Local Measure opens Singapore office with eyes on Asia-Pacific

6:02AM | Monday, 23 June

Location-based social B2B platform Local Measure, spun-off from now defunct consumer-focused Roamz, today announced the opening of an office in Singapore to support the company’s growth in the Asia-Pacific region.   According to a statement on the announcement, the Asian market has a big appetite for social media where social content is shared at a higher rate than any other market.   “There are many opportunities for Local Measure in Asia to help businesses in the region extract valuable insights from various social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare,” says Jonathan Barouch, founder and CEO of Local Measure.   “Expanding into APAC is an exciting next step in our growth plan.   “Businesses nowadays appreciate the value of real-time local insight and Local Measure provides the tools to capture what customers are saying publicly about their brand on social media, while they’re on the business’ premises.   We’ve developed a location-based customer intelligence tool that works for businesses of all sizes and across different languages.”   With existing clients who use Local Measure in Singapore like Spizza, SingTel, Gelatissimo and Qantas, the business has already established a presence in Singapore, long before the opening of the Singaporean office, but the move acknowledges the importance of having feet on the ground to service the specific requirements of the local market.   The Singapore office will be headed up by Gary Spero, vice president Asia at Local Measure.   Spero has been with the company for the past three years. His responsibilities will include growing Local Measure’s market share in Singapore and driving the Singaporean team to service the specific needs of the local market.

Microsoft improves its Azure hybrid cloud offering

5:57AM | Tuesday, 13 May

Optus’ parent company SingTel has signed on as a major partner for Microsoft’s newly announced Azure ExpressRoute hybrid cloud service.   Announced today at Microsoft’s TechEd North America conference, ExpressRoute allows businesses to directly connect their on-premises servers or data centres with Microsoft’s Azure cloud hosting service.   The service uses direct fibre optic links through phone providers and virtual private networks, such as SingTel’s Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) service, to allow businesses to connect directly to Azure without using the public internet.   SingTel joins a number of other major international telcos including AT&T, BT, Equinix, Telecity and Verizon in offering the service, which appears set to compete head-to-head against the network applications and services (NAS) offerings recently announced by Telstra and Cisco.   Microsoft’s Cloud & Enterprise Division corporate vice president Brad Anderson told the conference the new service is the product of the increasing data volumes many organisations exchange with their cloud services.   “One of the most common requests we have from organisations that are really embracing the cloud in a big ways is they want dedicated links that are high speed because they’re moving so much information back and forth between their clouds.”   The new service will allow businesses to use Azure as an extension of their existing on-premises server and datacentre capabilities. It will also allow hybrid apps where, for example, a corporate intranet app hosted through Azure can be authenticated with an on-premises Active Directory.   Aside from extending datacentres, a service set to roll out next month, called Microsoft Azure Site Recovery, will allow businesses to replicate and recover their servers to Azure in the event of an outage at their primary datacentre.   Alongside the new ExpressRoute service, the tech giant has also announced a number of cloud-based cybersecurity initiatives. These include an anti-malware service for Azure, new Data Loss Prevention capabilities SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business, and the deployment of new file encryption technology in Microsoft Office 365 from July.   This article first appeared on SmartCompany.

THE NEWS WRAP: Private equity firms preparing Optus Satellite takeover bid

5:36AM | Wednesday, 29 May

Private equity firms including KKR, Carlyle Group and Eutelsat Communications are gearing up for a possible takeover bid for Optus' satellite assets, according to reports.   Optus’ parent company, Singapore-based communications giant SingTel, sent out information to the bidders on Monday ahead of a first-round deadline of June 14 and is believed to be expecting a bid of more than $2 billion.   It is unclear at the moment whether the bidders are interested in just the satellite assets of Optus or the entire business.   Super funds applying pressure for asset privatisations   The Industry Super Network has issued a report urging state and federal governments to privatise billions of dollars in assets in order to overcome a $770 billion infrastructure shortfall.   The superannuation funds say it makes little sense for them to invest billions of dollars in offshore infrastructure assets while infrastructure shortfalls exist in Australia, while the idea of asset privatisation might be more palatable if voters knew their superannuation funds were buying the assets.   "The toll a member might pay for using a road will be paid back with interest when they retire," the report says.   Apple could take a bite out of the big four banks   Commonwealth Bank chief executive Ian Narev has told a conference in Sydney that the competitive pressure applied by tech giants such as Apple and Google could be as great in some areas as it is from the other big three banks.   “We consider we have got very, very good competitors in the major banks, we have got very good competitors in the next-tier banks,” Narev said.   “We worry every day about all those competitors, but we worry equally about the niche players, many of them well resourced, many of them international. The Apples, the Googles, the Samsungs, the PayPals, the credit card companies, who can pick particular slivers as a result of the application of technology into financial services and compete.”   Overnight   The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.69% to 15,409.39. The Aussie dollar is down to US96.18 cents.

Optus set to tuck into start-up scene after $6 million Eatability purchase

7:08AM | Friday, 27 July

Telecommunications giant Optus is ramping up its involvement in the start-up sector, alongside Singaporean parent SingTel, after acquiring Sydney-based food site Eatability for $6 million.