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Jouko Ahvenainen

April 26, 2017

Over two billion working-age people have no access to ordinary finance services, like bank accounts, payment cards or loans. These people are especially in developing countries and emerging economies. But not only there, for example, in the UK two million people cannot open a bank account. Finance services are key for many other things in life, without them people are outsiders. Fintech and mobile can change all of this.

People don’t need a credit card, they need credit. People don’t need a bank account, they need a safe place to keep their money, an easy way to receive money and... MORE

April 20, 2017

We can read daily about new AI solutions and how they replace human work. At the same time there are still skeptical comments that robots are not yet even near human beings. A typical comment is that a machine cannot replace a person, because a human touch is needed. Maybe these discussions illustrate that many people don’t know what AI is, and what its use actually means.

Thrivent Financial portrays a poor robot image in their TV advertising (see it here) and basically claims that human investment advisors are better. Of course, it can be a clever way to utilize prejudices, but in... MORE

March 27, 2017

The US president election started a new chapter in the discussion on the role of data analytics in political marketing. Cambridge Analytica got a lot visibility when they conducted analytics for Trump’s campaign. At the same time there have been claims that Clinton’s campaign counted too much on analytics and micro-targeting, when bigger messages to larger audiences were missing. Are these conclusions contradictory or can different approaches explain the difference?

Targeting or even micro-targeting are not new in marketing and advertising. There are many ways to analyze consumer... MORE

March 06, 2017

Mobile World Congress has always been a place to publish new technology, but the focus has been on larger corporations and really hardcore technology components, not typically new business innovations or startups that can disrupt a market. Now it looks like MWC is getting a more important role in these kinds of innovations too, in particular 4YFN is finally finding its market position.

MWC has had many models to activate young innovative companies to come there. The main hall space is typically too expensive for smaller companies. Many countries have their own departments where... MORE

March 03, 2017

Fintech has become an important topic at Mobile World Congress too. This year we saw big finance institutions, startups and also companies from other verticals offer some fintech products. But the products we see in Barcelona are more elements and building blocks, not proper larger solutions. Some areas of fintech are already quite crowded and some other components are largely missing.

Payment products and components were probably the most popular fintech application at the event. Some products are really a full offering to make payments, and some are more enablers, for example, to... MORE

March 01, 2017

It’s again time to see what really happens at Mobile World Congress. The official announcements have included new handsets, 5G, IoT and big data. People are talking about the Nokia 3310, how carriers could transform from bit-pipes to something else and how networks wouldn’t include only intelligence, but artificial intelligence soon. But the event is much more than the official announcements, it is interesting discussions, observations and revealing details. I tried to pick you some of these.

Many mobile phone manufacturers have new models at MWC. Of course, Apple and Google are... MORE

February 13, 2017

On February 9 Nokia announced its intention to acquire Comptel, a listed Finnish company. Five years earlier Comptel acquired a data analytics company called Xtract. I was one of the founders of Xtract. We founded it in 2001 and built it to conduct world-class advanced data analytics. This is a story about success with paying customers, investors, revenue growth and exits, but at the same time this is a story about lost opportunities that illustrate the whole telco industry. I hope, for example, the finance industry can learn from this.

In October 2001 a few smart guys and myself... MORE

January 23, 2017

I have just traveled in Asia. I had to coordinate many meetings, and many contacts said “this is my number, let’s exchange details in WhatsApp, what’s your number?” The problem is that I have several phones and also, when I travel, I buy local pre-paid cards. So, I’m almost always online, but I don’t know the phone number beforehand. Why we still are stuck with these phone numbers?

Years ago, when I worked for Nokia Networks, I learned something about telephone numbering. Or almost too much, including its history, numbering schemas, and how it must be compatible with all kind of... MORE

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