Oracle recently announced that it has expanded its cloud portfolio, releasing new Oracle Cloud services over the past several months to help companies transition to the cloud.
The new services enhance the breadth and depth of Oracle’s extensive cloud portfolio across all layers of the stack — SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.
With these new advancements, Oracle provides all of the cloud-based services that organizations need to capitalize on key transformative technologies such as big data analytics, social, mobile, and IoT, as well as continue to extend foundational use cases that enable organizations to move enterprise workloads to the cloud. Oracle continues to help organizations drive innovation and business transformation by increasing business agility, lowering costs, and reducing IT complexity. The new PaaS and IaaS services can be deployed wherever an organization chooses — in the Oracle Cloud or in their own data center via the Oracle Cloud at Customer offering.
“In today’s digital age, consumers are more informed, connected, and selective than ever before. As a result, technology providers need to offer highly personalized and secure cloud services in order to stay competitive,” said Thomas Kurian, president, Oracle. “With these new Oracle Cloud services, Oracle is enabling organizations to leverage the industry’s most flexible, proven, and secure cloud infrastructure. With it, organizations are able to enjoy the double benefit of moving their enterprise workloads to the cloud while providing their customers with highly innovative and accessible cloud-based services.”
Oracle Cloud Applications deliver the only complete suite of modern cloud applications that are integrated with social, mobile, and analytics. Oracle Cloud Applications help organizations deliver the experiences customers expect, the talent to succeed, and the performance the market demands. The latest additions to the portfolio include:
• Customer Experience: Oracle CX Cloud helps organizations deliver consistent, personalized experiences that connect every customer engagement with their brand. New services include: Customer Experience for Financial Services, Customer Experience for Telecommunications, Customer Experience for Consumer Packaged Goods, Customer Experience for Media and Entertainment, Customer Experience for High Technology, Customer Experience for Manufacturing, Social Engagement and Monitoring, Marketing Collaboration, Commerce Assisted Selling, and HIPAA Cloud Platform.
• Supply Chain Management, Enterprise Resource Planning and Enterprise Performance Management: Together the Oracle SCM, ERP and EPM Cloud services provide companies with the tools needed to fast track innovation, streamline business processes and deliver new insights. New services include: Quoting and Order Capture, Order Management, Configurator Modeling, Configurator, Supply Chain Orchestration, Planning Central, Manufacturing (Discrete), Fleet Management, Costing, Advanced Financial Controls, Account Reconciliation, and Financial Reporting.
• Human Capital Management: Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud enables modern human resources organizations to find and retain the best talent and increase global agility. New services include: Talent Management for Midsize, Talent Acquisition for Midsize, Assessments Delivery, and Learning and Development.
The Oracle Cloud Platform provides a complete suite of services to rapidly build and deploy rich applications – or extend Oracle Cloud SaaS applications – using an enterprise-grade cloud platform based on the industry’s #1 database and application server. The latest additions to the portfolio include:
• Data Management: Oracle Data Management Cloud provides a complete and integrated set of capabilities for building, deploying, and managing data-driven applications. New services include: Oracle Big Data Cloud, Oracle Big Data Discovery Cloud, and Oracle Database Cloud Service – Exadata.
• Application Development: Oracle Application Development Cloud, an end-to-end Java EE framework, simplifies application development by providing out-of-the-box infrastructure services and a visual and declarative development experience. New to the family is the Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service.
• Enterprise Integration: Oracle Integration Cloud provides organizations with a unified and comprehensive solution to integrate disparate cloud and on-premise applications. New services include: Oracle SOA Suite Cloud with API Manager and Managed File Transfer, Oracle API Catalog Cloud, and Oracle Internet of Things Cloud.
• Data Integration: Oracle Data Integration Cloud provides a comprehensive way for customers to prepare, extract, transform, move, and govern both batch and real-time data between heterogeneous data sources and targets. New services include: Oracle Golden Gate Cloud and Oracle Big Data Preparation Cloud.
• IT Operations Management: Oracle Management Cloud is a suite of next-generation integrated monitoring, management, and analytics cloud services that provides real-time analysis and deep technical and business insights. New services include: Application Performance Monitoring Cloud, IT Analytics Cloud, and Log Analytics Cloud.
• Content and Process: Oracle Content and Process Cloud enables business users to easily collaborate anywhere, simplify business automation, and communicate more effectively. Oracle Documents Cloud Service is now integrated with Oracle Social Network and Oracle Sites Cloud.
• Business Analytics: Oracle Analytics Cloud delivers business analytics for traditional data and big data across the entire enterprise. The newest service is the Oracle Data Visualization Cloud Service.
Additionally, Oracle has added a number of new services to its IaaS portfolio:
• Infrastructure: Oracle’s IaaS portfolio delivers a complete set of core services for running enterprise workloads like elastic compute, networking, and storage. New services include: Oracle Compute Cloud, Oracle Network Cloud – Virtual Private Network and Fast Connect, Oracle Storage Cloud – Bulk Data Transfer, and Oracle Messaging Cloud.
