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Get 3 Months of Xbox Game Pass for PC for $1! A Plague Tale: Innocence, Children of Morta, and Gris Coming Soon – Xbox Wire

I know you’re here for the games and we have some gems on the way! They’re hauntingly beautiful, challenging, and are coming soon to Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta).

You might need more than a few days to dig into these games, plus all the others you want to play in our library. Lucky for you, if you haven’t tried Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta) yet, we just launched our best deal yet for PC: Get your first 3 months for just $1! Discover your next favorite game with unlimited access to over 100 high-quality PC titles. You’ll always have something new to play with games added all the time. This deal won’t last forever, so join today and tell your friends – this is an easy way to get them to jump in and play with you!

But let’s get to the part that you really want to know about: Here’s the latest info on the games coming at you for the next few weeks!

Children of Morta ([email protected])
A story-driven action RPG about an extraordinary family of heroes. Lead the Bergons, with all their flaws and virtues, against the forthcoming Corruption. With a unique mix of action-adventure, RPG, rogue-lite, and hack and slash, you’ll develop not only individual characters but also the entire family as they stand against an encroaching darkness.

Gris ([email protected])
A serene and evocative experience, free of danger, frustration or death. Explore a meticulously designed world brought to life with delicate art, detailed animation, and an elegant original score where light puzzles, platforming sequences, and optional skill-based challenges will reveal themselves as the story unfolds, allowing Gris to see her world in a different way, unlocking new paths to explore using her new abilities.

A Plague Tale: Innocence
Follow the grim tale of young Amicia and her little brother Hugo in a heartrending journey through the darkest hours of history in this acclaimed action adventure game. Hunted by Inquisition soldiers and surrounded by unstoppable swarms of rats, they will struggle to survive against overwhelming odds and fight to find purpose in this brutal, unforgiving world.

Seriously, getting 3 months of PC gaming for only $1 is a screaming deal. Take the opportunity to try a whole bunch of games with no risk (other than being that person that won’t shut up about what games they are playing). I haven’t done the calculations yet, but I’m willing to bet that the math checks out on this being the best deal right now to play all these games.

Reminder to install the mobile app so you can remotely install games to your PC from anywhere – use that time to watch speed runs, character builds, or build your perfect playlist for these haunting games. Lastly, for more news on games, memes, and whatever shower thoughts we have about games, check out our Twitter. Happy gaming!

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Differentiation key for BI startups when attracting investors

BI startups, like all companies when they’re getting started, need money to get off the ground.

BI startups need to show that they have a good idea, and are not simply repackaging analytics software platforms already on the market. They need to show that they can build a strong product, and that their founders have the expertise to build and sustain something commercially viable.

And with that, they need to attract investors to fund the company in the years it takes between the time an idea forms and a company becomes financially solvent.

Vanessa Larco is a partner at New Enterprise Associates, a venture capital firm with over $20 billion assets under management. NEA was an early investor in companies such as Tableau and Salesforce when they were tech startups, and, among many other types of companies, continues to invest in BI startups. Recently, NEA was part of an investment round in Sisu, a startup BI vendor founded in 2018 and based in San Francisco.

Vanessa LarcoVanessa Larco

Larco, meanwhile, has an extensive background in computer science, and before joining NEA was director of product management at Box. Prior to that, she worked in the gaming industry, leading the speech recognition experience team at Xbox Kinnect v1. She leads deals investing in tech companies, including BI startups, and participates in others led by colleagues.

Larco recently took time to answer questions about investing in BI startups.

In Part I of a two-part Q&A, she discusses what she looks for in a BI startup and what she loved about Sisu. In Part II, Larco talks about the process of investing in BI startups, including the warning signs that arise that may keep her from investing.

When you’re considering investing in BI startups, what are some of the characteristics you want to see in a vendor that tell you it might make a good investment?

