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”

COVID-19: How to Keep Working When Offices Close

Gary Barton – Analyst, Business Network and IT Services

Summary Bullets:

• Collaboration technologies offer a viable way to support home working during Covid-19 – and potential long-term cost saving and carbon reduction benefits.

• Enterprises should already be trialing collaboration and VPN platforms in anticipation of potential quarantine situations.

As airports come to a standstill and pictures of near-empty train stations dominate news feeds, it is clear that COVID-19 is already impacting the way many people are working. Even before the possibility of mandatory quarantining is considered, many employees are either being asked to work from home, choosing to do so, or are being forced to do so by circumstance (e.g., school closures). So how should businesses respond? Continue reading “COVID-19: How to Keep Working When Offices Close”

COVID 19: Keep Calm and Corona On – A Global Perspective

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

Summary Bullets:               

  • Companies that have yet to jump on the remote working bandwagon may have their hand forced due to the self-isolation and social separation measures put in place by their respective national governments.
  • We will undoubtedly see an uptick in the adoption of telehealth technologies, including remote monitoring.

 

On the 11th March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 (Coronavirus) a pandemic. As of writing, there have been over 130,000 cases reported across 123 countries, areas or territories and almost 5,000 deaths from the virus, which emanated from Wuhan in China. We have witnessed a wide variety of responses to the threat including mass self-isolation in Italy, travel bans, fiscal stimulus packages, health insurance policy allowances, business and school closures, and the cancellation of large events such as Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and HIMSS20 in Orlando, at which U.S. President Trump was scheduled to address the situation. Continue reading “COVID 19: Keep Calm and Corona On – A Global Perspective”

Alibaba Cloud Continues Its Momentum in ASEAN as Competition Increases

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Alibaba Cloud strengthens its ASEAN presence with a new win in East Malaysia and its first event in Indonesia.
  • As competition intensifies, it is important for the cloud provider to expand its partner ecosystem, especially with the domestic players.

The Southeast Asia region (a.k.a. ASEAN) has been a new battleground for the hyperscalers for a few years. Cloud adoption is still relatively low compared to other markets. As the cloud becomes a commodity and the market grows, this opportunity has attracted global hyperscalers to expand their presence in the region. Alibaba Cloud opened its data centers in Malaysia and Indonesia in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Google announced in October 2018 that it will have its Indonesian data centers ready in early 2020, and AWS responded with a similar announcement in April 2019. These global hyperscalers are also offering their respective cloud stacks (e.g., AWS Outposts, Alibaba Apsara Stack, Google Anthos, and Azure Stack) for deployments in customers or third-party data centers to address the data residency requirement. They have also been strengthening their domestic presence by expanding the in-country sales forces and their partner ecosystem in the region through various collaborations with local providers, governments (such as universities), and other vertical players. Some of Alibaba’s recent initiatives include its partnership with SCC to offer Sabah Pay in East Malaysia and its first Cloud Day event in Indonesia. Continue reading “Alibaba Cloud Continues Its Momentum in ASEAN as Competition Increases”

TM 5G Showcase Langkawi: Leading the 5G Race in Malaysia

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • The 5G race in Malaysia is heating up with various initiatives announced by service providers.
  • Telekom Malaysia (TM) edges out the competition by leveraging its existing ICT portfolio, professional service capabilities, and R&D to offer end-to-end solutions.

The 5G scene in Malaysia is heating up, as the market is only a few months away from expected commercial availability. The regulator, MCMC, recently announced that 5G will be available to users by July 2020. Since the kickoff of the 5G Demonstration Project (5GDP) by MCMC in September of last year, the telcos have been making regular announcements about their progress. These include Celcom’s partnership with the police and municipal council on a smart city deployment in Langkawi, Digi’s launch of its 5G OpenLab in Cyberjaya, Maxis’ 3 Gbps in C-band 5G trial spectrum, and TM’s collaboration with players from other verticals to co-develop 5G applications in Subang and Langkawi. While MCMC has outlined 55 use cases in 32 sites across six states for the 5GDP, Langkawi has been the center of the attention, as the service providers placed most of their resources for their 5G initiatives on the island. Continue reading “TM 5G Showcase Langkawi: Leading the 5G Race in Malaysia”

TM ONE Leap Summit 2019: Firming Up Its Position to Capture Workplace Transformation and Digital Payment Opportunities

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • TM ONE has the right products and capabilities to address the growing trend of workplace transformation.
  • Increasing digital wallet adoption in Malaysia drives the opportunity for service providers, especially with PCI-DSS compliance in data centers.

