Monday, 25 July 2011

That's Health: It's new! It's tough! It's designed especially for...

That's Health: It's new! It's tough! It's designed especially for...: "Panasonic has launched what looks to be an exciting new product, the Toughbook CF-H2, its second generation, fully rugged tablet PC designe..."

Ethernet Fibre Fuels Rising Market Demands for Broadband Speed

UK-based business communications company Intercity have joined with key UK carriers to offer their Ethernet Fibre solution to 50,000 current subscribers and new customers due to growing market demands.

The demand in the market has risen due to businesses using internet connectivity more frequently, so relying on a solution that is secure, reliable and offers exceptional upload and download speed. Ethernet Fibre provides a dedicated connection from the business premises straight to the internet. The service is uncontended so customers will not be sharing with other network users and are guaranteed the bandwidth they purchase – whether 2mb or 200mb.

The benefits of Ethernet Fibre will be apparent to the business instantly with a high speed connection which is suitable for all web based activities such as VoIP, vehicle tracking, hosted email or data transfer. The service is fully managed 2mb to 1gb and is highly reliable with a service level agreement. Failover options are also available.

Pre-sales expert Dave Reynolds stated “Our Ethernet Fibre service gives businesses across the UK an opportunity to increase connection speeds, boost reliability and utilise additional hosted products. The service uptake is increasing month on month and is already proving to be a popular choice amongst our customer base”.

Ethernet Fibre is now the standard replacement for Leased Line technology and with the current rate of uptake will soon be a leading high availability connectivity product in the UK.

For more information or to make a purchase call Intercity on 0800 652 2055.

That's Health: It's new! It's tough! It's deisgned especially for...

That's Health: It's new! It's tough! It's deisgned especially for...: "Panasonic has launched what looks to be an exciting new product, the Toughbook CF-H2, its second generation, fully rugged tablet PC designe..."

QueryClick Announce Company Expansion with New London Office

Top SEO company QueryClick are growing their business by opening a new office in London, and are looking for applicants for a dynamic and exciting role.

The innovative search marketing company QueryClick have announced that they are to open a new office in London to help them expand their growing business and expand their brand presence into Europe. The office, which is to be in Central London, represents a strong step forward for the three year old company, and they are recruiting for their first member of staff to be based in London currently.

Christopher Liversidge, QueryClick's Managing Director says:  “QueryClick is still a relatively new company, having been formed in 2008, so I'm really pleased we're in the position to open a brand new office in London, which will give us the chance to promote both QueryClick and our services to a wider range of clients. This means that we are going to be looking for new people to join our team and support our current client base on the ground in London.”

At present, QueryClick are looking for a talented and experienced individual to fill a Senior Business Development Manager role in central London. The job - offered at £87k uncapped OTE is suitable for applicants who have an extensive sales experience of SEO, PPC & Conversion Rate Optimisation with at least three years experience in the search marketing industry.

Chris continues: “We have grown considerably as a company over the last year, and we're looking to attract driven and ambitious individuals who are passionate about search marketing and providing an excellent service to our clients. QueryClick prides itself on providing the best return on our clients' investment, and so we're really keen to hear from people who are determined to help establish QueryClick as the leading SEO company in London.”

QueryClick hit the headlines last year after winning the E-commerce Award at the Herald Digital Business Awards with their SEO case study showcasing how they achieved an additional 23,500 bookings for one of their clients after taking over their search marketing campaign from a competing agency.

FACTFILE:

QueryClick is one of the UK's leading providers of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) solutions for companies ranging from FTSE 100 listed brands to ambitious small businesses looking to grow aggressively.

QueryClick specialise in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) to deliver the best return on investment in the industry with proven results for businesses of any size.

It's this level of success that has seen QueryClick experience recession-defying growth as a company but also manage to create record return on investment for their clients, the list of which includes a variety of companies from globally renowned FTSE 100 firms to local start-up businesses.

Pioneers in innovation with their finger firmly on the industry pulse, QueryClick continue to put Scotland, and the UK, on the world map in terms of those leading the charge in innovative, results-led search marketing solutions.
For details call them at their Edinburgh office on +44 (0)131 556 7078

Sunday, 24 July 2011

British tech staff less optimistic on pay issues

Revealing further findings from The IT Job Board’s recent Survey of the IT Jobs market it seems that far less British IT workers (50 percent) received a salary change during the past year, compared to Germany (27 percent), and also the Netherlands (31 percent).

When reviewing the numbers of techies which had received a pay rise of as much as 10 per cent, this stood at 54 percent for Germany, 54 percent within the Netherlands, with – again – the UK lagging behind at 44 percent.

The Germans and Dutch are more optimistic about receiving a pay rise in 2011, standing at 68 percent and 65 percent. This compares with a figure of 55 percent highlighted by UK IT pros.

And, when it came down to looking at the results for those who expect an identical salary this year as last, this stood at 19 percent for Germany, 24 percent for the Netherlands and 36 percent for the UK.

When reviewing the proportion of workers in IT careers who expected an added bonus, the Brits were more optimistic however – with 61 percent of the whole vote, in contrast to 53 percent for Germany.

