Spotify Apps

May 22nd, 2012

Digital music service Spotify has released its own Spotify Apps platform. By using it developers and media partners will be able to build apps which run in the company’s desktop application. According to Spotify’s chief executive Daniel Ek these apps will bring more effective features including better recommendations, ticketing and editorial content to the service, with partnering companies, like the Guardian, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Songkick, Last.fm and TuneWiki.

Spotify’s new platform is going to influence on the competition between Spotify and Apple’s iTunes. The trick is that Spotify is trying to become an open platform similar to Facebook whereas the iTunes system is more closed instead.

The new Spotify apps will work for the Spotify’s desktop clients. However, according to Ek the mobile services may be added to the platform of apps within the coming few years as well. The apps will be available to free and paying users of the service. Instead, the developers can not charge for them yet.

I find this subject very interesting and I’m looking forward for more news of development in the scene of digital music services. Spotify is obviously going to grab the leading position in the competition with Apple, since turning the Spotify platform into a Facebook-style open service will help to get more users with the help of social networks, which are going to be made.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/appsblog/2011/nov/30/spotify-apps-platform

Finnish gaming industry and it’s rising

April 25th, 2012

With the rise of IT-expertise and know how, Finland has finally found its way to gaming industry. Industry that has had a growing cash flow globally for over few decades now and it still keeps on rising when the first gaming generations create new ones. Alongside that growth few finnish gaming companies have pushed themselves to the international markets with a great success and with this awakening, universities have adapted gaming-oriented studies to their teaching plans.

One of the first ones to go global is Remedy Entertainment, the creator of Alan Wake – and Max Payne game series. Both series that got wide recognition and success globally. Now companies like Recoil Games and Nitro/Octane games duo are finding their way for the bigger audiences.

Is it hard to go for international markets in gaming and how that even happens? There are plenty of challenges to tackle but also few very simple things that make it unavoidable. Going to markets to compete with big gaming companies that already offer a huge lists of popular games and rule the markets with sheer volume is surely a challenge. Not to mention all the other smaller companies pushing themselves to the markets.  A good game doesn’t develop in few nights either. It needs hard work, planning, testing and more hard work. Not to mention that if the players don’t like it, it’s a waste. Also pirating always takes it’s toll.

What makes it affordable and easier then? First thing is the ways of distribution. Cloudservices like Steam, offer a great place to find games from big and small companies. All you have to do is to download the game to your computer. No CDs, receipts etc. And the opportunity to reach huge amount of gamers globally. Other notable help is co-operation and outsourcing. Super easy when the product itself can be transferred in ones and zeros.

So I think there is a chance that finnish gaming industry has something to give. New programmers, artists, developers coming along continuously, easy access to wide audiences and companies that have done quality work for starters. It is not few geeks coding somewhere in their moms houses basement.  The next challenge is to keep up the quality and response to the everchanging gaming community that hasn’t really found its true form yet.

 

Sources:

http://www.igda.org/

http://www.remedygames.com

 

 

The power of rating agencies

April 20th, 2012

Everyone, who has watched news, has sure heard the term credit rating. The credit rating agencies such as Moodys, Standard&Poors or Fitch has lots of power in the world today. Only these three actors are determined by the U.S. legislators to set the ratings to the organizations. The credit agencies are paid for their customers who wants to get acces to watch rating information.
These companies determines for how easily some company or a Country can get a loan and what is the expected interest to the loan. It affects much to dairy life of the countries and corporates. Almost every country have loan. The price of the money affects the budget of countries and that way money is major part of the politics also. Credit rating agencies are for creating information that how sure the certain institution will pay the loan back. The investors which are loaning money, for example as in bonds, wants to know how sure they will get the interest and the capital paid back. “Before you can get a credit card, banks run a credit check on you. Similarly, the ratings agencies run credit checks on companies, countries and financial products“.
Germany has a top credit rate (AAA) so it means that it has to pay low interest for its loans. Actually lately its interest for the short term loan has been negative. This means that investors are willing to pay for that they can get their money safe to the Germany. For example, in Greece during last years, investors wake up for its situation and started to sell their Greece-bonds. That lead a whole country into chrisis because they had to pay more and more interest to the bonds and got their bonds rated as junk bonds and now those bonds are almost worthless. That way the situation affects to corporations which have invested money to these bonds, for example French and German banks.
It has been criticized that these rating companies had starring role in the financial chrisis and they have fed the global mania against the risky investments. Critics also note that the agencies are paid by the very entities they rate, raising questions about their trustworthiness. The agencies invoke to the thing that it’s up to the markets to decide for themselves what to do with that information.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/12/06/business/eu-sp-eurozone-explainer/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

http://www.taloussanomat.fi/rahoitus/2012/01/09/historiallista-saksa-myi-velkakirjojaan-miinuskorolla/201220547/12

Politics?

