AUSTRALIA has become a testing ground for Israeli-founded Perfecto’s cloud-based ‘test lab’ for app performance under real user conditions.

One of the problems facing all companies delivering app services through mobile devices is performance over varied mobile device conditions – and this is an area Perfecto has driven into with its Continuous Quality Lab service. 

According to the IAB Australia and Nielsen Mobile Ratings Report 2015, more than 15 million Australians own a smartphone and almost 12 million a tablet device. The variability of Australia’s communications infrastructure challenges app performance, yet customer expectations are high – which is why Perfecto has pushed early into the market as part of its strategic international growth.

Perfecto Mobile, following a new capital raising round of $49 million, has chosen Australia as one of its first international markets, appointing former RSA Security senior executive Gary Mitchell as director for Asia Pacific and Japan, based out of Sydney. Perfecto has also hired two sales representatives and a sales engineer.

Perfecto’s Continuous Quality Lab allows development teams to automate functional testing, performance testing and monitoring to increase the speed of release cycles and improve quality.

With local customers already using the test lab, Perfecto is set to announce its Australian data centre partner in the next few weeks, as the company targets the telecommunications, retail and financial services sectors.

“Today’s consumers expect and depend on high-quality digital experiences when interacting with brands via the web, mobile apps and IoT devices,” said Perfector CEO Eran Yaniv.

“To ensure that quality, Perfecto has developed solutions that help brands deliver those experiences, such as Continuous Quality Lab.

“I’m excited about our launch in Australia and look forward to working with our APAC team to grow Perfecto’s presence there and up in Asia, as we continue to expand our quality offerings and position the company for continued growth and innovation.”

Mr Mitchell said, “In today’s connected mobile world, a digital engagement strategy is now critical to enterprise business success. In simple terms, that means there is no room for mobile apps to fail and as the pressure to meet customer expectations rise, so does ensuring the quality of each digital experience, especially across mobile channels.”

Perfecto, founded in 2006, completed its recent $49 million investment round from new investor Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV). Existing investors include FTV Capital, Carmel Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners and Vertex Ventures.

This latest round completes more than $128 million raised since 2007. Perfecto currently employs more than 250 people based in Boston, Tel Aviv and in its new markets.

Perfecto’s customer base has rapidly grown in the past year to include leading brands Discover, Weather.com and Sky. The company is now working with nine of the 10 world’s most valuable brands, as listed in the 2015 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands compiled by WPP and Millward Brown.

www.perfectomobile.com

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PEPPERMINT  Innovation Ltd, an Australian-developed mobile banking technology platform, is aiming to offer access to banking services for millions of people not currently linked to traditional banks.

Working with a network of about 70,000 agents to promote and introduce its platform into the Philippines, Peppermint is believed to be poised for rapid expansion over the next few years. Australian investors have shown strong early support for the business. 

Following a successful $3.87 million capital raise in October, and subject to meeting the Australian Securites Exchange’s (ASX)  other pre-quotation conditions for listing, Peppermint Innovation Ltd will look to list on the ASX via a reverse takeover of Chrysalis Resources Limited (ASX:CYS).

The listing will give investors access to Peppermint’s innovative platform and an opportunity to be part of the mobile banking payment ‘revolution’ according to Peppermint Innovation’s managing director, Chris Kain.

Peppermint is based in Perth. It operates an established proprietary mobile banking, payments and remittance technology, which aims to eventually provide secure mobile financial services to anyone, anywhere in the world.

Mr Kain said the aim was to drive financial inclusion – opening up banking services, including payment services, to those without access to a traditional bank.

Currently, the Peppermint Platform is deployed in the Philippines as part of the company’s focus on transactions in the developing world.

The Philippines is an emerging market with a population of approximately 100 million people. Filipino economic migrants who move to major centres or overseas looking for work rely on remittance services to send money to their dependents.

Peppermint research shows up to 75 percent of the population are ‘unbanked’, and with almost 114 million mobile phones in use, the Peppermint platform capitalises on this large market opportunity.

Peppermint’s technology is employed commercially by three of the top Filipino commercial banks, generating around one million transactions every month. Revenue is derived through commission on each user transaction and fees for the development and maintenance of the Peppermint platform for commercial clients.

“We are delighted with the strong support we've received from existing shareholders and the response of new investors to our public offer.,” Mr Kain said.

“We are confident that the Peppermint platform will have a strong uptake beyond existing customers in the Philippines, providing a wide range of financial services via a mobile phone to unbanked populations there.

“It is estimated that about 2.5 billion adults worldwide lack access to basic formal financial services and our platform will help promote financial inclusion to a large part of the global unbanked population.

“We see this as a significant opportunity to add value and retain growth potential for the company.”

