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Mobile Payments Already Huge in Some Markets

Jason KohnBy Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

In fact, mobile payment systems are already enormously popular in some parts of the world, but you might be surprised at where. Leading the mobile payment revolution: Kenya.

I wrote last year about the M-Pesa mobile banking and payment system, launched by network operator Safaricom in Kenya and Vodacom in Tanzania. According to Lindsey Gilpin of TechRepublic, M-Pesa now serves 17 million Kenyans, and 25 percent of the country’s gross national product flows through the system. Worldwide, Gartner estimated mobile payments to surpass $235 billion in transaction value and 245 million users last year, led by emerging markets in Africa and India.

So mobile payments are maturing fast, just not in the North America. According to a 2013 report from the U.S. Federal Reserve, just 12 percent of U.S. consumers surveyed had made a mobile payment during the previous year. Sara Angles wrote about this surprising technology lag in BusinessNewsDaily last October. Citing a global study by SAP, she noted that “the United States reported the lowest consumer demand for mobile commerce, with just 53 percent of those surveyed expressing a desire to make a purchase via mobile.”

Just 15 percent of North American consumers said they were ready to buy more with mobile devices, compared to more than 80 percent in Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Africa.

So what’s the story? Why is the United States lagging so far behind? Read More »

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Winning Stories Bring Networking to Life: VNI Service Awards

Last week we notified the five winners of our inaugural VNI Service Awards competition.  When we launched this program on March 26, 2013 our goal was to inspire others about the human aspect of what it means to be connected. We wanted to learn how various communication technologies were being used. How does having access to the Internet and mobile services impact the daily lives of people and their community? This is how we want to measure the value of being connected, and having access to reliable communication channels.

VNI Service Awards

The final scores were based on a combination of the judge’s scores, and a ranking assigned to the number of comments per story. It was difficult selecting the top five stories as there were many tied scores. We had to go to two decimal points to get the final list. The point spread between the five winners was only 0.75 out of a max of 5.00 points. Read More »

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[Cross-Post] New Analysis: Comprehensive BYOD Implementation Increases Productivity, Decreases Costs

The growth of connected devices is impacting enterprises worldwide. The key to unlocking value, however, is shifting from the number of connected devices to the value of the connections themselves. We define a connection as the intersection of People, Process, Data, and Things—coming together to form the Internet of Everything (IoE). The IoE opportunity represents 21 percent of corporate profits, or $14.4 trillion dollars over the next 10 years, worldwide. Capturing the potential value of IoE depends on an inclusive business environment that facilitates innovation and productivity. Fostering a work-your-way environment by empowering employees to bring their own devices is a critical part of the solution.

There’s no doubt that “bring your own device” (BYOD) is a fast growing global phenomenon, drivien by employee demands to use the devices, applications, and cloud services they prefer. BYOD promises tantalizing benefits such as better work-life balance, greater innovation, and improved productivity. Yet some fear that security risks and the complexity of managing so many different personal devices might outweigh the benefits.

New research and analysis released today from the Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group puts those concerns to rest—showing that not only do companies experience significant value by embracing BYOD today, there is potential for much added benefit.

It’s all about implementation. Read more at the Platform blog: http://blogs.cisco.com/news/new-analysis-comprehensive-byod-implementation-increases-productivity-decreases-costs/

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New Analysis: Comprehensive BYOD Implementation Increases Productivity, Decreases Costs

The growth of connected devices is impacting enterprises worldwide. The key to unlocking value, however, is shifting from the number of connected devices to the value of the connections themselves.  We define a connection as the intersection of People, Process, Data, and Things—coming together to form the Internet of Everything (IoE). The IoE opportunity represents 21 percent of corporate profits, or $14.4 trillion dollars over the next 10 years, worldwide. Capturing the potential value of IoE depends on an inclusive business environment that facilitates innovation and productivity. Fostering a work-your-way environment by empowering employees to bring their own devices is a critical part of the solution.

 

Read More »

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Rural Businesses Join the Global Economy. One Basket at a Time

By Shirley Bloomfield, Guest Columnist

I wish I could say this is my story, but it’s not. It’s the story of some hard working women looking for a way to be connected in the global economy. And it’s the story of my daughter, Kelsey Patterson, who is dedicating her talent and skills to help these women. My heart glows with pride when I share the work that she is doing in Mozambique.

Kelsey, a global development and international affairs major, is in her third year at the University of Virginia. She received a grant this year to develop a marketing plan to assist women crafters in Mozambique who are selling their homemade crafts by the roadside.

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