Archive for 'IPad'

How to Cash in on the Apple Haters

Apple’s secret service must have been nearby (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a thousand different ways to make money in the markets and one way is just to buy and hold for the long term and just hold on through all the ups and downs. A lot of Apple fans do just that but what if you could increase  your returns by making money on all the Apple haters out there. Right now the stock seems to be meandering a bit and some investors are about ready to move on to something else.

If you are an Apple bull or a buy and hold forever type, consider selling OTM naked puts on Apple stock to increase overall yield – and make money from Apple bears in the process. Apple’s soft quarter and declining product sales, should be an Apple put seller’s dream come true. With the WWDC behind us, Apple stock has remained sideways. Some commentary suggest that many analysts and observers simply weren’t wowed enough to warrant a spike in Apple’s valuation.

There’s a difference between being bearish on a stock and going out and shorting the stock. One either chooses to not add to his position or puts money in other vehicles to generate alpha, while the latter believes the stock will go down so much that he can generate the most alpha by betting against it. Apple Bears are not terribly skeptical or cynical of Apple’s current business model and potential growth, but they do see it slowing down and have calculated that the recent spike in Apple’s stock will subside and fall from its current 52-week highs.

 It’s important to note that when Pacific Crest downgraded the stock this week, Andy Hargreaves only estimated that it would drop $10, or less than 10% from Apple’s current price. Similarly, while not an outright Apple Bear, I do see the price stagnating or declining from its current levels if no major acquisitions or shifts away from the dependency on the iPhone occur.

Key points are:

  • Decline in iPhone sales and no longer #1 in smartphone market share.
  • Decline in iPad sales and global decline in tablet demand.
  • Apple Watch has yet to definitively prove to be the next flagship product.
  • While Services growth is impressive, will it grow enough to offset declining sales in Apple’s main business – selling iPhones.

Learn more about cashing in with Apple

Mortgage Lender Launches Mobile Mortgage App

Mortgage Lender Launches Mobile Mortgage App

Mortgage Lender Launches Mobile Mortgage App-Image by MJ/TR (´・ω・) via Flickr

– Nation’s largest online lender takes mortgage process mobile to iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad platforms –

Quicken Loans Inc., the nation’s largest online home lender, today became the first mortgage provider to offer a mobile app that enables clients to apply for a home loan from the palm of their hand with the launch of “MyQL Mobile.” The app, available for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, guides clients from their initial application to the closing table, all part of the company’s mission to provide a home loan experience that is “Engineered to Amaze.”

MyQL Mobile by Quicken Loans simplifies the complicated mortgage process by providing real-time home loan status updates, immediate access to a home loan expert with the touch of a button, and an interactive list of all loan documents needed to begin the home loan process. Clients can conveniently submit these loan documents by taking a picture of them with their iPhone 4.

Whether clients need a mortgage to purchase their dream home or are looking to refinance and lock-in lower monthly payments, MyQL Mobile provides an easier path to closing a home loan.

“At a time when consumers expect to have instant access and visibility to all of their purchasing decisions, it only makes sense that we offer our clients a new window into one of the most important purchasing decisions they will make to reach their financial goals,” said Bill Emerson, Quicken Loans CEO.

“MyQL Mobile is a milestone in our history,” continued Emerson. “We became the first mortgage provider to offer home loans in all 50 states from centralized online web centers, as well as the first to adopt e-signature technology. Now, with our new mortgage app, we become the first to offer the easiest and most efficient mortgage process ever available to consumers.”

MyQL Mobile by Quicken Loans combines a simple, easy to understand user interface with the efficiency of providing clients with an amazing mobile experience for the processing of their home loan.

Please visit MyQL Mobile to view a video demonstration of MyQL Mobile by Quicken Loans.

MyQL Mobile can be downloaded for free by visiting Quicken Loans. Quicken Loans clients will need a MyQL login to access the app’s features.

About Quicken Loans Inc:

Quicken Loans Inc. is the nation’s largest online retail mortgage lender and among the five largest overall retail home lenders in the United States. The company closed a record $29 billion in retail home loan volume across all 50 states in 2010, and recently closed its 1 millionth loan. Quicken Loans employs approximately 3,700 team members and generates loan production from five web centers located in Michigan, Ohio and Arizona. The company also operates a centralized loan processing facility in Michigan as well as its San Diego-based One Reverse Mortgage unit. Quicken Loans ranked #1 in customer satisfaction among all home mortgage lenders in the United States by J.D. Power and Associates for 2010. “QuickenLoans.com” has been named “Best of the Web” by Forbes and Money magazines. The company also has been named to FORTUNE magazine’s list of the country’s “100 Best Companies To Work For” eight consecutive years, ranking as high as #2, and named in the Top-15 of Computerworld magazine’s “100 Best Places to Work In Technology” for seven years in a row. Quicken Loans ranked #1 in the Detroit Free Press’ ‘Top Workplaces of 2010’ List. The company last August moved its headquarters and 1,700 of its 3,700 full-time team members to downtown Detroit. For more information about Quicken Loans, please visit www.quickenloans.com.

