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IBM and Bank of America Collaborating to Build a Fintech Public Cloud – Data Center Knowledge

IBM seems to be playing to its strong suit with the announcementthat it has been collaborating with Bank of America to create a cloud dedicated to meeting the special needs of financial services institutions and their suppliers. According to Big Blue, the "financial services-ready" public cloud, which it says is the first of its kind, has been designed to help address the requirements of financial services institutions for regulatory compliance, security, and resiliency.

Although IBM's cloud seems to be stuck in a third-place tie with Google for market share, its position is buoyed by the fact it doesn't compete directly with the much larger full-service market leaders --Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure --but has been concentrating on AI, with Watson, and the burgeoning hybrid and multi-cloud market.

Related: Bank of Americas Cloud Expansion Could Save a Ton of Money, CEO Says

In the later arena, it not only brings decades of experience to the table, bolstered by its recent acquisition of open source cloud leader Red Hat, but a loyal customer base of enterprise customers, many of whomhave not yet embraced the cloud native technologies that are now considered essential for successful business operations.

The new fintech-focused cloud will operate as part of IBM's existing public cloudand appears to follow the company's inclination to stay in familiar territory. IBM can draw on its experience working with major financial institutions (by its estimation it counts 47 Fortune 50 companies as well as the world's 10 largest financial institutions as customers), and can enlist aid and advice from financial sector customers who stand to benefit from a fintech cloud, as the collaboration with Bank of America indicates.

"This is one of the most important collaborations in the financial services industry cloud space," Bank of America's chief operations and technology officer, Cathy Bessant, said in a statement. "This industry-first platform will allow Bank of America to use the public cloud, putting data security, resiliency, privacy, and customer information safety needs at the forefront of decision making. By setting a standard that addresses the concern of hosting highly confidential information, we aim to drive the public cloud to a safety level that is unmatched."

IBM says that Promontory Financial Group, thefinancial consulting firm it acquired in 2016--the New York Times called it "one of the top financial consulting firms to emerge after the global financial crisis of 2008" -- is involved in the project,as is Red Hat, which supplies OpenShift as IBMpublic cloud's primary Kubernetes environment.IBM indicated that OpenShiftwill be harnessed in the financial cloud.

According to IBM, the controls the financial services cloud will put in place will free independent software vendors and Software-as-a-Service providers to focus on their core offerings, adding that ISV or SaaS providers will have to demonstrate compliance with the platform's policies.

"The financial services-ready public cloud represents an ongoing focus from Bank of America, IBM, and Promontory to help develop a technology ecosystem where regulations can be addressed," Bridget van Kralingen, IBM's senior VP of global industries, clients, platforms, said in a statement. "Together we plan to help our customers address their ongoing compliance requirements, coupled with highly scalable, standardized capabilities that will be built to help serve today's modern financial services industry."

IBM and Bank of America Collaborating to Build a Fintech Public Cloud - Data Center Knowledge

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Routed will host Xalam Analytics at cloud workshops in November –

As part of an effort to discuss, dispel myths and predict the journey of cloud in Africa, Routed is hosting workshops throughout November as part of its Hype series.

The workshops will be hosted by Teraco and will take place in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. The workshops will play host to principal analyst at Xalam Analytics, Guy Zibi.

While a number of sectors have embraced cloud solutions, there are many more which havent. Despite this Zibi says that eventually the cloud will touch all sectors.

While some sectors such as financial services are leading the way, the pressures around optimising IT infrastructures and better leveraging troves of data assets are increasingly applying to broader swathes of the economy. In time, the cloud will touch all sectors of the economy, says Zibi.

Throughout the workshops Zibi will also discuss what is holding African businesses back when it comes to transitioning to the cloud.

In particular, we will look at why the phases of migration towards more elaborate adoption will differ from what weve seen in other developed and developing markets, and why 2020 will be pivotal for deeper adoption, Zibi adds.

For more information about the Hype series contact Routed on 065 979 1617.

We view our role within the cloud sector as an important one. There are so many aspects at play, enterprise businesses need professional and knowledgeable advice when looking to develop and implement a cloud strategy. There is a concerning lack of skills within the channel, leaving little room for movement. As a neutral provider, we hope to assist the channel to develop the skills required, while assisting the enterprise sector to successfully implement cloud strategies, managing director at Routed, Andrew Cruise, said.

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Here are the winners of the UK IT Industry Awards 2019 –

Here are the winners of the UK IT Industry Awards 2019

Winning an industry award is a Big Deal, showing your customers - and competitors - that you are leading the way in your chosen market.Last night Computing and BCS returned to Battersea Evolution to...

