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Universal Corporation Reports Six-Month Results

RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

HIGHLIGHTS
Six Months 
Diluted earnings per share of $2.50.
Segment operating income of $123 million, up 34% largely due to shipment timing.
Uncommitted inventory levels reduced to 10% of tobacco inventory.
Dividend increase announced for the 42nd consecutive year.

Second Quarter 
Segment operating income of $78 million, up $17 million from prior year.
Revenues increased 5% to $675 million.

George C. Freeman, III, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Corporation (NYSE: UVV), announced that net income for the first half of fiscal year 2013, which ended on September 30, 2012, was $71.1 million, or $2.50 per diluted share.  Those results were significantly higher than last year's net income of $7.8 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, which included the effects of the charge in the second quarter of fiscal year 2012 for the European Commission fine. The comparison of the current and prior year periods is affected by several unusual items, which are described below and amount to net pretax charges of $3.7 million ($0.05 per diluted share) for the first six months of fiscal year 2013, and $49.3 million ($1.90 per diluted share) for the same period last year.

For the three months ended September 30, 2012, net income of $48.0 million, or $1.68 per diluted share, which included restructuring costs totaling $3.7 million ($0.05 per diluted share), compared with a net loss for the prior year's second quarter of $8.0 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, which included unusual items amounting to a net pretax charge of $52.1 million ($1.93 per diluted share).  

Segment operating income, which excludes those unusual items, was $122.7 million, an increase of 34%, for the six-month period and $78.5 million, an increase of 27%, for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, on larger volumes due in part to shipment timing.  Operating results in both periods also included a $7.8 million increase in dividend income from unconsolidated subsidiaries.  Revenues increased by 1% to $1.1 billion for the first half of fiscal year 2013, and by 5% to $675.2 million for the three months ended September 30, 2012, mostly as a result of higher volumes influenced by accelerated shipments in the second quarter of fiscal year 2013, sales from uncommitted inventories, and carryover shipments in the first quarter from last year's large crops. 

The following table sets forth the charges and gains included in reported results:



Three Months Ended
September 30,


Six Months Ended
September 30,

(in millions of dollars, except per share amounts) 

2012


2011


2012


2011

(Charges) and gains








Charge for European Commission fine in Italy (1)

$            —


$       (49.1)


$             —


$        (49.1)

Restructuring costs (2)

(3.7)


(3.0)


(3.7)


(9.8)

Gain on fire loss insurance settlement in Europe (3)




9.6










     Total effect on operating income

$         (3.7)


$       (52.1)


$          (3.7)


$        (49.3)










     Total effect on net income

$         (1.5)


$       (48.2)


$          (1.5)


$        (46.3)










     Total effect on diluted earnings per share

$       (0.05)


$       (1.93)


$        (0.05)


$        (1.90)











(1)

Fines and accumulated interest from the September 9, 2011, decision by the General Court of the European Union rejecting an Italian subsidiary's application to reinstate immunity related to infringements of European Union antitrust law in the Italian raw tobacco market. 

(2)

Restructuring charges, primarily related to workforce reductions in the United States, South America, Europe, and Africa. 

(3)

The fire loss insurance settlement related to a plant fire in Europe in 2010. The operating assets have been replaced.  

 

Mr. Freeman stated, "Our results have been good for the first half of the fiscal year, but they were heavily influenced by the effects of shipment timing.  We saw carryover sales from last year's large African crops in this fiscal year's first quarter and accelerated shipments from South America and other origins in the second quarter.  During the same period last fiscal year, shipments began later in Brazil and Africa due to a slow start to the season caused by oversupplied markets.  Although production of flue-cured and burley tobacco outside of China is down, our leaf volumes shipped during the first six months are comparable to last year's levels.  Our uncommitted stocks have also been reduced to very low levels, and we do not anticipate shipment volumes in the second half of the fiscal year to be equivalent to those of the previous fiscal year.

"Beyond that caveat, I am pleased with the recovery in leaf tobacco and with our company's performance in these transitional markets.  Looking forward, we expect market conditions to improve, and we are anticipating larger crops in several key origins where production has not met demand this year.

