Cisco Launches AI Based Voice Assistant, Spark Assistant


Cisco on Friday launched an artificial intelligence based voice assistant to be integrated with its collaboration application, Cisco Spark. Named Cisco Spark Assistant, the solution was announced at the ongoing Cisco Partners Summit.

The company claims that the Spark Assistant is the world’s first enterprise-ready voice assistant for meetings. It will be available first on the Cisco Spark Room Series portfolio, including the new flagship Cisco Spark Room 70, which we also announce today.

The voice based assistant  is the latest innovation on the Cisco Spark platform. Unlike all-purpose voice assistants, Cisco Spark Assistant has one goal: to help you have great meetings that run more smoothly.

“During the next few years, AI meeting bots will be joining our work teams. When they do, people will be able to ditch the drudgery of meeting setup and other logistics to become more creative than ever,” said Rowan Trollope, SVP and GM, Applications Group, Cisco. “The future of great meetings is Spark with AI and our partners have an incredible opportunity to help customers take advantage of this game-changing technology.”

The company will release Cisco Spark Assistant in phases, starting early next year. In the first phase, a small group of customers will use select features.

Cisco Spark Assistant will first be available on the new Cisco Spark Room 70, which replaces one of our top-selling video systems, the MX800. Just as Cisco Spark Assistant will take on more tasks over time, it will also be available across all Cisco Spark clients and hardware devices over time.

At its heart is the NVIDIA Jetson platform. This lets the engineers use AI to build intuitive and intelligent capabilities. Spark Assistant takes advantage of our meeting room endpoints’ industry-first advancements such as intelligent proximity, speaker tracking and real-time face recognition.

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IBM Cloud Launches Native Environment For Private Clouds

IBM Cloud

IBM today announced a new IBM Cloud Private software platform to help companies unlock billions of dollars in technology investment in core data and applications and extend cloud-native tools across public and private clouds.

IBM Cloud Private software is designed to enable companies to create on-premises cloud capabilities similar to public clouds to accelerate app development. The new platform is built on the open source Kubernetes-based container architecture and supports both Docker containers and Cloud Foundry. This facilitates integration and portability of workloads as they evolve to any cloud environment, including the public IBM Cloud.

IBM also announced new container-optimized versions of core enterprise software, such as IBM WebSphere Liberty, Db2 and MQ – widely used to run and help secure the world’s most business-critical applications and data. This makes it easier to share data and evolve applications as needed across IBM Cloud private and public clouds and other cloud environments with a consistent experience.

An airline, for example, could use IBM Cloud Private to bring a core application that tracks frequent flyer miles into a private cloud environment and connect it to a new mobile app in the public cloud. A financial services firm could use it to keep customer data in-house as it works to meet its security and regulatory requirements while taking advantage of new analytic tools and machine learning in the public cloud to quickly identify investment trends and opportunities.

While public cloud adoption continues to grow at a rapid pace, organizations, especially in regulated industries such as finance and health care, are continuing to leverage private clouds as part of their journey to public cloud environments to quickly launch and update applications. IBM estimates companies will spend more than $50 billion globally starting in 2017 to create and evolve private clouds with growth rates of 15 to 20 percent a year through 2020, according to IBM market projections.

“IBM is at the forefront of empowering clients by providing a cloud platform which is built for innovation, seamless integration and is secure and compliance ready. With IBM Cloud Private, we are further helping customers embark on a cloud strategy by taking advantage of the control and security of their on-premises system with the freedom to connect or move resources to public clouds in the future,” said Vikas Arora, Country Manager, Cloud Business, IBM India and South Asia. “IBM Cloud Private brings rapid application development and modernization to existing IT infrastructure and positions it to be combined with the services and experience of a public cloud platform.”

