Infosys launches AI-first, cloud-first customer engagement platform

Infosys, a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting, today announced the launch of Infosys Cortex, its customer engagement platform, aiming to “humanize customer experience, empower agents and drive intelligent operations for enterprises”.

The platform leverages technology from Genesys, a global leader in cloud customer experience and contact center solutions, along with Contact Center AI services from Google Cloud and its managed artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics services.
Infosys Cortex aims to revamp customer care operations by providing intelligence to aid purposeful customer communication, smarter and faster decision-making, and deliver value at scale.
Using the power of cloud and a modular microservices based architecture, it helps enterprises achieve up to 40 per cent faster and more effective agent hiring and learning, the company said.
It also brings up to 30 per cent improvement in agent performance with training before operationalising the contact center, it added.
Furthermore, Infosys Cortex drives up to 30 percent improvement in satisfaction for customers through intent prediction and self-service, along with up to 40 per cent improvement in operations through cognitive automation and analysis of contextual data across systems using Infosys Data and Analytics Platform powered by Google Cloud.
Together with Google AI-powered voicebots, chatbots, interaction analytics, and an industry-leading IVR from Genesys, businesses can shift from being remote-ready to driving digital customer service from anywhere. They can also grow the effectiveness of their customer care with increased first-call resolution, reduced average handle time, decreased call volume, and improved service-to-sales conversion.
“Our experience of managing the IT landscapes of large complex enterprises, expertise across industry domains, and strengths in enabling workforce learning uniquely equips us to help businesses deliver customer delight. With Infosys Cortex, we can now share with them the digital capabilities to future-proof their customer relationships”, said Ravi Kumar, President at Infosys.
“The next wave of CX (customer experience) solutions are built to improve decision velocity. Machines can make 100 decisions per second, humans can make one per second but often get bogged down in management committee for weeks,” said Ray Wang, Founder and Chairman, Constellation Research, Inc.
“When AI is applied to CX, agents have the context they need to make faster and more precise decisions. As agents are augmented by AI, they can deliver more personalized experiences.”
Infosys’ new product is part of the growing interest in AI-power customer service. In fact, $13.9 billion was invested in CX-focused AI and $42.7 billion in CX-focused Big Data and analytics in 2019, with both expected to grow to $90 billion in 2022, according to IDC.

ByteDance’s launch of new mobile payments on Chinese version of TikTok

ByteDance has launched its own payments service for Douyin, the Chinese version of its video app TikTok.

Currently, Douyin’s 600 million daily active users can buy virtual gifts for streamers or from stores on the site through Alipay and WeChat Pay.

However, now ByteDance is also offering a Douyin Pay option, taking advantage of the third-party payment license it acquired when it bought Wuhan Hezhong Yibao Technology last year.

Unlike TikTok, Douyin users can already sell merchandise since 2017 and it is now used by millions of people to shop everyday, according to Reuters.

The new launch will be a further step of ByteDance’s venture into the FinTech and e-commerce industry. 

This move is set to challenge the duopoly of WeChat Pay and AliPay, each has a 55.4% share and 38.5% share, respectively, in China’s mobile third-party payment market at the end of June last year, according to research firm Analysys.

Other Chinese hi-tech giants, including Meituan and Pinduoduo, are also expected to compete in mobile payments, as per reported by South China Morning Post. 

 

Tata Tele Business Services launches cloud communication suite

Tata Tele Business Services (TTBS) has introduced Smartflo, a cloud communication suite designed to support today’s hybrid work culture, providing connectivity between all stakeholders, internally within employees and externally with customers and vendors across platforms and touch points.

Smartflo aims to enable businesses to strengthen engagement with customers through seamless communication across time and space, TTBS said.

The setup is quick with zero installation charges and no CAPEX investment. Smartflo comes with an uptime guarantee of 99.5 per cent, backed by TTBS 24X7 managed service capabilities and trust, contributing to a non-disruptive workflow, TTBS added.

Smartflo is suitable for enterprises across industries and sizes that require a multi-functional, multi-modal, economical yet technologically advanced cloud communication suite. It will also be beneficial for businesses to improve their digital agility, which will be a competitive advantage for enterprises during pandemic times, said TTBS.

The company reported that they have seen a strong customer interest for Smartflo solutions across industry verticals like BFSI, IT/ITES, Manufacturing, Education, Fintech, Logistics and E-commerce.

Elaborating on Smartflo, Vishal Rally, Senior Vice-President, Product & Marketing, Tata Teleservices said, “The world we are living in is constantly aligning and realigning itself. As business models are getting re-imagined there is an emerging need for solutions which are flexible and enable operations beyond boundaries. Smartflo suite of solutions combines an uninterrupted flow of business communication with intelligent call routing and monitoring. Not only this, but it also offers on-demand scalability, which allows businesses to adapt quickly to changing business conditions. Smartflo comes with enterprise-grade security and reliability.”

Smartflo comes with features such as:

· Intelligent routing of customer calls to the best of agents/employees

· Voice to Text conversion with keyword mapping

· Call sentiment analysis to understand customers better

· API integration with all enterprise applications to get a single customer view

· Quality checks of customer interactions through live call barge-ins

· Analytics and reports to get insights and enhance business outcomes

· On-demand scalability without additional Capex

· Inbuild Enterprise-Grade security and reliability

The recent disruption has accelerated the adoption of cloud-native technologies. According to Gartner, the cloud telephony market is estimated to grow 18 per cent in 2021 as telephony investment priorities shift to the cloud.

