TTIMES WORLD: Today's News Report

Thursday, October 21, 2021
Washington, DC, USA


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Technology and Consumer Engagement
Latest Trend To Watch

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NASHVILLE, TN In Partnership with the Nashville Health Care Council

This fall, experience the nexus of consumer satisfaction and targeted technology. During AHIP’s Consumer Experience & Digital Health Forum, in partnership with the Nashville Health Care Council, discover how smart technology and consumer-focused strategies can advance affordability, value, and customer satisfaction.

You’ll take home timely ideas, partnership prospects, and digital tools that can optimize your organization’s collaboration and connectivity.

Next Generation Trends are:

Next Generation Consumer Engagement and Branding
Leveraging Data Analytics and Insights
Technologies and Tools for Connected and Collaborative Care
Infrastructure and Business Model Innovation
Reaching Consumers at Work: Transformation of Employer Health Benefits
The conference also includes a 50+ company exhibit hall showcasing the latest products and services that are helping health plans succeed.

In Partnership with the Nashville Health Care Council

Stop Big Tech Abuse in Fees
US Government Tries to Hold Them in Check

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Senators were unsatisfied with explanations from Apple and Google senior director for government affairs  about why the companies' fees do not apply to Uber Technologies and apps that sell physical goods.

Expressing concern US Senator from Connecticut  Richard Blumenthal said, "It looks like a threat, it talks like a threat, it's a threat." He vowed to investigate Google's action further.

Stating that the company would never threaten its partners, Google's Executive said the call reflected an effort to ask an honest question.

Revealing that  nearly $500 million in fees was raised from prices against consumers. He said Apple approved the update two months later, only after senior leaders at Match's parent company at the time, IAC/Interactivecorp, raised the issue with their counterparts at Apple.


The hearing came a day after Apple said it would begin selling AirTags - which can be attached to items like car keys to help users find them directly competing with Tile, which been selling a similar tracking device for over a decade.

Apple said its AirTags was an extension of its "FindMy" app, which is used for locating lost Apple devices and to share user locations, having been introduced in 2010, before Tile was founded. Last month, Apple opened its operating system up to alternative item trackers and said that Chipolo, a startup competing with Tile and AirTags, is using the system.

Tile General Counsel Kirsten Daru testified that Apple's FindMy program is installed by default on Apple phones and cannot be deleted.

"Apple has once again exploited its market power and dominance to condition our customers' access to data by effectively breaking our user experience and directing our users to FindMy," she said.

Getting the Technology Edge
What works Best

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Legal teams in the Technology, Media & Entertainment and Telecommunications (TMT) sectors can set an example for the rest of the business to follow.

In brief
  • By incorporating new technologies legal teams can move faster and become more agile.
  • Outsourcing routine work to managed-service providers can save money and improve speed and consistency.

How EY can help

Legal Managed Services

Legal departments under growing pressure are re-thinking how work is done and by whom. The EY legal managed services team customizes and supports technology and data-driven processes designed to control costs, better mitigate risk, and deliver value to the business.

Read more

Competing in the TMT sector requires speed. New products and services must be brought to market rapidly, technology must be developed and deployed with urgency and relationships with partners and suppliers must be forged with haste.

Legal teams, unfortunately, are not renowned for their dynamism and agility. Sales teams are known to grumble about a perceived lack of urgency when legal is reviewing a contract and product teams complain that their innovation is stifled by bureaucratic compliance procedures. Moreover, those trying to drive expansion into new markets fear getting bogged down by local regulations.

In their defense, for many years, legal departments have been asked to do more with less. This has meant that simply getting the job done has taken precedence over speed and innovation. According to the EY report Why the legal function must be reimagined for the digital age, the majority of legal teams reported a large or moderate increase in demand placed on them over the past five years. In parallel, 72% of TMT companies planned to reduce legal-function costs over the next 24 months ‒ and that was before COVID-19 struck. The economic fallout of the pandemic is likely to put even more pressure on legal departments to control costs, while the volume of work will likely remain high.

But despite these circumstances, these is a perception across many TMT businesses that their legal teams could act faster. Here are four ways that legal teams can shed this reputation, and instead be viewed as beacons of dynamism.

Do more. Spend less.

00%

of TMT companies planned to reduce legal-function costs over the next 24 months.

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Chapter 1

Deploy new technology

Enhance your efficiency and effectiveness through strategic use of technology solutions.

By utilizing new technology, and effectively integrating it into workflows, legal teams can move faster. Take the example of reviewing and generating contracts. By deploying sophisticated automation and contract-management and analytics technology, contracts can be created and reviewed faster and more accurately than they can by lawyers. It can also flag potential anomalies for supervisors to scrutinize.

But technology by itself is not enough. Strict governance around how the technology is used must be established to maximize the benefits. The technology must also integrate with wider workflows, such as how the legal team receives instructions from the business.

Get this right and technology can deliver tremendous benefits. For example, by installing and heavily customizing a legal technology platform, a telecoms company that the EY organization worked with managed to reduce average contracting time from 45 to 31 days, customer churn by 7% and bad debt by a third because it was better able to enforce its contractual positions.

