Tech Media Book https://www.techmediabook.com Tech Media House Wed, 17 Nov 2021 01:38:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.2 https://www.techmediabook.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/cropped-Favicon-1-32x32.png Tech Media Book https://www.techmediabook.com 32 32 Stefano Somenzi, Athics: On no-code AI and deploying conversational bots https://www.techmediabook.com/stefano-somenzi-athics-no-code-ai-deploying-conversational-bots/ https://www.techmediabook.com/stefano-somenzi-athics-no-code-ai-deploying-conversational-bots/#respond Wed, 17 Nov 2021 01:38:07 +0000 https://www.techmediabook.com/?p=737 No-code AI solutions are helping more businesses to get started on their AI journeys than ever. Athics, through its Crafter.ai platform for deploying conversational bots, knows a thing or two about the topic. AI News caught up with Stefano Somenzi, CTO at Athics, to get his thoughts on no-code AI and the development...

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No-code AI solutions are helping more businesses to get started on their AI journeys than ever. Athics, through its Crafter.ai platform for deploying conversational bots, knows a thing or two about the topic.

AI News caught up with Stefano Somenzi, CTO at Athics, to get his thoughts on no-code AI and the development of virtual agents.

AI News: Do you think “no-code” will help more businesses to begin their AI journeys?

Stefano Somenzi: The real advantage of “no code” is not just the reduced effort required for businesses to get things done, it is also centered around changing the role of the user who will build the AI solution. In our case, a conversational AI agent.

“No code” means that the AI solution is built not by a data scientist but by the process owner. The process owner is best-suited to know what the AI solution should deliver and how. But, if you need coding, this means that the process owner needs to translate his/her requirements into a data scientist’s language.

This requires much more time and is affected by the “lost in translation” syndrome that hinders many IT projects. That’s why “no code” will play a major role in helping companies approach AI.

AN: Research from PwC found that 71 percent of US consumers would rather interact with a human than a chatbot or some other automated process. How can businesses be confident that bots created through your Crafter.ai platform will improve the customer experience rather than worsen it?

SS: Even the most advanced conversational AI agents, like ours, are not suited to replace a direct consumer-to-human interaction if what the consumer is looking for is the empathy that today only a human is able to show during a conversation.

At the same time, inefficiencies, errors, and lack of speed are among the most frequent causes for consumer dissatisfaction that hamper customer service performances.

Advanced conversational AI agents are the right tool to reduce these inefficiencies and errors while delivering strong customer service performances at light speed.

AN: What kind of real-time feedback is provided to your clients about their customers’ behaviour?

SS: Recognising the importance of a hybrid environment, where human and machine interaction are wisely mixed to leverage the best of both worlds, our Crafter.ai platform has been designed from the ground up with a module that manages the handover of the conversations between the bot and the call centre agents.

During a conversation, a platform user – with the right authorization levels – can access an insights dashboard to check the key performance indicators that have been identified for the bot.

This is also true during the handover when agents and their supervisors receive real-time information on the customer behavior during the company site navigation. Such information includes – and is not limited to – visited pages, form field contents, and clicked CTAs, and can be complemented with data collected from the company CRM.

AN: Europe is home to some of the strictest data regulations in the world. As a European organization, do you think such regulations are too strict, not strict enough, or about right?

SS: We think that any company that wants to gain the trust of their customers should do their best to go beyond the strict regulations requirements.

AN: As conversational AIs progress to human-like levels, should it always be made clear that a person is speaking to an AI bot?

SS: Yes, a bot should always make clear that it is not human. In the end, this can help realise how amazing they can perform.

AN: What’s next for Athics?

SS: We have a solid roadmap for Crafter.ai with many new features and improvements that we bring every three months to our platform.

Our sole focus is on advanced conversational AI agents. We are currently working to include more and more domain specific capabilities to our bots.

Advanced profiling capabilities is a great area of interest where, thanks to our collaboration with universities and international research centres, we expect to deliver truly innovative solutions to our customers.

AN: Athics is sponsoring and exhibiting at this year’s AI & Big Data Expo Europe. What can attendees expect from your presence at the event? 

SS: Conversational AI agents allow businesses to obtain a balance between optimising resources and giving a top-class customer experience. Although there is no doubt regarding the benefits of adopting virtual agents, the successful integration across a company’s conversational streams needs to be correctly assessed, planned, and executed in order to leverage the full potential.

