Turbotodd

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

Archive for the ‘financial services’ Category

IBM Launches Blockchain Accelerator Program

leave a comment »

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

leave a comment »

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

Mizuho Bank And IBM Japan Building Trade Financial Platform With Blockchain

with 3 comments

Mizuho Financial Group, Mizuho Bank and IBM Japan today announced they are building a blockchain-based trade financing platform for trade financing. With the platform, Mizuho is aiming to streamline trading operations and improve supply chain efficiency.

The timely and highly secure exchange of trade documents is essential for stakeholders in the supply chain ecosystem. Digitizing trade information on the blockchain can help change the way information is shared, infusing greater trust into transactions to make it easier for parties involved in the supply chain, including exporters, importers, shippers, insurance companies, port operators and port authorities, to share critical shipment data in near real-time.

Mizuho Financial Group is working with IBM Japan to ultimately conduct actual trade transactions based on Hyperledger Fabric, a blockchain framework implementation and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation.

Specifically, the project exchanges digitized letters of credit for actual trade transactions between Japan and overseas clients. As the letter of credit is digitally shared among parties including importers, exporters and their banks, it is expected to simplify the associated document creation and exchange processes, which have traditionally been time- and paper-intensive.

Also, the system will enable all parties to view the latest shipment status data, which can result in reduced trade transaction and processing costs.

“We are pleased to be the market leader in Japan in powering our processes and workflows with distributed ledger technology and continue to work aggressively towards expanding our portfolio of its implementations across the group,” said Daisuke Yamada, Managing Executive officer and Chief Digital Innovation Officer of Mizuho Financial Group. “The global expertise in digital technology of IBM complements our vision and has opened further avenues for us to tap the potential of distributed ledger in transforming our processes and workflows for better enterprise agility, transparency and regulatory reporting.”

This first phase of the project will lead to Mizuho conducting actual trade transactions using blockchain in June 2017 advancing the trade financial platform for commercialization. Mizuho continues to utilize new technologies, like blockchain, for innovative and better financial services for customers. Mizuho worked with IBM on another blockchain pilot focused on currency settlement.

IBM launched IBM Blockchain on Bluemix for organizations that require blockchain networks that are trusted, open and ready for business.

You can learn more about IBM Blockchain on Bluemix here.

Written by turbotodd

April 26, 2017 at 9:11 am

Three Essential Blockchain Adoption Principles

leave a comment »

IBM today announced that it has identified three key elements of enterprise blockchain adoption for c-suite leaders to consider when evaluating the technology for business use.

Blockchain, or distributed ledger technology, is quickly making its way into the enterprise, potentially becoming as revolutionary a technology for business transactions as the internet was for communications in the late 1990s.

In the supply chain and logistics industry alone, the technology could potentially help save billions of dollars annually and significantly reduce delays and spoilage. Its potential impacts are far-reaching; according to the World Economic Forum, reducing barriers within the international supply chain could increase worldwide GDP by almost five percent and total trade volume by 15 percent.  

To best derive value from blockchain technology, IBM recommends that enterprise adopters across supply chains and other key industries including financial services, retail, energy and others develop a close understanding of five key elements of the technology:

  • Blockchain has the potential to transform trade, transactions and business processes. The two concepts underpinning blockchain are “business network” and “ledger.” Taken together, these are what make blockchain a smart, tamper-resistant way to conduct trade, transactions and business processes. Network members exchange assets through a ledger that all members share access to. The ledger is synced across the network with all members needing to confirm a transaction of tangible or intangible assets before it is approved and stored on the blockchain. This shared view helps establish legitimacy and transparency, even when parties are not familiar with one another.
  • The value is in the ecosystem as the blockchain network grows. As a business network, blockchain can include several different types of participants. Depending on the number of participants in a blockchain network, the value of assets being exchanged and the need to authorize members with varying credentials, adopters should observe the difference between “permissioned” and “permissionless” blockchain networks. The real value for blockchain is achieved when these business networks grow. With a strong ecosystem, business networks can more easily reach critical mass allowing the users to build new business models and reinvent the transaction process.
  • Blockchain can significantly improve visibility and trust across business. Blockchains can reduce transaction settlement times from days or weeks to seconds by providing visibility to all the participants. The technology can also be used to cut excess costs by removing intermediary third-parties typically required to verify transactions. Because blockchain is built on the concept of trust, it can help reduce risks of illicit practices carried out over payment networks, helping to mitigate fraud and cybercrimes.