"Our continued successful management of our cash flow and uncommitted inventories has allowed us to maintain our strong balance sheet and financial flexibility, which we view as a competitive advantage. It also enables us to continue rewarding our shareholders, as we have done with our 42nd consecutive annual dividend increase announced today."

FLUE-CURED AND BURLEY LEAF TOBACCO OPERATIONS:

Six Months

Operating income for the flue-cured and burley tobacco operations, which comprise the North America and Other Regions segments, was $113.3 million for the first half of fiscal year 2013, compared to $88.0 million in the first half of the prior fiscal year, as stronger earnings in the Other Regions segment offset declines in the North America segment.  Revenues of about $1.0 billion were relatively flat compared with the previous year, as improved volumes combined with marginally lower average prices.

Earnings for the Other Regions segment were $108.8 million, an increase of about 41% from last fiscal year's first half earnings of $77.4 million.  The improvement was driven primarily by higher sales volumes in South America and Africa, mainly as a result of accelerated shipment timing in some origins, as well as carryover shipments, compared to slower deliveries last year. Those results were partly offset by decreased earnings in Europe on reduced volumes, the translation effects of weaker local currencies against the U.S. dollar, and the absence of last year's insurance recoveries.  Selling, general, and administrative expenses for the segment were lower, mostly due to currency remeasurement and exchange gains. In addition, segment results benefited from a $7.8 million increase in dividend income from unconsolidated subsidiaries.  Revenues for this segment were up by about 2% to $909.5 million, reflecting increased overall leaf volumes, offset in part by reduced average prices largely as a result of carryover shipments of lower priced African tobaccos. In the North America segment, operating income of $4.5 million decreased by $6.1 million compared with the previous year.  Decreased volumes due to shipment delays in Central America and fewer old crop trading and carryover sales were partly mitigated by lower U.S. fixed factory costs.  Revenues for this segment were down by 5% to $119.9 million on those volume declines.

Second Quarter

In the second quarter of fiscal year 2013, operating income for flue-cured and burley operations increased by $16.0 million to $77.5 million, compared to the same period last fiscal year. Revenues for the group at $631.4 million were up about 5%, on higher volumes.  Operating income for the Other Regions segment improved by 31% to $73.9 million compared with the prior year, due primarily to earlier shipments in Africa and South America and sales of carryover crops in Brazil.  Selling, general, and administrative expenses for the segment were down slightly for the quarter.  Revenues for the Other Regions segment increased by 7% to $572.0 million mainly as a result of the higher volumes mentioned above.  Operating income for the North America segment of $3.6 million was down by $1.5 million, as benefits from lower fixed factory costs in the U.S. were outweighed by fewer domestic old crop sales as well as shipment delays and lower results in Central America. Those volume reductions also reduced revenues for this segment, which declined by 12% to $59.4 million.

OTHER TOBACCO OPERATIONS:

The Other Tobacco Operations segment operating income improved by $6.1 million to $9.3 million for the six months ended September 30, 2012, compared with the same period for the previous fiscal year.  Results for the dark tobacco business improved owing mainly to recovery in the Indonesian operations after weather-related crop shortages affected last fiscal year's comparable results.  The oriental joint venture experienced larger volumes on earlier shipments in the first quarter of fiscal year 2013, and also benefited from lower operating expenses attributable to the effects of a stronger U.S. dollar.  Segment operating income for the second quarter for fiscal year 2013 was $1.0 million, an increase of $0.5 million compared with the prior year, as dark tobacco volume improvements were partly offset by volume reductions due to shipment timing in the oriental joint venture.  Revenues for this segment increased for the second quarter of fiscal year 2013 by 15%, to $43.8 million, mostly related to the higher sales for the Indonesian market.  Revenues were also up $6.9 million to $107.2 million for the first half of fiscal year 2013, primarily attributable to the timing of shipments of oriental tobaccos into the United States. 