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Gemalto Upgrades Cogent biometric identification solutions


Gemalto, the world leader in digital security maintains its track record of investing in acquired business. The company’s ambitious development program includes the release of Gemalto CABIS 7, designed to enable law enforcement and other government agencies to perform biometric-based identity searches with an even greater degree of speed, precision and efficiency. In addition, Gemalto has announced the launch of CABIS (Cogent Automated Biometric Identification Solutions) Core Cloud engine, widening the support scope of Cogent’s flagship CABIS portfolio to include flexible and scalable cloud architecture.

Gemalto formally completed the acquisition of 3M’s Identity Management Business, 3M Cogent, in May 2017. The introduction of CABIS 7 marks the first major product innovation since the change in ownership. Notable enhancements incorporated in the latest evolution of this industry-leading identification tool include true multi-modal capability, integrating fingerprint, palm print, face, iris and latent images. As a result, operators can utilize an even wider range of biometric input data and database records in pursuit of reliable identification and verification matches. Furthermore, fundamental architecture and platform enhancements enable a 30% reduction in setup time as compared to previous versions, and future proofs a customer’s investment. CABIS 7 also features a completely re-designed user interface, improving usability.

Gemalto’s additions to the CABIS portfolio also includes CABIS Core Cloud. This new cloud-based backend solution ensures that running costs always reflect actual usage due to the elastic and scalable nature of cloud computing. The need for upfront investment in infrastructure, based on estimated future utilization, is therefore avoided. In addition, on-going pressure on internal IT resources is reduced significantly.

“Gemalto’s fresh investment in R&D is building on Cogent’s proven ability to deliver outstanding biometric identification solutions,” said Dr. Daniel Asraf, Senior Vice President of Biometrics Solutions for Gemalto. “Cogent’s AFIS core technology is already hard at work in around 200 applications across 80 countries, and the addition of resources such as multi-modal capability and cloud-based deployment will further enhance its value in the fight to protect borders and communities from a wide range of threats.”

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Cisco, Google Team Up To Offer Hybrid Cloud Solution


Giving cloud solutions market a tremendous boost Cisco and Google have joined hands to deliver a hybrid cloud solution that helps customers maximize their investments across cloud and on-premises environments.

The companies will provide a unique and open hybrid cloud offering that enables applications and services to be deployed, managed and secured across on-premises environments and Google Cloud Platform. The solution delivers cloud speed and scale, with enterprise-class security.

The offering provides enterprises with a way to run, secure and monitor workloads, thus enabling them to optimize their existing investments, plan their cloud migration at their own pace and avoid vendor lock in. Companies can now develop new applications in the cloud or on premises, consistently using the same developer tools, run time, and production environment.

“Our partnership with Google gives our customers the very best cloud has to offer— agility and scale, coupled with enterprise-class security and support,” said Chuck Robbins, chief executive officer, Cisco. “We share a common vision of a hybrid cloud world that delivers the speed of innovation in an open and secure environment to bring the right solutions to our customers.”

This partnership extends Cisco’s multicloud portfolio and Google Cloud’s open, hybrid cloud technologies, including Kubernetes, Istio and Apigee. The complete solution will be sold and supported by Google Cloud, Cisco and Cisco’s global partner network.

“This joint solution from Google and Cisco facilitates an easy and incremental approach to tapping the benefits of the Cloud. This is what we hear customers asking for,” said Diane Greene, CEO, Google Cloud.

The joint Cisco and Google Cloud hybrid solution helps developers leverage managed Kubernetes, GCP Service Catalog, Cisco networking and security, and Istio authentication and service mesh monitoring. Enterprise app developers can securely access cloud APIs, and cloud developers can securely access enterprise APIs and on-premises resources

In support of this partnership, DevNet – Cisco’s Developer Network – offers a set of tools for enterprise and IoT developers to explore open source technologies, build hybrid cloud solutions, and further develop IoT opportunities. The Cisco DevNet Sandbox provides instant access to hardware and software developer environments at no cost to help developers quickly explore and create solutions.