Additionally it seems that UK technical staff do marginally better when it comes to overtime – with 28 percent highlighting they are paid for this, compared to 25 percent for Germany and 20 percent for the Netherlands.

When it comes to pension contributions, the UK is the place to work – 40 percent of British IT workers claimed this, when compared to 22 percent for Germany and 17 percent for The Netherlands. But, Germany far outclassed the other two markets in regards to flexible working hours – with 59 percent of respondents, instead of 29 percent for The Netherlands and 27 percent of the UK.

Commenting on the findings, Alexandra Farrell, MD of The IT Job Board, said: “Clearly pros with IT jobs in th UK are not quite as optimistic about their salary prospects, when compared to their European counterparts – but this is perhaps a result of the long and difficult recession this market has experienced."

“However, it’s positive to see that companies are listening to and supporting their staff with regards to aspects such as benefits and overtime pay."

“But, I believe the UK ought to be working towards Germany’s model when it comes to flexible working practices, and the Modern Workplaces Consultation goes some way towards this. It’s clear to discover that – at this time – UK staff are happy to prioritise benefits and perks over salary.”

Candidate job market survey, March 2011 – 228 respondents (UK), 249 (Germany) and 260 (The Netherlands)

FACTFILE:
The IT Job Board group of companies was set up in April 2002 in recognition that recruitment in the IT sector was increasingly dominated by the internet.

www.theitjobboard.co.uk

Online technology enables sophisticated targeting – for example by skill, region or experience – of The IT Job Board’s database of 900,000 IT professionals. The company always tries to get closer to candidates either via planned content campaigns, or through the use of social networks.

The site also offers employers services such as branded job postings, a featured employer zone, targeted email campaigns and guidance on advertising copy. The managed campaign service filters responses to provide companies with a shortlist of applicants most suitable for the advertised position.

Maria Cadbury appointed General Manager, Joost

Joost, the newly launched digital distribution platform (DDP) dedicated to building brands has appointed Maria Cadbury as its General Manager. This promotion comes off the back of Maria’s role in leading the strong growth of the Joost In-stream and In-banner Video Network over the past 12 months.

Maria will report to Adconion Media Group UK Managing Director, Matt Hunt and will lead Joost as it develops from a video network to a broadcast platform for content & video.

“Maria has an excellent reputation in the industry from her commercial experience with agencies and with publishers. She has a deep understanding of how brands are looking to engage with audiences, irrespective of the device or channel they are consuming. We are delighted to have Maria leading our brand distribution platform” commented Matt Hunt.

With its in-house creative services team, and an in-house content studio RedLever, Joost works with agencies to package their advertising and content for distribution across multiple distribution channels including mobile, in-stream, in banner, connected TV and the Joost portal.

Maria has ten years’ experience and is a specialist in digital marketing from her roles at agencies and media owners. Maria joined Adconion Media Group as Director of Media in June 2010,prior to joining Adconion she was Senior Director of Sales and Strategic Partnerships at Vibrant Media. Before her move to the media owner side of the industry Maria held digital media roles at Agency Republic and Mindshare.

Maria Cadbury, General Manager commented: “Our objective is to make Joost the brand platform of choice for UK agencies deciding how to distribute video and content online. Joost addresses the market demand for a large-scale, dedicated, multi-channelled broadcast platform that delivers in-stream and in-banner video capabilities, across a number of devices. Our digital distribution platform optimises brand campaigns at a creative, channel and platform level with advance targeting and great transparency that our most advanced clients are demanding.”

Ve Interactive teams up with Concern Universal

Ve Interactive is delighted to announce it is teaming up with Concern Universal as its international charity partner. Ve Interactive will be working with Concern Universal for an initial twelve months commencing July 2011. The decision to choose an international charity partner is a first for Ve Interactive and Concern Universal was selected for its impressive sustainable, community-led development work with people living in poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Ve Interactive will provide pro-bono services to assist with Concern Universal’s digital presence, SEO & analytics, content, affiliate marketing, remarketing and social media strategies.

“We are really looking forward to helping this amazing organisation create an effective digital presence that will promote their important work, benefit their fund raising programs and increase their supporter engagement,” commented Adam Lynch, Director of Client Services at Ve Interactive.

“We are delighted to be able to assist. The development work of Concern Universal is impressive. They work at a local level with individuals, communities and partners, meaning that they can be truly responsive to local need and that sustainability can also be achieved. Furthermore we were impressed to learn that 95p in every pound raised is spent on that development work.”

Concern Universal’s communications manager, Debbie Stenner said, “Ve Interactive’s expertise and experience will give a tremendous boost to our efforts to spread the word about Concern Universal and get more people on board. We prioritise economy, efficiency and effectiveness in all that we do and this hugely valuable support from Ve Interactive will help us do that. The bottom line will be more people able to lift themselves out of poverty for good.”

