Blockchain Rivals Seek Out Banking Customers via Foreign Opportunities

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • ConsenSys is partnering with the Chinese government’s blockchain network to integrate its technology across a nationwide system to spur blockchain use, focused on the financial sector.
  • Oracle has gained an edge in the competitive blockchain platforms space by integrating a new blockchain data format into its flagship relational database offering.

This quarter’s issue of GlobalData’s “Blockchain Watch highlights a set of aggressive moves between blockchain competitors, including the establishment of global partnerships (which involve foreign government entities) as well as the development of deeper integration between blockchain and traditional operational systems, further adoption of Ethereum, and the formation of partnerships that highlight unique use cases. Continue reading “Blockchain Rivals Seek Out Banking Customers via Foreign Opportunities”

Better Together: IT and the Business

Summary Bullets:

S. Schuchart
  • Business and IT have long treated each other with suspicion, to the detriment of both.
  • Ongoing changes to business and IT require a re-structuring that puts the business and IT hand in hand.

Corporate culture by its very nature requires people to specialize in specific areas of the business. People settle into their roles, becoming masters of the tasks, priorities, and policies that define their area of expertise in the company. The theory is that management has the broader overview and can provide the needed information to guide the overall company direction and ensure smooth operations.  The reality is that most managers, including some members of the C-suite, also operate with their domain as their primary concern.

Continue reading “Better Together: IT and the Business”

IBM and eProvenance Deploy Blockchain to Address Wine Industry Supply Chain Challenges

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • IBM and eProvenance recently announced the availability of VinAssure, a blockchain-based solution for the wine industry that helps users address traditional supply chain challenges.
  • Although VinAssure is off to a good start with its first member, a growing membership will help to reinforce the new solution’s strength and utility.

IBM and eProvenance, a Franco-American company that specializes in monitoring wine shipment conditions, recently unveiled plans to create a new wine industry ecosystem by harnessing the power of blockchain.  Central to this initiative will be VinAssure, a new, IBM blockchain-powered platform that is designed to provide users with a more insightful and secure way of tracking wines as they move through the distribution and transportation process from vineyard to consumer.  For example, using existing identifiers, such as a QR code on the bottle, consumers will be able to learn about a wine’s provenance and flavor profiles, or whether it meets certification standards for organic, biodynamic, or sustainability practices.  Similarly, retailers will be able access information about a wine’s production environment or the conditions in which the wine was transported. Continue reading “IBM and eProvenance Deploy Blockchain to Address Wine Industry Supply Chain Challenges”

How Well Did PLDT and Globe Do in Capturing the ICT Opportunity During the Pandemic?

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • The pandemic is accelerating enterprises’ digital transformation in the Philippines, driving the market to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% in the next five years.
  • PLDT and Globe responded to the market shift with various new initiatives to capture the growing opportunity. PLDT reported a YoY increase of 5.6% in its enterprise ICT revenue, while Globe saw a 3.0% decline.

COVID-19 and Enterprise ICT Spending in the Philippines

It is widely known that COVID-19 has pushed enterprises to spend more on ICT and accelerate their digital transformation. The impact is greater in the emerging market, where business continuity planning (BCP) was not a common thing and enterprises largely relied on traditional IT services before the pandemic. In the Philippines, a recent study by GlobalData shows that 50% of 32 local enterprises increased their ICT budget in 2020 (28% by more than 6%; 22% by between 1% and 5%) to adapt to the new norm. The study also reveals that 56% of the Philippine enterprises are significantly expanding their ICT budget in 2021 by more than 6%. GlobalData estimates that the enterprise ICT services market in the country will increase by 2.3% YoY in 2020 and continue to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% in the next five years to USD 12.2 billion in 2024 (source: GlobalData Market Opportunity Forecasts to 2024: ICT in Philippines,” February 28, 2021). Continue reading “How Well Did PLDT and Globe Do in Capturing the ICT Opportunity During the Pandemic?”

The Bridge Alliance’s Federated Edge Hub Has the Potential to Drive the Future of Enterprise 5G

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

• The Bridge Alliance’s Federated Edge Hub has the potential to drive adoption of 5G MEC solutions in the enterprise segment.

• However there are challenges related scale, skills, and solution sets that could be addressed through industry partnerships.

Breakthrough for MEC Interoperability

On March 16, the Bridge Alliance, an industry group of 33 operators, largely based in Asia Pacific, announced that two of its members, South Korea’s SK Telecom (SKT) and Singapore’s Singtel, trialed a proof of concept for multi-access edge compute (MEC) interconnectivity. The trial saw SKT and Singtel simultaneously stream the mobile game “World of Warships” running on a virtual game server deployed by gaming infrastructure company Gamye, into the MEC environments of the telcos and connected to smartphones using a standalone 5G network. The interconnection service, which Bridge Alliance has named the Federated Edge Hub, plans to add two more operators to the platform sometime in th near future, namely Australia’s Optus and Thailand’s AIS. While the proof of concept demonstrates a use case of 5G and MEC for consumer services, the real potential of the Federated Edge Hub lies in developing solutions for the enterprise.

