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Big Ben: the first look inside the restoration works to save the world s most famous clock

Buy a flat on the UK s most expensive street for just £450,000 (but there s a catch)

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Our freehold cost £38,000 – now we re being denied compensation

Property Doctors: I want to become a buy-to-let investor – where should I start?

Forget the shepherd hut – the ultimate garden shed is the showman s wagon

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Gary Lineker used offshore firm to buy Barbados home

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I m a printaholic, pattern-loving maximalist : the colourful Milan home of fashion designer JJ Martin

Big Ben: the first look inside the restoration works to save the world s most famous clock

Manhattan transfer: Holiday House charity pop-up launches in London

Luxury furniture business run by Samantha Cameron s mother goes up for sale

Inside Zaryadye Park: Moscow s first public park for 50 years is a soaring success

Granny-chic on acid : inside Hauser + Wirth s stripped-back Somerset holiday home

More property news

House prices rise at fastest rate since January, says Halifax

Forget the shepherd hut – the ultimate garden shed is the showman s wagon

Buy an entire hamlet in the South of France for £300,000

The family home where George Clooney films, Mark Ronson parties and the drawing room is a makeshift Cabinet Office

Call for a change in priorities to avert retirement housing crisis

Our freehold cost £38,000 – now we re being denied compensation

Which small towns will see the biggest influx of the super-rich over the next decade?

The best places to retire abroad, from a kibbutz in the Canaries to a senior living village in Thailand

Look inside the home where Virginia and Leonard Woolf started Hogarth Press

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Property

Big Ben: the first look inside the restoration works to save the world s most famous clock

Buy a flat on the UK s most expensive street for just £450,000 (but there s a catch)

Manhattan transfer: Holiday House charity pop-up launches in London

Customise your home with these build-your-own modular products

Is it time to upgrade your conservatory?

Galleries

Gallery: Inside the Versace-branded building where flats are selling for £13.5m

House prices

Developers inflate house prices ahead of leasehold crackdown

Dad vs daughter – who got the best home deal?

Latest bank transfer fraud victims: We ve lost £113,665 and are now homeless with eight pets

End of the bachelor pad as almost a third of men live at their parents’ home until their mid-30s

House prices rise at fastest rate since January, says Halifax

Our freehold cost £38,000 – now we re being denied compensation

Property Doctors: I want to become a buy-to-let investor – where should I start?

Forget the shepherd hut – the ultimate garden shed is the showman s wagon

Comment: War!! Trump! Oh, stop worrying. The End is Nigh (uh-huh, uh-huh) And I Like It

Selling business

Buy a flat on the UK s most expensive street for just £450,000 (but there s a catch)

Property Doctors: I want to become a buy-to-let investor – where should I start?

Retirement

How developers are designing home interiors for ever-younger downsizers

Call for a change in priorities to avert retirement housing crisis

The best places to retire abroad, from a kibbutz in the Canaries to a senior living village in Thailand

Abroad

Gary Lineker used offshore firm to buy Barbados home

Buy an entire hamlet in the South of France for £300,000

Gallery: The spookiest castles to buy across the world

Forget fast cars and yachts, passports are the new status symbol for the ultra rich

Sun, sea and city: where to buy a second home next to an urban beach

Gallery: For sale: The most expensive house on Earth, in pictures

Luxury

I m a printaholic, pattern-loving maximalist : the colourful Milan home of fashion designer JJ Martin

Big Ben: the first look inside the restoration works to save the world s most famous clock

Manhattan transfer: Holiday House charity pop-up launches in London

Luxury furniture business run by Samantha Cameron s mother goes up for sale

Inside Zaryadye Park: Moscow s first public park for 50 years is a soaring success

Granny-chic on acid : inside Hauser + Wirth s stripped-back Somerset holiday home

More property news

House prices rise at fastest rate since January, says Halifax

Forget the shepherd hut – the ultimate garden shed is the showman s wagon

Buy an entire hamlet in the South of France for £300,000

The family home where George Clooney films, Mark Ronson parties and the drawing room is a makeshift Cabinet Office

Call for a change in priorities to avert retirement housing crisis

Our freehold cost £38,000 – now we re being denied compensation

Which small towns will see the biggest influx of the super-rich over the next decade?

The best places to retire abroad, from a kibbutz in the Canaries to a senior living village in Thailand

Look inside the home where Virginia and Leonard Woolf started Hogarth Press

  • Prev
  • 1
  • 2
  • Next

Sponsored

Selling business

The attraction of Ireland: could it be a new buy-to-let hotspot?

Selling business

How to live a life less ordinary after retirement

Selling business

How much does it cost to keep your computer online? (Lots, it turns out)

Selling business

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    GE shifts strategy, financial targets for digital business after missteps

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – General Electric Co wants its industrial software business to cut costs and lift profits next year under new chief executive John Flannery, and is considering expanded partnerships and the possible sale of some equity in the unit, according to people familiar with the business.

    Former chief executive Jeffrey Immelt spent six years and more than $4 billion transforming 125-year-old GE into a digital industrial company. But GE has had technical problems and delays with its software platform, known as Predix, which connects equipment like turbines and elevators to computers that can predict failures and reduce operating costs.

    This spring, GE called an unusual, two month time-out to tackle the Predix problems, which have not been previously reported. With fixes in place, GE will now emphasize sales to existing customers in its energy, aviation and oil-and-gas businesses, and scale back efforts to sell to new customers in other sectors, three senior GE executives told Reuters.

    Our resources will go to our fastest-selling markets, GE Digital Chief Executive Officer Bill Ruh said in an interview.

    To help investors better understand Predix, GE also has redefined digital revenue to exclude $3 billion in hardware related to its gas-fueled power plants, providing a clearer picture of the pure software business and avoiding double-counting, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Bornstein said.

    The company now expects $12 billion in digital revenue in 2020, compared with $15 billion under the old definition. GE s total revenue hit nearly $124 billion last year.

    The changes mark an important course correction for GE Digital, which so far has not delivered the revenue investors wanted and is partly responsible for a 25 percent decline in GE s share price this year to a near two-year low.

    GE estimates the industrial internet market will be worth $225 billion a year by 2020, and Flannery, who became CEO on Aug. 1, appears committed to Immelt s vision of being a major player, according to two people familiar with his thinking.

    But the 55-year-old leader, known for finance skills and making tough decisions, is likely to press GE Digital to reduce costs and lift profits next year. He also may restructure how GE Digital operates, bring in more partners and possibly sell a minority stake in the unit, they told Reuters.

    There was a lot of money spent on Predix, said a former senior financial executive at GE who worked with Flannery. They are going to tighten the grip and ensure there s a return.

    GE declined to comment on Flannery s plans.

    Immelt was among the first executives to spot the industrial internet wave nearly a decade ago, and positioning the company to catch it became one of his signature strategic moves in his 16 year term as chief executive.

    This is an all-encompassing change, Immelt said last year, as GE increased its digital investment.

    Analysts and investors see potential for Predix to deliver substantial sales and profits. It already has attracted some large customers, including power utility Exelon Corp and elevator maker Schindler Holding AG, and orders rose 24 percent to $2.3 billion in the first half of 2017.

    But some analysts and investors say the business has taken longer than expected to mature, and its current growth rate is too slow to hit GE s $12 billion target by 2020. Spending also soared under Immelt, which weighed on profits.

    He gave Bill Ruh an endless checkbook, Nick Heymann, an analyst at William Blair Co., said of Immelt.

    Case in point: GE has budgeted $700 million more in digital spending this year – to a total of $2.1 billion – to further develop Predix and its applications, and to boost sales efforts. GE executives noted this is likely to mark the peak for digital investment.

    GE Digital Chief Financial Officer Khozema Shipchandler said the 2020 revenue target is within reach since recurring Predix subscriptions pile on significant revenue as time goes on.

    FIXING PREDIX

    Immelt pushed GE to go digital sooner than other companies. But some early missteps cost time and money as GE s strategy evolved. Engineers initially advised building data centers that would house the Predix Cloud. But after Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp spent tens of billions of dollars on data centers for their cloud services, AWS and Azure, GE changed course.

    That is not an investment we can compete with, Ruh said.

    GE abandoned its go-it-alone cloud strategy a year ago. It now relies on AWS and expects to be using Azure by late October, four months behind schedule, the executives said.

    As GE pivoted away from building data centers, its engineers focused on applications, which executives now saw as more useful for winning business and more profitable than the platform alone.

    That is probably the biggest lesson we ve learned, Ruh said.

    GE also faced legacy challenges in adapting to Predix software. GE has many algorithms for monitoring its machines, but they mostly were written in different coding languages and reside on other systems in GE businesses. This makes transferring them to Predix more time consuming, people familiar with the system told Reuters.

    The acquisition of Meridium and ServiceMax over the past 10 months gave GE well-known applications and added about $150 million to annual digital revenue, GE said. But the new products also brought more code that had to be converted to run on Predix, people familiar with the systems said.

    The result: software installation sometimes took much longer than GE anticipated, the code had bugs and applications sometimes lacked features that customers wanted, these people said.

    GE executives acknowledged Predix had experienced technical problems and was behind schedule in hitting some goals. During the time out in May and June, GE Digital s programmers made Predix more stable, they said.

    The changes in strategy have come with a change in leadership. Predix chief Harel Kodesh and GE Digital Chief Commercial Officer Kate Johnson both left this year. Patrick Franklin, who succeeded Kodesh, called the time out to fix Predix.

    Ruh said the leadership evolved with the business and that GE has the right people to keep Predix growing.

    RIVALS TAKE AIM

    The competition is not standing still. Large rivals such as Siemens AG and a crop of nimble startups are pressing to gain market share in GE s main areas of energy, aviation, locomotives, health care and oil and gas.

    Chicago-based startup Uptake signed a deal in March with subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway Energy to provide analytics on thousands of wind turbines, including those made by GE. C3 IoT, based in Redwood City, California, won a deal last year with French utility Engie SA, a GE customer. Engie later signed a digital partnership agreement with GE.

    Stewart Stevenson, a maker of fracking pumps and other equipment, met with GE about Predix in 2015 but quickly decided against it.

    They didn t seem to be able to customize to meet the needs of our customers, said Chris Harvell, the firm s chief technology officer. And if they did do any development, we d probably end up paying quite a bit of money.

    The company chose Flutura, a 100-person, Houston firm started in 2012, for a pilot. Flutura lacked GE s scale, but could easily produce custom code, he said.

    Ruh said that while GE faces competitors in every deal, many startups are not true competitors because Predix includes unique applications and is available globally.

    No other competitor has these capabilities on their platforms, he said.

    Inside GE, executives remain bullish. Predix will pay off handsomely if GE stays focused on building it and winning customers, said Joshua Bloom, co-founder and chief technology officer of Wise.io, an artificial intelligence firm GE bought last year.

    But, he said, “doing that right and at scale is a massive challenge.

    Selling business



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    Old media braced for showdown with tech giants in the battle for scale

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    Market report: Burberry fall softened by activist investor upping stake

    Industrial production smashes expectations but construction sector slips deep into recession

    Market report: Takeover talk lifts Tesla supplier Telit Communcations

    In charts: the FTSE keeps rising – can it last?

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    David Davis says City is very much in my mind as Brexit talks resume

    Top LSE investor ramps up revolt to oust chairman and keep CEO

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    Heathrow chairman hopes expansion scheme s regional hubs could mark a step-change for construction industry

    Construction

    New Zealand looks to woo thousands of British brickies in lead-up to Brexit

    Construction sector returns to growth, but optimism is in short supply

    Morgan Sindall bucks construction slowdown to increase forecasts

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    Landlords tendering for £300m of fire safety contracts – the biggest of their kind in eight years

    DCC enters US fuel market with £152m acquisition

    G4S downgrades revenue forecast amid slow trading in the Middle East and India

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    GE shifts strategy, financial targets for digital business after missteps

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – General Electric Co wants its industrial software business to cut costs and lift profits next year under new chief executive John Flannery, and is considering expanded partnerships and the possible sale of some equity in the unit, according to people familiar with the business.

    Former chief executive Jeffrey Immelt spent six years and more than $4 billion transforming 125-year-old GE into a digital industrial company. But GE has had technical problems and delays with its software platform, known as Predix, which connects equipment like turbines and elevators to computers that can predict failures and reduce operating costs.

    This spring, GE called an unusual, two month time-out to tackle the Predix problems, which have not been previously reported. With fixes in place, GE will now emphasize sales to existing customers in its energy, aviation and oil-and-gas businesses, and scale back efforts to sell to new customers in other sectors, three senior GE executives told Reuters.

    Our resources will go to our fastest-selling markets, GE Digital Chief Executive Officer Bill Ruh said in an interview.

    To help investors better understand Predix, GE also has redefined digital revenue to exclude $3 billion in hardware related to its gas-fueled power plants, providing a clearer picture of the pure software business and avoiding double-counting, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Bornstein said.

    The company now expects $12 billion in digital revenue in 2020, compared with $15 billion under the old definition. GE s total revenue hit nearly $124 billion last year.

    The changes mark an important course correction for GE Digital, which so far has not delivered the revenue investors wanted and is partly responsible for a 25 percent decline in GE s share price this year to a near two-year low.

    GE estimates the industrial internet market will be worth $225 billion a year by 2020, and Flannery, who became CEO on Aug. 1, appears committed to Immelt s vision of being a major player, according to two people familiar with his thinking.

    But the 55-year-old leader, known for finance skills and making tough decisions, is likely to press GE Digital to reduce costs and lift profits next year. He also may restructure how GE Digital operates, bring in more partners and possibly sell a minority stake in the unit, they told Reuters.

    There was a lot of money spent on Predix, said a former senior financial executive at GE who worked with Flannery. They are going to tighten the grip and ensure there s a return.

    GE declined to comment on Flannery s plans.

    Immelt was among the first executives to spot the industrial internet wave nearly a decade ago, and positioning the company to catch it became one of his signature strategic moves in his 16 year term as chief executive.

    This is an all-encompassing change, Immelt said last year, as GE increased its digital investment.

    Analysts and investors see potential for Predix to deliver substantial sales and profits. It already has attracted some large customers, including power utility Exelon Corp and elevator maker Schindler Holding AG, and orders rose 24 percent to $2.3 billion in the first half of 2017.

    But some analysts and investors say the business has taken longer than expected to mature, and its current growth rate is too slow to hit GE s $12 billion target by 2020. Spending also soared under Immelt, which weighed on profits.

    He gave Bill Ruh an endless checkbook, Nick Heymann, an analyst at William Blair Co., said of Immelt.

    Case in point: GE has budgeted $700 million more in digital spending this year – to a total of $2.1 billion – to further develop Predix and its applications, and to boost sales efforts. GE executives noted this is likely to mark the peak for digital investment.

    GE Digital Chief Financial Officer Khozema Shipchandler said the 2020 revenue target is within reach since recurring Predix subscriptions pile on significant revenue as time goes on.

    FIXING PREDIX

    Immelt pushed GE to go digital sooner than other companies. But some early missteps cost time and money as GE s strategy evolved. Engineers initially advised building data centers that would house the Predix Cloud. But after Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp spent tens of billions of dollars on data centers for their cloud services, AWS and Azure, GE changed course.

    That is not an investment we can compete with, Ruh said.

    GE abandoned its go-it-alone cloud strategy a year ago. It now relies on AWS and expects to be using Azure by late October, four months behind schedule, the executives said.

    As GE pivoted away from building data centers, its engineers focused on applications, which executives now saw as more useful for winning business and more profitable than the platform alone.

    That is probably the biggest lesson we ve learned, Ruh said.

    GE also faced legacy challenges in adapting to Predix software. GE has many algorithms for monitoring its machines, but they mostly were written in different coding languages and reside on other systems in GE businesses. This makes transferring them to Predix more time consuming, people familiar with the system told Reuters.

    The acquisition of Meridium and ServiceMax over the past 10 months gave GE well-known applications and added about $150 million to annual digital revenue, GE said. But the new products also brought more code that had to be converted to run on Predix, people familiar with the systems said.

    The result: software installation sometimes took much longer than GE anticipated, the code had bugs and applications sometimes lacked features that customers wanted, these people said.

    GE executives acknowledged Predix had experienced technical problems and was behind schedule in hitting some goals. During the time out in May and June, GE Digital s programmers made Predix more stable, they said.

    The changes in strategy have come with a change in leadership. Predix chief Harel Kodesh and GE Digital Chief Commercial Officer Kate Johnson both left this year. Patrick Franklin, who succeeded Kodesh, called the time out to fix Predix.

    Ruh said the leadership evolved with the business and that GE has the right people to keep Predix growing.

    RIVALS TAKE AIM

    The competition is not standing still. Large rivals such as Siemens AG and a crop of nimble startups are pressing to gain market share in GE s main areas of energy, aviation, locomotives, health care and oil and gas.

    Chicago-based startup Uptake signed a deal in March with subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway Energy to provide analytics on thousands of wind turbines, including those made by GE. C3 IoT, based in Redwood City, California, won a deal last year with French utility Engie SA, a GE customer. Engie later signed a digital partnership agreement with GE.

    Stewart Stevenson, a maker of fracking pumps and other equipment, met with GE about Predix in 2015 but quickly decided against it.

    They didn t seem to be able to customize to meet the needs of our customers, said Chris Harvell, the firm s chief technology officer. And if they did do any development, we d probably end up paying quite a bit of money.

    The company chose Flutura, a 100-person, Houston firm started in 2012, for a pilot. Flutura lacked GE s scale, but could easily produce custom code, he said.

    Ruh said that while GE faces competitors in every deal, many startups are not true competitors because Predix includes unique applications and is available globally.

    No other competitor has these capabilities on their platforms, he said.

    Inside GE, executives remain bullish. Predix will pay off handsomely if GE stays focused on building it and winning customers, said Joshua Bloom, co-founder and chief technology officer of Wise.io, an artificial intelligence firm GE bought last year.

    But, he said, “doing that right and at scale is a massive challenge.

    Selling a business



    business

    These nouns apply to forms of activity that have the objective of supplying products or services for a fee. Business pertains broadly to commercial, financial, and industrial activity, and more narrowly to specific fields or firms engaging in this activity: a company that does business over the internet; went into the software consulting business; owns a dry-cleaning business. Industry entails the production and manufacture of goods or commodities, especially on a large scale: the computer industry. Commerce and trade refer to the exchange and distribution of goods or commodities: laws regulating interstate commerce; involved in the domestic fur trade. Traffic pertains in particular to businesses engaged in the transportation of goods or passengers: renovated the docks to attract shipping traffic. The word may also suggest illegal trade: discovered a brisk traffic in stolen goods.

    busi ness

    Business

    1. As oxygen is the disintegrating principle of life, working night and day to dissolve, separate, pull apart and dissipate, so there is something in business that continually tends to scatter, destroy and shift possession from this man to that. A million mice nibble eternally at every business venture Elbert Hubbard
    2. Business is like a man rowing a boat upstream. He has no choice; he must go ahead or he will go back Lewis E. Pierson
    3. Business is like oil. It won t mix with anything but business J. Grahame
    4. Business is very much like religion: it is founded on faith William McFee
    5. Business policy flows downhill from the mountain, like water Anon
    6. A business without customers is like a computer without bytes Anon

    As the entries that follow show, this concept lends itself to many additional twists.

    Playwrights Ernst and Lindley wrote this simile to be spoken by a judge in their 1930 s play Hold Your Tongue.

    The first two words are transposed from Computer companies to generalize the comparison.

    business

    Business is the work of making, buying, and selling goods or services.

    When you use business in this sense, don’t say ‘a business’. Don’t say, for example, ‘ We’ve got a business to do ‘. You say ‘We’ve got some business to do’.

    You can talk about a particular area of business using the followed by a noun followed by business.

    A business is a company, shop, or organization that makes and sells goods or provides a service.



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