‘This may accelerate our plans’: inside the 4A’s scramble to help a wounded industry- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

As advertisers continue to slash and postpone ad spend, agency marketers are seeking guidance and answers more than ever before. Can the 4A’s quash concerns over membership value to become as the go-to port in the coronavirus storm?
Like almost every chief executive in marketing, the 4A’s Marla Kaplowitz was meant to be at an event right now.
The association’s Management Practitioners Forum was set to be held in Chicago this week, but the coronavirus swept away the event until October. Another April event – Decisions 2020 – has been postponed until 2021.
But unlike other chief executives, Kaplowitz has more to do than fret over financial forecasts.
The organization responsible for representing the interests of advertising agencies has found itself having to focus on its first and foremost mission: “drive commerce” of its members in a time when cash is being throttled by zealous chief financial officers and cautious marketers.
“I truly believe we need to help support our members now more than ever, and they need to support their clients now more than ever,” says Kaplowitz over a Zoom call. “We’ve got to reprioritize, and our focus right now needs to be on what our members need. What are their most pressing issues? And what do we have to really help them?
“We have completely shifted what the priority is.”
Alongside the usual Covid-19 challenges (working from home, figuring out how to reroute checks from the office), the 4A’s is piecing together useful content on the fly.
Much of it involves acting as a convener running virtual forums for knowledge-sharing. Kaplowitz is witnessing agencies willingly open up to each other as they realize how much the entire industry is at stake: rather than speaking in conference-friendly platitudes, they’re emailing over useful documents, such as working from home policies.
The organization’s soft lobbying arm is working hard too.
While she’s realistic about delayed payment terms and consequential furloughs, Kaplowitz has been vocal in her belief that a block on all marketing activity is harmful in the long-term. She and her team been sharing research and best practices on revisiting messaging during a crisis to make sure cash flow isn’t switched off for agencies altogether.
But perhaps the most critical of the 4A’s roles right now is its connection to Washington DC. Stimulus packages and small business loans may hit the headlines, but many independent agencies are struggling to understand what exactly they can apply for and how to do so.
Alison Pepper, the 4A’s senior vice-president of government relations, has been tasked with translating the state and federal decisions into practical advice.
“We are giving people very prescriptive information on what they need to do and what they need to know, and we’ll do consultations with anyone who needs more details,” says Kaplowitz.
“This is really is the perfect moment for us to demonstrate our role and the value that we bring.”
The chance to prove value
“Value” is something the 4A’s has had to confront head-on in recent months. An AdAge article published last November laid bare agencies’ ongoing issues with the organization: it costs too much, it lacks “sway”, the ANA guarantees better access to clients, and so on.
At the time, Kaplowitz contended that membership remained flat, while McCann – the biggest agency reported to have been reconsidering its renewal – is still paid up until 2021. Now the industry finds itself much further forward in the rollercoaster car to recession, the response to the 4A’s handling of the crisis has been mixed.
But then again, so are agency expectations.
Some are too caught up in protecting their own staff to even be aware of the 4A’s coronavirus response. Some, such as 360i New York president Abbey Klaassen, are comforted by its presence, which serves as a reminder that the industry is in this together.
“Over the last few weeks the 4A’s has been a constant presence in my inbox with messages around how to cope with the situation,” she says. “I do think it has been galvanizing, and helping all agencies figure out what we do in this situation.”
Fred Pfaff, the owner of an eponymous comms consultancy, is a prime example of how members are most likely to extract value from the organization when they input it themselves – particularly when it comes to the unknown.
“When I need to know where an agency client fits within the industry on any topic … I just call [the 4A’s team],” he says. “If they don’t know off the top, they make some calls and get back to me, often with intros to agency people who have experience and perspective.
“I will be making several of these calls in the coming week as I look for a broader perspective on what’s concerning agency leaders beyond my clients and behind closed doors – the kinds of things many members share with 4A’s leadership.”
Others, however, want more.
“They’ve [put out] a nice compilation of articles, ‘best practices’ and conducting surveys or asking for examples of comms from our agencies but nothing more – nothing wrong but nothing more,” said one holding company director, who wished to remain anonymous
“I haven’t really felt the impact of the 4A’s bar occasional emails with information that is usually available from other sources … I’m yet to see real value at this time of need,” said another.
A new 4A’s epoch
Kaplowitz understands her company is in a rather unique position right now. It’s a life raft for struggling agencies but also a line item on the budget; for that reason, she’s imploring members to call up and inquire about different payment terms if they’re worried about making the fees.
But she’s also clear the 4A’s won’t make it out of this unchanged – and that is, she believes, a positive thing.
“It’s not just about what we need to do and reprioritizing what we currently have,” she says. “It’s about asking what we need to add.
“We need to think about bringing our forum groups together, not just twice a year, but every week right now so that they can connect and share with each other. Now is an interesting time for the freelance community … so, offering individual memberships is something that we want to look at.
“This may accelerate certain plans that we were going to put in place.”
But back to Klaassen’s notion of comfort. If it’s one thing the industry needs right now, it’s a stoic but calming presence. And the 4A’s provides that in the form of Kaplowitz herself.
It’s Kaplowitz who hasn’t yet succumbed to a WFH uniform of pajamas. It’s Kaplowitz whose smile stays beaming on in spite of everything.
And it’s Kaplowitz who carefully reminds us that she’s “been in situations like this before”.
“I know that it is my role to stay calm and to keep everyone assured that we’ve got this,” she says. “This is challenging, and I don’t have all the answers. But I just look at what’s happening with our members, and that is what is keeping me focused.”