Continue reading “The Bridge Alliance’s Federated Edge Hub Has the Potential to Drive the Future of Enterprise 5G”

Digital Acceleration – For When Digital Transformation Is Too Slow

G. Barton
G. Barton

Summary Bullets:          

  • Digital acceleration implements short-term tactical changes over longer-term strategic projects.
  • Digital acceleration is a response to changing customer demands, not just COVID-19.

Digital transformation has been an industry catchphrase for some time now.  Its definition is both vague and changeable, but it speaks to using technology to improve internal processes within an enterprise to deliver cost savings and/or improved performance.  It encompasses a wide range of technologies including cloud, SD-WAN, collaboration, IoT, 5G, blockchain, AI, and SaaS. 

However, there is a new buzz phrase on the block: digital acceleration.  So, is there a difference between digital transformation and digital acceleration?  The ‘helpful’ answer to that is ‘yes and no.’  The intentions of both digital transformation and digital acceleration are the same, as are the technologies involved.  The big difference is in methodology. Continue reading “Digital Acceleration – For When Digital Transformation Is Too Slow”

After a Fire Isn’t the Time to Buy Extinguishers

S. Schuchart

Summary Bullets:

• Enterprises and organizations have long ignored business continuity / disaster recovery (BC/DR)

• BC/DR is a fundamental business duty like insurance, not an optional expense

Yesterday, French cloud provider OVH suffered a fire in one of its data center complexes in Strasbourg, France. It entirely destroyed one unit, damaged another and caused the shutdown of the rest of the units on site. Thankfully, no one was hurt and OVH is working on restoring service. But an entire data center is gone, along with parts of another. Not down, burned. Gone. Fried. No realistic chance of recovery, not anytime soon if at all. The fire was so hot the metal walls of the building deformed. Continue reading “After a Fire Isn’t the Time to Buy Extinguishers”

Microsoft’s Voice Mimicking Achievement Takes Natural Language Generation to New Levels, Albeit Controversial

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

• Custom Neural Voice can be trained to generate natural language that sounds like a specific person.

• Microsoft has considered the implications of Custom Neural Voice and prioritizes responsible use of the technology but the solution underscores the urgency for discussions related to Responsible AI.

Microsoft recently announced general availability, in limited access (use cases subject to Microsoft approval) of Custom Neural Voice, a service that uses artificial intelligence to generate natural language (enabling computers to ‘speak’). The achievement is quite impressive because of the level of customization it offers. Enabling computers to talk isn’t new, but what does raise eyebrows is that Custom Neural Voice can be trained to generate natural sounding speech that mimics a person. And not just a fictional person – but a specific individual. Continue reading “Microsoft’s Voice Mimicking Achievement Takes Natural Language Generation to New Levels, Albeit Controversial”

Already Over the Edge (Computing)

S. Schuchart

Summary Bullets:

  • Edge computing is a real thing, but distorted and extended beyond reasonable use cases by FOMO.
  • Smart edge computing plays are not generalized, but specialized, and they do not play on hype.

The first conversations around the concept of edge computing were both interesting and enlightening. The basic idea was that compute resources needed to be closer to the actual workload in situations where real-time or very near-real time decisions need to be made. Latency could not be tolerated, so cloud or even corporate data centers were out of the question. Examples given were automated materials handling, manufacturing, and – of course, technology marketers’ favorite old trope – self-driving/automated vehicles. All but the last example sounded perfectly reasonable and lined up with customer needs, both today and tomorrow. Continue reading “Already Over the Edge (Computing)”

Microsoft and HPE Bring Advanced Data Processing and Cloud Computing to Space Station

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • HPE’s SBC-2 computer system on the International Space Station will enable advanced data processing in support of space-based research, while connecting to Microsoft’s Azure cloud on Earth.
  • Despite SBC-2’s potential, the new computer system will be vulnerable to the same environmental challenges as its predecessor.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Microsoft have joined forces to combine the potential of HPE’s edge computing technology and Microsoft’s cloud computing capabilities in outer space. HPE’s Spaceborne Computer-2 (SBC-2) system – soon to be deployed on the International Space Station (ISS) – will enable many new activities on the space station that require advanced data processing. It will also connect via satellite to Microsoft’s cloud data centers on Earth for more demanding requirements. However, despite the potential offered by SBC-2, the new computer system will be vulnerable to the same environmental challenges as its predecessor. Continue reading “Microsoft and HPE Bring Advanced Data Processing and Cloud Computing to Space Station”