OTHER ITEMS:

Cost of goods sold increased by about 3% to $537.1 million in the quarter, consistent with higher revenues for that period and was flat, at $906.5 million, for the first half of fiscal year 2013.  Selling, general, and administrative costs declined by $10.8 million in the first half of the year and increased by $1.6 million in the second fiscal quarter.  In the six months, favorable comparisons from currency remeasurement and exchange gains and fewer claims and allowances were partially offset by the previous year's reversal of non-income tax provisions due to a favorable tax ruling in South America.

The consolidated effective income tax rates for the quarter and six months ended September 30, 2012, were approximately 28% and 30%, respectively.  The rates for both periods were lower than the 35% federal statutory rate because of changes in exchange rates on deferred income tax assets and liabilities as well as lower effective rates on income from certain foreign subsidiaries.  The effective income tax rates for the quarter and six months ended September 30, 2011, were approximately 275% and 70%. Those rates were significantly higher than normal because the Company did not record an income tax benefit on the non-deductible fine portion of the charge for the European Commission fine and interest in Italy.  Without that item, the effective income tax rates would have been approximately 29% and 31% for the quarter and six months ended September 30, 2011, respectively. Those rates were lower than the 35% federal statutory rate chiefly due to the effect of exchange rate changes on deferred income taxes of certain foreign subsidiaries. 

In September 2011, the Company announced that the General Court of the European Union issued a decision rejecting the appeal of Deltafina, S.p.A, its Italian subsidiary. That appeal related to the European Commission's revocation of Deltafina's immunity from a fine of €30 million (about $41 million on September 9, 2011) assessed against Deltafina and Universal jointly for actions in connection with Deltafina's purchase and processing of tobacco in the Italian raw tobacco market between 1995 and 2002.  Deltafina has appealed the decision of the General Court to the European Court of Justice.  Effective with the September 9, 2011 General Court decision, the Company recorded a charge for the full amount of the fine (€30 million) plus accumulated interest (€5.9 million). The charge totaled $49.1 million at the exchange rate in effect on the date of the General Court decision.  The appeal process is likely to be concluded within eighteen months. 

During the first quarter of fiscal year 2012, an insurance settlement was received for replacement cost recovery on the factory and equipment destroyed in a fire at the Company's sheet tobacco operations in Europe in 2010.  The settlement generated a gain of $9.6 million, which was reported as "Other Income" in the Company's consolidated income statement. 

Additional information

Amounts included in the previous discussion are attributable to Universal Corporation and exclude earnings related to non-controlling interests in subsidiaries.

This information includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  The Company cautions readers that any statements contained herein regarding earnings and expectations for its performance are forward-looking statements based upon management's current knowledge and assumptions about future events, including anticipated levels of demand for and supply of its products and services; costs incurred in providing these products and services; timing of shipments to customers; changes in market structure; government regulation; product taxation; industry consolidation and evolution; and general economic, political, market, and weather conditions. Actual results, therefore, could vary from those expected.  A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties, and other factors can be found in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, and in other documents the Company files with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  This information should be read in conjunction with the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended March 31, 2012.

At 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on November 6, 2012, the Company will host a conference call to discuss these results.  Those wishing to listen to the call may do so by visiting www.universalcorp.com at that time.  A replay of the webcast will be available at that site through February 5, 2013.  A taped replay of the call will be available through November 20, 2012, by dialing (855) 859-2056.  The confirmation number to access the replay is 64152448.

Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Universal Corporation is the leading global leaf tobacco supplier and conducts business in more than 30 countries.  Its revenues for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, were $2.4 billion. For more information on Universal Corporation, visit its web site at www.universalcorp.com.

