Microsoft Said to Plan Sales Reorganisation Focused on Cloud

 

HIGHLIGHTS
Microsoft is planning to announce a reorganisation as early as next week
Job cuts are likely to result from the changes
There may be other smaller personnel changes in company’s other parts
Microsoft Corp. is planning a global sales reorganisation to better focus on selling cloud software, according to people familiar with the matter.

The restructuring is scheduled to be announced as soon as next week and will impact the Worldwide Commercial Business under Judson Althoff and Jean-Philippe Courtois’ global sales and marketing group, the people said.Microsoft Said to Plan Sales Reorganisation Focused on Cloud

Job cuts are likely to result from the changes, said the people, who asked not to be identified speaking about unannounced plans. The shifts will be some of the most significant in the sales force in years and will also impact local marketing efforts in various countries, said one of the people. There may be other smaller personnel changes in other parts of the company too, one of other people said. A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment.

The company’s sales force has been trained for years to sell software for use on desktops and servers. Now it’s more important to convince customers to sign up for cloud services hosted in Microsoft’s datacenters. The Redmond, Washington-based company wants to accelerate this switch to add more revenue and catch cloud market leader Amazon.com.
Friday is the end of Microsoft’s fiscal year, the first in which Althoff and Courtois have run the sales and marketing organisations, taking over from Kevin Turner who left in 2016.

The Puget Sound Business Journal reported earlier than the company planned a companywide reorganisation around the cloud.

 

Amazon, Flipkart Host Back to College Laptop Sales: Here Are the Top Offers

 

Amazon India and Flipkart are both hosting Back to College laptop sales on their respective sites. Both the e-commerce verticals are offering different deals, exchange offers, and No Cost EMI options on laptops from varied brands for students going back to college after the long summer vacation.

Amazon India has listed Intel-powered laptops from Lenovo, HP, Dell, and more with exchange offers and No Cost EMI options. The e-commerce site has also segregated laptops into curriculum sections like – Humanities and Commerce, Engineering, Medical Studies, MBA, Design and Architecture, and even Gaming.

With respect to price, the cheapest laptop listed in the sale is the Lenovo Ideapad 15.6-inch laptop available in Black, and priced at Rs. 18,990. Amazon is offering up to Rs. 10,000 off on exchange with an old laptop, and the option to get additional two-year warranty worth Rs. 4,990 for Rs. 1,499.Amazon, Flipkart Host Back to College Laptop Sales: Here Are the Top Offers

Flipkart, on the other hand, is hosting its Back to College Sale from Tuesday, July 18 to Thursday, July 20. The e-commerce site is offering the HP Imprint Core i3 6th Gen Windows 10 Home running laptop for Rs. 35,964. There’s an exchange offer of up to Rs. 7,000 listed, along with a No Cost EMI option that begins from as low as Rs. 999 per month from banks like ICICI and Citibank for a period of 36 months.

Flipkart has segregated its sections based on price, and budget laptops start from as low as Rs. 9,999. This includes Acer, iBall, and Lava laptops, some of which also offer No Cost EMI options. The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 laptop is also listed with a price cut, up to Rs. 15,000 off on exchange, and No Cost EMI options. Exchange offers on gaming laptops from HP, Dell, and Lenovo go up to Rs. 20,000. You can view all the Flipkart laptop deals here.

 

Cheap FFXIV: Stormblood as PC Game Summer Sales Begin

 

The PC Gaming Summer Sales have stormed in.

The lands of the east are now open, Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is officially released. Rather than fork over the full $40 price for the expansion, PC gamers can upgrade at GMG and catch a 17% discount to $33.29. Authorized Mog Station key deal (the non-Steam version) saving you about $7. Same percent discount available for the Collector’s Edition at GMG..Login or create an account to see their best VIP price.

