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Liferay Releases New Digital Experience Products to Support the Complete Customer Journey 

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Liferay Releases New Digital Experience Products to Support the Complete Customer Journey 

Liferay DXP 7.1, Liferay Commerce and Liferay Analytics Cloud help business users and developers deliver insight-driven experiences to acquire and retain customers

Liferay, Inc., which makes software that helps companies create digital experiences on web, mobile and connected devices, today announced the release of Liferay Digital Experience Platform 7.1 (DXP) and new digital commerce and analytics offerings to bolster and improve the entire customer journey.

The latest version of Liferay DXP, together with the new Liferay Commerce and Liferay Analytics Cloud offerings, give enterprises new ways to easily create engaging customer experiences, including a B2C-like purchasing journey for B2B customers that’s fully integrated to the end-to-end customer experience, and continuously improve them through in-depth analytics across touchpoints.

Relationships with customers are not one-time events,” said Edwin Chung, VP of Product Management for Liferay. That’s why the latest version of Liferay DXP and our new digital commerce and analytics offerings help businesses build long-term relationships with their customers by helping them understand customer needs and delivering timely content.”

In order to quickly meet the needs of today’s digitally savvy customers Liferay DXP 7.1 provides content delivery teams more flexibility to create the content they want. Business users are able to assemble web pages using pre-designed, reusable elements without touching code. Web developers can more conveniently support the delivery of unique, valuable content by creating these elements within Liferay’s own code editor or by using their preferred tools to import finished content directly into Liferay DXP via APIs.

Organizations may now also supplement the functionality of Liferay DXP with Liferay Analytics Cloud, a new offering that works with Liferay DXP to aggregate data into a single customer view and help business users understand customer activity. By using Liferay Analytics Cloud businesses are able to gain insights into the performance of content along with data on customer behavior and interests so that businesses can present customers with the content they need when they need it. Liferay Analytics Cloud, which is in beta, will be offered as a SaaS-based subscription for Liferay DXP customers.

For businesses looking to deliver frictionless transactional experiences for their customers, Liferay Commerce offers organizations the tools to build integrated front-end experiences and streamline the entire purchasing journey. The new offering allows business to eliminate the complexity found in many B2B transactions by providing customers with a single interface with which to view products, receive customized pricing, make purchases and reorder them with one click, and assign permissions to others in their organization. Businesses can take advantage of Liferay Commerce’s machine learning capabilities to understand customers’ purchasing history and make more informed decisions regarding inventory and warehouse management. Liferay Commerce is currently in limited release for select Liferay DXP customers.

Release highlights:

  • Personalized dynamic forms: Forms in Liferay DXP 7.1 are designed to be extremely flexible so that businesses can deliver personalized experiences specifically designed for their customer base. Conditional rules allow forms to adjust dynamically, such as showing or requiring certain fields based on responses to form fields. In addition, forms may be configured to send notifications when fields are completed.For those businesses requiring additional customization, a new API allows developers to create customized field types and rules and deploy them in Liferay. 
  • Flexible page creation: With Liferay DXP 7.1 teams save time and have the flexibility to create the pages they want by storing page sections as “fragments” and reusing them anywhere within their Liferay site. More technical users can use the new Fragment Editor, a professional code editor located within the browser, to create or edit fragments. Development teams may also create fragments using their preferred tools and import them into Liferay. The new Page Editor allows business users to visually lay out page designs, save them as reusable templates and easily create and add in unstructured content as needed.
  • Improved mobile and cross-platform development: In order to decrease time to production, developers working with Liferay DXP 7.1 can use Apache Cordova or Xamarin to build cross-platform applications from a single codebase designed for the web and embed that content into an application for mobile use. Sites and applications designed for web can now also be rendered for mobile with no additional code.
  • Commerce: Liferay Commerce is a brand new product designed to streamline B2B purchasing and delight customers. The new offering allows businesses to eliminate the complexity found in many B2B transactions by providing customers with a single interface with which to view products, receive customized pricing, make purchases and reorder them with one click, and assign permissions to others in their organization. Businesses can take advantage of Liferay Commerce’s machine learning capabilities to understand customers’ purchasing history and make more informed decisions regarding inventory and warehouse management.
  • Analytics: Liferay Analytics Cloud is a new analytics tool that works with Liferay DXP to aggregate data into a comprehensive view of the customer and help business users understand customer activity. Functionality delivered in Liferay Analytics Cloud allows businesses to view individual activity history, engagement and interest, understand audience behavior over time and visualize traffic paths for easy source identification. Liferay Analytics Cloud is offered as a SaaS-based subscription for DXP customers.