Developers can get started with Kubernetes and container networking using Contiv in the Sandbox, or take a DevNet learning track on cloud-native development or edge computing to get started today. In addition, developers using Google Cloud have access to a wealth of information, tools, and documentation from the innovator in container management and Kubernetes.

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How Cisco Predictive Services Help Digital Transformation


As digital transformation is being seen as paramount for business continuity and consistent growth, enterprises have become more receptive towards adoption of newer solutions based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. With these technologies have now become a ‘must’ for enterprises across verticals, networking major Cisco has came up with new sort of services using these technologies that would help companies remain ahead of their times.

The San Jose based firm has launched AI based predictive services and put these in two buckets – Business Critical Services and High-value Services. These predictive servives would anticipate IT failures, mitigate risks, reduce maintenance costs and assists organizations in attaining the necessary skills to transform their businesses.

“By leveraging AI and machine learning to address critical IT issues, Cisco’s new services offerings will truly help our customers free up time to focus on the growing IT talent gap, and remain competitive into the future,” says Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins.

The AI driven predictive services will also enable organizations to invest more of their IT budgets on technology innovation amid growing technical skills gap that poses an imminent threat to business continuity.

Cisco Business Critical Services
Cisco Business Critical Services aims at helping minimize human error and extract the most value from products and solutions while creating a highly secure IT environment. The service goes beyond basic optimization to deliver more capabilities including analytics, automation, compliance and security.
According to the firm, the Business Critical services target reducing downtime by 74% and resolve issues up to 41% faster and at the same time reduce operational cost (Opex) by 21%.

Cisco High Value Services
The high value services portfolio aims at better utilizing the resources – advanced software, solutions and the network. This portfolio comes with services offerings that use analytics, onboarding, expertise, and scale to deliver more proactive and prescriptive services, enabling our customers to realize higher value, faster, from their IT investments.

The company feels the solutions it has included in its AI driven predictive services are key for an organization’s digital transformation. If we go by IDC’s forecasts, a whooping $6.3 trillion is pegged to be invested in digital transformation over the period 2017-2020 and of this $2.6 trillion is being budgeted and spent exclusively on third party services firms with expertise in digital transformation.

Cisco is pinning its focus on this market through its Services Business unit, the second largest business division. The AI driven predictive business suite is the latest offering from this unit.

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Eyeing Smartcities Digisol Launches WiFi Security Camera


Digisol Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Smartlink Network has launched a WiFi enabled IP camera for use in home/office security and monitoring applications. The security camera is priced at Rs 4,999.

The packaging for camera includes all mounting accessories for easy installation of the camera on wall/ceiling. The camera installation is plug-n-play using APP on your phone. The APP connects the camera with your existing Wi-Fi/Internet connection and thus the camera can be viewed online through cloud. It also has a MicroSD Card Slot for MicroSD storage (upto 64GB). The recordings will be stored in the MicroSD card and can be playback/retrieved using the APP. The Camera has IR LED for clear Night Vision view in absolute darkness. The PAN/TILT function of the camera gives maximum coverage of the area under surveillance.

The Digisol WiFi security camera allows users to create their own video monitoring network that can be viewed remotely from users’ computer and most smartphones and tablets. Digisol IP camera offers home users a cost effective surveillance alternative to traditional analogue CCTV units, which are expensive to install and are outdated technology.

“The Digisol Wireless IP Camera is a great solution for those looking to add surveillance to their home or office with latest technology and optimized cost” said Mandar Joshi, Head Channel Business, Digisol Systems Ltd.. “Working professionals who have young ones or elderly parents at their residence and want to ensure their safety, but are reluctant to install surveillance either due to price, maintenance or technology know how. Digisol is offering the Wireless Security Camera which is easy to installation/configure and maintenance free.”

