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: 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”

Maxis Strengthens Its IoT Portfolio with Microsoft Azure

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Maxis is enhancing its IoT portfolio with Microsoft Azure to deliver solutions more efficiently and provide flexibility in the market.
  • While it is a positive move, Maxis could consider integrating Azure features into its IoT network, collaborate on MEC and strengthen its professional services capabilities.

Maxis recently announced its partnership with Microsoft to enhance its IoT portfolio (note: the partnership also includes cloud and UC, but this article discusses the IoT collaboration). Through the partnership, Maxis will be using Microsoft Azure IoT in its offering. Azure is ranked as ‘very strong’ by GlobalData in the ‘Enterprise IoT Platforms’ category and stands out with its development capabilities such as IoT Toolkit, its open source platform and initiatives with the developer community. Azure IoT is also used by many leading carriers in their IoT solutions, including AT&T, Singtel, Telstra and Vodafone. For Maxis, this partnership provides a significant upgrade to its previous M2M platform that has been in place for many years. Microsoft Azure IoT enables Maxis to address various limitations of its IoT solutions, such as offering more flexible and scalable deployments through the cloud-based platform. The AI, machine learning and analytics capabilities supported by Azure IoT provide the carrier with better data visibility and hence enable the carrier deliver its IoT solution more efficiently. The open source and API capabilities provide Maxis a platform to expand its vertical offerings and offer better integration with customers’ existing systems. Besides, the Azure Stack and IoT Edge enable Maxis to offer low-latency applications and address the growing edge-compute demand. However, the Microsoft Azure IoT platform will not sell by itself and the partnership is not exclusive. Besides viewing this as a platform upgrade, Maxis should look at other ways to achieve differentiation in its IoT business. Continue reading “Maxis Strengthens Its IoT Portfolio with Microsoft Azure”

What to Expect at MWC 2020 for the Enterprise

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• MWC is nearly upon us and GlobalData consumer, infrastructure, and enterprise technology analysts are anticipating the major topics and themes to be showcased at this year’s event.

• While 5G and IoT have been the two big (and broad) themes at the last two shows, this year’s focus may be more granular and, hopefully, will be based more on real-world solutions than on hype, as these technologies start to mature.

Every year at MWC, analysts prepare for a diverse array of one on one meetings, booth tours, and occasionally inspiring keynotes and panel discussions, as well as a barrage of media and marketing events aimed at getting analysts excited about new products and services and turning these into “story” ideas.

Assuming that coronavirus doesn’t further disrupt the event by the time it is scheduled (February 24th-27th) it is fairly easy to anticipate what we will see there. Like the last two years, this year’s show is going to be focused a lot on 5G, on IoT, and on new and improved offerings for both consumers and enterprises, including devices, services, applications, and infrastructure solutions. But since this is the third year in a row that 5G and IoT are the major themes (which is not surprising as MWC remains a show about the mobile industry and these technologies dominate the news cycle), we are hoping that this year will be more about the real world and less about the hype. Clearly IoT has been around for a long time, but has been somewhat disappointing so far in terms of revenues to the provider ecosystem. 5G has barely gotten started, but is already dominant in the service and product discussions of mobile operators and equipment vendors. Continue reading “What to Expect at MWC 2020 for the Enterprise”

IoT Deployment Trends in 2019

J. Marcus

Summary Bullets:

• The biggest regional change in 2019 was the frequency of deployments with a global remit, most of which are undertaken by global companies operating in multiple countries and regions around the world.

• In 2019, the most common project goal for IoT deployments was improved operational efficiencies (79% of all deployments), while advanced automation was the most common use case.

GlobalData has been tracking data on deployments of Internet of Things (IoT) technology by enterprise organizations for several years, via its IoT Deployment Database. While collecting available data on deployment projects undertaken in 2019 will continue throughout 2020 as more information becomes available, the data collected so far provides useful insights on where activity is occurring regionally, by sector, and for each common use case. Below are highlights—including how enterprise IoT market activity in 2019 looks compared to the previous three years. Continue reading “IoT Deployment Trends in 2019”

Tableau Tackles the Challenge of ‘Democratizing Analytics’ by Offering New Tools

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

  • The ‘democratization of analytics,’ essentially getting analytics tools and insights into the hands of the masses, is the next step forward in a world eager to leverage greater business intelligence.
  • Tableau is taking on the challenge by providing tools such as Explain Data and Ask Data, which are designed to make it easier for line-of-business users to extract insights from their data visualizations.

There is no doubt that the vast amounts of data being generated today contain a wealth of valuable information. But, unlocking the strategic insights contained within this treasure trove of material remains elusive to many. Sure, data scientists and data programmers have the tools to perform the analysis at their fingertips, but their techniques remain out of reach to many line-of-business users. Extracting insights from data and getting it into the hands of those outside of the IT department is a challenge. The ‘democratization of analytics,’ essentially getting analytics tools and insights into the hands of the masses, is the next step forward in a world eager to leverage greater business intelligence. Continue reading “Tableau Tackles the Challenge of ‘Democratizing Analytics’ by Offering New Tools”

Alibaba Cloud Adds an Application PaaS Solution via the Terminus Acquisition

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • The acquisition of Terminus has given Alibaba Cloud an attractive application PaaS solution that it can take to market and help to boost cloud adoption in China.
  • The Terminus PaaS is evolving and it has a strong roadmap; the multi-cloud approach is a crucial factor when Alibaba Cloud extends the solution internationally.

