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Dell goes bigger on Big Data

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Dell has announced a series of new big data and analytics solutions and services designed to help companies quickly and securely turn data into insights for better, faster decision-making.

The solutions include a new release of Dell’s advanced analytics software platform and new Analytics-as-a -Service offerings for multiple industry verticals such as banking, healthcare and insurance. Together, these new offerings and capabilities enable companies to embed analytics across their core processes and disseminate analytics expertise across the organisation to drive better business outcomes.

Data-driven decision-making is the pathway to competitive advantage in the modern data economy. The Dell Global Technology Adoption Index 2015 (GTAI 2015) revealed that those organisations robustly using big data show 50 percent higher growth rates than organisations that aren’t.  However, the study also found that 44 percent of organisations still don’t understand how to extract value from their data.

With the latest enhancements to its big data and analytics portfolio, Dell says, it is helping customers overcome that uncertainty and invest wisely in data technologies by delivering flexible, end-to-end solutions that help organisations foster IT and business alignment, drive operational efficiency, and leverage the power of predictive analytics.

Dell provided the following information on its new products and services:

Launch of Statistica 13 Further Simplifies Deployment of Advanced Analytics Across the Enterprise 

The launch of Statistica 13, the latest release of the company’s popular advanced analytics software platform, helps simplify and improve the process by which organisations deploy predictive models directly to data sources inside the firewall, in the cloud, and in partner ecosystems. An easy-to-use solution that requires no coding and integrates seamlessly with open source R, Dell Statistica delivers a full range of data blending, data discovery, and advanced and predictive analytics tools that help organisations tap into all data to predict future trends, identify new customers and sales opportunities, explore “what-if” scenarios, and reduce the occurrence of fraud and other business risks. Enhancements and new capabilities in Statistica 13 include:

·         A completely revamped and modernised GUI for greater ease-of-use and visual appeal

·         Deeper integration with the recently added Statistica Interactive Visualisation and Dashboard engine for more effective communication to data consumers

·         Tighter integration with open source R for easier sharing and control of R scripts

·         A new stepwise model tool that progressively recommends optimum models for users

·         New Native Distributed Analytics (NDA) capabilities that allow users to run analytics directly in the database where data lives and work more efficiently with large and growing data sets

NDA functionality pushes predictive algorithm model-building and scoring functionality directly into the data source. This eliminates the time-consuming and data-limiting process of pulling data to an intermediate server or desktop, allowing all analytic processing to occur directly in the database and enabling organisations to leverage the power of Hadoop clusters, database appliances and other high-performance platforms. Statistica 13 will initially feature NDA capability for Microsoft SQL Server databases, with additional databases to be added in subsequent releases.

Dell Services Continues to Strengthen IP-led Service Offerings in Advanced Analytics and Data Science

Dell Services is expanding its Analytics-as-a-Service offerings with industry-specific services that help customers unearth insights, predict business outcomes, and improve the accuracy and efficiency of critical business processes.  For example, new BPO services help embed analytics across an organisation’s core processes and disseminate analytics expertise to give scalability to data-based decision making. The new services include:

·         Fraud, Waste and Abuse Management:  Helps organisations identify cases of medical identity theft, unnecessary diagnostic services or medically unnecessary services and incorrect billing

·         Denial Likelihood Scoring and Predictive Analytics: Helps organisations proactively identify which claims are most likely to be denied, and provide at-a-glance activity data on each account, detailed monitoring and follow-up, in the process helping eliminate up to 40 percent of low- or no-value follow-up work

·         Churn Management/Customer Retention Services: Helps organisations leverage predictive churn modelling – the processing and correlation of new social data sources with traditional data sources – to identify customers they are at risk of losing, and proactively take preventative measures

In addition, emphasising Dell’s continued focus on enabling Analytics-as-a-Service solutions, the Dell Services team has introduced Dell Service Desk Analytics and Dell ModelHealth (DMH) Tracker.

·         Dell Service Desk Analytics transforms IT service desk management by enabling predictive error management and automation. It creates early warning alerts and text analytics to improve the end-user experience and reduce business disruption.

·         Dell ModelHealth Tracker helps customers track and monitor the effectiveness of their various scorecard or predictive analytics models. Particularly in industries with compliance requirements, including banking and insurance, companies use scorecards or other predictive models to predict critical outcomes, such as a customer’s creditworthiness or the likelihood of an insurance claim being fraudulent. DMH plugs into multiple data sources to track, archive and manage these models, and more importantly, monitor them for effectiveness and compliance.

These new offerings join the more than 50 solutions from Dell Services in the area of advanced analytics, including healthcare analytics offerings focused on critical issues like population health, patient readmission, and health risk stratification; financial analytics offerings focused on online transactions and fraud detection; and insurance-focused offerings centered on reducing customer churn via analytics embedded within Lifesys, Dell’s platform for insurance claims processing.