Vanessa Larco: I think every partner has their own journey when trying to figure out where to invest. For me, I draw a lot on my experience having been a product manager. When I think about what the challenges were that I had or that my team had in building, launching, supporting, maintaining products and then when you see a solution — whether it’s in data or any other vertical — that makes sense and you can say, ‘Wow, if this had existed when I was doing things it would have made my life easier, my team’s life easier,’ it’s something that resonates right off the bat.

I think every partner has their own journey when trying to figure out where to invest. For me, I draw a lot on my experience having been a product manager.
Vanessa LarcoPartner, NEA

You then validate it against actual teams that are still building things and ask them if this would be helpful, and that validates the real need for it.

In the case of Sisu, what stood out about them and led NEA to decide it was a company worth betting on?

Larco: Every process, as much as we like it to be standardized, turns out to be its own unique snowflake, and in the case of Sisu, Pete Sonsini led the deal team and I joined the deal team, meaning I helped him evaluate the opportunity and spent time with the team. I am super excited about Sisu. I ran it by some of my portfolio companies, particularly the ones who [complain that] board meetings take forever because they show a bunch of data and people ask, ‘Well why did this happen, why did that happen?’ And to get those answers it takes at least week. So when I saw the Sisu value proposition I wondered if this will solve that problem.

Even back when I led a product team in the past and we would present to CEOs, we’d show numbers going up and down and they’d ask, ‘Well, why did that happen?’ We’d have to get back to them. It’s just super painful when you know they’re going to ask you why, and that is what takes forever. Sometimes you spend all that time trying to figure out why, and then nothing comes of it, so when I saw the Sisu value proposition I thought that if this actually works it could be game changing.

What happened after you saw Sisu’s value proposition?

Larco: I took it to a good friend at a portfolio company to kick the tires, and they were like, ‘Yes. Yes, this awesome. Thank you so much.’ They said their data person would be so happy they wouldn’t be bogged down answering some very simple questions and doing the manual work to answer why, so from that perspective it was super exciting.

Once NEA invests in BI startups, how much influence does it want going forward — does it seek a spot on the board of directors, leave the company alone or something in between?

Larco: Each case in venture is different. It’s not a high-volume type of industry — we’re not doing hundreds of deals a year — so each deal is very unique and each financing round is unique. But in general, the earlier in the company’s lifecycle you invest in, the founders want you on their board because they want the attention and support, the advice, the feedback, the connection. VCs, in most cases, have been on many boards and seen a lot of stories play out, and you have a lot of connections to potential customers, and so to be able to understand what a company’s needs are as they change is really valuable. Most of the time, both parties want a seat on the board.

But if it’s super, super early and someone else leads the financing round and you’re just participating, someone else takes the board seat. Or if it’s the late stages then the board is already pretty filled out and it has less unknowns than in the early formation years, in those cases you may not take a seat on the board. If an investor is acquiring a significant amount of equity and you’re between 15 and 30 percent, they will typically take a board seat. Anything less than that, it may not make a ton of sense to take a board seat — there’s a limit to how many board seats we can take.

Besides Sisu, who are some startups in the BI/analytics space NEA has recently invested in?

Larco: My colleague Julia Schottenstein led the investment in Metabase, which is in the data space in the open-source project world. I was on the deal team and attended the board meetings for a company called OmniSci. The real value proposition there is they do some really cool geospatial [analysis], and it’s lightning fast. If you need data and need to visualize it across any type of map, I haven’t seen anything like it. From my gaming and advertising days that would have been a massive help. It’s a category that historically if you were investors in Tableau and other data companies that have done really well — it’s a category NEA has performed really well in in the past. It’s a massive category for IT spends, so it’s an area we actively invest in year over year.

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For Sale – JBL studio monitors – 306P MkII’s x2 (pair)

Bought these a few months back, brand new, but they’re too big for the spare room and ended up buying some ex-demo Genelecs 3 weeks later

The JBLs are literally as new, with all their original packaging & boxes and their cables.

Still well within their warranty too.

£200 collected or £220 sent via courier.

