Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

IBM Launches Blockchain Accelerator Program

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IBM today announced the IBM Blockchain Founder Accelerator to help enterprises and enterprise developers take blockchain networks into production faster.

The accelerator is the first program available that provides expertise and support across the technology, legal and business considerations of establishing new blockchain networks. Enterprises can join to gain exclusive access to technology and consulting expertise.

As an expansion of the blockchain ecosystem program, the IBM Blockchain Founder Accelerator is designed to address the key challenges many early adopters and enterprise developers have identified through the development of leading blockchain networks. It aims to share this collective knowledge with enterprise founders to drive the rapid adoption of production blockchains.

The program provides one-on-one mentorship and support by network founders and technologists across a range of needs such as business case development, network membership incentives, technical development, governance and legal issues.

In addition, members of the Founder Accelerator will receive early access to new prebuilt software assets, delivered via IBM Cloud, to help reduce the time and technical expertise needed for developers to write complex blockchain code.

These assets are based on IBM experience in building blockchain networks with more than 400 clients globally. Along with IBM’s established blockchain cloud services, these new capabilities will help clients rapidly create highly secure, cloud-based blockchain ecosystems.

IBM Blockchain Founder Accelerator

Eight new blockchain network founders will be selected by IBM for this fee-based accelerator across a range of industries such as banking, logistics, manufacturing and retail. The program provides organizations with guidance, support and technical expertise to get their networks up and running and supporting an ecosystem of users and partners by the end of the year. Scholarships are also available.

Program participants will gain access to:

  • Design Thinking Workshops – Based on the principles and methodologies of IBM’s global network of Bluemix Garages, network founders will get access to agile design “bootcamps” designed to help them quickly build, iterate and launch the networks, leveraging the best practices and founder experience gained from over a dozen blockchain networks in production.
  • Founder Mentorship One-on-Ones — Technical and business mentors from IBM Research team creating Blockchain solutions and assets, IBM Labs contributing to and helping maintain Hyperledger Fabric (a blockchain framework and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation) and the IBM Bluemix Garage delivering blockchain projects, as well as major contributors to Hyperledger Fabric and early users of IBM Blockchain will work directly with the participants and provide counsel including code review and business coaching.
  • IBM Cloud Services — IBM technology resources will be available to founders, including IBM Blockchain solutions via IBM Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform. Bluemix hosts IBM’s enterprise-ready blockchain service that supports the Hyperledger Fabric. All participants will also receive up to $120,000 worth of IBM Cloud credits to fully leverage the ecosystem, as well as access to IBM Bluemix Garage sessions for development.
  • Co-Marketing Potential –Participants will work with IBM and our blockchain ecosystem to position themselves as technology leaders through joint marketing opportunities.

“As a founder of security and privacy solutions addressing the cost and complexity of complying with regulatory requirements such as the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation, the guidance and support that IBM provided us in bringing DataPassports to market was invaluable in accelerating the development and delivery of our blockchain based services,” said Kevin Ellison, CEO, Schedule1.

Fast-Track Development with Pre-Built Blockchain Software Assets

New software capabilities via the IBM Cloud are based on experience from IBM’s largest blockchain initiatives and experience with production blockchain networks across shipping, manufacturing, supply chain and finance. Designed to help organizations speed the deployment of code from months, to just a few days, participants in the program will have first access prior to the general availability of the code.

These assets include IBM innovations incorporated into major projects across global trade digitization, supply chain finance, transaction settlement, procurement trade finance, supply chain visibility and food safety. Initial software assets include:

  • Document Store – allows network members to store and control documents and related events in a security-rich environment. This provides a source of validation to support mission-critical business processes where the lack of proper documentation can delay outcomes and potentially void the transaction.
  • Provenance Engine– maintains a comprehensive history of industry assets, both physical and digital, throughout their lifecycle, from creation to decommission as immutable transactions. It provides the capability to track an asset’s owner, location and status, and any supporting documents relevant to the asset at each stage of the business process.
  • Process Engine – provides all workflow orchestration on the blockchain network. It provides tamper-resistant document maintenance and authorization features, and answers communication requests among network members to support each transaction’s integrity.
  • Member Management and Onboarding – enables identity management of members in the blockchain network, including the registration and authorization of member organizations and their individual users.

