Thursday, April 19th, 2012
WRITTEN BY: ERDOLO EROMO
The mobile industry is growing rapidly both domestically and internationally. Many aggregators such as Mobile Messenger (MM) are concentrating on this industry as a new and thriving market.
Annual wireless data revenues are up by 20.8% and are expected to increase for the next 10 years before reaching a plateau. SMS advertising volumes are up 31.3% per year, while voice annual volumes are down 1.5% each year. This demonstrates the strength and potential of new markets for mobile content and billing. In this industry there are typically two client groups: large brands who simply want brand awareness and clients who pursue a quick but high return on their investments by lowering their cost per acquisition (CPA). In order to understand the needs, trends, and growth projections, one must first analyze the demographics and their behaviors.
The content delivered in the mobile industry in the U.S. can be broken down into two categories: premium services and standard rated messages. Premium services are often used by advertisers and application service providers (ASP) who have a virtual product that they wish to sell using the mobile billing mechanism. The standard side of the industry is used by mobile marketers and broadcast brands to communicate information to their customers in avenues outside emails and phone calls.
An aggregator’s direct connections and contracts give it the ability to deliver content and short code messages as well as processing virtual good payments for over 98% of North American mobile phone users. Since most cell phone service providers stopped charging long distance and many offer unlimited data plans, the physical location of the customer has now become irrelevant. For an aggregator it is crucial to create and maintain the direct relationship with the carriers that give them the ability to deliver the content both domestically and internationally.
Over 5 billion text messages also known as “short messaging system” (SMS) are sent each day by Americans. In the fourth quarter of 2007, the average number of texts by consumers surpassed the average number of calls and the disparity has grown significantly since then. Of those who text message 26% said that they have opted in to receive text message marketing messages. This is a huge demographic to target. The typical individual in this demographic comes from a generation that is used to getting what they want when they want it. They also have disposable income, which allows them to buy virtual products on impulse.
Table 1: Average Number of Monthly Calls vs. Text Messages Among U.S. Wireless Subscribers
The introduction of the mobile phone has forever transformed communication. The device that was introduced only to make phone calls is now used for texting, calendars, clocks, cameras, social networking, calculators, email, and a whole array of additional applications. The utilization of one device for many separate functions is known as device singularity. The “one stop shop” has become a socio-cultural phenomenon in the U.S., whether it is at a mega-store like Wal-Mart or at a gas station with a car wash. With the introduction of the iCloud and comparable platforms which allow data, apps, and virtual goods bought on the phone to be accessed via the desktop and vice-versa, it would be a major shortcoming of the industry to miss the opportunity to capture that market via SMS marketing.
Since 1995, there has been a significant yearly increase in mobile phone usage. Currently, 92% of the U.S. population has access to a mobile phone. From June 2005 to June 2010 there was a 20% gain in the number of households that replaced their landlines with mobile phones. With the increase of smartphone usage, annualized wireless data revenues have dramatically increased from the millions to billions with SMS increasing at the same rate. No other recent technological invention has been so quickly embraced by the population at large.
Within the premium and standard rated verticals there are five mobile content types that are expected to assist the continued growth of the mobile industry. The content types are mobile music, mobile games, mobile video, mobile graphics, and mobile information services. Combined revenue from these content types is expected to triple over the next three years.
The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) annual wireless survey shows that wireless data revenue has been significantly increasing each year since 2002. This has been a strong indicator of the growth of the off deck mobile billing platform. Over the next year the annual volume of data is expected to grow by 31.3%. This has positive implications on aggregator’s premium and standard business.
The mobile phone is utilized widely across most US demographic classifications. With most Americans owning or using a mobile phone, the success of the mobile billing via SMS marketing is inevitable.
1. “CellSigns – Mobile Statistics.” CellSigns – Mobile Marketing, Mobile Real Estate Search, Mobile Newspapers, Text Message and Mobile Marketing Platform. http://www.cellsigns.com/ (accessed April 18, 2012).
3. “Mobile Payment – Advanced Technologies (NFC), Strategies And Future Of Remote & Proximity Payment In U.S.” ASDReports. https://www.asdreports.com/ (accessed April 18, 2012).
Erdolo Eromo moved to South Los Angeles from Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia at the age of eight. A natural athlete, he played football for powerhouses Crenshaw High School and UCLA. He went on to earn his Executive MBA from Pepperdine University in 2011. Climbing up the corporate ladder in 6 years, Eromo is one of the youngest senior executives in the mobile industry. He now serves as Senior Vice President of Sales and Client Services at Mobile Messenger (MM), the largest off deck mobile aggregator in the United States. He is responsible for identifying opportunities and designing strategies for sales growth. By many, Eromo is considered to be an expert in identifying trends in the mobile commerce space as well as finding new opportunities in which the mobile phone can be used as a billing platform.
Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
On the IT industry website Smart Enterprise Exchange, Dr. Mark W.S. Chun, PhD, Director of the Center for Applied Research and Associate Professor of Information Systems wrote a guest article, “Six Trends CIOs Must Track and Leverage,” in which he discusses new research from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business School involving IT executives from both Asia and the United States. In this article, Dr. Chun explains how today’s successful CIOs must be “savvy in both technology and business.” For instance, CIOs must not only use technology as a tool to reduce costs, but also as a means to generate revenue for the business. Also in this article, Dr. Chun offers six key developments over the last decade that has impacted the role of the CIO.
Dr. Chun established the National Knowledge Management Conference hosted annually by Pepperdine University and sponsored by Pratt & Whitney, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratories, Northrop Grumman, Hitachi Consulting, Open Text, and The Aerospace Corporation. His expertise and research focus falls within the domain of knowledge management, IS integration, and the use of IS to create value and to transform organizations. He has worked for Intel Corporation, Pepsi Co./Taco Bell, Coopers & Lybrand, and the Bank of Hawaii. He has conducted research at Qwest, Honda, Hilton Hotels, Kaiser Permanente, Mattel, U.S. Treasury Department, USDA, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, FDIC, Pratt-Whitney Rocketdyne, NASA-JPL, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon. He has also researched the diffusion of information technology in less-developed Asian countries.
Also check out additional videos from the conference, “From Information Systems to Innovation Systems: Establishing the Next Generation Information Systems Department,” hosted by Pepperdine University, which includes presentations from Harvey Koeppel (Center for CIO Leadership), Robert Fort (Guitar Center), Eric Iverson (Sony Pictures), and Joel Manfredo (County of Orange).
Thursday, March 15th, 2012
- “The Top 10 U.S. Economic Issues to Monitor,” Darrol J. Stanley, DBA
- “The Dollar vs. the Euro,” updated by Peggy J. Crawford, PhD, Linnea B. McCord, JD, MBA, and Terry Young, PhD
- “Airline Industry Key Success Factors,” Richard M. McCabe, PhD
- “Making Mergers a Growth Strategy,” Kent Rhodes, EdD
- “Reforming Corporate America,” Larry Bumgardner, JD
- “The Employers’ Legal Obligations to Employees in the Military,” Charles P. Leo
- The New Age of Innovation: Driving Co-created Value Through Global Networks by C. K. Prahalad & M. S. Krishnan, reviewed by Jack C. Green, PhD
- Fixing the Game: Bubbles, Crashes, and What Capitalism can Learn from the NFL by Roger L. Martin, reviewed by David W. Crain, PhD
- The Essentials of Finance and Accounting for Nonfinancial Managers by Edward Fields, reviewed by Michael D. Kinsman, CPA
- The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, How They Can Help You by John Covert and Todd Sattersten, reviewed by Leo Mallette, EdD
- First, we have included an ARCHIVE-VIDEO LIBRARY where you will find a number of lectures, conferences, panel discussions, and other Graziadio business-related videos and interviews available at no charge.
- Second, we have added more information and links to videos and transcripts from the Dean’s Executive Leadership Series with talks given by and interviews with key business leaders in a variety of major corporations. Click here for more information.
- Third, a page has been added with direct links to Graziadio programs for easy access to learn more about the Graziadio School. Click here for more information.
Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
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In this video, Harvey Koeppel, Executive Director of the Center for CIO Leadership, shares his vast knowledge of information systems at the conference, “From Information Systems to Innovation Systems: Establishing the Next Generation Information Systems Department,” hosted by Pepperdine University, the Graziadio School of Business and Management, and the Graziadio Center for Applied Research, Wednesday, October 12, 2011.
Drawing from his experiences as a CIO with Citigroup’s Global Consumer Group and as a consultant for CitiFinancial, Citibank, and other Citi affiliates, in his presentation, “The 21st Century CIO,” Koeppel discusses how the role of the CIO is evolving.
In this video excerpt, Koeppel discusses key business drivers such as global economic and competitive changes, the role of government, the demand for innovative business models, and collaborative business partnerships.
Be sure to check out the full-length video, “From Information Systems to Innovation Systems with Harvey Koeppel” as well as other video presentations from Robert Fort (Guitar Center), Eric Iverson (Sony Pictures), Joel Manfredo (County of Orange) and a Panel of Experts.
Friday, February 10th, 2012
President Obama has announced that the U.S. will withdraw nearly all troops from Iraq by the end of this year, with thousands of additional troops from both Iraq and Afghanistan returning the first couple of months into the new year. Are you prepared to comply with the law and reinstate employees who may have been on military leave for months…if not years…?
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) applies to all civilian employers, protecting employees absent from work because of duty in any of the “uniformed services,” which includes not only full-time and reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, but also Coast Guard and National Guard. USERRA also covers many types of uniformed services duty, including, but not limited to, active duty, active-duty training, initial active-duty training, inactive-duty training, and numerous other periods of absent. Further, it applies regardless of whether the duty is voluntary or involuntary.
One of the primary protections USERRA provides is entitlement to reemployment. To be eligible for reemployment, the employee must have left employment that was not for a brief, recurrent period and was reasonably expected to continue work. The job left need not be permanent or regular.
EMPLOYEE MUST HAVE GIVEN NOTICE
The employee must have provided proper notice before leaving to be eligible for reemployment. Notice can be oral or written and can be delivered by family members, military officers, or other individuals besides the service member. More importantly, the law specifies that the employee need not give notice if military necessity prevents it or if doing so is not possible. Employees returning from military service must have been honorably discharged.
LENGTH OF ABSENCE
USERRA provides that employees returning from military service receive the same reemployment and seniority protections regardless of the type of military service so long as the cumulative length of absence does not exceed five years, not counting military service performed during previous employment.
REPORTING BACK TO WORK
USERRA requires employees to report to work or seek reemployment by certain deadlines, depending on the length of service. Employees serving 30 days or fewer must report to work at the beginning of their next regular work shift, following release from service. Employees serving 31 to 180 days must submit their application for reemployment no later than 14 days after completion of service. Employees serving more than 180 days must submit their application for reemployment no later than 90 days following completion of service.
REEMPLOYMENT MUST BE POSSIBLE
USERRA does not require that you reemploy individuals returning from military service if changed circumstances have made reemployment impossible or unreasonable, or if reemployment would cause an undue hardship. This depends on the size and type of your business operation, workforce composition, financial resources, or other similar factors. In this economy, many employers have had to reduce their workforce.
SPECIAL PROTECTION AGAINST DISCHARGE
USERRA’s protections do not end once the employee is reinstated. Perhaps one of the most significant obligations the Act imposes is that employees returning from service of more than 30 days cannot be discharged without cause for a certain period of time following reemployment. Employees returning from service lasting more than 180 days cannot be discharged without cause for one year following the date of reemployment. Employees returning from uniformed service lasting 30 to 180 days cannot be discharged without cause for six months following the date of reemployment. The common “at-will” employment relationship is modified for this particular period of time, and the burden of proving cause for a discharge will be on employers. Having appropriate policies, training employees on them, and carefully documenting any violations or performance problems will be helpful in meeting the lawful standards.
This would be a prudent time for employers to review their military leave policies and procedures, review your processes for returning veterans, and make appropriate plans for how you will deal with the many contingencies that can occur when it comes to reinstating veterans’ employees who have been out of the workforce for any extended period of time.
FROM HARM’S WAY TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYMENT
USERRA Implications for Veterans and Employers
March 14 in Los Angeles and March 15 in Irvine, Pepperdine University and PIHRA (Professionals in Human Resources Assoc.) will be sponsoring a seminar to address issues regarding employers and returning veterans. For more information go to:
Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
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In this video, John K. Paglia, PhD, Associate Professor of Finance at the Graziadio School of Business and Management, shares the first public release of his research findings from the Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project at the 1st Annual Southern California Capital Expo, hosted by The Association for Corporate Growth, Orange County Chapter on November 10, 2011. Based on the surveys from the “Capital Markets Report” and “California Small Business Supplement Report,” Dr. Paglia offers new insights into the latest trends in capital markets.
In this excerpt, Dr. Paglia answers the question, “What is the Status of Privately-Held Businesses as of Fall 2011,” citing his latest research, which includes new data on the current state of financing for privately-held businesses.
Be sure to check out the full-length video, “The Latest Trends in Capital Markets with John K. Paglia,” as well as “The Latest Trends in Capital Markets with a Panel of Financial Experts.”
Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
Click on the “play” arrow above to listen to the podcast
In this podcast of the Graziadio Business Review, Audra Quinn, managing editor of the GBR speaks with Kenneth A. Fox, MBA, managing partner of The Soundings Group, a business strategy marketing consulting firm. Fox discusses the research that he has done for the article, Learn to Expect the Unexpected in Global Retail Expansion which can be found in Volume 14 Issue 4 of the Graziadio Business Review, at GBR.pepperdine.edu. The article offers some lessons on global retail expansion using real-world examples of how different companies have succeeded and failed.
Below are the questions that Fox answers:
- What have been some of the biggest mistakes you’ve seen companies make in global expansion?
- Of the key takeaways in the article, the first and arguably most important is “Do your homework before entering a new global market.” What exactly is involved in doing this “homework”?
- One company that you discuss in the article is Tesco, the U.K. grocery chain which launched “Fresh and Easy” here in the States. Now it seems they tried to do their homework, but still ran into problems. What were some of the biggest issues there?
- Can you give listeners an example of some companies who have done this really well?
- As the world becomes more interconnected and the market becomes more globalized, how important do you think it will be for companies to start building global expansion into their strategies in the future?
You can also read another blog post written by Kenneth A. Fox: Zara: A Global Success Story