IBM Think Digital 2020: Helping Telecom Providers to Deploy Edge Computing for 5G

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

• IBM is extending its cloud capabilities to the edge and it is partnering with telcos to deploy cloud services at 5G-enabled edge nodes and simplify the management.

• IBM and other hyperscalers are developing ecosystems of partners including telecom providers to deliver enhanced networking solutions for enterprises as they accelerate the adoption of cloud services.

IBM has announced new services to help enterprises and telecommunications companies implement edge computing for 5G; leveraging Red Hat OpenStack and OpenShift. Firstly, IBM Edge Application Manager enables customers to manage AI, analytics and IoT workloads at scale – up to 10,000 edge nodes simultaneously by a single administrator. IBM Telco Network Cloud Manager enables automation capabilities to orchestrate virtual and container network functions in minutes. The company has also extended a portfolio of edge-enabled applications and services to the edge to give customers a range of AI and cognitive capabilities. These include IBM Production Optimization, IBM Connected Manufacturing, IBM Asset Optimization, IBM Maximo Worker Insights, and IBM Visual Inspector. Continue reading “IBM Think Digital 2020: Helping Telecom Providers to Deploy Edge Computing for 5G”

What’s New in Industrial IoT Services?

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • In spite of a likely short-term dampening effect on technology spending due to COVID-19, many businesses are continuing to see the benefits of IoT, and mobile operators are meeting their demand through new capabilities.
  • Over the last six months, new roaming relationships, ecosystem alliances for application enablement, vertical solutions, and edge partnerships have deepened and broadened IoT service portfolios.

While we wait for significantly more ubiquitous availability of 5G, which we believe will be an enabler of further real-time ultra-low latency IoT capabilities in a few years, the IoT ecosystem remains active and engaged. Not only are there IoT applications which help detect and combat COVID-19 (seeCOVID-19: As IoT Ramps Up, Will COVID-19 Tamp It Down or Will the Ecosystem Find Ways to Help Detect and Combat the Pandemic?,” March 25, 2020); mobile operators have also added significantly to their portfolios over the last six months to make IoT offerings more compelling to businesses. These additions include edge alliances, partnerships for roaming and footprint expansion, application enablement and analytics, and vertical solutions. Continue reading “What’s New in Industrial IoT Services?”

IBM Think: IBM’s Action Items for Hybrid, Automation, and Blockchain Objectives

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • IBM kept product announcements to a minimum, featuring a DevOps-oriented security monitoring tool.
  • Hybrid and multi-cloud were the predominant theme for the week.

After attending IBM’s annual mega customer conference under a virtual format, GlobalData offers three key action items for moving its hybrid and multi-cloud strategy forward, addressing operational issues via AI-infused automation, and improving customers’ grasp of blockchain’s potential. Continue reading “IBM Think: IBM’s Action Items for Hybrid, Automation, and Blockchain Objectives”

5G Will Play a Key Role in Economic Recovery but Spectrum Availability is Key

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

• 5G and the ecosystem around it will be a major contributor to the economy and facilitate economic recovery post-COVID.

• Regulators need to provide greater certainty on spectrum availability to allow operators to plan their investment and activities to get new 5G services to the market in a timely manner.

2020 is expected to be the year of 5G. With leading carriers already launched 5G in 2019, the rollout of 5G was ramping up and new 5G-ready devices were in the product pipelines of major manufacturers. However, 5G’s momentum, like many other segments of the economy, has been impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. One of the key challenges for mobile operators is the availability of 5G spectrum. Mobile operators’ 5G rollout plans are often closely linked to the spectrum availability made by regulators. Unfortunately, the virus outbreak has led to some regulators putting planned spectrum allocations/auctions on hold due to health and financial reasons. Meantime, operators are also seeing a significant spike in mobile data services over the last two months. For example, in Spain, the telecom operators saw a 40 percent increase in IP traffic, a 25 percent increase in mobile data, and a five-fold increase in OTT messaging traffic (e.g., WhatsApp). Continue reading “5G Will Play a Key Role in Economic Recovery but Spectrum Availability is Key”

COVID-19: Five Reasons Why NHSX Should Consider Switching to Decentralized Contact Tracing

J. Cordwell
Jonathan Cordwell – Principal Analyst, UK Health & Social Care Technology

A test version of NHSX’s new COVID-19 contact-tracing application, created in conjunction with VMWare’s Pivotal Labs, hit the Apple and Google app stores this past week for an initial trial run in the Isle of Wight. However, its rollout may be delayed or even scrapped as the NHS has tasked Swiss company, Zuhlke, to evaluate its current centralized approach in comparison to the decentralized API model endorsed by tech giants Apple and Google.

Whilst the two approaches share some similarities, they also differ in key areas. Although both models use Bluetooth to register a user’s contact with others nearby, the decentralized model relies heavily on the devices to operate privately, referencing a central server but ultimately delivering alerts between the two parties. In contrast, the centralized model that NHSX had originally opted for would rely on a central database to issue these alerts. It is also worth noting that, whereas the NHSX app is its own entity, Apple and Google are simply providing an API that can be tailored by governments all over the world.