The software assets will complement Hyperledger Composer, a collaboration tool for building blockchain business networks, and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation.

Hyperledger Composer is an open source tool for developing and deploying chaincode, and the efficient development of business logic in Smart Contracts.

Organizations can learn more about pricing and apply to the IBM Blockchain Founder Accelerator program by visiting http://ibm.com/blockchain/accelerator.

Written by turbotodd

May 18, 2017 at 10:00 am

IBM And Chile’s Santiago Exchange To Deliver First Securities Lending Blockchain Solution

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IBM and Chile’s Santiago Exchange, the largest in the country, today announced a partnership to introduce blockchain technology across the country’s financial sector.

The agreement makes the Santiago Exchange the first stock market in Latin America to apply IBM Blockchain technology within its short selling system for securities lending. Blockchain works as an immutable ledger that records transactions, allowing secure information exchange.

Built by IBM and Chile’s Santiago Exchange, the solution is designed to help reduce errors, possible fraud, and processing time for each transaction, while also improving transaction management and lowering costs. In the case of the Santiago Exchange, the solution will result in significant time savings for the back-office processes.

“The Stock Exchange is a technologically advanced company, which provides the infrastructure and systems for all types of securities transactions and their clearing and settlement.  The Stock Exchange also provides information services and management systems for intermediaries. Incorporating blockchain into our business processes is in line with that purpose and positions us as a forerunner in the financial market,” said the Santiago Exchange CIO, Andrés Araya.

IBM Chile General Manager, Francisco Thiermann, highlighted the fact that the Santiago Exchange is the first stock exchange in Latin America to implement a securities lending blockchain solution. “Our agreement with Santiago Exchange marks another new era of innovation in the stock market. Santiago Exchange is a pioneer in its industry, and the blockchain adoption establishes a transformational precedent in the financial market, not just in Chile but in this region and the world,” he said.

The solution developed by IBM is based on the open source Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric. The solution is expected to be widely available to support multiple parties across the financial industry ecosystem this year.

Written by turbotodd

May 17, 2017 at 11:02 am

Bombardier Selects IBM Services And Cloud

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Bombardier is extending its long-term partnership with IBM through a new six-year deal valued at approximately $700 million, which includes IBM Services and IBM Cloud management of Bombardier’s worldwide IT infrastructure and operations.

The services management agreement spans 47 countries and represents one of IBM’s largest cloud partnerships in Canada.

“As part of our turnaround plan, Bombardier is working to improve productivity, reduce costs and grow earnings. This IT transformation initiative will help us better integrate globally to create a best-in-class IT organization,” said Sean Terriah, Chief Information Officer, Aerospace and Corporate Office, Bombardier. “With IBM, we will transform our service delivery model to focus on our core competencies, and leverage the best practices of our strategic partner across our infrastructure and operations.”

“Bombardier’s global decision to extend its existing partnership with IBM and move to IBM Cloud is recognition of our broad expertise and experience helping our clients transform the business of IT to be more competitive, agile and secure through cloud computing and industry services best-practices,” said Martin Jetter, senior vice-president, IBM Global Technology Services. “We look forward to further developing our relationship with Bombardier and working with the talented team there.”

IBM Watson, which is available only on the IBM Cloud, provides enterprise-grade machine learning, artificial intelligence and cognitive technologies to better support agile decision-making for enterprise clients who need to quickly glean insights from their data – 80 per cent of which is not accessible through search.

Written by turbotodd

May 17, 2017 at 9:06 am

The Weather Company Introduces New Solutions Designed to Help Freight and Logistic Companies

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If you happen to be in the freight business, you know that weather-related delays cost cargo companies big bucks. $8.7B a year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

To help address these inefficiences, The Weather Company, an IBM Business, has introduced its new Operations Dashboard for Ground Transportation.

