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Lenovo Further Gains Momentum in First Quarter FY 2017/18

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Lenovo Further Gains Momentum in First Quarter FY 2017/18

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Behind the strength of its 3-wave strategy, Lenovo’s business transformation continued to gain traction during the first quarter, delivering solid profitability in its core PC and smart devices business, and revenue and profit improvements in targeted growth areas, including the data center and mobile businesses.

Fuelled by new investments in people and products, Lenovo’s Data Center Group (DCG) introduced the most comprehensive product lineup in its history, with the new ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile portfolio, and continued to build out its end-to-end sales organization. Similarly, Lenovo’s Mobile Business Group launched significant new products led by the Moto Z2 Force, available now on all major U.S. carriers, and ramped up its branding efforts worldwide.

“In the first quarter this fiscal year, we had stable performance as we executed our 3-wave strategy with commitment. We maintained our industry leading profitability in PC, built the foundation in mobile and data centre, and further invested in ‘Device + Cloud’ and ‘Infrastructure + Cloud’ powered by Artificial Intelligence,” said Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo Chairman and CEO. “We have made solid progress on every front of our strategy. Particularly MBG continued to improve, and is on track to breakeven by second half of this fiscal year. DCG gained good momentum as well. As the two new growth engines gain speed, we believe the sustainable results will soon follow.”

For its first fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2017, Lenovo’s quarterly revenue was US$10 billion, flat year-over-year, but an increase quarter-to-quarter of 4.5 percent. First quarter pre-tax loss was US$69 million, with a net loss of US$72 million.

Operating profit was up US$110 million quarter-to-quarter. The Company’s gross profit for the first fiscal quarter decreased 11 percent year-over-year to US$1.4 billion, yet remained flat quarter-to-quarter, with gross margin at 13.6 percent. Basic loss per share for the quarter was 0.66 US cents, or 5.15 HK cents.

Lenovo introduced its 3-wave strategy, namely balancing PCSD growth and profit, accelerating our DCG and MBG growth engines, and investing in non-hardware areas, to both meet today’s market dynamics while positioning the Company for longer-term profitable growth. Lenovo is investing in core technology and next-generation platforms that will help customers move towards a smart internet era where all smart devices will be connected to the cloud and powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

While Lenovo is focused on new technologies with our ‘Device + Cloud strategy’, the Lenovo Capital and Investment Group (LCIG), the Company’s provider of IoT solutions, reached a first quarter milestone of over three million users on its Global API platform.

In addition, as Lenovo continued to expand its ecosystem, LenovoID (a unique identification of directly reachable users across Lenovo devices) reached 225 million users in the first quarter. The progress Lenovo is making in its non-hardware businesses, such as software, services, and big data, is already gaining significant traction and winning new customers.

At its third annual Tech World event, held last month in Shanghai, Lenovo demonstrated several new consumer and commercial products, such as SmartVest wearable technology and daystAR glasses to help with industrial maintenance. Lenovo also announced a US$1.2 billion investment in AI research and development, and is pursuing smart solutions and partnerships in the manufacturing, healthcare and transportation sectors.

Business Group Overview

In our PC and Smart Devices (PCSD) business group, which includes PCs, tablets and smart devices, the average selling price of our PC + tablet products improved 7.8 percent year-over-year, meaning that customers were gravitating to Lenovo’s more innovative, higher-end products. Despite industry-wide component shortages and subsequent cost-hike pressures, Lenovo maintained its industry-leading profitability.

PCSD revenue was US$7 billion, with flat growth year-over-year. However, quarter-to-quarter, PCSD revenue grew 4.8 percent. Pre-tax income was US$291 million and pre-tax income margin fell to 4.2 percent, mainly due to the industry-wide increased component costs.

Lenovo’s PC business in the first quarter recorded share gains in Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America, and worldwide shipped 12.4 million units. In China, where Lenovo still enjoys almost 36 percent market share, the Company appointed a strong new consumer-focused leader to run its PCSD business. In North America as well, where the PCSD business has been flat, new leadership is now in place to help boost sales.

Lenovo’s Mobile Business Group (MBG), which includes Moto and Lenovo-branded smartphones, saw encouraging revenue growth outside of China to US$1.7 billion, 7.6 percent increase year-over-year. As an example of the Company’s continuing momentum in this business, Lenovo achieved its publically-stated goal of selling three million Moto Z smartphones within the first 12 months.

For the second consecutive quarter MBG has continued to grow revenue and improve profitability, with revenue up two percent year-over-year to US$1.7 billion and a pre-tax income margin improvement of 2.2 pts. during the same period.

