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Key to supply chain: Intelligence

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Every company in the supply chain is being forced to cut costs and improve performance. But, says THABO NDLELA, non-executive director at IFS, these companies can cut their costs and achieve the same delivery performance using Enterprise Operational Intelligence.

Every company in the supply chain is continually being challenged to deliver operations in the most effective and cost-efficient manner. The prospect of cuts to budgets puts greater emphasis on using the supply chain to reduce costs and enhance value.

The good news is that many successful organisations have shown that it is possible to make cost savings of up to 20% while operating a world-class supply chain. With the latest enterprise technology, these organisations have reduced the total purchasing cost of materials, controlled their stock levels, accelerated fulfilment while lowering overhead costs, and optimised their delivery performance.

The route to achieving these goals is Enterprise Operational Intelligence technology, which can make something useful of the wealth of big data from the Internet of Things, enterprise resource planning and other data sources across the supply chain. We can create a real-time map of the entire supply chain and link it to enterprise software to monitor processes via key performance indicators to deliver on strategic goals.

Actionable operational intelligence

You need to have an integrated real-time overview of the business to inform actions that reduce costs and enhance value. Typically, in the past, that sort of actionable intelligence wasn’t available until some predefined point – a two-week, monthly or even yearly report. With real-time access to data, however, you can make decisions that affect current operations rather than the end of the week or even later.

An Enterprise Operational Intelligence platform provides functionality for numerous aspects of the end-to-end operations, including real-time analytics, dynamic forecasting, workflow management, process management, risk and compliance. Raw transactional data from IT systems is consolidated into a single dynamic management layer, providing powerful situation awareness.

On top of that you can build a performance-based logistics (PBL) solution incorporating a number of the following elements:

·         Contract for supportability and availability

·         Connect processes, performance and risk

·         Connect all parties in the supply chain through cockpits

·         Connect KPIs, workflows and reports to your strategy

·         Align global sourcing strategies

·         Eliminate waste within your supply chain

·         Implement supply chain performance management techniques

·         Achieve transparency of inventory levels

·         Measure and manage all costs together

A single version of the truth

Connected management cockpits are designed to deliver one version of the organisational truth. With an integrated environment you can have all the information you need presented in a clear, role-based way. Users can see clear visualisations allowing them to anticipate, control and react to changing demands. It also enables collaboration across the supply chain and other business functions, such as finance, which drives efficiencies.

By connecting your existing IT source systems, you can make changes to processes without making manual, time-consuming costly changes to underlying ERP and other source systems. This ability provides leading organisations with the much-needed agility to deliver at lower cost without affecting capability to enhance the value they provide.

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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MWC: Next generation of inflight connectivity to be unveiled

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Next week at Mobile World Congress, the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal progress on its mission towards enabling the next generation of inflight connectivity. This follows a significant start for the Alliance, which has seen membership increase five-fold since the first meeting in June of last year. The Alliance has a new research laboratory setup and continues progress through its three working groups, writing specifications for the technology, requirements, and operations.

These developments represent a huge leap towards the goal of making connectivity as easy and enjoyable in the skies as it is on the ground. Appearing as part of the Airbus stand (Hall 6, stand 6G34), the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal specification topics that have been completed and published to its membership.

“The passenger experience with inflight connectivity remains one of the great technology challenges. From Day One we have been determined to deliver on our mission to bring industries and technologies together to make the inflight internet experience simple to access and a delight to use,” said the Alliance’s Chief Executive Officer, Jack Mandala.

“I have been tremendously encouraged by the enthusiastic and committed response we have seen and the widening areas of expertise we can call upon as more and more companies and organisations continue to join us,” he added.

Announced during MWC 2018, the Seamless Air Alliance has since grown to twenty-three membercompanies with more than one-hundred key personnel from across the membership participating in its three working groups, with numbers continuing to increase.

The Seamless Air Alliance was created by founding members Airbus, Airtel, Delta Air Lines, OneWeb and Sprint, and quickly joined by Air France KLM, Aeromexico, and GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes and global technology leaders including Astronics, Collins Aerospace, Comtech, Cyient, iDirect, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Latecoere, Nokia, and Panasonic. 

Today, the Alliance is pleased to announce five additional new members: Adaptive Channel, Etihad Airways, GlobalReach Technology, Safran, and SITAONAIR.

“We are extremely pleased to have these companies join and be a part of the companies driving the next generation of connectivity.” said Mr Mandala.

The Seamless Air Alliance will enable travelers boarding any flight, on any airline, anywhere in the world, to use their own devices to automatically connect to the Internet with no complicated login process nor paywall to scramble over.

The Alliance is also announcing the release of a new research study on the economic benefit of standardization on the inflight connectivity market at Mobile World Congress. This report is available for download at https://www.seamlessalliance.com/publications/

The Alliance is moving rapidly towards an expected demonstration of the technology later in 2019 and anticipates massive interest in Barcelona from the whole communications eco-system.

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