Tag Archives: Global

Why Going Global (with ERP) Doesn’t Need to be Scary

Posted by Barney Beal, Content Director

Expanding globally is an imperative for any business with serious ambitions for growth. Yet, the corresponding challenges that come with that growth – from managing new currencies, languages and taxation rules to gaining a comprehensive view of operations – can hold many organizations back.

At the recent SuiteWorld18 event in Las Vegas, three NetSuite customers shared their experiences expanding globally and rolling out a global ERP system that helped them manage operations. The panel session included Mark Hearn, Global Program Director of PageGroup, a professional recruitment specialist with 130 offices in 36 countries; Carlos Arce, IT Specialist with Movile, a Brazilian mobile application and online ticketing company with 10 subsidiaries across four countries in Latin America; and Norman Duce, Executive Manager at Australia-based REA Group, a digital property advertising company with worldwide operations, listing more than 4 million properties per month.

All three shared their experience implementing NetSuite OneWorld globally and what a difference a global ERP system can make.

“Simply just being able to get to the numbers quickly and know that they’re correct should not be underestimated,” Hearn said. “If we don’t take the time now to do the reset it just becomes harder and harder.”

Here’s some of their key takeaways:

Allocate more time than you think you need for change management 

“We put in estimates on what it would take to train and train and train again,” Duce said. “We could have doubled them.”

The NetSuite way may be better

“Changing internal processes to align with NetSuite looks like the hard road, but it’s actually the easy road,” Hearn said.

The Page Group was determined to adapt its methods to NetSuite rather than vice versa and it paid off in easing the implementation and improving some processes.

…but you may have to sell the process

There’s always a natural exercise to say “we’re different, we’re different,” Hearn added. For the Page Group, each country wanted “a faster horse” and not a new way of doing things.

“We talked less about the system and how we were really doing things [to help the business],” Hearn said.

You can still go agile implementing ERP

“We’re a tech company,” said Duce. “Putting in an ERP system in an agile way does work with some traditional touches. We found a blended approach worked very well.”

Don’t try to be perfect

“Perfection is the enemy of good,” Hearn said. “If you insist on perfection you’ll never deliver anything. One of my challenges was to get really good people to just do things well.”

Cloud ERP has helped to reveal some of the change activities, he added.

“When it took years to do the technology, everyone thought it was the technology,” Hearn said. “But when you can roll it out quickly you see the gaps.”

If You’ve Got a Big Project, Go Big

Page Group is deploying one instance of NetSuite OneWorld across 36 countries.

“If I do one a year, I’m going to get fired,” Hearn said. “Big companies have limited patience. It’s like ripping off the band aid.”

So, the Page Group is rolling out NetSuite in chunks.

“It’s easier to roll out multiple companies at the same time, rather than run legacy system,” Hearn said. “For us, five Asia sites will go live on the same day.”

Consider the impact on other systems

“Think about the whole end-to-end journey and the downstream systems,” Duce said. “It was beneficial to think about what we were doing with CRM to account for quote-to-cash.”

Test the government APIs (a lot)

Not all government tax integrations are the same, particularly in Brazil. Across city, state and federal tax rules, each entity can apply a different tax for services, that can mean about 3 million possibilities in taxation, according to Arce.

Move fast in unstable geographies

“In Brazil and Latin America there’s been some economic and political instability,” Arce said. “If you have an exchange rate for local work forces, you need to take that into account. It can vary 5 percent in one day. Last year’s plan is now totally different. If you take too much time your budget will only disappear.”

See the NetSuite OneWorld Data Sheet for more on global ERP.

Posted on Mon, June 18, 2018
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NetSuite Named a Leader by Gartner in the MQ for Cloud Core FMS for Midsize, Large and Global Enterprises, 2018

Posted by Paul Farrell, Vice President, Product

Founded in 1998 as a cloud financials solution to solve the problems of fast growing businesses, NetSuite is now used by more than 40,000 organizations and subsidiaries in 199 countries. It has solidified its position as a pioneer and a cloud leader. And Gartner agrees.

