Intuit’s Dan Wernikoff Talks Small Business Big Game

dan-wernikoff

At this point the next Super Bowl is almost a year away. But Intuit is gearing up for the big game just the same.

Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intuit’s Small Business Group Dan Wernikoff took the opportunity during National Small Business Week to share why.

The now famous QuickBooks Small Business Big Game contest begins June 1 with companies submitting their stories for a chance to win a coveted commercial for the 2016 Super Bowl produced by Intuit.

The benefits a small business can gain from such exposure should be obvious.

“Toymaker startup GoldieBlox from Oakland, California, won the contest, with Intuit creating a television spot — ‘Come on Bring the Toys’ — that reached more than 100 million viewers during the broadcast,” Wernikoff told Small Business Trends in an email interview.

“This exposure provided a boost to GoldieBlox, which has gone on to launch three new games and a new mobile app,”he added

Here’s a look at the commercial the company created:

Commercials like this cost between $4 to $4.5 million.

But the benefits weren’t limited to the winner.

“The three finalists also saw big benefits from increased exposure: One company saw a 300 percent in feed sales and 100 percent increase in T-shirt sales; another finalist’s revenue increased 132 percent, and they are about to hire their first employee, and another company’s sales increased more than 500 percent, from 250 bags (of their product) for their first six months to 800 bags a day!” Wernikoff added.

The contest is judged by the public and Intuit employees. But Wernikoff shares some insight about what goes into a winning submission.

“The best evidence of what makes for a winning submission comes from the inaugural Small Business Big Game contest finalists,” he explains. “More than 15,000 small businesses entered the first Small Business Big Game contest in 2013, and 2.3 million votes were cast as people across the country supported their favorite company.”

“Each of the four finalists had very different kinds of businesses — from a toy company to a maker of natural dairy compost. But the one thing that all finalists shared was a passion for their business, a commitment to their community, and a determination to make a difference.”

Of course, Intuit’s history of assisting small businesses reaches back much farther than the well-publicized contest.

The company first introduced its Quicken personal finance software to American households looking for a helping hand in balancing their checkbooks back in 1983.

Today, businesses handle their payroll, inventory and sales using Intuit’s QuickBooks software. Companies and individuals can avoid costly visits to tax preparers by using TurboTax. And bills can be paid all in one place instead of on individual websites with the help of Mint software.

“Our aim is to create products that make it easier for small businesses to run their operations,” Wernikoff explained.

“QuickBooks Online provides a simple, integrated view of how money flows in and out of a business,” he added. “Instead of spending time trying to reconcile old bills, small business owners can focus on the things that made them passionate about being their own boss in the first place.”

Wernikoff says the company’s growing list of services is all focused on helping small business owners and entrepreneurs face a unique set of challenges.

“We recognize that being a small business owner is really tough work,” he explains. “The days are long, there’s never enough time, and the work can be lonely. So, we’re committed to making products that help more small businesses to find long-term success.”

To learn more about the Quickbooks Small Business Big Game contest visit here.

Image: Dan Wernikoff, LinkedIn

More in: SMB Week

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Fujitsu Says It Is in PC Merger Talks With Lenovo

Fujitsu Says It Is in PC Merger Talks With LenovoJapan’s Fujitsu said on Thursday it was in talks to merge its struggling PC business with Chinese computer giant Lenovo, sending its shares soaring as the company also announced a recovery in profits.

The talks come as Japanese personal computer makers work to scale back their businesses as consumers shift to smartphones and tablets.

Tokyo-based Fujitsu said it and Lenovo, the world’s largest PC maker, are “exploring a strategic cooperation in the realm of research, development, design and manufacturing of personal computers for the global market”.

The two firms, which are yet to reach an agreement, are also talking with government-backed Development Bank of Japan for financial and strategic support.

Fujitsu shares rose by 7.8 percent on news of the merger negotiations to close at JPY 599.3.

In a separate announcement, the company said its net profit for the six months to September came to JPY 11.8 billion ($113 million or roughly Rs. 755 crores).