Athics will be at stand number 280 to welcome attending companies and give an overview of the advantages of integrating a conversational agent, explain how to choose the right product, and how to create a conversational vision that can scale and address organisational goals.

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Microsoft quarterly sales surge thanks to Azure cloud growth https://www.techmediabook.com/microsoft-quarterly-sales-surge-thanks-to-azure-cloud-growth/ https://www.techmediabook.com/microsoft-quarterly-sales-surge-thanks-to-azure-cloud-growth/#respond Tue, 16 Nov 2021 01:17:52 +0000 https://www.techmediabook.com/?p=733 Microsoft cloud quarterly sales have surpassed estimates to reach $20.7 billion (£15bn), making up almost half of the company’s $45.3 billion (£32.9bn) in total revenue from July to October. The Redmond, Washington-based company’s total revenue was up 22% from this same time last year, which Microsoft defines as the first quarter of...

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Microsoft cloud quarterly sales have surpassed estimates to reach $20.7 billion (£15bn), making up almost half of the company’s $45.3 billion (£32.9bn) in total revenue from July to October.

The Redmond, Washington-based company’s total revenue was up 22% from this same time last year, which Microsoft defines as the first quarter of its 2022 fiscal year.

Such an increase continues Microsoft’s successful year-to-date and marks the company’s fastest rate of growth since 2018, helping to push share prices to an all-time high at the end of October.

The $20.7 billion in sales for Microsoft Cloud, which includes Azure, Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, GitHub, and Power Platform, represents a 36% increase year-over-year in cloud sales, which were up almost $4 billion.

During an earnings call on October 26, CEO Satya Nadella told board members: “The case for digital transformation has never been more urgent or more clear. Digital technology is a deflationary force in an inflationary economy. Businesses small and large can improve productivity and the affordability of their products and services by building tech intensity.”

Nadella also shared that Microsoft 365 now has 138 registered organizations with more than 100,000 users and around 3,000 organizations with upwards of 10,000 users.

The Microsoft CEO described Azure as “the world’s computer” as “organizations are beginning to need a distributed computing fabric across the cloud and the edge to rapidly build, manage and deploy applications anywhere.”

Speaking on Microsoft Teams, he said: “We are innovating to empower people to have an impact from home, in the office and anywhere in between. Microsoft Teams is the only solution that supports all the ways people work and usage has never been higher.”

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The role of IoT in fuelling the EV charging revolution https://www.techmediabook.com/the-role-of-iot-in-fuelling-the-ev-charging-revolution/ https://www.techmediabook.com/the-role-of-iot-in-fuelling-the-ev-charging-revolution/#respond Fri, 12 Nov 2021 21:29:26 +0000 https://www.techmediabook.com/?p=730 Securing net carbon emissions by 2030 With COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, taking place in Glasgow in November, the spotlight is on the UK government to accelerate work already underway towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Primarily, the goal of COP26...

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Securing net carbon emissions by 2030

With COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, taking place in Glasgow in November, the spotlight is on the UK government to accelerate work already underway towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Primarily, the goal of COP26 is to secure global net-zero carbon emissions by mid-century and keep the target of restricting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees within reach. To achieve this goal, the government is actively working with other countries, as well as joining forces with civil society, companies, and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action.

One of the most important actions to achieve the UK’s net-zero target is the move from petrol to electric vehicles (EV). By 2032 at the latest, the Climate Change Committee has called for all new vehicles sold to be fully battery-electric vehicles. To reach net-zero, all vehicles – including heavy-goods vehicles (HGVs) – must be fossil fuel-free by 2050. For passenger vehicles and vans, this will mean accelerating the uptake of EVs from around 400,000 today to 23.2 million by 2032, which represents 55% of all vehicles, and up to 49 million by 2050, which represents 100% of all vehicles.

Accelerating home and on-street charging plans

To move closer to this goal, the UK government has drawn up plans to mandate a charger for every new home or office from next year meaning all newly built residential properties and offices must have electric car chargers installed to comply. 

Furthermore, in September 2021 Shell and Ubitricity announced plans to install 50,000 on-street EV charging stations in the UK by the end of 2025, greatly improving access to charging for drivers in urban areas. Shell-owned Ubitricity has designed charging hardware that can fit into streetlight posts, providing charging access to cars parked on-street, without taking up additional space. This is important because more than 60% of households in cities and urban areas don’t have access to off-street parking, which makes home charging virtually impossible. Shell plans to grow its EV charging network from more than 60,000 charging stations today to more than 500,000 by 2025. 

