FINANCE

Survey: Application support holds significant savings potential

BY Dan Berthiaume

Sunnyvale, Calif. – Application support and maintenance (ASM) may hold potential to deliver $6.8 billion in savings to Fortune 2000 organizations. According to a survey of 300 U.S. and U.K. CIOs released by IT services provider HCL Technologies Ltd., ASM now accounts for 38% of large organizations’ overall IT budget each year.

Based on the IT expenditure of Fortune 2000 companies this equates to $11.3 million per organization annually. Furthermore, 83% of respondents stated that the cost of maintaining and supporting these applications was increasing year on year, while during the last 12 months organizations have on average seen a 29% increase in support tickets for ASM.

IT departments are also finding it increasingly difficult to prioritize application problems and/or service requests. About nine in 10 (88%) of the large enterprises surveyed admitted they found prioritization a challenge. At the same time, with IT underpinning a number of business functions, 90% of respondents said that resource and skills restraints were making it difficult to align business and IT objectives. Only a small percentage (14%) of organizations stated they have mapped business benefit from IT.

“ASM represents a disproportionately large proportion of IT spend,” said Vijay B. Iyer, senior VP global head of applications outsourcing, HCL Technologites. ”Many organizations are struggling to meet users’ heightened expectations of application performance, which in turn is leading to a growing number of support tickets. With the need to drive greater efficiencies and business value from IT, organizations can no longer allow their current ASM functions to stagnate. By taking a more proactive and efficient approach they can free up capital that could be allocated towards more innovative transformational projects.”

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Report: Fake Bieber CDs ‘droplifted’ into stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Los Angeles – An electronic musician reportedly planted 5,000 copies of his own CD inside fake copies of the Justin Bieber “Believe” CD in retailers including Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart on April 1. According to the Associated Press, the musician, Paz Dylan, said he saw the stunt as more of a performance art piece than an April Fools’ Day prank.

The CDs are contained inside exact duplicates of the “Believe” packaging, including the bar code, which scans properly at checkout. The interior artwork and album inside are from Paz, however.

This is at least the second high-profile prank to hit the Los Angeles retail industry this year. In February, comedian Nathan Fielder briefly opened a parody Starbucks store called “Dumb Starbucks” as a gag for his cable TV show.

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News

Shopmium launches U.S. brand discovery app

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Shopmium, the new brand discovery app, has officially launched in the U.S. on both iOS and Android platforms. Shopmium’s model enables advertisers to promote products through a targeted media approach that delivers mobile brand experiences and discount offers to users.

As an advertising platform, Shopmium showcases partnered brands, primarily consumer package goods, using rich media campaigns built for smartphones. Its user base has opted in to hear about new products and is incentivized to try the featured products through discount coupon offers.

Shopmium creates a brand experience using rich media content (HTML5, video or images). Users click through the advertisement to see stores nearest them offering the product and are presented with a discount offer. After shopping, the user simply opens the app, and snaps a photo of the corresponding purchase receipt. The user receives the discount amount directly to their PayPal account.

Co-founder and CEO Eli Curetti views the U.S. as a prime market to reach new consumers and encourage trial with its unique approach.

"Traditionally, ads on mobile devices have been a tough sell given the small screen and the inherently personal nature of the device," said Eli Curetti, co-founder and CEO. "Random ads are always an intrusion, however Shopmium’s users are opting in to receive brand messages, which circumvents any irritation to the consumer and makes it a very appealing medium for manufacturers."

Marketers also benefit from the anonymized user data and aggregated consumer buying data Shopmium is able to collect and share with clients at the end of a campaign. Data gathered from users’ receipts also enables Shopmium to target relevant products to users. The app launched in France in 2011.

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