Defence IT investment to climb to $20 billion over next decade – Strategy- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The federal government is expected to spend more than $20 billion strengthening the Department of Defence’s IT and cyber security capabilities over the coming decade.
The funding, outlined in the 2020 strategic update [pdf] released on Wednesday, forms part of a $270 billion package for new and upgraded Defence capabilities over the next 10 years.
The strategy, which replaces the 2016 white paper, will see Defence capability investment climb by $75 billion over the next decade to $270 billion, or around 2 percent Australia’s GDP.
The $20 billion will be split between two operational domains: information and cyber, which will receive $15 billion, and enterprise ICT, which will receive $5 billion.
A ‘space domain’ will also receive $7 billion over the next decade – or three percent of total spending.
By comparison, the 2016 white paper allocated around $15 billion into an intelligence, surveillance, electronic warfare, reconnaissance and space and cyber stream.
A total of $575 billion will be provided to Defence, including for the Australian Signals Directorate, by the government over the next decade to provide long-term funding certainty.
Cyber security
Worth $15 billion over the next decade, the investment in Defence’s information and cyber domain reveals the increasing importance of cyber security in Australia’s strategic environment. 
While highlighted as a driver for the department in 2016, the new strategy indicates this has only “accelerated” as Defence – and other organisations – have become more reliant on internet-based communications.
“Expanding cyber capabilities and [the] willingness of some countries and non-state actors to use cyber capabilities maliciously are further complicating Australia’s environment,” the strategy states.
“Cyber attacks can directly compromise military capability and operations. Cyber-enabled activities can also drive disinformation and destabilising interference in economies, political and social systems and infrastructure.
“These activities are often conducted in ways designed to facilitate deniability and complicate attribution.”
The remarks follow a busy fortnight for cyber security, in which the Prime Minister warned of a surge in malicious activity before outlining a $1.35 billion funding package, which represents only a fraction of the total Defence cyber spend over the next decade.
In response to this changing environment and the growing threat from malicious actors, Defence plans to have “secure and resilient information systems” as well as an ability to defend information and systems against cyber attack.
“Investments are planned in joint command, control and communications systems, joint electronic warfare and defensive cyberspace operations,” the strategy states.
“The investment in systems will be complemented by the establishment of a new counter-intelligence capability, including infrastructure and training equipment.
“Defence will also invest in offensive cyber and operational cyberspace capabilities for deployed forces, as well as systems to integrate intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance programs and data.
“Intelligence capability will be further bolstered by continued investment in signals intelligence and the expansion and upgrading of secure communication systems.”
The government also plans to “expand and upgrade systems for delivering top secret information and communications within Defence and across the broader national security community”.
These investments are considered “critical to ensure information can be securely and reliably shared across Defence, with other government agencies, and with international partners”.
Defence has also hinted at plans to use its cyber capabilities to Australia’s strategic advantage and “grow its self-reliant ability to deliver deterrent effects” to adversaries. 
“Given Australia’s limited resource base, we must improve our ability to deliver these effects without seeking to match the capability of major powers,” the strategy states.
“This includes developing capabilities to hold adversary forces and infrastructure at risk further from Australia, such as longer-range strike weapons, cyber capabilities and area denial systems.”
Robotics, AI and quantum
While the department has improved its IT since the 2016 white paper and the first principles review by modernising desktop computing and infrastructure, Defence is now looking ahead.
The strategy indicates Defence will need to plan for “next generation secure wireless networks, artificial intelligence and augmented analytics” over the next five years.
Over the next six to ten years, Defence capability is also likely to encompass the use of “robotics, blockchain immersive technologies, artificial intelligence and quantum computing”.
“Defence will continue to focus investments on ensuring it is able to seize the opportunities and meet the challenges posed by such developments,” the strategy states.
“In particular, investments aligned to security, information access and management, connectivity, and processing and storage are planned. 
“They include upgrades to secure networks and to systems that support sharing information with domestic and international partners. 
“In addition to its investments, Defence will continue to deliver enterprise-wide information and communications technology business transformation projects.”
In order to maintain these existing IT capabilities, Defence will establish an ‘ICT capability assurance program’.
The program will “ensure systems and applications [are] continuously updated and patched”, as well as “extend life-of-type and upgrade capacity”.
“It will reduce the requirement for concurrent complex, disruptive and expensive technology transformations across the enterprise, and provide a continuous program to ensure ICT capabilities remain modern and secure,” the strategy’s adjoining force structure plan states.
The department will also continue to upgrade core enterprise management systems such as its massive enterprise resource planning (ERP) system modernisation, which it recently selected Microsoft to host.