 

UNIVERSAL CORPORATION







CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME 






(In thousands of dollars, except per share data)







Three Months Ended
September 30,


Six Months Ended
September 30,


2012


2011


2012


2011


(Unaudited)


(Unaudited)

Sales and other operating revenues

$    675,187


$    641,026


$ 1,136,578


$ 1,120,491

Costs and expenses








    Cost of goods sold

537,138


521,600


906,499


906,707

    Selling, general and administrative expenses

59,275


57,660


108,478


119,238

    Other income




(9,592)

    Restructuring costs

3,687


2,962


3,687


9,821

    Charge for European Commission fine in Italy


49,091



49,091

Operating income

75,087


9,713


117,914


45,226

    Equity in pretax earnings (loss) of unconsolidated affiliates

(320)


153


1,049


(3,336)

    Interest income

70


364


227


721

    Interest expense

5,938


5,665


12,108


11,198

Income before income taxes and other items

68,899


4,565


107,082


31,413

    Income taxes

19,613


12,562


32,563


22,088

Net income (loss)

49,286


(7,997)


74,519


9,325

Less:  net income attributable to noncontrolling interests in subsidiaries

(1,305)


(42)


(3,413)


(1,476)

Net income (loss) attributable to Universal Corporation

47,981


(8,039)


71,106


7,849

Dividends on Universal Corporation convertible perpetual preferred stock

(3,713)


(3,713)


(7,425)


(7,425)

Earnings (loss) available to Universal Corporation common shareholders

$      44,268


$    (11,752)


$      63,681


$           424









Earnings (loss) per share attributable to Universal Corporation common shareholders:








    Basic

$          1.89


$        (0.51)


$          2.73


$          0.02

    Diluted

$          1.68


$        (0.51)


$          2.50


$          0.02









See accompanying notes.








 

UNIVERSAL CORPORATION 

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(In thousands of dollars)


September 30,
2012


September 30,
2011


March 31,
2012


(Unaudited)


(Unaudited)



ASSETS






Current assets






    Cash and cash equivalents

$        115,690


$          45,505


$        261,699

    Accounts receivable, net

352,745


378,406


390,790

    Advances to suppliers, net

80,946


75,477


135,317

    Accounts receivable - unconsolidated affiliates

69,872


47,875


7,370

    Inventories - at lower of cost or market:






        Tobacco

901,154


966,914


682,095

        Other

70,099


73,048


53,197

    Prepaid income taxes

16,889


17,777


20,819

    Deferred income taxes

43,986


69,905


51,025

    Other current assets

72,100


70,444


88,317

        Total current assets

1,723,481


1,745,351


1,690,629







Property, plant and equipment






    Land

17,098


13,986


17,087

    Buildings

230,898


239,325


228,982

    Machinery and equipment

548,953


530,982


537,031


796,949


784,293


783,100

        Less accumulated depreciation

(498,470)


(479,882)


(479,908)


298,479


304,411


303,192

Other assets






    Goodwill and other intangibles

99,145


99,365


99,266

    Investments in unconsolidated affiliates

91,024


88,217


93,312

    Deferred income taxes

21,808


14,879


23,634

    Other noncurrent assets

51,262


51,416


56,886


263,239


253,877


273,098

        Total assets

$     2,285,199


$     2,303,639


$     2,266,919







See accompanying notes.






 

UNIVERSAL CORPORATION 

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(In thousands of dollars)


September 30,
2012


September 30,
2011


March 31, 
2012


(Unaudited)


(Unaudited)



LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY






Current liabilities






    Notes payable and overdrafts

$          93,646


$        288,444


$        128,016

    Accounts payable and accrued expenses

187,957


198,942


187,790

    Accounts payable - unconsolidated affiliates

233


2,607


295

    Customer advances and deposits

47,809


56,332


16,832

    Accrued compensation

23,654


17,526


30,659

    Income taxes payable

15,869


9,294


12,866

    Current portion of long-term obligations

8,750


10,000


16,250

           Total current liabilities

377,918


583,145


392,708







Long-term obligations

387,500


300,000


392,500







Pensions and other postretirement benefits

140,085


102,912


140,529







Other long-term liabilities

86,221


88,232


90,609







Deferred income taxes

45,517


59,498


44,583







           Total liabilities

1,037,241


1,133,787


1,060,929







Shareholders' equity






  Universal Corporation:






    Preferred stock:





       Series A Junior Participating Preferred Stock, no par value, 500,000 shares authorized, none issued or outstanding