This charging network will serve an electric vehicle market that is anticipated to grow exponentially. According to Deloitte’s 2020 outlook report, EV sales are set to rocket from 2 million units in 2018 to 12 million in 2025 before growing to 21 million in 2030. And this is where IoT connectivity is powering the EV charging revolution because with higher demand for electric vehicles there is a greater need for more widely deployed EV charging stations.

At the same time, there is a shift in consumer behavior, with a marked and growing inclination towards the adoption of EVs. Furthermore, ongoing technological advancements and focused research and development activities in charging infrastructure are projected to improve the industry dynamics. However, EV charging networks need a reliable, ubiquitous connection to successfully process transactions and provide telemetry data on charging activity; cellular networks meet that need by providing connectivity in some of the most remote and challenging locations.

However, challenges still exist and as outlined above, there is demand for both better private and public charging infrastructure to facilitate EV uptake – consumers need accessible, easy-to-use, conveniently located EV charging stations. At the same time, there also needs to be better consumer education around lifestyle changes required for EV, especially in this transitional phase. Right now, consumers can’t just turn up to the nearest refueling station and put 300 miles of range into their electric vehicle in five minutes. EV buyers need a clear idea of where their main charging will take place and how long this will take.

Why connectivity is fundamental to EV charging 

EV charging projects are often multi-regional, deployed in large numbers, and designed to work for 10 to 15 years in the field. Robust global connectivity is crucial. This is why 91% of EV charging provider respondents in Eseye’s 2021 State of IoT Adoption Report agreed with the statement: “I think the evolution of intelligent connectivity is going to be critical to continue to fuel adoption of IoT”. Connectivity is a critical foundation to the EV charge point operation and how successful it is. This is where off-the-shelf IoT connectivity products are not designed with EV charge points in mind and will at best only deliver a basic solution. Effective monitoring and management of the charging point are also critical to optimize energy consumption. Today, society is accustomed to instant gratification, and delays in charge will inevitably lead to discontent, with every minute of downtime meaning lost business. Likewise, as demand for EVs increases, EV providers will be faced with real-time data management challenges to understand consumer behavior better and meet changing demands.

Additionally, overcoming these challenges is also dependent on a reliable connection between the EV charge point and network. Poor or even average connectivity reduces utilization, not to mention the loss of revenue when payments fail to go through. If there is no connection to process transactions, then under The Electric Vehicles Smart Charge Points Government Regulation, electricity must be given free to the consumer. Likewise, if it takes a minute to establish connectivity when a user drives up, this represents a lot of downtimes and lost revenue over a year. In fact, in just one-year poor connectivity could amount to lost revenue of more than $10 million. Every extra minute also causes cumulative delays. And as queues mount, potential customers may drive on past. Poor connectivity also impacts the brand and if a charge point has a reputation of being temperamental and slow, consumers will switch to a competitor. 

Governments are accelerating the EV revolution

The good news is that IoT is a high priority for EV charging respondents in Eseye’s State of IoT Adoption survey, with 93% saying that it is a priority in the next two to three years and more than four out of ten saying that not only is it a priority, but they are planning additional initiatives. Additionally, EV charging respondents are also planning big budget increases with 99% saying this and 60% expecting to increase their budget by between 51 and 100%. 

Now, governments around the globe are accelerating the EV revolution by banning the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles, and here in the UK we have started to witness this with the move to E10 petrol over the summer. Therefore, we are in the middle of the biggest revolution in motoring since Henry Ford’s first production line started rolling back in 1913. Many industry observers believe we have already passed the tipping point where sales of EVs will very rapidly overwhelm petrol and diesel cars and IoT is fuelling that growth. 

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IBM enhances Watson Discovery’s natural language processing capabilities https://www.techmediabook.com/ibm-enhances-watson-discovery-natural-language-processing-capabilities/ https://www.techmediabook.com/ibm-enhances-watson-discovery-natural-language-processing-capabilities/#respond Thu, 11 Nov 2021 20:54:41 +0000 https://www.techmediabook.com/?p=727 IBM has announced enhancements to the natural language processing (NLP) capabilities of Watson Discovery. Watson Discovery is an AI-powered intelligent search and text-analytics platform that can retrieve critical information buried in enterprise data. In one case study, Woodside Energy had no way to retrieve the 30 years’ worth of value engineering...