Speed and accuracy aside, this technology lowers costs and frees up lawyers’ time for more complex, high-value and ultimately fulfilling work. These benefits should not be overlooked. The majority of TMT legal departments face challenges in attracting and retaining top talent.1 This is, in part, because around a quarter of lawyers’ time is spent conducting routine compliance and low-value tasks. Automating these tasks can therefore go some way to overcoming legal departments’ talent challenges.

Many general counsels (GC) are already aware of the tremendous improvements that technologies like this can deliver, but they have not yet fully deployed them. Indeed, 63% of TMT businesses say that the legal function has not benefited from innovation as much as other functions.2

Budgetary concerns can be a major obstacle to technology investment. It is therefore up to the GC to make the case to senior leadership that technology can deliver significant value for the entire business.

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Chapter 2

Find the right person (or machine) for the right job

Ensure that your talent is deployed in ways that is rewarding for them and your company.

As mentioned earlier, around a quarter of legal teams’ time is devoted to routine activities that are way below the pay grade of highly qualified lawyers. In addition to automation, these lower-value activities can be outsourced to alternative legal-service providers or contract specialists who are experts in this area. This type of work can also be consolidated into a shared or managed-services delivery model. In addition to saving money, these approaches can improve speed and consistency.

The EY organization has recently helped a telecoms company do exactly this. The business was experiencing frequent bottlenecks in finalizing sales and procurement contracts because many were bespoke. They also lacked a structured contract-review process, which added complexity, inconsistency and, ultimately, delays that led to a loss of business. After learning about the client’s business requirements, we helped redesign and simplify the contracting process before going on to serve as the point of contact for internal business stakeholders. Over time, we’ve further customized the process and undertaken similar work for other types of contracts.

The result? Through outsourcing this type of work, the client reduced average time to contract to one day for nondisclosure agreements and three to five days for more complex contracts. It also cut costs associated with this process by 65%.  

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Chapter 3

Unlock the hidden value in contract data

Deploy intelligent analytics to uncover the rich insights that help drive growth.

Many GCs would be content if they managed to improve speed, enhance accuracy and cut costs by using technology and outsourcing in the ways described above. But they can go a step further. Genuinely pioneering legal leaders have realized that there is tremendous value to the business in the data that are stored in sales, supply and other contracts that are at the legal team’s disposal – and are exploring ways to extract it. The TMT sector in particular is replete with complex business-to-business contracts with significant revenue under contract, so having on-demand insight into contractual obligations and opportunities is critical for driving business value.

For providers of cloud services, for example, contract analytics on service-level agreement provisions can provide legal and business stakeholders with insights into service-quality obligations and incentives, including the financial risks and rewards associated with their performance across their customer base in real time. In the event of an outage, a capability like this allows for rapid assessment of the financial impact to the company in the form of rebates or service credits, an exercise that might otherwise take days or weeks of manual effort.

Mature processes and robust technology can also enable legal teams to spot patterns in their contract negotiations and identify opportunities to remove friction from the deal process. If a template position rarely makes it into a final contract intact or its negotiation is shown to be consistently slowing down deals, it may signal a need to revisit the starting position or align more closely with the business on pre-contracting go-to-market activities.

By utilizing data that they already have, these legal teams are not only accelerating contracting speed, but also adding value to the business in previously unimagined ways.

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Chapter 4

Choose the right international partner

Pick a partner with the expertise to empower your global expansion.

Many TMT companies are aggressively expanding into new markets, acquiring new businesses and divesting non-core assets. In order to seize these opportunities, legal teams need to move quickly. This means working with partners that have expertise in a number of key regions.

Not doing so can result in local laws being overlooked (e.g., data-privacy regulations, which slow down the pace at which companies can begin operating in a new market). A lack of local knowledge could also lead to revenue leakage or increased risk exposure if change-of-control implications in consumer or supplier contracts are overlooked following a merger and acquisition event.

It’s also beneficial to work with partners that have a broad range of skill sets, especially covering legal and tax. For instance, some TMT businesses are shifting the location of their intellectual property in response to heightened geopolitical tensions. There are important tax and legal implications in doing this that need to be considered carefully.

Nigerians tasked on green technology to achieve SDGs
Technology

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The Centre for Global Eco-Innovation University of Benin (CGE-Nigeria) has stressed the need for Nigerians to embrace new strategies, especially anaerobic digestion (AD) technology for waste management to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It stated this at the weekend during a RECIRCULATE stakeholders’engagement it organised for secondary school students with the theme: Stimulating The Interest Of Young Africans In Sustainable Waste Management Practices.

Declaring the session open, Principal Investigator of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) RECIRCULATE Project and CGE-Nigeria Director, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, who was represented by Prof. Christopher Emokaro, told the participants that the workshop was aimed at passing on a generational legacy to secondary school students on how to better manage wastes.

He said in most parts of the world, energy was being generated, while food production was being boosted from waste through anaerobic digestion (AD) or green technology.