The recovery marks a reversal from a net loss of JPY 15.9 billion during the same period last year, thanks to cost-cutting efforts particularly in the PC and mobile phone operations.Operating profit stood at JPY 25.9 billion, up from an operating loss of JPY 12.4 billion the year before, while sales fell 7.0 percent to JPY 2.08 trillion (roughly Rs. 1,32,869 crores).

Fujitsu also slightly revised down its annual sales forecast to JPY 4.5 trillion, JPY 100 billion lower than an earlier forecast due to revised exchange rate assumptions, but kept annual net profit projection at 85 billion yen.

Tags: Fujitsu, Lenovo, PC Merger, PC, Laptops
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Samsung in talks with LG Chem for new smartphone batteries

Samsung Electronics blamed faulty batteries for the problem in their flagship device Galaxy Note 7, which were recalled from the market. Photo: Bloomberg

Samsung Electronics blamed faulty batteries for the problem in their flagship device Galaxy Note 7, which were recalled from the market. Photo: Bloomberg

Bengaluru: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd is in talks with LG Chem Ltd to supply batteries for its new smartphones, the Nikkei newspaper reported, said people familiar with the matter.

Samsung, the world’s biggest smartphone maker, scrapped production of the their flagship device Galaxy Note 7 and said the decision would take a hit to its operating profit of about $3 billion over the next two quarters.

The company had blamed faulty batteries for the original problem in its flagship device, but has given no indication about the cause of the overheating seen in the replacements.

The companies are discussing ways to supply batteries to Samsung’s new smartphones starting next year, the report said.

Samsung’s subsidiary, Samsung SDI Co. Ltd, is the dominant battery supplier for the Note 7, supplying around 70% of the batteries globally, according to analyst estimates.

Samsung and LG Chem were not immediately available for comment. Reuters

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Tencent in Talks to gather conflict of Clans Developer Supercell: document

Tencent in Talks to Acquire Clash of Clans Developer Supercell: Report

HIGHLIGHTS
Tencent is looking to increase its gaming footprint to cell gadgets.
it’s miles in talks to accumulate clash of Clans maker Supercell.
proper now, SoftBank has a seventy three percent stake in Supercell.
chinese language net giant Tencent is making plans to purchase a majority stake in clash of Clans andclash Royale developer Supercell. Tencent already has a big presence in the pc video games area due toits ownership of rebellion games – maker of League of Legends, that is one of the maximum popularvideo games proper now.

obtaining Supercell will ensure a rewarding access factor into the mobile video games area. SoftBankpresently owns a majority stake inside the corporation. In 2013 it offered a 51 percent stake and raised it to 73 percent remaining 12 months. in step with The Wallstreet journal, SoftBank is in talks with Tencentcould be seeking to promote.

(additionally see: computer games Outsold cell games in 2015)

“SoftBank’s portfolio of video-game corporations is one area that is under scrutiny from corporationPresident Nikesh Arora, who in March changed into installed charge of its worldwide investments and operations, a person acquainted with the problem said,” claims The Wallstreet journal. “Any sale of suchbelongings would help shore up SoftBank’s balance sheet, which is saddled with more than $80 billion innet hobby-bearing debt, approximately a 3rd of that is tied to its suffering U.S. cellular provider unit dashCorp.”

but it isn’t as straightforward because it appears. The report goes directly to country that Tencent President Martin Lau and chief method Officer James Mitchell made a journey to Helsinki – in whichSupercell is primarily based to convince its founders to assist a sale. given that it has completeoperational freedom beneath SoftBank and that its founders have the choice to veto the deal does notprecisely help Tencent’s chances.

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Tags: clash of Clans, clash Royale, League of Legends, SoftBank, Supercell, Tencent

Microsoft CEO Talks approximately technology’s Transformative strength at Delhi event

Microsoft CEO Talks About Technology's Transformative Power at Delhi Event

HIGHLIGHTS
Satya Nadella was speakme at the ‘Tech for excellent, thoughts for India’ occasion.
Nadella’s keynote speech turned into addressed at students and builders.
He spoke about use of technology as a improvement device.
Microsoft at its ‘Tech for excellent, thoughts for India’ event on Monday noticed CEO Satya Nadella delivera keynote cope with on innovation for India. The event accompanied the CEO’s “communication withyounger achievers, students, developers, and marketers.”

aside from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Minister of nation for Finance Jayant Sinha turned into also giftat the occasion, and welcomed the India-targeted innovation that Nadella presented.

Nadella’s keynote address became intended to encourage a technology of college students, builders, and marketers in India to innovate for the u . s . a .. He said the India visit had stimulated him as properly, with fast changing panorama of digital India.

The Microsoft CEO began his keynote with a quote by means of the Indian poet Ghalib, “Hazaaron khwahishen aisi ho ke har khwahish pe dam nikle, Bohat niklay mere armaan, lekin phir bhi kam nikle” talkingapproximately desires that had been really worth loss of life for. this sort of desires become to applydigital era as a force for proper.

Nadella also spoke approximately the numerous modifications era has visible in the current beyond, and the severa differences it might preserve to peer as it have become extra human-centric, fromcommunique-as-a-platform to augmented truth and system mastering. Nadella also highlighted theyoungstersoriented improvement projects that the employer had undertaken inside the latest past in India, such as YouthSpark, The consider Cup, and Academia Accelerator.

you could examine the total transcript (courtesy Microsoft) to Nadella’s keynote address on the end of this text.

The Redmond large at the event additionally showcased two new improvements which might be mainlyapplicable for India. those are Spot rubbish, a real-time rubbish management machine that received theconsider Cup and uses machine getting to know and vision techniques, as well as life Saver, anapplication that changed into evolved as part of the Academia Accelerator programme. touchy to thesigns of a coronary heart attack, Lifesaver is meant to detect and alert customers, and their contacts,about an coming near near coronary heart attack.

thanks a lot. thanks Minister for coming as properly, it’s extraordinary seeing you.

it is such a tremendous pride for me to be here in India and to peer the strength, the creativity of thisregion. it is infectious truly for me and, manifestly I grew up right here and i come lower back hereregularly but whenever I come again, i’m going returned energized and it is extraordinary.

And, so this morning I wanted to share with you, since you are all young marketers, you are convertingthe sector, you’re changing the panorama of India, at least my very own attitude. What does it suggestto dream big, to create large and feature large effect, due to the fact that’s what we searching for. In myexistence there have been passions which have driven at the least my goals and that i suppose againand one of the catalyst – it’s poetry and computer science. In fact, I want to relate the two inside thecontext of this large desires.

Ek dilli ke shayar ne ek zamaney mein kaha tha –

Hazaaron khwahishen aisi ho ke har khwahish pe dam nikle

Bohat niklay mere armaan, lekin phir bhi kam nikle

My interpretation of that Galib’s announcing modifications each 12 months. I analyze something new,there are such a lot of layers and labyrinths in there that whenever I kind of, I kind of experience like i have learnt it again, that i’ve figured it out. however my earliest interpretation is the time i was readingDouglas Hofstadter’s e book ‘Godel, Escher, Bach’ and i kind of found out the strength of what he turned into announcing, that’s, it isn’t always simply your dreams being fulfilled, it’s far your capability to dreamthings which can be really worth death for. And, there’s a sort of that incompleteness, inside theincompleteness that Godel talks about that Turing took and then created a century of what’s computation lies I think the power of what we will do with digital era. That has to be the supply of our suggestion, at least it has been for me as we think about the dreams going ahead.

In cutting-edge day, the arena which you live in, the arena that you’re going to shape, the sector that you are going to change, that canvas is so wealthy. once I think about even our personal pursuits, once I study the type of programs, solutions that you’re going to build for all walks for lifestyles, for all industries, the level of intelligence that you’re going to infuse into that, is pretty beautiful. for instancenow, there isn’t always a unmarried app that you’re going to build going forward this is not going to havepc vision built in and the capacity to look things; there isn’t always going to be a single app that you are going to construct that does not have the potential to understand speech. you’re going to have apps that recognize herbal language and text, and that capacity to deliver cognition into the application studiesafter which increase in truth, human functionality is a quite extraordinary time to be a developer.

Then shifting to what we will do with the aid of taking the oldest form of communique that we’ve gotwhich is, human language and what if we took the energy of human language and had been able totranslate that into computers. In different phrases, what if we taught all of the computers around us andall of the computing, human language. consider the styles of programs you may construct, howevermore importantly, think about what it does to democratizing the enjoy. instead of us having the cognitiveknow as users of studying new shell constructs, downloading icon after icons, and display screen afterscreens of apps, what if all you probably did was spoke or texted and also you have been able to get thepaintings carried out. that is the arena I assume you could create. In truth, you’ll construct bots which have essential knowledge of human language – similar to the way you built websites in the beyond,similar to the way you build cellular apps inside the beyond. you are going to construct those bot interfaces that understand human dialogue. And, it’s going to be a pretty profound shift in how computing is experienced by using anybody. it’s in all likelihood going to be the maximum democratizing force and make it reachable to every body, who’s 80 years old or an 8yrold.

and that i want to simply roll a video to just display you what is possible with something like this conversations-as-a-platform, just to form of provide the developers within the target audience a feel for the sorts of advances that I suppose you all will create to exchange the computing landscape.

To me, this concept of conversations-as-a-platform is a pretty transformative trade in computing that Isuppose we are inside the very early levels of. and i can not wait to see what you all create on top of this platform in terms of changing how humans enjoy computing. And speakme approximately modificationsinside the revel in of computing, the other platform, the opposite innovation that i am simply completelyblown away with the aid of is mixed reality and augmented truth. due to the fact thus far in our records,we’ve created computers which have created these reflect works – in which we’ve taken something thatwe have visible within the physical international and created virtual metaphors. In fact, the desktop is aextremely good example of that, in which obviously it exists inside the bodily world and we were able totranslate that into virtual metaphors that a thousand million users got at ease with.

but now for the first time in our records, we’re capable of take what is our field of view and flip that into anlimitless display. simply imagine, in what you spot, you no longer only see the analog international butyou can in reality, see the virtual international along side it. And now allow‘s increase it even one stepfurther. What if we should add presence? one of the maximum profound things this is going to appear as we look out a couple of years is humans can be everywhere from everywhere. it’s that essential notionof presence. So this aggregate of blended truth, where you have analog and digital getting blended, in addition to having digital presence wherein you could be anywhere from everywhere, will I believeessentially exchange computing forever. And this is going to intendwhat’s architecture is not going to be the equal once more, what’s business design isn’t going to be the identical again.

I suggest reflect onconsideration on what NASA scientists are able to do now – they are able to see the Rover flow on Mars however the holographic output of the Rover is right there in their workplace. meaningthey can walk round and look at the soil on Mars as a holographic output. That transformation I assume is what we can all look forward to. but most importantly, that’s what you’ll form. it is the ingenuity, the appsthat you construct that is going to in fact, trade our lives and our paintings. And it’s that creativity that wewant to glaringly be capable of ignite. And so I need to roll a video to give you a experience of what’sgoing on with HoloLens and augmented reality.

it is so exciting to look this new media being born right in the front people and i really like that word that is, whilst you exchange the manner you notice the sector, you exchange the world you see. and ithink that’s what all of you are going to do. And the cause I invoke this rich canvas is to clearly invoke your ambition to how you’ll form the sector. those 3 structures that we are creating – the clever cloud platform that gives each application cognition and computational assets so you can do anything; thisconcept of reinventing productiveness and business manner, how you interface with every organizationand every system becomes plenty more natural to a verbal exchange due to the bots you construct,due to the fact the packages which you construct have language knowledge; and finally, the appswhich you construct, the reports you build for mixed truth.

We examine this as a platform for you due to the fact that’s at the core of our project – our mission is to empower every body and every employer on earth to acquire extra. it is not about celebrating ourtechnology, it is about virtually celebrating the technologies which you all in India create. In fact, I wantus to be the platform creators that foster the ingenuity of what’s going on in India.

In reality, this morning, I had the good fortune of meeting entrepreneurs, pupil developers, youngerscholar developers, who’ve such excessive ambition. You met some of them simply before I were givenon the stage. to peer what is going on with era in style, what era is doing for things like net of things, infact, making it real – the entrepreneur in the back of iBOT taking net of things and democratizing it,wherein commercial corporations one after the alternative in India are reworking their products. In fact,the opposite entrepreneur I met who is constructing a solution for you a good way to get all of yourfiles starting from your faculty passing certificates for your mark sheet which i used to be very scared that i might now cross stare again at my mark sheet which I don’t need to ever see once more. but thefact that you may get any file is so top notch now not due to the fact that you can do not forget therecord however now you can ease the way you do enterprise, the way you practice on your riding license or what have you ever – the reality that this one entrepreneur is connecting matters that had been no longer related and converting the landscape.

I had the threat to fulfill a gaggle of student developers and it is fascinating to look their objectives.they are all members on this believe Cup which i really like because i get to see what are studentsconsidering, what they’re imagining. And one of the builders from there has figured out a manner which will detect, again using pc imaginative and prescient, rubbish in our streets and routinely alert the municipal government so as to come and choose it up via simply taking a easy photo and using cloudassets and a mobile app to trade how rubbish series takes place. there has been some other scholardeveloper who’s converting publishing – the concept that you can get in fact from textbooks get singlechapters and trade the unit economics of publishing forever because having grown up right here I knowexactly how tough it’s miles to get some of the books, mainly you understand, inside the fields like engineering in which if you may rework the way people can get to get entry to, it might be splendid, it’din addition democratize, I suppose, studying.

I also had a danger to fulfill two younger builders, certainly one of them is a 17 12 months old who hasfound out a way to take information from NASA, conflate it with different facts and spot the spread of algae in Bay of Bengal. So, this is an app it really is been built so that you could sincerely have the intelligence to power sustainability, because algae grows out of control and all comes a devastating effect.but here is a scholar who’s taking records that is available, bringing it collectively – he desired to have aactual effect proper here in terms of how we managed our climate. after which I met an 8 yr old, andthis is perhaps the time wherein I felt the maximum insufficient. And, the 8 12 months old‘s dreamchanged into, dream is, to create a society that is aware of the way to stability financial boom with environmental sustainability. this is the intention he has after which he translated that vision, that aim, intoa singular game that he is constructed. And so, he has constructed a recreation wherein, it is a sport in which you get to build cities, and in those towns, you could create factories, and yet, depending at thekind of power you use within the factory, you get points. And of route, in case you are wind powered orsolar powered, you get greater factors. And the concept that this youngster has been capable of envisionwhat is I assume that great stability that we need so as for us so that you can use new era, however to apply new generation to additionally create a more equitable society, a more sustainable environment, allround us. That simply is what every one of us is looking for, and what each one folks will have to do. Andit’s so inspiring for me to return right here, to see this vast spectrum of student developers, marketers, artists or even a few large brands, ecommerce companies, who’re all converting the panorama of India and thereby, the arena, and it absolutely is a privilege for me to be right here and it is a real privilege to be a platform underneath this Indian achievement. thanks so very, very a lot.

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Tags: Apps, internet, Microsoft, computer Laptops, Satya Nadella, Tech for true

Amazon Said to Be in Talks to Buy Stake in Mapping Company Here

Amazon Said to Be in Talks to Buy Stake in Mapping Company Here

Amazon is in talks with a consortium of German carmakers about taking a stake in high-definition digital mapping company Here, two auto industry sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Last August, BMW, Audi and Mercedes agreed to pay EUR 2.5 billion (roughly Rs. 18,580 crores) to buy Nokia’s mapping business as part of plans to develop self-driving cars.

Since then, the consortium has started negotiations with potential new partners mainly from the automotive industry.

Now, online retailer Amazon has emerged as a possible shareholder.

“Amazon would take a stake as part of a broader deal to lock them in as a provider of cloud computing services,” one source familiar with the talks said.

The consortium needs the capacity of cloud computing to ensure that maps can cope with live updates on traffic and road conditions using data collected from sensors on thousands of Mercedes, BMW and Audi cars.

It has been in talks with cloud computing providers, including Amazon, one of the sources said.

Taking a stake in Here could make sense strategically for Amazon, which is rolling out new one- and two-hour delivery services in major cities in the United States and Europe and needs accurate, real-time maps to compete with rivals for the best logistics.

Intelligent mapping systems like Here’s are the basis on which self-driving cars, linked to wireless networks, can perform functions such as recalculating a route to the nearest electric charging station or around a traffic jam or ice patch.

For the consortium, having more partners will spread the cost and could improve the volume of data about traffic information being fed to the map from vehicles on the road.

Audi, the premium brand owned by Volkswagen, Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, and BMW declined to comment on whether they were in talks with Amazon.

Amazon in Germany and the United States did not respond to requests to comment.

BMW said: “The new owners Audi, Daimler and BMW have said from the start that they are open for new partners to join. We have noticed that there is lots of interest not only from potential partners from within the automotive industry, but also from other sectors.”

Renault and automotive supplier Continental have both expressed interest.

Continental said on Thursday a decision on whether to buy a stake in Here would be made within the next few months.

Ford is also among the companies interested in taking a stake in the Here consortium, a third auto industry source said on Thursday.

Asked whether Ford was in talks with the group about taking a stake in Here, a spokesman for the company said, “We have been and will continue working with many companies and discussing a variety of subjects related to our Ford Smart Mobility plan. We keep these discussions private for obvious competitive reasons and we don’t comment on speculation.”

Self-driving and connected car services could become a $50 billion market, analysts at Exane BNP Paribas have estimated.

Germany’s carmakers decided to club together to bid for Here to accelerate plans for self-driving cars after Internet rival Alphabet unveiled a prototype autonomous vehicle.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: Amazon, Audi, August, BMW, Here, Internet, Mercedes, Nokia Here Maps
[“source-Gadgets”]

India opposes attempts of rich nations to stall WTO’s Doha Round talks

The government opposed alleged attempts of the developed world to “abandon” the 14-year-old Doha Round talks of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at the coming Nairobi ministerial meeting by citing the slow progress of negotiations to liberalise world trade.

Over 100 member countries including India (out of the total 162 member countries of WTO) want the Doha Round to be successfully concluded expeditiously, but only after ensuring that the “development’ dimension of the round is fulfilled in all aspects,’’ said Commerce Secretary, Rita Teaotia, speaking at an event organised by the industry body Ficci.

The Nairobi ministerial meeting is slated to be held during December 15-18. The Doha Development Round — the ongoing negotiation round of the WTO for a pact to open up world trade by lowering or eliminating barriers — had begun in 2001.

“Doha Round must not be abandoned at Nairobi. When so many countries are trying to reach an agreement, slow progress is inevitable. But an overwhelming number of members from the developing and the least developed world want the successful conclusion of the round. Therefore, we must consolidate what we have achieved so far and move forward,” the secretary said.

Teaotia said one group of countries, indirectly referring to the rich world, was not only stonewalling the Doha Round talks, but also was making efforts to introduce ‘new issues’ into the round.

These new issues include labour and environmental standards, e-commerce, global value chains and promotion of supply chains, environmental and sustainable goods produced using clean and green energy, transparency in government procurement, state-owned enterprises and designated monopolies, besides competition and investment provisions.

The senior official also opposed efforts from certain quarters, indirectly referring to the developed world, to categorise countries such as India, China and Indonesia as ‘emerging market economies’ (as opposed to them currently being termed as ‘developing countries’) and asking them to undertake greater market opening commitments. “These countries, including India, may be witnessing higher growth, but they still have lots of poor people, and therefore the situation cannot be compared to the developed world,” she said.

Protecting the interests of poor farmers was paramount for India, along with other developing nations, she said. India has been pushing for an effective Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) in this regard. SSM is a trade remedy that would allow developing countries to temporarily hike import duties on farm products to counter sudden import surges and price falls.

India also wants the rich countries to drastically reduce their ‘trade distorting’ farm subsidies.

Another item that India desires to be taken up on priority at the Nairobi meeting is that of arriving at a permanent solution to the issue of public food stockholding in developing countries for the purpose of food security, she said.

The secretary said India also wants an effective implementation of a package for least developed countries including duty-free and quota-free market access for them as well as decisions on preferential rules of origin, on the operationalisation of the LDC services waiver and in the area of cotton.

Keywords: Doha Round talks, World Trade Organisation

[“source-Thehindu”]

Daimler CEO Says ‘Here’ Digital Mapping Consortium in Expansion Talks

Daimler CEO Says 'Here' Digital Mapping Consortium in Expansion Talks

Daimler’s Chief Executive told Reuters that a German auto maker consortium which controls the Here digital mapping business is in talks with potential new members.

In August last year, German carmakers BMW, Audi and Mercedes, agreed to pay EUR 2.5 billion ($2.8 billion or roughly Rs. 18,771 crores) to buy Nokia’s high definition maps business, in a step to develop self-driving cars.

The deal closed in December and the German auto makers Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW started negotiations with new potential members, Zetsche said in an interview embargoed for Sunday.

“If there are individual companies that are already raising their finger, then this is fast and pleasing. I do not think it will take very long until the first company gives a binding commitment to join,” Zetsche said at a Mercedes-Benz driving event in Portugal.

The Here mapping business needs additional investments to make it viable for use as a navigation tool for self-driving cars. Having more carmakers join the consortium will potentially spread the cost across more members and could improve the volume of live traffic information being fed to the map from vehicles on the road.

Last week carmakers Renault-Nissan, and supplier Continental said they were considering taking a stake in the Here mapping consortium.

Intelligent mapping systems like Here’s are the basis on which self-driving cars, linked to wireless networks, can perform functions such as recalculating a route to the nearest electric charging station or around a traffic jam or accident.

Talks with third parties only started in the past two months because the consortium waited until the deal closed before talking to other partners, Zetsche said. Having only three members in the consortium made negotiations to close the deal simpler, Zetsche said.

“Interest will not only be limited to Renault-Nissan and Continental,” Zetsche added.

Self-driving and connected car services could become a $50 billion (roughly Rs. 3,35,212 crores) market, analysts at Exane BNP Paribas have estimated. Germany’s carmakers decided to club together to bid for the asset to accelerate plans for self-driving cars after Internet rival Alphabet unveiled a prototype autonomous vehicle.

Now Daimler is ready to expand the business which will form the basis for interactive maps which include live data on traffic flows gathered by thousands of sensors on BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

“It is clear that we want to aggressively expand this platform, we will make the means available to do this,” Zetsche said.

There are talks with the telecommunications industry about how to spread the availability of ultra-high-speed 5G networks, Zetsche said.

Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi are also evaluating whether their cooperation on maps can be broadened, Zetsche said.

“When it concerns navigation, we have broadly identical needs. Setting communication standards, which language we should speak and what signals we send, we can decide together,” Zetsche said.

Daimler is on the lookout for software and information technology specialists to help develop its digital businesses, including through further takeovers.

“To get access to the right resources we will continue making acquisitions,” Zetsche said, explaining that there are currently no live talks for a deal. Daimler has already bought the MyTaxi App and any further deals will be about buying smaller companies, Zetsche said.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: Apps, Audi, BMW, Daimler, Here, Internet, Mercedes
[“source-Gadgets”]