E-Signatures are a way to speed up legal paperwork by replacing physical contract documents with electronic alternatives. In this case, the signatures are made electronically by the parties involved in a safe and secure manner. Besides this, e-signatures are also seen to be massively cheaper than physical paperwork. In a study on the benefits on e-signatures, Ombud Research came up with the following numbers:
|Turnaround time||80% savings|
|Cost||$20 per document less|
|Customer Loyalty||5x increase|
According to a report on Celent, the e-signature industry has grown multifold in the past five years. The usage by life insurance companies has increased from 47% in 2007 to 74% in 2013. Even the US army today has deployed an esignature solution from Silanis for their over 1 million personnel. Here is how the various e-signature approaches have grown.
|Signature pad at POS||34%||36%|
|Handwritten mouse signature||–||15%|
|Username & pin||–||45%|
Research firm, G2 Crowd reviewed the market share held by various e-signature providers among small business (1-50 employees), medium (51-1000 employees) and Enterprise (>1000 employees) which showed the following results
In terms of deployment method (cloud vs. on-premise), this is how it worked out:
Rank, Provider, % customers likely to recommend
1, Silanis, 95%
2, AssureSign, 88%
3, Sertifi, 87%
4, Right Signature, 86%
5, Docusign, 81%
6, Echosign, 76%
November 22, 2013 No Comments
There have been a plethora of new-school Fortune 500 tech companies that are based on the internet and gadgets. However, Oracle continues to be one of the biggest software companies in the world. Redwood Shores based Oracle is currently ranked 80 in the list of the biggest companies in the world. Here are some key metrics about Oracle that we have been able to gather.
|Year||Oracle's position in Fortune 500|
Growth over the last year
|Last decade||14% CAGR|
Software vs. Hardware
Software continues to be one of the major growth drivers for the company. According to the most recent press statement, software contributes close to 75% of the overall revenues. Of this, license updates and software upgrades of JD Edwards and other proprietary software contributes to more revenue than the sale of new software licenses.
|Business component||Jun-Aug 2013 Revenues||YoY change|
|New software license||$1.653 billion||5% growth|
|Software license update||$4.431 billion||7%|
In the hardware business, Oracle isn’t doing so well. Here are some crucial numbers mined from the latest reports. For a perspective, most of these revenues are gained from components of business Oracle got after acquiring Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion.
|Business component||Jun-Aug 2013 Revenues||YoY Change|
|Oracle Servers||$669 Million||14% drop|
|Hardware support||$592 Million||3% growth|
|Gross profit margin||61.9%||–|
Oracle Ranking & Market Share In Various Businesses
Despite investors losing interest of late, Oracle continues to be one of the largest software companies in the world. Here is the market share of Oracle in some of the business it operates.
|Software company||Number 2|
|RDBS Database||48.3% revenue (Number 1)|
|ERP (JD Edwards)||13% (Number 2)|
|Business Intelligence||14.9% (Number 2)|
November 12, 2013 No Comments
An eMarketer report in 2008 predicted the number of VOIP subscribers to reach 196.3 million worldwide by 2012. It should be interesting to look at these figures with the benefit of hindsight. According to a report released by Point Topic earlier this year, we seem to have missed those numbers quite significantly. According to the report, the total number of VOIP subscribers by the end of 2012 stood at 151.5 million. This is how the numbers stack up when distributed geographically
|Rest of Europe||33%|
So as you can see, VOIP is still strongly associated with the developed world and regions in Asia that have always been strong in the area of telecommunications. The report lists the following countries as the largest in the VOIP market.
|Country||Subscribers in millions (Q1||2013)|
However, in terms of percent growth, emerging countries rule the roost. Lithuania, Puerto Rico, Poland, Ireland and Brazil form the top 5 in this list. According to Infonetics, VOIP is expected to be an $80 billion industry by 2017. This would mean a 7% compounded annual growth rate from 2012. This is expected to be primarily driven by businesses since residential connections are expected to only grow at 3% CAGR during this period. The report notes that SIP trunking is one of the popular growth areas have risen 23% from the second half of 2012 to the first half of 2013.
The Infonetics report further looks into the VOIP equipment providers who have largely benefitted from this growth. Here are the largest 5 providers in terms of global revenue share
Despite the bullish growth projections, the market itself is reportedly under-served according to the New York based Eastern Management group. In their research, the firm projects the number of SIP phones sold to double between now and 2018. Going by these metrics, the firm notes that new entrants could easily take up to 10% market share.
Given these fast changing numbers, it would be interesting to revisit these numbers in a couple of years from now to see how things have changed.