Happy to post first to long standing members with decent feedback, otherwise it’ll need to be payment up front

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Author:

For Sale – JBL studio monitors – 306P MkII’s x2 (pair)

Bought these a few months back, brand new, but they’re too big for the spare room and ended up buying some ex-demo Genelecs 3 weeks later

The JBLs are literally as new, with all their original packaging & boxes and their cables.

Still well within their warranty too.

£200 collected or £220 sent via courier.

Happy to post first to long standing members with decent feedback, otherwise it’ll need to be payment up front

Go to Original Article
Author:

For Sale – JBL studio monitors – 306P MkII’s x2 (pair)

Bought these a few months back, brand new, but they’re too big for the spare room and ended up buying some ex-demo Genelecs 3 weeks later

The JBLs are literally as new, with all their original packaging & boxes and their cables.

Still well within their warranty too.

£200 collected or £220 sent via courier.

Happy to post first to long standing members with decent feedback, otherwise it’ll need to be payment up front

Go to Original Article
Author:

3 networking startups rearchitect routing

Startups played a pivotal role in disrupting the business of network switching. Today, they’re on track to do the same to routing.

Software under development by upstarts Arrcus, DriveNets and Volta Networks represents a new routing architecture, industry analysts agreed. Cloud service providers, SaaS providers, telcos and the largest financial institutions are the most likely candidates for deploying the networking startups’ technology in the data center and at the edge.

The vendors’ software could also be useful for peering among internet service providers and for data center interconnects (DCIs). Colocation companies like Equinix, Digital Realty Trust and Global Switch use DCIs to connect their facilities to customer data centers.

Market research firm IDC recently named the three companies 2019 innovators for their work in decoupling routing software from its underlying hardware. Separating management, control and data planes from the device make it possible to run the software on commodity products powered by merchant silicon from companies like Broadcom and Intel.

Severing software from hardware and running it on commodity gear — a process called disaggregation — reduces operational expenses. Companies can lower labor costs by managing multiple routers at once, instead of each one separately. The architecture also adds flexibility by making it possible to distribute and manage physical and virtual routers across data centers or at the network edge.

“Effectively, you’ve got a Lego that you can mix and match based on your requirements,” said Brad Casemore, an analyst at IDC. “It leads to a standardized environment where you can run the same software across all of it.”

Disaggregation from switching to routing

Disaggregation in network switching, a nearly 10-year trend, forced incumbents Cisco and Juniper Networks to acquire startups that had developed software capable of providing centralized network management. The transition led to an overhaul in the way the companies’ products manage switching fabrics.

New technologies developed by Arrcus, DriveNets and Volta show that there’s “an evolution in disaggregation to the routing layer,” Casemore said. Each of the vendors is initially targeting their products at communication and cloud service providers.

“It’s really compelling technology,” Casemore said.

Here is a brief description of each of the networking startups, including the key differentiators and market challenges listed in the 2019 IDC Innovators report on disaggregated routing platforms:

— Arrcus built a network operating system, called ArcOS, with extensive routing protocol support. This year, for example, the vendor incorporated the Link State Vector Routing (LSVR) protocol into ArcOS for organizations running hyperscale data centers and large cloud environments.

Arrcus has built its data plane adaptation layer to separate ArcOS from the underlying hardware. ArcOS is also the first independent NOS to support devices powered by Broadcom’s Trident 3, Tomahawk 3, Jericho+ or Jericho2 network silicon. The Jericho2 platform is for 100 Gb and 400 Gb routing.

Despite its innovative technology, Arrcus still has to prove it can deliver significant cost savings and ROI. The company also has to show a simple process for buying and supporting the underlying hardware.

Arrcus, based in San Jose, Calif., has more than 60 employees and has raised $45 million in funding.

— DriveNets developed a container-based router control plane for merchant silicon-based white boxes. Hardware manufacturers bundle the software with their products and sell it under a license that is free from capacity constraints.

The architecture provides carriers with a routing model that uses a cluster of low-cost white boxes capable of scaling to any size. DriveNets based the model on the one used in hyperscale data centers.

