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Apple, Nokia Bury All Hatchets; Join Hands For Business Collaboration

nokia-aaple-settlement

Now this is interesting. Tech giants Nokia and Apple, who mostly used to meet in courts, now have settled all their past disputes and litigation, and joined hands to work together in the areas of technology as well as business.

Further, both the companies have signed a multi-year patent license to use each other’s technologies.

“We are pleased with this resolution of our dispute and we look forward to expanding our business relationship with Nokia,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.

However, the settlement does not come without a price. Apple will give an upfront cash payment to Nokia to settle the litigation that has been running for years now. Besides, the Cupertino based firm will also make additional payments during the term of the agreement.

“This is a meaningful agreement between Nokia and Apple,” said Maria Varsellona, Chief Legal Officer at Nokia, responsible for Nokia’s patent licensing business. “It moves our relationship with Apple from being adversaries in court to business partners working for the benefit of our customers.”

Under a business collaboration agreement, Nokia will be providing certain network infrastructure products and services to Apple. Apple will resume carrying Nokia digital health products (formerly under the Withings brand) in Apple retail and online stores, and both the companies are exploring future collaboration in digital health initiatives.

The joint statement also said that both the firms would conduct regular summits between top executives from both the firms to ensure that the relationship works effectively and to the benefit of both parties and their customers.

“This agreement will strengthen our collaboration,” said Basil Alwan, President of Nokia’s IP/Optical Networks business.

The value of the agreement will be reflected partially as patent licensing net sales in Nokia Technologies and partially as net sales in other Nokia business groups. The company said it will follow its existing practices for disclosing patent licensing revenue in its quarterly announcements and expects that revenues for the agreement will start to be recognized in the second quarter of 2017, including an element of non-recurring catch-up revenue.

Due to the up-front cash payment from Apple, Nokia intends to provide a comprehensive update of its capital structure optimization program in conjunction with its third quarter 2017 results.

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Telenor Rejigs Top Deck, Restructure Businesses To Four Clusters

telenor office

Telenor Group today announced a change to its organisational structure and its executive management team in order to transition into a more integrated global company and to deliver on its digital strategy. The changes will be effective from 1 March 2017.

“In 2015, we included the business unit CEOs into the Group’s executive management to ensure a closer connection with customers and the development of a unified global strategy. With the changes announced today, we are taking the next step and continue to evolve into a more global company, leveraging economies of scale and driving innovation across Telenor,” says Sigve Brekke, President and CEO of Telenor Group.

Telenor Group’s business units will be organised into four clusters: Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe, Emerging Asia and Mature Asia. Each cluster will be led by a Cluster Head, reporting to the Group President and CEO.

The new Services and Operations unit will standardise and consolidate the development and operations of networks, core IT platforms, infrastructure and shared services. The new Products and Customer Interaction unit will focus on improving and scaling customer innovation by working on products, customer journeys and analytics.

The announced changes to the organisation will not impact Telenor Group’s financial reporting structure.

The new executive management team will consist of:
Sigve Brekke, President and Chief Executive Officer (President and CEO)
Jørgen C. Arentz Rostrup, EVP and Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Jon Erik Haug, EVP and Head of People
Wenche Agerup, EVP and Head of Corporate Affairs
Jon Gravråk, EVP and Head of Digital Businesses
Morten Karlsen Sørby, EVP and Head of Transformation
Svein Henning Kirkeng, EVP and Head of Products and Customer Interaction
Ruza Sabanovic, EVP and Head of Services and Operations
Petter-Børre Furberg, EVP and Head of Emerging Asia Cluster
Lars Åke Norling, EVP and Head of Mature Asia Cluster
Alexandra Reich, EVP and Head of Central & Eastern Europe Cluster
Berit Svendsen, EVP and Head of Scandinavian Cluster

Gunnar Sellæg, Patrik Hofbauer, Jesper Hansen, Ingeborg Øfsthus, Michael Foley, Albern Murty, Irfan Wahab Khan, Sharad Mehrotra and Lars Erik Tellmann will step down from Telenor’s Group Executive Management team. The business unit CEOs will continue to be CEOs of their respective business units. The new Cluster Heads will also remain in their position as local CEOs.

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Tencent, Foxconn Invest $175 Mn In Hike Messenger

Hike-Messenger

hike-messengerWhatsApp competitor Hike Messenger Tuesday announced it has secured investment of $175 million from group of investors including Tencent Holdings and Foxconn Technology Group.

