50 percent in the past year.
While the stocks may not keep up that torrid pace, Visa and Mastercard would each be worth over US$1 trillion by 2023 if their average annual gains of the past three years were to continue, surging past the likes of Facebook Inc and Berkshire Hathaway Inc, if they also maintain their recent pace.
Fueling their rise is a shift toward cashless financial transactions spurred by a rise in online shopping.
“Everything travels on their rails,” said Sandy Villere, portfolio manager of the Villere Balanced Fund, which holds Visa shares. “They literally sit in the middle of the banks, consumers and merchants and that has been a really enviable place to be.”
Visa had a market value of US$449 billion and Mastercard’s stood at about US$324 billion as of Thursday’s close. The US$1 trillion club currently includes Apple Inc, Microsoft, and Google-parent Alphabet. Amazon.com’s market value jumped back above US$1 trillion on Friday morning as the stock soared on the heels of its earnings report on Thursday.
Revenue for both Visa and Mastercard nearly doubled over their past five fiscal years, to nearly US$23 billion for Visa, and about US$17 billion for Mastercard, according to Refinitiv data. Adjusted earnings per share more than doubled for both companies over that period.
Visa reported quarterly revenue late on Thursday that slightly missed analyst estimates, a day after Mastercard beat quarterly profit estimates.
About 43 percent of consumer purchases around the world excluding China are made using a digital form of payment, up from 28 percent in 2010, according to Lisa Ellis, senior analyst at MoffettNathanson. “Globally, we still have five to 10 years, at least, to go of penetration,” Ellis said.
Visa holds a 60 percent share of the credit and debit card market, followed by Mastercard with 30 percent, according to Ellis, with American Express far behind at 8.5 percent. Despite their importance in finance, Visa and Mastercard are categorized as part of the S&P 500’s information technology sector.
While Apple, Microsoft and chip companies such as Intel Corp often garner the lion’s share of attention, Visa and Mastercard have been key contributors to the rally in technology shares. Their valuations have expanded to their most expensive in at least a decade.
Visa trades at nearly 32 times forward 12 months’ earnings estimates, while Mastercard trades at 35 times, according to Refinitiv Datastream. Both stocks are trading at a higher premium to the market than they have on average over the past five years.
The big run for Visa and Mastercard shares has also come during an more than 10-year US bull market, and gains could be more muted in any downturn. Stocks started 2020 strong but have pulled back amid concerns over the spread of a virus from China.
Risks to the companies, Ellis said, include greater competition in the payment sector from big tech companies, as well as tougher regulations from governments around the world that might hinder access.
The companies are not sitting still. Earlier this month, Visa agreed to buy privately held Plaid Inc in a US$5.3 billion deal to boost access to financial technology, and in August Mastercard agreed to buy a majority of the corporate services businesses of Scandinavian payments group Nets for about US$3.19 billion.

 

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Avast’s free antivirus solution tracks users online to mine data for companies like Microsoft, Pepsi, and Google – Blog – 10 minute

Why it matters: Most people use antivirus software to make sure they get some much needed privacy and security protections while using their PCs online. However, free security suites can sometimes hoard your browsing data and other details and sell them to third parties. This is the case even with popular companies like Avast, which is putting the privacy of around 400 million people at risk.
At a time when high-profile tech executives are calling on governments to impose more stringent privacy rules, there’s nothing like another reminder that everyone is fighting to get a hold of your habits, preferences, and pretty much any other data that can be used by advertisers to target you more easily.
Such is the case of Avast, which is known for its popular free antivirus solution that an estimated 400 million users around the world depend on for their online security. According to a joint investigation by Vice and PCMag that involves leaked contracts and other company documents, Avast along with its AVG subsidiary have been keeping track of what users did online while using the free software they distribute.

The scheme involves Jumpshot, a company that “provides insights into consumers’ online journeys by measuring every search, click and buy across 1,600 categories from more than 150 sites, including Amazon, Google, Netflix, and Walmart.” Installing Avast’s free antivirus automatically adds in a browser extension that collects information on your internet activity and sends it to Jumpshot packed and tagged with a unique identifier.
Apparently, the most interesting things for Avast’s data collection are searches on Google and Google Maps, YouTube videos, LinkedIn searches and profile visits, and even what users view on PornHub. This gets sent to Jumpshot’s customers which include Google, Microsoft, Pepsi, Sephora, Home Depot, Yelp, Intuit, and many others.
Avast says it doesn’t track any sensitive information like personal identification, phone numbers, or email. The company also insists that “as of July 2019, we had already begun implementing an explicit opt-in choice for all new downloads of our AV, and we are now also prompting our existing free users to make an opt-in or opt-out choice, a process which will be completed in February 2020.”
This would be a lot more palatable for users if Avast hadn’t tried sneaking in its antivirus solution with every CCleaner installation. The company does contribute a lot to the online security industry, but its privacy practices seem to change whenever they are called into question.

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