Some key features of the camera include

  • 1MP resolution support

• Night Vision up to 10m distance

• Pan and Tilt Function for rotating camera remotely

• MicroSD card slot for local storage (Max. supported 64GB)

• Free App for Apple iOS & Android Phones for cloud viewing

• Wireless and LAN connectivity

• Built In Mic and Speaker for 2-Way Audio

• Email/App Alerts and Motion based recording

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Oracle Launches Self-driving Autonomous Database


Database management major Oracle has launched, what it claims to be world’s first, autonomous database that does everything by itself including self healing, patching and takes remedial actions when needed.

Announced at the ongoing Oracle Open World, the company’s flagship industry conclave, the firm’s Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison said the autonomous database offers 99.995% up-time.

“This is the most important thing we’ve done in a long, long time,” said Ellison. “The automation does everything. We can guarantee availability of 99.995 percent, less than 30 minutes of planned or unplanned downtime.”

The Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud uses advanced machine learning to enable automation that eliminates human labor, human error and manual tuning, to enable availability, high performance and security at a much lower cost.

The Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud eliminates the human labor associated with tuning, patching, updating and maintaining the database and includes self-driving, self-scaling and self-repairing.

The Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud handles many different workload styles, including transactions, mixed workloads, data warehouses, graph analytics, departmental applications, document stores and IoT. The first Autonomous Database Cloud offering, for data warehouse workloads, is planned to be available in calendar year 2017.

Besides the autonomous database, Oracle also announced the launch of its autonomous data warehouse cloud.

Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud is a next-generation cloud service built on the self-driving Oracle Autonomous Database technology using machine learning to deliver unprecedented performance, reliability and ease of deployment for data warehouses. As an autonomous cloud service, it eliminates error-prone manual management tasks and frees up DBA resources, which can now be applied to implementing more strategic business projects.

Unlike traditional cloud services with complex, manual configurations that require a database expert to specify data distribution keys and sort keys, build indexes, reorganize data or adjust compression, Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud is a simple “load and go” service. Users specify tables, load data and then run their workloads in a matter of seconds—no manual tuning is needed.


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Big DataEnterprise

Huawei Launches SAP Vora Certified Big Data Solution


Huawei has launched its SAP Vora certified big data solution for its enterprise customers. The solution is based on Huawei’s FusionInsight big data platform and the SAP Vora distributed data processing engine.

This was announced during recently held Huawei Connect 2017.

When deployed on Huawei’s big data platform FusionInsight, SAP Vora provides memory-based fast computing capabilities for data stored on a Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) with computing power for Spark architecture. This helps users to implement enterprise-class analysis and queries based on Hadoop data and quickly and accurately gain customer and business insights from large datasets. This will help improve the decision-making ability of enterprises and support enhanced service innovation.

Huawei’s FusionInsight is a converged data processing and service platform focused on various industry customers. It is composed of the Hadoop ecosystem enterprise version, a large-scale parallel processing database, and a big data cloud service. Additionally, FusionInsight helps enterprises rapidly construct systems for massive data processing, and to identify and capture new business opportunities through analysis and data mining on a large scale.

SAP Vora is an in-memory, massively distributed data processing engine for Hadoop that provides simple business-oriented scale-out processing of data. The solution uses and extends the Apache Spark runtime framework to provide richer interactive analysis functions on Hadoop. This helps customers perform optimized, interactive analysis of enterprise data and Hadoop data.

Matt Ma, President, IT Cloud Computing & Big Data Product Line, Huawei, said, “Huawei adheres to an attitude of open cooperation with partners. SAP is the world’s leading provider of enterprise application software solutions and we look forward to working with them to provide customers with comprehensive and superior data solutions. This will assist customers in achieving business success during the big data era.”

“As Big Data matures and becomes a foundation for digital transformation, customers need enterprise-class tools to drive business value,” said Richard Pledereder, Senior Vice President, SAP. “SAP and Huawei are working together to utilize in-memory computing innovations in SAP Vora to simplify and reduce barriers for adoption.”

