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Huawei Mate 10 phone in various colours

Huawei Unveils the HUAWEI Mate 10 and HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro

Huawei Mate 10 phone in various colours

In Munich (Germany), yesterday, Huawei introduced the “next era of mobile”: smartphones with the world’s first Kirin AI processor delivering a faster, more customised mobile experience

 

Disruptive innovation often begins with bold dreams. During IFA Berlin, Huawei Consumer Business Group introduced its first AI mobile chipset, the Kirin 970. Yesterday, October 16th, Huawei announced the Huawei Mate 10 Series, which will open the door to new AI mobile applications. The Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, and Porsche Design Mate 10 are breakthrough AI devices that combine innovative hardware, the Kirin 970 chipset and EMUI 8.0. The Mate 10 Series continues its legacy of superior product performance and long-lasting battery life, while integrating New Leica Dual Camera technology.

“As we enter the age of intelligence, AI is no longer a virtual concept but something that intertwines with our daily life. AI can enhance user experience, provide valuable services and improve product performance,” said Richard Yu, CEO, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “The Huawei Mate 10 Series introduces the first mobile AI-specific Neural Network Processing Unit, launching a new era of intelligent smartphones.”

Key features include:

  • Kirin 970, the world’s first AI processor for smartphones with a dedicated Neural Network Processing Unit (NPU)

  • A 3D Glass Body featuring a barely-there-bezel, HUAWEI FullView Display and HDR10 supported technology for intensely vivid and brighter colours

  • cTÜV Fast-Charge Safety Certified HUAWEI SuperCharge and 4000 mAh battery with AI-powered Battery Management  

  • New Leica Dual Camera with SUMMILUX-H lenses, with both featuring  an aperture of f/1.6, and intelligent photography including AI-powered Real-Time Scene and Object Recognition and AI-powered Bokeh Effect

  • An all-new, simplified EMUI 8.0 based on Android™ 8.0

New, Mobile AI Computing Architecture for Intelligent Mobile Experiences

 

The Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro are the first devices powered by the new Kirin 970 processor and deliver AI enhancements for a faster, more customised mobile experience. The Kirin 970 is built using an advanced TSMC 10nm semiconductor manufacturing process, and features an octa-core ARM Cortex CPU, a first-to-market Mali G72 12-core GPU and the first NPU designed specifically for a mobile device. The Kirin 970 also has a new dual ISP for AI-powered intelligent photography.

The specialised NPU, combined with Huawei’s innovative HiAI mobile computing platform, means the Kirin 970 delivers 25x better performance and 50x greater energy efficiency for AI-related tasks, compared to four Cortex-A73 cores.¹ The Mate 10 Series is also the world’s fastest smartphone supporting super-fast LTE connectivity and download speeds.

By combining individual and collective intelligence for on-device AI, the new Mate Series delivers real-time responses to users, including AI-powered Real-Time Scene and Object Recognition and an AI Accelerated Translator. Kirin 970 is an open, mobile AI computing platform for third parties to create new and imaginative AI applications and which extends Huawei’s processing capabilities to the entire value chain.

Design Qualities for New Levels of Sophistication and Comfort

 

With an all-new Huawei FullView Display, the Mate 10 features a 5.9-inch screen with a 16:9 display, barely-there-bezel and HDR10 to support vivid colors. The 6-inch Mate 10 Pro features an 18:9 OLED display, high screen-to-body ratio and HDR10 for dynamic video viewing.

The iconic devices feature a 3D Glass Body, beautifully and symmetrically curved on all four sides for an ergonomic hold. The back of the devices feature a reflective band design to highlight the New Leica Dual Camera.

The HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro is also IP67 Water and Dust Resistant (IP53 for the Mate 10).

 

Leica Dual Camera and AI-powered Battery Management for the Next Era of Smartphone Use

 

Huawei has again partnered with Leica to co-engineer the dual lens camera for the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro. They combine 12-megapixel RGB + 20-megapixel monochrome sensors, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), dual lenses with the world’s largest aperture of f/1.6, AI-powered Bokeh Effect and AI-powered Digital Zoom. New AI-powered Real-Time Scene and Object Recognition, which automatically chooses camera settings based on the object and scene, supports an advanced AI-powered Digital Zoom function with AI Motion Detection for clearer and sharper pictures.

Both smartphones pack a 4000 mAh high-density battery featuring a smart battery management system that understands user behaviour and intelligently allocates resources to maximise battery life. It supports 4.5V / 5A low-voltage fast charging, powering the device from 1 percent to 20 percent in 10 minutes, and 1 percent to 58 percent in 30 minutes.² Additionally, Huawei SuperCharge is the world’s first fast charging technology to receive TÜV Fast-Charge Safety Certification, ensuring safe end-to-end charging.

The Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro will launch with Huawei’s all-new EMUI 8.0 powered by Android™ 8.0. Features include an AI Engine to fully leverage the capabilities of the Kirin 970; an AI Accelerated translator to deliver faster and more accurate interactive translation for a smoother communication experience; an easy projection feature to connect the new Mate Series to a larger screen; support for a full desktop experience – either mirroring or extending the smartphone display like a PC.

Australian Pricing and Availability

Device

Memory

SRP

Date

Retailers

Colours

HUAWEI Mate 10

64GB + 4GB

$899

Nov 15

Vodafone & Open Channel

Black

HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro

128GB+6GB

$1099

Dec 4

Optus

Blue

 

¹Based on Huawei’s laboratory testing results.

²Based on Huawei laboratory testing results. In the test, the device was charged from 1 percent battery with the display off, through the Huawei SuperCharge charger and cable, in an environment with a 4G network, 25°C temperature, and relatively humidity of 45-80 percent.

Visual Huawei Connect 2017

Uncovering Huawei Enterprise Business, A Dive Into The Digital Future

Visual Huawei Connect 2017

Digital transformation is the only way for enterprises to keep developing and, for some, just survive. In the coming years, traditional enterprises will enter the critical period of digital transformation, promoting service innovation and growth. Data show that from 1955 until  now, 88% of the Fortune Global 500 have disappeared completely or exited the list. Since 2000, 50% of the companies that left the list did so because they remained idle in terms of digital transformation. New technologies and new business models are bringing deep changes to all industries.

A Forrester survey gave a better insight into these trends. Cloud services are being deployed around the world at an accelerated pace: Analyzing a  large scope of cloud services data allowed to obtain a better vision of where the ICT world stands and where the likes of the digital transformation, growth of cloud computing and many more innovations will have a major impact. In 2016, only 1% of those surveyed expected more than 80% of their revenue to come from cloud services and 18% expected 40%-70%. By 2020, these two numbers will respectively reach 9% and 45%. Cloud computing has already become a key supporting technology and cloud services have also become basic business models (words by Eric Xu, Huawei). Beyond the cloud, new technologies are growing. The IoT, the “Big Data” – data analysis and the introduction, and growth, of AI – Artificial Intelligence), the rise of “digital products” (IoT, robots, sensors, and Internet connection among others). 23% of the companies and professionals interviewed believed that an “IoT-based customer experience” is one of the best paths to drive digital revenue growth. New digital experiences are empowering humanity and allowing us to now reach for the impossible. Consider smart bodies taking over for us and even being able to predict the next thing that we want them to do. As Apple’s recent launch showed, with the ARkit, smartphones are now going beyond just “smart”. By mixing AI and the AR capabilities, they are beginning to blur the boundaries between virtual and real, creating all-new digital possibilities. With an also all-new revenue model – or models – in sight. Looking beyond individuals, entire industries are changing and, for some, facing massive disruption if not extinction. The customized manufacturing ecosystem, for one, is constantly evolving. Customization based on sensors and data will enable small batch customized – or individualized – manufacturing to become a reality. Such reality can go even further by adding cloud capabilities,  improved connectivity and, potentially, bringing in AI and predictive analysis to anticipate on needs or demand from an ever-evolving customer environment.  

In this context and changing world, Huawei – and more specifically Huawei’s enterprise division, Huawei Enterprise Business Group (EBG), aspires to become an enabler of digital transformation for industries and a preferred partner of customers.

While a relatively unfamiliar name for many, Huawei is currently a world leader in the telecoms equipment and networks business (in 2012, it overtook Ericsson as the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer), a strong member of the top 3 of smartphones’ manufacturers having recently overtaken Apple as the world’s second-biggest smartphone manufacturer by sales after Samsung, Huawei is only getting started when it comes to enterprise business. 

Huawei Connect 2017 main stage

ICT, Huawei and the Digital Transformation

The digital economy is now becoming a priority with the ICT sector gaining traction, prices deflating on services, companies now being online and the youth showing the way forward.

Convergence and consolidation are also having a strong impact on the industry. Services, including TV and video, are now carried over IP networks blurring boundaries between traditional telecom and broadcasting and pushing traditional operators to re-think their business models.

Nearly all businesses rely on ICT nowadays. Cloud computing keeps growing. Smartphone adoption in OECD countries grew by 30% in one year (2012-13) also impacting businesses and enterprises. The rise of online and mobile banking, for instance, is bending the market boundaries and the competition in the traditional retail banking sector, including the rise of P2P lending platforms. The introduction of the “Sharing Economy” is another ICT-enabled disruption – while these models enable collective consumption, they are challenging existing regulatory frameworks. Mobile and data are driving new business and new business models.

In this context, among new and more established players, Huawei can – and aim to – build a new ecosystem that features collaboration and mutual benefits, and work with partners to help customers achieve successful digital transformation. By doing so Huawei Enterprise Business Group has increasingly gained recognition from customers and partners, with 172 enterprises of Fortune 500 and 43 enterprises of Fortune 100 choosing them as their partner for digital transformation.

Huawei Enterprise Business Group, the newbie(?)

So, while the road ahead looks clear, where does Huawei, and more specifically Huawei Enterprise Business Group, stand at the moment?

Diana Yuan, President of Marketing & Solution Sales Department Huawei

According to Diana Yuan, President of Marketing and Solution Sales Department of Huawei Enterprise BG, during an EBG track held on April 12: “In 2016, according to analyst institutions’ reports, such as Forrester, IDC, and Gartner, the ranking of our [Huawei] main ICT products designed for the enterprise market has been rising. Huawei has become one of the leading IT manufacturers in the world.” Diana further explained the platform strategy of Huawei Enterprise BG: “Huawei’s platform strategy emphasizes cloud-pipe-device synergy. Based on various technologies, such as the FusionCloud platform, FusionInsight Big Data analytics platform, cloud-based network architecture, IoT solutions, and new-generation wireless communications solutions, we work with partners to develop innovative industry solutions and help customers achieve digital transformation and business success.”

In 2016, Huawei Enterprise BG achieved rapid growth in vertical industries. Huawei’s Smart City solution was successfully deployed in more than 100 cities in over 40 countries. In the finance sector, Huawei helped many large commercial banks in China complete infrastructure cloudification and served more than 300 financial institutions across the globe, including six of the world’s top 10 banks. In the energy industry, Huawei became the only ICT solutions provider among the members of the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO) and Huawei’s Better-Connected Grid Solution has served over 170 electric power companies in 65 countries across the world. In transportation, Huawei cooperated with more than 60 industry partners to serve railways and highways with a total track length of 220,000+ km and more than 15 airports with annual throughput higher than 30 million passengers. In manufacturing, they worked with KUKA and ABB to promote industrial upgrading to achieve intelligent manufacturing.

By the end of 2016, Huawei Enterprise BG had more than 12,000 global channel partners, over 2,000 service partners, and beyond 400 solution partners.

Overall, a major take from the Huawei Connect conference was its tagline “Grow with the cloud”. As the motto underlined, Huawei is placing public and private clouds at the heart of its strategy. And according to Mr Guo Ping, Huawei’s Deputy Chairman of the Board and Rotating CEO, The company will build a global cloud network based on its own public clouds, as well as clouds that it has built together with partners. Guo likened Huawei’s strategy to the three major airline alliances – SkyTeam, Star Alliance, and Oneworld – which take passengers wherever they need to go in the world. Huawei Cloud, he said, will open up the world to its users.

While being still a relatively new player on the world stage, in 2016, the enterprise arm of Huawei (EBG) focused on ICT infrastructures and the work with partners to drive digital transformation in key industries, including public safety, finance, energy, and transportation. With a sales income from the enterprise business reaching CNY40.7 billion (US$5.9 billion), an increase of 47% year-on-year. After five years of steady progress, Huawei has gone from a fledgling in the enterprise market to market leader in a number of areas.

According to Gartner research, as of the first quarter of 2017, Huawei storage services serve 7,000 corporate customers globally, equal to the sixth-largest market share in the world. Huawei shipments and delivery capacity to the Chinese market are ranked first. Overall, Huawei server shipments grew 19.7%, ranking third in the world.

One of their strengths and strong differentiator on the market being this dedication to partnerships and collaboration. Words repeated again and again during the Huawei Connect conference.

The Platform and Ecosystem Strategy – Partners and Collaborations

Yan Lida President of Huawei Enterprise Business presenting at Huawei Connect
(pic : Yan Lida, President of Huawei Enterprise Business delivered his keynote speech during Huawei Connect 2017)

In the cloud era, ICT transformed from being a dormant industry to becoming an enabling tool for digital transformation. With some differentiating characteristics: openness, diversity, exogeneity, resource integration, and be beneficial for all.

Huawei wants to be constructing the cloud ecosystem with these in mind. According to Yan Lida, President of Huawei Enterprise Business Groupd shared in his keynote speech during Huawei Connect. Huawei has three main principles regarding the cloud ecosystem:

First, expanding the business and expanding the market is more important than holding a bigger share of it. This is the road that Huawei wants to follow in the future to construct a cloud ecosystem. Interestingly enough, in the ecosystem, they do not pursue an “all for me” strategy. Instead, they are implementing a “using everything to my advantage” strategy to efficiently connect to outside resources and work together to create a future that benefits all.

Second, managing cooperation is more important than managing competition. In specific commercial environments, Huawei will play the role of “soil and energy”, adhering to the pipeline strategy and not competing with their partners.

Third, benefit sharing. they engage in sharing benefits with customers and partners. In doing so, they hope to gather worldwide talent, capabilities, and resources.

Currently, Huawei has already taken action in four aspects to promote the construction of the ecosystem. The first is commercial alliances, leading the direction of the industry, and expanding business together; the second is commercial strategic alliances, ensuring customers’ businesses succeed; the fourth is open source communities, achieving community cooperation and innovation; and the fourth is developer platforms, with the goal of introducing more players, activate innovation and promote the prosperity of the industry chain.

Slide from Huawei Connect - Huawei ecosystem

 

This dedication to collaboration and building partnerships resonates, beyond words and slogans, in figures:

By the end of April 2017, Huawei had established more than 300 ICT academies and 45 training centers around the world and contracted more than 100 training partners to provide capability development and certification services in 149 countries. On a side note, beyond direct business collaborations, through the Huawei Authorized Information and Network Academy (HAINA), they also worked with over 140 colleges and universities around the world, including the University of Reading in the UK, University of Sydney in Australia, University of Alicante in Spain, National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences (FAST-NU) in Pakistan, and City University of Hong Kong, and trained more than 5,000 students.

In July 2017, Huawei entered the challenger quadrant of Gartner’s 2017 data center network magic quadrant.

So far, 197 of the top Fortune 500 companies and 45 of the top 100 companies, have chosen Huawei as their digital transformation partner. This list includes SAP, Accenture, Deutsche Telekom, Volkswagen, Oracle, Honeywell, GM, ABB, Intel, Sony, the Russian Federal Savings Bank and more.

Their strategy remains fairly simple:

  • Platform Strategy: By providing “innovative, differentiated, and leading ICT hardware and software infrastructures”, Huawei aims to build an open, scalable, flexible, and secure platform and help their customers address the challenges posed by digital transformation – and achieve business success.

The core of Huawei’s platform strategy is to invest intensively in technologies like Cloud Computing, Big Data, IoT, SDN, Mobile Boardband and to build an open, scalable, secure, and flexible platform.

The main difference between Huawei’s platform and other platforms is that “Huawei’s platform emphasizes cloud-pipe-device collaboration while the others not. Moreover,digital transformation cannot be relied on any one single technology, and the value of the cloud cannot be realized without other technologies. To capitalize on the value of the cloud, terminals need to collect vast amounts of data and utilize networks for transmission. This collaboration relies on decades of experience and represents Huawei’s most powerful capability”. (More)

Yan Lida, Huawei, presenting on digitalization

 

  • Ecosystem strategy: “Huawei is committed to nurturing a customer-centric, win-win, and sustainable ecosystem”. They deliver by continuously stepping up the construction of, and investment in areas such as industry alliance, business partnership, open source community, and developer platform. In doing so, Huawei aims to form a “community of common interest”  featuring what they describe as a mutually beneficial coexistence with partners.

 

Worldwide Deployment Of Openlabs, Gaining Deep Understanding On What Industries Need

To connect with partners in a deeper level, Huawei set up OpenLabs; their solutions cover public safety, finance, power, manufacturing, and every other domain. The plan includes investing 200 million USD to construct and run OpenLabs in the next three years so that by the end of 2019 the number of OpenLabs around the world goes from the existing 13 to 20. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, or the Americas, there will be a Huawei OpenLab there.

Words in action: “In the digital transformation of industries, the businesses of our customers are a bigger driving force than the technology itself”. As such Huawei recognizes that in the transformation process, customers, partners, and Huawei each have their own unique advantages (customers understand their businesses, partners know how to transform the business needs of customers into industry applications, and Huawei knows how to utilize hardware and software ICT infrastructures to deliver efficient business support to customers).

All in all, Huawei’s strategy does sound like one of the simplest and most common sense take on business but, in the end, what truly differentiates them from most of their competitors is the actual implementation and commitment to follow this strategy.

A strategy that pays off just looking at some of their major partners in attendance at Huawei Connect, including the likes of Accenture, SAP, Chinasoft International, Intel, HGST, Toshiba, Seagate, Microsoft, Suse, Redhat, Arm, Oracle and Infosys.

By carrying out this joint innovation with partners centering around the business needs of customers, Huawei wishes to create a win-win ecosystem. This is the critical path followed by Huawei EBG to achieve a differentiated competitive edge  and to enforce the company’s platform and ecosystem strategies. Successfully, judging by the results and numbers.

 

When Rats Gnawed The Wires

How do you know you are doing things well? When customers and partners say so.

“Digital transformation is not the ultimate goal, only measures. At Huawei, the goal is to help companies generate more value”. IT systems are built around user experience and that is what Huawei is keeping in mind at every stage of their relationship with partners or customers.

Among these, many were to be seen at Huawei Connect – and even more to be heard from.

Huawei is assisting Deutsche Telekom in the construction of an Open Telecom Cloud. Deutsche Telekom, ranked 90 in the Global Fortune 500 list, Europe’s largest telecom operator and the fifth largest telecom operator in the world. They are working with Huawei to construct this open cloud, based on Huawei’s cloud computing platform FusionSphere, which is based on OpenStack.

More than just technology, the open telecom cloud is already serving the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the Spiral Galaxy science cloud, Deutsche Telekom GIP, Octopus Cloud AG, European Parking System (EPS), EMUI, and other institutions and enterprises.

Partnerships happen in all industries and all types of roles. Digitalization is on the books for all and a necessary evil(?) to remain competitive if not alive.

DHL at Huawei Connect

DHL, a customer and a “user” feeding back experience to Huawei came with needs. Not to go digital but to improve the experience of their users. All of their users, internal (staff) and external (clients). The road to digital, in their case, a company already using tools to track, organize and deliver on a daily basis, featured a better use of cloud capabilities in order to make sense of their data but also improvements to actual physical processes.

They did bring in connected robot trolleys actually following workers around and freeing the latter from constantly stopping, loading, pushing the trolley further and repeating. In the same way, they finally made good use of smart glasses for hands-free scanning of barcodes. An easier, better and faster way of doing a somewhat repetitive and time-consuming task.

Rob Newman, Dubai airport at Huawei Connect
(pic : Rob Newman, Head of Programme Management, Technology & Infrastructure, Dubai International Airport)

 

Another partner with another different, yet similar, story was Rob Newman, Head of Programme Management, Technology & Infrastructure, Dubai International Airport, describing how they partnered with Huawei to build a prefabricated modular data center with Tier III certificates from the Uptime Institute for both design and construction. The data center will carry services that cover almost every aspect of the airport, including flight information and airport operations, passenger transport and baggage services, video surveillance and more. By providing ICT solutions that are agile, rapidly deployable, reliable, energy-efficient and easily maintained, they allow to carry out highly efficient business operations for one of the busiest airports in the world.

Beyond the business cases and varied uses of technology, Huawei’s customers and partners were all expressing a similar idea of collaboration and smart thinking putting the actual experience at the forefront. A customer-first attitude born in the early days at Huawei but that seems to be infecting the companies they work with. An attitude that was borne out of an early episode in their history that’s since become something of a company legend. In desert and rural areas in China, rats often gnawed the telecom wires, severing customers’ connections. The multinational telecom companies providing service at that time did not consider this to be their problem, but rather that of the customer. Huawei, in contrast, viewed the rat problem as one the company had the responsibility to solve. In doing so, they acquired extensive experience in developing sturdier equipment and materials – such as chew-proof wires — which helped them later on to gain several big business accounts in the Middle East, where similar problems stymied the multinational firms.

The future… is in 10 years

Long-Term Thinking… Huawei plans the development of the company by decade, whereas most of their competitors plan it by financial quarter or year. Being privately held has allowed Huawei to work on its 10-year plans, while its competitors struggle to follow near-term fluctuations of the capital market.

The Enterprise Business Group, 6 years old, is only just beyond half way of its very first 10 years’ plan. And already delivering in an impressive manner with every opportunity available to keep growing. Huawei has also adopted a popular Silicon Valley phrase of “Eating your own dog food,” meaning that the development and testing of new products, services, and business models are based on their own company’s needs before launching these technologies and capabilities to customers.

As such they prove to understand the market and needs better than most of their competitors in an ever-growing market.

From here, Huawei EBG is in prime position to keep growing, with partnerships which keep developing and allow the company to touch other sides of the business, beyond their direct targets.

By the end of 2016, enterprise business had more than 12,000 channel partners and 400 solution partners worldwide.

Not that the company would need to rely on third parties looking at their current position on the market(s). Yet, with their current growth, coupled with increased partnerships and an ICT market that keeps growing (and will most likely keep doing so with massive transformations ahead), the future looks bright for Huawei and its Enterprise Business Group.

For a quick look at where Huawei stands, Gartner, the world’s foremost authority on IT research and advisory, has released its 2016 Magic Quadrant for General-Purpose Disk Arrays report in which Huawei was named as a leader.

Huawei Ranks Third Globally for 2016 Q4 Server Shipments according to a market report released by Gartner. In 2017, Huawei has been positioned in the Challengers quadrant of the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for enterprise firewalls. Its Container Data Center Ranks Number One Globally for Market Share Shipments in the IHS Report.

Huawei also ranks first in the leaders group of IHS Markit Optical Network Hardware Vendor Scorecard and its OceanConnect solution is now in the leader segment of the IoT CMP Platforms Scorecard recently published by IHS Markit.

Meanwhile, according to Gartner, the ICT spending keep increasing. Even the low spending on devices are due back on track in 2017

Worldwide IT Spending Forecast (Billions of U.S. Dollars)

2016 Spending2016 Growth (%)2017 Spending2017 Growth (%)
Data Center Systems1731.31772.0
Software3336.03577.2
Devices597-7.56000.4
IT Services9003.99434.8
Communications Services1,384-1.11,4101.9
Overall IT3,387-0.33,4862.9

Source: Gartner (October 2016)

Huawei has become a digital transformation facilitator working with its global partners to provide best practices and innovative ICT solutions to help companies around the world embrace digital transformation. In today’s fast-changing digital world, the Huawei Enterprise Business Group is ideally positioned to understand the needs of its customers and create a mutually beneficial ecosystem with its partners. And, in the end, keep thriving by not only servicing and selling but, first, understanding and catering for customers. All customers.

 

Disclaimer-

As a KOL (Key Opinion Leader) for Huawei, I can be invited to take part in various corporate events both produced by Huawei, as well as any other corporation. While Huawei, partners or other corporations may cover my travel expenses to these events, I’m not a paid spokesperson for Huawei or any other company; as such, nothing I say or write about is in any way required, nor forced by Huawei. My opinions whether related to products or companies, both positive and negative, are mine; and mine alone.

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Picture of a laptop - post How To sell an internet business

How To Sell An Internet Business And Cash Out BIG

Picture of a laptop - post How To sell an internet business

When it comes to making an exit from your established, profitable business, there are quite a few different strategies you can use.

To help you narrow down those strategies and get a better idea how to move forward with the process, the strategies can be summed up in two different categories:

  • Finding an investor and selling the business by yourself.
  • Working with a third-party advisor to sell the business.

Finding qualified buyers that are ready to consider buying your business is closely related to marketing your business, and getting it to the point where it’s at today. You can apply those same marketing strategies to attract the right type of people that may currently be interested in acquiring the business either as an investment, or to merge into their own business. Throughout the years, I have spoken with a large number of both buyers, and sellers, and have dissected the strategies they’ve used to find out what’s most preferred. Some people have only ever bought and sold businesses in private deals, while others have only ever bought and sold while relying on third-party services and advisors. It’s actually pretty common that people will attempt to sell their business by themselves, only to reach out to a third-party or broker after their attempts have proven unsuccessful.

That’s why I’ve put together this guide to help you understand some of the questions that I get from both buyers and sellers whenever they’re looking to sell their internet business and cash out big.

How To Sell Your Business Yourself

This question comes up more often than most.  Look at any forum, blog, or podcast, and you’ll find someone asking how they can sell their business by themselves. It’s easy to understand why, too.  Entrepreneurs are self-starters.  They like to get things done by themselves so they can move onto the next task or project.  They want to be able to sell their business without outside assistance.

For those entrepreneurs, the three most common strategies for selling a business are:

  • Privately listing it for sale.
  • Selling the business to a competitor.
  • Selling the business to one of their employees.

How To Privately Sell Your Business

Most people think this is going to be the easiest route to take when they’re trying to sell a business.  

All you have to do is put together some information about your business, create a listing on a marketplace, and the investors will start pouring in, throwing offers to buy.  Right?

Unfortunately, this is rarely how the situation plays out.

If you do want to take on the sale of your business by yourself, a good place to list it publicly is on Flippa. Their marketplace is used by both brokers and private sellers.  It can be hard to stand out in a sea of other businesses that are currently being sold, though.

Sure, you can get all of the listing upgrades they offer, but these upgrades don’t always equal large numbers of inquiries and offers. I’ve ran the numbers to help you understand what the average listings look like on BizBuySellListings on their marketplace will typically receive 15 to 20 inquiries.  

Then, you have to figure in the amount of duplicate inquiries and the people that are kicking tires, just trying to get more information. There’s also a large number of people who aren’t qualified to buy. This quickly dwindles down the number of legitimate offers. To give you some perspective, most reputable brokers can receive anywhere from 100 to 200 inquiries on businesses they’re selling, and the inquiries are often far more qualified than what you’ll find on public marketplaces.

So why do people use Flippa, then?  For many people, especially those high volume sellers, having 15 to 20 inquiries on every listing quickly adds up, and they can hold onto the businesses longer while they’re waiting on a qualified buyer. If you regularly buy and sell businesses, public marketplaces can work out.  However, if you sell privately and want to get the business sold as quickly as possible, the marketplaces aren’t very useful. Public marketplaces also have fees associated with them, like success fees and listing fees.  Then, they do not provide much in the way of marketing, other than putting your listing on a page with a bunch of other listings.  You have to do all the work yourself.

Assuming you can’t find a buyer on a public marketplace, how else can you find a buyer, while selling the business as privately as possible? In short, if you don’t have a large network you can reach out to, you sell it through patience, energy, and a bit of frustration.

This is what leads us to a, sometimes, better solution for getting the business sold and still keeping the sale as private as possible.

How To Sell Your Business To A Competitor

To understand this strategy, take a look at some other businesses that have been sold.

Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion.

While your business may not be worth $1 billion, or even be on Facebook’s radar, your own competitors may be interested in making an offer to acquire your business. You can reach out to them to let them know about your interest in selling, and may be able to work out a deal in some cases.

However, for the most part, whenever your competitors are going to be interested in buying your business, they will reach out to you. That means they’re not always going to be open to considering your offer when you contact them first.  However, if they contact you first, and you can negotiate the deal in your favor, it could be incredibly lucrative for you. For the most part, whenever you’re reaching out to a competitor, you are putting the ball in their court.  That means it can be harder for you to negotiate a higher asking price than you would get if they reach out to you and make the offer first.

Regardless how the offer is made, selling to your competitor is a great strategy because they already understand how profitable your industry can be, and will see the value in merging your business into theirs, or using your business to tackle a portion of the market they’re not already in. Be prepared, though, when you’re opening a deal with your competitors.  They can back out at any time, and you’re going to have to give them a substantial amount of information about your business that can make it easy for them to swallow your business without actually acquiring it.

Competitors are always going to be open to learning how you’re able to compete with them, and what they can do to improve their own business.  You’ll need to play your cards close to your chest if you choose to go this route.

How To Sell Your Business To An Employee

If you’re looking for someone to take over your business that knows it inside and out, understands your goals and dreams for the business, and can take it to the point you wanted to, you may not need to look any further than inside of your own ranks. 

People back to back - picture on samuel pavin.com

If you currently have employees or managers, they may be in a position to purchase the business and carry on your role long after you’ve gone. While this is a great strategy in some cases, there are some caveats you’ll need to understand before you start talking to your employees about buying the business from you. In most cases, you are going to have to finance the deal.  You’ll likely want to accept between 10% to 25% of the value of the business up front and then collect a portion of the profits over a set period of time, until they have finalized the deal. That means you’re going to need to make sure that the employees you’re considering are actually capable of running the business without driving it into the ground.  

If they can’t keep the business floating, you’ll likely have to recall the deal and end up in the same position you wanted to get out of when you first decided to sell. If you’re thinking about this as the route you want to take, you may want to step back and think about how important upfront cash really is to you. Instead of completely selling the business, you could consider promoting an employee into a senior position, and allowing them to continue running the business while you step away.  In this situation, you still own the business, and collect the lion’s share of the profits, but can focus your own energy on other parts of your life or a new project.

How To Get Paid After Selling Your Business

If you’ve found a buyer on your own, and you have agreed to terms that you both find attractive, you’ll want to get a Letter of Intent from them.  Then, you’ll need to begin the due diligence process, get your purchase agreement, and begin the escrow and transfer process. While this may seem simple, and fairly straightforward, it can actually be an incredibly frustrating process and one that takes a good deal of time. This is where having a broker on your side can save you a significant amount of time, and keep you from getting nearly as frustrated as you would by moving forward on your own.Most brokers understand the due diligence process and know how to quickly move through the negotiations to get the deal closed.

They understand what is, and what isn’t considered acceptable, and can approach the process with confidence that most first-time sellers simply won’t have.  They know how to ask the right questions to keep the deal moving forward, and keep your own best interests at the forefront of the conversation. Negotiating the contract will require you to speak to an attorney that understands internet businesses.  Most attorneys will attempt to work out a mutual deal between you and the buyer, while neglecting your own best interests at the same time. Brokers typically have attorneys that they’ll work with who know the deals inside and out, and can ensure that there aren’t any hidden clauses inside of the contract, or any terms that may not be favorable for you.

Closing the deal is actually one of the easiest steps.  Once your buyer has performed due diligence, and you have a contract in place that you both agree on, the rest of the process comes down to setting up escrow and beginning the transfer.

When A Broker Should Step In

9 times out of 10, working with a broker is always going to give you the best chances for finding a buyer, and getting offers that were higher than what you could receive on your own. Even though brokers do charge a fee based on the final sale price of the business, the price that they’re able to get for businesses typically far outweighs the fee that they charge. A good broker can build a win/win situation for both parties, and you get to remove yourself from the most frustrating parts of getting the business sold.

While there are definitely situations you can get the business sold by yourself, and are actually encouraged to if you think it’s possible, using a broker’s services comes with quite a few different benefits:

  • Brokers get you more inquiries, and offers.  A broker that has years’ worth of experience has a network that’s large, making it easy to get your business in front of people that are ready to buy.  They’ll invest in marketing your business for you.
  • You get to have a single point of contact.  You don’t have to deal with multiple different offers from people that probably aren’t qualified or actually ready to buy.
  • Last minute changes are minimized.  If the worst case does happen, and the buyer wants to implement multiple changes, your broker can quickly find a new buyer.
  • Brokers work through cash-only deals.  There’s no waiting around for deals to be financed, or for them to offer stocks in a public company in exchange for your business.
  • Brokers make deals happen faster.  There’s no waiting around for 12 months, or more, to get the deal done.  Most brokers can close a deal in less than 3 months.
  • You don’t have to worry about financing deals with your employees.
  • Brokers understand the due diligence and negotiation processes. This means you don’t have to develop the same knowledge, and can pass the process off to someone that knows what they’re doing.
  • Brokers ensure the deals are structured fairly and can be moved to completion, unlike attorneys that can kill deals where they stand.
  • Brokers offer the guidance and support you need.  Most brokers became brokers because they were entrepreneurs that wanted to sell off a business that they owned.  This is incredibly helpful for you, when you’re working through the process.
  • Brokers are incentivized to get your business sold.  Getting your business sold is their only job.  If you are completely committed to getting the business sold, they will be, too.

If you are thinking about selling your business, hopefully your eyes have been opened to a few different strategies you can use to start finding buyers that are ready to make offers. The same marketing strategies that you’ve used to grow your business can be flipped and applied to attracting buyers that may be interested in submitting offers.

About the author: Jock Purtle is a successful entrepreneur and website broker. He started working in the family business at the tender age of 9 and bought his first company at 19. Jock works with a variety of clients and channels his extensive experience when advising business owners on buying or selling their digital business, always looking to achieve maximum value.

P.S: This is a guest post, courtesy of Digital Exits. “Guest” is not “Sponsored” and while the content is theirs, I selected and approved it as it covers a topic offering added value to businesses. As such, I want to thank them for giving me the opportunity to feature this guest post here.

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Easing Into Things – Intranet Creation Made As Painless As Possible

Two people looking at computer screen. Image for MyHub intranet post on samuel pavin blog

Any new business project is going to require thought, effort and time. And if you’re in the market for an intranet set-up – whether it’s a new tactic for you as a company, or you’re just looking for something new – you’ll quickly find yourself wondering just how much of each of those things an intranet is going to require.

There’s an incredible variety of options – not just specific individual platforms, but the configurable options within those platforms. Or do you start from scratch and build something that’s precisely what you need without the constraints of a pre-existing system? You want to keep things within budget, but you don’t want to find yourself setting up an intranet that suddenly can’t handle some of the functionality or features that you need it to be capable of.

Yes, there’s a lot to think about. Luckily, it’s our speciality. So here’s the run-down on keeping things straightforward for you and your business while maximising your intranet’s potential!

How Far To Push Customization?

Talk Through Things

A recurring theme in the development of an intranet is consultation. Make sure that the people who are going to be using your system get to have their say. Make a point to talk to people from all your company’s different departments to ensure that things aren’t swayed to a single more vocal group. You don’t want something that works perfectly for marketing staff and lets down financial staffers at every turn.

In a perfect world, your intranet will have all the functionality that you and your team need it to have in a way that stays streamlined. Nobody wants something that does everything but does so in an incredibly clunky and unrefined way – you’re setting yourself up for major problems down the track.

The Needs And The Nice-To-Haves

Establishing a list of what people need is the most crucial thing – but it’s also worthwhile to assess what are the useful extras that might not be wholly necessary, but that will make life a little bit easier. Getting people from each department to rank these things in order of priority or preference can give you a good sense of the collective desire for certain features – and you can compare these lists across the different departments.

There are all sorts of things to consider at this point, from search engine functions with an ability to rank articles and documents based on relevance and usefulness to online storage options allowing for real-time collaboration to mobile adaptability. There’s no one right answer when it comes to what functions you need, so do take the time to figure out what’s right for your organisation.

Looking Good

While functions are the really essential thing, sorting out the appearance of your intranet can be a pretty important decision. You want to make sure that people using the intranet really feel its connection to your organisation, rather than feeling like it’s yet another generic tech product that they need to learn to use.

Different Levels Of Engagement

Security Privileges

It stands to reason that no matter the size of an organisation, different users will have different levels of access – and different levels of security privilege. There needs to be some means of controlling different employees’ access to information, so that, for example, managerial staff can access employee data that regular workers can’t.

Ensuring that the intranet system that you put in place has this capability is essential. You don’t want people to be snooping around documents and data that they shouldn’t have access to. And you also need to have measures in place to protect security of the intranet at large, to avoid outside users hacking the platform and getting access to delicate data.

Administrative Power

Users with administrator privileges are the people with the power – making changes, determining who can see what and keeping tabs on what users are up to across the board. People who are in an administrative role (in terms of intranet users – not necessarily those with administrative roles in the non-digital side of the business) will need to be able to work quickly and effectively – since they’ll be using things all the time.

But on the flipside, regular workers will be using the platform every day too. Administrative staff may be busy fixing things up, but as a rule they will also be a little more tech savvy – or at least, they’ll tend to have more time to wrap their head around things. Everyday users need things to be easy and streamlined, regardless of whether or not they’re particularly switched on to all things technical. Keep it simple and intuitive.

Getting The Necessary Support

Internal IT On Board

Let’s be honest – in this day and age, most IT departments are overwrought. This is invariably the case whether you have a whole host of people working in this space, or you just have one person who fell into the de facto role of IT expert. Adding more to their plate can make things very tense, so getting their support is essential.

Being Platform Picky

Going for an intranet solution that is cloud-based is an easy and effective way to make strides towards an innovative new platform while maintaining your IT department’s peace of mind. But not all cloud-based providers are made equal. Sharepoint is an example of a platform that’s incredibly complex – for better or for worse. And in our experience, usually, for worse. In fact, it’s even been described as being “able to do anything, but nothing of them particularly well”. In order to shape it to do what it needs to do for your business, you’re going to need to pour a whole lot or resource (time, human and financial) into it – with no guarantee of smooth results.

WordPress is a platform that many people are familiar with for basic blogging or website needs – but as an intranet platform, it’s not without its own issues. You don’t want to go into a system without getting the reassurance that it’s going to do what you need it to without over-the-top levels of investment.

External Support To See You Through

Cloud-based software obviously doesn’t magically fix all things – and even the best, most carefully engineering pieces of software hit roadblocks. You’ll want to be confident in the technical support that comes with whatever company you go with. Do some sleuthing and make sure to ask all sorts of tricky questions if you’re talking to a sales rep. What’s their typical turnaround time for fixing issues that go beyond the scope of what your admin staff can fix? Do they offer round the clock support, or are you at the behest of whatever timezone their offices are based in? Don’t just go with one provider because they give you a convincing initial pitch. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into – so that you know that they can get you out of a tight spot if necessary!

Testing The Waters

Would you buy a new car without taking it for a test drive, or a pair of shoes without trying them on? An intranet system is going to affect a whole lot more than just your daily commute or the comfort of your feet.

Go for an intranet provider who can provide you a free demo and some instruction to kick things off so that you can make a fully informed decision. You don’t want to find yourself tied to a platform that didn’t end up doing what you thought it did, just because you were lured in by a shiny website and lavish promises. Keen to try MyHub? Get in touch!  

 

P.S: This is a guest post, courtesy of MyHub Intranet Solutions. “Guest” is not “Sponsored” and while the content is theirs, I selected and approved it as it covers a topic offering added value to businesses. As such, I want to thank them for giving me the opportunity to feature this guest post here.

MyHub Intranet Solutions is a leading cloud-based intranet software provider serving clients all over the world. We’re driven by the desire to be the best intranet provider in the world and are dedicated to providing market leading innovation, solutions, and service. For more information, please visit www.myhubintranet.com.

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Checklist: How To Test a Mobile App

Consumers love mobile apps because of their convenience, which is why most businesses today are scrambling to make sure that they have their own. However, the expectations of convenience consumers have can be a double-edged sword in the sense that there is little to no margin for error. The vast majority of mobile app users will stop using an app if it fails to work properly more than once. That means businesses not only have to ensure that they have a mobile app, but that their apps will always deliver a flawless experience for users.

Testing a mobile app is the best way to help ensure that users won’t delete it out of frustration. What’s more, app developers and businesses need to be meticulous to ensure every nook and cranny of their apps is exposed. Users in the real world will likely not be gentle with a mobile app, and they won’t stop to think that maybe their expectations are a little unreasonable. The testing process must be complete so that flaws can be rooted out before users find them. The following guide provides you with a checklist of all the steps you need to take when testing your business’s mobile app.

 

P.S: This is a guest post, courtesy of XBOSoft. “Guest” is not “Sponsored” and while the content is theirs, I selected and approved it as it covers a topic offering added value to businesses. As such, I want to thank them for giving me the opportunity to feature this guest post here.

Author bio: Phillip Lew is Chief Executive Officer at XBOSoft, a software testing company. He oversees strategy, operations and business development through his expertise as a software engineer since founding the company in 2006. Lew holds a PMP certification and a Ph.D. in computer science and engineering from Beihang University.