Smart home arrives in SA
The smart home is no longer a distant vision confined to advanced economies, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.
The smart home is a wonderful vision for controlling every aspect of one’s living environment via remote control, apps and sensors. But, because it is both complex and expensive, there has been little appetite for it in South Africa.
The two main routes for smart home installation are both fraught with peril – financial and technical.
The first is to call on a specialist installation company. Surprisingly, there are many in South Africa. Google “smart home” +”South Africa”, and thousands of results appear. The problem is that, because the industry is so new, few have built up solid track records and reputations. Costs vary wildly, few standards exist, and the cost of after-sales service will turn out to be more important than the upfront price.
The second route is to assemble the components of a smart home, and attempt self-installation. For the non-technical, this is often a non-starter. Not only does one need a fairly good knowledge of Wi-Fi configuration, but also a broad understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT) – the ability for devices to sense their environment, connect to each other, and share information.
The good news, though, is that it is getting easier and more cost effective all the time.
My first efforts in this direction started a few years ago with finding smart plugs on Amazon.com. These are power adaptors that turn regular sockets into “smart sockets” by adding Wi-Fi and an on-off switch, among other. A smart lightbulb was sourced from Gearbest in China. At the time, these were the cheapest and most basic elements for a starter smart home environment.
Via a smartphone app, the light could be switched on from the other side of the world. It sounds trivial and silly, but on such basic functions the future is slowly built.
Fast forward a year or two, and these components are available from hundreds of outlets, they have plummeted in cost, and the range of options is bewildering. That, of course, makes the quest even more bewildering. Who can be trusted for quality, fulfilment and after-sales support? Which products will be obsolete in the next year or two as technology advances even more rapidly?
These are some of the challenges that a leading South African technology distributor, Syntech, decided to address in adding smart home products to its portfolio. It selected LifeSmart, a global brand with proven expertise in both IoT and smart home products.
Equally significantly, LifeSmart combines IoT with artificial intelligence and machine learning, meaning that the devices “learn” the best ways of connecting, sharing and integrating new elements. Because they all fall under the same brand, they are designed to integrate with the LifeSmart app, which is available for Android and iOS phones, as well as Android TV.
Click here to read about how LifeSmart makes installing smart home devices easier.
Matrics must prepare for AI
By Vian Chinner, CEO and founder of Xineoh.
Many in the matric class of 2018 are currently weighing up their options for the future. With the country’s high unemployment rate casting a shadow on their opportunities, these future jobseekers have been encouraged to look into which skills are required by the market, tailoring their occupational training to align with demand and thereby improving their chances of finding a job, writes Vian Chinner – a South African innovator, data scientist and CEO of the machine learning company specialising in consumer behaviour prediction, Xineoh.
With rapid innovation and development in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), all careers – including high-demand professions like engineers, teachers and electricians – will look significantly different in the years to come.
Notably, the third wave of internet connectivity, whereby our physical world begins to merge with that of the internet, is upon us. This is evident in how widespread AI is being implemented across industries as well as in our homes with the use of automation solutions and bots like Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. So much data is collected from the physical world every day and AI makes sense of it all.
Not only do new industries related to technology like AI open new career paths, such as those specialising in data science, but it will also modify those which already exist.
So, what should matriculants be considering when deciding what route to take?
For highly academic individuals, who are exceptionally strong in mathematics, data science is definitely the way to go. There is, and will continue to be, massive demand internationally as well as locally, with Element-AI noting that there are only between 0 and 100 data scientists in South Africa, with the true number being closer to 0.
In terms of getting a foot in the door to become a successful data scientist, practical experience, working with an AI-focused business, is essential. Students should consider getting an internship while they are studying or going straight into an internship, learning on the job and taking specialist online courses from institutions like Stanford University and MIT as they go.
This career path is, however, limited to the highly academic and mathematically gifted, but the technology is inevitably going to overlap with all other professions and so, those who are looking to begin their careers should take note of which skills will be in demand in future, versus which will be made redundant by AI.
In the next few years, technicians who are able to install and maintain new technology will be highly sought after. On the other hand, many entry level jobs will likely be taken care of by AI – from the slicing and dicing currently done by assistant chefs, to the laying of bricks by labourers in the building sector.
As a rule, students should be looking at the skills required for the job one step up from an entry level position and working towards developing these. Those training to be journalists, for instance, should work towards the skill level of an editor and a bookkeeping trainee, the role of financial consultant.
This also means that new workforce entrants should be prepared to walk into a more demanding role, with more responsibility, than perhaps previously anticipated and that the country’s education and training system should adapt to the shift in required skills.
The matric classes of 2018 have completed their schooling in the information age and we should be equipping them, and future generations, for the future market – AI is central to this.