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BT rolls out business platform

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BT recently announced BT Personalised Compute Management System. The platform is designed to help companies speed up time-to-market for new digital services, disrupt their traditional business models and create new ways to grow.

PCMS is built on the same proven and award winning cloud management platform used by BT to allow its customers to self-serve, purchase and access cloud services online.  BT customers will be able to use the same platform to consume or bring their own digital services to market, helping them to simplify and accelerate their digital transformation.

Users will gain access to ready-made business support processes and functions to enable them to sell, fulfil and monetise their own portfolio of digital services. Customers wanting rapid entry into the cloud market will be able to resell BT’s existing digital ecosystem services such as Cloud Compute, Compute Storage and Apps from BT available from a choice of 22 locations around the world. This can be for internal consumption or for sale to their own customers, value added re-sellers or to cross-sell to other PCMS users.

PCMS will allow users to curate the best services and create new business models. It offers more than 45 fully digitalised business support processes, such as product management, customer management, user authentication, order management, service management and billing and collections.

A single PCMS platform with a global catalogue of business support services simplifies how customers manage their digital services globally. PCMS supports multiple sales and execution channels, each with the appropriate local language, currency, pricing and contract terms.

Neil Lock, vice president Compute, Global Services, BT, said: “PCMS brings to life a vision of how businesses can innovate in the digital economy. It is a ready-made platform that allows new ways for companies to digitalise, manage and build profitable business models from their own vibrant ecosystem of consumers, producers and innovators.”

“By building on a proven platform, businesses can confidently bring their digital services to market within shorter timescales and concentrate time and resources on innovation and development. It’s a great example of how BT’s Cloud of Clouds portfolio strategy empowers customers to create new business relationships.”

PCMS has been developed and will be offered to the market in partnership with management and technology consultancy BearingPoint.

Angus Ward, partner & CEO Digital Ecosystem Management (DEM), BearingPoint, said: “PCMS brings together BearingPoint’s expertise in digital business transformation with BT’s skills in digital platform management to provide an end-to-end digital business service. Together, we’re working with customers to deliver real digital business outcomes, allowing them to compete more effectively in the digital economy.”

The platform will be available globally during the final quarter of 2017.

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Kenya tool to help companies prepare for emergencies

After its team members survived last week’s Nairobi terror attack, Ushahidi decided to release a new preparedness tool for free, writes its CEO, NAT MANNING

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On Tuesday I woke up a bit before 7am in Berkeley, California where I live. I made some coffee and went over to my computer to start my work day. I checked my Slack and the news and quickly found out that there was an ongoing terrorist attack at 14 Riverside Complex in Nairobi, Kenya. The Ushahidi office is in Nairobi and about a third of our team is based there (the rest of us are spread across 10 other countries).

As I read the news, my heart plummeted, and I immediately asked the question, “is everyone on my team okay?”

Five years ago Al-Shabaab committed a similar attack at the Westgate Mall. We spent several tense hours figuring out if any of our team had been in the mall, and verifying that everyone was safe. We found out that one of our team member’s family was caught up in the attack. Luckily they made it out.

At Ushahidi we make software for crisis response, including tools to map disasters and election violence, and yet we felt helpless in the face of this attack. In the days following the Westgate attack, our team huddled and thought about what we could build that would help our team — and other teams — if we found ourselves in a similar situation to this attack again. We identified that when we first learned of the attack, nearly everyone at Ushahidi had spent that first precious few hours trying to answer the basic questions, “Is everyone okay?”, and if not, “Who needs help?” 

People had ad-hoc used multiple channels such as WhatsApp, called, emailed, or texted. We had done this for each person at Ushahidi (their job), in our families, and important people in our community. Our process was unorganised, inefficient, repetitive, and frustrating.

And from this problem we created TenFour, a check in tool that makes it easier for teams to reach one another during times of crisis. It is a simple application that lets people send a message to their team via SMS, Slack, Voice, email, and in-app, and get a response. It also works for educational institutions, companies with distributed staff, as well as part of neighbourhood networks like neighbourhood watches.

This week when I woke up to the news of the attack at Riverside, I immediately opened up the TenFour app.

Click here to read how Nat quickly confirmed the safety of his team.

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Kia multi-collision airbags

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The world’s first multi-collision airbag system has been unveiled by Hyundai Motor Group subsidiary KIA Motors, with the aim of improving airbag performance in multi-collision accidents.

Multi-collision accidents are those in which the primary impact is followed by collisions with secondary objects, such as other vehicles, trees, or electrical posts, which occur in three out of every 10 accidents. Current airbag systems do not offer secondary protection when the initial impact is insufficient to cause them to deploy. 

However, the multi-collision airbag system allows airbags to deploy effectively upon a secondary impact, by calibrating the status of the vehicle and the occupants.

The new technology detects occupants’ positions in the cabin following an initial collision. When occupants are forced into unusual positions, the effectiveness of existing safety technology may be compromised. Multi-collision airbag systems are designed to deploy even faster when initial safety systems may not be effective, providing additional safety when drivers and passengers are most vulnerable. By recalibrating the collision intensity required for deployment, the airbag system responds more promptly during the secondary impact, thereby improving the safety of multi-collision vehicle occupants.

“By improving airbag performance in multi-collision scenarios, we expect to significantly improve the safety of our drivers and passengers,” said Taesoo Chi, head of the Hyundai Motor Group’s Chassis Technology Centre. “We will continue our research on more diverse crash situations as part of our commitment to producing even safer vehicles that protect occupants and prevent injuries.”

According to statistics by the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System (NASS-CDS), an office of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in USA, about 30% of 56,000 vehicle accidents from 2000 to 2012 in the North American region involved multi-collisions. The leading type of multi-collision accidents involved cars crossing over the centre line (30.8%), followed by collisions caused by a sudden stop at highway tollgates (13.5%), highway median strip collisions (8.0%), and sideswiping and collision with trees and electric poles (4.0%). 

These multi-collision scenarios were analysed in multilateral ways to improve airbag performance and precision in secondary collisions. Once commercialised, the system will be implemented in future new KIA vehicles. 

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