Category Archives: Telefonica

Evernote Goes Free for 250m Telefónica Customers

Telefónica has signed a global deal with Evernote to give its iOS and Android subscribers free access to the productivity platform for a year, which usually costs $49, starting with customers in Brazil. 

In a deal brokered by the operator’s innovation arm, Telefónica Digital, the operator hopes to offer the app to 250m subscribers in more than 20 countries in the coming months. This is likely to include all of the markets where Telefónica operates, except for Germany, where Deutsche Telecom already sealed a deal with the productivity company. 

This is “one the first of many things Telefónica is doing to differentiate its service,” said Wayne Thorson, VP of global partnerships at Telefónica Digital, speaking to Mobile Marketing from California. A deal that “wouldn’t have happened” without the existence of such a body within Telefónica operating at the heart of the Valley. These kinds of partnerships are being created, he said, to take the operator “beyond connectivity and help innovate in different ways to move beyond the challenges of being an operator.”  

The smartphone penetration in Brazil was 36 per cent in January of this year, according to Nielsen, with the Evernote deal likely to be a sweetener for those yet to come on board. Likewise, a legion of hooked mobile productivity fans in this fast-growth market should be very attractive to Evernote. 

Telefónica has 76.2m mobile subscribers in Brazil, and although Thorson could not reveal exact figures for smartphone penetration, said the country had been chosen because adoption is “climbing a curve at a rate that no one has ever seen before. Decreasing prices of entry for smartphones, giving many people their only access to the internet, plus the rapidly growing middle class and economy, make it a perfect storm for smartphone penetration.” 

He said that the customer relationship with Vivo, Telefónica’s Brazil operation, is a lot deeper than those seen in EU, as fewer than 40 per cent of people have official financial relationships. “You mobile phone is your connection to the digital world here, which means mobile marketing via operators is used by a wide margin to get things done.” 

For Evernote, he said: “This deal allows people to try the very best version, the premium version, which will become very sticky, and introduces it to people who might not have trialled it on their own.”  Thorson called the company a “unicorn” of the digital world, “there’s no on like them” he added. 

“If you believe the future is the digital meeting the physical, this deal puts us into a place to not just benefit now, but lays the railroad tracks for the ecosystem of the future. We’re really playing chess by working with these guys.”


Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here: http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.com/content/evernote-goes-free-250m-telef%C3%B3nica-customers#myQ8wgzTfDezzrM6.99

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Generation Wireless – Will women and unconnected majority lose out?

Generation Y Millennials – aged 18 to 30 – will be led by a group of tech savvy, switched on young people who believe they can change the world, says Telefonica survey of 12,000
Telefónica UK has released the results of the largest ever global survey of Generation Y Millennials, broadly seen as those aged 18 to 30 that have lived most of their lives with access to the internet. The mobile operator, owner of O2, spoke to more than 12,000 people across 27 countries in six regions. 
Given the tech focus of the report, it is clear that many see the global internet revolution as empowering, useful and necessary for future personal and global success. The research found that 76 per cent of this group now owns a smartphone, highest is in Asia thanks to hugely tech-savvy populations in Japan and South Korea, at 83 per cent, and lowest in Central and Eastern Europe at 60 per cent. Look to your left and right. No matter what your political leaning, and whether you think it is always a positive thing, it is clear that we are always-on, media gorgers. 
Much of what they found won’t come as a shock. In North America, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe and Asia, all of these young people agreed that the economy is the number one issue. In Latin America and the Middle East and Africa the answers differed – with social inequality and terrorism topping each list respectively.
A significant majority, 63 per cent of Millennials globally, believe it is difficult for their generation to progress from school to adult life. With unemployment rates in many of the countries surveyed highest among 16 to 24s, this comes as little surprise. And news of the consequences of ageing populations has clearly reached our young people too – 39 per cent expect to have to continue to work indefinitely and not have enough money to retire. When asked whether they thought employment was a right or a privilege, 55 per cent said that having a decent job was the former versus 45 per cent who picked the latter. A bit of a leading question? It is an economic imperative – we all have to eat. More positively, and hopefully without delusion, 68 per cent of those surveyed believe that they have the opportunity to be an entrepreneur.
Telefónica claims to have identified a new kind of elite – 11 per cent of Millennials globally – who are not defined by metrics like socioeconomic status, but by their access to technology and opportunity. While their immediate priorities are the same – family, school and friends come first – 44 per cent of these leaders believe access to technology is important to success, compared to 30 per cent overall. “These people are at the cutting edge of technology and highly interested in what happens around them from a political standpoint,” said José María Álvarez-Pallete, COO of Telefónica on launching the results. “Politicians around the world must see that technology is going to influence the future. But this is not just for government but for business leaders too,” he said. 
Speaking in a keynote at the launch, Julian Genachowski, former chairman of the US telecoms regulator the FFC and head of Obama’s tech strategy during the 2008 election, said that the world is now engaged in a “global bandwidth race”. As healthcare, tech, government and people move increasingly online, countries are now concerned with giving companies and citizens the quickest access. But given that only one in six of the world’s population actually has access to the internet, 1bn people, it is clear that socioeconomic status, which gives people access to technology and opportunity, is likely to still dictate who the winners will be.  And while many young people are switched on, politically speaking, as Álvarez-Pallete mentioned, many aren’t. Recycling is the acceptable face of the green movement in developed nations but sustainability goes out the window when you see flights to Barcelona for £49. Meanwhile, literacy and access to basic human rights and services, let alone internet, are also hopelessly lacking in large parts of the world too. 
The UK’s young people appear to be are more tech savvy than their global counterparts, the survey found, with 49 per cent here saying they have an excellent knowledge of technology compared to just 30 per cent worldwide. Tech is now seen as more important than any other subject, with 25 per cent saying it is critical to future success, compared to economics and science both at 18 per cent or languages with just eight per cent. There are certainly jobs to be had in tech, in fact, there is a skills shortage. On top of that, 76 per cent believe technology makes it easier to get a job – many jobs are only advertised online  – so job search, application and even doing many of your average Western jobs is an increasingly digital pursuit.
A “new gender gap”, as if we need one, was also outlined by Álvarez-Pallete, with men around the world much more likely to consider themselves at the cutting edge of tech – 80 per cent vs 69 per cent. Those that believe that tech is the most important factor to ensuring future success also saw a contrast – 42 per cent vs 29 per cent. It appears that women, yet again, are likely to be left behind.
But why would a company like Telefónica want to know just what little old us think of our future anyway?
“For a company like us,” Álvarez-Pallete said, “we need to understand what’s going to happen for our industry and for our customers. This is the largest technological revolution in human history and Millennials are the drives.  We deeply believe that we need to understand what’s going on to have an idea of what the future will look like.”
Take that to be altruistic, after all Telefónica has its own start-up accelerator and is working with the EU to create a young entrepreneurial community of 300,000 people, along with many other worthwhile initiatives. Or look at it with a keen eye. We are a huge target market for advertisers and will continue to be so into our later years – more than 90m of Telefonica’s 316m customers worldwide is a Millennial. Companies like this need our custom, our data and actually depend on our success. But given how events have unfolded around PRISM and GCHQ, I’m just surprised they didn’t have access to all of our vital statistics already!
My favourite stat from the report was that 89 per cent of everyone surveyed believes that the best days of their country are yet to come. In a world of economic uncertainty where we fumble from one political problem to the next, I’d like to hope that they’re right!

It’s a Girl Thing: why are there so few women work in tech and what can we do about it?

Veteran mobile journalist Tim Green called this year’s Mobile World Congress “so ludicrously mono-demographical it’s almost funny”. And the most largely represented group, in case you were wondering, was “middle-aged, white males”.  