About Rock Holdings Inc:

Rock Holdings Inc. is the parent company for several financial services related businesses and employs more than 4,000 team members. These client-focused and technologically-driven companies include Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online home lender and One Reverse Mortgage unit, the fastest growing reverse mortgage lender in America; Title Source, a nationwide leader of title insurance and settlement services; Quicken Loans Mortgage Services (QLMS), a mortgage origination platform servicing community banks and credit unions across the country; In-House Realty, the preferred real estate partner of Quicken Loans that matches clients with trusted real estate agents in all 50 states; and, Quizzle.com, the online innovator and website where consumers manage their home, money and credit. Rock Holdings, Inc. also recently moved its headquarters to downtown Detroit.

Loan Modifications Get Streamlined With New App

Loan Modifications Get Streamlined With New App-Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Falcon Credit Management has developed the first HAMP, MHA, iPhone, iPad, iPod Loan Modification Application that has been accepted into the iTunes store.

In an effort to provide value and convenience to homeowners going through the Loan Modification process and while adding to its list of industry firsts, Falcon Credit Management has developed the first HAMP, MHA, iPhone, iPad, iPod Loan Modification Application accepted into the iTunes store. This loan modification app complements Falcon Credit Management’s Loan Modification service and industry-leading do-it-yourself software FalconDox. Free of charge, homeowners are armed with clear and concise questions and answers, saving most individuals the confusion, stress and possible denial associated with the typical phone calls to a bank representative. Get Modified is a free App from Falcon Credit Management that provides a homeowner all of the eligibility requirements, at one time, that a lender needs to evaluate a loan modification or foreclosure mediation while providing the post-modification target payment.

The loan modification app features six informational videos, eligibility questions, answers, and a life coaching questionnaire designed to evaluate common emotional symptoms of financial hardship. Falcon Credit Management also offers an extensive library of more than 80 bilingual videos that are designed to provide answers on all areas of credit and Debt Management free of charge.

Most banks’ customer service reps do little for loan modification assistance, and unfortunately, many times, are actually a liability in understanding what is needed for acceptance into the HAMP or MHA government programs. “It’s unfortunately very common,” said Damian Falcone CSP of Falcon Credit Management. “Clients come in to our office needing help modifying their mortgages, but have already been confused and deceived into providing inaccurate information that ejects them from the programs. With that in mind we have developed a free iPhone App that will allow homeowners to see the exact eligibility questions and answers for achieving a loan modification – along with their future modification payment.”

http://www.falconcreditmanagement.com

Apple Knocks off Google as Number One Brand

Apple Knocks off Google as Number One Brand

Apple Knocks off Google as Number One Brand-Image by Digitalnative via Flickr

Emerging markets account for 19 of the top 100 brands according to WPP company Millward Brown Optimor in its 2011 study of the Most Valuable Global Brands

Registering a staggering 84 percent increase in value over the past year, Apple has emerged as the most valuable brand in the world, ending the four-year reign of Google at the top of the table in the sixth annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study.

The Apple brand, as calculated by Millward Brown Optimor, a WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY) company, has increased in value by 859 percent since 2006 and now stands at $153.3 billion. Other key findings in the study are that during the economic recovery of the last year, the combined value of all the brands in the top 100 has risen by 17 percent and is now worth $2.4 trillion. In terms of geography, according to the 2011 BrandZ study, 19 of the Top 100 brands now originate in “BRICs” markets, versus only two in 2006.

“The importance of brand for global business success is becoming increasingly significant,” said David Roth at WPP. “In the last year, the global economy shifted from recovery to real growth, the combined value of all brands in the Top 100 ranking has risen by 64 percent since 2006 and is now worth $2.4 trillion. Strong brands, while not immune to the vicissitudes of the market, are more protected, prepared, resourceful and resilient.”

The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study, commissioned by WPP and conducted by Millward Brown Optimor, identifies and ranks the world’s most valuable 100 brands by their dollar value, an analysis based on financial data combined with consumer measures of brand equity.

The Most Valuable Global Brands 2011
Rank Brand Value in $ million Brand Value change from 2010
1 Apple 153,285 +84%
2 Google 111,498 -2%
3 IBM 100,849 +17%
4 McDonald’s 81,016 +23%
5 Microsoft 78,243 +2%
6 Coca-Cola* 73,752 +8%
7 at&t 69,916
8 Marlboro 67,522 +18%
9 China Mobile 57,326 +9%
10 GE 50,318 +12%
* The Brand Value of Coca-Cola includes Lites, Diets and Zero

“Our brand valuations are a powerful measure of an organization’s ability to create real and lasting value for shareholders,” said Eileen Campbell, CEO of brand research company Millward Brown. “By nurturing its brand and constantly innovating, Apple is able to command a high price premium and weather economic turbulence, providing a global business success story that other brands can learn from.”

