Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Veda Partners With IBM And Prepares For Next Phase Of Growth

Veda Partners With IBM And Prepares For Next Phase Of Growth

Veda Partners with IBM and Prepares for Next Phase of Growth

SYDNEY, Aug. 21, 2014 /Source: PRNewswire/ — IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it has signed a five-year multimillion dollar agreement with Veda (ASX: VED), a leading provider of credit information and analysis in Australia and New Zealand. The agreement extends Veda’s existing strategic outsourcing relationship with IBM, which continues to provide Veda with a highly reliable and resilient infrastructure, and now includes cloud services.

IBM LOGO

The contract reflects the deep partnership between IBM and Veda, and the value that the partnership has delivered to our business,” said Veda’s CEO Nerida Caesar. “Being a business based on using data and analytics to provide insights, we are constantly looking at the best way to manage and deliver the most accurate insights to our clients. To this end, we have already deployed one of our systems that supports comprehensive credit reporting (CCR) on IBM’s flexible infrastructure.”

This extended agreement assists Veda’s growth strategy, as it provides a scalable solution to support Veda’s introduction of CCR products in response to the credit industry’s most significant reform in recent times.

Included as part of the amendments to the Privacy Act 1988, CCR requires five additional data fields in order to provide a more complete picture of a consumer’s credit activity. Veda expects that the volume and mix of data relating to credit reporting will grow rapidly as companies realise the benefits of CCR. This prompted Veda to expand its relationship with IBM, to support the expected growth of data and analysis that CCR will bring.

Veda’s customers range from financial services organisations, utility companies and telecommunications providers, with its core product offering being the provision of credit reports in relation to individuals and businesses. It carries credit information on 20 million individuals and 5.7 million commercial entities in Australia and New Zealand.

We are excited to support Veda as it navigates through a significant time of transformation within the credit reporting industry. The ability to support clients during phases of critical growth in a complex business environment is what differentiates IBM as the leading infrastructure and cloud service provider,” said Jeffrey Rhoda, General Manager, IBM Australia and New Zealand.

Veda listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in December last year and is continuing to grow its product and market portfolio. The IBM project will be a key strategic pillar to support Veda’s growth plans.

About IBM Cloud Computing

Today, IBM has 100+ cloud SaaS solutions, thousands of experts with deep industry knowledge helping clients transform and a network of 40 data centers worldwide. Since 2007, IBM has invested more than $7 billion in 17 acquisitions to accelerate its cloud initiatives and build a high value cloud portfolio. IBM holds 1,560 cloud patents focused on driving innovation. In fact, IBM for the 21st consecutive year topped the annual list of US patent leaders. IBM processes more than 5.5M client transactions daily through IBM’s public cloud. For more information about cloud offerings from IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com/cloud. Follow us on Twitter at @IBMcloud and on our blog at http://www.thoughtsoncloud.com. Join the conversation #ibmcloud.

About Veda

Veda (ASX:VED) is a data analytics company and the leading provider of credit information and analysis in Australia and New Zealand. From its core credit bureau business established in 1967, Veda has expanded to deliver a suite of credit and other analytical products targeted to specific industry segments.

Veda is built on the largest, most comprehensive and current data source in Australia and New Zealand with information on over 20 million credit active people and 5.7 million commercial entities. The breadth and depth of our data, and the knowledge it delivers help customers take a proactive and informed approach in making decisions.

Veda’s customers use data intelligence provided by Veda to make decisions on credit risk, verify identity and employee background, reduce identity theft and fraud, and undertake digital marketing strategies. www.veda.com.au

SOURCE IBM

Pinup: Wearable’s Specifically For Teenagers On The Rise

Pinup: Wearable’s Specifically For Teenagers On The Rise

Pinup: Wearable’s Specifically For Teenagers On The Rise

Teenagers have nothing in common with calorie counters, and the guys and girls behind wearable technology have taken note of that. An entirely new breed of wearable technology will be emerging in the near future, and will be targeted at teenagers and what they like to do. This includes extending imaginations and engaging social behavior between the teenage populations.

adam-adelman

Mighty Cast is one of the many companies who are developing the wearable technology for young adults, while Juno Baby, Adam Adelman’s company, did focus groups just a few years ago. The focus groups were for the purpose of testing a story concept for children, which was a fantasy story that featured a magical charm bracelet. The bracelets enabled members of a secret society to message and contact each other, which did not go well.

