Posts Tagged ‘Minneapolis’
Friday, June 22nd, 2012
By Allan Maurer
John Kenney, SVP, Stella Nova Technologies.
Mobile technology leaped to prominence in our lives faster even than anticipated, but for retailers, the key to more mobile business is going to be easy, safe, point of sale (POS) systems. Lots of companies are working on providing that important piece of the mobile retail experience including Google.
But a Wake Forest, NC company founded in 2001 is well poised to take advantage of the mobile revolution in retailing. Stella Nova Technologies, which employs about 100 in offices or facilities in Wake Forest, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Hyderabad, India, shifted its focus to a mobile point-of-sale system about two and half years ago, says John Kenney, senior vice president of business development.
Its Mobile Retail Framework is designed to keep its POS functions independent of the mobile device and its operating system. Offered on multiple handheld, phone and tablet formats and enabled on multiple client operating systems including Apple iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7, it is built on the Microsoft .NET Framework, employing the latest Service Oriented Architecture design standards.
The idea, says Kenney, “Is that you should be able to transact the moment you decide to buy something. It shouldn’t be contingent on where you are. You have to execute when they make a decision to buy. That’s our focus.”
Large forward thinking retailers, he says, “Need to offer a common, seamless experience whether it’s online, on the phone or in the store.”
Kenney notes that customers can use just the parts of its service they need or buy the full suite. “It’s a complex stand-alone system, but can be deployed for individual services. It depends on how the retailer wants it.”
That alone is a big change from other POS products, he says.
It also ties into existing retailer accounting services, stand along side a legacy POS system or gradually swap the systems out over time.
Stella Nova will be running a pilot program with Best Buy – one of its long term customers – in August, as well as multiple proof-of-concept and pilot programs with Office Max.
Kenney admits “There are a lot of new vendors in our space creating products and tons of questions are going to arise. Several types of payment have legs and some may become standardized. But as a transacting enabler, we’re not limiting anyone to any single type of payment. Our goal is to remain agnostic.”
That’s not overly difficult, he says, because the same information gets sent whether through near-field-communications or a hard swipe of a card.
But that’s what is holding up adoption. “Retailers aren’t jumping into it feet first. They’re waiting to see how things pan out. It’s largely a hardware issue for them at this point.”
Stella Nova has the following recommendations for retailers looking at mobile POS options:
• Don’t wait for the perfect plan. There isn’t one;
• Stay flexible;
• Move quickly, validate, and keep moving on based on what you have learned;
• Be operating system (OS) and hardware agnostic;
• Use the proof-of-concept (POC) as an opportunity to “play in the cloud”;
• Plan what metrics you will be gathering (and how you will gather them) ahead of the deployment;
• Empower not only your associates, but also your customers.
Also, Challenge everything along the way. This is a very unique opportunity for retailers to question “the way it’s always been done”.
The mobile format is so radically different that the traditional register that it allows people to think about a transaction in a fresh manner. Start with a blank slate concerning traditional SOP and historic ways of transacting.
Wednesday, April 4th, 2012
Nearly half (49%, 115M) of all American adults are Major League Baseball Fans and 15% (36M) are Avid Fans, according to the new Scarborough Sports Marketing study.
The study also reveals that there is ample opportunity to turn young fans into lifelong MLB enthusiasts as 44% of Generation Y are MLB Fans and 13% are Avid Fans. (view infographic).
Mobile, Internet radio and reality TV are ways to reach Gen Y, the study says.
We’re always interested in demographic data such as this – it always has broader implications than the specific data might suggest at first glance. For one thing, it suggests how to reach Gen Y for any reason and which tools would be effective. Digital marketing during baseball games is likely a great way to connect with a chunk of the Gen Y audience, for instance.
“Generation Y makes up 20% of the American adult population – that’s 46 million people,” says Bill Nielsen, Vice President of Sales for Scarborough Sports Marketing.
“Major League Baseball, MLB teams and advertisers understand how critical it is to continue to reach out to this younger demographic in an effective and efficient way, to build long-term affinity for the sport.”
Almost a third (30 percent) of Gen Y MLB Fans are willing to spend $25-$49 on a single game MLB ticket and 12% are interested in purchasing season tickets.
Gen Y MLB Fans are also 37% more likely than all MLB Fans to have bought MLB apparel with a team logo in the past 12 months. Retail spaces also offer an opportunity for fan outreach as more than half (56%) of Gen Y MLB Fans shopped at a sporting goods store in the past three months.
They use mobile, Internet radio, Twitter
Where can Gen Y MLB Fans be reached? They are 54% more likely than all MLB Fans to have used a mobile device to read a newspaper in the past 30 days, 84% more likely to have listened to internet radio in the past 30 days and 22% more likely than all MLB Fans to typically watch reality TV.
Gen Y MLB Fans are more than twice as likely as all MLB Fans to have visited Twitter in the past 30 days, 59% more likely to have read or contributed to a blog in the past 30 days and 68% more likely to have watched video clips online in the same time period.
Gen Y MLB Fans are 131% more likely than all MLB Fans to have visited Hulu.com in the past 30 days and 65% more likely to have visited YouTube.com in the same time frame.