 

Speed, cost efficiency and transparency are among blockchain’s most significant benefits in the enterprise and within ecosystems of companies conducting trade. 

IBM, Walmart and Tsinghua University
, for example, are exploring the use of blockchain to help address the challenges surrounding food safety. By allowing members within the supply chain to see the same records, blockchain helps narrow down the source of a contamination.

Blockchain is being rapidly explored today 

Real-world use of blockchain is underway. Everledger, a company that tracks and protects diamonds and other valuables via the blockchain, has started building a digital business network using IBM Blockchain to power its global certification system.

When combined with a highly secure cloud environment, blockchain technology can be used to help protect suppliers, buyers and shippers against theft, counterfeiting and other forms of corruption, while simultaneously demonstrating the origin of high-value goods for essential parties.

IBM is also working with multiple stock exchanges to test trading over blockchain in low-liquidity markets. A case study that supports findings from ‘Leading the pack in blockchain banking’ and ‘Blockchain rewires financial markets’ predicts that 15 percent of banks and 14 percent of broader financial markets institutions expect to have blockchain in-production at commercial scale this year, and 53 percent of banks believe they will move to a live blockchain network over the next two years.

You can learn more about IBM Blockchain solutions here.

Written by turbotodd

April 24, 2017 at 9:02 am

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 Helps ING DIRECT Canada Connect with Mobile, Social Customers

leave a comment »

ING DIRECT Canada's mobile application, developed with IBM, delivers customers with a dashboard view based on their most frequent banking activities.

ING DIRECT Canada’s mobile application, developed with IBM, delivers customers with a dashboard view based on their most frequent banking activities.

IBM is making a fast start with its new “Mobile First” initiative, which is intended to help companies around the world bring all their resources together to strengthen customer engagement, whenever and wherever the customer wants, and on the customer’s favorite device, which is increasingly a mobile one.

IBM client ING DIRECT Canada is applying a “smarter commerce” approach to consumer banking with IBM’s help in meeting the growing expectations of its 1.8 million customers.

IBM announced today that it is working with the online bank to deliver innovative financial services that improve ING DIRECT’s customer experience including simplified account access across mobile devices and social media channels, voice recognition, and advanced security.

ING DIRECT Canada’s mobile application, developed with IBM, delivers customers with a dashboard view based on their most frequent banking activities.

Based on IBM software and services, these innovations support ING DIRECT’s Orange Snapshot initiative, designed to provide its clients greater control to manage their accounts within their increasingly mobile and social lifestyle.

Orange Snapshot gives mobile consumers a complete and simplified view of all their accounts, as well as bill payment and email money transfers, in two easy clicks.

This allows consumers to sign on once from their mobile device, saving time and aggravation from multiple log-ins.

Working with IBM, the bank’s latest mobile innovation allows clients to easily and securely access their ING DIRECT account information from within Facebook’s social networking site.

Clients who opt-in to this app are able to view their account balances, history and pending transactions as well as receive account notifications — real time messages automatically pushed to them within Facebook.

With security and privacy always top of mind, ING DIRECT plans to expand this application further to include transactions such as transfers, bill payments and email money transfers.

Furthermore, ING DIRECT allows clients to share their experiences through Facebook and Twitter to make saving money more intriguing.