SAP to invest $60 million in India

Enterprise application software major SAP will invest $60 million in India in its cloud business, in an effort to localise and offer India customers a multi-cloud choice.

Underscoring its commitment to India, SAP said in a statement it will make available its multiple cloud solutions to the data centers in the country. SAP India is a leading cloud company that is working toward addressing local customer demands, the statement said.

“SAP’s commitment to support India’s growth vision remains a top priority and we are determined to achieve this with deeper collaboration with our customers, ecosystem and the government,’’ said Scott Russell, president, SAP Asia Pacific Japan.

Kulmeet Bawa, SAP Indian subcontinent president and managing director, pointed out that at present, customers are seeking scalability, faster deployment, data compliance and cost-effective solutions to enable innovation and achieve prompt business outcomes. SAP India began its operations in 1996 with headquarters in Bangalore and offices in other cities in the country.

The decision to increase investments in India come in the backdrop of India continuing to be one of SAP’s fastest-growing markets globally.

It has always been very very important because of a variety of reasons such as scale, demographic dividend, abundant opportunities, a cloud-first mindset, amongst others.

“We are extremely fascinated by what is happening in India’s start-up ecosystem,” stated Bawa. Small businesses in India are beginning to embrace digital tools to survive and drive their business.

India is home to the second largest startup ecosystem with more than 1,500 startups, according to industry body NASSCOM. Additionally, in 2020, India had 12 unicorn startups, signalling the increased tech adoption in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Spike in remote work postings since Covid-19: LinkedIn says

During the pandemic, Asia-pacific regions saw a spike in remote work job postings, according to data from LinkedIn.
Linkedin’s statistics show that both remote work postings and applications have increased significantly in 2020. From March to May 2020 alone, India’s remote job applications grew to a multiple of 4.65 times, closely followed by Australia and China, outperforming the global average with an increase of only 2.28 times.
Indirectly, this is expected to drive demand for robust cloud-based platforms and AI-driven cybersecurity solutions. The steady increase of cloud solutions provides employers and employees with access to data and collaborative platforms regardless of their physical locations.
The increasing availability of fast, steady and reliable broadband connection and cloud computing, lay the infrastructural groundwork for remote working, reported Statista, a German company specializing in market and consumer data.
Cloud-based service providers meeting the growing demand

With the demand for remote work expected to be outlasting the pandemic, Statista forecasts that spending on cloud-based business applications, collaboration tools, cybersecurity, and remotely managed IT services are projected to grow by almost 100 billion U.S. dollars over the next few years; on the other hand, spending for on-premises service is predicted to stagnate.

Growing hand in hand is the revenue from the cloud email and collaboration market, which is set to double in size and worth by 2024 from 2020.

Data centers are crucial to the virtual workplace as the key point of access for data and assets, utilized by remote workers when they log in to the network. Thus, how streamlined and secure the process is will determine the experience of a virtual working arrangement.

Leading cloud solutions businesses are ramping up their data center capacity to meet the demand. For example, Zoom Video Communications, Inc. also expanded its co-located data center in Singapore, where it has already had a presence for 2 years.

AppDynamics, part of Cisco Systems, which focuses on managing performance and availability of applications across cloud computing environments and inside the data center, recently started to offer its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering in Asia.

This enables customers to access AppDynamics solutions via a local cloud location and accelerate their digital transformations.

Avalanche Computing develops hyper-scale computing technique for speed and high-scalability AI projects

Taipei based Avalanche Computing, a hyper-scale computing technique provider has launched a one-click-through AI framework that allows for speed and scalability.

Avalanche Computing’s AI framework aims to train AI model in parallel or distributed mode on multiple GPUs without changing the algorithm, reducing AI project costs. It is also capable of deploying AI models from one to many edge devices in one command, the company said.

As such, it focuses on the deep learning environment and training in parallel, lightening the trained model, and then deploying the AI model at a hyper-scale.

The company presents that the proposed AI framework will help increase the speed of manufacturing and medical applications, including predictive maintenance, anomaly detection, machine diagnosis, defect detection, supply chain analysis, operation optimization, EGG signal, breath sound, medical signal, medical speech to text, anomaly detection, lung cancer detection, amongst others.

“Our mission is to help our customers who focus on intelligence services and applications save time, staff numbers, and money during AI development. With our deep tech and computing domain knowledge, we aim to provide an excellent workflow for AI development and deployment in one platform at scale. Besides, our many alliance partners, academic collaborations, and computing hardware partners have further helped our AI customers succeed in global business,” said Avalanche Founder and CEO Jay Chen.

“With our AI experience with global enterprises, we can help customers achieve high-speed AI training, reduce waiting time, and quickly scale the inference system without building a new engineer team.”

Cloud computing makes corporations more flexible, adaptable and reduces costs by hosting data and applications in the cloud.

AI capabilities work in tandem with cloud computing environments to help organizations manage their data, find patterns and insights from information, improve customer experiences and optimize workflows.

According to Statista, the global AI market is estimated to reach $89 billion annually by 2025, and a significant percentage of which will occur as artificial intelligence powers cloud computing.

Southeast Asian firms more aware of cyber hygiene: Palo Alto study says

Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia, are becoming more aware of the importance of cybersecurity and protection from cyber threats, a survey by a technology corporation revealed.

Surung Sinamo, Country Manager of Palo Alto Networks Indonesia who conducted the report, said in an online forum on Wednesday: “They (countries) are becoming more aware of the importance of preventing and thwarting cyber attacks that can potentially disrupt businesses, as we have seen in the last few years.”

