Optimize Your Company’s Excellence And Expedience With These Techniques

Although company growth is typically a top priority in the mind of the corporate leader, she or he may occasionally draw a blank when it’s time to implement strategies that will make it happen. If you find yourself at a loss for devising systems and techniques that will help your business move into a deeper dimension of excellence and expedience, the strategies listed below can be of great benefit to you:

1. Optimize Your Office Equipment.

Optimizing your office equipment is a wonderful way to ensure that your company moves into a deeper dimension of excellence and expedience. For example, utilizing cutting edge software can enable your employees to complete computer-based transactions with greater speed. In the event that your company is in need of new pump products such as offshore pumps, you can obtain them from businesses like Master Pumps & Power.

2. Invest In Your Staff.

Yet another strategy you can use to take your company to a new level is investing in your staff. Your employees play a role in shaping your company’s culture, and they also determine what your bottom line will be as a result of the fact that their concerted efforts contribute to factors such as customer satisfaction and your brand’s image. In light of all these realities, make a point to invest in your staff. By facilitating their personal and professional growth, you can contribute to their self-actualization process while simultaneously ensuring that you have the most effective, excellent employees on the block. One of the most effective and self-empowering ways to invest in your staff is by providing them with opportunities to take ongoing educational courses.

3. Maximize Wellness.

If you really want to see your business move forward with productivity and prestige, make sure that you take care of yourself. Doing so will preclude you from missing work due to sick days. It can also accelerate your accomplishment of daily tasks and give you the mood stability necessary to respond calmly in the face of trying situations. There are several ways that you can maximize your level of wellness, one of which is to work with a health coach. These individuals can teach you important health-related data such as how to prepare a balanced meal plan as well as strategies you can use to diffuse stress.


If you want your business to operate in an unprecedented level of excellence and expedience, don’t wait to realize your professional vision. Instead, get the process underway immediately by using the brand-building systems and strategies listed here!

BlackBerry first quarter software revenue jumps to $137 mn

BlackBerry quarterly software revenue

BlackBerry Ltd shares fell on Tuesday on uncertainty about what drove growth in the company’s crucial software segment in the first quarter.

Shares were off 1.1 percent after jumping in premarket trading as BlackBerry earnings report touted a 150 percent increase in software and licensing revenues. But the result was clouded by uncertainty over the source of the revenues.

BlackBerry said two licensing deals, with Cisco Systems Inc and a second, unnamed company, made “significant contributions,” but did not disclose the terms. It was also not clear how much the deals could boost revenue in future quarters.

“When the headline hits, you say ‘wow they really blew out that software number, good for them, they’re starting to get some traction.’ But, of course, it’s not truly $137 million because there is some licensing in there,” said BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis. “The real number we care about is much less.”

On a conference call, analysts grilled executives on the performance of its software business. Chief Executive Officer John Chen promised to follow up with more details.

Quarterly revenue totaled $658 million in the quarter ended May 30, slightly lower than the prior period, but software and technology licensing revenue more than doubled from a year ago to $137 million.

Analysts and investors have been concerned about BlackBerry’s ability to grow software revenue as it transforms itself from a hardware-focused company to more of a software and services provider.

“I’m obviously quite pleased with the quarter. We have some very good achievements,” Chen said on the call.

BlackBerry announced the Cisco deal in a separate statement on Tuesday, but said it could not disclose terms. The agreement is part of Chen’s push to license and monetize the company’s deep pool of patents, which it has built up over the years.

BlackBerry has signed partnership deals with Wistron Corp and Compal Electronics Inc, extending the company’s reliance on others for joint development and manufacturing of its devices as it aims for profitability in its handset business. The company already has a deal in place with Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn Technology Co.

Excluding a one-time accounting gain and charges related to restructuring, the company reported a first-quarter loss of $28 million, or 5 cents a share. Analysts, on average, expected a loss of 3 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

BlackBerry’s U.S.-listed shares were down 11 cents to $9.09.

BlackBerry, Cisco ink long term cross-licensing pact

blackberry cisco deal

BlackBerry and Cisco have announced a long-term patent cross-licensing agreement covering their respective products and technologies. “As part of the cross-licensing agreement, BlackBerry will receive a license fee from Cisco,” said a release, adding that specific terms of the deal were confidential.

“Our agreement with Cisco underscores the value companies place on BlackBerry’s broad and foundational patent portfolio,” said Dr. Mark Kokes, Vice President of Intellectual Property and Licensing, BlackBerry. “With the agreement in place, BlackBerry and Cisco can focus on innovation and continued technical cooperation, allowing our companies more freedom to create leading products and services for customers without the potential for patent disputes.”

“Cross-licensing is an effective way for technology companies to assure freedom of operation and help remove concerns about patent litigation,” said Dan Lang, Vice President of Intellectual Property, Cisco. “This agreement recognizes Cisco’s patent portfolio, one that is regularly rated among the strongest in the telecommunications and networking industry. We look forward to continuing to innovate to meet the needs of our respective customers.”

BlackBerry and Cisco have a long history of technical cooperation and intend to further collaborate under this agreement.