“Generation Y is so active on Twitter and Facebook that any modern marketing campaign is incomplete without a social component,” continues Nielsen. “With youthful initiatives like the MLB Fan Cave in New York City and increased social media efforts, the league, teams and advertisers can reach younger audiences in the spaces where they are most engaged.”
Gen Y MLB Fans can also be found participating in a variety of different athletic and entertainment activities.
Gen Y MLB Fans are twice as likely as all MLB Fans to have played soccer, football or basketball in the past 12 months and 66% more likely to have played softball or baseball in the same time frame. They are also twice as likely to have attended an R&B/Rap/Hip-Hop concert and 49% more likely to have visited a comedy club in the past year.
Gen Y MLB Fans are 23% more likely than all MLB Fans to be Black/African American and 83% more likely to be Hispanic. The top local markets for Gen Y MLB Fans are Milwaukee (76% of Gen Y are MLB fans); Philadelphia (70%); Hartford, C.T. (66%); St. Louis (66%) and Albany, N.Y. (62%).
Looking at the two teams that play in the season opener, Gen Y makes up 21% of the total St. Louis population and 18% of theMiami population. 72% of Gen Y St. Louis residents watched, attended or listened to a Cardinals game in the past year and 36% of Gen Y Miami residents watched, attended or listened to a Marlins game in the same time period.
Top Local Markets for Gen Y MLB Fans
||% of Gen Y MLB Fans
*Scarborough defines the different American generations as Generation Y (age 18-29), Generation X (30-44), Baby Boomers (45-64) and the Silent Generation (65+).
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
DC is number one on the Norton list of the riskiest online U.S. cities.
The top ten riskiest online U.S. cities reads like a list of the top ten U.S. digital hubs, with DC, Seattle and San Francisco at the top, Boston in the middle, and Raleigh, NC just making it on the list.
Norton teamed up with independent research firm Sperling’s BestPlaces to uncover the nation’s top 10 cities1 that have the highest number of cybercrime risk factors.
The Top 10 Riskiest Online Cities in the U.S. are:
#1 – Washington, D.C.
#2 – Seattle
#3 – San Francisco
#4 – Atlanta
#5 – Boston
#6 – Denver
#7 – Minneapolis
#8 – Sacramento, Calif.
#9 – Raleigh, N.C.
#10 – Austin, Texas
Cities with the greatest risk factors do not necessarily correlate with the highest infection rates, reflecting the fact that many consumers are taking precautions to keep themselves safe.
“In our examination of the riskiest online cities, we’ve considered a number of factors that can potentially affect online safety,” said Bert Sperling, founder of Sperling’s BestPlaces and lead researcher for the analysis. “By looking at data from consumer lifestyle habits as well as cybercrime data provided by Symantec, maker of Norton products, we’re able to provide a holistic view of the various factors that put a person at potential risk.”
DC placed exceptioanlly high in all risk categories
Sperling’s BestPlaces determined the per-capita rankings by examining several consumer behaviors — from the prevalence of PCs and smartphones, to ecommerce, social networking and accessing potentially unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots, among others.
- As the leading riskiest online city, Washington, D.C., placed exceptionally high in almost all the categories measuring potential risk, and had the second-highest reported usage of smartphones. The nation’s capital also ranked high among cybercrime data factors, including attempted malware infections and attempted Web attacks.
- The second city on the list, Seattle, which was the riskiest online city in 2010, scored at the top in the majority of the categories surveyed, including email usage and social networking activity. Both Seattle and San Francisco (which ranked third), reported high numbers of Wi-Fi hotspots and hours spent on the Internet.
- Residents of Atlanta and Boston, which ranked fourth and fifth respectively, share high rankings among the cybercrime data. In particular, Atlanta recorded the highest per-capita number of spamming IP addresses. Both cities’ inhabitants exhibit a tendency toward potentially risky online consumer behavior, such as online financial transactions.
- The other cities in the top 10 include Denver, Minneapolis, Sacramento, Raleigh and Austin. According to the research, Denver and Minneapolis placed high among potentially risky factors within the cybercrime data. Sacramento, the only city that wasn’t included on the 2010 top 10 list, ranked above average across all categories, while Raleigh and Austin reported high levels of risky online behavior.
Detroit has something to brag about
“With the explosion of smartphones, tablets and laptops in recent years, and the rise of apps and social networking sites, our online and offline lives are blending together in ways that we’ve never before experienced,” said Marian Merritt, Norton Internet Safety Advocate.
“While there are many positive aspects as a result, this analysis highlights the potentially risky factors we face each time we go online. By taking a few simple precautions now, people can make sure they stay protected against online threats.”
Of the 50 U.S. cities examined, Detroit was once again ranked the least risky online city, returning low scores in the number of Wi-Fi hotspots, potentially risky online consumer behavior and PC expenditures. Other low-ranked cities include Tulsa and El Paso, which placed in the 48th and 49th spots, respectively.
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
DURHAM, NC – In another move emphasing Durham, North Carolina’s growing reputation as a startup hub, the first Startup America: Reducing Barriers roundtable will be held in Durham, N.C., on March 3.
A second roundtable will be at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, on March 12. The annual festival includes a focus on emerging technologies, which has made it an important destination each year for entrepreneurs and startup firms. More information on both of these events will be available in the coming days at www.sba.gov/startupamerica.
As part of the White House’s Startup America initiative, senior Obama Administration officials will visit eight cities to meet with entrepreneurs and hear directly from them on ideas and suggestions for reducing barriers and regulations to build a more supportive environment for entrepreneurship and innovation.
In January, President Obama issued an Executive Order instructing federal agencies to identify and take steps to reduce regulations that are outdated or overly burdensome to entrepreneurs. This roundtable series builds on that directive and is part of the Administration’s overall Startup America efforts to support for startups and entrepreneurs with tools and resources to grow America’s economy and win the future.
Using the input from the roundtables and broader public participation, the Administration will produce a report highlighting ideas to streamline and simplify unnecessary barriers to America’s economy and win the future.
The remaining roundtables are being planned in the following cities, with dates and locations still being determined: Boston, MA; Silicon Valley, CA; Atlanta, GA; Pittsburgh, PA; Minneapolis, MN; Boulder, CO. For small business owners and entrepreneurs who are not able to attend one of the roundtables, Startup America will provide the opportunity to submit ideas, comments and suggestions online to also be considered for inclusion in the final report.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners interested in attending any of the events can learn more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting http://www.sba.gov/startupamerica.
TechJournal South is a TechMedia company. TechMedia presents the annual conferences:
Internet Summit: www.internetsummit.com
Digital East: www.digitaleast.com
Digital Summit: www.digitalsummit.com
Friday, January 7th, 2011
It was a fairly busy first week of the year for merger and acquisition activity in the Southeast.
Dell Buying SecureWorks, credit union impact questioned
ATLANTA – DELL Computers said this week it plans to buy 10-year-old, venture-backed Atlanta security firm SecureWorks for an undisclosed price. According to one report, the buy could have an impact on one set of SecureWorks clients, Credit Unions. (See: Dell Talkeover of Secureworks sparks talk of CU Impact).
SecureWorks has more than 2,900 clients. Reports say Dell made a “table-clearing bid” for the company. Other reports say Dell grabbed the firm as it was getting ready to file for an Initial Public Offering of stock with the SEC later in 2011.
North Highland buys Insight Solutions Group
ATLANTA and MINNEAPOLIS — Global consulting firm North Highland is expanding into the Midwest United States with the acquisition of Insight Solutions Group Inc., a Minneapolis-based management consulting firm. The acquisition marks the establishment of North Highland’s twentieth US office.
Financial details were not disclosed.
North Highland is a global, employee-owned consulting firm that delivers strategic business solutions to Fortune 1000 clients, government agencies and non-profits. The firm has 47 offices in the United States,Europe and Asia-Pacific.
GE Intelligent Platforms acquires SmartSignal
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – GE Intelligent Platforms has closed its acquisiton of SmartSignal, an analytics software company based in Lisle, Illinois. SmartSignal specializes in providing Remote Monitoring & Diagnostics solutions to the Power Generation, Oil & Gas and other industrial sectors. Financial details were not disclosed.
Virginia-based GEIP is a global provider of software, hardware, services, and expertise in automation and embedded computing.
Virginia-based Rivermine acquired by Emptoris
FAIRFAX, VA - Rivermine, which develops software to help customers manage their telecom expenses, has been acquired by Massachusetts-based Emptoris, which sells supply and contract management tools. Financial details were not disclosed.
Rivermine employees joined Emptoris. CEO Mark Logan is now president of the Emptoris Rivermine division.
Rivermine manages more than $6 billion in communications spending a year for clients who include Chubb Insurance, Ford, Fannie Mae, and IKON Office.
Maryland-based Sourcefire acquires Immunet for $21M
COLUMBIA, MD – Sourcefire, which develops network security tech, has acquired Silicon-Valley based Immunet, which sells cloud-bade anti-malware software, in a deal worth up to $21 million.
Sourcefire paid $17 million in cash at closing, and will pay as much as $4 million more over the next 18 months if Immunet meets product delivery milestones.
Sourcefire said it plans to keep all of Immunet’s fulltime employees. It said the deal expands its security offerings to include a cloud-based platform.
Travel Leaders Group buys Virginia-based Vacation.com
Alexandria, VA – Minnesota-based Travel Leaders Group, a company that manages corporate travel, has acquired Alexandria-based Vacation.com. Financial details were not disclosed.
TLG says the move bolsters its offerings in the North American travel market. Vacation.com sells cruises and vacations through agencies.
Maryland-based National Office Systems buys East Coast Storage Solutions
GAITHERSBURG, MD – National Office Systems, which sells storage and information management systems, has acquired Connecticut-based East Coast Storage Solutions to expand in the Northeast. Financial terms were not disclosed.
East Coast has been a major player and our competitor in Connecticut,” said Joe Alvarez, NOS principal. “Their arrival will expand our world-class products and services even farther into the Northeastern United States, especially the Connecticut and New York markets.”