November 7, 2013 No Comments
A survey report released by Gartner earlier this year noted that the ERP market had a sluggish growth last year clocking a rate of just 2.2%. Despite this, the growth of SaaS based ERP solutions are expected to grow at a healthy pace to reach 17% of the market by 2017 (12% in 2012). These projections are further strengthened by a report released by Panaroma Consulting. In their annual ERP report for 2013, the firm has come up with some pretty interesting statistics and projections. Here is a rundown of the various results from the survey.
Type Of ERP Solution Used
A whopping 61% of the firms still use on-premise ERP systems. While this could be disheartening to the proponents of cloud based enterprise systems, what this also reflects is the tremendous potential that cloud ERP solutions have for the future. Here is the market share of the various ERP systems as noted by Panaroma in their report.
|ERP System||Market Share|
|Cloud ERP (hosted and managed off-site)||12%|
Reasons Why Companies Are Still Skeptical About Cloud ERP
Most discussions on why cloud ERP are still not dominant veer towards risks like data loss. However, the research reports points out that one of the biggest reasons is lack of knowledge about service offerings. This is a very interesting tidbit since cloud ERP providers only need to enhance their marketing efforts to start seeing much improved adoption rates from businesses.
|Reason||Percentage of respondents|
|Risk of security breach||32%|
|Risk of data loss||17%|
Cost Savings From Cloud ERP Migration
One of the biggest advantages to migrating to cloud ERP systems is definitely the cost factor. A survey of various businesses who have made this migration show that the cost savings are pretty decent.
|Cost savings in %||Percentage respondents|
Use Of ERP Consultants
A lot of businesses make use of third party ERP consultants to help them with implementing the system. For example, ERPGuru is a NetSuite partner in Canada that helps in implementing and supporting the NetSuite cloud based business management software. The Panaroma Consulting report notes the use of consultants during the various phases of the project:
|Project Phase||Consultants employed|
|Selection & Purchasing||35%|
ERP Implementation Budgeting
One of the concern areas for businesses during implementation of such projects is the overall cost and how it impacts the budgeting. According to the Panaroma report, the implementation of ERP was on budget only around 35% of the time.
|25% over budget||31%|
|26-50% over budget||16%|
|51-75% over budget||4%|
|>76% over budget||2%|
After budgeting, the next big concern for businesses is whether or not the implementation happens on time. The report reveals the following data.
|<25% over schedule||27%|
|26-50% over schedule||10%|
|51-75% over schedule||12%|
|>76% over schedule||12%|
|Earlier than scheduled||5%|
November 1, 2013 No Comments
Despite the advances in web technology over the past few decades, one of the challenges that users continue to face is spam. A research report published by Microsoft Research back in 2004 showed that the presence of webspam on the internet can be identified through statistical analysis. While studies as this have played an important role in identifying and filtering spam, the growth of such websites and pages continue unabated. Experts attribute this growth to the deficiency in technology that govern the identification and filtering out of such pages. Cheap link building tactics aimed at sprucing up the PageRank of a website are often a major cause for link spam online.
Over the past year, Google has deployed a couple of major algorithmic updates aimed at curtailing this practice. Dubbed the ‘Penguin’, the update was aimed at spammy link and content marketing tactics that has been seen as a major reason for webspam. Given these important changes, the spate of link spam was expected to come down. However, according to Social Media security firm NexGate, the overall level of spam on the internet has continued to rise thanks to its increase in other platforms like social media. In a first of its kind report on social media spam, NexGate reports a 355% increase in what they call ‘social spam’ during the first half of this year. Here are some really interesting takeaways from their report:
|Social media apps that are spammy||5%|
|Spammy social media apps that are brand-owned||20% (that is||1% overall)|
|Average number of social profiles contacted by a spamming account||23|
|Number of new spam accounts created||5 out of every 7 new accounts|
|Most popular social platforms for spammers||Facebook & YouTube|
|Percentage of spam posts that contain a URL||15%|
|Overall number of spammy social media messages||1 out of every 200|
As anybody who frequents websites like Facebook and YouTube may know, the spam on these websites are extremely higher than what may be noticed on other social media websites. NexGate estimates this number to be 100 times more than other social networks. Consequent to this, the number of phishing attacks on Facebook are also higher than any other network – by a factor of 4. Given that a huge percentage of spam are scams aimed at fooling people into divulging their confidential information, the financial repercussions of social media spam are huge. Some estimates point at a revenue loss of close to $200 million just from Facebook.
Given the rise in prominence of social networks like Instagram and Pinterest, it is to be seen how these various companies huddle up with the likes of Facebook to find a way to root out spam from the social media space.
