Apple Will Use Xnor.ai’s AI Chip Technology to Strengthen its Competitive Edge vis-à-vis Amazon, Microsoft, and Google

Summary Bullets:

• Apple will use the recently acquired Xnor.ai’s technology to enhance the AI and data processing capabilities of a range of products, including its cameras and HomeKit smart home system.

• To succeed against rivals such as Google, Apple will need to develop AI device capabilities that deliver additional functionality and value for its customers.

Apple’s recent US$200 million acquisition of Seattle-based Xnor.ai makes it the latest in a growing number of companies that are targeting the opportunities associated with AI and edge computing. Apple’s acquisition of Xnor.ai will potentially help it challenge the hyperscale cloud providers, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, all of which are focused on harnessing the benefits of AI and edge computing, and which compete against Apple in several product and service segments – including streaming media, virtual assistants, smart speakers, and tablets. Continue reading “Apple Will Use Xnor.ai’s AI Chip Technology to Strengthen its Competitive Edge vis-à-vis Amazon, Microsoft, and Google”

5G SD-WAN Paired with Slicing and Edge Could Deliver Fit for Purpose Networks

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

• Integrating a 5G underlay into an SD-WAN solution can help deliver network performance with more functionality to remote sites.

• 5G technology like network slicing and edge computing can deliver a fit for purpose networks to drive better application performance and improve security.

SD-WAN is increasingly important to branch networking, enabling remote sites to be spun up more quickly and cost effectively. 5G can integrate with SD-WAN to be considered as an active-active connection with a lower cost per byte and will be able to support the branch or remote sites with performance in terms of bandwidth and latency that can begin to compare with MPLS.

As 5G matures operators will be able to offer network slicing. Network slices can be created with 5G’s capabilities – enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive machine type communications (mMTC), and ultra-reliable low latency communications (uRLLC) – to support applications that require these attributes. Instead of the traditional network services that are more static and often manually configured, enterprises have better ability to spin up/down services dynamically based on metrics such as bandwidth, latency, throughput, security, geography coverage, session, and reliability. This will enable operators to offer different slices with varying resources over a single mobile connection, optimizing the network based on application. 5G will be even more compelling once network slicing becomes automated and part of the self-service catalog. Continue reading “5G SD-WAN Paired with Slicing and Edge Could Deliver Fit for Purpose Networks”

IBM Makes a Leadership Shift

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

Summary Bullets:

• Rometty, IBM’s first female CEO, is retiring after four decades at the company

• Her retirement was widely anticipated: the company’s previous two CEOs retired at age 60; Rometty is 62.

Ginni Rometty is ending her eight-year tenure as IBM’s chief executive this year. IBM named Arvind Krishna, currently senior vice president of cloud and cognitive software, as the new CEO. Jim Whitehurst, formerly the CEO of IBM’s newly acquired Red Hat, will take over as president. Rometty will stay on as executive chairman until the end of 2020. Continue reading “IBM Makes a Leadership Shift”

Rethinking Low-Code Platforms Through Software Automation

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Low-code platforms will continue to consolidate key technologies including AI, RPA, and OCR.
  • This month, two key acquisitions build on low-code momentum: Google-AppSheet and Appian-Novayre.

Last year’s consolidation of low-code platforms, in which AI played the most prominent role, has elevated the enterprise application platforms to new heights of innovation addressing operations’ most pressing issue: the need for software automation. The latest low-code trend supporting automation is the addition of robotic process automation (RPA), a promising technology which helps enterprises eliminate repetitive tasks in the app modernization process. Continue reading “Rethinking Low-Code Platforms Through Software Automation”

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”

2020: Planning Is the Cure for Uncertainty

S. Schuchart

Summary Bullets:

  • The new year and all the changes in the world, both political and otherwise, can cause uncertainty and stress.
  • Planning can rationalize the risk and reduce stress and feelings of helplessness.

Our connected society is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it gives us the sum of human knowledge in the palms of our hands. On the other hand, it makes us hyper-aware of political, geopolitical, climate, human, and economic problems on a 24/7 basis. As IT professionals, we are affected by the challenges from the constant bombardment of the world’s problems, and it takes a toll on everyone’s decision-making processes. Continue reading “2020: Planning Is the Cure for Uncertainty”

The 5G Race Is Heating Up in Malaysia, but Commercial Availability Remains Unclear

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Malaysia is a step closer to seeing commercial 5G, with the various live trials and commercial partnerships by the regulator and telcos.
  • 5G could drive the current fixed-mobile convergence trend in the country. However, spectrum availability remains unclear and could delay the commercial availability of the technology.