The test group did not go well because the members, teenagers, just wanted to know where they could get the magical bracelet from the story. This lead Adelman and colleagues with a very big decision; ignore the demand, or supply. Adelman is now the CEO, almost three years later, of Mighty Cast, who is currently producing the magical charm bracelet.

nexband

(Image Source: MightyCast.com)

This bracelet, the NEX Band, is the first modular smart band and is targeting the tween, teen and young adult age groups. The band can track friends through the proximity, act as a game console worn on the wrist, which enables different powers and can be used to message friends. Wearers can add in different charms, or ‘mods’, to change how their bracelet functions. Adelman has said that the NEX Band’s modularity holds the biggest advantage because the band has the ability to grow with the wearer. Even though the young testers of the band are interested in the games, the older children are interested in the fashion components, the customization notifications and the proximity features.

Mighty Cast has put bets down that since the new modifications are able to be added while the technology develops over time and also as the wearer changes, the modularity will protect against the obsolescence that will come from the NEX Band.

A million dollar grant was recently won by Might Cast from the Canadian government, for the purpose of developing and bringing the story to life of the NEX Band’s platform. This will be done through an application that will enable users to play on their NEX Band, and will be a social, mobile-based game where users will find each other through the proximity with total ease. Unlocking secrets and exchanging moods between players, or users, will be enabled. Users will also be able to create their own content that will be user-generated, and suited to them specifically.

However, when it comes to the overall design of the NEX Band, that’s where it gets tricky. Fashion-conscious teens still exist, and to ensure that teenagers will actually wear the band, Adelman has turned to the users for the design process.

By Linda Green

Cloud Infographic: Startup Soup – Hot or Cold?

Cloud Infographic: Startup Soup – Hot or Cold?

Cloud Infographic: Startup Soup – Hot or Cold?

It is not easy running a startup, but it’s getting much easier due to the availability and low cost of Cloud computing and its related services.  This will inevitably mean more competition, but with the growing interest in Big Data, IoT, Cloud Computing, Wearable Technology and Clean Technology, there will be a tremendous number of options to demonstrate innovation.

The bad news is that most of the startups don’t last past the first few years as seen in the infographic provide by SurePayroll.com.  However, the good news is that VC’s are out in full-force spending boatloads on new products and services. This is very good news to startups which are innovative, stick through the tough times and make smart sound business decisions.

startups-cloud

The San Jose Earthquakes – Wearable Tech In Pro Sports

The San Jose Earthquakes – Wearable Tech In Pro Sports

The San Jose Earthquakes – Wearable Tech In Pro Sports

Wearable tech’s primary market so far has been early-adopting consumers and tech-addicts. While the demographic is slowly starting to broaden thanks to increased choice and tumbling prices, some demographics and industries are still being overlooked. Last week we looked at wearable tech in the workplace, and another such area is wearable tech in professional sport. Although more and more professional sports teams and athletes are using wearable tech, it is still at an early phase in its development.

382px-San_Jose_EarthquakesOne sports team that has recently started to take huge advantage of wearable tech is Silicon Valley’s resident Major League Soccer side San Jose Earthquakes. The team are one of the more successful of the US soccer landscape having won the MLS Cup in 2001 and 2003 and the Supporters’ Shield in 2005 and 2012. Now they are looking to give themselves another competitive edge with the introduction of the latest gadgets that the industry has to offer.

The San Jose Earthquakes have now made devices to monitor performance and conditioning metrics mandatory at all training sessions and their manager Mark Watson is optimistic about their impact. “We’re excited about it, and we’re trying to integrate it as much as we can into what we do”, Watson said. “As much as you’re used to doing things a certain way, if you can get this immediate feedback and metrics then put it into use it’s an incredible tool”.

At the moment the Earthquakes are focussing on using Adidas undershirts with a small pocket between the shoulder blades for a sensor. It means coaches on the sidelines can keep track of heart rates, how far players have run, and fast they can go – all by using an iPad app that has a delay of mere seconds. Currently, Watson believes one of their biggest benefits is keeping a record of how long a player’s heart rate is elevated for, and also ensuring that they drop back into the ‘red zones’ during rest periods.

Despite the manager’s enthusiasm, there are still concerns. Short term, player are having to deal with the difficulty and discomfort of wearing a restrictive band round the chest or uncomfortable monitor round their bicep. It doesn’t necessarily sound like a major problem, but in a sport where freedom of movement and quick removal of sweat are essential, some players feel like they cannot perform as well when they are wearing tech.

Longer term issues could be more thorny for the club themselves. For example, what role should biometric data and player performance feedback play in the contract and salary negotiation process? Can stats even reveal all the facts about professional sportsmen and women’s abilities? Maybe in baseball, but almost certainly not in a sport as nuanced and variable as soccer.

For now though, San Jose are just using the tech to learn about fitness variables. “We’re taking the more basic data that it gives us”, Watson said. “The most important things are heart rate and some sort of equation that builds in a generalized figure for workload”. They are even going as far as to hire data scientists to crunch the various numbers with additional big data analytics tools.

It promises to be a huge area of potential growth for wearable tech over the coming years. The early adopters could reap vast rewards.