DriveNets’ hurdles include convincing communication service providers to change how they procure, deploy and manage router infrastructure. “The adoption of the DriveNets architecture might be slowed by the need for communication service providers to redesign internal processes and management systems,” IDC said.

DriveNets, based in Ra’anana, Israel, has more than 200 employees and has raised $117 million in funding.

— Volta built a cloud-native, cloud-hosted control plane that can spin up and manage as many as 255 instances of virtual routers on a single, on-premises commodity switch. The use of switching gear provides a “significant cost advantage,” while also making Volta technology useful for provider edge routing. Volta’s technology could be helpful to carriers overhauling cell sites to support next-generation 5G wireless technology.

Volta’s technology and its subscription model that covers support, maintenance and hardware warranty could provide significantly lower capital and operational expenses. However, as a startup, in a competitive industry, it faces a “significant challenge” in winning deals over better-known competitors with more money.

Volta, based in Cambridge, Mass., has 51 employees and has raised $3.3 million in funding.

Moving toward software-based routing

Companies with hyperscale data centers, like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, have favored disaggregated networking software on standardized hardware for years. Today, major service providers and financial institutions use the same white box switches. Users include AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, JPMorgan Chase and Fidelity Investments.

As a result, in 2018, the share of the global Ethernet data center switching market held by Cisco and Juniper fell, while that of bare-metal switching manufacturers increased, according to IDC.

Analysts believe the same dynamics will likely play out in routing. “People are now noticing and realizing that white box approaches can work. They’re mature,” said Roy Chua, a principal analyst at AvidThink.

Potentially, these companies become M&A targets if they have traction in some high-value accounts.
Brad CasemoreAnalyst, IDC

Analysts expect carriers to seriously consider white box routers as they build out their network edge to deliver 5G services.

“They’re actually trying to move away from [physical] routers and toward software-based routing,” said Lee Doyle, principal analyst at Doyle Research. “None of this has been hugely deployed yet. But I think we’re going to see significant deployments in 2020 and 2021 in the 5G market.”

Routing sales for Cisco and Juniper have been declining. However, the decrease is primarily due to carriers cutting back on spending after they found they couldn’t wring any more revenue from consumers, Casemore said.

But with 5G deployments on the horizon, incumbents like Cisco and Juniper are probably watching networking startups closely to see which ones are winning deals for routing technology.

“Potentially, these companies become M&A targets if they have traction in some high-value accounts,” Casemore said.

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Domain-specific BI vendors gain foothold with expertise

They’re tiny compared with the giants of the business intelligence space, and some have only been in existence a few years as organizations have widely adopted analytics, but domain-specific BI vendors touting a specialized area of expertise are popping up across the BI and analytics landscape.

Soundcharts, for example, sells an analytics suite for the music business. The Tessitura Network provides business intelligence, among other services, for arts and culture organizations. Flowhub targets the cannabis industry. Sports Alliance, as its names suggests, is geared toward the sports world.

And there are others.

The challenge for domain-specific BI enterprises as they compete for customers against established BI vendors is differentiation, providing a more adapted analytics platform for a narrow audience based on specialization and expertise than those built for general audiences like Microsoft Power BI or Tableau can.

“Bringing analytics back to the reason they exist — it’s about doing business better,” said Dave Menninger, research director of data and analytics research at Ventana Research. “The whole purpose of analytics is to do your job better. The easier we can make it for line-of-business people to do their jobs better, the better we’re servicing industries.”

If domain-specific vendors are able to overcome the hurdle of establishing differentiation, it becomes their advantage.

An analysis of musician Billie Eilish's worldwide popularity is displayed on a Soundcharts dashboard.
A Soundcharts dashboard shows the geographic breakdown of where artist Billie Eilish is getting the most airplay.

Specialization

Dashboards are all essentially similar.

As a user sits at their desk and views charts and graphs and other data visualizations, whether it’s a Tableau or Domo dashboard or one from a domain-specific BI vendor, the look is largely the same.