       Series B 6.75% Convertible Perpetual Preferred Stock, no par value,220,000 shares authorized, 219,999 shares issued and outstanding (219,999 at September 30, 2011, and March 31, 2012)

213,023


213,023


213,023

    Common stock, no par value, 100,000,000 shares authorized, 23,408,445 shares issued and outstanding  (23,230,486 at September 30, 2011, and 23,257,175 at March 31, 2012)

197,435


193,644


196,135

    Retained earnings

895,107


800,763


854,654

    Accumulated other comprehensive loss

(81,913)


(52,807)


(80,361)

           Total Universal Corporation shareholders' equity

1,223,652


1,154,623


1,183,451







  Noncontrolling interests in subsidiaries

24,306


15,229


22,539







           Total shareholders' equity

1,247,958


1,169,852


1,205,990







           Total liabilities and shareholders' equity

$     2,285,199


$     2,303,639


$     2,266,919







See accompanying notes. 






 

UNIVERSAL CORPORATION 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(In thousands of dollars)


Six Months Ended
September 30,


2012


2011


(Unaudited)

CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES:




   Net income

$      74,519


$        9,325

   Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash used by operating activities:




      Depreciation

21,643


21,786

      Amortization

859


785

      Provisions for losses on advances and guaranteed loans to suppliers

4,015


6,421

      Foreign currency remeasurement loss (gain), net

(10,395)


1,921

      Gain on fire loss insurance settlement


(9,592)

      Restructuring costs

3,687


9,821

      Charge for European Commission fine in Italy


49,091

      Other, net

11,547


20,061

      Changes in operating assets and liabilities, net

(160,643)


(231,659)

        Net cash used by operating activities

(54,768)


(122,040)





CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES:




    Purchase of property, plant and equipment

(19,503)


(18,474)

    Proceeds from sale of property, plant and equipment

2,232


7,905

    Proceeds from fire loss insurance settlement


9,933

        Net cash used by investing activities

(17,271)


(636)





CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES: 




    Issuance (repayment) of short-term debt, net

(29,753)


144,148

    Repayment of long-term obligations

(12,500)


(95,000)

    Dividends paid to noncontrolling interests

(1,837)


    Issuance of common stock

493


134

    Repurchase of common stock


(4,004)

    Dividends paid on convertible perpetual preferred stock

(7,425)


(7,425)

    Dividends paid on common stock

(22,846)


(22,343)

    Proceeds from termination of interest rate swap agreements


13,388

        Net cash provided (used) by financing activities

(73,868)


28,898





Effect of exchange rate changes on cash

(102)


(1,724)

Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents

(146,009)


(95,502)

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year

261,699


141,007

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

$    115,690


$      45,505





See accompanying notes.




 

NOTE 1. BASIS OF PRESENTATION

Universal Corporation, with its subsidiaries ("Universal" or the "Company"), is the leading global leaf tobacco supplier. Because of the seasonal nature of the Company's business, the results of operations for any fiscal quarter will not necessarily be indicative of results to be expected for other quarters or a full fiscal year. All adjustments necessary to state fairly the results for the period have been included and were of a normal recurring nature. Certain amounts in prior year statements have been reclassified to conform to the current year presentation. These financial statements should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and notes thereto included in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012.

NOTE 2.   EARNINGS PER SHARE

The following table sets forth the computation of basic and diluted earnings (loss) per share:



Three Months Ended
September 30,


Six Months Ended
September 30,

(in thousands, except per share data)


2012


2011


2012


2011

Basic Earnings (Loss) Per Share









Numerator for basic earnings (loss) per share









   Net income (loss) attributable to Universal Corporation


$        47,981


$        (8,039)


$        71,106


$          7,849

   Less:  Dividends on convertible perpetual preferred stock


(3,713)


(3,713)


(7,425)


(7,425)

   Earnings (loss) available to Universal Corporation common shareholders









      for calculation of basic earnings (loss) per share


44,268


(11,752)


63,681


424










Denominator for basic earnings (loss) per share









    Weighted average shares outstanding


23,379


23,229


23,338


23,211










Basic earnings (loss) per share


$            1.89


$          (0.51)