Conducted from 6 to 15 Feb, 2020, right before the spread of coronavirus widened, the survey involved 400 leaders of tech companies from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore.

Palo Alto believes the survey’s findings remain relevant amid the pandemic as more work is being done virtually.

“There are a lot of virtual meetings, companies have accelerated their need (for such meetings) to ensure that their businesses and workers are protected,” Sinamo said.

Of the 100 companies surveyed by Palo Alto in Indonesia, 4 out of 5, or 84% businesses, had increased their budget for cybersecurity in 2020, higher than the average in the region, with 73% of the companies reporting higher cybersecurity budgets.

Almost half of the 84% companies that responded said they allocated most of their total tech budget for cybersecurity, with 71 % saying they increased the budget as cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated.

Furthermore, 70% of the respondents said that cyber attacks had increased, and 69% felt the need to boost their security capacities, including through automation.

76 % of the respondents saw solutions such as antiviruses and anti-malware as important aspects of cybersecurity, while 61% said they had also invested in cloud-based servers, even higher than the global trend (link to W.media article).

Meanwhile, 56 % of the Indonesian companies used software-defined wide area network security and 51% opted for firewalls.

The growing awareness of cybersecurity was also reflected in measures to review standard operational procedure policies annually. These were carried out by 92% of the respondents.

However, 44% reported they were still not confident about their cybersecurity despite that the majority has increased their security investment.

This suggested a demand for more reliable security options among Southeast Asian firms.

Chindata Group releases 2030 carbon-neutral roadmap

Asia’s leading hyperscale data center solution provider Chindata Group published its roadmap to be carbon neutral for all its next-generation hyper-scale data centers in China with its 100% renewable energy solution by 2030, 30 years sooner than China’s 2060 carbon-neutral pledge.

This is part of Chindata Group’s strategy to invest in clean energy with an installed capacity of no less than 2GW by 2030. Recently, the company has already signed renewable energy contracts with local governments, such as Datong and Zhangjiakou of China, totaling 1300 MW of installed capacity.

With accelerated digital transformation, there is a growing demand for carrier-neutral hyperscale data infrastructure, which allows interconnection between multiple telecommunication carriers and/or colocation providers. 

As a result, data centers will require a huge local energy supply. Data center provider thus becomes crucial in helping help tech companies and their users across the world to achieve carbon neutrality. 

As the first-of-its-kind company in China to launch the 2030 carbon neutrality roadmap, Chindata Group says it is committed to work together with partners to progress toward a sustainable future.

While catering to clients’ computing power needs, Chindata Group locate most of its hyperscale data centers in regions with rich wind and solar resources, making it possible to tap local surplus sustainable energy. In 2019 alone, Chindata Group has achieved a portfolio renewable energy mix of 37%.

The second solution is to minimize energy use. Thanks to advances in green technology in green building, IT equipment, and cooling system, in 2019, Chindata Group’s data centers use approximately 27.5% less energy than the global industry average, an equivalent of 173,087 tons of carbon dioxide emissions reduction,  according to Uptime Institute. 

Sustainability has been the buzzword for data centers construction and management in recent years. With Southeast Asia being the key drivers of data center growth, it remains to be seen how players from this region embrace sustainability.

Global data center fire detection and suppression market to grow at 4.5% CAGR during 2019-2025: Arizton

In 2020, calamities unarguably stole the spotlight. With every calamity, there seems to be business opportunities. One such area is fire detection and suppression. The global data center fire detection and suppression market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% during the period 2019−2025, reports Arizton, a market research company.

Around $2 billion investments will be made on fire suppression systems during 2019-2025, the report added. Gaseous fire suppression systems dominate with few operators preferring water-mist suppression systems, as per Arizton’s report.

Among fire detection systems, intelligent detectors are becoming more popular due to lower false alarm chances. Around $750 million will be invested in fire detection and suppression systems across data centers in APAC during 2020-2025, according to the report.

Data center operators also prefer cross-zone detection when adopting a spot smoke detection system. Cross zone detection depends upon the activation of two alarms before subsequent action, such as the opening of a pre-action valve or clean agent discharge. This strategy also minimizes the potential for an unwarranted discharge of a fire suppression system, according to Arizton.

North America dominated the global data center fire detection and suppression systems market for other space and building level. US-based colocation and cloud service providers are building more data centers, boosting the investment in other space/building level fire & safety systems.

Key drivers for the market include the high demand for edge data centers, increased innovations in fire suppression systems, colocation investments boosting fire & safety infrastructure procurement, growth in hyperscale data center.

In addition, the increase in data center outage due to fire-based incidents reinforces the importance of procuring fire-based suppression systems by operator’s data centers. The market will continue to grow through the development of data center facilities worldwide.

The dependency of business over data center and internet exchange points has grown over the years with the demand for internet-based services increasing.

Thus, any type of unusual incidence such as fire can also lead to IT equipment damage and failure of services, which costs much higher than implementing a fire suppression system.

Hoplite Technology, launches a privacy-by-default anti-phishing solution 

With an inherent emphasis in “privacy-by-default”, Hoplite Technology, a cybersecurity SaaS developer, launched a free tool named Anti-Phishing Bot (APBot), a cloud-based solution that uses email sender’s behaviours and community crowdsourcing to protect vulnerable everyday-users from phishing attacks.

A phishing email is a form of cyberattacks where cybercriminals impersonate a trusted party to gain access to sensitive information. Due to the lack of ways to verify the identity of the senders, everyday users without technical training will often find it difficult to distinguish a phishing attack as the red flags are hidden in different parts of an email.

