Brave or an ad industry in-joke? For and against Burger King’s mouldy Whopper- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Burger King has caused a stir with a global campaign that showcases its prized Whopper burger decaying over a 34-day period. The rotten ad has been designed to highlight the chain’s decision to remove artificial preservatives from its flagship burger. But is it a shining example of Burger King’s creative genius, or a stunt designed to win awards that will simply leave a bad taste in customer’s mouths?
The case for: it’s bold, irreverent, plays on viral stories about its rivals and shows Burger King “doesn’t give a fuck”…
“I haven’t thought about McDonald’s once since I saw the ad”
Eve Young, copywriter, Social Chain Agency
I’m obsessed with this campaign.
It’s bold, eye-catching and unexpected. And it clearly meets its objective.
Here’s the thing: Burger King is a bold, irreverent brand. It knows people think of it as second to McDonald’s, so it has learned to be fearless in order to carve out its own identity.
It doesn’t give a fuck and people love it for it.
Remember, one of last year’s most viral video trends on social when fast food photography was exposed to show how brands were falsifying images of ingredients using engine oil, shaving cream and copious amounts of hairspray. Burger King’s contrasting, glorious reality is nothing but a breath of fresh air.
You have to applaud the transparency the brand has employed by showing exactly how the Whopper is made. You know what I find a turn-off? Chemicals in my food and burgers that look like plastic.
I like knowing that what I put in my body is natural – and I’m not alone. All food goes off. All food should go off. That’s not nauseating, it’s reassuring.
More than that, this campaign is clearly another brazenly on-brand dig at McDonald’s, whose burgers – dictated by food folklore – are said not to decompose at all.
Chief marketing officer Fernando Machado is not losing sleep over the fact half of you are feeling a bit ill. He’s already taken this mass conversation as a huge win and is busy planning the brand’s next middle-finger-up-to-Maccies moment.
I have to respect a brand that leans into discomfort rather than shying away from it. And that respect will last longer than any ickiness I might feel.
No matter your opinion, you can’t deny that you’ve had a strong emotional reaction to this campaign. That will make it stick in your memory. Here’s what most brands fail to understand: dividing people can be a win. Debate. Conversation. Attention. I haven’t thought about McDonald’s once since I saw the ad, but I’ve thought of Burger King 100 times.
“More brands should take risks like this”
David Proudlock, head of strategy, CPB London
OK, so there’s an argument the ad is a bit too clever for its own good, and it was never going to be a slam-dunk simply because it’s risky. However, risky can be good, particularly when you’re striving for distinction and talkability.
And that’s exactly where we are now – I’m talking about the brand, the work and indeed the issue at hand: a commitment to preservative-free food in the quick-service category.
The creative definitely cuts-through and is a brave, bold, daring way to walk the talk on zero preservatives. Everyone else just sticks a kitemark/claim on their packaging and feel like they’ve ticked the box – but they’re missing a trick.
Burger King has been building a disruptive brand personality recently and in that context, this fits perfectly. There is no denying it’s disruptive. And it’s another in-your-face challenge to McDonald’s and their picture-perfect burger ads, the ones that in real-life never look the same.
This is the latest example of Burger King’s all-out attack on McDonald’s, and it’s fun to watch. First, there was the free burger if you checked in at Maccas, then an invite from Burger King to burn its competitors’ advertising. Then the oh-so-sneaky hiding a McDonald’s burger behind all Burger King shoots in 2019, to cleverly show how much bigger BK burgers are.
And now this. More subtle, but equally powerful.
Frankly it’s refreshing to see a client challenging the most fundamental conventions of the category – the industry would be better if more brands took risks like this.
“It makes me connect Burger King with fresh ingredients”
Leila Mountford, creative director, Lewis Global Communications
As consumers, we’ve all moved on leaps and bounds in the last few decades on understanding the ingredients we are eating. We’ve all watched the documentaries and reality TV shows, read the articles and seen the posts circulating on social media warning us to avoid ‘e’ numbers and refined this and that. Nutritional information is a lot more transparent, too.
So why do I like this ad? It’s an ad that makes you think: ‘Of course it should decompose. Duh!’. An ad that should repulse even the biggest burger fans out there. I like it because it triggers a connection in my memory from years ago and has left me tickled…
In 2013, a guy from Utah revealed how he’d left a McDonald’s burger in his trunk back in 1999. The story goes that when he opened the original bag it had been sold in, he couldn’t believe his eyes, the burger was perfectly preserved and so he kept it for 14 years. It was a viral story that every person I knew was talking about at the time and has become almost one of the go-to gross fast food stories of the decade.
So, when I saw the mouldy Whopper ad, I thought it was a bit repulsive, but that the time-lapse is cool. Then I thought there’s nothing wildly game-changing here, this is how food should decompose… but then, the kicker – what makes this ad special. I remembered that McDonald’s burgers apparently don’t decompose like that (‘Didn’t that guy in the US keep a Maccy Ds for years and it looked the same? Yes! Gross McDonald’s.’)
With that, Burger King strikes again. Whether the insight for this campaign came from that old tale in Utah or not, I don’t know. For me, the ad makes my mind connect Burger King with fresh ingredients – and reminds me of that deep-sleeping sensational story about McDonald’s gross use of preservatives.
Job done.