End-to-End Portfolio Simplifies Deployment and Allows Customers to Achieve Insights Faster

In addition to software and services, Dell has a history of offering engineered solutions and reference architectures that speed deployment times and time to value. These solutions are tested and validated to relieve customer pain points associated with deployment of effective data management techniques. Most recently, Dell announced its 15th reference architecture in collaboration with Cloudera, this time also including Syncsort DMX-h software. The Dell | Cloudera | Syncsort Data Warehouse Optimisation – ETL Offload Reference Architecture streamlines the planning, design, construction and deployment process of transforming data into a ready state for analysis, also known as the extract, transform and load (ETL) process, using the Hadoop data platform. The reference architecture offers customers cost savings, faster time-to-value and quicker access to insights than an open-source, do-it-yourself solution.

In addition, Dell’s ProDeploy Enterprise Suite offers customers a complete suite of deployment services and professional certifications designed to simplify deployments and help customers rapidly adopt new technology with confidence.

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Bring your network with you

At last week’s Critical Communications World, Motorola unveiled the LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. It allows rescue personal to set up dedicated LTE networks for communication in an emergency, writes SEAN BACHER.

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In the event of an emergency, communications are absolutely critical, but the availability of public phone networks are limited due to weather conditions or congestion.

Motorola realised that this caused a problem when trying to get rescue personnel to those in need and so developed its LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. The product is the smallest and lightest full powered broadband network to date and allows the first person on the scene to set up an LTE network in a matter of minutes, allowing other rescue team members to communicate with each other.

“The LXN 500 weighs six kilograms and comes in a backpack with two batteries. It offers a range of 1km and allows up to 100 connections at the same time. However, in many situations the disaster area may span more than 1km which is why they can be connected to each other in a mesh formation,” says Tunde Williams, Head of Field and Solutions Marketing EMEA, Motorola Solutions.

The LXN 500 solution offers communication through two-way radios, and includes mapping, messaging, push-to-talk, video and imaging features onboard, thus eliminating the need for any additional hardware.

Data collected on the device can then be sent through to a central control room where an operator can deploy additional rescue personnel where needed. Once video is streamed into the control room, realtime analytics and augmented reality can be applied to it to help predict where future problem points may arise. Video images and other multimedia can also be made available for rescuers on the ground.

“Although the LXN 500 was designed for the seamless communications between on ground rescue teams and their respective control rooms, it has made its way into the police force and in places where there is little or no cellular signal such as oil rigs,” says Williams.

He gave a hostage scenario: “In the event of a hostage situation, it is important for the police to relay information in realtime to ensure no one is hurt. However the perpetrators often use their mobile phones to try and foil any rescue attempts. Should the police have the correct partnerships in place they are able to disable cellular towers in the vicinity, preventing any in or outgoing calls on a public network and allowing the police get their job done quickly and more effectively.”

By disabling any public networks in the area, police are also able to eliminate any cellular detonated bombs from going off but still stay in touch with each other he says.

The LXN 500 offers a wide range of mission critical cases and is sure to transform communications and improve safety for first responders and the people they are trying to protect.

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Kaspersky moves to Switzerland

As part of its Global Transparency Initiative, Kaspersky Lab is adapting its infrastructure to move a number of core processes from Russia to Switzerland.

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This includes customer data storage and processing for most regions, as well as software assembly, including threat detection updates. To ensure full transparency and integrity, Kaspersky Lab is arranging for this activity to be supervised by an independent third party, also based in Switzerland.

Global transparency and collaboration for an ultra-connected world

The Global Transparency Initiative, announced in October 2017, reflects Kaspersky Lab’s ongoing commitment to assuring the integrity and trustworthiness of its products. The new measures are the next steps in the development of the initiative, but they also reflect the company’s commitment to working with others to address the growing challenges of industry fragmentation and a breakdown of trust. Trust is essential in cybersecurity, and Kaspersky Lab understands that trust is not a given; it must be repeatedly earned through transparency and accountability.

The new measures comprise the move of data storage and processing for a number of regions, the relocation of software assembly and the opening of the first Transparency Center.

Relocation of customer data storage and processing

By the end of 2019, Kaspersky Lab will have established a data center in Zurich and in this facility, will store and process all information for users in Europe, North America, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with more countries to follow. This information is shared voluntarily by users with the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) an advanced, cloud-based system that automatically processes cyberthreat-related data.

Relocation of software assembly

Kaspersky Lab will relocate to Zurich its ‘software build conveyer’ — a set of programming tools used to assemble ready to use software out of source code. Before the end of 2018, Kaspersky Lab products and threat detection rule databases (AV databases) will start to be assembled and signed with a digital signature in Switzerland, before being distributed to the endpoints of customers worldwide. The relocation will ensure that all newly assembled software can be verified by an independent organisation and show that software builds and updates received by customers match the source code provided for audit.

Establishment of the first Transparency Center

The source code of Kaspersky Lab products and software updates will be available for review by responsible stakeholders in a dedicated Transparency Center that will also be hosted in Switzerland and is expected to open this year. This approach will further show that generation after generation of Kaspersky Lab products were built and used for one purpose only: protecting the company’s customers from cyberthreats.

Independent supervision and review

Kaspersky Lab is arranging for the data storage and processing, software assembly, and source code to be independently supervised by a third party qualified to conduct technical software reviews. Since transparency and trust are becoming universal requirements across the cybersecurity industry, Kaspersky Lab supports the creation of a new, non-profit organisation to take on this responsibility, not just for the company, but for other partners and members who wish to join.

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