To protect users’ privacy, APBot follows the “privacy-by-default” principle to detect email frauds based on the sender’s behaviour, such as email delivery path, and network profile without reading the email content.

Unlike many anti-phishing solutions are designed for IT Administrators with cybersecurity knowledge, APBot is accessible for everyday users: users can detect and report a phishing email with one click; at the same time, similar emails will be flagged within the APBot community, and through this ecosystem, the detection accuracy of the AI-assisted tool is expected to improve, the company said.

“Traditionally, identifying phishing emails requires training and network knowledge, but APBot has simplified the process. We believe senior citizens and students who are more vulnerable to social engineering will benefit from the protections offered by APBot,” said Antony Ma, Founder at Hoplite Technology and Chairman of Cloud Security Alliance Hong Kong and Macau Chapter

The ease of use is one of the advantages of using APBot which does not require the users to have any relevant training and can be integrated with popular email tools, such as Gmail, Office 365 and Hotmail, as an add-on without software installation.

Modular data center market to double by 2025: Research and Markets

The worldwide modular data center market is expected to grow significantly from $18 billion in 2020 to $37.8 bilion by 2025, as per latest research from Research and Markets.

This growth will be driven by continued demand from all-in-one modules segment and translates to a 15.4 per cent Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).

Modular data centers are manufactured by integrating prefabricated modules that are built inside a factory and shipped to the client site where they assembled, deployed, and commissioned. These data centers are highly scalable and energy-efficient and can be rapidly deployed to meet the clients current and near-term needs.

All-in-one modules segment to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The all-in-one module is a highly integrated containerized data center facility used in enterprise data management, oil exploration, and disaster relief. It is a temporary module usually implemented in cases, wherein data center mobility is a concern, as it comprises modules with cooling, power, and IT systems built inside a single container.

These containerized modules are both portable and energy-efficient and provide an on-site, ready-to-deploy solution, which reduces the installation cost and time. They also enable scalability and flexibility to the IT infrastructure to adjust to the design and size for future deployments.

This advantage of the all-in-one module, wherein organizations can implement scale-out infrastructure is expected to fuel the market for modular data centers.

Further, the APAC region is expected to grow at the highest rate, according to Research and Markets.

APAC to drive growth

With many major developing countries in this region, APAC is expected to contribute significantly to the modular data center market during the forecast period.

More mature markets, including India, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand are also projected to witness mushrooming of new modular data centers in the coming years, the report pointed out.

The rapid growth of social media and the gaming sector in the APAC region has further increased the demand for explicitly scalable architecture that is capable of handling complex operations, which can be met by the effective deployment of modular data center solutions, the report said.

DCI secures Development Approval for new Sydney data center


DCI has got an approval for its latest Asia Pacific data centre development in Sydney, Australia.

DCI is a fully owned portfolio company of Brookfield Asset Management, a leading global alternative asset manager with approximately $550 billion in assets under management across infrastructure, real estate, renewable power, private equity and credit.

This A$400 million (SGD $410 million) facility, named SYD02, will be a new purpose-built project, specifically designed for hyperscale cloud, content and managed service providers, DCI said.

The 36-megawatt (MW) facility is scheduled for service readiness in the fourth quarter of 2022 and will be located in Eastern Creek, a suburb in close proximity to Sydney’s key data centres and connectivity hubs, thereby enabling direct and low latency access to Sydney, the company added.

DCI expects the facility will also set industry-leading benchmarks for water and energy efficiency, utilising new cooling technologies and higher average power densities.

The Tier 3 data center aims to secure public and private cloud demand at the site, with strong physical security.

Investments in data centers are seeing a surge post the pandemic, especially in the Asia Pacific region. In April 2020, global investment banking firm Macquarie acquired an 88% stake in Sydney-based AirTrunk for $3 billion, and the company simultaneously opened data centers in Hong Kong and Singapore, with a new hyperscale data center in Tokyo coming in late 2021. Additionally, Digital Realty Trust Inc bought InterXion Holding NV for $8.8 billion.

Cognizant to acquire Servian, an Australian data and analytics consulting firm

Cognizant will acquire Servian, a Sydney-based, private enterprise transformation consultancy specializing in data analytics, artificial intelligence, digital services, experience design and cloud.

Servian is Cognizant’s 10th digital-focused acquisition announced since January 2020, showing Cognizant’s strategy to accelerate capabilities and growth in priority areas of data and artificial intelligence, digital engineering, cloud, and Internet of Things across the globe, the company said.  Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Cognizant expects the acquisition of Servian to expand its integrated, end-to-end digital transformation capabilities in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) to help clients move to the cloud, build digital products and services, unlock value from data, modernize enterprise applications, and achieve operational efficiency.

“Enterprises in Australia and New Zealand are at an inflexion point in their digital adoption,” said Jane Livesey, CEO, Cognizant Australia and New Zealand. “Cognizant’s extensive digital expertise combined with Servian’s strengths as the premier technology partner in the region will open up the full power of digital transformation for our Australasian clients. We look forward to welcoming Servian’s talented digital-native professionals to Cognizant.”

“Enabling clients to leverage their data assets for accelerating business transformation and driving competitive advantage is at the heart of our success,” said Tony Nicol, Founder and CEO, Servian. “We share Cognizant’s passion for innovation powered by digital technologies. With Cognizant’s deep industry expertise and global scale, we will be able to apply our strengths in strategic advisory, engineering delivery, and managed services across an even broader spectrum of challenges and opportunities presented by the digital economy.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory clearance and other closing conditions.