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Industry partnerships help Australia rank high for brand safety in mobile- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Australia has come in first for brand safety in mobile because of a sophisticated local ecosystem of advertisers, publishers, and industry bodies championing initiatives such as ads.txt.
That means advertisers have prioritized clean impressions and publishers to deliver relevant engaging content and online experiences to garner longer ad exposure times, a great proxy for attention and engagement, according to Integral Ad Science’s Media Quality Report (MQR) for the second half of 2019.
Australia’s brand risk for desktop display improved from 4.6% ‘unsafe’ content in the second half of 2018 to 1.9% in the second half of 2019. Australia’s brand risk on mobile web video was also significantly reduced from 8.7% in the second half of 2018 to 4.2% in the second half of 2019, compared to the worldwide average at 7.7%.
Australia saw decreases in brand risk across environments and formats, primarily driven by a reduction in programmatic brand risk compared to H1 2019.
To put this in perspective, Australia’s next-door neighbour New Zealand’s brand risk scores slid backward over the same period.
New Zealand observed an increase in brand risk in the desktop display from 4.4% in the second half of 2018 to 5.1% in the second half of 2019. Brand risks for New Zealand also increased in mobile web display up from 5.2% in the second half of 2018 to 6.7% in the second half of 2019.
For viewability rates, Australia’s rose across all formats and environments in the second half of 2019 as compared to the previous year, desktop display stood at 71.7%, desktop video at 75.5% as compared to the worldwide average of 71% and 74.1% respectively.
Mobile in Australia also continued to show positive performance for viewability, mobile web video inventory hit 70.9% in the second half of 2019, a huge improvement from 63.9% in the second half of 2018. Mobile app display reported 69.9% viewability beating the worldwide viewability rate of 68.7%.
This is because the increased global viewability metrics were programmatic inventory, which saw greater margins of increase than publisher-direct inventory both globally and within individual markets.
“Advertisers are making mobile viewability a priority in light of a consumer behaviour shift towards increased mobile use. The report shows a significant increase in viewability benchmarks, across all environments, year-on-year,” said James Diamond, managing director for Australia and New Zealand at IAS.
“It is particularly positive to see inventory exceeding 70% viewability in desktop display and video, with mobile web and app approaching this target at speed. To access consumers in the right place, at the right time, with the right message, an additional focus is needed to ensure brand suitability strategies and proactive ad fraud protection are implemented across the mobile environment”.
Read the full report here.