The case against: it’s unappetising, awards-driven and relies too much on customers knowing about McDonald’s seemingly unperishable burgers…
“This ad was made for award shows, not to sell”
Nathalie Gordon, freelance creative lead
Look, I get the ad, the strategy and the cultural landscape that makes it relevant. I’m familiar with the McDonalds rotting (or not rotting) in a museum in Iceland somewhere. I can also appreciate it as a brave way to show the ‘no preservatives’ news.
But does it sell burgers? Or Burger King? No.
Most people will see nothing but a rotting burger, none of the background fluff and ultimately that is all it that will stay in front of mind.
This ad wasn’t made to sell; it was a stunt to get PR that will appeal to Tom, Dick and Harry who will award it Gold because they think it’s ‘clever’ – they don’t care if it sold a damn thing.
David Miami only made this ad because it Cannes (thanks to
@sarahspoon for that turn of phrase). Personally that does nothing for me.
“A tough piece of meat to chew on”
Stephen Lepitak, editor, Tempemail
This must be the first time in my life I’ve looked at a hamburger from Burger King and thought – no thank you.
In recent years there has been much brilliance in what the challenger burger chain brand has produced. It’s captured the attention of the press and created a great deal of earned media – but has it finally gone too far with ‘The Mouldy Whopper?’
Surely inspired by the McDonald’s seemingly imperishable 10-year-old Big Mac, I can’t help but think that the last thing any food chain wants is for the image of its usually visually appealing and appetising flagship burger to suddenly be etched into the minds of their potential consumer-based with a grey and rotting sandwich…
There’s a point here, which is to showcase that the chain has removed any artificial preservatives – but in doing that I’m not sure it will have made mouths water and will attract people to get down to their local Burger King this lunchtime.
“At Burger King restaurants, we believe that real food tastes better. That’s why we are working hard to remove preservatives, colors and flavors from artificial sources from the food we serve in all countries around the world,” explained Machado, Burger King’s global chief marketing officer.
In the last year, the chain has been attempting to become a bit more ‘woke’ – it has run campaigns that saw it dump plastic toys given away with its meals and it has teamed up with Impossible Foods to produce The Impossible Whopper, which while meat-free is not vegan friendly (not that it claimed to be).
In an age where the environmental impact of brands is being closely monitored, Burger King is trying to own the creative market. However, this stunt could end up giving the brand a tough piece of meat to chew on.
There’s a lot of love for what its chief marketing officer has been producing in the role and the attention he and the brand have received despite being only the sixth-highest spender on media in the fast-food space since 2013.
“To be a success…people need to look at the stuff and say that ‘only Burger King could have done that’. It’s what makes me close that gap on the brands [operating] up there and it’s why we treat creativity as a competitive advantage,” he explained during a presentation at Advertising Week last year.
It’s this philosophy that showcases exactly what advertising is there to achieve, but I can’t help but wonder if this particular attempt is a shot in the foot.
Will it drive sales – I just don’t see how as those who eat there aren’t doing so with any intentions of enjoying a healthy meal. Sure it’s good not to have preservatives in your food, but when it comes to fast food, showcasing it in such an unappealing manner is baffling.
“It makes customers work too hard”
Erik Winther Paisley, insights director, Brand and Deliver
Yum beats yuck. Frankly I don’t think it’s in Burger King’s best interest to associate their brand with rot and decay.
Sure, it’s a clever comment on the supposed artificiality of McDonald’s food — which doesn’t prevent it from beating Burger King hands down on all the metrics that matter — but what’s the point of advertising?
If the answer is to be the coolest kid on the block, then sure fill the airwaves with rot. If you want to shift product, maybe associating the product with the one emotion that most stops people from eating isn’t ideal.
Let’s also just look at how much work the ad asks people to do. For one, this ad is a response to the latest iteration of the trope that McDonald’s food doesn’t rot. You have to have followed that story to get the Burger King response ad and most consumers don’t spend their time keeping track of what another brand did the week before.
What’s more, Burger King is asking people to reconsider food spoilage as something good, since it’s a sign that the food is natural and uncontaminated. That’s a lot of cognitive work to put on customers. And in a fight between visceral reaction and abstract appreciation, my money is on the visceral reaction.
The fact that fast food doesn’t seem to spoil as quickly as other food does make some people uncomfortable, but that’s a category issue. If Burger King wanted to show it wasn’t like that, it would have to convince audiences that its food wasn’t actually fast food, but it doesn’t have the cultural chops to do that. And it doesn’t want to either.
It is a fast-food brand and it needs people to buy into it, despite the existence of healthier natural options.
The ad industry rewards cleverness, referentially and in-jokes. I’m sure it’s hilarious to work on Burger King, but let’s look at the facts: Mcdonald’s has four-times the market share and 18-times the brand value, according to BrandZ.
So if you want to win awards, do what Burger King does. If you want to be a $150bn plus company, then take your learnings from McDonald’s.
What’s your take on Burger King’s Rotten Burger? Let us know.