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IBM has announced enhancements to the natural language processing (NLP) capabilities of Watson Discovery.

Watson Discovery is an AI-powered intelligent search and text-analytics platform that can retrieve critical information buried in enterprise data.

In one case study, Woodside Energy had no way to retrieve the 30 years’ worth of value engineering and drilling knowledge that was buried in unstructured documentation. Using the existing NLP capabilities of Watson Discovery, the firm reportedly cut research time by more than 75 percent.

Among the new enhancements planned for Watson Discovery are:

  • Pre-trained document structure understanding: Watson Discovery’s Smart Document Understanding feature now includes a new pre-trained model designed to automatically understand the visual structure and layout of a document without additional training from a developer or data scientist.
  • Automatic text pattern detection: A new advanced pattern creation feature is available in beta that helps users to quickly identify business-specific text patterns within their documents. It can start learning the underlying text patterns from as little as two examples and then refines the pattern based on user feedback.
  • Advanced NLP customisation capabilities: With a new custom entity extractor feature, IBM is simplifying the process of training NLP models to identify highly-customised, business-specific words by reducing the data prep effort, simplifying labeling with active learning and bulk annotation capabilities, and enabling simple model deployment to accelerate training time.

“The stream of innovation coming to IBM Watson from IBM Research is why global businesses in the fields of financial services, insurance, and legal services turn to IBM to help detect emerging business trends, gain operational efficiency and empower their workers to uncover new insights,” said Daniel Hernandez, General Manager of Data and AI, IBM.

“The pipeline of natural language processing innovations we’re adding to Watson Discovery can continue to provide businesses with the capabilities to more easily extract the signal from the noise and better serve their customers and employees.”

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72% of shoppers are more likely to return to brands with strong online communities https://www.techmediabook.com/72-of-shoppers-more-likely-to-return-to-brands-with-strong-online-communities/ https://www.techmediabook.com/72-of-shoppers-more-likely-to-return-to-brands-with-strong-online-communities/#respond Wed, 10 Nov 2021 12:47:47 +0000 https://www.techmediabook.com/?p=724 Almost three-quarters (72%) of the consumers are more likely to return to a brand that creates a strong online community,  This is according to a study by Amity, a tech platform that powers in-app social experiences, which highlights the importance of brands creating online communities to engage with their customers....

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Almost three-quarters (72%) of the consumers are more likely to return to a brand that creates a strong online community, 

This is according to a study by Amity, a tech platform that powers in-app social experiences, which highlights the importance of brands creating online communities to engage with their customers.

The research also found that almost two-thirds (63%) admit they are more likely to buy from a brand that leverages engaging social features on its app.

Aunty’s survey, which polled 500 consumers from the UK, also revealed that consumers crave content from their peers in order to help them in making purchasing decisions. The majority (71%) of consumers state they prefer to view user-generated content over brand-generated content when considering whether to buy from a brand, while more than half of consumers (52%) agree that positive social proof, such as customer reviews, makes them more likely to buy from a brand. 

The research also sought to understand which in-app social features consumers felt best replicated human interactions during the lockdown period. Online communities came out strongly, with over a quarter (27%) admitting that they were the best means of replicating human interactions from a brand. This was second only to live chat (33%), a feature regularly part of brands’ online communities.

Francesca Gargaglia, CBO & COO at Amity, said: “In an increasingly digital world, consumers seek a sense of belonging from the brands they interact with. The results of this research emphasize the importance of online communities as an integral feature of a brand’s marketing strategy. 

“Businesses must prioritize their digital communities to foster personalized brand-consumer relationships and establish a competitive advantage. Positive in-app communities enable an increased level of trust, build a loyal consumer base and in return, increase sales.”

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IBM transformation report establishes the dominance of hybrid cloud https://www.techmediabook.com/ibm-transformation-report-establishes-the-dominance-of-hybrid-cloud/ https://www.techmediabook.com/ibm-transformation-report-establishes-the-dominance-of-hybrid-cloud/#respond Tue, 09 Nov 2021 01:52:17 +0000 https://www.techmediabook.com/?p=721 IBM has found that only 3% of businesses still use a single private or public cloud in 2021, a drastic decrease from 29 percent in 2019. Such a shift marks the emergence of hybrid cloud models as the dominant IT architecture in cloud transformation. The global study was undertaken by the IBM Institute...