Gartner has named NetSuite a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Cloud Core Financial Management Suites for Midsize, Large and Global Enterprises. What does this mean? Here are my three key takeaways:

  • NetSuite is one of only three solutions listed in the Leaders quadrant.
  • NetSuite is the only Leader that serves businesses of all sizes across all major regions.
  • NetSuite has more customers using cloud financials than any other solution in the quadrant.

gartner high res NetSuite Named a Leader by Gartner in the MQ for Cloud Core FMS for Midsize, Large and Global Enterprises, 2018

How is a “Leader” defined? According to Gartner: “Leaders demonstrate a market-defining vision of how core financial management systems and processes can be supported and improved by moving them to the cloud. They couple this with a clear ability to execute this vision through products, services and go-to-market strategies. They have a strong presence in the market and are growing their revenue and market share. In this market, Leaders show a consistent ability to secure deals with enterprises of different sizes, and have a good depth of functionality across all areas of core financial management. They have multiple proofs of successful deployments by customers, both in their home region and elsewhere. Their offerings are often used by system integrator partners to support finance transformation initiatives.

Leaders typically address a wide market audience by supporting broad market requirements. However, they may fail to meet the specific needs of vertical markets or other, more specialized segments, which might be better addressed by Niche Players particularly.”

Among 12 solutions in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, we believe NetSuite delivers a suite that was “born in the cloud” with complete finance and accounting, billing, revenue recognition, governance, risk and compliance (GRC), global financial consolidation and more. In addition, by keeping to its vision to enable customers to grow their business, NetSuite continues to innovate to deliver a complete cloud business management suite. Recently, NetSuite introduced more than 20 major enhancements to its core application. With two planned software releases a year, customers are always on the latest version of the software with all the new features and functionality instantly available.

The demand for cloud FMS solutions is predicted to continue to grow. Gartner states that “by 2020, nearly 60 percent of large enterprises with systems up for replacement will switch from traditional on-premises licenses to SaaS or subscription licenses” and that “by 2025, demand for financial management application deployments delivered as cloud services will equate to over 65 percent of total spending in the financials market.”

NetSuite customers include some of the most innovative, fastest growing companies in business today. Read our stories on hint water, VIVOBAREFOOT and Loot Crate. Do you want a financial management solution reengineered for the cloud or one built on the cloud since Day One?

Read the full Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Core FMS for Midsize, Large and Global Enterprises report.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Core FMS for Midsize, Large and Global Enterprises report, Anderson, Robert, Guay, Mike, and Van Decker, John, 5/29/18.

This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Oracle NetSuite.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Posted on Tue, June 5, 2018
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Target Global announces $100 million fund to target mobility startups

 Target Global announces $100 million fund to target mobility startups

Berlin-based venture capital firm Target Global announced today it has launched a new fund to target startups working to disrupt transportation.

The fund has raised $ 100 million, but will continue to raise money with the intention of passing $ 300 million. The fund will be evergreen, rather than having a fixed endpoint, because the partners say it’s critical to be able to take a long-term investment view when it comes to mobility startups rather than having to worry about returning money to investors by a certain deadline.

“We saw a lot of disruption happening in this space, and we decided to double down on the segment,” said Alex Frolov, general partner at Target Global.

Target Global is a family of different funds that in total have $ 600 million in assets under management. The company has already invested in some mobility startups through those funds, including Auto1, Delivery Hero, and GoEuro.

Frolov explained that while a growing number of VCs are starting to target transportation and mobility, many of them have ties to traditional vehicle manufacturers. He believes Target will stand out by remaining independent while still being able to partner with a wide range of industry players.

The investments will focus on the widest possible range of the transportation ecosystem being disrupted. As car ownership declines and vehicles become more of a service, Frolov believes the changes are going to be immense. But Target will also look at areas like freight and logistics, along with other industries that are affected by the mobility revolution.

For the moment, the new fund will concentrate on investments in Europe, Russia, and Israel.

The company also announced that Ben Kaminski will join Target Global as a partner based in Israel. Kaminski was previously employed at Goldman Sachs, where he worked with a wide range of mobility companies, including Israel’s Mobileye, which was acquired by Intel in 2017.