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NASSCOM and CIO Klub sign MoU for building a stronger IT industry- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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NASSCOM (Tempemail Association of Software and Services Companies), an association for IT/ITeS Companies, has signed a distinct MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the CIO Klub of India, a successful collaborative initiative of CIO Association.
The hallmark MoU exchange happened in Mumbai between Ms. Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM and Mr. Umesh Mehta, President, CIO Klub. This MoU will outline a unique collaboration to promote the industry with new capabilities.

“We are pleased to embark on this path with NASSCOM. With this collaboration, CIOs would share industry insights and best-practice perspectives while gaining from NASSCOM’s access and facilitation in specific areas.We intend to plan interactive sessions with the start-up community to capture some upcoming innovations & latest technology developments. CIOs can share their expert views which would help, guide & mentor the start-up ecosystem.” stated Umesh Mehta, President, CIO Klub.
The CIO Klub has a strong presence across the country with nine chapters in strategic cities like Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Coimbatore & Kerala. Its rich network of over 1400+ CIOs consistently taps and augments the collective wisdom of the community.
The MoU has also created a CIO SIG (Special Interest Group) under its wings, which will have members from CIO Klub representing CIO community in India. Henceforth, as they will guide and mentor Large companies SMEs and Start-ups to edify them as specialized value-based industry players. Mehta explained that CIOs would share industry insights and best-practice perspectives while gaining from NASSCOM’s access and facilitation in specific areas.

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Not so white, male and straight: the video games industry is changing | Games – Blog – 10 minute

The old stereotype of video game players as spotty, socially isolated boys in basements is finally disappearing after decades, but the popular image of game developers is enduring. They are imagined to be white and beardy, with glasses and a probable fondness for sci-fi and fantasy, and this is hardly unjustified. Cast an eye over the development floor of pretty much any major game developer in the western world and there’s an undeniable homogeneity. The same can be said about video games industry executives. Whether clean-shaven or bearded, besuited or smart-casual, creative or corporate, they are almost universally white and male. In 15 years on the games beat, I have interviewed more men called Phil in senior games industry positions than women and people of colour combined.
But new data from the University of Sheffield, shows that things are changing. Backed by games industry trade body Ukie, it conducted a census of more than 3,200 game developers in Britain, and discovered a young and increasingly diverse workforce. The researchers found that two-thirds of the UK’s game development workforce is 35 or under; 28% are women and 2% non-binary; 10% come from BAME backgrounds; 28% come from somewhere other than the UK; and 21% identify as LGBTQ+, a particularly surprising statistic given that only 3-7% of the general population do so.
On two of those measures – BAME representation and LGBTQ+ representation – the games industry comes out above the average for the UK’s creative industries. But when it comes to gender balance, it still lags far behind, at 68% male. However, this still represents progress: in 2009, according to the International Game Developers Association, only 11.5% of game developers identified as female. The number of women involved in all areas of the games industry has been creeping upwards.