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Govt reveals $1.35bn investment in cybersecurity over next decade – Security- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The government has unveiled a $1.35 billion investment to beef up Australia’s cybersecurity capabilities over the next decade, a third of which will go into a new team of 500 specialists.
The investment is being called the “largest ever … in cybersecurity” in the country, and will be known as the CESAR package.
CESAR stands for cyber enhanced situational awareness and response.
“My government’s record investment in our nation’s cybersecurity will help ensure we have the tools and capabilities we need to fight back and keep Australians safe,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement.
The CESAR package confirms what has been rumoured to have been in the works for the past fortnight after Morrison fronted a surprise Friday morning press conference with news of sustained but unspecified foreign actors targeting critical Australian interests.
Of the $1.35 billion, $470 million – about one-third – will be put into assembling a team of over 500 new security specialists that will sit within the Australian Signals Directorate.
Some of the new cash injection will also go towards building Australia’s offensive capabilities, an expansion that was first flagged by the ASD in early April.
This is said to include the ability for government officials and industry to recognise and block attack traffic from even entering the country.
The government said it would put “over $31 million” into enhancing the ASD’s ability “to disrupt cybercrime offshore, taking the fight to foreign criminals that seek to target Australians, and providing assistance to federal, state and territory law enforcement agencies.”
A new cyber threat-sharing platform will be built for $35 million, “enabling industry and government to share intelligence about malicious cyber activity, and block emerging threats in near real-time.”
Additionally, $12 million will go “towards new strategic mitigations and active disruption options, enabling ASD and Australia’s major telecommunications providers to prevent malicious cyber activity from ever reaching millions of Australians across the country by blocking known malicious websites and viruses at speed.”
Other investments detailed this morning include at least:

$118 million to expand ASD’s data science and intelligence capabilities on emerging threats
$62 million to deliver a national situational awareness capability “to better enable ASD to understand and respond to cyber threats on a national scale”. 
$20 million to establish “cutting-edge research laboratories to better understand threats to emerging technology, ensuring that ASD continues to provide timely and authoritative advice”.

Not all of CESAR was announced today: some parts will be held back and “ detailed in our 2020 cyber security strategy”, the government said.
The timing of that strategy’s release was not updated, though it was recently listed as “the coming months”.
Of the $1.35 billion, $748 million was announced today, leaving some $602 million still to be allocated.
The full investment would also mean relying on successive governments to carry through with the original plan. 
In its entirety, the CESAR package “will put our nation on the front foot in combating cyber threats and our investment in a cyber security workforce will help ensure we have the people we need to meet future cyber challenges,” Defence Minister Senator Reynolds said.
“For example, this package will enable ASD and Australia’s major telecommunications providers to prevent malicious cyber activity from reaching millions of Australians by blocking known malicious websites and computer viruses at speed,”
“This package is one part of our $15 billion investment in cyber and information warfare capabilities that will form part of Defence’s 2020 Force Structure Plan to address the rapidly evolving cyber threat landscape.”

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Inadequate Investment in Cybersecurity is Behind Increase in Cyber Attacks | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Following on this week’s Life Healthcare cyberattack, the issue of cybersecurity has once again been brought to the fore as businesses and individuals are forced to evaluate whether measures in place are strong enough to withstand major breaches in their security.
Life Healthcare is the third major South African company that has been targeted by hackers this year. In February, Nedbank warned that the information of about 1.7 million clients was potentially affected by a data breach, and the following month chemicals and fertiliser maker Omnia Holdings said it’s IT infrastructure was subject to a cyberattack.
Amongst the other big businesses that have been targeted in South Africa are Johannesburg City Council, Capitec Bank and Telkom.
The trend is also true for the rest of the continent. In Kenya, the Tempemail Youth Service (NYS) and Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS) were among a host of government websites that were attacked by an Indonesia hacker group, Kurd Electronic Team.
According to Michael Tumusiime, Lead Security Engineer at Checkpoint East Africa, businesses must look at threats from an architectural perspective. Considering the many attack surfaces, attackers can now get into environments a lot easier and quicker.
“We have mobile threats additionally with people working from home, the perimeter has moved therefore you can no longer protect your assets just by using perimeter security. You need to think about the different ways that people access information and the different assets to protect against.”
“Think mobile threats, think about security in the cloud, think about IoT devices and have a comprehensive security approach protecting those. It also helps if you have an incidence response plan to help in the mitigation and recovery in case you get compromised.”
Check Point has an incidence response team that is able to assist customers by carrying out a comprehensive review of the architecture as well as a forensic audit to figure out how the incident happened and how to make sure that it doesn’t happen in the future.
The consistent threat to companies of this size is due to the nature of cutting corners. These institutions are cutting corners around cost and setup of technology and this directly relates to the challenges that they are experiencing, using technology that is not 99.9% bulletproof.
What happened to Life Health is not unique, it is something that is happening globally. When COVID-19 kicked off we saw many customers in Europe being targeted with fictitious COVID related emails and domains.
Africa has followed closely behind as we are now starting to see these attacks reach our continent. We can also expect this trend to continue if companies use generation 3 and 4 security to ward off generation 5 and 6 attacks.