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Aspire Food Group Seeks to Cure Global Hunger One Cricket at a Time

Posted by Barney Beal, Content Director

Aspire Food Group’s beginnings are as original as its product. A social enterprise that raises insects for human consumption began as an entry in the Hult prize competition, which challenges college students to solve some of the world’s greatest problems.

Five students from McGill University bested 10,000 other entries in the 2013 contest seeking to solve the global hunger problem. The goal: commercializing the tradition of eating protein-rich insects, which require far less resources than protein sources like beef or chicken. The practice has its roots in cultures around the world. With seed money from the prize, the students formed Aspire Food Group and quickly set up operations in the US and Ghana.

Crickets Aspire Food Group Seeks to Cure Global Hunger One Cricket at a TimeOf course, scaling the process of raising insects for mass consumption faced a number of significant hurdles, not the least of which was convincing cultures unfamiliar with the tradition to eat small bugs. Yet, Aspire has already seen some success, with Atlanta’s Phillips Arena (home to the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks) and Safeco Field (home to MLB’s Seattle Mariners) serving up Aspire’s roasted crickets. Aspire has also taken smaller steps, offering cricket powder for use in protein supplements and bars, as well as a “paleo protein granola,” which includes the cricket powder and select restaurants and food services businesses have come to the company looking for product.

There is also the problem of production. Raising insects is a seasonal business and harvesting the insects by hand is incredibly inefficient. That’s why Aspire has opened up a new R&D facility at its Austin operation to develop technology to automate cricket harvesting as well as biological research to optimize the insects’ conditions to maximize output and minimize resources.

“Our goal is a full-scale commercial facility that is entirely automated,” said Abir Syed, Director of Finance of Aspire Food Group.

Aspire has taken a strategic approach to introducing crickets to the market, as well. For example, it located its Austin facility near Mexico where there is a tradition of eating grasshoppers, which are similar to crickets but more difficult to harvest at scale. Similarly, Aspire’s facility in Ghana is researching and developing palm weevils where they have been consumed traditionally.

There are also opportunities to use the cricket waste as a soil additive and the exoskeleton, which crickets shed six or seven times in their lifetime. Those exoskeletons contain chitin, used in the production of chitosan (commonly derived from shellfish), which is then used in products ranging from medical sutures to the wax on fruit.

However, the appetite for crickets and cricket additives in the US grew far faster than Aspire anticipated and as it began to plan for its new facility, management realized they would need a new system to manage the back-end financials and inventory. It was just two months into the job before Syed realized that running financials on QuickBooks and Excel wasn’t going to cut it and pitched a new ERP system to the board.

“A year from now, I know the volume is going to increase,” Syed said. “Our capacity to track the business is going to be critical. I wanted to get ahead of it.”

After a comprehensive evaluation Aspire selected NetSuite to manage its financials, CRM, works in process (WIP) and routing. Using NetSuite’s SuiteSuccess, Aspire was able to go live on the system in just four months and, because it is a young company without rigid, long-held processes it was easy to take advantage of leading practices in manufacturing that NetSuite had built in based on its decades of experience in the sector. Aspire was also able to take advantage of NetSuite’s experience in the food and beverage sector specifically.

“We’re nimble and small enough we can adjust our ways,” Syed said.

In the next phase of the implementation, Aspire plans to add manufacturing modules to track the costs associated with manufacturing and livestock. Then it hopes to help solve world hunger.

Learn more about NetSuite for food and beverage manufacturers.

Posted on Wed, March 28, 2018
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Question on Global variables

 Question on Global variables

What are the maximum values for $ MaxLicenseProcesses and $ MaxLicenseSubprocesses? Can they be infinite or are there specific limitations? Does $ ProcessorCount depend on the license or on the machine?

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Rise Against Hunger Works to Eliminate Global Hunger by 2030

Posted by Peggy Duvette, Head of Social Impact

Can global hunger be eliminated by 2030? The nonprofit Rise Against Hunger believes that it can.