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Here are the winners of the UK IT Industry Awards 2019 -

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We’re Stuck With the Tech Giants. But They’re Stuck With Each Other. – International New York Times

Any suggestion that Big Tech has had a rough time must contend with this fact: Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet, Googles parent company, spent the past decade growing much faster than the rest of the economy.

Whatever reckonings theyve faced so far, and whatever backlash theyve endured in the press, on Capitol Hill have been easily absorbed in financial terms. These ostensibly embattled firms recorded billions of dollars in profits, and can reasonably expect to continue to do so. It has been a great worst year ever, and next year is promising to be pretty good, too, as well as much, much worse.

The tech giants havent been considered start-ups for years, and in some cases decades. Theyre no mere incumbents, either; theyre some of the biggest companies in the world. But its not enough to simply take their measurements. Theyre diversified conglomerates whose power is greater than even their staggering user numbers suggest. They were expansionary powers, chasing and luring new customers by the hundreds of millions, laying claim to territory and souls with the zeal of missionary explorers. What theyve become are superpowers, whose imperative for growth has been replaced with a need to fortify, ally and extract. Reaching a billion users is a successful conquest; keeping them, and turning their continued allegiance into lasting power, is empire.

Google is much more than a search engine; Amazon is much more than a simple e-commerce site. This alone complicates the idea of competition. To comprehensively take on Facebooks expanding coalition of megaservices is implausible; the best a competitor can do is create some sort of service that might steal away time or advertising dollars. Testifying before two Senate committees in 2018, Mark Zuckerberg was asked about his companys biggest competitor. He struggled to name one, instead gesturing vaguely at the other tech platforms, including Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft. We overlap with them in different ways, he said, answering as if the question were flawed. Competition is something you do in a market you share with others; it is, in the Facebook investor and board member Peter Thiels words, for losers. Overlap is what might occur when sovereign powers happen to occupy the same space, or lay claims to the same populations in the normal course of conquest.

The tech giants, in becoming tech superpowers, have been growing in every direction beneath our feet, becoming tangled in ways that we cannot easily see and, together, improvising a new world order that is increasingly hard to route around, or to escape. To use the internet, in 2019, is to engage to some degree with the handful of private entities that control it. To start an internet company is to submit to one or many of them from the start. We, and the rest of the internet between us and them, are but subjects on the surface of a planet theyve fully colonized and terraformed. Unfortunately for us, theirs are empires were stuck with for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately for them, theyre also stuck with one another.

At the dawn of our new century, the web was still relatively federated a messy, sprawling network of sites and services, some serving millions of users, some just a few. Google was still a search engine, Amazon was best known for selling books and Mark Zuckerberg was in high school. This web never fully lived up to its boosters ideals of free, mutually beneficial cooperation, of open standards and citizen empowerment, but it was closer than todays internet. It was built by, and for, people used to accessing networks through computers; for all its professions of freedom and open access, this web was exclusive by default, rooted firmly in an era in which digital participation was economically and socially limited. But whatever else this web was, it was spacious.

The internet is now mobile available almost anywhere which has significantly expanded the user base and use cases for all sorts of services: You can buy from Amazon while standing in a Walmart, or check Instagram while youre watching TV. In the past decade, there was also a wholesale migration of online services to a small group of conglomerate hosting companies, from which start-ups and venerable tech firms alike can rent space and computing power instead of investing in costly, and ultimately inferior, physical infrastructure themselves. On their own, each of these trends is, at most, an airport book. Welcome to the mobile revolution! Allow me to introduce you to network effects. As Im sure you know, The Cloud is the future, and youd better get to elevation, fast! The ways in which these trends have combined, however, have produced the peculiar results that have actually reordered things.

Its a simple question, and a maddeningly squirrelly one to answer though that doesnt keep economists and advocates from trying. Here we lay out two models: a straightforward one from the Democratic strategy group Future Majority; and a second from data scientists and economists at Microsoft, whose much higher figure comes from the expectation that our future economy will be driven by artificial intelligence that depends on harvesting oodles and oodles of our data to drive its machine learning. Either model, of course, raises an intriguing further question: How much of that bounty should flow to you?


$198 billion: Projected total data-derived revenues in 2022 in the U.S. across four major categories: internet platforms, large-scale data brokers and credit card and health care companies. (Up from $52.5 billion in 2016 and $76 billion in 2018.) 321 million: Projected total number of internet users among the U.S. population in 2022. $616.82: Per capita annual bounty per internet user.