The difference between what’s on the screen of a ThoughtSpot user — or Power BI, Qlik, MicroStrategy, etc. — and what’s displayed to a Tessitura or Soundcharts user is how the data got to that dashboard.

“The power is in the data model,” said John Jakovich, Tessitura’s vice president of business intelligence.

Tessitura, which beyond offering BI capabilities is at its core a customer relationship management (CRM) provider, stands out in that it’s a nonprofit organization. It began as a result of the New York Metropolitan Opera House’s frustration with ticketing and fundraising inefficiencies, and in 2001 the “Met,” along with six other cultural organizations, launched the Tessitura Network. Since then, more than 650 arts and culture organizations have joined.

“We’ve built reporting into an optimized data model,” Jakovich said.

With a general audience tool, finding the right data is often difficult. Data is everywhere, and the specific information relevant to a museum or art gallery — or marijuana dispensary or high school athletics department — isn’t necessarily easy to locate.

If you’re not using [a domain-specific] tool you’re spending time munging data. We’ve premunged the data and put a data model on top of it. We’re making it easy for them to do analytics by doing the data preparation.
John JakovichVice president of business intelligence, Tessitura Network

Tessitura, because of its narrow audience, can do much of the searching and transforming of data — data munging — in advance before embedding the relevant data into the BI application it provides to its members.

“If you’re not using [a domain-specific] tool you’re spending time munging data,” Jakovich said. “We’ve premunged the data and put a data model on top of it. We’re doing the hard work for them. We’re making it easy for them to do analytics by doing the data preparation.”

Similarly, Soundcharts uses its specialized knowledge of the music business to make analytics easier for industry insiders than can a general-audience BI vendor.

The data used by the music industry is highly specific: it’s how frequently a song is played on the radio, how many times a song is streamed, what region an artist is selling more albums than another, where tickets for an artist sell out in just a few hours compared with where they don’t sell out at all, and more.

It’s not simply sales figures, or operating costs.

“The data we have is not available to grab and put on Tableau,” said David Weiszfeld, CEO of Soundcharts. “If you need to see the number of radio plays for an artist, you need to find a company that has that data. Our platform is not showing data that’s centralized elsewhere.”

Weiszfeld added that while Soundcharts counts many of the music business’ largest companies among its clients, many of its customers are small and medium-sized businesses.

Their employees are not, and don’t necessarily have the financial resources to hire people with those skills.

“Those people just want to see insights,” Weiszfeld said. “They don’t want to create an [application programming interface]. We still do a lot of education on how to use data in music. If you use [a general-audience platform], you already know.”

Competition

While specialization provides vendors an entry into analytics, it’s no guarantee of staying power.

There’s a reason Microsoft Power BI, Qlik and Tableau and others have been around as long as they have and have attracted large numbers of customers. They’re good at what they do. And they evolve to meet the needs of potential customers.

The next wave of innovation will likely center around augmented intelligence and machine learning, tools that will help BI vendors better understand the habits of users in order to better get them the data they need.

Domain-specific BI vendors, just as they’re doing now by using their expertise, will have to find a way to remain apart — just as they have to separate themselves from competition within their specialized domain.

“We’re looking into ways AI can augment our CRM,” Jakovich said. “It’s already happening in our industry. Our licensees are engaging with consultants to do predictive models — so how can we premunge data to push those products forward? We’re looking at how to make it easier to facilitate AI projects on behalf of our members.”

Meanwhile, just as Tessitura is embedding relevant data for its users, general-audience BI platforms are embedding data to streamline the user experience.

“All aspects of BI will have to start being more embedded in applications,” Menninger said. “We predict that by 2021 more than half will be. There’s no reason to have analysts for analysis — it should be part of the application.”

Still another challenge domain-specific BI vendors will face is that general-audience BI vendors are starting to offer products aimed at specific domains.

SAP, for example, has a whole suite of analytics tools for the sports world. And the multinational software giant is not alone.