SoftBank keen to invest in renewable energy in Andhra

Solar projects

Japan’s SoftBank Corp on Tuesday said it is keen to invest in solar and wind power projects in Andhra Pradesh.

SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son on Tuesday met Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and said that they are keen to collaborate with Andhra Pradesh in renewable energy.

Nikesh Arora, president of SoftBank and Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of Bharti Enterprises were also present, said a statement from the chief minister’s office.

Son told Naidu that SoftBank has formed a joint venture with Bharti Enterprises and Foxconn to make investments in renewable energy in India.

He said that he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday and promised to make $20 billion investments in solar and wind energy projects in the next 10 years.

Naidu sought SoftBank’s collaboration in renewable energy. He informed him that Andhra Pradesh has unveiled solar and wind policies, the first of its kind in the country that allow solar and wind hybrid model projects.

In response, Son said that SoftBank will work to make Andhra Pradesh a model state in solar plus wind hybrid projects in the country.

Stating that SoftBank could also look at cooperation in manufacturing, the chief minister urged Son to explore ways of collaboration in hardware (electronics).

Naidu said that the state has a long coast on the east which makes it a potential logistics hub for southeast Asia. “On the east coast, Andhra Pradesh has an advantage of serving and exporting goods to southeastern markets like Malaysia, Singapore, China,” he said.

Education marketplace EduKart raises $1 million

indian rupee vs us dollar

Education marketplace EduKart on Tuesday said it has raised $1 million (Rs 6.4 crore) from Holostik Group’s United Finsec (family office arm), cricketer Yuvraj Singh’s YouWeCan Ventures and early stage fund, 500 Startups.

Existing investors including Paytm founder, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, former director of Providence Equity Partners Manish Kheterpal, and Stanford Business School’s alumni angels also participated, the company said in a statement.

“The incoming funds will be utilised for further upgrading the marketplace platform, increasing course portfolio and strengthening marketing efforts,” Ishan Gupta, chief executive officer of EduKart.com said.

Industry estimates peg the total education sector of India at over $60 billion. Around 50 per cent of this is in higher education sector, 40 per cent in K12 sector and 10 per cent in coaching, skilling and other non-formal areas.

The course providers listed on EduKart.com include established course providers across higher education, K12 and coaching.

Some of the institutes include Vidyamandir, Toppr, Brilliant Tutorials, Indian School of Business, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bharati Vidyapeeth University, School Guru, and Digital Vidya among others.

“While on one hand, EduKart helps students and parents make informed education related decisions, on the other it has given various course providers a platform to expand their reach to Tier two and Tier three cities across India,” said Ankit Gupta, head of strategy and investments for Holostik Group.

In the next three years, EduKart said it is looking to drive gross enrolment sales of over $100 million for its course providers, by enrolling over one lakh students annually.

SoftBank exploring telecom JV with Foxconn in India

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Japanese telecom and Internet giant SoftBank and Taiwanese electronics firm Foxconn are in discussion to set up a joint venture in India for manufacturing telecom products.

“We will like to support Make in India programme and vision. We are discussing with Foxconn about how we can support Make in India programme jointly where Foxconn will lead and SoftBank will support,” SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son said today when asked about any possibility of a JV to make phones.

SoftBank together with Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Enterprises and Foxconn on Monday announced a three-way joint venture company, SBG Cleantech, to invest up to $20 billion to generate 20 gigawatt of solar power.

Foxconn is a leading contract manufacture of electronic products mainly mobile devices. It is popularly known for manufacturing Apple’s devices namely iPhones.

The company had its manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu mainly to cater manufacturing requirement of Finnish telecom company Nokia but closed it after the mobile devices firm suspended its operation here.

A Foxconn representative present at the occasion said, “All I can say is that we are coming (to India).”

Son did not elaborate details of the JV being planned.

“The details of this is still work in progress. That announcement will be made sometime in near future,” Son said.

SoftBank on Monday raised its investment commitment in India to $20 billion that it expects to make in 10 years from $10 billion it promised last year.

Nokia appoints Rupa Santosh to head Nokia Networks’ Technology Center in Bangalore

nokia networks

Nokia today appointed Rupa Santosh as head of Nokia Networks’ Technology Center, Bengaluru, which is incidentally the leading Research and Development (R&D) site for Nokia Networks globally, as well as an employer of choice within the local ecosystem.

“Rupa brings over 20 years of experience in telecommunications network research and development having performed diverse roles and managed products within Nokia. She brings in exceptional understanding of the telecom industry. Her experience will further strengthen Nokia’s research and development functions globally and for our operations in India,” said Sandeep Girotra, Vice President and head of India Market, Nokia Networks.

Prior to this, Rupa was leading Single RAN R&D at Bengaluru where she spear-headed research and development across key network entities like RNC, BTS and Femto, providing leadership to over 450 member team. Rupa’s appointment will be effective from June 1, 2015.

