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Today in mobile commerce: news briefs

Clickatell new hire to bolster mobile financial services deployments

Clickatell, leader in enterprise messaging, has hired Len Pienaar, former CEO of FNB’s mobile commerce division, to strengthen the company’s management team and financial services market position.

Mr. Pienaar has many years of experience in mobile banking deployments and in providing banking services that consumers are able to easily use conveniently from their mobile phone.

His expertise, combined with Clickatell’s decade of enterprise messaging experience, will advance the use of the mobile phone in enterprise and financial services deployments in Africa and around the world.

Responsible for the ongoing operations of an entire business unit, Mr. Pienaar spearheaded the entire mobile banking strategy for FNB.

Having seen the success of the initial deployments, the business unit now operates in six countries: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zambia and is in the process of expanding to two more countries.

Mplayit expands social mobile app store worldwide
Mplayit, the company best known for its social mobile app stores on the Facebook platform, is bringing its technology to major new international carrier partners.

Mplayit has been available for Telefonica O2 customers in Britain since November 2009 and yesterday the company announced new partnerships in Canada with No. 1 carrier Rogers and with Australian market-leader Telstra.

Mplayit has been helping major U.S. carriers such as Sprint and AT&T and publishers such as EA offer playable discovery for mobile games and apps since late 2008.

The new deals point to a broader trend in the carrier market. Traditionally, wireless carriers have failed to properly exploit the power of the Web in merchandising their application catalogs to customers.

The rapid growth in the social Web in the past two years has left many even further behind.

Now, with the growth in smartphone penetration and increased competition from device manufacturers themselves, carriers are recognizing the need to improve mobile application discovery and provide their customers with the best experience possible.

Mplayit is increasingly partnering with carriers to help them achieve these goals.

MediaWeava lets media owners convert music files for mobile
According to MediaWeava, record labels and distributors currently bogged down with time-consuming mobile music delivery could benefit from the company’s new platform.

MediaWeava, created by mobile technology developer Destar, enables record labels, distributors and other media owners to easily and swiftly convert music and video files into mobile-ready formats, significantly reducing the time, effort and expense it takes typically to distribute music content to mobile storefronts.

Destar believes that file conversion, meta data management and distribution are three key challenges currently hampering the availability of entire catalogues on mobile, which is why the company has enabled the entire process to be managed and automated over a simple Web interface, MediaWeava.

Sterling Commerce unveils new mobile apps for retailers
Sterling Commerce has officially embraced mobile handheld devices such as smartphones as a critical touch point in enabling cross-channel excellence, as its entrance into the space reveals.

The company has extended several of its key product capabilities to the Apple iPhone with the introduction of new mobile applications.

Two new Sterling Commerce mobile applications — Sterling Store Associate Mobile and Sterling Mobile Store Channel — were demonstrated at the National Retail Federation Convention and Expo.

The new applications enable anytime, anywhere access to capabilities of key Sterling Commerce offerings as part of the company’s strategy to extend its collaborative applications and integration solutions to mobile devices.

Its first mobile applications work with Sterling Selling and Fulfillment Suite, the company’s applications suite for orchestrating the entire inquiry-to-cash process, including order capture/management, logistics management and supply chain visibility.