$            2.73


$            0.02










Diluted Earnings (Loss) Per Share









Numerator for diluted earnings (loss) per share









   Earnings (loss) available to Universal Corporation common shareholders


$        44,268


$      (11,752)


$        63,681


$             424

   Add: Dividends on convertible perpetual preferred stock (if

conversion assumed)


3,713



7,425


   Earnings (loss) available to Universal Corporation common shareholders for calculation of diluted earnings (loss) per share


47,981


(11,752)


71,106


424










Denominator for diluted earnings (loss) per share:









    Weighted average shares outstanding


23,379


23,229


23,338


23,211

    Effect of dilutive securities (if conversion or exercise assumed)









       Convertible perpetual preferred stock


4,794



4,791


       Employee share-based awards


328



317


296










    Denominator for diluted earnings (loss) per share


28,501


23,229


28,446


23,507










Diluted earnings (loss) per share


$            1.68


$          (0.51)


$            2.50


$            0.02










 

NOTE 3. SEGMENT INFORMATION

The principal approach used by management to evaluate the Company's performance is by geographic region, although the dark air-cured and oriental tobacco businesses are each evaluated on the basis of their worldwide operations. The Company evaluates the performance of its segments based on operating income after allocated overhead expenses (excluding significant non-recurring charges or credits), plus equity in the pretax earnings of unconsolidated affiliates.

Operating results for the Company's reportable segments for each period presented in the consolidated statements of income were as follows:



Three Months Ended
September 30,


Six Months Ended
September 30,

(in thousands of dollars) 


2012


2011


2012


2011

SALES AND OTHER OPERATING REVENUES


















   Flue-cured and burley leaf tobacco operations:









        North America


$        59,370


$        67,729


$      119,856


$      126,358

        Other regions (1)


571,981


535,149


909,514


893,799

             Subtotal


631,351


602,878


1,029,370


1,020,157

   Other tobacco operations (2)


43,836


38,148


107,208


100,334










   Consolidated sales and other operating revenues


$      675,187


$      641,026


$   1,136,578


$   1,120,491










OPERATING INCOME









   Flue-cured and burley leaf tobacco operations:









        North America


$          3,551


$          5,053


$          4,529


$        10,630

        Other regions (1)


73,935


56,441


108,776


77,350

             Subtotal


77,486


61,494


113,305


87,980

   Other tobacco operations (2)


968


425


9,345


3,230










   Segment operating income


78,454


61,919


122,650


91,210










   Deduct: Equity in pretax (earnings) loss of unconsolidated affiliates (3)


320


(153)


(1,049)


3,336

   Restructuring costs (4)


(3,687)


(2,962)


(3,687)


(9,821)

  Charge for European Commission fine in Italy (4)



(49,091)



(49,091)

  Add: Other income





9,592










   Consolidated operating income


$        75,087


$          9,713


$      117,914


$        45,226










(1)

Includes South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia regions, as well as inter-region eliminations.

(2)

Includes Dark Air-Cured, Special Services, and Oriental, as well as inter-company eliminations. Sales and other operating revenues for this reportable segment include limited amounts for Oriental because its financial results consist principally of equity in the pretax earnings of an unconsolidated affiliate.

(3)

Item is included in segment operating income, but is not included in consolidated operating income.

(4)

Item is not included in segment operating income, but is included in consolidated operating income.