“Business leaders can embrace brand management as a critical competency for building long-term financial value,” she added. “Compared with an overall improvement of 13 percent in the world’s equity markets during 2010, the best brands grew their value 30 percent faster.”

Other key findings highlighted in this year’s research report include:

  • One in five brands is from the BRICs: This year, 19 brands come from emerging markets compared to two in 2006 and 13 in 2010. The growing presence of brands from BRICs in this global ranking highlights the expanding purchasing power of people in these countries. While many of these brands are buoyed by the size of their local customer base, many more now have international ambition including Petrobras in Brazil (No. 61 in the ranking with a brand value of $13.4 billion); ICICI Bank in India (No. 53 and worth $14.9 billion) and China’s largest search engine Baidu. Now listed on the NASDAQ index, Baidu has a brand value of $22.5 billion and moves up 46 places in the ranking to number 29. Despite these successes, consumers in the BRIC regions continue to favor Western brands. Louis Vuitton, for example, (for which Brazil is its second-largest market) benefited from the new energy and confidence in the BRICs region. Its 23 percent growth in brand value to $24.3 billion has helped this luxury retailer achieve 26th place in the ranking, a three-spot increase from 2010.
  • Heritage brands stay relevant in a technology age: Coca-Cola (No. 6), GE (No. 10), IBM (No. 3) and McDonald’s (No. 4), stand out in this study of global brand strength as brands that have survived for more than 50 years.  Leadership, strategy and tactics aside, what all of these companies have in common is their use of brand to remain relevant to consumers and drive global business success.
  • Technology and telecom brands dominate the ranking: Technology brands, which make up one-third of the Top 100 brands, continue to demonstrate their relevance in our daily lives. While Apple leads the ranking, it is followed in second place by Google, with a brand value of $111.5 billion, and IBM in third place with a brand value of $100.9 billion. Facebook makes its debut in the Top 100 ranking this year at No. 35 with the highest increase in brand value, 246 percent, making the brand worth $19.1 billion. Online retailer Amazon also edged past Walmart to become the No. 1 retail brand and 14th overall, with a 37 percent rise in brand value to $37.6 billion.
  • Fast food, luxury and technology brands led brand value appreciation: Each of the 13 market sectors covered in this study grew in value over the last year. Fast food led the sector growth (22 percent) followed by luxury (19 percent) and technology (18 percent). The oil and gas sector experienced the slowest rate of growth (1 percent).
  • Tech and convergence create brand interdependencies: Brands are ever more dependent on their use of technology to win consumers’ hearts and minds. The brand values of Burberry, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Coca-Cola all benefited from their use of technology for example by harnessing social media and apps. At the same time, the dependencies demonstrated in the physical world between applications, devices and operating platforms are creating similar branded interdependencies. Brands that are aware of the risks can leverage these associations to drive value and growth.
  • Toyota reclaims position as most valuable car brand demonstrating the power of strong brands to recover from the most fundamental challenges to product efficacy and reputation. Toyota’s brand, which is rated by consumers as “great value,” rose 11 percent to $24.1 billion.

The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study is the only valuation in the world that takes into account what people think about the brands they buy alongside rigorous analysis of financial data, market valuations, analyst reports and risk profiles. The research report, which is available online, includes a ranking and analysis of the Top 10 most valuable brands for key regions of the world and 13 market sectors. Download the complete BrandZ ranking, including regional and category breakdowns.  The rankings and a great deal more are also available as a free application for the iPhone, iPad, Nokia, BlackBerry and Android  from www.brandz.com/mobile

Contacts

Christa Conte / Savannah Tikotsky
212-808-4902 / 212-808-4903
mb@feintuchpr.com
Notes to Editors

Web Site: http://www.brandz.com

College Students Opt for Housing with Reliable Wi-Fi

College Students Opt for Housing with Reliable Wi-Fi -Image via CrunchBase

Education Realty Trust Selects Ruckus Wireless for Large-Scale Broadband Access Initiative for College Housing Properties Nationwide

Ruckus Wireless™ today announced that Education Realty Trust (NYSE: EDR) has chosen its advanced Smart Wi-Fi products and technology to bring wireless broadband access to approximately 20,000 college students living in more than 30 of its collegiate housing properties across the United States.

Education Realty Trust (EDR), one of America’s largest owners, developers and managers of collegiate housing, is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust that owns or manages 56 communities in 23 states, with more than 34,000 beds within more than 10,500 units.

The Smart Wi-Fi networks make it possible for these high-demand Internet “power users” to benefit from reliable, high-speed access for gaming, video streaming and Web browsing, regardless of building configurations or the number of users on the Wi-Fi network.

EDR operates on-campus and off-campus apartment communities, housing students, university staff and young professionals in residences ranging from one to four bedrooms, with upscale amenities and the latest technology offerings. Given the quality of EDR’s facilities, fast and flexible Internet access is high on students’ list of requirements for residential living.

“Our residents are some of the heaviest Internet users, and their bandwidth consumption is high – both day and night,” said Scott Casey, vice president of IT for Education Realty Trust. “With the increasing number of iPhones, iPads and other devices we are now seeing, high-speed access to the Internet throughout the property has become the number-one amenity they request from us – they indicate that it’s even more important to them than air conditioning.”

Prior to deploying Ruckus, EDR offered only hard-wired Internet access in the majority of its apartment complexes. According to Casey, it became critical for EDR to have a fast and reliable Internet service and Wi-Fi system in place, or risk losing residents to other collegiate housing complexes.

Smart Wi-Fi Serves Internet Power Set

With the help of its integration partner, Pavlov Media, EDR considered a number of other wireless providers before choosing the Ruckus Wireless ZoneFlex™ Smart Wireless LAN (WLAN) system. Casey says they chose Ruckus because of the price, performance and ease of use and management advantages the ZoneFlex system offered.

An additional selling point was Ruckus’ ability to handle a large number of concurrent clients and automatically load-balance across multiple access points (APs), a key capability in the college setting where Internet usage increases and decreases depending on time of day. Additionally, with Ruckus, EDR facilities can offer fast, reliable Internet access using fewer access points (APs) than with other Wi-Fi systems, making it a more cost-effective solution.

To cover an initial 17 properties, the EDR system will rely on over 1,200 ZoneFlex 7363 dual-band 802.11n APs, as well as one ZoneDirector controller for each site. Each Ruckus AP supports from three to five units with the goal of delivering 10 Mbps constant bit rate performance per client device. In places where fiber is unavailable, the APs are configured with Ruckus’ Smart Meshing technology to deliver the same range and performance as wired APs.

Managed Wi-Fi Services with FlexMaster

To oversee the entire network, Pavlov Media is providing complete systems integration and managed services for both the wired and wireless infrastructure. Pavlov provides service level agreement (SLAs) as well as non-stop, 24 by seven by 365 days a year network operations support to EDR.  Services include device management and firmware upgrades, and end user, customer service and property management support.

SLAs cover, but are not limited to, call center response times, amount of connectivity within a given property, bandwidth to a given property, latency, and other critical metrics.

For the Wi-Fi infrastructure, Pavlov relies on the Ruckus FlexMaster system at its central corporate office to ensure adherence to SLAs. FlexMaster provides advanced reporting and detailed reports and statistics on a wide range of network attributes such as device connectivity, client associations, airtime utilization, client/AP uptime, client RSSI, traffic levels and potential throughput of the infrastructure over time.

“This is a large-scale Wi-Fi managed services story that nearly every major carrier is trying to figure out,” said Robert Grosz, chief sales officer and executive vice president of Pavlov Media. “FlexMaster allows us to manage, configure and monitor thousands of APs, controllers and entire indoor and outdoor wireless LAN environments from a single NOC. It’s years ahead in providing the kind of information essential to delivering carrier-class Wi-Fi service level agreements.”

With ZoneFlex in place, EDR is now providing 50-100 Mbps wireless broadband access to its student residents. The company expects to have all of its properties covered with Smart Wi-Fi by August 2011.

“The feedback from our initial deployments is that students are very happy with Wi-Fi performance, even when they are conducting data-intensive tasks like viewing videos or gaming,” Casey said. “Because robust Wi-Fi access is a must-have for students, Ruckus has given EDR a key advantage in this market. We can add high-performance Wi-Fi to the list of amenities we offer students.”

The Ruckus system/technology will further provide EDR with sufficient Wi-Fi to power additional services, such as video surveillance at its various properties, and Internet Protocol television (IPTV), which it’s currently beta testing at two apartment complexes. The company is also considering using the Wi-Fi network to monitor building entrances – for instance, providing notifications to security if doors have been left propped open in the residences.

Ruckus Wireless Smart Wi-Fi can overcome the physical and technical challenges of bringing high-performance Internet access to multi-unit housing. Smart Wi-Fi is developed with state-of-the-art adaptive antenna technology that extends signal range and automatically adapts to changes in the environment that degrade performance. Access points integrate a patented smart antenna array that focuses and directs Wi-Fi signals over the best signal path, automatically avoiding interference with other devices to ensure consistent performance and high data rates.

Unlike any other Wi-Fi technology, adaptive antenna arrays uses constant feedback from each client to ensure that the path selected is performing properly using standard acknowledgements built into the standard 802.11 protocol. The result is an adaptive system that minimizes packet loss, extends signal range and ensures more consistent performance at longer distances.