April 18th, 2012

Politics. It is there more often than one would think. And it comes in many forms. It is not always tied in politicial parties or decision making that happens in Arkadianmäki, Helsinki. Have you ever thought in class that the studybooks could be more updated or why it is so hard to get an appointment with the school nurse? If you have, congratulations, you just scratched the surface of studentpolitics and it’s educational and social sides. As human beings, we all have agendas, plans and goals. We try to get others on our side, convince them with our reasons and have things done the way we see the best. The point is to have influence on decision making. Politics is based on that.

What about the political parties then? Why so many think that it it something that feels far and unreachable? Not to mention that it feels dry and uninteresting.  Basically, they are just a group of same-minded people who have the same picture in their heads how things should be. Their work done is based on values that are closest to them. Values and goals are also the things that make them different. A decision needs to be made. Opinions about how, when and why vary. Kansanvalta.fi tells shortly how and why political parties work and what they are for.

There might be plenty of more reasons, but these are the ones that I have come across:

- Will that mean I’ll get a certain stamp on my forehead if I  join?
- Do I have to agree on everything that has been already decided?
- Why would I even do anything, will it even matter?
- Why to even care about such things?

I personally don’t feel that way. I don’t see a stamp or a glowing sign above me. No one wouldn’t even know unless I open my mouth and tell them about my opinions. Most certainly I don’t agree on everything that people I work with agree on. Instead I can speak up and make them see things how I see. It depends on ones own decisions.

And it will matter. Even the smallest things can make the difference. It will take time and effort. But it needs only  a really short moment and the effort of just raising your hand and asking. And why care? Simply because those things will show in our daily life. Even when we don’t even notice it.

So, is it so? How do you feel about it?

 

 

Sources: http://www.kansanvalta.fi/

Various discussions with students who are active in either studentpolitics or member in different political parties.

Nokia’s continuous diving in marketing…also in abroad?

April 17th, 2012

There has been lately a lots of stories about Nokia’s bad situation in the business world. Even the most experienced analysts have rumored that Nokia could go broke.

Nokia’s marketing in Finland has been very poor. The coming of the Nokia’s most advanced smartphone Lumia 900 haven’t got to the ears of normal people. Just people who have been all the time interested in Nokia’s new smartphones know that the phone is coming to Finland. That’s an another bad situation in Nokia. People keep buying Apples iPhone or another smartphones because they just don’t know about Nokia’s upcoming products or they just don’t trust Nokia anymore in the phone industry.

In the United States the situation is is not even nearly as bad as it is in Finland. In abroad Nokia uses more advanced marketing methods. Nokia launched Lumia 900 phone in the Easter weekend when almost all the stores selling the new phone were CLOSED. And the stores which were open didn’t have any phones for sale on the launchday. But in that same day Nokia started selling the phone in the internet and that was a great success. That was a sick but very working trick. And that’s because Lumia 900 has attracted a very strong both for and against. The trick they made in the launchday only accelerated the discussion. It also got free time on newspapers and made people to focus to the new phone even more they ever have been focused.

If talking about new unlaunched product it is very important that the product stirs up the emotions to succeed well in the marketing. Even the negative publicity can be positive for the upcoming product if it used well. In this case Nokia was intelligent and used the publicity very well.

Nokia’s Lumia 900 climbed to the top of the Amazon saleslist immediately after that Easter weekend. Not a bad score in my opinion.

-Tom Tasanen

Sources:

Image (free for commercial use): http://www.kbws.co.uk/images/NokiaLumia9001.jpg

http://www.tietokone.fi/uutiset/nokia_lumia_900_heti_myyntilistan_karkeen_usa_ssa

http://www.kauppalehti.fi/5/i/porssi/omaraha/uutiset.jsp?oid=201204154927

http://mrwpf.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/nokia-lumia-900-tuli-myyntiin-usassa-kohta-mys-suomessa/

Piracy in product marketing

April 15th, 2012

Piracy over internet has become a way to reach great amount of people,  because of it’s low expense. Therefore nowadays it is an powerful tool to marketing experts all over the world.  Amazon for example which sells all kind of goods, virtual and real has became a place where pirate items can raise your items value. Good example is the children’s book: Go F**k to sleep, which was leaked in internet before it was published. Leak caused the book to be an internet joke, and the PDF file circulated amongst internet users and getting more google hits than ever.  This leaded to nr.1 ranking in amazons  most interesting e-books. Because of the demand, they published an real book, with cover design and elegant illustrations.

