Tech World: Facebook’s €110m fine, SoftBank’s $93bn tech fund, the new Nokia 3310 and more


Hello, I’m Georgie and welcome to Tech World,
your quick round up of the top technology news stories from across the globe. For this
episode’s Hot Topic interview, we spoke with Michael Von der Geest from EY about how
companies can benefit from digital innovation. First though, here are your top international
news stories. A strain of ransomware called WannaCry infected
upwards of 120,000 computers across the world this month. A cybersecurity researcher found
a way to put a stop to the malicious software spreading, but it seems the attackers are
trying to find a way to resurrect it. Facebook was fined €110m by the EU for providing
misleading information about its 2014 takeover of WhatsApp. Facebook told the commission
in 2014 that it would not be able to link WhatsApp phone numbers with Facebook users’
identities, but went on to do exactly that. Uber is to pay New York City drivers tens
of millions of dollars after admitting to underpaying them for two-and-a-half years.
The ride-hailing service had been taking a larger cut of drivers’ fares than it was
entitled. SoftBank held the first close of its massive
Vision Fund at $93bn in committed capital. This news comes seven months after the Japanese
telecom giant announced the tech fund’s formation. According to The Financial Times,
electronics giant Sharp committed $1bn to the fund. Nokia finally released the new version of
its 3310 handset in the UK for the princely sum of £49.99. The retro device features
a battery that lasts for a month on standby, the classic game Snake – my favourite – and
it weighs just 79.6 grams. That’s it for our top global tech news roundup,
but keep watching to see this episode’s Hot Topics interview. We spoke with Michael Von der Geest from EY
about about how companies can benefit from digital innovation. Michael, thank you so much for joining us.
So digital innovation is something we hear about a lot but I want to know specifically
how do small- and medium-sized businesses make money from digital innovation? I think there’s a lot of opportunity – it’s
such a vast topic at the moment. But I really section this up into three areas. The first
one is business-to-consumer – retail-like propositions – frankly I find that that area
is flooded, the second area is areas like Internet of Things, those machine-to-machine
relationships. I think that has an opportunity, but the time horizons for monetising feel
a bit distant for me. What we’re working a lot in and what we’re seeing significant opportunities
is the business-to-business space, to create a consumer-like proposition in those
markets. So within that business-to-business space
what opportunities are you specifically seeing companies come across? If I give you an example
of that, one thing I would think about is the work we did with one of our clients –
Informa.
They’re an events business that were looking to use digital to transform their customer
proposition around sales, marketing and their product. And what we did is we worked with
them and we brought together an ecosystem of real specialists in and around digital
delivery, consumption models, marketing techniques and we were able to pull that together in
what we term an ‘ecosystem’ working with brands like EY that enable us to deliver truly customer-centric
digital transformations, at pace and able to monetise that for clients and for tech
companies. What is stopping businesses from engaging
with digital innovation, when there are so many advantages. What are the barriers of
entry there? Again I’d kind of almost say there’s two sides
of this. And I think what we’re seeing is small agile startup-like innovators who are
real digital natives struggle to enter that business enterprise space – they don’t have
the relationships, they don’t understand quite how the mechanics and the politics of selling
work. I think you’ve then got large organisations very well used to helping and supporting clients
in transformations, who maybe don’t really bring that lean, innovation digital ethos
to bare. I think the real opportunity is you’ve got to know what you are and bring the other
partners in. So it sounds like you have two different mindsets
there and if you marry them together and add some digital innovation into the mix you can
actually end up with a real business opportunity there. Absolutely. Michael, thank you so much. Thank you. That’s all for this episode. To get more
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