Digital forensics market to reach $5203.3 million by 2026 

The global digital forensics market size is projected to reach $5203.3 million by 2026, according to research by Valuates Reports.

In 2020, this market was estimated to hit USD 4741.2 million, at a CAGR of 9%, with North America and Asia Pacific regions being the key growth contributors, during the period 2021-2026, according to Valuates research. 

Digital forensics is a technique which includes recovery and interpretation of data found in digital devices for use in a court of law. The digital forensic investigation comprises three stages which includes the acquisition of exhibits, investigation, and reporting. 

Increasing cybercrimes and innovation in digital forensic research show an increasing trend for the digital forensics market in the near future.

The major factors driving the growth of the Digital forensics market size are stringent government regulations, massive use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and the increasing instances of cyber-attacks on enterprises. As a result, businesses and organisations found it crucial to implement digital forensic technologies and services to recover data lost in an unusual event or attack, the report said.

Trends influencing the digital forensics market size

An increase in the use of IoT devices is expected to drive the growth of the digital forensics market size. The prevalence of IoT devices, such as smart transport, vehicle communication, autonomous vehicles and smart homes, has made themselves vulnerable to cyberattacks, the report said.

North America is expected to hold the largest digital forensic market share during the forecast period. 

Another cybersecurity vulnerability also drives the digital forensics market: cryptocurrencies, which is subjected to cyber-attacks on financial gains, geographic rivalry, interpersonal rivalry, and reputation defacement, the report added. 

An effective digital forensic solution is necessary to regenerate sensitive data that may have been lost during cryptocurrency storage or trade. 

Another key application of digital forensics lies in private and criminal investigations. Factors such as increasing Internet penetration, the use of electronic devices and smart devices, among others, have contributed to a spike in cyberattacks across the globe. 

The rising severity of cyberattacks is expected to further fuel the demand for digital forensic market size. Many companies in the region have embraced cloud technologies to streamline work processes. In addition, the rapid penetration of mobile devices, such as smartphones, and laptops, to support business continuity has further accelerated the frequency of cyberattacks in the region.

The North American digital forensics market’s main growth driver is the widespread adherence to data enforcement regulations by all businesses and the rapid introduction of cloud computing.  Asia Pacific region is expected to witness the highest growth during the forecast period due to increasing instances of cybercrimes, the report said.

 

Mindset launches India Subsidiary

Minnesota headquartered Mindset, a global leader in the delivery of UX and experience-driven software and solutions built for the SAP platform, announced its Indian subsidiary, Mindset Experience India Private Limited. 

This move is a part of Mindset’s ongoing vision of building increasingly strong SAP capabilities in the region, the company said in a statement. The Mindset in India team will be located in Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

“Our expansion to India will help Mindset in achieving three key objectives,” said Mindset CEO, Gavin Quinn. “First it will provide greater global scale to our growing SAP S/4HANA practice. Next, it allows us to build a comprehensive world-class team in India that will provide end-to-end capabilities rather than simply being an offshore implementation and delivery wing. Finally, it will position us to better expand our business capabilities for our Asia Pacific customers.”

The India subsidiary will be led by Parvathy Sankar who has joined Mindset as the Managing Director (APJ) and Vice President of Product Strategy for Mindset. 

Parvathy Sankar, an MBA from IMD International Switzerland and an alumnus of NIT Trichy, joined Mindset in August 2020 following 21 plus years of experience across India, Germany, and Belgium. In her sixteen and half years at SAP, she led several strategic projects in various roles across R&D, HR, Solution and Product Management. Most recently, she was Senior Director for Strategic Projects in SAP S/4HANA Product Management and Co-innovation heading strategic projects in Product Management. Leveraging her broad experience in the SAP world, Parvathy will ensure successful growth of Mindset’s portfolio, with Mindset subsidiary in India as one of its key vehicles.

“After months of laying the groundwork it is very exciting to finally welcome our teams and share the news of the start of Mindset operations in India,” added Parvathy Sankar. “We start with a strong team that we plan to quadruple over the midterm. It’s a testimony to Mindset’s culture that all employees from our long term partner, Quality Ideas CyberTech Private Limited will join us as we start our journey in India. The Mindset team in India will be a seamless part of US Headquarters focusing on driving the value-add products of Mindset. We will, from India, bring Mindset’s state-of-art philosophy of design-centric and experience-based solutions to SAP customers around the world.”

An SAP Partner, Mindset is one of the leaders in innovation and design-centric enablement utilizing the next generation of the SAP development platform. Mindset is the provider of choice for leading organizations that rely on SAP to drive their businesses. Mindset’s solutions include Design, Custom Development, Implementation Services, Strategic Services and Managed Services utilizing SAP’s S/4HANA, Cloud, Fiori, IoT, EWM and Mobile platforms. Mindset’s Software Solutions include the Mindset App Analyzer for Fiori, Mindset’s TM Driver, and Mindset SafeTransport.  The company also provides SAP Experts for the full spectrum of SAP products.

Since 2010, Mindset has helped leading global organizations to leverage user experience (UX) and advanced development to meet today’s emerging business demands.

Shinji Murakami joined Cognizant as the Head of Japan

Shinji Murakami has joined Cognizant as the Head of Japan and a member of Cognizant’s Global Growth Markets (GGM) leadership team effective Jan. 4, 2021. 

Murakami has more than 30 years’ experience leading managed services, mobile communications, business development and go-to-market strategies in the IT industry. Prior to Cognizant, he was the Managing Executive Officer of Microsoft’s Enterprise Group, where he led the sales team focused on engaging the C-suite across verticals, helping clients drive digital transformation. 