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Industry partnerships help Australia rank high for brand safety in mobile- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Australia has come in first for brand safety in mobile because of a sophisticated local ecosystem of advertisers, publishers, and industry bodies championing initiatives such as ads.txt.
That means advertisers have prioritized clean impressions and publishers to deliver relevant engaging content and online experiences to garner longer ad exposure times, a great proxy for attention and engagement, according to Integral Ad Science’s Media Quality Report (MQR) for the second half of 2019.
Australia’s brand risk for desktop display improved from 4.6% ‘unsafe’ content in the second half of 2018 to 1.9% in the second half of 2019. Australia’s brand risk on mobile web video was also significantly reduced from 8.7% in the second half of 2018 to 4.2% in the second half of 2019, compared to the worldwide average at 7.7%.
Australia saw decreases in brand risk across environments and formats, primarily driven by a reduction in programmatic brand risk compared to H1 2019.
To put this in perspective, Australia’s next-door neighbour New Zealand’s brand risk scores slid backward over the same period.
New Zealand observed an increase in brand risk in the desktop display from 4.4% in the second half of 2018 to 5.1% in the second half of 2019. Brand risks for New Zealand also increased in mobile web display up from 5.2% in the second half of 2018 to 6.7% in the second half of 2019.
For viewability rates, Australia’s rose across all formats and environments in the second half of 2019 as compared to the previous year, desktop display stood at 71.7%, desktop video at 75.5% as compared to the worldwide average of 71% and 74.1% respectively.
Mobile in Australia also continued to show positive performance for viewability, mobile web video inventory hit 70.9% in the second half of 2019, a huge improvement from 63.9% in the second half of 2018. Mobile app display reported 69.9% viewability beating the worldwide viewability rate of 68.7%.
This is because the increased global viewability metrics were programmatic inventory, which saw greater margins of increase than publisher-direct inventory both globally and within individual markets.
“Advertisers are making mobile viewability a priority in light of a consumer behaviour shift towards increased mobile use. The report shows a significant increase in viewability benchmarks, across all environments, year-on-year,” said James Diamond, managing director for Australia and New Zealand at IAS.
“It is particularly positive to see inventory exceeding 70% viewability in desktop display and video, with mobile web and app approaching this target at speed. To access consumers in the right place, at the right time, with the right message, an additional focus is needed to ensure brand suitability strategies and proactive ad fraud protection are implemented across the mobile environment”.
Read the full report here.

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Aussie Broadband rallies industry behind NBN Co – Telco/ISP- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Aussie Broadband managing director Phillip Britt is rallying internet providers to get behind NBN Co and its team as they put in “insane hours” and alter work practices “to keep everything running” for internet users.
Britt took to social media on Sunday to lend public support to NBN Co, arguing the company is handling the challenges of COVID-19 “way better than any other business I have seen at their scale.”
“Like many with offshore processing elements, they have been hit by country shutdowns but recovered within a couple of days whilst others are still working out ‘where to next’,” Britt said. 
“I believe they have achieved this through good automation and having modern systems which can be accessed in different ways (think web-based as opposed to legacy application platforms). 
“They also have a leadership team which fully understands the processes involved in each of the elements and can mobilise their team quickly to make changes.
“This is NBN Co’s moment to shine and put all the naysayers to bed once and for all.”
Britt said he had started to actively shoot down NBN bashers on social media “with fact-based information”, and he urged others in the industry to do the same.
“The NBN is performing extremely well for the vast majority of Australians from both a technical level and from an activations and assurance perspective,” he said.
“Over the next few weeks, it’s going to get harder again, and as an industry [we] need to stand behind the team at NBN Co and show them that we are all in this together. 
“We need to collaborate on the changes needed to protect the field workers so that they are safe and can keep working. We need to encourage new ways of working for contactless assurance work. We need to keep everything running – activations, assurance, the works. 
“Because right now, Australia needs connectivity more than ever.”
Britt said that like most others in industry, NBN Co “are working insane hours” to keep regular processes running despite ever-tightening restrictions on movement and physical gatherings.
“They are well prepared,” he said.
“Let’s show them they have our support because this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint! We all need to look out for each other.”
Publicly, NBN Co has offered internet providers up to 40 percent extra bandwidth for the next few months to keep services performing.
It has also given satellite users extra blocks of data to ease constraints on use when more people are at home.

