April 26, 2022

Market View: Green Operational Policies and Governance Frameworks

This article continues our market view series, where we look into the macro and micro-environments, the politics, economics, trends, and technological advances that create the opportunities and challenges that we need to navigate in our market.

Activism related to climate change began in the 1990s. Since then we’ve read about, learned of, and otherwise been exposed to, the importance of doing what we can to minimise our impact on the environment. But there has never been the palpable sense of urgency or widespread accountability that there is today. 

In early April, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their latest assessment report which states that limiting global warming to 1.5C or 2C would require “rapid and deep” reductions of emissions across the global economy. Instead, emissions continue to rise. 

CarbonBrief.org present a fantastic analysis of the IPCC report in Q&A format here and Protocol describe it as a “call to action”, highlighting the most important takeaway from the report is that we already have the technology we need to ensure a habitable future available to us. Staggering cost reductions in energy efficient technologies, like LED lighting, solar panels, insulation, and heat pumps have seen a rapid increase in deployment and the availability of affordable options to store energy generated by renewable sources (such as a battery system linked to the solar panels in your own home) will be vital to ensure we reach global targets. (Another important change will be how we navigate our day. It is worth listing to esteemed analyst Azeem Azhar talk with Horace Dediu on the role micromobility will play in changing our cities – such as using a scooter or an e-bike to zip down to the local supermarket, instead of your car). 

I wrote in December on the importance of Atmail minimising our carbon footprint – we must continue to do all we can to, among many things, continually improve our architecture patterns, increase our code efficiency, perform right sizing, and implement responsible SLAs – and how partners of ours, like Amazon, have committed to being carbon net zero by 2040. 

Strong operational policies and governance frameworks that ensure a measurable and auditable public-facing account of the environmental impact of our email service is not only a moral requirement, it will also be one of the fundamental keys to Atmail’s continued success in the coming decade. Watch this space for more.

1. General News

  • Amazon will not accept new AWS customers from Russia or Belarus, including third-party sellers. (Read more)
  • The first major Japanese automaker to make such a move, Nissan Motors will end development of new internal combustion engines in all major markets except the U.S. and will focus on the development of electric vehicles. (Read more)
  • Did Ericsson employees help fund terrorism in the Middle East? Ericsson’s investigation found no evidence but could not rule out the possibility. Investigators have been unable to to determine the recipients of payments linked to unusual expense claims in Iraq. (Read more)
  • As of January, a total of 12,480 satellites have been launched in human history. SpaceX has recently filed applications for permission to launch a further 30,000 LEO satellites to support their Gen2 initiative. In response, NASA have written to the FCC stating their concerns over “conjunction events” (read: object collision) and Amazon, who are busily building the Kuiper satellite broadband Internet system, have also written to the FCC highlighting their concern regarding the risks associated with orbital overlap. If the tipping point for the Kessler syndrome is reached, this could significantly impact our ability to continue to use data from satellites the way we do today and also limit our ability to launch objects to higher orbits. (Read more)
  • OpenAI announce DALLE-2 – a new AI system that can create realistic images based on requests given in natural language. (Read more)
  • Delivery of online orders via drone is growing rapidly, currently more than 2,000 drone deliveries occur each day. This is estimated to grow to total 1.5M deliveries in 2022, up 1M from 2021. (Read more)
  • The Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) 2020-2021 annual report highlighted massive growth of private investment in AI (US$93.5B in 2021, more than 2X against 2020) with mature firms seeing most of the funding (as opposed to start ups). (Read more)
  • Apple acquired UK-based open banking credit reference company CreditKudos – which may be a significant move towards further enhancing their existing financial services business, such as offering “buy now, pay later” purchase options. (Read more)

2. Carrier News

  • Vodafone Portugal suffered a crippling cyber-attack in February – bringing down 4G and 5G networks, halting fixed-voice, SMS, television, and answering services for millions of subscribers, including ambulances and emergency services. (Read more)
  • The CEO’s of Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, and Vodafone have written a joint statement saying that the pressure applied to their networks from OTT players and large streaming platforms is not sustainable, highlighting research that states that video streaming, gaming, and social media content that originates from only a few platforms accounts for more than 70% of all network traffic. The group are seeking legislation at a European Union level that sees Big Tech pay a “fair share” of network investments. (Read more)
  • Google has hired former Verizon executive, Sanyogita Shamsunder, to head their edge computing team. (Read more)
  • Charter has launched Enterprise Network Edge (ENE) offering advanced security and SD-WAN capabilities that are managed through a cloud-based portal, as well as virtual edge and secure remote access to cloud applications powered by AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. (Read more)
  • Experts expect quantum computing to break current cryptography within 15 years. The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions released a white paper on Preparing Communications Networks for the Quantum Future – stating that prudence demands adopting a Crypto Agility Risk Assessment Framework (CARAF). 
  • Telstra started the Satellite 2022 conference in Washington by announcing a decade-long deal with OneWeb to supply fibre networks, subsea connectivity, and data centre access. (Listen here)

3. Industry News & Competitor Activity 

3.1 General Headlines

  • ProtonMail acquired French email startup SimpleLogin for their private relay service. (Read more)
  • Microsoft have begun rolling out support for Loop in Microsoft Outlook. Loop is a new app from Microsoft that allows users to organise data and information in ways that help them best collaborate across an organisation. Support for Loop in Microsoft Outlook means that dynamic, interactive objects can be inserted in the body of an email and that data can change (update) after an email has been sent. Presenting a range of new collaboration possibilities (and security considerations). (Read more)
  • AWS acquire encrypted messaging service Wickr. (Read more)
  • Cloudflare launch further enhancements to their email tools, including a free web application firewall designed to thwart phishing and malware. (Read more)
  • Titan launch a new partnership with name.com where they will provide three months of free business email with every domain registered. (Read more)
  • GlobeX Data Ltd launch privacy-focused, Swiss-hosted messaging product suite, Sekur with the tagline “Regain Your Privacy. The suite includes SekurMail, SekurMessenger, and Sekur. (Read more)
  • Hackers are successfully compromising the email accounts tied to police departments and government agencies to send ISPs, phone companies, and social media platforms unauthorised requests for user data, claiming the information cannot wait for a court order as it relates to an urgent matter of life and death. (Read more)

3.2 Synacor Zimbra

  • After a Chinese cyber-espionage group exploited zero-day vulnerabilities in Zimbra Collaboration Suite earlier in the year, Zimbra’s marketing department has worked hard to change their image through a series of security-focused articles on their blog, including how to implement DANE, SPF, DKIM and DMARC, how to set-up 2FA, and an article focused on how Zimbra is not vulnerable to the recent OpenSSL and Spring RCE vulnerabilities. Zimbra was vulnerable, however, to the log4j exploit and several other recent CVEs and have released Kepler 9.0.0 patch 24 and Joule 8.8.15 patch 31 to address these.
  • No other notable updates this reporting period.

3.3 Synchronoss

  • Synchronoss will divest their Digital Experience Platform and Activation Solutions to iQmetrix for ~US$14M. The divestment is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, subject to financing and contingencies. (Read more)
  • Stanley Lowe is appointed Chief Information Security Officer. (Read more)
  • Synchronoss announced Synchronoss Cloud for Home – allowing unlimited shared cloud storage for households. (Read more)
  • No other notable updates this reporting period.

3.4 Open-Xchange

  • OX write that, due to legacy DNS architectures, deploying 5G presents challenges for network operators and moving DNS services to the edge will play a huge role in the success of rolling out 5G networks and addressing overall latency. (Read more)
  • No other notable updates this reporting period.

3.5 Atmail

  • Randall Cameron – Atmail’s Director, Global Sales and Marketing – will be speaking at International Telecoms Week at 9am on the 11th of May at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, MD. Randall will speak to increasing ARPU, improving customer engagement, and decreasing churn in his session, titled: Email Wars: Episode III, Return of the Telco:

Telcos dominated email during the first wave 20+ years ago.  The second wave saw the rise of independent email service providers, in particular a new breed of ‘web-first’ based email services. Now, the third wave is all about what telcos and ISP’s need to do to return to their once dominant position. This presentation will focus on the commercialisation opportunities within email and reference telco success stories from the US, APAC, and Europe, addressing:
* Moving to cloud to support innovation and digital transformation
* Clever commercialization and customer retention strategies beyond shoving advertising into webmail.
* The opportunity to improve scalability, availability, security, and reduce your carbon footprint

  • It’s not too late to register for either a virtual pass or to attend in person. I strongly encourage you to attend Randall’s session and reach out to him to discuss further.

Please reach out to me to discuss any of the above in more detail.

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