FACTFILE:
Established in London, late 2009 - award-winning Ve Interactive is a digital marketing and software consultancy, specialising in online efficiency technologies, as well as strategic online reviewing and optimisation planning. Its collective endeavours have meant that Ve Interactive has now also opened offices in Boston, USA and Sydney, Australia. It has a high client retention rate, and its clients are seeing exponential growth from using its software and services. Ve Interactive has already been honoured with a utalkmarketing Award for Most Innovative Start Up 2011 and a Best Business Award 2011. It also gained another prestigious nomination for Digital Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2010. www.veinteractive.com

Dream holiday on your computer

Paradise Island Menu

An organisation which promotes holidays in the Bahamas has joined with a Staffordshire-based advergame developer for its latest marketing campaign.

Nassau Paradise Island is collaborating with Keele-based Koko Digital on the project, in which Koko’s new kite-surfing game is a key element.

It’s designed to raise awareness of the Bahamas as a holiday destination, direct traffic to the Nassau Paradise Island website, and give players the chance to win a seven night holiday for two adults at the Comfort Suites Nassau hotel, including a $1000 credit for flights.

And it’s already proving to be one of Koko’s most popular creations, with more than one million plays in the first month since release.

Koko Director Chris Steele said: “The main objective is to promote the Bahamas as the perfect holiday destination.

“It’s been a great project to work on, and we’re over the moon with the final product and its overall playability.”

Staffordshire University graduates Chris Steele, Stuart Howarth and Karl Bloor have worked on a number of travel-related projects since setting up Koko Digital in 2006. Previous clients include Gulf Air, travel publisher Rough Guides and NetFlights.

Their project for Rough Guides, called Rough Roads, won the Best Viral Communication Award at The Travel Marketing Awards 2011.

Further information is available at Koko Digital's website.

Outlook: Cloudy?

commissum looks at the issues surrounding cloud computing, and explains the benefits it can bring small companies.

When we mention cloud computing to our SME clients as a possible solution for the cost effective management of their services, we often get asked “but what are the risks of trusting our information to someone else?” At commissum we believe many of the issues relating to cloud computing are not new and should be considered for all relationships with service providers, although there are a few specific considerations to be made.

Using cloud computing, organisations can contract service providers to provide infrastructure, platforms and, presently more commonly software. These services enable convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable resources such as networks, servers, storage, applications and other services, provided and released with minimal management effort or interaction of the service provider. The advantages of scalability, reduced lower overhead costs and flexibility are clear and allow organisations to focus on core competencies instead of devoting resources on IT operations.

Most companies have policies and processes in place to deal with commercial relationships with IT service providers. Although these policies and processes will equally work well with cloud services many still do not sufficiently cover the risk related to the security of information.

Applications which are to be provided by a cloud service require the same risk assessment considerations as those provided by a traditional service provider.
What if the solution is:-
· failing to deliver the required business value;
· not performing to the levels agreed;
· not integrated with the existing in-house services;
· unavailable and causes delays and reputational damage;
· suffered from breaches in integrity and confidentiality of information.

But commissum’s (www.commissum.com/) Principal Assurance Consultant AndrĂ© Coner suggests that the following considerations specific to cloud computing should he added:
· Maturity of the cloud service provider and service provider on-going concern issues;
· Complexity of compliance with laws and regulations;
· Legal issues around liability and ownership relating to different hosting countries;
· Storage of personally identifiable information in other countries;
· Consider the much greater dependency on third parties and reliance on external interfaces;
· Greater reliance on Internet connectivity;
· Security issues of public, community and hybrid cloud environments;



Firstnumber Welcomes Proposals To Cut EU Mobile 'Roaming' Prices

Recent proposal to cut mobile phone roaming charges while in the EU has been widely acclaimed by Firstnumber, a service provider that offer cheap international calls from anywhere in the UK.

The proposal made by the European Commission is aimed at reducing mobile phone costs when making calls, sending texts and browsing the internet anywhere in the EU. With the intention of making it the same price as it costs when at home. The EC have stated it costs roughly £2 per megabyte to download when abroad without any current maximum cap set. To make a call currently costs 31p per minute and 10p per minute to receive a call.

The proposed plans, if agreed, would come into force in 2014, and set a maximum cap to data charges set at 45p for data per megabyte. Calling will be reduced to 22p when making a call and 9p when receiving a call per minute.

A spokes from Firstnumber (www.firstnumber.co.uk) said: “this is long over due and consumers have been charged at an unreasonable rate for too long. These plans help match what consumers expect to pay and will hopefully increase competition and choice within the market, whilst helping to create better offers for consumers.”

The Firstnumber spokesperson also went on to suggest that it is important that cheap international calls are made even more readily available to everyone and that it doesn't stop with this proposal.

The proposal includes the recommendation that mobile customers will be able to opt for a separate cheaper mobile contract that will allow for cheaper roaming costs and will use the same number and SIM card.

Firstnumber advises all users before going on holiday to remember the following tips that may help you from being caught out - Start by using Wi-Fi wherever possible, as there will be many hotspots within all major cities, secondly, try short texts to help stay in touch and forget about worrying for every minute on the phone. Lastly, check before leaving for a holiday with the phone operator and make sure of all the data charges and price to call.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Bosch goes for Innovation Group

Innovation Group has been selected by Bosch Car Service to manage and run a new online booking system for its UK network of independent garages.

