Shocking Revelations from European Consumers

In a recent survey conducted by Ricoh Triple R research company to European customers, it revealed that European customers preferred to do business with companies that maintained a customer relationship. This list was topped by PayPal, followed by Yamaha Motor, Amazon.com and Apple Inc. Other organizations that made into the list chronologically included Samsung Electronics, Adidas, eBay, Microsoft as well as Google, Sony and Walt Disney. The last half of the 20 company list consisted of BMW, H&M, Marks and Spencer, Nokia, Carrefour, Philips as well as Pandora and Siemens. The last company on this list was Facebook.

 

This research revealed that European customers preferred brands that they felt as efficient, personal as well as responsive. In an interview with several customers, Triple R revealed that the customers preferred companies who customer service was taken care of by normal people other than machines and robots. The research was conducted on 3600 people from across Europe and targeted businesses from all industries without considering whether the businesses had incorporated digital solutions to their services. The Triple R is a model used by Ricoh Europe to determine how customers feel about the brand quality relationship. This took care of the commodity before it reached the consumer, during the response time and finally during retaining or purchase time.

 

The same research revealed that many European customers preferred companies that made them feel valued and part of something big. This brought about the necessity of good communication between businesses and their customers. The same brand showed that large percent of businesses care about the customer before they purchase a product, this number being 57 percent. After the purchase, only a small percent of companies care about the customers. The survey also revealed that European consumers wanted companies to adopt a new trend to care about the customers prior and after the purchase.

 

 

British Pound Drops While FTSE Makes New Highs

The pound sterling just dropped under $1.29 as Conservatives are losing their lead over Labour in election polls. The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has called snap elections to get a new mandate before tough Brexit negotiations begin.

 

Since last June’s Brexit vote, the British currency has lost a lot of value due to economic and political uncertainty. Long gone are the days of high-flying pound. Ten years ago the British currency was worth almost $2.

 

According to the latest poll, MarketWatch reports, the Tories are only leading by 5 percentage points. The elections will take place on June 8th.

 

This political uncertainty has led to decline in currency, but the British stock market is doing quite well. The FTSE 100 Index has just made an all-time high, and now stands over 7,500. What is helping is the weaker pound. Since most of the companies on the FTSE 100 Index are multinationals, weaker currency is helping their exports and profits coming from foreign currencies.

 

Pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline and Hikma Pharmaceuticals picked up gains, and so did a consumer products giant, Univeler PLC.

 

Not all FTSE 100 companies are winning. About 14 percent of the index’s weighting comes from energy stocks. With low petroleum price, oil stocks got hammered.

 

However, down the line a bad Brexit would mean that the United Kingdom would lose access to the single European market and end up under WTO tariffs. Also, the City of London could get hammered. Many financial institutions there are already preparing to set up their operations in continental Europe.

 

 

 

Unity Technologies Finally Accepts Funding

Unity Technologies, the company behind the software which has been used to create a huge number of mobile games, including the great Pokémon Go, has accepted funding. On Wednesday, the company announced it had raised one hundred and eighty-one million US dollars of funds from investors such as Thrive Capital, West Summit Capital, and DFJ Growth as well as from a leading technology entrepreneur Max Levchin.

 

The company, based in Francisco is valued to be approximately or slightly over one point five billion US dollars, particularly after the funding.

 

Unity Technologies expertise in game engine

 

Unity Technologies is famous for its game engine, the code behind the captivating graphics and sounds in a game which handles all the basic operations. All game developers are aware of the huge role game engines play in the development process.

 

According to Unity Technologies, its engine is used by an estimated percentage of more than thirty-one percent of the top one thousand earning mobile games. The company also has it, that its software is applied in slightly about ninety percent of the content created by Samsung’s virtual reality platform, Gear VR as well as Facebook’s Oculus which uses mobile phones as its screen.

 

Unity’s augmented reality

 

Another prospective area of the success of Unity Technologies might be augmented reality, which attracted the interest of the public especially with the release of Pokémon Go.

 

John Riccitiello, the Chief Executive Officer of Unity Technologies, said in a recent phone interview carried out by The New York Times that the company does not have immediate need of money. The statement came despite Unity Technologies refusing to comment on its valuation.

 

Competitors of Unity Technologies

 

Like any other business, Unity Technologies faces stiff competition from other leading game engine maker. These leading companies include Tencent Holdings based in China and Amazon whose engines, such as Epic Games and Lumberyard respectively are typical for many game developers.

 

About Pokémon Go

 

Pokémon Go is a smartphone game available freely to the users. Since its release recently, Pokémon Go has attracted a lot of people from all walks of life. The game involves players doing their best to capture monsters from Pokémon. It makes use of some smartphone technologies such as a camera and location tracking.

 

 

What do we expect after Britain Invokes Article 50?