(Image Source:  The logo is from the http://www.vflnet.com. Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of San Jose Earthquakes via Wikipedia)

By Daniel Price

vArmour Raises $36 Million To Protect The Data Defined Perimeter

vArmour Raises $36 Million To Protect The Data Defined Perimeter

Menlo Ventures, Columbus Nova Technology Partners and Citi Ventures Contribute Funds to Accelerate Development of Disruptive Technology, Scale to Meet Global DemandvArmour

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA–(Source: Marketwired – Aug 20, 2014)vArmour, a stealth security company designed to protect the new data defined perimeter for enterprises, today announced it has raised $36 million in funding, including a Series B round closed in December 2013 ($15 million) led by Menlo Ventures and a Series C round closed in August 2014 ($21 million) led by Columbus Nova Technology Partners (CNTP), Citi Ventures and Work-Bench Ventures, bringing total company funding to $42 million. vArmour will use the capital to scale development and sales teams to help the enterprise protect their new data defined perimeter in today’s reality of pervasive virtualization, constant threats and advanced security breaches.

“vArmour has the escape velocity to completely disrupt the security industry,” said Mohsen Moazami, Founder and Managing Director, CNTP. “We went all in on vArmour as I’m confident that vArmour’s continued growth will deliver a solution for the enterprise that can visualize, manage and ultimately protect the data center in a way we’ve never seen before.”

Our investment in vArmour is a testament to the potential for its technology to shape the future of enterprise security for the data center,” said Arvind Purushotham, Managing Director at Citi Ventures. “As an organization that supports billions of secure transactions per day, Citi is dedicated to consumer trust and vArmour’s management team shares our vision for the importance of enterprise security.”

Three-fourths of organizations have active command-and-control communications, indicating that attackers have control of breached systems and are possibly already receiving data from them.* As massive, growing amounts of data continue to be distributed on a global scale, security controls need to move deep into the data center and be as dynamic as the applications and data they protect. There, at the data defined perimeter, vArmour provides the needed protection dynamically and securely by giving enterprises instant visibility and control of their East/West traffic flows for both old and new data centers architectures.

Advanced targeted attacks are easily bypassing traditional firewalls and signature-based prevention mechanisms. All organizations should now assume that they are in a state of continuous compromise. However, organizations have deluded themselves into believing that 100 percent prevention is possible, and they have become overly reliant on blocking-based and signature-based mechanisms for protection. As a result, most enterprises have limited capabilities to detect and respond to breaches when they inevitably occur, resulting in longer ‘dwell times’ and increased damage,” wrote Neil MacDonald and Peter Firstbrook of Gartner.** “In reality, going forward, improved prevention, detection, response and prediction capabilities are all needed to deal with all types of attacks, ‘advanced’ or not. Furthermore, these should not be viewed as siloed capabilities; rather, they should work intelligently together as an integrated, adaptive system to constitute a complete protection process for advanced threats.”

As part of the investments, Pravin Vazirani, general partner at Menlo Ventures and Mohsen Moazami, CNTP, will both join the vArmour Board of Directors. Recently, Lane Bess and Dave Stevens, both previous CEOs of Palo Alto Networks, were also announced as investors and vArmour board members, offering their combined 60 years of experience leading and growing security, data center and tech start-ups, including current roles at Brocade and Zscaler. The company, which has been in stealth-mode since its founding in January 2011, previously announced a $6 million Series A led by Highland Capital in January 2013 and is now prepared to launch later in 2014.
Our investors saw first-hand vArmour’s large scale deployments of advanced data center security technology on a global basis and they realized that we have created something extremely valuable that solves a strategic issue for the enterprise,” said Tim Eades, vArmour CEO. “Today, our board represents some of the best minds in security with Lane and Dave from Palo Alto Networks, now joined by Mohsen from CNTP and Pravin from Menlo. With our all-star team throughout the US, EMEA and APAC, we’re in the best position to bring this technology to market and forever change the rules for security in the data center.”

Those interested in learning more about the newly defined data perimeter and East/West traffic flows are invited to attend an upcoming webinar on August 20. For more information on the webinar, presented by vArmour, distinguished ESG analyst Jon Oltsik and Demetrios “Laz” Lazarikos, Blue Lava Consulting IT Security Strategist and former CISO for Sears Online, visit vArmour.com.

vArmour is continuing to grow and is aggressively hiring at all levels. For those interested in learning more, visit vArmour.com.

*Source: FireEye

**Source: Gartner, Designing an Adaptive Security Architecture for Protection From Advanced Attacks, 12 February 2014 G00259490, Neil MacDonald | Peter Firstbrook

About vArmour

Based in Mountain View, Calif., vArmour is a stealth security company focused on securing the data defined perimeter of enterprises. The company has raised $42 million in funding led by Highland Capital Partners, Menlo Ventures, Columbus Nova Technology Partners and Citi Ventures. Executives from NetScreen, Juniper Networks, Silver Tail Systems, Citrix, Riverbed and IBM lead the company, which will launch in 2014. Learn more at www.varmour.com.