So does the United Nations, which in 2015 committed to ending global hunger by 2030 as one of 17 sustainable development goals approved by member nations.

Madagascar  Rise Against Hunger Rise Against Hunger Works to Eliminate Global Hunger by 2030

“We are aligned with the U.N. goals to end hunger over the next dozen years,” said Karen Sanders Noe, Director of Global Partner Relations for the Raleigh, N.C.-based organization. “Hunger exists not because there’s not enough food in the world — there is — but mostly because of apathy.”

Since its founding in 1998, Rise Against Hunger has distributed more than 360 million nutritious meals to people in need around the globe in 74 countries. The nonprofit also focuses on community empowerment and emergency relief, with a goal to end hunger by 2030. Its impact is rapidly expanding — the number of meals packaged leapt from 50 million in 2014 to 64 million in 2016. In 2016 alone, Rise Against Hunger engaged more than 376,000 volunteers in its efforts and nourished more than 1 million lives.

Raising Hunger Awareness

Rise Against Hunger’s impact is expanding. The number of meals leapt from 50 million in 2014 to 64 million in 2016, assembled by 376,000 volunteers at meal packaging events in the U.S. and around the world. Once packaged, the meals are shipped to target locations around the world for distribution by partners.

“Meal packaging events really do raise awareness. Hunger is not often a part of daily conversations, but it should be,” Sanders Noe said. “When people get together, we talk about what hunger really looks like and the statistics that reflect its magnitude.”

Work by Rise Against Hunger, which renamed itself from Stop Hunger Now in 2016, and similar organizations has made a significant impact. The percentage of undernourished people in the world decreased from 14.7 percent (950 million people) in 2000 to 10.8 percent in 2013 (773 million), remaining flat for several years, according to the UN.

But now hunger is on the rise again, affecting 815 million people in 2016, according to the UN’s The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017 report. Climate change and conflict in nations such as South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria has worsened the problem.

Key to the solution, Rise Against Hunger believes, is a greater focus on community empowerment and self-sustainable development. Projects in areas such as microfinance, agricultural training and business skills development are under way as part of Rise Against Hunger’s “Nourishing Lives” strategy.

Liberia Rise Against Hunger Rise Against Hunger Works to Eliminate Global Hunger by 2030

“As people become healthier, better educated and start to thrive, we can exit out,” Sanders Noe said.

While combating hunger, Rise Against Hunger also mobilizes for emergencies. For instance, when Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti in 2015, the organization distributed more than 2.5 million meals. Similar efforts in 2016 helped alleviate crises from hurricanes in the Caribbean and southern U.S., mudslides in Sierra Leone and monsoons in Nepal.

NetSuite proudly sponsors Rise Against Hunger through the Oracle NetSuite Social Impact group. Roberta Sorensen, the organization’s controller, said replacing QuickBooks with NetSuite in 2015 has given the nonprofit new efficiency and control in managing its $ 39 million in annual donations from individuals, corporations and philanthropic organizations.

“NetSuite absolutely helps us better fulfill our mission. We couldn’t do what we do without NetSuite’s flexibility,” Sorenson said. “On the finance side, NetSuite helps us keep the organization lean so we can commit more resources to our programs.”

Using NetSuite, Rise Against Hunger is now building multi-year budgets and has cut payment approvals from eight days to 24 hours. It’s saving six hours a month on financial reporting and has reduced its monthly close from 34 to 26 days, all while accommodating a 2x increase in transactions since NetSuite went live.

In a next step, Rise Against Hunger plans to use NetSuite’s inventory management to more cost-effectively manage and transport meals packaged at 20 U.S. locations and two dozen more around the world. Efficiency gains support a high rating on Charity Navigator, driving additional donations.

“Running a lean operation on NetSuite is huge, because donors go to Charity Navigator and see that we’re very efficient and that donations go to actual programs,” Sorensen said. “We’ve been able to grow our efficiency and capacity with NetSuite so that as we continue to grow, we don’t need to add accounting headcount.”

Learn more about Oracle NetSuite for nonprofits.

Posted on Thu, December 21, 2017
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SunMoon Food Company implements NetSuite OneWorld to support rapid global expansion

og image SunMoon Food Company implements NetSuite OneWorld to support rapid global expansion

Fresh Produce Distributor Increases Productivity and Efficiency, Saves S$ 20,000 in Just Five Months

SINGAPORE—November 8, 2017—Oracle NetSuite, one of the world’s leading providers of cloud-based financials / ERP, HR, Professional Services Automation (PSA) and omnichannel commerce software suites, announced today that SunMoon Food Company Limited (SunMoon), a global distributor of fruit and food products, has deployed NetSuite OneWorld to support its global growth, enabling dramatically increased overall productivity and efficiency. In just five months, NetSuite OneWorld facilitated 900 transactions, having saved SunMoon 150 hours and an estimated S$ 20,000.

Live in April 2017, SunMoon is leveraging OneWorld for financials, inventory and order management, financial consolidation across three subsidiaries in China, Indonesia, and the US, and multicurrency transactions in 11 different currencies—Australian, Canadian, Hong Kong, Singapore and US Dollar, Euro, Indonesian Rupiah, Malaysian Ringgit, Renminbi and Thai Baht. It also supports, English, Chinese, and Bahasa Malay.

Established in 1983, SunMoon distributes a wide range of fresh and sustainable produce, from premium frozen durians to ready-to-eat sweet corn. The produce is directly sourced from over 200 carefully selected and certified suppliers according to the ‘SunMoon Quality Assurance’ standard, a critical checklist of freshness, quality, safety and traceability. It is then distributed to health-conscious consumers globally, across various ecommerce channels, major supermarkets and SunMoon’s own franchise outlets.

Prior to deploying NetSuite OneWorld, SunMoon primarily used emails to correspond with its farmers, suppliers and customers for stock taking, order management, invoicing and billing. This required significant manual coordination, making it extremely difficult to track orders and compare quotes, greatly impacting productivity and the company’s growth potential.

NetSuite OneWorld empowers SunMoon’s suppliers to enter expiry dates, packaging sizes and other details from any internet-connected device into the cloud-based system. Based on this information, SunMoon can easily create a quote for its customers, which they can accept with just one click. NetSuite OneWorld then automatically sends a PO to farmers and generates an invoice once the order has been fulfilled.

“SunMoon offers over 200 products through more than 11,000 points of sales to 169 customers in 20 countries, and these numbers are growing daily,” said Gary Loh, Deputy Chairman and CEO of SunMoon Food Company Limited. “With NetSuite OneWorld, we’ve been able to move our products seamlessly from farm to fork on a global scale much faster and more efficiently. Using NetSuite OneWorld’s integrated capabilities helps us transform SunMoon into an asset-light and customer-centric enterprise.”

NetSuite OneWorld also supports SunMoon’s aggressive expansion plans. “Thanks to NetSuite OneWorld, we can enter new markets more easily,” continued Loh. “It’s multi-language and multi-currency features put us on the world map, empowering us to further expand our operations in Indonesia, the US and Southeast Asia. And best of all, we won’t even need an overseas IT department to support these countries. Our Singapore team can provide support remotely as NetSuite OneWorld is completely cloud based.”

Zakir Ahmed,  General Manager, Oracle NetSuite Asia commented: “With Asia Pacific accounting for nearly 60 percent of the global population, an efficient food supply chain and distribution network is even more critical here than anywhere else in the world. We are committed to giving forward-looking businesses the tools to innovate. SunMoon is a great example of a business that harnesses technology to digitise and transform this traditional market.” 

NetSuite OneWorld supports 190 currencies, 20 languages, automated tax calculation and reporting in more than 100 countries, and customer transactions in more than 200 countries and territories. These global financial capabilities give </a>SunMoon real-time organization-wide visibility and new insights for its three subsidiaries via supplier, customer and other transaction data.

About Oracle NetSuite
Oracle NetSuite pioneered the Cloud Computing revolution in 1998, establishing the world’s first company dedicated to delivering business applications over the internet. Today, it provides a suite of cloud-based financials / Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), HR and omnichannel commerce software that runs the business of companies in more than 100 countries. For more information, please visit http://www.netsuite.com.