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3 Ways MultiChoice is Supporting the Local Entertainment Industry | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sourced from TV with Thinus

Every day various sectors across the continent are adjusting and finding new ways to deal with challenges brought about by the current coronavirus pandemic. Given the MultiChoice Group’s position in Africa’s video entertainment sector, the group is acutely aware of the challenges its partners in the industry are facing. At this time MultiChoice will be standing by them.
Across the continent business and industry are experiencing disruptions and delays. In South Africa, production has come to a complete halt as the industry adheres to the national lockdown.
It is for this reason that MultiChoice has decided to implement several measures, aimed at safeguarding the incomes of cast, crew, and creatives as well as the sustainability of production houses. With these measures, the group believes it can hopefully steer the industry through this tumultuous time.
Here are three ways MultiChoice is ensuring the local entertainment industry is supported during these trying times:
1. MultiChoice has set aside R80 million to ensure that current productions are able to pay full salaries of cast, crew, and creatives for the months of March and April
The need to secure the salaries of our creatives goes a long way in creating income stability for them and their families.
2. MultiChoice is launching an online learning portal
Through the MultiChoice Talent Factory, Multichoice’s new online learning portal will support over 40 000 members of the industry to gain access to courses and online masterclasses, so they can continue to hone their craft whilst adhering to the public health measures of social distancing and isolation.
3. MultiChoice guarantees the incomes of freelancers in SuperSport Productions
The entertainment and media powerhouse guarantees the incomes of freelancers in its SuperSport Productions, who are currently unable to work due to the suspension of sport and the national lockdown. This extends to guaranteeing the income of freelancers in its broadcast technology environment.
“Our main concern is to ensure as much as possible that we secure the incomes of creatives, cast and crew over this period. We want to ensure that they and their families are not negatively impacted as work has come to a standstill,” says MultiChoice Group CEO, Calvo Mawela.
As an industry made up of thousands of freelance actors, producers, directors and camera operators, Africa’s video entertainment industry is particularly vulnerable at this time. These people play a critical role in keeping viewers and communities informed, entertained and connected. All the whilst contributing significantly to the economy.
Edited by Luis Monzon
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Advertising Association and M&C Saatchi leaders talk about long-term Coronavirus impact on industry- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The chief executive of the Advertising Association, Stephen Woodford and M&C Saatchi managing director, Tom Firth have discussed the longer-term impact that the industry’s response to the Coronavirus will have on advertising as a sector.
Joining editor of Tempemail, Stephen Lepitak, the pair spoke about their reaction to chancellor Rishi Sunak’s stimulus packages for independent businesses and what it means for agencies, while Woodford spoke of the ongoing conversations the association has been having with the government.
They also discussed the changing behaviors witnessed within their own businesses in terms of staff operations and in seeking out news business.
Watch the full interview in the video above.

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Representing our industry in the fight against Covid-19, now and when the recovery comes- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