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Gemalto Deploys Biometric ePassport Solutions In 30 Countries


Digital security firm Gemalto on Thursday said its biometric ePassport solutions have been implemented in over 30 countries including the USA, Singapore, France, Italy and HongKong. Thanks to their outstanding security and the faster, more convenient border crossings they facilitate, the company’s solutions help authorities strengthen homeland protection and improve the traveler experience.

Gemalto’s leading position has been built on the supply of complete travel documents and key components such as polycarbonate data pages, visible and hidden document security features, electronic passport covers and ICAO-compliant embedded software. In addition, the company’s secure embedded software has consistently outperformed the competition in international tests on speed over the last decade. Gemalto is also making an active contribution to the definition of international ePassport standards.

“Over the past decade, Gemalto has helped develop some of the world’s most secure and attractive ePassports, including landmark projects in Algeria, Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Korea, Morocco, Peru, Portugal, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and the USA,” said Youzec Kurp SVP ID Document Solutions, Government Business Unit, for Gemalto. “Our success is based on close collaboration with partners, ensuring that the unique requirements of each project are always fully realized.”

Introduced in 2005, the ePassport – which now represents 57% of passports in circulation – delivers enhanced fraud protection by incorporating a secure microprocessor that stores the holder’s personal data and digital photo. Electronic passports include a standardized electronic portrait of the holder for facial recognition, which opens the door to a comprehensive range of automated, self-service airport services for passengers. This extends from check-in through to immigration control and boarding, resulting in an enhanced experience on arrival and departure.

Gemalto believes the new generation of ePassport will digitally store travel information such as eVisas and entry/exit stamps to support even more efficient immigration control.

The key trends in travel documentation identified by Gemalto include:

– Swift migration to tamper-proof polycarbonate data pages, which dramatically reduce the risk of fraud.
– Rapid growth in secure digital identity credentials. Sensitive ePassport data is stored on the holder’s smartphone to create a secure companion to the physical passport, making life easier for travelers.
– Smart borders/smart airports to emerge at a faster pace. Combined with the hundreds of millions of ePassports now in circulation and a strong push behind biometrics (particularly facial recognition), they offer travelers quick and secure cross-border movement.

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Airtel Partners ClearTax To Offer GST Solution

Airtel GST Advantage

Post GST roll out in the country from 1 July 2017 small and medium enterprises and other business houses are somehow struggling to file their tax details. Though the government has done everything possible to iron out the issues, lack of awareness at multiple levels in the tax filing process is holding up desired adoption. To help such enterprises Airtel Business, the enterprise arm of Bharti Airtel has come out its own GST solution – Airtel GST Advantage – for its business customers.

The operator has partnered with ClearTax, one of India’s leading tax filing platform, to develop the solution called Airtel GST Advantage.

Airtel GST Advantage is being offered free to all existing Airtel Business customers, who simply need to register on

“The new GST regime is a landmark reform for the Indian economy and with Airtel GST Advantage, we would like to enable small businesses with free filing of returns, and free and secure data access. Airtel is also the data hosting and connectivity partner for the Goods and Services Network (GSTN),” said Ashok Ganapathy, Director & CEO – Airtel Business.

“We are excited to partner with Airtel. Since the launch of GST, we have been working hard to help businesses and Tax Professionals become GST-ready and make compliance easier in the new tax regime. Together, we are sure to add many more milestones in our journey to getting India GST-ready,” said Archit Gupta, CEO – ClearTax.

The solution includes a platform for easy digital submission of returns by companies. Besides, all Airtel customers will have access to Airtel’s newly launched GST Advantage Helpdesk between 8.00 am and 8.00 pm on all weekdays. The Helpdesk will be managed by GST experts who will be available to advise Airtel customers on any query relating to GST. Airtel has also published a GST knowledge bank – developed by renowned tax experts. This knowledge bank will empower all Airtel Business customers with an in-depth information about GST.

This access to Airtel-ClearTax GST solution is available till March 31st, 2018.

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