Web Pioneer Lays Out Ambitious Plan to Disrupt Digital World Order

A. DeCarlo
A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • Consumers’ unease with the misinformation, disinformation, and mishandling of personal digital data is driving new regulations and investment in developing new ways to protect content.
  • Inrupt, a startup founded by Tim Berners-Lee, wants to shake up the status quo with technology that will effectively decentralize the web and put more control in the hands of end users.

Twenty-nine years after the first successful Internet transmission using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the protocol’s developer, Tim Berners-Lee, wants to disrupt the web status quo. In an effort to address mounting concerns about privacy on the web, Berners-Lee is forging a path to return control over data access and storage to end users. Berners-Lee’s new startup, Inrupt, is pushing for adoption of an open source platform which could, if widely implemented, effectively decentralize the web. The platform, known as ‘Solid,’ takes aim at the current digital data model in which a relatively small number of dominant web players maintain significant access and storage control over the majority of end-user information. Continue reading “Web Pioneer Lays Out Ambitious Plan to Disrupt Digital World Order”

SigFox Keeps on Truckin’

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets:

• Sigfox, while one of the first LPWAN providers, has been hampered by business and organizational problems, and faces significant competition from LoRa, LTE-M, and NB-IoT alternatives.

• At its annual Connect event the service provider hoped to turn the tide with good news about coverage and traction and a spate of service and network-related announcements.

At its Connect event in Berlin on October 25th, Sigfox sought to displace the growing concern that it is running last in the global race to provide LPWANs, in the face of standardized licensed spectrum alternatives NB-IoT and LTE-M, as well as networks based on competitive LoRaWAN technology, all of which have been gaining ground. The following public announcements from the event show a range of focus areas for the service provider, notably highly accurate, global location-based services for asset tracking, along with technologies that enhance its network performance and ease of deployment benefits.

Public Announcements

New Micro Base Station. The Access Station Micro provides an adaptable and easy-to-install solution to significantly enhance Sigfox IoT service coverage to billions of devices. A single gateway could cover large rural areas, hundreds of square kilometers without effort. Its extremely low energy consumption enables remote IoT applications where no power source is available with a single small solar panel and a low bandwidth satellite backhaul.
Continue reading “SigFox Keeps on Truckin’”

Tableau Conference 2018: Hello, This is Your Data Calling

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

• Data and analytics have historically belonged to the technological elite, those able to understand the subtleties of inner vs. outer database joins or those willing to learn the difference between a scatter plot and histogram.

• That’s about to change, thanks to a groundswell of innovations emerging from analytics vendors which promise to make data analysis as easy as asking Google Assistant for the day’s weather forecast.

Here’s a very simple proposition to consider: What if we don’t really need citizen data scientists or business-savvy data specialists to realize the current dream shared by most in the enterprise data and analytics marketplace — that dream being the true democratization of data and data-driven insights.

What if instead of asking data specialist to put together a static report — an often iterative and time consuming process — anyone in an organization could type out the simple question, “What were this quarter’s sales numbers?” and get back a timely and accurate data visualization of that quarter’s sales numbers. Continue reading “Tableau Conference 2018: Hello, This is Your Data Calling”

Your Food Chain on Blockchain: The Coming Shakeup

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • Blockchain digital ledger technology can make complex food supply chains more transparent, while delivering a range of benefits for food producers, distributors, retailers, and consumers.
  • However, these are early days for blockchain as a supply chain management technology, with limitations including the challenge of verifying the authenticity of data supplied to the platform.

Several innovative applications of blockchain, the distributed digital ledger technology, illustrate the technology’s potential use beyond its cryptocurrency origins. One promising application of blockchain is as platform for improving the efficiency and transparency of global food supply chains. Here, we are already seeing numerous applications of blockchain which promise to bring benefits to producers, retailers, and consumers. However, these are still early days for blockchain as a supply chain management tool and it is important to be mindful, not only of the technology’s potential as well as early successful applications within food supply chains, but also of its risks and limitations. Among them is the challenge of how to verify the authenticity of the data supplied to the blockchain. Continue reading “Your Food Chain on Blockchain: The Coming Shakeup”

Microsoft’s Bottom-Up, Top-Down Approach to Change Its Siloed Culture

T. Banting

Summary Bullets:

  • Microsoft Garage provides a hub for employees to work on different small-scale, innovative projects and share ideas.
  • By driving cultural change and encouraging developers to innovate, Satya Nadella is breaking down the “confederation of fiefdoms” which has plagued Microsoft for years.

Late last week, Microsoft released a new Microsoft Garage-incubated iOS app called ‘Spend,’ an automatic expense tracking app. The Garage, a relatively unknown function within Microsoft, is a hub for employees across the company to work on different small-scale projects and share ideas. Continue reading “Microsoft’s Bottom-Up, Top-Down Approach to Change Its Siloed Culture”

Xpand: Can the Provider Expand?