A new service will be launched as a result of the deal, enabling customers to book their vehicle for servicing, repair or MOT at a participating Bosch Car Service garage near their home or workplace.

“The new partnership with Bosch Car Service is an important endorsement of the breadth and quality of the outsourcing solutions that Innovation Group provides to motor manufacturers, fleet operators, distributors and garage networks. The tools we offer enable closer collaboration between service providers and their customers in a way which enhances customer service and reduces costs at every step in the value chain,” said Simon Hall Managing Director of UK Motor Services of Innovation Group.

Bosch Car Service is a global and nationwide network of quality independent garages which offers each member the power of a premium brand, a partnership with a leading automotive supplier and access to a wide range of technical expertise, marketing and commercial practices.

The Bosch Car Service network also work to a Consumer Code of Practice approved by the Office of Fair Trading, in order to deliver excellence in customer service. The existing network garages provide maintenance, repairs and diagnostic service as well as air conditioning for all vehicle makes and models.

“Bosch Car Service wants to help garages grow their business through delivering top quality technical solutions in terms of parts and engineering, along with outstanding customer service. The new online booking service with Innovation Group will help us deliver more business into the network, making good sense for car owners and the garages,” said Howard Price, of Bosch Car Service.

Innovation Group provides wide range of software and outsourcing solutions to insurers, fleet, automotive and property businesses across five continents. Existing customers in the automotive sector include Ford and Tesco.

www.innovation-group.com

“Man’s best friend” no longer his dog but his PC, poll reveals

The personal computer has overtaken the family dog as ‘man’s best friend’, according to an online poll conducted by YouGov for Computeractive magazine and the RSPCA.

Barely one in 20 of us (6%) believe “most people rely more on their dog than they do on their PC”. Over two-thirds (67%) of us reckon the opposite is true, according to the poll of over 2,000 British adults. (EDITOR: Surely this depends on what you rely on your dog or computer for? You would rely on your PC to connect to the Internet, but you would not rely on your computer to be -for example- a walking companion)

Even most dog-owners polled confessed to relying more on their PC than on their dog (38% vs 36%), while younger dog-owners did so most of all. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of 18-24 year-old dog-owners said that they relied more on their PC than on their dog.

Male dog-owners rely far more on their PCs than do female ones, reveals the poll, commissioned by Computeractive on behalf of the RSPCA’s Justice for Animals Appeal. Male dog-owners (48%) are almost twice as likely as female ones (28%) to rely more on their PCs than their pooches.

Almost two-thirds (61%) of those polled also felt that a PC is now “a more constant companion than a dog” for most people. Less than one sixth of respondents (16%) thought the opposite.

“These days you can even take your PC for a walk, provided you have a laptop or tablet”, says Paul Allen, editor of Computeractive, the UK’s best-selling computer magazine. “It’s only a matter of time until the first PC that fetches your slippers.”

The findings, adds Allen, also highlight what a major role computers now play in family life, particularly for men.

“With broadband bringing them global news and newspaper sales falling, the family dog even misses out on the pleasure of taking the paper to his owner.”

Is the family PC now a dog’s best friend?

It’s not all bad news for Rover, Mr Allen points out: “The family PC has given dog-owners access to a wealth of resources and information that can help with the long-term care that a dog needs. From finding the best vets to researching great new walks that all the family can enjoy, the Web enables the PC to become a dog’s best friend.”

RSPCA Inspector Tony Woodley adds: "The Internet is hugely important in all aspects of work the RSPCA carries out, from rehoming animals to campaigns, social media and online are fantastic ways for us to reach out to our supporters.

“One crucial way we use the Internet is to raise funds for vital things such as the Justice For Animals campaign helping us prevent the most severe acts of cruelty from happening again."

To highlight how the home computer can help the family dog reclaim his place as man’s best friend, Computeractive is donating £2.50 to the RSPCA Justice for Animals Appeal, from every new or upgraded subscription to the magazine, from now until 31st August 2011.

Computeractive is working with the RSPCA to fight for justice against animal cruelty by raising funds for five prosecution cases of animal cruelty. It is donating an initial lump-sum of £2,100 to fund the first of these and then a further £2.50 for any new or upgraded subscription taken up before 31st August 2011.

The magazine is launching the initiative with a short video that takes a quirky look at how PCs have demoted the family dog. It can be viewed at www.getcomputeractive.co.uk/why_computeractive.php

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Fascinating! Facinator sales up 300% worldwide since Royal Wedding

Victoria Beckham, Tara Palmer Tomkinson and other celebs put a ‘rather English’ fashion item on the international map at William and Kate’s big day earlier this year.

Online accessory and jewellery retailer www.PrettyCool.co.uk (powered by www.ekmPowershop.com) saw a massive spike in demand for fascinators following on from the royal wedding, which pulled in an estimated 2bn viewers across all TV and online channels, world-wide.

Since one of the world’s biggest broadcast events ever, Caroline Rutter, owner and founder of PrettyCool.co.uk has seen lasting demand for all kinds of fascinators particularly from the USA, Canada and Australia. The online fashion store also had another boom in demand in the UK in the run up to Royal Ascot. The Royal Wedding certainly seems to have reignited our love for the fascinator in England, as well as bringing it to brand new markets abroad.

