News In Brief

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Welcome to our ‘News In Brief’ column in which we digest all the news releases for you in no more than five paragraphs. Below are snippets of all the media releases we received from Oct 9 till the end of the week.

ICF and Alibaba Cloud Partner

China, Oct 10: The International Canoe Federation (ICF) and Alibaba Cloud have teamed up to promote sustainability. This collaboration, unveiled at the 19th Asian Games, uses Alibaba Cloud’s digital technology to enhance environmental practices.
ICF leaders Thomas Konietzko and Richard Pettit explored Alibaba Cloud’s sustainable lifestyle tools during the event, aimed at encouraging low-carbon habits and carbon emissions reduction among participants.
ICF, the official cloud partner of the International Olympic Committee, introduced the AI-driven “Energy Expert” last June, aiding in identifying emissions sources, calculating venue carbon footprints, and offering sustainability performance reports.
The partnership encompasses sustainability toolkits, efficient measurement methods, sustainable event management, and enhanced fan experiences through digital innovations, including gamifying sustainability messages for engagement.
Konietzko emphasized the partnership’s potential to promote environmental values.
William Xiong of Alibaba Cloud said, “Our partnership with ICF reflects our commitment to sustainability and sports innovation.”
ICF and Alibaba Cloud will present initiatives to the International Olympic Committee and initiate pilot projects at upcoming ICF events.
This collaboration advances greener global sporting events.

AI Revolutionizes Bidding

Sydney, Oct 11: Australia’s premier tender and bid writing management firm, BidWrite, has unveiled an ambitious multi-year, multi-million-dollar partnership with Melbourne-based technology company GPTStrategic.
This strategic collaboration aims to create a groundbreaking generative AI-powered closed-source platform incorporating specialized tender writing algorithms.
Closed-source technology is a game-changer in the data security-conscious bidding industry. It signifies a historic moment as one of the first AI-focused projects led by seasoned bidding professionals.
The alliance between BidWrite and GPTStrategic has the potential to redefine the bid writing industry, offering substantial resources and growth prospects for BidWrite.
Nigel Dennis, CEO of BidWrite, highlighted their primary goal to reduce bidding costs by 50 to 80 percent through the development of a closed-source AI bidding platform, which will be disruptive for the industry.
This innovation streamlines the bidding process, significantly reducing manpower requirements.
Gunnis, CEO of GPTStrategic, emphasized their trailblazing role in generative AI, highlighting the profound impact this partnership could have on the bidding landscape.
The Australian Government awarded around US$51 billion worth of contracts in 2021-2022, indicating the vast potential market.
The new AI platform will allow businesses to tailor their bids effectively to meet customer requests, potentially revolutionizing businesses and delivering substantial savings.
Initially, the technology will target larger companies, with plans to adapt it for SMEs in the future, aiming for scalability.
The partnership is progressing in stages, with design specifications complete, the current focus on AI product development and customer acquisition, and plans for market testing and rollout in the coming months.

Qantas Board Announces Renewal Plan

Sydney, Oct 11: The Qantas Board has unveiled a plan for board renewal to address the Group’s reputational challenges and rebuild trust. Chairman Richard Goyder will retire before the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in late 2024.
Non-executive director Michael L’Estrange will retire at this year’s AGM on Nov 3, 2023. Jacqueline Hey and Maxine Brenner will retire in February 2024 after a decade of service to facilitate further renewal.
At this year’s AGM, three new directors will stand for election, including Doug Parker, Dr. Heather Smith, and CEO and Managing Director Vanessa Hudson, along with two existing directors, Todd Sampson and Belinda Hutchinson.
This renewal process aims to strike a balance between fresh leadership and necessary continuity.
Chairman Richard Goyder expressed the need for accountability to restore trust, acknowledging past mistakes and challenges faced by Qantas during the pandemic.
The Board is committed to supporting the ongoing efforts led by Vanessa Hudson and her new management team.
The Board will also initiate the appointment of new non-executive directors and a new Chairman in the coming months.
Furthermore, an independent review of governance matters over the past year will be shared in the second quarter of 2024.

