14 December 2010

MEF Executive Questionnaire #21: Sia Hui Yong, Tranglo

MEF continues to seek new ways to profile its members and promote the thought-leadership of the senior executives within these companies. We are pleased to launch the MEF Executive Questionnaire to reveal the real people behind the industry in an informal and entertaining manner.

This will be a regular feature of the MEF blog, so make sure you subscribe via email or RSS. If you are a senior executive from one of our member companies and would like to be featured then please contact MEF Marketing Director, Stephen Jenkins.

The twenty first in the series is from Sia Hui Yong, CEO of Tranglo.


1. Please describe briefly your main company activities and your role within that organisation
Trango operates a global prepaid airtime and money transfer hub that connects to various mobile operators and financial institutions for cross-border transactions. My role is to oversee the company product and business development strategy.

2. Without necessarily revealing any confidential information, please outline the principal business models your company uses
Tranglo charges transaction fees or transaction fees sharing for every airtime or money transfer transaction completed.

3. What has been your company’s greatest achievement to-date?
Our company is the pioneer in airtime transfer globally since 2008 and to date we have more than 50 operators connected to our hub.

4. What is your company currently working on that is going to move the industry forward?
We are pioneering a complete cross-border transaction services that encompass airtime, money, digital content and bill payment. These products shall enrich and complement our hub offering to our partners, especially useful to serve the migrant/ethnic segments.

5. What is exciting you most in 2010 (either personally or professionally)?
International airtime transfer concept is going main stream and gaining acceptance in more Telco operators and financial institutions.

6. What is the most important piece of technology in your life?
Nothing in particular.

7. What mobile device(s) do you use?
Blackberry, Nokia and i-Pad

8. What’s your favourite application?
Blackberry Messenger

9. What’s your ringtone?
Standard phone ringing tone

10. Which mobile industry blogs do you regularly read and why?
Telecoms.com, Moconews and telecomasia.net – good analysis and news source for industry movement

11. What is the biggest mobile content issue that is likely to affect the industry within the next 12 months?
The various competing smartphone platform and different billing technology which may not necessarily be tied to the mobile operators.

23 November 2010

An "Apptastic" London Event


MIG CEO Barry Houlihan welcomed everyone to a private screening room in the Charlotte Street hotel for “Apptastic” the first joint MEF/MIG London event held on 17 November. “It IS possible to have a great user experience on the small screen,” enthused Houlihan, before going on to underline the importance of having a mobile app strategy based on “Discovery and which platforms to use; features and which devices to target; and delivering a great user experience.”

Suhail Bhat, MEF Policy & Initiative Director, set the scene by speaking briefly about applications from the perspective of MEF’s current work on Smart Enablers and M-Commerce. “Apps must be simple, relevant and contextual,” stated Suhail, adding that there are also important issues surrounding in-app billing, a subject which was the focus of a recent Ofcom ruling.

“Monetisation & In App Billing”

“Monetisation is key, otherwise as a start-up you face death!” was the dramatic opening statement from Flirtomatic’s CEO Mark Curtis. With at least 5 platforms to deal with, Curtis emphasised the need to work with partners to deal with the complexity. He also advised the audience to “Watch out for HTML5” with regard to mobile web applications.


So-called ‘vanity tools’ such as ‘Delete your freak’ and ‘ego boost’ offer opportunities for Flirtomatic users to pay to boost their ratings and profiles. This is crucial given the social networking company’s focus on the KPI of conversion to payment.

His presentation also covered different billing routes including: iTunes, carrier integration, Paypal, as well as a “new breed of integrator” typified by companies like Boku and Zong, which both have Android “1 click billing”.

One audience member asked about the reasons for the high levels of failed payment transactions – which can lead to anything from 25-50% of failed transactions. “Often this is down to lack of credit on pre-pay phones but it can also be due to network drop-outs or numerous other reasons,” explained Curtis.

Another attendee asked how Flirtomatic compare themselves to their competitors such as Match. “We don’t view Match as competition,” replied Curtis, “since we have different business models – theirs is based on subscriptions. Besides we’re about flirting not dating,” he added, pointing out how many times people (and here he included himself) flirt during the course of their day.

“Using Apps to Drive Revenue & Extend Your Brand”


Neil Johnson from A&N Media (a division of Daily Mail & General Trust) began his presentation with a quick overview of Metro’s readership, dubbed “City Clickers”. “The average age of our readers is 35 years, they’re twice as likely to have an iPhone and over 50% own a smartphone,” said Johnson.

Metro Apps is the brand and website for the publishing group’s applications which focus on transport and games, although Phrasebook apps, aimed at the “fly and flop” traveller, have also proved popular. “An example of a travel app is ‘Cabfinder’ which uses LBS to show minicab firms in your area. The app is free and there’s a revenue share earned from each call,” explained Johnson.

Responding to an audience question, Johnson conceded that the business model for Metro Apps relies on their ability to cross promote using the publishing assets at A&N Media’s disposal.
He added that Metro is also experimenting with QR Codes which can be scanned by smartphones and provide a link to say a Youtube clip. This is being used for a game entitled Super Yum Yum 3 with the entertaining tagline: “Revenge doesn’t get fruitier than this!”

MIG’s David Glennie concluded with a presentation on market fragmentation, pointing out, “Fragmentation is always viewed in a negative way, even though it’s caused by innovation (which generally has positive connotations).” Glennie suggested that HTML5 could solve many fragmentation issues and is set to revolutionise the mobile web. It would also appear that the future is coming faster than we think. As an example of the speed of change affecting mobile, Glennie pointed to a prediction made earlier this year by Morgan Stanley’s Mary Meeker that smartphone sales would overtake sales of new pcs by 2014. This prediction has now been revised to actually happen by 2012…

Attendees then gathered in an adjacent room to network and enjoy some typical MIG hospitality. Further joint events on topical issues are planned for 2011.

16 November 2010

MEF Connects Cape Town 2010: “Local is lekker”


Last year’s MEF event boasted a view of the impressive new Green Point stadium which hosted the opening World Cup game in June. This year’s venue offered an alternative yet intrinsically Capetonian view – Clifton’s 4th beach – to welcome MEF members and guests to the Mira Networks-hosted MEF Connects event held in Cape Town on 10 November.


Emma Kaye, MEF EMEA board director, welcomed guests and thanked Mira Networks for sponsoring the second annual gathering in Cape Town. Gerrit Jan Konijnenberg, MEF EMEA Chairman, then confirmed the ‘tradition’ of local events would be maintained with the announcement of Vodacom’s offer to sponsor a South African event in 2011.


The topic for the panel of speakers was mobile content in Africa and ‘local is lekker’ quickly became a recurring theme in the discussion led by Konijnenberg. Google’s Nick Heller underlined the importance of relevant and local content, citing Google’s new “Baraza” service as an example – a Q&A service for Africa to encourage more people to go online and provide locally relevant information. Heller added that monetisation through mobile advertising is set to capitalise on the mobile phone functionality using interaction and location.

Vodacom’s Prins Mhlanga talked about the challenges of growing revenues at the “base of the pyramid” and taking subscription services to the next level while dealing with increasing regulatory burdens.



Sean Conde of Mira Networks highlighted the need to work with local partners when doing business in Africa: “It’s absolutely essential to use local partners but the challenge of course is how to find the right partners?” Conde stated. He also pointed out that not all African markets are regulated to the same level and encouraged companies to use MEF as a resource on regulatory matters and tap into their expertise from other regions.