$7.1 trillion: Microsoft's Glen Weyl begins with an estimate that by 2030, A.I.-driven production will account for as much as a third of the U.S. G.D.P. Applying that to a projected G.D.P. in 2019 of $21.5 trillion yields $7.1 trillion. 329.9 million: Current U.S. population. $21,522: Per capita A.I.-driven G.D.P.

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The death of the relatively open web, the rise of mobile phones and centralized app stores, the consolidation of media consumption around megascale intermediaries all of these trends helped to establish what is now the internets reigning business model. What emerged is a tech industry that exaggerates the ugliest features of the global economy in which it operates: crushing consolidation of power by an ever smaller number of dominant firms; stratified marketplaces supported by precarious laborers; sector domination as table stakes. The victors in this process captured enormous amounts of attention and capital along the way, which the savviest among them immediately used for what else? aggressive, multilateral expansion.

A result is that the largest companies in the Western tech sector dont operate on the internet so much as they are synonymous with it. The rise of TikTok, the Chinese-owned social app, is an object lesson in the consequences of this arrangement. To a casual observer, it seemed to explode in the manner of a viral sensation, but in reality, it found many of its Western users through an advertising campaign that cost hundreds of millions of dollars in a single year, much of which went straight to American social-media giants nominally TikToks competitors, but also gatekeepers to an unimaginably massive audience. Or ask Netflix, the leading video-streaming company in the United States, the kind of firm that might be confused for a superpower itself, if not for the fact that it outsources nearly all its computing and storage needs, in Amazons words, to Amazon, which has a video-streaming service of its own, with tens of millions of viewers and its own shelves of entertainment-industry awards.

These, it should be said, are success stories. TikTok gained access to its audience, which it can now try to leverage into money and new forms of influence (though it has recently drawn scrutiny not just from the United States government but from Facebook, which has hosted ads for the service). Netflix doesnt have to maintain an unwieldy and expensive infrastructure of its own, and is the streaming service to beat (although it recently reported losing users in the U.S. for the first time in eight years).

This is how the internet business works now: If you need to access new populations, you have to deal with Facebook, and buy your way in. If you need to build a new tech company from scratch, youre going to need to make a deal with one of the empires that has secured access to certain valuable resources. Have a product to sell? Good luck hitting your goals without listing your wares on Amazon, or without setting up a storefront in Apples and Googles app marketplaces. The paths to all but the largest websites run through Googles territory, which is expanding by the day. The app stores are monuments to the smartphone boom, a gold rush that defined an era sprawling, peerless capitals through which astonishing volumes of people, products and time pass under the watchful eyes of Apples and Googles bureaucracies.

If its still possible to exist online outside the territorial boundaries of these tech empires, its nearly impossible not to engage them at all. What little space that remains untouched by the tech empires is still menaced by them. To be online, as a business or as an individual, is to accept their premises or demands. What you end up with is situations like that of Pinterest: a well-known brand that reports to having 300 million monthly users, an online destination, as well as a tool that maps over the rest of the web another success story.

This same Pinterest, however, exists at the mercy of companies that may not think of it as a primary competitor but would not hesitate to release a competing product. In its investor prospectus, this Pinterest listed its competitors as larger, more established companies such as Amazon, Facebook (including Instagram), Google, Snap and Twitter. Elsewhere it listed many of those same companies as risk factors: Google can, and it claims has already, limited visitors to Pinterest through search; Facebook and Google can be used to sign into Pinterest, and changes to Facebooks login system have already negatively impacted user growth and engagement; Pinterest depends on Amazon to host the vast majority of its operation, and is committed to spending at least $750 million with the firm over the next four years.

Imagine, if you will, a huge warehouse. It has a raised floor and thousands of identical metal racks holding dozens of servers and switches apiece: A few hundred thousand square feet speckled with blinking lights and filled with the whir of cooling fans and climate control. This hyperscale data center is what runs the internet, our banking infrastructure, our casinos and our increasingly complex mobile digital lives. And theyre growing like gangbusters, both in number and size. A year ago there were 449 hyperscale centers in the world; today there are 504, with the biggest topping out at millions of square feet.

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Or maybe you use Spotify, the music-streaming app that can credibly claim to have changed how millions of people listen to music as well as what it means to be a professional musician. Its an enormously successful operation, practically a generic trademark for music streaming. More than 248 million people around the world use it, and 113 million pay for it, according to the company. But theres another way of looking at Spotify, and it makes the service look somewhat thinner.