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

• Xpand is Axiata’s enterprise arm providing network-based services to Asian regional enterprises.

• There is still a big gap between Xpand and other regional/global carriers.

You may have heard of Axiata, but most likely not Xpand. Axiata is a telecom group with stakes in eight countries across emerging Asian markets (Celcom, Malaysia; XL, Indonesia; Dialog, Sri Lanka; Robi, Bangladesh; Smart, Cambodia; Ncell, Nepal; Idea, India; and M1, Singapore); while Xpand is the carrier’s regional enterprise arm providing network-based services such as connectivity, cloud, UC, mobilitym and IoT. Xpand positions itself as a one-stop shop for all communication solutions to MNCs and regional enterprises in Asia, This places the provider in the same market with other Asian and global carriers such as Singtel, NTT Communications, Tata Communications, Telstra, VGE, PCCW Global, and Bharti Airtel. Continue reading “Xpand: Can the Provider Expand?”

Blockchain Platforms Vendors Jockey for Mindshare

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • IBM touts advancements made in Food Trust, its blockchain solution for the food ecosystem.
  • SAP highlights three blockchain technologies built on SAP Cloud Platform: Hyperledger Fabric, MultiChain, and Quorum.

The buzz around blockchain is intensifying, and mindshare grabs among platform vendors are playing out through an upswing in strategy and ecosystem updates. Cloud platform providers are being pressed to define the early stages and use cases of this emerging market, which promises to modernize decades-old financial and supply chain systems into digital ledgers. GlobalData has reported that platform services providers are well suited to expand their cloud services to include blockchain, which represents an abstraction layer for making it easier to incorporate blockchain capabilities into applications improving developer productivity (please see “Blockchain Watch: App Platform Vendors Dominate in Laying the Groundwork for Digital Ledger Transformations,” September 10, 2018). Continue reading “Blockchain Platforms Vendors Jockey for Mindshare”

Anti-Bot as Additional Protection Layer in IoT

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Security remains a key inhibitor in IoT, driven by the convergence of IT and OT.
  • IoT providers should consider bundling anti-bot offerings into their IoT solution as an additional protection layer.

Security and privacy have been the key topics in IoT. They are also the main inhibitors slowing down IoT adoptions by enterprises. As seen in the figure below, GlobalData IoT research conducted in 2017 with 281 Asian enterprises showed that security and privacy were the second and fourth biggest challenges for them with their IoT deployments. Continue reading “Anti-Bot as Additional Protection Layer in IoT”

Software AG Virtual Analyst Event: Cumulocity IoT Platform Goes up the Stack

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets:

• German-based enterprise software vendor Software AG held an innovative virtual product release event on October 10th, which focused on new capabilities across its portfolio.

• Of particular interest were new capabilities of its IoT platform, Cumulocity IoT, which are aligned with the industry, as vendors seek to move up from connectivity management to edge computing, application enablement, and advanced analytics.

Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT platform, acquired by the software vendor in March 2017, has maintained its solid reputation for connectivity and device management. It is sold directly to enterprises but is also provided to businesses through reseller agreements with operators such as Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica, value-added reseller Tieto, and Siemens, the latter of which uses it for the device connectivity element of its Mindsphere solution. But while the platform gets good technical reviews, it has often been relegated to “also-ran” status when compared to competing platforms from the likes of enterprise heavy-hitters SAP, IBM, and Microsoft, industrial expert PTC, and hyperscale cloud services providers Google and AWS.
Continue reading “Software AG Virtual Analyst Event: Cumulocity IoT Platform Goes up the Stack”

For Huawei, AI Development is a Job That Doesn’t End with the Final Product

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

• At its annual Connect conference in Shanghai, Huawei formally rolled out a new AI portfolio aptly marketed as a full-stack, all-scenario proposition that spans the physical and virtual AI solution set, covering everything from chip to solution.

• Somewhat lost in the sheer size of this portfolio, however, is a hidden gem that seeks to solve one of the biggest challenges facing AI practitioners, namely how to manage the lifecycle of AI apps themselves.

When Huawei sets its sights on a new market opportunity, rarely does the vendor tentatively dip its toes into unknown waters. As has become customary for the globally ambitious technology Chinese provider, new challenges are met all at once with an all-encompassing, all-inclusive portfolio of products that emphasizes immediate availability over future roadmap potentiality. And so it was this week when Huawei introduced its hyphen-heavy full-stack, all-scenario AI portfolio, that begins with the company’s new round of AI Ascend chips and ends with pre-integrated industry solutions.

An attempt to boil the entire stack down into something reasonably suited to general discussion, there are four basic layers to consider here, running from bottom to top: Continue reading “For Huawei, AI Development is a Job That Doesn’t End with the Final Product”