DStv mobile has recently launched in South Africa offering 11 channels and video on demand on weekly or monthly subscriptions using 3G streaming as well as DVB-H trial. DStv’s Mark Rayner said: “Our speed to market has been quite frankly shocking in South Africa mainly due to regulatory challenges. However elsewhere in Africa, we’ve had a much more positive experience. The authorities in Nigeria and Kenya for example, view mobile tv as an innovative service that they want to encourage and spectrum availability has been much less of an issue.”

New mobile entrant 8ta, owned by the Telkom group, launched as a mobile network last month and has an ambitious goal of reaching 12% market share by 2015. Dawood Patel admitted: “Currently we’re focusing on text and encouraging more communication, content will become a priority later.”



Nokia’s Woon Peng highlighted how the OEM’s work is making life easier for farming communities in India, Asia and now Africa. “Ovi Life Tools has been launched in Nigeria allowing farmers to check the latest crop prices, weather forecasts and livestock information via their handsets,” stated Peng. Other ways to encourage content consumption include embedded content on new devices offering free games on a trial basis, as well as the Ovi store which profiles Nokia users to ensure they receive relevant content and information. This is in addition to Nokia’s ongoing training of coders and media providers.

An audience member asked about Nokia’s strategy for micro-payments. Peng replied: “We’ve trialled mobile payments in Senegal by partnering with the bank Societe Generale. However I think the most important goal is to work towards simple ‘1 click purchases’ and to team up with network operators to achieve this.”

Another question pointed out that content is bandwidth intensive and, given the increasing downward pressure on pricing, asked what was the answer. Google’s Heller replied that caching local content and using ever more innovative compression technology were part of the solution.

The lively panel discussion concluded and was followed by cocktails, canapes and the serious pursuit of networking late into the evening and long after the sun had set on 4th beach.

27 October 2010

MEF Executive Questionaire #20: Michael Neidhoefer, Netbiscuits

MEF continues to seek new ways to profile its members and promote the thought-leadership of the senior executives within these companies. We are pleased to launch the MEF Executive Questionnaire to reveal the real people behind the industry in an informal and entertaining manner.

This will be a regular feature of the MEF blog, so make sure you subscribe via email or RSS. If you are a senior executive from one of our member companies and would like to be featured then please contact MEF Marketing Director, Stephen Jenkins.

The Twentieth in the series is from Michael Neidhoefer, CEO of Netbiscuits.


1. Please describe briefly your main company activities and your role within that organisation
Netbiscuits is the world’s leading cloud software service for cross-platform development, operation and management of mobile sites and apps. The company serves the mobile Internet programs for premium online and media companies such as eBay, Universal Music, MTV Networks, Time Inc. and Axel Springer, as well as leading agencies such as Sapient, Publicis, Razorfish and Ogilvy. Globally, Netbiscuits processes more than 3.5 billion mobile page deliveries for its customers each month. As its CEO and co-founder I am responsible for the sales, marketing and product strategy of Netbiscuits.

2. Without necessarily revealing any confidential information, please outline the principal business models your company uses
Netbiscuits provides a cloud software service for development and publishing of cross-platform mobile websites & apps. Our software service provides flexibility on demand, industry-leading uptime and availability, built-in disaster recovery and access to our global network of datacenters. Our customers get continuous innovation in mobile product features and capabilities, all delivered via the mobile cloud.

Netbiscuits basically offers two methods for the successful design, development and deployment of mobile solutions on our mobile cloud software service: Customers can create and manage Netbiscuits-enabled mobile websites in-house, or use Netbiscuits and their partners to facilitate mobile website and app production. We generate revenues from providing our platform to our customers as well as from bringing them professional services to develop their mobile solution.

We believe that it is crucial to enable our customers to use our platform without our interference which is why our enablement methodology includes document templates and processes to help project teams focus on the key tactical and strategic areas to maximize returns on your online investments and minimize the business risk. The methodology supports the rapid deployment of a mobile solution that meets the customer’s business and financial requirements. This is aligned with their online strategy, and is flexible enough to address future functionality or integration requirements.

We charge our customers monthly SaaS (software as a service) subscription fees for traffic running through our platform as well as customization and support services.

3. What has been your company’s greatest achievement to-date?
We have started off the company 10 years ago amidst the burst of the Internet bubble and the very early stages of mobile. Today, we are proud to stand solidly on three continents with a truly global customer base. Some of the world’s largest content owners are our customers and continue to grow their online business with us. We have been listed in Gartner Magic Quadrant as one of the leaders in Mobile Consumer Application Platforms amongst Google, Apple and many others.

We are on a strong growth path and will continue to work on our vision to become the mobile layer to the worldwide web:

Some facts:
- 400+ Clients
- 50+ partners
- 3.5 billion mobile page deliveries / month (doubling traffic every year)
- 70 million mobile video deliveries / month
- 5000 developers using our platform

4. What is your company currently working on that is going to move the industry forward?
- Making constant browser-based experience and touch-optimization available
- Making integration of rich features into mobile websites easier
- Working on standards for Mobile Advertising and Commerce
- Improving transparency in mobile device usage (LongTail - ShortTail)

5. What is exciting you most in 2010 (either personally or professionally)?
See how our platform traffic doubled within one year and, personally, the birth of my baby girl.

6. What is the most important piece of technology in your life?

My car? No...
My mobile phone and lately - my iPad.

7. What mobile device(s) do you use?
iPhone and iPad, Laptop.

8. What’s your favourite application?
Amazon Kindle to read my books on any device.

9. What’s your ringtone?
Mars Attacks.

10. Which mobile industry blogs do you regularly read and why?
Fierce, MocoNews, MobileMarketer, TechCrunch.

11. What is the biggest mobile content issue that is likely to affect the industry within the next 12 months?
How to enable frictionless payment on mobile browsable applications.

12. Which other MEF member organisation do you most admire?
MEF is an exceptional industry group with an exceptional corporate member base all equipped with a huge set of experience in the mobile sphere and Netbiscuits is happy to be part of it.

06 October 2010

MEF Executive Questionaire #19: Steven Goh, mig33

MEF continues to seek new ways to profile its members and promote the thought-leadership of the senior executives within these companies. We are pleased to launch the MEF Executive Questionnaire to reveal the real people behind the industry in an informal and entertaining manner.

This will be a regular feature of the MEF blog, so make sure you subscribe via email or RSS. If you are a senior executive from one of our member companies and would like to be featured then please contact MEF Marketing Director, Stephen Jenkins.

The nineteenth in the series is from Steven Goh, CEO and co-founder of mig33.


1. Please describe briefly your main company activities and your role within that organisation
We're one of the world's largest mobile social entertainment service, with a presence that stretches from SE Asia, through South Asia and the Middle East, and to Africa and Eastern Europe.

2. Without necessarily revealing any confidential information, please outline the principal business models your company uses
We're replicating the East Asian Social Entertainment Service model (i.e. Tencent QQ, Gree, Dena), by focusing on a fremium service. That is, the bulk of the service is free. We have valuable engagement through virtual gifts, games and other content. And then we collect the cash through prepaid.

3. What has been your company's greatest achievement to-date?
Each day is a new achievement.

4. What is your company currently working on that is going to move the industry forward?
Being successful.

5. What is exciting you most in 2010 (either personally or professionally)?
Rebuilding the team in Singapore.

6. What is the most important piece of technology in your life?
My Apple 2 computer.

7. What mobile device(s) do you use?
Nokia 5800, blackberry, HTC Desire (android), iphone.

8. What's your favourite application?
mig33.

9. What's your ringtone?
Tokyo Ska, Sesame Street.

10. Which mobile industry blogs do you regularly read and why?
No specific blog. I follow Techmeme. Mobile is part of the larger internet.