PlayStation Pride. Photograph: Sony
Despite these encouraging statistics, women and people of colour are particularly underrepresented in senior roles. Samantha Ebelthite is an exception. She has been country manager for the UK and Ireland at EA, one of the giants of the global games industry, since 2018. “Every company is in a slightly different place in this journey. At EA, the team I work in is actually mostly women, so my experience has been quite different, but when you look at the studios it’s more in line with the census,” she says. “There’s lots being done, but there’s also lots still to do.”
Ebelthite cites EA’s internal employee support networks and openness to flexible working as important to an increasingly diverse work culture. The company’s job specs, too, are pored over to ensure their language is as inclusive as possible in the hopes of attracting a greater range of applicants. She plays down the business case for greater diversity in favour of the creative one: “You can’t have diverse games without diverse people making them.
“People don’t realise how many different kinds of genres and forms exist in video games and, without a diverse group of people coming up with ideas, that won’t flow through into the games. We need to push ourselves and we need the industry to push to be better in order to create games that appeal to everyone.”
The sentiment is echoed by Jo Twist, CEO of games industry body Ukie. “Diversity isn’t a nicety; it’s a necessity if the industry is going to grow, thrive and truly reflect the tens of millions of people who play games every day in this country,” she says. “A diverse industry that draws on myriad cultures, lifestyles and experiences will lead to more creative and inclusive games that capture the imagination of players and drive our sector forward.”
Ukie’s response to the census has been to sign up developers to commit to inclusive hiring practices and ensure representation across all areas, from development to marketing. EA, Facebook, Jagex, King and Xbox are already on board. Ukie intends to repeat this census every two years to see how its members are matching up to their good intentions.

Diversity has been a key element of EA series The Sims since the original game arrived in 2000. Photograph: Electronic Arts
However, among female and BAME games workers the feeling is that keeping employees is as big a challenge for the video games companies as attracting them. This is not an industry famed for employee wellbeing or family-friendly working hours, with infamous “crunch” periods where people are working 10, 12 or more hours a day in the runup to a game’s release, a practice that is especially unfriendly to parents. Greater awareness and reporting of this issue has pressured large companies such as Rockstar Games into changing their practices, but this recent census data suggests that there is a long way to go: 31% of respondents, particularly those working in junior and mid-level roles, said they were living with anxiety and/or depression. The national average is 17%.
Meanwhile, high-profile examples of a culture of sexism in game development, such as last year’s Riot Games lawsuit, show that hiring women is just the first part of addressing video games’ gender balance. You also have to ensure that they are welcomed and listened to when they’re in the job.
The changing face of the games industry is already resulting in changes within games themselves. Different stories than the well-worn power fantasy are being told through the medium – take last year’s anti-colonialist sci-fi Falcon Age, or the forthcoming Tell Me Why, whose lead character is a trans man – and female avatars and a range of skin tones have become an expected requirement for any game that lets you create your own character. Stereotypes take a long time to die, but this census data shows that though change may be slow, it is happening.

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How the coronavirus is impacting the global tech industry – Blog – 10 minute

What just happened? Market intelligence firm TrendForce recently took a look at the global high-tech industry to gauge the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, otherwise known as the coronavirus.
The semiconductor sector has a higher degree of automation than some other industries so the impact on that front isn’t as severe as elsewhere. Unfortunately for fab operators, many employees come from out of town and with traffic and labor restrictions in place, fab utilization could be impacted. As a result, TrendForce said it is forecasting a possible decline in shipments for the Chinese foundry industry in the first quarter that could have an impact downstream.
IC design shouldn’t be impacted due to the fact that many now work remotely and collaborate via the cloud.
DRAM and NAND flash production isn’t expected to take much of a hit, either. Companies stocked up on supplies ahead of the Chinese New Year and assuming that materials can continue to be imported as usual, the outbreak presents no real problem here.

The situation is a bit fuzzier in the display industry. Panel makers are maintaining maximum water input for front-end displays, TrendForce said, but back-end module houses, downstream brands and original design manufacturers face issues arising from labor shortages and transportation limitations. As such, TV set shipments are expected to fall from a previous prediction of 48.8 million units in the quarter to 46.6 million units. Similarly, monitor shipments are forecasted to drop from an expected 29 million down to 27.5 million units.
One area that is being hit the hardest is the consumer smartphone industry due to the fact that the supply chain is highly labor-intensive. TrendForce said production during the quarter is expected to decline by 12 percent year-over-year, making it the quarter with the lowest output over the last five years. If the outbreak isn’t contained by the end of February, it is likely that smartphone production will continue to be negatively affected into Q2.

Game console manufacturers have seemingly caught a break, at least thus far. The busy season for consoles is Q4. Thus, Q1 is a weak season as the peak season for the supply chain won’t happen until 2H20. If the outbreak can be contained before the end of March, the industry should be able to make up for any losses happening right now.
The timing arguably couldn’t be better for Sony and Microsoft. Sales of their respective consoles have tapered off in recent months due to anticipation for next-gen systems scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter of this year. Had the virus outbreak hit at any other time, or especially just after a new console launch, the impact could have been far greater.
Masthead credit: Microchip by Gorodenkoff. Shipping yard by Mr. Amarin Jitnathum.

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AI in Agri inputs industry- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is playing an increasingly important role in virtually every industry; the agriculture industry is no exception.
When presented with data, AI connects the dots between disparate data points more efficiently than experts. In many instances, its ability to find answers to complex problems exceeds, by several magnitudes, that of skilled professionals. AIs prowess at recognising patterns in complex data sets means it quickly spots patterns professionals miss. It is for this reason that AI is being used in industries like agriculture and agriculture inputs; industries which traditionally relied little on high-tech software.
AI is being used in the agri-inputs industry in the following ways.
Optimising Distribution SystemsUsing AI, Machine Learning, and Analytics to manage distribution systems is proven to increase the Return on Investment (ROI)for agri-input players. Consider that because supply chains in the agriculture industry are vast, it is tedious, expensive, and time-consuming for suppliers to understand precisely the requirements across distinct supply chains.
Without support from AI, suppliers must travel from farmer to farmer to understand their needs. The logistical hurdles this presents are vast. Considerable time must be spent with each farmer before his needs can be fully understood. Consequently, players in the agri-inputs industry end up using substantial resources to know how much demand for their products exists.
The vastness of agricultural supply chains can be surmounted by using AI. An AI system collects data about how much fertiliser, feedstuff, pesticides and other products have been supplied to individual farms in a region. Once such data is fed into the system, the system can predict with a high rate of accuracy how much agri-inputs have been used, stocked, and will be needed in the future. The predictive capabilities of AI allow players in the agri-inputs industry to enjoy a birds-eye view of how their products are being used. Armed with a complete picture of how much product is being exhausted, suppliers of agri-products can optimise supply chains.
AI considers far more data than a human expert. It can predict how much additional input ofa product is needed along a supply chain. It does so by considering metrological data and much more. Furthermore, should an area suffer from drought, an AI system can accurately optimise the supply chain to the afflicted area such that the impact of water scarcity is minimised.
An AI system receives continuous data from every supply chain and can recalibrate shipments after considering dozens of data points. As a result, enterprises in the agri-inputs industry that use AI discover they need to make fewer trips to rural supply chains. Experts have difficulty considering a handful of metrics to reach a valid conclusion; an AI system can consider several dozen metrics to reach a rational conclusion.
New Product DevelopmentLike every industry, the agricultural sector is continuously innovating. Innovation is essential to increase yields and grow food for a rapidly growing populace. To create products useful to agriculture, the agri-input industry needs the capabilities of AI. AI can help uncover the impact of a new pesticide or fertiliser on crops. Firms that manufacture such inputs benefit from AIs intelligent insights.
AIs uses in agriculture are even striking. It can analyse how much of a particular input is likely to be consumed in an area. Furthermore, it can increase or decrease output after considering how much demand for a product exists. Real-time data shared with AI gives it continuous oversight over vast geographies. And it can vary its calculations to account for changes in demand due to seasonal variations. Experts use static information to assess demand- AI; however, uses real-time data to do the same. Hence AI more accurately assesses and forecasts market conditions compared to even a seasoned professional who has experience in the agriculture industry.
Authored by Mr Sameer Wadhwa, Vice President – Digital Consulting and Client Success, Visionet 

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Europe can win global battle for industrial data, says EU industry chief – Strategy- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Europe may have lost the battle to create digital champions capable of taking on US and Chinese companies harvesting personal data, but it can win the war of industrial data, Europe’s industry policy chief said on Saturday.
Vast troves of data from how fast we drive our cars to how much time a robot needs to churn out products will open a new front in the battle for digital dominance, said Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner in charge of the bloc’s single market.
Alarmed by the dominance of US and Chinese tech companies such as Google, Amazon or Huawei, the European Commission is leaving behind the “laissez-faire” attitude of the early 2000s and ratcheting up regulatory pressure to protect its businesses.
The new approach will be on display on Wednesday when Breton unveils the bloc’s new data and artificial intelligence strategy.
“We’re entering a new phase. The battle for industrial data starts now, and the main battlefield will be Europe,” Breton, a former French finance minister, told Reuters in an interview.
Breton said the EU had a unique opportunity to win the next phase of the digital revolution centered on the harvesting, management and analysis of data from factories, transport, energy and healthcare.
“Europe is the world’s top industrial continent. The United States have lost much of their industrial know-how in the last phase of globalisation. They have to gradually rebuild it. China has added-value handicaps it is correcting,” Breton said.
“But the bulk of the industrial value chain, from large groups to SMEs, is based in Europe today. That’s why all eyes are on Europe right now,” he added.
More assertive
The commissioner, who was speaking from the Munich security conference where he met the chief executive of Microsoft before meeting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in Brussels on Monday, is keen for Europe to take a more assertive approach.
“In this sector, tomorrow’s winners won’t necessarily be today’s winners,” he said, adding that the big cloud platforms that exist today will probably be replaced by more decentralised and secure “mini-clouds”.
A former CEO of French IT giant Atos and telecoms group Orange, Breton said the European Commission would unveil a three-pronged approach on Wednesday, consisting of tighter regulations, infrastructure investment and sector-specific strategies.
Reuters exclusively reported on January 29 a 25-page draft document outlining the measures to create a single market in data, that could still be tweaked ahead of the February 19 presentation.
It will include an array of new rules covering cross-border data use, data interoperability and standards.
The document also proposes scrapping competition rules which hinder data sharing and possibly introducing rules to prevent large online platforms from unilaterally imposing conditions for access.
Europe will remain open to non-European companies but wants to use the heft of its industrial base to set its own rules before other continents do, Breton said.
“Europe is not naive, it can very well see what’s going on. That’s why we have to organise ourselves now, including when it comes to the deployment of the first 5G networks,” he said.