This new solution is designed to help optimize workforce productivity and route selection for freight and logistics companies. The comprehensive, customizable dashboard includes key information on weather and road conditions, including precipitation, wind, fog, ice and pooling water.

The dashboard also integrates real-time traffic flow and incident data, and flags safety hazards.

“By providing freight and logistics companies with a single view of critical weather and traffic information, we are providing them with the ability to make proactive decisions that can reduce inefficiencies and potentially keep their drivers out of harm’s way,” said Mark Gildersleeve, vice president and head of business solutions, The Weather Company. “We understand that weather can be disruptive, but with the right insight companies can be prepared to make proactive decisions.”

 

The Weather Company, an IBM Business, introduced new operations dashboard to help freight and logistic companies improve operational efficiency.  (Credit: The Weather Company, an IBM Business)

The Operations Dashboard for Ground Transportation is designed to provide input across the trucking and fleet organizations. As part of the solution:

  • Dispatchers will have access to a comprehensive dashboard of the network of vehicles and locations, with a view of relevant weather, traffic, and safety information on each route.
  • Distribution Center Executives will have access to a dashboard-level view of weather and traffic that impacts the safety of relevant personnel and facility operations.
  • Drivers will receive live, location-based alerts for current locations and upcoming locations based on current trajectory. Drivers will also have the ability to check weather and traffic while planning the day’s travel and during breaks.

Additionally, dispatchers can set up individualized alerts of approaching hazards that are delivered via API to an in-cab or mobile device.

This alerting capability can track a driver’s trajectory and send alerts based on approaching weather. With weather updates as frequently every five minutes and down to a 500-meter resolution, drivers will be equipped to make more informed decisions from the road.

To learn more, visit https://business.weather.com/industry-solutions/ground-transportation.

Written by turbotodd

May 15, 2017 at 2:12 pm

IBM and Galvanize Partner to Deliver Hands-on AI Skills Training in NYC

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Developers and data scientists in the Big Apple, be forewarned!

IBM and Galvanize are hosting a three-day Cognitive Builder Faire in New York City this weekend which will include workshops, tutorials and hands-on labs delivered through IBM’s Data Science Experience.

The technology industry is facing a shortage of experienced developers and data scientists to address the growing demand for cognitive and AI development. IDC predicts that by 2018 75 percent of all developers will embed cognitive technology in their applications. IBM and Galvanize are partnering to bring cognitive skills and data science curriculum to individuals interested in some of the most lucrative careers in technology.

“The cognitive skills that developers and data scientists gain during this event will empower them to lead the next generation of discovery in AI,” said Jim Deters, CEO of Galvanize. “As demand surges for talent with this skillset, IBM’s commitment to ‘new collar’ jobs aligns with our mission to provide world-class technical training to anyone with the smarts and grit to transform their lives through technology.”

Throughout the weekend, developers, data scientists and technology enthusiasts will have an opportunity to build cognition solutions with various Watson APIs available on the IBM Bluemix cloud platform, including Watson Conversation Service, as well as the data science Foursquare API. Tutorials will also cover Node.js and machine learning fundamentals with Python/R. The Watson APIs simplify the process of building tools that rely on language, speech and vision analysis, and discovery.

If you are interested, you can register for the event online.

For more information on the tools, resources, courses and code provided by IBM, visit: www.ibm.com/developer

EVENT DETAILS:

DATE & TIME: 6 p.m. EST, Friday, May 12 – 3:00 p.m. EST, Sunday, May 14

LOCATION: Galvanize, 315 Hudson St., 2nd Floor, New York, NY

SPEAKERS:

  • Kelcey Gosserand, Evangelist, Galvanize
  • Matt Kamen, VP of Engineering, Foursquare
  • Polong Lin, Lead Data Science Advocate, IBM
  • Chyld Medford, Software Engineer, Galvanize
  • Jean-Francois Omhover, Senior Data Scientist, Galvanize
  • Cecelia Shao, Associate Offering Manager, IBM

Written by turbotodd

May 11, 2017 at 11:09 am

Posted in 2017, developers

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IBM Watson for Cyber Security Powers Smarttech Security Ops

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IBM Security today announced Smarttech, a security services provider based in Ireland, is leveraging IBM Watson for Cyber Security in their Security Operations Center (SOC).