Look within the tech industry, and at leadership roles across other sectors, and funnily enough, this story isn’t unusual – LadyGeek calculates that the number of UK technology jobs held by women actually dropped from 22 per cent in 2001 to 17 per cent by 2011. Only 22 per cent of MPs are women, and despite a drive following the Davies Inquiry to reach a pretty reasonable target of 25 per cent female directors in the FTSE 100, the number is stubbornly stuck around 17 per cent. Six of the FTSE 100 boards are still all male. 


Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook, and clearly one of the most powerful women in business, has caused a stir that even she says she hadn’t expected on the launch of her book, Lean In. Pragmatist and feminist, she argues that often women hold themselves back, uncomfortable with the decisions they make in their career. You cannot wait for the institutional barriers to fall down around you, she says. 


A year ago, and before Sandberg’s book had even gone to press, Women in Wireless (WiW) London launched to promote and develop female leaders in the UK’s mobile and digital industry. The four founders, Jen Macrae, Rimma Perelmuter, Rhian Pamphilon and Jen Hiley, have a formidable combination of expertise, killer contact books, drive, vision and a bit of humour between them. 


Today, the network has more than 700 members, and within its first year, hosted eight events across its Connect, Develop and Promote streams within its first year.  The London branch was established after Macrae, who is currently working as VP, digital wallet market development, at MasterCard on the UK deployment of its Masterpass payments system, was approached by one of Women in Wireless’ global co-founders about setting it up. “Although there were many networking organisations, there was an opportunity to create something member-led, targeting career development needs, and serving to promote and support the development of women to more senior roles,” she says.  


Things kicked off with a launch led by former Nokia CMO Jerri DeVard, followed by an entrepreneur debate hosted at Telefónica’s Wayra Academy, and then an international careers event with leading female executives at QTel and Microsoft.  At the end of last year, WiW London commissioned its first (if not the first) survey into women working in wireless in the UK, with the help of Telefónica and Diffusion PR. The study sought to understand the barriers and opportunities for women in the industry, to raise awareness of diversity issues, and set priorities for their work. The survey garnered more than 600 responses. 


Mobile is a young industry, with, the survey found, many younger women working in it. 43 per cent of those surveyed were aged 25 to 34 and a further 9 per cent are in the 18 to 24 age group. Just 14 per cent are 45 to 54 and only 2 per cent are 55 to 64. Not surprisingly, as stereotypes go, the most popular career for women in wireless is marketing – while just 5 per cent work in product development or innovation, 4 per cent are engineers, and only 2 per cent have financial roles.


While there are many initiatives to encourage more young women to get coding skills and take-up STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects, Jen Hiley, who is currently a senior consultant at Infosys Lodestone and social coordinator for WiW, says it is the myth of all tech jobs being “techy” that can deter women in the first place.  “There is a mystique of it being a very technical field, whereas, in fact, there are so many non-engineering career paths in the industry,” she says. “Today’s marketplace for technology is no longer about meeting the internal needs of big business. It has shifted to meeting the ever-growing demands of the everyday consumer, which in turn is driving innovation and creativity, and opening up masses of new opportunities.”  


Many of the women surveyed are yet to make it to senior roles – just 15 per cent currently hold one – fewer still – just 10 per cent – have directorships. Rimma Perelmuter, who has worked in mobile for 13 years and is now CEO of MEF and co-chair of the WiW development stream, believes it is imperative to have a clear understanding of the causes of why women are under-represented in senior industry roles. “The survey reveals some surprising results,” she says. “83 per cent of respondents between 35 and 54 believe that it is harder for women to succeed in their careers than it is for men, with 36 per cent identifying ‘a male dominating culture’ as the reason they are under-represented at senior levels. While culture is clearly a challenging issue to address, the survey is a wake-up call to the Industry to take action.” 


“The survey shows a stark reality,” says Dereck McManus, COO of Telefónica in the UK and board lead for diversity and inclusion, who helped to analyse the results. “The majority of people we spoke to believe it is harder for women to succeed in their careers than men, and two thirds seeing culture as a barrier to the progress of women to senior positions. I believe that businesses have a responsibility to do more to ensure that women are represented at all levels in business. At Telefónica, we’ve launched a number of initiatives, including our Women in Leadership programme, to do exactly that. “One finding that I found interesting, but perhaps not that surprising, was the fact that flexible working was seen as one of the top ways companies can support women in their career. Just last year we ran the biggest ever flexible working pilot, with 3,000 of our people working remotely for a day. It sounds ambitious, but the pilot showed what’s possible when flexible working is done properly.” 