Caroline explains how she saw the first influx of orders to her ecommerce website from overseas: “On the general chat of the Disney Forum someone was asking ‘Why do the British wear hats on the front of their heads?’ to which someone else replied ‘They’re not hats, they are fascinators!’ And they placed a link to our site.”

Daily visitors to the site have more than tripled since the world started buying fascinators, post the royal wedding. All started by an overseas viewer who thought fascinators were simply ‘the British’ wearing hats on our foreheads... a wonderful and humorous example of viral marketing. Something you just can’t engineer!

International events like the royal wedding put a select few products on a global scale, particularly women’s fashion items. We know most of the designers’ labels worn by high profile guests have seen increased demand, Sarah Burton (Kate Middleton’s wedding dress designer) in particular.

Melisa Young from ecommerce provider ekmPowershop.com points out: “At ekmPowershop.com we have over 8000 online shops using our market leading platform in the UK alone, and it’s not the first time we’ve had a client benefit from viral marketing on a forum mention. Last year Speedy Models was linked to from Channel 5’s ‘The Gadget Show’ forum, after an item they stocked featured in the TV show. He sold over 500 units in a matter of days. It says a lot about the benefits of selling online.”

It’s hard to replicate a campaign that puts your brand or product on that sort of scale, especially for free. When an item appears in a televised event on the mammoth scale of a royal wedding, some retailers like PrettyCool.co.uk win big.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Spelling mistakes put top websites in a tight spot for good causes!

Following a recent report by the BBC that online typos cost millions in lost revenue ( www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-14130854) top online underwear retailers Tightsplease.co.uk and Lingerieplease.co.uk, are donating money to charity for every typo that any visitors find on their sites.

Customers who find any typos or spelling mistakes on either of the sites should visit www.tightsplease.co.uk/typos or www.lingerieplease.co.uk/typos, and then give details of the typo that they have found and the company will donate £1 to charity as a way of saying “thank you.”


Sunday, 17 July 2011

Freestyle Interactive launches new mobile site for Arriva Bus UK

Arriva Bus UK which carries 770m+ passengers every year has just launched a mobile-only version of its website.

Created by FreestyleInteractive the new mobile site was produced in response to the increasing numbers of bus passengers in the UK who are searching and requesting information about Arriva bus travel whilst on-the-move.

The mobile site is a slimline version of the main Arriva site .Passengers accessing the main site via their handset will be automatically re-directed to the mobile friendly version for easier navigation and downloads.

David Shadbolt, Arriva Bus UK marketing manager,UK Bus said: “Changing passenger behaviour is the motivation behind creating a fast and easy to use mobile version of the site. The travelling public need access to ticket, timetable, network routes and downloadable maps when they want it, wherever they are. This new site enables this regardless of the handset type.

“Increasingly we see the mobile channel, especially m-ticketing, as a crucial part of our customer service offer. It’s one of the reasons we have put a lot of effort into helping our customers get to grips with the concept of how easy and convenient m-ticketing is,” Mike explained.

Freestyle account director Angel Gibbons said: "The new mobile site is the result of Arriva’s understanding of consumer behaviour in digital. Arriva is a forward looking company and is focussed on meeting consumer demand by providing bus travel information that is easily accessible on-the-move."

Freestyle Interactive has been working with Arriva Bus for the past 4 years and is currently developing a range of digital marketing communication campaigns for the Company.

(EDITOR: Will the service provide detailed information as to why a bus hasn't turned up? And when the next bus will bother to arrive at your bus stop? If so, that would be a great service. But don't hold your breath!)

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Adconion Media Group launches digital distribution platforms

The Adconion Media Group (www.adconion.com/uk/index.html) has confirmed a restructure of its UK business and announced the launch of its two digital distribution platforms (DDP); Adconion Direct and Joost.

Announcing the launch, Matthew Hunt, Adconion Media Group’s UK Managing Director pointed out that the development of the two digital distribution platforms sends a clear signal to the market that Adconion has evolved from the traditional ad network business model.

“Adconion Media Group has built a reputation as one of the most successful independent global audience and content networks but we look at our achievements to date as the path leading to today’s announcement. Adconion Media Group is now an integrated digital marketing services organisation, with platforms that distribute content and advertising to three out of five people in the UK across display, email, video, connected TV, mobile and social channels. We have proprietary technology, a comprehensive range of products and services and have the team, expertise and scale across these channels to deliver leading solutions to the UK’s most demanding advertisers.”

“Advertisers today are very knowledgeable when it comes to understanding the complexity of multi-channel advertising distribution depending on whether the goal is to promote direct response or to broadcast a brand. As a result, skills, services and product lines have become more specialised and we have restructured accordingly.”

“The industry is experiencing radical change as media buying becomes more automated across multiple digital mediums. The game is changing and we’re proud to say we are ready and are ahead of the curve.”

Adconion Direct is a Direct Response DDP, which merges Adconion’s Audience Network with Adconion’s email solutions and social marketing capabilities. The result is a dedicated multi-channel solution that supports all pricing metrics and offers advanced optimisation and targeting technology.

