Retail and eCommerce highlights this week include: The European Commission has opened formal antitrust investigations into Apple App Store and Apple Pay. Nutanix Xi Frame delivers new features for enterprise-ready and easy to deploy Remote Work solution. Lockdown has meant a significant change in how people are using technology, with suggestions that these changes will have long-lasting effects. This is one of the major lesson learned from new research by technology consultancy ThoughtWorks. Alibaba Cloud is planning to invest USD283 Million to accelerate global partner innovations
European Commission opens investigation into Apple’s App Store rules.
The European Commission has opened formal antitrust investigations into Apple App Store and Apple Pay. The Commission will review whether Apple’s rules for app developers on the distribution of apps via the App Store violate EU competition rules. The investigations concern, in particular, the mandatory use of Apple’s own proprietary in-app purchase system. In addition to Apple’s reluctance to inform iPhone and iPad users of alternative cheaper purchasing possibilities outside of apps.
The investigations follow complaints by Spotify and Rakuten, the investigations aim to assess whether Apple broke EU competition rules. Spotify previously claimed that Apple use the App Store to push its Apple Music service and thus hinder consumer choice.
Meanwhile, Rakuten filed a complaint because Apple was taking a 30% commission but promoting its own Apple Books service. “We need to ensure that Apple’s rules do not distort competition in markets where Apple is competing with other app developers, for example with its music streaming service Apple Music or with Apple Books,” said Margrethe Vestager, head of the EU’s antitrust division. “I have therefore decided to take a close look at Apple’s App Store rules and their compliance with EU competition rules.”
The EU Commission will also assess whether Apple Pay violates EU competition rulings by hindering customers from using other payment options.
Nutanix strengthens Desktop as a Service Solution
Nutanix, has added several new capabilities to its Desktop as a Service (DaaS) solution Xi Frame. The solution delivers a richer experience for enterprise customers, including strengthened security, increased flexibility, and broader availability. The new capabilities include: enhanced onboarding for on-premises desktop workloads on Nutanix AHV, expanded support for user profile management. The ability to convert Windows Apps into Progressive Web Apps (PWA). In addition increased regional datacentre support to 69 regions across Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Xi Frame delivered a record quarter, based on total revenue, in Q3 of fiscal year 2020. It represented an important contribution to Nutanix’s end-user computing business. This brought in about 20% of new customer deals during the same quarter.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a drastic shift in operations for most companies around the globe. Many had to deliver remote work capabilities to employees overnight, with solutions like Xi Frame helping them in the process. While countries slowly begin to reopen, many companies are looking at extending remote work programmes. This is the result of increased productivity during the lockdown and continued social distancing recommendations. Remote desktop and DaaS solutions that can support organisations’ long term needs are well placed to see increased adoption.
Nutanix’s DaaS offering, Xi Frame, is a cloud-based service. The platform provides companies with a way to run virtual apps and desktops on their choice of infrastructure. This could include on-premises with Nutanix AHV and in the public cloud with Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, or AWS. It removes the headache normally associated with remote work expansion. At the same time securely delivering virtual workspaces, for both employees and customers, in under an hour. The solution helps businesses to minimise management overhead for their desktop and app deployment.
30% feel public sector tech not worked during lockdown
Since lockdown started, 57% say they have become increasingly reliant on technology to keep them up to speed with the news. Fifty-four per cent say they needed technology to keep in touch with family, and 44 per cent paying for goods securely. This is some of the incites from new research by technology consultancy ThoughtWorks.
Younger people were more likely to say they had experienced a change in their technology usage during the lockdown. However, older generations too said they also benefitted. The results showed that 53% of people over 65 said they had become more reliant on digital technology to keep them up-to-date with the latest news. While 51% had kept in touch with family members online, and 28% from online shopping.
However, the results also exposed aspects of the digital world that had not worked well during the period of isolation. Thirty per cent said they had experienced problems with the technology of public sector organisations during the lockdown. This rose to 48% among those under 35. One in seven (14%) said they experienced problems accessing local government information online. Thirteen per cent experienced technology problems liaising with GP, getting advice or help from the NHS, or accessing medical advice online.
Alibaba Cloud Invests US$283M to support global partner innovations
Alibaba Cloud announced that it will invest RMB2 billion (US$283 million) during this fiscal year to empower global partners The company plans to accelerate joint innovations in the post-pandemic era. Alibaba Cloud is the data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, The investment aims to bring its partners up to speed with digitalisation capabilities. It will also create joint products and solutions to benefit even more customers across all sectors.
In collaboration with global partners, Alibaba Cloud has delivered more than 2,000 hybrid cloud projects last year. These collaborations helped customers expedite their digitalisation processes, saving tens of millions of operation and infrastructure costs. To equip customers with holistic post-migration capabilities, Alibaba Cloud has also curated more than 3,000 online classes with partners across the globe. This should help customers gain insights and learn from the proven business scenarios.
Alibaba Cloud is working with close to 10,000 global partners serving more than 350,000 business customers worldwide. The company has invested in research and development, enabling partners to integrate products and services on Alibaba Cloud infrastructure. Customers are expected to benefit from the joint solutions for faster time to market. Alibaba Cloud has created more than 500 joint solutions catering to industries such as retail, fintech, manufacturing, media and entertainment.
Alibaba Cloud intends to broaden ISV, MSP, SI partner recruitment, leveraging their innovation and technology capabilities to enhance its platform. With the investment to be carried out in the current fiscal year, Alibaba Cloud aims to introduce new and improved work processes with partners to increase communication efficiency. This is to enable parties to respond quickly to changing customer demands, especially during events such as the COVID-19 pandemic.