Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: The Independent, Totalmobile, Infobip and many more

The Independent has announced the launch of its new podcast series on relationships and emotional health, Love Lives. Love Lives is hosted by The Independent’s Relationships Writer, Olivia Petter. This new video podcast from The Independent, will speak to guests about the different loves of their lives, the stories behind them and what that love has taught them about themselves and their place in the world. The first episode of the season, which is available now, will feature New York Times Bestselling author, Curtis Sittenfeld, whose novels include Rodham, which reimagines the life of Hilary Clinton. In this episode, Curtis discusses some of the celebrity couples who have inspired her new book, Romantic Comedy, and the phenomenon of famous men “punching above their weight.” A new episode of the podcast will be fortnightly on Fridays, in audio format and video format on Independent TV and the newly-launched Love Lives YouTube channel, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Acast. 

Totalmobile has been selected by Gloucester City Homes to streamline its housing repairs and provide total visibility on projects across 4,500 homes. Totalmobile will provide 50 licences for its Connect and Mobilise solutions which will be rolled out across Gloucester City Homes’ backend staff and engineering teams in the field. Mobilise in particular will be utilised by the internal repairs force to capture intelligent data as the repairs take place, replacing the existing legacy systems which don’t integrate well with other solutions and don’t deliver a good enough customer experience. Gloucester City Homes has adopted Totalmobile’s technology at a key point in its digital transformation journey. In addition to streamlining the housing repairs through the Connect and Mobilise software, as part of the organisation’s cloud-first approach. Through Totalmobile’s technology, Gloucester City Homes will be able to deliver a more modern customer experience while also gaining the ability to retrieve and report on live data for critical services and projects. With the data recorded on site, call handlers will be able to create and review appointments and manage the services efficiently through a single dashboard. Simultaneously, engineers will be able to observe the status of projects on their own devices, record information and report back. Phase one of development is underway and will involve integrating Totalmobile’s software into Gloucester City Homes’ CRM, asset management, finance and document management platforms. Preliminary plans for phase two will primarily focus on the development of a contractor portal.

Infobip, the global cloud communications platform, has partnered with technology corporation Microsoft to support Infobip in delivering its omnichannel cloud communication services, whilst ensuring customers meet specific data compliance and regulatory requirements. Through the launch of Microsoft Azure in the UK region, Infobip customers can host their SaaS and CPaaS data at the Infobip Azure datacenter in the UK. Microsoft enforces policies for managing data that support data sovereignty and fulfill the data requirements of local, national, or regional law or regulation. With its global presence, Microsoft Azure already complies with over one hundred national, regional, and industry-specific requirements. Infobip customers are able to leverage this expertise as well as the additional benefits of strong security, low latency, potential of scalability and the latest advancements in cloud infrastructure. This collaboration builds on the existing strategic relationship between the technology corporation Microsoft, and global communications platform Infobip: Infobip is an active player on both Azure Marketplace and AppSource, and as a Microsoft partner, has now integrated its chatbot building platform Answers on Azure, provided WhatsApp for Business through Microsoft Bot Framework and integrated SMS and WhatsApp solutions in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales. Infobip customers are able to transact through the Azure Marketplace optionally drawing down on their existing Azure commitments. 

In a year since Virgin Media O2 launched its sustainability strategy, the Better Connections Plan with bold and ambitious goals, new figures released show the connectivity provider has cut carbon by 29% since 2020, the equivalent of removing nearly 150,000 car journeys from Land’s End to John O’Groats. The significant carbon reduction comes as Virgin Media O2’s net zero target has been validated by the by the renowned Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Virgin Media O2’s near-term and net zero targets have been approved by the SBTi, where its climate plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its operations, products and supply chain (Scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions) by the end of 2040 is in-line with the latest in climate science to help prevent global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees. Virgin Media O2 has made progress against its Better Connections Plan goals over the past 12 months, with key achievements across all three areas: Carbon, Circularity and Communities. This activity is also underpinned by Virgin Media O2’s work in partnership with its Youth Advisory Council.  Established last year, the Youth Advisory Council is a diverse group of Gen Z activists which act as advisors and a sounding board to ensure Virgin Media O2’s sustainability strategy is grounded in the needs of future generations. 