“Coming out of the Salesforce-Tableau merger I think you can expect to see more Salesforce [analytics products] that could be domain-specific,” Menninger said, adding that Qlik has some domain-specific templates.

But just as some general-audience BI vendors are creating tools aimed at niche audiences, it’s possible that domain-specific BI vendors will push back by expanding their areas of expertise.

Soundcharts is still perfecting its data mining of the music business, and according to Weiszfeld there are still types of music data Soundcharts isn’t yet tracking. But perhaps in the future, once it’s done all it can for music industry insiders, it will look at something new.

“Maybe they would transition into supporting the online video industry, and from there digital media and communication,” Menninger said. “They can create a proven business model, and that’s their specialty more than the platform.”

Next phase

Specialization, just like AI and machine learning from a technological perspective, might be part of the future of analytics.

Maybe, just as some general-audience vendors are starting to offer tools aimed at specific domains, more and more domain-specific BI vendors are going to begin their own operations and target audiences and industries now in their infancy. For example, it might have been hard to imagine a legal cannabis industry in need of analytics 10 to 15 years ago.

Through hyperspecialized expertise, domain-specific BI vendors are showing that they’re able to provide their audiences somewhat better data than general-audience BI vendors — at least for now. So maybe many other vendors will follow them, using specialization as their entryway into a mature market.

“The question is where are the metrics, and are they clean?” Weiszfeld said. “In music, clean data never existed. You want the platform with the cleanest data, things that are relevant only to your industry. If someone is doing the data for all industries — diaper sales, for example — they’re going to get music wrong.”

Then again, maybe, domain-specific BI vendors and general-audience BI vendors will eventually combine forces.

Many of the major BI platforms popular today — IBM’s Cognos, Tibco’s Spotfire and SAP’s BusinessObjects, for example, were once stand-alone companies. Tableau was just acquired by Salesforce, and Looker by Google.

“It has to do with the business model,” Jakovich said. “It’s about getting the zeitgeist of what’s going on.”

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Chief data officer skills tested by AI ad blitz

If they’re watching a sporting event such as the PGA Championship, the summer afternoon isn’t totally restful for chief data officers. As the players chase the golf ball around the course, the IT pros at home must keep one eye on the leaderboard and one on the advertisements, and anticipate honing their chief data officer skills.

The ad spots often tout new technology. They use quick-cut imagery of futuristic cities and data centers and feature notables ranging from rapper Common to troubadour Bob Dylan. The technology for sale could be cognitive computing, blockchain technology, IoT or other trendy tech. The result is the exec in the C-suite who has a Monday morning question to test chief data officer (CDO) skills to the max.

These days that question is often, “What’s our plan for AI?”

Because AI can encompass almost anything magical, it can be a tough question for the chief data officer (CDO) to field. A look at a reporter’s notebook from last month’s MIT Chief Data Officer and Information Quality Symposium (MIT CDOIQ) in Cambridge, Mass., may provide a clue or two.

Kaizen and AI

At an MIT CDOIQ symposium panel sponsored by data platform vendor AtScale, the topic of BI on the data lake turned to a discussion of the imp called AI. Chris Crotts, group manager for enterprise data at Toyota North America, said business users tend to bring up questions on AI — questions that can test data strategy and chief data officer skills.

“Someone will call and say, ‘I need to do AI tomorrow.’ We look into it and find that what they are doing is reporting,” he said. In these cases, he said he asks the line-of-business user to describe the actual problem they are trying to solve. His teams then show them ways of analyzing the data to find answers.

“Part of going digital is to have data competency,” Crotts said. That means users have to be prepared to successfully employ something like AI. If people aren’t ready to analyze the data, Crotts said, it is not worthwhile to spin up a host of new tools.

So, his enterprise data group endeavors to prepare users to understand “how data consumption works.”

For their part, Crotts said, users become increasingly helpful in digging in and discovering issues in the data, such as the complex data that has begun to populate Toyota’s data lakes.

