Turbotodd

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

Archive for March 2017

Kenya’s Sidian Bank Will Use IBM Cloud, Cognitive to Accelerate Digital Transformation

leave a comment »

IBM has announced that Sidian Bank has turned to IBM Cloud and Cognitive solutions to fuel its digital transformation. This helps the bank provide its growing customer base of small and medium-sized businesses with faster access to existing services like debit and credit card processing, bank account opening, teller services and wealth management.

Sidian Bank, founded in 1984, was launched as a micro-finance bank before upgrading and becoming a commercial bank.

The bank needed a core banking system that would provide a competitive edge as it enhanced its services to better target the entrepreneur market segment. It was also looking to reduce unplanned system outages and to improve its core banking system performance.

Prior to engaging IBM, about 40 percent of a typical business day’s working hours at the bank was spent on problem isolation. Today, however, through infrastructure as a service and cognitive management, the system can learn from past incidents and resolve 56 percent of any difficulties with minimum human intervention.

This has enabled the bank realize 34 percent savings in capital expenses and a 60 percent improvement in transactional times across all ATMs and teller counters.

Also, the bank faced significant challenges with hardware capacity for memory, processing and storage which had a direct impact on applications availability. The core banking services ran on legacy hardware.

All applications were migrated to IBM infrastructure through a hybrid cloud model which is live and fully operational. Also, with the infrastructure managed services on IBM systems the availability, speed of access and expansion for applications has improved to 99 percent from an average of 84 percent on a given week.

“This is the first collaboration of its kind in this market. It not only cements our partnership with the IBM, but also creates new and unique partnerships that support our institution’s growth strategy and enhances the efficiency of our entire banking infrastructure.” said Titus Karanja, CEO, Sidian Bank.

With the IBM cognitive capabilities, the bank continues to drive fast response times to customer needs which are key to supporting its mostly small and medium-sized tier entrepreneurs. It additionally enables the bank to improve IT staff productivity by 30 percent, freeing its technology team to focus on their core business.

You can learn more about IBM Cloud solutions here.

Written by turbotodd

March 13, 2017 at 8:46 am

IBM QRadar Named as a Leader in Security Analytics Platforms

leave a comment »

IBM Security has announced IBM QRadar, the company’s security intelligence platform, has been named a “Leader” and received the highest scores in the three categories – current offering, strategy, and market presence – of all evaluated solutions in the March 2017 report, “The Forrester Wave™: Security Analytics Platforms, Q1 2017,” by Forrester Research, Inc.

For this report, Forrester evaluates companies based on a number of criteria, including deployment options, detection capabilities, risk prioritization, log management, threat intelligence, dashboards and reporting, security automation, end user experience, and customer satisfaction.

Forrester surveys indicate that 74% of global enterprise security technology decision makers rate improving security monitoring as a high or critical priority.

According to the report, IBM Security “has an ambitious strategy for security analytics that includes cognitive security capabilities from its Watson initiative and security automation from its Resilient Systems acquisition.”

Forrester also notes IBM’s investments in security with its QRadar Security Intelligence Platform emerging as “one of the key pieces of its portfolio.” The analyst firm also notes that “those looking for advanced capabilities and a flexible deployment model should consider IBM.”

Written by turbotodd

March 10, 2017 at 8:49 am

A Messenger Day

leave a comment »

Let the SnapChat clones begin.

Today Facebook announced it was globally launching Messenger Day.

This new app will roll out on top of Facebook’s chat app on both iOS and Android, plus in Facebook desktop Messenger. The new feature will let you share with the public or a custom friend decorated photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours.

That is, of course, unless the CIA has already broken into your iOS or Android phone, in which case all bets are off.

All joking aside, I don’t think we can laugh this thing away out of the gate.

As TechCrunch observed, 1 billion people a day use Facebook Messenger, and Facebook is not afraid to copy great ideas. Why should somebody step out of Facebook and go over to Snapchat if they can just do what they need to on Facebook?

To whit, Snap Inc. chat is settling into the $22 range this afternoon, now that the news has sunk in. It appears that its messages aren’t the only thing disappearing at SnapChat.

Here’s what Facebook’s blog post introducing the feature explained the new Facebook Messenger Day capability:

Here’s how Messenger Day works: First make sure you’ve updated your Messenger app so you have the latest version. Open Messenger, and tap on the camera highlighted with a sun to celebrate this launch. Doing so drops you right into the full-screen camera. Or, tap the “Add to your day” button at the top of your inbox to get started. Snap a quick selfie or take a photo or video of what’s around you. To add art and effects, tap the smiley face icon in the top right and then tap to add to your photo or video. You can also add text over your images by tapping the “Aa” icon, and you can overlay a drawing by tapping the squiggly line in the top right corner. Once you have your photo or video the way you want it, tap the arrow in the bottom right corner. You can then add directly to your day, save it to your phone’s camera roll, and/or you can choose to send it to a specific person or group of people. The photo or video that you add to your day will be viewable for 24 hours.
– via newsroom.fb.com

Written by turbotodd

March 9, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Munich Laboratory Selects IBM Watson For Personalized Leukemia Diagnostics And Treatment

leave a comment »

Munich Leukemia Laboratory (MLL) is a state-of-the-art leukemia and lymphoma diagnostic and research laboratory based in Munich. It recently partnered with IBM and Illumina, Inc., the global leader in next-generation sequencing technology, to help build a new cognitive technology prototype that aims to help researchers improve leukemia treatment.

Leukemia’s prevalance has been on the rise in Europe, with 15,000 new diagnoses each year in Germany alone. MLL will use NovaSeq technology from Illumina to sequence samples from its biobank of more than 500,000 cases.

MLL researchers then plan to use Watson to help analyze the genomic data alongside other data sources. The project intends to include innovative testing processes such as automated phenotyping and genotyping including whole genome sequencing (WGS) and transcriptome sequencing (RNASeq) in 5,000 cases.

The ultimate goal is to develop a Watson-based technology prototype that can help analyze genomic and phenotypic data alongside medical literature, guidelines and study results, providing clinicians with information relevant to leukemia care. Following successful development, the tool could also be made available to other laboratories in the future.

Prof. Torsten Haferlach, co-founder and CEO of MLL, states, “We at MLL are excited to combine our data and knowledge, IBM’s cognitive computing tools, and Illumina’s new sequencing platform to create a new era of insights in leukemia biology that will also drive more personalized treatment strategies.”

MLL will utilize Illumina’s BaseSpace® Informatics Suite to be able to streamline data analysis, storage, data curation and aggregation. The BaseSpace Sequence Hub Frankfurt site will help MLL manage the data as the project scales and facilitates data transfer to IBM Watson. 

Additional tertiary analysis with BaseSpace Cohort Analyzer and BaseSpace Correlation Engine allows MLL’s genomic data to be combined with other clinical data to enhance interpretation results.

Written by turbotodd

March 8, 2017 at 9:12 am

IBM And Salesforce Announce Landmark Global Strategic Partnership, Feature AI

leave a comment »

IBM and Salesforce have announced a global strategic partnership to deliver joint solutions designed to leverage artificial intelligence and enable companies to make smarter decisions, faster than ever before. 

With the partnership, IBM Watson, the leading AI platform for business, and Salesforce Einstein, AI that powers the world’s #1 CRM, will seamlessly connect to enable an entirely new level of intelligent customer engagement across sales, service, marketing, commerce and more. IBM is also strategically investing in its Global Business Services capabilities for Salesforce with a new practice to help clients rapidly deploy the combined IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein capabilities.

Salesforce Chairman and CEO, Marc Benioff and IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty announced a global strategic partnership to deliver joint artificial intelligence solutions that will enable companies to make smarter decisions, faster than ever before. (Photo Credit: Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

The partnership will bring new insights from Watson directly into the Salesforce Intelligent Customer Success Platform, combining deep customer insights from Salesforce Einstein with Watson’s structured and unstructured data across many sources and industries including weather, healthcare, financial services and retail.

Together, Watson and Einstein will ingest, reason over and derive recommendations to accelerate decision making and drive greater customer success.

“Within a few years, every major decision—personal or business—will be made with the help of AI and cognitive technologies,” said Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and chief executive officer, IBM. “This year we expect Watson will touch one billion people—through everything from oncology and retail to tax preparation and cars. Now, with today’s announcement, the power of Watson will serve the millions of Salesforce and Einstein customers and developers to provide an unprecedented understanding of customers.”

“The combination of Einstein and Watson will make businesses smarter and our customers more successful,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce. “I’m thrilled to form an alliance with IBM—no company’s core values are as close to Salesforce’s as IBM’s. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Salesforce and IBM will initially deliver the following:

  • IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein Integration: Integrating IBM Watson APIs into Salesforce will bring predictive insights from unstructured data, inside or outside an enterprise, together with predictive insights from customer data delivered by Salesforce Einstein to enable smarter, faster decisions across sales, service, marketing, commerce and more. For example, by combining local shopping patterns, weather and retail industry data from Watson with customer-specific shopping data and preferences from Salesforce Einstein, a retailer will be able to automatically send highly personalized and localized email campaigns to shoppers.
  • IBM Weather Insights for Salesforce: The Weather Company, an IBM business, will power a new Lightning component on the Salesforce AppExchange to provide weather insights that inform customer interactions and business performance. For example, an insurance company will be able to pull local forecast data from IBM Weather into Salesforce, and automatically send safety and policy information to customers who are at risk of being impacted by severe weather events.
  • IBM Application Integration Suite for Salesforce: Customers will be able to able to bring together on-premise enterprise and cloud data with specialized integration products for Salesforce, surfacing that data directly within the Salesforce Intelligent Customer Success Platform. For example, a wealth advisor will be able to unify client data, such as individual investments and risk profiles, with financial trends and public macroeconomic information from Application Integration Suite right within Salesforce to make smarter decisions for her customers.
  • Bluewolf Dedicated Consulting Services and Expertise for Cognitive Solutions, Adding to IBM Strategic Services for Salesforce: Bluewolf, an IBM company, has formed a new practice to help clients rapidly deploy the combined IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein capabilities. This new unit capitalizes on Bluewolf’s over fifteen years of Salesforce implementations and their current portfolio of multiple Salesforce and Watson projects. Bluewolf will also develop new industry-specific accelerators used by enterprise clients to accelerate adoption of cognitive applications.

 

As part of the partnership, IBM will deploy Salesforce Service Cloud across the company to transform its global product support services and gain a single, unified view of every IBM customer.

Pricing and Availability

  • The IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein integration is expected to be available in the second half of 2017. Pricing will be announced at the time of general availability.
  • IBM Weather Lightning Component on Salesforce AppExchange is expected to be available in the second half of 2017. Pricing will be announced at the time of general availability.
  • Bluewolf, an IBM company, expects to offer new industry-focused Solution Accelerators at in the second half of 2017. Pricing will be announced at the time of general availability.
  • IBM Application Integration Suite for Salesforce is expected to be available by the end of March 2017. Pricing will be announced at the time of general availability.

Written by turbotodd

March 6, 2017 at 3:23 pm

IBM Building First Universal Quantum Computers for Business and Science

leave a comment »

IBM announced today an industry-first initiative to build commercially available universal quantum computing systems.

“IBM Q” quantum systems and services will be delivered via the IBM Cloud platform.