In a global first, GumGum and Playground xyz have offered a joint solution which fuses contextual and attention-based advertising technologies to secure tangible results for Domino’s UK & Ireland. Faced with an increasingly competitive and crowded market, Domino’s worked with the respective experts in context and attention to help maximise consumer awareness of its ‘50% Off’ campaign in 2022 and, ultimately, sell more pizzas. This is the first time GumGum and Playground xyz have applied their combined technologies to an in-market campaign. Fusing the capabilities of GumGum’s VerityTM accredited contextual platform and Playground’s Attention Intelligence Platform (AIP), this revolutionary approach optimised campaign delivery to the most relevant contextual categories where consumer attention on the Domino’s ads was highest. The approach achieved significant uplift across major campaign KPIs, including: an additional 3000 hours of attention on one creative element (against control), and a 40% uplift in CTR on a creative. The most significant results were the stellar commercial outcomes, with overall ROAS of 135% – 398% being secured across each creative element.

Onfido has announced it has acquired Airside Mobile, Inc.. The World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer is the first company to bring user-controlled digital identity to the travel industry. Airside’s shareable digital identity technology has been used by over 10 million travelers and is trusted by major U.S. government agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Its customers include the world’s largest airlines, who allow passengers to use the innovative Airside Digital Identity App to fast-track passengers through U.S. airports. Airside’s privacy-first identity management technology, combined with Onfido’s industry-leading verification, enables a ‘verify once, use anywhere’ world, where customers can manage their own digital identity stored on their smartphone — using it to access new services without having to verify again. This will transform the user experiences across travel, financial services, e-commerce, internet platforms and much more, redefining the process of identity verification. The integration will enable businesses to create a seamless user experience that supports more effective onboarding and expanded customer relationships, while radically reducing fraud and minimizing the liability associated with handling sensitive data.

Bumble, the women-first dating app, has released a new suite of profile prompts and interest badges centred around mental health and selfcare. The addition of profile prompts and badges will give people on Bumble the space to easily highlight what’s most important to them and encourage an open dialogue around mental health from the offset. This comes as data from Bumble has found that the majority of men in the UK (59%) are actively taking steps to look after their emotional and mental health. This rises to over two thirds (63%) for Black British men. From today, people on Bumble can now select from two new mental wellness-related Profile Prompts including “My mental health game changer was…” and “I’m prioritising my mental health by..,” as well as six new interest badges that can be added to their profile, showcasing their priorities, such as ‘Therapy’, ‘Mindfulness’, ‘Deep Chat’, ‘Nutrition’, ‘Sleeping Well’ and ‘Time Offline’. Bumble’s data also revealed that over a quarter (29%) of people in the UK are either going to, or considering going to, therapy. This rises to over a third (35%) for Black British people. This follows Bumble’s trend of ‘Guardrailing’ which found that more than half (52%) of people on the app have established more boundaries over the last year. This includes being clearer about our emotional needs and boundaries (63%), being more thoughtful and intentional about how we put ourselves out there (59%), and not overcommitting socially (53%). For those who are looking to prioritise time offline during Mental Health Awareness Month, Bumble’s Snooze Mode offers the ability to pause your activity on the app without losing any connections or chats. With Snooze Mode, you can hide your profile from potential matches for either 24 hours, 72 hours, or even weeks at a time.

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, a provider of communications, networking and cloud solutions tailored to customers’ industries, is taking part in the SHARESPACE consortium, a 6 million Euro initiative funded by the European Commission through the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme. The vision of SHARESPACE is to create future Social Hybrid Spaces (SHS) shared by humans (wearing XR glasses and mocap1) and avatars, where both are engaged in embodied collaborative tasks that model body movements and create interactions between the participants. This is made possible by capturing social sensorimotor primitives (actions involving both sensory and motor functions or pathways) through mobile connected innovative sensors. The environment is then reconstructed using novel extended reality (XR) technology.  Through cognitive architecture, virtual avatars will facilitate joint-action, distance-based learning and social cohesion in the hybrid societies of the future. The aim of the programme is to expand interaction in a virtual world, with XR technology enriching key social features of communication tailored to the participants’ personal characteristics. With future deployment in sectors such as health, learning, entertainment, sport and in the workplace, the technology has the potential to revolutionise hybrid working and learning.