With 11 million smartphones shipped in the first quarter, Lenovo grew 12.3 percent year-over-year outside of China, driven by significant gains in both Western Europe and Latin America, up 137 percent and 56 percent respectively year-over-year.

Lenovo’s Data Center Group (DCG), which includes servers, storage, software and services, continued to focus on the transformative actions that will help drive long-term DCG competitiveness, such as strengthening our sales teams, investing in the channel, revamping our product lines, building our brand strategy, and adding new partnerships.

These actions helped to stabilize the business outside of China in the first quarter with quarter-to-quarter revenue growth of 14 percent. Particularly encouraging was the year-over-year revenue growth in Western Europe and North America of 11 percent and eight percent respectively, including quarter-over-quarter revenue growth of 22 and 19 percent respectively. In both geographies, new leadership, a restructured sales organization, and new products are beginning to pay the expected dividends, and we expect that trend to accelerate into other geographies, including China, as we execute our DCG transformation worldwide.

Another positive sign in DCG was a pre-tax income margin improvement of 1.7 pts. quarter-to-quarter. In addition to these financial indicators, DCG set 42 world-record benchmarks on the new Intel platform, more than any of our competitors and Lenovo continued to be the world’s fastest-growing super-computing provider, number 1 in China and under recent new leadership there, secured a major win with Peking University.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Nigeria Needs Cutting-Edge AI Applications—Osinbajo

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cutting-edge AI applications

By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigeria needs to invent and produce cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications for education, business, medicine and security.

This was the view of Nigeria’s Vice President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo, at the founding class (2021) of the Nigerian University of Technology and Management (NUTM), Lagos.

Mr Osinbajo, while giving a keynote address at the event, also called for an effective collaboration between public and private sectors to build world-class institutions focused on innovation in science, technology and management sciences that would help proffer solutions to the country’s challenges.

NUTM is a top-notch school of innovation and technology focused on nurturing leaders in Nigeria and Africa, promoted by Mr Okey Enelamah, immediate past Industry, Trade and Investment Minister.

“The most significant problems of this generation, especially in Africa, will require innovation in science, technology and the management sciences, especially entrepreneurship and innovative leadership if we are to stand a chance of resolving them,” the VP was quoted as saying in a statement released by his media aide, Mr Olaolu Akanda.

The Vice President said that the graduands of the NUTM programme had what was required to be among those who would in the future, provide solutions to national and global challenges in different sectors.

“I think sitting before us today, the graduands of the NUTM Scholars Programme, we might just be beholding the men and women with the answers to some of the world’s most significant challenges.

“And there are many challenges indeed. We need to invent and produce cutting-edge AI applications for education, business, medicine and security.

“We need to design the educational innovation required to train millions of children in or out of classrooms all across the country and on our continent, and provide the techniques for delivering opportunities in technology on the scale,” he said.

Mr Osinbajo said that in Agriculture, Nigeria needed to invent advanced devices, precision agriculture methodologies, and robotic systems

He said such inventions would guarantee the huge yields per acreage or volumes in dairy and livestock to meet the food security needs of a country headed for the third position in global population size in a few short years.

“And we are waiting for the breakthrough in the treatment of peculiar African health challenges such as sickle cell disease, fibroids and cancers.

“There is so much to do. But we know that ground-breaking innovation in technology or commerce will always be the product of the work of well-trained people.

“Which is why the NUTM Scholars Programme was designed to offer cutting-edge knowledge in Technology, Entrepreneurship and Design; Management; Perspectives in breakthrough Leadership ideas, Critical thinking and Writing.”

According to him, the goal of the university is to train and equip highly sophisticated crack technology, innovation and management experts.

“The students are the first cut of that dream team. And, we are holding our breath waiting for you to step into your destined roles.

“First, every major innovative breakthrough in science, technology or the social sciences was the product of patient collaborative work, sometimes across nations.

“There is no innovation yet around the hard and, sometimes, long task of creating rare value,” he said.

According to him, the second reason why most people will never attain significance is that they are only interested in themselves and their personal successes.

“But to earn significance, one must do something much bigger than oneself, a big idea, a massive game-changer should always be your target.

“Third is developing a mindset that you are as good as anyone who has ever developed a game-changing idea.

“Problem-solving innovators are, after all, men and women not spirits. And this is important because the way not to achieve is to have a mind that is incapable of seeing huge things,” he said.

While commending the founders, management and academics of the NUTM for the great work, Osinbajo told the graduands that those who built Dubai were men and women, not spirits.