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Investment in Digital Transformation is Expected to Reach $7.4 trillion by 2023, says Report | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

As organizations look to transform their business operations and revolutionize customer service, Digital Transformation (DX) is at the top of most CXOs’ agendas; in fact, DX spending is expected to approach $7.4 trillion between 2020 and 2023, a CAGR of 17.5%.
However, according to the latest industry data released today from Veeam Software, almost half of global organizations are being hindered in their DX journeys due to unreliable, legacy technologies with 44% citing lack of IT skills or expertise as another barrier to success.
Moreover, almost every company admitted to experiencing downtime, with 1 out of every 10 servers having unexpected outages each year — problems that last for hours and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars – and this points to an urgent need to modernize data protection and focus on business continuity to enable DX.
The Veeam 2020 Data Protection Trends Report surveyed more than 1,500 global enterprises to understand their approach toward data protection and management today, and how they expect to be prepared for the IT challenges they face, including reacting to demand changes and interruptions in service, as well as more aspirational goals of IT modernization and DX.

“Technology is constantly moving forward, continually changing, and transforming how we do business – especially in these current times as we’re all working in new ways.  Due to DX, it’s important to always look at the ever-changing IT landscape to see where businesses stand on their solutions, challenges and goals,” said Danny Allan, CTO and SVP of Product Strategy at Veeam.
“It’s great to see the global drive to embrace technology to deliver a richer user experience, however, the Achilles Heel still seems to be how to protect and manage data across the hybrid cloud. Data protection must move beyond outdated legacy solutions to a higher state of intelligence and be able to anticipate needs and meet evolving demands.  Based on our data, unless business leaders recognize that – and act on it – real transformation just won’t happen.”
The Criticality of Data Protection and Availability
Respondents stated that data delivered through IT has become the heart and soul of most organizations, so it should not be a surprise how important “data protection” has become within IT teams, including not just backing up and restoring data, but also extending business capabilities.
However, many organizations (40%) still rely on legacy systems to protect their data without fully appreciating the negative impact this can have on their business. The vast majority (95%) of organizations suffer unexpected outages and on average, an outage lasts 117 minutes (almost two hours).
Putting this into context, organizations consider 51% of their data as ‘High Priority’ versus ‘Normal’. An hour of downtime from a High Priority application is estimated to cost $67,651, while this number is $61,642 for a Normal application.  With such a balance between High Priority and Normal in percentages and impact costs, it’s clear that “all data matters” and that downtime is intolerable anywhere within today’s environments.
“Data protection is more important than ever now to help organizations continue to meet their operational IT demands while also aspiring towards DX and IT modernization. Data is now spread across data centres and clouds through file shares, shared storage, and even SaaS-based platforms. Legacy tools designed to back up on-premises file shares and applications cannot succeed in the hybrid/multi-cloud world and are costing companies time and resources while also putting their data at risk,” added Allan.
DX and the Cloud
Enterprises know they must continue to make progress with their IT modernization and DX initiatives in order to meet new industry challenges, and according to this report’s feedback, the most defining aspects of a modern data protection strategy all hinge upon utilization of various cloud-based capabilities: Organizations’ ability to do disaster recovery (DR) via a cloud service (54%), the ability to move workloads from on-premises to cloud follows (50%), and the ability to move workloads from one cloud to another (48%).
Half of the businesses recognize that cloud has a pivotal part to play in today’s data protection strategy, and it will most likely become even more important in the future.
For a truly modernized data protection plan, a company needs a comprehensive solution that supports cloud, virtual and physical data management for any application and any data across any cloud.
Allan concluded: “By already starting to modernize their infrastructures in 2020, organizations expect to continue their DX journey and increase their cloud use. Legacy solutions were intended to protect data in physical data centres in the past, but they’re so outdated and complex that they cost more money, time, resources and trouble than realized.”
Other highlights of the Veeam 2020 Data Protection Trends Report include:

The No. 1 challenge that will impact organizations within the next 12 months is cyber threats (32%). Shortage of skills to implement technology (30%) and meeting changing customer needs (29%) were also cited as key hurdles in the next 12 months.
Lack of staff to work on new initiatives (42%) was cited as the most impactful data protection challenge organizations currently have. Lack of budget for new initiatives (40%) and lack of visibility on operational performance (40%) were also cited.
Over half (51%) of respondents believe DX can help their organization transform customer service. Almost half said it could transform business operations (48%) and deliver cost savings (47%).
Almost one-quarter (23%) of organizations describe their progress towards achieving DX initiatives and goals as mature or fully implemented.
Almost a third (30%) of organizations are currently in the early stages of implementing or planning DX.
Over a third (39%) of respondents said the ability to improve the reliability of backups is the most likely reason to drive their organization to change its primary backup solution. 38% cited reduced software or hardware costs and 33% said improving return on investment.
Almost a quarter (23%) of organizations’ data is replicated and made business continuity (BC)/DR capable via a cloud provider. Over a fifth (21%) of data across organizations globally is not replicated or staged for BC/DR.
Over a quarter (27%) of organizations’ data is backed up to the cloud by a Backup as a Service (BaaS) provider. 14% of data across organizations globally is not backed up.
Over two in five (43%) organizations plan to leverage cloud-based backup managed by a BaaS provider within the next two years.