He said Peppermint’s commercial growth had been largely de-risked by the work done with existing clients and a well-established customer base in the Philippines where US$9.5 million has been spent developing the technology.

The key members of the development team, who are now incentivised members of Peppermint Innovation, were previously instrumental in the development of the Globe Telecoms’ GCash mobile remittance platform.

Peppermint has also partnered with MyWeps/1BRO Global Inc. in the Philippines to develop a mobile remittance service ‘Powered by Peppermint’ to capture transactional flow currently outside of the traditional banking system.

As part of this partnership, Peppermint will also be provide the functionality for MyWeps/1BRO Global to address other domestic payment services in the greater domestic person-to-person market, which comprises domestic remittances, paying bills and loan payments.

A study commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation from Bankable Frontier Associates in 2010 estimated this market to be valued at US$3.2 billion per month from 45 million transactions conducted per month in 2010.

While there are already other players in the sector, the market is large enough to support additional platforms as there are still large numbers of remittances transferred via more expensive methods, Mr Kain said.

1BRO Global Inc. has about 70,000 agents and 40 business centres spread out over the country, which will help drive adoption of the Peppermint mobile remittance platform.

The funds raised from the public offer will be used to accelerate the roll out of the ‘Peppermint Platform’ and expand its reach throughout Asia, Europe and the rest of the world.

Peppermint offered 193,465,000 shares at an issue price of $0.02 per share to raise the funds. The public offer was managed by lead manager, DJ Carmichael and was made under a prospectus dated October 16, 2015. All offers under the Prospectus are now closed.

www.pepltd.com.au

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BRISBANE-based satellite and broadband communications systems specialists EM Solutions has developed a new series of its Ka-multiband unit that has virtually doubled the capabilities within its smallest-ever model.

According to EM Solutions chief executive Rowan Gilmore, the KA-multiband Diamond Series is the only product in the market, worldwide, that offers up to 3GHz of bandwidth in a single unit.

He said the series offered “unprecedented bandwidth across the Ka-band frequency range in the smallest and lightest packages commercially available”. 

The Diamond Series is a game changer in the industry, he said, offering almost 50 percent lower use of direct current (DC) power than the previous generation, 50 percent lower weight and up to 50 percent less “dimensional volume”.

“Recognising room for improvement in previous generation L- to Ka- band BUCs (block upconverters, used in the transmission of satellite signals) our team set to find a better solution,” Dr Gilmore said. “Previously, almost all satcom BUCs used direct up-conversion architecture with narrowband RF (radio frequency) filters, and could convert only to a single and pre-selected frequency span within the broader Ka-band spectrum.

“Our new nanoBUC HUB converts any modem signal to anywhere within the 28-31 GHz frequency spectrum, and its linearizer can be programmed to compensate for the distortion introduced by many types of power amplifiers that follow in the transmitter chain.

“Our Ka-band Gallium Nitride (GaN) nano-BUC power amplifier products are smaller, lighter and more power efficient in their respective output power classes and depending on the requirements, can cover the complete Ka-band frequency range in a single unit,” Dr Gilmore said.

“GaN based MMICs intrinsically offer more linear power across a wider operating bandwidth with a greater efficiency, compared with previous GaAs technology.”

EM Solutions is also an alumni member of Queensland Leaders and Dr Gilmore is a former chief executive of the Australian Institute for Commercialisation.

www.emsolutions.com.au

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ONE of the great dilemmas for business leaders is figuring out what level of support is needed to keep your information technology (IT) systems secure and up to speed.

This is an area of business that is often handed over to IT ‘experts’ because it is an area that is beyond most companies’ levels of experience. IT management is often ‘entrusted’ to people that are ‘trusted’ to do what they say they can do. 

However it is very difficult for business owners and leaders to ascertain whether they are actually receiving the services promised by an IT company, according to SuretyIT technology director Geoff Stewart, who has seen some disturbing examples in recent years.

“We have recently taken over support for a business that has been having some trouble around their IT systems and support,” Mr Stewart said. “Their current servers are hosted with a third party provider and they pay a considerable amount to this company each month. 

“One of the services they pay for is ‘Hot Disaster Recovery’ which is supposed to allow for recovery from anything from a catastrophic failure in their whole server infrastructure down to a single server failure.  They are a 24/7 business and have huge reliance on their IT systems and their continued reliability. 

“It appears though that they were paying for a service that they weren’t actually receiving,” he said. 

Mr Stewart discovered that in April his client company had a significant failure on its Exchange (email) server “which could not be recovered from”.

The third party company was called and asked to invoke the disaster recovery or image recovery for that server.

“To which the reply came, ‘We don’t provide that service for you’.  When we told the business what the third party hosting provider had said, they were astonished as clearly stated on their contract was Hot Disaster Recovery and ‘image backup’,” Mr Stewart said.