Terminus and Its Application PaaS

Terminus is a Chinese software provider founded in 2012 with a strong focus on addressing the needs of retail, procurement, and the supply chain functions. The company was acquired by Alibaba, and its products are now offered based on Alibaba Cloud while retaining the Terminus product brand. The Terminus team remains intact and is driving product development, but tapping into Alibaba’s ecosystem, go-to-market machinery, and its infrastructure and technologies to accelerate business expansion. Continue reading “Alibaba Cloud Adds an Application PaaS Solution via the Terminus Acquisition”

More Collaboration is Required to Move 5G IoT from Hype to Reality

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

• 5G will not be about consumers, devices, and video but rather about enterprises, connected things, and platforms; however the industry is still in a hype phase.

• In order to move hype to reality, operators, vendors, and industry need to collaborate around solutions and virtualize 5G networks, open them up to APIs and co-develop from the ground up.

From people to things

From attending 5G Asia last week, which was held at the Marina Bay Sands Expo Centre in Singapore, it is clear that 5G will mean something very different to the world than 4G LTE. The defining attributes of the LTE era is bringing mobile video to the masses and bringing many online for the first time. While 4G was about mass market consumer access to videos and applications from anywhere, 5G will be more about enterprises and governments transforming how we live and work. This also means 5G will be about connected things, machines, buildings, and cities, rather than connecting people with smartphones. 5G will also be about the power of analytics driven insights and automation.

5G has not quite arrived

Listening to speakers from across the technology industry from telcos to vendors to integrators to government agencies to independent software suppliers, it was clear that 5G will be all those things, but it also became abundantly clear that today 5G is not there yet. The telco and technology industries have a lot of work to do before the potential of 5G can really be unlocked. Outside of a handful of MNOs in US, South Korea, Australia, and EMEA, there are very few networks live today and coverage is very limited. Further, what is being offered so far are simply handset plans, not the society-changer that some have billed 5G as. Much of the buzz around early launches is really just hype, and current 5G services are simply a slightly faster LTE. Continue reading “More Collaboration is Required to Move 5G IoT from Hype to Reality”

The Beginning of the SD-WAN Era in Malaysia

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • TM has been offering SD-WAN since November 2018, but Maxis’ launch of its service last month marked the beginning of the real competition.
  • More carriers, integrators and resellers are expected to join the bandwagon, driven by customer demand.

SD-WAN in Malaysia

SD-WAN is not new; it has been around in the market globally for several years, offered by various providers such as carriers, system integrators and value-added resellers. The ecosystem is maturing, with a growing number of vendors and new capabilities having been developed (e.g., multi-vendor interworking, overlay-underlay integration, more virtual network services, network-cloud convergence). However, the market is only beginning to gain momentum in Malaysia. Telekom Malaysia (TM), the fixed-line incumbent provider in the country, launched the service in November last year, offering its customers two vendor options. The provider has not been aggressive in the market with its SD-WAN services due to the risk of losing its business from the legacy data services (e.g., IP VPN, Ethernet, Dedicated Internet) as well as the lack of competition. While there are smaller telcos, value-added reseller and system integrators such as RedTone, ViewQwest, Netpoleon, LNS and BreitKom in the market, its major competitor – Maxis – only launched SD-WAN last month, while Time has yet to offer the service. Continue reading “The Beginning of the SD-WAN Era in Malaysia”

Q-loud’s Data Hub for Techem Is a Prime Example of Telcos’ Platform Business Aspirations

J. Marcus

Summary Bullets:

  • Q-loud developed an IoT solution for energy provider Techem, which it will deploy and operate.
  • Techem will offer IoT-enhanced smart building services to its customers in the real estate industry, leveraging Q-loud’s platform.

It seems like a pretty modest news item at first glance, a deal between a smaller German challenger in the IT and connectivity space and a specialist energy provider. Q-loud is the IoT unit of QSC AG, a business-oriented network operator and system integrator which has recently shifted its strategy away from traditional telco services for SMEs toward digital opportunities. The largest telcos in Europe, of course, are doing the same, trying to build new platform-based businesses. Some have made multiple acquisitions to get there (Orange invested EUR 1 billion in such acquisitions in 14 months), while the smaller QSC has taken a different approach: selling off a significant part of its telco assets to reinvest the proceeds in digital (the sale of subsidiary PlusNet earlier this year to EnBW Telekommunikation for EUR 229 million euros is funding development of its cloud and IoT businesses). Continue reading “Q-loud’s Data Hub for Techem Is a Prime Example of Telcos’ Platform Business Aspirations”