In a recent survey, ING DIRECT learned that 52 percent of consumers were able to forego non-essential purchases when they could better visualize the impact of their spending habits.

IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative is designed to help businesses better connect with the rising tide of digital consumers who prefer to buy through online, mobile and social channels.

It is estimated that there are more smartphones on the planet than humans. According to IDC, by 2016, more than 10 billion smartphones will be in use around the globe. In Canada, more than half of smartphone users bank from their devices — and that number grows higher when looking at users between the ages 18-34.

ING DIRECT continues to work with IBM in seeking new ways to connect to mobile applications in order to advance sales, manage secure transactions, and provide new insights about clients.

The bank has begun experimenting with new voice recognition capabilities on their mobile apps that will allow clients to conduct simple banking transactions by speaking rather than typing or the application can read account information to the customer.

ING DIRECT is also exploring the use of biometrics within their mobile apps for purposes such as client login to improve the client experience while maintaining the highest standards of security. Internal pilots are already yielding positive outcomes.

Recently, Forrester Research, Inc. recognized IBM as a leader in enterprise mobility services, according to the February 2013 report The Forrester Wave TM: Enterprise Mobility Services, Q1 2013.

Based on an analysis of 13 global leaders’ enterprise mobility capabilities and how they stack up, the report indicates that IBM “brings clients a world-class design agency combined with breadth and depth of enterprise mobility consulting both in terms of technology capabilities and global presence.”

You can go here to learn more about IBM’s “Mobile First” initiative.

New IBM Global Financing For Business Partners

leave a comment »

Click to enlarge. As the graphic itself explains, innovation starts with appropriately allocated capital. By investing in the right projects and by promoting sound corporate governance, financial development helps increase the rate of technological innovation and productivity growth. IBM today announced a major new financing program today that helps IBM Business Partners and their clients make such investments.

Hello there. I’m back in Austin, Texas, and no worse for the wear.

Las Vegas was…well, Las Vegas. Although I must say, I was most impressed with Wynn Las Vegas.

Steve Wynn has been a lightning rod of controversy during his reign as a resort mogul in Las Vegas (and, now, Macau), and having only seen him in interviews on “60 Minutes,” I can’t say as I had much of an opinion one way or the other.

But, after staying at his 60+ story hotel on the Strip these past few days, I can attest to the level of personal detail and attention he puts into his properties.

Upon arrival on Sunday, I waited a good 30 minutes just to check in. But, upon reflection, I guess that’s a good sign for Mr. Wynn and his couterie, and they were kind enough to bring me a bottle of water to myself and other customers who were patiently waiting.

But if hotels can do such a great job of enabling a streamlined checkout (video, phone check out, express checkout, etc.), there’s clearly still room for much improvement on better “processing” customers when they arrive. Smarter check-in, anybody?

But all in all, very impressed with the Wynn brand experience.

As for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association Summit, I’m still processing all the great info I took in, and may dedicate a more thoughtful post on my experience about that later.

But, since I was pre-occupied for a few days, we’ve had some important IBM news that fell below my blogging radar.

The most notable announcement emerged earlier today, one for IBM Business Partners and their clients.

IBM announced today it is providing IBM Business Partners with $4 billion in financing for credit-qualified clients over a period of 12 months.

This financing, through IBM Global Financing, can make obtaining credit easier and more accessible to IBM’s global partner ecosystem and their clients to acquire advanced technologies such as cloud, analytics and PureSystems.

Also, IBM is launching a new mobile app as another step to simplify the way IBM’s Business Partners can apply for and secure financing for their clients within minutes via any mobile device.

This financing initiative builds on the $1 billion in financing IBM Global Financing made available through IBM Business Partners for small and midsized businesses in 2011, which resulted in 6,800 global companies using financing and enabling them to invest in some of these important emerging technologies.

To learn more, you can visit IBM Global Financing here.

Written by turbotodd

November 15, 2012 at 6:32 pm

%d bloggers like this: