At Oracle OpenWorld 2017 in San Francisco this week, Oracle unveiled a revamped portfolio that added significant new capacity and capability to its Cloud Platform.
Thomas Kurian, Oracle president of product development, showcased new services and enhancements, with deep product knowledge, integration, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) built into every layer of the stack.
Kurian demonstrated several of these new services on stage, showing how customers can transform business with Oracle’s cloud services. Innovations spanning infrastructure, analytics, data management, and applications showcased in the session included:
- Infrastructure as a Service: With built-in servers, storage, networking and supporting cloud services (such as load balancing and DNS), Oracle Cloud Infrastructure provides the foundation for customer innovation. As Kurian demonstrated in a number of scenarios, the platform was architected from the ground-up to provide the fastest compute, fastest GPUs, and fastest block storage to drive unmatched performance, predictability and lower costs for even the most intense enterprise workloads. Kurian also introduced new network capabilities including a Public Cloud Service offering 25 gigabit Ethernet to the host with a global scale elastic DNS Service.
Providing customers ultimate choice in how they deploy their architecture, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure enables customers to maintain visibility into their on-premises systems and extend them to the cloud. Kurian highlighted new developments in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure—including enhancements to Compute, Storage, Networking and edge capabilities—offering IT operations, developers and researchers infrastructure services optimized for production-ready enterprise applications.
- Platform as a Service: Oracle’s PaaS offerings serve as the underlying foundation for developing, integrating, monitoring, securing and optimizing applications with newly built-in AI and machine learning powered tools. Kurian shared Oracle’s vision for the future of PaaS where software automatically learns, manages, tunes and scales to meet changing compute needs. Kurian also discussed the world’s first autonomous database cloud. Powered by the newly announced Oracle Database 18c, the next generation of its industry-leading database, Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud eliminates complexity, human error, and manual tuning, making it easy for customers to provision and operate databases with lower administration costs and freeing them up to focus on other critical business tasks. Also noted was the latest generation of Oracle Exadata (X7); new innovations in the Oracle Big Data Cloud Platform with new artificial Intelligence, data lake and data integration capabilities; and leading-edge new cyber security and systems management solutions.
- Application Development Cloud Services: Oracle gives customers unparalleled choices when it comes to open source tools, programming languages, and data management platforms that meet desired price-performance needs. This enables customers to preserve existing investments and increase productivity, while eliminating costly learning curves and dramatically reducing integration costs. Kurian discussed major advancements to the Oracle Application Development Platform – highlighting how Oracle is making it even more open, modern and easy to use with container-native development and high scale, fully managed Docker and Kubernetes services; expanded polyglot support; and a new intelligent chatbot platform. He also showcased Oracle’s newly announced serverless computing offering. Based on open-source project Fn, the service helps customers reduce cloud infrastructure and management costs by only paying for the time their functions are running, and not for the entire time the cloud compute is on and sitting idle.
- Software as a Service: Helping companies operate more intelligently and effectively—whether it’s closing the books, serving employees or engaging with customers—Oracle has built-in AI capabilities across its application suite. No matter what the business opportunity or issue, Oracle is the only vendor to offer customers a complete and connected application suite to run an entire business in the cloud. Offering intuitive UIs and embedded collaboration—amplified with new developments in machine learning, AI and Internet of Things (IoT) and chatbots connectivity—Oracle’s suite of cloud applications help customers better connect critical business functions and accelerate intelligent outcomes. Kurian highlighted new AI SaaS capabilities for finance, human resources, supply chain, marketing, commerce, sales and customer service professionals. He also demonstrated how companies can integrate core elements of the Oracle stack to transform business, such as building next-generation applications with built-in Blockchain capabilities.
- Data as a Service: Powering Oracle Adaptive Intelligent Apps, Oracle Data Cloud enables them to learn, react and adapt in real time based on historical and dynamic customer data. This empowers marketers to quickly identify audiences, connecting their behaviors across devices and platforms—so they can deliver the right message, to the right customer—at the right time. Oracle Data Cloud, which is the largest data marketplace in the world, features a collection of more than 5 billion global consumer and business IDs and more than 7.5 trillion data points collected monthly.
Quotes from Thomas Kurian
- “I am incredibly proud of the work our development organization has done these last 10 years to bring you the Oracle Cloud, and to introduce all these new innovations that we showed you today.”
- “Over 10 years ago when we started building the Oracle Cloud, we had a very simple mission: we wanted any person anywhere in the world to be able to access and use our software. And all that they would need is an Internet browser or a phone.”
- “Here at OpenWorld we’re going provide a glimpse of the future of Oracle and how we’re infusing new technology in autonomous computing, artificial intelligence, IoT, blockchain and new forms of human interface into our cloud offerings.”
- “We’re doing this to give you, our customers and developers, a canvas on which you can paint your vision and your ambitions and dreams, to use information technology in a new way, in a fundamentally new way, to transform your organization, your companies and the world.”
- “We’re introducing amazing technology in the infrastructure layer. So you can get world-class infrastructure delivered to you through a browser.”
- “The vision for platform-as-a-service was to eliminate the next barrier to technology adoption by our customers. And that was to eliminate all the mundane, manual labor that human beings needed to do in order to use Oracle technology.”
- “Our vision for the human interface for applications is to become seamless for humans. No longer is it just web and mobile screens, but you could speak to the application. You can interact with it with messaging. You can take pictures and we can identify images, compare them with other things, and automate transactions.”
Now download a bank account
Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.
This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.
“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.
“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”
The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:
- Download the Absa App
- Choose the account you would like to open
- Tell us who you are
- To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
- Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
- Tell us where you live
- Let us know what you do for a living and your income
- Click Apply.
How we use phones to avoid human contact
A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.
Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances.
Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?
The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.
In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.
Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.
Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”
To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:
· I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?
With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.
· Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?
Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.
· I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?
Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.