Follow NetSuite’s Cloud blog, Facebook page and @NetSuite Twitter handle for real-time updates.

About Oracle
The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at oracle.com.

About SunMoon Food Company Limited (www.sunmoonfood.com)
SunMoon Food Company Limited (“SunMoon”) is a global distributor and marketer of nutritious fresh fruits, vegetables, and products, delivered to the health-conscious consumer in the most convenient way.

Started in 1983, SunMoon has grown its product offering to over 200 product types, including fresh fruits, vegetables, freeze-dried fruit snacks, nuts, fruit cups, fruit sticks, juices, sorbets, frozen fruits and assorted water packaged under its own brand.

With an extensive sales network of over 11,000 points of sales globally, SunMoon’s offering of quality, premium products are distributed via supermarkets, convenience stores, online and wholesale channels, airlines, food services as well as SunMoon’s franchise outlets in Singapore.

Since 2015, the company has shifted towards an asset-light consumer-centric and brand-focused business model by tapping on its strong brand equity and the ‘Network x Geography x Product’ operational model. Instead of owning farms, SunMoon works with farmers to ensure they meet our quality standards.

SunMoon’s products come with the SunMoon Quality Assurance, backed by internationally recognised accreditations such as HACCP; Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP); AIB (Excellent), ISO 22000, Halal and Kosher Certification.

SunMoon was listed in 1997 on the Mainboard of the Singapore Exchange.

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Silicon Valley’s year in hell: Harassment, hacks, and hate speech spark global backlash

 Silicon Valley’s year in hell: Harassment, hacks, and hate speech spark global backlash

While it’s hard to measure such things precisely, a pretty good argument can be made that 2017 is Silicon Valley’s crappiest year on record. And the global tech hub has only itself to blame.

One could point to the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2000 — which tanked the U.S. economy for several years — as another frontrunner for this title. But even that turned out to be only a temporary blip on the Yellow Brick Road of tech euphoria.

No, what’s happening now feels like a fundamental shift in our perception of the role technology plays in our lives and the ways Silicon Valley, specifically, promotes and fosters it. Perhaps because I live outside the U.S. I feel this more acutely. Still, the drumbeat of tech headlines that have dominated 2017 has cast Silicon Valley in an intensely negative light.

The result is something far more than just a PR headache. This shift in attitudes has sparked a call to curb the free rein governments have granted this industry in hopes that innovation would drive economic growth and prosperity.

The sins feel almost too numerous to list. Still, maybe we could start with the most fundamental: cybersecurity. The push toward cloud-based computing has its own internal logic in terms of cost savings and convenience. But the drive to put every scrap of personal data online has made these targets so valuable that nation states and criminal organizations alike have invested huge amounts of money in pursuit of stealing them. And the systems designed to foster this growing connectivity of everything have failed to keep us protected.

This year, we got Equifax announcing 143 million accounts compromised and Yahoo bumping the number of email accounts hit from 1 billion up to 3 billion. Computer viruses that threaten to inflict real-world consequences have come on the scene, leading the Electronic Frontier Foundation to call for reforms to laws and legal liability around cybersecurity.

Then there is the basic bro culture nourished by Silicon Valley. A festering hive of male-dominated mores has resulted in multiple accusations of sexual harassment against leading Valley figures. From Uber’s Travis Kalanick to 500 Startup’s Dave McClure to, more recently, tech evangelist Robert Scoble, this year has brought a growing wave of sexual harassment revelations. I suppose it’s progress of sorts that such stories are coming to light. But the number and frequency of such revelations, coupled with the continued low numbers of women and minorities in the tech economy, point to something rotten and seemingly resistant to change at the industry’s very core.