Waiting on bated breath for the Steam Summer Sale? GamersGate has jumped the gun and launched their own 2017 PC Gaming Summer Sale this week. Discounts on hundreds of titles up to 92% off. The top notable deals include hot offers on Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2Far Cry 4, the entire Assassin’s Creed franchise, and Killing Floor 2.image

While GameStop hasn’t technically begun their 2017 Summer Sale, they do have a boat load of titles up to 80% off. Despite the generic name PC Gaming Sale, it is not a typical round of PC discounts at GameStop. We’re seeing the lowest price ever on Dark Souls III and its Deluxe Edition (which includes the Season Pass). Also notable are discounts on The Sims 4 plus its many expansion packs, Grand Theft Auto V for $29.99, and Tales of Berseria.

 

BlackBerry Seeks Sales Force to Match Software Focus

 

Software maker BlackBerry Ltd’s long-running recovery effort has been slowed by a dearth of salespeople to promote its revamped and more complex products, with CEO John Chen pledging to hire more sales specialists to help achieve its growth target.

While BlackBerry’s traditional customers were security executives in top global companies, its reboot from smartphone maker to seller of everything from automotive software to cyber-security consulting and asset tracking for the trucking industry has seemingly moved faster than its sales force can keep up.

BlackBerry’s revenue started declining in 2013 after Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc wrested control of the smartphone market from the Canadian company. Chen took over as chief executive to fashion a turnaround and has been adding new software businesses to boost revenue, which remains a fraction of what it was in its heyday.

Chen told analysts on Friday he planned to hire more salespeople for industrial software maker QNX, acquired in 2010, as well as for its Internet of Things business, which connects computing devices in everyday objects and includes the Radar asset tracking service for trucking.”Our issue is get it out there and get the deal done,” he said. “And so we really need to ramp up our distribution channels.”

A sales force boost will likely eat into profit, at least in the short-term, as the metrics of success BlackBerry wants to achieve typically depend on higher commissions to motivate sales staff.

“Salespeople are coin-operated,” said Berkeley Warburton, managing director of advanced customer strategy at Accenture. “If you want the right behaviours out of them you have to incentivise them in the right way.”

BlackBerry, which ended February with just over 4,000 employees compared with more than 4,500 a year earlier, declined to say how many of them were involved in sales. Five years ago the company had 16,500 employees, with 1,500 working in sales and marketing.

BlackBerry on Friday disappointed investors with an unexpected software sales decline, pushing its shares down as much as 13 percent after a sharp rally in recent months.BlackBerry Seeks Sales Force to Match Software Focus

BlackBerry’s quarterly revenue miss prompted caution about Chen’s efforts to revive growth.

“It’s really different, in terms of who makes decisions about those things, it’s no longer the IT (information technology) team. It’s now the product design team,” said Eric Johnson, the dean of Vanderbilt University’s Owen School of Management.

Coupled with that, many of the products and services it is now pitching are much more complicated than selling smartphones.

“The product doesn’t sell itself in the way that they used to. They have more complex products,” so BlackBerry’s salespeople need to shift focus and sell solutions instead, Accenture’s Warburton said.

For example, BlackBerry’s QNX unit must integrate its automotive software with that of many other vendors as well as the carmaker on a production timeline of years rather than months.

“It’s a highly consultative sales process,” Vanderbilt’s Johnson said. “They’re going to have to make significant investments in their sales force to make it work.”

BlackBerry reached a deal to work directly with Ford Motor Co last year, but Chen told reporters in a briefing on Friday that talks with other automakers were taking a long time to bear fruit.

“The reason is they are going to have to adopt most of our technology for it to make sense,” Chen said. “This is not a technology issue. … The contractual terms and requirements are the long goal.”

Chen also said he might buy companies to boost sales, with a focus on growth areas including cyber-security, machine learning and artificial intelligence, connected cars, and in asset tracking to compliment its Radar product.

 

BlackBerry seeks sales force to match software focus

 

TORONTO: Software maker BlackBerry Ltd’s long-running recovery effort has been slowed by a dearth of salespeople to promote its revamped and more complex products, with CEO John Chen pledging to hire more sales specialists to help achieve its growth target.