Ruckus Wireless can be found on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ruckuswireless and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/ruckuswireless. The company’s blog can be read at www.theruckusroom.net. Ruckus also has a YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/ruckuswireless .

About Education Realty Trust

Education Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:EDR) is one of America’s largest owners, developers and managers of collegiate housing. EDR is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust that owns or manages 56 communities in 23 states with nearly 34,000 beds within more than 10,500 units. For more information please visit the Company’s Web site at www.edrtrust.com.

About Pavlov Media

Founded in 1994 and Headquartered in Champaign, Illinois, Pavlov Media  (www.pavlovmedia.com) is one of the nation’s largest private providers of broadband services (Video, Data and Voice) to multi-family real estate owners. In addition the company, through its citywide and regional networks, offers commercial grade services in several of its larger markets. Pavlov operates in 70 markets throughout the country. For information regarding this press release or the company please contact: Glenn Meyer, (425) 503-0943.

About Ruckus Wireless, Inc.

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Ruckus Wireless is supplier of advanced wireless systems for the mobile Internetworking market. The company markets and manufactures a wide range of indoor and outdoor “Smart Wi-Fi” products for mobile operators, broadband service providers and corporate enterprises around the world. Ranked as the top telecom company in the 2009 Inc. Magazine 500 list and named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, Ruckus Wireless has realized dramatic growth. Since 2006, revenue and shipments have grown by over 1000 percent. Ruckus invented, and has patented, innovative state-of-the-art wireless technology that steers signals around obstacles and interference. This unique capability extends signal range and ensures consistent reliable distribution of delay-sensitive multimedia content and services over standard 802.11 Wi-Fi. The company has shipped over 2 million Smart Wi-Fi systems around the world and has raised $51 million in funding from premier investors such as Sequoia Capital, Focus Ventures, Sutter Hill, Motorola, T-Ventures, Telus Ventures and Firelake Capital. The company is led by Ms. Selina Lo, president and chief executive officer. For more information, visit Ruckus Wireless at http://www.ruckuswireless.com.

Media Contacts
Nancy MacGregor Hill
RealTime Communications
nancy@realtime-comm.com
+1-510-733-6228 office
+1-415-309-5185 mobile

Web Site: http://www.pavlovmedia.com

Apple iPad®

Apple iPad®-Image via CrunchBase

Ledet Graphics Training, world-class provider of Adobe® and Apple® Authorized graphics training programs, announced today it will deploy the latest generation of the Apple iPad® at every student workstation throughout all six of its training facilities across the country. The company, which offers hands-on, instructor-led courses in the latest graphics and interactive design software, is also adapting its training offerings to incorporate the revolutionary device into the curricula to maximize the platform’s intuitive learning and retention advantages.

 

“From a training standpoint, it’s very simple: if you’re here to learn how to create media for the iPad, it’s imperative that you actually interact with it as a user in order to best understand the end-user experience,” explained Sterling Ledet, founder of Ledet Graphics Training. “In addition to allowing students to fully appreciate the end-user experience, putting an iPad at each student workstation makes the course material itself more engaging and effective. Navigating and working with the material is much more dynamic and fun, which helps with retention.”

 

The iPad also makes accessing, using and interacting with the course materials more efficient. Students can take notes on the device to save time and paper and even share notes and materials with classmates to enhance the collaborative learning environment.

 

Sally Cox, instructor and co-chair for the San Jose Adobe User Group, said the iPad is showing up in educational environments more every day and industry training providers must adapt their programming for the technology. “I’ve noticed students bringing the iPad to class; if they appreciate how the technology enhances their own learning experience, then we as educators need to keep pace,” she said. “I’m absolutely amazed that no one else is using the iPad as part of their core instructor-led training environment yet. It’s one thing to show people a new technology in a classroom environment, but it takes on a whole new dimension when they get to work with it hands-on.”

 

“I absolutely plan on changing how I instruct based on these new capabilities,” Cox added. “Anything that engages the students and gets them working with the teacher, rather than just statically observing content, is an awesome advantage.”

 

The iPad is constantly evolving with new applications to enhance student learning and retention. For example, LiveView is a free application for designers that lets developers see what they’re editing live on the device; designers can see the finished product as they work. “You no longer have to rely on a mock-up at a different scale. Now you can see the finished product as it comes together,” said Ledet. “Also, the interactive white board application lets instructors and students share the space and collaborate creating a social learning environment within the classroom.”

 

To support its iPad deployment, Ledet recently partnered with Avatron Software, makers of the Air Display app, which enables iPad users to wirelessly extend their desktop across to the iPad and use the device as a second monitor. “This direct experience of working with iPad as a second monitor opens up a whole new world for students. It’s this kind of offering that makes me take a second look at a training company,” declared Cox.