In his welcome remarks, Mr Enelamah, who is also the Chairman of the Governing Board of the University, thanked the vice president for attending the event.

He added that NUTM was a pioneering higher education institution that had been established to nurture leaders and innovators to create an impact in Africa and other parts of the world.

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Flutterwave Partners Currencycloud for US, Europe Expansion

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Currencycloud

By Adedapo Adesanya

Flutterwave has partnered with Currencycloud to stimulate its expansion in Europe and the United States as it hopes to gain wider traction.

The company plans to launch in Europe and the US, strengthening its services to customers, making it possible for them to send and receive money from any part of the world with its distinct virtual accounts, quickly and efficiently.

As a result, users will now be provided with more service options globally as they will be able to receive payments not just using debit cards, but via other new channels, and will ensure total transparency to foreign exchange charges for international payments, giving customers access to multi-currency wallets.

The current development shows the company’s interest in scaling beyond its existing reach globally, not just in a particular region as it journeys to reach every nook and cranny of the world.

According to the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flutterwave, Mr Olugbenga Agboola, “This partnership marks our ongoing commitment to creating a payments infrastructure that links the world to Africa.”

“Our shared value of simplifying payments, coupled with the speed with which we could launch in a new market leveraging Currencycloud APIs were just a few reasons why we partnered with them.

“Through our partnership, we are excited to offer new and existing customers more payment options to grow their business, access new markets and build their customer base,” he further said.

In addition, Mr David Heitzmann, vice president of Sales and general manager of North America at Currencycloud said that the company’s goal is to reimagine the way money flows around the world.

“The partnership with Flutterwave is a great example of this, and we are thrilled to be able to support Flutterwave in their mission,” he pointed out.

Right away, the incorporation of Currencycloud’s API into Flutterwave’s technology has been done. Existing and new customers can start leveraging the innovation.

Flutterwave was recently listed as one of the 100 Most Influential Companies in Time’s recently published magazine.

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Social Engineering: The Mindset of a Cyber Criminal

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computer crime Social Engineering

By Rotimi Onadipe

Who is a cyber criminal?

A cyber criminal is an individual that commits crime with the use of a computer as a tool or as a target. Cyber criminals operate in many ways but the most common way cyber criminals operate in today’s digital age is through social engineering.

Social engineering is a strategy used by cyber criminals to manipulate or trick people into revealing their personal or sensitive information. In most cases, it involves interesting and convincing stories from cyber criminals to lure unsuspecting individuals, companies or organisations into falling victim.  Common social engineering attacks include:

  1. Sending of fake distress messages to unsuspecting victims.
  2. Sending an email with a link that will redirect an unsuspecting victim to a fake website.
  3. Sending a message to an individual that he has won a lottery involving a huge amount of money and asking him to provide his bank account details or other personal information.
  4. Sending attachments or apps containing malware to unsuspecting victims.
  5. Pretending as a bank, internet service provider, business partner or social media platform administrator and asking of password, PIN or other personal information from an unsuspecting victim.

The internet can be a very good tool for learning, creativity, sharing useful information and connecting with people but despite its great benefits, it is also used by cyber criminals to commit crimes.

In today’s technology age, cyber criminals can be very smart when it comes to online fraud. They will use all kinds of tricks to target their victims around the world.

As internet usage increases on daily basis so do the amount of sensitive and personal information which are made available on social media. The cyber criminals are aware of this and they always want to take advantage of it.

However, we must be informed that we all have personal or sensitive information that is worth something to cyber criminals which they can sell out to other criminals or unsuspecting victims. This is why it is very important for us as individuals or organisations to understand the mindset of a cyber criminal.

The mindset of a cyber criminal:

  1. He thinks faster than his victims.
  2. He is always searching for people’s personal and sensitive information and he is ready to get it at all costs.
  3. His main motive is to obtain money or personal information from his victims.
  4. He is always learning and thinking of new strategies to defraud his victims.
  5. He wants to make friends with as many people as possible to increase his chances of getting more victims.
  6. He doesn’t give up on his victims no matter how pathetic the victim’s situation is.
  7. He wants to use his cyber security knowledge to defraud anyone that comes in contact with him at any time.
  8. He believes in using different identities to convince his victims.
  9. He spends a lot of time studying the mindset of his victims.
  10. He has a special interest in defrauding aged people and young children because they are the most vulnerable to cybercrime in today’s digital age.

Conclusively, we must be informed that our greatest weapon and best defence against cyber criminals is to educate ourselves about their strategies so that we can understand their mindset.

Rotimi Onadipe can be reached via +234-8169121819 or onatechconsult@gmail.com  

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