While BlackBerry’s traditional customers were security executives in top global companies, its reboot from smartphone maker to seller of everything from automotive software to cyber security consulting and asset tracking for the trucking industry has seemingly moved faster than its sales force can keep up.

BlackBerry’s revenue started declining in 2013 after Apple Inc and Alphabet Incwrested control of the smartphone market from the Canadian company. Chen took over as chief executive to fashion a turnaround and has been adding new software businesses to boost revenue, which remains a fraction of what it was in its heyday.

Chen told analysts on Friday he planned to hire more salespeople for industrial software maker QNX, acquired in 2010, as well as for its Internet of Things business, which connects computing devices in everyday objects and includes the Radar asset tracking service for trucking.”Our issue is get it out there and get the deal done,” he said. “And so we really need to ramp up our distribution channels.”BlackBerry seeks sales force to match software focus

A sales force boost will likely eat into profit, at least in the short-term, as the metrics of success BlackBerry wants to achieve typically depend on higher commissions to motivate sales staff.

“Salespeople are coin-operated,” said Berkeley Warburton, managing director of advanced customer strategy at Accenture. “If you want the right behaviours out of them you have to incentivise them in the right way.”

BlackBerry, which ended February with just over 4,000 employees compared with more than 4,500 a year earlier, declined to say how many of them were involved in sales. Five years ago the company had 16,500 employees, with 1,500 working in sales and marketing.

BlackBerry on Friday disappointed investors with an unexpected software sales decline, pushing its shares down as much as 13 percent after a sharp rally in recent months.

BlackBerry’s quarterly revenue miss prompted caution about Chen’s efforts to revive growth.

“It’s really different, in terms of who makes decisions about those things, it’s no longer the IT (information technology) team. It’s now the product design team,” said Eric Johnson, the dean of Vanderbilt University’s Owen School of Management.

Coupled with that, many of the products and services it is now pitching are much more complicated than selling smartphones.

“The product doesn’t sell itself in the way that they used to. They have more complex products,” so BlackBerry’s salespeople need to shift focus and sell solutions instead, Accenture’s Warburton said.

For example, BlackBerry’s QNX unit must integrate its automotive software with that of many other vendors as well as the carmaker on a production timeline of years rather than months.

“It’s a highly consultative sales process,” Vanderbilt’s Johnson said. “They’re going to have to make significant investments in their sales force to make it work.”

BlackBerry reached a deal to work directly with Ford Motor Co last year, but Chen told reporters in a briefing on Friday that talks with other automakers were taking a long time to bear fruit.

“The reason is they are going to have to adopt most of our technology for it to make sense,” Chen said. “This is not a technology issue. … The contractual terms and requirements are the long goal.”

Chen also said he might buy companies to boost sales, with a focus on growth areas including cyber security, machine learning and artificial intelligence, connected cars, and in asset tracking to compliment its Radar product.

 

Amazon Echo Sales For This Year’s Amazon Prime Day Already Three Times More Than Last Year

The Amazon Echo has proven to be a massive hit for Amazon Prime Day 2017, as the number of smart speakers sold this year worldwide is already three times the number sold in last year’s version of the annual shopping event.

Google tried to draw customers away from buying the Amazon Echo in this year’s Prime Day with a $99 Google Home bundle, but it appears that there is no way to stop the popularity of the Alexa-powered smart speaker.

Amazon Echo Sales Surge

It was largely expected that Amazon Echo sales for this year’s Prime Day will be higher, primarily because there are a few more models of the smart speaker that are available. However, the announcement that Amazon Echo sales are three times higher compared to last year was made halfway through Prime Day, which suggests that by the end of the event, that figure will be even higher.

Amazon Prime Day offered discounts to Amazon Prime subscribers on various products, and Amazon did not hold back for its Amazon Echo product line. For example, the original Amazon Echo, which has an original price of $179.99 and sold in last year’s Prime Day for $129.99, is being sold for only $89.99 this year. Customers who visit Amazon’s website will be greeted by large banners for the Amazon Echo, further drawing eyes toward the deals for the smart speakers.

