The top 10 tech articles and resources from April 2015

The Top 10 Asia Pacific Tech Wrap for April 2015. This article is TQ’s monthly collection of the most important stories, analysis, research, data, and announcements on tech-related issues in the Asia Pacific region for executives and other leaders. We take you to the primary source of the stories that made the headlines so you can make your own judgements and raise your own questions.

Nepal suffered from a devastating earthquake that killed thousands and destroyed infrastructure and globally important sites. Technology is, and will play an on-going role in the immediate and long-term aftermath of the earthquake as Nepal rebuilds. But what kind of role is still unclear. Google, for example, quickly announced it had a people finder service available for those in affected areas. It is unclear, however, how these kind of online services impact the traditional role of organisations like the ICRC, which has run services to reconnect families across the world in many disaster and war-affected places. That said, it is clear that online services and technology like drones (or UAVs) can assist greatly in times of need.

Apple unveiled its long-awaited smart watch to much fanfare and commentary. The Verge had a good review of the new gadget while post-launch many noticed the device doesn't work all that well with tattoos. While the launch was accompanied by many organisations releasing apps for the Apple Watch, for business and IT leaders there are still many questions about whether they are fully prepared for the impact of wearables beyond developing an app.

Amazon announced its financial results and for the first time broke out details for its cloud services division, AWS. It noted AWS is a $5 billion business and growing quickly. Of course, this led everyone else to announce how big their own cloud revenues are.

In arguably one of the bigger surprises of the month, Nokia announced its intentions to buy Alcatel Lucent.

Microsoft continued to reinvent itself at its Build conference at the end of the month. The following (very long) video introduces the first day's presentations, including the Windows 10 approach.

In Japan, Apple, IBM, and Japan Post joined forces to bring technology to the country's aging population. Using iPads, IBM developed apps and technology, and Japan Post's geographic footprint and network the trio aim to bring the elderly into the connected world. It isn't clear yet how much of a platform this will be for other organisations but holds promise.

VinaCapital CEO talked to Bloomberg about how Vietnam city, Danang, is becoming a centre for start ups and innovation. The country still has many challenges when it comes to the ICT industry, but is moving forward with many large manufacturers also setting up shop. Here is the video:

Deloitte released its annual Human Capital Trends 2015 report. The research outlines ten mega trends impacting workplace strategy and human resources practices including many technology driven ones like machine learning.

IT News had an in-depth look at how Westpac is transforming its workplace. The bank is one of many organisations in Australia that has adopted activity based working (ABW). The ABW trend appears to have now firmly taken hold in Australia and is becoming more and more mainstream.

BNZ (PDF) released its Online Retail Sales Report. Overall online sales were up 11% year-on-year for the month of March, with international retailers performing best with 18% YoY growth. The weaker NZ dollar is helping to drive international retailer sales, and puts pressure on domestic firms to up their digital engagement strategies to compete.

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