Blackberry signs with Ford
Blackberry, the once and former smartphone leader, has been unveiled as a “Tier One” supplier for Ford Motor Co.
The Tier 1 status allows Blackberry to supply directly to Ford Motors, as opposed to working with other suppliers to to sell to large companies like Ford.
Announced on Monday this week, the move represents an important development for Blackberry’s presence in the automotive market.
Blackberry will be providing Ford with an “unmatched, holistic solution”, protected by BlackBerry’s legendary security pedigree, technology, and services and the highly reliable, safety-certified, and secure QNX software platform, to secure and power the connected car.
The Canadian company is aiming to offer products that can enable so-called connected cars and the QNX Software is already in a number of leading cars from Volkswagen AG to General Motors Co.
“Ford is an industry leader and the opportunity to contribute our world-class technology to their products is a privilege. Ford’s expanded application of our software and services illustrates the diverse and broad value we can bring to market,” said John Chen, BlackBerry executive chairman and CEO.
24 ways you interact with Blackberry every day:
QNX Software Systems is a big part of everyday life – from controlling infotainment systems in cars to delivering renewable energy to homes.
Flip a light switch — QNX technology controls thousands of power generation systems, from wind turbines to nuclear stations to hydroelectric plants.
Go online — QNX technology is at the core of massive Internet routers that handle data, voice, and video traffic for hundreds of millions of users every day.
Use a credit card — Banks the world over use QNX-based systems to issue payment cards and PINs, facilitating secure, reliable transactions.
Take a nap — QNX-based spinning and weaving systems produce high-quality fabrics for everything from bed sheets to towels, sweaters, and furniture.
Mail a letter — Mail-sorting machines use QNX technology to push the performance envelope, processing 40,000 letters per hour.
Take a train — QNX technology works hard on the railroad, coordinating traffic, controlling locomotives, managing cockpit controls, powering black boxes, and even performing tilt control.
Fly in a plane — From the tarmac to the open sky, QNX-based systems go the distance, training pilots, tracking aircraft, handling luggage, and powering in-flight infotainment.
Board a boat — QNX-based navigation systems keep cruise ships on course by helping crews navigate through fog, bad weather, and narrow estuaries.
Ride a motorbike — Being an easy rider is easier than ever, thanks to QNX-based infotainment systems that provide GPS, satellite radio, and smartphone connectivity.
Get roadside help — Deployed in millions of cars, QNX-based telematics systems automatically call for help in a crash and can even tell emergency responders where to find you.
Stay connected on the road — QNX-based infotainment systems personalize your driving experience with seamless access to the latest cloud content and smartphone apps.
Get a caffeine fix — Car navigation systems built on QNX technology not only provide automatic route selection and turn-by-turn directions, but can even locate the nearest coffee shop if you’re thirsting for a latté.
Go for a digital drive — QNX-based digital instrument clusters combine 3D navigation, backup cameras, virtual mechanics, and personal content for the ultimate driving experience.
Make a hands-free call — Using QNX acoustics technology, automotive hands-free systems filter out noise from roads, tires, and air vents for the ultimate in crisp, clear phone conversations.
Enjoy a quality ride — Test and diagnostic systems powered by QNX technology help automakers work the kinks out of new car models before they hit the road.
Go for a checkup — QNX-based diagnostic devices perform everything from blood analysis and eye testing to angiography, mammography, hemodynamic monitoring, and CT scanning.
Get better — QNX technology is at the heart of healthcare systems that destroy cancer, perform dialysis, infuse medication, monitor heart pumps, and control surgical robots.
See better — Every day, QNX-based laser surgery systems help people reduce their dependency on glasses and contact lenses.
Keep it green — From blowout preventers for oil rigs to monitoring devices that detect air pollution, QNX-based systems work night and day to protect our environment.
Save gas — QNX-based traffic control systems help reduce fuel consumption by optimizing traffic flow, minimizing traffic jams, and reducing waits at intersections.
Catch an action flick — From motion-control systems to Oscar-winning flying cameras, QNX technology helps Hollywood create, and film, spectacular special effects.
Watch TV — Broadcasters worldwide rely on QNX-based systems to manage and transmit live television productions.
Do Vegas — QNX technology powers intercasino gaming systems that can pay out multi-million-dollar winnings, with zero tolerance for error.
Tune in — QNX-based audio routers help radio stations broadcast to millions of listeners, 24 hours a day, non-stop.