“I think the scariest aspect of this issue was that our customer had signed the contract 18 months previously, had put their trust in this provider to deliver the service they had signed up for and yet the fact was they were not receiving some of the absolutely critical services they had signed up for. 

“Needless to say the customer has asked us to look for an alternative hosting provider who they can trust and who they know will deliver the service they are paying for.

“What this made me question, was how many other businesses are putting their complete trust in their IT provider, assuming they are getting the service they are paying for but are actually not?”

Mr Stewart advised business leaders to always ask IT service providers the tough questions, “to get them to prove to you that you are getting the service you are paying for”. 

Mr Stewart said SuretyIT had developed a standard set of practices to help businesses guard against such problems:

Make sure you are provided with a meaningful monthly report that details the health of your systems.

If your IT service provider is responsible for checking your backups, make sure they perform test restores as well and get you involved in the process.

If they provide you with a disaster recovery service make sure that there is a test performed at least on an annual basis, you are involved in it and are asked to sign off on it.

If you have had a significant systems issue, make sure that your IT service provider provides you with a post mortem report that details what happened, how it was fixed and what is being put in place to prevent it from happening again.

If your IT provider is not performing, not providing you with the information or services you need or blinding you with technical jargon – change to another one.  It may be daunting, but there are plenty of good ones out there that can make a real difference to the success of your business and make the transition straight forward. 

SuretyIT is an Industry Expert member of the Queensland Leaders, Victorian Leaders and NSW Leaders organisations that are mentoring and developing the next generation of leading Australian companies.  SuretyIT offers what it calls a Technology Performance Health-check to help provide management with an overview of what they are paying for and what they are getting for their IT spend.

www.suretyIT.com.au

www.vicleaders.com.au

 

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THE CeBIT.AU Business Awards have announced 20 global and Australian companies as finalists, showcasing amazing diversity in solving problems and enhancing businesses through technology.

Finalist companies range from digital solutions to empower the elderly to remain social and independent, to technology to help companies that tap into the power of the cloud without resorting to costly expert help, to an online resource offering energy saving reports for multi-tenant residential buildings. 

One company already making waves globally is finalist in the Top Business Solution, WalkMe, a cloud-based platform that guides users through a website or software step by step, accelerating onboarding and speeding up processes. The technology, originally developed in Tel Aviv but now based in Silicon Valley in the US, has been proven to reduce costs of support via call centres, improving customer service outcomes and overall user-performance.

Wattblock, a finalist in the category of Community Support, offers online energy saving reports for multi-tenant residential buildings reducing the need to hire expensive energy auditors. The technology has been designed to mobilise 300,000 residential buildings in Australia to reduce energy waste and carbon emissions.

Its creators, Brent Clarke and Ross McIntyre, propose that if all multi-tenant buildings proactively improved their energy efficiency, Wattblock could effectively ‘crowdsource’ the achievement of the national carbon emission reduction target.

CeBIT Australia owner Hannover Fairs Australia managing director, Harvey Stockbridge, said these finalists are not just pioneers in their sectors, but true innovators whose ideas were making waves in Australia and on a global scale.

“There’s certainly stiff competition in these awards; our finalists obviously started with bright ideas, but have since transformed them into major business operations and some are already servicing multi-national clients like BHP Billiton, eBay and Xerox, whilst others are providing vital solutions to support local services like the NSW Police,” Mr Stockbridge said.

“We are honoured to recognise this calibre of technology entrepreneurs at our event, all who are leading the way for our industry.”

The CeBIT.AU Business Awards are a highlight of Asia-Pacific’s largest business technology event, CeBIT Australia, being staged on May 5-7 at Sydney Olympic Park. The 20 finalists will go head-to-head to win their chosen category at the CeBIT Gala Dinner and Awards Night on May 6.

Winners of each of the four categories – Top Business Solution, Community Support, Service Distinction and Innovation – all qualify for the major award, the CeBIT Excellence Award, which will be announced on the evening.

AirWatch by VMware was awarded the 2014 CeBIT Excellence Award.

CeBIT Australia is supported by the NSW Government and the City of Sydney.

 

CeBIT.AU Business Awards Finalists:

 

Top Business Solution

Pronto Sofware

Rapid Global

Solisma Service Improvement Manager

WalkMe Inc.

 

Service Distinction

iBoss

Icom Australia

Rackspace

 

Innovation

Giesecke & Devrient Australasia

Infiniti Technology – TouchOne Keyboard

Loc8.com

Maestrano

Me3D

NICTA, Dept of Communications, Geoscience Aust

OrionVM

 

Community Support

COVIU – RFWS – CER

Gridstone

inTouch Living

Me3D

Safe Mate Australia

Wattblock

 

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WOOLWORTHS Australia is using the TradeStone platform to build a leading product development community, linking all its retail divisions and more than 6000 suppliers.

