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Tech Headlines for April 2013

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Technology headlines for April 2013 include: Asia Mobile Learning Market Soared to $2.6 Billion in 2012; Infor Announces Agreement to Acquire CERTPOINT Systems; and Adobe Study: Is Paper Now on the Endangered Species List?;  IT Growth Outlooks and Trends in 2013; New Survey Examines Why App Deployments Fail.

Asia Mobile Learning Market Soared to $2.6 Billion in 2012 

The mobile learning market in Asia is in a boom phase. Mobile learning revenues in Asia will reach a staggering $6.8 billion by 2017, according to a new Ambient Insight report called, "The Asia Market for Mobile Learning Products and Services: 2012-2017 Forecast and Analysis." Asia now accounts for 49 percent of all mobile learning revenues in the world. 

In the 2012 market, Japan, South Korea, and China were the top buyers, respectively. By 2017, China will be the top buyer followed by India and Indonesia. The market conditions are extraordinarily positive, particularly in the developing economies. 

Malaysia has the highest five-year growth rate in the region at a breathtaking 57.5 percent, followed by Thailand and Vietnam with equally impressive growth rates at 56.0 percent and 49.9 percent, respectively. 

"Mobile learning has spread like wildfire across Asia due in large part to a new product type we identified in 2009 called mobile learning value added services (VAS)," reports Sam S. Adkins, chief research officer. "The Mobile Learning VAS offerings in Asia have low subscription prices, yet collectively, they already have over 200 million subscribers. The revenues are huge and will more than quadruple in Asia by 2017." 

There are two sections in this report: a demand-side analysis and a supply-side analysis. Additionally, there is an index of suppliers competing in the region. 

The demand-side section includes five-year forecasts for the following twenty countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China (including Hong Kong and Macao), India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

"By 2017, 10 countries in Asia will be spending more on mobile learning than on e-learning," comments Ambient Insight CEO Tyson Greer. "We call this the leapfrog effect. Buyers in Asia are not substituting mobile learning for e-learning, they are leapfrogging e-learning altogether. We see this happening in Africa as well." 

The supply-side section provides revenue forecasts for five types of mobile learning products and services including: packaged content, value added services, custom content development services, authoring tools and platforms, and personal learning devices. 

As of February 2013, Asia had 99 mobile learning VAS products, more than any other region and 45 percent of all mobile learning VAS products on the global market. Africa and Latin America have the next highest concentrations.  

"While virtually all of the mobile learning VAS products on the market in Asia are offered by the device makers and telecoms, the content comes from third-party suppliers," adds Adkins. "This is now a lucrative distribution channel for digital education content publishers." 

Over 140 mobile learning suppliers in specific countries in Asia are cited in this report. This will help international suppliers identify local partners, distributors, resellers, and potential merger and acquisition (M&A) targets. 

A free abstract of the report is available at http://www.ambientinsight.com/Reports/MobileLearning.aspx

Infor Announces Agreement to Acquire CERTPOINT Systems

Infor, a leading provider of business application software serving more than 70,000 customers, recently announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire CERTPOINT Systems Inc. Based in Roslyn Heights, New York, Certpoint is widely regarded as an innovative provider of SaaS-based learning management software (LMS) and learning content management software (LCMS). CERTPOINT’s customers include global brands and leading organizations such as Honda, Stanley Black & Decker, Lutheran Medical Center, Meritas Health, and Toyota. 

The acquisition of CERTPOINT will further strengthen the Infor HCM suite, providing innovative, complementary LMS capabilities that help companies educate and train employees, distributors, partners, and customers.

“Infor and CERTPOINT share a common culture – a focus on innovation and business impact,” said Ara Ohanian, CEO and Chief Happiness Officer, CERTPOINT. “Our aim is to offer clients all the advantages of our combined strengths, building further on our ability to transform knowledge into tangible business results.” 

CERTPOINT’s learning technologies will boost Infor’s ability to offer a more complete HCM suite to organizations and the extended worldwide enterprise in target industries, including healthcare, automotive, finance, food & beverage, hospitality, manufacturing, and public sector. And learning is expected to become a key capability for Infor’s customers in the healthcare industry as the industry transforms itself. 

"The acquisition of CERTPOINT will enable Infor to offer customers an end-to-end HCM solution, delivered to help maximize access and business insight and achieve breakthrough performance,” said Tarik Taman, GM, HCM, Infor. “In addition to complementary functionality, the acquisition of CERTPOINT sends the signal that Infor intends to be atop the leaderboard of SaaS Enterprise Human Capital Management solution providers.” 

Adobe Study: Is Paper Now on the Endangered Species List?


New research unveiled by Adobe Systems reveals important insights from U.S. managers around digital business processes and paper. According to the study, “Paper: An Endangered Species?” the majority of the managers surveyed had overwhelmingly negative attitudes toward traditional paper-based processes and cite productivity, security, attracting talent and going green as the benefits of a completely digital workflow. The research is based on interviews with 1,051 U.S. managers in small, medium and large businesses.  