This investment raises the valuation of the company to $1.4 billion making it an unicorn in India’s internet space. The series D funding was backed by Tiger Global, Softbank and Bharti enterprises.

“Tencent and Foxconn both have pedigrees that speak for themselves and such an investment especially in today’s market just goes to show the strong foundation on which Hike is being built,’’ Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Hike Messenger, said.

The money raised will be used for foraying into artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality and augmented reality.  At present, Hike Messenger, besides the messaging service, offers news, gaming and shopping coupons and exchange more than 40 billion messages every month.

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India Bound To Abide By London Court Ruling : Docomo

ntt_docomo

Tata-Docomo-Recharge-Offers-Free-Accidental-Insurance-Of-Rs-3-LakhMaking a fresh statement on the ongoing legal tussle with Tata Group, Docomo Tuesday said India has to respect the decision taken by the London court and pay the Japanese firm its due.

“As a signatory to the New York Convention, India is bound to enforce the award decision of the LCIA tribunal for Tata to pay $1.17bn to Docomo,” Docomo said in a statement.

On June 22 the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) had directed Tata Sons to pay Docomo $1.17 billion to buy the Japanese partner’s stake in Tata Teleservices. The Japanese firm has approached the Delhi High court seeking implementation of the LCIA order. However, Tata Sons has contested the order in Delhi High Court.

“Awards made in England by LCIA tribunals are recognised under the New York Convention, to which India was one of the original signatories on the 10th June 1958,” added the statement.

In the statement, Docomo said LCIA tribunal found that Tata Sons had breached its contractual obligations, which were legally capable of performance in ways that did not require permission from the RBI or MOF.

Tata Sons had contested the LCIA arbitration saying RBI does not allow it to buy back the 26.5% of Docomo’s shares at a pre-agreed value.

Docomo, in 2009, had invested $2.7 billion in Tata Teleservices to take 26.5% stake and it was agreed then that if the Japanese partner wishes to exit the JV within 5 years, then the Tatas have to pay 50% of the investment value to buy Docomo’s stake.

However, RBI’s current policy says share cannot be sold in present time at a value decided or agreed in the past.

 

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Paytm Selects Infosys Finacle To Power Payments Bank

Paytm

Paytm-Selects-Infosys-Finacle-To-Power-Payments-BankPaytm, India’s largest mobile payments and commerce platform, today announced that the Finacle Core Banking solution has been selected to power Paytm’s new payments bank business.

Paytm will leverage Finacle’s proven platform for its deposit products and payments platform enabling it to rapidly roll out innovative offerings.
The Infosys solution will enable Paytm to integrate its payments bank services rapidly across its existing wallet business.

The solution’s product factory capability will enable Paytm to easily create and offer a comprehensive bouquet of CaSa (Current Account and Savings) based products and services in addition to its existing Wallet offering. The solution also offer integration adaptors with many third party applications like anti-money laundering which will enable the Paytm payments bank to become operational rapidly.

Finacle’s proven scalability will allow Paytm to easily meet future growth needs and seamlessly manage expansion in the scale of its operations

Shinjini Kumar, CEO, Paytm Payments Bank said, “Paytm is happy to announce that we have chosen Infosys Finacle as the core banking solution for our payments bank. With its large deployment base in India including some of the largest banks, Finacle has proven to be a scalable solution and we are confident that it will be able to support our aspiration to be a large and robust platform for small value, high volume transactions for millions of Indians.”

Andy Dey, president – Customer & Operations, EdgeVerve said, “Payments banks are set to revolutionize the Indian banking space, helping take basic banking services to a huge unbanked and underbanked population in the country. Paytm has played a pioneering role in the growth of mobile payments and e-commerce in India. Backed by our proven solutions and global best practices, we are confident of powering Paytm to deliver banking services in an easily scalable and cost-efficient manner.”

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IoT Player Telit Appoints WE Components India As Distributor

Telit

IoT-Player-Telit-India-Appoints-WE-Components-India-As-DistributorTelit, a global enabler of the Internet of Things (IoT), today announced a strategic alliance with WE Components India.

As part of this alliance, WE Components becomes a Telit distributor and design development partner in India. WE Components India, which has a presence across APAC and India will play a key role in developing new business in the IoT domain by utilizing their in-house design expertise which spans across different applications.

The company, which is principally engaged in the distribution of active, passive, electromechanical components and connectors and value-added services in engineering designs and vendor-managed inventory (VMI), will also support Telit by offering value-added services like design fulfillment and logistics support.