Did you know that the British referendum was not legally binding? For the British people to leave the European Union, they must invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty that came to be in the year 2009. The Brexit is likely to affect European business in many ways especially now that Theresa May, the British Prime Minister has been authorized by the British Parliament to initiate the exit process. This means that if the European Union and Britain reach an agreement, all the treaties between these two bodies will cease to exist. Uncertainty is likely to increase if the European Union and Britain do not reach an agreement. Two years of negotiations will be added to undo all the treaties dating back to the formation of the European Union.

The British people have leverage in this deal allowing them to negotiate from a position of strength. This is from the fact that UK imports products from the European Union. However, experts say that if UK negotiators put a lot of emphasis on this notion, this argument will end up being counterproductive. There are concerns that if UK can gain better terms that when it was a member state, this is likely to encourage other member states to leave the European Union.

The European Union is also expected to accept some terms that portray is as weak just for economic gains. Experts also say that the stable nations in Europe economically are those nations that do trade with the United Kingdom. The major issues concerning Brexit are trade and immigration. Movement across Europe will become restricted for many Britons. Conducting business across Europe will also be complicated unlike before as they will be expected to produce more papers. It’s the desire of the British people to keep their relationship with the European Union as it is today. However, this is very unlikely, and a lot of changes are expected.

Snapchat Planning On Acquiring Vurb For $100 Million

Major social media companies are continuing to buy hot new startups to add new features to their brands, and the latest such buyout has been a the mobile social media giant Snapchat’s acquisition of Vurb. According to Business Insider, the deal is set to be a $200 million purchase of Vurb through stocks and cash, with about 25% as stock funds and 25% purchase funds. Perhaps one striking aspect of this deal is that Snapchat plans on keeping most of Vurb’s current employees, including their CEO Bobby Lo who is said to be getting a $75 million contract to stay aboard. It’s unclear exactly what made Snapchat decide to purchase Vurb, as they have not given any interviews on the matter, but it’s been speculated that they are interested in what Bobby Lo’s team can bring to their company, perhaps even more so than simply adding Vurb’s platform to theirs.

 

Vurb is a search platform that is geared towards online shoppers or DIY people who want community reviews handy or other guides on finding what they’re looking for. Vurb has integrated various review sites like Yelp and Fandango on its interface, and also has an instant messaging program built in so users can contact their friends. The company was launched in 2011 and funded chiefly by Redpoint Ventures, with some additional funding from Atlas Ventures and CrunchFund.

 

According to MW Partners, Snapchat is currently the third most popular social media app, behind only of course Facebook and their chief competitor Instagram, but could this acquisition of Vurb expand its social media borders? With how established Facebook and Instagram are, Snapchat still has a lot of work ahead of it to catch them. But Snapchat has surpassed Twitter already and seems to be indicating they will be around for quite a while.

The Exceptional Services that Cotemar offers

Cotemar is a company that is based in Campeche, Mexico and has specialized in providing a variety of services for the country’s energy sector. Its expertise is in maritime services, handling oil, specialized shipping, as well as construction and maintenance of offshore facilities. Companies that have hired it to offer sea transport services include Petroleos Mexicanos.

 

The firm has currently employed highly skilled professionals in various fields to work on its vessels. It pays its staff well and has been striving to ensure that the environment that they work in is conducive. Cotemar operates by high standards and safety regulations. It has been devoted to ensuring that the employees are comfortable, and therefore, this has enabled it to be more productive. The employees of the firm receive the best treatment and privilages. They are offered accommodation, cleaning services, laundry, and delicious cuisine. The management of the company is also friendly and they engage freely with the junior employees.

 

The enterprise has been growing from the time it was established in 1979. The founders started it a business that was focused on lodging and catering services. It was however different from other companies since offered its services in the sea. Cotemar has currently grown the scope of service that it provides to its clients. Its success in the market has been attributed to its excellent values, mission, and vision.

 

Cotemar has a fleet of vessels that have been designed in a special way, and they are used in transporting both liquid and solid products. Some of the company’s boats can process oil. The vessels are mostly used to provide transportation to energy infrastructures that are located in the sea. The enterprise started acquiring more ships as from 1981. At that time, its focus was in offering transport services for people who needed to travel offshore. By 1985, Cotemar already owned a floating hotel that was fully equipped. It started venturing into specialized transport in the 1990s. It currently has over 40 vessels and a staff of more than 8000 professionals.

 

The company offers food and accommodation for people who board its vessels. Its lodging cabins can be used by 2-4 individuals. The boats also have various facilities that people can use to relax. They include basketball courts, common areas, TV rooms, and cinemas. The cuisine that is offered on the vessels is delicious, and its food court can accommodate more than 4000 people.

to see their opening job here

Europe Rubbing the Silicon Valley the Wrong Way

If the phrase ‘biting the hand that feeds you’ could be any more relevant, it definitely describes the situation between Europe and Silicon Valley tech companies. News companies in Europe may start charging search engines for their content snippets, and this has a future consequence.

The EU commission opts to empower European media companies with the right to charge for their republished content. It means they can bill companies like Google or Facebook whenever they republish news content from Europe on their feeds. According to the EU, this levels competition ensures that everyone is getting their fair share of the advertising limelight.

Here is an interesting twist: anyone familiar with how search engines and social sites work knows they are a vital source of viewer traffic. Republishing snippets, by Google or Yahoo, means more traffic to one’s website. The very media companies in Europe rely on features like Google News to gain readership and clicks. So to start charging for such a huge favor is blatantly biting the hand that feeds you.

Nonetheless, the EU commission feels justified about passing the new regulation as it safeguards the sustainability of media companies in Europe. With the advent of digital online platforms, brick and mortar media houses are facing publishing hurdles, and rely on both search engines and social media to pull most of their traffic. This is no regard for the EU, not when tech companies are controlling the advertising platform and leaving only morsels to their in-house media companies.

Though both parties feel confident with the argument they are bringing to the table, the outcome is certain for one side. Europe doesn’t have to look further than Spain if they need a glimpse of what is to come. Spain passed the same law a while back to remove the presence of tech companies in their companies. Immediately traffic to the publishing house dropped by 14% and things never went back to how they were before.

A smart decision that EU media companies should make is introducing robot.txt files to their content. This way, they will prevent search engines and social sites from republishing their content at the same time leaving this option open. There is no use in burning the entire bridge.

Examining Both Sides of Service Planned by Norwegian Airline

Entry by one of Europe’s largest discount airlines into the American market has generated some concern about its possible effects on the U.S. aviation industry. However, there are other indications that the new service may actually benefit those on both sides of the Atlantic.

Norwegian Air International, which is better known simply as Norwegian, received the approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation. This will allow it to provide service to selected American cities, including New York and Boston. The concern is related to the fact that the international division of Norwegian is based in Ireland, which has different rules than those existing in other countries with regard to the salaries of pilots and cabin attendants.

Although the rules in Ireland allow the firm to reduce its operating costs and, in turn, the fares of passengers, they could also undercut American-based companies, putting airline workers out of work and perhaps some U.S. carriers out of business. Some industry observers have compared this with a shipping company registering its vessels in a country that has lower taxes and fewer regulations. More about this controversy is available at www.reddit.com/r/business.

Norwegian has countered these concerns with some positive news, issuing a statement that it plans to increase its hiring of American pilots and cabin attendants, some of whom will be used in its new flights. Additionally, the carrier plans to purchase more than 30 Boeing 737 and 787 jetliners, which is good news for the American aerospace giant. A new model of the 737 that is extremely economical to operate should also make it possible for the carrier charge exceptionally low fares in its new transatlantic operations.

 

Amazon Drone Delivers First Package

Three years ago, Amazon announced their plan to use drones to transport packages with the intend of lowering delivery times and costs. Now it has become a reality. The first flying delivery arrived at a costumer. After ordering the items online, the parcel arrived at its destination in 13 minutes.

 

Due to England’s lenient laws regarding air traffic and drones, Amazon decided to test their new service, Prime Air, overseas. The test phase started on December 7th. For right now, only a few costumers, those who live in close proximity to the Amazon warehouse, are eligible to receive their order by drone. As soon as the order comes in, the parcel is packed and loaded onto the drone. Then, the GPS- guided drone takes flight and follows a set path to the costumer’s address. After the drone lands, it releases the order and flies back to the warehouse.

 

There are certain limits to Prime Air. The size and the weight of the package are one, but also the weather plays an important factor. Drones will not deliver in rain or snow, and, for safety reasons, they only fly in daylight.

Don’t expect to see the groundbreaking service in the U.S. soon. It might take Amazon USA a while to overcome some legal hurdles before it can even run tests. Stricter U.S. laws are in place which are not in favor of the drones.

2016 Sees Fewer Layoffs at European Banks

In 2016, the European banks have laid off fewer people than in previous years. It is actually related to layoff backlogs created during previous job cut announcements, Reuters reports. In the second half of 2015 alone, major European financial institutions announced job cuts totaling 130,000.

 

At present, it is hard to find areas where headcount can be reduced without affecting profitability. Some banks may even add to their payrolls although few expect big additions. And layoffs are still going on albeit in smaller proportions.

 

When it comes to the struggling Italian banks, one of the largest ones, Unicredit, just announced 14,000 cuts as it seeks funds to improve its balance sheet by dumping toxic debt. In addition these job cuts, UniCredit will offer shares to the public in a secondary offering.

 

Bad debts aren’t the only reason for low profits. Tougher regulations as well as low and negative interest rates have taken their impact. When it comes to banks in the STOXX Europe 600 Bank Index, in 2007 these banks employed nearly 2.5 million people. Now, Reuters estimates, the figure is over 5% below that count. This means, there are well over 120,000 fewer jobs at these banks than almost 10 years ago.

 

“Banks seem to be reasonably content and comfortable with their size right now,” claims Richard Hoar, director at Goodman Mason, a recruitment firm. The compliance and IT departments are the places where most bank jobs are created now.2016 Sees Fewer Layoffs at European Banks