He said Toyota’s lineage in continuous improvement — the company is regarded as the birthplace of Kaizen, a work culture philosophy that focuses on understanding problems firsthand — infuses his and colleagues’ approaches to realizing the kind of change that AI can bring.

Stonebraker’s take

Michael Stonebraker, professor, MITMichael Stonebraker

In a separate presentation at the MIT conference, database veteran and MIT professor Michael Stonebraker also touched on the interest AI is garnering these days.

The guiding technical founder behind such database companies as Ingres, Illustra and Vertica, Stonebraker spoke under the auspices of one of his more recent foundlings, Tamr, a maker of advanced data preparation software.

Stonebraker, like others of late, highlighted the issues influencing chief data officer skills that stand between big data and AI-style analytics. These include the difficulty involved in getting varied data ready to ply for AI insights.

Getting training data is always a problem. Deep learning needs way too much training data.
Michael Stonebrakeradjunct professor at MIT and Tamr co-founder

“The hot button now is to talk about AI, machine learning and the data scientist,” Stonebraker said. “But if you are saying data scientists are going to save your butt, you are going to have this problem: They get 10 minutes a week for doing the job they were hired for.” Preparing data for the new engines, in short, is the first step toward AI.

On deep learning for the enterprise — the hallmark of what is new in AI today — Stonebraker was not optimistic. There, a lack of data volume, rather than a surplus of data, can become a determining issue.

“Getting training data is always a problem,” he lamented. For traditional business enterprises, as opposed to web juggernauts like Google and Facebook, “deep learning needs way too much training data,” he said.

Deep learning “works fine if you are doing image data, natural language [processing] or machine translation,” Stonebraker said.

It is not an entirely bleak outlook, however. He indicated that Tamr customers are seeing success with “conventional machine learning using random forest techniques at scale.”

The AI landscape

The admonitions of Stonebraker and Crotts suggest CDOs need to know their way around enterprise data. That is true whether the technology is AI or BI.

Sure, a good understanding of one’s data is a useful club to have in the golf bag of chief data officer skills. But things do change; an organization’s data must be seen in new contexts, as technology progresses and big data, AI or whatever comes next makes inroads.

A symposium takeaway: CDOs must focus on the people side of data and analytics, and be doubly sure to understand the nature of their data and how malleable it is for newer AI techniques.

Execs: Content management in the cloud not as easy as it looks

TORONTO — Companies like Oracle, SAP and Microsoft are pushing content management in the cloud, and they’re joined by OpenText, which announced the containerization of its systems for use on public clouds, such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and AWS.

“Friends don’t let friends buy data centers.” That was OpenText CEO and CTO Mark Barrenechea’s recurring joke during his OpenText Enterprise World 2018 keynote, during which the company unveiled its cloud- and DevOps-friendly OT2 platform.

Barrenechea later clarified to reporters that while some customers are standardizing on AWS and Azure, most OpenText cloud customers are on OpenText’s private cloud. Opening OpenText apps and microservices, such as its Magellan AI tools, to the public clouds will also open up new markets for content management in the cloud, Barrenechea said.

But several speakers from the stage — including celebrity nonfiction writer and Toronto native Malcolm Gladwell — cautioned that while the cloud might bring convenience and freedom from data center upkeep, it also brings challenges.

The two most frequently mentioned were data security and process automation, as well as a related issue: automating bad or unnecessarily complicated processes that should have been fixed before their digital transformations.

Data security getting more complicated

If you have 854,000 people with top-secret clearances, I would venture to say that it’s no longer top-secret.
Malcolm Gladwellauthor

The internet of things and mobile devices comprise a major security vulnerability that, if left unsecure, can multiply risk and create entry points for hackers to penetrate networks. Opening up content management in the cloud — and the necessary multiplication of data transactions that comes with it — can spread that risk outside the firewall.