With its high-tech APAC and India infrastructure facility,WE Components is equipped to support Telit’s current market needs and diversification plans.

Ashish Gulati, country manager, Telit India said, “We are pleased to welcome WE Components as our authorized distributor and design partner for IoT applications. Their specialization in this domain coupled with their APAC and India presence makes them an ideal partner for Telit.”

Sriram Krishna, country manager & director, WE Components India said, “We look forward to this win-win alliance with Telit. With our strong technical marketing team and presence across India, WE is able to support Telit’s wide range of products and solutions. The combination of WE Components and Telit’s expertise and offerings will enable customers to achieve compliance across IoT applications.”

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USIBC Members To Invest An Additional $45 Bn; Amazon To Invest $3 Bn

USIBC

USIBC-Members-To-Invest-An-Additional-$45-Bn;-Amazon-To-Invest-Additional-$3-BnUSIBC members are on track to invest an additional $45 billion and Amazon is planning to invest an additional $3 billion.

Highlighting the potential of the US-India strategic and commercial partnership, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi addressed US-India Business Council’s 41st Annual Leadership Summit.

Welcoming prime minister Modi to the Summit were business leaders of top American companies including: USIBC chairman John Chambers (Cisco); Robert Ford (Abbott), James Taiclet (American Tower); Marc Allen (Boeing); David Cordani (Cigna); Marillyn Hewson (Lockheed Martin); Ajay Banga (MasterCard); Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo); and David Dvorak (Zimmer Biomet).

Speaking about the investment, USIBC chairman John Chambers said, “In September 2014, USIBC member companies indicated an investment of $41 billion that was likely to be invested by members over a 2-3 year time period. Today, I am happy to announce that in less than two years, about 20 percent of USIBC member companies have already invested $28 billion. Over the next 2-3 years, we see this pace accelerating, again with about 20 percent of our member companies reporting, indicating that USIBC members are on track to invest an additional $45 billion, which is a conservative estimate.”

“Given Prime Minister Modi’s track record towards implementing Digital India and key economic reforms, we are optimistic that this number will be dramatically exceeded, perhaps even doubled,” added Chambers.

USIBC president Mukesh Aghi said, “We are honored to have prime minister Modi address the Council’s 41st Anniversary Leadership Summit.

$45 billion is a good starting point for American companies to invest in India and this number will only go up in the future. This will translate into increased technology transfers and job creation. We are excited to expand the potential opportunities attached to this relationship.”

Delivering the State of the Council address John Chambers said, “I’ve had the opportunity to meet many government leaders around the world and I believe that prime minister Modi’s total approach in India – encompassing Digital India, skills, innovation and entrepreneurship – will ensure India remains the fastest growing economy over the next 5 years and provide inclusive growth, create new jobs and increase the standard of living for its citizens. Prime minister Modi has rapidly become the model for not just the developing countries, but the entire world.”

During the Summit, USIBC also presented its Global Leadership Awards to Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon and Dilip Shanghvi, founder and managing director of Sun Pharmaceuticals. Both were honored for their contributions and commitment to integrating India into the global
economy.

“We have already created some 45,000 jobs in India and continue to see huge potential in the Indian economy,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com.

“Our Amazon.in team is surpassing even our most ambitious planned milestones, and I’m pleased to announce today that we’ll invest an additional $3 billion on top of the $2 billion that we announced in 2014, bringing our total investment in India to over $5 billion,” added Bezos.

“Under the dynamic leadership of prime minister Modi, we see an environment of technology-led innovation in India. It will enable us to bring innovative products meeting unmet medical needs of patients globally,” said Dilip Shanghvi.

Star India, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox, India’s leading media and entertainment company announced it will invest an additional $5 billion over the next three years.

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Salesforce To Add 1,000+ New Jobs In Hyderabad

Salesforce

Salesforce-To-Add-1,000+-New-Jobs-In-HyderabadSalesforce has announced plans to add over 1,000 jobs by significantly expanding its presence in India with a new Centre of Excellence in Hyderabad.

Salesforce plans to add over 1,000 jobs in Hyderabad by 2020, tapping into the region’s large community of highly skilled technology talent.

Salesforce plans to expand its team of enterprise software engineers as well as customer success representatives in Hyderabad, establishing one of its largest engineering and customer success centers globally.

Plans for the new building include modern workplace designs that focus on employee wellness with dedicated spaces for collaboration, mindfulness and social activities. Salesforce will begin moving into the new Centre of Excellence by the end of 2016.