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IBM has found that only 3% of businesses still use a single private or public cloud in 2021, a drastic decrease from 29 percent in 2019.

Such a shift marks the emergence of hybrid cloud models as the dominant IT architecture in cloud transformation.

The global study was undertaken by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) in partnership with Oxford Economics, surveying close to 7,200 C-suite executives from 28 industries and 47 countries.

The subsidence of private and public cloud models for hybrid cloud comes as 79 percent of stakeholders say their top priority digital objectives require comprehensive and advanced cloud capabilities.

IBM also charts the importance of the pandemic for the speed of this shift, with its research indicating that 59 percent of surveyed organizations had their digital transformation roadmaps accelerated by Covid-19.

The study argues that enterprises need to assess how they use the cloud in terms of adoption, velocity, migration, speed, and cost savings opportunities. Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Focus on security and privacy – determine where your critical workloads reside and scrutinise who and what has access to them
  • Ask which workloads should move to the cloud – take inventory of the IT environment to successfully determine which workloads and applications will yield the most value in the cloud and which are better suited to stay on-premises
  • Make data work for you – analyse workloads using AI driven tools and best practices to determine where and how to put them in the right place for the right reason
  • Set a tactical approach – address the technology trade-offs, such as selecting the best approach to modernize specific applications and manage important issues like security, governance, and disaster recovery
  • Determine the right team – put a cross-disciplinary team of people to work rethinking how your enterprise creates value for its customers

Howard Boville, head of IBM Cloud Platform, said: “In the beginning of their cloud journey, many companies dabbled with several different clouds that created complexity and disconnected piece parts, potentially opening them up to major security threats.

“Today’s findings reiterate that security, governance and compliance tools must run across multiple clouds and be embedded throughout hybrid cloud architectures from the onset for digital transformations to be successful.”

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5 ways cloud-based technology is changing the game for enterprise security https://www.techmediabook.com/5-ways-cloud-based-technology-is-changing-the-game-for-enterprise-security/ Tue, 26 Oct 2021 04:59:17 +0000 https://www.techmediabook.com/?p=717 Today’s enterprise organizations are having to play by a new set of cyber and physical security rules. Hackers are getting more advanced and finding new and faster ways to breach security protocols. The traditional models, in which cybersecurity and physical security teams operate as separate entities, can no longer ensure...

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Today’s enterprise organizations are having to play by a new set of cyber and physical security rules. Hackers are getting more advanced and finding new and faster ways to breach security protocols. The traditional models, in which cybersecurity and physical security teams operate as separate entities, can no longer ensure companies stay protected from the latest threats. Even with converged cyber and physical security teams, a key piece of a successful security strategy is having the right technology and tools. 

The prevalence of cloud-based solutions is changing the way enterprises approach security. Because the security needs to be monitored at all times, it’s easy to miss a warning sign. Platforms and software that run in the cloud are making it easier for businesses to spot red flags, and take action faster. Here are 5 ways cloud-based technology is impacting cyber and physical security strategies today.

  1. Integrations across platforms

The rise of IoT and cloud-based tech has made it possible for more systems to communicate than ever before. Integrating security systems and software tools creates a more unified platform, which is easier to manage and control. Integrated systems also reduce the burden on IT teams, bringing multiple systems into a single dashboard. For example, integrating access control and video surveillance systems allows teams to visually verify events as they occur, with real-time video paired with all access activity. Some of the best cloud-to-cloud integrations to streamline business operations include access control, video surveillance, alarm systems, building management, identity management, and provisioning, and cybersecurity tools.

  1. Automatic patching and software upgrades

Every minute is crucial to mitigating a security breach. With outdated technology, it could take hours or even days just to identify the breach that occurred, let alone assess the damages and run the necessary audits. One of the greatest benefits of the cloud is that firmware and software updates can be done over the air. This means your systems are always running the latest security features, keeping you better protected from the newest vulnerabilities. Automatic updates are also key for future-proofing enterprise security technology. Instead of having to replace hardware every few years, a few clicks gets you the latest features. For example, a business using a cloud-based keyless entry system can roll out features and product updates that help combat modern threats and safety hazards as soon as they are available, rather than rolling up a maintenance truck or investing in more hardware for every new enhancement. 