Its not just that the company is an intermediary between listeners and content that it doesnt own, though that is true: Spotify, like all but the very largest tech companies, relies on another company in this case, Google to host most of its infrastructure. When you hit play on a Spotify song, something happens on servers owned by Google, a privilege and action for which Spotify pays a fee. And for a time after its U.S. launch, in 2011, the only way to sign up for it was by using a Facebook account. Some 70 percent of users access it through an app installed on Apple and Android devices, through app stores run by Apple and Google, each of which has music-streaming services of its own, with comparable pricing and features to the ones Spotify made standard years before. Spotify got its users with Facebooks help, owns neither the material that it sells or advertises against and in fact negotiates for rights to it alongside much richer competitors that count Spotify as a client.

It might be a stretch to attribute Spotifys success to Facebooks largess, or to describe app stores as charitable, but these much more powerful companies have created the conditions in which a company like Spotify has been able to thrive, relatively speaking. In a complaint Spotify filed against Apple with the European Commission, which contends that the App Store policies and fee structures place competitors at a disadvantage to Apples own music-streaming services, the company stops short of contending that Apple is deliberately sabotaging its business, or stealing its customers; it simply notes that the conditions created by a world in which Apple has so much power will produce an indistinguishable outcome.

Apple responded publicly by suggesting its operations amount to more than just a company; its an entire economy whose success corresponds with the success of its numerous clients, or partners, or participants, or whatever everyone else is. Spotify seeks to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem, it said, without making any contributions to that marketplace. All Apple wants to do, it went on, is grow the pie.

Such lopsided relationships as Apple and Spotifys provide a preview of the way much bigger conflicts might emerge in the future. The genuine tech empires have always been in competition, but until recently theyve always had plenty of room to expand in different directions. There were plenty of users to go around, and plenty of ways to make money from each of them. Amazon could dominate retail and hosting. Facebook could dominate social advertising. Google could keep its control over search and mapping and online video, through which it manages a massive advertising marketplace. Their collective success enlarged the tech industry as a whole and created new opportunities within it, as well as nearby.

When imperial ambition came into direct contact such as when Google tried to launch its Google Plus social network, or when Facebook tried to create a smartphone platform failures were softened by continued expansion elsewhere. It was a prosperous era for those that were a part of it; less so for any company, or industry, or system, that happened to be in the way. (See: retail; media; democracy.) Everything was growing, and future growth was limitless. Among the American tech superpowers, creeping interdependence has likewise been accepted as a necessary, and even desirable, component of a new digital order. But the end of explosive growth, combined with external pressures stemming in part from the worldwide turn against globalization, will illuminate the ways in which the tech giants have power over one another, and how tenuous are the situations of their smaller proxy states.

Annual internet traffic is projected by Cisco to hit 4.8 zettabytes of data per year by 2022. Video traffic is driving most of the growth, and will account for 82 percent of all internet traffic by 2022. The total footprint (est.): 125 million square feet = 2,170 football fields. According to IDC, by 2025, stored data worldwide will total 175 zettabytes = the storage capacity of ~1.75 billion human brains.

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The manners in which the tech empires are entangled are occasionally absurd. Apple is currently being sued for supposedly misrepresenting its iCloud product to customers, who may have assumed they were buying storage for their personal photos solely on Apples own servers. Apple, the suit contends, had also built iCloud on top of other companies cloud services: namely Amazons AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. In other cases, such interdependence has spilled into conflict. On multiple occasions, Apple has suspended apps created or owned by Facebook for breaking its policies once even revoking Facebooks ability to test apps internally, which, among other things, rendered thousands of employees phones, all full of nonpublic company apps, temporarily useless. They didnt touch Facebooks consumer-facing apps, which provide Facebook with nearly exclusive access to the hundreds of millions of people who use the service, and see its ads, in iOS. But the implication was clear: It could if it wanted to; Apple and Facebook are only partners, or allies, as long as both parties agree.

Facebook could escalate, too, if it wanted, by removing all of its apps from iOS, and preventing Apple users from easily accessing its services. This would be disastrous for Apple, but probably more disastrous for Facebook and most disastrous for the user who expected to be able to use WhatsApp to talk with her family back home, who then could not. The recent attempts of Apples chief executive, Tim Cook, to position Apple as a privacy-forward company, at Facebooks expense, might sound like grandstanding from the outside, but within Facebook theyre heard loud and clear: Apple believes it is in a position to make demands.