Book authors got marketing worth over 1000 00$ , just with common user interest in facebook and other social medias. Is that a bad thing?

And the link to the famous product  http://www.amazon.com/Go-F-Sleep-Adam-Mansbach/dp/1617750255
“a new bible for weary parents” -new york times

-Tarmo Ranta

sources: http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/may2011/tc20110516_746484.htm

Reasons and benefits why organizations want to internationalize their business

April 14th, 2012

Nowadays there are many organizations which want to increase their business abroad.  Companies go international for a variety of reasons, but typically they want company growth or expansion. In this blog post we will find out some of these things, and also we will think some benefits that organizations can reach by the act of making something international.

Usually reasons for internationalize are growth, employees, resources and ideas.  Many companies are looking international markets for getting growth because they want to expand their business. Probably the most important reason to internationalize business is that often company can hire cheaper employees. Some companies go international to locate resources that are difficult to have in their home markets.  Also companies go international if they want to extend their work force and have new ideas.

So, what benefits organization could achieve by internationalizing?  Maybe it depends on what kind of organization it is, but one benefit is that organization can save money. Organization can also get new ideas from the new employees. Different backgrounds work force can bring up fresh ideas which can help a company’s growth. Usually when a company goes international it gets more conspicuousness and because of that it gets more clients. When the company in international it´s easier to make co-operation with other companies. Of course one of main points is that organizations want to expand their business.  When organization expands its business abroad, it is possible to get more customers. When company gets more customers it often means that they get more money too.

Good examples for Finnish international organization are Nokia, KONE OY and Marimekko.

Resources: http://www.ehow.com/facts_5256365_do-companies-go-international.html

- Noora Kolsi & Terhi Pöyhönen

IKEA’s journey to the world

April 13th, 2012

IKEA is a Swedish furniture shop which offers well-designed and functional home furnishing products. IKEA wants to keep their prices so low that allmost anyone are able to buy their products. This ideology follows IKEA’s every step from raw material choices to selling products.

History

The story of IKEA starts in 1926 when Ingvar Kamprad the founder of IKEA is born in Småland. Kamprad started to do business by selling matches when he was only 5-years-old. In 1943 Kamprad established IKEA. The name ‘IKEA’ comes from Kamprad’s name (I.K) and from his birhtplace (Elmtaryd, Agunnaryd). At first Kamprad sold ballpoint pens, wallets, frames, clocks, jewellery and nylon socks. In 1948 the furniture came along. Consumers liked the furniture so Kamprad decided to expand his collection. In 1950′s IKEA published it’s first catalogue. In 1956 IKEA’s staff invented the space-saving packing system which has been the main reason for IKEA’s success. The first IKEA department store in Sweden was established in 1958 and the first IKEA restaurant came along in 1960.

In 1960′s IKEA started to expand it’s business to foreign countries. At the same time IKEA developed new products as an answer to demand. Many of these products are still available in IKEA’s department stores. In 1980′s IKEA started to invest in regular customers by developing customer club called IKEA FAMILY. In 1990′s they created an environmental policy which guarantees that everything that IKEA do is done with environmentally friendly methods. Shopping by Internet came possible in year 2000.

IKEA nowadays

Nowadays IKEA has 287 department stores in 26 countries and 127 000 employees. It’s annual sales were 23,1 billion euros last year. All IKEA’s deparment stores work by franchising. IKEA’s vision is to create a better everyday life. IKEA’s Swedish roots play an important role in IKEA’s everyday business. Also every product IKEA sells is designed in Sweden. IKEA uses entirely it’s raw materials so that nothing goes to waste.

Why IKEA has achieved so large success?

Our opinion is that IKEA has created it’s success very wisely. We think that the most important issues have been the innovative packing system and concentrating on offering low-priced products. Also the timeless design of products has probably influenced IKEA’s success. IKEA invests in continuous development and tries constantly answer to customers demand. We think that IKEA is a great example of a Nordic success story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elina W. & Elisa V.

Sources:

http://www.ikea.com/ms/fi_FI/about_ikea/index.html

Picture: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/798823

Piracy in China

April 5th, 2012

Piracy is a huge phenomenon and international problem around the world right now. China seems to be the worst case of scenario. Piracy seems to flourish there and they try to copy everything from electronic appliances to furniture. They even tend to copy a whole concept of a certain company’s business. This problem is getting bigger and bigger and the ‘thieves’ are getting more arrogant every day.