“MTN HOME” To Offer Affordable Internet Services To Customers
MTN Ghana has launched a home internet service dubbed MTN HOME to offer affordable internet services to Customers in their homes.

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MTN Home is an unparalleled broadband service that provides high-speed internet access, facilitating live streaming, video- on-Demand, and home internet automation services ensuring that subscribers truly receive the benefits of a connected world.

MTN Home offers cheaper data, video and voice services to families. The service is currently available to customers nationwide.

Commenting on the MTN Home Service, the Chief Marketing Officer for MTN Mr. Noel Kojo- Ganson said, “the COVID- 19 pandemic has facilitated Work -from- Home, Online Schooling, Webinars and E-Commerce and it takes access to fast and reliable internet service to make these possible”.



“As a network that is working towards leading the delivery of a bold new digital world for customers, we believe that every home and office deserves to experience the benefit of a modern connected life and that is the driving force behind MTN Home service”. We continue to invest in technology solutions that will enable our Customers enjoy the best value propositions”, he added.

Data offers on the MTN HOME service can be accessed by dialing *5057#. Customers can check the availability of the MTN Home service in their locality by visiting the MTN Ghana website on www.mtn.com or calling 0244308111.

The launch of MTN Home adds to the catalogue of other products and services designed by MTN to offer fast and reliable broadband services to Customers.

About MTN Ghana
MTN Ghana is the market leader in the increasingly competitive mobile telecommunications industry in Ghana, offering subscribers a range of exciting options under Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go Services and Mobile Financial Services.


The company has committed itself to delivering reliable and innovative services that provide value for subscribers in Ghana’s telecommunications market. Since its entry into Ghana in 2006, MTN has continuously invested in expanding and modernizing its network in order to offer superior services to a broad expanse of the nation.

Send your news stories to newsghana101@gmail.com and via WhatsApp on +233 244244807

Ghana’s Young App Developers Pitch at MTN Ayoba Hackaton 2021
MTN Ghana opened applications for App Developers

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This year, MTN Ghana opened applications for App Developers with amazing app ideas that would provide sustainable solutions to some major social issues in Ghana.

On September 10th, 2021, 26 participants out of 171 enrolled applicants presented their Apps to the panel judge during a virtual event. Some solutions in FoodTech, FinTech, HealthTech, and various other sectors were presented by the developers. Some of the participants presented in person whiles others connected to the event via zoom.


Some outstanding apps included the Health Management App where patients can easily talk to their doctors via a platform that has the patients’ health history.

Another app that was demoed looked to solve the problem of getting information from all schools in Ghana.


With the Ayoba Super App, MTN has created a way of creating and managing apps with the Ayoba Super App.

In a conversation with the Chief Marketing Officer of MTN Ghana, Noel Kojo-Ganson said, “As part of MTN’s Ambition 2025, the business is ably positioning itself to be a digital company, and projects such as the Ayoba Hackathon will help to set the tone for the total transformation of the business into a digital business.”

The grande finale of the #AyobaHackGh is set to happen on 17th September, 2021 where 3 brilliant apps would be funded with amounts of Ghc50,000, Ghc10,000, and Ghc8,000 accordingly. However, all other apps in the competition would be given the opportunity to leverage on the Ayoba Super platform to promote their Apps.

HP appoints Emmanuel Asika as new country head Nigeria
Nigeria

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HP appoints Emmanuel Asika as new country head Nigeria

Emmanuel Asika takes over from Ify Afe, who previously led HP Central Africa operations out of Lagos, and has moved to another capacity within HP



Emmanuel Asika, country head, HP Nigeria

HP Inc. has announced the appointment of Emmanuel Asika as the new Country Head for HP Inc, Nigeria, effective 1 August 2021.

Supporting customers and partners across the West African Market, his responsibilities span country leadership and the profitable growth of HP’s Printing, Personal Systems, and Services businesses.

Having completed a course at Harvard Business School and an MBA from Warwick Business School, Emmanuel Asika joined HP in 2013 and brings strong expertise in managing successful relationships and strategic solutions with customers and partners.

“We are delighted to welcome Emmanuel Asika to his new position and look forward to using the breadth and depth of his experience to take our relationships in the Nigerian market to the next stage. We are confident that he will be a force in developing and driving HP Nigeria forward – in an inspiring but challenging time”, expresses Bradley Pulford, vice president, and managing director, HP Africa.

“I am thrilled to be taking up my new position as Country Head for HP Nigeria and will spare no effort to build upon HP’s ongoing success. I look forward to working closely with the senior leadership and the immensely talented employees of HP Inc to turn a new chapter of growth for the brand in the market,” comments Asika.

Ify Afe, who previously led HP Central Africa operations out of Lagos, has moved to another capacity within HP and has been replaced by Vileshen Moodley who will lead Africa Central and East as District Manager.

HP Africa thanks Ify for her years of service, during which time she has played a significant role in the development of the company’s business in the region.

HP Inc.) creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through its product and service portfolio of personal systems, printers, and 3D printing solutions, HP engineers experiences that amaze.

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