The American tech superpowers are running out of new users to sign up in their mature markets. But more worrying, for them, is the accelerating collapse of their prospects for expansion into some major international markets particularly China, and countries where Chinese tech companies are snatching up territory of their own. This is a significant revision to their outlooks from just 10 years ago, when they could blithely envision the acquisition of the next billion users as nothing more than a matter of engineering resources and time. Now that they can no longer forecast forever growth, the risk of open conflict among these companies in the future seems much higher. Apple and Amazon, for example, might have liked to dominate music streaming who wouldnt? but they never needed to destroy Spotify. Apple was making plenty of money every year selling phones, and Amazons main line of business has been growing monstrously, and there were always more markets to expand to anyway. But what happens after a few years of slow growth, when secondary businesses like music streaming suddenly need to make more money?

Even bigger conflicts are possible. It might be unwise, but it would not be impossible, for Amazon to weaponize its hosting services declaring that it wouldnt work with firms it considered competitors, or which provide services that overlap with its own. (Jeff Bezoss ownership may have already been weaponized against him, if indeed the Pentagons unlikely selection of Microsoft for a $10 billion cloud-computing contract resulted from President Trumps issues with the C.E.O.) Like any advertising provider, Google and Facebook can choose whom they do business with. What if they declined to accept advertising money from the next social app based in China? (Or what if they were just told to do so by the American government?)

As users as subjects were not even party to these disputes. What vanishingly little power we did have, to somehow vote with our wallets on services that we generally dont pay for, is narrowed each time another winner takes all, leaving us with nowhere else to go. Weve only ever known these empires during periods of expansion. What happens when they run out of land to conquer, and people to claim as their own? How do they rule, and when do they go to war?

John Herrman is a media and technology reporter for The Times. He last wrote a Screenland column about Joe Bidens gaffes. Maurizio Cattelan is an Italian artist whose work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. Pierpaolo Ferrari is an Italian photographer and, along with Cattelan, is a founder of the magazine Toiletpaper, known for its surreal and humorous imagery. Martha Harbison is an infographics and data-visualization journalist based in Brooklyn.

Additional design and development by Jacky Myint.

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We're Stuck With the Tech Giants. But They're Stuck With Each Other. - International New York Times

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Cloud computing: SaaS, IaaS or PaaS – which is growing fastest? – ZDNet

As cloud computing continues to eat up traditional tech spending, businesses are beginning to change where they spend their money.

The worldwide public cloud services market is forecast to grow 17% in 2020 to a total of $266.4 billion, up from $227.8 billion in 2019, according to tech analyst Gartner.

MUST READ: What is cloud computing? Everything you need to know about the cloud, explained

Cloud computing adoption has now become mainstream, said Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner. That means higher spending on cloud, but also higher expectations from cloud buyers as to what they will get for their money.

According to Gartner, software-as-a-service (SaaS) will remain the largest market segment: SaaS is forecast to grow to $116 billion next year, up from $99.5 billion in 2019.

The second-largest sector is cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), which will reach $50 billion in 2020. IaaS is forecast to grow 24% year over year, the highest growth rate across all market segments, which Garter said was the result of data centre consolidation. That's because modern applications and workloads -- many of which are cloud applications themselves -- now require infrastructure at a scale that traditional data centres cannot meet.

Cloud computing was listed among the top three areas where most global CIOs will increase their investment next year, Gartner said: "As organisations increase their reliance on cloud technologies, IT teams are rushing to embrace cloud-built applications and relocate existing digital assets."

However, as the use of cloud computing goes mainstream, the landscape will become increasingly sophisticated and competitive -- so much so that customers will need help with managing multiple cloud suppliers and applications.

SEE:Cloud v. data center decision(ZDNet special report) |Download the report as a PDF(TechRepublic)

By 2022, Gartner said, up to 60% of organisations will use an external service provider's cloud-managed service offering -- twice the number in 2018.

"Cloud-native capabilities, application services, multicloud and hybrid cloud comprise a diverse cloud ecosystem that will be important differentiators for technology product managers. Demand for strategic cloud service outcomes signals an organisational shift toward digital business outcomes," Nag said.

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How governments can use cloud computing to reduce risk and improve service delivery – Which-50

Governments and public sector organisations want to reduce delivery risks associated with contact centre services. They should consider migrating their contact centres to the cloud.

According to the NEC whitepaper,Cloud Migration and Contact Centres,there are three basic benefits to moving contact centres to the cloud: improved customer experience; managing risk and data sovereignty; and managing costs.

Elements such as omnichannel offer governments a new and improved way to interact with clients.

Donald Craven, account director for the ATO at NEC, said a contact centre is all about client interaction.This is so important for key government agencies dealing with significant numbers of public. Its all about citizenship and citizen interaction, and improving their reputation.