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Why the advertising industry will miss Mobile World Congress this year (and why it won’t)- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

For anyone who’s worked in the mobile space over the past 20 years the news was huge. Mobile World Congress, the networking event for the industry, has been cancelled over fears that the coronavirus pandemic would use the event to do a little networking of its own.
While the cancellation makes complete sense from a public health perspective, it nevertheless comes as a huge shock. I’ve attended the event every year since 2007, and seen its rise to prominence as one of the biggest – and most exhausting – technology expos on the planet.
I for one will miss the opportunity to meet old friends and make new contacts both during the show and at the many after-parties that spring up across Barcelona and stay open long into the night (hello Hotel Omm and Opium). This is not solely because I like a good party, in our increasingly digital-first world, where work is executed internationally over video calls and Slack channels; the opportunity to meet people face-to-face is hugely valuable for building rapport, deepening relationships and a vital part of marketing a business.
The marketing industry will also miss the opportunity to see how mobile is now woven into the fabric of our lives (sometimes literally). A personal highlight each year at the show was the walk down to Halls Three and Four to see the innovations the automotive brands were making and get hands-on with the latest tech for the connected home.
Counting the cost
The cancellation will come at a huge economic cost – and not just for the international pickpockets for whom travelling into Barcelona for MWC is an essential date on their calendar too. Barcelona’s hotels, restaurants and bars will suffer greatly – last year’s event generated €470m for the city’s businesses – but so too will the brands that build their marketing year around the show. Many millions will have been invested in related content creation, PR activity and marketing activation in the months leading up to the show. And countless hours will have been used up preparing for the event. Any good economist will tell you that is now ‘just’ a sunk cost – but I know many marketers will miss the opportunity to show off the results of their hard work.
The real loss of value will be hard to estimate, as it includes intangibles such as the new business that would have been generated had the show gone ahead or the opportunity cost from the value that could have been created if the marketing and PR resources spent on MWC prep had been used elsewhere. While the initial response I’m hearing from many of the larger exhibitors is that they intend to mothball and store their stands until 2021, what is clear for some of the smaller companies attending is that the cost could be crippling – not least for the cash-poor start-ups that attend 4YFN (the show-within-a-show focused on the start-up community), that probably don’t have the luxury of refundable airfares, hotels or insurance policies that will cover the lost.
Thoughts should also go to the support organizations that help build stands and facilitate the event. Many of these are independent agencies with small cash reserves; if their customer contracts aren’t watertight, they could be exposed to significant losses as businesses look to claw back their lost investments from somewhere.
The cancellation of the show raises a lot of questions, and the full economic impact will only become clear in the weeks and months ahead. However, when it comes to my own sector of the mobile ecosystem – advertising – I would argue that the cancellation will have much less of an impact than it would have done a few years ago.
Advertising has moved on
The reason for this minimal impact is because the heyday of the mobile advertising industry at MWC is long past. Back in 2012/13 the industry was the star of the show, dominating Hall Eight with vast stands (the company I worked for at the time built a stand that occupied a whopping 128 meters-squared). After years of persistent evangelism, this was a time when mobile advertising reached its tipping point and was starting to be taken seriously by brands and agencies. Back then, mobile advertising was having a moment and the likes of Martin Sorrell would swing by Hall Eight to see what’s what (even the once aloof Apple decided it was time to take a look).
In recent years, the mobile advertising industry has matured and, to a large extent, moved on. Industry players still attend Hall Eight, but the stands are smaller and the buzz reduced to a more retrained chatter. Mobile advertising is now a core component of digital and in turn the wider marketing mix, and as such the big events for the industry’s tech vendors are now the likes of Dmexco, Advertising Week and Cannes Lions.
These events are later in the year and with any luck, the virus will have burned itself out, or scientists will have developed a vaccine. If not, and the organizers decide it’s safer to cancel, the ramifications and reaction from leaders within adtech and martech brands will likely be much more pronounced.
Resilience and risk
B2B Marketers should take the cancellation of MWC as a warning. It has shown that even the largest and most important trade shows can be disrupted at a moment’s notice. Clearly, this needs to be considered when developing your strategy. It seems to me that the clear lesson is that it is foolhardy to put all your eggs in one basket. Flagship events are an important part of the marketing mix, but they should not be the be-all-and-end-all. With fragmented attention and an increasing desire by decision-makers to search for solutions to their challenges, your content and communications strategy should ensure there is a regular cadence of engagement with your target audience throughout the entire year.
So, while no-one is a winner from the cancellation of MWC, as deals that would otherwise have been done will remain unsigned and important relationships unforged, our industry is probably only really missing its annual fix of jamon, croquettes and red wine. It’s the marketers and brands from other parts of the mobile value chain – and maybe even the GSMA themselves – who will be feeling the impact for far longer.
Stephen Jenkins is the founder and chief executive of Too Many Dreams.

