Microsoft to invest 1 billion dollars in OpenAI

The tech company Microsoft (MSFT)  has agreed to invest 1 billion dollars to artificial intelligence company OpenAI. The company will use Microsoft Azure cloud service to build powerful computing system and run AI software.

According to companies, the both companies will jointly develop supercomputing technology. The OpenAi started in 2015.

– The creation of AGI will be the most important technological development in human history, with the potential to shape the trajectory of humanity,” said Sam Altman, CEO, OpenAI.

– Our mission is to ensure that AGI technology benefits all of humanity, and we’re working with Microsoft to build the supercomputing foundation on which we’ll build AGI. We believe it’s crucial that AGI is deployed safely and securely and that its economic benefits are widely distributed. We are excited about how deeply Microsoft shares this vision, he said.

-AI is one of the most transformative technologies of our time and has the potential to help solve many of our world’s most pressing challenges,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.

– By bringing together OpenAI’s breakthrough technology with new Azure AI supercomputing technologies, our ambition is to democratize AI — while always keeping AI safety front and center — so everyone can benefit, Nadella concluded.

Business Finance Tech

Google and Microsoft – new video game streaming

Both big tech companies, Alphabet (GOOG:US)  with Google and Microsoft (MSFT:US), are on their way to build new video game streaming services for their customers. Google has “Project Stream” as a beta-version and Microsoft “Project XCloud” service. The idea in both of the services is to enable customers easy and working access to video game streaming.

-Scaling and building out Project xCloud is a multi-year journey for us. We’ll begin public trials in 2019 so we can learn and scale with different volumes and locations. Our focus is on delivering an amazing added experience to existing Xbox players and on empowering developers to scale to hundreds of millions of new players across devices, Microsoft comments.

Tech side is also experiencing a new event from Apple. According to company news, Apple (AAPL:US)  is having a new event at the end of October, 30th October, in New York. It is expected to cover news related to iPads and Macs.

Tech stocks have been performing well this year in the Wall Street and according to Bloomberg, Google´s one year return has been 8,78 percent, Microsoft´s 42,07 percent and Apple´s 36,88 percent.


Lifestyle Tech

Siemens: Energy blockchain trading piloting in New York


One of the largest engineering and manufacturing companies Siemens (SIE:GR)  is piloting a blockchain energy trading in Brooklyn, New York. According to company, this is a small scale pilot and the aim of this is to find how energy trading is working between communities.

– We are experimenting this new method of energy trading. We see that this will be one of the future trends in the energy sector and the way people can themselves trade energy as part of climate awareness, says Siemens Director of Smart Cities Julie Alexander to ComteamPUBplus.

In that project, neighbors with and without photovoltaic systems, are buying and selling solar power from each other on a blockchain platform that automatically documents each transaction. If Hurricane Sandy should hit again, this isolated network would operate self-sufficiently. This renewable energy project is a pioneer in the movement toward a distributed energy supply system. Siemens is partnering with a local start-up company called LO3 Energy in that project.

This kind of peer-to-peer business deal is very cost efficient and has great potential.  According to Coimarketcap, the total value of the assets being administered via blockchain all over the world is 1,6 billion dollars.

– The energy markets are evolving with new cap and trade -markets for example in Tokyo, Japan and Ontario, Canada. And energy companies are building Smart Grids and new kinds of energy storage and are entering the market with electric cars markets and renewable energy solutions for customers. The big players, which we share,  in the energy markets are  for example Microsoft (MSFT:US), SAP (SAP:GR) and IBM (IBM:US). We all are working with the data related to the energy sector, Julie says.

Customers can have different kind of financing possibilities for new energy efficiency investment, but according to Julie customers are not always aware of financial instruments such as Green Bonds.

According to latest statistics the Green Bonds Markets have increased by 17 percent in the first quarter of  2017 compared with year ago. The issuance was nearly 30 billion dollars and the expectance for this year is 120 billion dollars.

Siemens market value is 113 billion dollars and the company is investing in digitalisation of the manufacturing industries, healthcare and the infrastructure sectors. The company  is listed in Frankfurt, Xetra.

Business Tech

Microsoft sold 8,4 million Lumia smartphones – loss after writeoffs

Microsoft (MSFT) revenue was stable during the three months period ending in June 2015. The company made 22,2 billion dollars revenue compared to 23,4 billion dollars a year ago.

On the other hand the company made 8,4 billion dollars writeoffs and the operating loss was 2 billion dollars compared to 6,4 billion dollar profit year ago. Loss per share was 0,40 dollars. The biggest impairment test was done in the former Nokia Devices Unit with the amount of 7,5 billion dollars plus restructuring charge of 780 million dollars.

Research and Development stayed at the same level and was 3 billion dollars during that quarter.

The company sold 8,4 million Lumia smartphones during that period. The growth was over 10 percent over prior year full quarter sales, 5,8 million units post-acquisition and 1,7 million units pre-acquisition. On the other hand revenue from Lumia smartphones declined.

The company is not making any forward looking financial statement.

Microsoft share closed to 47,28 dollars, up 0,77 percent in New York.

Business Tech

Wall Street to near new records

Both Nasdaq and S&P 500 were near new records  in New York today. Good performing tech companies fuelled the rally.

One of the big tech companies Microsoft announced its quarterly results with revenues 6 % increase to 21,7 billion dollars.

According to the company Office downloads were 100 millions on iPhones, iPads and Anroid tablets. Lumia mobile phones sales were up 18 percent to 8,6 million devices Year on Year.  

Operating income was down 5 % to 6,6 billion dollars. Microsoft made 190 million dollars restructuring charge due to Nokia acquisition.

Business Tech

Defining corporate responsibility strategy

Companies thinking about their corporate responsibility strategy have to think also about their business strategy. Responsibility strategy is not working as a stand alone objective, but more as integrated strategy. One can define, the more innovative your corporate responsibility strategy is, the better business strategy you have. And vice versa.

See the 5 step action plan for innovative responsibility strategy:

1. Engage with your stakeholders: This is one of the basic questions you have. Defining your business is sometimes hard if you think that the basic business rules and segments are not working any more. Technology has enabled and changed so many industry sectors like media, telecom, forest, retail, music…you name it. Positioning, segmenting and searching for new business areas.

Materiality analysis is one of the key elements in the early steps of responsibility strategy. Benchmarking new trends and technology innovations are examples of risk management by the management. It is about innovative product development, new markets and opportunities.

One of the interesting & innovative new product launches has been the Lego ( 3D printing case. The Danish toy company was struggling with the problem of time: children like to spend more time in internet than anything else and this is a problem for their parents.The answer was 3D printing: the company made a digital effort to allow customers make their own digital models of buildings and castles and enabled this also in 3D printing. Lego wanted to solve the time problem and let users play in digital world but also with basic brics. This service was launced in summer in the US.

2. How about your roadmap, targets and KPIs? Your company has values and mission. How to get there and taking also environmental, social and financial aspects along? Set targets and make adjustments along the way. You need short and long term targets for value creation and for shared value. Remember also the difference between relative and absolute targets.

This shared value means that your company can also have a positive impact in your society in general. It is important that you notice that this is about your business and how it can be integrated for social good. For example many companies have turned into education and helping thus others to understand a business sector or service.

One example is the German software company SAP (, which has run several courses to educate people to understand the software business but also the company products. This education aspect is also embedded in several leading universities like Harvard and Stanford. Another example is Microsoft( with its Innovation Centers. These provide Mircrosoft education and products for different stakeholders globally.

This overall value mapping takes into account the different aspects of internal and external stakeholders and define the corporate responsibility strategy value added for each group.

3. Execute your strategy: Implementing your corporate responsibility strategy is a marathon not a journey. This Cradle to Cradle or lifecycle thinking is not a campaign, it is about your business and margins. It is about your competitive edge and license to make business in the future.

For CEOs corporate responsibility is important while they think it has huge impact in brand, trust and reputation (69%). Secondly CEOs think it has impact in potential revenue growth (49%) and customer demand (47%). And it can have positive impact in employer branding (38%) and motivation (41%). This survey was done by Accenture in 2013.

4. Communications & Marketing: Good brands can handle crisis better, this is known. But you need communications and marketing strategy which implement these messages to different stakeholders in order to enhance your visibility, attract talent and improve brand value.

One of the key elements in this strategic communication is how well the company can explain and follow the impacts of the products and be part of the circular economy. It is good to pay attention to issue management in your business sector.

Global initiatives like Better Cotton Initiatives by co-founders Ikea and WWF aim to use less water and chemicals and provide better earnings and social benefits for farmers in India and Pakistan. According to the IKEA press release, the company uses 0,6 % of the global cotton production every year and cotton in included in 30 % of the group´s products.

5. Feedback & improvements: Corporate responsibility is about change and risk management and it is like quality checks all the way.

To define an innovative corporate responsibility strategy needs good homework, analytics and data management. The bigger the company the more important data management is. Cloud computing or green cloud help companies in their journey to be part of the circular economy.