Six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda
New Deloitte research reveals that tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value as companies accelerate business model transformation, from undergoing digital transformations to rethinking their supply chains or investing in green initiatives.
According to Phil Mills, Deloitte Global Tax & Legal Leader, to “truly deliver value to the business, the tax function needs to rethink its resourcing model and transform its technology infrastructure to create capacity and control costs”.
And the good news, according to Mills, is that tax and business leaders have more options at their disposal to achieve this.
Reflecting the insights of global tax and finance executives at global companies, Deloitte’s Tax Operations in Focus study reveals the six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda.
Trend 1: Businesses seek more strategic counsel from tax
Companies are being pushed to develop new digital products and distribution channels and accelerate sustainable transformation and this is taking them into uncharted tax territory. Tax leaders say their teams must have the resources and skills to give deeper advisory support on digital business models (65%), supply chain restructuring (49%) and sustainability (48%) over the next two years. This means redrawing the boundaries of what tax professionals focus on, and accelerating adoption of advanced technologies and lower-cost resourcing models to meet compliance requirements and free up time.
According to Joanne Walker, Group Tax Director, BT Group PLC, "There’s still a heavy compliance load today, but the vision for the future would be that much of that falls away, and tax people become subject matter experts who help program the machine, ensure quality control, and redirect their time to advisory activity.”
Trend 2: Tipping point for resourcing models
Business partnering demands in the tax department are on the rise, but 93% of tax leaders say their department’s budget is remaining flat or falling. To ensure that the tax function can redefine itself as a strategic function at the pace that is required, leaders are choosing to move increasing amounts of compliance and reporting to a combination of shared service centers, finance departments, and outsourcing providers that have invested in best-in-class technology.
Trend 3: Digital tax administration is moving faster than expected
in addition to the rising focus of the corporate tax department partnering with their business counterparts, transformative changes to the way companies share tax information with revenue authorities is also creating an imperative to modernize operations at a faster pace. Nine in 10 (92%) respondents say that shifting revenue authority demands on digital tax administration will have a moderate or high impact on tax operations and resources over the next five years—and several heads of tax said the trend is moving faster than expected.
"It’s really stepped up in the last couple of years," says Anna Elphick, VP Tax, Unilever. "Tax authorities don't just want a faster turnaround for compliance but access into a company’s systems. It's not unreasonable to think that in a much shorter time than we expect, compliance will be about companies reviewing a return that's been drafted by the tax authorities."
Trend 4: Data simplification and lower-cost resourcing are top priorities
Tax leaders said that simplifying data management (53%) and moving to lower-cost resourcing models (51%) must be prioritized if tax is to become more proactive at delivering strategic insights to the business. Many tax teams are ensuring that they have a seat at the table as ERP systems are overhauled, which is paying dividends: 56% of those that have introduced NextGen ERP systems are now highly effective at supporting the business with scenario-modeling insights. Only 35% of those with moderate to low use of NextGen ERP systems said the same.
At Stryker, “we automated the source P&L process for transfer pricing which took a huge burden off of the divisions," says David Furgason, Vice President Tax. "Then we created a transfer price database to deposit and retrieve data so we have limited impact on the divisions. We are moving to a single ERP platform which will help us make take the next step with robotics.”
Trend 5: Skillsets are shifting
Embedding a new data infrastructure and redesigning processes are critical for the future tax vision. Tax leaders are aligned — data skills (45%) and technology process experience (43%) are ‘must have’ skills in a tax department of the future, but more traditional tax specialist knowledge also remains key (40%). The trick to success will be in tax leaders facilitating the way these professionals, with their different backgrounds, can work together collectively to unlock lasting value.
Take Infineon Technologies, which formed a VAT technology and governance group "that has the right knowledge about how to change the system to ensure it generates the right reports", according to Matthias Schubert, Global Head of Tax. "Involving them early was key as we took a greenfield approach, so we could think about what the optimal processes would look like and how more intelligent systems could make an impact
Trend 6: 2020 brought productivity improvements
Improved productivity (50%) and accelerating shifts to remote working (48%) were cited as the biggest operational benefits to emerge from COVID-19-driven disruption. But, as 78% of leaders now plan to embed either hybrid or fully remote models in the tax function long term, 34% say maintaining productivity benefits is a top concern. And, as leaders think about building their talent pipeline and strengthening advisory skill sets, 47% say they must prioritize new approaches to talent recognition and career development over the next two years, while 36% say new processes for involving tax in business strategy decisions must be established.