According to insiders from the company, thousands of Amazon Echo devices are being sold per minute. The Amazon Echo Dot, originally priced at $49.99 and now sold for only $34.99, appears to be the first model that will be sold out.

“Prime Day has beat all of Amazon’s expectations,” the source said, adding that the company is “shocked” by the increase.

Heightened Interest In Smart Speakers

The surge in sales for Amazon Echo products can be attributed to the heightened interest from customers on smart speakers, as the product has slowly moved into the mainstream since the Amazon Echo started selling in late 2014.

The Google Home has since entered the market, with the Apple HomePod and Microsoft Invoke arriving as additional challengers soon. The digital assistants powering smart speakers have also steadily improved, with the devices taking up more headlines, for better or worse.

The increased sales for the Amazon Echo in this year’s Prime Day could also be attributed to a bigger window for the annual event, in addition to its expansion to 13 countries worldwide. Nevertheless, the surge in interest for smart speakers is evident in higher Amazon Echo sales, which is great news for one of the world’s largest retailers.

Samsung Galaxy S8 sales slowing down, analyst claims

According to a security researcher from Korea the Galaxy S8 and S8+ sales are starting to slow down. The duo has reportedly sold close to 10 million units in the first two months while the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge saw 12 million units sold in their first two months.

This report has a huge question mark attached to it as Samsung has boasted of overachieving sales of the Galaxy S8 series.

The slowing sales reportedly made Samsung ramp up Galaxy Note 8 production so that it can launch the anticipated phablet earlier, namely on September 10, after announcing it in August.

Yet, that’s hardly any evidence to back up the claims – the Galaxy Note5 and Galaxy Note7 were both announced in August and hit the shelves shortly after, so it’s more the norm than an exception for Samsung.

 

Nokia and BlackBerry Are Back? The Proof Will Be in the Sales

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Samsung kept away from MWC 2017
  • Without these big names, BlackBerry and Nokia got a lot of attention
  • Whether the attention translates into sales is the question

If you’ve been paying attention to the headlines from the world of tech lately, then you’ve probably come across the sentiment that Nokia and BlackBerry, the brands that helped create the mobile industry, are making a comeback after a triumphant showing at MWC 2017. The two companies had been long written off, and they’ve ended up having some of the most attention grabbing moments at one of the biggest stages in the world, so it sounds like a reasonable conclusion to reach. We love both brands and have many fond memories of both the best of BlackBerry, and of iconic Nokia phones, but don’t share the ‘comeback’ sentiments.

First, the fact of the matter is that MWC itself has been sidelined by the phone industry over the years. Samsung used to be the highlight of MWC for the last couple of years, and after the explosive disaster of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, it’s taking some time with the upcoming Galaxy S8. HTC is absent this year as well, having used this forum to announce a flagship phone not too long ago. As a result, neither BlackBerry nor Nokia had too much competition for attention at MWC this year.

However, the real metric that has to be applied to decide whether the brands are making a comeback will be how – and if – this enthusiasm translates into sales. And although we’re some time away from finding that out for a fact, our optimism is tempered by a lot of cynicism in this case.

Let’s talk BlackBerry first. The BlackBerry KEYone, the “last smartphone designed and engineered in-house by BlackBerry” has been priced at $549 (roughly Rs. 38,600) in the US, GBP 499 (roughly Rs. 41,400) in the UK, and EUR 599 (roughly Rs. 42,100) in Europe. That’s a lot better than the $699 price tag the BlackBerry Priv was launched at in November 2015, but you’re still looking at a premium phone with a lot of real estate that could have been a bigger display, being taken up by a keyboard instead.

blackberry keyone wide

Sure, there are going to be a few holdouts who still miss their old keyboard phones, but there’s a reason QWERTY phones lost out. We use our phones for much more than communication. And the moment you’re watching a movie, browsing the Web, or playing a game on your KEYone (which is also a terrible name, for the record), you’ll probably end despising that wasted space. Physical keyboards still feel great, it’s true, but software keyboards have gotten so advanced that there’s just no justification for still holding out. Just install Gboard and learn to talk in GIFs.