Prior to his post in Microsoft, Murakami spent 12 years at Hewlett Packard as General Manager of Enterprise Services for Japan. He has also held senior leadership roles at Softbank Telecom, IBM and DXC Technology.

Based in Tokyo, Murakami has long-time relationships with the business and technology communities in Japan. As the head of Cognizant Japan KK, Cognizant’s Japan subsidiary, he will lead the strategic expansion of Cognizant in Japan, helping customers in Japan respond to changing technology trends and market demands.

“Japan is one of the strategic markets where we have been significantly increasing our presence over the last few years,” said Ursula Morgenstern, President, Global Growth Markets, Cognizant. 

“I am pleased to welcome Shinji Murakami to drive the next wave of growth for Cognizant in this important market. I am confident that with his extensive business, technology and consulting experience, Shinji san will be able to further enhance our leading-edge advisory and delivery capabilities in Japan and help our clients further accelerate innovation.”

“I am honoured to be a part of Cognizant at a time when Japan is sharpening its focus on building a digital society,” said Murakami. 

“I look forward to helping Japanese businesses benefit from Cognizant’s leadership in enabling digital transformation while providing further momentum to our operations in Japan and providing a stronger experience to our talented employees in the country.”

Cognizant’s approximately 700 professionals in Japan serve more than 60 customers, including top insurance, life sciences, telecommunications, technology and manufacturing companies. Established in April 2008, Cognizant Japan KK has offices in Tokyo and Osaka. 

SUSE appoints former Salesforce and SAP Account Director as first Southeast Asia Managing Director for next growth frontier

SUSE, a global leader in open source solutions, has appointed Isabella Kusumawati as its Vice President and Managing Director for Southeast Asia, a recognition of the region as an important market.

Ms. Kusumawati aims to significantly increase revenue in the region in the next three years by recruiting partners and top talent to reap the benefits of untapped business opportunities in one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the world, despite SUSE acknowledging that Asia Pacific enterprises, large retailers, and brands are lagging in their platform strategies, putting them at a competitive risk.

“Our customers are looking for choice; they demand open technologies that help them drive their business outcomes. We are currently hiring aggressively as we look to expand the team to help our customers, communities and partners leverage open source solutions,” said Ms. Kusumawati.

In Nielsen’s What’s Next in Southeast Asia, the global measurement and data analytics company calls Southeast Asia the next growth frontier. It is an emerging market that is home to the fast-growing population with stable GDP growth and high digital connectivity, which increases the desire for more innovation in the region. 

Digital transformation is crucial for businesses to thrive and open source is playing a major role that delivers a robust foundation in the modern IT landscape, as well as cost efficiencies and innovation.

“The trend of enterprises leveraging open source technology will rise drastically like never before as it allows companies to develop an ecosystem that can advance faster innovation, enabling unprecedented scale, adaptability and additional new features supporting changing trends and customer demands,” added Ms. Kusumawati. 

Ms. Kusumawati is a senior sales leader with 17 years of experience in sales management, including new market and business development for tech companies such as Salesforce, SAP, Oracle and Microsoft. 

Phillip Miltiades, the President of SUSE Asia Pacific and Japan, said: “With the digital economy in Southeast Asia growing at a rapid pace, I am confident under Isabella’s leadership that she will be successful in building the market and growing SUSE’s business.”

Ntuple becomes first South Korean company to join the World Economic Forum’s Global Innovators Community

Ntuple, a leader in application programming interfaces (API) and micro-services lifecycle management, became the first company from South Korea to join the World Economic Forum’s Global Innovators’ Community, a highly selective group of the ‘most promising scale-ups driving the technological and business model innovation’.

Companies who are invited to become Global Innovators have the opportunity to engage with the public and private sector leaders and the Forum’s Platforms to help define the global agenda on key issues.

“The World Economic Forum is excited to have Ntuple join the Global Innovators Community. We look forward to engaging Ntuple in our Platform activities and showcase how the potential of API economy can help businesses adapt to digital transformation and advance digital content safety,” Cathy Li, Head of Media, Entertainment and Sports Industries at the World Economic Forum

On top of being the first company in South Korea to join the Community, Ntuple is also the first in the API economy to be welcomed.

“The API economy is experiencing phenomenal growth. Unbeknownst to most, every major economic shift of the last 25 years has had APIs at the heart of it — from e-commerce, to the cloud, and across social networks,” said Min Park, Founder and CEO of Ntuple.

Upon joining the Community, Ntuple seeks to partner with other companies to power the evolution to the API economy by connecting legacy systems with modern ones, thus reducing the need to reinvest in entirely new systems. 

“Ntuple will work with the World Economic Forum to broaden global understanding of API and micro-services, and their respective roles in advancing digital transformation, and work with private and public member organisations to promote the role of the API economy as a worldwide economic driver,” Mr. Park added.

SyncTree, Ntuple’s no-coding API solution platform, provides a secure solution for integrating and connecting legacy systems, orchestrating complex functions with inputs from multiple sources on a serverless basis, a B2B Marketplace for APIs, and a platform to develop and manage APIs and microservices, through a simple drag and drop interface. 

SyncTree not only significantly reduces the time and capital required for digital transformation journeys, but in the ever-expanding API Economy, it also provides a more practical execution by enabling a modular approach without having to affect overall system process and integrity. 

