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SAP releases rapid cloud deployment solutions

BY Dan Berthiaume

Walldorf, Germany – SAP AG is releasing cloud-based Rapid Deployment solutions designed to simplify deployments and move existing SAP applications to the cloud with best practices in a predictable manner that helps minimize business disruption while new solutions are implemented. SAP Rapid Deployment solutions follow a universally applicable approach for customers deploying across the cloud, on premise or in hybrid landscapes.

The solutions include best practices-based implementation content and risk-reducing methodologies. The assemble-to-order methodology enables businesses to deploy multiple solutions in the cloud or on premise in a way that supports business outcomes through a framework of proven guidelines, content, tools and methods. For example, customers can explore the new SAP user experience in the cloud, on top of running business processes contained with best practices of the SAP ERP Foundation Extension package.

"Businesses that want to move to the cloud often face the difficult task of identifying what information and processes they need and how they can move without disrupting daily operations," said Dr. Bernd Welz, executive VP and global head, solution & knowledge packaging, SAP. "SAP Rapid Deployment solutions make cloud implementations a non-issue. Customers can make a business decision, explore the solution, experience a guided solution implementation and enjoy the merits of the cloud without concerns on how to best implement a new cloud solution, integrating cloud solutions from SAP with on-premise solutions or migrating to SAP Cloud powered by SAP HANA."

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New game consoles fuel GameStop’s profit in first quarter

BY CSA STAFF

Despite posting increases in the last few quarters, GameStop was seeing shares drop because its numbers were falling short of analysts’ expectations. But thanks to growth in its mobile business and demand for new game consoles, the company started the year with better-than-expected profit that drove shares to rise 5%.

Total global sales for the quarter were $2 billion, a 7% increase compared to $1.87 billion in the prior year quarter. Consolidated comparable store sales increased 5.8%. Sales were driven primarily by continued strong worldwide consumer demand for Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4, as the new hardware category surged 81.1% compared to the prior year quarter. From launch through April, total market sales in the U.S. of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One hardware have more than doubled the combined sales of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 hardware through their first six months of sales.

During the quarter, new software sales dropped 20.4%, due to fewer AAA titles being launched this year compared to the first quarter of 2013. In spite of the decline in new software, pre-owned/value software improved 5.3% year-over-year as ongoing trade-ins toward new consoles improved inventory levels and subsequent sales growth. The mobile and consumer electronics category, which now includes Technology Brands results, soared more than 100%, primarily driven by the contributions of Spring Mobile and Simply Mac.

GameStop’s net earnings for the first quarter were $68 million, a 24.5% increase compared to net earnings of $54.6 million in the prior year quarter. Diluted earnings per share were $0.59, a 28.3% increase compared to diluted earnings per share of $0.46 in the prior year quarter.

“I am pleased to report solid financial and operational results in the first quarter. The next-gen console business is meeting our targets, our digital properties continue to grow and our new tech brands segment is positively contributing to our profitability,” said CEO Paul Raines. “As we discussed at our investor day, GameStop is well positioned to use its strengths to achieve growth from its diversified business segments: gaming, mobile, wireless and consumer electronics.”

For the second quarter, GameStop expects a comparable-store sales increase of between 12% and 19%, and diluted earnings per share to range from $0.12 to $0.20, representing a 33% to 122% increase over the prior-year quarter.

For the full year, the company is maintaining its previously announced diluted earnings per share guidance range of $3.40 to $3.70. It expects a comparable-store sales increase of between 6% and 12%.

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Three states jointly investigate EBay breach

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Jose Calif. – The states of Connecticut, Florida, and Illinois, are jointly investigating a recent data breach at EBay Inc., and the state of New York is asking EBay to offer free credit monitoring for any customer whose data was exposed.

The FBI is also investigating the breach. So far EBay has not released much detailed information on the cyber attack, and it is not yet clear exactly how much authority the states or the federal government may have to require remedial steps. Consumer data allegedly stolen in the breach has been advertised on underground hacker sites, although it has not been verified whether the data is legitimate.

Facts that have been revealed so far are that an EBay database was compromised between late February and early March 2014. The database included EBay customers’ name, encrypted password, email address, physical address, phone number and date of birth. However, EBay said the database did not contain financial information or other confidential personal information. The compromised employee log-in credentials were first detected earlier in May 2014, and forensics subsequently identified the compromised EBay database.

The company said it has seen no indication of increased fraudulent account activity on EBay and has no evidence of unauthorized access or compromises to personal or financial information for PayPal users.

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