Data integration builds profiles of audiences for tighter targeting and connects campaign assets to the audience, re-targeting in real time, with behavioural recognition and response underpinned by Adconion Media Group’s optimisation engine and new social algorithm. The right audience is identified across multiple digital channels including display, email and social; and the right creative is selected to drive purchasing intent within that channel.

Joost is Adconion Media Group’s brand marketing DDP and operates on a separate platform. It brings the online properties and significant audience base of the video network and portal, together with the reach and scale of the Adconion advertising network and the creative resources of RedLever. The result is a dedicated multichannel platform supporting in-stream video, in banner video, premium display and rich media, mobile, connected TV combined with our in house creative services team. Joost is specifically developed to shift brand metrics and prove that television is no longer the only effective medium for reaching, engaging and affecting consumer mindsets.

Both DDPs will set new standards for brand protection through third party verification via AdXpose and Truste, compliance as a signatory to the recently announced European EU Framework for Behavioural Advertising and IASH standards across every campaign.

Adconion Direct and Joost will sit alongside Adconion Media Group business units RedLever and Adconion Platform Services. RedLever is a branded entertainment and creative production house specialising in sourcing, developing and negotiating sponsorship and funding agreements for high quality and entertaining content, while Adconion Platform Services allows third party use of Adconion Media Group’s proprietary technologies and workflow systems and licenses them for use.


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

New Mobile Marketing module manages SMS campaigns within Aprimo Marketing Studio On Demand

Aprimo® has announced a new Mobile Marketing module for Aprimo Marketing Studio® On Demand (AMS On Demand) that adds tightly integrated text messaging (SMS) capabilities to its campaign management offering.

With the new Mobile Marketing solution, customers can launch SMS campaigns in a few simple steps – create, launch, track and measure – from within their AMS On Demand platform, enabling them to leverage the same segmentation, dialogue and campaign management functions used for other digital marketing channels such as e-mail and microsites.

SMS usage among consumers continues to increase globally. Recent data from the International Telecommunications Union show that the total number of SMS messages sent globally tripled between 2007 and 2010, from an estimated 1.8 billion to a staggering 6.1 billion. Close to 200,000 text messages are now sent every second.

“Mobile has become an increasingly important channel for companies across all industries to reach their customers and prospects,” said Lisa Arthur, Chief Marketing Officer at Aprimo. “Managing everything, including email, social, SMS and offline, from a single platform ensures consistency, guarantees a better overall user experience and gives marketers concrete data that shows how new channels such as mobile are performing.”

SMS campaigns have a wide reach because text messages are accessible on ALL devices and many consumers still prefer the immediacy, brevity and ease of SMS communications. Today, more companies are using SMS to gain new customers, build deeper relationships and create new revenue opportunities through up-selling and cross-selling.

With AMS On Demand Mobile Marketing customers can:

• Run standalone mobile campaigns or integrated multi-channel digital campaigns incorporating SMS
• Launch both inbound and outbound SMS campaigns
• Perform segmentation and deliver triggered dialogs based on SMS content history and/or behavior
• Manage keywords and short codes for interactive marketing to customers and prospects
• Use customizable templates that can be repurposed on-the-fly for more dynamic, timely campaigns
• Choose “quick send” to quickly launch a new campaign

All SMS messaging capabilities are tightly integrated within the familiar AMS On Demand platform. This allows for smooth coordination of SMS text messaging with other digital marketing efforts, including campaign management tools and audience data that are critical to a comprehensive integrated marketing management (IMM) strategy.

Existing Aprimo customers can begin using the new SMS capabilities immediately. For details of the AMS On Demand Mobile Marketing, visit: www.Aprimo.com/SMS

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Tough jobs call for a Toughbook

Panasonic has launched the Toughbook CF-H2, its second generation, fully rugged tablet PC designed specifically for field workers. Setting new standards in ease of use, connectivity and productivity, the CF-H2 is the ultimate tool for mobile and field workers helping them to stay productive, even in harsh environments, by delivering constant access to their applications and business data.

Whilst it is lightweight, it is a fully rugged tablet that is ideal for field workers in utilities, logistics, automotive workshops, rail and aviation, plus sales personnel, retail point of sales and market research.

With the latest Intel® Core i5-2557M (1.7GHz) Ultra Low Voltage processor with vPro and the Intel® HD 3000 graphics for enhanced multimedia capabilities, the Toughbook CF-H2 performance has been improved more than 400% over its CF-H1 predecessor. The CF-H2 is ideal for power hungry field applications like GIS, mobile CAD and powerful diagnostic tools. RAM is also boosted, its now raised to 2 gigabyte as standard, with up to 8 gigabyte optional, and it comes with a 160 gigabyte hard disk drive as standard with 128 gigabyte SSD as an option.

Ergonomically designed for field workers
The CF-H2 is designed for mobile workers who need to multi-task whilst holding the device in one hand. Lightweight rugged design (approx. 1.58kg), with an easy-to-grab handle, the fanless device maintains a low surface temperature using its unique heat dissipation system and is available as a dual touch (digitiser and touchscreen) model.