At the Advertising Association, we are privileged to represent our incredible industry to the UK government. The Association has been doing this for almost a century – our predecessors played an active role on behalf of advertisers, agencies and the media during World War 2, for example. The past ten days or so have seen our country hit by the biggest crisis it has ever faced in peace-time and, our industry, like every other service and manufacturing industry has been turned on its head by the rapid impact of Covid-19. The disruption will be massive and what it all means for our industry is still unfolding but, for now, I wanted to share our experiences to help frame how our industry is being supported by government.
Our engagement with UK government is at an all-time high. This is obviously needed and a very good thing. We have multiple government departments requesting daily information on what is happening and what is needed to try to reduce the impact, save jobs and businesses and keep advertising, a vital engine of the economy, operational. Our team is in regular conversation with Ministers and officials from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for International Trade and the Treasury.
Our role for them is to gather insights on the on the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis across the industry – advertisers, media owners, agencies, technology companies, production companies and research agencies – and to answer questions the government may be posing. We do this through the many close and collaborative relationships we have with our members, many of whom are trade associations themselves representing the different parts of our industries, such as the Advertising Producers Association which looks after the UK’s advertising production companies, Outsmart which represents the UK’s out-of-home media sector and, of course, the likes of ITV, Channel, 4, ISBA, Google, Facebook, the DMA and the IPA. 35 core members in total, all feeding in front-line information that helps to inform the decisions our government is taking to protect our economy against the threat of Covid-19.
Our experience to date is that we have a government that is taking action and it is doing that fast. We are tracking the daily announcements and, along with our members, are turning these into guidance to help our industry understand what support is being put in place.
But, this is just the first phase. Today, we are stepping up our tracking with the launch of a weekly tracker, led by UK advertising’s think tank, Credos, which goes to senior leaders across our industry. The results will be shared with government tomorrow and will provide a regular benchmark for our industry to help guide the next phase of decision-making.
It is already becoming clear that the next challenge will be the implementation of the measures that have been announced by our government. Can we make the actions, such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, happen fast enough to support the thousands of businesses working in our industry who need it? Can they get the money and support in time? To that end, we are working fast to understand the effectiveness of the implementation, asking what can we learn from the initial roll-out and what more does our industry need?
Looking beyond that, our attention turns to the recovery. I have no doubt our industry will have a key role to play in our social and economic recovery. We are a jewel in the crown of the UK’s creative industries – our status as such is never in doubt and the value of our work is two-fold – we can help to promote behaviours and we can drive the economy to support businesses and jobs. So, the question that is already being asked is how do we recover from this crisis and how do we do so quickly? Can we plan for a recovery that puts us in an even stronger position to deal with other issues that we will face in the coming years ahead, such as climate change?
It’s clear to me that we won’t be returning to ‘normal’ once this crisis passes – we will be entering a new world, a world that will be ‘post-Covid-19’, wise to the threat of a global pandemic and what this means, not just to our industry, but our way of life. Right now, what this world looks like is unclear, but our industry is blessed with hundreds of thousands of strategic, creative, technological and entrepreneurial talented professionals. We are seeing every day incredible examples of creative thinking and work to support our most important key workers and to help people through this most difficult of situations.
I am thinking of things like ITV’s ‘Britain Get Talking’ across Mother’s Day, our national retailers using newsbrands every day to promote special opening hours for NHS workers and the elderly and our out-of-home companies producing Coronavirus public health information ads to run across digital sites up and down the country. I know that the people working in our industry are determined to do whatever they can to support the country and I am certain that, in the face of Covid-19, UK advertising will adapt fast to new expectations, new ways of working and the new opportunities that present themselves.
If you need help and guidance during this period, we, and our fellow members, are there to support you. Please do get in touch with us, or your relevant trade association, to make sure you can access the support that is in place and can help shape the requests we are making of government, both for now and for our industry’s future.