Persistent connectivity is the challenge for Zoll Medical’s personal defibrillators, said Jennifer Bell, enterprise CMS architect at the company. Zoll Medical’s IoT devices not only connect the patient to the device, but also port the data to caregivers and insurance providers in a regulatory-compliant way, which mandates data security the whole time.

“Security is huge, with HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] and everything,” she said.

IT leaders are just beginning to grasp the scale of risks.

At the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), even “smart microscopes” with which researchers take multi-gigabyte, close-up images have to check in with their manufacturer’s servers every night, said Matt Eisenberg, acting chief of NIAID’s business processes and information branch.

“Every evening, when the scientists are done with those devices, it has to phone home and recalibrate. And this is blowing the infrastructure guys away, because they’re not used to allowing this kind of bidirectional communication from something that really doesn’t look or feel like a computer or a laptop,” Eisenberg said.

Best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell giving conference keynote
Author Malcolm Gladwell delivering keynote at OpenText Enterprise World 2018

Meanwhile, Gladwell warned that data security threats are coming from every direction, inside and outside of organizations, and from new perpetrators.

Also coming under the spotlight was security of content management in the cloud when Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden were able to steal sensitive military documents and hand them over to WikiLeaks, Gladwell said.

Government data security experts are having a hard time preventing another such breach, he continued, because security threats are rapidly changing. The feds, however, haven’t; they’re stuck with Cold War-era systems and processes that focused on a particular enemy and their operatives.

“It’s no longer that you have a short list of people high up that you have to worry about. Now, you have to worry about everyone,” Gladwell said. “If you have 854,000 people with top-secret clearances, I would venture to say that it’s no longer top-secret.”

Cloud: BPM boon or problem?

Content management in the cloud by way of SaaS apps can also bring process automation, AI and analytics tools to content formerly marooned in on-premises data silos. It can also extend a workforce beyond office walls, giving remote, traveling or field-based workers access to the same content their commuting co-workers get.

That’s if it’s done right.

Kyle Hufford, digital asset management director at Monster Energy, based in Corona, Calif., serves rich media content to an international marketing team that must comply with many national, state and local regulations, as well as standardized internal processes, approval trees and branding rules.

His job, he said, is opening access to Monster Energy’s sometimes-edgy content worldwide, while ensuring end users stay compliant.

The work starts with detailed examination of how a process is done before moving it into the cloud.

“People think there [are] complexities around approvals and how to get things done,” Hufford said. “In reality, they can take a 15-step process and make it a two- or three-step process and save everybody time.”

Panelists at OpenText Enterprise World 2018 conference
Panelists at OpenText Enterprise World 2018 conference, from left to right: Marl Barrenechea, OpenText CEO and CTO; Gopal Padinjaruveetil, vice president and chief information security officer at The Auto Club Group; Jennifer Bell, enterprise content management architect and analyst at Zoll Medical; Kyle Hufford, director of digital asset management at Monster Energy; and Matt Eisenberg, acting chief of the U.S. NIAID business process and information management branch.

As mature companies like SAP, Microsoft, OpenText and Oracle make big pushes into the cloud and bring their big customers along to migrate from on-premises systems, process issues like these are bound to happen, said Craig Wentworth, principal analyst for U.K.-based MWD Advisors.

Wentworth advised enterprise IT leaders to take a critical look at the vendor’s model in the evaluation stage before embarking on a project for content management in the cloud.

“I worry that, sometimes … software firms that have been around for a long time [and add] cloud are coming to it from a very different place than those who are born in the cloud,” Wentworth said. “Whilst they will be successful certainly with their existing customers, they’ve got a different slant to it.”

Corsair LPX Vengence 8gb (2×4) 2133mhz

Hi there,

these are taken out of a perfectly fine PC, just upgraded to 16gb single module so they’re of no use to me any more.

Model num – CMK8GX4M2A2133C13

I’m sticking at £60 so no offers please. Postage is inc.

Cheers

C

Price and currency: 60
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Bank transfer or Paypal
Location: Dundee, Scotland
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Corsair LPX Vengence 8gb (2×4) 2133mhz