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Self Driving Startup Argo AI Raises $2.6 Billion Investment From Volkswagen- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

German automaker Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) has closed its $2.6 billion investment in Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based self-driving startup disclosed in a blog post on Tuesday.
Argo, founded in 2016 by Bryan Salesky and Peter Rander, is now jointly controlled by Volkswagen and Ford Motor Co (F.N), which made an initial investment in Argo shortly after it was founded.
Details of the Volkswagen investment, which does not include an agreement to purchase $500 million worth of Argo stock from Ford, was announced last July.
Volkswagen’s agreement includes the transfer to Argo of its Munich-based Autonomous Intelligent Driving unit, which boosts Argo’s employment to more than 1,000, according to Salesky.
Last week, Volkswagen disclosed that its supervisory board had approved several projects in a multibillion-dollar alliance with Ford that also was announced last July.
Ford created Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC in 2018, pledging to invest $4 billion until 2023 and had sought outside investors to help share the spiraling cost of developing autonomous vehicles.

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Investment in Drone Industry Grows to $1.2 billion | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

By the end of 2019, total investment in the drone industry was a record-high of $1.2 billion, a Year-Over-Year growth of 67% – this is according to the data acquired by Finbold.com. The report indicates that venture capital funding stood at $930 million at the end of last year.
VC funding accounts for 68.87% of all drone industry investment
The data shows how between 2008 and 2019 funding in the sector stood at $4.43 billion while venture capitalists pumped in a total of $3.46 billion by last year. In general, drone investment through VC represented 68.87% of all funding. There was a significant spike in the investment between 2012 ($42 million) and 2013 ($121 million) with a growth of about 188.1%.
Venture Capital funding joined the drone sector by only $2 million in 2010, a figure that has been rising to hit $930 million in 2019. The interest from venture capitalists was notable between 2013 and 2014 when the investment grew by 122.5%. On a yearly basis, the VC funding has ranged from $450 million to $550 million over the past four years before the 2019 spike.

“The drone industry has been growing with investment being pumped in at least 52 companies. Some of the big players in the sector include 3D Robotics, DJI, Toyota, Boeing, Audi, Airbus, DroneBase and Microsoft among others. The research notes that even though different companies are receiving fundings from venture capitalists, most of them are based in the United States,” reads the report.
With the recent growth in investment, the drone industry is expected to witness an increase in funding across 2020. The growth will mainly be fueled by an increase in drone adoption across the globe.

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Quick Heal Technologies makes Strategic Investment in Ray, a Singapore based Networking & Wireless Technology start-up- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Quick Heal Technologies, a provider of Cybersecurity and Data Protection solutions to consumers, businesses and Government, today announced a strategic investment of INR 2 Crores in Ray Pte. Ltd., a Singapore based start-up specializing in next generation networking and wireless technology. The investment reinforces a shared vision of ensuring a safe, secure and seamless digital experience for everyone. The development displays Quick Heal’s ongoing efforts to invest in disruptive technologies that will shape the future of cybersecurity while supporting innovative startups. The company had recently invested USD 300,000 in Israel based L7 Defense.
Incorporated in the year 2019, Ray is an innovation driven technology company with a vision to reimagine networking and wireless technology. Ray’s flagship product RayOS is an open, secure, cloud native, extensible Operating System with an ecosystem of applications that leverage the underlying hardware to create unlimited use cases. The investment will enable Ray to tap into Quick Heal’s rich legacy and expertise in the technology landscape to develop an integrated solution designed to protect IoT devices in enterprise and consumer segments from the next wave of cyber-attacks.
Kailash Katkar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Quick Heal Technologies Limited said, “Through our investment in Ray, we want to bring the best of Quick Heal’s security technology and capabilities to a wide range of customers and partners with highly secure networking and wireless technology. As a company, we are always on the lookout for innovative companies with disruptive offerings that will help us shape the future of cybersecurity. The team at Ray’s is building futuristic solutions keeping IoT and cloud computing technologies in mind which makes them an ideal partner.”
Hemal Patel, Chief Executive Officer & Founder, Ray, said, “We are excited to have Quick Heal as our strategic investor. We would benefit from their vast experience of building a technology company focussed on advanced security technologies and a client-centric innovation culture. The funding shall help us accelerate our product innovations and increase our reach in multiple geographies.”

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Tempemail and FT reveal nominees for Brand Investment Award celebrating best brand-builders- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Tempemail has teamed up with the FT to recognise the value of long-term strategy and creativity, which have become more important than ever in these testing times.
Tempemail’s Brand Investment Award, sponsored by the FT, recognises the best examples of long-term thinking, creativity and execution amongst brands.
However, given the exceptional events of the last few months, we also need to take into account how the nominees have dealt with the recent Covid-19 emergency, and so we are spotlighting brands that have been able to navigate the current crisis thanks to leveraging the equity they have already amassed.
Following nominations from our readers, we can now reveal the shortlist of brands spanning luxury, retail, consumer and B2B categories – who have been nominated for the award this year.
They will be judged by the 2020 jury from Tempemail Marketing Awards and the overall winner will not only receive the FT Award, but will also be invited to discuss their strategy during Tempemail’s upcoming Can-Do Festival in June.
Here are this year’s nominees:

Burberry
In luxury, ubiquity will kill you—it means you’re not really luxury anymore. And Burberry was becoming ubiquitous – selling everything from trench coats to kilts to dog cover-ups and leashes. And then it bought in Angela Ahrendts as its CEO in 2006 (she left in 2014). The result was that it reinforced its heritage, its Britishness, by emphasising and growing its core luxury products. The decision to focus on its heritage opened up a wealth of creativity, and the designers and marketers all worked on to reinforce the idea that everything Burberry did—from its runway shows to its stores—should start with the ethos of the trench. It also began to shift its marketing efforts from targeting everyone, everywhere, to focusing on the luxury customers of the future. It then started rethinking its entire marketing approach for these customers of the future – to make it digital.
Burberry sites are now designed to speak to that consumer through emotive brand content: music, movies, heritage, storytelling. Burberry enhances customers’ experience of the brand in its offline platforms with integrated digital technologies, e.g. all Burberry stores have plasma screen video walls with touchscreen technology, allowing customers to scroll through products and outfits instore.
The brand has also greatly capitalised on Chinese luxury market growth. In 2019, it unveiled an exclusive partnership with Chinese tech business Tencent to develop social retail in China. The move was part of Burberry’s wider “social-first” strategy, which recognises how social media is becoming a vital part of the luxury customer journey.
Earlier this year, the 164-year-old brand announced a strategy focusing on China. However, with Covid19, the premium fashion brand switched from producing trench coats to medical-grade garments at its Yorkshire factory in order to lend a helping hand in the fight for more PPE for medical workers. So far, it has donated more than 100,000 pieces of PPE in the UK. It has also set up the Burberry Foundation Covid-19 Community Fund so it cannot only extend its PPE support, but can also put money into food banks. Additionally, the Burberry board of directors (including CEO Marco Gobbetti) are taking a 20% pay cut for May and June, with their money going directly to the fund. And it has refused to furlough staff, something other fashion brands have done, and is still paying them a full wage. These steps have been promoted online and on social media and received an overwhelmingly positive response.

Guinness
Chances are when you think of Guinness you don’t just imagine a frothy pint, but also some pretty iconic advertising. Whether it’s the surfer or a man at a pub in the 1990s comically dancing in anticipation of a pint, Diageo’s beer brand has long established itself as a creator of truly memorable cinematic campaigns. However, over recent years, the brand has shifted its storytelling, embedding its campaigns more in the every day.
The ‘Made of More’ advert series, created by AMV BBDO, featured real-life stories, including ex-gang members in Los Angeles who turned their lives around by adopting horses and becoming cowboys, and a visual style that was a lot more documentary-like than the more fantastical marketing Guinness was famous for. It’s backed this up with more experiential events too, with the beer brand’s various pop-up music and food festivals successfully targeting a younger audience while maintaining links to its historic past.
Guinness’ response to coronavirus has shown it can be reactive and is capable of being contextually relevant beyond big cinematic splashes. St Patrick’s Day (Wednesday 17 March) was one of the events negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, so Guinness embraced this problem by encouraging its drinkers to enjoy the celebration at home in a safer setting. A video campaign had a hopeful message of “don’t worry, we’ll march again”, asking drinkers to stay at home.
In the US market, Guinness committed $500,000 to supporting communities disrupted by the coronavirus with the Guinness Give Back fund. This was a strong way of encouraging people to stay at home at a time where other alcohol brands were silent. It has also utilised its community, using Dublin-based artist Luke O’Reilly’s artwork, which depicts a pint of Guinness topped by a white sofa with the message ‘Stay at home’, on its Instagram page. These efforts have shown the brand has a social conscience and should result in positive brand sentiment that carries over long after the coronavirus pandemic has passed.

Adobe
When Adobe ended sales of boxed software back in 2011, some analysts questioned if its CEO Shantanu Narayen had gone too far. But the gamble paid off – its monthly subscription model Creative Cloud has helped to consistently boost sales throughout the 2010s, successfully tapping into the shift of more users using popular Adobe software like Photoshop on their mobile devices.
In its fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019, Adobe achieved record quarterly revenue of $2.99bn, which represents 21% year-over-year growth. In fiscal year 2019, Adobe achieved record annual revenue of $11.17bn, which represents 24% year-over-year growth. These impressive numbers were the legacy of Adobe’s move away from physical products to a cloud-based system, where it could get closer to its users and learn more about the way they use its products, increasing personalisation and tailoring its communications in the process. “We try to make sense of millions and millions of customers, and treat them as if they were one,” Adobe’s SVP of go-to-market and sales Rob Giglio has said publicly.
Its response to Covid-19 has shown Adobe has a hunger to invest these sizable revenues into its community and safeguard it as much as possible.
For one, Adobe made temporary at-home access to Creative Cloud available until May 31, 2020 for schools and colleges who currently have only lab access for students, at no additional cost. It did this after asking its community on Twitter what they would like to see Adobe do to support people negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
With the worldwide freelance creative community at risk of not meeting government support and facing an uncertain financial future, Adobe also opened up its annual ‘Creative Residency’ Community Fund (totaling $1m, which would be made up of grants from $500 – $5,000) globally so anyone could apply.
The fund has also been changed so it doesn’t just reward two creatives, like it normally does, but rather a much larger number of applications, with all those who are successful also getting free access to Adobe’s software. It is a good example of taking a regular program and opening it up, so it helps more people in the wake of the pandemic. Adobe has shown it can be flexible when it comes to taking action, empowering its community to continue working with its software, even if they’re struggling financially.