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Bharti Airtel and Nokia enter into partnership for offering Industry 4.0 solutions- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Bharti Airtel and Nokia have partnered to offer private LTE based Industry 4.0 solution to enterprises.
The partnership will address the emerging requirements of enterprises across banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), information technology enabled services (ITES), media and services, manufacturing and distribution with technologies such as cloud, IoT, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and edge computing concepts.
In addition, the two companies will explore the development of 5G use-cases for the enterprises.
Industry 4.0 relies on low-latency, high-reliability networks as well as capabilities in robotics and artificial intelligence to drive new levels of automation and data exchange in manufacturing industries, resulting in improved operational efficiency and reduced costs. The LTE Technology has over time evolved and matured to provide reliable, secure, high-capacity connectivity for industrial applications and digitalization. An ABI Research report estimates Private wireless networking market opportunity to be worth over US$16 billion by 2025.
Airtel serves over 2,500 large businesses and over 500,000 SMBs and technology start-ups across India.
Airtel and Nokia partnership will open the doors for Industry 4.0 revolution with private LTE for the enterprises in India. This partnership will enable delivering extensive private wireless portfolio with intrinsic security, mission-critical reliability and vast coverage to meet the growing demand for a network that can support high volume of data with low latency along with wide range telecom portfolio of Airtel.
To demonstrate the potential of the partnership, the two companies have collaborated on Industry 4.0 deployment at Nokia’s state-of-the-art telecommunication equipment factory at Chennai on 10th Jan 2020. The deployment focuses on digitization, predictive & prescriptive analytics and robotics connected through low latency & secure LTE technology to maximize efficiency and productivity. The deployment is a showcase of innovation and benefits that private LTE based Industry 4.0 can provide the enterprises.
Ashish Arora, CEO – Enterprise Business, Airtel Business, said: “We are pleased to expand our strategic partnership with Nokia to build cutting edge Industry 4.0 solutions for enterprises. At Airtel, our ambition is to be a key enabler of digital transformation of businesses and with our future ready connectivity platforms and ecosystem of partners, we are uniquely positioned to serve this massive demand.”
Naresh Asija, Vice President & Head of Customer Team for Bharti Airtel at Nokia, said: “Telecommunication service providers play a key role in transforming Digital India We are delighted to partner with Airtel as the operator leads the way in driving 4th industrial revolution in India for enterprises. Nokia will contribute with our end-to-end portfolio and deep industry expertise with over 120 private wireless customers across industries globally.”