“To quantify the impact of SyncTree, for a top five national securities firm, 50% of costs related to increasing and maintaining high levels of security against cyberthreats have been reduced as they transform towards a 100% digital firm with a circular economy framework built-in. We have witnessed the same levels of efficiencies with projects carried out by the MXA Group and GOLS in Hong Kong,” commented Joe Wong, the CSO of Ntuple. 

Ntuple and SyncTree aspires to achieve high levels of diversity and inclusion to encourage greater innovation.

“For innovation and inclusion to work hand in hand, one must imagine it as an intersectionality of identities, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, class, marital status and age, and how they overlap and intersect in dynamic ways that can collectively shape and further social change on a global level. My personal principle is that we must ensure everyone who has a voice receives the fundamental right to be heard,” said Kenneth Kwok, the CIO of Ntuple.

With its membership into the Global Innovators Community, Ntuple aims to propel its growth through a triangular intersectional approach of impact in the circular economy, innovation through futureproofing cybersecurity and social inclusion.

CIC and ZALL uses enhanced digital connectivity to launch Digital Silk Road initiative

Commodities Intelligence Centre (CIC), ZALL Smart Commerce and Singapore’s Blockchain for Trade & Connectivity Network have jointly launched a Digital Silk Road initiative.

The initiative will combine Singapore’s first blockchain-powered global physical commodities B2B e-trade platform with ZALL’s latest global digital trading platform Zallgo to help businesses in Singapore uncover new digital trade opportunities through enhanced digital connectivity.

“As digital trade becomes the new engine of global economic growth, digital connectivity becomes increasingly important for companies to expand their market footprint quickly in a safe and secure manner,” said Peter Yu, the CEO of CIC.

The new partnerships forged with the Digital Silk Road initiative and BTC Network is expected to strengthen CIC’s existing networks in the region, enabling SMEs to optimise their supply chains in cross-border trade through their ecosystem in Asia.

“CIC is well-placed to provide the necessary tools and guidance in promoting greater efficiency and transparency across global supply chains to help SMEs embrace the power of digitalisation to explore opportunities, casting their net wider, reaching out to a larger pool of reliable partners and suppliers beyond their usual reach,” added Mr. Yu.

The new initiative also aims to boost trade across the Asia Pacific region on the back of the world’s largest trade pact, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The newly established partnerships underscore the increasingly important strategic role of CIC in facilitating the expansion of regional trade and investment, as it aims to develop more than 10 winning commodities that will be popular worldwide over the next three to five years.

Earlier this month, CIC, along with five other commercial partners, launched BTC Network to drive innovation and test-bedding of blockchain solutions with multimodal global supply chain companies, digital trading platforms and technologies.

BTC Network is supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) to develop a risk assessment framework for small and medium-sized enterprises to assess how blockchain can boost their business.

Since the start of the year, CIC’s platform has reported an increase of more than 20% in customers joining their platform compared to the same period last year. The company also saw a surge in online transactions with over 4,000 customers searching for trading opportunities on the platform daily.

“We have withstood the test of the pandemic and have witnessed the impact of the industrial internet economy on global trade and investment,” said Mr. Yu.

CIC has since achieved a gross merchandise volume of US$13.2 billion (S$17.6 billion), with over 5,200 registered users covering markets, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and China, among other countries in Asia.

With the new initiative, CIC will look to further boost China-ASEAN trading opportunities and facilitate commodities trading via enhanced digital connectivity. 

CIC is a joint venture between Singapore Exchange and Global eTrade Services.

Seagate launches two new gaming storage products

In collaboration with PlayStation, Marvel, and Crystal Dynamics, Seagate has announced the launch of two new storage products, which will upgrade the capacity and performance of gamers’ experience. 

 

The hard drives are compatible with the PS4 and PS4 Pro systems, offering 2TB of capacity, USB 3.0 connectivity, plug-and-play functionality, and instant add-on storage.

 

Seagate has also released the only external storage device that enables users to achieve the same performance as Xbox Velocity Architecture, enabling backward compatibility across all previous versions of Xbox.

The custom storage card delivers an additional 1 TB of external storage for a streamlined gaming experience, replicating the speed and performance of the consoles’ internal SSDs and Xbox Velocity Architecture.

Avast identifies new cybersecurity threat targeting Mongolian Government data center

Avast, a global leader in cybersecurity and privacy software, has identified a new advanced persistent threats (APT) campaign targeting government agencies and a government data center in Mongolia. 

 

Avast researchers consider a Chinese-speaking APT group to be the attacker, however, the actual objective of the group remains unknown

 

The likely culprit, LuckyMouse, otherwise known as EmissaryPanda and APT27, is infamous for attacking national resources and political information in China’s neighbouring countries. 

 

Avast found out that the techniques used by the group are different from previous attacks. This time, they use both keyloggers and backdoors to gain long-term access and upload a variety of tools that they used to scan the Mongolian Government networks and dump credentials.

 

“The APT group Lucky Mouse has been active since Autumn 2017 and has been able to avoid Avast attention in the last two years due to their evolving techniques and marked change of tactics,” said Luigino Camastra, a Malware Researcher at Avast.

 

The APT group compromised the Mongolian government in two ways. First, by accessing a vulnerable service provider of the Government to gain entry into government institutions, and secondly, by sending malicious emails with weaponised documents via an unpatched CVE-2017-11882 vulnerability.

 

We were able to detect their new tactics to discover this campaign targeting the Mongolian government, showing how they’ve scaled their operations to be more advanced to gain longer term access to sensitive data,” added Mr. Camastra.

 

The finding is corroborated by Slovak security firm ESET, who found that the hackers targeted an add-on that provides instant messaging capability to a human resource management (HRM) platform by Able Software. According to the company’s website, this HRM platform is used by more than 430 Mongolian Government agencies, including the Office of President and the Ministry of Justice, among others.   