The decades-long failure to address such internal woes seems to be mirrored in the way many of the largest companies turned a blind eye to the impact they were having on political corruption and the spread of misinformation. There is a definite head-buried-in-sand quality here. Since the election of Trump last year, we have started to learn in greater detail just how platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook were abused and manipulated, particularly by Russian-backed groups. And that’s just one piece of the larger incentives these platforms have unwittingly created for the spread of “fake news” and propaganda, hate-filled racist rhetoric, violent terrorist content, and general trolling and harassment and abuse.

Writing in the New York Times this weekend, Kevin Roose noted that Facebook has facilitated the spread of propaganda and misinformation that helped catalyze the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims, an ethnic minority in Myanmar.

“Violence against the Rohingya has been fueled, in part, by misinformation and anti-Rohingya propaganda spread on Facebook, which is used as a primary news source by many people in the country. Doctored photos and unfounded rumors have gone viral on Facebook, including many shared by official government and military accounts,” Roose wrote. “The information war in Myanmar illuminates a growing problem for Facebook. The company successfully connected the world to a constellation of real-time communication and broadcasting tools, then largely left it to deal with the consequences.”

Each of the implicated social media companies has announced initiatives to tackle such problems. And yet there’s a feeling that they have been slow to acknowledge their role and are only doing so now to combat a public backlash. Excuses that they are “neutral” platforms cloaked in the protections of free speech have started to wear thin. Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu recently wrote a New York Times piece in which he called for great scrutiny of these platforms: “No defensible free-speech tradition accepts harassment and threats as speech, treats foreign propaganda campaigns as legitimate debate, or thinks that social-media bots ought to enjoy constitutional protection. A robust and unfiltered debate is one thing; corruption of debate itself is another. We have entered a far more dangerous place for the republic; its defense requires stronger protections for what we once called the public sphere.”

Such issues have led to calls that the U.S. require disclosures on political ads on these platforms. This week, several social media companies will be testifying before Congress on the role Russia played in the U.S. presidential election last year. But these companies have responded to calls for reforms by lobbying to halt such efforts, all while proclaiming their efforts to curb abuses on their platforms. Meanwhile, a report this week from the Swiss-based World Economic Forum warned that if these companies didn’t shape up, they would soon see a wave of new government regulation.

Hovering over all these separate problems, however, is the growing fear surrounding the size and power of the five biggest U.S. tech companies: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Alphabet/Google, and Microsoft. The concern is that these five giants are suffocating rather than inspiring innovation. Writing in TechCrunch, columnist Jon Evans wondered if we had reached the “end of the startup era.”

“We live in a new world now, and it favors the big, not the small,” Evans writes. “The pendulum has already begun to swing back. Big businesses and executives, rather than startups and entrepreneurs, will own the next decade; today’s graduates are much more likely to work for Mark Zuckerberg than follow in his footsteps.”

Over the weekend, John Naughton called in The Guardian for “a 21st-century Martin Luther to challenge the church of tech.”

Says Naughton:

A new power is loose in the world. It is nowhere and yet it’s everywhere. It knows everything about us — our movements, our thoughts, our desires, our fears, our secrets, who our friends are, our financial status, even how well we sleep at night. We tell it things that we would not whisper to another human being. It shapes our politics, stokes our appetites, loosens our tongues, heightens our moral panics, keeps us entertained (and therefore passive). We engage with it 150 times or more every day, and with every moment of contact we add to the unfathomable wealth of its priesthood. And we worship it because we are, somehow, mesmerised by it.

Europe has already been more aggressive in addressing these issues, passing more aggressive privacy protections, investigating tax evasion, and demonstrating its willingness to bring anti-trust cases against companies such as Google. U.S. tech companies have insisted that such moves are “anti-innovation” and sought to vindicate themselves by pointing to the jobs they have created in Europe and the positive economic impact they believe has been the result.

But those arguments are proving less-than-persuasive in Europe, and it seems sentiment in the U.S. is belatedly catching up. It’s why many people are highly skeptical when these companies tout the benefits of such new technologies as artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, and drones. The public is increasingly losing faith that technological progress is inherently a force for good. And they are rethinking the tradeoffs between the freedom to innovate and the need to be protected from the creations that result.