At the end of the day, the KEYone is a niche device that has gotten a lot of attention and interest because everybody loves a comeback story, but it’s still not going to be a revolution in the market – we know that right now.

And that brings us to Nokia.

Hoo boy. There is so much excitement around the new Nokia 3310. As we noted when we got our first hands-on look at the phone, if it had a different name, no one would care about it. There’s a crazy amount of interest around this phone, and that’s great, really. We loved it back when it was actually new, so naturally we’re excited about all the buzz it’s getting now.

But its EUR49 price (roughly Rs. 3,500) means that it’s around three to four times as expensive as most other modern feature phones. If you’re actually in the market for a feature phone, this isn’t the device you should be buying. Of course, nostalgia is a powerful thing, and if you want to spend that kind of money because you miss your teenage years, you should definitely get one. But it’s worth looking at which markets the phone is going to be sold in.

The phone will not work in the US or Canada because the phone only only supports old GSM bands. The original Nokia 3310 supported two bands – 900MHZ and 1800MHz – on the GSM network, something that was fine for 2G connections back then. However, with the advent of mobile Internet, these frequencies are not active in many parts of the world, including the US and Canada. Soon, it won’t work in Australia, or Singapore, and if this trend continues, expect European countries to follow suit.

The Nokia 3310 (2017) will be available in markets such as India, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Lots of developing markets with very price sensitive consumers. So, let’s face it, the 3310 (2017) was good for getting headlines, but it’s not exactly going to put a Nokia in pocket of the aam aadmi at least.

nokia 3 nokia 5 nokia 6 1488183076784 nokia

Of course, Nokia released three other phones at MWC. These are all smartphones with the requisite collection of features to make it in the market. Except, have you noticed that almost no one is talking about them?

HMD Global says that it’s not worried about launching Nokia phones with “just” 2GB of RAM, and adds that it’s devices are all about design and software updates, not just specifications. That’s brave talk, but we’ve already seen the likes of LG and HTC – who’ve expressed similar sentiments in the past – struggle against affordable, highly-specced out models that the Chinese players seem to churn out every week. And almost every comment we got on the Nokia Android phones on this site has mentioned the ‘paltry’ RAM, so it seems HMD Global might need to rethink its strategy – at least for India – very soon.

At the end of the day, both Nokia and BlackBerry got a fair bit of attention because nostalgia is a powerful thing, until it’s time to open your wallet. They got a little more attention than they would have any other year, because we didn’t get the Samsung Galaxy S8. And unless either brand can show bumper sales figures for their new phones, we’re not going to call it a comeback.

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iPhone 8 Design Leaked, Nokia 9 Specifications Revealed, Xiaomi India Mi Home Sales, and More: Your 360 Daily

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • iPhone 8, iPhone 7s Plus, iPhone 7s design leaked
  • Nokia 9 flagship phone’s specifications, design revealed
  • Xiaomi India rakes in Rs. 5 crores in 12 hours via Mi Home

The iPhone 8 rumour mill is in full swing, even though we are at least five months away from the launch. The latest leak suggests that Apple will launch three new iPhones, The latest leak suggests the iPhone 8 will sport a vertical dual camera unit, while the iPhone 7s Plus will continue to have the horizontal dual camera setup; on the other hand, the iPhone 7s will be stuck with the single-camera module, according to the leaked moulds. The expected price of the iPhone 8 is over $1,000 (roughly Rs. 65,000) and that could explain why Apple may try to change things around and sell three iPhones instead of one. Whether you believe these rumours or not, there’s no smoke without fire so it is likely that Apple may change things around this year.

Here’s what else made news in the world of technology.

Nokia 9 spotted in leaked images
Nokia is far from done with smartphones. The company already has Nokia 3310 in the market, and Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and Nokia 6 are expected to launch soon. Now the company may be planning to launch another smartphone called the Nokia 9. This new Nokia 9 leak shows live images of the smartphone, showing dual camera setup, USB Type-C port, 3.5mm earphone jack, and antenna lines. Other Nokia 9 specifications leaked in the images include a 5.3-inch display QHD display, Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM, and Android 7.1.1 out of the box; notably the leak does not rule out a 6GB RAM variant of the phone.