October 23, 2013 No Comments
With a slowing economy, the demand for higher education has been on the rise since more and more people seek to hone their academic profile. Considering that the current physical infrastructure of educational institutions may not be sufficient to cater to this ever-growing demand, more and more universities are now looking at online courses to reach out to a wider base of students. According to the 2012 Application Trends Survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), over 66% of the surveyed institutions have reported an increase in applications to their online MBA program in 2012 compared to 2011. This is in stark contrast to the Full time courses where only 42% of the surveyed institutions have reported a growth in applications.
Interestingly, domestic applications have shown a higher growth in demand compared to foreign applications. According to the report, over 45% of the surveyed institutions reported a growth in applications from domestic candidates where as only 41% of those reported a similar increase from foreign applications. The report also says that the number of applications from men was seen to have risen in the case of 45% of the institutions.
Most MBA institutions, including those offering full time conduct special outreach programs targeting specific segments of candidates to their programs. For example, an institution offering healthcare MBA might want to specifically target health professionals for their MBA program. The GMAC survey notes the following three segments as the most popular categories in the outreach programs conducted by online MBA institutions.
1. Working professionals
3. Undergraduate students
Tuition Assistance For Online MBA Programs
GMAC also studied the kind of tuition assistance offered to these students. For online MBA, here is how the various options stacked up (numbers may not add up to 100% since some students may be offered more than one kind of assistance):
No assistance : 52%
Scholarships : 30%
Assistantships : 19%
Reduced tuition : 4%
On-campus work study : 4%
Here is a gist of the online MBA landscape as reported by the GMAC survey.
No experience : 6%
< 1 year : 4%
1-3 years : 13%
3-6 years : 24%
6-10 years: 25%
> 10 years: 30%
<= 22 years : 2%
22-25 years : 18%
26-30 years : 28%
31-34 years : 17%
35-39 years : 15%
>= 40 years : 19%
Local : 32%
National : 58%
International : 10%
Male : 57%
Female : 43%
Domestic : 87%
Foreign : 13%
August 30, 2013 No Comments
Managed security company, Network Box has studied over 13 billion URLs visited by businesses in the first quarter of 2010. The results are not too surprising. Facebook leads the pack in terms of the number of visits. The study concludes that a good 6.8% of all website traffic from businesses was to Facebook.com. Here are the top websites visited at work and the percentage of traffic share they constitute
Sounds unconvincing? Well, the study has apparently studied the hits on the various servers and considering that several Yahoo images are loaded from Yahoo’s image server at yimg.com and also because several websites host Google ads that load from doubleclick.net, these websites appear to be the most popular.
While a majority of users may be unaware of them having visited these websites, in terms of hits, this is how it is.
July 20, 2013 No Comments
Few months back, a study published by SpeedMatters.org listed down the American states with the highest measured broadband connectivity speed. Now, in a similar report conducted for individual cities, Akamai looks into the average connection speed. Interestingly as pointed out in the study, US cities or towns that host colleges are among the places with the most impressive broadband internet speeds.
Here are the fastest US cities and the average connection speed according to Akamai
1. Berkeley, CA : 18.73 Mbps
2. Chapel Hill, NC : 17.483 Mbps
3. Stanford, CA : 16.956 Mbps
4. Durham, NC : 13.636 Mbps
5. Ithaca, NY : 13.365 Mbps
6. Ann Arbor, MI : 13.178 Mbps
7. College Station, TX : 13.129 Mbps
8. Urbana, IL : 11.764 Mbps
9. Cambridge, MA : 11.708 Mbps
10. University Park, PA : 11.066 Mbps
June 19, 2013 No Comments
AT&T reported revenues of $2.5 billion and sales worth $30.6 billion for the quarter ending March 2010. So where has this money come from? According to the announcement, close to half of the revenues have come from Ma Bell’s wireless business with another quarter of the sales having been with the wired offerings.
Here is a break down of the $30.6 billion sales by the businesses that AT&T operates
Wireless : 45%
Wireline Data/Managed Services : 24%
Wireline Voice : 24%
Advertising solutions/Others : 7%
May 12, 2013 No Comments
Mobile coupons are still only a small percentage of the entire coupon segment yet they are among the most popular. According to a recent study by Borrel Associates, Mobile coupons have a much higher redemption rates than those from newspapers or mail – as much as 10x times.
After a pretty flat growth during 2007 and 2008, the mobile coupons market has been growing blazingly fast since then and is expected to continue the trend for more years to come.
Here is the projected total spending from mobile coupons as studied by Borrell Associates
2006 : $3.3 million
2007 : $7.2 million
2008 : $7.15 million
2009 : $86.4 million
2010 : $373.7 million
2011 : $1055.3 million
2012 : $2242.4 million
2013 : $4101.6 million
2014 : $6598.5 million
April 24, 2013 2 Comments