SOURCE Universal Corporation

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@ThingsExpo Stories
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices – computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be!
Noted IoT expert and researcher Joseph di Paolantonio (pictured below) has joined the @ThingsExpo faculty. Joseph, who describes himself as an “Independent Thinker” from DataArchon, will speak on the topic of “Smart Grids & Managing Big Utilities.” Over his career, Joseph di Paolantonio has worked in the energy, renewables, aerospace, telecommunications, and information technology industries. His expertise is in data analysis, system engineering, Bayesian statistics, data warehouses, business intelligence, data mining, predictive methods, and very large databases (VLDB). Prior to DataArchon, he served as a VP and Principal Analyst with Constellation Group. He is a member of the Boulder (Colo.) Brain Trust, an organization with a mission “to benefit the Business Intelligence and data management industry by providing pro bono exchange of information between vendors and independent analysts on new trends and technologies and to provide vendors with constructive feedback on their of...
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation and integration; and visibility through intelligent business operations and big data.
There will be 50 billion Internet connected devices by 2020. Today, every manufacturer has a propriety protocol and an app. How do we securely integrate these "things" into our lives and businesses in a way that we can easily control and manage? Even better, how do we integrate these "things" so that they control and manage each other so our lives become more convenient or our businesses become more profitable and/or safe? We have heard that the best interface is no interface. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Co-Founder & CTO at Octoblu, Inc., will discuss how these devices generate enough data to learn our behaviors and simplify/improve our lives. What if we could connect everything to everything? I'm not only talking about connecting things to things but also systems, cloud services, and people. Add in a little machine learning and artificial intelligence and now we have something interesting...
Last week, while in San Francisco, I used the Uber app and service four times. All four experiences were great, although one of the drivers stopped for 30 seconds and then left as I was walking up to the car. He must have realized I was a blogger. None the less, the next car was just a minute away and I suffered no pain. In this article, my colleague, Ved Sen, Global Head, Advisory Services Social, Mobile and Sensors at Cognizant shares his experiences and insights.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) irreversibly encoded. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, will look at how this identity problem can be solved and discuss ways to use existing web identities for real-time communication.
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT. Attendees will learn real-world benefits of WebRTC and explore future possibilities, as WebRTC and IoT intersect to improve customer service.
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, will share some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder of TeleStax, an Open Source Cloud Communications company that helps the shift from legacy IN/SS7 telco networks to IP-based cloud comms. An early investor in multiple start-ups, he still finds time to code for his companies and contribute to open source projects.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to create new business models as significant as those that were inspired by the Internet and the smartphone 20 and 10 years ago. What business, social and practical implications will this phenomenon bring? That's the subject of "Monetizing the Internet of Things: Perspectives from the Front Lines," an e-book released today and available free of charge from Aria Systems, the leading innovator in recurring revenue management.
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges.
There’s Big Data, then there’s really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, to discuss how IoT, Big Data and deployments are processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other machines.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Erik Lagerway, Co-founder of Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services to the modern P2P RTC era of OTT cloud assisted services.
While great strides have been made relative to the video aspects of remote collaboration, audio technology has basically stagnated. Typically all audio is mixed to a single monaural stream and emanates from a single point, such as a speakerphone or a speaker associated with a video monitor. This leads to confusion and lack of understanding among participants especially regarding who is actually speaking. Spatial teleconferencing introduces the concept of acoustic spatial separation between conference participants in three dimensional space. This has been shown to significantly improve comprehension and conference efficiency.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, will discuss single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example to explain some of these concepts including when to use different storage models.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace. These technological reforms have not only changed computers and smartphones, but are also changing the data processing model for all information devices. In particular, in the area known as M2M (Machine-To-Machine), there are great expectations that information with a new type of value can be produced using a variety of devices and sensors saving/sharing data via the network and through large-scale cloud-type data processing. This consortium believes that attaching a huge number of devic...
Innodisk is a service-driven provider of industrial embedded flash and DRAM storage products and technologies, with a focus on the enterprise, industrial, aerospace, and defense industries. Innodisk is dedicated to serving their customers and business partners. Quality is vitally important when it comes to industrial embedded flash and DRAM storage products. That’s why Innodisk manufactures all of their products in their own purpose-built memory production facility. In fact, they designed and built their production center to maximize manufacturing efficiency and guarantee the highest quality of our products.
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. Over the summer Gartner released its much anticipated annual Hype Cycle report and the big news is that Internet of Things has now replaced Big Data as the most hyped technology. Indeed, we're hearing more and more about this fascinating new technological paradigm. Every other IT news item seems to be about IoT and its implications on the future of digital business.
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.