While some businesses clearly see the benefits of helping employees manage their career and busy home lives – just 11 per cent of survey respondents said they have an excellent work/life balance – Yahoo’s first female CEO, Marissa Meyer, recently banned her staff from working at home. All of the WiW founders emphasise the need for personal initiative as a means to success – whether that’s finding mentors, sponsors, networking opportunities or going to educational events. 52 per cent of those asked said they had never tried to find a sponsor, while 41 per cent had not identified a mentor. 


“At our inaugural event, inspirational speaker Jerri DeVard made a poignant remark that’s stuck with me: ‘We all stand on someone else’s shoulders’,” says Peremulter. “It speaks to the importance of going beyond ‘superficial’ networking to building relationships with mentors, sponsors and colleagues that you can learn from and that are there to support you.   

“Equally, it is important to take the time to share your experience with others and give back. I’d like to see more leaders in our industry take the time to live up to this ideal regardless of whether they are women or men.” 

It is natural networking abilities, Jen Hiley believes, that should bring success to younger women. “We are widely recognised to be more empathetic, task-orientated and extremely thorough. Women are born networkers, with the ability to forge strong and lasting relationships, seeking out opportunities and alliances. Creating groups like Women in Wireless will hopefully inspire more C-level women to share their extensive knowledge, whilst providing a forum for ladies who can feel comfortable asking for support.” 


Self-belief and confidence was highlighted in the survey as one of the top enablers to support career progression. But what happens when that takes a knock? Jen Macrae says: “Our survey respondents have told us, and we have all experienced it, that when personal initiatives fail, it can have a negative impact on career opportunities and confidence. Our challenge now at Women in Wireless is to provide a support structure that helps those wanting to progress to overcome their own internal barriers.” 


Telefónica’s McManus concludes: “As an industry, we need to do more to turn this around. Whether it’s running mentoring schemes to support women throughout their career, or using positive role models of successful women in the industry – all businesses can make a difference. If we don’t take action, we run the risk of missing out on the vital skills of a generation of women.”


Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and first published here: http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.com/content/it%E2%80%99s-girl-thing#KLXduxDsrktJQkfx.99

Wayra Chosen to Launch Social Enterprise Incubator

Telefonica’s tech accelerator Wayra has become one of the first to be awarded money from the government’s £10m Social Incubator Fund. In a partnership with UnLtd, the Warya UnLtd Academy will provide investment and technical expertise to social entrepreneurs who use digital technologies to solve real-world problems. The organisation will look after 30 businesses over two years.
Bethnal Green Ventures, an accelerator for tech-based social enterprises, will also launch their Social Innovation Camp to support businesses tackling environmental and social problems. They will help 72 start-ups over four years.

“We are massively proud to celebrate this new partnership to find, support and grow digital social enterprises in the UK,” said Simon Devonshire, director of Wayra Europe. “We are also thrilled the government is giving this special partnership its full support and backing. Together we aim to address significant social issues through the use of digital technology combined with entrepreneurial talent.”

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here: http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.com/content/wayra-chosen-launch-social-enterprise-incubator

Telefónica Commits to EU Tech Job Pledge

Technology companies, including ARM, Cisco and Telefónica, have joined a ‘Grand Coalition’ announced by the EU commissioner for technology at Davos in order to boost digital skills, innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum, Neelie Kroes said that Europe would have 1m new tech jobs by 2016 and 2m by 2020, with up to a fifth of these in the UK. The initiative should equip Europeans with technological skills and knowledge to fill these roles.

Telefónica’s COO, José María Álvarez-Pallete, pledged to give support to 1,000 start-ups globally by 2015 through its Wayra Academy programmes, along with commissioning an attitudes survey of Millennial adults in the 27 member states and launching a new tech event in London, Campus Party Europe, to take place in September. Telefónica also aims to have built an online community of 300,000 young entrepreneurial Europeans, to teach digital literacy to 50,000 students in its Think Big School and get 5,000 young people and graduates into tech roles via its Talentum programme.

Skills shortages

“The transition to a knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy is accelerating, but skills shortages and gaps are negatively impacting growth, competitiveness, innovation and employment in Europe,” said Álvarez-Pallete, speaking at the World Economic Forum. “We believe that commissioner Neelie Kroes’ Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs is a very helpful catalyst to help European recovery. The private sector has a critical role to play and we will be working actively to build a real momentum across Europe”.

Telefónica has already been working to address existing skills gaps and encourage entrepreneurship, launching five Wayra start-up academies in Europe in the last 12 months. The company, which owns the UK’s O2 network and serves 100m customers in the EU, says it has invested in a new start-up every three days and created nearly three new jobs every day since Warya opened its doors. It has also trained 4,180 young people to start their own social projects and taught 1,000 young people about digital skills.

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here: http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.com/content/telefonica-joins-eus-tech-job-pledge-1000-start-ups-goal

Women in WirelessLondon -on startups at the Wayra Academy #WiWstartups


Telefonica’s Wayra startup hub couldn’t have been a better choice for Women in Wireless London’s first panel discussion. Wayra was started in South America, and is so-called because the word means a change of breeze, or a change of direction. There has been a great deal of attention of late around the question of women in the boardroom. Promoted onto the agenda by the publishing of a government review, the Evening Standard and then the BBChave both taken a stab at answering one of modern life’s most pressing questions: ‘why aren’t there more women in top jobs?’