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Mobile Money Industry Reaches 1 Billion User Milestone | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The GSMA has unveiled the annual ‘State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money’, offering a view of the mobile money landscape and highlighting the impact that greater financial inclusion has on lives, economies and innovation, especially in emerging markets.
This year’s report looks at what one billion registered accounts means for the mobile money industry, mobile money users and the future of the mobile money ecosystem.  It provides a comprehensive picture of adoption and usage around the globe.
Significantly, the report highlights that 2019 marked a major milestone for the mobile money industry, with over one billion registered accounts and close to two billion dollars in daily transactions. For the first time, digital transactions represented the majority, 57 per cent, of mobile money interactions.
The industry is witnessing increasing user trust and relevance. With 290 live services in 95 countries and 372 million active accounts, mobile money is entering the mainstream and becoming the path to financial inclusion in most low-income countries. For consumers, this marks a shift away from cash towards digital payments — for school fees, e-commerce, international remittances, savings, credit, pay-as-you-go utilities and more.
“Increased mobile connectivity and innovative services such as mobile money are building stronger and more inclusive communities,” says John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer at GSMA. “Surpassing one billion mobile money accounts represents a major milestone for an industry that did not exist just over a decade ago.”
Biggest Trends in 2019:

A growing number of providers are becoming commercially sustainable;
Direct revenue from mobile money is supporting investment in innovative products and services, network expansion, and healthy and sustainable agent commissions;
The industry continues to invest in distribution networks, with the number of agent outlets almost tripling over the past five years, and the reach of a mobile money agent is now seven times that of ATMs and 20 times that of bank branches;
The digitisation of payments has reached new heights with digital transactions representing the majority of mobile money flows (57 per cent) for the first time in 2019 (historically, majority of transactions were cash-in and cash-out);
More value is circulating in the mobile money system than exiting – another industry first.

The report explores the empowerment that comes with owning a mobile money account, for example, more women are using financial services, low-income households are accessing essential utility services, and smallholder farmers are getting paid more quickly and conveniently.
Meanwhile, millions of migrants and their families are experiencing the life-changing benefits of faster, safer and cheaper international remittances, and humanitarian cash assistance is being delivered more thoughtfully to those in crises.

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India’s huge outsourcing industry struggles with work-from-home scenario – Strategy- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

As the coronavirus pandemic pushes India into lockdown, the call centres and IT services firms that function as the world’s back office are struggling to piece together work-from-home solutions and other business-continuity plans.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday ordered 1.3 billion Indians to stay at home for 21 days to stem the spread of COVID-19, following earlier lockdown orders in many Indian cities and states. As of Tuesday, India had reported over 500 cases of the virus and nine deaths.
Many of the companies that provide business services such as call centres, information technology services and business process automation were not prepared for work-for-home arrangements, according to interviews with more than a dozen employees of several companies.
That raises questions about whether one of India’s showpiece industries can function smoothly amid the coronavirus crisis.
“The industry has been scrambling to set up its own business continuity plan,” said R. Chandrashekhar, a retired federal government official and a former president of India’s IT services lobby group, NASSCOM.
In the southern tech hub of Bengaluru, an employee working at a JPMorgan call centre said that until last Friday, her managers had repeatedly declined staffers’ pleas to work from home.
“Even if I am infected with the virus, I know the death rate for young people isn’t very high, but I am very very scared that I might transfer it to family,” she said on condition of anonymity, as she was not authorised to speak to the media.
After a state government order, JPMorgan on Sunday asked its Bengaluru staff to “stay at home until further notice,” according to a message to employees seen by Reuters.
In some cases, companies must seek client permission before allowing employees to work on sensitive projects outside the office, a senior human resources executive at a top Indian IT firm said of working remotely.
“These days the challenge is not really the technology, the challenge is the regulations, and, in case something goes wrong, who’s going to take the responsibility,” the person said on condition of anonymity.
Software services firms, led by Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys , gained prominence by giving Western clients low-cost solutions to routine computer problems. Over time, they assumed a major role at many global companies.
Three employees of midsize IT services firm Mphasis in the western Indian city of Pune said they were all being asked to come to the office until last Friday, even as some expressed concerns about working in close proximity with roughly 90 other people.
Maharashtra state, where Pune is located, had imposed restrictions on private company employees going to offices in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. But it made exemptions for essential services including some IT companies.
During the past week, security guards barred employees from venturing outside one of the Mphasis offices in Pune to avoid attracting the police, fearing a forced shutdown, two employees said, declining to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media.
One said a human resources executive told him not to wear a mask as it would “panic people who come to work”.
As Maharashtra enforced a curfew starting Monday, some Mphasis employees were being asked to remain home this week, even though they lacked equipment such as laptops, the employees said.
Mphasis said in a statement that not all of its staff were working remotely. But the company said it was speaking with clients and trying to enable as many people as possible to work from home while ensuring employee safety.
An employee of French tele-services provider Teleperformance on the outskirts of Delhi said his company had been reluctant to let staff work from home.
But he said employees were finally told Sunday the company would begin installing corporate desktop computers at their homes after a wider lockdown in several cities.
JPMorgan and Teleperformace did not respond to requests for comment.
Some have been able to make a temporary and quick transition to the work-from-home scenario.
Qualcomm, the world’s biggest supplier of “modem” chips that connect mobile phones and other devices to wireless data networks, said about 90 percent of its workforce in India was able log in to work-from-home since the lockdown started in the country.
“I can tell you that in the last 24 hours 90 percent of Qualcomm’s workforce in India logged in, indicating that our employees have been pivoted well to working from home”, a Qualcomm spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.
India’s home ministry, in guidelines issued on Tuesday, advised states to exempt essential IT and IT-enabled services from the national lockdown.
NASSCOM, the lobbying group, said several states had listed IT and e-commerce among essential services that are exempt.