LVMH
2020 has not been an easy start for the world’s leading luxury products group – it saw store closures, like all other businesses across the world, but it hurt especially because of its reliance on the Chinese market.
The Covid-19 crisis prompted LVMH to trim its 2019 dividend by one-third and cut executive pay. It is also seeking to renegotiate rents for its shuttered stores, and is cutting costs on staff, fashion shows, and travel.
The business has been breaking new ground in the last few years, in an attempt to build long lasting legacy. Last year, LVMH announced singer Rihanna will become part of the brand – the first woman to create an original brand at LVMH and the first black woman at the top of the group – signaling that the group recognises that growth in the luxury industry may no longer come just from reinventing old heritage names, but by embracing a new diverse, digital, direct communication-enabled reality.
According to LVMH’s fashion CEO Pierre-Yves Roussel, it has been building a business underpinned by a “culture of creativity”.
“We look at the facts, we talk about what works and what doesn’t work, we fix what’s not working, and we adjust quickly. Whatever happens, we’re able to adjust fast,” he said in an interview with McKinsey, when asked how the luxury giant, which owns historic brands like Louis Vuitton and Hennessy, had achieved such success. It’s also been forceful when it comes to the M&A market – a $3.2bn acquisition of hotel group Belmond, ¢16.2bn purchase of Tiffany, and of course Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty makeup range and not just relying on its heritage brands for growth. And bolstering its position as the world’s largest diversified luxury group, covering well-heeled shoppers from head-to-toe.
The quick adjustment skills Roussel spoke of have been evident in LVMH’s response to coronavirus. When a sudden rush to buy hand sanitizers left mass shortages across France in mid-March, LVMH used its perfume factories to produced unbranded bottles that it could then donate to hospitals.
It also transformed 12 Louis Vuitton handbag workshops so they produced protective masks instead, and has impressively supplied 261 ventilators to hospitals across France.
There have also been multiple reports of the luxury goods conglomerate’s CEO Bernard Arnault donating money to support hospitals.
Meanwhile, its brand Patou will donate proceeds from the sale of two products – a white sweater and a black t-shirt – to help France’s efforts against coronavirus. LVMH has showed that luxury brands aren’t completely disconnected from everyday people and will have generated a lot of goodwill from these moves. Its sales might temporarily slip, but there’s a sense that once things go back to normal, people won’t have forgotten how it adapted its production for the greater good.

Shutterstock
Innovation. It is a business buzzword that just won’t go away. Many companies talk a good game about using innovation to drive commercial growth but what a lot of these strategies get wrong is forgetting to cultivate a real culture of innovation among their staff. Shutterstock, however, sees the need to empower employees to create and innovate and has been hosting an annual 24-hour hackathon which lets employees pursue ideas that will benefit the company.
For two days each summer, most of the Shutterstock staff puts its regular work on hold and comes up with new, creative ideas that can be executed in just 24 hours. It’s the Shutterstock Hackathon, and it’s been growing bigger every year since 2011.
With a valuation of around $1.5bn and having expanded revenues from just shy of $500m in 2016 to $623m in 2018, Shutterstock has been steadily growing. The company, which has an archive of millions of purchasable images and videos, has also been profitable, posting a full-year net income of $31m in 2018.
One of the key factors in its success has been the way Shutterstock has established itself as a brand that has its finger on the pulse of pop culture when it comes to brand advertising. Last year, it recreated a trailer to the new season of Stranger Things only using stock footage, while it also launched an online video campaign that parodied the infamous Fyre festival through also tapping into its archives.
Speaking of those campaigns, Shutterstock chief marketing officer Lou Weiss told Tempemail: “We’re really showing rather than telling what you can do with our stuff. We’re acting no more and no less like a customer of Shutterstock and using assets to tell our story in the same way that we empower the world’s storytellers to tell their story.”
And it has continued this approach of utilising its own product with its reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. In an effort to help small to large businesses as well as news agencies in their coverage of the pandemic, Shutterstock has created an archive of Covid-19 content on working from home and social distancing. In addition, it’s provided tools such as infographics curated based on the search results and download data it has been seeing from customers.
It’s also launched various guides explaining how people in the media industry, who represent many of Shutterstock’s customer base, can respond to the pandemic tastefully. These steps have shown Shutterstock is there for its community and can be agile in shifting things around, so its service is more contextually relevant for its users.

