GBS WORLD NEWS | WEEK 1 | APRIL 2024

GBS WORLD NEWS | WEEK 1 | APRIL 2024

Investment-holding company, Heirs Holdings, hosted an unveiling event to announce the launch of a tech-focused subsidiary, Heirs Technologies, a cloud-management system headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. The subsidiary is aiming to leverage tech to transform Africa. With offerings like IT consulting, managed services, and BPO, it plans to primarily serve the B2B segment. Despite being recently unveiled, the subsidiary has been operational since 2004. With a focus on social impact through initiatives like the i-Academy, it aims to promote sustainability and economic prosperity in Africa.

Over in Japan, two executives face arrest for allegedly establishing a business that outsourced work to North Korean IT technicians through a business-brokering website without customers’ knowledge. Toshiron Minomo was the head of IT firm Robast, and Pak Hyon-il was the president of another IT firm, ITZ. They are accused of falsely claiming Robast’s capital during its establishment in October 2021. The authorities are investigating whether Pak may be connected to an individual overseeing the foreign currency acquisition operations in the Hermit Kingdom, suspecting that funds might have been funneled to North Korea.

In late March, the Enterprise Connect 2024 conference was held in California, which united the enterprise communications and customer experience community. The event featured keynotes, expert-led sessions, and an exhibit floor, emphasizing trends like AI, data analytics, and security. Notable highlights included end-user speakers from major enterprises, training courses, and an extensive Expo Hall featuring industry leaders. Enterprise Connect 2025 is slated for March 17–20 next year in Orlando, Florida.

Global tech giant Google.org has launched the Google.org Accelerator: Generative AI program with a US$20 million fund to support nonprofits developing generative AI technology. The initiative aims to enhance productivity and creativity for social impact teams, providing funding, technical training, mentorship, and guidance. Among the 21 participating nonprofits are Quill.org and the World Bank, with projects ranging from AI-powered student-writing feedback to AI translation for refugees. Despite perceived benefits, nonprofits face barriers like cost and resources in adopting AI solutions, although interest and engagement in AI among nonprofits are growing.

Another major tech company, Microsoft, is also making substantial investments in AI. Recent reports say that the US-based tech corporation has made a reported investment of US$100 billion in the AI-focused supercomputer, Stargate. This investment could significantly benefit British chip designer Arm Holdings, which licenses intellectual property for chip manufacturing. Arm Holdings is already expected to see strong earnings growth, and Microsoft’s project may further boost its revenue by deploying custom AI chips based on Arm designs. This potential partnership could lead to increased adoption of Arm’s technology and a surge in its stock price.

Singapore-based SaaS startup SingleInterface has secured US$30 million in its first external fundraising round. Targeting offline businesses, it offers a suite of products to enhance their online presence, focusing on multi-location brands in sectors like food, retail, and automotive. Utilizing AI, it automates marketing strategies for individual store locations, aiming to boost ROI. The funding will support its expansion across Asia-Pacific regions and product development to improve customer experience.

In global news, according to a recent report by DataHorizzon Research, the Legal Process Outsourcing Market is set to reach US$189.9 billion by 2032 with a CAGR of 29.4%. The surge is attributed to cost-saving benefits, improved services, and enhanced focus on core business activities. Providers are also offering higher-value services like compliance support, driving market growth.

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