The UK is one of only a few countries to attempt the centralized model. Germany originally favored this approach before it made a sudden U-turn, whilst France has received a letter from hundreds of security experts urging it to switch to the decentralized model. One can only assume that the UK has faced similar pressures, which have led to the appointment of Zuhlke to assess whether a German-style U-turn may be worthwhile.

Despite some initial positive feedback that the NHSX app was lightweight, unobtrusive, and intuitive, many would agree that it would be wise to reconsider and adopt Apple and Google’s decentralized API approach instead and so, without further ado, here are five reasons why NHSX should consider making the switch: Continue reading “COVID-19: Five Reasons Why NHSX Should Consider Switching to Decentralized Contact Tracing”

COVID-19: Edge Computing Can Help with Post-Crisis Recovery

Summary Bullets:

• GlobalData predicts that sales of edge computing infrastructure and services will grow by almost 14% in 2020, and will experience accelerated growth in the 2021-2024 period.

• As with 5G, edge computing can help with post-crisis economic stimulus efforts, creating new opportunities for businesses, while helping them operate in more efficient and adaptable ways.

Prior to the global outbreak of COVID-19, edge computing was widely perceived to be one of IT’s hottest new trends. However, the COVID-19 crisis has thrown industries and economies around the world into upheaval, with many businesses being forced to re-evaluate previous IT investment plans – including those that involve edge computing. Despite this, investments in edge computing technologies are expected to continue throughout the remainder of 2020, before picking up in 2021. This is because of the benefits edge computing enables, and the broad range of use cases edge computing technologies support. Together with 5G wireless networking and artificial intelligence (AI), edge computing can also help governments and businesses strengthen their digital infrastructures and support post-crisis economic recovery. Continue reading “COVID-19: Edge Computing Can Help with Post-Crisis Recovery”

COVID-19: Tech Providers Demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility Leadership Now More Than Ever

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

  • The current pandemic has provided the opportunity to broaden the definition of corporate social responsibility (CSDR) and for technology providers to take even greater action.
  • A key question is whether these initiatives will pay off in the long run; the answer is likely ‘yes,’ but much will depend on a company’s track record prior to COVID-19.

The move toward greater corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been taking place for quite some time. Traditional activities that fall into this category are broad, including educational programs, investments in local or underprivileged communities, increased hiring of minorities, and initiatives to reduce carbon footprints or to support environmentally friendly projects. And the list goes on. The current pandemic has provided the opportunity for technology providers to take even greater action and possibly broaden what should be included in the definition of CSR. Continue reading “COVID-19: Tech Providers Demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility Leadership Now More Than Ever”

IBM Think: IBM Rallies Global Coders to Help Battle COVID-19

Charlotte Dunlap – Principal Analyst, Application Platforms

Summary Bullets:

• IBM Call to Code program builds momentum via prestigious partners and 300,000 global coders.

• IBM Cloud and Watson (AI) services are available to coders via open-source software (OSS) tools.

The power of technology to help solve real-world problems is perhaps most eloquently illustrated through the three winners of the COVID-19-related applications associated with IBM’s latest coding contest.

IBM’s two-year-old Call for Code Global Challenge campaign was initially launched in 2018 seeking innovative applications to address climate change. The program was expanded recently to include COVID-19, which spurred a massive response, including 1,000 developer registrations in a single day soon after being announced. Presently the program includes 300,000 developers across 168 countries. Continue reading “IBM Think: IBM Rallies Global Coders to Help Battle COVID-19”

Verizon’s Multi-Layer Approach to IoT Security

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• While there are many approaches to IoT security, consumers and businesses still have reasonable doubt – will carriers and vendors be able to sway public opinion?

• Service providers talk about the need to provide security at every layer – at end and edge devices, for data in transit through multiple networks, and to cloud services providers and applications. Verizon is well on its way to realize this goal.

Every survey conducted by GlobalData on IoT (and every other one I have ever seen) over the past five years notes that the major barrier to adoption of IoT is still fear of the lack of end-to-end security and “the end” of data privacy. It doesn’t help that in-home devices such as cameras and voice assistants have already caused some famously embarrassing invasions of privacy. We are approaching a time when 5G-enabled low latency, high speed, and “massive” bandwidth availability may finally push IoT adoption towards the tens of billions of devices that have been predicted for years. But alongside this growth is a vision of billions of unprotected, unmanned devices in the field that are able to not only see and hear what humans say and use this data to sell products, but may cause serious breaches to business and government systems that have already been weakened by cyber-security malware and identity theft. Continue reading “Verizon’s Multi-Layer Approach to IoT Security”

COVID-19: Industrial Automation Has Become an “Essential” Business Process

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• The definition of an essential business during the pandemic is an evolving one and includes more than just grocery stores, drug stores, and financial services. As the food supply may be in danger, the definition has expanded.

• To keep industries running that affect the national food supply, companies that provide industrial automation solutions that help ensure that manufacturing lines of food and beverage companies keep going are now considered essential.

After I got over my horror that my son was still expected to go into his company office three times a week, I learned that his business was considered an essential one, according to state COVID-19 definitions. This is because his company keeps manufacturing companies, which include food and beverage manufacturers, up and running, through industrial automation, robotics, and machine vision technology. I interviewed my son to find out how this works. Continue reading “COVID-19: Industrial Automation Has Become an “Essential” Business Process”