While technologies that currently run on classical computers, such as Watson, can help find patterns and insights buried in vast amounts of existing data, quantum computers will deliver solutions to important problems where patterns cannot be seen because the data doesn’t exist and the possibilities that you need to explore to get to the answer are too enormous to ever be processed by classical computers.

IBM also announced today:

  • The release of a new API (Application Program Interface) for the IBM Quantum Experience that enables developers and programmers to begin building interfaces between its existing five quantum bit (qubit) cloud-based quantum computer and classical computers, without needing a deep background in quantum physics.
  • The release of an upgraded simulator on the IBM Quantum Experience that can model circuits with up to 20 qubits. In the first half of 2017, IBM plans to release a full SDK (Software Development Kit) on the IBM Quantum Experience for users to build simple quantum applications and software programs.

The IBM Quantum Experience enables anyone to connect to IBM’s quantum processor via the IBM Cloud, to run algorithms and experiments, work with the individual quantum bits, and explore tutorials and simulations around what might be possible with quantum computing.

IBM Q systems will be designed to tackle problems that are currently seen as too complex and exponential in nature for classical computing systems to handle. One of the first and most promising applications for quantum computing will be in the area of chemistry. Even for simple molecules like caffeine, the number of quantum states in the molecule can be astoundingly large – so large that all the conventional computing memory and processing power scientists could ever build could not handle the problem.

IBM’s roadmap to scale to practical quantum computers is based on a holistic approach to advancing all parts of the system. IBM will leverage its deep expertise in superconducting qubits, complex high performance system integration, and scalable nanofabrication processes from the semiconductor industry to help advance the quantum mechanical capabilities.

Also, the developed software tools and environment will leverage IBM’s world-class mathematicians, computer scientists, and software and system engineers.

Since its launch less than a year ago, about 40,000 users have run over 275,000 experiments on the IBM Quantum Experience. It has become an enablement tool for scientists in over 100 countries and, to date, 15 third-party research papers have been posted to arXiv with five published in leading journals based on experiments run on the Quantum Experience.

For more information on IBM’s universal quantum computing efforts, visit www.ibm.com/ibmq. You can learn more about the IBM Q API and SDK here.

IBM is making the specs for its new Quantum API available on GitHub (https://github.com/IBM/qiskit-api-py) and providing simple scripts (https://github.com/IBM/qiskit-sdk-py) to demonstrate how the API functions.

Written by turbotodd

March 6, 2017 at 8:15 am

I’m NOT In Barcelona

leave a comment »

Let me be clear: I’m not in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress.

But I wish I was.

Not because I wanted to attend MWC. That’s just a side benefit to actually being in Barcelona.

Gaudi, the great Estrella beer and tapas, Sagrada Familia, Barcelona football…shall I go on?

If you ARE in Barcelona and you don’t sneak out of the trade show to check out some of that Catalonian goodness…well, you missed the whole point.

So what’s the big news from MWC this year if you’re following from afar instead of sitting at some nice tapas bar close to the Mediterranean?

Well that’s just it, there doesn’t seem to be much.

5G is still said to be 3-4 years away at best.

Nokia’s reintroduced its Nokia 3310, a feature phone throwback to September of 2000, and also a Nokia 6 Android-based smartphone that is basically yawn-worthy.

If you can’t afford to drive a Porsche, fear not, you can drive their new convertible. Convertible as in two-in-one laptop, made of milled aluminum and a hinge that can rotate 360 degrees.

Does this qualify for the mobile world jumping the shark? Porsche diversifying away from high end sports cars and now making computer convertibles??

Oh yeah, BlackBerry’s back. Kind of.

It has a new model, the BlackBerry KeyOne, made by TCL, a Chinese company, running Android 7.1.1. Diehards will love the physical keyboard, but probably not much else.

Yeah, sounds like I’m not missing much at this year’s MWC.

Save for the tapas.

Written by turbotodd

March 1, 2017 at 9:55 am

Posted in 2017, barcelona, mobile world congress

Tagged with

%d bloggers like this: