It’s hard to be Huawei in the US already, and under Trump it must be unbearable. Meanwhile, I hear they’re sucking up marketshare elsewhere.
Original source: HPE Denies It’s Partnering with Huawei, Taps Crisis Public Relati
Thus far, it seems like the large banks are fending off digital disruption, perhaps embracing some of it on their own. The Economist takes a look:
- “Peer-to-peer lending, for instance, has grown rapidly, but still amounted to just $19bn on America’s biggest platforms and £3.8bn in Britain last year”
- “last year JPMorgan Chase spent over $9.5bn on technology, including $3bn on new initiatives”
- From a similar piece in the NY Times: “The consulting firm McKinsey estimated in a report last month that digital disruption could put $90 billion, or 25 percent of bank profits, at risk over the next three years as services become more automated and more tellers are replaced by chatbots.”
- But: “Much of this change, however, is now expected to come from the banks themselves as they absorb new ideas from the technology world and shrink their own operations, without necessarily losing significant numbers of customers to start-ups.”
- Back to The Economist piece: “As well as economies of scale, they enjoy the advantage of incumbency in a heavily regulated industry. Entrants have to apply for banking licences, hire compliance staff and so forth, the costs of which weigh more heavily on smaller firms.”
- Regulations and customer loyalty are less in China, resulting in more investment in new financial tech in Asia:
- As another article puts it: “China has four of the five most valuable financial technology start-ups in the world, according to CB Insights, with Ant Financial leading the way at $60 billion. And investments in financial technology rose 64 percent in China last year, while they were falling 29 percent in the United States, according to CB Insights.”
- Why? “The obvious reason that financial start-ups have not achieved the same level of growth in the United States is that most Americans already have access to a relatively functional set of financial products, unlike in Africa and China.”
- There’s some commentary on the speed of sharing blockchain updates can reduce multi-day bank transfers (and payments) to, I assume, minutes. Thus: ‘“Blockchain reduces the cost of trust,” says Mr Lubin of ConsenSys.’
Fixing legacy problems with new platforms, not easy
- The idea of building banking platforms to clean up the decades of legacy integration problems.
- Mainframes are a problem, as a Gartner report from last year puts it: “The challenge for many of today’s modernization projects is not simply a change in technology, but often a fundamental restructuring of application architectures and deployment models. Mainframe hardware and software architectures have defined the structure of applications built on this platform for the last 50 years. Tending toward large-scale, monolithic systems that are predominantly customized, they represent the ultimate in size, complexity, reliability and availability.”
- But, unless/until there’s a crisis, changes won’t be funded: “Banks need to be able to justify the cost and risk of any modernization project. This can be difficult in the face of a well-proven, time-tested portfolio that has represented the needs of the banking system for decades.”
- Sort of in the “but wasn’t that always the goal, but from that same article, Gartner suggests the vision for new fintech: ‘Gartner, Hype Cycle for Digital Banking Transformation, 2015, says, “To be truly digital, banks must pair an emphasis on customer-facing capabilities with investment in the technical, architectural, analytic and organizational foundations that enable participation in the financial services ecosystem.”’
- BCG has a prescriptive piece for setting the strategy for all this, from Nov. 2015.
- A bit correlation-y, but still useful, from that BCG piece: “While past performance is no guarantee of future results, and even though all the company’s results cannot be entirely attributed to BBVA’s digital transformation plan, so far many signs are encouraging. The number of BBVA’s digital customers increased by 68% from 2011 to 2014, reaching 8.4 million in mid-2014, of which 3.6 million were active mobile users. Because of the increasing use of digital channels and efforts to reconfigure the bank’s branch network—creating smaller branches that emphasize customer self-service and larger branches that provide higher levels of personalized advice through a remote cross-selling support system—BBVA achieved a reduction in costs of 8% in 2014, or €340 million, in the core business in Spain. Meanwhile, the bank’s net profits increased by 26% in 2014, reaching €2.6 billion.”
- And a more recent write-up of JPMC’s cloud-native programs, e.g.: ‘“We aren’t looking to decrease the amount of money the firm is spending on technology. We’re looking to change the mix between run-the-bank costs versus innovation investment,” he said. “We’ve got to continue to be really aggressive in reducing the run-the bank costs and do it in a very thoughtful way to maintain the existing technology base in the most efficient way possible.” …Dollars saved by using lower-cost cloud infrastructure and platforms will be reinvested in technology, he said.’ JPMC, of course, is a member of the Cloud Foundry Foundation which means, you know, they’re into that kind of thing.
Distraction is a clever and useful strategy in information control in that an argument in almost any human discussion is rarely an effective way to put an end to an opposing argument. Letting an argument die, or changing the subject, usually works much better than picking an argument and getting someone’s back up…
From a summary of a study that looked into how China tries to control news flow on the web.
A single wide-body Boeing 747 can easily carry 150,000 iPhones tucked into its aluminum canisters.
From An iPhone’s Journey, From the Factory Floor to the Retail Store
As usual, TPM is extensive, starting with:
IBM is selling off the System x business, presumably because it is not profitable, but also because it is something it can sell while at the same time getting approximately 7,500 employees off its payrolls. Lenovo’s Peter Hortensius, who is president of the Think Business Group that sells servers and storage into enterprise accounts, said that buying the IBM System x business accelerated its plan to become a dominant system supplier by about five years, and would actually boost Lenovo’s profits once the deal is done. After thinking about it for a bit, I reckoned that IBM can’t get economies of scale in manufacturing and, because it doesn’t have a PC business, it lost volume pricing leverage with Intel and Advanced Micro Devices the minute it sold off the PC business to Lenovo. This had to be apparent many years ago, and the wonder is what took so long. My guess? The advent of vanity-free, custom or homemade servers have taken about a quarter of the systems market, and there went the last remains of juicy profits for IBM, which, unlike Dell and HP, does not have a play here. Those cheap servers put margin pressure on everyone in the X86 server business.
Also, check out this brief overview from 451’s M&A team, including a list of past IBM divestitures.
More on the IBM x86 divestiture rationale
Why can’t you just pay attention to my main ideas and ignore the details?
Accused of Cyberspying, Huawei Is ‘Exiting the U.S. Market’
The US may have Save the Earth campaigns to thank for the embrace of recycling. But more likely, it was made possibly by China’s emergence as a manufacturing powerhouse. The more China made, the more it needed used plastics, eventually sucking up around two-thirds of the US’s plastic scrap each year, worth several billion dollars.
A lot of US plastic isn’t actually being recycled since China put up its Green Fence