Wearable Technology To Monitor Disease

Wearable Technology To Monitor Disease

Wearable Technology To Monitor Disease

Technology has something for everything these days, now even disease monitoring. A wearable vapor sensor that is currently under development at the University of Michigan might just offer disease monitoring continuously for patients who have diabetes, lung disease, anemia and high blood pressure. The market for wearable technology itself is exploding and expected to go up to $14 billion by the next four years or so.

The sensor will be able to detect chemicals that are airborne, from either being released through the skin or exhaled from the lungs, and will most likely be one of the first, if not the only, piece of wearable technology that will be able to pick up on a broad array of not physical, but chemical attributes. The researchers at the University of Michigan are working together with the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps program for the purpose of moving the gadget out of the labs and into the market.

When it comes to wearable technology, everything that could ever be done, is about to get done. Technology has come a long way, from the first ever computer all the way to a piece of technology that can be worn to monitor someone who has issues with their diabetes. The world we live in is truly extraordinary, and technology has yet to slow down.

Each disease that can be detected by the device has its own special biomarker, such as acetone for diabetes. It will also be able to detect oxygen and nitric oxide and abnormal levels overall which could further pinpoint lung disease, anemia and high blood pressure, to name a few. The sensor will also be able to identify a broader array of chemicals as well. The sensor is being developed by Fan and Zhaohui Zhong, who is an associate professor of computer engineering and electrical, as well Girish Kulkarni, who is a doctoral candidate in electrical engineering. The researchers have said that the device is smaller, more reliable and faster than the counterparts that are too bulky and big to be worn.

The sensor also has applications that have the ability to register and notify of a hazardous chemical presence in places like a lab, or public area. This application alone could save lives, and will prove itself to be extremely beneficial to those who work in careers or industries that are surrounded by chemicals. Once the sensor has detected a chemical leak, data about the overall air quality will be provided.

With our platform technology,” says Zhong, “we are able to measure a wide variety of chemicals at the same time, or modify the device to target specific chemicals. There are limitless possibilities here.

The researchers, to create this piece of technology, took an extremely unique approach when it comes to detecting molecules. Kulkarni says that, “Nanoelectronic sensors typically depend on detecting charge transfer between the sensor and a select molecule that is currently in the air at the time, or in the solution.”

By Linda Green

Standardizing The Cloud

Standardizing The Cloud

Standardizing The Cloud

Cloud computing has come a long way in a very short amount of time; however, if the cloud is to reach its highest potential, industry, government and consumers need to collaborate on the creation of global standards.

Currently, there is very little consistency with how the cloud is managed across the world. The recently released EU Data Protection Directive attempts to standardize the cloud across Europe but more needs to be done.

Why does standardizing the cloud matter?

standards-cloud

Why in the world would we want more legislation and red tape surrounding the cloud? As alluded to earlier, if the cloud is to reach its greatest heights then some standards governing it are needed.

At the moment, it is difficult for large enterprises to invest in cloud computing, as they need to ensure their data is protected, accessible and secure across the world. If there were a standard, global protocol, these concerns would be alleviated and more resources would be provided to help grow and expand on the current cloud infrastructure. What areas need to be standardized?

A recent study conducted by Booz & Company highlighted 9 areas that need to be standardized when governing the cloud. They include:

1. Efficiency of Service Provisioning
2. Effectiveness of Service Usage and Control
3. Transparency of Service Delivery and Billing
4. Information Security
5. Data Privacy
6. Interoperability
7. Portability Between Providers
8. Enabling Fair Competition in the Market
9. Compliance with Regulatory Requirements

Each one of these areas can be further refined, but these are the main requirements/areas of study that need to be expanded to effectively standardize the cloud.

Does it sound reasonable to create a global framework that governs cloud technology?

Currently there are several groups working on creating cloud standards including the Open Grid Forum, the IEEE, OASIS, and the Storage Networking Industry Association among others. Each of these groups are working on a variety of standards for implementing the cloud. While it is a step in the right direction, the end result needs to be a global standardization of the cloud.

This type of global cooperation needs to become more and more prevalent as we move forward. Technologies such as the Internet and the cloud are removing borders. As such, the world needs to start working together in an effort to create an even playing field that will further the development of said technologies.

If we don’t accept the challenge and create a standardization protocol for the cloud, there will be many issues with interoperability between platforms, user confusion. If all goes haywire, the cloud will become a “very tricky” piece of technology. If we remove these obstacles, we can expect to see the cloud advance beyond our wildest dreams.

What is your take on standardizing the cloud? Let us know in the comments below.

By Lauris Veips

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