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Technology Featured Global

Optimizely taps Google Cloud to drive joint innovation, next-gen experimentation

Singapore —  Digital experience platform Optimizely has entered into a strategic partnership with cloud services provider Google Cloud. In addition to Optimizely moving its market-leading experimentation solutions to the cloud platform, the multi-year agreement signifies a commitment by the two companies to co-innovate digital offerings and develop digital-first marketing solutions to market.

Through the new partnership, customers can benefit from working with Optimizely’s content experimentation for enterprise companies and Google Cloud’s secure infrastructure and capabilities in AI, ML and analytics. In addition, Google Cloud and Optimizely will also coordinate a joint go-to-market and sales execution strategy to seamlessly deliver experimentation solutions to customers around the world.

A notable part of the multi-year agreement of the two companies is their intent to collaborate closely on co-innovation, developing new and expanded digital offerings that bring the best experience possible to new and existing customers. As marketing continues to evolve, success depends on the data-driven decision-making and optimised customer experiences that Optimizely’s end-to-end, scalable experimentation solutions will deliver on Google Cloud.

Alex Atzberger, CEO of Optimizely, said that he couldn’t think of two tech companies that are more relevant for the data-driven growth marketer than Google Cloud and Optimizely.

“We share the same philosophy on leveraging data, AI and experimentation to replace guesswork with certainty. By entering into this strategic partnership with Google Cloud, we’re empowering marketers to unlock their digital potential, create exceptional customer experiences and deliver strong business outcomes all on a trusted, secure platform. It’s a true win-win-win situation for Optimizely, Google Cloud and the marketing industry overall,” Atzberger said.

Optimizely’s Web Experimentation and Full Stack Experimentation allow marketers to take the guesswork out of delivering personalised, meaningful engagements. Optimizely will continue to enhance its in-class experiences for its customers as they move to Google Cloud.

Rob Enslin, president at Google Cloud, commented, “Through this partnership, Google Cloud infrastructure will underpin Optimizely’s fast-growing and widely-adopted customer experience platform. It’s critical that businesses deliver exceptional products and services to consumers, and this partnership will enhance their ability to do so, driven by the Optimizely platform, data and Google Cloud’s capabilities in AI and ML.”

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Marketing Featured East Asia

Big Hit Entertainment, UMG announce expanded partnership

Seoul, South Korea – Big Hit Entertainment, the South Korea-based entertainment group which handles various K-pop artists, including world-known group BTS, has announced it is entering an expanded strategic partnership with global music corporation Universal Music Group (UMG).

The partnership entails both companies working closely together in increasing opportunities for artists through innovation and technology, while expanding the global reach of K-pop music and culture around the world.

Furthermore, the partnership will allow UMG artists to explore enhanced ‘direct to fan’ communications through Big Hit’s Weverse, a dynamic community-based platform that allows loyal artist fans to engage, share and interact, see and hear new content and purchase new products.

“Our two companies indeed share values and visions in that we both pursue constant innovations and are committed to providing our fans with genuine music and content of the highest and uncompromising level of quality. In this sense, I strongly believe that UMG and Big Hit will create a synergy that will rewrite the global music history,” said Bang Si-Hyuk, chairman and CEO of Big Hit Entertainment.

The partnership, announced through the recently-established live-streaming platform of Big Hit Entertainment called KBYK’s VenewLive, also stated details about assembling and debuting a new global K-pop boy group together in the U.S. for the first time.

“We will strive to secure competitive platform leadership and develop a top group of artists through the close partnership between our two companies, enabling K-pop to transcend all borders and languages. This project is especially significant as it will apply Big Hit’s ‘success formula’ established over the past 16 years to the U.S., the center of the global music market,” said Lenzo Yoon, CEO of global and business at Big Hit Entertainment.

Members of this new boy group will be selected through a global audition program, which is on track to begin airing in 2022 and will be launched in conjunction with a major U.S. media partner. The debuting global act will work based on the K-pop system – a full production that combines music, performance, fashion, music video, and communications with fans.

Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, said, “With their innovative approach to developing artists and embracing new technology, Big Hit has become one of the most dynamic companies in music entertainment. We’re thrilled to be working together as we launch a new joint venture between our companies that will further accelerate K-pop as a global cultural phenomenon.”

The upcoming audition program will also seek the help of Geffen Records, leveraging their extensive industry network and partners to oversee the music production, marketing, and global distribution operations. Big Hit will utilize its global expertise to lead the discovery, training, and development of new artists, fan content production processes, and management of fan communications through the Weverse platform.

John Janick, Chairman, and CEO at Interscope Geffen, commented, “We are all incredibly excited about this joint venture project between Geffen Records and Big Hit. This partnership offers both of us an incredible opportunity to work together helping to shape the future of music globally to the benefit of artists and fans alike.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Gojek’s Bank Jago investment a move in Indonesia’s financial inclusion

Jakarta, Indonesia – Technology group Gojek has announced its investment to technology-based Bank Jago as part of a strategic partnership for Indonesia’s accelerated financial inclusion.

Within the partnership, Gojek and Bank Jago aim to bring digital banking closer to users through Gojek’s payment platform GoPay. Users can now open a Bank Jago account and manage it through the Gojek app. The partnership will also act as a model through which Gojek will go on to partner with other banking institutions to support them in reaching more customers.

For Gojek CEO Andre Soelistyo, the newly-forged partnership is a strategic move to get banks working for the superapp, hence leveraging Gojek’s purpose to be an accessible financial platform for Indonesians.

“Our partnership with Jago marks the latest milestone in our drive to reduce daily friction for users and improve their lives through technology. It is a key part of our strategy and will underpin the growth and sustainability of our business in the long term. Jago’s tech-based banking solutions will supercharge Gojek’s ecosystem offerings and facilitate access to banking services for the mass market, thereby supporting our common vision to accelerate financial inclusion in Indonesia,” Soelistyo stated.

The investment, made through Gojek’s financial and investment arm, would mean that 22% of Bank Jago will be held by Gojek.

On the other hand, Bank Jago’s president director Kharim Siregar, expressed high hopes for the new partnership, as it complements the Bank’s broad expertise to Indonesian financial needs.

“We believe that this strategic collaboration – between a tech-based bank like Bank Jago and a Super App like Gojek – is the first of its kind in Indonesia and Southeast Asia and represents a new way to spur growth in digital economies. As a bank designed with an open API, we will go on to work with multiple digital ecosystems to reach a wider audience and drive our aspiration to enhance the finances of millions of people through digital financial solutions,” said Siregar.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Microsoft, Indonesian e-commerce Bukalapak forge new strategic partnership

Jakarta, Indonesia – Tech giant Microsoft and Indonesian e-commerce platform Bukalapak have announced a new strategic partnership to reshape the e-commerce scene in the country.

Within the parameters of the partnership, Microsoft will invest for Bukalapak, while the local e-commerce platform will make sure it will use Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform. Furthermore, the recently-forged partnership would also mean solving the digital gap in the country and training Bukalapak merchants and employees for much-needed digital skills in the e-commerce scene.

The partnership agreement, attended by Haris-Izmee, President Director of Microsoft Indonesia (center) and Rachmat Kaimuddin, CEO of Bukalapak (right). The agreeement is witnessed virtually also by Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations (background left). (Photo Courtesy of Microsoft News)

“This partnership signals a deep collaboration with Microsoft on an array of technology projects that will transform the technology-driven commerce solutions and operations solution and operations in Indonesia,” said Rachmat Kaimuddin, CEO of Bukalapak

Haris Izmee, President Director of Microsoft Indonesia also commented, “Through this partnership, merchants and consumers will have more efficient and reliable buying and selling experiences, which in turn, creates business resilience and helps accelerate growth in the Indonesian digital economy.”

The recent partnership is in line with Bukalapak’s mission of broadening Indonesia’s awareness of the digital world by providing services such as financial services, payment options, and credit services.