The best screen visibility on the market
The CF-H2 always ensures the screen delivers just the right level of brightness for optimum viewing whatever the conditions, inside or out. To achieve premium visibility the CF-H2 uses a 10.1” display with Panasonic Transflective Plus technology. This operating mode helps cut power consumption and enhance battery life as no backlight is required in bright environments. This results in a massive enhancement of up to 6,000nit equivalent of transflective brightness under a 200K lx environment. The CF-H2 also incorporates a circular polarizer to reduce reflection.

Functionality to fit every purpose
For maximum productivity at the point of work, field workers need to perform a wide range of tasks. The CF-H2 is ideally suited. Optional barcode readers are available to assist with data capture requirements.

For taking photos in the field, the CF-H2 Field features an optional auto focus, 2.0 megapixel camera with a high brightness LED light.

Interfaces are often required by field workers to connect devices and peripherals to record information or for diagnostic purposes. The CF-H2 is perfectly positioned to fulfill this requirement with a USB 2.0, LAN and serial port (optional 2nd USB2.0 port in lieu of LAN port) available directly integrated into the device.

The CF-H2 also has all the options covered to ensure data is secure in the field. Quick user authentication can be achieved using the optional fingerprint reader for enhanced security. There is an optional contactless smartcard / RFID reader, which is compliant with ISO 14443 type A and type B, or an integrated, contact smartcard reader covered and sealed with its own latch for maximum protection and security.

Built to stay connected on the move
Ensuring mobile workers can always stay in touch when on the move, the Toughbook CF-H2 offers WLAN, 3G (optional), Bluetooth and GPS (optional) for navigation and job scheduling. To improve data transfer capability, the Ericsson F5521gw HSPA+ module with wireless ready connection manager can be integrated as an option, significantly increasing download speeds up to 21Mbps. Available upon request, the device can also be switched into Anti-Theft-Protection mode by utilizing the latest Intel® ATP technology.

The power to last
To ensure that field workers have a device that can work for as long as they do, even when access to power is lost, the CF-H2 can operate for up to 6.5 hours (MobileMarkTM 2007, 60nit) running on Windows® 7 by using the hot swappable, high-capacity twin-batteries developed internally by the Panasonic battery division. The CF-H2 charges its 2 batteries at the same time, in a rapid parallel mode, for quicker charge times (approx 3 hours).

All units also utilise the Panasonic Power Management Utilities technology to maximize power efficiency by managing the power of all relevant resources required by the CPU depending on each task or by definition of individual user profiles.

Improved system start-up
To maximise the efficiency of the field workers, the CF-H2 also includes Panasonic’s Quick Boot Manager which can reduce the boot-up time of the device down to approximately 15 seconds***.

Better than ever reliability and durability
With magnesium alloy casing, inside, and Panasonic’s anti-scratch coating, the CF-H2 remains one of the toughest rugged tablets available in the market.

With an HDD damping and rugged casing systems to optimise drop protection and an HDD heater and Panasonic’s foam packing system to provide optimum ingress protection, the CF-H2 can operate in some of the harshest environments.

“This next generation Toughbook CF-H2 is the ultimate rugged tablet for the field workforce,” said Stephen Yeo, Panasonic Toughbook European Marketing Director. “Listening closely to our existing customers, we have built a second generation device that is more powerful, easier to use and with more functionality than comparable devices on the market whilst maintaining all the reliability of the Toughbook brand.”

New CF-H2 Health model
Alongside the CF-H2 Field model, Panasonic will also introduce the CF-H2 Health model, with full details to be announced shortly. The CF-H2 Health will include the same major power, ease of use and functionality improvements as the CF-H2 Field whilst maintaining its important health industry features. These features include being tested and certified to hospital cleaning standards, allowing the device to be wiped down and cleaned by different disinfectant fluids and cloths, as well as providing a secure and intuitive platform for barcode medication administration (BCMA), vitals capture and electronic medical records (EMR) capture and review – all at the point of care.

Compatibility that counts
To ensure existing customers can continue to use existing peripheral equipment, the new CF-H2 is compatible with many of the CF-H1 peripherals in order to provide long-term product lifecycle stability.

Backed by outstanding service
Every Toughbook comes with a 3-year warranty covering hardware failures for systems used as designed; with a 96-hour repair commitment and 5-year spare parts availability.

Availability and pricing
The CF-H2 range is available from July 2011, starting at €2119 MSRP (excluding vat).

FACTFILE:
Panasonic Toughbooks are designed to give mobile workers in challenging environments reliable and secure access to their data and applications. Toughbooks are designed to overcome the situations where traditional mobile PCs fail including vibration, knocks, water, dust, disinfectants, sunlight, battery life, and one-handed operation.

By finally giving workers access to IT in challenging environments, business processes, productivity and customer experience can be dramatically improved. Panasonic Toughbook made its first rugged mobile PC in 1994 and today has a 65% share of the European Durable and Rugged notebook computer market (unit sales 2010, VDC Research, March 2011).