 

Ledet says he sees the iPad as the perfect fit for the “cool” learning environment students find at Ledet training facilities.  “It’s our primary mission to stay current and offer the latest graphics applications and media technologies that enable students to learn more effectively, enjoy themselves  and retain more. The addition of the iPad makes learning so much more exciting.”

 

The new iPads are now being fully deployed at all Ledet training facilities. To find a location nearby, visit http://www.ledet.com/locations.

 

About Ledet Graphics Training

With headquarters in Atlanta, GA, Ledet Graphics Training operates six training facilities nationwide, including locations in Atlanta, Chicago, San Diego, Denver, Washington, D.C. and New Orleans. The organization offers instructor-led training in other cities through a network of demand-driven locations. Custom, personalized training is also available at the client’s location. Live, online instructor-led training is offered in virtual classrooms.  Through real-world expertise and hands-on instruction, Ledet students learn the tips and tricks that enhance creativity and build productivity with the latest graphics, design and media applications. For more information, visit http://www.ledet.com/.

 

 

Media Contact:

Mallory Snitker

SS|PR

Office: 847.415.9300

msnitker@sspr.com

Real Estate: New Technology to Solve the Housing Crisis

Real Estate: New Technology to Solve the Housing Crisis-Image via Wikipedia

Salesforce CRM, Chatter and custom applications built on the Force.com platform and delivered on iPads enable Wiel Brien to run its business in the cloud

Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), the enterprise cloud computing (http://www.salesforce.com/cloudcomputing/) company, today announced the success of Wiel Brien in using its Cloud 2 technologies as the foundation for its innovative solution to the housing crisis. Founded with the vision to blend value-add real estate and the creative use of technology, Wiel Brien is using the Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Salesforce Chatter and multiple custom applications built on the Force.com platform with mobile functionality delivered on the iPad for its mission to make its Home Affordable Again™ program successful.

Wiel Brien was founded in 2008 to invest in homes in communities hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. It buys foreclosed single family homes and renovates and leases them through its lease purchase option program, Home Affordable Again™, which creates a path to homeownership for those who cannot get financing in today’s difficult lending environment.  Wiel Brien’s entire IT infrastructure is built on salesforce.com, with custom applications built on the Force.com platform managing every step of its property lifecycle.

Cloud 2 Technologies Fulfill Wiel Brien’s Vision for the Creative Use of Technology to Efficiently Run its Business

Wiel Brien uses Salesforce CRM, Chatter and the Force.com platform comprehensively. The property lifecycle starts with the appraisal where a custom Force.com application is used to score properties and neighborhoods and then to compute the maximum amount the company is willing to pay for each property. Once a property is closed, another Force.com application is used to manage landscaping and construction, and then Salesforce CRM is used to manage the marketing, property listings and the rental of the properties.

  • Salesforce is accessed via iPads in multiple use cases. For example:
    • Inspectors use iPads in the field that are outfitted with a custom inspection checklist to get inspection information and renovation estimates from the 20-30 houses they visit a day back to headquarters as soon as possible.
    • Buyers carry iPads to the courthouse to bid on properties in foreclosure auctions using maximum bid calculations generated by a custom application.
    • Leasing agents use iPads to access real time info to lease properties.
  • Chatter is used by Wiel Brien’s underwriting analysts who “follow” properties to track their performance, such as how much they are leased for to make sure their underwriting criteria remains intact.
  • The Force.com platform has enabled Wiel Brien to build multiple custom applications quickly and at minimal cost. For example, it built a property evaluation application for its appraisers and inspectors in just three weeks. A similar application built on .Net at a previous company by Ali Nazar, Wiel Brien’s vice president of IT, took six months and cost $250,000.
    • Property evaluation application: This custom application evaluates hundreds of properties in Wiel Brien’s target zones daily. Multiple people in the field input their data into the application until a workflow rule verifies all the information is there. It is then automatically sent to an evaluator who gives approval and then auto-generates a maximum bid price for a property via a single click that preserves its minimum required profit margin.
    • Property asset application: This custom application is used post-purchase to manage the linear process of renovation and construction until a property is leased and income producing. Wiel Brien relies on the metrics from this application to constantly evaluate the success of its business.

Comments on the News

  • “Without Salesforce, we would not be able to close on our current rate of 30 to 40 homes a month,” said Colin Wiel, managing partner, Wiel Brien. “Salesforce.com’s Cloud 2 technologies are the cornerstone of our technology strategy and enable us to be a twenty-first century real estate company and help those affected by the housing crisis.”