“Printers, scanners, and fax machines are killing business productivity,” said Jon Perera, vice president, EchoSign, Adobe. “Successful organizations are quickly moving towards paperless-based approaches for their critical business processes. This is about driving revenue, cutting costs, improving security, and reducing environmental impact.”

Paper processes hinder productivity and increase costs. The study revealed that paper can be a hindrance to productivity as more than one-half of managers believe that digital approaches simplify work, are easy to use and allow them to be more efficient. Further, companies slow to adopt fully digital practices are at a disadvantage when it comes to growing their businesses and ultimately attracting new customers:

  • 51 percent of respondents said that a digital workflow makes filing and managing documents easier
  • 61 percent of managers said working digitally saves on costs
  • 32 percent said a digital workflow is more efficient, giving them an edge with client work and ultimately helps win new business.

Paper is negatively impacting security and trust. Paper impacts the trust that businesses have with partners, vendors and customers. The research showed that this was especially true when it comes to the sanctity of contracts, the heart of business agreements and commercial transactions:

  • More than two-thirds believe that paper-based contracts are prone to defacing
  • 60 percent of managers believe that password-protected electronic documents are more secure than paper documents locked in a safe
  • 56 percent cited the fear of losing a paper document as the top “con” of using paper.

Digital is key to attracting talent and going green. The study also pointed out a growing attitude that it’s more prestigious to work for a company that is committed to go digital:

  • 76 percent of respondents said they are impressed by companies that have a strong digital presence
  • 71 percent said they wish their company was more digital
  • 68 percent said that it is important for a company to operate mostly electronically versus on paper when they are deciding where to work.

For more information on the research results visit the study: Paper: An Endangered Species? and Paper: An Endangered Species? Infographic

IT Growth Outlooks and Trends in 2013

The biggest disrupters for tech today—cloud computing, mobility, social media and big data--will continue to, well, disrupt in 2013. That’s why CIOs must stay on top of the latest trends if they are going to help their companies stay competitive. It's a tall order, given that by the time you read this sentence there may well be two or three new IT developments that could make or break your odds of success. But, as one trend reveals, the C-suite is recognizing more than ever the important contributions that CIOs and their tech teams make to the bottom line. In turn, that means executive leadership will continue to turn to CIOs for sage guidance on these topics.

They're all part of a recent, comprehensive CompTIA report, IT Industry Outlook 2013. Each year, CompTIA releases a consensus industry forecast, based on input from IT industry executives. This wisdom of the crowds approach balances the opinions of the overly optimistic with the overly pessimistic, yielding a best fit forecast.  Expect the year ahead to see further evolution and progression on many fronts, including in the following key ways: 

Macro trends to watch:

  • progress along innovation learning curve pays dividends
  • expectations reset: the push for faster, larger, easier and safer
  • open and transparent further displaces closed and hidden
  • the distributed economy deepens

Technology trends to watch:

  • technology continues its transition from supporting tool to strategic driver
  • mobility becomes a way of life…for employees and customers
  • companies begin taking cloud computing for granted
  • the big data phenomenon will force companies to review data practices
  • communications and collaboration get a boost from the cloud

Channel trends to watch:

  • managed services: upping the game
  • navigating the new channel ecosystem
  • specialization: tackling growth markets
  • convergence creates strange bedfellows

To help fine-tune your radar, CIO Insight offers a breakdown of these into a top 10 trends for 2013.
New Survey Examines Why App Deployments Fail 

The Wired article, “Why 30% of App Deployments Fail,” examines a recent survey conducted by XebiaLabs looking at application deployment trends. The overarching results reveal organizations regard their current application release processes as deficient and are actively seeking to automate “the last mile” of their release process as they look to automate their enterprise application release management to a greater degree. 

XebiaLabs, the leading provider of application release automation for the continuous delivery of enterprise software,  conducted the survey over a four-month period to assess application release automation trends among a key global group of DevOps professionals and C-level executives representing financial services, insurance, healthcare and technology companies with more than 1,000 employees.

The survey also indicates organizations are actively looking to implement solutions that help them move away from expensive, error-prone “big bang” releases and towards a continuous delivery approach.

Key application release automation trends:

  • 75 percent of respondents give their deployment process a failing grade.
  • Deployments fail 10-30 percent of the time.
  • 57 percent of respondents feel there is room for improvement in their release process.
  • 48 percent say inconsistency across their environment and applications is their biggest challenge in the deployment process, followed by dependency on expert resources (40 percent) and processes that move too slowly (38 percent).
  • 29 percent list increased efficiency as the top benefit of deployment automation followed by release acceleration (23 percent) and error elimination (19 percent).

To view the complete Application Release Automation Trends survey results, visit Http://go.xebialabs.com/Survey2013.html

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About the Author

Ryann K. Ellis is an editor for the Association of Talent Development (ATD). She has been covering workplace learning and performance for ATD (formerly the American Society for Training & Development) since 1995. She currently manages ATD's Community of Practice blogs, as well as ATD's government-focused magazine, The Public Manager. Contact her at rellis@td.org. 

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