At the TM ONE Leap Summit held in Kuala Lumpur in November 2019, the Malaysian incumbent fixed-line provider shifted the conversation from product solutions to business outcomes. This is in line with its direction moving from connectivity to a solution provider. The event focuses on two digital transformation areas: the importance of workplace transformation in today’s digital era and the disruption of digital payment in fintech. Continue reading “TM ONE Leap Summit 2019: Firming Up Its Position to Capture Workplace Transformation and Digital Payment Opportunities”

AI in the Contact Center: Why and How?

Gary Barton – Analyst, Business Network and IT Services

Summary Bullets:

• Most enterprises agree that AI delivers benefits – but not necessarily the benefits they expected

• AI projects require clear goals and a dedicated project management team, as well as external advice

GlobalData’s research into AI includes talking to enterprises about how and why they are using AI-powered technologies in the contact center. This research has given light to a number of key trends, and also highlighted examples of best practice.

What Technologies Are Being Used?

GlobalData’s research shows that, perhaps unsurprisingly, AI-powered chatbots are the most prevalent use case for AI in the contact center. The use of text-based chatbots on websites is now common, but GlobalData’s research suggest that voice-based chatbots are more of a focus for enterprises. Cost reduction is a key reason for this, particularly for contact centers in North America and Europe. But chatbots also deliver the potential for increased customer service with the potential for quicker response times to more simple inquiries. Continue reading “AI in the Contact Center: Why and How?”

DXC Creates a Data-Driven Contact Center Solution Based on Amazon Connect

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • There are opportunities for service providers to partner with hyperscale cloud providers to develop differentiated offerings; DXC’s contact center based on Amazon Connect is an example.
  • Cloud providers need to work with IT services providers with strong business and technical capabilities to accelerate the adoption of their services.

Hyperscalers such as Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure have developed a broad set of products and services to help enterprises transform their IT and become more efficient. However, they do not have many engineers and solution architects running around to help every enterprise deploy their technology, particularly if integration work is required. The hyperscalers are not in the business of helping customers integrate their solutions with existing applications. This opens up opportunities for service providers to develop managed cloud services through partnerships with hyperscalers and build expertise in both implementing solutions in different cloud environments and managing them. Continue reading “DXC Creates a Data-Driven Contact Center Solution Based on Amazon Connect”

At Last, We Can Bid a Fond Farewell to Microsoft’s Troubled Skype for Business Online

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Starting on September 1, 2019, Microsoft will begin onboarding new Office 365 users directly into Microsoft Teams, in essence removing the option for customers to run both Teams and the soon-to-be-retired Skype for Business Online.
  • Though somewhat extreme, this migration plan has been coming on for some time now, frankly ever since Microsoft introduced Microsoft Teams in 2017.

Via blog post earlier this week, Microsoft made the wholly unsurprising announcement that it would officially retire its long-term messaging solution, Skype for Business Online, on July 31st, 2021. Unlike many similar migration plans, where rival products can linger for years after closure, Microsoft does not intend to let Skype for Business Online slowly fade away. Continue reading “At Last, We Can Bid a Fond Farewell to Microsoft’s Troubled Skype for Business Online”

Geopolitical Issues Roil IT Sector

S. Schuchart

Summary Bullets:

• Cost sharing between vendors/SPs and customers can strengthen relationships in a difficult time.

• Calm and deliberate planning by vendors/SPs and customers is key to minimizing impacts to business.

The new tariffs on imported goods in China and the U.S. will have a significant impact on pending and future deals, both for service providers, vendors, and customers. The technology industry has a complex and deeply international supply chain, with U.S. and Chinese companies both utilizing components and intellectual property. Component price increases will lead to sharp increases in product costs. These increases will slow or stall deals as customers may wait and see if the issues can be resolved in a short time frame.
Continue reading “Geopolitical Issues Roil IT Sector”