ModusLink adds 4th Green Supply Chain Award

ModusLink Global Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: MLNK) has been honored for the fourth consecutive year by Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine’s 2012 Green Supply Chain Awards.

ModusLink Global Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: MLNK) has been honored for the fourth consecutive year by Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine’s 2012 Green Supply Chain Awards.

The company was recognized for developing a creative and cost-saving package redesign for its line of flash memory products.

In 2011, a global consumer electronics company and long-time ModusLink client requested assistance in reducing the amount of packaging material for its line of flash memory products, including USB and USB Mini devices, SD and Micro SD cards. This initiative was driven by both environmental and cost-savings goals, including reducing greenhouse gasses emissions, volume of packaging material, and logistics and shipping costs. With a completely redesigned package and an innovative approach to the product inserts and user manual, the electronics company was able to save money by eliminating excess materials and drastically reducing transportation costs.

Specifically, the redesign resulted in: 50% cut in paper and fibre use and up to an 80% reduction with the smallest product; 50% reduction in the amount of plastic used, while maintaining the integrity of the previous package; 157% average increase in pallet density, and 45% reduction in shipping costs.

The 2012 Green Supply Chain Awards spotlight the different sustainable approaches that global businesses take to cut costs, save time, drive revenue and improve their carbon footprint in the areas of product lifecycle management, order demand capture, sourcing, technology and integration infrastructure, procurement and other areas of the supply chain.

ModusLink Global Solutions executes comprehensive supply chain and logistics services that improve clients’ revenue, cost, sustainability and customer experience objectives.

Charities boost their digital marketing efforts

From using social media sites like YouTube and Twitter to deploying pay-per-click campaigns, digital marketing is becoming increasingly popular among charities hoping to attract donations and boost interest in their operations.

Whatever the size of your organisation, it’s likely that there is scope to improve your digital marketing efforts, and this – when combined with its offline counterpart – can result in a significant rise in the number of supporters you have. Here are just some of the steps you may be able to take.

Make a user-friendly site

First and foremost, your website needs to be user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Keep things simple and functional, so visitors can quickly find the information they are looking for. Text should be as easy to read and jargon-free as possible, while all links ought to be clearly identifiable (it’s worth having a link to a sitemap and your homepage on each page). It’s also a good idea to have audio versions of your website’s text to increase accessibility and ensure those with a visual impairment are able to stay up to date with your organisation’s work.

If users visiting your site for the first time with the intention of making an online donation find that they cannot do this easily, they may be inclined to give up on making a payment altogether.

Ensure donating money online is simple and secure

Let’s look at the issue of donating money online a little in more detail. Charities of all sizes rely heavily (if not entirely) on supporters’ financial donations, so you should encourage all those visiting your website to pledge money.

Having a ‘donate’ button prominently displayed should ensure you do not miss a single opportunity to generate income. Although many of us are increasingly purchasing goods and services over the internet, some people still have concerns about submitting their credit card and/or bank account information online. You can help alleviate such worries by using a reliable hosting provider for your site as well as SSL encryption.

How offline marketing can help

Although you may think there’s no need to link offline and online marketing, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Just because there’s been a greater drive towards the latter in recent years, offline advertising can help bring traffic to your site and encourage more people to donate.

Promotional products are an extremely effective form of offline advertising. In the digital age one of the most popular forms of promotional merchandise is a promotional USB stick. Whether given out for free at events like festivals and conferences or offered as a ‘thank you’ to existing supporters, branded USBs provide people with a physical reminder of your organisation and how they can get in touch if they want to make a donation or find out more about your campaigns.

For added impact, preload your USBs with information about your charity prior to distribution. Make sure that any documents you put on the memory sticks contain a link to your site, and encourage recipients to sign up your email marketing list – and you should soon find more people visit your site in order to make a donation.

Of course, it’s a good idea to have your main website’s URL printed on the USBs, but it’s also worth putting on your Facebook and Twitter profiles too, so you can interact with supporters in as many different ways as possible.

LG using Envivio encoding for Google TV service in Korea

Envivio (NASDAQ: ENVI) announced that LG U+ has deployed Envivio encoding solutions to power its new LG u+tv G multi-screen service, the first service offering in South Korea to support Google TV. LG u+tv G offers subscribers access to live channels and on-demand TV integrated with apps including Search, YouTube, Google Play and Chrome, via an Internet-connected set-top box.

Envivio (NASDAQ: ENVI) announced that LG U+ has deployed Envivio encoding solutions to power its new LG u+tv G multi-screen service, the first service offering in South Korea to support Google TV. LG u+tv G offers subscribers access to live channels and on-demand TV integrated with apps including Search, YouTube, Google Play and Chrome, via an Internet-connected set-top box.

LG U+ uses Envivio encoders to power its TV Everywhere service, providing more than 126 channels of video to TVs, PCs, tablets and smartphones. LG U+ is a telecommunications service provider in Korea and a subsidiary of LG Group.

Envivio Muse Live and On-Demand software encoders/transcoders provide high quality video, in any format to any device over any network. With a converged architecture and feature-rich software-based design, Envivio Muse can be easily upgraded and runs on the Envivio 4Caster Intel-based appliances or HP blade servers.

The three LG Telecommunication companies are collected under the name “LG U+.”

Envivio is a leader in solutions for multi-screen video processing and delivery. Visit www.envivio.com for more information.

Creston buys stake in DJM Digital Solutions

UK insight and communications services company Creston plc (LON:CRE) said on Wednesday it had taken a controlling stake in local digital healthcare specialist DJM Digital Solutions Ltd as part of its strategy to strengthen its presence in the digital marketing segment and expand the portfolio of its health division.

Creston is paying an initial £1.2m ($1.9m/€1.5m) for the 75% stake and pouring some £300,000 in working capital into the company. The terms of the deal also call for the payment of an additional consideration of up to £1.8m that will be made in June 2015. The buyer has also secured a call option exercisable after April 2020 to buy the rest of DJM for a maximum £2.4m.

With the deal, which is seen to have a modest impact on Creston’s earnings this fiscal year, the company seeks to make use of the growing adoption of smartphones and tablets among healthcare specialists, which highlights the need of bringing the industry’s marketing communications in line with innovative work practices, Creston’s CEO Don Elgie said. With DJM on board, Creston expects that its healthcare division will experience strong growth given the increasing significance of digital technology for its clients.

DJM, headquartered in Richmond, Surrey, has a 26-strong headcount. The company recorded revenues of £600,000 in its fiscal year to 31 July 2012.

Aristocrat bolsters footprint in social gaming via Product Madness buy

Australian gaming services provider Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX:ALL) announced it has agreed to acquire US online social casino company Product Madness Inc for an undisclosed sum, expanding into the social gaming sector.

Through the deal, the buyer will be able to bolster its footprint in the online gaming sector, Aristocrat said, adding that it had also acquired the firm’s management and employees. As part of the agreement, Lior Shiff and Jose Brotons, co-founders of Product Madness, will continue to head the business.

Product Madness has a headcount of over 20 across offices in San Francisco and London. It has launched various Facebook games since its establishment in 2007.

Aristocrat’s managing director and chief executive officer Jamie Odell said that the deal, together with other recent investments, is in line with the company’s strategy for growth through online channels.

Symmetricom small form factor probe tests phase noise and allan deviation

Symmetricom, Inc. (NASDAQ: SYMM) said it has launched a new high-performance, low-cost measurement solution, the Symmetricom 3120A Phase Noise Test Probe.

Symmetricom, Inc. (NASDAQ: SYMM) said it has launched a new high-performance, low-cost measurement solution, the Symmetricom 3120A Phase Noise Test Probe.

The latest addition to Symmetricom’s state-of-the-art timing test set portfolio, the 3120A Test Probe comes in a convenient small form factor and measures Phase Noise and Allan Deviation as part of the base hardware kit. Additional software options are available to measure AM noise floor and signal statistics such as HDEV, TDEV, MDEV and jitter, and for use as a frequency counter and for mask testing.

Unlike traditional solutions that are desktop-bound due to size and weight, Symmetricom’s 3120A Test Probe is small enough to be carried around from location-to-location, and inexpensive enough to have at each bench. Whether used on a busy manufacturing floor, in a tight server closet or in R&D labs, the 3120A helps characterize reference clocks, used in high-performance applications, achieve the highest accuracy without requiring calibration.

Symmetricom, a world leader in precise time solutions, generates, distributes and applies precise time for the communications, aerospace/defense, IT infrastructure and metrology industries. For more information, visit: http://www.symmetricom.com

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport using ITT Exelis for noise and flight tracking system

Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority has entered into an agreement with ITT Exelis (NYSE: XLS) to upgrade its noise and flight tracking systems at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, Fla. The upgrade replaces the existing terminal radar data feed with NextGen data, allowing for higher accuracy flight tracking, more frequent updates, and greater reliability.

Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority has entered into an agreement with ITT Exelis (NYSE: XLS) to upgrade its noise and flight tracking systems at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, Fla. The upgrade replaces the existing terminal radar data feed with NextGen data, allowing for higher accuracy flight tracking, more frequent updates, and greater reliability.

SRQ uses the Exelis noise and operations monitoring solution to validate, monitor and enhance aircraft departure and arrival procedures. The Exelis solution with the NextGen surveillance feed produces more accurate geo-referenced flight tracks with higher update rates than any single terminal radar. This solution allows the airport and the surrounding community to corroborate aircraft operations and flight tracks over the community, thereby simultaneously addressing community concerns about aircraft noise and fostering air commerce.

ITT Exelis is a diversified, top-tier global aerospace, defense and information solutions company with strong positions in enduring and emerging global markets. The company’s website is at www.exelisinc.com

France’s L’Oreal acquires Urban Decay Cosmetics from sponsor Castanea

French cosmetics group L’Oreal SA (EPA:OR) announced today it had agreed to buy US-based make-up specialist Urban Decay Cosmetics LLC from private equity firm Castanea Partners Inc for an undisclosed sum.

The transaction is awaiting regulatory clearance and is scheduled for completion by the end of the year. Through it, L’Oreal will complement its own portfolio of brands.

Commenting on the deal, L’Oreal USA’s CEO Frederic Roze stated it will enhance the company’s position in the assisted self-service and e-commerce distribution channels in the US.

Based in Newport Beach, California, Urban Decay offers products in the eye category like Naked Palette and Naked Skin. The business achieved sales of USD130m (EUR100.3m) in the fiscal year to June 2012.

German Software AG has €1bn to spend on acquisitions — report

Germany-based Software AG (ETR:SOW) can “theoretically” afford an acquisition of as much as EUR1bn (USD1.3bn), German daily Die Welt said Sunday, citing chief financial officer Arnd Zinnhardt.

The business software developer is currently interested in firms involved in cloud computing or big data analysis, according to Zinnhardt.

So far, Software AG’s biggest acquisition is the EUR487m takeover in 2009 of German sector firm IDS Scheer, which develops, markets and supports Business Process Management (BPM) software.

At present Software AG is the fourth largest enterprise software provider in Europe, according to its website, with 2011 revenues of about EUR1.1bn.

National Bank of Greece to acquire rival EFG Eurobank Ergasias

National Bank of Greece (NYSE:NBG) said its shareholders had given the go-ahead to the planned acquisition of local peer EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA.

The shareholder meeting, which was held on Friday, followed two unsuccessful attempts of the bank to gather the necessary quorum. It convened with a quorum of 32.77%, which was still below the required 50% level. An NBG representative had told Reuters previously that the meeting would be final independently of the number of shareholders present.

NBG proposed to buy its rival in early October, offering to exchange 58 new shares for every 100 shares of the target. If the deal is successful, NBG shareholders will hold 75% of the enlarged entity, while Eurobank shareholders will hold the remainder.

The transaction, which is seen to create the country’s top lender, is subject to approval from the Bank of Greece and the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), Greece’s financial stability fund.