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”

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: The Impact on ASEAN Enterprise ICT

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

• Legacy ICT services make it more challenging for ASEAN enterprises to adapt to the changing business needs due to COVID-19.

• COVID-19 is driving digital transformation for most ASEAN enterprises and will open up a wider opportunity for carriers and service providers.

The impact of COVID-19 on ICT and vertical industries are widely covered on GlobalData COVID-19 Dashboard. With lockdowns (or shutdowns, state-of-emergency, or similar terms used per country) in nearly the whole world, the impacts on ICT spending are somewhat consistent globally. However, the impact in the Southeast Asia region (aka ASEAN) is different. Most enterprises are in a very early stage of their digital transformation journey. While newer services such as cloud, SD-WAN, and UCaaS have become the norm in other countries, a large majority of enterprises in this region still rely on the traditional ICT such as captive data center and traditional network services. The lack of agility and flexibility in these legacy services makes it more challenging for enterprises to adapt to changes due to COVID-19 such as remote workplace and digital customer channels. As a result, enterprises are shifting their current ICT priorities to focus on cloud migration, network re-dimensioning, UC deployment and/or expansion and digital services roll-out. Continue reading “COVID-19: The Impact on ASEAN Enterprise ICT”

COVID-19: Under the Coronavirus Strain, Will Blockchain be the New Supply Chain?

C. Dunlap
C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

• Coronavirus demands illustrate the brokenness of traditional supply chain

• Blockchain methods emphasize trust and data strengths, but innovations are in early stages

The latest examples of the brokenness of the current state of the supply chain market are illustrated by the global pandemic.

COVID-19 has exposed the inability to access and mange adequate supplies of ventilators and PPEs, including proper visibility into the quality of expired and damaged goods unknowingly being sent to hospital workers. The issue demonstrates the need for an evaluation of how current supply chain systems supply, track, and manage goods and services. At the same time, the momentum behind blockchain as the answer for serving as a modern day supply chain alternative should be considered, but won’t be entirely straightforward, considering its recent emergence. Continue reading “COVID-19: Under the Coronavirus Strain, Will Blockchain be the New Supply Chain?”

COVID-19: For Cloud Providers, Time Is of the Essence

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

  • Key themes of Enterprise Connect Virtual included the benefits of cloud-based solutions; the sudden increase in cloud migrations; and the combining of UCaaS, CCaaS, and CPaaS.
  • COVID-19 has suddenly made it evident that cloud services are essential to business continuity as companies everywhere find themselves supporting a remote workforce indefinitely.

Enterprise Connect Virtual took place while much of the country was essentially in a lockdown. Wherever possible, employees were working remotely, with many instructed only to leave their homes for essential reasons. Against this backdrop, the event focused on the benefits of cloud-based communication solutions; an overnight rise in cloud migrations; and the simultaneous adoption of UCaaS, CCaaS, and CPaaS. Continue reading “COVID-19: For Cloud Providers, Time Is of the Essence”

COVID-19: Phase Two, Long-Term IT Strategies

Gary Barton – Analyst, Business Network and IT Services

Summary Bullets:

• Digital transformation strategies will play a crucial role in how companies respond to and recover from the COVID19 crisis and all enterprises should be working on their strategy now

• The cloud has demonstrated that it is a resilient and flexible technology that will enable enterprises to respond to COVID-19 and other future emergencies

Most enterprises have considered and deployed their initial response to COVID-19 which has been to deliver at least a minimum viable IT solution to the sudden shift to remote working. Enterprises are now looking at phase two: how do businesses create IT infrastructure that will support the ‘new normal’ that emerges in a post COVID-19 world? Continue reading “COVID-19: Phase Two, Long-Term IT Strategies”

COVID-19: Hyperscalers Ramp Up, Clamp Down to Meet Soaring Demand


Amy Larsen DeCarlo – Principal Analyst, Security and Data Center Services

Summary Bullets:

• Hyperscale cloud providers report a surge in demand for both their on-demand infrastructure services and productivity and collaboration services

• Past experience is so far helping guide capacity planning but there are still some limitations that are impacting performance as some users and applications involved in critical healthcare and emergency services get priority

The COVID-19 pandemic is driving businesses in virtually every field to deploy a remote workforce model overnight. This shift comes with immediate need for cloud-based productivity and collaboration applications. Organizations are also looking to virtualize other elements of their infrastructures, and thus requiring more cloud capacity to support these changes. Continue reading “COVID-19: Hyperscalers Ramp Up, Clamp Down to Meet Soaring Demand”

Intelligent Process Automation: Best Bet for Easing Business Transformations

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Intelligent process automation (IPA) is the natural evolution of business process automation when coupled with AI, low-code and RPA solutions, and intelligent business process optimization.
  • IPA is used by operations teams, business users, and developers to significantly reduce repetitive tasks associated with the deployment of modern apps in a multi-cloud environment.

A new breed of AI-infused automation technology, referred to as intelligent process automation (IPA), is the result of enterprise operations teams citing complexity and the lack of automation as key barriers to cloud-native app development and modern application deployments. GlobalData defines IPA as the natural evolution of business process automation when coupled with AI technologies (e.g., machine learning and natural language processing), low-code and RPA solutions, and intelligent business process optimization. It is used by operations teams, business users, and developers to significantly reduce repetitive tasks associated with the deployment of modern apps in a multi-cloud environment. Continue reading “Intelligent Process Automation: Best Bet for Easing Business Transformations”

Cloud Rising: Hyperscale Providers Play a Crucial Role in the Race to Connect During the COVID-19 Outbreak

A. DeCarlo
A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • COVID-19 has driven organizations to shift to more virtual and remote operations, highlighting flaws in our connectivity, as well as challenges with our current collaboration and other business applications.
  • While still at a relatively nascent stage, edge computing is beginning to play a role in enabling latency-sensitive use cases such as telemedicine applications for remote diagnostics that could potentially help address future global issues like the coronavirus outbreak.

The COVID-19 outbreak is driving an overwhelming shift to virtual operations for many traditional enterprises and educational institutions. The mass migration to a remote workforce and distance learning exposes technology gaps and inspires some deeper thinking on ways in which organizations can apply innovation to their models. Can more work be done remotely on a longer-term basis? How can students with limited Internet access be connected in a cost-effective and efficient way? What transformational use cases can emerging technologies drive forward that could help resolve the pandemic and address other complex problems around the world? Continue reading “Cloud Rising: Hyperscale Providers Play a Crucial Role in the Race to Connect During the COVID-19 Outbreak”

COVID-19: Netherlands Innovator Taps Blockchain and AI in the War Against COVID-19

Summary Bullets:

• VirusBlockchain deployed this week to identify and monitor COVID-19 free zones

• The blockchain monitoring system is backed by technology provider Qlikchain

This week the tech industry partnered with a public health consortium to launch a blockchain-enabled monitoring system aimed at keeping communities at bay from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Public Health Blockchain Consortium (PHBC) announced the new system which monitors healthy, uninfected individuals as they move between locations in order to automatically identify zones that are safe or unsafe. The system is built on a blockchain solution which combines AI, geographical information systems (GIS), and real-time information systems provided by virus surveillance providers.

Called VirusBlockchain, the system serves as a systematic, continuous, and anonymous verification of citizens and all workplaces in an effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 infection. The project is unlike other approaches that would typically track infected persons. Continue reading “COVID-19: Netherlands Innovator Taps Blockchain and AI in the War Against COVID-19”