  1. Remote access to data and controls

A truly future-proof enterprise doesn’t rely on onsite staff for every single task. The more operations that can be done remotely, the more agile and adaptable your business is to changes. Being able to decentralize operations across multiple locations has some of the greatest impacts on cyber and physical security. Now, teams no longer have to be in the area or on-site to accomplish basic tasks like unlocking the door for a delivery or checking the surveillance footage after receiving an alert. Thanks to the cloud’s remote functionality, everything is right in the palm of your hand.

  1. Leveraging IoT automations

Automations are the future. No modern system should comprise solely of manual processes. For a truly sustainable, scalable business, you need to be able to leverage automation. While some on-premise security systems do allow for automation, cloud-based systems are generally more dynamic and require less labor to execute automation. For example, a scalable security strategy should include automatic alerts for access events, the ability to automatically disable and deactivate old credentials or accounts, and automatic alerting and routing for emergency procedures. With intuitive cloud-based software, a simple rules engine can make quick work of setting up this automation, and they can be easily adjusted at any time.

  1. AI-based monitoring and detection

Artificial intelligence is only getting smarter. Installing Al systems gives you the benefit of having technology that learns based on your specific business and trends. Especially when paired with integrations, AI-powered detection tools can help identify security issues faster, and improve the accuracy of your response. Today’s AI-powered video surveillance can detect tailgating, alert teams to unusual behavior, and even report violations for social distancing. Smarter analytics go beyond monitoring, too. AI analytics tools are great for identifying key trends in attendance and space usage to inform key business decisions.

A winning strategy

Migrating security systems to the cloud is a smart way to improve security posturing for enterprises. Today’s businesses need to be more flexible and adaptable. The cloud gives them the opportunity to make adjustments quickly, without incurring additional costs or leaving the business vulnerable to potential security risks. When it comes to meeting business goals and ROI, the right security tools are an important factor in reducing costs and creating more efficient, scalable systems.

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Alphabet and Microsoft Q2 earnings exceed expectations, fuelled by cloud https://www.techmediabook.com/alphabet-and-microsoft-q2-earnings-exceed-expectations-fuelled-by-cloud/ https://www.techmediabook.com/alphabet-and-microsoft-q2-earnings-exceed-expectations-fuelled-by-cloud/#respond Tue, 03 Aug 2021 01:41:42 +0000 https://techmediabook.com/?p=715 Alphabet and Microsoft have both exceeded analysts’ expectations for their Q2 2021 earnings, in part thanks to Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure growth. Microsoft, whose fiscal Q4 corresponds to the second calendar quarter of the year, posted revenues of $46.2 billion (£33.1bn) in the period, a growth of 21% compared to the...

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Alphabet and Microsoft have both exceeded analysts’ expectations for their Q2 2021 earnings, in part thanks to Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure growth.

Microsoft, whose fiscal Q4 corresponds to the second calendar quarter of the year, posted revenues of $46.2 billion (£33.1bn) in the period, a growth of 21% compared to the year-ago quarter.

Meanwhile, Alphabet reported an impressive 62% revenue increase from $38.3bn (£27.4bn) in Q2 2020 to $61.9bn (£44.3bn) in the same quarter this year.

Microsoft

For Microsoft, its Azure cloud platform was a major facilitator of its growth, boasting a 51% revenue increase in this quarter compared to last year. It marks Azure’s best growth result from January to April 2020.

On Microsoft’s earnings conference call, the company’s CFO, Amy Hood, said: “In our commercial business, healthy demand for our differentiated hybrid and cloud offering, as well as an increased long-term commitment to our platform drove significant growth in the number of $10 million-plus Azure and Microsoft 365 contracts.”

Microsoft closed out at the end of June with a net income increase and diluted earnings per share of just under 50%, nearly 20% more than Wall Street analysts’ predictions.

Alphabet

While Alphabet’s successful quarter was driven largely by search engine and advertising growth, the spotlight was on Google Cloud as the underperforming third largest cloud provider in the industry.

Google Cloud’s revenue grew from $3bn (£2.1bn) in the second quarter of 2020 to $4.6bn (£3.3bn) in the same time frame this year. Alongside this, Google Cloud’s operating loss dropped to $591m (£423m) from $1.43bn (£1bn), marking a substantial increase in profits.