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What the food and beverage industry can do to future-proof their business for a post-coronavirus world- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

As stricter social distancing measures for public venues and social activities are introduced by governments around the world to reduce the risk of further local transmission of the coronavirus, restaurants are forced to reduce their in-dining areas or stop operations altogether.
They are turning to food delivery as a way to sustain their businesses and keep serving customers, who have been advised to stay at home. This has led to an increased demand for takeout and deliveries.
Food delivery company Deliveroo has seen over 600 new restaurants join the platform since late January in order to extend their sales through delivery.
Since March 1, there has been a 50% jump in the number of restaurant sign ups, compared to the previous month.
“We are encouraging them to use Restaurant Hub (previously called Restaurant Home), an online portal that provides data and insights on how their delivery services are performing, as well as another portal call Marketer to set up their own marketing offers to consumers on the Deliveroo app,” a Deliveroo spokesperson explains to Tempemail.
“We can also utilise our data and insights to look at what customers are ordering more of in recent weeks, and work with our restaurant partners on relevant menu engineering, to offer dishes which are immunity-boosting for instance.”
The spokesperson adds: “For example, Grain is offering a Feel-Good Salad with ingredients like smoked salmon, kale and broccoli, while Selegie Soya Bean is offering a Lou Han Guo Chrysanthemum Herbal Tea with no additional additives, exclusively on Deliveroo.”
How the F&B industry can cope with coronavirus
Similarly to how the pandemic has forced businesses to adopt flexible work policies as people work from home, this is an opportunity for the food and beverage (F&B) industry to think about how to digitally transform and future proof their business as they scale back their business during this period.
Presently, in the F&B sector, technology like artificial intelligence is traditionally only used to simplify operations.
When it comes to understanding food trends, F&B businesses would pore over consumer studies, which would be a long laborious process as they would have to design the study, find people to survey, tabulate the results and then interpret that data and come to their own conclusions.
Utilising AI coupled with anonymised search and other online data means F&B businesses can get massive amounts of data processed in real-time as AI examines hundreds of thousands of data points to provide what is essentially a census of the population in real time.
“Demand for takeout and deliveries is increasing with widespread lock-downs and home confinements being implemented in many parts of the world,” explains Ian Chapman-Banks, the chief executive of AI solutions company Sqreem that works with F&B businesses to digitally transform their operations.
“To help F&B brands plan better, we are able to consolidate and analyse data to discover when, where, and what people are looking for. Which means that we can see when demand spikes, where it is coming from, and for what sort of food items.”
He continues: “This helps food and delivery services streamline operations and maximise efficiencies in the face of limited resources during this period. Companies can also limit food wastage by accurately anticipating demand while making more efficient use of limited human resources for food prep, deliveries and the like.”
One such F&B company currently doing this is Ebb & Flow Group, as it believes the amount of data available today is huge, and will only continue to grow. This means it has no choice but to build its data capabilities to stay relevant and keep up with competitors.
Its dark kitchen, called Wrap Bstrd, uses behavioural data capabilities and pattern analysis powered by Sqreem, with the combined expertise of the analysts, chefs, creatives and branding experts within Ebb & Flow Group’s Dark Kitchen Lab.
Tapping on over 200,000 individual data points to map behaviours and trends of distinct consumer groups in Singapore, Dark Kitchen Lab was able to analyse customer journeys, predict demand, and map behavioural intent to purchase.
Dark Kitchen Lab studied flavours, ingredients, consumer preferences and trends and was able to pinpoint the meals that office workers in the central business district wanted.
It found that target customers like flavours from local comfort food such as hawker dishes and that they care about health trends. Customers also prefer to consume their food in a convenient, fuss-free manner.
“We use AI to craft concepts, develop brands, inform marketing decisions and even help companies make key strategic and business decisions,” Philipp K. Helfried, the chief investment officer of Ebb & Flow Group tells Tempemail.
“Not only does using AI give us insights that assist us with taking the guesswork out of product, brand and menu creation, it can go even further and help us understand when best to reach our audiences and through which marketing or advertising channels.”
He adds: “For example the brand positioning, tonality, and identity for Wrap Bstrd was made to stand out from the crowd and stemmed from the insight garnered.”
For Deliveroo, it uses data analytics to match supply and demand, estimating rider supply per area based on historical data and predictable circumstances to ensure we have the right number of riders on the road in the right place at any one time.
This allows the platform’s rider supply planning team, who are responsible for the operational performance of the delivery network, to be always prepared all year round for any hikes.
Deliveroo has also invested in a dispatch proprietary algorithm Frank to enable efficient delivery process. Acting as a nerve centre, Frank is designed to consider various factors including riders’ profiles, distance, weather and duration of orders to evaluate the most efficient way of distributing to ensure all orders reach customers in the shortest possible time, even during busier periods.
“Since it was introduced in 2017, it has helped to improve delivery time for meals by nearly 20%, with Singapore being one of the most efficient Deliveroo markets globally,” the Deliveroo spokesperson says.
“Riders can now complete more deliveries per hour as they travel with food for an average of just six minutes, allowing them to make more cash without working extra hours. Our aim is always to deliver food to customers’ doorsteps as efficiently as possible.”
The spokesperson continues to explain the personalised experience which includes a machine learning model that predicts a user’s preference for a given restaurant based on historical data and suggests those restaurants to be ranked higher. “They’re therefore seeing more of the food choices they want and less of those they don’t want. From a restaurant perspective, AI also helps with estimating overall restaurant preparation time referencing the same dishes from previous orders, in turn reducing overall rider waiting time at restaurants.”
The F&B industry, post-coronavirus
On top of using data and analytics to learn their customers’ behaviours during and beyond the coronavirus pandemic, AI can also potentially be used in the F&B industry to improve sustainability of the industry by optimising food chains right from the very top, all the way down to reducing food waste within the restaurant itself.
Utilising AI data to test out new ideas and concepts within eight to 12 weeks with the dark kitchen concept means the ability to experiment and fail fast can pave the way for budding food entrepreneurs and would result in a more vibrant F&B scene altogether.
It is also feasible that the use of AI could also potentially open the doors for cross-industry applications. For example, if someone is on a medical diet, AI could help pair him or her with suitable restaurants or dishes.
There is no doubt these are dark and gloomy times for the F&B industry as the fallout from the pandemic could see it lose billions of dollars and cut millions of jobs. Future-proofing their businesses now will save them in the long run.
This piece was published as part of Tempemail’s Digital Transformation Festival, ongoing throughout March and April. Find out more details here.

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!