Salesforce Research Releases Its Third State Of The Connected Customer Report

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 13, 2019 by itnerd

Today, Salesforce Research released its third State of the Connected Customer Report, exploring how customer expectations are shifting, and which emerging technologies are transforming their standards.

Companies are being challenged to rethink not just the individual experiences they provide customers, but their entire approach to customer engagement. Customer expectations keep soaring, with trust and corporate values becoming increasingly important, and tailored, contextualized engagement across multiple touchpoints is the new benchmark.

As innovation like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things accelerates, companies are racing to foster the digitally-savvy relationships that consumers and business buyers demand. It has now become essential for companies to get ahead of the digital curve in order to remain competitive.

Below are some key Canadian highlights from the report:                           

  • New Expectations Shift the Digital Transformation Playbook
    • 64% of customers expect companies to use new tech to create better experiences
    • 43% of customers are open to the use of AI to improve their experiences
    • 47% of Gen Xers view voice assistants as revolutionary
  • Extraordinary Experiences Raise the Bar for Customer Engagement:
    • 43% of customers say companies need to transform how they engage with them
    • 70% of customers expect companies to interact with them in real time
    • 60% of customers would rather use self-service for simple questions/issues                               
  • Trust and Corporate Values are More Important, Yet Elusive
    • 66% of customers believe trust in companies matters more than it did a year ago
    • 58% of customers have stopped buying from a company that did something distrustful
    • 52% of customers actively seek to buy from environmentally sustainable companies

Get your copy of the report here.

 

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Sony Pictures Releasing Canada Partnering With Roku To Promote Spider-ManTM: Far From Home

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 13, 2019 by itnerd

With more and more viewers cutting the cord, companies are looking to reach their target audience in new ways. According to research by analyst firm Convergence Group there will be more OTT subscriber households by the end of 2020 in Canada than TV subscribers.

With 29 million active accounts, Roku provides a large-scale platform for entertainment companies to reach their specific intended audiences. It offers unique custom sponsorships that go beyond a 15 or 30 second ad to help provide value added content to brands looking to align with a specific theme or movie title.

Sony Pictures Releasing Canada is partnering with Roku to promote the release of its highly anticipated movie Spider-ManTM: Far From Home with a customized sponsored Streaming Guide. The campaign targets fans of the franchise to raise awareness of the new film and provide a place for users to views similar Marvel entertainment.

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Using its proprietary first party data, Roku is able to target its users with affinity to the Spider-ManTM franchise and superhero genre and serve up a native ad on the home screen from which they can access a special branded microsite that auto-plays the Spider-ManTM: Far From Home trailer. In addition, five existing Marvel titles, that are currently available on the Cineplex channel, are also displayed to the targeted fans.

The campaign runs till June 30 leading up to the release of Spider-ManTM: Far From Home on July 2.

FloSports Announces Launch of New Apps

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 13, 2019 by itnerd

Today, FloSports announced the launch of its new apps on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku. The user experience streamlines the ability to explore live events and content across the entire FloSports network of 20+ sports, or to dive deeper into your favorite sports. Improvements have been made to navigation, stream switching capabilities, instant auto-play, content automation, and more.

The apps have many new features, highlighted by instant auto-play, which allows userswho are watching long form events to resume watching where they left off, and seamlessly switch between different live event streams, archives, and camera angles. Additionally, users are able to login and return to the sport vertical they last watched.

To access live and on-demand coverage of events across the entire FloSports network become a monthly or annual PRO subscriber. Either subscription unlocks access to premium content across all 20+ sport verticals.

Streaming more than 10,000 live competitions per year, FloSports continues to emerge as the global leader in live, in-depth, and on-demand digital coverage for passionate sports fans.

 

Bell Joins Rogers And TELUS In Offering A $75 Plan…. And I Pick A Winner Of The $75 Plan Battle Royale

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 13, 2019 by itnerd

First Rogers came up with a $75 “unlimited” plan (as it throttles you after you burn through the 10GB of data that Rogers serves up) that will be part of their normal offerings, then TELUS appeared with a promotional (as it expires on July 2nd) $75 15GB plan with no throttling, and just a few minutes ago Bell joined the other members of the “big 3” with their own $75 plan. Here’s the details from their website:

Our unlimited data plans start at $75 for 10 GB of data at unbeatable speeds across Canada. This allows you to upload, download and stream a ton of content at maximum speed. Beyond 10 GB of maximum speed data, you can use unlimited data at reduced speeds of 256 Kbps for light web browsing, emails and texting, without ever having to worry about data overage fees. See below for more unlimited data plan options and details on how to get started.