In the case of managing risk, there are elements unique to government that must be managed along the way. The government sets stringent mandatory requirements for cybersecurity which are making their way into the cloud. For example, data cannot be stored outside of Australia.

Chris Fryer, Enterprise Architect at NEC, said We have product-as-a-service but the product that governments need is Security-as-a-Service. This is an emerging market for government.

In normal contact centre operations, compliance issues are inevitably overseen internally. However, a cloud-based system offers a centralised platform for recording, archiving and managing calls and other data, and an easier way to stay compliant with legislation.

In the same vein, governments speak a slightly different language from private enterprise when it comes to costs. For instance, there is no revenue element to speak of.

Often, even when the concepts are the same as in the private sector, the terminology tends to be different.

Government agencies for instance tend to be less interested in revenue generation as a key element of customer experience, although on the cost side, government departments face similar challenges to the private sector.

According to Fryer, within government agencies there can be a confusion to which vendors can be used for certain services. The lists vendors that have been accredited in certain classifications.

The government needs to demonstrate that all the requirements are being met and they are getting the most cost-effective solution. Then finance will give it the go-ahead.

Craven says government needs to view cloud not as a cost-saving exercise. The argument is going to be about how theyre going to manage their costs, and the flexibility and the speed of half the things they can do.

Cloud can bring together the diverse datasets involved in each medium to provide a seamless customer experience.

Take for instance the not uncommon experience of acustomer calling an agent only for the agent to discover the customer has already tried unsuccessfully to contact the company in many different ways.

A successful omnichannel approach will pull all the strands together giving the agent a thorough history of the customer interaction.

The concept of omnichannel has been around for a decade, but companies are still struggling to deliver on this due to disparate data systems and processes. A consolidated data approach within a cloud platform enables them to deliver on their omnichannel strategy.

Demand for omnichannel exists on both sides of the transaction. Governments are endeavouring to become more citizen-centric, and citizens, in turn, expect a personalised connection with services.

And for government organisations there is also the added burden of the potential impact of bad customer experience where those poor experiences become political fodder in the media.

Jim Chryssikos is the national solutions manager at NEC. NEC is a corporate member of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit. Members provide their insights and expertise for the benefit of the Which-50 community. Membership fees apply.

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How governments can use cloud computing to reduce risk and improve service delivery - Which-50

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Regulators begin probe into Google-Ascension cloud computing deal: WSJ – Reuters

FILE PHOTO: A sign is pictured outs a Google office near the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California, U.S., May 8, 2019. REUTERS/Dave Paresh/File Photo/File Photo

(Reuters) - A U.S. federal regulator has initiated an investigation into a cloud computing deal between Alphabet Incs Google and Ascension Health [ASCNH.UL] which would give Google access to detailed health information of millions of patients, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

The Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services will look into the data collection to ensure the partnership is in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which safeguards medical information, the Journal said

On Monday, Google said patient data cannot and will not be combined with any Google consumer data.

Google did not immediately reply to Reuters request for comment.

(This story corrects abbreviation in second paragraph to HIPAA)

Reporting by Abhishek Manikandan in Bengaluru; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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Regulators begin probe into Google-Ascension cloud computing deal: WSJ - Reuters

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Why cloud computing can get you a job ‘anywhere in the world’ –

We heard from a cloud computing expert and a soon-to-be graduate on why this is an exciting field.

Cloud computing is a busy space, with new advancements and job opportunities appearing all the time as technology and innovation drive this field forward.

Already, many companies today are what Dr Fernando Perez Tellez described as native cloud companies companiesthat came to life within the cloud. But even for more traditional businesses seeking to update their digital interactions andpreservetheir competitive edge, people with cloud computing skills are becoming more in-demand than everbefore.

Thats something Perez Tellezsees reflected in salaries now,with career prospects in Ireland looking bright when it comes to cloud computing.

As a computer lecturer in the Institute of Technology Tallaght (ITT), which is now part of TU Dublin, Perez Tellezis certainlyin a positionto divulge some valuable cloud computing knowledge. And, according to him, its a fascinating field to be in.

With cloud computing, he said,you can be working for any company and any type of industry, starting from the cloud provider to a company.But the choices dont end there. In fact, Perez Tellezemphasisedthatonce youre embedded in the industry, you will be able to get a job anywhere in the world.

So, what types of skills do cloud computing professionals need? As you might expect, basic knowledge of programming and automation forges a strong foundation.

But, as Perez Tellezmade clear, its really a combination of softer and technical skills thats key.In fact, the most important skills, he said, are being a problem-solver and having the motivation to learn new things.