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Oil extends losses as Texas prepares to ramp up output

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Oil extends losses as Texas prepares to ramp up output 1

By Ahmad Ghaddar

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices fell from recent highs for a second day on Friday as Texas energy firms began to prepare for restarting oil and gas fields shuttered by freezing weather.

Brent crude futures were down $1.16, or 1.8%, to $62.77 per barrel, by 1150 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $1.42, or 2.4%, to $59.10 a barrel.

Unusually cold weather in Texas and the Plains states curtailed up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil production and 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas, according to analysts.

Texas refiners halted about a fifth of the nation’s oil processing amid power outages and severe cold.

However, firms in the region on Friday were expected to prepare for production restarts as electric power and water services slowly resume, sources said.

“The market was ripe for a correction and signs of the power and overall energy situation starting to normalise in Texas provided the necessary trigger,” said Vandana Hari, energy analyst at Vanda Insights.

Oil fell despite a surprise fall in U.S. crude stockpiles in the week to Feb. 12, before the freeze. Inventories fell by 7.3 million barrels to 461.8 million barrels, their lowest since March, the Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday. [EIA/S]

The United States on Thursday said it was ready to talk to Iran about both nations returning to a 2015 agreement that aimed to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

While the thawing relations could raise the prospect of reversing sanctions imposed by the previous U.S. administration, analysts did not expect Iranian oil sanctions to be lifted anytime soon.

“This breakthrough increases the probability that we may see Iran returning to the oil market soon, although there is much to be discussed and a new deal will not be a carbon-copy of the 2015 nuclear deal,” StoneX analyst Kevin Solomon said.

(Additional reporting by Roslan Khasawneh in Singapore and Sonali Paul in Melbourne; editing by Jason Neely)

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Analysis: Carmakers wake up to new pecking order as chip crunch intensifies

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Analysis: Carmakers wake up to new pecking order as chip crunch intensifies 2

By Douglas Busvine and Christoph Steitz

BERLIN (Reuters) – The semiconductor crunch that has battered the auto sector leaves carmakers with a stark choice: pay up, stock up or risk getting stuck on the sidelines as chipmakers focus on more lucrative business elsewhere.

Car manufacturers including Volkswagen, Ford and General Motors have cut output as the chip market was swept clean by makers of consumer electronics such as smartphones – the chip industry’s preferred customers because they buy more advanced, higher-margin chips.

The semiconductor shortage – over $800 worth of silicon is packed into a modern electric vehicle – has exposed the disconnect between an auto industry spoilt by decades of just-in-time deliveries and an electronics industry supply chain it can no longer bend to its will.

“The car sector has been used to the fact that the whole supply chain is centred around cars,” said McKinsey partner Ondrej Burkacky. “What has been overlooked is that semiconductor makers actually do have an alternative.”

Automakers are responding to the shortage by lobbying governments to subsidize the construction of more chip-making capacity.

In Germany, Volkswagen has pointed the finger at suppliers, saying it gave them timely warning last April – when much global car production was idled due to the coronavirus pandemic – that it expected demand to recover strongly in the second half of the year.

That complaint by the world’s No.2 volume carmaker cuts little ice with chipmakers, who say the auto industry is both quick to cancel orders in a slump and to demand investment in new production in a recovery.

“Last year we had to furlough staff and bear the cost of carrying idle capacity,” said a source at one European semiconductor maker, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“If the carmakers are asking us to invest in new capacity, can they please tell us who will pay for that idle capacity in the next downturn?”

LOW-TECH CUSTOMER

The auto industry spends around $40 billion a year on chips – about a tenth of the global market. By comparison, Apple spends more on chips just to make its iPhones, Mirabaud tech analyst Neil Campling reckons.

Moreover, the chips used in cars tend to be basic products such as micro controllers made under contract at older foundries – hardly the leading-edge production technology in which chipmakers would be willing to invest.

“The suppliers are saying: ‘If we continue to produce this stuff there is nowhere else for it to go. Sony isn’t going to use it for a Playstation 5 or Apple for its next iPhone’,” said Asif Anwar at Strategy Analytics.

Chipmakers were surprised by the panicked reaction of the German car industry, which persuaded Economy Minister Peter Altmaier to write a letter in January to his counterpart in Taiwan to ask its semiconductor makers to supply more chips.