Octopus Energy
As one of Britain’s fastest-growing energy newcomers, the energy brand Octopus has grown rapidly over recent years — despite only launching in 2016, Octopus now has more than 750,000 customers with 100% renewable electricity. And in its goals to catch up with the big six, the energy firm is standing out through its personal approach, even giving all of its customers the email address of its founder and CEO Greg Jackson should they want to contact him directly with a query.
“We want to make energy more transparent with more affordable prices as we move to the green energy transition,” Jackson has said of its unique approach. “Most energy companies have a loss-making deal in year one and then hike you on to a profitable deal in year two, but we try and have good value all the time. Customers shouldn’t have to agonise over which energy company, and which deal they are going to get. It should always be good value.”
Octopus has also been offering 100% renewable electricity since May 2018, something the government is also looking to tackle, and there’s a sense that it can position itself as the energy company that really cares about the environment. This idea that Octupus cares more about its customers than the average energy supplier has been furthered by its activity as a result of COVID-19.
For starters, it is stopping debt collection throughout the pandemic, and won’t disconnect any credit metres if customers are struggling to pay their bills. And with all its staff working from home, Octupus launched OctoKids and OctoTV to help staff keep their kids entertained during self-isolation. The fact it has maintained all the staff it employs directly with 100% pay and is providing transparent and detailed financial analysis on its website on how it plans to support customers who might have suffered a loss of income will also have played a positive role in brand perceptions.
A lot of energy brands will claim to be there for customers, but their actions won’t necessarily live up to the rhetoric – there’s a sense Octupus is doing things differently and could persuade customers, who might have been impressed by how it responded to this crisis, to switch providers over the coming years.
Meanwhile, it has also achieved unicorn status after it recently sold a 20% equity stake in its business to Australia’s Origin Energy
The question, however, that critics continue to ask is whether all these initiatives demonstrate long term strategy in this very tough energy sector or whether Octopus appears to be a winner for having secured the unicorn status.

DHL
The world’s leading logistics company grew group revenues by 2.9% year on year to €63.3bn in 2019. This is in sharp contrast to where DHL found itself back in 2007, with its performance in decline and not enough of a global presence beyond markets like Germany (where its owners Deutsche Post are based) and the US harshly impacting its bottom line. But by expanding internationally and incorporating a fresh brand strategy that saw the board show employees songs to illustrate the changes it wanted to implement (more of that here) and increasing in-house staff workshops around customer service, DHL successfully turned things around.
Its approach to dealing with coronavirus has also been forward-thinking, with DHL proving it can quickly utilise its global supply chain to help wider society. In the UK, DHL has utilised 3D-printing to make face masks for NHS staff struggling with PPE and made the news after delivering 100,000 face shields to workers, while in Costa Rica, DHL volunteers set up a distribution centre for Covid-19-related supplies. In Thailand, meanwhile, DHL has been distributing free hand sanitiser to some of the country’s most vulnerable citizens.
It has also utilised B2B internet agency Upp to ensure all of DHL’s social media coverage of coronavirus is rooted in positive stories that will uplift its customers. DHL has shown a forward-thinking approach from a B2B brand to battling the crisis and although it has publicly conceded that the pandemic will leave a dent on its sales, the positive sentiment generated from its many global efforts to help with the Covid-19 fight surely won’t be forgotten in the future.

Amazon
It’s been a difficult few years for Amazon when it comes to media headlines, with its founder Jeff Bezos regularly criticised for supposedly exploiting workers and not paying enough tax. But despite this criticism, worldwide sales at Amazon increased by more than 26% in the first quarter of 2020. However, profits sharply fell, andBezos has pledged to spend $4bn in the second quarter to fight against the coronavirus.
“If you’re a shareowner in Amazon, you may want to take a seat, because we’re not thinking small,” Bezos warned in a prepared statement that accompanied Amazon’s earnings report. “Under normal circumstances, in this coming Q2, we’d expect to make some $4bn or more in operating profit. But these aren’t normal circumstances. Instead, we expect to spend the entirety of that $4 billion, and perhaps a bit more, on Covid-19 related expenses getting products to customers and keeping employees safe.”
This includes a pledge to hire 100,000 new workers to keep up with demand, helping in turn to boost the global economy. It has also purchased 100 million face masks, making sure employees wear them in its workhouses. It has also acquired more than 1,000 thermal cameras and 31,000 thermometers to enable mandatory daily temperature checks of employees. And after delivery chain Deliveroo experienced financial trouble after restaurants were closed as a result of coronavirus, Amazon stepped in with a £400m investment, providing another boost and enabling Deliveroo with the infrastructure to use its staff to help with supermarket deliveries during this difficult period. It also invested money in independent book stores.
There will be critics to this activity who will accuse Amazon of using coronavirus to expand its grip of the retail market and start to press its claws into the competition, but there will also be supporters who will look at all this activity as proof Amazon is genuinely interested in supporting the economies it operates in. Where do you stand?

oatly advert running in London underground

Oatly
Despite pissing off most of its country’s dairy industry after launching a campaign with the tagline ‘‘It’s like milk, but made for humans’, Swedish oat milk brand Oatly has grown and grown over recent years. In October 2018, it brought the controversial advertising campaign into the UK market to some success. It continued to push its positioning as a vegan alternative to milk with a successful regional campaign back in 2019, buoyed by research that showed demand for its product stretched way beyond London.
In 2018, Oatly’s UK sales were £18m, but in 2019 this was projected to have doubled to £30m, as environmental concerns among consumers gave a boost to the growth of the alternative diary sector. Oatly has consistently been doing a headline-grabbing job of connecting emotionally with consumers who favour more dairy-free options to meet their own perceptions about health and lifestyle. Remember one of its first campaign was to challenge shoppers to give up cow’s milk for 72 hours and give the brand a try.
The brand has continued with its bold brand activity during the coronavirus pandemic, launching the ODDS (Oatly Department of Distraction Services) platform, which is an online fanzine where Oatly customers can be entertained with diaries from workers, recipes, DIY games (such as playing snooker by using only empty Oatly cartons and your kitchen table), and customizable gifs.
It’s a creative way to provide its most loyal customers with some escapism and has only added to the idea that the naturally cool Oatly is now the oat milk brand to beat.