Additional Resources:

  • For more on Wiel Brien’s story, please visit http://www.salesforce.com/showcase/stories/wielbrien.jsp
  • To see a video about Salesforce CRM, visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/salesforce#p/c/C93C2947B87CD0F1/0/_r1H7OK8lzY
  • For more information about the Force.com platform, visit: http://www.salesforce.com/platform/
  • Follow @salesforce on Twitter

About Salesforce.com

Salesforce.com is the trusted enterprise cloud computing company. Based on salesforce.com’s real-time, multitenant architecture, the company’s Force.com platform and apps (http://www.salesforce.com/crm) have revolutionized the way companies collaborate and communicate. Salesforce.com’s cloud offerings include:

  • The Sales Cloud, for sales force automation and contact management
  • The Service Cloud, for customer service and support
  • The Jigsaw Data Cloud, for ensuring data integrity and quality
  • Salesforce Chatter, for social collaboration
  • The Force.com platform, for custom application development
  • Database.com, the world’s first enterprise cloud database
  • The AppExchange, the world’s leading marketplace for enterprise cloud computing apps

Salesforce.com offers the fastest path to customer success with cloud computing. As of October 31, 2010, salesforce.com manages customer information for approximately 87,200 customers including Allianz Commercial, Dell, Japan Post, Kaiser Permanente, KONE, and SunTrust Banks.

Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements may not be currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase salesforce.com applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce.com has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CRM.” For more information please visit http://www.salesforce.com, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.

Copyright (c) 2011 salesforce.com, inc. All rights reserved. Salesforce and the “no software” logo are registered trademarks of salesforce.com, inc., and salesforce.com owns other registered and unregistered trademarks. Other names used herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

CONTACT: Phil Novack of salesforce.com, +1-415-836-3727, pnovack@salesforce.com

Web Site: http://www.salesforce.com

Financial Advisors and Investors Receive New iPhone App

Financial Advisors and Investors Receive New iPhone App -Image via CrunchBase

ETF Database is pleased to announce an update for the ETF Database app for iPhone and iPod touch. The new and improved free app was designed for financial advisors and individual investors interested in actionable ideas, ETF analysis and commentary, and news on the latest additions to the ETF universe. Built on a proprietary classification system, the ETF Database app also features enhanced screening capabilities to help investors find the products to meet their portfolio objectives.

As investors have embraced the lower costs, tax efficiency, and transparency of ETFs, the industry has grown tremendously over the last several years. While that means more ETF options for investors, the surge in number of products has also made navigating the universe of ETFs a challenge. The ETF Database app includes information on more than 1,100 ETFs and ETNs available to U.S. investors, including descriptive information that allows users to filter products by sector, region, bond sector, commodity type, and issuer. Basic information on each ETF, including expense ratio, is included in the app, along with a link to complete performance and holdings data.

The new app also includes access to all articles published on ETFdb.com, one of the most widely-followed and highly-respected sources of objective information and analysis of exchange-traded funds. ETF Database content includes actionable investment ideas, head-to-head fund comparisons, educational content, and news on new fund launches.

“We are excited to launch an app that makes it easier for financial advisors and individual investors to navigate through the rapidly expanding universe of ETFs and find the funds that correspond to their investment objectives,” said Michael Johnston, managing director at ETF Database. “In addition, the new app will give users mobile access to industry news, actionable investment ideas, and educational materials from one of the most recognized authorities in the ETF world.”

The app is available for download at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/etfdb/id412444001?mt=8
Press Kit: http://etfdb.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Press-Kit.zip
Website: http://etfdb.com/ios/
Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCIiSe28FN8&feature=player_embedded

About ETF Database
ETF Database is a web-based resource for financial advisors and investors interested in exchange-traded funds. The company provides actionable investment ideas, industry news, and educational material related to ETFs, and also maintains a line of free analytical tools to help investors navigate the rapidly-growing world of ETFs.

Mobile Banking App: New iPad Application from BBVA Compass

Mobile Banking App: New iPad Application from BBVA Compass-Image via Wikipedia

BBVA Compass today announced the launch of a native iPad™ application that marks the first U.S. mobile banking application that visually goes beyond the traditional on-line banking interface of the few other iPad banking applications. The BBVA Compass Mobile Banking (PD) was released on Dec. 23, just in time for the Christmas holiday shopping season. In addition to the new iPad application, BBVA Compass also offers native mobile banking applications for Android™, BlackBerry® and iPhone™ users. Each of the applications for these mobile devices was built in house to provide greater flexibility and functionality.

The free application enables users a fast and convenient way to manage their BBVA Compass accounts – deposits, loans and credit cards – in a visually attractive setting that truly utilizes the capabilities and functionality of the iPad. Users can check balances, view posted and pending transactions, view check images and statements, transfer funds between BBVA Compass accounts and locate BBVA Compass branches.

“BBVA Compass has utilized a unique approach to mobile banking by designing native applications built to leverage the particular capabilities of each device, like the iPad,” stated Alex Carriles, SVP and director of mobile and internet strategies at BBVA Compass. “Once you see the graphical display of your financial information, flip through your checks with a simple gesture, review the colorful renderings of your bank statements or the transaction receipts for your credit card charges, you soon realize this is no ordinary on-line banking application. Our goal is to make mobile banking an enjoyable user experience, and fully embrace the iPad Human Interface.”

