Blockchain Talk highlights blockchain discussions by publicly traded companies during earnings calls and conferences.
From HP Enterprises to Tyson Foods to Webjets, we continue to see companies large and small embrace blockchain technology. Their updates are almost universally positive and supportive of the ecosystem.
The following is the editor’s summary of this week:
- HPE says “generic infrastructure and public cloud environment can now support the blockchain”.
- Innergex says bitcoin mining is coming out of China and settling around the world. “Bitcoin miners are coming and knocking on their door.”
- Webjet is excited about their blockchain initiative, “Rezchain”, and shares a detailed update.
- Honeywell does not see near-term impact of blockchain on the automation industry.
- Tyson Foods reveals “very exciting results” from blockchain pilot with IBM.
- Western Union discusses partnership with Ripple.
For more details, please see the excerpts below.
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Hewlett Packard Enterprises (NYSE: HPE): Earnings Call
Antonio Fabio Neri, CEO:
In November, we announced the world’s most scalable and modular in-memory computing platform called HPE Superdome Flex. The platform enables enterprises of any size to process and analyze massive amount of data and turn it into real-time business insights, and we announced an innovative blockchain-as-a-service solution. Enterprises are finding that the generic infrastructure and public cloud environments can now support the blockchain requirements that they need in terms of performance, security, scalability and resiliency. Our solution brings an enterprise great capability to blockchain workloads.
Innergex Renewable Energy (TSE: INE): Earnings Call
Michel Letellier, CEO:
I think that you probably saw a few articles in the paper regarding the blockchain and bitcoin mining activities being relocated around the planet, getting out of China and trying to find a new home…
[On bringing down surpluses] So depending on how much success they will have, then actually the blockchain, the bitcoin miners are coming and knocking on their door. So we know how fast these guys could implement some facility and perhaps help reduce the surplus in Quebec.
Webjet (ASX: WEB: Earnings Call
John Guscic, Executive Director:
Moving on to competitive advantage, our blockchain initiative has been launched with a number of incremental partners who have come on board. It’s called – it was branded as Rezchain. One of the things that I’ve spoken about and it goes to the underlying nature of where I would like to see this business and for those who have been with us for the journey of B2B over the last five years we’re now expanding our broader ambitions. It was – we needed a multi-supply aggregation strategy which is a combination of directly contracted hotels with third-parties and international hotel chains. At scale, we were hopeful of getting an 8% revenue-to-TTV margin, 5% of cost driving 3% of the bottom line.
And one of the things I continuously spoke about is that in a market where pricing is a key determinant of a customer’s solution set, being the lowest cost provider was important. In fact it was strategically, critically important. Rezchain is an initiative that we’ve been working on for nearly two years. It’s been a partnership with Microsoft, where Microsoft has delivered considerable expertise to us. We are now on the fourth iteration of this product. So, it’s a polite way of saying we’ve rewritten it four times. And we have been in operations and delivering benefit to the broader WebBeds group, primarily between Sunhotels and Lots of Hotels over the last three or four months.
Buoyed by the success that we’ve had with our partners with our internal testing, we have demonstrated to a number of our largest partners what this could do and they all – we’re basically betting four for four. We pitched it to Thomas Cook; we pitched it to – which everyone knows who they are, Dida, who – you may or may not know, the China’s largest B2B wholesaler; MG, Indonesia’s largest B2B wholesaler; and Far East Hospitality, Singapore-based hospitality owners, they’re a supplier as opposed to a customer, which is what the other three are. The other three are both the customer and a supplier as well.
So, across those four companies, we pitched it to them, because we obviously – we went to a number of businesses that we knew who are craving for innovation, based on the conversations we’ve had, and they’ve all accepted to sign contracts with us to enable us to deploy our blockchain solution for them, and we’ll continue to test this out, assuming they see the same level of success that we have demonstrated so far. We’ll roll this out to our broader customer base at some point in FY 2019. We’ll provide updates as they become relevant.
We think Rezchain is a competitive advantage to us compared to any of our other competitors. We’re unaware of anybody in our competitive set that’s undertaken this initiative. And we believe the streamlining of the reconciliation process, improving data integrity, reducing costs is a better outcome both financially and operationally for our business. And more importantly, it’s a better outcome for our partners ensuring integrity of all of our exchange of information with them will drive hopefully a better result from them. So, we’re very excited with what we’ve been able to achieve. It’s been – we are the first global travel business to deploy a commercially open blockchain solution in the market, and we think it goes to driving costs out of our business and achieving scale going forward.
Honeywell (NYSE: HON): Investor Conference
Vimal M. Kapur, President Honeywell Process Solutions:
In our industry, the challenge is that our industry follows IT as a technology trend. The trick is to find what out of those technology trends are meaningful to our customer and they will buy it. That’s the trick. Now, there are many things. You can say blockchain will be great and it will transform automation industry, wrong answer. It will not, for near term, because it’s more of a commercial system versus an automation system. So, we have been good to find within the macros what really is meaningful to our customer.
Tyson Foods, (NYSE: TSN): Investor Conference
Justin Whitmore, Executive Vice President Corporate Strategy & Chief Sustainability Officer:
We have a pilot going right now with IBM with blockchain technology that’s showing some emerging, very exciting results.
Western Union (NYSE: WU): Investor Conference
Hikmet Ersek, CEO:
Definitely with Ripple, we have a partnership, we are looking at that with Ripple, but it’s not only Ripple also, other blockchain and other cryptocurrency investment we did even in the dynamic currency group, [indiscernible]. And we did also looking at cryptocurrencies. So, we are really looking at the platform.
Now, we have to differentiate between blockchain and cryptocurrency. In all in discussion, people are mixing that. That’s totally two different things. In blockchain, it really helps us – we are looking if they can help us on settlements on customer identification, really moving as a back office information. That’s the partnership we have with Ripple using the blockchain really moving information within our certain environment.
So, far it’s a test, it’s good test, but we did not see the big change yet there, because our system is unique… I would say that we created the first cryptocurrency within our closed blockchain environment. When the customer sends money, we give them a 10-digit number and this 10-digit number follows all the way in 130, 120 or whatever that is all the way in the settlement and during the anti-money laundering checks, during the compliance checks and goes all the way and we return that 10-digit number immediately with ordinary currency. That’s unique, that’s hard to replace, that – we do that 31 times every second for years. Now, we do it for our digital one. And so the question is what is the blockchain’s advantage to replace that environment? And we are looking at that. We didn’t find the silver bullet yet, but you know maybe you’ll be there, so we are investing there and innovating.