Sainsbury’s
It hasn’t been the easiest few years for Sainsbury’s. Squeezed by the discounters Aldi and Lidl, growing at a slower rate than its bigger, resurgent rival Tesco, and having seen its deal to merge with Asda dismantled by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, Sainsbury’s hasn’t been quite a success story of recent times.
However, its response to the coronavirus pandemic has been good, with soon-to-retire CEO Mike Coupe making it clear from the start what his plan to protect workers and shoppers looked like. He has also announced full pay for workers who are self-isolating and the creation of thousands of jobs across the country so Brits can keep Britain’s food supply chain running.
Sainsbury’s also introduced protective screens at checkouts to keep its workers safe, unique opening times for OAPs and NHS workers, and was one of the first supermarkets to restrict the number of people from the same household who could visit a store.
Furthermore, Sainsbury’s revealed that its customers, along with Argos, Habitat and Nectar customers have collectively raised over £1.9m for Comic Relief and BBC Children in Need.
Sainsbury’s pre-tax profits rose 26% to £255m in the year to 7 March, despite flat sales of £32.4bn and a 0.6% fall in sales at established stores. The supermarket will have come out of this crisis with a lot of good headlines, having proved it can respond to a pandemic with calm and the right measures.
The winners of this year’s Tempemail Marketing Awards were announced earlier this month with winners ranging from brands such as NHS England, Tena, ITV and Papa John’s.

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Refrens.com Raises Investment from Paytm founder, FirstCheque and others- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Bengaluru based startup, Refrens.com, has raised funding from a group of angel investors including Vijay Shekhar Sharma (founder of Paytm) and Anupam Mittal ( Founder of Shaadi.com). Launched in July 2019, Refrens.com offers a free invoicing, payments and expense management system. The platform is designed for B2B service providers including designers, software developers, accountants, marketers, consultants etc. The startup’s focus is on individual freelancers and small Businesses. The platform currently has 12000 businesses and freelancers using the system, that is currently growing at 10% every week. 
The investment round also saw participation from Angelist’s The Collective fund, Mumbai based early stage fund Firstcheque, Amiya Pathak of Ezcred, Gireesh Subramaniam of Freshworks, Sujayath Ali and Naveneetha Krishnan – founders of Voonik.com, Amit Lakhotia of Park+, Ajeet Khurana – CEO of Zebpay, founders and senior management of Kaleyra, founders of DailyNinja, Springrole and few others.  
Refrens’ founder Naman Sarawagi said, “Freelancers and soloists are the future of work. We are building an important platform to enable them to get payments faster and get more work. It’s really encouraging to have some of the most prominent entrepreneurs in the Indian startup ecosystem to put their trust on us for this endeavour.”
Kushal Bhagia, CEO of FirstCheque, an early stage fund that invested in this round, said “Freelancers and B2B service providers is a large and growing segment. There are about 15 million white collar professionals in this industry in India alone. There is a huge opportunity in building for this community of users.”
Kushal Added, “We have been tracking Refrens from day one and invested when they started showing early growth. The founders are experienced at building internet products of scale. We are excited to be partners in this.”
Refrens is founded by Naman Sarawagi and Mohit Jain. This is their second startup. Naman has been part of early stage teams at startups like Freecharge and ZipDial. Mohit Jain had earlier founded a school ERP startup and was CTO at FindYogi. He has been a tech consultant to multiple startups including DailyNinja and SuperProcure. 

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TPG-Vodafone merger passes foreign investment review – Telco/ISP- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

TPG and Vodafone have received final regulatory approval for their planned $15 billion merger, with the Foreign Investment Review Board indicating it would not object.
Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) CEO Iñaki Berroeta said in a statement that the FIRB approval “meant the merger process was now well underway.”
“The merger is now another significant step closer to reality, and we’re progressing our plans to bring the two companies together mid-year,” Berroeta said.
The merger will be put to shareholders next, with a scheme booklet to be “released in [the] coming weeks and submitted to TPG shareholders for approval.”
“A scheme meeting will later be held for TPG shareholders to vote on the scheme and allow the scheme to proceed to the court for final approval,” VHA said in a financial filing.
“VHA is working to finalise all other processes required for its listing on the Australian Securities Exchange and expects the merger to be completed in mid-2020 and with an effective date in the first half of the year.
“VHA will continue to keep customers and the market informed of progress towards merger completion.”
Berroeta said the “increased strength and scale” of the combined telcos would help “accelerate our 5G plans”.
He said consumers and investors would ultimately benefit from the presence of a “third fully-integrated telecommunications company” in the market “challenging the status quo.”

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