Offer ends June 30, 2019.

So this sounds like a clone of the Rogers plan. Except that like TELUS, this offer is time limited as it expires on June 30th. It also doesn’t offer any sort of data top up like Rogers has (which is 3GB of full speed data for $15 after you hit your 10GB cap which makes you eligible for throttling). At least, there’s not one that I see.

So, now that all 3 of the “big 3” have put their cards on the table. Who wins? If you want my opinion, it’s Rogers. That may surprise some of you. But hear me out. Rogers $75 offering is now how they’re going to do business going forward. That gives them the advantage here as TELUS and Bell are only offering their $75 plans as time limited promotions. That’s going to draw a clear distinction between Rogers and the other two of the “big 3” in which Rogers comes out on top. If I were Bell and TELUS, I’d be rethinking their strategies as it looks like we are actually starting to perhaps see some actual competition in the Canadian wireless space, and those two don’t look too competitive at the moment.

AT&T Customers Have Their Samsung Galaxy Fold Orders Cancelled

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 13, 2019 by itnerd

Samsung’s troubled Galaxy Fold phone now has a new problem. According to Tom’s Hardware, AT&T has cancelled all orders and will be serving up a $100 credit to affected customers. Here’s why:

The email from AT&T says that orders are being cancelled because “Samsung delayed the release of the phone, which means we can’t ship your phone.” 

This is a bit of an optics mess for Samsung. But there’s more to it than that. When they stopped the release in April, you had to wonder what they were going to do to fix the issues that were there for everyone to see. After all according to Samsung, this phone had been in development for years. What could the company do in days, weeks, or months to address these issues realistically? Whatever they’re doing, it’s not happening fast enough to make this PR disaster go away.

Researchers Say Canadian Laws Fail To Protect People From ‘Stalkerware’

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 13, 2019 by itnerd

A Report from researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab popped up yesterday and effectively says that Canadian laws are failing to protect the victims of cellphone “stalkerware”. Now “stalkerware” is usually marketed as apps for people who want to monitor the cellphone activity of children or employees. But many people download them to spy on people. Specifically those in intimate relationships. Here’s why that matters:

The apps can enable real-time and remote access to text messages, emails, photos, videos, incoming and outgoing phone calls, GPS location, banking or other account passwords, social media accounts, and more. Stalkerware apps are sometimes used covertly while, in other circumstances, the technology is used openly to intimidate, harass, or extort the surveillance target.

Hundreds of spyware apps relevant to IPS are available at the consumer level. Research conducted in Canada and internationally suggests that a significant proportion of women who experience intimate partner violence, abuse, and harassment also report experiences with a range of technology-facilitated abuse, including surveillance and abuse that is enabled by the powerful mobile device spyware apps that are the focus of this report. Despite this troubling context, few reported cases involving spyware-enabled IPS have appeared in Canadian courts, and spyware companies, which profit from the sale of these apps, appear to operate in the Canadian marketplace without being hindered by criminal or regulatory law enforcement.

Clearly there’s a gap here that needs to be filled. Hopefully those gaps will be filled as people read this report and realize that action needs to be taken as apps like these can’t be allowed to exist without rules, boundaries and limitations being placed around them.

 

Huawei Demands $1 Billion From Verizon Because Of Alleged Patent Violations

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 13, 2019 by itnerd

Could Huawei be on the verge of becoming a patent troll? That was my first thought when I read this Reuters report which details that the troubled Chinese telcom gear maker wants (insert Dr. Evil voice and place your pinky finger next to your mouth) $1 Billion dollars from American telco Verizon for them using 238 of Huawei’s patents without compensation:

Verizon should pay to “solve the patent licensing issue,” a Huawei intellectual property licensing executive wrote in February, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier. The patents cover network equipment for more than 20 of the company’s vendors including major U.S. tech firms but those vendors would indemnify Verizon, the person said. Some of those firms have been approached directly by Huawei, the person said.

The patents in question range from core network equipment, wireline infrastructure to internet-of-things technology, the Journal reported. The licensing fees for the more than 230 patents sought is more than $1 billion, the person said.

One thing to note here is that while Verizon doesn’t directly purchase equipment from Huawei, it relies on other vendors using the technology that Huawei is going after them over. If this latest move by Huawei spreads from Verizon to other telcos, I think it would be safe to assume that the words “Patent” and “troll” will be added to the things that Huawei is known for.