No extra supplies were forthcoming, with one German industry source joking that the Americans stood a better chance of getting more chips from Taiwan because they could at least park an aircraft carrier off the coast – referring to the ability of the United States to project power in Asia.

Closer to home, a source at another European chipmaker expressed disbelief at the poor understanding at one carmaker of how it operates.

“We got a call from one auto maker that was desperate for supply. They said: Why don’t you run a night shift to increase production?” this person said.

“What they didn’t understand is that we have been running a night shift since the beginning.”

NO QUICK FIX

While Infineon, the leading supplier of chips to the global auto industry, and Robert Bosch, the top ‘Tier 1’ parts supplier, both plan to commission new chip plants this year, there is little chance of supply shortages easing soon.

Specialist chipmakers like Infineon outsource some production of automotive chips to contract manufacturers led by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), but the Asian foundries are currently prioritising high-end electronics makers as they come up against capacity constraints.

Over the longer term, the relationship between chip makers and the car industry will become closer as electric vehicles are more widely adopted and features such as assisted and autonomous driving develop, requiring more advanced chips.

But, in the short term, there is no quick fix for the lack of chip supply: IHS Markit estimates that the time it takes to deliver a microcontroller has doubled to 26 weeks and shortages will only bottom out in March.

That puts the production of 1 million light vehicles at risk in the first quarter, says IHS Markit. European chip industry executives and analysts agree that supply will not catch up with demand until later in the year.

Chip shortages are having a “snowball effect” as auto makers idle some capacity to prioritize building profitable models, said Anwar at Strategy Analytics, who forecasts a drop in car production in Europe and North America of 5%-10% in 2021.

The head of Franco-Italian chipmaker STMicroelectronics, Jean-Marc Chery, forecasts capacity constraints will affect carmakers until mid-year.

“Up to the end of the second quarter, the industry will have to manage at the lean inventory level,” Chery told a recent Goldman Sachs conference.

(Douglas Busvine from Berlin and Christoph Steitz from Frankfurt; Additional reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Gilles Gillaume in Paris; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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Aussie and sterling hit multi-year highs on recovery bets

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Aussie and sterling hit multi-year highs on recovery bets 3

By Tommy Wilkes

LONDON (Reuters) – The Australian dollar rose to near a three-year high and the British pound scaled $1.40 for the first time since 2018 on optimism about economic rebounds in the two countries and after the U.S. dollar was knocked by disappointing jobs data.

The U.S. currency had been rising in recent days as a jump in Treasury yields on the back of the so-called reflation trade drew investors. But an unexpected increase in U.S. weekly jobless claims soured the economic outlook and sent the dollar lower overnight.

On Friday it traded down 0.3% against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index at 90.309.

The Aussie rose 0.8% to $0.784, its highest since March 2018. The currency, which is closely linked to commodity prices and the outlook for global growth, has been helped by a recent rally in commodity prices.

The New Zealand dollar also gained, and was not far off a more than two-year high, while the Canadian dollar rose too.

Sterling rose to $1.4009 on Friday, an almost three-year high amid Britain’s aggressive vaccination programme.

Given the size of Britain’s vital services sector, analysts say the faster it can reopen the economy, the better for the currency. Sterling was also helped by better-than-expected purchasing managers index flash survey data for February.

The U.S. dollar has been weighed down by a string of soft labour data, even as other indicators have shown resilience, and as President Joe Biden’s pandemic relief efforts take shape, including a proposed $1.9 trillion spending package.

Despite the recent rise in U.S. yields, many analysts think they won’t climb too much higher, limiting the benefit for the dollar.

“Our view remains that the Fed will hold the line and remain very cautious about tapering asset purchases. We think it will keep communicating that tightening is very far off, which should dampen pro-dollar sentiment,” said UBS Global Wealth Management strategist Gaétan Peroux and analyst Tilmann Kolb.

ING analysts said “the rise in rates will be self-regulating, meaning the dollar need not correct too much higher”.

They see the greenback index trading down to the 90.10 to 91.05 range.

U.S. dollar

Aussie and sterling hit multi-year highs on recovery bets 4

The euro rose 0.4% to $1.2134. The single currency showed little reaction to purchasing manager index data, which showed a slowdown in business activity in February. However, factories had their busiest month in three years, buoying sentiment.

The dollar bought 105.39 yen, down 0.3% and a continued retreat from the five-month high of 106.225 reached Wednesday.

(Editing by Hugh Lawson and Pravin Char)

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