Bitkub Adopts Freshworks for Modernization

Kuala Lumpur, Oct 11: Bitkub Exchange, a leading cryptocurrency exchange in ASEAN and Thailand’s largest, has partnered with Freshworks to enhance its customer service operations. Bitkub, which handles over 90 percent of Thailand’s cryptocurrency transactions and a daily trade value of $25 million, sought to streamline its support operations while reducing costs.
By implementing Freshdesk, a cloud-based omnichannel customer engagement solution, Bitkub has achieved more efficient and personalized customer support, resulting in cost reduction and increased business efficiency.
Freshworks’ solutions have been instrumental in improving Bitkub’s customer support and employee productivity.
Bitkub initially adopted Freshservice for IT in 2021, resulting in a 64% improvement in average resolution time, 100 percent First Call Resolution, and enhanced employee satisfaction scores.
The recent integration of Freshdesk aims to further enhance customer engagement with AI-powered features and automation.
Atthakrit Chimplapibul, CEO at Bitkub Exchange, expressed their commitment to enhancing the customer experience and cost-effective engagement.
The decision to choose Freshworks was based on key factors, including technical capabilities, implementation plan, local support, scalability, and overall value of the offering.
Freshworks not only met but exceeded Bitkub’s expectations, facilitating a seamless migration of millions of customer records in just 12 weeks, leading to significant savings.
Simon Ma, Director and Regional Manager in ASEAN at Freshworks, highlighted the value of consolidating business software under one vendor, allowing Bitkub to efficiently manage both customer and employee engagement with Freshworks software.
This partnership reflects Bitkub’s dedication to optimizing customer support and its commitment to adapting to changing customer expectations.

Australian Businesses Grapple with Innovation Hurdles

Sydney, Oct 11: A recent survey reveals that while Australian leaders and workers understand the vital role of innovation in business success, economic uncertainty, fear, and outdated practices often lead to deprioritization.
Economic uncertainty is perceived as a luxury by 70 percent of Australian leaders, and 65 percent believe innovation should wait for economic stability.
Fear and concerns over personal and career repercussions further hinder innovation.
Additionally, outdated technology and collaboration issues pose significant obstacles.
Overcoming these challenges is essential for Australian businesses to remain globally competitive.

Amazon Supports Singaporean Entrepreneurs

Singapore, Oct 11: Amazon Global Selling Singapore has announced its strategic priorities for 2024, aiming to support Singaporean entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in expanding their businesses through cross-border e-commerce.
In partnership with Nanyang Polytechnic’s Singapore Institute of Retail Studies (NYP-SIRS), the program will equip around 800 entrepreneurs and SMEs with the skills to take their business online in the next three years and help them seize cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) opportunities.
This initiative aligns with Singapore’s Retail Industry Transformation Map (ITM) 2025 goal to support internationalization and build global Singapore brands.
In addition to the educational program, Amazon Global Selling plans to introduce fee waivers for new sellers from Southeast Asian countries.
The company is committed to strengthening collaborations with governments, industry associations, and institutes of higher learning in the region, aiming to bolster online export capabilities and upskill SMEs in CBEC.
Amazon will also focus on enhancing product innovation and services to improve the seller experience, with the introduction of generative AI capabilities and debit card acceptance in Southeast Asian countries to streamline registration.
The company will further offer comprehensive global brand-building solutions, including tools to enhance customer loyalty and promotional code offerings.
Amazon is offering a six-month discount on its Professional Selling plan for new sellers located in Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and other Asian regions who register to sell in North American stores.
Sellers who register with Amazon Global Selling for the first time can pay a total of USD 1 for the first six months’ subscription fee, significantly reducing the entry cost for SMEs planning to set up a global business.
Amazon Global Selling remains committed to helping Southeast Asian sellers expand their businesses globally and leverage Amazon’s global infrastructure and customer base.

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