Day: August 7, 2019

A Trillion+ Dollar Market!? Global 5G Trends and Industry’s Future

Source: Fujitsu Blogs On:

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Commercial 5G services are starting to be launched around the world. 5G is expected to create a new market that will exceed a trillion dollars annually. What kind of digital transformation will 5G, a technology that enables real-time, speedy exchange of large volumes of data, bring about in industry? This article outlines the prospects along with actual use cases.

Source: Fujitsu Blogs On:

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Zulily revenue sinks 13% as QVC parent Qurate aims to stabilize online retailer’s business

Source: Geek Wire On:

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Zulily’s business is on the decline.

The Seattle-based online retailer saw revenue decrease 13 percent to $363 million during the second quarter, the largest year-over-year dip since the company was acquired by QVC parent Qurate in 2015.

Zulily’s active customer base also fell by 3 percent year-over-year to 6.2 million, and has decreased for two straight quarters. Its quarterly operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) fell from $29 million last year to $7 million.

The struggles come as Zulily slims down its staff. Last week GeekWire reported that the company made an undisclosed number of layoffs as part of a restructuring.

Qurate posted its second quarter earnings Wednesday, reporting a total revenue decrease of 4 percent to $3.1 billion. Qurate CEO Mike George said that the company’s gains were “partially offset by deterioration at Zulily.”

“Going forward, we remain focused on building on the collective strengths of QVC and HSN, realizing synergies and stabilizing Zulily,” he said in a statement.

Here’s more from the earnings report on Zulily:

“Zulily revenue declined due to lower unit volume driven by a decrease in new customers and lower purchasing frequency from existing customers, as well as lower ASP. Product categories that led the sales decline were apparel (kids and women), home and footwear. Zulily’s results were affected by less efficient customer acquisition spend on certain digital marketing channels and the impact of sales tax collection in additional states versus the prior year. Operating loss improved due to a decrease in purchase accounting amortization. Adjusted OIBDA declined primarily due to lower sales, higher supply chain expense and fixed costs associated with increased technology-related headcount.”

In a note sent to employees last week and obtained by GeekWire, Zulily CEO Jeff Yurcisin said the company was at “a critical inflection point” that required changes to the business. Yurcisin indicated that the layoffs affected the merchandising and studio teams and that the retailer would be increasing investments in technology and user experience.

Yurcisin, a former Amazon executive and Shopbop CEO, took over as CEO last year after co-founder Darrell Cavens officially stepped down from the role.

The retailer has been working on rebranding its e-commerce offerings, which historically centered around daily deals for moms with small children. In January, the company inked a jersey sponsorship deal with Sounders FC, a men’s professional soccer team in Seattle.

Before the layoffs, Zulily employed 3,500 people around the world as of January. In addition to Seattle and Columbus, Zulily also has offices in Reno, Nev., Bethlehem, Pa., and Shenzhen, China.

Here’s why Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella just showed up on stage at Samsung’s big event

Source: Geek Wire On:

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks on stage at Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event on Wednesday. (Samsung livestream screenshot)

Follow up: Microsoft has finally found its smartphone: Why the Samsung Galaxy partnership is so promising

Actors and musicians usually make special celebrity appearances at big tech press events.

Samsung took a different route on Wednesday at Galaxy Unpacked 2019 as the mobile giant surprised the crowd by inviting Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on stage.

So why was Nadella there? Samsung and Microsoft are cozying up in a big way across various products and services.

Samsung today unveiled its new flagship Note 10 device, which has Windows 10 integration features meant to bridge the gap between PCs and smartphones. The Verge reported that the Note 10 has “more Microsoft in it than any other Android phone,” including several native apps such as Outlook, OneDrive, and Your Phone, which lets users make and receive calls from their Windows 10 device, among other features.

Samsung and Microsoft have partnered in the past but today’s announcements mark a doubling down of sorts. It’s notable given Microsoft’s past struggles with its smartphone business and Samsung’s relationship with other tech giants. And it’s a departure from five years ago, when Microsoft sued Samsung over Android patent licensing deal.

Microsoft will sell the Note 10 in its Microsoft Store locations around the world. Samsung also today unveiled the new Galaxy Book S which was developed in partnership with Microsoft and Qualcomm. Check out Microsoft’s blog post for more details.