11. What is the biggest mobile content issue that is likely to affect the industry within the next 12 months?
Android.


04 October 2010

MEF Americas 2010: Mobile Content and Commerce

The Definitive Event for the Mobile Media Industries across North America and LATAM
  • 9 Industry-Leading Founding Sponsors Announced
  • November 30 – December 1, 2010
  • Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel
2010 has been a growth year for mobile content and mobile commerce across the Americas – Latin America is now the world's second largest mobile market, and together with North America serves almost 1 billion customers.

MEF Americas 2010: Mobile Content & Commerce will address the industry’s key business opportunities and concerns, enabling content owners, developers, brands, retailers, commerce providers and other relevant stakeholders to better leverage the native functionality of the mobile device to drive customer acquisition, retention and conversion. Increasingly, mobile is offering new convergence and customer engagement opportunities. MEF Americas 2010: Mobile Content & Commerce will be the definitive forum to meet key players and refine business models for the coming year.

Founding Member Sponsors include Dada, Dolby, Impact Mobile, mBlox, Movile, Neomobile, OpenMarket, Playphone and WAU Movil. Dolby will be the Lead Sponsor of the Tuesday evening Cocktail Reception (an exclusive networking event for delegates and speakers), where it will showcase incredible surround sound for mobile phones with Dolby Digital Plus. Drinks at the Reception are sponsored by OpenMarket.

MEF has a 10-year track record of hosting world-class events. From Barcelona to Dubai to London, MEF events including the Meffys™, CEO Summit™ and MEF Connects™ provide exceptional insights and unrivalled networking across existing and new entrants to the value chain. MEF Americas 2010 will be the annual gathering of leaders in the mobile content and commerce industries from North and Latin America to set the agenda and grow the market for nearly one billion mobile subscribers.

www.mefamericas2010.com

27 September 2010

MEF Executive Questionaire #18: Kelvin Kwek, CEO, Infindo Technology.

MEF continues to seek new ways to profile its members and promote the thought-leadership of the senior executives within these companies. We are pleased to launch the MEF Executive Questionnaire to reveal the real people behind the industry in an informal and entertaining manner.

This will be a regular feature of the MEF blog, so make sure you subscribe via email or RSS. If you are a senior executive from one of our member companies and would like to be featured then please contact MEF Marketing Director, Stephen Jenkins.

The eighteenth in the series is from Kelvin Kwek, CEO of Infindo Technology.


1. Please describe briefly your main company activities and your role within that organisation
Infindo Technology is an R&D company providing mobile solutions which include software and hardware.

2. Without necessarily revealing any confidential information, please outline the principal business models your company uses
We research into the latest mobile technology and provide affordable solutions to our customers. We believe that time is money and our approach is to implement the fastest go-to-market strategy.

3. What has been your company’s greatest achievement to-date?
We have been consistently producing profitable iPhone apps and have produced top ranking apps in iTunes stores in most countries worldwide.

4. What is your company currently working on that is going to move the industry forward?
We are currently working on a 'Zero Start-Up Cost' mobile app store platforms where network operators using our platform can be profitable from day one. As an app developer, we are closing in on the appstore eco-system by providing “AppFactory” to operators, so that the operator will own an appstore full of applications ready for sale.

5. What is exciting you most in 2010 (either personally or professionally)?
I have managed to structure the company organization to cater for the next wave of growth; Infindo Technology will produce more applications and products efficiently and with quality. We are launching our first commercial appstore in Brunei to mark another successful milestone for the company.

6. What is the most important piece of technology in your life?
Mobile technology is the most important technology in my life, technology which allows me to be connected all the time, anytime and anywhere.

7. What mobile device(s) do you use?
I used an iPhone and an iPad.

8. What’s your favourite application?
F1 2010 is my favourite application as I am a big fan of Formula 1.

9. What’s your ringtone?
My ringtone is a typical iPhone ringtone, Marimba.

10. Which mobile industry blogs do you regularly read and why?
I do not follow a specific mobile industry blog. However, I rely on Google Alerts to push me all the relevant information I am interested in, which includes news for the mobile industry.

11. What is the biggest mobile content issue that is likely to affect the industry within the next 12 months?
The biggest issue for content will be relevance. Content needs to be localised, there is no ‘one size fit all' content. This will be the biggest challenge for globalised content providers. The Apple App Store has contained most of the generic applications, we believe localised applications will become the dominant force in the next 12 months.

12. Which other MEF member organisation do you most admire?
Huawei Technologies is the MEF member that I admire the most simply because the company has created a unique corporate culture that has driven the company to be one of the most successful telecom equipment vendors.

24 September 2010

U.N. leads way with M-commerce charity initiative

Tens of thousands of Iraqi refugees in Syria will now be able to receive United Nations food aid by exchanging coupons sent to their mobile telephones as the first such electronic food voucher system in the world moves beyond its pilot phase to embrace those living outside Damascus.

This is an amazing real life example of mobile which combines charity with M-commerce and mobile coupons on feature phones. Going beyond pure monetisation, this demonstrates how mobile companies can make a real difference to ordinary people’s lives in disadvantaged circumstances.

To read more on this topic, click here

17 September 2010

MEF members dominate Guardian’s 2010 Tech Media Invest 100 list

Flirtomatic, GetJar, Jeego, Mippin, Perform Group and Saffron Digital make list of most innovative technology companies, while Shazam tops it.

This week saw the announcement of the Guardian’s 2010 Tech Media Invest 100 list. The list honours those companies within the technology industry which have exhibited the highest standards of innovation and creativity in their respective fields.

Among those included on the list are a host of MEF members, with Flirtomatic, GetJar, Jeego, Mippin, Perform Group and Saffron Digital all featuring prominently, while Shazam had the distinction of topping the list. The inclusion of these companies highlights how MEF’s diverse member base is at the very cutting-edge of modern technology and shaping and driving innovation across multiple areas of the mobile ecosystem.

To view the list in full, please click here.

Congratulations all!

24 August 2010

M-Commerce in SE Asia: Understanding the opportunities of today and tomorrow

Interested in the mobile media market in SE Asia? Thinking about expanding your mobile entertainment product into the area? Want to find out the rising trends and how to tap into the potential of the market?

Join MEF’s webinar on Wednesday 25 August and gain insight into the m-commerce opportunities available in the SE Asia mobile media market.

The mobile device combines an innovative payment platform with the power to fuel impluse purchasing and is changing the way consumers pay for content, goods and services. The panel is made up of brands with real experience in the market, including Maxis, Motricity and Tata Teleservices, to help your business take the first step with these exciting opportunities.

Confirmed Speakers
  • Shea Silidker, Associate Director - KPMG (Moderator)
  • Cynthia Yeo Wee Teng, International Transfer Product Manager - Maxis
  • Jim Ryan, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer - Motricity
  • Joerg Krahnert, Managing Director - Netbiscuits
  • Pankaj Sethi, President, Corporate Strategy & Services - Tata Teleservices
  • Suhail Bhat, Policy and Initiatives Director - MEF
WEBINAR REGISTRATION:
Please click here to register
DATE: Wednesday 25 August 2010
TIME: 13:30 Delhi / 16:00 Singapore / 09:00 London

In addition, if you wish to join the Asia M-Commerce Steering Committee to shape activities moving forward, please contact Suhail or Miranda.

Click to download the MEF M-Commerce Guide recently published by MEF North America, featuring case studies of how brands and content owners are harnessing the mobile commerce opportunity in the US and Canada.