Initial advantages come from replacing multiple legacy systems and spreadsheets with a central source that assists product quality and compliance. But it is the connected nature of the network that is expected to deliver real economies and drive innovation.

TradeStone’s Merchandise Lifecycle Management (MLM) platform encompasses product design, product lifecycle management (PLM), sourcing, supplier management, order management, finance, logistics, and B2B sales management.

Woolworths has more than 3,200 stores across Australia and New Zealand spanning food, liquor, petrol, fashion, general merchandise, and home improvement, is rolling out US-developed TradeStone as its PLM system to facilitate, manage and standardize its end-to-end new product development process.

Ultimately, the system will have more than 20,000 users creating a world-class community on a single collaborative platform. Woolworths’ PLM system supports supplier management, factory compliance, product quality, local as well as international sourcing and costing.

“We are working collaboratively across all divisions within Woolworths to get to a single product development system,” Woolworths group commercial director, Carl Hargrave said.

“We are excited about the efficiencies, ease-of-use and consistency that the TradeStone platform, with its integrated partner technology, will bring to Woolworths.”

TradeStone president Brian Marsden said, “Increasingly, retailers must manage complex global supplier communities whilst simultaneously expanding product offerings and brand banners to achieve customer growth.

“Woolworths has taken a world-class approach by enabling a single platform across all divisions and product categories and they are a leader when it comes to managing local and international sourcing.”

www.woolworths.com.au

www.tradestonesoftware.com

 

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WHEN IGA Supermarkets trialled the InMobi mobile audience targeting platform in conjunction with its media agency, Starcom Australia, it gained a three-fold improvement in engagement rates.

InMobi recently launched its Audience Platform into the Australian market to provide advertisers with a more intelligent way to target audiences on mobile devices. The platform compiles the behaviour of 12 million devices in Australia on the InMobi network, with data insights used to deliver more relevant ads to consumers.

“With a click not necessarily meaning a sale, it’s even more crucial in today’s cluttered space to refine and optimise audience targeting activities,” said Starcom Australia digital manager, Kalliopi Papoutsakis.

“The new InMobi Audience Platform has enabled us to stretch our budget further, optimise more efficiently and gain deeper insights into IGA’s target audience in Australia, whilst at the same time minimising wastage.

“What’s more, we can proactively use the results to apply to future campaigns, which is a great benefit to both IGA and our business.”

The InMobi Audience Platform aims to offer a comprehensive mobile solution for Australian advertisers that incorporates its own proprietary software development kit (SDK), creative production tools, ad server and now an advanced audience management platform – all integrated on a single platform. It also provides a range of mobile solutions including: tracked app distribution, m-commerce, lead generation, search initiation, audience data and display ads, as well as video and activations.

“The rapid adoption of smartphones has had a dramatic impact on the media consumption behaviour of Australians, which has changed the way we connect with others, entertain ourselves and run our lives,” said Brendan Watmore, head of strategy for InMobi in Australia and New Zealand.

“The shift to mobile has also created a rich source of data about consumer behaviour, but until now there hasn’t been a way of capturing this data at scale. For the first time, the InMobi Audience Platform recognises and compiles the mobile behaviour of a specific advertiser’s audience, giving advertisers so much power to reach the right audience, with the right message and in the right context.”

The InMobi Audience Platform is an advanced audience management platform built on data segmented from more than 872 million uniques spanning over 200 countries on the InMobi network.

The broad range of data captured by InMobi’s proprietary SDK, which is directly integrated into more than 30,000 different applications, is analysed and used to improve the outcomes of future campaigns.

The InMobi Audience Platform offers insights into the unique devices that have interacted with an advertiser’s message in any campaign, as well as other wider behaviour of those devices on the network – apps they use, time of day they use the network and geo-location signals.

As IGA Australia discovered in the trials, this has demonstrated the potential to help advertisers achieve two-to-three times greater return on investment (ROI) based on improved campaign engagement rates.

“Contextual audience targeting is a far more effective and accurate way of running mobile campaigns, which in turn provides advertisers with better value and greater ROI,” Mr Watmore said. “For this reason, the InMobi Audience Platform will be offered as a standard targeting solution to Australian advertisers at no additional cost.”

“The InMobi Audience Platform is a fantastic innovation for the Australian market, which is delivering impressive results right now,” said Jon White, regional director and general manager for InMobi in Australia and New Zealand. 

“The platform will enable us to start working more closely with our partners via data sharing, which stands to open up genuinely new opportunities for Australian marketers.”

www.inmobi.com

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