According to eMarketer, sales of the Apple iPad are estimated to reach 8.5 million by the end of 2010, accounting for almost 88 percent of total U.S. tablet sales. Tablet sales in the U.S. are expected to increase dramatically over the next two years, with iPad sales projected to more than double to nearly 20 million in 2011 and surpass 30 million by 2012. Worldwide, tablet sales are projected to increase even more quickly. By 2012, eMarketer forecasts nearly 41 million Americans or 12.8 percent of the U.S. population will have a tablet device.

To download a free copy of the BBVA Compass Mobile Banking (PD) application via the App store, visit http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bbva-compass-mobile-banking/id411468151?mt=8.

For more information on additional BBVA Compass Mobile Banking applications, visit http://www.bbvacompass.com/personal/online/mobile/index.cfm.

ABOUT BBVA COMPASS

BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 717 branches including 382 in Texas, 92 in Alabama, 65 in California, 77 in Arizona, 45 in Florida, 36 in Colorado and 20 in New Mexico. BBVA Compass is the 15th largest U.S. commercial bank based on deposit market share and ranks among the largest banks in Texas (4th), Alabama (3rd) and Arizona (5th). For the second consecutive year, BBVA Compass was named as a “Lender of the Year” by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Additional information concerning BBVA Compass can be found on our website www.bbvacompass.com.

BBVA Compass is a subsidiary of Compass Bancshares, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of BBVA (NYSE: BBVA) (MAD: BBVA). BBVA is a financial services group with approximately $760 billion in total assets, 48 million clients, 7,400 branches and approximately 105,000 employees in more than 30 countries. BBVA ranks among the top 20 largest financial institutions in the world based on market capitalization and 21st in Global Finance magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Safest Banks” for 2010. BBVA provides its customers around the world with a full range of financial services, including commercial and wholesale banking, retail banking services, consumer loans, mortgages, credit cards, securities brokerage, wealth management, pension plan management and insurance. The BBVA Group maintains a leadership position in Spain, Mexico, Latin America and the Sunbelt Region of the United States as well as operations in China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. More information about the BBVA Group can be found at www.bbva.com.

Editor’s Note:

BBVA Compass is a trade name of Compass Bank. Compass Bank, member FDIC.

CONTACT: Ed Bilek, External Communications of BBVA Compass, +1-205-297-3331, Cell, +1-205-612-3378, ed.bilek@bbvacompass.com

Stock Traders: Free Mobile App for iPhone

Stock Traders: Free Mobile App for iPhone

Stock Traders: Free Mobile App for iPhone-Image via Wikipedia

Recently launched MS Portfolio App enables investors to track unlimited stocks and funds from markets worldwide. Features include free real-time quotes, latest news, forums, Tweets from Twitter, technical charts and detailed performance analysis. MS Portfolio is available free for the iPhone/ iPad.

Quote startA must-have App for anyone interested in stocks and funds, anywhere in the world.Quote end

Designed around its tagline `Connect to your Investments’, the recently launched free MS Portfolio iPhone/ iPad App offers investors across the world a one-point access for information, review and analysis of stocks, funds and ETFs.

MS Portfolio boasts a user-friendly UI (user interface) wherein all interaction with content revolves around the user’s portfolio holdings. Information seekers can stay abreast of the latest Tweets from Twitter, forums and news related to their stocks and funds.

Active traders too have reason to cheer as the App enables free real-time quotes and the bid-ask book on U.S. listed stocks and ETFs. Also, technical charts that offer a multitude of time frame and indicator options should easily suffice the needs of most investors and traders.

Unwilling to underplay the portfolio tracking capabilities of the App, Victor Fernandes, the App Developer, claims “The portfolio analytics in the MS Portfolio App enable users to review and analyze their stock and portfolio performance over 24 different parameters, far more than on offer by most financial websites.” Incidentally, Fernandes is also the founder of http://www.moneycontrol.com, India’s most popular finance and investment website.

A simple yet comprehensive App that enables users to maintain, track and review unlimited holdings and multiple portfolios comprising stocks, mutual funds and ETFs from markets worldwide makes the MS Portfolio App, according to Fernandes “A must-have App for anyone interested in stocks and funds, anywhere in the world.”

Released on 14th December 2010, MS Portfolio is available free world-wide for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch on Apple’s App Store. Visit http://www.msportfolio.net and MS Portfolio on Facebook for more information including a detailed list of the features of this App. MS Portfolio can be downloaded from the Apple App Store by clicking here.

About MS Portfolio
MS Portfolio is developed by Victor Fernandes, founder of http://www.moneycontrol.com, India’s most popular finance and investment website. Fernandes has earned a Masters Degree for his research on U.S. mutual funds. His research work led to the development of Momentum Stallion, an algorithm which uses a relative momentum-based approach to rank funds for investment.

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