“Nokia is a remarkable company with the ability to re-invent itself to shape the future. At the Bengaluru center, every employee, together with the global team, is contributing towards future of telecommunication technology, while bringing unique local value.” said Rupa Santosh, the new head of Nokia Networks’ Technology Center at Bengaluru. “We will actively engage with the vibrant ecosystem of academia, industry and entrepreneurs in Bangalore city to advance Nokia’s commitment towards research and development, and deliver significant value to our customers and partners globally. With the exceptional talent in India in the field of research, I look forward to working with our teams, customers and ecosystem partners to ensure that our Bangalore Technology Center is amongst the industry leaders.”

Located at Manyata Tech Park, Bengaluru, the centre has a nearly 4000-strong workforce, with 26% among them women engineers.

NR Narayana Murthy rules out returning to Infosys again

Narayan Murthy Infosys

Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy on Monday ruled out returning to the company as he did in June 2013, three years after retiring in August 2011.

“There is no need for anybody to get get back from outside to lead Infosys, as a very good set of people, headed by chief executive Vishal Sikka, is running it,” Murthy told reporters at the company’s 34th annual general meeting (AGM) here.

Murthy’s clarification came in response to many shareholders asking him to come back again and head the $8.7 billion company at a time when the IT industry was facing multiple challenges.

“They (shareholders) are saying such things because of some affection. Reality is we should allow the new team to run it, support it and cheer it from outside,” said Murthy after attending the AGM as a promoter shareholder with his wife Sudha Murthy, chairperson of Infosys Foundation.

There were many demands for Murthy’s return.

“As Murthy is to Infosys what Mahatma Gandhi was to India, he should continue to be at the helm of the company,” shareholder GV Ramana Reddy said at the AGM.

Murthy, who returned from retirement on June 1, 2013 to head the troubled company as chairman, stepped down abruptly a year later (June 14, 2014) after reviving its sagging fortunes and finding Sikka as a worthy successor.

Terming those on the company’s board as smart, dedicated and hard working, he said the board members want the best for the company and the co-founders were fully them.

“He (Sikka) has been working hard and brought lot of good ideas. I am sure he will deliver. We have to be patient,” Murthy said after sitting in the front row for the first time facing the dais where he chaired AGMs over the years.

Noting Sikka had set a $20 billion revenue target by 2020, he said it was indeed a very ambitious one and he wished him the best.

“He (Sikka) has set an aspirational target. We should all support him and pray that he succeeds,” Murthy quipped before leaving the venue while the meeting was only half way through.

Incidentally, barring Murthy, six other founders – Nandan Nilekani, AS Gopalakrishnan, SD Shibulal, K Dinesh, NS Raghavan and Ashok Arora – were conspicuously absent at the AGM though they continue to be promoter shareholders.

Micromax invests in mobile travel search ixigo

Micromax investment

Mobile phone manufacturer Micromax on Monday announced that it has made a strategic investment in mobile travel search marketplace ixigo.

Popular for its innovative travel apps, ixigo helps Indian travellers plan their trips, find the best train & bus services, book cheapest flights, cabs, hotels and more.

This investment would further reinforce Micromax’s foray into application services after having pioneered democratization of technology by delighting the consumers with its affordable and innovative product offerings. It will also give ixigo a reach of over 30 million incremental users over the next year.

Talking about the investment, Rahul Sharma, Co-founder, Micromax Informatics said, “Our vision is to seamlessly integrate innovative services into smart devices to create an ecosystem that is valuable for our users. We are really impressed with ixigo’s talented team & its mobile technology.”

Aloke Bajpai, CEO & co-founder, ixigo said – “We share a common vision of a connected ecosystem of travellers who can access & consume travel content ubiquitously on their phone and compare & book across a bouquet of travel service providers seamlessly. 80% of our travel & transportation queries and 50% of our transactions currently originate on mobile devices. This partnership with Micromax, the leading smartphone OEM in India, will strengthen our market leadership in mobile travel services for middle class users. We expect to quadruple our mobile user-base in the next 12 months.”

Amazon to pay self-published authors based on pages read

kindle amazon

Amazon could soon pay more to write lengthier books, if you are an author self-publishing on Amazon.com Inc’s Kindle ebook platform.

Starting next month, the e-commerce giant will pay independent authors based on the number of pages read, rather than the number of times their book has been borrowed.

The move is aimed at authors enrolled in Kindle Direct Publishing platform – which lets authors set list prices, decide rights and edit the book at any time – and is applicable to ebooks made available via the Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library programs.

Self-publishing has transformed what it means to be an author. Simply uploading a document and adding a cover layout to it can turn anyone into a published writer on ebook platforms such as Kindle and Smashwords.

Amazon said on Monday the move would better align payout with the length of books and how much customers read.
“We’re making this switch in response to great feedback we received from authors,” Amazon said on its self-publishing portal. (http://amzn.to/1dbpx3u)

Amazon uses a complex method to determine payments for independent authors – payouts are based on a fund, the size of which is set by Amazon every month.

Under the new plan, authors will get a share of the fund proportionate to the number of pages read.

While independent authors have largely embraced Amazon’s self-publishing platform, the company has in the past been involved in bitter fights with large publishers.

The company had a stand-off with publisher Hachette Book Group and some authors last year over pricing. The fight ended when Hachette and Amazon reached a multi-year agreement for e-book and print book sales in November.