Perez Tellezis familiar with the need to give students real-world experience when it comes to cloud computing.Embracing tools such asAWS Educate a cloud training initiative from Amazon is important so young people can have access to the real web services in the cloud, he said.

Weve used it to train students, teach them how to use the web services and, depending on their level, they can use it to develop a final-year project.

One of the main reasons for choosing theprogrammeis the prevalence of AWS tech among companies. By engaging students with it, theyre given the experience they may need to get employment in the sector after they graduate.

You can be working for any company and any type of industry, starting from the cloud provider to a company DR FERNANDO PEREZ TELLEZ

This is especially true given that many companies are not using traditional infrastructure any more many are using the more cost-effective model of going to the cloud, Perez Tellez said.

They use what they need, when they need it, and they pay only for what they use.Soits very flexible.

Describing the benefits of the AWS programme, he added: Its great for students because you can create an account without a credit card, which is very good for learning the basics and the foundations.

Lets use the example of networking we have the theory, of course, and then we prepare an online networking lab that will cover networking in the cloud. This knowledge is now transferred into the cloud technology.This way, they learn about traditional environments but they also learn other environments.

In his teaching, Perez Tellezmostly uses AWS Educate in labs for practical work because hands-on experience is the most important for students to learn.

The service aims to offer students access to self-paced content focusing on real-world applications. Modules covered in preparing for a career in cloud computing includeartificial intelligence, voice and facial recognition, gaming, medical advancements and more.

As for the types of skills Perez Tellezuses the service to teach, he said: In my work, for example, I have a module calledArchitecting on the Corporate Cloud, which I use for teaching them a specific service.

Then the different key concepts that we need to teach include how to create, how to use the best practices in cloud computing, how to create reliable, very effectiveand securesolutionsall concepts that are very important to cloud computing.

In light ofthe importance of cybersecurity for web users and organisations today, he drew particular attention to teaching his students thatits important to ensure security in every layer.

The most exciting thing about the impacts of cloud computing, according to Perez Tellez, is that people working in the field will help empower companies to focus more on idea generation and the applications of their tech, rather than the operational minutiae of their infrastructure and support systems.

Speaking to the types of jobs graduates can expect to qualify for, he said: Probably the most relevant one is solutions architect.Or IT tech solutions, creating safe and reliable solutions, which is a role in high demand at the moment.

Iwant to be a solutions architect because I like integrating loads of services together. And I want to get the chance to build and help companies with their infrastructure AMANDA DOYLE

Thats exactly what student Amanda Doyle is currently looking forward to as she moves through her final year at TU Dublin. She already has a cloud support associate position lined up toenter intoin the summer after her final exams.

Within that role, shell be supporting SMEs and enterprises with their web technologies, drawing on such technical skills as networking and navigating operating systems such as Linux.

Doyle reinforced the point that soft skills are just as integral to the role, saying: Communication skills and teamwork skills are important too.

DoyleutilisedAWS Educate torealiseher final-year project ambitions, which involved harnessing the voice control aspects of Alexa to enable companies tominimiseadministrative efforts in managing their resources.

This year Im using it more than ever for my final-year project.We use AWS Educate and, through our credits, weve been able to get to do hands-on labs. Otherwise, we wouldnt have any idea of the different services out there.

That experience with tech services is what gave Doyle an edge in her job interviews, she explained.If youre going for an interview for cloud computing, have practical hands-on experiences with some of the services.

It has also helped her to look further into her future, beyond the initial career steps that shes about to take.

In fiveyearstime,Iwant to be a solutions architect because I like integrating loads of services together. And I want to get the chance to build and help companies with their infrastructure, she said.

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Online Education Market in India 2018-2022 | Emergence of Cloud Computing to Boost Growth | Technavio – Business Wire

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The online education market in India is expected to post a CAGR of nearly 20% during the period 2018-2022, according to the latest market research report by Technavio. Request a free sample report

India has witnessed a significant rise in the adoption of the internet and smartphones over recent years. The high penetration of internet is allowing players in the e-learning market to expand their consumer base and improve their revenue. Moreover, the growing preference toward e-learning among the prospective learners in the country is providing significant growth opportunities for market players. Thus, the increased penetration of the internet and smartphones is one of the key factors driving the growth of the online education market in India.

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As per Technavio, the emergence of cloud computing will have a positive impact on the market and contribute to its growth significantly over the forecast period. This research report also analyzes other important trends and market drivers that will affect market growth over 2018-2022.