20 August 2010

MEF’s Executive Director Rimma Perelmuter honoured in Top 50 Women in Mobile Content list

Female execs from members’ companies recognised in definitive list of industry’s top female execs

This month saw Mobile Entertainment magazine unveil its 3rd annual Top 50 Women in Mobile Content list. First established in 2008, the list honours the key female figures shaping and driving the modern mobile content industry, with those shortlisted including representatives from handset manufactures, mobile network operators, application developers and analysts houses, amongst others.

Recognised for the third year running is MEF’s Executive Director, Rimma Perelmuter. Now at the helm of the organisation for the best part of a decade, Rimma has been instrumental in developing MEF into the preeminent global trade body of the mobile media and entertainment industry that it is today. Highlighting the calibre of prominent individuals within MEF’s own community, the list also includes a total of 17 women from MEF members, including:

1. Sarah McCluskey (Commercial director, 4th Screen Advertising)
2. Cheryl Dalrymple (CFO, Admob)
3. Lucia Predolin (Director of international marketing, Buongiorno)
4. Catalina Lou (European sales director, EA)
5. Lauren Walter (Head of international, Flirtomatic)
6. Claire Boonstra (co-founder, Layar)
7. Christy Wyatt (Corporate VP, software and services, Motorola)
8. Mary McDowell (EVP, mobile phones unit, Nokia)
9. Liz Schimel (SVP of music, Nokia)
10. Kate Barry (General Manager, Playphone)
11. Sanyu Kiruluta (Team lead, Developer Relations, RIM)
12. Beatrice Farina (Marketing communications director, Shazam)
13. Tanya Field (Director of mobile data group, Telefonica)
14. Sissel Henriette Larsen (Director, apps and content, Telenor)
15. Melis Turkmen (Head of mobile marketing and advertising, Turkcell)
16. Lee Epting (Director of branded content services, Vodafone)
17. Michaelia Negri (Country Manager, Zed UK)

To view the list in full, please click here. Congratulations to all!

11 August 2010

MEF Executive Questionnaire #17: Ryan Wuerch, Motricity

MEF continues to seek new ways to profile its members and promote the thought-leadership of the senior executives within these companies. We are pleased to launch the MEF Executive Questionnaire to reveal the real people behind the industry in an informal and entertaining manner.

This will be a regular feature of the MEF blog, so make sure you subscribe via email or RSS. If you are a senior executive from one of our member companies and would like to be featured then please contact MEF Marketing Director, Stephen Jenkins.

The seventeenth in the series is from Ryan Wuerch, CEO at Motricity.

1. Please describe briefly your main company activities and your role within that organisation
As Chief Executive Officer & Founder of Motricity, a leading provider of mobile Internet solutions and services, I am responsible for the overall success of our company. I’m closely involved in the day-to-day activities of Motricity, meeting with customers and employees to keep abreast of their needs but I’m also responsible for the vision and am accountable to our board of directors and investors. I participate in a number of industry forums such as the CTIA Wireless Foundation, the Washington Roundtable, a non-profit, public policy organization comprised of chief executives representing major private sector employers throughout Washington state, and as an ambassador for the Internet Innovation Alliance.

2. Without necessarily revealing any confidential information, please outline the principal business models your company uses
Motricity has a diversified, recurring revenue model with high predictability and visibility. Contracts typically consist of a fixed fee Professional Services engagement related to the initial customization and implementation of our mCore solution and the development of unique personalized services, coupled with Managed Services, for which we charge fixed, periodic or variable, activity-based fees, or a combination of both.

3. What has been your company’s greatest achievement to-date?
We’re proud of our heritage as a global leader in mobile data solutions, of our ongoing business with some of the largest carriers and enterprises in the world, of our ability to complete a successful IPO in the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression and of our continued expansion into developing markets around the world.

4. What is your company currently working on that is going to move the industry forward?
According to Yankee Group, the worldwide market for mobile content delivery platforms is expected to grow from $2.9 billion in 2009 to $4.3 billion in 2013. This represents an enormous opportunity for Motricity and the mobile industry at large. We plan to leverage our deep experience in working with the leading carriers in North America to capitalize on this global opportunity. Our solutions are designed to scale with the high growth anticipated in mobile data services and we will empower the world’s largest carriers to take full advantage of the growth they are currently experiencing. Motricity is gaining traction in emerging markets and intends to continue expanding in these areas, helping carriers in Southeast Asia, India and Latin America bridge a divide by bringing the Internet to millions via mobile devices.

5. What is exciting you most in 2010 (either personally or professionally)?
On a professional level, I’m excited to be where we are today. Motricity, along with its carrier customers, is sitting at the center of mobile Internet ecosystem. With a near doubling in growth predicted in mobile data over the next 3 years, our industry is at a major inflection point and we’re excited to be a part of that change. On a personal note, I’m training for the 2010 Standard Chartered Marathon in Singapore in December.

6. What is the most important piece of technology in your life?
Without a doubt my cell phone. I have it at all times and it has the power to give me the information I need at the moment I need it, no matter where I am.

7. What mobile device(s) do you use?
I currently use the Blackberry Bold.

8. What’s your favorite application?
Ascendo Data Vault allows me to comfortably host all of my passwords in one location and
att.net gives me a graphically rich mobile Internet solution with a great user experience for all of the information and content I want, making att.net my ‘must have’ front door to the mobile Internet.

9. What’s your ringtone?
I actually keep my phone on vibrate to be conscious of people around me while I am sitting in meetings, meeting with customers, and interacting in normal business day as usual.

10. Which mobile industry blogs do you regularly read and why?
Among my list of frequently visited sites are Wired, Fierce Wireless, Forbes, and MarketWatch. It is important to stay abreast of general business as well as industry news.

11. What is the biggest mobile content issue that is likely to affect the industry within the next 12 months?
Our biggest challenge in the coming year is transforming the online experience for the mobile environment. The mobile Internet is extremely complex and this is a symptom of a larger problem; as an industry we have yet to effectively optimize the Internet for the mobile experience. The mobile Internet is brimming with content, yet none of it is easy to find. There are disparate operating systems, devices and applications which may or may not work well together. At Motricity, we’re working with our carrier customers to simplify these issues and build a better mobile Internet for consumers.

12. Which other MEF member organisation do you most admire?

14 July 2010

MEF Executive Questionnaire #16: Ken Fenyo, YOU Technology

MEF continues to seek new ways to profile its members and promote the thought-leadership of the senior executives within these companies. We are pleased to launch the MEF Executive Questionnaire to reveal the real people behind the industry in an informal and entertaining manner.

This will be a regular feature of the MEF blog, so make sure you subscribe via email or RSS. If you are a senior executive from one of our member companies and would like to be featured then please contact MEF Marketing Director, Stephen Jenkins.

The sixteenth in the series is from Ken Fenyo, CEO at YOU Technology.



1. Please describe briefly your main company activities and your role within that organisation
YOU Technology revolutionizes the way brands and retailers connect with consumers by delivering personalized communications in real-time and across a range of media. Customers such as Kroger, General Mills, P&G, and Unilever use YOU Technology for paperless digital coupons, interactive promotions, and end-to-end loyalty programs. I am CEO of the company.

2. Without necessarily revealing any confidential information, please outline the principal business models your company uses
We typically charge the CPG to create and deliver marketing programs. For paperless coupons, we use a performance based pricing model which the CPG paying a fee for each coupon downloaded. For promotions and loyalty programs we typically charge a set up fee with monthly hosting depending on the scope and duration of the program.

3. What has been your company’s greatest achievement to-date?
We pioneered direct to card, paperless digital coupons with the launch of P&G eSaver at Kroger in November 2007. Since then, we have delivered over 40 million paperless coupons to shoppers across 4,500 stores nationwide. With paperless coupons, shoppers can find and download offers to their loyalty card via the Internet, email, mobile phones, or in-store devices and automatically receive their savings at checkout without having to clip or print offers.

4. What is your company currently working on that is going to move the industry forward?
We are continuing to innovate with new delivery methods for coupons and promotions (in particular mobile using both smart phone applications and SMS) and new methods for analyze consumer behaviour to better personalize offers and programs.

5. What is exciting you most in 2010 (either personally or professionally)?
Rapid growth in mobile smart phones and location-based technologies.

6. What is the most important piece of technology in your life?
Laptop

7. What mobile device(s) do you use?
iPhone 4, Blackberry

8. What’s your favourite application?
Google Maps

9. What’s your ringtone?
Right now, dog barking (thanks to my 11 year old daughter)

10. Which mobile industry blogs do you regularly read and why?
I read TechCrunch and GigaOm but don’t read many mobile specific blogs.

11. What is the biggest mobile content issue that is likely to affect the industry within the next 12 months?
For couponing, getting enough CPGs to begin providing mobile coupons to make the service interesting for consumers. This will require in part more retailers to sign on to accept mobile couponing (primarily by integrating with POS but perhaps also via bar code scanning and other technology).

12. Which other MEF member organisation do you most admire?
Impact Mobile (one of our partners)


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09 July 2010

3-Days Which Traced a Decade of Progress and Defined the Next 10 Years of Mobile Entertainment

The British calendar records Monday, June 21 as the longest day of the year. For MEF it began three of the busiest and most productive days in our 10-year history.


The week began with our inaugural MEF CEO Summit, an invite-only event for the business leaders of MEF membership, sponsored by the investment bank Jefferies and the law firms Denton Wilde Sapte LLP and Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP. The exclusive, closed-door event was a huge success with 70+ CEOs in attendance. Illuminating stimulus presentations were received on the Future of the Mobile Operator by Professor Mike Walker, (founder of Vodafone), the Future Role of the Mobile Device by David Wood, (co-founder of Symbian) and Consolidation and Growth activity in the mobile sector by Andres Pieczanski, (Jefferies’ Managing Director Technology Investment Banking). The intense discussion that followed drew out some fascinating insights. Particularly inspiring was the realisation that both network spectrum capabilities and the mobile device are developing at such a pace that the mobile will quickly become the preferred platform to access the internet, triumphing fixed-line access for usability, ease and speed.

Continuing the afternoon at the Paramount Members Club, courtesy of Omnifone, we moved to a review of MEF’s activities over the past year during the AGM and the elections for our Global Board. Two awards were presented for the first time at the AGM to recognise outstanding commitment to MEF and the industry at large. The Member of Distinction was received by Alex Haffner of Denton Wilde Sapte, whilst the Board Director of Distinction was presented jointly to MEF North America Chairman Gary Schwartz and MEF EMEA Chairman Gerrit Jan Konijnenberg. During the elections that followed representatives from EA Mobile, Omnifone and Telefonica were voted onto the MEF Global board for the first time. In addition, directors from both KPMG and Shazam were re-elected to the board, with Andrew Bud also re-elected as Global Chairman and Pete Wood elected as Global Vice Chairman.

MEF Global Board 2010
  • Chairman: Andrew Bud, Executive Chairman, mBlox
  • Vice Chairman: Pete Wood, VP International Mobile Business Development, Sony Pictures
  • Ron Czerny – Founder & CEO, Playphone
  • Mark Harding – Media and Digital Content Director, KPMG
  • Gerrit Jan Konijnenberg – VP Interstandard Roaming, Vodafone
  • Rob Lewis – Executive Chairman, Omnifone
  • Luca Pagano,Vice President Publishing – EA Mobile
  • Patrick Parodi – Board Director, Shazam
  • James Parton – Head of Developer Marketing, Telef√≥nica
  • Neeraj Roy – MD & CEO, Hungama Mobile
  • Gary Schwartz – CEO, Impact Mobile
  • Billy Wright – Head of Sponsorship, Nokia


After a busy day of illuminating discussion it was time to celebrate at the 7th Meffys Awards and Gala dinner, supported by Dolby, Buongiorno, Symbian, 7digital, MTS, Quickplay Media and Vodafone, to honour the most influential players in the mobile entertainment industry from across the world.

Held for the first time in the regal surroundings of the Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden, with 400 of the industry’s most influential figures in attendance, entrance to the hall alone was a grandiose occasion. With mobile entertainment having experienced 10-years of evolution, this was a worthy celebration of an industry reaching a new apex of prosperity and success.

The winning entries of the seventh annual awards once again provided an insight into the wide range of innovative products, services, applications and projects which are shaping and defining the evolution of the mobile media industry. Rimma Perelmuter, Executive Director of MEF commented: “MEF is proud to celebrate a diverse $36 billion mobile media industry which continues to innovate and thrive. This year’s Meffys winners highlight the industry’s true coming of age with an array of content-focused applications, cross-platform media and mobile commerce offerings. The Meffys have become the global standard for measuring success and serve as a window to the industry’s future.”

Big winners on the night included CBS Mobile, with 3 awards, Flirtomatic who won for Social Media – taking their tally of Meffys to an impressive and unmatched 3 awards in the same category – and our Outstanding Contribution winner, Dr Andrew Hsu, inventor of modern touchscreen technology for mobile handsets. View all of the Meffys winners’ interviews, which Ewan of Mobile Industry Review conducted immediately after they came off stage, on the Meffys website.



The following day, the 10th MeM conference began. MEF Chairman Andrew Bud picked up from the previous evening by highlighting within his opening keynote (members: download the presentation) the seven very different winners of the Meffys outstanding achievement award. This set the tone for a look back at key moments over the last decade of the mobile media industry, from the Crazy Frog and Snake up to the modern-day apps and touchscreen devices. To conclude this positive address Andrew made some predictions for the next ten years of mobile entertainment. These included flexible materials and form factors; feature films, 3D and Augmented Reality; True multi-channel delivery and the mobile becoming the media centre of our lives. New business models will have to be invented to address the challenges of the next decade, however he foresaw “ten years of juggernaut, exciting-as-hell, rollercoaster growth”.

Our industry then heard for the first time from one of the major publishing houses who are taking a considered approach to their digital content strategy. Fionnuala Duggan, Director of Random House Digital, gave a keynote address that was both informative and open. Beginning by pointing out that, in the UK, the books industry is bigger than music, she said that e-books accounted for around 6% of US trade book sales in the first quarter of 2010, however this was the early stages of a considerable growth curve. Industry forecasts suggest that e-books may account for between 7-10% of US trade book sales this year, rising to as much as 25% in the next five years.

Publishers have to be able to balance their existing business models with new digital opportunities, with the example given of the success Random House achieved when launching the Nigella Lawson Quick Collection recipe app. Fionnuala talked about both the risks, through piracy, and the opportunities that publishers face when planning their strategy for mobile and digital publishing. She concluded with an open invitation; "We would like to work more broadly with the mobile industry. We would love to talk to people who are able to bring books to the wider market. I recognise that there is more to the mobile industry than the iPhone App Store."

The day two keynote from Dr Tero Ojanpera, EVP Services at Nokia provided a look into the future potential of the mobile device, echoing some of Andrew Bud’s comments and themes which had been discussed at the CEO Summit earlier in the week. Tero’s vision was not of a mobile device running apps in individual silos, but of a ‘predictive context device’ – a handset which can track your location, that of your friends and family and the circumstances that surround you and reacts accordingly. His example, of a handset alerting you to a delayed flight, finding a local coffee shop to watch the World Cup, calculating the time from your location to the airport and then ordering a taxi from your preferred supplier in enough time, seemed one of science fiction, but the insight over 2 days at MeM made you realise that this was a much closer reality than we might expect.

Outside of the keynote presentations, MeM provided a wide range of panels, reflecting the diverse make-up of MEF membership which represents the entire value chain of mobile media and entertainment. It was a unique opportunity, in two days, to immerse yourself in every facet of the modern mobile media business.

Other insights of note included a fascinating panel on Creating a Multiplatform Experience where Gracenote’s Ty Roberts discussed their work with car manufacturers to add connectivity to vehicles. This will enable content services, including social status updates and far more accurate, location-based, traffic information, etc to be delivered – hands free - to the dashboard.

In the Growth Markets session, all the panelists warned against basing your strategy on the smartphone as penetration levels are still low. Neeraj Roy, MEF Asia Chair, indicated that the emergence of low-priced, good quality devices capable of supporting data services are driving the market, along with the growth in ad-funded mobile entertainment content in India. MEF LATAM Chair, Ron Czerny also spoke about the predominance of premium-SMS as the billing mechanism in Latin America, predicting carrier-billing to be another 5-years away as a viable solution.

Finally, in one of two sessions on the Apps phenomenon, the most hotly debated topic was the role, responsibility and remuneration of the operator in the apps value chain. Representatives from Vodafone, Telefonica, Getjar, Polar Mobile and Shazam discussed whether the 70/30 revenue-share model was appropriate when the operators’ primary business is selling tariffs, with content developed by innovative apps publishers used as a market differentiation opportunity.

As the needs of the industry and those of our global membership continue to evolve we aim to meet these requirements by providing a variety of opportunities for business development, insight and industry profiling. In 2000 MEF created - with our event partner Informa - the MeM conference, the definitive gathering of the world’s mobile media industry; in 2003 MEF launched the Meffys - the industry’s most coveted awards and recognised benchmark for measuring success and rewarding innovation. Now, in 2010 MEF launched its inaugural MEF CEO Summit – an exclusive, invite-only event for the business leaders of MEF members.

At every MEF event a key objective is to connect the value chain, to facilitate business development and provide competitive advantage to our membership. Over the course of our 3 events, MEF brought together 175 leading companies who are driving revenues in the $36bn mobile media industry. With our global footprint we were pleased to welcome companies from each of our operational markets; from Asia, LATAM, North America and EMEA. In particular the CEO Summit provided high levels of engagement and with four other operational chapters this is an event we believe can scale and deliver value at a local level, as well as globally. The inaugural MEF CEO Summit was a great first step and is a brand we intend to build over the years to come.

Three days in June defined the modern mobile media industry. MeM provided an insight into the business models, challenges and opportunities our industry currently faces. The Meffys celebrated the industry’s finest success stories, who have earned their position over the last 10 years of progress. And the CEO Summit pointed to an exciting and abundant future. MEF will continue to provide our membership and the industry with similar opportunities in the future – no matter how many hours are in the day.

07 July 2010

MEF & Qtel Launch Middle East Office as 2010 World Cup kicks off

(l-r): Gerrit Jan Konijnenberg (MEF EMEA Chairman), Dr Tidu Maini (QSTP Chairman) and Dr Nasser Marafih (CEO of the Qtel Group).

Qatar is bidding for the 2022 World Cup: each stadium will be fully air-conditioned to counter the searing 40+ degree heat of their summer months, and once the tournament is over the constructions will be dismantled and exported to Africa as part of their legacy commitment.

Such determination and ingenuity are qualities much in evidence as Qatar pursues its transformation into a knowledge-based economy. On 15 June, Qtel Group celebrated the co-founding of the MEF Middle East office as part of their Mobile Innovation Hub to be based at Qatar Science & Technology Park in Doha. The hub will play a major role in developing new mobile applications, solutions in health and education, as well as creating a mobile innovation ecosystem in the MENA region.

At the launch, Dr Tidu Maini, QSTP Chairman, said: “MEF’s role will stimulate and concentrate activity and innovation in mobile media in the MENA region.”

Dr. Nasser Marafih, CEO of the Qtel Group added: “Given the rapid growth in 3G networks and increased uptake in smartphones, local content represents the missing element to drive adoption of mobile data services.”

Gerrit Jan Konijnenberg, MEF EMEA Chairman commented: “Consider the difference in mobile content for the current World Cup compared to the rudimentary goal videos offered for the 2002 tournament. MEF’s presence and the mobile innovation hub in Doha will accelerate future growth through co-operation and collaboration.”

05 July 2010

MEF Summit at CommunicAsia


MEF in collaboration with CommunicAsia hosted a Mobile Value Added Service Summit on the first day of CommunicAsia in Singapore. Communicasia is the premier event in Asia Pacific with 40,000 attendees, 1.200 exhibitors from more than 50 countries. The MEF organised summit received extensive press coverage

Conference Chairman was Colin Miles, Vice Chair of MEF Asia. With a well attended summit and numerous press coverage on our MEF speakers the event was a great success.

On behalf of MEF Asia, we would like to thank the following speakers, panellists and moderators for their thought provoking presentations, valuable input and entertaining comments to ensure the success of the day
  • Amrish Kacker, Partner, Head APAC. Analysys Mason (Research Company).
  • Michael Breen, Director Market Development & Strategy, APAC, Amdocs Changing Worlds
  • Bryan Davies, Director of Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent
  • Stephane Palomba, Head of Sales, Asia Pacific, SpeedCast Ltd
  • Arvind Venkateswaran, Senior VP Bus. Develop. & GM, Geodesic
  • Russ Shaw, GM for Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) and General Manager for Mobile, Skype
Panelists:
  • Chris Chandler, Head of Mobile Services, Microsoft
  • Julian Persaud, Southeast Asia Managing Director, Google
  • Victor R. Ocampo, Bus. Develop. Manager, Yahoo! Mobile - SEAsia
  • Oliver Graves, Asia Sales Director, Motricity
  • Christian Cadeo, Regional Business Development Director, AdMob
  • Steven Goh, CEO Mig33
  • Steve Akers, Director, Multimedia Production, ESPN STAR Sports
Moderator: Joerg Krahnert, Managing Director, Netbiscuits
Moderator: Oscar Veronese, COO, i-POP Networks

Press coverage links:

01 July 2010

Event: MIG Digital Media and Interactive Lunch

Mobile Interactive Group (MIG), a global integrated mobile and digital communications business recently hosted an event focused around insight, innovation and inspiration in the digital landscape at The OXO Tower central London.

Well respected industry thought leaders took to the stage at the MIG Digital Media and Interactive Lunch, including Gareth Jones, Editor of Marketing and Revolution Magazine, Tom Dunmore, Consulting Editor, Stuff Magazine and Gary Thompson, Director, Product Development, News International to share their thoughts on various topics covering ‘Why brands, need to take a joined up approach’, ‘Our gadgets and why we can’t live without them’ and ‘How to take a national institution like The Sun and News of the World into the digital world’ and more.

With over 70 brands from multiple sectors and 150 senior level marketeers in the room some interesting conversation was enjoy by all.

The top 10 insights captured on the day included...

  1. Smartphones – By 2011 more people will have a smartphone than a standard phone which means more consumption of rich media content on the move
  2. Mobile Internet – Is no longer a painful experience and acording to the IAB, in the UK we spend 23% of our online time connected via mobile
  3. Commerce - Online shopping sales from mobile will more than double by 2013
  4. Mobile Social Media – Massive uptake with 40% of 16 > 24 yr olds in the UK accessing social networking sites via mobile
  5. Advertising is Changing – The contract with the consumer has changed, they’re demanding engagement rather than prescriptive advertising
  6. Augmented Reality & Location Based Services – Their full potential is yet to be tapped
  7. Devices – Apple have really mastered product fetishism bringing stylish and user friendly products to market that people crave and desire
  8. iPad & Tablets – These products will create a tactile and intuitive experience for people of all ages and has massive potential
  9. User Experience – Irrespective of device the user has to be at the centre of the design process
  10. Strategy – Brands need to develop a mobile strategy now as its really taking centre stage as a primary engagement channel
To read all tweets on the event use our hashtag #MIGDIG

The event was run in association with MEF and sponsored by O2. To be involved in future MIG Digital Media and Interactive Lunches please contact Emma Potter, Head of Communications at MIG – emma@migcan.com


You can also follow us on Twitter - twitter.com/migcan

28 June 2010

MEF Executive Questionnaire #15: Dr Lai, Buzzcity

MEF continues to seek new ways to profile its members and promote the thought-leadership of the senior executives within these companies. We are pleased to launch the MEF Executive Questionnaire to reveal the real people behind the industry in an informal and entertaining manner.

This will be a regular feature of the MEF blog, so make sure you subscribe via email or RSS. If you are a senior executive from one of our member companies and would like to be featured then please contact MEF Marketing Director, Stephen Jenkins.

The fifteenth in the series is from Dr Lai, CEO of Buzzcity.




1. Please describe briefly your main company activities and your role within that organisation
BuzzCity is a mobile media company offering brand owners and agencies access to a global advertising network on the mobile internet. The network is made up of publishers from across the world and BuzzCity’s own mobile media properties. As a leading international player, BuzzCity has developed in-depth knowledge of the mobile consumer and provides marketers with clear opportunities to reach this audience via its advertising and publisher programmes.

2. Without necessarily revealing any confidential information, please outline the principal business models your company uses
We target the “Unwired” which consists of two distinct audiences: the newly connected emerging middle class in developing markets and the blue collar sector in developed regions. These "unwired" consumers are accessing the mobile Internet on their phones due to widespread and affordable wireless access.

We also adopt the “aggregate-and-syndicate” strategy to create more premium mobile media properties. These properties allow us to offer more exciting options (sponsorships, cost-per-acquisition) to advertisers besides the standard cost-per-click model of ad networks, as well as helping us to gain access to a larger audience from the publishers.

3. What has been your company’s greatest achievement to-date?
Founded in 1999, we survived the dotcom crash and built a dominant global mobile advertising network. Over the years, the company has built a culture of strategic thinking, dedicated work, solid technology and customer service, attracting the right talents in the team.

4. What is your company currently working on that is going to move the industry forward?
We are educating the industry at large on the distinct audience segments on the mobile Internet and advertising. The Tier-1 consumers use computer and internet heavily in their professional work and life, and treat mobile as a supplementary connecting device to Internet. They use phones like iPhone and BlackBerries. The Tier-2 consumers are the “Unwired”. There are distinct differences on the products that will appeal to these two groups.

We are also pushing for an industry-wide and neutral verification of traffic metrics from advertising networks and publishers. This is essential to create an opened and trusted environment for mobile entertainment and advertising to thrive.

5. What is exciting you most in 2010 (either personally or professionally)?
BuzzCity has grown significantly from 45 staff to more than 70 staff, with offices in Singapore (HQ), Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India, South Africa, France and the USA. I am most excited to gather such a talented and dedicated team of people who will help us to push the envelope in mobile advertising.

6. What is the most important piece of technology in your life?
It has to be the mobile phone. It affects my life personally, and we have built a business on it.

7. What mobile device(s) do you use?
I have been using this iPhone 3G for 2 years. I think I will upgrade to the iPhone 4 soon ...

8. What’s your favourite application?
I have 2 free applications on the London Tube and Paris RATP. They are great to tell me which line to take and change, without having to fiddle with small maps.

9.What’s your ringtone?
The default Strum ringtone on iPhone.

10. Which mobile industry blogs do you regularly read and why?
Techcrunch and Venturebeat. They give good updates on the relevant industry.

11. What is the biggest mobile content issue that is likely to affect the industry within the next 12 months?
As the questionable subscription practices are regulated out in most markets, mobile entertainment company must innovate to find the products that are entertaining and value-for-money. These companies must create the capabilities to introduce new products with very short life-cycle, i.e. 1-3 months.

14 June 2010

MEF Executive Questionnaire #14: Thawatvongse Silamanonda, Senior Vice President, Mono Technology

MEF continues to seek new ways to profile its members and promote the thought-leadership of the senior executives within these companies. We are pleased to launch the MEF Executive Questionnaire to reveal the real people behind the industry in an informal and entertaining manner.

This will be a regular feature of the MEF blog, so make sure you subscribe via email or RSS. If you are a senior executive from one of our member companies and would like to be featured then please contact MEF Marketing Director, Stephen Jenkins.

The fourteenth in the series is from Thawatvongse Silamanonda of Mono Technology.




1. Please describe briefly your main company activities and your role within that organisation
Mono Technology Co., Ltd is the No.1 content provider in Thailand, working closely with 3 major operators. We provide various content to satisfied mobile subscribers ranging from simple text sms service thru to 3G rich content. As International VAS Department, our main focus is to expand and utilize our current expertise and knowledge in the domestic market and to make ourselves present in the International arena.

2. Without necessarily revealing any confidential information, please outline the principal business models your company uses
Our principle business model that we primarily focus on is to create / aggregate branded useful content that can be consumed in various platforms. Give our subscriber choices to enjoy their favorite content thru traditional printed media, mobile screen, website, or IPTV channel.

3. What has been your company’s greatest achievement to-date?
Mono Technology Co., Ltd greatest achievement in the Thailand market came in 2009 when we crossed 10 Million mobile subscribers mark. However, we believe that we have not fully utilized our strength yet; our next achievement will be even more exciting.

4. What is your company currently working on that is going to move the industry forward?
VAS industry in Thailand is growing; our 200% growth in 2009 had confirmed this. Newer tariff plans and cheaper mobile devices proliferate the markets. What we are trying to do here is not only finding new services to provide to market but also make sure that our current subscribers enjoy using our service that match their lifestyle, receive full attention when contacting our call centre. CRM will be our primarily focus and an area that we believe will move the whole industry forward.

5. What is exciting you most in 2010 (either personally or professionally)?
We truly believe that the future of the third screen device will be much bigger, what we see here is only the tip of the iceberg. The Mobile VAS market has an immense potential of growth, we all need to be open to need application, content and ensure we keep ourselves up to date in such a fast paced industry.

6. What is the most important piece of technology in your life?
Mobile has become mandatory in professional life, replacing the laptop by enabling internet access. Not only because of its small attractive designs but also because it provides access to many useful personal features like camera, games, music and numerous features and applications.

7. What mobile device(s) do you use?
i-Phone and Black Berry

8. What’s your favourite application?
Now it’s Perlingo

9. What’s your ringtone?
Own artistic, Candy Mafia

10. Which mobile industry blogs do you regularly read and why?
http://www.mobileinnovation.org/ of GSMA

11. What is the biggest mobile content issue that is likely to affect the industry within the next 12 months?
Location Based application VS Behavioural Targeting on Mobile advertising

08 June 2010

MEF Executive Questionnaire #13: Patrick Kennedy, Sidebar


MEF continues to seek new ways to profile its members and promote the thought-leadership of the senior executives within these companies. We are pleased to launch the MEF Executive Questionnaire to reveal the real people behind the industry in an informal and entertaining manner.