The new tool is enabling the company’s analysts to investigate and respond to three times as many security incidents with greater speed and accuracy. Smarttech was one of 40 companies around the world to participate in the IBM Watson for Cyber Security Beta Program, and is now a customer.

Powered by IBM QRadar Advisor with Watson, Smarttech’s SOC now takes advantage of the cognitive capabilities of Watson along with industry leading IBM Security QRadar Security Analytics Platform to uncover hidden threats and automate insights.

IBM has trained Watson on the language of cyber security, with the system ingesting over one million security documents, and can now help security analysts with insights from hundreds of thousands of natural language research sources that have never before been accessible to modern security tools.

Smarttech was looking for an intuitive solution to better manage an industry-wide workforce shortage of security analysts, and sought to augment the skills of its security team to stay ahead of ever evolving cyber threats targeting customers.

As part of its roll out of IBM QRadar Advisor with Watson, Smarttech found that the tool provided valuable additional perspective beyond what their analysts had initially discovered, highlighting new observations that the analysts had overlooked in about 20 percent of incidents.

“It’s not man versus machine—they very much work hand and hand,” said Ronan Murphy, CEO, Smarttech. “Our analysts continue to play a critical role in evaluating a cyber security incident, while Watson for Cyber Security enforces their decisions and validates what they are sharing with the customer at risk. It enables security analysts to deliver faster and more accurate details on a breach, so we may better protect our customers.”

IBM QRadar Advisor with Watson can help security teams respond to threats through the following:

  • Visibility into elements of a security incident – while investigating an incident, QRadar Advisor first gathers greater context about that incident by mining local data available in QRadar.​
  • Formulate a threat research strategy – QRadar Advisor formulates a threat query to send to Watson for Cyber Security, to perform external knowledge and threat discovery on discrete observations from the incident.
  • Threat research – Watson for Cyber Security taps its knowledge base of unstructured data and uses cognitive reasoning to discover additional insights and other threat entities related to the original incident.
  • Apply intelligence to understand the threat – QRadar Advisor refines information it receives from Watson, to zero in on the key insights relevant to the current incident. It validates the source of the offense and provides additional context to identify and understand the threat.

For more information on Watson for Cyber Security and the IBM Cognitive SOC, visit: http://www-03.ibm.com/security/cognitive/

Written by turbotodd

May 11, 2017 at 8:31 am

The Easy System

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The Staples’ “Easy button” is getting an upgrade with IBM Watson.

In a piece by The Wall Street Journal’s Sara Castellanos, she outlines how Staples and IBM are partnering to make Staples’ iconic red “easy” button act as “an artificially-intelligent assistant for all office business needs.”

Castellanos writes that the company will later this month launch a pilot program where office assistants at 100 medium and large undisclosed businesses will test the AI-powered Easy System to order office supplies by voice and text.

The Easy System, which includes the physical easy button as well as a mobile app, email and text message capability, has been in development since last year. It’s powered by International Business Machine Corp.’s Watson artificial intelligence system. The cognitive computing scheme behind Watson lets Staples’ algorithms learn the habits of individual customers.
– via WSJ

Staples uses APIS to connect its inventory and ordering systems to Watson via IBM Cloud technology, explains Castellanos.

Staple’s CTO, Faisal Masud, on the new system:

“Our goal would be to make their lives more efficient and be able to serve them beyond just office supplies,” said Mr. Masud, who became the company’s CTO in December 2016 in a promotion that combined e-commerce with his previous chief information officer responsibilities. “We want to be able to solve any request that our customers have.”
– via WSJ

Written by turbotodd

May 9, 2017 at 10:44 am

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