 

Earlier this year, some Chinese-speaking APT threat actors were found to be actively targeting regional inter-governmental organisations in Asia and Africa, found Kaspersky, a Russian multinational security provider. 

 

In Kaspersky’s report, compromised IT or managed security service providers also appear to be a potential vector of targeted delivery. The majority of the visible activity in the second quarter of 2020 appeared to be in Mongolia, Vietnam and Myanmar. The number of affected systems is estimated to be over thousands. 

 

It appears that the scope and sophistication of government-targeted cyberattacks are increasing.

Preparing Indonesia’s digital infrastructure for Southeast Asia’s booming digital economy

Southeast Asia has overtaken China as the leading mobile economy hotspot, with most of the growth happening in Indonesia, according to DCI Indonesia.

The region accounts for around 10% of the world’s total Internet users, with Indonesia reaching 175.4 million users, which is 64% of the country’s population, representing a growth of 20% or 29 million new users over the past two years.

As a result, Indonesia is expected to be one of the major three fastest-growing e-commerce countries globally along with India and Malaysia.

Meanwhile, the archipelago’s digital economy is expected to be the largest in Southeast Asia. According to the annual e-Conomy Southeast Asia study by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company, Indonesia’s market value is expected to triple to US$309 billion by 2025, driven by the rise of e-commerce, ride-hailing and online gaming.

Nevertheless, DCI Indonesia believes the country needs to upgrade the underdeveloped digital infrastructure that limits the public and private sector from reaping the full benefits of this billion dollar opportunity.

To do so, investing in ICT is key, especially data center and network capabilities, as these are backbones to the successful implementation of innovative technologies.

And with the growing volumes of data, in-house or multi-tenant data center operators in Indonesia need to prepare to meet increasing expectations  for seamless digital experiences.

“There are tremendous opportunities ahead, the cloud is growing exponentially along with the booming digital economy, and they need to provide infrastructure to cater for the cloud. The advantages are undoubtedly driving demand and fueling recent growth of new hyperscale facilities in Indonesia,” said Philbert Shih, the Managing Director of Structure Research.

As internet users in the mass market and enterprises begin to use various infrastructure outsourcing models, hyperscale cloud and data centers are set to take full advantage in growing cities like Jakarta where capacity in 2025 is projected to reach 198.5 MW, with a maximum build out of 236.3 MW. 

Hyperscale will also create demand for wholesale colocation to house the supporting infrastructure and drive uptake of interconnection services to integrate and scale with cloud services.

The wholesale data center colocation portion of the market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 43.5% between now and 2025, reaching approximately 131.2 MW of capacity in five years.

DCI Indonesia built a 200MW facility spanning 85,000 square meters in Greater Jakarta last year, the first largest hyperscale campus in Indonesia, to meet future capacity needs. 

“As of today, we continue to witness strong market demand from our current customers as well as global business players looking to enter the market,” said Toto Sugiri, the CEO of DCI Indonesia.

To keep up with demand, DCI Indonesia has also completed the final stages of their newest data center, JK5, which has a current capacity of 15 MW, adding an additional 20% from current capacity built out in Indonesia.

This research and trends show Indonesia as a “hotspot” for hyperscale data center investment within the next five years, driven by the rise in cloud adoption. The entry of Google, Alibaba Cloud, and AWS into Indonesia also demonstrates a developing interest in the country as a substitute for Singapore.

As a result, Indonesia is set to be the fastest growing market for data centers in Southeast Asia, with a growth rate of 22% per annum over the next five years.

Atos to transform its data center with Hitachi Vantara’s new solutions

Hong Kong IT services company and data center owner Atos has selected Hitachi Vantara to transform its data center by reducing its data silos and digitalising its enterprise infrastructure.

Hitachi Vantara will improve the efficiency of Atos’ services through increased automation and optimisation.

Atos has a diverse mix of storage devices and architectures, including standard block-based storage area network, network-attached storage and hyperconverged infrastructure models, which led to a build-up of multiple data solos over time. 

Additionally, its network and storage administration team has to manage a diverse collection of devices while assigning capacity for the client environment, which proved to be increasingly time-consuming. 

“It was essential to simplify our data infrastructure and remove unnecessary silos to better support our clients’ business priorities,” said Herbie Leung, Atos CEO for Asia Pacific. 

The recently announced Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform 5000 Series will be part of the solution, which provides powerful NVMe flash storage as the foundation for enterprise infrastructure. 

Hitachi Ops Center will also monitor and automate storage provisioning to ensure that Atos’ clients can access additional capacity whenever required.

Meanwhile, Lumada DataOps Suite will enable the collection and integration of information from event and performance logs from its storage and network hardware into a data lake before running analytics to monitor current infrastructure performance.

“We have experienced increased benefits in speed, flexibility and simplicity, which are key to driving innovation for our clients,” added Mr. Leung.

Atos saw a reduction in data center footprint by 75% and power consumption by 69%, as well as a reduced total cost of ownership by 20%.

“We are thrilled to continue our long-standing relationship with Atos. Atos has modern data infrastructure powering data management and adapting to future business requirements ,” said Andrew Sampson, Vice President and General Manager of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan for Hitachi Vantara.

Through this strategic partnership, Atos hopes to remain competitive with other public cloud providers. Its Hong Kong and Macau clients expected to benefit from improved efficiency in Atos’ enterprise content management, application hosting, infrastructure and data management services across three data centers.

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