Industry Insights

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Energy sector: The E.ON transition

18 December, 2014

In the latest sign of rapid change in the global energy sector, Germany’s biggest utility, E.ON, which has operations all over the world, announced that it is splitting into two separate companies. The new E.ON will focus on renewable energy, distribution and customer solutions such as smart metering. A separate company, being spun off in 2016, will focus E.ON’s conventional nuclear, coal and natural gas exploration and production operations.

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Apple, IBM rolling out new business apps

16 December, 2014

American tech giants Apple and IBM, headed by Chief Executives Tim Cook and Virginia Rometty respectively, formed a partnership earlier this year to create mobile business apps that are as smart and useful as consumer apps. The fruits of this partnership, being revealed this week, are expected to consist of an initial 10 industry-specific apps – part of a portfolio, called IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions, which could eventually include 100 or more.

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US prepares for transition to EMV cards

14 December, 2014

Embedding microchips into credit and debit cards, a standard known as EMV (for early backers Europay, MasterCard and Visa), has been required in Europe for about a decade, and has since cut many types of card fraud by over 65%. The American credit card industry has been slow to adopt EMV; but now, with a sweeping security upgrade imminent, US retailers and banks are preparing for wide release of the technology.

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IBM moving more European clients to the cloud

11 December, 2014

IBM is seeing an uptick in major cloud service contracts with clients in Europe. On December 2 the computing giant signed a $1.25-billion deal with UK-based advertising multinational WPP to run its operations in the cloud. Noting that big contract signings fell off during the euro crisis, Bart Van den Daele, IBM's general manager for strategic outsourcing in Europe, said that customers in the region are ready to start playing catch-up.

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Intel strengthening ties with China

9 December, 2014

Intel has announced plans to invest $1.6 billion in upgrades to its factory in Chengdu in western China, offering further evidence of the chipmaker’s aim to deepen its ties with the Chinese market. The upgrade will include bringing in its most advanced chip-testing technology. In return, Intel will receive government support for construction. Others in the US tech industry, notably Qualcomm and Microsoft, have not fared as well in the country.

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