This will be a regular feature of the MEF blog, so make sure you subscribe via email or RSS. If you are a senior executive from one of our member companies and would like to be featured then please contact MEF Marketing Director, Stephen Jenkins.

The thirteenth in the series is from Patrick Kennedy of Sidebar.




1. Please describe briefly your main company activities and your role within that organisation
Our business solves the universal problem for consumers when it comes to finding the content that’s right for them while at the same time, maximizing profitability for the storefront operator. It amazes me to see how consumers are treated as if they all have the same interests and aspirations. Mobile content is one of the most personal of all purchases and should be merchandized accordingly.

2. Without necessarily revealing any confidential information, please outline the principal business models your company uses
We drive value in terms of enhancing the user experience, maximizing profitability, AND providing robust analytics for continuous improvement in the marketing and operational arenas. Our business model reflects the carrier, platform operator & aggregators’ specific needs. Because we have an efficient platform, we can charge low fixed fees, and in many cases we build a performance driven pricing structure that reduces fixed costs to our customers and allows us to share in the upside of the value we create.

3. What has been your company’s greatest achievement to-date?
Creating a powerful engine for truly personalized content merchandising and analytics – and providing a truly innovative product. I’m very proud of the elegant solution created by our CTO Eric Wilson currently being deployed with two large customers in South America and India. Our customer roadmap is replete with content merchandisers who recognize the importance of offering personalized recommendations as an offensive and defensive move in their markets.

The game is being taken to a new level where the consumer and operator both win.

4. What is your company currently working on that is going to move the industry forward?
Making content recommendation on any networked devices a seamless user experience. Our Smart Menus solution provides the ability to recognize each unique user, regardless of the device type, and offer recommendations that are optimized for the specific device OS and form factor they want to consume the content on. By leveraging powerful analytics we can create both real-time recommendations and ongoing feedback loops for our customers, helping them become ever-more effective at satisfying their users demands.

5. What is exciting you most in 2010 (either personally or professionally)?
Using my business and digital background to solve one of the most important user issues when it comes to making content discoverable – finding what the consumers want. Why are most menu presentations homogenous especially on a mobile device? Well, I aim to change that.

6. What is the most important piece of technology in your life?
My new iPad

7. What mobile device(s) do you use?
Blackberry, iPhone

8. What’s your favourite application?
NPR News, Google Maps, Minnesota Twins baseball app

9. What’s your ringtone?
Vibrate

10. Which mobile industry blogs do you regularly read and why?
Techcrunch, MocoNews, Gizmodo, Mobile Marketer, Fierce Wireless, Wireless Week, Mobile Entertainment News

11. What is the biggest mobile content issue that is likely to affect the industry within the next 12 months?
As the amount of content grows exponentially it becomes harder for the consumer to find content that is relevant and engaging. An engaged user is a more profitable user and personalization tools are a critical piece that ensures that users come back, time and again to see what is available for them. Personalization increases purchase size and frequency, major factors for growth in overall profitability. One final driver, the margin contribution, ensures the storefront gets the most revenue for each piece of content.

12. Which other MEF member organisation do you most admire?
AdMob - Omar Hamoui and I are former colleagues at Sony; Motricity as they have built an amazing business getting ready for IPO.

25 May 2010

Meffys finalists highlight new trends in mobile media industry

MEF has announced the finalists for the 2010 Meffys Awards. These were selected after four days of judging by representatives from over 45 companies, publications and analyst houses. Now in their seventh year, the Meffys 2010 submissions highlight innovative apps, services and mobile connected devices from across the globe, with increasing representation from emerging markets such as Latin America.

This year, seven new categories were added to reflect the industry’s evolution, spurred on in part by the explosion of mobile apps, mobile commerce, new device formats, and the escalation of cross-platform content and technology.
MEF is also pleased to announce that Dolby Laboratories has signed on as Gold sponsor for this year’s Meffys Awards. Winners of the Quality of Experience award in 2009, Dolby will be showcasing how their world-leading audio technologies are bringing the cinematic surround sound experience to entertainment on the go, adding a touch of Hollywood to the handset at this year’s event. Meffys 2010 sponsors also include 7Digital, Buongiorno and Vodafone.

This year’s winners will be unveiled on 21 June at a special gala awards dinner at the newly refurbished Grand Connaught Rooms in London’s Covent Garden to an audience of 400 key industry players, taking place on the eve of MEF’s official annual conference, Mobile Entertainment Market To purchase individual tickets for the Meffys Gala Dinner, email ITMevents@informa.com. To reserve a corporate branded table, please contact Carine.Vandevelde@inform.com. For sponsorship opportunities, contact sponsors@m-e-f.org.

To see the shortlist, please see the press release here.

03 May 2010

MEF Executive Questionnaire #12: Rafaela Furtado, Abril Digital

MEF continues to seek new ways to profile its members and promote the thought-leadership of the senior executives within these companies. We are pleased to launch the MEF Executive Questionnaire to reveal the real people behind the industry in an informal and entertaining manner.

This will be a regular feature of the MEF blog, so make sure you subscribe via email or RSS. If you are a senior executive from one of our member companies and would like to be featured then please contact MEF Marketing Director, Stephen Jenkins.

The twelfth in the series is from Rafaela Furtado of Abril Digital.

1. Please describe briefly your main company activities and your role within that organisation
Abril is the largest magazine publisher in Brazil and one of the largest media companies in Latin America. Abril publishes six of the top ten magazine titles in Brazil. The focus for growth is on digital projects by Abril Digital under the umbrella of www.abril.com.br. Services include internet portals, mobile applications, mobile content and new-generation social network services.

My role is to bring digital/mobile initiatives to the company and provide innovative solutions to effectively deliver Abril’s content to the mobile users.

2. Without necessarily revealing any confidential information, please outline the principal business models your company uses
Abril leads the magazine market in terms of both circulation and advertising. The Abril Group has its own operations for distribution of magazines and volumes in the news-stands and sales stands in the outlets. In the mobile business, the revenues come from the Abril’s content distributed/billed by the mobile carriers to the users.

3. What is your company currently working on that is going to move the industry forward?
The Abril Group is one of the biggest and most influential communication groups in Latin America, providing information, culture, education and entertainment for practically every sector of the population, and integrated in an array of other media platforms. Abril was the pioneer in the subscription TV sector with the launching of TVA, the first to offer digital TV, wide band internet and Voip in the country. MTV was the first segmented TV in Brazil, launched in 1990. Abril also plays an important role in the internet market, providing exclusive access to more than 80 sites for all subscribers.

In the mobile sector, Digital Abril is the branch of the Group responsible for Abril’s new digital business and developing products, contents and services in platforms and in formats that surpass expectations of this new public, being pioneer in wireless services since 2000, offering more than 160 products under 32 Abril brands, available through all mobile carriers in Brazil.

4. What is the most important piece of technology in your life?
The chip and the mobile phone

5. What mobile device(s) do you use?
Nokia and BlackBerry

6. What’s your favourite application?
Twitter

7. What’s your ringtone?
Moby – In My Heart

8. Which mobile industry blogs do you regularly read and why?
Mobile Marketer, Teleco, M&M, Update or Die, among others.

9. What is the biggest mobile content issue that is likely to affect the industry within the next 12 months?
Premium Content X 80% pre-paid mobile users base X open mobile internet. How to manage to offer free content in a very immature market for m-advertising?