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India’s IT industry generates 191 billion in revenues; hires 205,000 employees in FY 2020- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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The Tempemail Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) today announced that the IT-BPM sector grew by 7.7% y-o-y garnering a total revenue of USD 191 billion in FY2020. On the side-lines of the flagship NASSCOM Technology and Leadership Forum (NTLF) 2020, the industry body showcased its Strategic Review – ‘Techade: The New Decade’ which captured the performance of the technology industry and upcoming trends.
As part of the report, NASSCOM announced that IT Services sector garnered the highest revenue of USD 97 billion (growth of 6.7%), followed by E-commerce which stood at USD 54 billion (growth 25.6%). The sector generated exports of over USD 147 billion in revenues in FY2020, growing at 8.1% from the previous year. The maiden report for this decade, showcased the growth of the industry, commemorating several milestones between FY2009-FY2019 such as crossing USD 105 billion in overall revenue, adding 2 million employees/jobs and creating 10k new technology companies in overall consolidation.
Speaking at the occasion, Keshav Murugesh, Chairman, NASSCOM, said, “The IT-BPM industry continues to be a key catalyst for India’s overall growth. Over the past year, the performance from the industry showcased the increasing focus on the digital transformation of businesses and also the expansion of digital-driven services to cater to clients across the globe. We are hopeful that this trend will continue to drive the growth of the industry in the coming years, and evangelizing innovation in the domain.”
A key trend witnessed last year was the continued focus on digital revenues, which grew by over 23%, once again a testimony to the prominence digital technologies and systems are gaining across portfolios. Investing in digital skills continues to rise as an imperative for the industry, with organisations building their capabilities and aligning business models to digital practices as up to 28% of organisational revenues was recorded for digital. Indian enterprises spent over USD 2 billion domestically to accelerate digital transformation.Sharing her thoughts, Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM, said, “Talent, Trust and Innovation remain our key imperatives as we move into the first year of this decade. The industry continued its hiring momentum with 205,000 new hires, and today we are proud to have 884,000 digitally skilled talent in the country. We will maintain this thrust with the launch of FutureSkills Prime to help build a workforce for the coming Techade.”

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Streamlining processes through BPR in insurance industry- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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The insurance industry which was otherwise perceived to be conventional is witnessing a rapid change in terms of enhancing customer experience with the advent of digitization. Business models today are transforming quickly to cater to the evolving needs of customers. Business Process Reengineering (BPR) plays a crucial role therein by bringing in efficiency and effectiveness within the existing processes within the organization to stay relevant. It allows alignment of company values to the needs of customers and leverages technology to redesign core processes thereby improving efficiency across the organization.
Usually, the lack of standardized processes coupled with an existing complex set of applications are the main inhibitors for low operational efficiency in the insurance industry. Insurers need to focus strongly on operational efficiency to avoid the risk of being non-competitive from either a pricing or a profitability perspective, and, in the process, failing to deliver value to their customers. Hence, insurers today are focusing on process redesign, implementation of lower cost sales and servicing channels, and legacy systems repair or replacement initiatives. Claims, policy servicing and underwriting are the highest priority areas for various initiatives in the sector.
Streamlining ProcessesProcess is an untapped goldmine of productivity. While it is ideal to be a digitally agile organization that has no place for cumbersome workflows, businesses are often reluctant to build custom processes which are usually complex and time-intensive. As a result, they struggle with adopting new technology and end up adopting inefficient manual workarounds. The use of BPR can help here by bringing in efficiency and scalability into the entire system. When streamlined, processes can improve document workflow, limit paper processes, ramp up the game digitally and reduce costs.
Lower-cost sales and service channels through BPRCustomers & intermediaries continue to drive insurers maintain an omni- channel presence across sales and service functions. This tendency represents both an opportunity and a challenge for insurers from an operational cost perspective. Beyond the more traditional focus of channel transformation (e.g. offline to online), insurers seek to leverage non-traditional sales and servicing options such as the shift from email and chat bots to tech-enabled voice addressing customer queries. I feel implementation of self- service and automation will play a key role in bringing down channel costs by reducing turnaround times and minimizing errors.
Simplifying Claim ProcessesClaims management is a critical process in the insurance industry as this is the moment of truth in the industry. We have observed that claim settlement times are directly correlated to the severity of the claim, which makes it vital to execute efficient processes. There is a great deal of third party data that is aggregated during the process relating to active claims, such as forms, letters, etc. which arrive in a variety of unstructured ways, from different sources, at different times, and at different offices. The BPR solution brings all this information together and routes it to the right desktop, automatically assigning claims, smoothly channelling incoming information, bundling documents connected to the same claim and prioritizing work streams.
Challenges while implementing BPRRe-engineering processes and services face various challenges such as the lack of appropriate knowledge, irregularity in implementation, lack of essential resources and unsound analysis. I feel it’s important to identify an appropriate reference model to successfully implement BPR. Without this, most of the time is often spent on capturing the ‘as is’ position, and it is often difficult to get agreement on ordinary processes and definitions.
I firmly believe that if implemented well, BPR can bring in significant level of operational efficiency and cost control across the entire insurance value chain. It can enable paperless transactions, simplify red tape processes by automating case management support to reduce cost and settlement time frames within the claims life cycle there helping insurers maintain high standards in customer service.
Re-engineering to Re-imaginationIn tune with the ever changing face of the industry, BPR itself has now morphed from re-engineering to re-imagination. In other words, it is not just about re-engineering within the box but adopting out-of-the-box solutions using agile methodology and a nimble mind-set. Think big. Act small. Scale fast.
Authored by KV Dipu, Head – Operations & Customer Service, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance

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