“We are thrilled to be expanding our presence and deepening our commitment to India, home to some of the best technology talent in the world,” said Parker Harris, co-founder, Salesforce.

“Salesforce Hyderabad will provide a centre of excellence in the region and play a crucial role in growing our technology and product teams, as well as our customer success organization, to meet the needs of our customers worldwide,” added Harris.

“We’re proud that global cloud computing leader Salesforce has chosen Hyderabad for one of their largest global offices outside their San Francisco headquarters by bringing over a 1,000 high end jobs and a strong commitment to supporting our broader community,” said IT minister, KT Rama Rao.

“As the enterprise cloud computing leader with more than 150,000 customers worldwide, Salesforce will strengthen the thriving local tech ecosystem and further draw investments into the state,” said Jayesh Ranjan, secretary, IT, government of Telangana.

Salesforce in India has seen tremendous growth with leading companies like Bajaj Finserv, PayTM, Snapdeal, Inmobi and Urban Ladder using its Customer Success Platform to connect with their customers in entirely new ways.

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Idea Cellular To Roll Out 200 Retail Stores By FY17

Idea – Retail Store

Idea-Cellular-To-Roll-Out-200-Retail-Stores-By-FY17Idea Cellular, India’s leading and fastest growing telecom operator is planning to rollout 200 company retail stores (CRS) by the end of FY17.

The company today inaugurated its 100th retail store in Mylapore and is well on its way to double the count of CRS across the country by the end of FY17.

Idea rolled out its first CRS in 2014 and since then these stores have emerged as a key touch point for all Idea customers to experience and avail Idea’s entire range of voice and data services. Today, Idea has a total of 8,736 service touch points across 6,720 towns in the country. These touch points include CRS, My Idea, Idea Point and Idea Service Points.

Equipped with first-in-class infrastructure and trained manpower, these CRS have Full Service Terminal (FST) for customers to make post-paid bill payment and prepaid recharges on a 24×7 basis, Queue Management System (QMS) for effectively managing customer flow inside the store, web camera surveillance system for ensuing safety and quality monitoring and an experience zone for customers to experience new products/services.

Speaking on the occasion, Navanit Narayan, chief service delivery officer, Idea Cellular said, “Company Retail Stores have significant advantages, namely better brand presence, superior customer experience, higher degree of automation and process adherence and better quality of walk-in sales. As we get ready to face new challenges and emerging competition, the role of service delivery becomes extremely crucial. Idea will be seen rapidly rolling out these large format company owned stores across the country and targets to double the number by end of this fiscal year.”

Idea has rolled out its 4G services in 10 telecom circles and is committed to give its customers the best of experience through expanding its service delivery footprint.

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Jolla Announces Sailfish Community Device Program

Jolla

Jolla-Announces-Sailfish-Community-Device-ProgramJolla, the Finnish mobile company and developer of open mobile operating system Sailfish OS has announced Sailfish Community Device Program initiative.

The program, crafted for Sailfish community developers and fans, includes also a new Sailfish OS device, the Jolla C smartphone. The program was sold out during the day of the announcement.

Sailfish Community Device Program is a new initiative by Jolla, crafted to boost the Sailfish community by activating and empowering developers and fans around the world. The program got fully booked already at the first day of the announcement.

Sami Pienimaki, co-founder, Jolla comments: “As the Sailfish OS licensing is expanding, the role of an active community gets even bigger. We are now investigating if we can extend the program beyond this.”

Included in the program is the Jolla C, the first ever Sailfish OS community device, with a limited 1,000 units available for the developer and fan community. Jolla C is currently being assembled and will ship for the program members in July 2016. The program members will get all the latest Sailfish OS releases, and they may opt-in also to test future Beta OS releases.

With a quad-core Snapdragon processor, 2 GB memory, beautiful 5” HD display and dual SIM, the Jolla C works beautifully with Sailfish OS.

The program members will get access to exclusive Sailfish OS developer sessions led by the Jolla expert teams. A selected group of first program members will also get an invitation to the International Sailfish Community Event on June 17, 2016 in Helsinki. Further community events will be arranged throughout the program.

The Sailfish Community Device Program runs until the end of May 2017, and is meant for all developers and enthusiastic Sailfish fans that wish to support Sailfish OS by developing or advocating the platform. Due to certifications and other requirements, Jolla C device can be initially shipped to EU countries, Norway and Switzerland only.

The Jolla C smartphone is currently being assembled and it will ship to all program members in July 2016.

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