For further information visit www.toughbook.eu.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Fabric Interface announces merger with Digi Nut

Two top web design and development agencies – Digi Nut and Fabric Interface have announced that they are merging. The newly formed company will be led by Danny Bull and Mike Staines who were formerly managing directors of Digi Nut and Interface, respectively.

The new company will retain the name Fabric Interface and remain a subsidiary of its parent company; Fabric Technologies.

The merger brings together two successful and long-established agencies, each with their own specific areas of expertise, experience and digital marketing specialisation. The agency will provide digital marketing services to a client-base of over 250 companies in addition to new clients.

Digi Nut was formed in 2006 and has considerable experience. It has provided creative and technical outsourcing resources to a number of prominent advertising and marketing agencies including RAPP, TBWA, Airside and Draftfcb. Digi Nut also works directly with clients and has recently completed projects for Kriega, Ibiza Rocks and The Food Network.

Fabric Interface has extensive creative resources alongside wide experience in the development of bespoke ecommerce, mobile and software applications for its client-base of small and mid-market organisations. Interface has also recently completed projects for a number of major brands including Barclaycard, Nokia, Zolfo Cooper and Abbey Colleges.

Fabric Interface was formed by Mike Staines – a Fellow of the Royal College of Arts – who comments: “The merger and the pooling of resources sees the creation of a new agency with a uniquely broad spectrum of creative and technical offerings. These will maximise our ability to translate our clients’ brands and business strategies into effective, highly creative and technically innovative ecommerce campaigns.”

“Our portfolio of products and services includes mobile website development, cross-platform mobile app development and social media strategy and development – each of which are increasingly essential resources for businesses.”

Fabric Interface is a subsidiary of Fabric Technologies – an award winning business technology consultancy with expertise in unified communications, managed services, cloud computing and Microsoft business solutions such as Dynamics CRM and SharePoint 2010.

Says Danny Bull: “Being able to utilise Fabric’s wider portfolio and integrate their advanced businesses technologies with our core digital production offering puts us in an incredibly strong position. We’re excited and confident about the future.”

Fabric Technologies’ Chairman, Simon Kentish, concludes: “The merger is an important milestone for the Fabric group. Fabric Interface now has a broader service portfolio and Danny brings many years of experience in the advertising sector. Together, Mike and Danny’s team can now deliver a wider range of state of the art web and app technologies to all our customers.”

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Top UK web host Easyspace goes wild for Jungle City 2011

Web hosting and domain name company Easyspace has announced its participation in Jungle City 2011 – a charitable art extravaganza that will see the city of Edinburgh transformed into an urban jungle this summer.

Jungle City 2011 is the latest art fundraiser by the hosting company’s favourite charity the Elephant Family and sees Easyspace again running its Domain Names for a Domain campaign, donating 5 pence from each domain name sale to help save the habitat of endangered animals.

Sarah Haran, managing director of Easyspace , said: “We have been supporting the Elephant Family charity in its efforts to highlight the plight of the Asian elephant and other threatened species for the past two years. We hope our Domain names campaign once again encourages our customers’ to dig deep.”

Easyspace is sponsoring two of the 150 life-sized sculptures of endangered animals that are being created for Jungle City 2011 which hits the streets of the Scottish capital during August and September.

Easyspace has recruited a group of schoolchildren from a community art project called Friends of Art Balfron in central Scotland to help create their sculpture of an exotic hornbill bird. The children’s work will sit alongside that of famous artists like Jack Vettriano and celebrities like former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell who have been recruited to decorated sculptures of hornbills, tigers, crocodiles and orang-utangs.

Phil Worms, marketing director of iomart Group, parent company of Easyspace, added: “We’re absolutely delighted that the children of Balfron are designing and painting our hornbill for Jungle City. They’ve amazed us with their ideas and we can’t wait to see the end result on display in Edinburgh.”

FAB chairperson Dawn Cullen, said: “This is a really wonderful art project for the children to be involved in. We can’t thank Easyspace and the Elephant Family charity enough for inviting us to take part. We hope our involvement encourages a lot of other community groups to take part.”

Last year Easyspace, with the help from students of Glasgow Metropolitan College, produced one of only two Scottish designed elephant sculptures as part of the Elephant Parade, the Elephant Family’s first public art event in London.

Phil Worms added: “Having experienced the wonder of the London event, the opportunity to bring street art to the capital city of Scotland was too good an opportunity to miss.”

Easyspace is a subsidiary of iomart Group plc which was named Scottish Digital IT company of the Year 2011 and is ranked as one of the top 25 cloud services providers in the world by Talkin’ Cloud 50.

Friends of Art Balfron is a not-for-profit organisation set up to promote the visual arts in the Balfron area. It runs Saturday morning art workshops for children under the title ‘Balfron ArtWorks’ and delivers regular free community drop-in events to encourage participation in art and craft activities.

The Elephant Family charity has so far raised more than £4 million from its public art projects to help preserve the habitat of the Asian elephant and other endangered species. It spends the money raised on purchasing land to be set aside as natural reserves for the animals. Its first fund-raising public art event was the Elephant Parade in London in 2010 which put 260 beautifully decorated life-sized elephants on display around the UK’s capital city.