Avalara posts $91M in revenue, up 43%, as sales tax automation company hits 10,000 customers

Source: Geek Wire On:

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(GeekWire Photo / Nat Levy)

Shares in Avalara are on the rise as the sales tax automation company posted rapid revenue growth and narrowing losses, beating Wall Street expectations.

Revenue: Avalara brought in $91.3 million in revenue in the second quarter, a spike of 43 percent over the prior year and well ahead of analyst expectations of $84.1 million.

Profits: Net losses of $2 million, or $0.03 per share, came in better than Wall Street’s expectations of losses of $0.11 per share.

Looking ahead: In the third quarter, Avalara expects revenue between $92.5 million and $93.5 million, ahead of analyst expectations of $86.4 million.

“We posted another strong quarter, highlighted by our second quarter revenue growing 43% year over year,” Avalara CEO Scott McFarlane said in a statement. “Avalara also hosted another highly-successful CRUSH conference, which saw record attendance from customers and partners. We continue to believe that the automation of transaction tax compliance will be adopted over an extended period, as customers upgrade systems, expand their businesses both domestically and internationally, and respond to changing government rules, such as the recent legislative responses to the Supreme Court’s Wayfair decision. We believe our broad tax content, robust platform, partner channel, and pre-built integrations position Avalara as a clear choice to lead this automation cycle.”

Avalara stock is up 7.6 percent in after-hours trading. Shares in the company are up a whopping 149 percent so far this year.

The company ended the quarter with 10,430 core customers, up from 9,700 at the end of the last quarter.

Who should regulate privacy? Federal and state lawmakers diverge on consumer data protection

Source: Geek Wire On:

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Washington State Sen. Reuven Carlyle, U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, and State Rep. Zack Hodgins discuss privacy at an event in Seattle. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)

There’s growing consensus that something needs to be done about data privacy. But figuring out what should be done and who should be doing it is a lot more complicated.

Even a panel of like-minded Democrats with a firm grasp on tech can be divided on the issue. That was evident Wednesday at an event in Seattle where federal and state lawmakers clashed over which level of government should be responsible for protecting consumers online.

The Seattle Metro Chamber of Commerce hosted a privacy roundtable with U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, Washington State Sen. Reuven Carlyle, and State Rep. Zack Hodgins. In Washington’s last legislative session, Carlyle and Hodgins worked together on a privacy bill that seemed likely to pass until it was derailed by concerns over facial recognition and other issues. Carlyle plans to revive the bill next session.

DelBene is a former Microsoft executive with a long history of advocating on tech issues in the U.S. House of Representatives. She has introduced a federal privacy bill several times but it hasn’t advanced beyond the House.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, DelBene and Carlyle each argued that the governing body they belong to is the appropriate venue for regulating privacy. But the debate is much more than a turf war.

The feds case: U.S. lawmakers and tech companies are pushing for federal regulations because “most businesses aren’t operating within any one state jurisdiction,” DelBene said Wednesday. Proponents of the federal approach say compliance with a patchwork of state laws would be too burdensome and the U.S. needs a universal approach to regulating internet issues.

The state case: State legislators, like Carlyle, claim the privacy issue is too urgent to wait for a divided Congress to act. Privacy legislation is stagnating in D.C. He called states the “the laboratories of innovation,” explaining that local lawmakers are better-positioned to experiment with broad policymaking. “I think, under our Constitutional republic, that states are the right level to have a really serious effort at a rigorous policy framework,” Carlyle said.

Tech state unite? Last year the California legislature passed a law giving consumers more control over the data that companies collect about them. The law, which takes effect in 2020, is expected by some experts to set an operating standard across the U.S. because California is home to Silicon Valley. If Washington followed suit, privacy regulations would be in place in the homes of the nation’s most powerful tech companies. “I don’t think we should underestimate the impact of us as a state, as the home of Amazon and Microsoft,” Carlyle said.

Yes but: If enough states pass their own privacy laws, it could force the federal government to act. Federal laws can pre-empt state laws, which opens up the possibility that less expansive regulations become the law of the land across the country. “One of the concerns I have about federal action is that it’s very easy for it to have an element of preemption and yet set a very low floor,” Carlyle said.