The 5G Race Is Heating Up

The regulator, MCMC, has been proactive in driving 5G in Malaysia. It has created – and leads – the 5G working group, which facilitates collaborations to roll out 55 5G use cases across 32 cities, and it is looking to bring forward spectrum allocation for the technology from 2021 to the second half of 2020. Apart from the various initiatives by the regulator, the telcos are beefing up their preparations for the technology. The mobile market leader, Maxis, signed a partnership with Huawei in October to deploy 5G and co-develop use cases. Celcom is collaborating with Ericsson and UTM KL (a university in Kuala Lumpur) to launch a live trial on the university campus and drive the research and development of 5G use cases. Digi is partnering with Cyberview (a technology hub enabler) to launch 5G OpenLab to co-create 5G applications in the smart city vertical. TM, the fixed-line incumbent, announced its partnership with Huawei on 5G commercialization, and it plans to be the first telco to deploy a 5G standalone (SA) network. The telcos also recently kicked off their respective live 5G trials as part of the MCMC initiative, e.g., Celcom’s 360-degree 4K surveillance in Langkawi, Maxis’ AR experience at Aquaria KLCC, and TM 8K VR and Smart Tourism. Continue reading “The 5G Race Is Heating Up in Malaysia, but Commercial Availability Remains Unclear”

The Soul of Cisco

S. Schuchart

Summary Bullets:

• Hardware and software are not an either/or operation, but a balance that requires investment, time, and planning.

• Silicon One plus a cloud-friendly IOS XR7, and heavy silicon photonics investments give Cisco a new lease on the Internet For the Future

There have been a lot of changes and announcements at Cisco recently, some of them surprising. It brings up the question of who Cisco really is today? Some would tell you that Cisco is one of the old guard, a legacy IT vendor desperate to keep its market dominance in the face of younger, smaller, and more agile competitors. However, close examination of the evidence reveals something else, not a hidebound legacy vendor, but a survivor changing to match the market.

On December 11th, Cisco had its “Internet for the Future” launch event in San Francisco. This event was unusual, because for the first time in a long time, it featured at its core, a new from-the-ground-up chip family called Cisco Silicon One. It also featured Cisco, for the first time, touting the possibility of becoming a silicon supplier. Cisco outlined the option to sell silicon from the Cisco Silicon One family to anyone, including competitors. Add in all the silicon photonics (pluggable optics for Cisco and third-parties), an open cloud-friendly network operating system (IOS-XR7) capable of running on white box or Cisco hardware and you have some built-in contradictions to what would be considered traditional Cisco.

So, what does this all mean about Cisco? Are they turning their backs on all of the proclamations of being a software-focused company? Critics would say that this announcement proves that Cisco is a hardware company, period. This is a simplistic and reductive argument that fails to consider any nuance or the reality of producing infrastructure. Instead of viewing software and hardware as rivals for the spotlight, they should be viewed as climbers helping each other reach the summit with each trading the lead. Cisco’s investment into silicon shouldn’t be viewed as a return to hardware centricity, but as an investment in an area where it can provide extra value for partners and customers. Software is supreme right now, but things are cyclic, and it is very possible to be software focused and still produce advantages in hardware, especially when you consider physical realities like power consumption, heat, bandwidth, and the chip architecture. None of this diminishes Cisco’s commitment to software nor does it signal a Cisco or market move to hardware-first. In fact, there are whole business units outside of networking, namely security and collaboration, that have moved rapidly and wholesale to software-as-a-service as a business model.

Continue reading “The Soul of Cisco”

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”

5G Networks Bring Cloud Computing to the Edge, Enabling New Service Development and Delivery

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • New partnership initiatives involving AT&T, Microsoft, Verizon, and Amazon Web Services highlight the extent to which 5G and edge computing innovations are starting to take shape.
  • Initiatives aim to combine cloud resources with 5G network infrastructure in physical locations close to where low-latency and high-performance apps will be developed and consumed.

Two important announcements from the past couple of weeks illustrate how quickly 5G and edge computing may be starting to become a reality.

First, AT&T and Microsoft announced an initiative that will see Microsoft make its Azure-branded cloud services available within so-called ‘edge locations’ on AT&T’s newly deployed 5G network. This will ensure that Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure can be used to support the development and delivery of new digital services at locations that are geographically closer to consumer and business devices, including Internet of Things (IoT) endpoints. Traditionally that infrastructure had to be accessed from one of Microsoft’s regionally distributed cloud data centers. However, making Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure available at the edge of 5G networks means that data generated by IoT sensors can be processed at higher speeds and new services like autonomous cars, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)-enabled immersive experiences, and cloud-based gaming can be offered with higher levels of performance. Continue reading “5G Networks Bring Cloud Computing to the Edge, Enabling New Service Development and Delivery”