None of this is good news for Silicon Valley over the long- or short-term. The region needs to deeply rethink its values and priorities. It needs to recognize its own culpability in all this. But I’m not convinced that it’s capable of showing sufficient maturity and self-awareness.

And that means Silicon Valley will continue to find itself cast not as the hero that it imagines itself to be, but as the villain of a darker future in which technology plays the role of the bad guy.

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Big Data – VentureBeat

From garage to global: Buster + Punch chooses NetSuite Cloud

og image From garage to global: Buster + Punch chooses NetSuite Cloud

From garage to global: Buster + Punch chooses NetSuite Cloud

Fashion Homeware Brand Moves to the Cloud to Support Rapid Growth and Regional Expansion

NEXT READY BUSINESS TOUR 2017, London—16 October 2017—Oracle NetSuite, one of the world’s leading providers of cloud-based financials / ERP, HR, Professional Services Automation (PSA) and omnichannel commerce software suites, announced today that London-based home fashion label, Buster + Punch, has chosen NetSuite OneWorld as the foundation to support its growth beyond Western Europe. With a B2C ecommerce website, showroom in London, retail store in Stockholm and over 71 stockists selling its select products across 27 countries, the company was ready for its next move to build a physical presence in the United States. With NetSuite OneWorld, Buster + Punch will be able to standardise, streamline and scale its operations across its multichannel business within one unified cloud solution to support this continued global growth.

“Our business has gained massive popularity over the last couple of years. In order to keep up and continue to deliver the premium service and products our customers expect, we realised our back-end systems needed a revamp,” said Martin Preen, CEO, Buster + Punch. “NetSuite’s capabilities have the ability to make us smarter. With it, we will be able to manage our operations on a single platform, all while combining data from across our manufacturing plants in Asia, physical locations in Sweden and the UK, and from retail channels across the world, to get the insights we need to keep driving Buster + Punch forward with certainty.”

Architect and industrial designer, Massimo ‘Buster’ Minale, launched Buster + Punch in an East London garage in 2013. In a matter of two years, the company was selling its unique items to customers across 84 countries. Inspired by London’s distinctive fashion, music and sub-culture scenes, the company has quickly grown to create a wide range of products from lighting and home hardware to custom motorcycles, collaborating with street artists, bike builders, musicians and fashion designers. Those collaborations include a contemporary version of the Edison light bulb created with Rolls Royce, new packaging with renowned British design firm ILOVEDUST and a steel candle holder for chef Tom Seller’s FAT CANDLE dish, a beef fat candle created in homage to Seller’s father who saved the fat and juices from family lunches to eat later with bread.

Buster + Punch selected NetSuite OneWorld to provide it with a real-time view across its operations, from its manufacturing facilities and warehouses, to its supply chain and customer service. This will allow it to align its business across all markets and get products to customers faster and at a lower cost, all while maintaining the high product quality and service that have shaped its success to date.

With visibility across its entire global operation, Buster + Punch will have the ability to more precisely forecast product demand and consequently scale its manufacturing and delivery processes to prevent supply bottlenecks. Buster + Punch will also be able to use the data from the NetSuite OneWorld platform to successfully roll-out new product lines.

NetSuite OneWorld supports 190 currencies, more than 20 languages, automated tax calculation and reporting in more than 100 countries, and customer transactions in more than 200 countries. Further, to help today’s B2B and B2C businesses with omnichannel commerce, NetSuite OneWorld delivers commerce-ready capabilities that can help both B2B and B2C commerce businesses to move from siloed online, in-store and phone consumer shopping channels to an integrated commerce solution, connecting ecommerce and in-store POS to order management, inventory, merchandising, marketing, financials and customer service, while delivering a seamless brand experience and exceeding customer expectations.

About Oracle NetSuite
Oracle NetSuite pioneered the Cloud Computing revolution in 1998, establishing the world’s first company dedicated to delivering business applications over the internet. Today, it provides a suite of cloud-based financials / Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), HR and omnichannel commerce software that runs the business of companies in more than 100 countries. For more information, please visit http://www.netsuite.com.

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About Oracle
The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at oracle.com.

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