Ruth Porat, CFO for Alphabet and Google Cloud, said: “We remain focused on revenue growth and are pleased with the trends across cloud, we will continue to invest aggressively given the opportunity we see.”

Want to learn more about topics like this from senior executives in this space? Learn more at the Cloud in FinTech & Banking Summit, on October 13, 2021, on how financial organizations are using cloud migration for competitive advantage.

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Bank of England warns that banks are overly reliant on cloud https://www.techmediabook.com/bank-of-england-warns-that-banks-are-overly-reliant-on-cloud/ https://www.techmediabook.com/bank-of-england-warns-that-banks-are-overly-reliant-on-cloud/#respond Mon, 26 Jul 2021 23:56:16 +0000 https://techmediabook.com/?p=519 The Bank of England is calling for increased powers to oversee the banking and finance sector’s switch to cloud computing. Its concerns stem from cloud adoption making systems more secretive and concentrating sensitive data in the hands of a select few tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft. The central bank...

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The Bank of England is calling for increased powers to oversee the banking and finance sector’s switch to cloud computing.

Its concerns stem from cloud adoption making systems more secretive and concentrating sensitive data in the hands of a select few tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft.

The central bank has said it will need “additional policy measures” to make sure it can assess the industry’s IT infrastructure, even when it’s run by third parties.

“Frankly, we’ll have to roll some of that back, that secrecy that goes with it. It’s not consistent with our objectives,” Governor Andrew Bailey told reporters.

The warning follows Deutsche Bank AG moving its most sensitive IT systems into Google’s Cloud. For firms like this, the cloud allows them to spend less on their own data centers while relying on the security and computing power of tech firms. The largest providers include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Alphabet Inc.’s Google Cloud.

Sam Woods, chief executive officer of the Prudential Regulation Authority, said: “What we now have moving are things that are much more integral to the running of banks and those core systems, which could go to safety and soundness.”

The Bank of England said it is working with the U.K. Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority on how to tackle these risks. Regulators around the world are weighing how to police the systemic risks across finance and technology.

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Microsoft bolsters cloud security approach with CloudKnox acquisition https://www.techmediabook.com/microsoft-bolsters-cloud-security-approach-with-cloudknox-acquisition/ https://www.techmediabook.com/microsoft-bolsters-cloud-security-approach-with-cloudknox-acquisition/#respond Sat, 24 Jul 2021 05:22:50 +0000 https://techmediabook.com/?p=516 Microsoft has acquired start-up CloudKnox Security, an identity and access management platform designed in tune with the sensibilities of modern cloud computing. Through the acquisition, Microsoft will be able to offer CloudKnox’s package of complete visibility into privileged access, helping organizations right-size permissions, enforce least-privilege principles to reduce risk, and...

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Microsoft has acquired start-up CloudKnox Security, an identity and access management platform designed in tune with the sensibilities of modern cloud computing.

Through the acquisition, Microsoft will be able to offer CloudKnox’s package of complete visibility into privileged access, helping organizations right-size permissions, enforce least-privilege principles to reduce risk, and employ continuous analytics to prevent security breaches.

In a blog post announcing the acquisition, corporate VP of Microsoft Identity, Joy Chik, said: “Since IT modernization often spans multiple clouds, cloud security and identity are top of mind for most of our customers. Modern identity security needs to protect all users and resources consistently across multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments.”

The incorporation of CloudKnox into Microsoft Azure services will further enable customers through granular visibility, continuous monitoring, and automated remediation for hybrid and multi-cloud permissions.

The CloudKnox acquisition closely follows the takeover of RiskIQ and ReFirm Labs recently in 2021, enhancing Microsoft’s security portfolio even more, which reports claim has generated revenues of over £7.3 billion in the past year, translating into a yearly growth of 40%.

Chik, speaking on this recent flurry of acquisitions, said: “ [It] shows [Microsoft’s] focus and execution in acquiring, integrating and expanding the strongest defenses for our customers — from chip to cloud — backed by more than 3,500 defenders at Microsoft and the more than 8 trillion security signals we process every day.

“Microsoft is uniquely positioned to help empower and defend the future of hybrid work and multi-cloud environments, providing essential visibility, control and monitoring Zero Trust demands,” she added.

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