This panel went some way to offering an alternative. Voted for by the audience at the Women in Wireless launch back in April, it appears many women want to be their own boss. Chaired by Olivia Solon, Associate Editor of Wired.co.uk and one of TechCrunch’s 100 Tech Women in Europe, but with her magazine confined to the ‘men’s interest’ section of WHSmith, she knows only too well what it’s like to be a woman in a bloke’s world.
She was joined by:
Michelle Gallen – co-founder and CEO of Shhmoozethe people discovery app for professionals- and TalkIrish.com an Irish language learning platform
Michelle likes straight talking, dark chocolate and Irish whiskey. She had delivered a project for the BBC ahead of schedule and under budget,  “it rocked”. Would she get a bonus? No. “I hadn’t a thing to go to and I walked”.
Claudia Dreier-Poepperl – founder and CEO Addafix – a caller ID service
Claudia wasn’t happy for a long time. The startup she had been a member of since day five had been acquired and acquired again. She was in the UK. Its HQ was in the US. “If I can put all that energy in to make somebody else rich – I can try for myself”.
Muriel Devillers – LUMU Invest – a provider of seed funding and mentoring
Muriel Devillers “married had children and then had a divorce… I thought I had to do something”.  She went on an adventure and started four pirate radio stations. She is now a business angel, advising and supporting startup projects.
Yael Rozencwajg – founder and CEO YOPPs Digital Media
Yael had a ‘typical life’ and was well-known among Paris nightclub scene. After two years, she decided to earn money from it.
Sabrina McEwen – communications executive for Hiyalife – a platform to co-create your life story using memories, a Wayra startup
Sabrina went from a corporate to… a funkier business, but still corporate… and had a difficult boss. She wasn’t intending to join a startup but hasn’t regretted it one bit. At Hiyalife, she is surrounded by “passionate people who want to succeed… interesting and full of ideas”.
Olivia: So you’ve got your idea on the back of a napkin… what do you do next?
Muriel: It’s not an easy one – I was travelling the world for over five years looking for the disruptive ideas. I listen. When I say ‘wow’ I’ve fallen in love with the idea. I get into the team to push, open my network, make you work.
Michelle: There was a gap in the market. There were 59 million people with an Irish passport and I was leaning Irish from 40 year-old books… Perhaps I wouldn’t sell my house… But today you can test your assumption. If you’ve got 50 people signed up… go for it.
Claudia: I had to find techies, to test whether the task was a yes, no, or a possibility. They have to be on the same wavelength, can you trust them? Perhaps find them from a previous job. Can you build something, a prototype without any funding? You don’t need a big amount of funding to get you through that. The further you get, the more impressed any business angel will be.
Olivia: Once you had launched – what was the biggest misconception about having a start-up?
Yael: Don’t be afraid of failing. Don’t worry about the money. The idea, the project has to be the main thing at every step. I strongly advise you to make mistakes – we learn after making mistake, misunderstanding the marketplace and failing.
Claudia:  Everything takes about 10 times longer than you think – time, energy, money, contingency is never enough. Over the years you become more relaxed about that – four weeks waiting on a contract from a big corporate is like four years for you.
Muriel: Invest your own money – this is showing in your guts that you believe in it. Use crowd funding – especially when you start. Friends and family support will show you are right and boost you to go further.
Michelle: No one tells you about maternity leave when you’re starting out on your own.
Sabrina: But there is actually lot of support.
Olivia: So what about the pitch process? What’s the worst pitch you’ve seen?
Muriel: 27 slides, loads of numbers. The best way to pitch? Please show me your guts. I don’t care about slideshares. I need to feel the love in three, four, five slides – don’t ever put your speech on it.
Olivia: How do you get a work/life balance?
Claudia: You don’t. You have to force yourself to stop – travelling all the time is bad for your health.
Michelle: 9am-11pm and then drinks gives me five hours in the week to see my baby. I want my friends to call me out on it.
Yael: You need time management – take distance from your project and see your friends.
Olivia: Studies show that men are better at multi-tasking. No?
Muriel: We are multitasking!! Pregnant, working… To risk and invest, I think we do it better.
A lot of VCs are male but business angels are mostly women. When you believe in it you go for it. We know how to push it to minimise the risk.
Olivia: Woman in tech – more men than women – advantages/disadvantages?
Yael: In tech, there is a big opportunity for women to reach the men’s table. Keep in mind – women have the power to connect and support each other. We trust in ourselves, focus and bring our self-confidence.
Muriel: I am a woman in a man’s world. The financial world. And I disrupt that. I shout. I put my fist on the table. What I want to see is teams build projects together – men and women together – we have qualities and men have qualities. We can approach it from 360 degrees.
Why do we get married and have children? Because we are complimentary – in your children, you integrate your qualities together.
Claudia: It depends on the situations. There are always so many men at tech conferences. If you are trying to sell something, I love it!
Muriel: There are now more than 60 per cent women studying tech in universities.
Michelle: There are no queues for the toilet when you’re a girl in tech! You can start doing the ‘I’m the only girl in the village’ bit. Try not to analyse – just be. Support everyone and call them out on things. When guys say ‘you have to have balls’, I say ‘talk to me about guts and I’ll show you them’.
To the audience.
My start-up isn’t working…
Michelle: I spent my 20s having really crap relationships. I was late to the party when it came to settling down. Be slutty as a startup – split up, lose it. You say it’s your baby, but it’s not. You wouldn’t be so precious about it.
Muriel: Branding is 60 per cent of your budget. There are co-working spaces all over the world – be together as much as possible, all you need is a place with a table, wifi, people to talk with and that’s all.
Do women think big enough?
Michelle: If you’re going to put the hours in, you have to care about it. If you’re ironing, you go for it, same if you want to be the next Facebook.
Claudia: The business has to be scaleable.
Muriel: Dream global before dreaming local and you will succeed. Make us believe in your dreams.
Yael: The world is not open to you; you have to open the world.
Olivia: One tip for the future?
Michelle: Always do your pelvic floor exercises and never fake an orgasm
Claudia: If the others can do it you can do it
Muriel: Believe in your dreams
Yael: Live them
Sabrina: Don’t bother convincing the non-believers