Xiaomi’s first store in India’s a hit
Xiaomi recently launched the Mi Home offline store in Bengaluru and it’s no surprise that the store is already a big hit. The company announced that the Mi Home store raked in Rs. 5 crores in revenue in the first 12 hours of opening. That’s great news for the largely online-only brand in India, and hopefully for people who want to buy its products – there will be more options now. The figure was largely attributed to sales of Redmi 4, Redmi 4A, and Redmi Note 4, along with Xiaomi audio accessories, Mi VR Play, Mi Router 3C, Mi Band 2, and Mi Air Purifier 2iPhone 8 Design Leaked, Nokia 9 Specifications Revealed, Xiaomi India Mi Home Sales, and More: Your 360 Daily

Tesla Model 3 India launch delayed?
The Tesla Model 3 is the company’s most affordable electric car but it may not come to India anytime soon. Even though Tesla CEO Elon Musk had hoped to launch the Tesla Model 3 electric car in India in 2017, it appears that the plan may not work out. The Tesla CEO tweeted, “Maybe I’m misinformed, but I was told that 30 percent of parts must be locally sourced and the supply doesn’t yet exist in India to support that.” If you were hoping to buy it soon, then prepare to revise your expectations.
Tejas Express with Wi-Fi sets off on first journey
Tejas Express has become the fastest train in India at a top speed of 200kmph, faster than the Shatabdi Express, but that’s not the only interesting feature of the train. It will have Wi-Fi, an infotainment system, LED TVs, among other things. The doors of this train are centrally controlled as well. We’ve got a full list of all the high-tech stuff this train has, in our in-depth article.

Government wants your views on Bitcoin
Bitcoin may be in a regulatory grey area right now, but the government plans to change that. The government has sought public opinion on the currency before it decides whether virtual currencies are viable in India. The government wants your suggestions on this topic via its MyGov platform, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014.

A More dangerous variant of WannaCry ransomware found
Thought WannaCry ransomware was bad? Wait till you hear about EternalRocks, a much more dangerous variant of WannaCry. This one is a lot stronger than WannaCry because it doesn’t have any weaknesses, including the kill switch that a researcher used to help contain the ransomware.. Let’s hope EternalRocks doesn’t infect our computers as it’s going to be a lot harder to get rid of.

Nubia N1 lite launched in India
Nubia India has launched the N1 lite smartphone in India at Rs. 6,999. It runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box and sports a 5.5-inch display. The new Nubia N1 lite smartphone is powered by a 64-bit 1.25GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6737 processor, and comes with 2GB of RAM. Nubia N1 lite sports an 8-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture tagged with dual-LED flash and a 5-megapixel camera at front with soft-light flash support.

More details on Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) and Moto Z2 Play
Samsung’s popular J-series smartphones, the Galaxy J5 (2016) and Galaxy J7 (2016), may soon get successors. The Galaxy J7 (2017) has now been spotted in a leaked render. It shows a design refresh on its back panel. Once you’ve checked that out, you might be interested in knowing that Lenovo has confirmed the 3000mAh battery capacity of the upcoming Moto Z2 Play smartphone, making it smaller than the 3510mAh battery of the original Moto Z Play.

OnePlus 5 leaks hint at camera, audio details
Like you, we’ve been speculating on what the OnePlus 5 smartphone needs to beat flagships. OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei may have revealed whether the upcoming smartphone has a headphone jack. In another OnePlus 5 leak, we got to know more about the smartphone’s dual-camera setup, which has been a point of contention considering some reports suggest a horizontal dual camera setup, while others point at vertical alignment of the camera module.

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Tags: OnePlus, OnePlus 5, Android, Google, Apple, iPhone, iPhone 8, iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, Tesla, Tesla Model 3, Tejas, Bitcoin, WannaCry, EternalRocks, Nokia, Xiaomi