Online Education Market in India: Emergence of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing enables organizations to save a significant amount of content, data, and information on a single platform. It also enables users and providers to access, process, procure, and manage information from anywhere at any time. Owing to such benefits, educational institutions are increasingly adopting cloud-based solutions such as ERP and LMS. The Indian government has also taken many initiatives such as the National Digital Library and the National Academic Repository to encourage the growth of e-learning institutes. The increasing adoption of cloud-based learning platforms is expected to further boost the growth of the market during the forecast period.

The increasing use of big data and learning analytics and the inclusion of gamification to drive engagement levels will further boost market growth during the forecast period, says a senior analyst at Technavio.

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Online Education Market in India: Segmentation Analysis

This market report segments the online education market in India by product (content and services) and end-users (higher education segment and K-12 segment).

The content segment led the market in 2017, followed by the services segment. During the forecast period, the content segment is expected to maintain its dominance over the global market.

Technavios sample reports are free of charge and contain multiple sections of the report, such as the market size and forecast, drivers, challenges, trends, and more.

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Some of the key topics covered in the report include:

Market Landscape

Market Sizing

Five Forces Analysis

Market Segmentation

Customer Landscape

Geographical Segmentation

Market Drivers

Market Challenges

Market Trends

Vendor Landscape

Vendor Analysis

About Technavio

Technavio is a leading global technology research and advisory company. Their research and analysis focus on emerging market trends and provides actionable insights to help businesses identify market opportunities and develop effective strategies to optimize their market positions.

With over 500 specialized analysts, Technavios report library consists of more than 17,000 reports and counting, covering 800 technologies, spanning across 50 countries. Their client base consists of enterprises of all sizes, including more than 100 Fortune 500 companies. This growing client base relies on Technavios comprehensive coverage, extensive research, and actionable market insights to identify opportunities in existing and potential markets and assess their competitive positions within changing market scenarios.

Online Education Market in India 2018-2022 | Emergence of Cloud Computing to Boost Growth | Technavio - Business Wire

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Salesforce signs a big new deal with Microsoft’s cloud to power one of its core products – Business Insider

Salesforce is doubling down on its partnership with Microsoft, with which it's also sometimes been a foe.

Microsoft Azure is now the public cloud behind Salesforce's Marketing Cloud, its cloud software for marketing professionals. Salesforce also plans to build a new integration between its Sales Cloud and Service Cloud product and the Microsoft Teams work chat app, to try and make life easier for their mutual customers

"We're excited to expand our partnership with Microsoft and bring together Salesforce with Azure and Teams to deliver incredible customer experiences," Salesforce co-CEOs Marc Benioff and Keith Block said in a statement.

This is an expansion of Salesforce's existing partnership with Microsoft, which was first struck in 2014, and expanded in 2015. As part of this partnership, Salesforce has developed integrations across Microsoft apps like Skype for Business, OneNote, and Windows 10.

Notably, the two have sometimes been foes: Microsoft's Dynamics 365 product is a leading rival to Salesforce's core Sales Cloud, and the two even went head-to-head over LinkedIn, which Microsoft ultimately acquired for $26.2 billion in 2016.

Salesforce already has partnerships with Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud for cloud computing services, and also hosts some of its services from its own data centers. This means that Salesforce now uses all three of the major cloud computing platforms to host some portion of its software.

Its AWS partnership began in 2016 when Salesforce chose AWS as its "preferred public cloud infrastructure provider" for its international expansion plans. As recently as 2018, Salesforce said that it "runs the vast majority of [its] public cloud workloads on AWS." Of note is that in 2016, Salesforce said that some pieces of Marketing Cloud were hosted on AWS.

Salesforce, however, said this partnership with Microsoft has no impact on its existing relationship with Amazon.

"This doesn't mean anything different for our relationship with AWS. We'll continue to partner with them and run on their public cloud to deliver global customer success," a Salesforce spokesperson told Business Insider.

Regardless, the deal looks to be a big win for Microsoft, which is generally thought to come in second to AWS for cloud computing services. Meanwhile, Microsoft's surprise win over AWS for the Pentagon's $10 billion cloud contract reinforced its status as a major cloud player.

The companies highlighted Microsoft Azure's global reach as an advantage that would help customers using Salesforce Marketing Cloud "address local data security, privacy and compliance requirements."

The new integration between Salesforce's Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, and Microsoft Teams, will allow users to search, view, and share Salesforce records directly within Teams. It will become available in late 2020, the company said.

Slack, which is seen as a competitor to Microsoft Teams, recently announced an expanded partnership with Salesforce aimed at integrating the services in a similar way.

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Salesforce signs a big new deal with Microsoft's cloud to power one of its core products - Business Insider

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