For example Ikea is now struggling with Chinese piracy. According to Kauppalehti’s article “Kiinan piratismi yhä roisimpaa: Nyt käydään oikeutta Ikea-kopioiden patenteista” the Chinese are trying to patent their copies of Ikea furniture! This proves how rough the piracy and copying is nowadays. It’s not enough that they steal the ideas of somebody else’s product, but they are actually trying to get benefits with their fake patents and products.

We are amazed that the government of China hasn’t intervened to this injustice. They have allowed this problem to go on too long. We don’t know if the government has tried to stop this, but if it has, it’s failed miserably. It is understandable that it’s difficult to supervise the copying of small electronic devices, eg. mobile phones that are sold in the street markets. It’s almost funny how local fast food restaurants have so obviously stolen the logos and appearance of multinational companies like McDonald’s and KFC. From a long distance it looks like there were a KFC restaurant (Kentucky Fried Chicken) but when you get there, you notice that the sign really says ‘OFC’ (Obama Fried Chicken) with Barrack Obama’s face in it.

The piracy is also reducing the will to found a business in Chinese markets. Big international companies are hesitating to go to China and some of them have withdrawn from the markets because of piracy. It’s understandable due to the competition being unfair and the biggest competitor is the piracy companies that can sell their products in a ridiculously low price. In our opinion the withdrawing is the best option for all the companies that want to put an end to piracy. In this way other countries could put some pressure on to the government of China and make them do something concrete to stop the madness!!

Sources:

http://www.kauppalehti.fi/5/i/talous/uutiset/etusivu/uutinen.jsp?oid=201204146613

Pinja Viitanen and Perttu Anttila LT09S3

 

Pohjola cooperating with Bank of China.

April 5th, 2012

Finnish banks have made collaboration
with foreign banks and financing markets since 1950. At first it was mainly
about money transmissions and trade financing. In the 1980 when national financing
markets opened and restrictions decreased, trade abroad increased rapidly.
Capital started to move fast from country to another and investments were made beyond
borders. In 1984 The Bank of Finland allowed banks to set up branch offices and
subsidiaries to other countries and that helped Finnish banks to operate
abroad. We might think in that way internationalization of banks is kind of
young business, since it has operated fully only 30years. Huge effect for
Finnish banks was the Euro in 1999 when they started to use it as account
currency and in 2002 every transaction was made in Euros. Now so many EU countries
are also part of monetary union and 17 countries are using Euro as their
currency, so the banking inside these countries is much easier.

 

Pohjola is responsible of OP-Pohjola’s
international services like financing-, investment-, cash management- and
transaction solutions. Pohjola’s largest market is The Baltic Countries and
Russia, because they are the main partners with Finnish companies. Pohjola
wants to provide close service also for Finnish companies abroad. The idea of
Pohjola operating in other countries is usually partnership with reliable and
trustworthy banks in target country. The research before partnership is made
very carefully so that customers from Finland may rely on the service no matter
what is the location in the globe. Pohjola is participant in Unico-group which
is a group of cooperative operating banks in Europe. So it is doing close
collaboration with France, Germany, Italy, Netherland and Austria. Pohjola is
developing their international actions continuously, and companies are the main
focus who they want to provide easy service abroad.

 

The new conquer is China. China has increasing
markets and many Finnish companies are going to expand their operations in
there. So the banks must follow rapidly to offer their clients the best
possible service. Pohjola has made a partnership agreement with The Bank of
China to set up a branch in their premises in Shanghai. Mutually The Bank of
China can set up their branch in Helsinki. This is a huge collaboration, because
it is first of a kind with China and Europe and it gives Finnish companies lots
of benefits in Chinese markets. Language barriers and culture know-how is
easier to handle this way. This is a huge benefit for companies who want to go
on increasing Chinese markets; in many cases it lowers the barrier to entry.

 Pohjola_200x60

 

Author: Paula Metsänen, IB112

 

References:

Picture 1: https://www.pohjola.fi/pohjola?cid=391250921&kielikoodi=en&srcpl=4

OP-Pohjola, Pohjola makes more collaboration with The Bank of China, 29 March 2012(trans), viewed 4
April 2012 <https://www.op.fi/op/op-pohjola-ryhma/uutishuone/?id=80300&srcpl=1#/uutiset/3140/pohjola_tiivistaa_yhteistyotaan_bank_of_chinan_kanssa!1333568007>

Pohjola, bank operations, international actions, updated 14 March 2012
(trans), viewed 4 April 2012 <https://www.pohjola.fi/pohjola/konserni/liiketoiminnot/pankkitoiminta?id=353110&srcpl=3>

Anne Turkkila, 31 July 1992, The Bank
of Finland discussion papers, Finnish
banks internationalization
(trans), Helsinki 1992